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Switch to Forum Live View Is Spirituality Considered Religion
9 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2008 - 9:44AM #21
Posts: 43
I think it's all organized to some extent.
Even New Age, Spiritual thoughts, etc, etc. have books, meetings, frame work of thought.
By our nature we organize.  It's just part of who we are.
I don't think "spiritual" has as much dogma as main stream religious thoughts do.

In the end what does it matter?  Personally I don't do religion, I do ideas.. I find they are much easier to change than beliefs.

Love is contagious,
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2009 - 10:33PM #22
Posts: 4,100
I believe spirituality is  to go beyond sectarianism, it is a state of being of " open mindness"  to see everything connected or related to a superior reality. To even see ourselves as part and parcel of an reality that when we are connected to it, it manifest the greatest bliss that is the core of our being. Spirituality is to be beyond hate, envy, violence, the illusion of accepting the body as the self, you could say spirituality is purified consciousness and intelligence. Eastern religions define it as being in control of ones mind and senses, to bring our mind and senses under the control of the self.
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 10:36AM #23
Posts: 40

alanna25 wrote:

I am having a discussion with a friend who believes by the definition of the word "religion" and "organized" that spirituality falls within the definitions, hence, spirituality is considered an organized religion.

A particular area of spirituality/spiritism, channeling, he also considers to be "organized religion".  I wanted to know, from people who practice spirituality, do you consider yourself part of an organized religion?

BTW, I think he is wrong, as spirituality doesn't have the same structure as organized religions have.



I copied the material below from my website  This was written a few years ago and I am not entirely comfortable with what now appears to me to be a judgmental stance.  Therefore I wish to provide a context for this material. I believe we are all exactly where we need to be to learn what we need to learn to take our next step on our spiritual journey.  In this sense there is no "better and worse" or "right and wrong" or "good and bad".  I subscribe to a statement I read from Krishnamurti, "The highest form of human intelligence is self observation without judgment".   A poem comes to mind but I do not remember the author at this time. 
        He drew a circle to keep me out.
        Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout
        But Love and I had the wit to win
        We drew a circle to take him in

On Religion and Spirituality

In religious and spiritual traditions there is a continuum from an authoritarian rule oriented position which relies on external programming and control of the individual at one end to an internally oriented position of self exploration, meditation and Self-realization (God Consciousness) at the other end.   At the authoritarian end of this continuum, we have some religious sects.  At the internally oriented end of this continuum, we have some spiritual traditions.  It is important to recognize that many spiritual and religious traditions are intermingled and fall between these extremes,, and that the words religion and spirituality are used somewhat interchangeably by many people. However, for exploring two very different approaches to relating to God I will use the term religion to refer to the authoritarian end of this continuum and the word spirituality to refer to the internally oriented end of this continuum.  There is an historical basis for this distinction because religion has tended to emphasize the authority of the religious institution and its priests, rabbis and clerics with an emphasis on how to behave.  Spiritual traditions have tended to emphasize the evolution of the individual from a constricted state of consciousness to an ultimate infinite state of God consciousness with an emphasis on how to be. Within the religious context, one of the highest achievements is to become Gods representative, a respected moral authority whose job it is to declare, promote and even enforce proper rules of conduct.  It can be a serious and even grim business and a heavy burden.  Within the spiritual context, the highest achievement is to apprehend and become an expression of Gods love. It is a joyous, playful, creative business.  Spiritual development frees a person from external controls and promotes the full expression of God in the world. There is a development of a dynamic equilibrium in which a state of internal balance and harmony emerges while everything is constantly changing.  That balance and harmony, which is a state of selfless unconditional love, is God.  That all-inclusive love allows Gods full expression to blossom in the world.  In that blossoming the intrinsic beauty and goodness of all creation becomes visible.  The original sin of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and thus being separated from God, is healed. The Messiah, messianic consciousness arises.

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9 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 2:02PM #24
Posts: 40
I remembered the name of the poet in my above post - Edwin Markham
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 7:44PM #25
Posts: 84
Spirituality and religion as seperate things can only be defined by the individual.One religion may describe spirituality as being closer to the divine within a set of beliefs.Another path(s) may describe it as transcending,touching the unseen etc.I would have to say,Organized religion and spirituality would be two seperate things but thats just my perspective.Religion to me implies a set of beliefs that would define your spirituality,but with certain restrictions(like fundamentalism).

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell
Spirituality is for people who have already been there
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2009 - 10:50AM #26
Posts: 9,116
                                                                      Originally Posted by alanna25                                      
                 I am having a discussion with a friend who believes by the definition of the word "religion" and "organized" that spirituality falls within the definitions, hence, spirituality is considered an organized religion.

A particular area of spirituality/spiritism, channeling, he also considers to be "organized religion". I wanted to know, from people who practice spirituality, do you consider yourself part of an organized religion?

BTW, I think he is wrong, as spirituality doesn't have the same structure as organized religions have.


