7 Ways to be more spiritual without being religious

Spiritual Not Religious
Steven Aitchison
Written by Steven Aitchison

Every time I get into a religious debate of some kind and I am asked whether or not I believe in God, my answers often confuse people. You see, I do not believe in God in any sense of the word however I am very spiritual. How does that work then?

Well, my definition of spiritual is; We are all connected in some way by an invisible, energetic force. This force can be tapped into when we raise conscious awareness of ourselves and others. Some of you will be thinking the force I am talking about is God; the force I am talking about is not governed by laws and dogma, it is created and enhanced by the energy of everybody around us and raising our consciousness can make this force and energy flow quicker. In order to raise our consciousness our thinking should not be stifled and diminished by dogmatic ways, mainly religion. Religions tell us what to believe, they don’t allow room for questioning or thinking freely therefore our consciousness cannot be raised to as high a level as it could.

Spiritual Not Religious

Religion plays a huge part in people’s lives and I understand the social aspect of it and understand why people would want to believe in a God of some kind. I also understand the need to be part of something, to belong to something, and in this sense religion is a great help to a lot of people. But, when religion tries to control and do your thinking for you it’s time to think for yourself.

7 Ways to be spiritual without being religious

  1. Make a conscious effort to love the people around you, or at least tolerate them more – Sometimes we forget to love the people around us such as family and friends. We can get so caught up in our own thing that we have not given time to someone else. When we spend less time inside our own heads we are raising our consciousness that little bit more and connecting with the energy that surrounds us and also raising the consciousness of others we love.

Try and tolerate that ‘pain in the arse’ work colleague, or the neighbour whose dog fouled your garden last week. I am not saying love everyone, there are just some people you cannot love or tolerate and their consciousness is so low that it would be dangerous for you to try and connect with them to love them, we are talking the real nasty people in life. What I am saying is don’t let the small things get in the way of a friendship or a work relationship.

  1. Make small connections with your higher consciousness every day. Your higher consciousness is the person you ultimately want to be and be living the life you want to live. Living the life you want to live requires you to be thinking about yourself a lot, lowering your consciousness. However you can marry the two things together and raise your consciousness at the same time by thinking about your goals in short bursts and doing it often. For example, when you’re sitting in traffic or on a bus, think about the person you want to be. When you do this you are connecting with you’re your higher consciousness and dropping out all the noise of life. When you do this 10 times a day for 5 minutes, it allows you to still concentrate on other people and daily life but give you the thinking time to reach your higher consciousness.
  2. Do something you love to do. By doing things you love to do you are freeing your mind of clutter, work, and worry and you become more excited about life therefore reaching your inner spirit. It will lift you from the burden of just existing. I love to write, although other things are getting in the way of that just now I try and write a little each day and the fog around me just lifts while I am writing, I am in another place altogether and I feel much more positive and my spirits are lifted.
  3. Do something for others without expecting anything in return. There is no better way to reach a spiritual high than helping others without expecting them to do anything for you. It’s like the feeling you get at Christmas when you give your kids what they have wanted all year, just to see their faces on Christmas day is amazing. You can do this in your normal day to day life with simple little things like opening a door to someone, letting someone out at a junction in rush hour traffic, give someone a hand in the workplace, buying your wife some flowers (got to watch this one as your wife might become suspicious that something you are up to something). There are lots of little things you can do every day to bring you into a spiritual place.
  4. Turn the TV off. I understand that TV can be a way to unwind from a hard day at work but watching soap operas etc puts you right back into a mindset of drama, crisis, death, backstabbing, and can sink you lower than you felt before. There is no doubt that you can get caught up in the stories involved in soaps and your mind, whether you realise it or not, is saying ‘This is just a soap but it happens in real life’, so now your mind has the belief that this is what life is really like and it can compound your belief that people are nasty, life can be shit and it doesn’t do anything at all to lift your spirits it has the opposite effect. However watching educational programs can be a great way to lift your spirits, learning something new is a great way to lift your mind into a higher place.
  5. Read books that will lift your spirits and leave you feeling excited about life and human nature. I have read hundreds of books in my lifetime and the ones that got me really excited are the ones that have lifted my spirits and made me think about what life really is and how I can make it better for myself. Good books lift your spirits, great books force you into action to change your life for the better. I remember when I first read some of Stuart Wilde’s books it forced me into a new way of thinking, although I think he’s a bit of a fruitcake his writing style and the way he engages with the readers is fantastic.
  6. Take 15 minutes per day to connect with yourself. Many people do this by simply meditating. There is some mystery surrounding meditation and there shouldn’t be. All you do is sit quietly for 15 minutes per day, preferably at the same time every day, and quieten your thoughts. Doing this will change your brainwaves and put you into a different state of mind and has lasting effects throughout the day. I hear a lot of people saying they don’t have time to sit quietly for 15 minutes, you know this is not true, everybody can make 15 minutes for themselves. If you do this every day I can guarantee you, you will feel like a different person after a few weeks. It is literally a fast track to your higher consciousness and spiritual self.

