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I have a love hate relationship with certain words and Religion is one of them. So much has been done in the name of religion and it’s not all good. Just as so much has been done in the name of Love and that’s not all good either. I prefer the word Spirituality and being a spiritual person.

I thought it might be helpful to give a little insight into where I'm coming from regards Religion and Spirituality. It might be useful to know what we believe and why we believe it if we are to discuss these things here on this forum.

When people talk about Freud and Jung it's usually with a curiosity as to what side of the fence we come down on. I for one come down on the side of Jung. I'm no scholar and I don't know that much about him but I have read some of his books and I agree with this -

Jung emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm. His experience in India led him to become fascinated and deeply involved with Eastern philosophies and religions, helping him come up with key concepts of his ideology, including integrating spirituality into everyday life and appreciation of the unconscious. Jung's work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals. Our main task, he believed, is to discover and fulfil our deep-innate potential, much as the acorn contains the potential to become the oak, or the caterpillar to become the butterfly. Based on his study of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and other traditions, Jung perceived that this journey of transformation is at the mystical heart of all religions. It is a journey to meet the self and at the same time to meet the Divine. Jung thought spiritual experience was essential to our well-being. When asked during a 1959 BBC interview if he believed in the existence of God, Jung replied, "I don't believe - I know".

I'm coming from that direction. And I welcome any discussion as well as questions on the above.

I would also be interested in what direction you are coming from and why.

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well Rose, I will make a short reply here because this is definatley not my area of knowlege or understanding.

I grew up with no religion so I know nothing other then "Me" as a way to function and survive. So that holds true today, I have always just lived as needed and found my "strength" in me. Is that working for me now, No. but I can't find the mental or physical strength to process and understand what you have described in your post.

I wish you all well in your journey and I think this is a very good post because I have read others touching upon your thoughts Rose...

But I just wanted to reply, I am the odd one I am sure...

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I very much respect everyone's feelings and beliefs about religion. I consider myself a very spiritual person, but have been unable to connect with religion throughout my life. I have ambiguous feelings about it and am not really sure why...:confused:

I think what is important is discovering faith. Some may find faith in religion or in God...others may find faith in believing in the human spirit...some may find faith in both...However this may happen for any one individual maybe doesn't matter so much. It's a way of connecting with life and discovering oneself, finding the truth of one's soul, one's own deeper meaning and purpose in life. It's something which is very personal for each individual. As long as it is meaningful and valuable to them, then this is a beautiful thing. These are my personal feelings about this anyway.

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I think that it is very personal for people because, I feel, no one thinks the same or have the same thoughts. I was raised in a church, grew up and got out of church, and didn't come back until much later, when I started believing more. Now, I am alone and it seems to me, that the only one I have to rely totally on is my God. I believe in Jesus Christ. He is real to me.

There are many different religions, like different beliefs. And I feel, whatever helps get you through living on here this earth. It is a spiritual thing. I have found that even in different churches of the same religion, people have different belief thoughts. It is an individual spiritual personification.

What I was desiring (or thought I desired), when I voted for a religious/spiritual section, was a place to help a person - a believer - with encouraging words to get through the bad times, and help them see a brighter day to come or encourage with hope. I'm not really one to discuss individual beliefs. Religion and spiritual, as such, are just labels to me. Perhaps that is what you are talking about, Blue Rose; I don't know.

Good luck in your search.

love you,

Edited by musemuse
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Thanks people. That’s just what I had in mind; everyone sharing a little of their religious and spiritual thoughts. I have been involved in so many forums where they rule against discussing religion but they will discuss spirituality. I don’t hold with that. If people want to discuss either then they should be able to share and compare their thoughts on both. I hope if anyone feels the need to discuss their beliefs that they feel safe and comfortable doing it in this forum.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Everyone,

I want to contribute a thought and its very obvious but I am wondering what your feelings and thoughts are:

There is a big difference between religion and spirituality. In fact, it seems to me that there can be religion without spirituality, sadly. Also, one can be quite spiritual without being religioius.

Thoughts?

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My position is spirituality the way to go, and I believe in a universal approach. I believe God has given us a variety of experiences and stories to include apart of our existence on our journey, and it is our definite goal whatever that may be to bloom at our best and come to peace with our existence and mortality before we pass bravely into the next life. As sad as life may seem with the loses and fear, I believe deep down that this is the best experience to have been blessed to have. There will never be another time that we know of that we can set our eyes upon the ocean, mountains, great book, or sip a good cup of coffee, or kiss a baby on the cheek, or make love, help the hurt, and be helped magically. there is no other existence at least that we can say concretely that gives us the sense of power and greatness we feel alive here today even when we are consumed by negative forces of heart break, loss, depression, chemical disorders, addiction, violence, war, financial ruin, mysteries, whatever we all must face and conquer. How you experience God is how you experience God and noone can tell you you are right or wrong. Everything is God even if you don't believe in God, that's God because God is whatever you say it is including not. At the end of the day you get to say what God is to you.

