I know what my thoughts are on this topic but am interested in hearing others' ideals. In you own experience what is the difference between religion and spirituality? Is there a difference and do you have to be religious in order to be spiritual?
My experience is simply this; spirituality is my connection with the divine, that connection aids me in seeing the truth around me. It is the pipe line in a manner of speaking to something higher than myself regardless of what I think it is or what I call it. I see religion as a conduit, but not necessary for, spirituality. You can have one and not the other.
I said this to Amanda the other day when I just arrived here and wanted to introduce myself on chatroom and I would say it again because it is a definition that has been recently highlighted in my experience. Spirituality is when one gets in touch with the divine, being fully immersed in the feeling and rising on the extatic planes. You feel totally accepted, sometimes totally rejuvenated and even have moments of enlightenment when you get it right to maintain it. Religion is when you get tired of trying to explain it over and over and over again, so you write a book and hand it over.
@Lee I like that actually. @Peirre. I have met people of no particular religious practice that are very spiritual people. They seem to connect with whatever is out there through no particular set of beliefs or practices. They may refer to the divine as the Godhead, but give it no particular identity, yet have tremendous insight, foresight etc all the while not displaying or referring to any particular belief or method of religious practices at all.
I don't know how much I can diss religion. It is the reflection of how others attained that connection. A lot of times it is out of date and seems totally out of place in current reality and at other times it can speak straight to the heart. A friend told me once: "the written word is a momentary perception of the truth"
My religion is what I practice.
My spirituality is what I feel.
religion denotes and syncopates a respect for what is sacred, spirituality is the quintessence of energy in both its polarities of continuation and opposition. it is like the breath of the soul and of all matter, in a sense religion is the river and spirituality the sea. i do not agree with you can have one not the other though, for life is unsustainable without the sea, yet because of the sea we have rivers, it is unthinkable for us to not have rivers if we have sea. the beauty of it exists in the knowledge that water is a magical substance.
You can always have one without the other. To me, spirituality is the belief of the different natural spirits/energies/karma/etc. of the world. Religion is an organized structure of beliefs, rituals, guidelines, rules, etc. for following a specific belief path usually involving the worship of one or more specific deities. Spirituality doesn't really require belief in any deity, and I have met quite a number of christians who follow the religious practice, rituals and dogma yet have openly admitted their doubt of the existence of many spiritual building blocks of the religion. While one CAN have one without the other, it is difficult to have religion WITHOUT spirituality if one truly believes in the religion they practice.
Well for me, Spirituality has always been, it just IS. It's our relationship with the divine. Religion is man made, pure and simple. Rules, regulations and rituals to keep one boxed in and closed off from the truth.
I think that HOW a person operates within a religion can determine whether or not they stay boxed in. I have seen people who follow and never think a thing about it and then there are those that use whatever set of beliefs and rules as tools and roadmaps. It's interesting to say the least and I wonder what the differences is.
I think there is little real difference. Nearly every time I see sharp distinctions between Spirituality & Religion (notice capitals ;) ) it's when people have a very polarized and narrow conception of just what each of them is. Religion is a cultural expression of a relationship, usually one that involves sacred powers of some kind, but religion transcends simple bonds of god and man.
For many modern/post-modern people, there is a general disdain for claims to The Truth™. The dominant religion of the West has been, for the greater part of 1500 years, Christianity, which is notorious for it's ardent insistence upon orthodoxy. The association with Christianity and religion in general has engendered folks wanting religion without Christianity, so you have various forms of new religious movements that emphasize a lack of orthodoxy, and encourage personal expression of religio-spiritual ideas.
The idea of there being a chasm of difference between spiritual and religious as adjectives doesn't really help articulate beliefs, beyond showing distaste for modern popular organized religion.
Rant, ramble, rave, etc. I think both terms are like one end of a stick, one can be shaped differently, but they're ultimately the same stick :} But this is just my opinion, I don't really see a problem with people calling themselves spiritual or religious. I use both terms to describe myself.
For me, spirituality is regarding the spirit, and spiritual power. Communication with diving beings is spiritual, sorcery is spiritual, meditation is spiritual, etc.
Religion is a doctrine, or a framework, which will probably include spirituality in some way or another.
I have both, but my spirituality is pretty much seperate from my religion.
For me, I find spirituality and religion closely related, but in my opinion spirituality is the internal feelings you have about how you connect to the divine, to other people, to nature, to yourself, etc... You might not fully understand it, be able to explain that feeling to other people, or have a view of it that others share. Its how you feel. Religion is an external activity or an organised belief system/ritual that is designed to help you achieve or enhance that inner feeling, and give it some explainable and shared context.
I believe you can be spiritual without being religious, or religious without being spiritual, but the two often go hand in hand. The promoted aim of most religions seem to me to be the attainment of sprituality, whether or not that is what they achieve.