Holy Shift

Djaloki’s trail through the fulfillment of the Ancient Prophecies.

Posts Tagged ‘Interfaith’

What is an Interfaith Minister?

Posted by djaloki on June 26, 2008

by Rev. Djalòki(*)

The Concept of Interfaith

In the process of brainstorming on a definition of the concept of Interfaith, members of A World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy (http://www.worldinterfaithclergy.org) and of the New Seminary (http://www.newseminary.org) came up with this temporary definition (communicated by Rev. Norman Wolfe):

Interfaith is a spiritual path to the Divine through seeing and understanding the deeper commonality of all spiritual paths and appreciating the unique contribution each has made. It is through this that we hope to transcend any specific form and gain a direct and rich experience of the Divine that we can bring into our daily living.

I believe this definition gives a good idea of the concept of Interfaith. In the course of the brainstorming however, the short version above evolved to the formulation below, and is still in progress in order to respect and incorporate as many different perspectives and sensibilities as possible:

Interfaith recognizes that the Divine expresses itself through all that inhabits this planet and is experienced in the diversity of their rituals, liturgy and practices. Interfaith is a spiritual path to the Divine of seeing, understanding and experiencing the deeper commonality of all spiritual paths and appreciating the unique contributions each makes to spiritual development. It is by drawing from the richness of rituals and practices of many faiths that we strive to transcend any specific path and gain a rich and direct experience of the Divine, which we can then bring into our daily living.

Three Major Approaches of Interfaith

Interfaith activities, statements or opinions are usually based on one or a combination of the three following approaches (it should be noted that this description is just an attempt of the author to modelize and present the Interfaith approach; it has not been widely shared so far and, as such, has not yet been the object of a wide consensus):

1- Inclusivism: religious tolerance and outreach rooted in a specific religion

This is the approach of the adepts of a specific religion who recognize the validity and truth of other religions for other people. Inclusivist (or Interfaith) groups and movements have been in existence in most of the religions of the world since their inception. It has often traditionally been promoted by the mystics of these religions, and now by more and more religious leaders of all faiths. Many people consider this approach as a prerequisite for world peace.

2- Pluralism: interstitial space and interface between different religions

This approach recognizes the riches and the uniqueness of every religion and spiritual path. It considers them as various pointers to a common objective, which is the union between the human and the Divine. It does not favor any particular religion over the others and focuses on the common ground between them as a foundation to access their potential of complementarity. Some people see it as an extension of the interdenominational and oecumenical approaches; others see it as a postmodernist approach of spirituality.

3- Spirituality beyond religious formal structures

In this approach, the spiritual quest seeks to transcend the socio-cultural, political, historical and organizational aspects of religions. In a sense, it focuses more on the “inter” than on the “faith” of Interfaith. The term Interspirituality is also used for this approach. It usually embraces a holistic body-mind-spirit-universe model and draws from various forms of teaching: religious, mystic, scientific (theoretical and empirical), philosophical, etc. Integral spirituality, which is the Integral Approach (developed by Ken Wilber) applied to spirituality, is an example of this approach of Interfaith.

There are many Interfaith organizations, seminaries and churches in the world today. Many of them are accessible on the Internet (I suggest you search the Web for Interfaith Organization, Interfaith Seminary, Interfaith Church and Interfaith Temple).

The Interfaith Minister

Although the Interfaith approach is not a religion, it is a legally recognized religious denomination in some countries, including the U.S.A. As a result, Interfaith seminaries, temples and churches that are legally registered in the U.S.A. as ordaining organizations can ordain ministers who are entitled to the same legal privileges and responsibilities as ministers of established and recognized religions in that country. Basically, they can legally perform baptisms, weddings and funerals, offer spiritual counseling and perform the usual tasks attributed to ministers in congregations and organizations, including worship services and various rituals as well as chaplaincy. As other ministers in the U.S.A., Interfaith ministers bear the title of Reverend.

Anyone can become an Interfaith minister, with no discrimination based on gender, race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or religion.

