SPIRITUALITY IS NOT RELIGION

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


The above definition of spirituality, "life and consciousness away from the body," implies the existence of spirit or soul. Very different implications arise from the first (Oxford 1980) dictionary definition of religion, "belief in the existence of a superhuman controlling power....usually expressed in worship". Worship implies that whoever is doing the worshiping is not as good as the god being worshiped. It also usually results in clergy, priests, ministers or leaders who gain power over worshipers by claims of superior knowledge.


Human existence can be considered a house of four rooms, the rooms of 1.the body, 2.the mind, 3.the emotions and 4.spirituality. Which rooms do you favor or leave unattended?

After the death of a religion's great spiritual leader, it is common for followers to develop hierarchies and rules that are far removed from the teachings of that leader. These rules tend to promote the hierarchy in preference to the teaching. It seems to me that the fundamental words and teachings of the greats like Lao-Tzu, Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus are as valid today as when those men walked the planet. However, the followers running the religious hierarchies resulting from those teachers have often interpreted the original teachings to suit the hierarchy. This, of course, often radically alters the original teachings. If your religion sticks closely to the original words of these leaders and discards words of other less important prophets/ teachers where they conflict with the teachings of the great teachers, then it is probable that you have a religion that permits you happiness. If not, then it is helpful to remember that faith, not religion, is usually the crucible that permits happiness to florish.


It remains popular today among a few of the better educated to hold the Marxist belief that "religion is the opium of the people." That does seem true for some sects of the more strident variety, but lumping all spiritual and religious systems together without closer examination does not seem particularly intelligent to me. By taking this judgmental position, such people seem to be throwing out the baby along with the bath-water.


With my clients I am often a sales agent for spirituality (any happiness-permitting variety). For without some sense of or belief in one's spiritual nature, (1)we miss much real satisfaction in life and (2)we retain much unhappiness in perpetuity. For more information, I recommend consulting healing-spirituality pioneer Dr. M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled. In my therapy office I often dialog with clients about their unhappy spiritual beliefs, particularly those that preach hatred and condemnation of others. Condemnation of others seems to violate the words of most great founders of religion (Jesus, Lao-Tzu, Buddha and Mohammed).

Next Excerpt  

More Excerpts This Chapter
   WAS THIS CHAPTER BANNED IN BOSTON?
   GOLDEN RETRIEVER MAGIC
   SPIRITUALITY - TRUTH OR QUACKERY?
   SPIRITUALITY IS NOT RELIGION
   WHEN DOES RANDOM CHANCE BECOME A FRAUD?
   EARTH SCHOOL
   HAPPIER CHOICES
   TWO HAPPIER BELIEF SYSTEMS
   ONE-TIME-AROUND VS. REINCARNATION
   PAST LIVES THERAPY
   ASTROLOGY
   THIS IS A SAFE UNIVERSE
   I GET EXACTLY WHAT I NEED
   WHAT ABOUT BEING A VICTIM?
   SUMMARY OF BELIEFS HAPPY AND UNHAPPY


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Psychology of Sex Education - Psychological Sexual Health Care

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