A Friend After 50 Years

A record of one journey into a peculiar type of Quaker Christianity, and a bit of silliness to boot.

Location: Arkansas

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spiritual v. Religious

The following is my response to Rich Accetta-Evans' invitation on Facebook to elucidate what difference, if any, one might ascribe to the terms "religious" as opposed to "spiritual."

I use the word "religion" to connote the means of union with God. "Spirituality" for me connotes actually experiencing that union. These are not actually separate phenomena, but can be conceptually distinguished. So this is why I think some people claim to be "spiritual" but not "religious." They have encountered a purported "means" that doesn't help them have the experience, and in all too many cases, does the opposite or is even harmful in some way. But almost everyone harkens to the "still small voice" within, so they can still identify with the experience. None of us, however, are without the "means," even if that's only cooking a meal or sitting under a tree. Thus, in my taxonomy, there is no such thing as "spiritual but not religious," though this way of looking at it helps me to understand what people mean by that phrase.

'What can I do?' - SiCKO