Spirituality and Religion:
A Personal Outlook
Photo : Wikimedia Commons / Hardy Wagner
A lot of people are confused when it comes to these two similar, yet very different subjects. Some would call themselves religious because they go to church or worship some kind of God. Other people call themselves spiritual because they go to a yoga studio once a week or they have just redecorated their home and now it is more “feng shui”. People do these things because they are used to the convenient/normal lifestyle, always being concerned about the material part of life. They try to materialize the spirit. Only doing this because they “have” to satisfy the “need” of being religious or spiritual in order to have a balanced life. Nevertheless, this is just on the surface level, as people are just afraid of exploring these mysterious and controversial subjects. Then again, when you go deeper you find so much more sacred knowledge and meaning.
At the outset, I have to clarify the differences between religion and spirituality: “Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience”- Unknown. I think this quote sums it up. Religion tells you about someone’s path to enlightenment and makes you follow it. Spirituality lets you create YOUR unique path, it shows you how to be brave enough to do it your way. Every religion tells you its particular truth, while spirituality lets you discover and understand it in your own way: “Spirituality lets you connect with your Higher Self and see with your own mind what truth is from your perspective, because the fundamental truth is same for each one of us. It lets you believe in your own perception of your heart.” (http://www.the-open-mind.com/7-differences-between-religion-and-spirituality-1/). If you think more about it, it is very simple: every religion came by spirituality, by the journey through which one person became God. Spirituality has the same principles as the Universe, which are the Universal laws (http://lawsoftheuniverse.weebly.com/12-immutable-universal-laws.html) similar with the laws of different religions. Every religion has some truth in it, but not all the truth. It misses bits of information and perhaps that’s the reason why religious theories, like “the creation of the world” are so confusing. Besides that, religion separates us and separation is an illusion. I’m not saying religion is not useful for society; people who can’t understand spirituality need something in which they can believe. I’m just saying that I find more freedom as an individual without going on the path of Jesus, Buddha or however you want to call it, even though sometimes it is good to see other perspectives, which you don’t have to follow. However if you’re not ready to go on your own, be a follower, but remember to respect other people. Nobody chooses their religion, geopolitically speaking. It’s a curious thing that nobody ever asks: Why do I have to be a certain religion just because I was born on this part of the globe? No matter what religion you have you should always do whatever you feel is right for you.
The word “spiritual” lost its meaning throughout time, but in a way this is a good thing because now you can give it a subjective meaning that seems right for you. I will share with you a significant part of my journey that can give you more insight and hopefully can help you in your spiritual evolution. After the phase of being an atheist I got involved into meta-physics, out-of-body experiences and hypnosis. Later on I found meditation and how it combines all of those but comes more natural to us. It’s not like the forced trance in hypnosis, but a distinctive state of being. Tuning into meditation I had access to infinite awareness, I was diving into the ocean of collective consciousness, where I understood that we are all one and thus I became more empathetic. However in order to be able to empathize with other people, animals or even nature itself, I had to let go of my own ego which is trying to separate us and it often makes us compete with each other. Nonetheless I know that at our core, we are spirit, nothing more, and nothing less than the spirit, which in the Universe is pure energy that cannot be destroyed but then can only transform and evolve. As I said, we are the spirit but here is the tricky part: we are “trapped” in this body, we have this sense of identity, and we have this ego that we need to survive on this planet and in today’s society, so how can we be spirit now? Let me tell you that you can be spiritual, in reality you are being spiritual all the time, firstly because in essence you are spirit and secondly because of the fact that you have a passion. What? Yes, exactly. Everyone has a passion, something that makes them feel alive, something that they need to share with the world, something that they are. When we are in our element and we are doing something we are passionate about, we forget about the material world, we forget about the bills we need to pay at the end of the week, about the designer’s bag we want to buy or the car we saw at the showroom. It doesn’t matter if your passion is painting, singing, hiking, writing, running or traveling, what’s important is that it makes you be entirely present in the moment and it makes you more active and creative, it makes you authentic. I believe that in those moments you are the most spiritual.
With the aim of getting the full experience of being a human we should harmonize the material world with the spiritual world, and at that point we can find peace. We need to be aware that there is something beyond this physical world to which we need to connect so we can become the greatest version of ourselves. I call it “higher consciousness” or “source”, you can call it God or whatsoever. It only depends on us if we choose to do this by following religious figures or finding our own way.