As a child growing up, the only exposure I had to religion was in RE or Religious Education at school. I was christened as a baby, but that was the thing to do back then. We had no particular religious affiliation at all.
As I grew older I grew very anti-religion and in fact anti-God, believing that the bible was just a fictional story made up by someone, and everyone who believed in it fools. Many people have a block when it comes to the word God. Bad experiences at the hands of people who are representatives of religions such as priests, nuns, teachers or radicals have caused them to deny the existence of God and to become anti-religious. The concept of God being a ‘punisher’ to those who have supposedly sinned is also at odds with the concept of ‘God is Love.’
Later on in my ‘evolution’ I began to hear the term spirituality and I’m afraid to say I thought they were all (cough cough) ‘wankers’. And so it has come to pass that now I believe I am one of them! (According to http://www.slang-dictionary the term can connote: 1. Stupidity; 2. Funny or amusing; 3. Egotistical; 4. Self-indulgent; overall, a good insult for all purposes.)
But what is spirituality? I’m sure it has many different meanings to many different people, but to me the basis is the recognition that there is more to this life than we may have originally thought. That we are as one with the universe, with those around us, with nature, and that we are all interconnected because we are all energy. And because of this, we have power. We can affect change and we can be sensitive to the energy around us. And this energy is, or should be, predominantly one of love.
To me spirituality is the belief in living a good life with integrity, treating others with love and without judgment. It is the recognition that there is a ‘universal energy’ if you like (which is the term I prefer to use but is also interchangeable with God), and that we are not separate from, but a part of this universal energy. It also means that in order to be ‘in touch’ with this energy I do not need to go to a place of worship and follow any rules.
At the end of the day though, everyone is free to choose who, where or why they worship, or if in fact they do at all.
What do you think?