So what do you see here?

Dear Friends,

So this list has been making the rounds of my local Interwebs….  It has been sticking in my mind, and I was somehow reminded of a fabulous quiz that Evn did

SO, I want to know what you see in the following quote?   Replies, observations, problems, counterpoints?

Spirituality Versus Religion

SPIRITUALITY SAYS THAT GOD IS WITHIN US AND THAT WE DON’T NEED ANYONE ELSE TO MAKE THAT DIVINE CONNECTION FOR US
RELIGION SAYS THAT WE ARE SEPARATED FROM GOD AND THAT WE NEED “THEM” TO MAKE THAT DIVINE CONNECTION

SPIRITUALITY SAYS THAT WE ARE FREE TO MAKE CHOICES ON OUR OWN AND THAT WE MUST TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS
RELIGION SAYS WE MUST MAKE THEIR CHOICES AND ACT THEIR WAY

THE THEME OF SPIRITUALITY IS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
THE THEME OF RELIGION IS FEAR AND GUILT

SPIRITUALITY DOES NOT REQUIRE US TO MAKE DONATIONS
RELIGION HAS BECOME BIG BUSINESS

SPIRITUALITY SAYS THERE IS NO HELL, NO JUDGEMENT, NO ANGRY GOD… THAT WE ARE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY
RELIGION SAYS THERE IS A HELL, GOD GETS ANGRY AND JUDGES US… THEREFORE, WE ARE NOT LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY

SPIRITUALITY SAYS WE ARE FREE TO CHOOSE OUR OWN PATH TO GOD
RELIGION COMMANDS US TO DO IT THEIR WAY

SPIRITUALITY SAYS WE GO TO GOD TO LIGHTEN OUR BURDEN
RELIGION HAS TAUGHT US TO FEAR THEIR GOD

SPIRITUALITY SAYS WE SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED OF OUR SEXUALITY… THAT IT SHOULD BE A SACRED CELEBRATION OF LOVE
RELIGION HAS TAUGHT US TO FEEL ASHAMED, GUILTY AND DIRTY ABOUT OUR SEXUALITY

SPIRITUALITY TEACHES US TO HONOR AND RESPECT MOTHER EARTH
RELIGION HAS TOLD US TO “BE THOU FRUITFUL, MULTIPLY AND SUBDUE THE EARTH” I REPEAT… “SUBDUE THE EARTH”

SPIRITUALITY REMINDS US THAT WE ARE ONE WITH GOD AND ONE WITH EACH OTHER
RELIGION TEACHES DISUNITY AND SEPARATION WHICH IS THE OPPOSITE OF GOD

SPIRITUALITY SAYS GOD IS WITHIN
RELIGION SAYS HE IS IN HEAVEN AND THAT “THEY” ARE THE ONLY INTERMEDIARIES FOR US

SPIRITUALITY SAYS WE ARE BORN IN INNOCENCE AND PURITY
RELIGION SAYS WE ARE BORN WITH SIN

SPIRITUALITY TEACHES THAT WE ARE ON A LONG SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE AND JOURNEY WHICH WILL ULTIMATELY END BY REUNITING WITH OUR SOURCE
RELIGION SAYS WE’VE GOT ONE LIFE TO GET IT ALL RIGHT AND THERE IS NOTHING BUT HEAVEN OR HELL AFTER THAT

SPIRITUALITY SAYS WE ARE FREE TO EXPRESS
RELIGION GAVE US THE DREADED INQUISITION

SPIRITUALITY TEACHES UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR ALL
RELIGION GAVE US THE CRUSADES IN WHICH MANY WERE KILLED AND SLAUGHTERED IN THE NAME OF GOD

SPIRITUALITY TEACHES THAT WE SHOULD LOVE ONE ANOTHER UNCONDITIONALLY AND ALWAYS HONOR THE RIGHTS AND CHOICES OF OTHERS
RELIGION TREATED NATIVE AMERICANS, THE MAYANS AND OTHER INDIGENOUS CULTURES AS SAVAGE PRIMITIVES WHO “MUST BE SAVED”

