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Religion Vs. Spirituality
Acta non Verba
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Post: #1
Religion Vs. Spirituality
I see these two concepts separated out as two things that cannot co-exist a lot. I never understood why that is. I usually see peopel state that religion tends to have rules which defies the nature of spirituality, or something along those lines.

My question is...who says? And, isn't stating that any given set of religious rules CAN'T be spiritual just another way of assigning rules to spirituality?

I don't think they ever actually run contrary to each other, but I can think that 'religion" can exist that is without a spiritual element in some cases.

For instance, a person can be "religiously" devoted to fighting for gender equality. This does not require a spiritual component. Also, a Church goer might just be going through the motions so that he can appear pleasing to the battalion commander (just like a Staff Seargent I had).

However, I think it is folly to state that a person who believes God set forth certain rules is religious and not spiritual.
2008-08-14 5:32
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Post: #2
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
It is confusing. The way I understood it was that religion means faith-based beliefs that are organized according to some set rules (like how societies are organized by laws). Spirituality, on the other hand, is personal and is not subjected to any outside rules.

Quote:For instance, a person can be "religiously" devoted to fighting for gender equality

That's just a metaphor. It's not saying that they treat it as an actual religion, they are just extremely devoted to it, like how some are extremely devoted to religions beliefs. In my opinion, you need spirituality (some sort of belief in the "supernatural") in order to have religion. Otherwise, like you just said, they're simply going through the motions and not actually being religious (like how I spend my Sundays at church with the family, ugh), and it is folly to say a religious person is not spiritual.
2008-08-14 18:33
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Post: #3
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
{from dictionary.com}
re·li·gion
–noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
7. religions, Archaic. religious rites.
8. Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.

spir·it·u·al·i·ty
–noun, plural -ties. 1. the quality or fact of being spiritual.
2. incorporeal or immaterial nature.
3. predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.
4. Often, spiritualities. property or revenue of the church or of an ecclesiastic in his or her official capacity.


As far as I can tell, the only difference is that religion is bound by rules developed to support the spirituality, whereas spirituality is an inherent state of being/mind.

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2008-08-21 20:13
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Post: #4
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
Can't .....

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

or....

a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

Be of an or have an aspect....

incorporeal or immaterial nature.

???
2008-08-22 4:24
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Post: #5
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
Meh, I consider myself spiritual not religious. I consider religion to be a set boundary of following some deity or yourself, and having strict rules on how you can behave and whatnot. I don't personally like such restrictions, but I do accept that there are bigger things than me out there, much more to find out about. Spirituality is far more open and relaxed.
2008-08-22 4:33
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Post: #6
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
To me religion means things you HAVE to believe in and spirituality is things you CHOOSE to believe in. So for example, the Catholic faith is a religion. It has dogmas that you must believe in. But it has many schools of spirituality that fall under the Catholic umbrella...the Carmelites, the Franciscans, the Dominicans etc... each of these groups has their own unique way of prayer, feast days and faith-based actions but they are all Catholics.

I do not consider myself part of a religion because I do not believe in any spiritual concepts that one MUST believe in thus in my view I am not a religious person but I am a spiritual person. However, in the general sense of the word yes, one could say many things are religions but we don't generally use it that way. I esp loathe it when people try to insist that atheism is a religion along with science. Drives me crazy. To me, that's the religion pushers trying to make EVERYTHING into a religion so as to better push their religious views into the public square.
2008-08-23 3:10
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Post: #7
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
To me, spirituality is simply an interest in the spiritual side of life - soul, astral projection, life after death, "energy", even conscience and things of that ilk.

Religion, on the other hand, is a formalised system of belief which may involve opinions on certain spiritual topics.

Simple.

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2008-08-23 22:14
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Post: #8
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
Acta non Verba Wrote:I see these two concepts separated out as two things that cannot co-exist a lot. I never understood why that is. I usually see peopel state that religion tends to have rules which defies the nature of spirituality, or something along those lines.

