I gave up religion when I discovered spirituality. For some reason these two worlds, or states of mind, clashed. One had to go. I have encountered, in my Baptist upbringing, those who claimed that spirituality cannot exist without religion. “Spirituality is rooted in religion,” my dearest Christian friends claimed.
What a limiting belief it was, as it produced a regression in my journey to a better understanding. Contemplation was almost out of the question. A sense of joy and wonder diminished greatly. I started to believe that my Christian fellows were not what they claimed to be. They were either Religious or Spiritual, or they clutched to one side more than the other. In their case I believe it was religion. But then I cannot be sure.
In my case leaving religion meant abandoning tradition to the observers. However, I never saw it that way. In this sense, even those who were not religious followed the tradition prescribed by their religion. I sensed some hypocrisy or a societal double standard. How can some individuals use the Lord’s name in vein, and then praise him through songs and prayers? Is there really one way, one God? How can everybody else be wrong?
Religion surely can lead to separatism. By letting go of religion, I became a spiritual person, appreciating other religions from which, when combined, a lot of words of wisdom derived.
Spirituality, for me, can be summed up as humanity. We are humans that should try to understand each other. No more claiming that one religion is the sole truth that should dominate over others. No more brainwashing, no more separating groups of people through such things as religion.
I also see spirituality as a continual progress through science, exploration of the universe, and a feeling of admiration and amazement in a sense that there is so much to discover. This is what spirituality means in my life.
As long as we cling to the scriptures, and as long as we strongly identify with them, we will not be able to see the world from another perspective, nor will we be able to understand or appreciate other humans and their rich cultures. What saddens me is that my Christian fellows no longer wish to associate with me due to my beliefs. I miss them very dearly and I hope that they will understand me one day.
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