1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Spiritual but not religious

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by Karolina, Nov 30, 2019 at 8:59 AM.

  1. Karolina

    Karolina Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    68
    Ratings:
    +44
    Religion:
    Seeker who worships at Catholic Church
    Not sure where else to post this.
    I'm making my peace with the fact that I'd be happier if I focused more on my spirituality than my religiosity. Truth be told, I consider myself both, but I'm disillusioned with my attempts to fit in religion-wise.

    I'm coming from a Catholic background. What I see as religion is the rituals and traditions, the moral and ethical rules, the prescribed prayers and holy days. Generally speaking, I think of religion in terms of rules, obligations, and limitations.

    On the other hand, spirituality to me is about the inner experience of God. Meditation, contemplation, reflection, and anything that induced deep thought and emotion, including scripture study and singing of hymns. Generally speaking, I think of spirituality as freedom, potential, and connection to the Divine.

    I recognize the need (for my sanity) to focus much more on the Spiritual, but I am both, spiritual and religious, so I'm not prepared to abandon all religious expressions of my faith. However, I want to distance myself from the religion and draw closer to the spirituality.

    Any (serious) advice on how to do so within the context of the religion? My first step is to think of church teaching as food for thought, not binding on everyone. To take such teaching into consideration when discerning God's plan for my life.

    I will need to hold my tongue around other Catholics, and that's perhaps my biggest worry. I don't want to hear their dismay at my "apostasy", but I also don't have an alternative group of theists to go to for community.

    The groups that come to mind come with their own set of traditions, and I don't want to replace traditions I'm already comfortable with. Other groups are so open that there's no guarantee the people even believe in God, and that's pretty central to my beliefs.

    So I'm trying to make due where I am and work with what I've got. And I'm not really sure how to proceed, other than "with caution".

    Thanks for hearing me out. I welcome advice for being a more spiritual but less religious Catholic (or just person in general).
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
  2. KAT-KAT

    KAT-KAT Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    5,080
    Ratings:
    +3,298
    Religion:
    Reading about Hinduism
    There is a lot of Catholic theology. My advice is not to leave your religious group, but to prayerfully get online, read up, discover the conservative teachings and the refutations of it, and maybe a door will be more prone to open with the answer. My advice, anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    28,945
    Ratings:
    +13,067
    Religion:
    Saivite Hindu
    From this idea, then my religion and my spirituality are one and the same.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,929
    Ratings:
    +1,019
    Religion:
    None
    In your Catechism you will find the Church teaching that the judgments of conscience are the products of reason. This is the basis for the Church's claim that your conscience can be informed by its teaching on moral issues because if they are right, morality can be taught and learned.

    In recent years, though, social researchers are finding that our conscience is moral intuition. Our moral judgments emerge immediately from the unconscious. Before long, this science will challenge the Church's claim as a moral authority.

    Looking ahead, I expect you to realize that morally you "can't serve two masters" and conscience (as your only moral authority) will be your choice. The wisdom of conscience is a remarkable thing. It can be thought of as the voice of God.

    I suggest you consider the possibility that the purpose of life is to make moral progress and that trying to become a better human being can be thought of as a form of worship.
     
    #4 joe1776, Nov 30, 2019 at 9:38 AM
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 9:46 AM
    • Like Like x 3
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  5. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    38,682
    Ratings:
    +14,823
    Religion:
    Love
    You've nailed the distinction wonderfully as I see it.

    There are spiritual threads in every religion. From a Christian perspective, perhaps "Practice the Presence of God"?

    And you might look at the outstandingly luminous saints such as St. Francis of Assisi, Saint Theresa of Avila and Saint Catherine of Sienna.

    St. Francis is my favorite. I found the wonderfully symbolic movie "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" to be inspiring. And this is not in the sense of emulating the material life of St. Francis but in his inner life. Here's the non-historical but inspiring "meeting" of Francis with the Pope that illustrates the difference between religious and spiritual:




    I also have been a volunteer at events for children highlighting how St. Francis' life and message is still alive today Francis in the Schools
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    8,946
    Ratings:
    +4,593
    Religion:
    spiritual anti-theist : )
    FWIW, I've had the same tagline in my info-box for years: "spiritual anti-theist". I think that religion has largely tried to lay claim to spirituality, but that religion has no business being there. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    4,156
    Ratings:
    +2,267
    Religion:
    Jewish Renewal
    How do you feel about the Jesuit approach to theology? I've heard they're super deep and spiritual, but I haven't had a chance to research it yet.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  8. julianalexander745

    julianalexander745 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Messages:
    260
    Ratings:
    +84
    I'd suggest listening less to what other people have to say about spirituality and rely more on your own intuition.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. KAT-KAT

    KAT-KAT Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    5,080
    Ratings:
    +3,298
    Religion:
    Reading about Hinduism
    No idea. I really only have one or two stories in my life which directly relate to Catholics and Catholicism. I have a hard enough time determining what's original Hindu music and what's Western inspired.

    So I made a short post covering what would likely help me, and what has helped me in my exploration of faiths.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. MonkeyFire

    MonkeyFire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,407
    Ratings:
    +217
    Religion:
    Faithful Jesus believer
    I believe we're spirits in the midst of Heaven, as it is... and your either a spirit or a ghost... as a result of the emergence of war (good & evil)...
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  11. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    12,270
    Ratings:
    +5,585
    Religion:
    Baha'i Faith
    I believe there is very little or no difference nor ability to differentiate between religious and spiritual, except by those who want to put down being religious or believing in a religion.
     
