Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Religion vs Spirituality

This is a heavier post, not meant to strike controversy, but mainly to explore the indoctrination of my youth with the universal concepts of man that I've realised along the way.

Which is more important, religion or spirituality?

According to the Wikipedia, religion is defined as a system of thought, feeling, and action that is shared by a group and that gives the members an object of devotion; a code of behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social consequences of their actions; and a frame of reference by which individuals may relate to their group and their universe.

While Spirituality concerns itself with matters of the spirit. The spiritual, involving as it may perceived eternal verities regarding Man's ultimate nature, often contrasts with the temporal or with the worldly. The central defining characteristic of spirituality is a sense of connection to a much greater whole which includes an emotional experience of religious awe and reverence.
My definition although broader is more succinct. Spirituality is your connectedness with God or your supreme being while religion is your observance of the connectedness. Religion without spirituality is hypocrisy because you are just exhibiting works without the essence behind it. I feel that's why terrorists are able to kill without compunction, because they base their belief on religion, the acts that support the institution of their faith. Conversely, having spirituality without religion, although thought to be more powerful is also an illusion. Because the connectedness you have with God will cause you to want to follow the right path, and produce the works and the observance of that path.

So which is more important? Neither. And yet, both are. They should walk hand in hand. Religion is the shell while spirituality is the fruit of the coconut. Without the shell to protect it, the coconut would just dry up and be tasteless. Without the fruit in the shell, the shell would just be worthless. They improve each other.

What are you thoughts?


A woman on the move said...

See that is a tough one. More recently, I have been interested in getting in tuned with my spirituality. While religion is important, I don’t always walk a straight line (so to speak).

For me spirituality enforces that inner peace which ultimately determines how you handle yourself on a daily basis. If someone were to ask me where I said between the two, I would say spirituality is my focus. Not saying I don’t have a religion. I just don’t practice what is preached all of time. I figure my spiritually will bring me back to the basics - religion (as far as being an active Christian).

But there is no right or wrong way (in my opinion) when you speak of spiritually vs. religion. It’s all relative!

Thanks for giving me something to think about!

nino said...