What is the meaning of spirituality in 2019?
The answer to that question may surprise you.
The true meaning of spirituality is not what most people think. In fact, spirituality is the opposite of what a lot of people think.
And it’s important that you know the true meaning of spirituality, because science has proven that spirituality is important in your life.
If you’re unhappy or unhealthy, spirituality can help. But the masses still turn their noses up to spirituality because they confuse it for religion.
Let’s change that.
Too many people get the meaning of spirituality wrong
Let’s set this down in writing right now: spirituality is not religion.
Spirituality is not even necessarily related to religion.
They’re just not the same, at all. In fact in many ways spirituality is the opposite of religion.
Religion means sticking to a fixed view of the world, of life, of creation; a view that’s given to you (usually) from a book.
Religion is an unyielding belief that what an authority says about life and morality is the be all and end all.
And while there might be spiritual gurus, no spiritualist can tell another spiritualist what to belief. Spiritualists have the freedom of choice.
So what is the meaning of spirituality really?
There are lots of ways to be a spiritual person.
(And you can always get some inspiration from spiritual movies, which have been highly popular for over a century).
The true meaning of spirituality is: Having a perspective on life, creation, and existence, a perspective that involves concepts of morality. And, importantly, spirituality is your belief.
Millions of people have their own spiritual beliefs that they created, that they live by, and that are entirely about themselves as an individual.
Spirituality is your beliefs that you chose. Religion is the beliefs that were given to you by an authority.
So why do people confuse spirituality and religion?
It is very easy to confuse spirituality and religion. Seriously, take a look at these 14 Buddhist quotes and beliefs.
Did you notice, when you read that link, how so many of those beliefs are not really religious but are more generally spiritual?
Spirituality and religion are so closely related. A lot of people confuse spirituality for religion. There’s a reason for that: spirituality and religion cover the same ground.
Religions involve creationism, morality, concepts of good and evil, and a code of conduct to live by.
So does spirituality.
Does Spirituality Mean You Believe In God?
Some spiritualists may believe that god (or a god) created the world.
“Ah ha, so you are religious then,” people say.
Just because you believe that a god created the world doesn’t mean it’s the god of the bible or one of the Hindu gods.
A spiritualist might believe the creator is a god only they themselves know. Or they might believe the world was created by a four-headed monkey.
Spiritualists are free to believe anything they want, because spirituality is subjective and individual.
That goes for morals too.
The Meaning Of Spirituality Is All About Morals
I’m a deeply spiritual person myself, and my spirituality heavily influences my concept of morality.
Most spiritual people are deeply moral, which is one reason why they do so much to try and stop evil in the world.
A key part of my spirituality, for instance, is being one with the universe (which is one reason why I cultivate chi by using Taoist meditations daily).
I genuinely go out of my way to be kind to everyone I meet.
Compassion is vital for me too [Read: importance of compassion].
If I find someone unhappy I will do anything in my power to make them smile.
Now you might say “Buddhists say the same thing”. And true enough one of the most important Buddhist beliefs is being kind to others.
But just because my spirituality happens to touch on some concepts of Buddhism does not mean I’m a Buddhist. It just means that Buddhism and I share a few things in common.
We live in a day and age where we’re made to believe in an all-or-nothing attitude. Either you’re religion A or religions B. That’s bullshit.
Spiritualists are free to adopt different parts of different religions while not following that religions as the be-all-end-all.
Unlike religion, spirituality is about choice
True spirituality is ultimately about being true to yourself.
It’s about finding a spiritual system that works for you.
Spiritual people often accept some aspect of religions. But they’re not forced to believe them.
If you’re religious you’re told to believe all of that religion.
Christians have to believe in the whole bible.
But a spiritualist?
A spiritualist can pick up the bible and say “Ah ha, this commandment about not stealing. I can agree with that.” But it doesn’t mean they have to follow the whole bible.
The best example of this is yoga. Yoga is historically religious (it stems from Hinduism). But just go ahead and take a look at these 13 styles of yoga.
Do you think those forms of yoga are religious, spiritual, or just exercise? It can be hard to distinguish.
Then again, does it matter?
One of the best things about being a spiritualist is that you can take parts of different religions and apply them to your own system.
The true meaning of spirituality is freedom of belief.
Spiritual people can pick and choose parts of religions and integrate them into their own spirituality.
Personally, I appreciate a lot of Eastern philosophy.