I am a very spiritual person and practice the above on a daily basis but there are no rules, there is no person preaching to me what I should and should not be doing and how to live my life. I instinctively know how to treat people, I know what is wrong and what is right. We live our lives by our thoughts and actions and if your thoughts and actions are coming from a higher place by practicing being spiritual then you can have a great life without feeling guilty about anything.

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  • this is what folks need to know

    The Way of the Spirit ( by Stuart Hanson)

    In reality, the details produced while living life are never more important the living of life. If they are taken or considered as more important one is living in delusion. Life is a dream and when we dream they are dreams within a dream. We are primarily a spirit body having an experience in a physical body. When we dream we leave the physical body and have experiences in the spirit body in various realms of the spirit world. It is true that at all times we have our being in the spirit dimension whether we are conscious of it or not. The eternal spirit body that we truly are has no fear of death because it only knows eternal life. If a person fears death, it is either due to negative information in the spirit body or because they don’t know who they are (an eternal spirit body). The information in the spirit body comes by way of thoughts, feelings, words and actions which add conditioning to it. If it is polluted by too much information, negative effects will be seen in the physical body. The clearer the spirit body is, the healthier the physical body will be. When the physical body dies, the spirit body takes it’s conditioning into the spirit world and is met with experiences that relate to the condition of the spirit body which have been carried over from earth life (the earth dream). These conditions and experiences can be considered bad, good, positive, negative and so forth by the spirit body. The spirit body knows what joy and happiness is, and it knows what suffering and misery is. We have our own experience according to what we have experiences. What we have judged for ourselves on earth is the same as what we will judge for our self in the spirit. Anyone having re-occurring nightmares into their old age or actually at any age is not going to have a positive experience if their physical body dies soon after. Although it is possible for anyone to travel outside their body while having full consciousness in the spirit body (the prime experiencer), it is a more joyous experience to have lucid dreams. These are dreams in which you know you are dreaming, you are conscious of having a body and you can create imagery and control your dreams as you please. Even if you rarely have a lucid dream, just having great dreams is rewarding enough. Just as you create your lucid dream and control what happens in it, you can create and control your physical life in a similar way. It is possible to do this by way of affirmations, thought forms, breathing methods, third eye opening and meditation. Any person can become an awake dreamer and shape their life/dream how they want it to be if they put these principles into practice and know they are primarily an eternal spirit body. All the problems on earth can be traced back to people putting too much emphasis on physical experience. If there is more emphasis on direct spiritual experience (sleeping, dreaming, meditating) we have world-wide peace. It is a fact that the more focus there is on details, the more confusion, contention and suffering results. The less focus on details, the more clarity, peace and happiness results. This is why it is best to live a simple, quiet, humble existence in nature spending over half ones earthly life living in the spirit world. We spend a third of our lives there now, but when we all spend half, and then two thirds of our lives there, changes for the better will take place on earth. The more you live in the spirit world, the more influence you can have over the material world, but because of high wisdom, those who can do something great choose not to act. They know that involvement in details always leads to problems, so they opt out of the delusion of the suffering game for the happiness of reality. It is no coincidence that all the great spiritual masters have been beyond the need or desire for sex. All people on earth having sex or masturbating are bound spirits coming back for more suffering in a human form. When they have suffered enough, they turn to the spirit (which they truly are), walk the path to peace and gain eternal freedom, never to return to lower life conditions. Humanity (or what is left of it) will have become collectively intelligent when all know that sex is the main cause of all problems. When duality consciousness turns into oneness consciousness humans will have evolved to their fullest potential, which will make earthly experience void (unnecessary).

