My last post was about identifying with being spiritual but not religious. It was a defense post responding to the post of another who thought calling oneself spiritual but not religious was a copout and misrepresentation of true faith. As I have thought more about this I have realized that I chose to give a snarky response rather than explain why I believe that there is a difference in spirituality and religion and why I choose to be spiritual and not religious.
I think of religion as an orderly system to be adhered to and comparable to a classroom to learn social methodology. It is rules and orderliness; it is books, buildings and mediators; it is practices and rituals; but it does not represent to me the awe of experiencing God and feeling his presence in my very heart and soul.
I see spirituality as my surrender to the supernatural. It is acknowledging the presence of God all about me in the expanse of nature and the smallest detail of human emotion. It is feeling God’s touch in the gentle breeze on a hot day or the warm sunshine on my face after a long cold winter. It is feeling his love when I give and receive love. It is feeling his strength in those moments during troubling times when I find the will to get up and go on. It is hearing his voice in the quiet lull during my prayers. It is knowing that all the science and logic that explains the world around us cannot explain the feeling of knowing that he is existent in my being. It is the search to understand the mystery.
Those who support the institute of religion often tell me that I am outside of God’s graces when I acknowledge my feelings over the teachings of the church that he has established. The problem is that I don’t think he established the church as it is represented by organized religion. I would rather feel something as I do in my practice of spirituality than the nothing that I feel when sitting in a pew listening to another flawed human being attempt to explain the mind of God. In being spiritual and not religious I think of myself as someone who has surpassed the need for preachers, buildings, congregations, choirs and collection plates. I know that I do not need any of that to understand God or feel his presence in my life.