All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether – The Dali Lama
Often times I take the time to write what I believe to be very good posts, but they do not get the attention they deserve, yesterday’s topic was one such post. So today I would like to continue the post, but steer it a little in another direction, by also looking at spirituality as opposed to religion, a post was done on Embracing spirituality already dealing with this subject, read here.
Following our true spiritual path would be a natural thing for the human being, had he not been force into religion which is man made. What I mean by this is, as a person grows and follow their path to life, there are things which his or her own mind will lead him to explore. Often times, he or she will observe nature and practice what nature teaches for himself. The birds and the bees teaches us about sex and procreation. The flowers and the tress also, plants heals and cures, water cleanses and feeds, the warmth of the sun brings with it the feeling of life, its existence and continuation upon the earth. The moon calms the days down and brings with it night fall which sends us off to sleep, to rest for the day to come.
Nature provides for us, as well as teaches us. Man is constantly aware of the influence of nature in the form of the air he breathes, the water he drinks, the food he eats, and the flow of energy and information. And many of his troubles are a response to the natural processes and changes in the weather, intensified irradiation of cosmic energy, and the magnetic storms that rage around the earth. In short, we are connected with nature by “blood” ties and we cannot live outside nature.
Nature gives us our values, our livelihood, our strength and energy. We are at our best with natural living, as it is supposed to be. Nature is Balance and Nature opens you up to your true spirituality and more. Allowing you to be in control of your life not to be controlled by some person in a black frock and collar, waving a big black book at you and damning you to hell, if you do not do as the “Good Book” says. Almost like following a recipe precisely.
From my post Religion versus Spirituality;
With religion, the freedom to access your true self and connect it with nature is completely lost. It maybe suggested within its texts, as the character Jesus is always in nature, whether walking on water, in a boat or praying in the mountains, (sounds like Babalawo work to mi) but again it is open for interpretation. The bible wielding Pastors believe it is their job and duty to save souls, and missionaries have done more damage that Hitler did to the Jews in my opinion.
Religion, other than imprisoning the mind, is suppose to preach peace and love, yet they all fight against each other. Muslims do not like Christians and Christians do not like Muslims and they all hate the Jews, and together they fire bun those who have stepped away from their theologies and frightening doctrines of hell and damnation, do I dare laugh? Where is the Love?, Where Is the peace? Where is the Unity? Where?
The Good book teaches all these, but the interpreters of the Book are something else, words cannot explain them. Who remembers this quote “Christians I like your Christ but I do not like you Christians” !. A peeper once emailed me and told me never to quote Mahatma Gandhi again because he was racist, and he may have very well been, but what he said here I totally agree with. My argument today is not to shadow anyone’s belief, but to look at these two subjects keenly and with open eyes and see which one I am most comfortably with.
Of Religion and Spirituality, persons may say they are one in the same, and while I agree to some degree, I must say that of the latter serves the greater good of self and of man kind, where it allows one the freedom to explore all and everything spiritual and of the Universe and things which defies logic, it stretches the limitations of the human mind, allowing us to see beyond THE WORD as Christians call it, and not to conform just because. The former restricts, divide and imprison the mind. With religion I find there is no love, no peace, no unity, it may preach such likes, but where in the world does it show it? Even within its own there is a division, the Seven Day Adventist and Jehovah’s witnesses says their way is the best way and Catholicism rebukes them all and the Pope believes he is Christ incarnate while driving around in a bullet proofed vehicle, While Muslims continues to bomb the world and the Jews believes that THEY, are the chosen ones, while continuing to bomb and kill the Palestinians, could this be love as Bob Marley asks? I think not.
It has become quite popular in recent years to distinguish between spirituality and religion
It is true that there are valid distinctions between the two, but there are also a number of problematic distinctions which often and unnecessarily divide the two fields of thought.
One principal problem with attempts to separate religion from spirituality is that the former is saddled with everything negative while the latter is exalted with everything positive.
It is important to note the fact that many of the negative things which people attribute to religions are features of some forms of some religions (usually Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), but not of other religions (like Taoism or Buddhism).
Religion is spiritual and spirituality can also be considered religious. One tends to be more personal and private while the other tends to incorporate public rituals and organized doctrines.
The lines between one and the other may often not be clear or distinct depending on the interpretation.
Consider these definitions
Religion is an institution established by man for various reasons.
Exert control, instill morality, stroke egos, or whatever it does.
Organized, structured religions all but remove god from the equation.
You confess your sins to a clergy member, go to elaborate churches to worship,
told what to pray and when to pray it.
All those factors remove you from god.
Spirituality is born in a person and develops in the person.
It may be kick started by a religion, or it may be kick started by a revelation.
Spirituality extends to all facets of a person’s life.
Spirituality is chosen while religion is often times forced.
Being spiritual to me is more important and better than being religious.
True spirituality is something that is found deep within oneself.
It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around you.
It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way..
Consider the following in favor of the spiritual path:
There is not one religion, but hundreds
There is only one type of spirituality
Religion is for those who want to continue rituals and the formality
Spirituality is for those who want to reach the Spiritual Ascent without dogmas
Religion is for those who are asleep
Spirituality is for those who are awake
Religion is for those that require guidance from others
Spirituality is for those that lend ears to their inner voice
Religion has a dogmatic and unquestionable assembly of rules that need to be followed without question
Spirituality invites you to reason it all, to question it all and to decide your actions and assume the consequences
Religion threatens and terrifies
Spirituality gives you inner peace
Religion speaks of sin and of fault
Spirituality encourages “living in the present” and not to feel remorse for which has already passed – Lift your spirit and learn from errors
Religion represses humanity, and returns us to a false paradigm
Spirituality transcends it all and makes you true to yourself
Religion is instilled from childhood, like the soup you do not you want to take
Spirituality is the food that you you seek, that satisfies you and is pleasant to the senses
Religion is not God
Spirituality is infinite consciousness and all that is – It is God
Religion does not investigate and does not question
Spirituality questions everything
Religion is based on humanity, an organization with rules
Spirituality is DIVINE, WITHOUT rules
Religion is cause for division
Spirituality is cause for union
Religion seeks you so that you create
Spirituality causes you to seek
Religion continues the teachings of a sacred book
Spirituality seeks the sacredness in all the books
Religion is fed fear
Spirituality is fed confidence
Religion lives you in your thoughts
Spirituality lives in your conscience
Religion is in charge of the “to do”
Spirituality is in charge of the “to BE”
Religion is a dialectic
Spirituality is logic
Religion feeds the ego
Spirituality makes you transcend
Religion makes you renounce yourself to the world
Spirituality makes you live with God, not to renounce him
Religion is adoration
Spirituality is meditation
Religion is to continue adapting to the psychology of a template
Spirituality is individuality.
Religion dreams of glory and paradise
Spirituality makes you live it here and now
Religion lives in the past and in the future
Spirituality lives in the present, in the here and now
Religion lives in the confinement of your memory
Spirituality is LIBERTY in AWARENESS.Religion believes in the eternal life
Spirituality makes you conscious of all that is
Religion gives you promises for the after-life
Spirituality gives you the light to find God in your inner self, in this life, in the present, in the here and the now…
Tí ewé gbígbẹ bá bọ́ lára igi, ó ńkọ́ ewé tútù lọ́gbọ́n ni. /
A dry leaf that falls off a tree serves as a lesson to the fresh ones. Yoruba Proverb!
[Be perceptive; learn from the experiences of others]
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life only lessons learned!
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.