Spirituality and Religiosity…

In terms of the changes that occur during emergence to a spiritual being, the distinction between spirituality and religiosity needs to be discussed given the confusion between the terms and also the strong repulsion or attraction that the mere word ‘religion’ can evoke.  Most importantly, the process of change into Spiritual Beings can occur within any religious organisation or with no religious affiliation at all.  Herein, religion is defined as belonging to a group that practices a set of beliefs, behaviors, values, and attitudes that are based on previously established religious doctrine and organized within an institution. The religious doctrine can be the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, or any other body of religious literature that is collectively shared and adhered to.  Religiosity provides a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and supports groups of individuals that share the same beliefs, values, and morals.

Spirituality is the experience of a deep and profound relationship with a higher power or essence that occurs at the level of the individual. Spirituality includes a sense of meaning and purpose in life, a personal belief system and principles to live by.  Transcendent beliefs and experiences can occur through an awareness of, and appreciation for, the vastness of the universe and recognition of a higher power.  A relationship with one’s inner self develops with a deep connection to this higher power, which results in an increased capacity to love.  This expanded capacity to love eventually leads to behaviours that focus on the greater good for all living creatures and the universe. Therefore, spirituality within any religious doctrine can lead people to this transformational process since all religions have this truth at the core of their original teachings.  The process of transformation to Homo nuovo however, is not dependant on any religious doctrine or paradigm and in fact, can occur without any religious doctrine at all.

Spirituality, on the other hand, does not include a God that has been described by a religion or specific body of writing but rather, the concept of God or a higher power can be described as an inner force, a calling, or even life itself.  This is the great mysterious force that brings life with the first breath of a new baby and the mystery that expels life upon death.  This force is a felt sense that is personal and private.

From “Living Beyond the Five Senses”  available at http://www.amazon.com

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