The Neglected Topic of Spirituality

This blog is devoted to a discussion of spirituality and ideas related to this topic. While there are so many websites and blogs about all sorts of ideas under the sun and beyond, the topic of spirituality is a neglected one.
More Searches on the Body

By searching through the web pages we find the impression that this topic is not given its due importance. Using the data generated by softwares which search for the times a word is searched in the Internet it seems that the word “spirituality” is searched fewer, much fewer than other words.

For example at one time while there were 20,742 searches for "beautiful female bodies", there were only 1,019 searches for "spirituality". It would seem that people are more interested in beautiful female bodies than in spirituality.

But when we consider our life more realistically, spirituality is more important than a beautiful female body.

The body becomes worn out, ugly, tired and dead after a couple of years. But the spirit endures for years and generations to come.
Spirituality Not Taught in Our Schools

We need only reflect on the years we had in school to realize how neglected this topic on spirituality is. We learned so many things about our physical world in the natural science subjects. We learned also about our mental world in the subjects of philosophy and psychology. We learned about our society in sociology and history subjects. But we learned so little or none at all of the world of the spirit.

We had classes in Natural Science 1, Natural Science 2, Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, etc., English 1, English 2, etc., Sociology, Psychology, History, but we never had a subject in Spirituality 1.

We might have had classes in religion, theology, or values education. But what did we learn there? We learned about religious or church doctrines, moral principles, values education and topics related to these. But we did not encounter the spirit there. At most we learned how to save our souls. But souls are different from spirits. The topic of the spirit was discussed more in Ouija board sessions (where we use the spirit of the glass!), in cases of spirit or demon possession, but not in formal subjects in school.
Subjects Related to Spirituality

Interestingly enough the subject closest to spirituality among high school and college subjects is not Religion or Psychology but Physics when it deals with the topic of mass and energy. You see, the spirit is energy, the highest form of energy. And yet we did not pursue the subject of spirituality in our Physics class. We were then interested only how to harness this energy to produce mechanical energy, electrical energy, chemical energy, etc., but not spiritual energy.
Spirituality Not Integrated in our Subjects

Furthermore this topic of spirituality is not integrated in our textbooks. The textbooks which offer a natural place for the integration of this topic are those of Physics, Religious Studies or Education, and Values Education. But textbooks on these subjects do not integrate spirituality in their pages. Instead these subjects deal more with the behavior of physical objects or the behavior of human beings.

That is why I have chosen to discuss this topic of spirituality. Here we ponder on more important things in life, the things that endure, that last for eternity. And we may be surprised to find out that this topic is very interesting also, although we cannot see the spirits with our physical human eyes.

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Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you: for your spiritual growth for learning about the new trends around us for earning some income from the Internet
Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.

The Spirituality and Practice of Continuous Prayer

Can a person pray continuously? This article discusses the spirituality and practice of continuous prayer. It seems that a person cannot pray continuously because he has to think and do other things besides praying, like working for his sustenance, cleaning his house or surroundings, taking care of other people like children, resting and sleeping, and so forth.

But in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we are exhorted by Paul the Apostle to pray without ceasing. Some commentators take this passage to mean to pray with perseverance. But I would rather take it to mean praying 24 hours a day, every minute of those hours and every second of those minutes.

How Can We Pray Continuously?

First of all if your definition of prayer is asking favors from God, as some people understand by their practice of prayer, for they pray only when they think they need something from God, then there is no reason to pray continuously because you cannot keep on asking favors from God. There comes a time when you think you do not need favors from God and so you stop praying. You may simply say, There is nothing I have to pray for and so I stopped praying.

But real prayer is simply conversation with God. Or we can add an adjective. Prayer is a loving conversation with God. In this sense we can always pray for we can carry on a loving conversation with God, even when we are asleep.

We can mentally hold a loving conversation with God about the things that we are doing. Usually we do self-talk. We talk things over in our mind. For example when we wake up in the morning we ask ourselves, What am I going to do today? Such talk can be modified so that instead of asking ourselves, we ask God. God, what shall I do today?

Then there arises this question: Does God hear our question and if he does, does he answer? How can we be certain about his answer? We might just be imagining about his answer?

The fact is that God knows our thinking, as he knows everything that happens in and around us. Even before a thought comes into our mind he knows that we will think about that thought. And what we think we imagine is his answer is indeed his answer if we follow certain guidelines.

