Church – Religion vs SPIRITUALITY
These two words have been so unjustly related that one of them seems to have suffered a true identity crisis within our social understanding. Realistically speaking though the two are so far apart that through synonymous association we only serve to damage our own perceptions of which actually serves us while the other demands our servitude.
Through most of my early twenties I hung out with various groups of people, all of them uniquely beautiful in their own right. As I was interested in becoming a musician, I had made a conscious effort to place myself among an associated crowd just based off of the advice of old teachings.
What I later came to realize is that I had been a musician all along, I was just tone-deaf to groove of life, that will be saved for another article though. Most of my nights were a blind pursuit of debauchery and hedonism, but would occasionally lead to intense discussion about religion.
As I would willing acknowledge being raised a preacher’s kid, mistake number one, quite a few of my new “friends” would LOVE to try to pick holes in my FAITH in a higher power. Through some ludicrous sense of ability to sway the drunken opinions of others, mistake number two, I would then proceed to indulge them in these conversations like I needed to defend my beliefs or I could possibly illuminate these poor lost souls, pure arrogance.
Not until after a few years of doing this did my father’s advice really sink in, he would say, “Sam you don’t have to go to every fight your invited to.” What I see now is that to some degree I was still trying to convince myself of what I believed in since most of my earlier understandings of similar subjects had been shaken so thoroughly throughout my late teens.
These conversations would lead to so many childish questions, like, “If god LOVEs us why does he let bad things happen to good people? Why would an all-powerful god need to hide from its own creations?” and the most painful of all, “Where was god when I needed him?” Of course there are a ton of cliché answers that could come out at these times but gratefully I was still blessed with a enough humility to answer those questions from my own personal perspective for any other attempt would have only been the demise of my own FAITH.
No I am not going to share those answers here for speaking upon the intent or reason of god only sews the seeds of arrogance among the fragile crop of humility and acceptance that I have been so lovingly cultivating in the last few years of my life.
Eventually these conversations would lead us to the actual reason for the debate, if only I had known they were upset with religion then I wouldn’t have been wasting time trying to defend god, as if I had that ability to do so anyways, mistake number three. Luckily I was not so foolish as to defend religion because I had my own experiences of how destructive religion could be and I was also a big fan of history which means I clearly understood that most blood shed in the world was normally in the name of religion.
At this point in the conversation I would normally have two separate realizations, first, a drunken fool never listens with intent of having a meaningful conversation they are only interested in flexing some sort of emotional justification for their own jaded perceptions. Second, I was no longer engaged in a conversation of any worth, I might as well have been talking about politics and thinking we were discussing morality. Normally I would defuse these conversations with what I considered a simple placation at the time, then came to realize I had accidentally stumbled upon a destructive misconception.
I would say something along the lines of, ” Religion is not the true practice of FAITH but the blind following of people who refuse to think and feel for themselves, SPIRITUALITY is the acceptance of the unknown so that you can be at peace with your decisions in a world you can’t control.” Admittedly, probably not worded so eloquently a few sloppy consonants and a little bit of profanity, the lazy mans articulation, nonetheless that was gist of how these conversations would end.
As much I would LOVE to say that I caught onto this quickly, that would be a lie, I engaged in these fruitless “discussions” over a couple of years a few times with the same people but more often with completely different individuals. Now I don’t engage this topic with a stance of aggression but naturally it does come up because of the type of life I lead, these people ask me in a more sober mindset out of what I can only presume is curiosity or fascination.
Now all those years of reckless exposure of my HEART are finally paying off, tempered with humility and patience I find myself engaged in moments where people are truly interested in helping all parties expand their perspective of such a complex subject that requires cooperation. For this I am eternally blessed.
I do feel this entry does warrant a slight apology but clearly only for those who were willing to stick it out to the end. Religion itself is benign just as money is not the root of all evil but the LOVE of money is.
Religion is not the root cause of evil either, it is only the blind following of religion(or science for that matter), inaccurately called FAITH, that arises when people decide to surrender their most precious gift, freedom of choice, in order to justify stifling the voice inside their HEART that says, “this is wrong” , because listening to it might require they actually feel their way through a situation and take responsibility for their own actions, that breeds evil.
THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU!
Posted on September 1, 2013, in Church, Reflections, Sam and tagged Authenticity, Clarity, Courage, Evolution, Existentialism, Life, Merit, Perception, Revelation, Sam, Seek Within, Self, Sincerity, Soul, Spiritual, Truth, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.