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Author Topic: Spiritual, but not religious  (Read 441 times)

PerditaPickle

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Spiritual, but not religious
« on: June 05, 2019, 05:16:27 pm »
I recently came across this concept, which has been somewhat surprising to me as this is how I've identified for a looong time but didn't realise that it was "a thing".  I did a Google search for the term 'spiritual but not religious' and the number of hits has amazed me (though I've yet to do any reading specifically around this) - this even has it's own initialism (SBNR) and Wikipedia entry. 

I recently came across some mention of this (it might've been by YouTuber & author Thorn Mooney, though I can't be 100% sure) in connection with millennials in particular.  Actually, Thorn takes issue in at least one of her videos with the terminology of 'spiritual'/'spirituality' and prefers 'religious'/'religion'.  I'm the exact opposite in how I prefer to describe my own outlook, preferring 'spiritual'.  (I guess it's possible that I heard the term SBNR at some stage without consciously realising it, and also didn't make the connection when I came to identify this way... but, anyways--)

I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on this topic.

Do you identify as either religious or spiritual, or a bit of each and what are your reasons for your outlook (in only as much detail as you're comfortable sharing)?  Is there a difference, in your view, or are they synonyms?  Or does it depend on the context?  Does it bother you what terminology others use to refer to themselves?

Also, does anyone have any insight they could share as to how this pertains to millennials in particular?  Are there shortcomings and potential pitfalls of this outlook in your view?  Shouldn't everyone be free to adopt their own approach, be it ever-so "un-religious", just as we'd hope all people are free to follow the religion of their own choosing?

Feel free to answer as many or few of the above enquiries as you'd like, or to add new points into the discussion as the mood takes you.  "Discuss."
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

Klaw

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 05:36:43 pm »
I recently came across this concept, which has been somewhat surprising to me as this is how I've identified for a looong time but didn't realise that it was "a thing".  I did a Google search for the term 'spiritual but not religious' and the number of hits has amazed me (though I've yet to do any reading specifically around this) - this even has it's own initialism (SBNR) and Wikipedia entry. 

I prefer spiritual when it is pertaining to me. I don't have much of an opinion what term is used for others. I tend to think of a group led by one or two people when I think of religion. There are a lot of people out there that think they can't pray, communicate or worship without someone leading them. I have just always associated those two together.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2019, 01:02:43 am »
I recently came across this concept, which has been somewhat surprising to me as this is how I've identified for a looong time but didn't realise that it was "a thing".  I did a Google search for the term 'spiritual but not religious' and the number of hits has amazed me (though I've yet to do any reading specifically around this) - this even has it's own initialism (SBNR) and Wikipedia entry. 

I recently came across some mention of this (it might've been by YouTuber & author Thorn Mooney, though I can't be 100% sure) in connection with millennials in particular.  Actually, Thorn takes issue in at least one of her videos with the terminology of 'spiritual'/'spirituality' and prefers 'religious'/'religion'.  I'm the exact opposite in how I prefer to describe my own outlook, preferring 'spiritual'.  (I guess it's possible that I heard the term SBNR at some stage without consciously realising it, and also didn't make the connection when I came to identify this way... but, anyways--)

I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on this topic.

Do you identify as either religious or spiritual, or a bit of each and what are your reasons for your outlook (in only as much detail as you're comfortable sharing)?  Is there a difference, in your view, or are they synonyms?  Or does it depend on the context?  Does it bother you what terminology others use to refer to themselves?

Also, does anyone have any insight they could share as to how this pertains to millennials in particular?  Are there shortcomings and potential pitfalls of this outlook in your view?  Shouldn't everyone be free to adopt their own approach, be it ever-so "un-religious", just as we'd hope all people are free to follow the religion of their own choosing?

Feel free to answer as many or few of the above enquiries as you'd like, or to add new points into the discussion as the mood takes you.  "Discuss."

I consider my practices to be religious, but even though they form a coherent system with it's own set of assumptions, can it be a religion if only one person practices it?
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 12:06:05 am »
I consider my practices to be religious, but even though they form a coherent system with it's own set of assumptions, can it be a religion if only one person practices it?

I've given this some thought.  The Latin "religare" means "to bind."

Though my eclectic system is usually practiced in solitary with some exceptions involving select family and friends, and I've not yet initiated anyone if I ever will, my system does bind in various ways.

For one, I am binding up my emotional wounds.  My system largely centers around personal healing.  I am also working in therapy with alters (under one possible interpretation), so this binding involves binding together my internal system into a cooperative whole (my personal interpretation of reintegration).

I am also experientially binding myself to the unity underlying my existence and all existences.  I am already bound to this unity, but I am integrating this into every day experience.  I would argue this is a form of binding together.

Even though I am working physically alone most of the time, I am never really alone in my workings.  The assumptions, beliefs, and morals expressed in my path did not arise in a vacuum.

I have been informed by the diverse beliefs of other people.  I have even found that my personal definition of Love arrived at by reflecting on the primordial Eros and aspects of Thelema, is not foreign to all thinkers.  I rediscovered the concept in a book by Richard Rohr.

Even what seem like original ideas are rarely if ever original.  My path is a product of my social conditioning, culture, biological and genetic dispositions, and more.

Though in the one sense it is a solitary path, in another it is a product of local and broader community.  My Anglican background and to some extent the Book of Common Prayer have certainly shaped the linguistic style and shape of my rites.

In binding myself experientially to the unity underlying my existence and binding up my wounds, I've found that I've forgiven my abusers and shed much pain, though of course I still guard personal boundaries.  I've cultivated kindness for other people and creatures.  I've come to a place of self-love, self-care, and self-kindness.

