Spiritual But Not Religious

I have noticed that many people on this site – and elsewhere – describe themselves in this manner or, is it just a convenient box to tick?

I find this description very vague and possibly misleading. So, how exactly do you define being spiritual? hmmm

A lot of people mistake Spirituality for Religion or some mysterious, supernatural occurrence. Some even think of it as a sect, but this is because of their lack of knowledge and their fear of being manipulated.

If we move past this and try to study and understand what spirituality actually is, we’ll come to a realization that it is nothing mysterious or supernatural, nor in any way connected to a sect of any kind.


Here below are a few examples of the things that I have heard makes a person spiritual (alone or in combination).

1. Does a “Spiritual” person believe in a “God/Creator” or a version thereof?
2. Do they believe in “Heaven & Hell”?
3. Do they believe in Karma and Reincarnation?
4. Have they heard a “spiritual” call and do they have a burning desire to walk a “Spiritual” Path?
5. Do they ponder over the Universe and Humanity´s place in it?
6. Do they revere the environment and all creatures on earth?
7. Do they do good deeds for society, donate to charities, do volunteer work etc (mostly anonymously) without being attached to the results?

Or many other virtuous things?

The list above should not be regarded as “red herrings” which “must” be pursued. They are only suggestions/prompts.
typing writing conversing

Comments (131)

Consider these definitions:

"Religion is an institution established by man for various reasons. Exert control, instill morality, stroke egos, or whatever it does. Organized, structured religions all but remove god from the equation. You confess your sins to a clergy member, go to elaborate churches to worship, told what to pray and when to pray it. All those factors remove you from god."

"Spirituality is born in a person and develops in the person. It may be kick started by a religion, or it may be kick started by a revelation. Spirituality extends to all facets of a person’s life. Spirituality is chosen while religion is often times forced."

"True spirituality is something that is found deep within oneself. It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around you. It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way".

Ecco1
It is all the items you expertly describe. I do however agree with you that most of us make such selection because of the lack of a better category. I also reckon that the majority of those making such category selection are perhaps afraid to tell the world how they truly feel about religion. Convenience is necessary in this case.- By Ecco1
Great subject for a blog, daniela, I've often wondered about this myself.
To me being spiritual but not religious means someone does not wish to be perceived as fanatiical in their believes like it "sofens" it a bit by saying; spiritual instead of religious

1. Does a “Spiritual” person believe in a “God/Creator” or a version thereof?
2. Do they believe in “Heaven & Hell”?

I do believe the above..........wave
Geronimolion
1. Does a “Spiritual” person believe in a “God/Creator” or a version thereof?
Hard to answer, because nobody knows where life came into being, but certainly do not believe in a "god" as described in those fable books. I always say to believers, You can not prove that there is a "god", I can not prove that there is no "god".

2. Do they believe in “Heaven & Hell”?
Look above, I believe in nothing that has sprung from human madness, no.

3. Do they believe in Karma and Reincarnation?
I rather believe in a form of energy that remains certain in some form, even after our physical transience.

4. Have they heard a “spiritual” call and do they have a burning desire to walk a “Spiritual” Path?
I speak for myself, no nothing heard, but I believe in rational, understanding thinking, and everything has a reason for existence.

5. Do they ponder over the Universe and Humanity´s place in it?
As far as I am concerned, I do that constantly, my search never stops.

6. Do they revere the environment and all creatures on earth?
I do not honor anything or anyone, but I have deep respect for everything that lives ... including vegetation etc ..., everything has a reason, and the chain is only as strong as the weakest link

7. Do they do good deeds for society, donate to charities, do volunteer work etc (mostly anonymously) without being attached to the results?
Had contributed enough, until it became clear that many of those gifts did not end up at the right destination. But I continue to persevere wherever possible.
tip hat
I like to think I'm open minded but I can't see any reason to make assumptions about things that are outside my own experience of how the World works. I know there are lots of things that I can neither explain nor understand but I'm quite happy to just say, I don't know, and leave it at that. Some people seem to have to fill that void with something they would like to believe, rather than leave it empty.
Hi Eco 1...welcome to my blog wave

That's right...lack of categories..people just tick a box as it's convenient.uh oh
I think I might have that down on my profile. I'm too lazy to check laugh

I believe in the power and energy of nature, including people, and believe there are things that cannot be explained away by science.

I don't know if that is spiritual or not, but it is not nothing.