Spirituality and religion are fundamentally the same thing: the way to search for and live the

The Truth is alive and flowing. It has to be lived.  When it is fixated by the rational mind, it
becomes   dogma, it becomes repetition. 

Organized religions, like organized spirituality, are ways to  codify insights into dogmas.
  They may be useful as  fingers pointing to the moon. But  most followers of  established dogmas  become   worshipers of fingers and go on missing the point.

Science is concerned with the objective Truth.  Religion and spirituality are concerned wit he
subjective Truth.  Their aims are different.
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9 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2009 - 7:48PM #27
Posts: 256

When we progress from the bodily stage, we see the mind as the center of our activities; hopefully we don’t take the mind as the final stage of understanding. This is the mental stage where we can reach an intellectual stage, but we need to evolve to a spiritual stage, the highest stage of perfection by looking inward. The inner consciousness becomes aware of itself not by rubberstamping into a religion or group unless they can help, but by identifying with consciousness. I feel that is the difference between religion and spirituality.

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 23, 2009 - 5:23PM #28
Posts: 8

I thought that there may be interest in this post....I hope you get something from it.

First for clarification and to educate in a simple way….

Spirit—the life-giving force of the
Divine Breath of God flowing through a Body.

Spiritual–consisting of spirit, as
influenced by the Divine Spirit, or proceeding from or controlled and
inspired by the Holy Spirit of The One God, our Creator God, also
known as Allah, Jehovah, The Holy Trinity, G_d, Gitchii Manitou,
Wankan Tanka, Usen, The Great Mystery, The Compassionate One, Maya,
The Great Spirit, and a Million other Names, as given to each Tribe
of Man to describe The One and Only Creator God.
When I say I am Spiritual, I am one
Spirit stating, I love and follow the Great Spirit of the One and
Only, Creator God above.  Both Animists, Christians, Muslims, Jewish
and Palestinian, Shinto, Taoists and many other Religious followers
will agree here, that they too, are Spiritual, as spiritual people
can be found in All Religions, and on All sacred paths.  Most
spiritual people know that the path is not important but the Oneness
with God is what is and what makes One Spiritual.

Spiritualism–Simply the state of being
Spiritual. Some people will define Spiritualism as a doctrine of the
existence of spirit as distinct of matter (body).   

Spirituality—The state or quality of
being Spiritual. Simply, ‘walking in a good way’ or ‘walking
the good red road’ or ‘walking in beauty’ or ‘following in
His (Jesus) footsteps’Or ‘walking His talk’ or ‘following
the Sun’ or ‘following Allah’ and a million other terms to say
that you are following a spiritual path, not a religion.

Spiritualist—usually refers to one
who ‘talks’ to Spirits, a Medium. I personally do not like the
term as in it’s broader negative term (in many mainstream
religions), usually means someone that talks to and calls on the
departed human spirits, rather than relying on the Holy Spirit of
God. I know this can be very harmful to the living, as spirits return
in the circle of life. Remember you and everyone else is a Spirit
flowing through a Body. When one calls on a departed human Spirit,
they usually have returned and are flowing through a new body, and
since that spirit is being called into the Spirit World, the Spirit
in a Body, here, becomes disturbed, sick, and will return to the
Spirit World (die), if not left alone.  Most People only think in a
linear way and forget about the Sacred Circle of Spirit Life.  This
is why Mediums were looked down on in most Religions, for when the
Religious Leaders were still Spiritual, they would explain why this
way was a dangerous, practice to others. 

Animism—Is the Spirit of the Creator
God, flowing through every living natural being.Talking to the Spirit of a Tree, Rock,
Bird, Bear, or any other form of the Great Spirit, was condoned, as
it was recognizing the Spirit of God in His many forms, as one
understood that All Life was the Creator God’s body, and that His
Holy Spirit flowed through All Natural Life in the Universe. This is
why Respect and Honour for All Life was adhered to. It was also a
way to learn of the Power, Comfort, and Love of the Great Spirit,
allowing Mankind to share in relationships with God in bite-size
pieces, and as your knowledge of His Great Spirit grew, so did your
awe of His Wonder grow. You learned from All Life, how interconnected
every living being was to one and other, you learned through
observation and interaction how every Living Being, that the Creator
made taught love and sacrifice, and how the Great Spirit taught you
through All Life. From the Microcosm, to the Macrocosm.   The danger
here is that some People would forget that the Tree, Rock or other form
of Life was created by God and would worship the Gift rather that the
Gift Giver.

Religion—The development and
maintenance of a group of like minded people that choose spiritual
concepts of belief and ritual practice that are written in doctrines
that they avidly follow through repetition and memory.  This doesn’t
mean they all follow God, but follow like-minded Man-made ceremony

For instance, the division of the
Tribes of Israel and Islam, becoming Religions and the later
separation of the many Christian Faiths, simply started as they
walked away from the Spiritual Teachings that Jesus taught them,
arguing points based on personal reasoning. This is also happening
with the various Native Tribal Groups on Turtle Island and in every
other country on Earth. Those that like some points more than others
(traditional or new age), become one Religion, those that zealously
reasoned in a different way developed a different doctrine, and soon
became another Religion. 

