I'm not religious, I'm spiritual
Shed your dogmatism and legalism in order to live meaningfully and passionately
Every person’s life is a profound mystery. Deep and invisible currents make us who we are, and the world around us is full of secret purposes and laws. One reaction to all this mystery is to treat it as a problem to be solved and to do everything possible to be informed and in control. But another way is to bow down in ignorance and confess our limitations. Religion and spirituality, for eons, has been closely connected and offered creative ways to become individuals of depth and compassion by embracing spirituality.
The religions have a cherished cargo, but they often fail in their job by moralizing, intellectualizing, and defending themselves to such an extent that their real intention is clouded. Today individuals all over the world are deserting the religions in disgust and anger. Still, everybody has an instinct for transcendence. Individuals know that some kind of spiritual life is essential, and so a lot of people are exploring on their own or joining new communities. They differentiate between their spirituality they’ve found and the religious institution they’ve abandoned.
Is there a God?
The philosophy of religion is one of the most captivating areas of philosophy. It addresses not only the repeated question is there a God, but also the questions if there is, then what is he like? The most important question of all is what does that mean for us?
These are questions that everyone should ask themselves at some point. This article attempts to demystify the philosophy of religion and help people to reach answers and form their views on these questions.
Is there a God? Or is just being spiritual enough?
The debate concerning God’s existence has, naturally, has a question most have asked since anyone can remember. That doesn’t mean that no progress has been made. Some of the classic arguments for God’s existence have been largely deserted, other people have been refined, and new arguments regularly appear.
The search for an answer to the question of God’s existence shouldn’t be written off as futile merely because the question is an old one.
If there’s a God, then what is he like?
If they’re successful, then none of the classic arguments for God’s existence proves the same thing. One argument, for example, aims to prove the existence of a perfect being. Another argument aims to prove the existence of a Creator concerned with humanity. Each of these arguments bears not only on the question of God’s existence but also on the question of his nature.
The same can be said of many of the arguments for atheism or spirituality. Most of these arguments seek to exploit a perceived notion that God does exist. This raises the question as to how those doctrines were formulated. The challenge if God is just, then how can he also be forgiving? The challenge if God is all-knowing, then how can our choices be free?
The arguments for atheism and spirituality are the same as the questions raised for organized religion. These questions are very similar and no one knows the answer. Does God truly exist? It's up to you to educate yourself and form your own opinion, and that is what this article aims to do.
What Does that Mean for Us?
The third question, what does that mean for us, is asked less often than the previous two. What follows is admittedly oversimplified. If God exists then we were created for a purpose; we’re valued and loved.
If God exists then we also have an incentive, not to mention a moral duty, to fulfill this purpose; our eternal fate hangs in the balance. Whether we follow God, as we were created to, or rebel against his authority is up to us.
Atheism exerts pressure in the opposite direction: it affirms our freedom but it’s often thought that it threatens our value. As a whole, those who have lacked belief in a previous life have thought that this makes our choices in this life all the more important. Some believe that if there is no God, there is no God-given human nature, and so each of us is, in a sense, his Creator.
We’re free to be who we want to be. Atheism has also been associated with a pessimistic view of human value. If we weren’t placed here on purpose, and if we came from the dust and will return to it, then in what sense are we important?
There are two ways to respond to this question. Atheists and spiritualists can, on the one hand, argue that value is about what we are, instead of why or how we got here. They can thus affirm that we’re special despite our adverse origins. Or they can accept that we have no special value. Whatever conclusions we reach about these questions, the time spent answering them is time well spent. Religion, atheism, or spirituality underpins the way that we live our lives. The more clarity and confidence we have in our beliefs on these issues, the better.
Spirituality is one word that puts an individual on the highest pedestal in life. The goal of Spirituality is attaining salvation! From the start of the first manifestation to the end last manifestation. The goal of every individual remains the same. Accomplishing the stage of enlightenment is the main purpose of Spirituality.
