SPIRITUAL OR RELIGIOUS
I consider myself a Spiritual person, one who sees the truth in all religions. Which are you? What is the difference? The Religious person acknowledges only their own path; the Spiritual person sees that there are many paths to the Divine and theirs is but one. Religious people follow the letter of religion, but often not the Spirit of it. Spiritual people are more concerned with the Spirit of religion than the letter of it. I suppose that is the main difference between Religious and Spiritual.
Who is right? How can one Faith be more correct than another? The truly Spiritual person can see that all are correct. All are different paths to the same goal. The goal is reunion with the Divine. The Divine is manifest in all things, including us. The Religious person may have read or heard about all things being Divine in nature; the Spiritual person has experienced this for themselves and have seen their own true nature. The Spiritual person recognizes that they are a spirit being having a Human experience, not a human being having a few Spiritual experiences.
Many Religious people have read about or been told about A Path, but do not recognize any others. They have been told to do things in a certain way and not question why. If they do question, the answer is because; because the Bible or the Koran or some other religious text says to do it that way. They do not follow the Spirit but the letter. That is okay for some, but just because it has been written down does not make it good for all.
There have been many great religious and spiritual leaders. The Religious leaders put forth the letter of their own faith, but often repressed other faiths. The Spiritual leaders spread the word as they saw it, but did not condemn other paths. They often incorporated other faiths into their own. Thus, instead of a new religion, they were spreading an extension - a continuation of an established faith. They offered a new philosophy based on old values. Old values such as love.
From time to time, many Spiritual teachers have manifested to help guide humanity. Jesus was such a spiritual leader. Jesus said that he would return in different forms. He was asked, how will we know it is you? His answer is in John 10:37-38. 'If I am not doing the works of my Father, do not believe in me. If I am doing them, even though you do not believe in me, believe in the works, so that you may know and believe that my Father is with me and I am with my Father.'
Krishna also spoke of returning from age to age. 'For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of righteousness, I come forth into being from age to age.' Since Krishna manifested on the Earth thousands of years before Jesus, Jesus could have been a manifestation of Krishna. All religions stem from the same source.
The Spiritual person sees and can acknowledge this fact. The Religious person is at times trapped within their own faith and cannot see outside. They often can or will not acknowledge the many paths to the Source. The Spiritual person can recognize the many manifestations of the Divine as being parts of the same Source. The Religious person recognizes only the manifestation they have been taught. Too often, the Religious person seeks to discredit other manifestations of the Divine. This has been the cause of many wars and countless deaths. This has caused people throughout history to be persecuted because of their religion. The Christians persecuted the Pagans. The Jews persecuted the Christians. The Chinese government persecuted the Buddhists in Tibet. Christians persecuted other Christians. This list could go on and on and on. Once started, this cycle is hard to stop.
Even within the same path, people interpret things in different manners. The Spiritual person can see the Light in all. The Religious only see their own narrow band of light. The Divine Light is Broad and contains all the colors of the Rainbow in a constant state of change. The Divine includes all sects and paths. Spiritual people are more open to other faiths and learn from each other. Religious people tend to only want to learn about their own path. If only there were more Spiritual people in this world as opposed to Religious people!
There are many people who are Religiously Spiritual or Spiritually Religious. All the Paths to the Divine are about connecting with the Spirit/Soul/Divine Light that is within us all and is also outside. The Source is in all things as The Source IS all things. Spiritual followers of many Paths might say, "The entirety of the Universe is contained within a single flower. It takes all aspects of the Universe to combine together and manifest in such a way as to create the flower. The flower has always been there as the Source has always been there."
I have tried not to use absolutes, as in 'ALL Religious/Spiritual people Do This...' I myself do not like being labeled and thus grouped in with others that have been labeled the same thing, whatever that thing is. We are all different; we may be very similar, but no two people truly think in exactly the same way. That is a part of the gloriously wonderful gift of Free Will. We All connect with the Divine in a slightly different manner. As long as the Universal truths come through and we can share our Light with all, no matter what Path they may follow, we are doing great. Finding the Spirit/Soul in Religion, any religion, is a step along the Path.
There are truths in all Paths to the Divine. All have the same goal. That goal is a reunion with the Divine. We must not be bogged down in Dogma, no matter what the source. We are All beings of Light. The light can and does shine through in all of us. It may be stronger in some than others, but it is there in all. We should learn to see the Light in all things be they animal, vegetable, or mineral. Everything in the known existence and the many things we do not know about is composed of Energy. It is all energy at different levels of vibration.
Universe: Uni = One, Verse = Song.
Universe = One Song.
One Song, heard by all throughout the entirety of existence.
One Song. One Message to all.
I feel that message is Love.
Love is the Law.
Love knows no religion. Love knows no nationality or country border.
Love is Love.
May we all grow into the Light bearing beings we truly are. May the Divine Light shine upon us all. May it fill our hearts with Love. May we all shine with Light and illuminate the Divine in all that surrounds us. Even one small candle of Light increases the total.
(Copyright 2004: © Bill Schell)Reprinted with kind permission of the author: email@example.com