Guidelines for Continuous Prayer

The first requirement for continuous prayer is a desire to know more about God and to know him more intimately and putting that desire into action. This means that we read and study more and more his words in the Scriptures. This act of reading and studying is already praying if we constantly talk to him about what we read and study. If we do this not only will we know more about God, we will also know him more intimately. We will know his thoughts and feelings, as it were.

The second requirement for continuous prayer is the practice of moments of silence with him, just to be with him in silence. In our relationships with human beings we cannot keep on talking with them. There are moments when we are just with them, listening to them. The same can be said of God. There are moments when we just need to be with God in silence, listening to him.

The third requirement is developing the attitude of gratefulness to God. We thank God for everything and for all the time he gives us. Gratitude cements our relationship with God. This deep seated attitude of gratefulness is prayer of the highest kind and it can be expressed while we are sleeping. We sleep being grateful to God.

If we practice this kind of prayer the time will come when we will keep on listening to God amidst all our activities and the Spirit will describe us as walking with God as Enoch walked with God. The preceding sentence is a repetition of what I wrote before. But it is worth repeating to encourage us to perform the spirituality and practice of continuous prayer.

Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
for your spiritual growth

for your health

for learning about the new trends around us

for earning some income from the Internet

Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.

The Spirituality and Practice of Scheduled Prayer

Basic to spirituality is prayer. There are many who recommend scheduled prayer in their spirituality and practice. The Muslims pray five times on specific hours of the day. The monks have their own schedule of prayers. So it is presumed that scheduled prayer is better than unscheduled prayer. Rev. Jim Stephens recommends scheduled prayer in his very helpful booklet “The All-Time 10 Best Tips on Prayer for Beginners That I Have Ever Heard”. K. W. Leslie recommends scheduled and unscheduled prayer in his blogpost “Prayer times: Early-morning, late at night, or whenever.”

Has Scheduled Prayer Improved Our World?

After years of scheduled prayer I began to ask: Has scheduled prayer improved our world? And I asked another question similar to this: Has scheduled prayer improved the lives of those who practice it? My answer to both questions is in the negative. It is a big NO. I notice that scheduled prayer has not improved the lives of those who do have scheduled prayer life, like the seminarians, the priests, the monks, the religious Sisters and others. They are just as unloving and as un-compassionate as those who do not practice prayer at all. At least that is what I observe. Two world wars and a host of national and regional wars have been fought while men and women of all religions were practicing scheduled prayer. So I concluded that scheduled prayer has not changed our world.

Basic Flaw in Scheduled Prayer

The basic flaw in scheduled prayer is that we make God listen to us on our own terms. Imagine telling a person, “I cannot talk to you right now. I have five times to talk to you during the day and this time is not one of those five times. Talk to me during one of those five times. Here they are: from 5:00 to 5:30 in the morning, etc.”. This sounds very rude but this is what happens when we schedule our prayer time with God.

The argument for scheduled prayer is that by scheduling it we give it the necessary priority and we perform it above all our other activities. Most of us do not realize that by doing so we put prayer on the level of our other activities, only it is a top priority activity. We forget a very simple truth: Prayer is not so much our activity as it is God's activity on us. It is God's time of taking us by his hand and telling us about himself and telling us about ourselves and thus transforming us.

True Spirituality and Practice of Prayer

Real prayer is not so much we talking to God as we listening to God. It is not taking up a prayer book and begin reading it. Nor is it making some gestures and then addressing God, even praising and thanking him.

Genuine prayer is getting to a place and time when we can simply listen to God. He speaks to us all the time. It is for us to pause and listen to him. Only this kind of prayer is life changing. All others are just babbling of words and exercises of our imagination and reasoning.

If we practice this kind of prayer the time will come when we will keep on listening to God amidst all our activities and the Spirit will describe us as walking with God as Enoch walked with God.

Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
for your spiritual growth

for your health

for learning about the new trends around us

for earning some income from the Internet

Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.

Not Spirituality vs Religion But Religion Leading to Spirituality

Recently spirituality vs religion has been the focus of discussions about these two areas in our life. It is not spirituality and religion but spirituality vs religion. Spirituality has been contrasted with religion. Some have concluded that spirituality is better than religion. Others have gone to the extent of affirming that spirituality is better off without religion. Those who practice spirituality without religion are called SBNR for short. These four letters simply mean “spiritual but not religious.”