Spirituality is living life as it was meant to be, not as we desire or want it to be. Living a life of choice isn’t the forte of all people. Those on the path of pure Spirituality, the true seekers of Spirituality are occasionally able to manifest destiny by establishing absolute control over it.
It’s a fact that only the true seekers of Spirituality become the masters of their destiny. Knowingly or unknowingly many individuals who have a materialistic goal in life travel the path of Spirituality and become successful in life. It isn’t happening by chance, all was the result of a law. These highly acclaimed people unknowingly tread the path of pure Spirituality and accomplish their goals in their life.
Spirituality in other terms means that before we ask God the Almighty for material riches to be bestowed upon us, we need to compensate by giving something equivalent or more back to the community. This is the path undertaken by most successful entrepreneurs.
In terms of Spirituality, we’re not supposed to get anything unless we promise to do something in return, in the system of God there’s fair play throughout. As we desire. So shall be the corresponding karma we would be required to perform.
Spirituality helps one take control of destiny. As we proceed on the path of enlightenment, we tend to develop a positive approach towards life. Reeling all the time under a positive attitude of mind. One can fine-tune those critical aspects of life, which are an absolute must if one needs to become the master of his destiny.
Spirituality makes a perfect man out of a negative thinker. In the field of Spirituality, there is no place for any negative thinking. One who has fixed a goal in life and always indulges in positive oriented thinking can not be a loser in life. It can never happen!
Spirituality makes you feel all the time that there is something higher than the mere existence of a human being. Spirituality spells out that God exists within every living being as our soul. It is God within us, which guides us on the right path whenever we tend to go wrong.
Spirituality inculcates in every human being a feeling of positiveness throughout. Floating on the positive mental plane brings one closer to our goal of life.
It’s Spirituality and spirituality alone which prompts and guides one in the right direction whenever we feel cheated by the senses prevailing upon us. To be able to come out of the clutches of the five senses is what Spirituality is all about.
If we desire to know God then we need to follow the path of Spirituality. It’s only as a true spiritual seeker that shall we realize God one-day. It’s Spirituality which cuts short the path and makes the whole world look like a family, all connected. In the spiritual domain, there is no space for different religions, dogmas or creeds. Our wanton desires cease to exist, the moment Spirituality takes complete control over us!
Spirituality truly is the essence of life. However materialistic we maybe on the earthly plane there shall come a day when Spirituality would completely wipe us clean of all the impurities within us.
Without Spirituality the life of an individual is like a rudderless boat going round and round in the unfathomable sea of life. It’s Spirituality, which teaches every individual the real value of life, being spiritual isn’t being religious alone. Spirituality teaches us the core values of life. It teaches the real essence of us!
It’s only through the medium of Spirituality that God can guide mankind towards its destined goal. Many individuals have different beliefs and spiritual paths.
Spirituality has no relationship whatsoever with religion. Following a religion means following the dictates of a successful spiritual master. One who has already covered the journey and has become capable of mankind to its logical end.
Religion is meant for living a single span of earthly life. On the contrary, Spirituality guides every living being to its logical end in the unending cosmic journey undertaken by the soul. It’s Spirituality alone which removes the fear of death from those who have released the pinnacle of spiritual life. Spirituality gives you a commanding position in life. This is not only possible but can be observed by watching the topmost rung of spiritual masters.
The presence of Spirituality in our lives cannot be done away with for it forms the inner core of our manifested physical life. Behind every success lies the core of Spirituality, which guides one inherently throughout the cosmic journey.
Spirituality isn’t to be practiced merely in theory. Spirituality isn’t contained in the sacred textbooks alone. We simultaneously need to practice Spirituality and try reaching the end of the cosmic life. Achieving salvation in the present life would be something every human being would desire.
Why not each of us practice Spirituality all the time!?
Spirituality & Religion
More than ever, I think that it’s crucial during these confusing chaotic times that we’re going through, and to see some clarity through deception on every level, that we’re bombarded with. So with this chapter, I would like to shed some light about religions and spirituality. As I see it, being a religious person is more often than not confused with being a spiritual person. Some individuals believe that anybody who’s religious is automatically a very spiritual person. Another misconception is a God-fearing individual can do and say no wrong at all. Regrettably, there’s nothing that can be farther from the truth.
