The difference between religion and spirituality to me.

This article is my perception and experience of both spirituality and religion, along with a reflection on conversations with individuals from both sides of the spectrum.

Religion is a specific set of organised beliefs and practices usually shared by a community or group, following someone else’s idea of how to reach or connect with God. Religion is something that we may be born into and something that we may not choose or have control over. Religious practices or worship is carried out in accordance with ideology, tradition and teachings from scriptures, priests, saints etc. It is someone else’s perception as a messenger, prophet or storyteller about what God wants.

Religion creates separation, each religion has their own unique way of reaching God, and they all claim their way is the only way, however in spirituality everyone is equal, no one is superior. It isn’t always about connecting or reaching God, it is about raising your vibration and connecting to the force of energy that is created by us all and tapping into that. Because of this vibration being a creation of humans, atheists can also be spiritual.
The modern meaning of spirituality is adapted to include reaching higher states of consciousness, usually via meditation or during sleep states. It can also include a connection to a higher state which can include Angels, God, Spirit and one’s own higher self.

Spirituality is a way of gaining perspective and recognising that our role on earth has a greater value than what we do everyday. It is an individual practice and individuals can practice what they choose, and create their own way of life that aims to give us a sense of peace and purpose.

It is about an individual’s own real experience and their creation of a way of doing things by searching within. Spirituality is chosen, although it can be kickstarted by religion, it can also be due to awakening or a revelation. Spirituality sets you free from conforming to something that you may not resonate with or something that you may feel is not right for you, you can choose your own divine way of life and way of being.

I feel spirituality to me is about unconditional love, literally giving and pouring out love to everyone and everything. I’m not interested in materialism, to me memories and emotions are more important. Being grateful for what I have is more important than what I don’t have. Trusting that karma is real and it will serve its deeds in this lifetime. It is about asking the angels, spirit and the universe for protection and guidance and connecting with my higher self to be the best version of myself that’s possible.

There are many teachers, mentors and such who speak or even teach us about spirituality, however spirituality is not about following authority and therefore we must create our own way of being, that is in line with our highest self. Whilst we can have guides and mentors, we will be shown our paths as long as we acknowledge the signs shown to us.

I am a proud Hindu. Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world, it overlaps with spirituality in many ways, including practice of Yoga, Meditation and belief in Karma. Hinduism is about discovering your own truth and ultimately learning the lessons through our various lifetimes, in order to attain Moksha – to be one with God. In terms of spirituality this would be reaching a level of consciousness where you are in tune with your highest self and aligned to the universe.

Whichever path resonates with you, own it, and be your true self as that is the truest path.

 


Written by Falguni Patel for Alviam.
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