  • You were talking of a spirituality without dogmas, yet you were listing out dogmas or patterns, or ways as you described it on how to be more spiritual. Ipso facto, you are creating a religion with a certain “way” of spirituality. You are canvassing for followers. This is your own style of missionary activity.

  • I am in my mid 40’s and finally addressing my spiritual needs. I believe in God, not a Christian though. I have had moments in my life where I have felt deeply spiritually moved, typically in nature, but also in life’s miraculous moments. The posters who argue that one MUST be religious to be spiritual are missing the point. Religion and religious teachings can aid a person in his journey to spirituality. Religious teachings can help us slow down, calm our minds, be more mindful of our inter connectivity – all of the things that yoga teaches, as well as what Steve suggests. Religion is an aid in one’s journey, but not the only one, and not a required one. Institutional religion can actually be anti-spiritual.

    • Yes, institutional religion CAN be anti-spiritual. Becoming actively (& happily) enmeshed in duties, rituals, & good deeds, it’s difficult to constantly focus on the spiritual. Commitments cause one to be running around doing things for other people & or the religious organization. My spirituality has led me into religious organizations, but to reconnect with my spiritual essence/God, I need to isolate.

  • You are not spiritual, in order to be spiritual you must believe you possess a spirit and believe in spirits. Now I’m not saying you should believe in any kind of dogma, superstition, religion, devil or worship any kind of “supreme” being.
    But if you don’t believe in any kind of Creator or higher power of that everyone and everything possess a spirit you are not spiritual. Being kind to people, treating them with respect,turning off the television, meditating,etc may be of benefit to you and others and help you improve you life or your outlook on life but it doesn’t make someone spiritual, to be spiritual, you have to believe that you possess a spirit which is an unconscious force that exists within everything and carries on even after our material body is no longer functioning.

  • I think the world would be a better place if people were more religious and took into account your advice above to be more spiritual.

    The reason I say this, is because people who are religious are more likely to be spiritual than those who are not.

    The everyday person is making so many ‘minor’ mistakes in life that have serious consequences. Things like letting their child watch large amounts of TV and go on the Internet without supervision.

    People who are spiritual are more likely to turn off the TV as suggested and spend time as a family and become, well, spiritual.

    Although there is evidence that Religion causes conflict, without religion humans would find a new conflict. It’s human nature. Football hooligism is one example of many.

  • Well, I agree that are many ways to get spiritual, one of them of course being the constant awareness of the immortal soul!

    Nature is another medium that can be used effectively.

  • To Dale,
    Please don’t take this an attack on you. My comments are counter-arguments to search for the truth. An evidence to decipher what is right and what is wrong. This is an intellectual debate and not a personal attack on your beliefs and understandings, rather, it is a different perspective in hope to open more awareness and understanding. I myself believe in God.

    The first thing I would like to say is that you contradicted all of your statements. The only thing I can agree with you is how mankind can give such definitions to describe his understandings.

    “I would like to ask if you believe in logic.”
    I believe what Steve wrote came from logic. The subject: God, religion, supreme being, higher energy, etc… is metaphysics, unquantifiable (cant be proven by quantitative analysis but only qualitative analysis). Thereforesomething which has no measure is defies logic. Believing in God is through faith and not by logic. I too pose the same question to you Dale; do you believe in logic?

    “You negate quantifiable terms energetic and force with the term invisible.”
    It is just a definition given by man, also as you explained. The bottom truth is that all the evidences are qualitative and not quantitative. Qualitative evidences are subjective to personal experience. Quantitative evidences are objective hardcore data. No matter how advance our science and society’s knowledge up to this date, the topics in regards to god, religion, etc has been qualitative (subjective – personal experience)

    “I am disappointed you have no person preaching to you.”
    Would you listen to someone who doesnt know what they are talking about? What if… in your search for truth, you decide to listen to thousands of preachers and yet you continually find contradictions in their teachings?… of course, you would question the contradicting teachings. And to believe only one source and take it truth, isnt that naive of oneself to do so? How can one be definitely sure they are right and the rest are wrong?

