God and Love are probably the two words that have more meanings or at
least more diverse reactions or perceptions than any other. Most of us
have been brought up with strong beliefs about both and in most cases,
we have learned that God and Love are the same or at least closely
For many people, God has been explained within the realms of religion
and although there are many different religions, most of them have the
same basic belief: that God is a superhuman being or source, which
created the universe and everything within it. God symbolizes, embodies
and possesses divine powers. God has control over nature, human
experience, life and death.
Of course, this is an over-simplification but for now if we can just think of
God as the creator and controlling force of the Universe and consider
that God and Love are one and the same, then we may all accept some
To imagine God, we may have to put aside religious beliefs for just a
moment and focus on what we feel deep inside. Feeling or sensing God
might be what we consider to be the experience of spirituality. Spirituality
is also one of those words with many explanations but again if we keep it
simple, we might think of it as: experiencing God as a source within us.
Some may feel this as a higher state of consciousness, a sense of
renewal, inner peace, healing or inspiration. Perhaps, a state of euphoria
or a sense of self, as a soul.
I’m trying to avoid religious dogma here and simply find some common
ground. I do not wish to try and explain or preach any particular doctrine
or theosophy; I simply wish to use the name God. Who or what God is
has been argued, studied, pondered and discussed throughout the ages.
God has many names and just as many meanings. Usually when God is
mentioned we automatically fall into whatever faith we were raised with
and start discussing religion.
Many people find it difficult or almost impossible to separate religion and
God. Again, I will try and simplify this and suggest that religion is man’s
knowledge, study or analysis of who and what God is. Religion almost
always dictates an allegiance to a church or denomination. One joins a
church much like a member of any organization and tries to live in
accordance with the codes of conduct and philosophy of that
organization. Very few people explore all religions and yet most will argue
that only theirs is right. Most of the time we simply adopt the belief system
of our family, culture or location.
For many people, their religion is their pathway to spirituality. For others,
it is a venue or simply a place for like-minded people to gather and
explore that particular avenue. In effect, most churches represent
themselves as agents of God.
Some people experience a deep sense of spirituality and are led to a
religion and others are bought up within a religion and are led to
The reason I am being so careful here is that I want to explore spirituality
and love as a natural state of being. I am not talking about religion but I
want to use the word God in the context of exploring life as a spiritual
Some people are lucky enough to live each day as a spiritual being within
a physical reality. These people are filled with joy and a sense of
serenity. Life makes sense at this level and there is an acknowledgement
of gratitude. These people do not fear death and have a very deep
sense of security. They feel connected to their environment and the
people around them. There is a healing force within them and this energy
often radiate from them. There is a wisdom that they can access and a
purpose in which they live. They do not experience God as a separate
entity. God is love and God is light and God is within them.For many
people, spirituality comes and goes in a somewhat elusive way. Some
people may acknowledge that there have been a few occasions in which
they think they may have experienced it and of course there are always
those who simply deny its existence.
Some people will outright deny that there is a God and can become quite
hostile at any insistence that there could be a God. Usually their
arguments resort back to the bible and the church. (When I use the
words bible or church I do mean any or all doctrines or practises).
Many people today are very angry with God. This is why I have been so
careful with my choice of words and why I have needed to separate God
from religion. So many people have been hurt, disillusioned, persecuted,
confused, punished and emotionally or psychologically damaged in the
name of God. God has been blamed, unfairly, for the sins of the church.
People have shut down and denied their spirituality due to a distorted
acceptance that spirituality and religion are the same. They are not.
Some people just can’t get comfortable even hearing the word God. More
and more we hear God referred to as the source, infinite intelligence, the
universe, higher wisdom or consciousness. We may pray to Mother Mary,
spirit guides, guardian angels or any one of many saints, but we just can’
t pray to God.
Atheists, or at least anyone claiming to believe there is no God, will
sometimes find themselves calling out to someone or anyone, to help
them in times of great distress. An atheist will quite often call out to a
deceased parent, if his child is in a critical condition. We may say we do
not believe in God or any spiritual power but I’m sure everyone, at some
point, has called out instinctively, to someone or something, at a time of
personal crisis. What is this impulse or instinct?
What is it that has us reaching out and touching a sick child? Could it be
that we innately know that we have healing capabilities within us? When
we will a fortunate outcome to a problem are we really using some
psychic or spiritual powers, or are we instinctively communicating with
God? Have you ever found the words 'no, no, please don’t let this be so',
playing though your mind? Who were you speaking to? Has anyone ever
sat at a funeral and not wondered…
I believe that within us all there is a belief that we can call out for help
and be heard. We do will things to happen or try to will things to stop. By
our own intuition we place our hands on pain, illness and disease. Could
it be that we remember we are healers? Can we experience love without
pondering some supernatural essence within it?
There is such a spiritual hunger, such a longing and such a deep sense
of disconnection and insecurity within so many people. I refer to this as
the ‘Soul Crying’. The spiritual-self denied all expression. Spirituality is
not an aspect of self; it is the essence of self.
I’m not presenting these ideas in anyway to belittle organized religion, I
simply wish to encourage those people who are angry at God, to take an
objective look at spirituality without getting caught up in past
disappointments or confusing doctrines. To consider that spirituality
exists without religious association.
Our physical life here, within this present reality, involves a balance of
mind, body and spirit. You cannot experience yourself as a whole, if you
deny your spirit. Although we refer to these three aspects, they are not
three separate aspects. You are and your life is a composite of all three
Copyright Sonya Green 2005
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|Spirituality without Religion
Are you still there God?
Denial of spirit is denial of self
Part 1 of 2. ~sonya green
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