Spiritual vs Religious
Being spiritual but not religious means you can feel an immense amount of freedom in how you communicate with your inner spiritual voice. Showing compassion and kindness to others can be articulated through praying and surrendering yourself to God, however, you don’t have to belong to a certain religion to honour and claim a relationship with God.
Spirituality has traditionally been associated with personal transformation in accordance with religious beliefs. But since 19th century, the subjects of religion and spirituality have separated and spirituality became more focused on emotional growth.
To define the meaning of spiritual not religious, Wikipedia states that a life stance of spirituality rejects any traditional religion for furthering psychological growth. According to this statistics, as many as 33 per cent of people in the US associate themselves as spiritual but not religious, while other surveys show results to be as low as 24 per cent.
So what is the difference between being religion and spiritual?
As the core of almost all religions is based on a spiritual foundation, it cannot be denied that humans invented religion, and it is bound to have flaws. Most religions try to get access to a Divine being in the hope of improving people’s lives. This can be in the form of sending out prayers to a higher power, hoping that your prayers will be answered.
Spirituality on the other hand, involves intense concentration of the mind to get access to the higher power that exists within you. This is in the form of meditation that helps you send your thoughts to the universe. To make it work, you must have firm belief that you will get the result you want through your meditation.
In most religions, people are taught to love God, but in spirituality, you are simply taught to love yourself. Because most people have self-esteem issues and find faults in themselves, they find it hard to improve their lives. The inability to love oneself is the obstacle that stands in the way of making improvements. Some people also think that they deserve to suffer in emotional or physical pain, so they turn to religion as a way out. Once these people equate spirituality with religion that they believe is false, they lose hope altogether.
The main objective of spirituality is to love yourself directly, and believing that you deserve to be happy and healthy. This may be easier said than done but the important thing is not to give up.
Spirituality involves personal experiences that allow us to explore oneself, the universe, and our environment, and therefore cannot be explored through scientific methods. According to research from University College of London, about 1 in 5 people in the UK call themselves spiritual not religious. Spirituality is seen as a personal experience through life and living by the lessons that you learn as you go through life. Religion on the other hand, is faith that is based on someone’s theories and demands.
Religion has always played a big part in people’s lives and for many; it has brought them close together. Perhaps one of the main reasons for this is that people want to belong to something that can control their thinking and even make decisions for them.
If you want to practice spirituality, you can start by making a conscious effort to love everyone around you, or at least tolerate them. Sometimes people get so caught up in their own problems that they forget about their friends and family. If you spend less time thinking about your problems, you can start raising your consciousness and transfer your energy towards those you love.
As you can see, there are many common grounds between religion and spirituality. A religious person is a spiritual person who has merely chosen to find power within himself, rather than turn to a religious leader in order to find change. If you take just half an hour a day connecting with yourself through yoga, praying, or any other type of meditation that you feel comfortable with, you can start your path to spirituality.
All you need to do is sit in a quiet room for half an hour a day, preferably at the same time, and listen to your thoughts. By changing your wave of thoughts, you will get a new perspective of your life and feel more positive throughout the day.
Other effective ways to lift your spirits include reading feel-good books about life and nature. These types of books not only lift spirits, but they also inspire you to change your life for the better. Doing something good for someone without expecting anything in return is a great way to reach a spiritual high. This can be done in your day to day life and a fast track to your higher consciousness and spiritual self.
Spiritual not Religious References:
Can you be Spiritual and not Religious?
The Rev. Ed Bacon talks with Oprah about how you can be spiritual but not religious, and he reveals why he doesn’t want everyone to attend church on Sundays.