Spirituality and Religion
It is important to distinguish the difference between spiritual in religion and spirituality. Spiritual in religion can be defined as a strong will in faith, which denotes one’s beliefs and personal relationship with God, in contrast to the general relationship with the Divine understood as being shared by all members of that faith. A spiritual person in general believes that there are many "spiritual paths.” In other words, path, which makes the most sense, is the correct one for oneself. In fact, in the world of religions today, they are all talking about how to establish a deeper and better relationship, and finding connection with the Divine with the same manifesto.
Spirituality is not religion. It is connecting you to the insightful and Divine light force that is present in this cosmos. It gives you inner peace, success, or supreme enlightenment. It leads you to achieving an effective way of living, knowing who you are, and providing an effective plan for living, including spiritual wisdom. It exists in every soul and beyond the physical aspect.
Spirituality is a hidden wisdom in your heart that always relates to God in everything. True spirituality is with you wherever you go. Spirituality is awakened when you are in your spiritual awareness. It is alive in the hearts of most believers. It is an essential part of an individual's holistic health and well-being and is achieved by developing an awareness of an "inspirational dimension" to life.
Once you enter into a deep spiritual comprehension, you may see outwardly and observe that things are not very much different. However, in your inner state of consciousness, you have gained a greater wealth of peacefulness, calmness, stillness, faith, love, benevolence, compassion, truthfulness, and spiritual vision in your experiences. If you follow your heart to do what you have to do, your vision will become clear and purified.
You are awakening.
All spiritual practices are about following and purifying your heart. Listen to your inner voice; connect with, and talk to, God. The whisper of your own wise soul helps to enhance your meditation, divination, prayer, reading, and understanding of scriptures as well as your spiritual qualities, which include compassion, benevolence, truthfulness, and steadiness. If you have a strong faith and belief, the Universe will speak to you with a soft voice in every moment, but only if you listen.
While attempting to purify your heart, some of your old thoughts and desires may emerge. Once your heart is pure, you are no longer affected by these unwanted old thoughts and desires from the past. Ensure your intentions are always pure. Even if your inner guidance is motionless, you will still be on the right spiritual path and protected by your inner intentions.
After a prolonged period of practice at purifying your heart and listening to your inner voice, you will realize that thoughts and ideas are not two separate constructs. They are parallel forces sustaining and strengthening each other.
The more often you practice and are involved with spirituality, the more you will realize your spiritual progression. Eventually your personal will and the Divine will start to flow harmoniously as one and become oneness.
You shift to your spiritual heart in your spiritual journey, but not your physical heart. In fact, a symbolic heart represents all the ways of knowing and goes beyond the rational mind of intention, emotion, and the Divine motion of awareness, which can instantly change your world into a heavenly realm.
Your spiritual heart is a nonphysical space of communion with the spirit. It guides you to move harmoniously with universal creative energy. You feel a flow of true love for others because the Divine’s love is unconditional. When you have true love, your love and the Divine’s love evolve to become one.
You will begin to feel an inner peace dwell within you. Even in your physical life, you persevere through challenges, but you are still able to find your way through the refreshing waters that flow in your heart. There you will find your inner peace.
Your real happiness is obtained from your inner state of mind, which is quite different from your external world of happiness. Your outer state of happiness is the material desire that you wish to fulfill in your material world, while your inner state of consciousness is the true contentment of joy and bliss; these ultimately need to work together as one mind to fulfill your content.
When you shift to self-awareness, you may appear to be living the same life; you continue to enjoy your physical and material things as before, such as wealth, power, joys, and sorrows. However, you may discover that deep inside, you have felt God’s peace, which may or may not be visible to the Universe.
Spirituality encourages you to take life more seriously and with greater respect and gives you a life that is full of meaning. At the same time, spirituality also gives you the awareness that everything is running by itself and that you won’t have to feel anxious or entirely responsible.
Let’s say religion is the shell and spirituality is the kernel. Therefore spirituality is inside the shell. Spirituality will remain different from the shell, and eventually you will grow to the point where it can shine its beauty without being closed inside the shell. Spirituality is related to your intimate personal preference to seek greater meaning and purpose in your life. However, religion and spirituality can unify magnificently. Spirituality is everything in our daily activities.
A spiritually aware person is open to life’s learning and growing processes. He or she respects all races, different varieties of religions, and all forms of gods and goddesses. He or she has a kinder and gentler approach that replaces outdated tendencies toward violence, intolerance, and prejudice. Once you become a spiritual seeker, you will gradually eliminate all the old clothes you no longer fit. Many seekers begin to believe that every image of divinity is just another face like their own, that is, an image of the infinite, everlasting God.
By Herman Wong