Are You “Spiritual But Not Religious?”

Are You Spiritual But Not Religious - Illustration by Paul Thurlby

By Lissa Rankin MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

When I talk to some people about spirituality, they commonly respond with, “Oh, but I’m not religious,” to which I respond, “Yeah, me neither.” Then they look a bit puzzled. The way I see it, every religion is some human being’s interpretation of spiritual principles, and while there’s a lot of overlap in the teachings of all religions that probably points to some spiritual truth, I find myself resisting any dogma that says that one way is “The Way” and everything else is hogwash.

Ages ago, I wrote about my “Grab Bag Religion”. Some critique such an approach to spirituality, arguing that those who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious” lack the discipline that comes from focus on one religious pathway. Others say that the California-style “It’s all good” approach to spirituality fails to offer clear morals and strict values. This may be a valid criticism. Certainly spiritual practice can deepen one’s spiritual journey, and living a life of integrity tends to accompany spiritual commitment.

I certainly respect those who have found a religious discipline that feels aligned with their truth, but after investigating many religious paths, none felt truly authentic to my soul.

Though Buddhism most closely resonates with me and though I’m attracted to the yogic tradition, I still say that Jesus is my favorite. And yet, I don’t consider myself a Buddhist or a committed yogini or a Christian. I tend to resonate with the Buddhist teachings of non-dualism, especially the way Adyashanti teaches, but I’m also attracted to the Divine Feminine goddess worship of the yogic tradition, especially the way Sera Beak expresses it. I also love the Sufi mystic poets like Rumi and Hafiz. Yet, no deity speaks to my heart more than Jesus, who strikes me as perhaps the most loving being to have ever walked the earth in human form

If you mix all those together, you get a flavor of the cocktail of my spiritual inklings. But yours might taste quite different, and I think that’s perfectly okay.

Defining “Spiritual But Not Religious”

If you, like me, consider yourself “spiritual but not religious,” what does that even mean?

Christine Hassler, my soul sister and author of Expectation Hangover, recently wrote:

Spirituality is one’s capacity to be guided. It is not about how much we mediate. Or how often we go to church. Or how many yoga poses or Sanskrit words we know. Or how much time we spend praying. Or how many Om pieces of jewelry we have. Spirituality is really about how much we get out of our own way and allow ourselves to be guided by God.

That means . . .

Letting go of expectations.

Releasing attachments to the way we think things should be.

Quieting the voice of our ego so we can hear the voice of inner wisdom.

Making changes that maybe scary and facing uncertainty with faith.

Being of service to others that Spirit places in our lives in often unexpected ways.

I thought that was pretty much the best definition of “spiritual but not religious” that I had ever heard. I might add that spirituality is a commitment to walking the spiritual path from the head to the heart. It’s a choice to free yourself from letting your ego take the lead in your life so you can surrender your ego’s attachments and instead, let your soul take the wheel. It’s the decision to choose love over fear — to withhold judgment of yourself or others, to stop labeling everything as “right” or “wrong,” to transition from a black and white “dualistic” world to a non-dual perspective that is comfortable with paradox. It’s the willingness to make your life an offering to the Divine in whatever form you resonate with a Higher Power, whether it’s God or some other deity or just the Divine within yourself (which I call “Your Inner Pilot Light“). It’s your commitment to learning to receive, interpret, and discern spiritual guidance, mixed with the courage to actually act upon this guidance, even when it directs you away from what your ego wants.

(If you’re not sure how to receive this guidance, listen to this free teleclass I recorded with Rachel Naomi Remen — 10 Ways Your Soul Guides Your In Daily Life.)

When you choose to live by these principles and your prayer becomes “Make me a vessel for Divine love in the world,” you are definitely on the spiritual path, whether or not you consider yourself religious. And when you realize that orchestrating your life around the ego’s grasping desires and attachments fails to truly fulfill you, you free yourself from the prison of the hungry ghost of the ego, which never gets fulfilled, no matter how many goals you achieve or how much money you earn or how much love or sex you attract. Once you stop letting fear rule your life, you become free. The reward from the challenges of the spiritual path is inner peace — true lasting relief from human suffering, regardless of the chaos happening around you. And that makes it all worth it. Really.

