The Journey Continues – Spirituality and Religion

SpiritualityYou would think someone who has been consciously traveling a path of spirituality for decades would be less troubled by what’s happening in our world and, in particular, in our country in recent days, weeks and months. I wish I could say that was true, but it’s not. I find myself appalled and unable to wrap my mind around the amount of anger and hate that permeates our world right now.

It’s not that I’ve never experienced it personally. I was bullied as a child, beaten as a wife, taunted and threatened as a Wiccan, to name a few. Then and now, I find it difficult, if not impossible, to understand the venom that people spew verbally and physically at each other. The concept is unfathomable to me.

I think part of the unbelievability is that many make the claim this is a Christian country. These same people want prayer in school and the Ten Commandments posted in courthouses. My question is, what good does any of that do if you totally disregard the precepts taught by that very same religion? Christ taught love not hate. He taught that only “he who is without sin cast the first stone”, knowing that we are all sinners in our own way. He taught “Judge not lest ye be judged.” and, yet, here we are judging, maligning, and killing each other.

Perhaps the real answer lies in the fact that there is a difference between religion and spirituality. Although dictionaries often define the words as synonymous, the truth is that in today’s world they mean different things. Where the dictionary’s first definition of religion is, “1. The beliefs, attitudes, emotions, behavior, etc, constituting man’s relationships with the powers and principles of the universe, especially with a deity or deities; also, any particular system of such beliefs, attitudes, etc.” In today’s world, and to me, that equates to the dogma and practices of any religions path – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, etc.

Then we come to spirituality. I ran across a wonderful definition in the University of Minnesota’s “Taking Charge of Your Health and Well-Being” in a short article entitled, “What is Spirituality?” I quote, “Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience – something that touches us all. People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness.” While this may be found in conjunction to the following of a particular religion, it doesn’t require it and your concept of spirituality may change throughout your life.

The point I’m trying to make here is that, while many may pay lip-service to a particular religion, when it comes down to actual practice of the principles and dogma, that practice is only done when it is convenient or fits a purpose. The real spirituality that should come with the following of that path, or no path, is the realization of the sacred in ourselves and others; the recognition that we are all connected as we are connected to the Source of all life, no matter what name you choose to identify it. It should be something we experience every day of our lives.

Instead, we look at each other and see separateness. Because of the illusion presented to us by our physical bodies, we have difficulty, if not a complete inability, in seeing the spiritual connection that we all share. The gulf in separateness widens even further when we look at each other and see differences in the color of our skin, our gender, our sexual orientation, our religions, and even our political viewpoints. Feeling threatened by our differences, we become bigoted and create an atmosphere of “us and them”. This escalates to the mentality that if you don’t see things the way I do and refuse to change your opinion, then you must be my enemy. Instead of love, we are now creating hate. If you won’t convert, then you should be killed. Egads! Did someone just invoke the Burning Times again or is it the Holy Crusades? What is wrong with us?!

As I said back in February, this is a number “9” year – a year of spiritual vibration and things coming full circle. That means the ending of some things as we ready ourselves for 2017, a “1” year. The energies that we end this “9” year with, set us up for what will begin with the vibration of “1” in 2017. While we truly need to build bridges – and not walls – with each other, we need even more to build a bridge with the part of ourselves that is the spiritual being that’s immortal and resides within each of us. When we do that, we will find it much easier to build bridges with each other for we will have transcended the pettiness of the human ego and connected to the Sacred. In that moment, we will feel hate and anger dissolve away because within the confines of the spirit resides unconditional Love – a place where fear, anger and hatred cannot exist.  Now there’s a vibration that would make a good cornerstone for a new beginning in 2017 when the vibration of “1” is upon us!

Peace & Love 3
Love & Blessed Be