The difference between spirituality and religion is a fine line. In fact, many people conflate the two, since their surrounding beliefs are intertwined. However, there are differences. Whether it comes to distinctive beliefs or varying overarching principles, read on to learn more about the difference between spirituality and religion.
Why the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion Matters
In this article:
- The Key Differences Between Spirituality and Religion
- Applying the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion
- Learning the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion
- Who Can Learn the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?
- Why Should You Care About the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?
- How Can an Individual Learn the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?
The Key Differences Between Spirituality and Religion
Going by the book, the Oxford dictionary defines religion as a “personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.” Meanwhile, it defines spirituality as “sensitivity or attachment to religious values.” That being said, you can be spiritual without conforming to any religious belief. Additionally, an individual may be religious without finding the true meaning of spirituality. Spirituality is more about self-awareness and listening to your soul. Religion is the act of faithfully following a certain set of beliefs and rules while serving some form of higher power.
Applying the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion
I hear this a lot, “I’m spiritual, but not religious”…to which I usually reply “me too!”
White board teaching today…here are a few of my thoughts on the difference between religion and spirituality. What do these words mean to you?? pic.twitter.com/mknufZVVOR
— Ginger Rothhaas (@GingerRothhaas) November 19, 2017
A person who is aware of the difference between spirituality and religion can apply this knowledge in their day-to-day life. Once a religious person becomes aware of their spirituality, they can practice their religion’s teachings more faithfully. In fact, a spiritually-aware individual can understand the underlying reasons for their church’s teachings and better themselves as a religious individual.
Learning the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion
There’s no concrete timeline for when a person becomes aware of the differences between spirituality and religion — or even when they become one or the other. For example, you could consider an infant religious as long they’ve gone through their church’s rites of passage. In contrast, a person can only practice spirituality once they become self-aware. This can happen at a very early age or it can happen in the later years of your life. Spirituality is not a process which you can rush or solidify with a ceremony.
Who Can Learn the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?
Probably the biggest difference between the terms “religion” (as its come to be known) and “spirituality”, is… https://t.co/E0sHgPHr7q
— Dr. Linda Gadbois (@LGadbois) December 22, 2017
Anyone can learn the difference between spirituality and religion, but that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed. While most people are born into a religious family who teach them the ways of their church, spirituality differs. Unlike religion, you cannot force an individual to become spiritually aware. You can only hope they ask for guidance and strive to become more self-aware. In fact, there are many cases where religious people never learn the true meaning of spirituality.
Why Should You Care About the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?
Religion without spirituality is equivalent to blind obedience. Without spirituality, you may faithfully observe your religion’s teachings, but you fail to understand its true meaning.
Still, while there is a difference between spirituality and religion, both place emphasis on the existence of our soul and a greater power. Additionally, religion is rooted in the spirituality of man. Man created religion, basing it on literature passed down by our ancestors. However, only once a group of spiritually aware individuals decide to promote their interpretation of a higher being do they create a religion.
How Can an Individual Learn the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?
— Tansamai (@TansamaiNews) November 23, 2017
An individual can only realize the difference between spirituality and religion once they achieve a certain level of self-awareness. Remember, spirituality and self-awareness are not like religion where you have to undergo certain rites. Instead, spirituality occurs once an individual becomes autonomously aware of their soul and spiritual health.
Do you want to learn more about the difference between spirituality and religion? Watch this video by Koi Fresco as he shares his view on the topic:
Learning the difference between spirituality and religion can go a long way in improving an individual’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Once you learn the difference, you’ll know that the two are interconnected but different. Additionally, you’ll understand how best to practice each and live a fuller life.
Did reading this article help you understand the difference between spirituality and religion? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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