by Bob Romero —
Bob Romero has been a diligent student of esoteric spiritual subjects and metaphysics for many years, with a life-long quest for answers. He has submitted new and original articles that focus on life lessons and experiences he wishes to share with our readers and the world.
As we go on the spiritual path, we need to address the elephant in the room. No, I’m not talking about Ganesh, the Hindu deity, I’m talking about organized religion. I often hear condemnations of organized religions with the hypocrisies and injustices associated with them. While these criticisms are justified, I also look at the some of the worthy upshots that come from religion, like helping the poor, healing the sick, and taking care of the elderly. So there seems to be some merit to being part of a religion.
My yoga instructor says that while yoga may not be religious, it could be spiritual. So, what’s the difference between spirituality and religion, if both have a relationship with God? A religion is a group of people that follow the beliefs of a historical figure. The leaders of each group establish a set of doctrines and dogmas, by which the followers abide by. Spirituality is more personal and deals with direct communication between an individual and Spirit. So, it’s possible to be spiritual and religious, or to be spiritual and not religious.
However, when spirituality is forgotten in a religion, then that’s where problems arise with that religion. When you look at the core values of each faith based on spirituality, they are the same, in which some of the principles are serving others and being kind to one another. They produce the positive results that I mention above. Just concentrating on the dogmas and the doctrines without always adhering to the core values of spirituality will lead to problems. Fear should not be a driving force. Leaders should be servants to their followers and not be power-seeking individuals or predators. We should be in total control of our own faith and not hand it over to others. If we’re just blind followers, then we might as well be part of a cult. The difference between a cult and a religion, is that in a religion, we can question the teachings of that religion. There should be a celebration of joy and hope, and not have fire and brimstone preached to us. The other problem with organized religion is when the leaders and their followers focus on their differences with other religions, instead of the things that are in common with them. Trying to convince others that their religion is wrong and that ours is right, tends to divide us and leads to conflicts, instead of the peace that is taught as a core value of all religions. People of other faiths are not our enemies; they are our brothers and sisters as they are also children of Spirit. Faith rooted in spirituality will help us on the path to enlightenment.