  12. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    4,156
    Ratings:
    +2,267
    Religion:
    Jewish Renewal
    It's supposed to be cool... maybe I'll read up on it one day.
     
  13. Karolina

    Karolina Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    68
    Ratings:
    +44
    Religion:
    Seeker who worships at Catholic Church
    I disagree. The two words are not synonymous because they describe different aspects of faith. I know people who are one and not the other. My husband and I agree that we are both, however the religious aspect has been causing me quite a bit of grief lately, and so I'm focusing on the spiritual. But I'm not abandoning the religious entirely.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    12,270
    Ratings:
    +5,585
    Religion:
    Baha'i Faith
    You are reinforcing the unfortunate tendency to make this distinction presenting religious in a negative light exemplified by the phony assertion "I am spiritual and not religious."

    May not be absolutely synonymous, but the the overlap is too great to make the distinction a clear one. It is far to common to trash religion based on these personal assertions.
     
  15. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,929
    Ratings:
    +1,019
    Religion:
    None
    What overlap?

    People can believe in a Creator but have reason to believe that religions were created by men who were no more divinely-inspired than they are. They would fall into the broad classification of spiritual but not religious with no logical contradiction whatsoever.
     
    #15 joe1776, Dec 1, 2019 at 6:47 AM
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019 at 7:06 AM
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Karolina

    Karolina Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    68
    Ratings:
    +44
    Religion:
    Seeker who worships at Catholic Church
    Clearly there are religious people who take offense to those who don't view faith the same way they do. Perhaps I should've mentioned I wasn't intending to debate the merits of the phrase "spiritual but not religious" but that I was actually looking for advice from people who understand where I'm coming from and what I'm talking about. I've already said twice now that I consider myself religious and yet I'm being accused of using it in a negative way. If I thought it was a bad thing to participate in rituals, keep traditions, impose limitations and rules onto oneself (in the form of virtues and ethics), or otherwise gather with people who each have their own individual experience of God (spirituality) but nonetheless come together to worship God jointly, then I wouldn't be asserting I'm religious nor would I be staying with the Catholic self-identity. I'm just saying I want it to have less influence on my life because it's contributing to my codependence issues. Peace.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    Messages:
    2,690
    Ratings:
    +1,076
    Religion:
    None religion here! Fading religiousity!
    Religion comes with a lot of historical baggage. Spirituality is more of an individual's journey from the inside out; free from dogmatic control.

    The existence of virtues as one is affected by them is evidence to me that we are no illusion, and are literal beings with capacities for great things. This can be no
    mistake. It leads me on a religious journey that has no answers for me and then I come full circle to myself again and wonder how inexplicable being has been.

    It defies everything of human language and explanation. Yet there it is! Being! It can be very soulful, or you can reduce it's meaning to some chemical process. But language doesn't seem to capture the ability, and power of the soul.

    I do not look for a God myself. I look toward a source of this enabled expression. And I myself am fine with not knowing. The mystery is greater than the stories told about it. Evident in how one experiences and is affected by the virtues one discovers.

    Words don't do the spiritual journey any justice IMO.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Rakhel

    Rakhel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    7,823
    Ratings:
    +828
    Religion:
    Spiritually Awake
    I am not sure I know how to answer this question. I went to (Methodist) church most of my life and never felt the fulfillment those who believed in Christian faith did. I called my self agnostic because I didn't believe they way they did. I believed in A god but was he the same God they believed? I didn't think so.

    I met and married my husband, proclaimed my faith in the Jewish God, and was satisfied. But I wasn't fulfilled. I still believed in God. He wasn't the Christian God(the father, son and holy spirit) but neither was he the God of Jewish belief. I stopped going to shul. My Jewish practices went the same way my Christian practices did.

    Now my husband is on a journey to find his "spiritual fit," as he puts it. I will stand by him on his journey. I will help him on his way. But this is his journey. After all this time, I find that I am satisfied in my faith in God. I am satisfied in knowing where I stand, in my understanding, with him.

    But this still doesn't answer your question.

    You can be spiritual and not be religious. You can be religious and not spiritual. You can be both religious and spiritual. The decision is yours. It's in how much of your spirituality you wish to apply to your religious understanding and how much religion you wish to apply to your spirituality.

    The final decision is yours
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,738
    Ratings:
    +1,355
    Religion:
    learning to follow Baha'u'llah
    Read the gospels, immersing yourself in their stories.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,738
    Ratings:
    +1,355
    Religion:
    learning to follow Baha'u'llah
    Reading your post again, I see that maybe what you’re looking for is someone to talk to, who will encourage and support you in this, without trying to push or pull you in some direction where they want you to go.

    Can you think of some examples of where you might go with that? If you’d like to know where I’m coming from, I’m a member of a non-Christian religion, but I believe in God, Jesus and the Bible in my own way. I’m practicing and promoting spiritual growth and community service as ways of helping to improve the lives of all people everywhere and helping to improve the world for future generations.

    I think maybe you just need someone to talk to about what you’re trying to do, without them trying to push you or pull you in some direction you don’t want to go, and without stigmatizing either your religion or your divergences from it.
     
    #20 Jim, Dec 3, 2019 at 4:56 AM
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 5:20 AM
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
Loading...