There is a difference between being religious and being Spiritual. Thousands of years ago, this was not the way things were. But it is now.
Long ago, Spirituality wasn’t as secretive as it is today. It was shared from parents to children just as learning to walk and talk were. Today, spirituality is more of a mystery and that is by design.
Here’s why: The practice of true and pure Spirituality is the ‘How To’ of connecting to, communicating and working with, and bringing the creative power of God, (I use that term for lack of a better one which is immediately recognizable and relate able as a concept – even though that term has been bastardized and given an improper definition by far too many religions and people), into everything we think, feel, and do.
To the prior point… Sure, we have religions and they claim to understand God. But do they really?
Do they teach you how to listen to God yourself?
Do they give you step-by-step instructions, teaching you to connect with that God and to use its power, which lies within each and every one of us, to create our our dreams, to build our best reality?
The answer to these questions is no. To my knowledge, there are no organized religions doing this.
If they address these topics at all, they merely dance around them without ever sharing the real information – the ‘How To’ information. This is the information which would enable you to make a connection with your True Self, the God essence within, and avail yourself of its generous and creative power.
Why? Why would they not share the only information that they were founded to share in the first place?
Mostly, the reason is: They do not know. This information, which at one time was commonly known and shared, has been forgotten; forgotten due to lack of sharing and use.
Religions, if they knew these Truth’s at all – and not all do, or did – deliberately left this information in the past to wallow in obscurity.
Again, you might rightfully ask: Why? Why would they deliberately abandon the only teaching they were founded to share? This makes no sense.
What possible purpose could such an action serve?
There is an answer to this riddle and while it is logical, it is not well intentioned. The answer stems from the duality within man – the internal battle waging within all, with no exceptions, between our Ego selves and our higher, True Selves.
These teachings were discarded long ago with one purpose in mind: abandoning them enabled those in charge to maintain their perceived power and status within the community.
Let’s take a little tour of the past.
Long ago – thousands of years ago – parents did the important job of teaching their children about Spirituality and about the very real connection they had – which all have – to their True Self, what I call the True Self.
In this way, the secrets and power of the true Spiritual nature of man, of our world, and of our connection to our world were handed down from generation to generation.
Somewhere around 2 BCE, (give or take a thousand years), a very advanced community of Spiritual people had an idea. They postulated that some within their community were better suited to share and teach this vital information than others.
This realization was not farfetched. Even today in our school systems, data shows that some people make better teachers than others.
The people who first applied this to Spirituality and our Spiritual nature and training were a very small group who were amazingly very advanced for their time. Archeologists have found evidence which shows that they might have had a system of plumbing and even electric light bulbs.
These interesting folks are known as the Essenes and their existence first became known to modern man in 1946, with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Unknowingly, the Essenes innocently created the first religion when they realized that some within their closed community were better teachers than others and members began sending their children to those folks for Spiritual training.
Suddenly, rather than passing Spirituality from parents to children, respected community members – teachers – took control of this important and vital function.
Although it was a simple and logical adjustment to their normal practices, and was one undertaken with the best of intentions, it was a seismic shift. Ultimately, it changed history.
Even today, its unintended negative effects continue to ripple through humanity, plaguing it with the misinformation, oppression, and violence, often in the name of truth and God.
That was the beginning of the end of man’s true understanding of his/her Spirituality, and man’s place and power in the world and the universe beyond.
I am not saying that all people who practice, or even head and spread religions are bad people. Clearly some of them are bad and evil people. But many are not.
They’re just ignorant of the greater wisdom and truth available to them – to all – and therefore unintentionally continue the dark practice of preaching what they know, much to the detriment of the greater wisdom and truth available, of which they do not.
But there is a more sinister aspect to this: Even if they knew this information, some would actually make a very deliberate choice to not share this information. They fear that doing so would cause them to lose their position within the community – their job and influence, as well as any perceived prestige and power which they believe they hold.
These, of course, are illusions, perpetuated by their Ego selves.
And, the negative impacts created by the intentional abandonment of the real information about the Spiritual nature of you, me, and all alive in our world continues to eat away at our world.
We see pollution growing, violence and war increasing, and the oppression of others for one’s personal gain running rampant throughout our world.
One example of this is the denial of global warming in the United States by those who wield the power to address this most critical issue. To let this issue go unchecked is an Ego driven miscalculation that has the potential to end humanity’s existence on planet Earth.
What is the downside for the masses of seeking and developing new sources of energy? There is none. There is only downside for an elite few who benefit and prosper from the continuation of the use of fossil fuels.
Those who control and prosper from these industries would surely not benefit from laying these sources of energy to rest. But the vast majority of the world’s population – likely over 99% of them – would benefit.
So, which aspect of man is protecting the fossil fuel industries? I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not coming from the higher True Self.
