When people learn that I’ve written a book, their first question is always, “What is it about?” I reply, “Eclectic Spirituality,” and they inevitably nod, smile and say, “Oh! That’s interesting,” as if they know what that is.
Of course, they don’t.
Not many people do. After all, Eclectic Spirituality has no founder, leaders, congregations or organization. It is a term that a small number of practitioners have come to use — organically and independently — to describe a their spiritual path.
Eclectic Spirituality isn’t a New Age religion, though any given practitioner may include New Age elements.
Eclectic Spirituality isn’t synonymous with “spiritual but not religious,” though any given practitioner’s version of the philosophy may fall neatly into that category.
I define Eclectic Spirituality as “A highly individualized spiritual belief system composed of selected elements drawn from various doctrines.” In plain English, this means that each practitioner has the liberty to “take what they like and leave the rest” from multiple religions or philosophies, creating their own unique “fusion” belief system, tailored specifically to meet their spiritual needs.
If designing your own spiritual belief system sounds simple, trust me when I tell you it’s not. It requires fearlessly examining your current belief system and being willing to discard what doesn’t work while adopting new spiritual concepts that may be totally alien to you. It may require researching new religions and philosophies and spending countless hours studying and practicing new forms of prayer and meditation. You may feel uncomfortable when you realize that, maybe for the first time, you don’t have a priest, preacher, rabbi or other religious leader telling you what to believe. You may feel like the very foundation has been pulled out from under you…until you realize that you are building a genuine, unshakable belief system that is uniquely yours.
And, if your spiritual journey does a 360 and takes you right back to where you started, that’s okay. You will know that you have done what very few people have the courage to do: examine why you believe what you believe and whether it’s the right path for you.