As an added side effect, living this way is medicine not just for the soul, but for the body. As I described in Mind Over Medicine and as I dig deeper into in my upcoming book The Fear Cure, when you’re no longer living in a state of constant fear, anxiety, and stress, the nervous system rests in the relaxation response and the body naturally begins to heal.

The Spiritual Path

Making a commitment to the spiritual path is no small task, and many who consider themselves “religious” are not on the spiritual path at all (though many are). Just because someone is faithful to religious rules doesn’t mean they’re committed to freeing themselves from the prison of fear and an ego-driven life. Sometimes, their egos are just grasping to the rules of their religion as a way to structure their egoic world view and use it as an opportunity to judge those who don’t share their world view. This isn’t meant to judge those who are committed to a particular religion. Many religious people are definitely on the spiritual path. But the two don’t always go together.

In my opinion, anyone who kills others in the name of religion or judges those who choose to have abortions or bans homosexuals from their spiritual community is not truly walking the spiritual path (no judgment, of course). When religion becomes an excuse to practice fear, hatred, and judgment, it takes us away from what I consider true spirituality, which is the opportunity to practice radical love, compassion, forgiveness, and surrender to Divine Will, even when you’re asked to open your heart to those you find most challenging to love.

Love Without Conditions

When I wrote a controversial blog post right after Osama bin Laden was killed (you can read it on OwningPink.com here), I was trying to shine a light on the judgment that is so common in our fear and judgment-based culture. We judge terrorists because they’re “bad people” and we dance in the streets when we kill them. But weren’t we upset with the terrorists because they were judging us for not being Muslim enough? How is countering judgment with judgment spiritual?

Yet, we cling to our judgment with a fierce righteousness we seem reluctant to release, almost as if we think our judgment protects us. Many forget that our ultimate protection lies in living lives committed to the practice of love. This doesn’t mean we condone the behavior of terrorists. But when Osama bin Laden was killed, a human being lost his life. His family may have been grieving his loss. And it made me feel a bit sick to see us celebrating when a human life had been taken. I can only hope that as we experience the shift in human consciousness that is underway, we will love more and judge less as we remember that we are all connected — all of us, even the Osama bin Laden’s of the world.

Releasing Judgment

I’m feeling inspired to write more about what it means to release judgment and to replace judgment with compassionate discernment. So stay tuned. I have a lot more to say about this and will share more thoughts next week. Until then, share your thoughts about your own spiritual path.

Are you religious? Spiritual but not religious? Not into spirituality at all?

Are you willing to try to withhold judgment of others?

Can you practice radical forgiveness while setting appropriate boundaries and using discernment to keep you and your loved ones safe?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Love,


Previous articles by Lissa Rankin:

About the author:

lissa_rankinLissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. She is on a grass roots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.

Lissa blogs at LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities – HealHealthCareNow.com and OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a speaker, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

Connect with Lissa on Facebook and Twitter, or visit LissaRankin.com

 


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  • Dianne

    Finally some one wrote out what I thought was spiritual! I am not religious and do not want to be. Yes, I am trying to walk a spiritual path! Some time I get confused as to what I am trying to understand myself. To be in touch with my soul and spirit that does have a connection to the Divine and be able to listen to the guidance I feel I receive is my goal. Learning to accept that I do have the ability to know what is right for me! Thank you!

    • Trish Oke

      I believe if you believe in yourself then you have all the belief you need in a higher being because love is the most strongest of all beings and love will always win love is the answer to life .for example look at what you can achieve if you love something ,that new dress even though it’s expensive you will find a way to get it ,that food that you love ,you will always make sure you have it ,that child or person you love will always be in your life ,love will always win it for you the love of what you want in your life and that leads to happiness and that’s all is asked of us to love each other and be happy with our choices love Trish

    • abeheuer

      All truth is within you, has always been in you and will always be in you. listen to your inner voice always and it will guide you to your truth (not my truth or somebody else’s truth or religions truth), but your own truth which is unique to you and not matter what, it is the truth, your truth. Your true self will always guide you, always, and in all ways, trust in you and believe in you and be honest with yourself as you cannot deceive who and what you are. and what you are is a special and unique spiritual being experiencing and earthly life, but it is up to you it is your choice to take your path and your journey and you owe it to yourself to “be the grandest version of the greatest vision you ever had about Who You Really Are” (to quote another great contemporary master: Neale Donald Walsch)
      I trust and hope that your spiritual path has been just that and that you are a bit closer to what is right for you.

