'Spiritual but not Religious' - Partial (but not really) Response to @Rubenerd


Trinity Blood

Original post: "The problem with being spiritual but not religious"

Reading through the post and quoted article plus some of the article's comments, it occurred to me that I feel that I do not really understand the concept of being spiritual. I conducted a little search and was helpfully helped by Wikipedia which proceeded to explain the concept to me, although I thought perhaps reading spiritual but not religious would be more relevant to the matter at hand. (Then again, I could have just read Ruben's post explaining what he meant, but yeah.)

Upon educating myself further, I could not do much more but give a virtual nod at the implied opinion exuding from the linked post, if I hadn't done so already.

KeithReeves comments:

Religion is not merely a gathering of those of similar ideology; it is a culture, and culture exerts influence. The extant world religions have deep traditions and strong cultures, and that by definition will influence the individual. While there are those that may desire that influence, there's nothing superior about it. Indeed, individuals defining their own individual moral codes and being true to that morality consistent with their individual worldviews would seem at least an equally-viable option for living one's life, if not preferable.

However what was interesting to me personally as a result, was that these comments on religion as being something of a 'community' effort whereas spirituality is 'selfish/self-centred' or 'lazy' or 'not interesting to do on your own' (paraphrased) in both TIME article and Wikipedia articles sound just like comments of those who come from a background where they value more 'traditional' values... particularly Asian ones, it seems. As my father has allegedly said (paraphrased/translated), 'people these days are all about me, me, me' (me-culture) and 'don't care about anyone else, only themselves' whereas people in the past would work towards a group outcome.

... People from collectivist cultures are more likely to value social harmony over individuality. "Relative to people in an individualistic culture, they are more likely to endorse behaviours that increase group cohesion and interdependence," ...

This definitively shows shifts in our way of thinking, especially in Generation Y where we grow up allowing much more freedom of thought and individuality, which makes much sense when seeing how many of this particular generation account for the 'Spiritual But Not Religious' crowd as well as how much of this crowd would simultaneously subscribe to me-culture. But it's clear that so much of the world is still holding on to these old times, ways and cultures. All climates are changing, not only the religious or spiritual front, but also the workforce and all other areas of life. What's wrong with that?

I'm aware I missed some of the point of that article which was that only religion can make a difference because of blahdiblah but there are many facets to that article and I'm just one uninformed girl with no real knowledge of any religion but likes to keep an open mind about things and talk pointlessly here.

In any case, for a person who can't find labels to describe herself like me, I almost looked to classify myself as a freethinker but that would have been unfortunately wrong. Isn't it ironic that freethinkers don't really think freely? Yes, they are free from Religious Nonsense, but they still are bound by logic and facts. I may not be religious, but I do believe there are forces beyond our understanding, maybe of yet, but at this point they are still to be discovered. I only seek to remain fluid and always refreshing the way I think or feel about something, and I don't mind whether or not there's a label for this. I may never be right, but I can always be wrong.

Of interest..

East Asian people were far more genetically susceptible to depression and anxiety than Europeans and Americans, they had built up a way of living that protected them from it [...] Westerners on the other hand, were less susceptible and so had a riskier less supportive society.

If I've misunderstood anything, feel free to point me out on it.