Contrast Does Not Necessarily Lead to Opposition

But a saner evaluation of the topic under discussion may lead us to also put forth the idea that there is really no conflict between spirituality and religion although they are different. In fact we may even discover that they help each other in furthering personal growth. In this post I would like to say that genuine religion leads to spirituality.

Religion Is Preparatory to Spirituality

Religion is basically the attempt of human beings to reach God. To do this they learn who God is and what he has done, they examine the proper human conduct before this God, and they offer to God what they think is due him. In this way they think that they please God and are able to get his favor for their needs and requests.

When religion is practiced faithfully there comes a time when a person realizes that what he is doing does not add anything to the nature of God, that he cannot really please God by his own effort, that no matter how much he tries he falls short of rendering to God what is his due. When this realization comes to a person's life it dawns on him that life is meaningless if he continues to strive to please God and to do God a favor. Life becomes meaningless because there is no point in trying to please God who can not really be pleased by what we do. He is far more worthy than whatever we can do for him.

This is the time when such a person humbly tells God that whatever he may do for him is useless because he is worth more than whatever can be done for him either by learning more about him, following his laws, and worshiping him. He knows now that religion is ultimately useless in his attempt to reach God.

In this sense religion is preparatory to spirituality. Genuine religion leads a person to the realization that God cannot be pleased by what we think, say or do. This is because God is more worthy than whatever homage we may give him. And he demands more than what we can do for him.

Genuine Religion Leads to Spirituality

The task therefore of genuine religion is to lead us to spirituality. It is like a servant who conducts the child to the teachers in school. Once the child is in the presence of the teachers the task of the servant is over. In the same way religion conducts us to spirituality, a state of life wherein we realize our impotence before God and therefore we communicate with him as with a friend. Once we are in the realm of the spirit and are living in a truly spiritual way the task of religion is over.

I like that first line in the last stanza of the hymn “Lord Who at Your First Eucharist Did Pray”, written by Will­iam H. Tur­ton in 1881. It says “So, Lord, at length when sacraments shall cease”. Turton obviously was referring to the life in heaven when we shall see God face to face without the need of symbols. Sacraments are part of religion. In heaven there will be no sacraments. There will be no need for religion. Some on earth have anticipated that state in heaven when we will have no need of religion. They live out a spirituality without religion. But it was religion which brought them to this state of spirituality. It was religion who led them to spirituality. Hence it is not a case of spirituality vs religion but religion leading to spirituality.

Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
for your spiritual growth

for your health

for learning about the new trends around us

for earning some income from the Internet

Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.

Factors Leading to the Distinction of Spirituality vs Religion

Spirituality and religion were once synonymous. In fact in the dictionary they still are. But recently they have parted their ways farther and farther away from each other. Instead of helping each other they are now in the position of fighting each other. Thus we have the phrase religion vs spirituality. They are now treated by more and more writers as antagonistic to each other. What factors have led to the growth of the distinction between spirituality and religion?

The Growth of the Empirical Sciences

One factor which is not only coincidental but causal is the growth of the empirical sciences like medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, astronomy and their branches. These sciences have cultivated in people the attitude of the priority of experience. Everything has to be measured by human experience through the instruments that are constantly being refined, whether it is the microscope or telescope or other instruments.

In an age when these sciences were, as it were, in their infancy and adolescence, there was no clear distinction between religion and spirituality. But now people want to experience something even in religion. Failing to find the spiritual realities they want to discover in religion they turn to spirituality to satisfy their hunger for the things of the spirit.

More and more can no longer profess belief in a statement that has no meaning to their experiential life. They can no longer go through rituals which seem to them meaningless. And they rebel against a moral code which seems to them to stifle their personal growth. So they turn to spirituality that to them has no religion.

Increase in the Knowledge of the Scriptures

It is strange but true that the growth in the knowledge of the Scriptures, particularly Christian Scriptures, has also contributed to the parting away of religion and spirituality from each other. Beginning with literary criticism of the Biblical texts going to higher criticism new interpretations of the passages in Scriptures have been offered to the public. Entire passages have been construed to be Biblical myths. Creation did not really happen in six days but in six periods of time which may be millions of years each. The flood of Noah's time did not happen all over the earth but only in a particular place of the earth. These interpretations have eroded the belief of people in the Bible and religion. But they still long for something meaningful in their spiritual life. Thus they turn to spirituality as offered by the Eastern religions or by the New Age teachers.

