Obviously, this is quite a ‘controversial’ topic. So before we start this article, I want to say that I have the utmost respect for any peaceful religion, any spiritual practice, any beliefs.
As long as your belief or religion doesn’t involve inciting hate, prejudice or unfair treatment of another human being, it’s fine.
And that really, this whole article is just my personal opinion, and you should not take it too seriously. This is a pretty popular debate topic, the spirituality vs religion debate.
Let’s dive in.
Similarities And Differences Between Spirituality And Religion
This is just my opinion, my perspective on these different things:
The way I think spirituality DIFFERS from religion, is that religion almost always implies some kind of doctrine, some version of truth or reality that is ABSOLUTE.
Even to the exclusion of everything else.
And this is seen very distinctly in the ‘Abrahamic’ religions.
So Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, but it’s also, you know, this is not just in those, in those religions. It’s in most organized religion, you see this idea of a doctrine, a version or a story, or a myth or a concept that is seen as the absolute truth.
And everything else has seen as, you know, either false, negative, evil silly unproven or, or just, you know, completely ignored in most cases.
But your version, you know, the specific religions version of the truth is somehow upheld as the only thing that can be true. So that’s religion, right?
Spirituality on the other hand says, I don’t know exactly how things work.
You know, I’ve not died and come back to live to tell the story of what happens. I don’t know specifically how a God or even the devil or if these concepts even exist. I don’t know how these things work.
All I know for sure as a spiritual person is that there’s something else, whatever you want to call that, right? The, a higher power, a higher consciousness, source, God.
And there are infinite names for God, but I don’t know how it works.
And I don’t really understand how it all fits together at the moment.
But all I can say is, you know, I want to be a loving person. I want to help my fellow human beings. We’re here probably for a reason. And this, you know, life, this physical body is not all there is. That’s really the foundation of spirituality.
And then obviously you can build on that, and you can start connecting the dots from different places.
The basis of spirituality is a completely open mind.
I’m not saying that all religious minds are closed and limited, but the vast majority of organized doctrines by definition, you know, a doctrine almost by definition, is narrowly focusing on ONE version of reality, and saying that everything else is not true or ignoring it.
Why It’s Unlikely ONE Book Would Contain All The Answers
That seems like very unlikely way of grasping reality.
If you think that we are only aware the current science of today says right, that we were only, we can only perceive 0.005% of the frequencies and information that are out there, a tiny, TINY fraction of a percentage, is what we can perceive.
So do you really think then that everything you need to know about reality, the cosmos universe life itself is contained not only within that tiny fraction of a percent, but within a fraction of a fraction of that 1% in the pages of a one book let’s say, or one, you know, even the teachings of one person, it seems almost impossible that that’s the case.
Most Religions Borrow, Steal, Replace Or Share Ideas, Gods And Beliefs
Especially, and this is where it really gets interesting, especially when you consider that most organized religions, don’t exist in a vacuum.
They all interrelate and interfere with each other, in ways you can’t even imagine.
And if you look even a little bit of the history of these religions, most religions throughout history have massively interfered with each other.
They’ve borrowed concepts, they’ve renamed gods, they’ve copied prophecies and copied rituals and symbols, and all kinds of things in countless different ways.
And you know, this goes right back to the beginning.
So, so knowing that, then it seems very unlikely that any religious texts could have survived which are REALLY an original source, or that hasn’t been influenced by these other things.
And even if it did survive, you still have to question, well, where did it come from?
What was the situation at the time who was influencing or guiding them?
So it becomes clear that to, to really get a picture of what’s going on and a grasp on reality, you have to go broad, you have to take each doctrine, each belief, each system with a pinch of salt and try and look at what they have in common try and, you know, see the good in these different things and then try and connect them all together.
I like to think of it as becoming a dot connector instead of an expert on one dot and what a lot of religious people do is they’ll focus really narrowly on one DOT in an ocean of dots, instead of trying to, you know, grasp the concept of all of these other dots, they’ll focus really intensely on one and often they will exclude or ignore everything else.
This is quite dangerous and limiting because when, when you exclude so much up, so, so many other opinions and so much other history, you really limit your understanding to basically people or concepts and sources of information that kind of repeat the same things to you.
It becomes like an echo chamber.
Can You Be Spiritual AND Religious?
Well, I think it depends how open minded you are. What I really try and do myself at least, is to go as broad as possible, right? For example, read a book that compares and analyzes 12 SEPARATE religions.
Then read a book that compares, you know all of the different forms of Buddhism, and then read an original text from, you know, whatever it is, Christian history and look at these different things.
Even within the Christian religion, you have things like the ‘Gnostic gospels’, which have been excluded from the Canon of the Bible. And you have to ask yourself why, why were these specific texts left out and others left in as well as various other different manipulations and changing of definitions of words and all kinds of different, you know, things have happened historically that it makes it very unlikely that any one specific religion today contains everything you need to know or contains the whole version of the truth.
They might contain part of it, maybe even a big chunk of the truth, but it’s seems unlikely to me that ONE religion would be right, and hundreds, or even thousands of others could be wrong.
It’s much more likely that each of them, or, you know, maybe not even everyone, but a lot of them contain a piece of the truth, but not the whole truth.
And this becomes even more obvious when you look at the consistent symbols and themes in most of the, you know, the world’s religions that, that didn’t originate with them.
They came from somewhere else.
Common Themes In Major World Religions
A really common example of this, has anything to do with Saturn, Venus, Mars, Orion, and Sirius.
There are also lots of common themes in most of the major world religions.
You have things like the you know, the idea of the male and female entities being balanced, duality, polarizing energies, virgin birth, things like fish, owl deities, you know, these things and the snake or the serpent…
This is a recurring theme and symbol in so many organized religions and spiritual practices and you know, historical texts.
It seems very unlikely that any ONE of them is the source of that story. When so many unconnected you know, even separated by thousands of years. So many practices and disciplines mentioned the same things in different ways.
That’s my opinion.
What Is The TRUE Definition Of Spirituality?
I think spirituality is, or should be about focusing on the broad, big picture. Religion tends to focus in on one one stream of truth, or one concept, one doctrine. The TRUTH I think, is more complex and involves little BITS of truth from multiple sources.
Spirituality is about focusing on all of the aspects, you know, or as many as you possibly can to try and grasp the truth.
But yeah, obviously a controversial topic. I know.
So hopefully I haven’t annoyed anyone too much, and I’d love to hear what you think.