  • Diana Alexandrino

    Yes, I was on a quest for some years in my teens, between religions, to find out that there’s no religion for me. I am very spiritual, though. It is still hard to be like this in the society I’m inserted on. My son is not baptized, and that’s a source of sadness to my mother. Many times I’ve been seen like heretic misbeliever, when I can see that this comes from people for whom being religious is going to church on Sundays…

  • Marilyn

    I also believe in a spirit power, whether it is God or whatever you want to call Him/Her. I do not go to church because I feel that is created and interpreted by man and is not of God. My life is about doing what feels is right according to the way I am guided. When I was going to the ‘church of man’ my life was in chaos but now in the years since I have stopped and listened to my heart I have found peace and my life is good. I live a life of service to others without feeling I HAVE to – it is because I WANT to.

  • Vincent

    the only thing i can say, is that you are one of the few human on earth who understand what spirituality is 😀 i see it exactly like you, and for me its a kind of proof that there is a ”Truth” i mean, this message is the same as Jesus,Gandhi, Eckart Tolle, Dalaï Lama and many more. Why can we not all agree that they probly understood our world better then most? Continue writing, humanity need those teachings!
    And i know my english is terrible haha im french 😛

  • josh

    i enjoyed the article. while i think the dividing line between religious and spiritual as explained here still differs from my own, it made me think, and on another point or two left me smarter than i was five minutes ago, so i really enjoyed reading it.

  • Travis

    I am SBNR and proud of it.
    I was pretty much catapulted into spirituality through the use of DMT, I did my due diligence on the chemical and found not only is it called the spirit molecule but its produced in the pineal gland in the center of the human brain.
    It is believed to be produced in times of NDE’s (near death experience), dreaming, deep meditation, birth, death, extreme illness or trauma.

    When taken it blasts you into the non physical world/spirit realm where you journey through hyperspace (for lack of a better term, as words in the physical world cant describe the spirit world).

    So on this journey I was shown that there is more than just what we can see here in the material world, prior to this I was agnostic or even atheist, believing that there is nothing but what we see.

    I am not alone in this belief as many who have used this molecule and Ayahuasca share this view.

    I can highly recommend it for anyone who has spiritual tendencies, illness, disease etc. as there is many shaman camps around the world from Mexico, Brazil and Peru that conduct these ceremonies in healing centers.
    As the shamans say “the western culture will cause its own demise if they dont recognise their spirituality”

    I truly loved your article and it spoke to me, it is inline with my belief and really helped me see areas I can improve on, (the spirit guides can only show you so much in the short time youre there).

    Thank you and keep up the great work!

  • Brad

    I too am on a spiritual path but not really religious. I have been searching for a religion but can’t find anything fitting for me. I find most religions to be judgemental and a lot of people hypocritical in their own religious beliefs. Just because you go to church on sunday does not mean you are religious yet a lot of people think this way and judge others who don’t attend any services. I try to treat people well, love and respect everyone regardless of their preferences. Loved the article and look forward to your next one.

  • Val S.

    Exactly! I look at it like this … religion is a train load of stuff running on a track but if you cannot pack your spiritual belief into a lunch box and take it with you wherever you go then it isn’t much use to you. There is a place for religion in the grand scheme of things … there is gold in there … but you have to dig for it.

  • Chad

    This definition of spirituality seems similar to some of the lessons in secular psychology. That’s not a critique – it just seems to me that the difference between philosophy, psychology and spirituality is a matter of rhetoric. I wouldn’t consider myself to be spiritual, but I can see many things to like about the concept. I am however very skeptical about the existence of anything outside of the material world. I don’t tend to criticize other people if they have different beliefs. However, I will suggest that if you are going to try let go of expectations and attachments, then that might need to include letting go of belief in deities. If you give up your worldly attachments and replace them with attachments to beings or forces whose existence is very suspect, then your house is still built upon sand. Of course, it is relatively safe to assume that human beings exist, so humanism may be the best approach to take to follow the spiritual path that you’ve defined here.

  • Debbie

    I too believe the same as you. Great article.

