Religion versus spirituality.

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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:01 am

World English Dictionary
spirituality (ˌspɪrɪtjʊˈælɪtɪ)

— n , pl -ties
1. the state or quality of being dedicated to God, religion, or spiritual things or values, esp as contrasted with material or temporal ones
2. the condition or quality of being spiritual
3. a distinctive approach to religion or prayer: the spirituality of the desert Fathers
4. ( often plural ) Church property or revenue or a Church benefice
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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:02 am

World English Dictionary
religion (rɪˈlɪdʒən)

— n
1. belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny
2. any formal or institutionalized expression of such belief: the Christian religion
3. the attitude and feeling of one who believes in a transcendent controlling power or powers
4. chiefly RC Church the way of life determined by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience entered upon by monks, friars, and nuns: to enter religion
5. something of overwhelming importance to a person: football is his religion
6. archaic
a. the practice of sacred ritual observances
b. sacred rites and ceremonies

[C12: via Old French from Latin religiō fear of the supernatural, piety, probably from religāre to tie up, from re- + ligāre to bind]
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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:40 am

Noticed this in my news feed this morning: How Contemporary Spirituality Makes Us Stupid, Selfish, and Unhappy.
Some of the comments at the bottom totally blow this guy away.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby Indrajala » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:37 am

The dictionary citations don't get at what I'm saying.

The point is that in the English speaking world at least there is a decided reluctance to identify with "religion" or as "religious" and instead many are inclined to identify as "spiritual" and to speak of "spirituality".
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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:08 am

Any theory as to why there is this reluctance? What factors might be behind that?
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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby plwk » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:31 am

I recall this one, religion and spirituality according to this opinion...

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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby Indrajala » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:59 am

jeeprs wrote:Any theory as to why there is this reluctance? What factors might be behind that?


Because "religion" is now associated with superstitious and unscientific ideologies. The orthodoxy of modern thought is largely managed by materialists in mainstream science who dictate for their own benefit what best constitutes realistic thinking. They won the reality wars and now they are seated in positions of authority which come with perks such as academic positions and paid consulting. They'll naturally defend their ideology because being king of the hill has its nice perks in real life.

See, if you come out and say you believe in god, there are many intellectuals who think your research is polluted and untrustworthy.

This might only apply to intellectuals, but then there is a trickle down effect. When you have Dawkins and other aggressive atheists mocking and condemning religious people, you might feel a bit uncertain about identifying as religious, but then "being spiritual" (which means the same thing really) resolves the concern about being condemned for practicing religion.

I think science as a child of Christianity inherited the streak of intolerance from its parent. For much of Christianity's history it has actively rejected and crushed opposing worldviews. Much of science does the same thing (you're either a materialist who rejects God and anything "religious" or you're out of the club).

So, if you identify as "spiritual" then you get to have your cake and eat it too.
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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:20 am

I agree with your post, except I still don't think that spirituality and religion are exactly synonymous. I consider myself in the category of 'spiritual but not religious'. I left the Christian church age 13, rather than take the confirmation ceremony and commit to that belief system. But I have always had spiritual feelings, and during my teens I read many spiritual books that were popular in those times - Buddhist, Advaita, Alan Watts, D T Suzuki, and others. I stayed on ashrams, went on Buddhist retreats, and went on to do a degree in Comparative Religion.

I still don't attend a church or participate regularly in communal religious activities, except for a monthly meeting with a non-sectarian and mainly secular Buddhist group. I have been on retreats, and probably will do again. Through this, I began to appreciate the meaning of religion - including the one that I had left - and also became committed to Buddhist meditation and to living as a lay Buddhist practitioner, as far as I am able. So I guess I have become more religious, but it is still very different from religion as I was taught it in my childhood. The attitude towards it is completely different to what I would call 'churchianity'.

And you can be very zealously religious, but quite lacking in spirituality, or you can be a very spiritual person, without belonging to an external religion.
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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby muni » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:34 am

The taste of the approach, the 'colors' of words and so on must fit misperception/ego.
Grasping to compounded ideas.

Interesting posts, thanks.

ps "It's not the appearance that binds you, it's the attachment to the appearance that binds you".

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Re: Religion versus spirituality.

Postby Challenge23 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:54 pm

Huseng wrote:
jeeprs wrote:Any theory as to why there is this reluctance? What factors might be behind that?


Because "religion" is now associated with superstitious and unscientific ideologies. The orthodoxy of modern thought is largely managed by materialists in mainstream science who dictate for their own benefit what best constitutes realistic thinking. They won the reality wars and now they are seated in positions of authority which come with perks such as academic positions and paid consulting. They'll naturally defend their ideology because being king of the hill has its nice perks in real life.

So, if you identify as "spiritual" then you get to have your cake and eat it too.


I do agree with this but from my observation it also seems to have an aspect of authority. People who are more spiritual don't seem to be as interested in doctrinal purity(for lack of a better term). If someone is religious then they can usually say what religion they are and judge their merit by the extent to which they obey the dictates of that religion.

To use two examples.

An Orthodox Jew would be considered religious. They have certain set laws(i.e., keeping kosher) that they have to obey. If they do not obey these laws(say, eating bacon) then they have committed an unethical act. A religious person tends to have a set of rules external to them that they use to define their behavior. Such a person might be interested in other religions but would to a greater or lesser extent always refer back to a single religion as their primary source. That is why you don't hear people say they are religious as much as spiritual. Most people who are religious don't say they are religious, they say they are Jewish, Pagan, Christian, whatever.

A Law of Attraction New Ager would(by their own admission as a rule) be considered spiritual but not religious. They do not have a single religion that they use to evaluate their conduct and tend to blend many religious traditions together. They don't have a single class of external law or authority that they use to determine if they are ethical or unethical. To reference the above example the New Ager would be interested in the Kabalah but wouldn't consider it unethical if they cleaned their house on the Sabbath.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
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