The Relativity of All Things, Especially Cultures

The theory of relativity has not been confined to physics, as propounded by Albert Einstein. It has been adopted by ordinary people as they viewed the cultures of other people. Where before some churches have adamantly believed and taught that they were the only way to salvation, now they have acknowledged that other religions can also be used by God to draw men to himself. For many of the preachers of these churches salvation depends upon one's response to God's revelation, not upon membership in their churches.

Thus the appeal of religion as the safe way to gain eternal happiness has waned. Instead people now are experimenting with various techniques to gain this happiness here and now, not in the hereafter.

These three developments in our time, the growth of the natural sciences, the increase in the knowledge of the Bible, and the relativism present in our churches and cultures have helped to the parting of ways between religion and spirituality. While there are heroic attempts to integrate them again, the split seems to be final and irrevocable. It will be for a long time religion vs spirituality.

Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
for your spiritual growth

for your health

for learning about the new trends around us

for earning some income from the Internet

Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.

Examples of Persons Who Had Spirituality Without Religion

Persons who had spirituality without religion are not new to our history. There were many people even before the depopulation of churches in Europe who lived spirituality without religion. What I am giving here are three cases of notable persons who displayed this condition in their life, one that had spirituality without religion.

37 Years Living on Top of a Pillar

The first person that comes to my mind is that of a Christian who lived in the 4th to the 5th century in Syria. He stayed on top of a pillar or large pole for 37 years. His name, Simeon Stylites (the Elder, to distinguish him from others of the same name) is quite famous because he initiated this kind of living and others followed him.

Simeon was born around 390 in Turkey, the son of a shepherd. He entered a monastery before reaching the age of 16. Because of his extreme bodily penitence he was told to leave the monastery. He hid himself in a hut for one and a half years. Then he went to a mountainous area where he virtually imprisoned himself within a diameter of less than 20 meters. But he was sought out by persons asking for his prayers and advices and this led him to a radical decision in his life. He wanted to avoid them in order to devote more time to prayer. He found a pillar and he went on top of it and lived there for 37 years, rain or shine, under intense heat or in the fiercest of cold weather. He only tried to go down when he was tested by some church authorities whether he still would obey them or not. The shortest of the pillars on which he lived was 4 meters. Later he went higher to a 15-meter pillar.

During this space of more than 30 years he did not attend our usual religious services, like Mass or preaching, did not openly profess a creed or doctrine, and did not study or follow any moral code. He primarily spent his time communing with God. There were occasions when he wrote letters which were filled with wisdom. He was a very good example of a person who had spirituality without religion.

He died on September 2, 459, an example who was followed by many others who lived on pillars. It is recorded in the 2010 Guinness World Book Of Records that his stay for 37 years on top of the longest pole is also the longest ever recorded.

The Destroyer of a Centuries Old Custom

Slavery has been with mankind even before recorded history. It was taken as a normal fact of life. Even in the Bible slavery was considered part of the normal activity in life. The man destined to destroy this custom, at least legally, was somebody who had spirituality without religion.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. He had only about a year of formal education from traveling teachers. But he learned things continually on his own. Eventually he became a lawyer. In 1837 he said "[The] Institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy . . .". He continually opposed slavery until he was able to abolish it by the Emancipation Proclamation which he issued on September 22, 1862. He followed this up with the amendment to the US Constitution outlawing slavery in the whole nation. This became the famous Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

That Lincoln was chiefly instrumental in the abolition of slavery is a fact well known by most who know something of US history. But it is not so well known that he did not belong to any church. He went inside churches and participated in the activities but not as a member of those churches. He was only an observer. He developed religious skepticism early in life. He doubted whether the Churches were teaching what was really true. But he read and meditated on the Bible and frequently used biblical terms. By any standard he was never a religious man. He did not profess any of the standard Christian creeds, had no regard for the morality of his time, did not frequent religious services. But he was deeply spiritual. In fact he had a dream of his impending death and went through it with resignation. He is a true example of a person who is spiritual without religion.

