Finally, integral spirituality-as the very name "integral" implies-transcends and includes science, it does not exclude, repress, or deny science. To say that the spiritual currents of the cosmos cannot be captured by empirical science is not to say that they deny science, only that they show their face to other methods of seeking knowledge, of which the world has an abundance.

Well, then, what are some of these spiritual currents, or some of the similarities that recur in virtually all of the great wisdom traditions? These are items that we will be discussing in future essays and interviews in this column, so let me start with a short and simple list. This is not the last word on the topic, but the first word, a simple list of suggestions to get the conversation going. Most of the great wisdom traditions agree that:

1. Spirit, by whatever name, exists.

2. Spirit, although existing "out there," is found "in here," or revealed within to the open heart and mind.

3. Most of us don't realize this Spirit within, however, because we are living in a world of sin, separation, or duality-that is, we are living in a fallen, illusory, or fragmented state.

4. There is a way out of this fallen state (of sin or illusion or disharmony), there is a Path to our liberation.

5. If we follow this Path to its conclusion, the result is a Rebirth or Enlightenment, a direct experience of Spirit within and without, a Supreme Liberation, which

6. marks the end of sin and suffering, and

7. manifests in social action of mercy and compassion on behalf of all sentient beings.

Does a list something like that make sense to you? Because if there are these general spiritual patterns in the cosmos, at least wherever human beings appear, then this changes everything. You can be a practicing Christian and still agree with that list; you can be a practicing Neopagan and still agree with that list. We can argue the fine details-and will do so in subsequent columns-but the simple existence of those types of currents profoundly changes the nature of belief itself.

If we add to those spiritual currents the other two ingredients that I mentioned-authentic spirituality must transcend and include modern science (not deny it), and psychological measures can help accelerate spiritual capacities-then we are getting very close to what might in fact be an integral spirituality, a spirituality for the modern and postmodern world that includes the best of the premodern traditions as well.

"Integral: inclusive, whole, essential for completeness." Please join me in future Beliefnet columns as we explore this exciting and exhilarating topic.