Spirituality vs. Religion

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From Angels Art

I always struggled to define my religious views. I’ve been to different churches, read different religous texts but did not feel comfortable with any religion or church. I felt that normative religious values get often misinterpreted . I felt that religious leaders are very rigid in their views and often refuse to address important issues in the society or even condone violence. Various cultural practices also tend to ‘pollute’ true religious values.

I had my Aha! moment when I came across that image. Spirituality is definitely closer to my heart than religious dogmas.

Spirituality means something different to everyone. Some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks. For me spirituality is about finding and spreading positivity as well as striving to live the core human values such as:

What about you?

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77 thoughts on “Spirituality vs. Religion

  1. dmauldin53 says:

    I am definitely a spiritual person. 🙂

  2. zara M. says:

    i like this post
    thank you for sharing

  3. Ajaytao2010 says:

    This again my blessing that is you
    I reapet come into my life as a blessing
    you are exactly like me and more
    and always reflect my thoughts I think
    thank you so much for being so

    I really love

  4. Ajaytao2010 says:

    Reblogged this on Ajaytao 2010 and commented:
    She is a reflection

  5. Katshark says:

    This is wonderful! The image captures my beliefs perfectly. I too am spiritual and finding my way in life with my heart as my compass 🙂 Have a lovely day x

  6. This idea is ruining my evil plan.
    A little crowd control please. ; )

    • Otrazhenie says:

      What evil plan did you have in mind? I’m getting very curious 😉

      • You know, the my religion is right/I have a monopoly on the way to heaven so I’ll give you what you want if you give me what I want game. It’s an ancient system. You get heaven, I get power and authority.
        What would the world come to without organized religion?
        In what name would I get to blame and accuse and judge? Then what could I do to get my fix of feeling superior and right? I may have to turn to drugs or alcohol.
        My real evil plan is on my blog though. It’s not a trap. And it only works if you keep you mouth shut about spirituality being a relationship and religion being crowd control. That idea has been a secret all these centuries for a reason. It’s dangerous. It thwarts the best laid evil plans.
        ; )
        I have a good one and you are messing it up.

  7. yourothermotherhere says:

    In my opinion, religion was created by men to control others. It’s all pretty much do as we say which is give us your money or we’ll tell Big Daddy to punish you.

    God exists because I can see no other explanation for the Universe.

  8. Amen, amen and amen! I do believe we’ve shared a post title, too 🙂

  9. Scott Erb says:

    Religions channeled spirituality in a way that created community and certain rules/standards. Perhaps that was useful, but now that we have globalization the exclusivist nature of most religions (ours is the right God, yours is not) works against the very values they claim to promote. I think in general humanity needs to move to a more spiritual perspective, or at least reform religious beliefs to be more inclusive – ours is one idea of a spiritual path, others have different ideas. Personally, I don’t follow any religious belief, but consider the spirit far more important than the material.

  10. I consider myself spiritual. Currently, I am reading Eckhart Tolle’s book: The Power of Now. Tolle said the following which sums it up for me: “Spirituality is not religion. You can be spiritual and not have a religious context. The opposite is true too: You can be very religious with no spiritual dimension, just doctrine.”

  11. Do not judge others
    Look at everything with clear eyes full of love and joy
    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger
    Always treat people in the same way you want to be treated by them
    Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. Be yourself and push hard for positive change in this world by combating negative mind viruses and replacing them with positive memes.

    Since you asked !!!

    These are all good works that we do, but being spiritual does not get one past those pearly white gates into heaven… There is only ONE God of the universe…the God of the Bible… There is only one man that ever walked the face of the earth, that defeated death and Satan, and this is Jesus Christ…

    There is only one way to heaven, and this is through Jesus Christ…
    John 14:6… Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (NKJV)

    And this way to heaven, is by seeking Jesus Christ to become one’s personal Lord and Savior… And this grace, given to the sinner, is a gift of God through saving faith alone in Jesus Christ…Ephesians 2:8-9…

    It’s not about good works done in the name of the Lord… Jesus warns us about this, in…Matthew 7:21-23… “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (NKJV)

    And the apostle Paul writes this eye opening warning, in…2 Thessalonians 1:8-9… in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (NKJV)

    Note this – “on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Blessings in Christ, bruce

    Here is the link for a day’s writing in detail, about God’s grace through obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ…

    http://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/gods-group-thoughts-for-10202012-gods-grace-through-obedience-to-the-gospel-of-christ/

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your comment. However personally I’m not interested in ‘heaven’ after life and am not scared of the flaming fire after life either. I prefer to focus my effort on creating ‘heaven’ on Earth by improving the life we’ve got here.

      I also do not believe that Satan has ever been defeated. He is still here among us, inside all of us. As a legend goes, there is a battle of two wolves inside us: an evil one and a good one. And the one we feed the most wins.

