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How to Understand Spiritualism Versus Religion

Updated on July 16, 2014

Spiritualism is not the same as religion.

Here are worthy definitions of Spiritualism and religion. Religion is one thing that can have Spiritualism and Spiritualism is one thing that can have religion. Religion and spiritualism are not exclusive. So yes; There is a one liner that will show definitely the difference between these two. Here is where to learn that difference but also that similarity.

Religion is: A specific method and system of worship and faith.

Spiritualism is: A belief that there is such a thing as a spirit and that it is fundamental to human existence.

Please note that those are what theologians and philosophers would call working definitions and are only to be taken in the construct of the context in which they are being applied in this situation as we discuss the matter here. They are not exclusionary definitive declarations of truth but rather baseline notions for this particular association of thoughts. Adopt them for here, adapt them for elsewhere.

We will find here that religion is for people trying to avoid hell and spiritualism is for folks who have already been there. Yes for this hub we assert and conclude there is a hell and that it is not only possible but that most of us have already experienced it in this empirical being of ourselves.

Ego run-amok or grievous circumstances or pain to great to believe it will subside or addictions or illness to horrible to face are all forms of hell on this earth.

It is said a rich man has a harder time getting into a heaven than a camel has attempting to get through the eye of a needle. Of course the metaphor should be a rope and so we see this saying as sarcastic and a challenge to all those who have abundance of material wealth. We all have known of many that made it to our minds.

Even you can look at others differently.

He took what he knew and changed his and other lives. I judge him. I judge him friend.

If you have a problem with the following read no further.

Truly we have sailed 5 of the seven seas and have landed on all continents and looked for truth but we have found only one truth that survives everywhere. Not hate. Not greed. Not even poverty or death.

We found love. And so we searched the books and found only one great writing that told this truth that abounds everywhere and is omnipresent and omnipotent.

""And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,…""

That my friends is spiritualism and not religion. When this was written by a complex intelligent man to others who were trying to find a loving way in a city called Corinth he had no religion. No bible or other stuff. He just had as is obvious, loving advice. That is spiritualism.

A firm belief that we are more than the sum total of our parts, both collectively and individually. An abiding truth anchored in ones soul that grasps the nature that there is more to life than empirical data.



Just how big is big?

That ball is small to me. No I mean the one in the background
That ball is small to me. No I mean the one in the background | Source

We begin and end with Cogito Ergo Sum

Oh do not worry that is just fun latin speak for "I think therefor I am". Nobody can take that away from you and you should live it.

Hey! You think your special way. I like that. You are your special you. I like that. Me -- I am also enjoying being me, excuse me please. Over there is a gal enjoying happiness for no particular reason. I like that.

If God looks the same and acts the same to you and to me we have a major problem. Be a parent for a moment. Assume you have four children; girl, boy and girl then boy. Humans all of them. Now take something easy like macaroni, do any two of them think of macaroni and cheese the same way? No. One likes it, one loves it, one hates it and one could not care less about it. Now take something a little more complicated. How do they feel about you? On any given day the above description may work just fine for you as well as macaroni.

Now you are ready to take God. How do each of them view God? On any given day you could apply the above and on any given other day that might change for each one. And let us hope that it is even more complicated.

Now their own spiritualism assures them that there is God or not. And their own religion helps them to think about God.

Some churches look funny.

This is not a church but the subtitle made you think it was.
This is not a church but the subtitle made you think it was. | Source

Bad things in the name of religion.

It happens and has happened far too much. Fanaticism is horrible and it can creep in anywhere where people gather to share thoughts and the inevitable hierarchy occurs. The top becomes corrupt but the people no longer share, they only repeat. They do not listen they only talk. And then all hell on earth breaks loose. Blame not religion blame mankind.

On the other hand blame religion.

Many of us got religion from churches. Makes sense if you think about it. But some of us got religion from a book. That also makes sense if you think about it. But somehow many of us adapted that religion through our own experience, strength and hope. And that was and is a step away from religion and into spiritualism. It is spiritualism that saves the religion.

Man can make beauty

Man is part beauty and part horror story
Man is part beauty and part horror story | Source

Drum role please

Religion and spiritualism are not in the same category. You cannot compare them and you cannot reasonably argue between the two.

Really now spiritualism is your inside job. It is what you believe and that is cool. Religion is what WE believe and some times the two meet well and in between.

You see, you are special. And what you think is special to you. And in fact special to me. And that is not religion. That is you and I rejoicing in us and our belief. It is not crazy and it is not either of the notions from the above article.

It is about seeing what is good and being what is good.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am a spiritual being having a human experience. I can live with that. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Seems like we would all be busy enough with just that Bill.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I like the part that says: " Those who are religious are trying to avoid hell and those who are spiritual have already been there. I like that because it is so true. When people ask my opinion I always say: religion- in my opinion, is more about rules and spiritualism is more about searching for truth, peace and a higher power.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      The comparison I usually read about is religion with spirituality (which I think, has a slightly different shade of meaning that spiritualism), but I think you covered it all in "working definitions are . . . not exclusionary definitive declarations of truth." No need to let it bog down religion. Good job.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana it seems that your take is pretty standard for most people. Personally I kind of like religion. It is a lot like driving on cruise control.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      MsDora I used spiritualism to try and get to it as an ism. There is good cause for the notions of Christianity and Spirituality using those suffixs.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I have seen that castle on the hill at Inkopah and I always tell my wife "Next time we are going up there" but next time we never do because when you cross that God forsaken desert you get tired and you just want to go home. But you had me going for a minute that it really is a church.

      Wise words and eloquently spoken. Christ is non-denominational, but every religion acts as if he is their exclusive property and wants to deprive the other Christians of him. Thank you for the spirit of love you have infused into the discussion.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel maybe we should have a So Cal hubbers meeting at Inkopah ;-)

      Thank you very much for your kind words and wisdom on this subject.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      That would be fun, but wouldn't it just be me and you, or are there more of us?

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      There are several and without a doubt some of the most outlandish about but I do include the menace to the north called LA. Of course few are bold enough to claim such backwater hamlets and Spring Valley.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Enjoyed the hub. For me, spiritualism definitely...religion: not so much.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much for the read and comment, I am definitely with you on your take.

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