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Spiritual, Religious, or Neither?


Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

When asked whether I am spiritual, religious, or neither, aside from feeling like I am filling out a psych questionnaire or dating profile, I try to taper the answer to the questionnaire.

This does not necessarily mean that I seek to find commonality between our belief systems, but rather it is an attempt to understand from where the question is being asked.

Who is Asking?

Are they a searcher, or are they trying to push their agenda?

What is their background? How do they interpret these things? Are they open to change?

I was recently accosted by a Hare Krishna devotee who asked me if I meditate, and what type of meditation I do, and I couldn’t help but feel insincerity from a naive follower who was seeking to raise funds for his temple. It was the first time that a religious man, dressed as a spiritual man engaged with me in a most disconnected way.

The fact is, that there is an intersection in these things, and they need not be separated in a political way.

Spirituality

Photo by Karolina Grabowska — Pixels

I define this as seeking to make the invisible visible, the unknown known.

The spiritual person is one of faith, curiosity, and bravery.

Often people refer to themselves as spiritual, but rather use it as shorthand for ‘I don’t know, and I haven’t bothered to check’.

Rather, this is having an intuition about something and pursuing it tirelessly because it feels right.

Religious

While I study the history of various religions I do not follow any in the traditional sense, yet I am deeply religious about certain life-enhancing practices.

Whether I am committed to yoga, a work project, an art project, a romantic connection, studies, or whatever it may be, I build routine practices around these things to make them a part of my service to the universe.

These practices change. Often. And remaining open to change is where the ‘Neither’ comes in.

Neither


Photo by Anete Lusina — Pixels

I am neither your definition of spiritual nor religious.

My religious practices evolve and devolve. They sometimes align with those of other religions, and sometimes appear to be pure lunacy or eccentricity.

My spirituality is not your talk of crystals and healing. While these things may play a temporary role in my life and even my religious devotion, it is only triggered by my curiosity about connecting with the universe in a deeper way, through novelty.

Stay Curious. Work Hard. Be Kind.

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