I’ve found the main difference between religion and spirituality. The latter is deeply personal, free (as in freedom) and more self directed. It allows one to determine what is right for her or himself. The former is social, legal, and controlled. It does not allow personal self directed beliefs. The social aspect of religion, is the human desire to share experience. In this case it’s the experience of spirituality. But the laws and controls are the nasty, yet unnecessary side effects. No one or no thing should or could dictate how we experience divinity. Yet it seems that is the role religion does and has played for as long as it has been around.
Religion has gotten a bad rap over the years. But its definition is pretty simple: “a belief in a supernatural controlling power.” That definition does not imply a group controlling your thoughts or a group mentality. It does not refer to a specific religion or belief system. So why is it so maligned over spirituality? Maybe it’s because it represents (in today’s culture) organized, established, mind-controlled, fundamentalist religion. Whereas spirituality refers to organic, flowing, Oprah, sunshine speckled fields of fruity happy white clothed yoga vegan people?
Well, I’m not sure where I fit in that since I am partly atheist, partly Pagan and partly whatever. I hear talk of “God” and think, “WTF, you have no clue!” Then I think, “WTF, neither do I!” So there’s that. But, seriously (if there’s such a thing), NO ONE KNOWS GOD! We’ve made all that up! No single person has seen with their physical body and eyes GOD. We create what we do not know! We imagine what we cannot fathom! We make up what we want to. And we eat way too much candy when it sits in a bag right next to us.
Sooo, the point is, who are we to speak of an all powerful creator-being when we can barely imagine the strange lifeforms under the sea? Or stop eating the candy? Or figure out the complexities of the Universe? Who are we to make god in our image? Which, of course we do. Bottom line? We are imaginative, but it does not equate to knowing a higher being, especially when that being is anthropomorphized. Obviously.