I am definitely not religious. That I know for sure.
Thanks Harbal.
I had posted it a while ago but it wasn't the right time so I deleted it and was saving it..
wine

I'm now waiting to hear your views?
Krinka
I've already written the reply on Harbal's thread, so I can only repeat it here:

"Spiritual, but not religious" generally means - believing in God (or something that transcends us), but having personal beliefs about it. Neither belonging to some religion, nor being an atheist/agnostic.

Every person has their own idea of "spirituality".

In the past, I used to choose "Orthodox Christian" (most Serbian people traditionally belong to this church) on sites like CS and then was approached by people who were really seriously religious Orthodox (or some other) Christians. Since I'm not one, I've found this option much better. smile
"..believe there are things that cannot be explained away by science. "

Defeatist. Unacceptable. Our imagination knows no bounds. Don't waste that on believing. Waste it on explaining.
Thats right BC/Jenny...
I supposed because they don't really want to describe themselves ..so they just tick a box.?

The problem is ...if you happen to communicate with these people you find out that they're completely different from your expectations.dunno
outfitter7777
I'm a 'Native American' as sites would describe 'Indian' and /or Aboriginal.I'm from Canada and was born a Christian and was forced in my childhood day's to be religious (praying to a god).????
My traditional upbringing has taught me to practice my 'spiritual' ways daily but that's not being religious.
Crunia
I shall pass this one for now Rubia, it´s friday and the only spiritual stuff I allow myself today is whatever Baco decides wine
Nice you bring this subject on blogs wave
Hola Gero...nice written comment.applause

In answer to some of your points..

1. Yes..I agree with that.
2. Ok..I accept also.
3. Energy and transcendence ..yes..I also agree but reincarnation?
If in religion it is believed that we have past lives so...why not future ones???
5. I'm also always searching for answers.
6. Ok...as long as you're a caretaker of the earth.
7. Nice to hear that you do.

Thanks again for your participation in this subject
thumbs up
Hello Krinka...yes I read your comment but thank you for joining in. bouquet

I understand what you mean about your view on religion and how to describe yourself
Harbal..I see you've added another comment but you don't really have an opinion?

You mean you're not even curious? But...you did write about it? dunno
Hi Molly...I suppose this is a good enough explanation ..
At least you know what you are NOT...dunno
Hey One...why are you faceless tonight?

I suppose I'll just have to imagine won't I ?

As Einstein once said..
"Logic will take you from A to B..but Imagination will take you anywhere!"
Hello Outfitter...welcome to my blog.wave

That's interesting...could you maybe please elaborate what your practises consist of?

Or...Maybe answer some of the above questions ?
Hola guapa..wave

I thought you were going to say that the only spirits you're interested in are the ones you're going to drink tonight? wink laugh

Que tengas unas buenas tardes. kiss
Daniela, I didn't say I wasn't curious. Like most people, I think about things that I don't understand, but, in the absence of actual knowledge, I wouldn't substitute it with wishful thinking. I suppose what I'm most curious about is people's propensity for treating fanciful notions as fact. What makes people abandon what they know from experience in favour of things that they can only know through imagination?
It's ok Harbal...I do understand what you're saying here.

I once had a bf who had similar thoughts and..to tell you the truth..he surprised me one day...long story ..wink
It's just my perspective on it, daniela, I'm not criticising anyone else's way of looking at things.

I hope your BF surprised you pleasantly.
Spiritually ..yes...you could say that ..wink

People never stop to surprise me !
And....I didn't take your comment as a criticism either.kiss
i would say yes to all the questions but one, I do not believe in heaven or hell. I do believe in a universal energy, but it is not personified and it creates us as much as we create it.
Since it's 11:22 pm and I've got to work tomorrow..I will be brief.I am fascinated by all beliefs and have enjoyed participating in many forms of enlightenment,except Ayahuasca.bouquet
platosha
I am 100% with Geronimoleon on this one! Yes to all points.. am not contributing to some causes,, am physically going to children's home.. Bringing clothes, toys, food.. in South Africa they are receiving peanuts from government,, one year they didn't get anything and people were bringing what they could to help.. till now their budget is about 50 american cents for good pet child per day..
Unfortunately majority of people that are going to church every Sunday and big mouths about their religion are not the ones who are helping.. That from my observation over the years..
Hi Marlin wave

Thanks for your input. thumbs up
"Heaven & Hell", ummm... it´s all a matter of perception, hey? wink
Hello Ash - long time no see?

Same here thumbs up

Never enjoyed Ayahusca - took it once out of curiosity and it did bring me some kind of "enlightenment", ummm... yeah.... and that was enough! wink

bouquet
Hi Patoscha..wave Thanks very much for your input.

