An emphasis on spirituality as experience is not really new. It can also be found among those who were called mystics in all the great religious traditions. They were sometimes called heretics because they didn’t worry too much about dogma. We don’t really have the language to adequately describe spiritual experience. When we use words like God or Goddess, we are just grasping at straws, using words and images to try to convey what cannot be defined.
The poet Rumi, a Sufi mystic in the tradition of Islam, said that language doesn’t matter, the words we use don’t matter. “The love-religion has no code or doctrine.” Spirituality is not about what we believe, but what we feel. What matters is seeing, touching, knowing, loving. What matters is the burning of our hearts. He says we must become friends with our burning.
[Quotes from The Essential Rumi, trans. by Coleman Barks]