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A person can be spiritual without being religious and vice versa.

While most religions are easily classified as religion others like Buddhism are not so easily classified as it depends what sect and position you hold in the religion.

Spirituality is like the air we breathe.

Religion is like the words we speak.

Spirituality comes from within you.

Religion comes from outside of you.

Spirituality cannot be given to you.

Religion can be given to you by others.

Spiritual isn't something we can stop being.

Religious is something we can stop being.

Religion is our attempt to reach out and understand God.

Spirituality is sensing, feeling and knowing the God within.

Spirituality is something we can experience through meditation.

Religion is something we experience by sharing it with other people.

Spirituality is a free flowing experience of the God within.

Religion was developed mainly around social cultures and traditions.

The awareness, the spiritual awakening, and the enlightenment Buddhist speak of is difficult to express in word. Spirituality is like that. It's not believing - it's knowing.

We have faith until we believe and we believe until we know.

True religion is a real spiritual religion that we each chose to follow, and it can be felt and experienced anywhere - not just in church or under a specific religious label.

I'm not a religious person. I follow no one. I came to these spiritual beliefs through my own awakening. It wasn't instant acceptance, it was such a metaphysical (beyond the physical) experience that I thought it was an illusion and I kept expecting it to 'pass' but it didn't. I don't believe in luck but it felt like 'my luck had changed' and I wondered how long it would last. I kept expecting it to 'go away'. But it didn't.

When spiritual awareness hits we want to tell the world about it. We want to scream about it from the rooftops. But we don't because we would probably get locked up. But that's what it feels like.

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question: do you mean religious 'doctrine'? I guess I don't know the real difference. ie. Like I used to go to church and hear words, but now I can't go and the spiritual part is me communing or talking with my God and questioning him too? Is that spiritual? or is that taking some of the doctrine that I have heard/learned and applying it in my communes? I can't really express what exactly I mean, but something like this? To me it has to be spiritual because I can see it. ? would someone help me out, please.?

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well Rose, I will make a short reply here because this is definatley not my area of knowlege or understanding.

I grew up with no religion so I know nothing other then "Me" as a way to function and survive. So that holds true today, I have always just lived as needed and found my "strength" in me. Is that working for me now, No. but I can't find the mental or physical strength to process and understand what you have described in your post.

I wish you all well in your journey and I think this is a very good post because I have read others touching upon your thoughts Rose...

But I just wanted to reply, I am the odd one I am sure...

Linda,

Thanks for joining in. I hope you'll come and share more of your thoughts on this.

You don't have to be a penguin to join the penguin club. ;)

I too grew up with no religion and knew nothing other than 'me', it was all about survival back then. Thankfully, that doesn't hold true today. It took me a long time to find my strength and to find the courage to explore other life options - other ways to deal with and cope with life.

There's not a lot to what I posted. It was just my way of saying that I'm not a religious person but I am a very spiritual person who trusts my instincts and intuition and decide things for myself theses days.

Thank you for your kind words. It has been a long hard road, and those kind words go deep and make it all worth it.

For a long, long time I never used the word 'happy', I only used comfortable. But today, I'm happy to say "I'm happy. I have a lovely family and a lot to be grateful for."

I hope and whish that one day soon, you can say the same thing.

Best wishes.

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I very much respect everyone's feelings and beliefs about religion. I consider myself a very spiritual person, but have been unable to connect with religion throughout my life. I have ambiguous feelings about it and am not really sure why...:confused:

I think what is important is discovering faith. Some may find faith in religion or in God...others may find faith in believing in the human spirit...some may find faith in both...However this may happen for any one individual maybe doesn't matter so much. It's a way of connecting with life and discovering oneself, finding the truth of one's soul, one's own deeper meaning and purpose in life. It's something which is very personal for each individual. As long as it is meaningful and valuable to them, then this is a beautiful thing. These are my personal feelings about this anyway.

IrmaJean,

I too respect anyone's religious or spiritual convictions. I have felt the same way too about religion and spiritual things. But there was always something drawing me to 'religion'. I used to got to Sunday School with a friend of mine but I never told anyone at home. Religion was such a taboo subject in our house. If my dad had found out I'm sure he would have seen it as some kind of betrayal. I won a prize for colouring in Joseph’s coat. ;)

Later I attended a church youth thing with another friend, still on the quiet. And as a young adult, now married with kids, I attended church periodically, and had a few church friends. But it always felt like something was missing.

When I was struggling with depression, my stepfather (my dad now dead and my mom remarried) suggested talking to his priest, and the priest fixed for me to talk to the nuns, the sister's of mercy. I met with one or other of them every evening for about two weeks. It helped me in that it grounded me, and I was able to ask than all kinds of questions. It wasn't until much later that I realised how much this had helped me.