      • Was holding a piece of meat up high like sour grapes. The dark wolf loves to jump for it. He might as well have some fun since he/she doesn’t get any.

  12. risinghawk says:

    I think what you have written comes as close to the core of it all that one can come. That is the distillation of most religions, without all of the controlling machinations.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your comment. Like the way you put it into words. It took me a while to get to that ‘core’, but I’m glad I did. It helped me to find inner peace.

  13. I believe that it is hubris that causes religious division. When it comes to the infinite nature of the divine, I am unable to fathom why so many believe that there is only one specific path that must dominate all others.
    Religious institutions tend to be very totalitarian in nature. And I find dogma to be frustrating.
    I am much more inclusionary than exclusionary when it comes to studying religion.
    I find wisdom in many different practices & ideologies.

    I would like to share 2 films with you, which are cinematic masterpieces.
    http://www.barakasamsara.com
    Peace, love, hope, xx

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your comment and for the link. Loved Samsara trailer. Have you seen the whole movie? I’m very keen to watch the whole movie now. 🙂

      • The first film they did, Baraka, I own. I watched some of Samsara, but due to a miscommunication, it was returned to netflix before I could finish it, so I will have to get it again.

        Both films are worth watching. There is no dialogue, it is all a glorious presentation of images from a multiplicity of places & cultures worldwide set to music. The pace is moderate, so there is time to take in the images, and appreciate juxtaposition.

        Given the rampant expurgation of religious texts over time, I tend to be more attracted to forms of mysticism. I also think about ritual, about prayer/meditation, and prophets. I see wisdom in many religious teachings. I see distinct differences in Western & Eastern approaches.
        I also find it intriguing that Islam is not generally percieved of as being an aspect of the Judeo Christian faith. It seems to me that Judeo Christian Muslim is a more accurate phrasing, given the evolution of the texts.
        I studied abroad in Florence during college, and took a class on Michaelangelo. We visited the Vatican as part of that class. We rented out the Sistine Chapel for 2 hours, 45 minutes of which I spent laying on the floor gazing at the ceiling. In observing the dome, we entered Vatican City and spent time in the gardens, leaving Italian soil. The process of displaying passports to very well armed men, the reminder that we were now entering a sovereign nation, it was an experience that truly opened my eyes to the power of the Catholic Church. No matter what I knew on an intellectual level, the actual experience was a little frightening.

        There was a film called Powder made in 2004, I see Powder as a prophet.

      • Otrazhenie says:

        Very interesting point – actually, lots of interesting points. 🙂 Enjoyed reading about your life experiences. I’ve never been to Vatican City and, to be honest, am not very keen to go there to see those well-armed men. Would love to visit Sistine Chapel one day though.

      • EOh, Powder was made in 1995. http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0114168/ I do not know if others see this film as the story of a prophet, as I do. This is also another film that is part of my personal dvd collection. I am unable to point you to an official trailer. There are clips available on youtube, but I can honestly say, watching the whole film is a better way to go.

        Peace, xx

      • Otrazhenie says:

        Thanks for the link. I’ve never seen that movie. Hope to find a DVD in one of the video shops. Your description sounds very interesting.

    • Prime,
      I agree with you about Powder.
      Prophets don’t only fit into one kind of story that is religious. It must be a human and devine phenomena understood in other ways and lots of stories. Seeing Powder as a prophet made my life better cuz my wold felt less cramped.

      Godsmanforever,

      As for Christ being the only one way. I agree with that too. It is as true as if you are a music genius and that is the only way you will be happy and give your gift, and a school of music recruits you, had better join and get trained and practice or your life will be miserable. If Christ is your gift get on it. There is no other way for you. Music schools recruit talented musicians. Computer programers and science majors will not live in hell if they don’t go to music school. But science types will if they do. There is a god of music and another of science or something like that, I guess. The Life that is designing and creating us seems to love beauty and diversity in humans as much as in landscape, flowers sunsets and mountains, wild animals, climates and extremes. Why wold Life design just one religion or one brand of spirituality. That is as dumb as one kind of food or one culture.
      That god would be boring and I’d be forced to worship the devil or something. So, everyone is right. If you think it’s right that Jesus is the only way. You are right as a monarch knowing milkweed is the only way. Keep it up. I love monarchs!

      • I mean swallowtails. Swallowtails and milkweed. I love swallowtails and milkweed is the only way. For Monarchs its migrating to Mexico City every year that is the only way.
        And we thought butterflies where just butterflies and religion and spirituality where just that simple.
        We are as awesome as butterflies. Monarchs are in organized religion I guess. God must like it too. : )
        Even if I don’t like it in humans as much as in butterflies.
        I’ll live.

