What is the Difference Between Religion and Spirituality?
Spirituality is connecting to the Divine through your own experience. It is more about finding, experiencing, and embodying one’s true spiritual self. While religion is connecting to the Divine through someone else’s experience. It is believing in, following, and obeying rules created by a certain Deity or spiritual teacher. Historian and philosopher, Yuval Noah Harari said, “Religion is a deal, whereas spirituality is a journey.”
Can you be spiritual and not religious? Of course, you can, you can also be religious and not spiritual, or you can be a little bit of both. But finding where you fall will help you find balance and meaning in your life.
What is the Difference between Spirituality and Spiritualism?
As we already know, Spirituality is connecting to the Divine in a personal manner. Spiritualism: however, is a movement based on a belief that we can connect with the spirits of those that have died. Spiritualists seek to gain knowledge, insight, and even healing through contact with the spirits of their ancestors. Spiritualism can provide hope, emotional support, acceptance of life and death, and other benefits like nothing else can.
Can you follow a spiritual path and be a spiritualist or visa versa? Yes, you can, and many have benefited from contact with the spirit world. It should be noted that you do not have to have or be interested in psychic abilities to walk a spiritual path and in some cases, spiritualism can become a distraction from your spiritual path if you are constantly seeking answers outside of yourself. I personally follow both paths and for me, they complement each other.
If you do seek guidance from a spiritualist who has psychic abilities, you must use caution because many have been scammed by those claiming to have psychic abilities when they do not.
Is there only one spiritual path?
No, since your spiritual path is based on your emotional, mental, and spiritual needs there is no single path because each person’s path is different. Your path will also shift, change, and evolve throughout your lifetime. With that said, there are five distinct spiritual paths/practices that are common today. They include:
- Earth-Based Spirituality – connection to the Earth or material realm as a way to the Divine
- Metaphysical Spirituality – connection with the non-material realm as a way to the Divine
- Body-Based Spirituality – using the body as a way to the Divine
- Heart-Based Spirituality – using the heart as a way to the Divine
- Mind-Based Spirituality – using the mind as a way to the Divine
Each path uses different techniques to move you along the spiritual path and you should choose the ones that feel right to you. Let your heart lead the way, even if something seems foolish or out there, and remember your path will change over time.
If you wish to learn more, start here, and then do what is right for you. Like myself, you may find that you are drawn to all five of the paths listed above and like me, you may find yourself using several techniques from each path on your spiritual journey. Or you may find yourself drawn to only one of the paths and its techniques, but whatever you choose, remember it is you that leads the way.
I’d love to hear from you…you’re thoughts and questions, so please comment below.