Being ‘Spiritual’ vs. ‘Religious’

Today for Catholics is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I went to Mass at 6 am. As I thought about the service, it made me think of some recent conversations I’ve had about being “spiritual” and “religious.”

A friend asked me if one could be spiritual but not religious. IMO, absolutely so. I was with a group of Christians, agnostics, and Jews, hanging out and chatting.  It was a great discussion.

My POV is this. I know many people who are non-denominational and meditate quite often. They don’t believe in a religion but are some of the most spiritual people I know. They live a life that focuses on others and not just themselves.

Also, I think you can be religious and observe rites and practices, but not be spiritual; one’s religious life can last for just one hour on Sundays, for example. Or, if you decide to kill in God’s name, that’s another example in my opinion.

Growing up, I was religious but not spiritual. When I went to college, I was neither. In my early-20s, I became both.

It is a personal decision, but I feel that I’m a better spouse, father, worker, and friend by looking at life with a long, i.e., infinite time horizon. And trying to look at everyone as a person who deserves dignity. To boot, there’s a wealth of deep philosophy and thoughts that stretches thousands of years, a body of knowledge from many amazing men and women that one can leverage.

Maybe it is my age, but the topic of spirituality comes up frequently among my peers. I guess mortality does that to you.

It is worth thinking about.

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