It has become quite popular in recent years to distinguish between spirituality and religion.
It’s true that there are valid distinctions between the two, but there are also a number of problematic distinctions which often and unnecessarily divide the two fields of thought.
One principal problem with attempts to separate religion from spirituality is that the former is saddled with everything negative while the latter is exalted with everything positive.
It is important to note the fact that many of the negative things which people attribute to religions are features of some forms of some religions (usually Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), but not of other religions (like Taoism or Buddhism).
Religion is spiritual and spirituality can also be considered religious. One tends to be more personal and private while the other tends to incorporate public rituals and organized doctrines.
The lines between one and the other may often not be clear or distinct depending on the interpretation.
Consider these definitions:
Religion is an institution established by man for various reasons. Exert control, instill morality, stroke egos, or whatever it does. Organized, structured religions all but remove god from the equation. You confess your sins to a clergy member, go to elaborate churches to worship, told what to pray and when to pray it. All those factors remove you from god.
Spirituality is born in a person and develops in the person. It may be kick started by a religion, or it may be kick started by a revelation. Spirituality extends to all facets of a person’s life. Spirituality is chosen while religion is often times forced. Being spiritual to me is more important and better than being religious.
True spirituality is something that is found deep within oneself. It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around you. It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way.
Consider the following in favor of the spiritual path:
There is not one religion, but hundreds.
There is only one type of spirituality.
Religion is for those who want to continue rituals and the formality.
Spirituality is for those who want to reach the Spiritual Ascent without dogmas.
Religion is for those who are asleep.
Spirituality is for those who are awake.
Religion is for those that require guidance from others.
Spirituality is for those that lend ears to their inner voice.
Religion has a dogmatic and unquestionable assembly of rules that need to be followed without question.
Spirituality invites you to reason it all, to question it all and to decide your actions and assume the consequences.
Religion threatens and terrifies.
Spirituality gives you inner peace.
Religion speaks of sin and of fault.
Spirituality encourages “living in the present” and not to feel remorse for which has already passed – Lift your spirit and learn from errors.
Religion represses humanity, and returns us to a false paradigm.
Spirituality transcends it all and makes you true to yourself.
Religion is instilled from childhood, like the soup you do not you want to take.
Spirituality is the food that you you seek, that satisfies you and is pleasant to the senses
Religion is not God.
Spirituality is infinite consciousness and all that is – It is God.
Religion does not investigate and does not question.
Spirituality questions everything.
Religion is based on humanity, an organization with rules.
Spirituality is DIVINE, WITHOUT rules.
Religion is cause for division.
Spirituality is cause for union.
Religion seeks you so that you create.
Spirituality causes you to seek.
Religion continues the teachings of a sacred book.
Spirituality seeks the sacredness in all the books.
Religion is fed fear.
Spirituality is fed confidence.
Religion lives you in your thoughts.
Spirituality lives in your conscience.
Religion is in charge of the “to do”.
Spirituality is in charge of the “to BE”.
Religion is a dialectic.
Spirituality is logic.
Religion feeds the ego.
Spirituality makes you transcend.
Religion makes you renounce yourself to the world.
Spirituality makes you live with God, not to renounce him.
Religion is adoration.
Spirituality is meditation.
Religion is to continue adapting to the psychology of a template.
Spirituality is individuality.
Religion dreams of glory and paradise.
Spirituality makes you live it here and now.