Taois beliefs and practices, for instance, promote harmony between mind and body.
Lao Tzu said that a healthy mind creates a healthy body.
That’s true, and I personally believe in that, so I follow some of the Taoist practices for harmonising mind and body.
I also practice some Buddhist meditation techniques. And there are some Hindu mantras that I use. Oh, and then yoga, I love yoga.
Those are all religions. But as a spiritualist I’m free to pick and choose parts of those religions to use for my own spirituality.
That’s the beauty of spirituality: You can take the beliefs that you, as an individual, truly believe in, and combine them to form your own spirituality.
What Spirituality Means To You Can Be Different To What It Means To Me
When you put all this together you realise that the true meaning of spirituality is “freedom for individual beliefs”.
And that is what TheDailyMeditation.com is all about.
On this site you’ll find Hindu mantras, Buddhist mudras, Taoist practices, modern science, and some articles which are simply things that I personally believe in.
It’s a spiritual approach to belief.
That’s why I believe TheDailyMeditation.com is such a great resource for spiritualists, because it says:
Here are some amazing beliefs and practices, but hey, you pick what works for you because you should be free to create your own spiritual system for your own life.
That’s what TheDailyMeditation.com is all about. And that, in a nutshell, is the true meaning of spirituality.
EDITOR: I’ve added the following from previous blogpost that was written by MJ.
Why Too Many People Hate Spiritualists
If you follow some big spiritual blogs, you will notice they have a lot of followers. So clearly lots of people like spirituality. But lots of people hate it too
Nowadays, people roll their eyes at the term “soul mates” and aren’t even aware that the term “twin flames” exists.
Nowadays, the mass public isn’t into a lot of spirituality, mainly because spirituality is considered fanciful, a romantic notion pleasant to consider but hardly to be taken seriously.
A stereotype has been created that anyone who is into spirituality, or just believes in anything that is somewhat connected to anything spiritual is just “insane”, “crazy” etc.
Well, let’s put this ignorance to rest.
You mustn’t let small talk get to your head and change the way you think. You mustn’t let the uninformed interfere with your spiritual path.
I have asked myself a lot about how people only base their opinions on “something they read” or “something they heard”. Do you really want to let the media and the status quo get to your head and change the way you process your opinions or the way you look at the truth?
Next time someone decries your beliefs and turns their nose up at your spiritual side, challenge them, question what they’re saying to you. Because maybe, just maybe, your beliefs are right.
It makes me really angry that people just accept any stereotype that crosses their path, in every aspect of life. While this happens in almost every situation, I want to say something about how stereotypes affect the growth of spirituality among people worldwide.
The Spiritual Realm Is All About Energy
Anything non-physical, non-material, affecting our emotions and intuition, triggering various energies within our body, and connected to the unconscious part of our mind is called spiritual. Spirituality is often associated with meditation, as it triggers intense “spiritual awakenings” and helps with “connecting to one’s intuition”.
But, whenever I mention “spirituality” in front of the average person, I always get a reaction about religion, because their definition of spirituality is misinformed.
It is true that spirituality and religious beliefs do have things in common, but they are far away from meaning the same thing.
Often, the reason people link spirituality to religion is because spirituality and science are two opposite terms, which have no common grounds.
Historically people consider religion to be opposite of science (and many great debates and even battles have been thought over this divide). And by extension, spirituality takes the side of religion, because the mass populace considers spirituality to be unscientific.
Spirituality is closer to science than most people realise.
Fascinating fact. A lot of athetists and agnostics are getting into spiritual techniques like meditation.
That’s because spirituality is closer to science than people realise.
Many people do not realize that the energies that a person’s spirit create or trigger have a much stronger bond with science than with religion.
Those energies can be calculated and very much scientifically proven, which means that spirituality is much closer to science than many people realise.
And that’s just one more reason why the mass populace’s definition of spirituality is so erroneous, because in many ways spirituality is closer to science than to religion.
We must accept that spirituality will be a part of our lives till the day we die.
It will be always a part of our health and conscious and unconscious mind, affecting our perspective of the world. Keeping ourselves spiritually healthy is the best thing we can do to maintain a perfect perspective of the world around us. And that is why we must ensure that the mass public understands and appreciates the true definition of spirituality, because too much is lost in ignorance.
Once the mass public understands the true definition of spirituality, hopefully we can enjoy a happier and healthier time when people embrace spirituality rather than decrying it.
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Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation