I read a blog on CNN about spirituality versus religion, and that inspired me to write this post. A lot of people say that they’re “spiritual, but not religious.” I think that as humans, we all have a spirit, or a soul — something that we would like to believe keeps on living after we die. Some people are deeply in touch with their spiritual side and others don’t pay much attention to it. Being “spiritual” and being “religious” are two different ways of getting in touch with your spiritual side — and I’m not saying that one is right and the other is wrong. It’s a matter of opinion that depends on your perspective.
Interestingly enough, you can be religious without being spiritual. There are plenty of people out there who don’t really pay attention to their spiritual side, but who attend religious services and follow the precepts of a religion just to present a certain image to others. They don’t truly have their spirit in it. Or you can religiously do a certain thing all the time, but that’s not religion in the sense I’m talking about here.
A lot of the time, you’ll hear people say that being “spiritual, but not religious” is some kind of cop-out. That’s what the author of the CNN blog thinks. A person may not want to adhere to the rules or requirements of a particular religion, so they just say they are a “spiritual” person and leave it at that. Or perhaps they don’t see the point of all the rules and requirements of organized religion. Or maybe they don’t need a religion to feel fulfilled in life.
For me, religion is a comfort. It gives me guidelines to go by, and a certain moral standard and code of honor to uphold. There’s so much tradition and history that go along with my religion. Others may not feel this way. I’ve heard people tell me countless times, “You’re narrow-minded.” “You can’t prove God’s existence.” “Religion has too many rules.” “Religion is corrupt.”
Spirituality without religion is also a lovely thing. You’re not following a set path that is a religion; you’re following what is in your own soul. You’re creating your own idea of the universe and your own vision of a higher power.
Most of the time these days, I hear “religion” spoken about in a negative manner, and “spirituality” spoken about in a more positive manner. The two are not mutually exclusive. You can have both, and you can have one without the other.