What is the difference between religion and spirituality?
“Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience.”Deepak Chopra
Telling people you are spiritual but not religious is often greeted with a confused face. People tend to think of spirituality as something very strange and mysterious. They even struggle to differentiate it from religion but this is only because people in modern-day society have a fear of being manipulated and have a lack of knowledge when it comes to non-material subjects.
The truth of the matter is that spirituality is perhaps the most natural thing there is: it is simply your own conscious self recognizing that you are more than just a body, that you are a soul with infinite potential.
6 Main Differences Between Religion and Spirituality
To simplify what I am trying to explain here is a short list of things that help to highlight the differences between religion and spirituality.
1. There are no rules to Spirituality
As opposed to following a specific ideology or a set of rules spirituality simply lets you follow your heart, it encourages you to listen to your intuition and do what is right for yourself and others around you.
It truly sets you free to be the best you can be and to be a good person with no promise of punishment or reward. The reward is simply your own inner happiness.
2. Spirituality is based only on love and not fear
Dotted throughout religion there is lots of fear. Fear of the consequences of your actions, fear of what might happen after you die if you don’t live your life accordingly.
Well, with spirituality there is only Love, it encourages you to focus all of your energy only on the good, and to act only based on love.
This is a key point for me as any choice made out of fear will not be good for your soul. Whereas decisions made out of love will empower you, make you braver and feed your soul.
It shows you how to stand despite being afraid, how to move on doing what you feel is right despite the consequences that may come.
3. Religion tells you the truth – Spirituality lets you discover it
As opposed to telling you in black and white how the universe was created and why we are here, Spirituality lets you discover these questions and answers for yourself.
It empowers you to find your own truth in all things and sets no limits to how deep you can go in understanding all there is to know.
4. Religion separates, Spirituality unites
In our world, there are many religions and they all preach that their story is the right story.
Spirituality sees the truth in all of them and unites them because the truth is same for all of us despite our differences and uniqueness.
It focuses on the quality of the divine message they share and not on the differences in details of the story they speak.
5. The difference between Karma and Punishment
Instead of talking about punishment or the threat of hell, Spirituality only talks about Karma.
It’s the Law of Attraction — you get what you give. Simple.
6. Walk your own path
Instead of ancients stories about angels and Gods, spirituality encourages you to make your own path and create your own stories. This sets you on a journey of enlightenment and self-discovery to which the only limits can be set by yourself.
It encourages you to trust your heart and follow it wherever it may lead you.
If you look at religion it all stems from a deep spirituality. Jesus and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) for example all had deeply profound spiritual journeys before they embarked on their own journeys.
So I do believe that all religion has truth in it and that many people can be both truly beautiful souls and religious at the same time, but ultimately anything that separates you or creates division is not good for your soul and definitely not good for the greater good of mankind.
Spirituality reminds us that we are not separate, there are no borders, no races and no cultural divides.
All that is true is that we are all one and the only constant is Love.
Supporting Your Spiritual Growth
We hope this guide has supported you in understanding the difference between religion and spirituality.
Here at Mindvalley, we don’t endorse any particular religion, but we love to help our readers dive into their own spirituality.
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(This article was originally published on The Spirit Science, by Kasim Khan.)