The different ways of viewing Spirituality

I recently started reading Dissident Discipleship by David Augsburger. I think this is the first book that I have read that has clearly defined the source of disagreement I have with so many Christians concerning spirituality and the church. I find it extremely refreshing.

These are some excerpts from the book:

Monopolar spirituality, by definition, is the inner, subjective encounter with one's own inner universal self, with essential humanness that is reverent toward the uniqueness of the spiritual core that is universally present in all human beings. When respected, honored, expressed clearly, and realized more completely, it blossoms into the private inner experience of sacredness without sacred place, ritual, or tradition--of religiousness without formal religion. In fulfilling our unique humanness, we express our spiritual nature by becoming who we can truly and ought existentially to be and become. In its most individualized forms, monopolar spirituality becomes a designer spirituality that each of us composes of themes and harmonies that are most consonant with our personality and preferences.

Monopolar spirituality is spiritual self-discovery, spiritual oneness with nature, and spiritual sensitivity to humankind.

Bipolar spirituality, is both an inner, subjective experience of coming to know one's true self and an objective experience of existence before God. It is spirituality of a subjective, reflective life lived before the Transcendent, a life in search of and in compliance with the Divine. It questions whether one can know oneself apart from knowing God or can truly meet God as Other without humble knowledge of one's soul. It recognizes the need for self-knowledge and inner discovery, but sees them as inextricably linked to the divine presence and the moral demands it makes upon us...It seeks to know a God who is truly there. It seeks through this relationship with the Divine to understand and to claim authentic freedom for the inner self.

Bipolar spirituality is discovery of, openness to, and participation in the Spirit; neither self as spirit, nature as spirit, nor humanity as spirit; but God as Spirit who calls us, God as Savior who redeems us, God as Origin who knows us, God as Presence whom we worship.

Tripolar spirituality, by definition, possesses three dimensions; it is inwardly directed, upwardly compliant, and outwardly committed. The spirituality of personal transformation (the inner journey), the experience of divine encounter (the God-ward journey) and the relation of integrity and solidarity with the neighbor (the co-human journey with friend and enemy, with neighbor and persecutor) cannot be divided. Tripolar spirituality sees all three as interdependent. No single one of these is fully valid apart from the other two; no single one can be truly experienced without the other two; no two can be extracted as primary or as actually present without all three. I come to know myself not alone, but in the company of travelers; I come to know others not merely in collusion, but in shared commitment to the One who brings us together justly and safely in the triumphant surrender of ultimate trust. Inseparable, indivisible, the three poles of tripolar spirituality each define and determine the authenticity of the other parts.

Tripolar spirituality is the breakthrough in which love of God transcends and transforms love of self, love of God and love of neighbor become one, love of neighbor and love of self become one, and submission to God and solidarity with neighbor are indivisible.

Watch out for the potholes.