Sat through church, without grandchildren to occupy me my thoughts went in this direction - again. I often wonder why I go to a physical building for my spirituality meals. Yet my heart and head know the power of community - the cohesiveness, responsibility, opportunities, service, support that comes with community. But often the void overshadows the unity. For a major portion of my life I have doubted, and yet I begrudgingly participate in worship services. And who does that benefit? And why do I stay?
So I ask - again -
Can one have religion without spirituality?
Can one be religious without being spiritual?
Can one be spiritual without being religious?
Some say that religion is
external behavior that is community-based,
and that spirituality is internalized personalized behavior.
So is spirituality behavior or experiences that are very personal but yet take us out
of ourselves and connect us to a higher consciousness that is not
bound by our world or our time. Is religious behavior rituals, traditions, celebrations that connect us, outside of ourselves, to the higher consciousness of religious community to which we belong?
How do you define religion?
How do you define spirituality?
Do you see yourself as more spiritual or religious?
Do they go hand-in-hand? Can you have one without the other?
Deepak Chopra writes, "Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience."
Other sayings such as "Religion is for people afraid of going to hell; Spirituality is for people who have already been there," are rampant. "Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom." "To love God is to serve God; to serve God is to serve your fellow-man/woman."
What is it? Where are you on the religion - spirituality continuum?