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Contrasts Between Spirituality and Faith

To distinction faith vs spirituality gives us a clearer understanding and appreciation of spirituality. The main variations of religion and spirituality lie in the traditional areas of doctrine, rituals and ethicality. All religions have these three primary components: 1) doctrine or beliefs; 2) rituals or ceremonies; 3) morality or a set of laws governing conduct. It is in these areas that I will make the distinction of faith with spirituality.

Doctrine Versus Expertise

Religions have a set of teachings which all members are enjoined to imagine in. If a member believes otherwise and teaches others to do so additionally, she or he is labeled as an unbeliever and could also be excommunicated or put out of that religious group. Thus Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions have a unique set of doctrines. In the religions oneness of doctrine is of paramount importance.

In spirituality while there are certain teachings these should not emphasized a lot as personal experience. Spiritual persons could also be members of different religions but they’ve the same or comparable experience. Christian mystics deal with the expertise of union with the divine. So do Hindu or Muslim mystics. They may differ within the means of achieving this union with God but they agree that this has to be skilled as the goal of their spiritual life.

Rituals Versus Intimacy

In religions there are specific rituals or non secular ceremonies meant to precise human relationship with the divine. In Christianity we’ve got the sacraments and the spiritual services like the Mass, preaching service, worshipful singing, etc. In sure religions this is so necessary that a person is obliged to perform these rituals as a way of salvation, like the ritual of baptism.

In spirituality the emphasis just isn’t a lot on these rituals as a personal intimacy with the divine, often attained through personal prayer and meditation, activities which in a sense are the opposite of rituals. Rituals are carried out in a crowd or group of people. Meditation is often performed in solitude and silence.

You’ll be able to see now that there really is a contrast between faith vs spirituality.

Ethicality Versus Compassion

Religions produce a set of guidelines to follow. This is often expressed in written laws and oral traditions. Thus the Catholic Church has a Code of Canon Law. The opposite Christian church buildings have written policies or a system of precedents. The Muslims have the Shariah Law. The Hindus have their own laws, particularly the laws which regulate their conduct of their respective castes. After a while the tendency is to extend the number of laws and to codify these.

In spirituality the central focus in human conduct is on turning into compassionate to all of creation. I used to be about to write «love» instead of «compassion» in the sub-heading. But over the years the word «love» has lost a lot of its real meaning. In virtually all seminars, conferences on spirituality compassion is accentuated as the most important attitude required of human beings toward creation. This compassion begins with realizing our oneness with the divine and with all of creation. It is not just a matter of feeling but is expressed in actions of kindness towards all we meet, human beings or different parts of creation. The tendency in spirituality is to simplify the laws, just like what Jesus did, reducing all of them into : love of God and love of neighbor.

The question I would like to pose is: Which do you think is healthier, religion or spirituality? My opinion is that both are necessary to human life. Religion functions as a cement in human culture. However with the latest ongoing research on spirituality we’re going to see an growing number of women and men who are turning into more spiritual slightly than more religious. Perhaps church buildings which have lost their active members, as in certain areas in Europe, can shift their focus from faith to spirituality and provides which means in life to more and more people. Religion vs spirituality will enhance the awareness of more people to learn more of the enduring values in life.

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