Power Greater than Nuclear Energy

Most Christians who have some working knowledge of the Bible believe that they are temples of God, that is, that God dwells inside them. This belief may be only intellectual. They may not feel the presence of God within them most of the time. But the idea is there that God somehow is in their body after the reminder of Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 3:16, "ye are the temple of God."

There lived a man who did not take this idea of God living in man only intellectually. In fact he lived out this idea in his thoughts, words, feelings and actions, and taught it to others and made a living out of this teaching. He read and taught passages in the Bible and interpreted them in ways no mainstream theologian would ever do. For example he not only taught that we have an imagination which we can use to create reality. He taught that Jesus Christ is our imagination. In other words not only is God in us but God is our imagination. The activities of our imagination are divine activities. They are not merely human musings and imaging performed by our brain.

This man was not religious at all. In fact he never bothered to enter churches on his own. His morality was not according to the usual code acknowledged by most people. His name is Neville Goddard.

Neville was not only conscious of a power within him that was greater than nuclear energy. He identified himself with this power and used it to attain anything in life that he wanted. But he did not perform any of the religious ceremonies we are familiar with, nor did he conform to any religious creed, neither did he teach any morality. He believed rather in the creative power of the imagination to do anything one can think of and put this belief into practice in his life and in the lives of others.

Neville Goddard was born February 19, 1905 in the British West Indies. Seventeen years later he went to United States. He studied drama and became a dancer. While performing dances in England he became interested in New Age teachings. He became a US citizen after a brief Army training. Later through a tutor named Abdullah he studied Hebrew, the Kabbalah, and the esoteric interpretation of the Bible. Then he began giving lectures on the powers of the human mind. He focused his teachings around the imagination of human beings. He was a popular speaker in the United States during the mid-20th century. Even today he is still listened to through his recordings. He died on October 1, 1972 at the age of 67 years.

This man is another example of a person who was spiritual without religion. He totally agreed with what William Blake said, “All ritual, all creeds,” everything in the form of a ritual “was anti-Christ.”

These then are true examples of persons who had spirituality without religion: Simeon Stylites the Elder, Abraham Lincoln, Neville Goddard. They are worth our effort and time studying in our quest for genuine spirituality.

Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
for your spiritual growth

for your health

for learning about the new trends around us

for earning some income from the Internet

Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.

A Life of Spirituality Without Religion

Knowing that there can be spirituality without religion and having taken the steps to obtain this kind of spirituality, you may now want to ask me to describe this kind of life. Here is my description of a life of spirituality without religion. This description focuses on three essential points without which there can be no spirituality without religion.

Perception of Truth as a Person, not an Idea or Statement

The first characteristic of a life of spirituality without religion is the perception that truth is a person, not an idea or a statement.

Most people, having been influenced by the teaching about truth from Aristotle and the scholastic philosophers, tend to regard truth as a statement. They think that truth is the agreement of a statement with reality. If the statement agrees with reality, then it is a true statement and there is truth in that statement. If it does not agree, then it is a false statement and there is no truth in that statement.

But as we know more and more people are today dissatisfied with the statements about their religion. This dissatisfaction can even be observed in the High School and College classes of religion or theology. Students are asked to memorize statements which to them have no relevance to their life: that there are three persons in one God, that God created this world in six days, that God became man to deliver mankind from sin, etc. More and more students feel that what they need is not a series of statements to guide their life but someone with whom they can relate.

Thus the perception is initiated that what matters most is not any expression of truth as we find it in a statement but a person with whom we can relate. Later the person living a life of spirituality without religion discovers that this person is a spirit who expresses himself, who reveals himself in all the areas of his life, and this revelation is done through words and other works of art or technology. This is the truth who unfolds himself in our life and in our activities, in our dreams, our ambitions, our daily routine.

Attitude Is All Important

In a life of spirituality without religion attitude assumes an all important role. The focus is no longer on any action but on the attitude which produces that action.

When we were children we were told by our parents and teachers to do this and to do that: to obey them, to respect our elders, to study, to do house chores, to buy this, to avoid doing that, etc. And when we had our own children we transferred what we learned from our parents and teachers. We too trained our children to do things, to act in certain ways.

