Spirituality vs. Religion? Telling people that you are spiritual but not religious is often greeted with a confused face.
People tend to see spirituality as something very strange and mysterious. They even find it difficult to distinguish it from religion. But that’s only because there’s a shared fear of delving deeper into the unknown of non-material issues.
Therefore, people might believe that this spiritual belief system is just another tendency to manipulate and divide opinions.
Is spirituality a religion? How to tell the difference:
- Spirituality vs. Religion: 6 Key Differences
- Spiritual vs. Religious People: What’s the Difference?
- Leave leading yourself
The truth is that spirituality is perhaps the most natural thing there is – it is simply your conscious self realizing that you are more than just a body and you are one Soul with Infinite Potential.
Spirituality vs. Religion: 6 Key Differences
“What is the difference between religion and spirituality?” you might ask. Simply put, Spirituality has no rules, while religion is based entirely on pre-established beliefs and practices, rituals and dogma.
When someone is spiritual, they have a connection with themselves and life at soul level. And “God” is not an external force as in most religions.
There is often confusion when it comes to spirituality and religion. According to this 2019 study, spirituality and religion have a positive impact on well-being, but they are not the same.
So what are the key aspects that differentiate between the two? Here are six points to understand:
#1: There are no rules for spirituality
In contrast, following a particular ideology or set of rules leaves you Spirituality just follow your heart. It encourages you to listen to your intuition and do what is right for yourself and others around you.
It frees you to be the best you can be without the promise of punishment or Reward. The reward is just your inner happiness.
When the pressure of having to be good for God to like you is lifted off your shoulders, you will find it just becoming natural. You will not think of what needs to be done, rather you will act involuntarily at the grace of your core being.
We all come to this earth with the innate kindness of our hearts. And sometimes we just have to discover how to reconnect with that purity as it has never left our being.
#2: Spirituality is based only on love and not fear
Throughout religion there is much fear of the consequences of your actions. You are afraid of what might happen after you die if you don’t live your life accordingly.
In spirituality there is only love. It encourages you to focus all your energies on good while acting from this place. As the saying goes, love is always in the air, right?
Any decision made out of fear may not be good for your spirit. Whereas choices made out of love will strengthen you, make you braver and nourish your soul.
It shows you how to get through despite fear and how to keep going on what you believe is right despite fear Consequences that may come.
#3: Religion tells you the truth, spirituality allows you to discover it
Instead of telling you in black and white how the universe was created and why we are here, spirituality lets you discover these questions and answers for yourself.
It empowers you to find your own truth in all things and sets no limits to how deep you can go to anything to understand what there is to know. The more you know, the more you will realize that you know nothing.
Spirituality shows you how to find beauty by watching us unsuspectingly swim in the vast ocean called life. This is where true spiritual awakening happens. And you won’t miss the signs of it.
#4: Religion divides, spirituality unites
There are many religions in our world and they all preach that their story is the real story .
Spirituality sees the truth in all and seeks unity because truth is the same for all of us despite our differences.
It focuses on the quality of the divine message it conveys share, and not on the differences in the details of the story they tell.
If we analyze them piece by piece, we will notice common patterns and ideologies in most of the world’s religions. The truth is one and it can take many forms, but its essence will always remain unshakable.
#5: The difference between karma and punishment
Rather than about punishment or the Menace from hell, spirituality only speaks of karma.
It is related to the law of attraction – you get what you give. Easy.
Karma can easily be described as the consequences of our actions in this or previous existence. Some may refer to it as good or bad luck, but in reality it only represents the mechanism of action and reaction of the universe.
By introducing the concept of karma, spirituality teaches us to take full responsibility for our lives and acts mainly on purpose. The good ones.
#6: Go your way
Instead of old stories about angels and gods, spirituality encourages you to go your way and create your stories. This takes you on a journey of enlightenment and self-discovery where the only limits are yours to set.
It encourages you to trust your heart and follow it wherever it may lead you .
If you look at religion, everything springs from a deep spirituality. For example, Jesus and the Prophet Mohammed all had profound spiritual journeys.
Their paths so sincerely inspired those around them that they created religious dogmas based on the spiritual discoveries of these masters.
Spiritual vs. Religious People: What’s the Difference?
The difference between a spiritual person and a religious person depends on how they see God.
For a religious person, the concept of God is predetermined, named, and comes with a set method of worshiping that God. A spiritual person, on the other hand, turns inward to find their truth and finds God within themselves and throughout life.
The whole fuss about attuning to your spiritual self is that suddenly life becomes about being, not doing. You learn to be more of who you are, and it will rewarded by your outer reality.
The beauty of this is that you don’t have to strive for the perfect ‘goal’. You will only learn to recognize that you are already there. The goal that people unconsciously strive for is their true selves.
Your soul doesn’t care what you do for a living and when your life is over, you won’t care either. Your soul only cares about what you are as you do what you do.
— Neale Donald Walsch, bestselling author, renowned spiritual teacher and trainer of Mindvalley’s Awaken the Species Quest cite>
Learn more about connecting with your spirituality: Mindvalley’s Top 4 Free Courses for Spiritual Growth.
Let yourself be guided
The world we live in has led us to believe that religion vs. spirituality should be an ongoing debate.
However, if we approach life with acceptance and openness, we will see that both have pure intentions at their core. Both open up a world of possibilities where we can be guided by a life force greater than ourselves.
As we live, we learn more about how to create our dream reality when we focus on spiritual well-being. Knowing this is the key to mastering peace and harmony in your life.
There is no such thing as “going to heaven”. One can only know that one is already there. The irony is that most people think they have to leave their place to get where they want to go.
— Neale Donald Walsch, bestselling author, renowned spiritual teacher and trainer of Mindvalley’s Awaken the Species Quest
If you are ready to embark on your spiritual evolutionary journey, You came to the right place. Mindvalley opens the door to your path with the Awaken the Species Masterclass. Step into your greatness and learn how to change your life from the inside out today.
This article was originally published on Life Coach Code, written by Dejan Davchevski. It was then updated by the Mindvalley team on June 21, 2022.