Religious versus Spiritual (Part 3)

In the beginning….. (pun intended) all I wanted to do was discuss from my personal perspective what I felt was a topic of interest; What is Religious versus Spiritual? I have come to understand that people could be Religious without necessarily being Spiritual and that people touting that they were “Spiritual not Religious” may not necessarily be correct in that statement but perhaps they are more seeking Spirituality instead of Religion but all of this was going to require some explanation. So I decided to start with what I felt was at the core of the word “Religious”, which is dogma, and from there the can of worms opened up. That plus searching for what others had written on this same subject seemed to be coming up short for me so I set off to “fill in the gaps” and now I am finally writing Part 3 of what’s turned out to be an expansive discussion of this topic. In order to assist the conclusions I’m making here, I’m including recaps of Parts 1 & 2 (along with some additional commentary) but at the same time am suggesting that you take the time to read them in their entirety as they both comprehensively contribute to the final conclusions I’m making... Read more

Religious versus Spiritual (Part 2)

What it means to be “spiritual” with dogma being used as the basis of the definition, it not only puts dogma into the realm of a personal opinion but also being religious or spiritual as a personal experience. As in language, we both can decide that what we see in the distance is a tree, but that does not say that we will ever fully agree on exactly how we feel about that tree. For example, perhaps that tree looks a lot like the one I fell out of as a child and severely broke a limb, where for the other it looks just like the tree where he/she first made love. Both people are looking at exactly the same tree, but are having entirely different emotional reactions, which again points to experience affects what you see which in turn can affect your Beliefs. Taking this to the altar of religion, two people can be within not only the same religion but also part of the same physical church and neither of them may fully agree on how they FEEL about God. In this case The Believing is fundamentally the same but the resulting Feeling may not ever truly match and again be based on previous personal experiences. As a result the dogma, principles or doctrine of a religion are normally vigorously and clearly stated to ensure that the resulting feeling is as much the same as possible (did you know that nothing in the Bible could be questioned until the early 1900’s?). The congregation of a religion then looks to a main figure of Authority to bestow upon it The Believing in such a way as to ensure they all feel the same way and if ever doubted The Dogma is then reiterated to bring the correct Feeling into the religious commonality. You see this quite clearly in the “Church of Oprah” comments and ensuing video responses. The Dogma is being reiterated over and over and over again. When this is being done by the main figure of Authority it ensures that The Believing is legitimized which then reconnects to The Feeling the congregation has come to know as a result of The Believing as stated in their Dogmatic Doctrines. The congregation has bestowed upon this main figure the responsibility of delivering The Dogma, he is The Authority, to the point that the Dogma determines how they should think which then “thinks” for them. If Dogma thinks for you, then Dogma feels for you, and doesn’t that rob you of your Free Will, a God given gift? You were born with the capacity to feel a plethora of emotions, why would you allow anything to do it for you? Does that not rob you of the one thing that makes you a human being? If Life is more about the experience of the journey then what kind of life are you living if feeling is done or directed for you? Read more

Religious versus Spiritual (Part 1)

Have you ever stopped for a moment and thought about the differences between these two words? Think about when they’ve come up in conversation long enough and you might notice some things. So just what is the difference? Most people, especially those that claim the “spiritual not religious” stance will tell you the main difference is in the word “dogma”. Is the definition declarative or presumptive? It's actually both because no two sources have exactly the same definition. So either you accept one source as The Authority or you come to your own conclusions. What would you do and what does that say about how you think, see, and feel about the world? Read more

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