Religion Or Spirituality
‘The Difference between Religion and Spirituality'
By Tony DeLorger © 2010-11-04
From the beginning of time ‘God’ or ‘a higher power’ has been considered by human beings. Firstly, the need to feel secure, to belong and ‘there is safety in numbers’ gave hope to beings that had harsh, relentless lives. The sun was the first deity, being the bringer of warmth and life to all living things. As societies developed certain animals became the subjects of worship, for their particular characteristics: strength, cunning and the like, characteristics that were to be revered and emulated. As cultures became more complex it was quickly realised by leaders that this adoration and worship was a useful situation as it united the people in common belief. Formal religions were then created by men, so leaders could influence and control the masses to undertake their own agendas: money, power etc.
Thus began what we know today as religions, man-made systems of belief that are steeped in mystery, magic, and intricate traditions and ceremonies that worship deities and provide a structure for right living, morality and a spiritual life. But these man-made concepts have little to do with truth.
Firstly let’s look at ‘God’. The ‘Creator’ is a reasonable concept; we have to have come from somewhere. But to my mind, God cannot be a being as we, sitting on some cloud and watching over us, his children. For God to be human-like is purely our ego trip. If a being had the power and intellect to have created life and the universe, it is unlikely he is remotely within our understanding, let alone able to deliver a son to us, to save us from us.
God or the beginning, to me, is the Divine energy that hold all matter together, that is all positive, that is love and the best of human endeavour. I believe the early pagans had the right idea- if you are going to worship anything, worship nature itself, the expression of God, if you like. The gift of life has been given to us and all we do is fight over who is right or wrong rather than appreciate what we have and celebrate the wonder of it.
Within an infinite universe our minor evolution points to other beings having placed us here and who monitor our slow and frustrating development. The earth may well be a test tube and our grandiose view of ourselves a running joke. We are barking up the wrong tree.
One thing that’s right is the morals and positive behaviour represented in most of the Holy Books can only help human beings become more balanced and contented. Nature once again displays the principle that governs all life- and that is ‘balance’. Proven by science and replicated in all human affairs and thoughts, balance is a necessary understanding.
Spirituality, has nothing to do with religion, but is more about understanding how life works and abiding by the rules of balance and nurturing what I call the ‘Divine Spark’ within. God’s expression is life and our responsibility is to appreciate it and express ourselves through ‘love’ and all that is positive. This is as close as we can become to the divine. I live in Hope.