Spirituality vs. Religion
Updated: Jul 13, 2022
Organized religion is a source of strength to many people. It provides them with a sense of hope, security and comfort. Their God is gentle and caring, yet stern and just, as well as their greatest protector from the evils of this world. A lot of church- goers find solace through their creed and by turning to the good book for words of wisdom and encouragement. If not for their doctrine, they fear they would be lost. It's been said that, "Religion is for those who fear Hell and spirituality is for those who've already been there."
There are some who view God (Allah, Yahweh, Jehova, etc.) as a demanding and unforgiving entity, the authoritarian directing their lives, whom they never seem able to please. Religious faiths are vast and personal and intimate. There is a specific relationship between an individual and their higher power, but despite the differences in beliefs among separate denominations, most followers share in the desire to join the holy kingdom at the end of their time on earth and avoid fiery peril. Yet no one on this earth if free of sin.
God- fearing church goers may fear the wrath of their creator in response to all their past transgressions. There are those who accept this as simply 'the way it is', yet there are those who resent the idea of being judged. Many who subscribe to a religion seem to practice it 'buffet style'. They pick and choose which rites and tenements to follow. This is how and why hypocrisy finds its way into the church. If one is to be of a certain divinity, how can they claim to worship faithfully if they only practice the bits and pieces that are convenient?
These days, the concept of belonging to any specific doctrine, including whichever one a person may have been raised with, provokes an unsettling internal response in many people. The image they have of 'The Almighty' is negative. To them , the traditional Supreme Being preached intolerance. His dogma is unsympathetic... outlining commandments that just don't coincide with their heartfelt beliefs and that upsets their overall sense of serenity. How can they label themselves the follower of providence while denying the validity of its teachings?
For these reasons, along with a multitude of others, known and unknown, many people opt to focus on spirituality, whether religion is a factor in it or not. They are driven more by their own sense of morality, fairness, the acceptance of others, forgiveness, patience, tolerance, humility... Spiritual principles that lay the groundwork for how they live their lives. In today's world, so much of the population has suffered through all kinds of adversity; trauma, addiction, abuse, homelessness, loss, poverty. At this point, they find more salvation in living spiritually, far from the living hell they've all narrowly escaped, than they do by praying to an unseen, omnipotent being. Such principles are the embodiment of morality, ethics, decency, virtue.
When you put positive vibes out into the world, positive karma comes back to you.
Recognizing our place in the vast universe opens us up to be of service to others and to everything around us. We are at peace inside our souls and strive to build our connection to nature and the planet, which sustains us. Simply being the best version of ourselves that we can be provides us with the satisfaction that we are reaching our full potential. We understand humility. We realize that it doesn't matter how much money we have in the bank, what clothes we wear, how big our homes are, how fancy the car we drive, which 'big' words we use and understand... or what name we assign to our higher power. We take pride in the fact that we are circumspect in all our dealings and we rise above anything and everything that comes our way. We practice acceptance and take it all one day at a time.