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Jun 21

Are Spirituality and Religion the Same?

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Spirituality-Yours and Mine

 

THE TWO PICTURES ARE AS DIVERSE IN MEANING AS THE ANSWERS ARE TO THE QUESTION ARE SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION THE SAME.


Have you ever asked  yourself the question above.  More importantly, did you answer it?

I’m going to give you specific information that will help you decide if they are the same, different, or have similarities.  It will challenge you to look within yourself to find an answer.  If you have never considered the question, this blog will open your thought to reasons why it is important to do so.  It will show you that clarification on this question can contribute to spiritual growth , or spiritual stagnation.

HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:

  1. The difference between spirituality and religion
  2. What factors must be present for you to be spiritual
  3. Is “spirituality” a term that can be applied to anything: why or why not?

WHAT IS RELIGION?

Religion is a set of beliefs, practices, and ethical values concerning the existence and nature of a deity or Supreme Being.  These practices or beliefs are suppose to give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life, and are generally agreed upon by a number of individuals or sects.  Some religions teach that the path mapped out by them, is the only one leading to God.

The meaning of the word “religion”  should not be confused with one’s particular relationship with God, because that is determined by one’s understanding of the specific beliefs and practices, and the extent to which he is willing to practice them.  Religion’s root word can be traced to the Latin word “religare” which means “being bound.”  The question then arises, “What is one bound to–the beliefs or the deity?”  I would surmise that the beliefs, practices and ethical values point to and define the deity, and one’s understanding and devotion to obeying these beliefs and values, constitute the religion.   The religion then, of itself, has little, or no value to the person unless strictly practiced.


WHAT IS SPIRITUALITY?


Spirituality is the divine connection with God–not A connection, but THE connection; because there is only one.  God is Spirit.  Therefore, to express spirituality, one has to think, say and do things that are spiritual–of God.  Words that express things of Spirit are: perfection, purity, goodness, love, peace, long-suffering,  awareness, integrity, equality, impartiality, obedience, humility.   The list, however, is endless.  There are many ways that lead to a “oneness with God,” but only one way to actually connect.  It is a state of mind where thought has been elevated to feel, hear and see only that which is divine, therefore, leaving behind everything that is human.   I lived many years before experiencing it.  This precludes the idea that “anything can be spiritual.”   Only things that relate to God as Spirit, Mind. Soul, Principle, Life Truth and Love can wear the spiritual label.

A few days ago, I heard a person say, “spirituality is that which is inside of your body– how your body connects with the universe.”  In reality, it has nothing to do with the physical body, or the physical universe, because neither connects with God.  Everything that connects with God is mental, not physical.  It is ideas and concepts–divine qualities given to man and the universe by God.  These qualities are innate–the kingdom of heaven within us.

The Scriptures are filled with states of thought and divine qualities expressed by people like Elijah, Elisha, Moses, Jesus, Paul, and many others.  Some of these had a greater understanding of God than others.  I see Jesus as having the greatest of all connections, primarily, because he did not have an earthly father– only an earthly mother, thus giving him an infinite capacity to understand and relate to God.   He read  the Old Testament,  related to the words of Isaiah, observed the doctrine espoused by religious groups, but drew a fine line between false doctrine and divine reality.  It was because he could state emphatically that “I and my Father are one” that he is the greatest teacher and demonstrator of divine law.  It is not enough to claim a religion, pay tithes, go to church and state that you “have been saved,” one must seek understanding of the laws of God, and practice them in his daily living.  To the extent that one does this, defines his spirituality.

To reach this state of harmony is the challenge.  It can be achieved through prayer, reading and studying the Word of God, song, but mostly, by practicing daily everything that you understand of God.  The more you practice, the more you understand.

FACTORS THAT DEFINE SPIRITUALITY

Spirituality is present if you:

Find meaning in your life.

Feel fulfilled rather than empty.

Find purpose beyond today or of this world.

Rise above a limited ego, and connect with the One Ego–God.

Triumph over fear, death and destruction.

Recognize that there is a greater presence and knowledge beyond human capacity.

Realize that religion is simply a means of achieving spirituality.

Recognize that everything physical is imperfect, only the divine is perfect.

WHAT DO THE PICTURES ABOVE MEAN?

The out-stretched hands pointing upward, illustrate the upward movement of thought–thought that  leaves the human and approaches the divine.  This harmony, or state of consciousness, is not found in the sky, but within the consciousness of each one of us.  Look for it–it is there!

The second picture illustrates the idea that simply joining a religion, is not the answer to human suffering, building a relationship with God , or understanding and demonstrating God’s laws.  The ticket to doing this, is seeking and  finding divine guidance, and living through the human sacrifices required to practice it.

If you gained a deeper meaning of religion and spirituality by reading this post, let me know it by leaving your comments below.   Also, email it to a friend or family member.





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6 comments

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  1. Hugo van Stratum

    Sorry but your spirit is off the planet and therefore in the unknown. You can imagine your wonder of the heavens from myths but if you do you have lost your reality the wonder of the world. There is a world a universe which could feed your spirit to the fullness of its being. It is here that our spirit feeds on existence, truth, love and honesty. Don’t be taken in by an imaginary world of your brain’s fantasy. If you get your connection to the world right you will find the goodness there-in will substitute your made up God and the need of another fantasy world of escapism in the perfection. The imperfect is much more truthful and understandable. I thought that was where Jesus did so well. It was Jewish story telling and Roman human/God beliefs that sold Jesus in to the world of myths. Proof every Gospel has a different Jesus to suit their community.

