Religion vs. Spirituality
Many people equate religion with spirituality. However, a lot of us see the difference. To begin, let’s look at their definitions.
Religion (defined by the World English Dictionary):
- belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny
- any formal or institutionalized expression of such belief
- the attitude and feeling of one who believes in a transcendent controlling power or powers
- the way of life determined by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience entered upon by monks, friars, and nuns
- something of overwhelming importance to a person
- archaic- (a) the practice of sacred ritual observances; (b) sacred rites and ceremonies
Spirituality (defined by the World English Dictionary):
- the state or quality of being dedicated to God, religion, or spiritual things or values, esp as contrasted with material or temporal ones
- the condition or quality of being spiritual
- a distinctive approach to religion or prayer
- (often plural) Church property or revenue or a Church benefice
As we can see, there is a difference. To summarize, religion is the same set of beliefs held by a group of people; spirituality is pertains to the spirit/soul. Religion can only be a part of spirituality.
Spirituality is private. Religion is public. You define spirituality. Religion defines you. Spirituality comes from the Latin root word that means “to breathe.” Religion comes from the Latin root word meaning “to bind.”
We’re not here to attack religion. Religion can actually help us on our spiritual journey (see my post: One Goal, Various Paths). Each religion can teach us something that helps lead us to Truth. Every religion holds a piece of it, which we need to learn. Whatever religion we belong to at the moment, is just a part of our spiritual journey. It is necessary to help us on our spiritual journey.
One more thing I want to add. You do not have to believe every little thing your religion says to believe. As you grow in spirit, you discover where there is Truth in your religion and where there isn’t Truth. This is also part of the reason why some people convert to different religions, because it’s time for them to learn new a new piece or pieces of the Truth that isn’t in the previous religion.
There is difference between spirituality and religion. You can see it by definition and by action. They help each other out, but they are not the same. Continue to be spiritual. Learn as much Truth as you can. Bless you all.
“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.” ~ Muhammad Ali