What is spirituality? Is it the same as being religious? Here's an explanation of the difference...
Spirituality Is Not the Same as Being Religious
What is spirituality? Is it the religion of whack-a-doodles? No. Spirituality is a much confused, misaligned word for those who try to make it synonymous with being religious. Actually, the two can be polar opposites.
How can we define spirituality? It's this simple: the awareness of spirit, or a higher energy, s the best definition of spirituality. To be spiritual is much different than believing there is a spirit. Awareness means you are connected to that energy, seeking wisdom, peace and joy through that 'at oneness' with it. True spirituality is known when seeking the deeper being within one's own heart.
Religion Can Be Self-Seeking by Comparison
While religion can be the gateway or spiritual practice that works for people, too, it is a sign post and should be viewed as such. Looking outside of one's self for guidance by a book, minister, or denomination is not spirituality at all. Meeting every week is great fellowship but if that is all a person is aware of, then they are dead, spiritually speaking. Religion can be head knowledge for some and a whole bunch of doing things.
Inner Guidance and Connectedness
Spirituality is the idea that we can look toward being guided from within our being, becoming aware of our inner body and listening to our heart that is in-tune with and part of the whole of Spirit (or energy). Those who are spiritual have no need for another person to lead them for their guide is the compass within that never allows them to go wayward if followed. True spirituality is knowing the truth of who we are and our connectedness with everyone and everything.
All of us are spirits, energies connected, one with another, and comprising a part of the greater whole of the entire Universe, if it were quantifiable. Everything that is, exists within that entire energy. Some may call this energy “God” - but make no mistake: you are a part of it, and your connection with this Divine source can never be severed. Spirituality is knowing this connection as the truth and that you are ever part of the Divine. It's about becoming aware and not doing anything.
Differences Between Spirituality and Religion
Spirituality brings peace because it allows one to identify with this inner and outer energy that is our source of being. In that source, there is no fear or condemnation but only love, peace and understanding which brings great exhilaration when the connection is known and even felt. Spirituality thus teaches that all of us are connected, all are important, and none will ever be lost for eternity. Spirituality is comprehending one's own eternal make-up, and that is empowerment.
Spirituality is never religion. It never asks us to look outside of ourselves for answers. We may pay attention to the physical world and participate, but we learn from it. We use it to teach us. This greater energy of spirit is ever close, never far, and always connected to us, for it is us, collectively speaking. We are the fingers of the Divine interacting within this temporary world of forms. Some religions would have us to believe that we are separate from the Divine but that would be insanity. And some religions are truly insane. Those that are have people trapped in their past, waiting for the future and missing the here and NOW. That is insanity.
You Cannot Find God Outside of You
There is no divine being who is separate from us. God is not angry or vengeful. That concept was created by religions that became married to governments for the purpose of controlling people.
When we look externally and away from our internal source, call it 'god' if you like, we mentally disconnect and lose our spirituality for the time being. Occasionally, when we lose the awareness of, we forget, who we truly are. We then feel abandoned, alone, frightened, and condemned when we lose sight of who we are and our true nature. We suffer. This way of thinking is based upon mental concepts, rooted in the past (depression) or fear of the future (anxiety), and can be likened to looking in a mirror and believing that the reflected image in front of us is the entire truth of who we are. We may even believe our life story, but is any of that who you really are deep down?
We are divine beings having physical experiences and not solely physical beings living a temporary life. Many choose to believe they are temporal, imperfect, and lacking. This way of thinking is not spirituality and is due to living life outwardly.
Spirituality is the path to knowing you are eternal, perfect and in need of nothing but understanding the truth of who we are. You accept the present moment for what it is and do not resist it. This is the path that few understand that brings true peace and happiness, something a religion can never really do on its own.