Updatd on the 27th January 2021
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; no, 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.
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.
What Is Spirituality?
So what is spirituality anyway?
Well it means different things to different people but here's a good way of explaining it.
"Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature."((^Royal College of Psychiatrists: What Is Spirituality? A Personal Exploration ))
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.
2. 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 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.
"A life that is more spiritually attuned is one of greater inner and outer peace.
A worthwhile goal, therefore, is to find ways to bring more peace into the things you do, the relationships you have, and the thoughts that float around in your mind." ((^A Conscious Rethink: 8 Spiritual Goals))
3. 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.
4. 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.
I love this quote from Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha
"Some people say there’s no such thing as a selfless act—that any time we do something to help another person, we get something in return, even if it’s just a warm fuzzy feeling.
I’ve spent a lot of time playing with this idea in my head. It doesn’t really bother me to know it feels good to help someone else. That, to me, is a completely acceptable type of selfishness. What give me cause for concern are the underlying expectations we often have when we give “selflessly.”"((^Tiny Buddha: 20 Ways to Give Without Expectations))
5. 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.
6. 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.
Reading is great for your brain too:
"What exactly do human beings get from reading books? Is it just a matter of pleasure, or are there benefits beyond enjoyment? The scientific answer is a resounding “yes.”
Reading books benefits both your physical and mental health, and those benefits can last a lifetime. They begin in early childhood and continue through the senior years. Here’s a brief explanation of how reading books can change your brain — and your body — for the better."((^Healthline.com: Benefits of Reading Books: How It Can Positively Affect Your Life))
7. 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 practise 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.
We do not need religion to be spiritual
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