It is essential to understand and to remember that all that life is spiritual. Spirit, a Divine energy, penetrates everything that lives. Spirit penetrates and lives in all and everything. Earth is spiritual, nature is spiritual, plants are spiritual, animals are spiritual and all humans both good and evil are spiritual. Spirit lives in each person, regardless what race, size or color; rich or poor; black, white, red, brown or yellow; man, woman or child.
It makes absolutely no difference to the Spirit. if you are a Jew or a Moslem, a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or an atheist for that matter who never prays spirit is in you. The Spirit is still there, it does not care if you know it, recognize it or ignore it. Spirit just is. Where there’s life there’s spirit.
Regrettably, that doesn’t mean that everybody is aware of this factor that everybody lives a spiritual life. Some individuals are more mindful and in touch with the Spirit within than other people are. When you’re aware, conscious of and in tune with the Spirit in everybody and everything you’re incapable of doing wrong or harm to anyone.
Why is that so? Because when you’re in touch with your spirit, you know and are aware of the fact that you’re connected with everything, that you are a part of the whole, and thus if you harm others, you’re also harming yourself. The level of awareness of the Spirit depends upon how evolved the person's soul is and the awareness level of the human being on the physical plane.
Why are some aware of what’s out there and other people are not? Well, for instance, some obstacles keep the person on a lower level of awareness where there is little room for the expression of Spirit through that person.
For example, a chronic negative attitude about life, a closed mind that refuses to learn and grow, pre-occupation with the daily mundane details and problems of the physical world, stress, anger, worry and tension, depression and fear, harboring resentments, envy, jealousy, revenge, or then being too busy having fun like chasing money, sex, fun, power, alcohol or drugs. All these obstacles leave little or no room for your spirituality to find expression through you.
With this, I’m not advocating that you turn away from your religion whatever that may be. There’s no need to do that. Stay where you are and just change your perspective and attitude about your belief system. Believe in yourself and listen to your common sense. You must reject anybody or anything that tells you otherwise. Believe that the goodwill prevail always over the evil. Believe that all humans are the same, all life is the same but with different problems. Be a free-thinker and decide your destiny, make up your mind what is right and what is wrong and refrain from all wrongdoing. The way you dress, the hairstyle you have, whether your head is covered or not, believe me, makes no difference whatsoever to the Divine Spirit, to God.
God wants nothing more than to have you be a joyful person, doing good, spreading unconditional love, respecting yourself, your family, your friends and everyone else. Your thoughts are your own, no one can enter your mind and make you think anything if you do not allow them to do that. You are the one who controls your mind. Don’t allow anyone to influence or hypnotize you into believing anything else.
Knowledge of the spiritual world, knowledge of the Divine, doesn’t belong to any specific people, it has been known throughout the ages to both eastern and western hemispheres. When you’re in tune with the Spirit within consciously, you feel inner peace, inner stability, you have an air of serenity and unshakable inner strength and determination.
You feel safe and protected, free of fear and it naturally follows that you gain in self-esteem. The more your spirit within you is developed the stronger these characteristics will be. Awakening the Spirit within doesn’t happen through aggressive pursuit. We do not have to work hard on being spiritual, it’s a state of being not of attaining. You don’t have to kill or to pray in certain postures x times a day to be spiritual.
All you need to do is to think about it, be conscious of it, and integrate it in your daily life, with every breath you take. Think about it consciously, it’s the intent that is important. Rather than putting all your energy and mental powers into chasing money or fighting with someone, give a little of that energy to be in tune with your soul and the Spirit within.
The difference between religion and spirituality is this. Religion separates, excludes, condemns, criticizes, punishes, limits, causes friction, demands obedience, without giving plausible explanations other than reciting verses from holy books that have no relevance to life today; whereas spirituality, means harmony, peace, unity, freedom, spreading love, compassion, goodwill, joy and service to other people.
