An Interview with Andrew Harvey on Sacred Activism
Andrew Harvey discusses with Lapis editor Ralph White his experience of the Divine Mother and his views on the dangers of gurus. He also argues that an authentic spirituality can never be mired in narcissism but must instead take service to the world as its primary ethic. We need a mystic activism that fuses a contemplative awareness of the divine with an impassioned devotion to justice, the environment, and the alleviation of suffering.
Born to British parents in India in 1952, Andrew Harvey at nine was sent to England to begin his education. At twenty-one, he was elected the youngest Fellow in the history of All Soul’s College, Oxford. But academic life began to feel hollow to Harvey. Sick at heart, he abandoned what he had come to see as “the concentration camp of reason”, and returned to India to look for a spiritual path.
There, he studied Hindu mysticism at the ashram of Sri Aurobindo and with Tibetan Buddhist master Thuksey Rinpoche, drawing on the latter experience for his 1983 book A Journey in Ladakh. He returned briefly to Europe, but a lingering dissatisfaction haunted him.