I found this writing published in the 1980’s and I wondering if you could help me identify who this group is?
We affirm the inherent value of all the great revelations of religious truth that have been given to humanity. God is the Spirit of all life. There is no exclusively true revelation or exclusively Divine teacher. All the great teachers of all times and cultures have contributed, through their teachings and their spiritual help to ordinary people, to a great and ever evolving process by which humanity will eventually grow into intelligent maturity as a vehicle of Divine life on Earth.
We believe on the basis of intuitive feeling that there is only God, the God that is Real and Absolute and that cannot be sought or found within or without, nor ever proved by the mind, but only suddenly felt with the whole being, and then loved and surrendered to from the heart, as Life, Spirit, Consciousness, All-Pervading Presence.
“awakening is not identical to any form of experience or knowledge. It is not something that happens to you, but something you suddenly realize that you are”
Religious life begins through an intuitive awakening of the human heart. That awakening is given by Grace. It is as literal and tangible as beginning to hear or see or feel for the first time. It may be associated with any number of experiences, but this awakening is not identical to any form of experience or knowledge. It is not something that happens to you, but something you suddenly realize that you are, a deeply felt intuition of the Divine nature of your existence and that of all beings and things.
This primal religious awakening—”primitive” in the highest sense—depends upon careful study…. It can occur only when one has fully felt the Teaching’s criticism of our common ways of living and its revelation of the Divine Truth of Life. This awakening, however, is not merely intellectual—it galvanizes the entire being and literally opens the heart to joyous perception of the universal Divine Presence. It is just like falling in love, but with God, with Life, not merely with any one or thing that appears in our experience.
True religious and spiritual processes are not and never can be reduced to mere belief in an objective God or gods, vicarious or non-transforming processes that are supposed to produce salvation or liberation, buildings or sites whose spiritual power may not also be directly awakened in human beings, institutions that replace or prevent responsibility on the part of those they are intended to serve, or any hierarchy of priests whose cultic or exclusive access to Truth and Grace (rather than their own actual life of religious service and self-surrender) makes them unique and powerful.
Our practice is oriented to life. We take a positive attitude toward the world, the body, sex, money, food, and ordinary relations and actions. It is true that our devotional and meditative disciplines may involve periods of silent contemplation, and growth in this religious and spiritual way does include the enhancement of inner, psychic experience.
However, we do not make life-excluding inwardness a principle of spiritual growth. We believe life is to be embraced as Divine activity, not escaped by turning within. The true test of all religion and spirituality is how you live it in your relationships, in life, in joy and suffering, even in death.
Therefore, the personal and moral disciplines of our daily lives are just as important as our more contemplative, devotional exercises. These practices are ways of making all activities and encounters into sacred occasions of service, or active love, and remembrance of God. Thus, the whole Way of life is constant surrender of body, mind, and heart to the revealed Presence of God. It develops first as a purifying and then as a transforming process that eventually enlightens—literally transfigures—the entire being, even the cells of the body, in universal Consciousness and Light.
“This Way is lived and realized in devotional community, in the common or mutually enlivened places of practitioners and in their cooperative, intimate relationships with one another.”
This Way is lived and realized in devotional community, in the common or mutually enlivened places of practitioners and in their cooperative, intimate relationships with one another. And it is in the psycho-physical functions, high and low, of the living human individual that these processes must be responsibly contacted and engaged. Only then is there direct access to the Divine Reality, Grace, and Power. Thus, individual responsibility and free cooperative community (on a personal, intimate scale) are the principal instruments for the God-illumined Way of life that we practice in this Church.
Religion is a progressive and dynamic affair, the greatest creative act that any human being can undertake. Religion is not a matter of seeking the Divine or the Truth, but of being awakened to and in that Reality and then living in Communion with Reality in every moment.
Can you identify who this group is?