    “I hope you enforce your own policy you suggest others to do when confronted by a person or group that spouts unsupported ideology in how we should live our lives.”
    Religion, god, etc….. isnt that unsupported ideology itself? Supported ideology comes with quantitative evidences (not qualitative) where are physical evidences? yes we have personal experiences: one proclaims he was visted by angels and god spoke to him. But that isnt quantifiable enough… can you support your ideology about god through hard evidence and quantitative results?

    “It would seem from your claim you had a divine knowledge and were born with this instinctive nature to know right from wrong.”
    It is not divine knowledge or instinct, it’s called ‘common sense’. But common sense can be clouded when one is hypnotized with misguided informations. We all have to arrive to a conclusion of what we believe in and there will be no one who can truly say who is right and who is wrong. Right and Wrong are also words that was given a meaning by man. It is a subjective meaning to everyone.

    “I am appalled you do not see the value in prayer.”
    Prayer is not limited to kneeling down with your hands together.

    “I thought maybe it was in your education, but I have not been able to find such a reference to the degree you hold. Knowledge is something that is learned, it is even said we remember (Plato) from when we were connected with the universe before birth. I only know this; knowledge grows and God is truth.”
    Misguided and wrong information can do harm and it can also grow. So how do you know that your information is correct?

    “Maybe you should reconsider your definition of spirituality.”
    I also would like to pose this to you: maybe you should reconsider your definitions.

    My last point: I accept and know that every statement can also be used to contradict what I just said. But my main point is not to change your belief, my goal was to open awareness. I respect if anyone would agree to what I said or totally reject it. I dont mean to offend, but I too believe that I am preaching through god because there are some people who are in need of hearing what I have to say.

    God bless.

  • I would like to ask if you believe in logic. In your opening to this blog entry you give a brief example of how your clever answer to the question of belief in God confuses people. It confuses me too in that you do not use the universal, or commonly excepted, definition of spirituality everyone else does. I could claim anything means anything and in that I could state anything as being true… these actions do not make such things true. I fault the individual you spoke with in not questioning your definition of spirituality. By the way, “we are all connected in some way by an invisible, energetic force” is not a definition. A definition is a statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol. This process of defining something is to properly express the essential nature of what it is. Your apparent definition does not define the nature of spirituality, it just makes a comment towards a thought you have. If by your definition you mean to describe spirituality as an invisible, energetic force than make better use of your words and state it that way. I also find it difficult to understand your statement of invisible, energetic force. You negate quantifiable terms energetic and force with the term invisible. Do you mean to use contrary words in your definition? Is your goal to confuse people or help them understand your meaning? My question would be for you to show me an invisible, energetic force or the result of such a force documented as the sole cause for such dramatic effects as you claim, otherwise you are no better than the religions you criticize in asking others to believe in what you say without question and without thinking on their own towards the meaning of what you are conveying to them. It would seem your methods have a similar result as you claim religion does in restricting the consciousness from obtaining a high level or enlightenment.

    To continue on, it is conspicuous to me that your unseen force, that is not God, is without restriction to any law. In the basic understanding of energy and force, they are bound by the rules or laws of nature and the universe. Nothing, except God, is without limitations within the known universe. In you statements of how this force you speak of is not bound by laws or dogma, you speak of how it is created and manipulated by man, us. Wouldn’t such a force that is greater than any one person and not bound by laws or dogma be free from control on any such level? If you then claim it has an intellect and chooses to allow such interaction with man to the benefit of right or the good, this is just to say it is bound by laws or dogma, even if said restrictions come from itself.
    Your list of seven things is just a compilation of actions to place yourself in a relaxed state resulting in an increased focus and perception. This is not bad in itself and there are benefits to doing such activities, although there are similar activities in the religions you scrutinize and I am appalled you do not see the value in prayer. I hope you enforce your own policy you suggest others to do when confronted by a person or group that spouts unsupported ideology in how we should live our lives – as much as your perception has brought you to the conclusion religion is dictating what should and should not be done, your list does the exact same thing and many of the items mirror concepts from religion.

