Whats the difference between religion and spirituality to you?
An interesting question...
That could be filled with reflective thoughts and have as much seeming depth as a mirror reflecting back the image of another mirror.
I've heard it said, and feel that this definition is what works best for me:
"Religion is for those who don't want to go to hell. Spirituality is for those that have been through hell."
I feel spirituality is a respect for all things. If you don't believe the universe is living and breathing what do you consider the wind? Spirituality isn't about churches or ceremonies. Spiritual people can/ do have a belief in something greater than themselves whether you call it a God, or an ever present spirit, or what have you.
But there is something there, something that gives you inner peace, enlightenment, and the belief that there is something more after all this.
Most religions regardless of how many deities, or the names given to what is worshipped have pretty much the same central ideologies, and most religious concepts are mirrored images of each other. Christianity of spread pretty much by war, and force by over the top zealots or if you prefer "true believers" and probably viewed the way some are viewing the ideological spread of the Islamic radicle of today. Oddly when boiled down to it's true core both religions are very similar. Both of course, are very much open to everyone own interpretations. And with most religions there are many factions and brunches, because no one can agree with any one true way of understanding "the message."
From a religious point of view I personally subscribe to this quote from the Dali Lama, "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." When asked if he would even consider convert to christianity, Ghandi responsed with, "If I had ever met one, I would have become one."
Ghandi was saying "show me, don't tell me." You may think he wasn't well verse in the Christian religion; but it is a well known fact that Mahatma Ghandi read from the New Testament everyday, and often quoted from it.
In my small mind to explain the vastness of spirituality and religion is almost infinitely imporbable. Many times through both intertwine, over-lap and connect. We become what we celebrate.
The other problem is spirituality kind of recieved a bad rap, because there are those who confuse spirituality and spiritualism. Spiritualism was all the rage in Victorian times. Spiritualism was the use of psychics, and séances. I'll think I will leave that topic to the professionals.
Overall religion is structure, and spirituality is less confining. Spirituality is more of a respect of all things and everything. Spirituality is more of a "do it your way." Religion has leaders to "guide" you, and whether you like it or not is big, no huge business. Money, Money, Money...Funny, didn't Jesus Christ lose his temper in a temple over that very reason?
Oh, and one more side note....have you ever notice how most of the great leaders of teaching peace have died violently? Christ, Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., John Lennon for examples...just a coincidance or a message to the world that we should have listened more to these messengers?
Kindness, Love, Respect and Peace to all and everyone. Believe in what is right for you, and respect others ideologies in return. Always extend a hand to those in need...and learn to coexist with your neighbor.
Be Blessed and Be Thankful
"My Sweet Lord" by Goerge Harrison
Some of My Favorite Spiritual Places
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