So, that leaves only the lower, darker Ego self. This is a very public illustration of the inner battle within man – the battle for attention. To which voice are we listening?
Why is this happening in such a pervasive way? The answer is simple: a lack of awareness of the inner battle within man; the continual struggle between the Ego self and the True Self for our attention.
This is what man must learn. This is the only thing religion should be teaching. This is what religion fails to teach. Thus, for the world moves forward, to change and grow in a positive way, religion must be abandoned.
The answer to the world’s problems is far more simple than most would believe. The answer is Spirituality. Be a Spiritual Person.
I am not saying that all the world’s problems will be instantly solved simply by you living a Spiritual life.
I am saying that Spirituality is how the world’s problems can be more quickly resolved. The art of Spirituality entails shifting one’s focus. Rather than seeking gratification from the outer world, as the Ego self continually does, the Spiritual way – the more enlightened way – is to connect with the True Self, which will happily provide all the satisfaction, gratification, and Love one could ever need.
Cultivate this relationship and you will make better decisions and take the proper actions necessary to improve your life. But the benefits don’t end there. They go beyond just you and your life’s experience.
Choosing Love over fear, the True Self over the Ego self, will create a ripple effect. The energy you project will change and will be added to the group consciousness. That higher quality energy will move through the universe, like the waves created when a stone is thrown into a lake.
We all are connected so when one person elevates their energy, all have the opportunity benefit. Adding positive, higher energy benefits all.
What this really means is: Change begins with each person. And, the simple act of connecting with the inner, True Self opens one to a different view of the world.
Practitioners of real Spirituality begin to see new things… things that always have been there but for some reason were hidden, outside their conscious awareness and understanding. They will become more inclusive and caring for others, rather than simply being focused on oneself.
These are the benefits of being a Spiritual person.
You can do this. And doing so will be the most significant contribution you can make to the world – to the greater good of all.
If enough people make this shift the world will change. It would have to. The world we live in, the world we see, is simply a function of the predominant, collective energy we project.
When enough people begin projecting and contributing a different energy, a higher level of energy – one that is based primarily in Love, and not fear – the world will also change.
The definition of Spirituality and living a Spiritual life is really very simple. There has been much confusing information written and shared about this. But it’s really not complicated.
We humans have an unfortunate predilection to mysteries and puzzles. We love to solve things. And, many times, this leads us to make things more difficult and complicated than they really are.
The universe is simple. Life is simple. We make it difficult. We look past the obvious and lose ourselves in the mystery. Spirituality has been like that.
It often is confused with tools; tools which can help us achieve a more Spiritual lifestyle, tools which can help us make our inner connection, like meditation. Meditation and the act of meditating is not being Spiritual, even when it is done correctly.
Meditation is a very useful tool that can help one learn to live Spiritually. So, what is Spirituality?
The definition of Spirituality and living a Spiritual life is: The understanding that we each have 2 aspects within – 2 voices: the Ego self and the higher, True Self – and applying this knowledge, moment-to-moment, to discern which of these 2 voices is driving our thoughts, behaviors, and choices.
That’s it. It’s really very simple. And this leads to Enlightenment, which also is a very misunderstood term.
Simply, Enlightenment is: The ability to actively discern between these to voices, and to choose – moment-by-moment – to listen to, resonate with, and react from the higher voice of the True Self.
Spiritual growth naturally occurs when one walks a path to this understanding, and also takes appropriate actions to move toward achieving the goal of greater understanding of these aforementioned states.
All this points to a new reality, one where Religion is obsolete. It has outlived its usefulness. Humanity has finally reached a point where it is ready to move beyond religion.
We have seen all the terrible things religion has wrought in the world. Spirituality is the correction. Spirituality is what religion used to teach, thousands of years ago. But not anymore.
Make a change. Connect with your True Self. Use that connection as your guiding light. It is a moment-to-moment choice, but all can do it. And, the more who do, the better our world will become.
Forget religion. Focus on learning and practicing Spirituality. You will find that this is the key to a better life for you, and for the world.
What is Spirituality to you?
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Bruce is a published author, speaker, student/teacher of Spirituality, and founder of The Spiritual Workshop. Beginning in the 1980's, he was guided to look inside for his answers and information and is now teaching the Wisdom gained and the processes for introspective self-learning.
Understand The Self: How To Become Self Aware
The Day My Life Changed… Again
Religion is Obsolete – Understanding Religion Vs. Spiritual
Spiritual Development/Awareness: I Almost Died in The Grand Canyon
My Meeting with an Enlightened Man: Experiences with Dr. David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD
The Happy Place. Happiness is an Energy
Meditate For Happiness: The Actual Goal of Meditation
Learn the Key to Happiness, Fulfillment, and Wisdom: The Self