What was almost never given importance was the forming of the proper attitudes within us. Let me give one example of how this was left out.

When we were very small children we were trained to say "Thank you" to anyone who gave us a favor, whether that favor was a thing like a candy or an action such as carrying us. And so we did. We said "Thank you". It became a habit with us and we grew up saying "Thank you" to anyone giving us a favor. What was almost not taught us was the reason why we have to say "Thank you". We grew up with this custom of saying "Thank you" but we never realized that the attitude behind these two words was more important than the words themselves. Thus we did not grow up with the hourly, daily attitude of gratitude for what we are enjoying in life. We had to read books like THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH in order to realize the importance of gratitude. It is only then that we know that gratitude brings down all the blessings we need and want in life. Then the attitude of constant, not just sporadic, gratefulness becomes important to us.

In a life of spirituality without religion what matters most is attitude. Persons who live this life constantly transform their attitudes in life. From being contended to receive things in life, they go out of their way to think of giving things to other persons who need these things, whether they be food, services or just a blessing kept in the secret of the mind.

The Code of Conduct Is the Good of the Other Person

Very early in life we were taught the Ten Commandments. In fact many of us memorized them. Then we were taught the other things we were supposed to do: read the Bible everyday, go to church on Sunday, do some extra work in the parish, etc. When we went to school we had subjects like religion or catechism or values education where we learned the proper code of conduct. We grew up with the feeling that we have to conform with the standards expected of us either as just a human being or a Christian or a member of another religion.

In a life of spirituality without religion the code of conduct is no longer what we need to do in order to conform ourselves to the standards expected of us, to make ourselves happy or to save our souls. These things no longer matter. What matters is the good of the other person. Surprisingly this is defined as that which you think is good for you. This is the positive expression of the Golden Rule. Do unto others what you would want them to do to you. You no longer need to remember the Ten Commandments or learn the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle or the Categorical Imperative of Immanuel Kant or the Values Education of the present day teachers. All you need to learn is what is good for the other person. And this is easy to find out because it is that which you think is good for you.

Such are the main characteristics of a life of spirituality without religion. No mention is made that you have to attend or not attend church, to profess or not to profess a confession of faith, to follow or not to follow the laws in the Bible or in the Code of Canon Law. All you need is that you grow in your relationship with the Truth whom you discover to be a person, not a statement; that you keep on transforming the attitudes in your life; and you just think and do what is good for the other person. There is more likelihood of being happy with this kind of life than with the one we were were used to where we have to profess a creed, attend a church service, and follow our conscience informed by the moral codes we learned in school

How Can a Person Have a Spirituality without Religion?

A previous post discussed the fact that a person can have a spirituality without religion.  This post will discuss how a person can have a spirituality without religion.  The steps enumerated here are suggested for Christians only.  There are similar or parallel ways for members of other religions.  I cannot discuss for them in this post.

Step 1.  Learn More of Jesus

As you learn more and more of him, he will grow more and more in your mind and in your spirit.  Do not pin him down in a statement.  No statement can fully express or describe him.  He is always far greater than we can think of.

What happened in the early church was that church leaders were busy formulating creeds to capture the essence of Jesus.  Thus we have the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed.  These creeds made into a formula the essence of Jesus, basically that he was true God and he was also true man. 

People were taught these creeds and they were told to profess it, publicly every Sunday.  Eventually they got satisfied with just professing these creeds.  They felt that by being orthodox, that is, following the correct doctrines about Jesus they became true Christians.

Now we realize that these creeds were a trap.  They lured us away from the ongoing, daily learning of Jesus, which is the most essential task of a Christian, a disciple, that is a learner—which is the meaning of disciple in the original Greek language—of Christ.

At the time of the early church orthodoxy and orthopraxy (right conduct according to church teachings) were the marks of a true Christian.

A genuine Christian is first and foremost a disciple or learner of the Christ who is Jesus.  He learns more and more of Jesus and he knows that this learning has no ending here on earth.  He can always learn something more of Jesus.  It is an ongoing, daily activity for a real Christian. 

That is the first step for a Christian to become spiritual without religion, an ongoing learning of the Christ.

Step 2.  Talk with God Affectionately Always

Converse with God as with a friend more and more often until you talk to him all the time in your mind.

