“I consider myself to be spiritual, but I don’t believe in God” has been accepted in increasing numbers by people worldwide in recent years. Why is that so?
The revolutionary discovery of the Higgs Boson particle in the 1960s at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, was a groundbreaking achievement to the world of science. There were rumors of it being the “God particle” that was the reason behind giving mass to matter after the big bang. This theory eliminated the age-old belief that a supernatural entity/god created the universe.
The concept of religion involves following a predefined system of cultures and beliefs associated with the service and worship of God or some other supernatural being. In spirituality, you are entirely free of rules and regulations. Now, you know why.
If you’re interested in geometry, you can say that spirituality is a rectangle while religion is a square. This is because spirituality exists in religion, but religious beliefs may not exist inside the boundaries of spirituality.
Both these concepts compose of a cosmic element where the believer realizes that they are part of something much bigger than themselves.
Despite the ideological differences and similarities between these concepts, can some be both spiritual and religious at the same time? Can they coexist?
Let’s address that burning question in the following sections.
How Can You Be Spiritual and Religious At The Same Time?
If you’re a religious person, you would know that there is no single pathway that lets you know/understand God. Let’s look at some of the actions you can take for being both Religious and Spiritual.
1. Reading Religious Books
Books that profess religion have a deep level of spiritual content in them. Attempt to read one or more such books from religions, whichever you are comfortable with.
These books also provide massive amounts of authentic insights that tell you the root of each religious activity. You will get to know the actual principles that act as the backbone. Numerous fickle-minded religious preachers have misguided followers beyond repair.
The ideas and lessons taught by these sacred books and religious institutions involve an element of perspective. Each reader can attain a unique point of view from the theories explained. Assess your perceptions and accept the truth that yours may not be similar to another person.
2. Accept That God’s Presence Is Everywhere
God or a supernatural entity whose level of existence supersedes that of the mortal human beings is a common point in religion and spiritual practices. That entity adds a flavor of divine and cosmic traits to both.
Come to terms with the concept that god/a divine entity is present in every nook and corner of the natural world. From the food you consume to the air you breathe, the sun, land, and water, God’s presence is there in all of them.
Each community celebrates the existence of God differently. Some through idols, and others through holy texts. As a spiritual person, the acceptance that God exists stands taller than the way of worship.
The power of faith can gel both religion and spirituality in this case. With a proper understanding of religion from these books, a spiritual person can be religious and vice-versa.
3. Incorporate Meditation In Your Lifestyle
Both the concepts in the discussion here endeavor the practitioner to achieve a deeper level of self-awareness. The religious texts and spiritual leaders delve deeper into the philosophies of life in their search for meaning and purpose of living. This quest allows us to realize the significance of thriving each moment to the fullest. And what is the best lifestyle choice to achieve this mental state of enlightenment and awareness?
Spiritual Meditation — a way of living that blends religious practices on the exterior and spiritual thoughts in a person’s interior.
Spiritual Meditation and its benefits
Let’s look into a mindfulness experience that strips you of all the existing perceptions about yourself and your world. A process, when followed religiously, culminates in harmony, happiness, and peace.
The benefits of this activity that helps lead a spiritual life are numerous:
- Releases anxiety and provides stability and clarity of thoughts and emotions
- It calms down your nervous system and eliminates the inherent stress
- It helps you come to terms with your past and makes you live in the moment
- Enables to achieve a higher level of self-consciousness
4. Finding Time For Doing What You like
Once you have learned the fundamental principles of religion and spirituality (Check out the top spirituality books for beginners if you’re new to this field), be bold enough to embrace what you like.
Religious rituals done without understanding their true meaning and relating to their purpose ends up being a meaningless activity. You should perform these sacred acts only if you find meaning in them. For example, if you find peace and relaxation of the mind and body upon reciting some hymns from a religious text you follow, you can keep continuing this practice.
Why Is It Necessary For Religion and Spirituality To Coexist?
Over the years, the authenticity and purity of religious traditions have been diluted to an enormous extent. Humankind has exploited these concepts by bending and omitting a lot of its humane essence and focusing on the differences. They have used the name of these disparities to conquer the land, people, properties, and whatnot. The motive of these manipulators was always found to be a form of selfishness and politics.
These scenarios across human history have led to the world facing several catastrophes in the name of religion. The human relationship took a backseat when the characteristics of God differ from yours. Ironically, all faiths preach kindness and love towards one another.
This exploitation and manipulation of religion have resulted in a considerable section of the world population losing hope in the concept of religion. The people of the digital era, especially the youth, believe that spirituality exists but not religion due to this exact dilemma.
The spiritual realm offers them a universe of freedom and identity, which the younger folks cherish immensely. Whereas being religious forces one to be a stringent practitioner of a set of rules by which one must lead their lives. This idea can be off-putting to the energetic and freedom-hungry younger generations, especially the millennials and the newer generations.
The Drawback of Being Exclusively Spiritual
One of the main reasons behind the establishment of religion years ago was to set up an intelligent design where people lived within imaginary moral boundaries of right and wrong. Similar beliefs bring people together and encourage them to perform selfless acts for the betterment of the society they live in. The existence of God made man fearful of sinning and committing atrocities towards a fellow member.
On the other hand, spirituality grants endless freedom towards the follower with hardly any rules and regulations attached. Such an open-minded setup has no feedback mechanism to tell us if we have done something wrong. There is no way for a purely spiritual seeker to identify whether they have been misguided or not.
On the other extreme, being overly superstitious and a religious fanatic can also be dangerous. People can commit all sorts of violence and terrorism under the pretext that their religious sentiments have been hurt. That adverse situation can result in catastrophes as large as a world war.
Now we know why achieving the right balance between religion and spirituality is of paramount importance.
Sustaining A World Of Coexistence
Spirituality and religion involve forming a connection with a higher entity (or God) that stands at an existential level way above the human kind’s one. You achieve self-improvement when you come to terms with this idea. You accept that neither of these concepts is mutually exclusive.
Without spirituality, religion is only based on dry literature that consists of a plethora of dogmatic statements to be followed in a social set up — in contrast, being purely spiritual strips the social and community mindset that has been the backbone of human life.
“Live and let live” is a concept that finds meaning here. Anyone can be spiritual and religious by accepting that they are a part of society like other human beings. Being empathetic towards the other person’s belief system can create the foundations of a compassionate environment in the times to come.