This is a question which comes up in conversations quite frequently. Although the terms spirituality and religion are often used interchangeably; they do not mean the same thing.
What is Religion?
Religion is a social structure, created by humans, based on a system of beliefs, attitudes, and practices. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. The ideologies of each particular religion determine the ethics, religious laws, and preferred lifestyle of its followers.
There are many different religions in the world. Most of them have chosen a particular path to follow in our eternal human quest for deeper truth and love. We may choose to belong to a particular religion due to family tradition, life experiences, a desire to associate with a community of people of like mind, and many other personal reasons.
What is Spirituality?
Spirit is the life force energy of unconditional love that connects all of creation. The root word of spirit is the Latin word spiritus, which means breath. Remembering this helps us to release the illusion that spirituality is an esoteric concept separate from our physical reality or that it is exclusively attached to any specific religion. It also helps us to realize that there is no such thing as a “non-spiritual person.” Because spirit is the breath of life, it is an innate part of who we are at the deepest level of our being.
We do not need to “do” anything to be spiritual.
Whether we belong to a religion or not, every human being has a soul connection to Spirit. We do not need to choose Spirit, nor do we need to do anything to be chosen. Like breath, it simply is. We each have a direct spiritual connection with the unconditional love of a Higher Reality. We are each free to choose whether we want to acknowledge this Higher Reality or to deny it. We are also free to decide how we want to perceive it. There is nothing we need to do to qualify in order to be worthy of this connection, and it is not necessary to have an intermediary to access it.
Spirit is the essence of Unconditional Love.
Because Spirit is the essence of unconditional love, discovering our spirituality is not something that happens to us or outside of us. It is the life force of energy WITHIN our very being and is ingrained in every cell of our bodies. We don’t have to search for love — we ARE, each one of us, the physical embodiment of divine love. As humans, we are each a spiritual being in a physical body with a divine purpose for being on earth. Remembering our spiritual connection is the underlying purpose of our journey here on earth.
We are each on a different path to Oneness.
We are all on different paths moving toward the realization of the unconditional love and infinite potential of Spirit. Whether you have chosen a religion or not, the most important thing each one of us can do is to choose to base our beliefs on the qualities of kindness, respect, and cooperation within our personal lives and in our interaction with others. Respecting the differences within each other is essential for the well being of our entire planet. It is the only way we can create a world of harmony and peace.
For thousands of years we have used our religions to call attention to our differences – even to the point of having “religious wars.” As humanity evolves, these lines of separation are dissolving and religions are beginning to converge into the truth of our Oneness. Indeed, there are encouraging signs everywhere indicating that many of the major religions are expanding the context of their beliefs and doctrines to welcome people of different cultures, race, creed, and socioeconomic status to unite through the common thread of unconditional love.
During times of crisis, we are increasingly seeing people of many different faiths, as well as people who have no particular religious affiliation, unite in prayer for the good of the whole.
We are each a beautiful and unique piece in the whole puzzle – we are all a part of ONENESS!
I welcome any questions you may have, as well as your insights and experiences regarding the paths you have chosen to become more whole.
Love and Light,