Spiritual & Religious: The Case for Both

Oneness    Recently I mentioned “spirituality” to a friend, to which they sent me a post “Religious, Not Spiritual: The Case for Religion” (which you can read at the bottom of my post):

My simple response is:

I have been researching, studying & practicing all the major world (Western & Eastern) religions & lifestyle philosophies for 34 years (yes, I was sent to religious schools). I consider myself both religious & spiritual. I can define spirituality.

It is a belief in Oneness: that one cannot only have a belief in God/Universal Love on a conscious level (through doctrine/mankind’s interpretations), but that one can actually experience Him/Universal Love directly on a spiritual/nonphysical/energetic level.

If you study the ancient texts, beliefs and rituals of all the traditional major world (Western & Eastern) religions/lifestyle philosophies, you will find that in fact their essence is one in the same. They all ultimately serve and worship the one and only God/Universal Energy — they simply have different ways of describing/naming Him/It.

Since traditional religious/philosophical texts are simply man’s interpretation – they are imperfect. Therefore, only by studying (analyzing, practicing, comparing & contrasting over time) all of the world’s great (traditional) religions et al…. will a person find that one sacred text/tradition will actually answer the questions whose answers were lost in another interpretation. Ultimately giving a person a less biased & more global understanding of God/Universal Omnipotent Energy. Once you have this understanding, everything makes sense – which is truly a great comfort.

Many religions ask for blind faith at times, but if other traditions have the answer to the questions you seek… Why be blind? This is the 21st century – not Medieval times. Only together – as one – do they answer the questions of: How does a person Love unconditionally? How does someone find light in their darkest hour? How can humankind, not only believe in God’s Love, but actually tap into it & feel it? How can I find love & peace?

Of course, you are quite correct when you say many people use the word “spirituality” as a politically correct way to say “religion” these days. However, if that instigates conversations like these – I say, “That’s wonderful”. The more we discuss, the better chance the more people will learn & understand religion & spirituality.

In fact, the direct experience of spirituality might actually be the modern panacea for traditional religion. For once you have a direct experience, you have not doubts. With this in mind, you shouldn’t slam the door in the face of spirituality – you should embrace it.

If you are (Western) Christian, and have a hard time digesting the thought that people claim to be spiritual. I suggest you start by studying one or two of the Christian Mystics, such as Saint Teresa of Avila and/or Hildegard von (of) Bingen. All the great Christian mystics considered themselves religious and spiritual as well.

But remember: ‘The Himalayas of the soul are not for everyone.’ ~ Bhagavad Gita

~always with love

A Curious Faith

Don’t get me wrong. I am not some dogmatic crank trying to carve spirituality out of our religious lives. I’m just saying that “spirituality” (whatever that means) gets more than its share of attention today, while religion seems relegated to the scrap heap of history, certainly in popular American culture and among most (yes, most) of the people I associate with. It is not entirely clear what people mean today when they use the word “spiritual”, especially in the phrase “spiritual, not religious”. For our purposes today, let’s assume it means the private, subjective part of what we used to call religious experience, with “religion” being the public, shared part. I imagine that the audience for this blog is made up mainly of Presbyterians from the northeast who are, like me, in many ways sympathetic with the same forces of social liberalism that shun organized religion. So I think it…

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How Can I Make Life Miserable for My Ex?

There is so much human suffering, why would you want to make life miserable for another person? I must presume that you believe your ex made life miserable for you in some way? You believe somehow revenge will make you feel better?

If you chose to take revenge, you are simply continuing to allow yourself to stay – to wallow in the mire. Stop and think. What happens if your revenge does not make your ex miserable? What if they chose not to let your actions effect them? What will you do then? Will you be happy? No, you most definitely will not.

Only happiness can make you happy. Let go of your misery. Forget the revenge. People can do things to us. However, they cannot make us feel. We control how we react to their actions. They can only effect our emotions if we allow them to do so. Take back your control. Aim to control yourself, not others.

It’s hard to let go of a way of being. However, to find what you are looking for, you must. Don’t take garbage out of the trash – it is toxic. Your relationship is over. Take it to the curb, come inside, open a window and let some fresh air in.

Choose to be happy. Focus on building your happiness around yourself – your needs – not your ex. Focus on making yourself a whole person, completely content, happy and fulfilled – all by yourself. Then no one will ever have the power to make you think that they have the right to make you hand over the control of your emotions.

If a person doesn’t feel the need for someone else to complete them, they’ll never feel alone. If one doesn’t have fear of being alone, they won’t stay in a relationship that is deteriorating. They would leave long before the other person has a chance to wear them down so far — as to (allow them to) make them feel miserable.

First, love yourself completely; then, find someone who has done the same. When neither person in a relationship has the need to take/fulfill their individual needs from/through their partner – the relationship will be one of giving, sharing, and, supporting each other. Instead of the all too common relationship, in which insecure people primarily take, hoard, and, tear each other down.

Don’t aim to add to human suffering, for inevitably you will only be adding to your own. If your ex is a person who needed to control your emotions in order to make them feel full of life: The simple knowledge of you being happy, will probably make them  feel fmiserable. But then that will not be by your will, it will simply their reaction to the fact they have lost their power over you.

Take your power back. Find your happiness within. Embrace love.