  • Nazar

    Spiritually and religiously I believe in truth guided by logic powered by love and intuition from the divinity within

  • Marq

    You do realise that by defining spirituality in your own way and by inference defining religion, you are placing judgment on religion?
    Fuzzy logic is a realm of religion which you have made your own in trying to find your way describing your own feelings of what the truth is.
    Telling people to practice love is no different to others telling us to practice hate. You are all telling us that you have judged and found a better path.
    Practice what you preach and the world will be a better place.

  • Dave

    I am not pointing fingers here or to the author or anyone else for that matter.. I just want to add my 2 cents.
    You say that you respect Jesus the most. So that means you must follow the bibles teachings as Jesus TOLD us to do. Ephesians 4:5 – There is one body and one Spirit, one Lord, ONE FAITH, one baptism. also John 13: 34 and 35 – 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
    Most religions are false religion because they do not have love amongst themselves. Search the world for what religion or religions do NOT go to war.. I can only think of a few. Why would a person in one country of a particular faith, go to war to kill someone in another country of that same faith. How is that having love amongst themselves. Also, you say Buddhism most closely resonates with you. The book Basics to Buddhism says: “Buddhists do not believe in an all-powerful divine being in the universe”; “Everyone is capable of becoming a Buddha”; “Everyone has to work on his own to become a Buddha and be liberated from suffering.” Buddhism has inspired, not faith in God, but reliance on self.
    — This is totally against what Jesus taught.

    • If you read Thich Nhat Hanh’s wonderful book Living Buddha Living Christ you will learn that Jesus and Buddha basically taught the same thing. We get so caught up in trying to be right about our particular point of view that we sometimes miss the essence of the teaching . Their teachings were almost identical although Jesus referred to his “Father” and Buddha pointed to Beingness they were both pointing to the same thing. The Source of all creation.

    • Jason

      Thank you! It is impossible to nail jello to a wall. The thing I love about Jesus is that He is CLEAR in His statements concerning truth and the way to life everlasting. Can one arrive at Truth? Yes, and god has spoken CLEARLY.

  • Brandy

    I spent the first 19 years of my life going to a christian church with my family and never felt right. I watched a few documentaries on Netflix about religion a while after I quit going to church and it took me about 3 years to truly know that God was not going to smite me down for not following the same religion as I was brought up to believe in. To me, religion is full of scare tactics made up long ago by man… it is also for those who would rather follow what they have been told than to search for the truth. People are scared to dig, and more scared to ruin their reputation. I struggle with this daily, because all my friends and family are all church going religious people. To share with them my true thoughts on religion would probably make them never want to be around me again. I am incredibly spiritual, however, I am 110% about love… I see love in my home, outside, in my enemies, and in this world. I feel so at peace with my heart where it is finally. I feel free

    • abeheuer

      That what is, is not found without(ie:religion) but found within, as you have realized (self realization) by allowing yourself to discover that all knowledge, all spirituality is within, has alway been within and will always be within, – you just have to trust in you and remember who and what you truly are, who we all are. Religion has done a great job of suppressing who and what we are and we have paid dearly for it for thousands of years and we are still paying for it and in the same breath paying to keep their money coffers full. As they say once you are on the path of knowing, knowing who and what you are there is no turning back, no hiding as ‘that what is’ is who and what you are. And yes, there is only one word that sums it up – Love. Thanks for sharing.

  • Annie Albro

    Absolutely spot on, took the thoughts right out of my head. I’m glad to know someone else who understands the truth!

  • LeslieLou

    So glad to read this! There are many of us out there who feel the same way. Wonderful article. Thanks!

  • Robbie Cornelius

    This is an amazing article. I love when I run into like-minded people, especially “Spiritual But Not Religious” people.

    I think it’s amazing to mix and match different teachings; just like we mix and match different brands of clothes. Having someone tell me to pick one religion, felt as if they were telling me to pick one brand of clothing to wear forever.

    I respect all paths in the sense that I allow people to believe as they wish to believe, without trying to convince them to see the world as I do. However, I do not suppress my truth for anyone.

    Sometimes I think we are a little hard on ourselves when we say “don’t judge.” I personally think that judging is a very noble thing to do. It is one of the manythings that makes us human. We judge every time we think. We can’t help it. Even telling people not to judge is a judgement. Condemning, on the other hand, is a totally different thing. I try my best not to condemn.

    For me, “Spiritual But Not Religious” means that I believe in myself and my connection to the Universe more than I believe in anything. Instead of worshiping spiritual masters, I inspire to experience the master within.