    I can have beliefs like ones religious and spirituality with out a strong sense of God for I know goodness.
    Thanks for you thoughts though. Aroha from Hugo

  2. smithmamiecom

    Hi Hugo,

    Sorry you feel my spirit is “off the planet.” I am happy it is, because the planet that I understand you are defining, is made up of gases, molecules, atoms, and whatever else physicists describe it to be. My universe, like man, is not material, but spiritual, and has nothing to do with the brain. It has to do with the “kingdom of heaven” within us. It is, as I explained above” man’s oneness with God. If you have not experienced it, I understand where you are coming from, because unless you have “walked the walk,” you cannot “talk the talk.”

    You describe my world as one of “escapism.” I define it as connecting with man”s true sense of being. The true man is made in God’s image, and that image has nothing to do with flesh, blood and bones. It is expressing the divine qualities of God. That which is imperfect, is only real to those who do not understand perfection.

    No, there is only ONE Jesus, but NUMEROUS interpretations of Jesus, the Christ. To date, Jesus demonstrated the closest example of “the perfect man.” He did so, not in body, but in spirit–divine Spirit.

    Any belief, without a spiritual foundation, is just that–a belief, not a reality! I am saddened by the fact that you believe Jesus demonstrated the “imperfect” when he so clearly expressed “the perfect.” He is the way–the way of salvation to all who are willing to express humility, forgiveness, peace, and unconditional love. No human man and physical universe will ever reach perfection.

    Glad to hear from you. Thanks for the response.

  3. chetan

    hi, friends this is chetan. after looking at the comments you both have given. I feel your wider understanding capabilities and knowledge could help me.
    I would just want to ask you people, what is to be done if we are caught in a situation where we would never expect we could get into. like say someone very close to you misunderstands you and you have no proof to explain that you are not the guilty?
    I am being caught in such a severe condition where only i know i am not the guilty, but people feel the other way because i dont have the power to prove my innocense. i am hammered mentally for doing nothing. Please help me out, the way you feel is right. i tried to find the solution spiritually as well as worldly, and could not find the answer. please help me!!!!!!

  4. smithmamiecom

    Hi Chetan,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. After reading your comments, I thought about them prayerfully, requesting guidance on a response that will be helpful to you.

    I think the first thing you have to do is take your case to what I will call the “Court of Spirit.” Keeping it in the human realm, traps you into believing that you need to prove your innocence to someone. Innocence is a spiritual quality that each of us possesses. It means “freedom from sin, evil or guilt.” Guilt is a disturbed state of thought that comes from feeling that you have done something wrong. You state that you have not, but someone else believes that you have.

    The first thing that you need to do is recognize that you are eternally pure and innocent, because you reflect these attributes from God, Spirit. Even if you committed such an act humanly, re-identify yourself as “the perfect child of God”– free of sin, evil and guilt. Doing so, not only helps you to gain a sense of peace, it helps you to focus on God and not yourself. Secondly, whom are you trying to please? God or man? Mentally stand before God, complete, whole, and free of anything that claims a separation from Him. This will take time and practice, but each time you do it, it becomes easier as you grow in faith and trust.

    Thirdly, mortal thinking brings misunderstanding. Your “someone” has chosen to separate himself/herself from God by seeing you as something other that His child. Why should you make the same mistake? God created ALL of you in His image and likeness. That will never change–what changes is the way you or that someone chooses to view it. Replace those negative thoughts with pure and perfect ones. Example, “I have committed nothing that is unlike my Creator. I am not and can never deviate from my true identity. I cannot hate, envy, feel guilty, or depressed because I am held forever in the perfection of Spirit. I love God, and He loves me–just as He created me. I am not a disturbed mortal–feeling hurt, ashamed and guilty. I am holy, just, righteous and kind–held in the gospel of Love.” As you claim your true reflection, more thoughts such as these will come to mind.

    What are you doing? You are replacing the old with the new, the evil with the good, and the wrong with the right. You are not trying to change the “someone’s” thought, you are changing yours. That someone has to change his or hers. The “kingdom of heaven” is within YOU. Take possession of it! You can! Gain your peace and let others do the same. You are not trying to please others, you are regaining your connection to God, and when you do this, it does not matter what others think or say, because you KNOW who you are.

    You mental stress comes from feeling that your are disappointing others. Rid yourself of that! You do not have to prove anything to anyone other that the Almighty. You please God by acknowledging His presence, power and divine knowledge. Do this until you find your inner peace.

    I hope this helps.

  5. sanjukta mukherjee

    RELIGION is conforming set beliefs values and pratices .Spirtuality is in total transfromation of self to enable it to have direct knowledge of god , sprituality is more inward and personal -subjective .Religion is more prone to organize and maintain the life in comunnity or in a sect of which one is a member and to meet the obligations he has to discharge his ‘duties’ sense of duty inheres both moral and ritualistic considersations .Religion orentites more mans outward life .Through scriptural guidience to personal purity on the one hand and compassion and felling of brotherhood it is thus prelimary and preparatory to intutive direct realization of the divine-the ONENESS that is spirtuality.

  6. smithmamiecom

    Hi Sanjukta,

    Thanks for the response. I think we are both on the same page.

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