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Featured What does being spiritual not religious mean to you?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Zita, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Zita

    Zita Member

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    I've been asked so many times what is my religion? and when I say that I am not religious ,I am spiritual don't really get what I really mean.I explain to them that there is a difference because religion is limited in there practice of spirituality.I use different ways of seeking spirituality!! ways that most religions say are wicked or of the devil.I get messages from the spiritual realm by reading tarot cards, I get messages from the spiritual realm from using the pendulum and I practice chants,mantras, incantations, energy spells, horoscope and astrology,numerology,feng-shui ,crystals ,meditate,visualize into manifestation and some more.I feel that aligning my self with spirit is seeking a your higher self and understanding my purpose in this life and fulfilling that. I believe being in tune with the spiritual realm assists me in how to accomplish my desires in different things. understanding the powers and gifts I have that God has given me though the spirit , to enhance and enlighten my path as well as others, that is just a small portion of what I truly feel it means to be spiritual. Main stream religion doesn't go that deep in their spirituality quest or even understand it. I am curious as to how others feel about this.:firstqmoon:
     
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  2. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I just settle with the wonderment and awe of what I see around me. I personally don't need any fluff to go with that, but I know people desire something more beyond the realities.
     
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  3. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    When someone tells me that they're "spiritual, not religious," this tells me... almost nothing.

    I've heard people use the term "spiritual, not religious" to describe their beliefs when they:

    - are irreligious skeptics, but feel a general sense of connection to others,

    - don't belong to an organized religion, but have their own particular version of religious practices and beliefs (which is where I'd probably put you, based on what you've said in the OP)

    - Christians (and very occasionally, members of other religions) who very much belong to an organized religion but really don't like it when people call their religion a religion ("it's not a religion! It's a personal relationship with Christ!")
     
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  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    While they might not be mainstream, there are organized religions that practice exactly what you describe above.

    But I digress. Most who identify with spirituality rather than religion do so because they find identifying with one specific religion limiting in one's spiritual development.
     
    #4 SalixIncendium, Apr 21, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  5. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    One of the definitions of spiritual is to be a member of a religion.

    Of or belonging to a religion; sacred (The free dictionary)

    Maybe you should call yourself a spiritualist instead

    Spiritualist: someone who serves as an intermediary between the living and the dead; "he consulted several mediums"
     
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  6. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Whenever I see anyone claim to be spiritual but not religious, I conclude that such a person would prefer not to be perceived as aligned with any specific religion for some reason.

    Meanwhile, that same person also does not want to be perceived as entirely opposed to religious practices and values, and seeks refuge in the word "spiritual".

    Really not much to go on. It is all but impossible to tell from that alone whether the person proper is himself or herself a critic of religions, either in general or in some specific scope. It might instead be just an attempt at distancting oneself from controversy, or a pure ideological incompatibility, or even simple lack of awareness of the true diversity of religions and religious stances.

    The "spiritual" part is even less informative. There is hardly anyone living that would go out of their way to claim not to be spiritual. All that I can truly conclude is that the person will probably not also claim to be a materialist... but then again, it is exceedingly rare for anyone to claim to be a materialist.
     
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  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I've encountered people in the SBNR crowd who had no idea what they themselves thought when I turned it back on them. You at least had an explanation, which I appreciated.

    The term 'religious' means different things to different people. 'Religion' also varies widely. I think the SBNR folks are trying to avoid all the negative trappings that go with some religions, most especially dogma, and hardwired immovable fundamentalist beliefs.

    Personally, I have no problem with the term 'religious' as that's not what it means to me, so I'm fine with 'I'm religious' although I'd never describe myself that way. Someone else might though.
     
    #7 Vinayaka, Apr 21, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  8. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    One who serves as an intermediary between the living and dead is called a 'medium,' not a 'spiritualist.'

    spiritualism
    noun
    spir·i·tu·al·ism | \ ˈspir-i-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm , -i-chə-ˌli-, -ich-wə-ˌli-\
    Definition of spiritualism


    1: the view that spirit is a prime element of reality
    2a: a belief that spirits of the dead communicate with the living usually through a medium
    bcapitalized : a movement comprising religious organizations emphasizing spiritualism
     
  9. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I don't doubt that the word has different meanings in other contexts, but the one that you point out is very usual here in Brazil. It is used mainly by Spiritists (Animists) who do not want to be perceived as representatives of the organized Kardecist movement. In that sense, it is a claim of noncommitment, not much unlike "Spiritual" itself relates to religion.

    However, I get the sense that the OP is not talking about animism and/or Spiritualism at all, @loverofhumanity .


