Thursday, February 20, 2014

I'm Religious not Spiritual?


Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: 
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction 
to keep oneself unstained by the world.
-James 1:26-27

"Religion is the problem." I never enjoy it when when people bash religion. This statement makes me cringe. "I am spiritual not religious." How come a person cannot be both? I don't see them as either-or, but as two in the same. I am not sure how those terms are defined. I guess religious is defined in terms of following an organized religion, and spiritual is when a person is not part of any organized religion, but prays to a higher power or deeper consciousness. I guess I don't see how you can be religious and not spiritual and vice-versa. It is just counter productive to follow a set of rules for no reason whatsoever. On the other hand to say you connect to something deeper without some way to check and balance your beliefs just seems incomplete. Believing more in oneself rather than in something bigger than oneself does not seem like the ideal way to live.

I think to be a religious person requires a mind that seeks to know the meaning of your actions. You, ideally, would commit actions deliberately and with sincerity. You have trained yourself to realize that the intent behind every moment is significant. You have developed an understanding that your actions have effects in the physical realm as well as the spiritual. And it is in committing actions with powerful intentions that one is able to transcend from the moment.

A spiritual person can breathe in the Divine at every moment, hopefully. It is about being able to see deeper connections, feel more empathy, love more deeply because we have realized just how close we are to everything. I think many can read about spiritual experiences and try to mimic another's experience, but to sustain it requires rituals. I do not think that one can sustain this kind of spiritual intensity without religion. I mean let's face it, there are just as many phony spiritual people as there are phony religious. Wearing linen does not a spiritual person make. When you are able to connect with God through rituals and sharing your love with others, it seems that you are on the road to becoming a complete and unified person.

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