BOOK: One Garden: realizing your life-secrets

One Garden: realizing your life-secrets

52 pointers, each one a practice for self-transformation on your life-journey

PREFACE: Life like  art is an open secret.  We can see clearly when we let go ‘veils’ that falsify our seeing.

One starting point is to realize more strongly our sameness, and diminish what we see as differences.  There is just one human family - but the 52 spokes to the hub in the structure of this book all point to the same open secret.

We are born out of women’s pain.  We strive and suffer along the way of our life-journey.  Death comes along in the twinkling of an eye.  When we pass from this world some have learned the secret of life, many haven’t.  This book presents the secret of life as taught by some of the wisest of the wise.

This book is written from within an interspiritual view of what it is to be human on our life-journey toward a deeper and more meaning-full spirituality.

The book is in two parts corresponding to the two primary states in which human beings find themselves.  The great Jewish writer Abraham Joshua Heschel referred to the two states of being wwe humans ourselves in being ‘citizens of two realms’

“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh.

We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore.

Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another.

Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion

PART 1: Citizens of Two realms - The realm of reason and the realm of Mystery

We are all Citizens of Two realms - The realm of reason and the realm of Mystery

PART TWO: 52 Topics as pointers to interspiritual living

Interspirituality means you can see beyond the perverted and corrupted religions, and are starting to realize that the true core of the great spiritual traditions is One.  This might include such ideas as .......

Texts and the ultimate context - the Mystery of the Whole.  I am using ‘text’ in a very broad way - far beyond but

including the written word.  By text I mean to anything that engages our dual self.


The term interspirituality was coined by Wayne Teasdale and his book is the definitive source to understand interspirituality.  His definition which underlies this book is;



“Humanity stands at a crossroads between horror and hope. In choosing hope, we must seed a new consciousness, a radically fresh approach to life drawing its inspiration from perennial spiritual and moral insights, intuition and experience. We call this new awareness Interspiritual, implying not the homogenization of religion, but the recovering of the shared mystic heart beating in the center of the world’s deepest spiritual traditions.”

Wayne Teasdale, in his book The Mystic Heart

Practice Matters:  It is a challenge to us to use each one as some form of practice - for a week?

1 Mindfulness  - Smiling, Breathing, Going slowly (and/or consciously) enables insight .

2 Justice as a conditioner of our inner life.

3 Bringing ourselves back to the now - breath returns us to the now and helps re-integrate body, mind & spirit

4 Gratitude also returns us to the now - as well as the traditional benefits of ‘count our blessings’

5 It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.

6 Mythos must balance logos - literal/scientific truth - metaphorical truth, head heart, male - female etc

7 De-sensitizing those buttons - Healing parental hurt stuff

8 Forgiveness is grease for the slide home

9 “God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere.” - immanent and transcendent

10 Getting insight

11 Love as the universe’s glue

12 The breath of God is breathing you

13 Geddit - is there a geddit factor? - Cultural reference is to Glenda Slagg in Private Eye

14 Exp of oneness

15 Circles of silence

16 Metaphor as the language of the spirit

17 The Human spirit - the 3 Cs

18 The most imp of all questions

19 Happiness

20 At-one-ment & flow

21 You aren't your thoughts

22 Good stories and bad stories

23 Mantras

24 Meditation v Contemplation

25 Which teachers can we trust?

26 What is (ultimate) reality?

27 The restoration of the feminine principle

28 Fundamentalism

29 Salvation

30 Virtues (& names and attributes of God)

31 En-courage-ment

32 The key virtue in relationships

33 Wisdom

34 Religions - all different or the same inside - mystical core

35 Great Teachers

36 Spiritual Federalism

37 Social control

38 Teaching children democracy, conflict-resolution and peace-building - for parents & teachers

39 The diseases of today - cynicism, celebrity etc

40 What does it mean to grow up?

41 Socrates - world citizen

42 Plato's Allegory of the Cave

43 Re-enchantment

44 Pre-modernism, modernism & post-modernism

45 The 3 voices of the human spirit

46 What might God mean if it wasn't what most people mean by Him/Her/It??

47 Literalism and metaphor, metaphor as the language of the spirit.

48 Mystery & the Whole - the inevitable encounter.

49 Einstein - atheist or mystic or both?

50 Whole, hale, heal and personal integration

51 Art as healing                                                                             

52 Light is light in whatever lamp it shines from

SPARES  - Check out other books - especially those on our core reading list

1 The paradox of ‘and’ instead of ‘or’

2 Panentheism

3 The middle way - avoiding  excess