    In practice, both "Spiritualist" and "Spiritual" strike me as code words requesting the interlocutors not to be too questioning and to keep the conversation at levels and matters that do not invite confrontation. "Spiritualist" presumes an animist bent and, usually, a belief or even a definite interest in mediunic phenomena, while "Spiritual" tends to hint at a lack of such animism and at a general, perhaps unfocused theistic belief.

    I guess that is fair enough. But it is also slightly frustrating. Ironically, the net effect is that I end up perceiving both groups as uninterested in true religious matters.
     
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  10. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    As one of those folk... To me religious people follow the rites, rituals and beliefs of a religion. At least those who strongly believe in a religion do this. This consists of agreeing with the teaching of a religion and performing the acts that are specified for that religion. Thus Muslims pray 5 times a day and fast one month a year. Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God. And so forth.

    One of the best statements of spiritual was made by Hazrat Inayat Khan about Sufism but to me is applicable to any spiritual belief:

    Sufism cannot be called a religion because it is free from principles, distinctions and differences, the very basis on which religions are founded; neither can it be called a philosophy, because philosophy teaches the study of nature in its qualities and varieties, whereas Sufism teaches unity. Therefore it may best be called simply the training of the view.
     
  11. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Here in Brazil, while you are technically correct, a "spiritualist" is understood to also be an animist (although most are not even aware of the term "animism").

    Interestingly, Brazilian Spiritism has a strong interest in syncreting itself with Catholicism, or perhaps it would be more correct to say that it co-opts its superficial trappings. There is even a splitter group that presents itself as a spiritual successor of Islaam, despite the well documented abhorrance of that creed towards animism.

    The exact relationship between the African-inspirated "Umbanda" and Kardecist Spiritism is a permanently controversial subject matter. There are periods of more friendly relations, alternated with emphatic claims of divergence.
     
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  12. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    "This house protected by angels" can be an example
    no accountability, no Lord God, no judgement
    reminds me of a house mate I had who described himself and his (married to someone else) girlfriend as spiritual but could never find time to go to church

    Spiritual is another similar category to the "none" no affiliation category
    not atheist but neither are they accountable to anything specific enough to mention
     
  13. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Sure... but there's a grey area that covers "liberal religious person who also incorporates a few outside practices/beliefs" to "syncretic religious person" to "spiritual practitioner who doesn't follow any particular religion." The line between these categories is far from clear.

    Hmm. I'd personally put that in the third category (religious people who don't like it when you call their religion a religion).
     
  14. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Like atheists.
     
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  15. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    :facepalm:

    I always wonder about religious people who try to insult people by calling them religious. I worry for their own self-image.
     
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  16. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    Sure. I agree there are various grey areas including religious people who follow a spiritual path.

    Inayat Khan specifically included people of many different religion in his group. And his "Salat" prayer was anything but specific to a single religion:
    ...
    Allow us to recognize Thee
    In all Thy holy names and forms;
    As Rama, as Krishna, as Shiva, as Buddha;
    Let us know Thee as Abraham, as Solomon, as Zarathustra, as Moses, as Jesus, as Mohammed,
    And in many other names and forms,
    Known and unknown to the world.
    ...
     
  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Actually, atheists are among the less likely people to use such a label.
     
  18. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    First of all...welcome to RF!

    To me, those two words -- "spiritual" (not spiritistic) and "religious" (not religion) -- are pretty much the same.

    Both are about worship to God, which a big part of, is genuinely cultivating the 'fruitages of the spirit', @ Galatians 5:22-23.

    Skeptics talk about how they think God is an awful, selfish entity... but interesting how the Bible says treating others w/ concern and kindness, is what pleases Him. It is called clean worship. James 1:27.
     
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  19. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Spiritual is that which motivates the soul or life essence. Spiritual is also qualities of being. Motivations and qualities of being have no physical basis but are realities unto themselves.

    I am a spiritual naturalist. I have no stake in chakras, or any other fluff attaching itself to the word spiritual.

    Religion is all myth in my practice. Spirit is a reality. Whether spirit is caused by the physical, or noneso caused that way, it is its entire own reality.

    Soul might be caused by the physical, but i strongly believe not.

    All is recognized by experience of one's own heart, mind, and will. Experience is to be observed, and understood objectively. Motivation and will and heart of self, is self studied carefully in meditation, and outward expression.

    The mind is only one aspect of three aspects of being. Living solely in the mind while worthwhile, also neglects heart, and will. The mind feeds the heart, and filters experience through understanding.

    How the self is conceived of is important to attaining to spiritual virtues. I am a self, yet i do not cling to ego; ego corrupts the self.
     
  20. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I don't know enough him to say whether he was actually a universalist or was trying to co-opt the beliefs of other religions into his own religious worldview.
     
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