Before I start I want to make sure that you guys know that I'm not necessarily bashing religion, I'm just saying it how it is from my perspective. This is probably going to deeply offend some of you, but my goal here is to clear up the misconception surrounding spirituality. I just want to try and make the distinction between spirituality and religion, because there is actually quite a big difference between religion and spirituality, in fact they're polar opposites. So yea... I apologize in advance to those who get upset, but just remember that these are only words, so relax.
I was raised a catholic and then spent my high school days being an atheist. Growing up, I used to believe whatever I was taught. I believed what ever I saw on TV, what school taught me and what my parents told me. I believed in what I saw and therefore if I couldn't see god, he didn't exist. I used to be super judgemental and get so angry at people who had different beliefs to mine. My mentality as a kid was very closed minded. I thought spirituality was extremely 'gay' and that only dirty hippies are into that shit. I'm telling you guys this to let you know that I've been on the other side of the fence, so I don't blame people at all who have no interest into getting into this stuff, but that's only because they don't understand it. At the time I had no idea what spirituality was actually about, so I'm going to try my best to explain it the best I can, while contrasting it to religion.
So what is it?
I'm not going to go too deep, I'm just going to explain the fundamentals of what I understand about spirituality.
What's important for spirituality is to understand the truth of reality by experiencing it. It's trying to grasp reality or source, as closely as you can. It's trying to understand ourselves, nature, consciousness and the universe, and how they all work and come together. Spirituality is not about rituals, praying, faith, becoming a hippy, or any of that new age bullshit. Spirituality is about direct contact with reality. It is about going on the path to enlightenment which is basically just turning off that voice in your head, and being in the present moment by smelling the fucking roses that's been under your nose this whole time, and dissolving the fictional future you've created in your mind. This is what actual reality is. This is what TRUE spirituality is.
To an extent Religion tries to understand these concepts as well, but they go on it from a completely different angle. They think with a completely different mentality and are concerned with things like; morality, what's good and bad, traditions, rituals and so on. It's based on hearsay and dogmatic beliefs, and not by actual experience.
Spirituality is based with a scientific approach. By this I mean it's done with an empirical approach, which means it's done by direct experimentation and observation.
This is where religion starts to steer off course, because they try to understand reality by thinking about it. They build theories and notions around it which completely defeats the purpose. There are just some things that the human mind can't even come close to comprehending, like life and reality, this is why science fails to explain a lot of phenomenons. This is because when you use your thoughts to try and understand reality, this ironically takes you to the opposite direction.
Imagine trying to explain to a virgin how sex feels like. You can give them all the scientific mumbo jumbo about it; how it feels, in the most intrinsic detail, and they can build up an idea in their heads of how it's going to feel. They can even get a PhD in sex (if that's a thing), but they will never TRULY understand sex unless they've tried it themselves. Wouldn't you agree?
It's like those few narrow visioned scientists who have a plethora of knowledge about a specific subject, but are so far up their arse that they lack common sense and fail to see the bigger picture. They think they understand life by reading it in a book without putting themselves out there and experiencing it themselves. Don't get me wrong, knowledge is awesome, but without the experience it's just words on paper.
Religion is fundamentally a belief system. Every major religion is usually centered around a Prophet. Whether it's Jesus, the Buddha or Muhammed. All of these guys who all came into direct contact with truth to reality (enlightenment). It completely changed their paradigm of how they viewed the world, which made them understand life while also relieving all their suffering.
So let us say Jesus got so excited by this amazing truth that he decided to share this amazing news to everybody. Jesus explains what he experienced by using words, metaphors, stories, analogies, or whatever other methodology of explanation he used. So a great deal of people listens to this experience, but the problem with this is that they don't truly UNDERSTAND what Jesus taught them. All they have is words and beliefs. It might make perfect sense and these people might have had a pretty good idea to what this truth is in their heads, but they will never fully understand this truth because they haven't experienced it themselves.
So a couple thousand years later, this original nugget of truth expanded into all this complete nonsense. All these rituals, traditions, laws, scriptures and politics got built around it. People have very dogmatic minds and always jumping to conclusions of "Yes I understand, I believe in that, I have faith". There is a very acute percentage of people who actually go out and do the hard work to see this direct truth for themselves, but most of us just go by beliefs. All these people do is play word games with themselves and think they know the truth because they read this thing in a bible, memorized scriptures, or practice meditation or praying. But the reality is they don't know shit because they don't TRULY understand what they are reading, because they haven't experienced it. It's like a virgin trying to explain to someone about what sex feels like.
If Jesus came back to life today and saw what these religions have become, he would probably completely denounce his faith and tell everyone that we got it all wrong.
Religion actually started off as a very beautiful thing, the problem is what it's become today.
This goes the same for Atheism, which by definition is a religion.
Atheism is not a lack of belief, it's a belief system that says: God does not exist. To some extent, Science in a lot of cases is based on belief. Are these facts found by experience, or are these just dogmatic beliefs? I love science (I am currently studying it at the moment) but a lot of its "facts" are because "it can't be scientifically proven there for it doesn't exist" or it's built upon a theory that seems to be the most accurate. The big bang theory for example, is a belief that most people label as truth. I'm not saying it is or isn't (it probably is true), I'm just saying that this is a belief that most of us cling on to because a bunch of scientists sounded very convincing with their data and numbers. There are a great deal of people who would jump down your throat if you even dared to question the Big Bang Theory. Doesn't that kind of sound like how a religious person would act?
There is nothing wrong with believing things, I myself believe in a lot of stuff. I actually love listening to people's theories, but I don't label them as universal truths that everyone should believe otherwise they are stupid. Unfortunately many people have this mentality. They let their ego completely take control by not listening to any new ideas which hardly makes any room for growth in their lives.
I myself have a long way to go, as this path to enlightenment is a bloody long one. Unfortunately very few people go down this path. This is because it's hard and takes a lot of work, and most people are full of excuses and frankly don't have the balls to change their lives for the better -- it's not the darkness that they fear, but the light. So Instead they go about their lives working their 9 to 5 job, letting life slip through their fingers. It's hard for most of us to let go of things and accept new ideas that challenge your current paradigm. It's a lot easier searching for sensory gratification by either taking drugs (which include alcohol and caffeine), having sex, eating food, watching TV, playing video games and/or buying bigger and better things. Don't get me wrong these can all be fun activities, but if you continue to chase these things your whole life and rely on it to make you happy, it will leave you completely empty inside, trust me I've been there. Here's an experiment. Try sitting in your room by yourself without any stimulation, for 2 hours. Watch how your mind and body will literally go through withdrawal symptoms. It's like takung the needle away from a heroin junkie.
We need to learn to open up our minds as there is more to life then stimulation and words on a piece of paper. It's about going out, living life, having new experiences and being in the present moment. We need to stop labelling everything and getting so caught up with beliefs. We need to stop worrying about all the bullshit we create in our minds like the past and future, which is just a figment of our imagination. All there ever was or ever will be is Now.
I'm sorry that I've blabber-mouthed this long but this is a very deep topic, and I have only just scratched the surface.
I'm sure a lot of you guys think I'm full of shit and I've lost my mind, and that's okay. I don't want you guys to believe me, I just want you to open up your minds and experience it for yourselves. You might know something without ever having to experience it (intuition), but it's not a direct truth. So I'm not saying don't believe anything you hear without experience, just don't treat it like this all mighty truth that can't be changed.
Everyone is different and goes in different directions in life, and if we happen to cross paths, awesome! If not, oh well, I'm not going to cry over it.
So what do you guys think? Anyone have any other ideas of what you think spirituality is?
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Question: What's stopping you from changing your life situation?