Posts Tagged ‘Between’

Religion-and-Spirituality – The Uniqueness and Divergence Between the Two

June 7th, 2021

Religion and spirituality are two complementing factors, yet each has unique distinction and is quite dissimilar in terms of approach and belief. You may be wondering of the difference between the two, which somehow triggers significant confusion among its believers. To shed some light on this matter, an analysis of both would be utterly beneficial.

Here, we will try to uncover the divergence between religion-and-spirituality and what makes them unique in their own ways.

o The fear of God vs. the love for God – In religion, you are taught to obey God’s commandments and act upon according to the Holy Bible. This reminds you of what is good and what is bad to save you from the fires of hell. However, the concept of hell makes some believers follow the sacred rules not out of sheer obedience, but mostly out of fear. On the other hand, spirituality brings you to a journey towards knowing God. And, knowing him will only be genuine if you follow him through the path of love. Following the path of love will only be possible if you come to know God with all your heart and seek him with all your being – not out of fear, but out of your love and devotion for him. This creates a thin line between religion-and-spirituality.

o Omnipresent vs. Above the Heavens – We’re talking about where God really is. In religion, you are taught that God resides above the skies and in the high heavens. The spirituality approach is different. Spirituality is more focused on God’s omnipresence, a God that is all-knowing, a God who is able to see and act above and beyond, and a God that allows you to see his grace and goodness through people and Christ-like deeds.

o Rituals vs. Worships – These aren’t really two opposing factors, but there are differences between them that connect us to what religion-and-spirituality is all about. Religion is more concerned about how you worship God through the proper and divine way of doing it – religious rituals. Whereas, spirituality generates greater emphasis in building a divine and sacred temple that is closest to your being – an inner shrine found in your heart. Spirituality isn’t concerned with rituals, but it certainly respects the sense of formality. That made the difference.

In brief, the distinctions between religion-and-spirituality may seem to be an endless procession of beliefs and ideologies, but in the end, one truth shall triumph: No matter where you stand, whether you’re a man of religion or spirituality, you’re still worshiping, obeying, and loving the same God, the one and only supreme ruler, greatest father, and an all-knowing omnipresent God.

Five Similarities Between Religion and Spirituality

March 7th, 2021

When we were children we were asked, Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If we based our answer on the creation story in the Bible, we would answer, Chicken. But if we based our answer on our experience in raising chickens, our answer would be, Egg.

The same can be said of the answer to the question, Which came first, Religion or Spirituality?

In terms of our experience with religious books and discussions, religion came first. It is only now that more and more people are talking about spirituality and writing about it. In terms of the origin of the reality behind those words or in terms of the object of our understanding, spirituality came first. The spirit was there before there was any religion. God was there before there was anybody to worship him.

We can even say that spirituality is an offshoot of religion. For many centuries people professed religion. Some of them fiercely opposed religions other their own. Christians for many centuries opposed paganism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and any other religion. This has happened also with paganism, Islam, and the rest with respect to the other religions. They too opposed other religions.

But more and more people discover that mere religion cannot answer their deeper yearning for a better experience of life. So, they turned to something deeper and better than religion. They found this in spirituality.

Because spirituality in a sense is an offshoot of religion, there is bound to be some similarity between them, just like the similarity between the egg and the chicken.

First, both believe in a higher power of some kind. Religion believes in God the Father or Jesus, or Allah, or Brahman, or Tao. Spirituality believes also in this God or it may conceive of God as a universal or primal energy. Both believe that such being possesses power higher and greater than what we have.

Secondly, both religion and spirituality desire to have a relationship with this higher power. Although the nature of the relationship is different in religion than in spirituality, the desire for this relationship is there. Religion connects with this higher power with fear and trembling. Spirituality connects with this higher power with love and affection.

Thirdly, both religion and spirituality have rituals and practices which deepen one’s religiosity or spirituality. Religion usually has sacred rites or sacraments. Spirituality has meditation or yoga sessions.

Fourthly, both have respect for the sacred, the other worldly. This is not just respect for God. This is respect for the reality that is beyond our senses and reason. When religion pushes this respect to its extreme, it becomes superstition. When spirituality pushes this respect to its extreme, it becomes religious spirituality.

Fifthly, both have fear of failure. In religion this failure is punished by hell fire or repetition of existence or some other worse fate. In spirituality this failure is the inability to realize one’s true worth or value and the destiny of a life of meaninglessness. Hell, repetition of existence, non-existence, meaninglessness are forms of punishment for failure, either in religion or in spirituality.

Jose Bulao, a lay Carmelite, wants to help you attain a higher degree of spirituality. He is a Carmelite formator