    I see Life itself is the divine. And since I am Life, I see myself as divine as well.

    I use to tell religious people that I was religious just to not offend them, or get into a debate. But then I began to suffer after I didn’t accept my truth. When I decided to come out of the spiritual closet, I was free to experience bliss.

    Spirituality, for me, is about the present: when religion tends to focus a lot on the past. Spirituality is any and everything you want it to be. There are literally no limits: and I find that absolutely amazing.

    Thank you for allowing me to share with you.

    Peace and unlimited love.

    Robbie Cornelius

    • Sarah Maddalino

      Thank you for that comment. It helped me a lot! Many blessings to you 🙂

    • abeheuer

      Your comment is from within you and is commendable always and in all ways.

  • Earl Gibbs

    I consider myself to be spiritual and as you say it is not an easy task as you say. I believe that it is a total commitment because it requires much research and continuous reading to stay on task. I do not see anything in this article that I do not agree with, especially the parts about one’s ego management and judgement of others.

  • Sheileagh

    A very titillating article indeed! I can’t help wondering however, if you were born & raised here in the US & if you have ever actually lived in another (albeit) 3rd. world country, perhaps visited & resided there there for some extended length of time? Many years ago I left a country that had sunk into the depths of non-confrontationalism… I would never ever want to live in such a place again… leave alone raise my children there!

    Presently, I don’t know what ‘classification’ I might fall into, because I have mixed perspectives… a bit similar to yours in this aspect… of respectfully venerating God the father, loving & deeply admiring His son Jesus & also firmly believing in the wisdom of the Buddhist & Hindu doctrines… including their perspectives about an afterlife. Although born & raised as a Christian, I believe that the prayerful Christian words: “… the resurrection of the body & life ever after…” actually does refer to reincarnation. I also believe that adage ‘what goes around, comes around’, affects & impacts each & every one of us, not just in this life, but in any & all future ones! So, I have tried to maintain a ‘do-no-harm’ sort of living standard for myself & also advised my children & their descendent’s likewise.

    As for your perspectives concerning “Love Without Conditions” however, I am not so convinced. Again referencing the experiences I personally encountered as a resident in a poor, backward country, it became very obvious to me early in life, that one of the reasons that the country was so ‘oppressed’ was the very practice that most of the ‘peace loving’ people personally chose to dwell in, spiritually, emotionally, mentally & subsequently, physically. Content to reside within their self created ‘cocoons’ of ‘live & let live, love, don’t hate….’ etc. etc., they avoided meekly confrontations & merely allowed themselves to be taken over, controlled & manipulated by a nefarious regime. The spiraling descent of the entire country came very gradually, but inexorably & by the time I left, the entire country was secreted from the rest of the world behind a dense curtain of Socialistic opacity.

    Ever since, I have remained dedicated to the conviction that, if one does not take control of one’s life, physically, emotionally, mentally & spiritually, then some one, or some thing else, will! Here I think, you & I might basically agree .

  • Martin Andreeff

    I think the Religion was a law ..rules for the not educated. Lately modified to suit some dictators needs. The religions we know today, appears quite a lot far from what intended. We do not have access to the Real Information. I found Something that appears to me as Information without hidden reason is something you could Google: “white brotherhood peter dunov” just check, you never know

  • Michael Anaya

    Hello!
    I found myself telling people the same thing over and over…
    I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual…!
    People often don´t understand and just thinks that you don’t believe in God at all.

    Great way to explain it… thanks, it’s good to know someone feels the same way.
    🙂

  • invisableman

    saying you’re spiritual-but-not-religious can also indicate that you don’t know what you are or what you “believe”.

  • Janet Robinson-Gillmore

    I believe that religion is man-made and spirituality is God given. By that, I mean that each one of us has a spark inside, of our Divine Connection to all that is. It is there whether we deny it or not.
    My father said that he was an atheist (and proud of it). Later in his life when he was ill and he knew that his days were numbered, he told me a story of a particular flower that had been deemed the most beautiful flower in the world.It has it’s seeds at the bottom of the stem to protect it. He said that he did not believe in a God but…there was something.

