Difference between Religion and Spirituality?

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Rain ForestMoon
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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:14 am

Greetings,

Some good points, there Ragnar.

I am not sure that I can agree with you on the point that you can't be religious without being spiritual. I have observed many who are full-on into their religion, but do not have a single shred of spirituality inside themselves.

Just an aside, even though that might make a topic of its own: Some pagans are monotheists.....

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Post by Ragnar » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:33 pm

Hej,hej,
I think what I meant by "Religionists must be spiritual". Well if there not they are, as I pointed out, "doing" religion as a hobby. (is one definition of religion not; "organised ceremony to, worship, pacify, beg from, a spiritual being", or something). They could just as easily get wound up by a stamp collecting circle with a ceremony. (!!?? What a picture!).
As far as "monothiest" goes, I am sure there are Pagan monotiests. (there WOULD be, wouldn't there?). I use monothiest, so I do not have to list EVERY particular group that may wish to apply once or twice every post.
I mean Basically the middle Eastern invader monothiests, christains, jews, muslims.
There are a lot of things that I could split hairs about too. But I don't.

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Post by RavenEyes » Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:21 am

Rain ForestMoon wrote: I am not sure that I can agree with you on the point that you can't be religious without being spiritual. I have observed many who are full-on into their religion, but do not have a single shred of spirituality inside themselves.
I agree with that!

I've always thought that religion is something you DO, while your spirituality is what you are.... you can still go through the motions of your religion without being spiritual... or you can have a deep spirituality without necessarily celebrating your religion in any way...

If that makes any sense...
Live Life to the full, Be true to yourself

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Post by Ragnar » Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:36 am

But if you are not spiritual, why victimise a Religion with your need for a hobby?
I agree that there are people like this, 90% of christians, for instance. I just can not, personaly, see the point of rooting something out to do, that you do not BELIEVE in. (It is THEM I am getting at, not people on these boards)
I love the Gothic buildings that they have here in Germany, among others The fact that most of them are churches does not make me pretend to partake in the audience every Sunday. I do not mind been victimised for my beliefs by someone that believes in what they do,(nothing like a good mental "execution" of a victimiser), but most of this victimisation of us, comes from the very people that we are talking about. They pay lip service, go along with the general crowd, dont BELIEVE a word of it, but go and burn the witch any way, because "thats all part of the hobby".

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Hmmm...How about this idea?

Post by Silver Spider » Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:10 pm

Well,

I'll start by saying that I'm sorry we got off the topic for awhile. These things happen.

Next, I think I'm getting the idea very slowly, but I require more real life experience and/or readings.

When I read that Religion is something that you do, and Spirituality (many of you call it "Paganism") is something that you believe, I'd say no to that. There are religious beliefs and activities, and there spiritual beliefs and activities. I'm certain about this idea. I'm also certain that the two could and do become combined and mixed up in our society.

I'd also like to mention, that I believe that there's a Mother-God and Father-God, and combined they form God. Their children, who are a Spark of the Divine, sit four to eight inches above our head. So I'm thinking that makes my beliefs polytheistic.



Let me give you a model, that perhaps could help me in a spiritual way.

In the movies we have different genres: action, thrillers, comedy, drama, sci-fi, fantasy and perhaps a few more. I will discuss Sci-fi and Fantasy and distinguish the two.

Someone a few years ago asked me or just said, "What's the difference between Sci-fi and Fantasy? It all the same." As an experienced watcher of Sci-fi and Fantasy, I could tell him/her that there's definitely a difference between the two, and I could understand how they could easily become mixed up in someone's mind.

In Sci-fi, we see alot of science and technology, both real and imaginary. There are starships, robots, androids, aliens, incredible high-tech cities and computers, and strange things in the universe. Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey are good examples of Sci-fi.

Fantasy on the other hand, has elements of wondrous animals like dragons, orges, demons, unicorns, pegasuses, leprechauns, and other weird life. You may also find things like kings and queens, knights, princes and princesses, witches and wizards (in the more Hollywood sense of the words), sorcerers, magic (Hollywood sense again), fairies, castles and cities, and other things along those lines. Good examples are The Wizard of Oz and The Lord of the Rings.

Then you have those movies were you'll literally find a mix and/or combination of the two. When I look at a movie series like Star Wars, I see Sci-fi and Fantasy. I think I also see Religion and Spirituality in this series. Unfortunately, I don't have an exact meaning for Religion and Spirituality in my mind at this time, so I'm uncertain.