The first is imposed by men who give themselves the power to rule of others, claiming it to be God’s will forcing the people to give up their God-given freedom of thought and will. Being in tune with the Spirit, on the other hand, makes you feel whole and protected. I am not saying that Holy books are wrong, but you have to be smart enough to read through the pages, to read the real true meaning of the messages.
Thanks to modern technology, the collective intelligence of humanity is evolving fast and we’re moving towards unknown territories, one cycle of a great age is ending and another is beginning. This means new paradigms on a grand scale for everybody on this planet. What those paradigms are no one knows exactly.
A lot of information about this is available on the web at your fingertips, be conscientious to weed through the mess to find the real thing, the real jewels. Ignore the garbage.
The cosmic energies are changing and we can’t carry on living in the same rhythm and way of the past, tune in and feel the new energies, your life will flow much easier. This is a wake-up call. The sooner you respond to what is going on here all around us, the easier the transition will be for you.
The only way that we can fight the violence is by focusing on the good all around us. There is a lot of good being done by many good people. Join the armies of true people, make it your mission to spread happiness and joy around you and life will give you back double-fold.
Remember a show of genuine affection, a kind word, a phone call, a hug, a kiss, a little gift, or helping a needy person works wonders to make someone happy and to spread goodwill in our world. We all need to spread as much goodwill as possible around us to counteract all the miseries in the world.
Techniques of Spirituality
Imagery and poetic expression are particularly effective in conveying the mixture of knowledge and ignorance that is faith. Stories give pleasure because they are free of the worry about being correct in every detail. They allow us to consider unresolved issues rather than solidify our reflection. Images we foster wonder rather than draw conclusions and make for individual wisdom instead of opinion.
Poetical expression always has a hollow at its core, which the critics try to fill by explaining rationally that there is a higher power.
Individuals often think that their emotional insecurity is due to a failure in their upbringing, and they translate that into anxiety in psychological terms. Insecurity can also derive from a failure of religion or spirituality. Everyone needs a philosophy of life and a religious or spiritual position that’s worth the risk of one’s life. A religious or spiritual imagery that satisfies intelligence and inspires individuals with honesty can give someone confidence and stability, but only if a degree of mystery is allowed.
Anxiety stems from a weakness in imagination. Rather than living Bravely at the edge of understanding, knowing that they do not know everything, most latch onto a system of belief that answers all questions. These answers then become a protective fence around a skittish core. But this illusory edifice creates false certainty.
Recognizing basic ignorance offers a measure of security. You can be comfortable in your honesty, admitting that you do not know much about the most significant things. Pretending that you know than you do may make you feel superior, but the price is deep anxiety.
Keep your feelers up while you are reading religious or spiritual books and articles; if a good affirmation leaps out at you, add it to your collection. If you allow yourself to get into a rut by repeating the same old affirmations, again and again, day in and day out, you will bit by bit lose interest and desert the practice altogether.
Using imagery, poetic expression, and affirmations are all instruments used for you to allow spiritual emptiness. Keep your list of affirmations new and meaningful by rewriting it as often as it requires you to do so. If one affirmation particularly seems to lose its power, toss it; perhaps you will think of a better one to take its place. As you start using them more systematically, you will find that excellent affirmations relevant to your current circumstances will just pop into your head from time to time. Here are some to get you started!
- Thank you, God, for bringing so much money into my life.
- All the money I spend brings me joy.
- My wealth allows me to serve God more deeply and completely than I ever dreamed possible
- I am not my body. I am not my mind. I am spirit.
- I am a drop of water in a vast ocean of water
- I see the beauty and presence of God in every soul who crosses my path.
- I take great joy in hearing about the good fortune of others.
- I see everyone experiencing the happiness that I have been blessed with.
- Thank you, God, for blessing me with every moment of this sweet life.