      • It’s lovely to hear I am not the only one who sees Powder as a prophet.
        Speaking of butterflies, have you read Hope for the Flowers?
        Peace~xx

      • Otrazhenie says:

        Oh yes, I know that book. There is a very good video on YouTube at http://youtu.be/aHoyZDRR-DA about this book featuring its author Trina Paulus. A very nice lady. 🙂

      • I looked it up.
        Added to my reading list.
        Thank you!
        It may be wonderful like Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Can’t wait to listen to it.
        Now I have a few wonderful recommendations to feast on, offered by tasteful bloggers I trust.
        I can’t find your blog btw. : (

  14. I cherish my individual spirituality, but also my religious community – it took me a while to find my place, but when I did, it was definitely a wonderful feeling. So I have my own personal relationship with God on a daily basis, which is a concept my religion (Conservative Judaism) celebrates and promotes, along with a deep respect for and love of our thousands of years of teachings and prayer that get special depth from engaging in them with other people. Religion cannot be dismissed as crowd control – when we join together as parts of a larger whole, we create something beautiful, too.

  15. […] From Angels Art I always struggled to define my religious views. I've been to different churches, read different religous texts but did not feel comfortable with any religion or church. I felt that…  […]

  16. Ellespeth says:

    If one could strive towards those bullet points…what a great change would come forth. Great post.
    Ellespeth

  17. dmdobbins98 says:

    I love this! I have always been more spiritual than religious and I find that I spend more time communing with God than many religious people and seem to experience more peace than many.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Love your comment. I think it is impossible to be good to others until you find inner peace. Inner peace is the building block for everything positive in our lives and in the society.

  18. kmsb023 says:

    What a great post! I loved it.

  19. ridicuryder says:

    Otrazhenie,

    This post and a lot of the follow up comments kick ass – well done.

    There are always going to be opposing views and this does involve judgement……makes things a little zesty!

    Your post a while back on soulmates (or the fallacies of this idea) got me thinking………:)

    Mark

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your comment, Mark. You are right – there will always be opposing views. Therefore I believe we should keep our ‘critical mind’ open and question everything rather than blindly follow anyone/anything.

  20. Steve Morris says:

    Still not sure what spirituality is. Is it simply a belief in something other than the material world?

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I think for different people ‘spirituality’ might mean different things. It might not necessarily be a belief into something other than the material world. For some people ‘spirituality’ might mean simply developing your own ‘spirit’/’soul’/’mind’, finding inner peace, learning to live in harmony with yourself and others, finding happiness and fulfillment in life.

  21. Love this! Agree whole heartedly 😊

  22. Katrika says:

    My path resulted when I saw so many living so contrary to the teachings of their religion. You need to reconcile the two or you live a life void of
    Spirit. Thank you for dropping by Mad City Witch, which directed me to your lovely post. Keep spreading the love.

  23. webvisor2013 says:

    I agree in so many ways. Religion should be a personal issue and not a public concern. Yes, wear your faith – but don’t be judged by others…

  24. sylphesylphe says:

    Exactly! I absolutely agree and I have had similar experiences and conclusions from my personal ‘search’ 🙂

  25. Katrika says:

    Spirituality is the destination. Religion is the vehicle for getting there. We just all drive different cars…or fly brooms 😉

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Interesting point. What about non-religious people? They must be walking there then. 🙂

      • Katrika says:

        Hmm..maybe they’re waiting at the bus stop,

      • Otrazhenie says:

        Or hiking/tramping – enjoying nature on the way could be their ‘religion’ 🙂

      • Katrika says:

        Love it. I’m looking out my window right now in response to a Chick a Dee who called my name and said, “get out here and play with us”. My yard here at my home, aptly named “Enchanted” is a haven for all things wild. I have a perpetual pocket full of peanuts and every Squirrel and Chipmunk knows this. The Birds never fly from me because they know I’m the lady who fills the feeders. This year, my pair of Mallards, George and Gracie, have returned to my tiny pond and like to listen to my long winded conversations while I garden. Nature is a beautiful ‘religion’. No one sits in the pew judging you on what you wear, but it is fond of ladies who are adorned with large fancy garden party hats worn with jeans with dirty knees. 🙂

      • Otrazhenie says:

        Love the description of your yard. A truly enchanted haven – like from a fairy-tale 🙂

  26. oogenhand says:

    Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    The most powerful religious meme is Hell, or Eternal Damnation.

  27. Brian Casey says:

    There is a way other than wispy, unfounded “spirituality” or controlled, controlling “religion.” The more I study ancient (particularly 1st-century CE) texts in great detail, the more I am convinced that something very real happened, and was happening, as a result of Jesus . . . and, the more I am convinced that human religious systems miss the mark.

  28. Paul says:

    As I see, years are passing by, and still new people are reading your post :). It’s great, and resonates with me so much! :D. Greetings from Poland!

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