The activities of many Interfaith ministers can be described through the lenses of the three approaches of Interfaith mentioned earlier.

1- “Religious” Interfaith ministers operate from the perspective of a specific religion. Some of them are ordained in their own religion and congregation as well. They promote religious tolerance and inclusivism in their communities.

2- “Pluralist” Interfaith ministers typically serve multicultural-multireligious communities, allowing people of different religions to live and practice their faith, not only side by side, but together in dynamic and interactive ways. There is a growing interest in hiring Interfaith ministers as chaplains in hospitals, nursing homes, the army and in humanitarian actions after large scale disasters involving people of different backgrounds.

3- “Interfaith Ministers of the Third Kind” (in lack of a better terminology) serve as facilitators, mentors and companions for people and groups who, while nurturing a deep reverence for the religions of the world, want to go beyond the conventions of religion in quest of global holistic encompassing paradigms and consciousness.

Interfaith ministers often combine various aspects of these three models in their activities.

In addition to their traditional role as ministers to individuals and communities, I also believe that Interfaith Ministers have the potential to become global spiritual leaders for humanity as a whole, along with others acting as facilitators and/or leaders in global healing, spiritual growth and the conscious evolution of our species.

(*) Reverend Djalòki, also known as Jean Luc Dessables, is an ordained Interfaith minister affiliated to the Interfaith Temple of the New Seminary (www.newseminary.org). His practice includes Paradigm Expansion Coaching (combining elements of Life Coaching, Spiritual Counseling, Shamanic/Vodou teachings and Interactive Guided Imagery), cross-cultural consulting, and international lectures and workshops on the connections between religions (Eastern and Western), Shamanism (including 21st Century Vodou) and advanced science (of consciousness and of matter).

Djalòki is also co-founder of the “N a Sonje” Foundation (http://nasonje.blogspot.com), which aims at healing the historical wounds between the peoples of Africa, Europe and the Americas. He is an associate member of DOA/BN (www.haititravels.org, transformational cultural tourism in Ayiti), and an Interactive Imagery Guide.

His intention is to help create a sustainable multicultural global society showing reverence for the diversity of life and valuing inclusive excellence among people and institutions. He believes that the time has come for the global shift of human consciousness, prophesied by many ancient people, that may mark a major leap of evolution for humanity.

Djalòki is a citizen of the world and of Ayiti (Kreyòl name of Haiti); he lives in Port-au-Prince, Ayiti. He speaks French, Ayitian Kreyòl, English and Spanish.

Read some of Djalòki’s texts on https://djaloki.wordpress.com

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Quantum Physics and Interfaith

Posted by djaloki on April 24, 2008

by Djalòki Jean Luc Dessables and Anne Presuel-Moreno 

TNS2008 – Assignment April 2007


“The separation of the two — matter and spirit — is an abstraction. The ground is always one.”

– David Bohm (1917-1992), Quantum Physicist.


Table of Contents

o      Why a Paper on Quantum Physics?

o      What is Quantum Physics and What It Is Not?

o      Basic Principles and Laws of Quantum Physics

o      Metaphysical Questions Suggested by Quantum Physics

o      What Would An Interfaith Minister Do?

o      APPENDIX I: A Brief History of Quantum Physics

o      APPENDIX II: Additional Information from Experts in the Quantum Field



Why a Paper on Quantum Physics?

As apprentice interfaith ministers, it is incumbent on us to explore and embrace systems that speak to the existential mysteries of the human experience.  Some of these systems are defined as religions, others as philosophies, ideologies, worldvisions, cultures or paradigms, others still as theories, hypotheses and sciences.  Along with Christianity, Buddhism, Gnosticism and Shamanism, we study Freudian and Jungian psychology, as well as modern psycho-synthesis, because they all have something to say about the beauty and complexities of metaphysical aspects of the human experience, each from a different perspective.