    • abeheuer

      Great story, and I can relate to that as well, there is always that “something”, it is the simple fact that we are never separated from “all that is, we have never been separated from “all that is” and we will never be separated from “all that is”(contrary to what religion will bs you with). Being an atheist ironically is more of an admittance of God because “all that is” is within us and we are all within “it”and some people cannot deal with the thought or the feeling of that “something” they feel is there, inside them. If there wasn’t that “something” at all people would not even bother labelling it with such a term as ‘atheist’ as a so called non belief in God. At the end of the day God isn’t really a “belief” it is that “something” there, within us all.

  • Wonderful post! My definition of spirituality is “The moment to moment recognition and acknowledgement of my connection to something greater than myself.” This something greater than myself I choose to call The Source. It transcends all religious dogma and doctrine and yet it is the Source of it all. All religious revelations come from the Source and are then interpreted (misinterpreted often) by human beings who then try and relay the revelations to the masses. Religion is simply a vehicle that the Source uses to express Truth. There are lots of different vehicles but they all lead right back to the Source.

  • Lisa W.

    You’ve put into words what I want to say. So reassuring to know, by also reading the comments, there are kindred spirits.

  • Alastair Batchelor

    I have to begin by stating I was brought up to attend a christian church and to a lesser extent did the same with my own children, and no, I am not now a christian, but I do follow spiritual beliefs I have to a greater extent developed myself. Spirituality I believe is the life force which is part of all life forms, it is part of who and what we all are and comes from our source of life. Earth.
    People have asked me if I believe in God, more often now I live in a country which is predominantly Buddhist. I can answer that question quite positively, but only as my own definition of God. God is the combined spirituality and collective conscience of all living things, a shared responsibility of each for the whole. We are our own temple and have no need for the grand and extravagant buildings erected in the name of faith in a concept which cannot be proved.
    Religion is the greatest con ever perpetuated on mankind, it is a control factor, a carrot and stick syndrome by which otherwise rational beings surrender their finite existence, their hard-earned income and their self determination for a promise of eternal life. Try taking that promise to a bank and get a loan on it.
    As supposedly intelligent, hopefully caring human beings we do have a responsibility and that is to the planet which has given us life and at present provides for all out needs. If you the people who are reading this are looking for purpose, a reason to better your existence you should be directing energies towards protecting the only thing which stands between you and extinction. And don’t think there is another life after this one has gone, all that will be left will be a memory.

    • abeheuer

      You speak more than just a belief, belief is largely academic, something you learn. You evidently speak from a knowing and it is a knowing from within that is much more than just believing, that knowing is more than just a memory, it is you, not your body, but you, the you that is, the you that has always been and the you that will always be.

  • explorer

    What a great article, Dr. Rankin. As Jesus and Bob Marley put it, “Judge not,” and for me this is key in finding unconditional love. Edward Morrow once said that we all have prejudices but being aware of them is how we rid ourselves of them. All this leads to unconditional love, which is the true spiritual nature that you’ve articulated so well here, and which identifies the greatest flaw in man’s religions and controlling, restricting dogmas.

  • Michael O Malloy

    “The Christ Conspiracy the Greatest Story Ever Sold” by Acharya S…shoots down the character of Jesus….the “teachings” not the mythical figure is what’s important. As to OBL’s “killing”,unless you believe the propaganda of the mainstream media and our lying govt,you would have known there are numerous accounts of his death in 2001, the rest is pure “wag the dog” theater and makes one question your logic

  • Michelle

    I have found that some people who cling fanatically to organised religion have something in their past or present that they are either ashamed of or they are trying to over compensate for it. They believe that rituals will make up for wrong doings. Since I decided to let go of religion and embrace spirituality, doing “the right thing” comes easy, cause I see the beauty and light in everyone and everything.

  • Eva Carter

    I see spirituality as a way of life. You discover yourself without being restricted. It has to do with peace, love, oneness, positivity, being in control of your own reality, the universe, shaping your life the way you want, really connecting with yourself and others, and how to exist in a balanced way and i could go on and on. And really religion is a very limited view point of the very surface of spirituality. Religion never evolves your perspective on what it teaches though. The Bible was written over 2000 years ago, and it was written in a way that people back then could comprehend it. Humans have evolved past that comprehension level. So honestly its time to break free and move on.