I also agree with what you´re saying. thumbs up
goldengloss
Morning Daniela~Am just having brekkie with central heat on and a dark grey sky and it is snowing, very cold
:snowed in: All my lovely little Spring Narcissi, Hyacinths etc., beaten down . Spiritual not Religious to me, is one of those awful tick box things on Dating sites and Singles Clubs that means nothing to me.

Spiritual in my humble opinion is someobdy who looks beyond the everyday, the mundane. That questions life, usually particularly close to nature, empathic, searching for meaning,not belonging to any religion, and perhaps disallusoned with organised Religion, Agnostic, Atheist, or plain not interested or bothered as to whether there is a God or not. They are often to be found helping animals, healinand often will have dipped in to Buddhism at some stage to find a way to live , that gives them more meaning.
In short,I would expect a spiritual person to have a warm heart, an enquiring mind, no set views, no entrenched views or [like yourself] somebody who would never laugh at those who claim to have a personal
Relationship with their God.
Hiya Goldie... nice to see you back here. And a good morning to you too.
Glad that you´re enjoying your springtime with all the flowers in bloom.

You´ve more or less summarized it all for me regarding your views on spirituality.
Thank you for all your input. teddybear bouquet
Heavens, quite an intense list. I suppose #1.

I don't ally myself with those who believe they are the only arbiter of their lives and that what they can't touch smell hear or feel doesn't exist - so I can't be atheist

I don't ally myself with those who believe the religious rules they live by are the only correct ones and everyone else is doomed to the wailing and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness - so I can't pick a religion

I approve of the tenets of Buddhism, so much as I have read
The Quakers are seen as narrow-minded and insular but in fact have a fascinating history of exploration and free-thinking - including scientific discovery
I was raised an Anglican, which is not at all fiery nowadays, although it had a controversial and bloody beginning and has been mostly gently apologetic and self-effacing ever since
Agnostics have some intriguing books and seek for belief but again, very few people know that and they are seen as wishy-washy atheists

I do say in my profile that I respect the beliefs of others and expect the same respect in return. And yes, I have ticked the option spiritual but not religious.
goldengloss
Daniela ~ you did not read my Blog properly, and I did not write a particuarly good reply. It is bloody snowing here and f reezing, and my flowers are being blown apart.
laugh
Biff ~ has written an excellent reply, It may come as a surprise to some to know that I too do not align myself with any sect or church, and find the patriarchy and disrespect for women and t reatement of same within churches and religious institutions horrific.~ I don't think I fit in to any box , I believe in God, and have a person relationship with God, by means of prayer and belief.

I was brought up with a grandfather from Scotland, they were Quakers. and was sent to a rather posh school run by Nuns that would put anyone off Religion.
So, if I say I am Spiritual not religious, I am lying surely? and If I tick the religious box I frighen off a lot of men who will think me insular, judgemental, and totally blinkered by some religion. Neigther of which i s true so thats why I hate that particular box.
I would like a box that said 'I believe in a Creator' simple as that as I don't fit Roman Catholic, or many of the others. Gosh I need a cuppa Tea it is snowing again.
snowed in
Thanks Biff for your input, which I have read with great interest. thumbs up

I don´t really have anything to add which I haven´t already written. dunno
No problem Daniela, I often have that effect on people laugh

I suppose what I was saying was that I don't bundle all the religions in the world into a pile and stick up a sign 'don't go there'. I don't completely understand how anyone can pick one and never look at any others, and I don't understand how anyone can say with confidence 'it is not possible there can be anything I cannot quantify' but no doubt they are interesting to people who tick the same boxes. Those who tick this box at least have the potential of having thought before they chose to tick it.

Thanks GG! laugh wave
Sorry Goldie... I read about flowers and, I must admit, they were the "red herring" ... but didn't read about them being beaten down. Sorry, my bad. doh

Writing replies in a hurry here as I´m about to go out. I know,.... No excuses! grin
Goldie.. regarding writing "I believe in a creator" - you can´t write it in the box but you can write it under "religious beliefs".
That´s where I also wrote my beliefs.
Biff, I understand perfectly what you´re saying.
I myself have learned a lot about Buddhism and, to some extent, some Hinduism and also Islam, having had friends with different religions, I suppose I learned a lot from them and, having a very inquisitive mind, I like to find out about things I don't know anything about.

I could say that I combine both Shamanic and Buddhist practices and healing techniques. But those are not religions, but a philosophy and also a life style.

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