Affirmations & Spirituality
Prayer, chanting, repeating a word to concentrate, or meditation can lower blood pressure, decrease heart disease, cure infertility, and decrease AIDS symptoms. Relaxation and meditation reduces the number of doctors visits a person needs to make by up to 36%. As many as 40-50% of infertility patients conceived after starting the practice. Pain and surgical healing time are lessened with this approach. Meditation can de-stress your life and allow the negative impact of stress on the body to dissolve. While many people have known and believed for years that meditation, visualizations and positive affirmations can keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy, it wasn’t taken seriously by the established medical community. Then a Harvard medical professor published findings of his study using these techniques. Finally, scientific proof had shown that spirituality heals.
Whatever the reason, progressively more and more individuals are now understanding that the way to mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health is through the mind, heart, and soul. Just as our spirit is what we are so is our health what we are. Being healthy is normal and natural; being ill is not. We all have the power to take control of our lives and manifest our destiny. A healthy destiny, not the one that the world looks upon today. That normal is pain, suffering, and disease.
The initial step on the road to health is to believe that you do have control. This does not mean that medications or medical intervention is never necessary. What is does mean is that you can reduce the use of both and in some instances, such as high blood pressure, even eliminate it. To learn to believe, you must visualize it. Visualization is an easy yet very powerful tool. Close your eyes and see yourself as a healthy, vibrant person.
See the fit way you do things. Life is a joy because you have the energy and vitality to do all the things you wish to do. See it in your mind. See yourself doing favorite things. See yourself going for a medical check-up and the doctor telling you everything is normal and you are healthy. See these pictures. Take yourself through the scenes just as though you’re watching a movie. The difference is, this movie will play over and over again – until you believe it’s real. Then you will make it real.
The next step is to affirm the visualizations. Many of us are so used to viewing our health through a negative scene that this may be difficult. We may be around people who think negatively. Affirmations are statements of acceptance that one uses to allow the manifestation of your destiny. They’re powerful and positive thoughts and statements sent out to the universe.
To do positive affirmations, you need to eliminate the negativity around you. If that means going to a different room, going for a walk, or finding a quiet space that’s all yours. You must get away from negative thoughts and energies around you so that all your positive thoughts remain positive. As you say them out loud and to yourself, the affirmations are becoming a part of your conscious, then subconscious mind.
Repetition will drive them deeper into your being so that they become a vital part of you. You must affirm every day that there’s one more powerful than you, be this the Universe. Whatever your belief system, it all still fits. Next, you need to know that being healthy is normal. Third, to know that your spirit, which is you, is connected to the all-powerful being in your life. You will repeat every day:
"I am a valuable person. I deserve to be valued. I am a healthy being. It is normal to be healthy and vital. My health is part of my being and my being is connected to the higher self."
Soon, this will be the normal way you approach your health. Not the negative way the world has made it.
Visualizations and affirmations are important, but how do we bring it all together and de-stress. The answer is very simple – meditation. During meditation, you will re-play the movie you have set up. During meditation, you’ll repeat your affirmations. Meditation will de-stress you. Several people don’t have any idea how to meditate.
Meditation is easy, yet requires concentration, preparation, and some items to make your thoughts clear and positive. The preparation is both psychological and physical. The psychological means that you must talk to yourself and permit yourself to have 30-60 minutes where only you are the concern; that all other activities may cease; that all other thoughts can be left until after your time with yourself.
Once all the preparations are in place and you’re relaxed, sit and concentrate on your object while slowly breathing in – and – out. Empty all thoughts from your mind so that all you can see or think of is your object and your breathing. With each breath in telling yourself that you are breathing in the energy of the Universe. Visualize breathing in white light and exhaling black light. Breathe out the stress and relax each muscle of your body beginning at your feet and moving up. Do this until your entire body is deeply relaxed. Then begin the movie in your mind, repeating your affirmations as it plays. Allow yourself to SEE and BELIEVE. At the end of your meditation session, you will be surprised at how refreshed and invigorated you feel.
