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Are spirituality and religion the same?
Seems like a simple question with a pretty simple answer. On the surface, one would immediately think no, they are not the same. Religion is the worship or reverence of a superhuman controlling force or power. Religions have a dogma, and are structured, regulated, controlled, and organized. Throughout the centuries, religions have outlined how followers should govern themselves, interact with those around
them, and connect with their respective Gods.
Throughout the centuries, religions have outlined how followers should govern themselves, interact with those around them, and connect with their respective Gods.
Whereas spirituality is about finding meaning and connection with the people and the world around us. Spirituality is about aligning with one’s purpose in life and understanding all things concerning the human spirit, or a higher power. Seems like two different things, right? However, if you look a little closer, the two are way more similar than one would think.
Let’s look at what is at the core of most religions when you strip away their rules, dogmas, and guiding principles. Take away the religious leaders, buildings, and organizations, and forget any examples of extremist terrorists that come to mind, Christian, Muslim, or any other. When you look at most religious texts, they are about relating to people and the world. They are about aligning with one’s purpose in life and worshiping or connecting to their respective God, or higher power.
When you look at most religious texts, they are about relating to people and the world.
So, then the ultimate difference between the two is whether you believe God, or this higher power, to be inside or outside of you. Spirituality is all about connecting with the higher power within. Religion is all about connecting to God, or a higher power, regardless of the faith. Religions believe the further you are from that God, or higher power, the more evil you are, and the closer the holier. Spiritual people believe the closer you are to your higher power, the more enlightened (or holier) you are, and vice versa.
Now, whether that higher power is inside or outside of us? None of us can answer that question. However, based on the billions of people practicing spirituality or the world’s various religions, most of us have an innate desire to connect with that undeniable force that none of us can accurately name. Whether spiritual or religious, we cannot breathe on our own. None of us can make the sun shine or the planets spin. Who or what does, all depends on what you tell yourself and what you choose to believe.
However, most humans cannot deny that there is a power of consciousness that is bigger than any of us, something that ensures everything functions in divine order.
However, most humans cannot deny that there is a power of consciousness that is bigger than any of us, something that ensures everything functions in divine order. Most humans cannot deny that innate desire or deep longing to understand, align, and connect with that higher power. Most have a need or desire to create, relate to or express, that which we consider sacred or divine in some way shape, or form.
So whether you choose to believe that higher power to be inside or outside of you, whether you call it God, Father, Allah, Spirit, or Universe, we are all trying to define the same concept through our own individual lenses.
Each one of us is a piece of that God, higher power or consciousness.
Each one of us is a piece of that God, higher power or consciousness. The truth lies in all of us collectively, in little bits and pieces. So, whether you see someone smudging with sage before they meditate, shouting with the Holy Ghost, or kneeling five times a day to pray, we are all essentially trying to do the same thing, connect with that higher power, however we may define it. At the core of their intention, you can say that spirituality and religion are pretty similar indeed.