ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The difference between religion and spirituality

Updated on January 17, 2009

Religion, at best, leads to spiritual mysticism.

Religious institutions resemble educational institutions in that the latter provide structured indoctrination, behavioral training, socialization, and conformity under the direction of authority figures who espouse dogma. The dogma often originates from the teachings and examples of certain revered historical figures but is interpreted and organized by scholars and administrators. Various rituals are employed. Motivation is provided by a reward/punishment system.

The success of schooling depends on the quality and aim of a given school's administration and faculty, and the ability of a given student to benefit from the positive influences of the school while resisting the negative influences. Some graduates achieve full self-hood and become independent, self-motivated and self-directing, creative and original, rational and intuitive, and capable of critical thinking. Many, however, fail to achieve their full potential and remain imitators and conformists.

Great intellects, or geniuses, must first learn conventional wisdom and then transcend it by questioning accepted orthodoxy in the pursuit of truth, even at the cost of peer esteem and professional status. Likewise, great spiritual seekers, or saints, are those who have transcended officially approved belief systems, even at the expense of a secure place in their congregations, and have experienced an awakening in consciousness: a direct experience of truth. The awaking may or may not have been facilitated by religion, and the awoken may or may not continue involvement with religion.

Spiritual seekers seek the spirit or intangible essence of self that lies beyond worldly perception and beyond doctrines and dogmas. A monk-like introspective phase inevitably occurs, often in solitude, in which depths of being are gradually revealed as the superficial, conditioned, socialized persona peels away through meditation and prayer. As the monk uncovers previously hidden or dormant dimensions of being, mystical experiences become the norm and a transition is made from monk to mystic. The mystic may then return from solitude to enlighten those still mired in ignorance.

We might describe as mystics those who seek to know what is hidden, who penetrate the "myst" or fog of conventional perceptions and beliefs, whether they are of the intellectual or spiritual variety. And since truth of any variety is truth, the distinction matters little.

Two Mystics

Intellectual mystic Einstein
Intellectual mystic Einstein
Spiritual mystic St. Francis of Assisi
Spiritual mystic St. Francis of Assisi

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)