Is there a difference between religion and spirituality? Many religions claim to be spiritual in nature or founded based on spiritual ideals. There are thousands of religions in the world today. Over the last 2000 years man has created ego-based religions right out of thin air. Virtually anybody can start up their own version or sect of any persuasion. All that is required is to formulate a creed of some type and begin enlisting followers. Spirituality on the other hand is not ego-directed. It is more likely the very essence of the soul. Spirits and/or souls exist outside the realm of human thinking and are not biased by religion. Therefore, they are not subject to the psychological mind games that the ego subjects humans to. There are no conflicting choices in the spirit world. They exist with no self-admiration or hidden agendas. The spirit is a form created in the image and likeness of God. Religion is created through the image(ego) of man.
Understanding why religions have not led us to a unified worldly peace is easy to see. There is disagreement from belief to belief as each strives to enforce and expand its faith. Religions have not united the world; they have divided it. Where there is division, there is conflict. This is because the ego always has an external vision and cannot observe itself. Religion attempts to force unity through guilt and repentance. The laws of the church are said to be those of God. In the example of the fifth commandment, thou shalt not kill, the exceptions are many as professed by most beliefs. Is not killing the same in all instances? Is not killing the same for all religions? As long as man chooses to filter God’s laws through the ego, he will not enjoy a peaceful world. Spirituality is God in action. Holiness is the strength to be of spiritual character. The ego divides; the spirit is never divided.
Any person is free to choose his or her faith. Religion is comforting to many in that there is a connection to members of a like belief. There is often cooperation between church factions. There are many similar beliefs intertwined from religion to religion. Yet there is also hatred and bigotry. Not to mention mistrust and anger. In this, the very members themselves have put egotism before spirituality. Man is not perfect as emotions often rise to the forefront. Emotions are healthy when expressed in the spirit of kindness and forgiveness. Out of control passions lead to violence and division all in the name of God. We go to war with each side praying to their own God asking for victory. Perhaps the question might be; why God am I here to kill my brother? For it is in spirituality, which is the deepest connection to God, that all are brothers. Not just all of mankind, all beings in the universe.
The habitants on this earth appear to be moving in a spiritually motivated wave toward some type of universal awakening. This is profoundly discussed in the 1993 book by Stuart Wilde called “Whispering Winds of Change.” This awakening of man to the goodness of spirit is not born of any one religious movement. One need not be a devotee of any specific religion to commingle with the goodness of spirit. Spirit is love, however we prefer to define it. The Divine Creator has given man an ego to survive and free will to choose. Maybe it is the free will to decide how to be reborn in spirit while present on earth.
We can ask a curious question or two. What religion is God? And since spirit is manifested from God, why would The Creator condemn its own spirit to a place such as hell? Spirit has no need of any religious experience since there is no ego involved, only the pure essence of love. How will we on earth, as creations of God, unite for the good of all humanity? Add more and more religions? Or, will there be some great battle as all people become integrated into one super-omnipotent belief system? It will not matter because neither will work. As long as religions are manifested through the human ego, they will continue to be in opposition to one another as they have through the ages. Being religious has not saved man from himself. Perhaps spirituality is the choice man must awaken to.