Spirituality is a rather vague word which means different things to different people, but here it is defined as a way of being which concerns itself with our understanding and experience of the higher and often intangible aspects of human life.
In this sense, spirituality is concerned with matters such as love, faith, hope, gratitude, generosity, connection, compassion and peace, as well as the pursuit of spiritual growth and evolution, and the meaning of life itself.
Whilst many people use the words spirituality and religion as if they mean the same thing, they really aren’t.
Religions are externally created and organised systems of belief. Each religion has its own world-view, principles, rules, laws and traditions, and its members tend to follow that (usually fixed) system of belief exactly as it is taught to them. In most religions, belief in the underlying system is essential.
Spirituality is an internal experience which grows, changes and develops in an organic way as individuals gain more insight into life and how it works. There are no rules to follow or break, only ideas to consider and explore. Similarly, there is nothing that one must believe in order to follow a spiritual path.
This being the case, it is perfectly possible for someone to belong to an organised religion, and to pursue their spiritual growth within the framework of the pre-existing belief system. Of course, the religious framework itself can often stifle spiritual growth and freedom, which is why most Seekers usually prefer to go their own way.
The good thing about being an independent Seeker is that it doesn’t in any way prevent you from finding truth and meaning in any religious system. Almost all religions were formed because they had something useful to offer, and the advantage of creating your own spiritual path is that you are free to benefit from the teachings and insights of multiple religions, or none, as you prefer.
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