There's even a family story. Me and a friend of mine, when we were about seven, put net curtains on our head and went out into the street and joined a procession - nuns and lots of little kids on their way to set their holly communion. A neighbour told my mum and she came and dragged me home. All the time I'm yelling, "I want to be a nun!" and she's yelling back, "You can't be a nun, you're a protestant!" and I'm yelling back "I don't want to be a protestant! I want to be a nun!" Maybe I missed my calling. :(

I do go along with finding one's self and connecting with one's soul. We all have within us a storehouse of hidden knowledge and I believe so much of this knowledge is connected to our higher-self and the God within.

I don't believe it is always possible to discover our purpose in life. And since it seems that most of us cannot survive without the feeling that we do have a purpose in life, I often encourage people to create their own purpose in life.

Nothing is carved in stone. We can and do make it up as we go along most of the time. In the end, the bottom line for a lot of us is "Whatever gets you through the day - or night".

Real faith is knowing that no matter what happens we will be okay.

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I think that it is very personal for people because, I feel, no one thinks the same or have the same thoughts. I was raised in a church, grew up and got out of church, and didn't come back until much later, when I started believing more. Now, I am alone and it seems to me, that the only one I have to rely totally on is my God. I believe in Jesus Christ. He is real to me.

There are many different religions, like different beliefs. And I feel, whatever helps get you through living on here this earth. It is a spiritual thing. I have found that even in different churches of the same religion, people have different belief thoughts. It is an individual spiritual personification.

What I was desiring (or thought I desired), when I voted for a religious/spiritual section, was a place to help a person - a believer - with encouraging words to get through the bad times, and help them see a brighter day to come or encourage with hope. I'm not really one to discuss individual beliefs. Religion and spiritual, as such, are just labels to me. Perhaps that is what you are talking about, Blue Rose; I don't know.

Good luck in your search.

love you,

musemuse,

I agree it is a personal thing but we should be able to discuss it if we want to. I think a lot of us are pleasantly surprised to discover that there are in fact other people out there who feel and believe the same things we do. Not that we want to band together or anything like that. It's like everything else we think about or worry about or question - we always feel so much better when we realise we are not the only ones who think this way.

I believe in believing. We all need something to believe in. No matter what it is so long as we don't deliberately hurt ourselves or anyone else in the process.

Yes. That is what I'm talking about. I believe we are all spiritual beings having an earthly experience, and it doesn't sit well on a lot of us. We struggle to understand it all. I confess, when I'm not feeling well, the last thing I want is someone telling me that God will provide. On the other hand, spirituality encourages personal power, it can be felt, and it can be shared. I'm not talking about teaching or preaching. I'm talking about talking about what works for each of us - or doesn't.

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How you experience God is how you experience God and noone can tell you you are right or wrong. Everything is God even if you don't believe in God, that's God because God is whatever you say it is including not. At the end of the day you get to say what God is to you.

I agree.

now, I agree with that too.

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question: do you mean religious 'doctrine'? I guess I don't know the real difference. ie. Like I used to go to church and hear words, but now I can't go and the spiritual part is me communing or talking with my God and questioning him too? Is that spiritual? or is that taking some of the doctrine that I have heard/learned and applying it in my communes? I can't really express what exactly I mean, but something like this? To me it has to be spiritual because I can see it. ? would someone help me out, please.?

musemuse,

I'll tell you a little more about what I believe and see if it answers your questions. Okay?

I believe we are all spiritual and have spirituality, some of us are aware of it and some of us are not. Some of us also practise a religion because we feel the need for something a little more substantial than 'feelings' and 'thoughts'.

I think we start off believing what we have been taught but then we begin to question that. I feel this might be where most people are. We read and we listen and we do research - we want answers. Then, I believe, everyone comes down on one side or the other. It has to be what sits best with them - that which rings true to the deepest part of their soul.

Then we move on to the people who appear to have made up their minds. I think this is me but I'm a work in progress so who knows.

Where I feel I am now is that I trust my instincts and my intuition. I had to learn to do this it didn't come naturally to me. I trust my Higher-Self (you might call it your God) to know what is best for me. I don't question the process anymore. Instead I work to keep all my thoughts positive and compassionate. I imagine my thoughts are like prayers that are always answered. And I often finish a positive meditation with the words, "Thy will be done."

Some of that might be helpful. But like you said, it's a very personal thing and we will all come to our own beliefs about the process. ;)

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Christian and jewish religion have a lot of beliefs/doctines that people have to -usually - exhibit an acceptance. Christian denominations have argued and fought over [ literally] these ideas from the start. One often wonders why they were worth a fight. But, but people decided that they were worth a fight. These ideas can get very complicated. If you want to belong to a certain denomination, you learn just learn to let a lot of it go.

Spirituality, generally, is not like that. It is, usually, very difficult to put into words; basically, it is a set of feelings.

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