Quantum physics, one of the most advanced branches of modern science thus far, has introduced new ways of understanding ideas such as the role of consciousness in the material world, remote influence across space and time, or the intrinsic fabric of time, space and matter, which have traditionally been considered as part of the territory of religion or philosophy, but not science.  Although quantum physicists do not claim to have answers to metaphysical questions, their theoretical formulas and experimental findings seem to bring new perspectives to these questions and serve as invaluable inspirations for modern philosophers, theologians and spiritual seekers.  More and more modern interfaith ministers and counselors may find themselves interacting with clients or colleagues who refer to quantum physics in their spiritual quest and understanding of life.  For this reason, we believe that a basic understanding of quantum physics is relevant within the education of a modern interfaith minister.

In this paper, we are not studying the complex mathematical formulae of quantum physics.  We seek simply to define the basic relevant vocabulary and the corresponding concepts in order that we may look at the metaphysical questions that might appropriately be generated as we consider these concepts.

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Yoghurt and Railroads

Posted by djaloki on April 10, 2008

Honor and Respect to you!

As I was meditating on various ways to approach the subject of interfaith in my sermon, I heard two things, in very different situations, which I would like to share today. The first one is something my sister told me on the phone from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she just moved a few days ago. The second one I heard on the news on an international radio station, about something that just happened between North and South Korea.
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Vodou-Catholic Interfaith Memorial Service (Sèvitè-Andezo)

Posted by djaloki on April 9, 2008


  •       Sèvitè-Andezo (a symbolic code name) was a devoted Ayitian Vodou and baptized Catholic practitioner. As this Memorial Service is being written in his honor, about a year after his passing in 2007, the Catholic Church in Ayiti still refuses to offer complete funeral rites to some of its members because of their responsibilities and functions under their family Vodou traditions. Sèvitè-Andezo was one of them.
  •       This Interfaith Service may not actually be performed yet in the current dynamics between the Catholic Church and the Vodou community in Ayiti, but it is written in the hope that it will indeed be performed one day, in peace, mutual respect and solidarity between these two important spiritual traditions of the Ayitian people, for Sèvitè-Andezo or anyone else.
  •       This Memorial Service is co-presided by 3 officiating Ministers: a Vodou Manbo (or Vodou “Priestess”, necessarily a woman, as long as Roman Catholic Priests are exclusively males), a Catholic Priest (preferably Roman Catholic, since it was the denomination of Sèvitè-Andezo’s Christian faith), and an Interfaith Minister (female or male), who is also the overall coordinator of the whole event (this role can be delegated if desired).
  •       In this ceremony, the deceased person (Sèvitè-Andezo) is called: “the Remembered”.
  •       This service is performed preferably after all the classic funeral Vodou rites have been performed for the Remembered, typically the Desounen (Spirit Liberation, performed within the few hours or days after the passing, especially important for a Vodou Initiate) and the Wete Mò Anba Dlo (Removing the Dead from under the Water, performed at least a year and a day after the passing).
  •       The Vodou rite that most closely approaches the concept of a modern Memorial service is possibly the Manje Mò, or “Feeding of the Dead”, performed periodically after the “Removing of the Dead from under the Water”.
  •       The Order of Christian Funerals prescribes 3 consecutive funeral rites: the Vigil, or Wake Service, the Funeral Liturgy, including or not including a Funeral Mass with Eucharist, and the Rite of Committal. The Catholic Memorial Service is basically the Funeral Liturgy adapted to the fact that the body of the deceased is not present.
  •       This service contains elements of Vodou rites, mainly the Manje Mò, of the Catholic Funeral Liturgy, as well as Interfaith elements to create a cooperative and cohesive flow.
  •       It is a public ceremony performed in the presence of the Remembered’s relatives, community and friends. It is open to the greater public as well.
  •       For the purpose of this assignment, the service has been kept simple, focusing on the eulogy, but a much extended version may include full Catholic and Vodou ceremonies, with church choir and musical band, Vodou Sosyete (Society of Vodou Initiates, musicians, singers and dancers), drawings of Vèvè (Vodou sacred designs), family Vodou spirit flags and calling of family spirits into the body of the Vodou Initiates, plus slide shows and videos films…

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