Now can someone do the same or similar thing with Religion and Spirituality? If you could describe it like above, that would be great. Better yet, if you actually know a religious movie and spiritual movie, tell me. The same could go for books or something else that you know.

I hope this helps you, so that you could help me. Maybe my movie analogy will inspire you to give clearer meanings to the words Religion and Spirituality.

Thanks.

Blessings.

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Post by Ragnar » Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:12 am

Hej,hej,
I would say religious movies were "The shoes of the fisherman", "jesus of Nazereth", or "Triumph of the will". spiritual movies are "dances with wolves", "A man named Horse". or even "Lord of the rings".
Religion = LAW and regulation, spiritual = LORE and freedom of thought. Remember, it is not "spirituality" that gets mixed up in polotics or vice versa, but "religion".

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:12 am

Ragnar wrote: I would say religious movies were "The shoes of the fisherman", "jesus of Nazereth", or "Triumph of the will". spiritual movies are "dances with wolves", "A man named Horse". or even "Lord of the rings".
I agree with that. Nothing like a "for instance" to clarify a point.


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Post by shrimpy8818 » Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:49 am

it might be that religion is like the term "Wicca" wicca is a very brod term. Spirtuality might be what you believe in. I have wondered this too.

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Post by Ragnar » Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:01 am

I think "FEELING" is the main difference. Do you walk through a forest and think "Ho, hum, nice tree", or do you sit down and FEEL the trees, plants insects, animals, do you LISTEN?

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religion & spirituality

Post by dragonflydrummer » Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:36 am

For me, Religion is a structure -- various faith systems have structures in order to unify a community of people and administer to them, and over time these structures take on traditions which need to be passed down through generations. There isn't a lot of room in these institutions for the individual alone to have much impact, except as a component of the religious community. Religion teaches and administers.

Spirituality is more experiential. It always involves the individual in a direct relationship with, what for lack of a better word I'll call "the Divine." In many ways spirituality opposes the structuring that is necessary to the life of a religious institution. It recognizes no mores or rules that do not directly come from the experience. Spirituality experiences and transforms.

Just a hit from my little bubble in the Cosmos... :hello2:
The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Post by Ragnar » Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:55 am

I agree that religeon administers. But "teaches" is not something missing from sprituality. What are totems and spiritual gudes for? I would say, rather that teaching is something that is missing from religion. Basically you have to learn a bit of ceremony, when to sit, when to stand, when to grovel, at which point the priest likes the fresh kiddies brought to him, and thats IT! As I said, the difference between "Law" and "Lore".
Remember also, that spiritual people (Heathens/Pagans) have NEVER burned people at the stake, have NEVER had a religious war, it was christians that killed six million Jews plus millions of others, (Hitler, Rohm, Himmler, Streicher, Heydrich, Eichmann, were all catholic), Joseph Stalin was a christian brother till he rebelled, Mussolini was a born and bread christian, as was Franco, Saddam Hussein, the Ayatohlas, idiots that fly planes into buildings.(O.K. not exactly christian, but they read the same book don't they?). Ninety percent of prisoners in the Western world are christian. All "RELIGION". all the "GOOD" guys in history huh?
This is not to say that religion is bad, just religion without sprituality. Or "organised religion".

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Post by dragonflydrummer » Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:24 am

RAGNAR said:
I agree that religeon administers. But "teaches" is not something missing from sprituality. What are totems and spiritual gudes for? I would say, rather that teaching is something that is missing from religion.
You are right about the teaching aspects of Totems and Spirit Guides. I was thinking of teaching as more of the class-room type of dissemination of rules and "history" which is the domain of religious institutions. It is important I think to notice though, that the two kinds of teaching (Spirit Guides vs. Informational teaching) differ in ways that reflect the differences between Spirituality and Religion. Teaching received from Spirit Guides seems to me to be more direct -- that is, you are sensorily & emotionally immersed in the experience while it occurs. The other type of teaching is indirect --an imparting of set dogma, creed, and social rules handed down to the member of the community in a less engaging way.

