Reader question of the month: What’s the difference between spirituality and organized religion? And, can you be spiritual and religious at the same time?
Organized religion (whether it be Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc) subscribes to a specific set of principles and dogma, derived from texts and religious figures throughout history (most from thousands of years ago). Some of these religions have evolved throughout history, and have branched out into many different denominations and sects.
Organized religion has many positives: it can serve as a social and cultural foundation for a community or society, inspire hope, and serve as a moral compass for the masses. Sometimes getting guidance, leadership, and support from a religious community can be uplifting and provide a sense of belonging and security.
Spirituality, or the act of being spiritual, is really coming into the understanding of how Consciousness and energy actually works. Once you understand that everything is basically energy (and we are just Consciousness in physical form), it allows you to view organized religion from a fresh perspective. You no longer have to rely on texts written thousands of years ago for a different time and people at a different level of consciousness. Indeed, almost all of those texts and holy books have been re-written at varying points in history for different political and economic motives. Instead of arguing about which religion is right, which parts of what texts are still accurate, etc, you begin to realize that Truth is HERE and NOW.
What do I mean by that? I mean that when you begin to meditate and go within, you realize you have access RIGHT NOW to infinite intelligence, guidance, and clarity from your very own Inner Being (or Soul or Consciousness) that is with you all the time. That guidance comes in the form of positive emotions like love, enthusiasm, a sense of well-being, inspiration, and synchronicity. As your energy vibration rises (through meditation, focusing on positive thoughts, and releasing resistance), you begin to live in the flow of life, riding the wave of one coincidence and manifestation after another. All of life becomes a miracle.
This is what all the great religious masters like Jesus and Buddha were trying to teach in the first place! Jesus said, “That which I can do, you can do, and more.” They didn’t want you to look back thousands of years and follow arbitrary rules, rituals, and dogma. They didn’t want you to worship an idol outside of yourself. They wanted you to find the God within yourself and live Consciously. They wanted you to see yourself as God or Soul in physical form, just as they saw themselves.
Of course, if it gives you comfort to read about and believe in one particular religion, go for it. The world’s greatest religions all have the same positive and inspirational message at their root- that through faith and belief, you can live a happy and blessed life, and that God always has your back. So, can you be religious and spiritual at the same time? Of course! Do you have to subscribe to one particular religion to have a glorious and amazing life (in this lifetime and after)? Of course not!
Tell me in the comments below:
Do you consider yourself religious? Why or why not?
How and when did you become Conscious?