Spirituality is a quest for the understanding of the connections of aspects of reality. Most cultures develop mythologies that explain the fundamental question of where they come from. Among the spiritually and intellectually advanced, these mythologies are understood as metaphors: reality is sufficiently unknowable that paradigms, metaphors are required to understand anything.
One can look at this quest individually, or culturally. The idea is the same. Yet, we are social animals possessed of modifiable and growing language, so we talk to each other, and also talk to ourselves - constantly, to keep recreating our manufactured realities. Reality is always reality, but our concepts of it are another matter.
That we talk both to each other, and to ourselves shows that the two are intertwined inextricably - and often to our detriment: we confuse reality with our primitive models.
Religions are merely fossilized mythologies and bogus and manufactured answers to the questions that may pretend to be either metaphorical or literal and historical.
While I use the word "fossilized" regarding religions, that is obviously not true. Things change: the very nightmare of conservatives. The priests of religions have also been known to change; they change their stories to match the current reality. See the history of such things in ancient Sumer, and in the development of early Judaism, and early Christianity. Nevertheless, the reality at every given moment is *presented* by the priests as being immutable. History, even the history of the religious facts is a fiction.
In either case all religions are bogus fictions. Being slightly polite, one might call them psychotic models of reality. Psychotic, because they insist on the nonphysical miraculous, and demand that the impossible be possible. Religions are, in fact, generally, the source of all human psychotic models.
Yet, somehow, religionists seem almost successfully to have coöpted the word "spiritual" which denotes their antithesis.
To equate spirituality with religion, or even to associate spirituality with any religion is a contradiction. They are diametrically opposed, even as concepts.
Spirituality is quite different from piety, which is simply obeying the religious rules, which is again quite different from "piousness", which is essentially faking piety: we will pretend to piety, give the outward signs, and either hope to induce or enforce the acceptance of the obvious lie.
Spirituality is not a thing or state, it is a process, while religion is a fixed set of answers to a fixed set of questions that have been artificially created, and usually for political purposes of control.
Science, most reviled by organized religion for many centuries, is an essentially spiritual quest. It also, is not a static thing, but a process, a simple fact of its existence that somehow eludes the preponderantly ill informed.
Spirituality is anathema to religion, and vice versa, to the point where one denies the other. A personal choice is required. To a large extent that choice is made biologically, not willfully.
Science is absolutely not a product of religious thinking, though some have argued for political purpose that this is so. That it is even possible has been attributed to the cultural assumption of a creator. Some have gone so far as to say that only in monotheism is there a creator god whose very existence is the motivating source of science, and that Western science is essentially a product of the OT. The "some" need to study more religions of more cultures in order to understand that creator gods exist within polytheisms, and that they spout nonsense.
It is a highest form of spirituality that is very essentially humanist. The humanist quests for understanding, which is the basis of the scientific method, while the religionist claims rather psychotically that he has not only understanding, but all of it. The failure of all intelligence in such a claim should be completely obvious.
To give credence to religionists of whatever persuasion is an insane act to begin with, either that, or a sane act of genuine fear of their irrationality and reckless use of power.
The simple fact of the matter is that all religionists, no matter how benign they would like to have themselves appear, are fundamentally psychotic, in the very worst sense of the word in that they have completely refused to accept reality and insist on enforcing on others their own group fantasies, i.e., psychoses.
This is not just a matter of ordinary psychosis. Most psychotics are perfectly well aware of their own condition, and that their sense of reality has been compromised. Religionists, on the other hand, have no such sense. They have become split, not only from reality, but also from their core beings, which is to say that they have become very essentially sociopathic, and this is more than dangerous to *all* others, including other religionists of similar or different persuasions.
Spirituality is not merely benign, it is quite obviously a well spring of growth and evolution, what one could easily designate as progressively liberal. It is the fundamental asking of questions, and the doubt of any authoritatively given answers. It is an understanding of the restrictions and limitations of language.
It is the real seeking of connections that explain to us who and what we are.
This is directly opposed to the mindless acceptance of served up, and fabricated rock like answers to fundamental questions by those who simply seek to control for their own ultimate purposes of theft.
Religion, on the other hand, it's very antithesis, is the embodiment of "conservatism", the belief in an absolute, fixed reality that requires no model, and is therefore in opposition to all science, but also belief that their "immutable reality" is exact, unchanging, and even further that conservatives hold as a practical belief that they, and they alone can effectively stop change of any sort from happening.
progressive = humanist = human = spiritual
conservative = inhumanist = repto = religionist
Apollonian v. Dionysian is quite different
See also Conservative v. Liberal
For spirituality in opposition to religionist nonsense that is rooted in the concept of governmental (economic) control, see, e.g. Acharya S., The Ark of the Covenant and the Temple of Solomon: Laura Knight-Jadczyk. These are far from frivolous explorations of truth or proclaimed historicity in the face of alleged history based in "sacred scripture" that happens to defy not only all reason, but also historical fact. The religionist, historical claims are clear and absolute nonsense, and they have been demonstrated to be so.
A parabolic mythos of the time is one thing; to transform that mythos into something declared to be of first ontological order, is not only genuinely psychotic, but it is also something deprived of anything that could even remotely be called thought, much less wisdom.
Top of Page (TOP)
COPYRIGHT NOTICE REGARDING ALL ORIGINAL WORK HEREIN: © January 2006 by Bill Hammel (firstname.lastname@example.org). Permission to use for any noncommercial, educational purpose. This copyright and permission notice must appear in all copies. Permission is also granted to refer to or describe these documents in commercial books, products, or online services. These documents may be freely reproduced, copied and disseminated by any electronic, digital or written means, but in no case may such copying or dissemination be charged for. The idea is very simple, no person or body has supported any of the original works contained in this pages. They are works of love given freely. I find repugnant the idea of someone expropriating, for profit, what I give freely. If you have a problem with this, ask; rules always have exceptions.