For example; Take the Sacred Sabbath
for instance; in the Beginning, on the Day of Rest, when All was made
and finished in Perfection, God Rested, and that day was called the
Seventh or Sabbath Day. 

This is the Seventh Day. We are only supposed to be enjoying the gift of
life the Creator blesses us with today. 

All Spiritual Beings knew every day was
Holy, when you remembered Him who created All Life.  The Ritual that
was developed came later, when People were not as Spiritual and
needed Ritual which becomes Tradition, to remind them to honor God.
So everyone followed the Sun and Moon and the Sabbath was started on
the setting of the Sun, when the Full or New Moon, dictated, as is
mentioned and found in Sacred Text all over Earth.

Religious—A spirit (person) that is
devoted by vows or concerns to practice (walk) a specific Religion,
usually faithful to the Religion through Rote and Ritual.  One can be
religious to doctrine and not to God.

Doctrine—A set of views or opinions
or principals, which are maintained by any person or group of
persons.  Basically they are the Rules the group (club, cult) agree
to follow. These can have nothing to do with the Will of the Great
Spirit (God). 

Cult—A system of religious Belief or
Worship; usually employing rites and ceremonies for Worship, followed
by group of people.  Now the term cult, most used when referring to a
small group of people following a system of worship closed to others.

So this brings us to the why; Why do
Religious Bodies not like People that practice Animism and are
threatened by those that can understand, see, feel, hear, Spirit and
are Spiritual. 

I have studied the Religious Paths of
the World and Read about more Philosophies and Cultic Practices than
I can remember. What I do recall is this.  All Spiritual People that
followed a Sacred and Holy Way, taught and only worshiped the Creator
God, and used the Natural World to describe their Relationship to the
Sacred, and to All others. They were simply Spiritual Beings.  The
Creator has many Sacred Children.  The Son and Daughter of God has
come to All mankind, many times under many names.  Some follow the
Sun/Son, some follow the Moon/Daughter.  They never started
Religions, their followers did and usually after they were gone.
They usually never built an Empire, but came to tear down the Empires
of Mankind. This is part of the purification and restoration that
will take place in Spirit and in Matter. The True Temple that is to
be rebuilt is the one on everyone’s forehead( Mind), or flowing
through your Body(Heart), as the body is referred to as the Sacred
Temple; for the Holy Spirit of The Creator God is supposed to flow
through your Soul. At the Re-alignment everyone will recognize and
respect them and all will Honor the Son/Sun (no matter what Name you
know Him by).

These Enlightened Ones never needed to
follow a Religion and usually broke away from the Doctrines they were
born into, to share a New Way, given to them by the Holy Spirit of
God. The Reason for this is simple.  The new way and old way are
usually very similar; as it is a Sacred Circle of Life that holds all
the thoughts of the Universal spirit of God in it and All Life is One
Great Family.  For these Spirits follow the Voice of God, and His
Will, in this Present moment in Time (Oneness).  They then share the
instructions the Creator gives them to guide others, in their
lifetime.  They do not follow a religion or tradition that was born a
thousand years ago, or a master or ancestor spirit that is dead.
They search for and become obedient to Will and Way that the Great
Spirit wants for them in the present and become His Spiritual
Children TODAY.  If one follows the Spirit of God, it will not
contradict the Sacredness of Universal Laws or Natural Ways.  The
Truthful Words of God guide and protect and correct you, and help you
get through troubled times NOW.

The Creator God’s Word, will ‘free’ you, to use the mind and heart, he gave you.  Truth is
held in the Heart and the Mind is used to discern the Truth. His Word
keeps your Body and Soul, healthy and safe.  You may even become more
knowledgeable than your Religious Leaders, and Spiritual Guides, for
the Great Spirit of God is what empowers you. We never know God’s
complete plan, and that is why you go with the flow, growing greater
in Spirit and Love. God is All Powerful and All Knowledge flows from
Him. Never Limit what the Creator God can or can not do!


Love Always and Live Forever!  Peace.

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2009 - 1:24PM #29
Posts: 27

I agree. 

The difference between Spirituality and Religion to me is the nature of the experiences of both.

A religion is founded on it's dogma.   A religions's dogma is the concrete rules and concepts that define the common ideas of a group's religion.   Dogma is usally interpreted from the recorded spiritual experiences of someone long dead.

Spirituality, on the other hand, is based on the immediate and real essences or energies experienced in various consciousnesses, from mindfulness to meditation to astral projection, etc..

This makes the choice easy for me.  :)

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9 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2009 - 10:25AM #30
Posts: 6

It's vastly more important to find that inner Light that is within you than it is to try and fit the right denomination of belief into your life.

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