Thank you for catching my mistake on that point, Ragnar. :geek:

P.S. -- While I share your antipathy for organized religion, I also think it is a shame that all religions receive this bitterness from many, based mostly on the bad faith shown time and again by the so-called "Children of Abraham"(Xtianity, Islam, Judaism).
The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:10 pm

Ragnar wrote: ....Remember also, that spiritual people (Heathens/Pagans) have NEVER burned people at the stake, have NEVER had a religious war, it was christians that killed six million Jews plus millions of others, (Hitler, Rohm, Himmler, Streicher, Heydrich, Eichmann, were all catholic), Joseph Stalin was a christian brother till he rebelled, Mussolini was a born and bread christian, as was Franco, Saddam Hussein, the Ayatohlas, idiots that fly planes into buildings.....
OK this is a slightly off-topic ramble, but I would just like to look at these things in a slightly different light:

We need to admit that it was pagans who started persecuting christians, and not the other way around. There is no doubt that paganism was the state religion in the roman empire.

Having said that I would also like to say that 99.9% of all religious persecutions have nothing to do with religion at all - religion is just the pretext. Most -if not all - of these persecutions are either a reaction to a perceived threat to existing powers or else a blatant grab to increase one's power and influence. (The idea of separation of church and state is a very recent one).
Most (but not all) of killing of witches in the middle ages had nothing to do with witchcraft, but was usually a way of getting rid of people who had somehow managed to upset the ruling powers, people who refused to be part of the official religion, and also independent thinkers who were not prepared to toe the line.

As far as the Nazis are concerned, I view Nazism as a religion-like ideology, so to call these people christians is in my view not correct. They may have started out as christians, but converted to Nazism. But, yes, they were adhering very strongly to their religion of Nazism.
Also it should be noted that the attempted extermination of Jews and Romany was not dependent on their religion, but on their race. Provided your blood-line said that you were of jewish origin, or of romany origin - that was the end of you. (I think these days this is referred to as "ethnic cleansing")
In this context is is also worth remembering that in addition to Jews and Romany there were also large numbers of other people killed: communists, socialists, christians who opposed the nazi regime, trade unionists etc etc.. - in short anyone who opposed or had the potential to oppose the regime.

BTW I had ideas of starting a topic "Was Nazism a Religion?". But when I saw what sort of sniping a mere discussion about milk managed to produce in the "Health and Nutrition" section I dropped the idea. I would hate to be responsible for WW3 breaking out.

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"AQUILA NON CAPIT MUSCAS'

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who's zoomin' whom...?

Post by dragonflydrummer » Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:33 pm

Rain ForestMoon wrote:
We need to admit that it was pagans who started persecuting christians, and not the other way around. There is no doubt that paganism was the state religion in the roman empire.
You have to remember that Xtianity was later adopted by the Roman Empire. In a sense, today's Xtians -- especially the Catholics -- are the Romans.

Other cases of pagans persecuting Xtians ? I haven't run into many recountings of it in my readings. Mostly the other way around...

Now in terms of that dark Nazi/Religion question:
They seemed more like a "Might makes Right," based nihilism, that pioneered a sort of 'suspension of disbelief' in their state rituals. Although I'd be hard-pressed to tell you who their attendant deities or demons might have been...maybe just the dictator and the state.

(Realizing how big a flap people can have over a subject like "milk," makes me despair in ever seeing World Harmony... heh heh heh...)


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The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Re: who's zoomin' whom...?

Post by Rain ForestMoon » Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:30 pm

dragonflydrummer wrote: You have to remember that Xtianity was later adopted by the Roman Empire. In a sense, today's Xtians -- especially the Catholics -- are the Romans.
That is quite so, but not until the year 300-and-something, starting with Constantine.

It was also Constantine who moved the capital of the Roman Empire to a place named after him "Constantinople" (now Istanbul). For about a thousand years after that there was also constant rivalry between the roman christian church and the one based in Constantinople. And it is, although very few people in the west would see it that way, the eastern christian churches that are the direct line from Paul (not Peter: it was - in my view - Paul who "invented" christianity as a religion).

So, that leaves about 200 to 250 years of persecution of christian by the (then still) pagan roman empire before Constantine. I think.

Just quickly getting back to the Nazis. Just in case anyone thinks I am/was one: The sort of views I hold would probably get me arrested as a "Commie" in the USA.....(if they still do this sort of thing these days - probably not, they are still trying to get Isama Bin Whatshisname first ....)

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"AQUILA NON CAPIT MUSCAS'

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