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Author Topic: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?  (Read 404 times)

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Firesong

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2014, 01:33:03 PM »

As C_A said, religion is a paved path.  It is built with dogma to establish the hierarchy between the member and the deity involved.  It outlines a path, with restrictions and requirements to keep you on that path, and control your interaction with the divine.  Many also attempt to take control of your money, through tithing.

Spirituality, on the other hand is a self-defined journey, focused on your own needs and beliefs, rather than a prefabricated litany of checks and balances.

I'm a Christian; I abhor the Christian churches.  I'm a Gnostic, not because I'm some kind of expert on the Gnostic gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Library at Hammurabi, but because I believe all spiritual knowledge starts within. 

I believe I was created in G-d's image, in the sense that all living things have a divine spark, where they are all connected to each other and the divine.  While I believe in the teachings of Jesus, I'm not sold on the idea that he was the son of G-d, except as a metaphor for the idea that we are all children of G-d, and the difference is that very realization.

Christian religions would never accept my position, but why do I have to let someone else define my inner spiritual beliefs?
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marisol

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2014, 06:44:43 AM »

Most definitely lean towards spirituality more than religion. I do like to study all religions.
Wicca comes closest to a religion I can except, but I don't like to be told how or when I can
connect to the divine. That is one of the reasons I remain solitary. I have no wish to follow
one tradition.

Spirituality is my personal path that offers me freedom to be me, and balance for my journey.
It is my personal relationship with the divine, offering peace and joy in my daily life.
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2014, 06:55:33 AM »

Just one thing to add.  Some Wiccan traditions have a certain praxis, kind of like a formula, to connect with a particular aspect of the divine (specific gods)) when they are practicing with their coven..  My own is of that type.  However, as individuals we are free to seek and experience the divine in our own way.  Many of us connect to the divine according to whatever inspires us when we are not practicing with our group, and that's fine.  In our case religion and spirituality blend pretty happily.

I brought this up because there is a perception in the pagan community that Wiccan traditions are constricting, when they don't have to be for an individual.  This is a hot button for me so I want to share my own experience.  This is not to detract from those who work solitary, which I did for many years.  But group and coven work also leaves room for personal gnosis and personal connection to divinity.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 07:04:05 AM by Ashe Isadora »
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marisol

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2014, 07:06:44 AM »

Thanks Ashe that is good to hear coz I wander a lot. I have no friends now that are Wiccan.
Except here! I am always interested in learning more. ;)
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2014, 07:13:21 AM »

Yeah, Wiccans are a pretty independent bunch. Even Traddies!  Nobody dictates our spirituality on our off time, and I think that's a common misperception.
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marisol

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2014, 07:28:14 AM »

I have no traditional training, what I have learned has been on my own. I do not claim to know
all. So this is good to hear. I have never felt that Wicca is restrictive in any way as some have
stated here. That was not what I meant. Religion has not always proven to be a pleasant
experience for me, so I tend to shy away from commitment. I did visit a coven in the UK for
about a week some time ago and did enjoy myself a great deal. But I turned down the invite
to join due to my mother's health. Maybe some time in the future, who knows.
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Protect your 2nd amendment rights.
It's so easy to laugh, It's so easy to hate. It takes guts to be gentle and kind. Morrissey

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.   Kurt Cobain

Ashe Isadora

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2014, 07:35:27 AM »

Gotcha.  And i think people who work solitary, indefinitely or just for awhile, have a big advantage over those who jump into a tradition.A lot of revelation and self knowledge happens when you work privately that may not happen, or may happen painfully, if you join a group without knowing yourself.
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marisol

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2014, 08:06:05 AM »

Truly knowing myself is difficult at times. I feel this is true for most people. We get lost in our
day to day lives. Without something that is just for the individual, we don't know who we are
or what we really believe. For me this is chaos at it's worst. I can function like this, but I'm not happy doing it. I require a little structure and a routine that provides stability, to feel happy.
If I'm not happy with myself I'm out of balance. This is what I strive for more than anything
else right now. Lack of focus, and feeling helpless, spiritually lost. I fight this daily. The only
way I survive is spiritually, but I struggle. My connection to the divine is sometimes all that
I have to keep my head above water.
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It's so easy to laugh, It's so easy to hate. It takes guts to be gentle and kind. Morrissey

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Canis

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2014, 08:44:24 AM »

Gotcha.  And i think people who work solitary, indefinitely or just for awhile, have a big advantage over those who jump into a tradition.A lot of revelation and self knowledge happens when you work privately that may not happen, or may happen painfully, if you join a group without knowing yourself.


My decision to work solitary is in part by necessity, and in part by choice. There are very few covens where I live. Also, driving truck makes it hard to take part in coven ritual as I can be on the road for weeks at a time. While I have seen covens that were harmonious, I've also seen some that are full of internal strife, something I would rather not be part of. While covens have the advantage of having people you can learn from, I also feel they could be a restrictive at times. I admit that being a solitaire can make it difficult to learn, but forums such as this and online correspondence with a Wiccan friend has been a big help in alleviating that deficiency.
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2014, 06:30:53 AM »

You are absolutely right.  Covens are as prone to strife as any family and it can be extremely painful.  But at their best they can provide support and education in your quest to deepen your spirituality, and intensity in worship that's difficult to achieve outside a group.  But you're right, maintaining the peace within a group of people (who tend to be independent and spunky!) is a tricky proposition even with solid leadership.  It takes dedication, maturity and effort from all for a coven, grove, or any religious group to thrive.
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Re: Spiritual? Religious? What do you think is the difference?
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2014, 03:45:21 PM »

For years I had thought that Religion protected the Spiritual ones among us, then I came to know Religion as an adversarial force against Spirituality. Its not easily divided and I have continued to allow those who need to identify me in whatever ways they feel most comfortable with. To some, Im Religious, to some Im Spiritual. Most have no clue.
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