  • Hille T

    First thank you for such a wonderful article!
    As for myself- I was brought up in a family that was totally non-religious and non-spiritual too- pragmatists, survivors. When I started to ask at about age 10 if there was a God, my family was very surprised. We weren’t taught religion at school, we didn’t have any religious friends, in fact our whole country is one of the most atheistic countries in the world (Estonia). Where DID the question come from? But I couldn’t sleep as a kid pondering. I began to read a lot, especially when I got to Buddhism, something just fell into place for me. Had a very tough time when reality fell from under-neath my feet starting from age 19, an extreme period intermittent with mystical experiences of oneness which on the one side saved my life back then, but made for a hurricane of 7 years when I didn’t know at all how to incorporate this reality into the material reality I was living in, hence having constant panic attacks and my body was a wreck. Balance did come though, after exploring meditation and yoga in India, studying Chinese philosophy, reading anything I could get my hands on from Sufism to astrology, ending up with shamanic experiences in S-America. It was the balance from a wider view that helped I believe, though I have all the admiration for the people who choose one way and follow it.
    I guess what I feel is that the question came, because it was meant to come. Because I am spiritual, as all human beings are. None of us lack it, we just don’t focus on our spiritual side and for some reason I made that choice when I did. I don’t call myself spiritual per se, because I could never put myself in any box and I’m not one for concepts really, but also because I know I can personally lose balance and go into extremes if I don’t temper myself. I need to be my whole being-energetic/spiritual/intellectual/emotional/physical being. The being part is the only one that matters in the end.
    Wherever and however we are, if we are ourselves, living according to our inner truth and heart, whether we call ourselves spiritual, religious, atheist- I believe that we are where we intend to be. No right or wrong. Some are born to know more of the physical side, some of the intellectual, some of the emotional side, some of their spiritual side. It is ok to run from darkness to darkness, though we all want to run from darkness to light. In the eternal aspect of ourselves, it makes little difference, because it all happens Now. We are already our perfect selves and our own guardian angels, just as we are still the little frightened kids in the dark, just as we are present and active creators of this seemingly blind and suffering world. Judgement? No. Justice? No. None of these concepts make any sense in the undual and the eternal.
    <3

  • Georgina Graham

    I love this! Very well written! I was born into a catholic family BUT I am spiritual but not religious and in the end so are my family! I am happy to see other likeminded souls. My views on religion is that each religion was started by a ascended master who was brought down in times and places we needed hope and love the most. If you look at what each master was trying to teach it was a guide to ascending but along the way, the story was misinterpreted and rewritten to control the masses. All religion has truth and are all very much connected. The way I see it is if your religion is teaching you love, peace and unity than I am all for it! In order to find the truth about what each ascended master was trying to teach, we now need to go within to find it. So much love and light to you all xx

    • abeheuer

      Indeed, many ascended masters or highly evolved beings have come to teach us, including our famous Yeshua (Jesus) but religious leaders and ruling kings etc as in the case of Yeshua have hijacked the truth from his and their teachings, in order to control dissenting societies. All religions do teach “love & peace” but that is just their ‘cover story’ for what their real agendas are and that is quite evident and had been evident for thousands of years including tomorrow and the day after untill all of humanity ‘wakes-up”. Yeshua is not what religion has made him out to be ie: our “saviour” Why do we need to be “saved”? we are all spiritual beings (lost) because of religion and as spiritual beings we are all part of our Creator, we have never been separated from Her, and we will never be separated from Him. We are all in God and God is in all of us (good or ‘bad’ without exception)She has always been in us and He will alway be in us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • abeheuer

    Being spiritual is not confined to a “discipline” that comes from focus on one religious pathway as you put it. Being spiritual is your true nature of who and what you are and is an everlasting path of evolvement, But for many people this may not suite them at present and need a sense of a goal to be achieved and an accepted discipline/s that works for them and that is just fine, “there is no train to catch” it all should be within your own time and how you choose or how you are able to evolve or connect to your higher self and the Universe.

  • TeeJae

    That chair? It would support your weight because your soul would be sure to choose the right pieces. 🙂

  • TeeJae

    My parents purposely decided not to indoctrinate me so that I could choose my own religious/spiritual path. After studying the world’s religions in college, I chose spirituality over religion. With all its rules and rituals, religion is too constricting and inflexible. I like being free to believe what I want, practice what I want, and follow my soul’s calling, unbound by any restrictions, wherever it may lead. I consider myself a Free Spirit.

  • lightofhome

    All I have to say after reading this is…I think you need to research about the Bahá’í Faith 🙂