What is the true meaning of spirituality?
The answer to that question may surprise you. Because the true meaning of spirituality is not what most people think. In fact, spirituality is the opposite of what a lot of people think.
You know what boggles my mind and makes me scratch my head? People who think that spirituality is the same thing as religion.
It’s like spirituality and religion somehow got their wires crossed and are now inexorably linked.
Let’s change that. Let’s set this down in writing right now: spirituality is not religion. Spirituality is not even necessarily related to religion. They’re just not the same, at all. In fact in many ways spirituality is the opposite of religion.
Religion means sticking to a fixed view of the world, of life, of creation; a view that’s given to you (usually) from a book. Religion is an unyielding belief that what an authority says about life and morality is the be all and end all.
So what is the true meaning of spirituality?
The true meaning of spirituality is: Having a perspective on life, creation, and existence, a perspective that involves concepts of morality. And, importantly, spirituality is your belief.
Millions of people have their own spiritual beliefs that they created, that they live by, and that are entirely about themselves as an individual.
Spirituality is your beliefs that you chose. Religion is the beliefs that were given to you by an authority.
So why do people confuse spirituality and religion?
A lot of people confuse spirituality for religion. There’s a reason for that. Part of the reason is that spirituality and religion cover the same ground.
Religions involve creationism, morality, concepts of good and evil, and a code of conduct to live by. So does spirituality. Some spiritualists may believe that god (or a god) created the world. “Ah ha, so you are religious then,” people say. Not really. Just because you believe that a god created the world doesn’t mean it’s the god of the bible or one of the Hindu gods. A spiritualist might believe the creator is a god only they themselves know. Or they might believe the world was created by a four-headed monkey.
That sounds ridiculous. Four headed monkey. But the point is: a spiritualist would be free to believe anything they want, because spirituality is subjective and individual.
That goes for morals too.
I’m a deeply spiritual person myself, and my spirituality heavily influences my concept of morality.
A key part of my spirituality, for instance, is kindness. I genuinely go out of my way to be kind to everyone I meet. Compassion is vital for me too. If I find someone unhappy I will do anything in my power to make them smile. Now you might say “Buddhists say the same thing”. Fair enough. But just because my spirituality happens to touch on some concepts of Buddhism does not mean I’m a Buddhist. It just means that Buddhism and I share a few things in common.
And that’s another important part of spirituality. Spiritualists are free to adopt parts of religions while not following that religions as the be all and end all.
Spiritual people often accept some aspect of religions. But they’re not forced to believe them.
If you’re religious you’re told to believe all of that religion. Christians have to believe in the whole bible. But a spiritualist? A spiritualist can pick up the bible and say “Ah ha, this commandment about not stealing. I can agree with that.” But it doesn’t mean they have to follow the whole bible.
One of the best things about being a spiritualist is that you can take parts of different religions and apply them to your own system.
The true meaning of spirituality is freedom of belief. Spiritual people can pick and choose parts of religions and integrate them into their own spirituality.
Personally, I appreciate a lot of Eastern philosophy. Taoism, for instance, is a religion that promotes harmony between mind and body. Lao Tzu said that a healthy mind creates a healthy body. That’s true, and I personally believe in that, so I follow some of the Taoist practices for harmonising mind and body.
I also practice some Buddhist meditation techniques. And there are some Hindu mantras that I use. Oh, and then yoga, I love yoga.
Those are all religions. But as a spiritualist I’m free to pick and choose parts of those religions to use for my own spirituality.
That’s the beauty of spirituality: You can take the beliefs that you, as an individual, truly believe in, and combine them to form your own spirituality.
When you put all this together you realise that the true meaning of spirituality is “freedom for individual beliefs”.
And that is what TheDailyMeditation.com is all about.
On this site you’ll find Hindu mantras, Buddhist mudras, Taoist practices, modern science, and some articles which are simply things that I personally believe in. It’s a spiritual approach to belief.
That’s why I believe TheDailyMeditation.com is such a great resource for spiritualists, because it says: Here are some amazing beliefs and practices, but hey, you pick what works for you because you should be free to create your own spiritual system for your own life. That’s what TheDailyMeditation.com is all about. And that, in a nutshell, is the true meaning of spirituality.