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Religion and Spirituality

5 Main Differences to Better Understand Both

The Basics

WHAT: Analysis of the main differences between religion and spirituality

SOURCE: Austin Cline Council for Secular Humanism, Dawn Demers studies

GREAT FOR: Spiritual Development, Mindfulness, Spiritual Eduction

About

Many people link spirituality with religion, too often and too fast. While religion touches spirituality, the very essence of it goes beyond any religious beliefs.

Religion describes the social, the public, and the organized means by which people relate to the sacred and the divine, while spirituality describes such relations when they occur in private, personally, and even in ways.

Religion is an institution established by man for various reasons. Exert control, instil morality, stroke egos, or whatever it does.

True spirituality is something that is found deep within oneself. It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around you. It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way.

Spirituality is an individual and unique experience. A spiritual person has developed their own set of beliefs and practices along with their own connection to the Divine. This is all personal to the individual. Religion is an organized group with members that all subscribe to the same basic beliefs and rituals of that religion. While equally powerful individual views and beliefs that vary from the group are not typically embraced or supported.

There are no rules to spirituality as opposed to following a specific ideology or a set of rules. Spirituality simply lets you follow your heart, it encourages you to listen to your intuition and do what is right for yourself and others around you.

It truly sets you free to be the best you can be and to be a good person with no promise of punishment or reward. The reward is simply your inner happiness.

5 Main Differences Between Religion and Spirituality

To simplify, here is a shortlist of things that help to highlight the differences between religion and spirituality.

1. Spirituality is based only on love and not fear

Dotted throughout religion there is lots of fear. Fear of the consequences of your actions, fear of what might happen after you die if you don’t live your life accordingly. With spirituality there is only Love. It encourages you to focus all of your energy only on the good, and to act only based on love. This is how you define spirituality. 

2. Religion tells you the truth – spirituality lets you discover it

As opposed to telling you in black and white how the universe was created and why we are here, spirituality lets you discover these questions and answers for yourself. It empowers you to find your own truth in all things and sets no limits to how deep you can go in understanding all there is to know.

3. Religion separates, spirituality unites

In our world, there are many religions and they all preach that their story is the right story. Spirituality sees the truth in all of them and unites them because the truth is the same for all of us despite our differences and uniqueness. It focuses on the quality of the divine message they share and not on the differences in details of the story they speak.

4. The difference between Karma and Punishment

Instead of talking about punishment or the threat of hell, spirituality only talks about Karma. It’s the Law of Attraction — you get what you give. Simple.

5. Walk your own path

Instead of ancients stories about angels and Gods, spirituality encourages you to make your own path and create your own stories. This sets you on a journey of enlightenment and self-discovery to which the only limits can be set by yourself.

Spirituality encourages you to trust your heart and follow it wherever it may lead you.

If you look at religion it all stems from a deep spirituality. Jesus and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) for example all had deeply profound spiritual journeys before they embarked on their own journeys.

All religion has truth in it and many people can be both truly beautiful souls and religious at the same time, but ultimately anything that separates you or creates division is not good for your soul and definitely not good for the greater good of mankind.

Spirituality reminds us that we are not separate, there are no borders, no races and no cultural divides. You can find many books about spirituality, the blue moon and more. 

All that is true is that we are all one and the only constant is Love.

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