What is religious and what is spiritual? At its best religion is a ritualized expression of the spiritual. At its worst, it becomes an instrument of dehumanization and control.
While religion focuses on who you are supposed to be by abiding by certain rules of conduct and practice, spirituality is all about becoming who you really are with all your unique, individual, God-given potentials and abilities.
Religion is a doctrine that tells you what to believe, what group you need to belong to and what rules you have to follow. Spirituality is experienced from within. You believe because you have felt and experienced. You do the “right thing” because you just know what is good and what is bad for the Greater Whole.
Most of the many fellow pilgrims I have spoken to on my walks on the Spanish Camino would describe themselves as spiritual seekers rather than followers of a certain religious doctrine.
In becoming mindful and watchful for the subtle messages of the universe transmitted in dreams, images, and symbols, life takes on an entirely different meaning. Put in a different way: God speaks to us in many different ways.
We are on the brink of another raised level of human consciousness which is non-divisive, universalist, tolerant, self-reflective and compassionate.
At the same time, elementary and revolutionary changes are always confronted with a backlash from those defending the old order.
In recent years we have seen a frightening rise of movements seeking to divide and separate with fear-instilling messages, propounded by dangerous narcissistic and ego-driven leaders.
It is the natural pendulum of the yin and the yang. Energy is wasted in the hysteria over the actions coming from the shadow.
In going with the higher frequency of the raised consciousness, the danger is that we react with the same patterns as our adversaries. We also become hateful, ranting and vengeful.
Yet when seen according to the law of opposites that is the foundation of life, a different perspective can be taken. Identity is defined in terms of the opposite and it is often when confronted with the extreme opposite that we are galvanized into action.
(This is an extract from “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”)
Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor, and Consultant