More than half of those who do not attend church services and seventy-five percent of those who once attended and then stopped attending mainstream churches (we affectionately call them church alumni) consider themselves to be more spiritual than religious.
Since we cater to spiritual, and not necessarily religious appetites, we’d like to clarify what we believe to be an immense contribution to an absolutely necessary renaissance in human consciousness. It is a renaissance that must take place in order for there to be ‘peace on earth’ and dignity for all.
We’re not kidding! We wouldn’t joke about a thing like that. For there to be an end to hunger, violence, poverty, greed, corruption, neglect, and disrespect for people and the planet, we believe the world must be populated with people who are more spiritual than religious.
There are more church alumni and church avoiders in America and throughout the world than there are church goers. And there are tens of millions of unfulfilled church attenders who are not having their emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs met within mainstream religion.
And this stunning shift in human consciousness is literally transforming the way we see and experience spirituality and religion. Make no mistake about it, the shift is absolutely monumental and enduring. It is a testament to humankind’s perennial search for who we are, why we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going.
The important thing to remember is that spirituality and religion are not synonymous. Before the 21st century, both terms were used interchangeably. But a growing number of intellectual, philosophical, cultural, and scientific mega-forces accentuate ‘irreconcilable differences’ between what it means to be spiritual and religious.
Although both have common elements (belief in a Higher Power, daily centering practices, rituals, meeting places where like-minded can gather together, prayer and/or meditation, etc.), the expression of those elements and the perspectives behind those key elements are vastly different.
Religious mindsets are usually associated with centuries old orthodox beliefs, “selling” guilt and fear, weekly church attendance, inerrancy of scripture, petitioning prayers to an anthropomorphic god in the sky, literal-only interpretations of the Bible, and denominational indoctrination,
Spiritual perspectives champion incorporating the ‘best practices’ of a variety of faith traditions, interest in metaphysical and esoteric interpretations of scripture, disciplined meditation, belief in a Universal Presence which is not separate from us, and view the dependence on dogma as awfulizing scripture and see mainstream religion’s selling of fear, guilt, and shame as the ‘trinity of control.’
Scientific findings in such disciplines as quantum physics, biology, positive psychology, neuropsychology, genetics, anthropology, and neurotheology, to name a few, have made it difficult for educated and open-minded people to sustain their interest in the dogmatism, exclusivity, and prejudices that characterize mainstream religious practice.
The world is awakening to its spiritual nature. Tens of millions of people the world over are realizing they are spiritual beings having a human experience. They are seeing themselves as part of a global community. They are opting for individual choice over institutional decree; inner spiritual experience over mandatory religious creeds; cutting edge science and objective evidence over blind faith and fossilized dogma; unity and global oneness over separation, walled beliefs, and tribalism.
The differences between spirituality and religion are real. The renaissance we mentioned is very definitely occurring now. The key concepts in this renaissance in human thought are inclusivity, universal love and harmony, oneness, wholeness, unity, world peace, interconnectedness, enlightenment, universal respect and kindness, compassion, honoring differences, freedom, shared responsibility, spiritual illumination.
We’d like to live in a world with that kind of elevated consciousness. We believe being more spiritual than religious is a necessary condition.
- How am I expressing inclusiveness in my thoughts, words, and actions?
- How am I demonstrating LOVE as I deal with others?
- How am I living the spiritual Truth I know?
May you tap into the inner Truth of who you really are, as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet!