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Spirituality without Religion

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God and Love are probably the two words that have more meanings or at least more diverse reactions or perceptions than any other. Most of us have been brought up with strong beliefs about both and in most cases, we have learned that God and Love are the same or at least closely related.

For many people, God has been explained within the realms of religion and although there are many different religions, most of them have the same basic belief: that God is a superhuman being or source, which created the universe and everything within it. God symbolizes, embodies and possesses divine powers. God has control over nature, human experience, life, and death.

Of course, this is an over-simplification but for now, if we can just think of God as the creator and controlling a force of the Universe and consider that God and Love are one and the same, then we may all accept some common ground.

To imagine God, we may have to put aside religious beliefs for just a moment and focus on what we feel deep inside. Feeling or sensing God might be what we consider to be the experience of spirituality. Spirituality is also one of those words with many explanations but again if we keep it simple, we might think of it as experiencing God as a source within us.

Some may feel this as a higher state of consciousness, a sense of renewal, inner peace, healing or inspiration. Perhaps, a state of euphoria or a sense of self, as a soul.

I’m trying to avoid religious dogma here and simply find some common ground. I do not wish to try and explain or preach any particular doctrine or theosophy; I simply wish to use the name, God. Who or what God is has been argued, studied, pondered and discussed throughout the ages.

God has many names and just as many meanings. Usually, when God is mentioned we automatically fall into whatever faith we were raised with and start discussing religion.

Many people find it difficult or almost impossible to separate religion and God. Again, I will try and simplify this and suggest that religion is man’s knowledge, study or analysis of who and what God is. Religion almost always dictates an allegiance to a church or denomination. One joins a church much like a member of any organization and tries to live in accordance with the codes of conduct and philosophy of that organization. Very few people explore all religions and yet most will argue that only theirs is right. Most of the time we simply adopt the belief system of our family, culture or location.

For many people, their religion is their pathway to spirituality. For others, it is a venue or simply a place for like-minded people to gather and explore that particular avenue. In effect, most churches represent themselves as agents of God.

Some people experience a deep sense of spirituality and are led to religion and others are bought up within religion and are led to spirituality.

The reason I am being so careful here is that I want to explore spirituality and love as a natural state of being. I am not talking about religion but I want to use the word God in the context of exploring life as a spiritual experience.

Some people are lucky enough to live each day as a spiritual being within a physical reality. These people are filled with joy and a sense of serenity. Life makes sense at this level and there is an acknowledgement of gratitude. These people do not fear death and have a very deep sense of security. They feel connected to their environment and the people around them. There is a healing force within them and this energy often radiate from them. There is a wisdom that they can access and a purpose in which they live. They do not experience God as a separate entity. God is love and God is light and God is within them. For many people, spirituality comes and goes in a somewhat elusive way. Some people may acknowledge that there have been a few occasions in which they think they may have experienced it and of course there are always those who simply deny its existence.

Some people will outright deny that there is a God and can become quite hostile at any insistence that there could be a God. Usually, their arguments resort back to the bible and the church. (When I use the words bible or church I do mean any or all doctrines or practices).

Many people today are very angry with God. This is why I have been so careful with my choice of words and why I have needed to separate God from religion. So many people have been hurt, disillusioned, persecuted, confused, punished and emotionally or psychologically damaged in the name of God. God has been blamed, unfairly, for the sins of the church. People have shut down and denied their spirituality due to a distorted acceptance that spirituality and religion are the same. They are not.

Some people just can’t get comfortable even hearing the word God. More and more we hear God referred to as the source, infinite intelligence, the universe, higher wisdom or consciousness. We may pray to Mother Mary, spirit guides, guardian angels or any one of many saints, but we just can’t pray to God.

Atheists, or at least anyone claiming to believe there is no God, will sometimes find themselves calling out to someone or anyone, to help them in times of great distress. An atheist will quite often call out to a deceased parent if his child is in a critical condition. We may say we do not believe in God or any spiritual power but I’m sure everyone, at some point, has called out instinctively, to someone or something, at a time of personal crisis. What is this impulse or instinct?

What is it that has us reaching out and touching a sick child? Could it be that we innately know that we have healing capabilities within us? When we will a fortunate outcome to a problem are we really using some psychic or spiritual powers, or are we instinctively communicating with God? Have you ever found the words ‘no, no, please don’t let this be so’, playing through your mind? Who were you speaking to? Has anyone ever sat at a funeral and not wondered…

I believe that within us all there is a belief that we can call out for help and be heard. We do will things to happen or try to will things to stop. By our own intuition, we place our hands on pain, illness, and disease. Could it be that we remember we are healers? Can we experience love without
pondering some supernatural essence within it?

There is such a spiritual hunger, such a longing and such a deep sense of disconnection and insecurity within so many people. I refer to this as the ‘Soul Crying’. The spiritual-self denied all expression. Spirituality is not an aspect of self; it is the essence of self.

I’m not presenting these ideas in any way to belittle organized religion, I simply wish to encourage those people who are angry at God, to take an objective look at spirituality without getting caught up in past disappointments or confusing doctrines. To consider that spirituality exists without religious association.

Our physical life here, within this present reality, involves a balance of mind, body, and spirit. You cannot experience yourself as a whole if you deny your spirit. Although we refer to these three aspects, they are not three separate aspects. You are and your life is a composite of all three
working together.

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