My question is...who says? And, isn't stating that any given set of religious rules CAN'T be spiritual just another way of assigning rules to spirituality?

Religion sets forth a structure in which one approaches the spiritual side of life. That structure, as interpreted by the religion's authorities or by the majority opinion in a faith community, cannot be violated without repercussions.

From the start, most modern religions directly punish access to the spiritual in ways that they do not approve and directly punish actions that break taboos not (seemingly) directly related to the spiritual. Often, for crimes seen as especially severe, the individual is shunned by the entire faith community and/or told that zie has earned some sort of damnation (whether the eternal damnation of Hell or being reborn as a banana slug). This is spiritual abuse.

Some religious dogma is also used (or misused) to harm those who are already suffering from great difficulties by telling them that they should not grieve because the divine intended the death, catastrophic injury, natural disaster, or other catastrophe to happen, or because it was their karma and they therefore brought it on themselves, which may imply to the grieving person that zie does not deserve to grieve. This is also spiritual abuse.

Even if a religious community takes the more enlightened path and says that their dogma is what they believe to be the ideal belief, violating the dogma results in cognitive dissonance. An individual can worry long, as we've worried, over the question of whether zir choices are acceptable, whether they really fit a label that probably means a lot to zir. Religious identity is an important thing for some people and the fear of stepping outside of that identity can stunt spiritual growth.

Spirituality is having a personal relationship with Spirit: one or more deities, demigods, landspirits, other non-godly spirits such as angels and elementals, the force underlying the universe itself...any or all of the above. Because it is personal, forcing it to develop along a specific, pre-approved channel is just as abusive as if a parent dictates a child's profession at birth and never allows that child to develop any unrelated talents or explore other choices. We've said before that our baptism was like our parents signing a mortgage in our name for a piece of land that didn't suit who we would eventually be, but which we weren't allowed to exchange for another that would be a proper home for us. By our birth religion's teachings about baptism, this is exactly accurate: The Roman Catholic Church will always consider us lapsed and Hellbound Roman Catholics, no matter what we say, believe, or do (unless that's going back to them and we will not, even if we somehow resume belief in the Abrahamic deity as the only true god). The word "religion" comes from a root meaning "to bind" and that is what it does. It limits one's lawful choices in spiritual development, just as marriage limits one's lawful choices in sexual activity. (Some religions and some legal jurisdictions are, of course, more forgiving than others.)

If one chooses to belong to a religion and one's spiritual development is not catastrophically marred by it, then religion and spirituality can co-exist. (Giving up magic would, for us, be giving up part of our spiritual development. But if we all committed to a deity who asked us to do so, in free will and in love, expecting to grow as a result, we would not consider that catastrophic.) Unfortunately, the majority of the world's population is at least nominally bound to religions whose authorities have placed themselves above the idea that spiritual development can take a path they don't expect or like.

-mainly Val with some co-fronting

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2008-08-24 3:09
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Post: #9
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
Just cause I like playing the other side, not cause I'm religious. There is something positive to be said for having a community around you that can help celebrate or mourn events in your spiritual life. It can help to have people around you who know the same tales and can recite the same words. Humans, which we all are to some extent like it it not, are social creatures. Religion works fine for a lot of people. Usually it takes some kind of trauma to make us feel differently, and then the trauma is all we can see when looking back.

Not that I'm religious, I tend to go my own route too.

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2008-08-24 3:20
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Post: #10
Re: Religion Vs. Spirituality
Personally, my view is this - Spirituality can exist - and exist just fine - without religion. Religion, however, cannot exist without spirituality - and religion exists better with the illusion of, but not truth of, spirituality. Religion, by itself, tends to try to herd people into groups and packs, yet spirituality is as individual AS the individual his/her/itself. Religion also tries to force structure when structure is really the last thing needed for spirituality, and far far far too often religion is used and manipulated by a power hungry few to control and screw over the masses.

Just my take tho.
2008-08-24 22:36
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