In the early church the priesthood of the clergy and the veneration of the saints developed.  This was due partly to the desire of the church leaders to give in to the pagan practices so that the pagans would be attracted to the church.  As a result of this development people thought that the priests and the saints could pray for them, talk to God for them. 

Now we realize that the emphasis on the priesthood of the clergy and the veneration of saints was a trap.  It got us away from a daily intimate conversation with God himself.  People forgot the injunction of Paul the Apostle to pray always.  Eventually they got satisfied with attending the Mass or church services, saying the Rosary or grace before meals and reciting the novenas or Bible memory verses.  

A true Christian is a child of God and as a child of God he is always in communication with his Father God, day in and day out, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. 

This is the second step in becoming spiritual without religion for a Christian, always talking and listening to his Father God, to his brother Jesus, and to his Spirit guide. 

Step 3.  Be More and More Compassionate Towards All

Expand your love of others:  people, animals, trees, so called inanimate objects such as rocks, soils, streams, chairs, tables, etc.

In the early church there was this movement to leave the sinful world and go to the desert or monasteries to devote one's time for God in study, manual labor, prayer and good works.  The goal was to become holy, to flee the contamination of the sinful world, and to be pleasing to God so that the person would be saved after death. 

Again we know now that this was also a trap.  These Christians did not seem to hear the prayer of Jesus that they be not taken from the world. Those Christians who fled the world eventually got satisfied in living in the desert or monasteries doing all sorts of penances to atone for their sins and the sins of others in imitation of Christ.  And the ordinary people thought that these were the ideal Christians.  Since they could not leave the world because of their families and businesses they were satisfied to be counted second class rate Christians.

They forgot that the essence of Christian practice is love of other people, especially fellow Christians, not inflicting pain upon one's body and keeping oneself busy with manual labor, study and formal, timed prayer.

The real Christian loves people, animals, trees, the whole environment, even the heavenly bodies trillions of light years away because these are creations of his God.  And this love grows because it is a living love. 

This loving is the third step in becoming spiritual without religion for a Christian.

Step 4.  Be More and More Fully Available to God’s Work for You

There is work for you to do so that you can express more the power, goodness, wisdom, beauty of the God inside you.  Be more and more available for this work.

In the early church there were councils and these councils produced decrees which later on were enshrined in laws eventually becoming part of the church's Code of Canon Law.  These decrees governed the conduct of Christians and churches. 

Now we know that these decrees and the eventual canon laws were a trap in the life of Christians and their churches.  Instead of fulfilling the commission Jesus left to his disciples, that of immersing the nations in the transforming power of the life of the Father, his Son and their Spirit, the church leaders became satisfied with the implementation of the conciliar decrees and in making the commission a formula in the valid administration of baptism.

Each Christian has a part in the fulfilling of the commission of Jesus, whether it is as lowly as washing dishes, or as high as preaching the Good News.  And the only ones who know what this work is are the Father God and the person to whom he has entrusted this work.  That is why the genuine Christian discerns what this work for him is and gives himself to it. 

Whatever that work is the long term overall objective is to imbue the nations of the earth (not just individual persons but nations, for that is what the Gospel says) with the very life of the most wise, most powerful and most good God.  If this commission were fulfilled in each generation of Christians we would not have those countless wars among so called Christian nations.

That is the fourth step in becoming a Christian spiritual person without religion, doing the work God has intended for him towards the fulfilling of Christ’s commission.

Looking back at history it is funny how Christians for hundreds of years fought over terms like filioque (and from the son), over the number of the books of the Bible whether 66 or 73, whether there were 2 or 7 sacraments, whether water baptism was by sprinkling, pouring, or immersing in water, whether the bread in communion is leavened or unleavened, etc. 

Karl Rahner once wrote that in the future all Christians will be mystics.  We can paraphrase this by saying, In the future genuine Christians will be spiritual without religion.  After all their Master was such a man, spiritual without the religion of Judaism. He called himself son of man, not son of Judaism. He did not adhere to any doctrine because he himself was the truth.  He did not observe a code of conduct because the love of his Father was his code of conduct.  He did not observe a ritual because his life was the supreme ritual acceptable to God.  In fact he came to give us life in all its fullness, not religion. He condemned the religious leaders of his day as hypocrites, blind leaders leading blind followers to the pit of destruction.  His followers can do no less.

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