SPIRITUALITY TEACHES PEACE AND HARMONY
RELIGION HAS CAUSED MORE WARS AND MORE KILLING THAN ANY OTHER REASON

SPIRITUALITY SAYS RESPECT ALL LIVING THINGS
I NEVER ONCE HEARD ANY RELIGION SAY STOP SLAUGHTERING MILLIONS OF TREES EVERY YEAR FOR CHRIST’S BIRTHDAY

SPIRITUALITY TEACHES US TO HAVE FAITH IN OURSELVES
RELIGION TEACHES US TO HAVE FAITH IN THEM

SPIRITUALITY SAYS WE HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS… THAT WE CAN FIND THEM BY “GOING WITHIN”
RELIGION TEACHES US THAT IT HAS ALL THE ANSWERS AND ONLY ITS ANSWERS ARE THE RIGHT ONES

SPIRITUALITY TEACHES US TO SEARCH FOR THE UNIVERSAL TRUTHS AND OUR HEARTS WILL TELL US WHEN WE HAVE FOUND THEM
RELIGION TEACHES WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT THEIR VERSION OF THE TRUTH

WHICH ONE FEELS BETTER TO YOU? SPIRITUALITY OR RELIGION?
GO TO YOUR HEART FOR THE ANSWER IT WILL NEVER LIE TO YOU

and, GO!…

Curiously yours,

Pax

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7 thoughts on “So what do you see here?

  1. Every time I see this list, my inner cynic tends to do cartwheels for some reason. So bear that in mind as I tell you what I see…

    I see a tendency to conflate “religion” with “(certain forms of) Christianity and Christian dogma.”

    I see an attempt to create clear “Us vs. Them” terms here for the purposes of othering groups not like ourselves.

    I see a failure to appreciate subtlety or nuance in the “polar opposites” presented. For example, I agree that I don’t need any intermediary to commune with the Divine, but the guidance and advice of one or two experienced elders I know and trust is highly empowering. Yet, as written, this list doesn’t appear to offer any middle ground between authoritarianism and total, unassisted freedom.

    I see a list that raises some extremely good points, but does so in a way that I don’t find terribly effective or helpful.

  2. False tautology is the first thing that I see. All aspects of both topics are way more nuanced than this manifesto would indicate — and therefore it is a false argument.

    Also tend to agree with Jarred’s observation above that the ‘religion’ referenced is a certain flavor of Xianity — which while it may be true for that flavor, does not even begin to cover the whole range of ‘religion’. I would recommend more world and comparative religions study for the original author before they presume to make such sweeping generalizations again.

    Best and blessings — :Dana

  3. Thank you all,

    And thanks for the new (to me) word/concept “tautology” Dana!

    The thing that struck me is that whoever wrote this doesn’t question in the slightest, nor have they apparently moved beyond, defining “religion” as ~only~ Christianity and a fairly fundamentalist/dominionist form of it…

    Then too, Spirituality and Religion are synonyms… with Religion having some connotations of an outward community/relationships-with-the-world-around-you focus and Spirituality having connotations of an self-focus on ones own soul…

    Its nice to know I am not the only Pagan who sees stuff like this a goes
    “What?!”

  4. I disagree with it overall though I was thinking that some of it makes a good point (here and there). And we do seem to think of religion as Christianity which is wrong. I think of spirituality as everything including every religious belief as well as a mix of all of them together, buddhist, jewish, pagan, christian, hindu etc. And yes spirituality i think of the individual because we all have a spirit. 🙂

    • I see spirituality and religion as being equally necessary… spirituality focuses more upon the soul and the self and its wholeness and health… religion focuses on our relationships to the Great Metaphisical It, hallowed be it’s name… as well as our relationships with the rest of the universe around us…

  5. Pingback: Notes on Religion and Spirituality and Spiritual Practice | Chrysalis

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