Religion and spirituality, what are the differences? Indeed are there any when it boils down to it? Answer, yes – important ones.
I have always been in a believer that religion will tell you how it is, whereas spirituality will ask you to question everything. Religion often has defined parameters and a certain deity to follow; it would have you believe it has the answers in most cases, whereas there are no set rules to spirituality.
Religion is the belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience.
Why It’s Important To Know The Difference
It is easy to get sucked in to a particular way of thinking or be amazed by the promises that are sometimes made by religion. Each religion will make its own promises. If you are on a spiritual journey you want to experience and listen to all there is, not just what one particular ideology would give you.
A spiritual awakening will want to take in to account the message that is given by more than one religion, teacher, Guru or text.
The Spiritual View On Religion
Religious ideologies are a belief system that are a construct of the mind, and the mind along with the body, leaves us at death. Your belief in your particular God or religion will die with you, as it’s your belief. Spirituality is the study of what just is, and what we are left with after our body and mind die. Once the ‘me’ you think you are leaves you, what are you? The name, the gender, age, culture, hobbies, are all gone – you are now only the soul. This is what spirituality seeks to explore and develop.
Spirituality does not seek to put you in a category of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jew, Catholic, Jane, etc. It seeks to ignite a spark in you to explore the depths of yourself which has no limits. As a result it is accepting of everyone because we are all one; not separated by the categories we like to put ourselves in. Anything that seeks to separate us is not good for the greater good of all people.
Inwards vs Outwards
Religions will often have you dedicate yourself to a particular external God or deity by going to church or other place of worship. With spirituality, you are directed towards an inner understanding rather than a dedication to something outside of yourself. This way you understand the divinity within you, rather than looking for divinity in something else. Your spiritual practice is your church, wherever you may be.
With religion there is often a structure to follow, a book to read, sermons and prayer to attend, doctrines, advice, rules, and so on. There are non of these things on a spiritual path to enlightenment. Focusing on meditation or yoga for example lead you to connect with inner states of consciousness where you receive your insights. Likewise, these experiences help you to resonate with teachings from everywhere rather than just taking the word of religions.
New Discoveries, Not The Established
Religions are established trends of thought and practice which do not tend to change over time. Spirituality is completely undefined in its development and will change constantly with you as you explore yourself. Your Sadhana (spiritual practice) will lead you to discover many new things about yourself and existence without the constraints of an established system. Following the rhetoric of a particular religion will only give you insights in to that way of thinking and a limited understanding of yourself. Spirituality allows you to grow in to your own, very personal understanding of life, whereas religion will often facilitate that understanding with its own idea of ‘how it is’.
Firstly whatever approach you take towards inner peace, remember that you are always evolving and changing. In the way you think and the way you act. The way I think now is very different from 10 years a go. Secondly, someone else who is at the very beginning of their awakening should be treated with respect and understanding. Which is a key part of exploring your own Sadhana. There are many differences between religion and spirituality, similarly there are many differences in people. At the end of the day we are all one.
Realiser was born from a dream to be in a realised state, a state of awaken. To be able to see the most obvious things having missed them for so many years. Subsequently I wanted to create something to serve as an example of how it could be. If only we might spend the time loving that we spend hating. Above all spending the time to be kind to others for no reason. You get the idea. I hope you enjoyed the blog on ‘the difference between religion and spirituality’. I will travel around doing what I can and would love for you to join me. Follow my path here…