Participatory Fruits: Spiritual Inquiry

John Heron
2007 ReVision  
This contribution to the cartography of spiritual inquiry explores its grounding in three interdepedent kinds of inquiry -personal, collaborative and cultural -and makes a brief evaluation of the relevance of the perennial philosophy. It then outlines a dipolar theology of the divine as the manifest and the spiritual, the manifest in terms of the phenomenal and the subtle, and the spiritual in terms of its three modes -the situational, the immanent and the transcendent. It considers the
more » ... nsiders the validity of spiritual insights, the nature of human mediation between the divine poles, explores the nature of spiritual inquiry as a form of collaborative action research -the divine-human process of co-creative inquiry here in this place where we are. It culminates in describing a broad range of practices of engagement, enlivenment and enlightenment which inquire, respectively, into spirit as situational, immanent and transcendent. It concludes with an overview of the presuppositions of spiritual inquiry. The participatory fruits of spiritual inquiry explored in this paper are an enacted set of working principles and practices, grounded in three kinds of inquiry which are interdependent and mutually involved in each other. First, they are co-created in a personal participatory relation with being, a relation which is rooted in the human capacity for feeling the presence of what there is. This radical capacity I explore in depth in Feeling and Personhood (Heron, 1992) . Ferrer gives a related account of participatory knowing as presential, enactive and transformative (Ferrer, 2002: 122-3). Second, they are generated in a context of a variety of collaborative spiritual inquiries, including an ongoing relationship inquiry (Langton and Heron, 2003), a current long-term co-operative inquiry now (2006) into its twelfth year (Heron and Lahood, forthcoming), and over twenty short-term co-operative inquiries since 1978 -several of which are reported in Sacred Science (Heron, 1998) . Third, they are influenced by acquaintance with, reflection on, and discussions within, the wider personal, cultural and historical context, including the great legacy of religious beliefs and experiential data from spiritual schools ancient and modern, western and eastern. These three kinds of inquiry provide a qualified warrant for my text. On the one hand it present ideas that are clarified and critically refined in personal and interpersonal enactions of what there is, and are thus one modestly valid perspective on, and revelation of, the mystery of being. On the other hand
doi:10.3200/revn.29.3.7-17 fatcat:wifblzszhjdiriy4x7oaz23nhq