“Holistic spirituality is about fully acknowledging and encompassing every aspect of life, including our shadows, denials and ultimately death. And, most of all, it involves embracing the shadow side of spirituality itself, including God’s.” (Franco Santoro)
Holism is based on the experience that all aspects of life are intimately related and part of the same whole. Holistic principles have existed since ancient times in the most varied cultures and contexts, including science, sociology, education, religion and medicine.
According to a holistic perspective there is no separation or dualism, and we can find our sense of purpose only if we acknowledge the wider and united reality in which we exist. This reality also includes what lies beyond our ordinary perception and can effectively deepen the awareness of who we truly are; our core self.
For many people the term “God” has lost interest and in some cases even produces strong resistance. In certain situations it is awkward to mention “God,” since this can easily give wrong impressions and cause prejudices. This is probably because some concepts of God trigger fear, guilt, and judgment. “God” is merely a term, which can take other names and forms, and even no name or form at all. What counts here is the direct experience of God, and of our true nature devoid of any assumption.
What most people on a spiritual quest seek today are not mere formalities, doctrines or creeds, but paths of direct experience. They search for a first-hand knowledge of their true self, or a direct encounter and communion with God, which is ultimately the authentic essence of what all spiritual traditions pursue.
The main characteristic of our spirituality and of the related teachings is given by its explicit provisionality. Practices, rituals, cosmologies, techniques, the ideas we convey have a purely strategic and theatrical function, the purpose of which is to facilitate a direct experience of the mysteries that concern our nature and of the reality in which we live or believe to live.
Spirituality for us is not a race to achieve individual enlightenment or an effort to spread religious ideas around the world; it is an experiential process of recovering our original unity, returning to be consciously part of the Whole and understanding the mystery of existence, accepting also the possibility that there is really nothing to understand.
A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. (A Course in Miracles, Manual, p. 77)
The Provisional Institute, directed by Franco Santoro, supports unity among all religions, honoring traditional doctrines, mystical, gnostic and alternative paths, including atheism. We pray and work for total ecumenism, spiritual healing, expansion of consciousness and the recovery of our multidimensional nature.
In ordinary life, we are not aware of the unity of all things, but divide the world into separate objects and events. This division is useful and necessary to cope with our everyday environment, but it is not a fundamental feature of reality. It is an abstraction devised by our discriminating and categorising intellect. To believe that our abstract concepts of separate ‘things’ and ‘events’ are realities of nature is an illusion. (Fritjof Capra)