By practicing these techniques 30-60 minutes a day, you will soon notice that you’re feeling happier, healthier and lighter than you've ever felt. You’ll also find a peace within yourself you have not known before. This is because the realization that you manifest your destiny gives you a power that you have never known. Once the method is very familiar to you and you’re ready, you will be able to move on to other visualizations and affirmations for your life.
Finding What’s right for you – Inner Guidance
From the habit of accomplishment. With every step you take and every decision you make, bring yourself closer to your goals. Walkthrough your life with this sense of direction and they will come to you.
Develop self-confidence and esteem. Assert yourself and acquire all the excellent qualities and traits you admire most.
- What is your ultimate goal?
- How do you see yourself?
Everybody is overcome by all kinds of messages each day. Who knows what’s right for you but you? By following your inner guidance, you’ll always be able to cut through the confusion and make the right decisions. No one can make them for you. You’re your true source of inspiration. Your inner wisdom is there to back you up. They never decide for you. Only you can do that for yourself. They’ll always give you a “second opinion” and open doors for you to walk through. All you need to do is decide what you want. Confusion is caused by not knowing exactly what we want.
When you listen to your true feelings (the real you), you’ll be able to enjoy life and be the person you’ve always wanted to be. We didn’t come here to suffer or be lonely. You have all the help you need to succeed in life. If you always strive for material things and leave out the spiritual side, you’ll miss the boat. If you indulge in only the spiritual side, but leave out the fact that you live in two worlds at once the material and the spiritual – then you will miss much of the abundance that’s available to you.
The true balance is to be involved in life to the fullest and enjoy everything that planet Earth has to offer you. By following your own “inner guidance”, you’ll always have what you want…and do what’s right for you. When we start to feel lost or confused about various aspects of our lives, our first instinct is to search for direction. We feel sure that the answers we need are out there somewhere, and finding them will help us to know the right way to turn. While seeking advice and guidance from other people can be helpful at times, it is not always the best way to help ourselves. Instead of relying on somebody else to tell us our truth, we can instead choose to look within and find the answers inside ourselves. Each of us has been given the gift of an inner advisor that will never steer us wrong.
This inner advisor isn’t pushy. He or she won’t speak up unless we ask for help. When we finally open our hearts and minds to hear what our inner advisor has to say, the wisdom will start to flow freely and our lives will start to change for the better. At all times, strive to be your own master. There’s nothing wrong with seeking knowledge and insight from other people, but you aren’t bound to mindlessly follow where they lead, either. You have the power to find your way and decide what’s best for you. In your quest for knowledge, you’ll come across information that feels right to you, and information that does not seem to make sense. Use discernment and understand that there are many truths. You just have to find yours.
Even the individual that is well-grounded and earthy may go through a long series of ordeals and over a lifetime undergo severe tests of character. Life is usually rich in the variety of sufferings and anguishes. The more important question isn’t why we suffer but how do we respond to it. Ordinary agony can be transformed into an ordeal, in the old and classical sense of the word: suffering that initiates and serves the soul. It’s interesting that many images for spirits are pointed, not only directing the gaze skyward but also taking the form of a weapon. Spirit can be comforting, but just as often it wounds.
One of the great mysteries is why we suffer and how we should respond to disaster. It’s one thing to be an individual of depth and substance, but quite another to be faced with devastating loss, failure, and illness. It seems that individuals respond in one of two ways to such challenges: either they collapse and never recover, or they find unknown strength and acquire remarkable vision. Many find meaning in everyday struggles of illness, misfortune, relationship, depression, and addiction. These, too, are routes to spirit, and it may be quite enlightening to see them not only as psychological issues in need of care but also as spiritual conditions with the promise of transformation and initiation.
Therefore, if you choose religion or you’re spiritual when you are faced with turmoil or an agonizing situation it’s up to you what route to take to overcome these situations. It’s in you’re hands whether or not you choose to be spiritual or religious. Make sure you’re well informed and make your own informed decision, and whatever route you choose, either one will help you overcome the tough things in life.