    I am disappointed you have no person preaching to you. Even the greatest of thinkers had a teacher. It would seem from your claim you had a divine knowledge and were born with this instinctive nature to know right from wrong. The rest of mankind was taught these principles as children and it is an ever changing knowledge that continues until the day we die. I do not know everything nor do I expect I will. I would however like to understand how you have come across such knowledge. I thought maybe it was in your education, but I have not been able to find such a reference to the degree you hold. Knowledge is something that is learned, it is even said we remember (Plato) from when we were connected with the universe before birth. I only know this; knowledge grows and God is truth. It then is a goal of mine to think, to act, and to become more enlighten to understand truth of who I am, who God is, and how all things related to this.

    Hopefully I did not cause too much of a fuss with my thinking. Maybe you should reconsider your definition of spirituality. Just my two cents.

    Hope to see you in Heaven.

  • Excellent article Steve :)
    I totally agree with you on this one.

    For everyone else who’s a bit confused about this issue, let me pose a question:
    “Which is more important, being more spiritual or being more religious?”
    Being more spiritual means loving and showing act of kindness compared to religion persecuting other religions because their religion is right and the other religions are wrong.

    I myself still believe in god (a higher energy), but I don’t believe that I going to hell because I eat certain things that religions told me not to eat. Rather, I focus to give love and kindness. Some would say that isn’t enough and that I need to worship god. Love and kindness is the highest form of worship you can ever give to god.

  • I agree with your statement too.
    My family members are free thinkers but still we believe in “something” that controls those “Rights and Wrongs”.
    Thank you for sharing. =)

  • Hi, I found your web site on Stumble and I’m so glad I did. It’s nice to find people who believe the same. The concept of a God who is separate from us and always looking over our shoulder to condemn us to hell if we don’t “do as he says” has always been completely absurd to me.
    Nice to know you’re here.

  • Hello, I think your article has nothing to do with
    being spiritual. For one thing believing in God
    is the most important thing in being spiritual.
    Something or someone higher than ourselves has
    to guide us or we just chase our tails.

    I’m only being honest when I say that you sound like
    a guru.

  • Hi Glenn, Long time since I have seen you here, good to have you back.

    Hi Karl, I was in a place called Aberfoyle last week and the scenery is just amazing there and I always connect with my spirit there.

    Hi Bryan, I think that can be a problem when people talk about being spiritual but not necessarily about God,most people have the two entities as the same.

    Hi Witchy and Mordechai, nice to have you here and thanks for your comments.

  • I find it very interesting that you are able to disconnect spiritual and god. This must be the first time I read something like it.

  • There are many ways to be spiritual. I’m always surprised that people feel they can only connect with God through a temple, church or another building.

    Nature is my favorite place to feel spiritual. The birds chirping and the fresh air just makes me feel connected with the earth.

  • “Do something you love to do” – right! And even better:
    “Do DAILY something you love to do”. I try to follow … elias

  • Hi Charles and Chris thanks for your comments.

    Hi Guy, nice to see you here again. I think the trick with meditation is finding the right time to do it. I usually do it in the morning at about 5am and at night about 8pm when I can get 15 minutes to myself, it’s not always easy though.

    Hi Xyz thanks for your insightful comments. It would be interesting to know what course you had been on earlier this year. Thanks for commenting, much appreciated.

  • This resonated with me. I’m anything but a religous person, but increasingly as a late 30-something i found/find myself rushing round with too many things i want to do and too little time. i love to do a sport (cycling, running, swimming) every day (point #3) and extended this into ashtanga yoga. oddly enough, even though i still got a workout, the “non rushed” nature of this really appealed, and i started to understand the spirtual side of the latter parts of the sequences, looking inwards (point #7) where the focus is on energy, breathing and calm. this is incredibly energising and satisfying

    re point #2 i would agree that doing a really good life creation / planning course with good leaders (which is what led me to this RSS feed in the first place i think!) can really help in this area. i was fortunate to do one earlier this year and came out of it transformed in terms of direction. the exercises often used advocated looking back at past behaviours can really help you get to know yourself, why you really tick, and this ultimately helps you focus on the things you truly want. as such, i have a deeper personal peace and a sense of well being, which in my world also equates with being spiritual.

    its rare i respond to blog posts, but FWIW, i enjoyed reading this greatly

  • That’s one thing I’m trying to work out right now, to meditate. Because everytime I try to do that, I can’t find peace of mind, there’s always something that disturbs me and I can’t concentrate. Anyway, thanks for sharing a very nice article. :)

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