When I interact with another person in some small way I see a reflection of who I am through them.  My personal religious system has enhanced my bonding with my personal communities.  It has bound us together more closely.

Therefore this working is not really an isolated endeavor, and no working is.

Finally, this system forms a set of assumptions and practices capable in principle of being passed along to other individuals and even communities to be adopted as their own.

Under these assumptions of what it means "to bind," I am a religious person, and what I am practicing is a religious system and a religion unto itself.

Now how would you define spirituality?
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 12:09:54 am »
I've given this some thought.  The Latin "religare" means "to bind."

Though my eclectic system is usually practiced in solitary with some exceptions involving select family and friends, and I've not yet initiated anyone if I ever will, my system does bind in various ways.

For one, I am binding up my emotional wounds.  My system largely centers around personal healing.  I am also working in therapy with alters (under one possible interpretation), so this binding involves binding together my internal system into a cooperative whole (my personal interpretation of reintegration).

I am also experientially binding myself to the unity underlying my existence and all existences.  I am already bound to this unity, but I am integrating this into every day experience.  I would argue this is a form of binding together.

Even though I am working physically alone most of the time, I am never really alone in my workings.  The assumptions, beliefs, and morals expressed in my path did not arise in a vacuum.

I have been informed by the diverse beliefs of other people.  I have even found that my personal definition of Love arrived at by reflecting on the primordial Eros and aspects of Thelema, is not foreign to all thinkers.  I rediscovered the concept in a book by Richard Rohr.

Even what seem like original ideas are rarely if ever original.  My path is a product of my social conditioning, culture, biological and genetic dispositions, and more.

Though in the one sense it is a solitary path, in another it is a product of local and broader community.  My Anglican background and to some extent the Book of Common Prayer have certainly shaped the linguistic style and shape of my rites.

In binding myself experientially to the unity underlying my existence and binding up my wounds, I've found that I've forgiven my abusers and shed much pain, though of course I still guard personal boundaries.  I've cultivated kindness for other people and creatures.  I've come to a place of self-love, self-care, and self-kindness.

When I interact with another person in some small way I see a reflection of who I am through them.  My personal religious system has enhanced my bonding with my personal communities.  It has bound us together more closely.

Therefore this working is not really an isolated endeavor, and no working is.

Finally, this system forms a set of assumptions and practices capable in principle of being passed along to other individuals and even communities to be adopted as their own.

Under these assumptions of what it means "to bind," I am a religious person, and what I am practicing is a religious system and a religion unto itself.

Now how would you define spirituality?

I should add I read there are some doubts about the etymology of "religare," but I worked with this meaning of religion for the time being.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Klaw

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 05:12:28 pm »
Now how would you define spirituality?

I would say, at least for me, spiritual is anything that brings me closer to the divine, higher self, or anything not of this plane or reality. The
most common example of that in my life is through the process of creation. That means to me creating something.

I put my all into everything I do. I draw, paint, write, wood burn, cook, bake, decorate cakes, and brew beer and hard cider. I also make incense, candles, detergents,cleaning supplies, skin care and hygiene products.

I see my path as fluid, not so much as constantly changing, but like a river slowly absorbing things needed and eroding away those things that are not. I feel when everything is right.

I honor the Sabbats, but from the perspective of honoring them on my feet, not worshiping on my needs. I live my life in the best way I can to honor the Norse Gods and Goddesses.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 03:27:40 am »
I would say, at least for me, spiritual is anything that brings me closer to the divine, higher self, or anything not of this plane or reality. The
most common example of that in my life is through the process of creation. That means to me creating something.

I put my all into everything I do. I draw, paint, write, wood burn, cook, bake, decorate cakes, and brew beer and hard cider. I also make incense, candles, detergents,cleaning supplies, skin care and hygiene products.

I see my path as fluid, not so much as constantly changing, but like a river slowly absorbing things needed and eroding away those things that are not. I feel when everything is right.

I honor the Sabbats, but from the perspective of honoring them on my feet, not worshiping on my needs. I live my life in the best way I can to honor the Norse Gods and Goddesses.

How would you say religion is different?
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2019, 03:28:57 am »
How would you say religion is different?

That was meant to be directed at the original post, but I'm welcoming toward any replies.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

PerditaPickle

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2019, 06:18:41 am »
That was meant to be directed at the original post, but I'm welcoming toward any replies.

I will post a reply, when I'm not on the train and have a proper keyboard to make it easier (by far)   :)
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

Klaw

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 08:02:53 am »
My personal religious system has enhanced my bonding with my personal communities. 

Finally, this system forms a set of assumptions and practices capable in principle of being passed along to other individuals and even communities to be adopted as their own.

I think the key word here is system. I can teach a lot of things that may have a connection to the spiritual side of my life, but I can't teach a system because there isn't one. It is ingrained as a lifestyle.

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Re: Spiritual, but not religious
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2019, 09:52:33 pm »
Do you identify as either religious or spiritual, or a bit of each and what are your reasons for your outlook (in only as much detail as you're comfortable sharing)?  Is there a difference, in your view, or are they synonyms?  Or does it depend on the context?  Does it bother you what terminology others use to refer to themselves?

Also, does anyone have any insight they could share as to how this pertains to millennials in particular?  Are there shortcomings and potential pitfalls of this outlook in your view?  Shouldn't everyone be free to adopt their own approach, be it ever-so "un-religious", just as we'd hope all people are free to follow the religion of their own choosing?

Feel free to answer as many or few of the above enquiries as you'd like, or to add new points into the discussion as the mood takes you.  "Discuss."

It's not a simple question, actually.

I've encountered people for whom "spiritual" meant "I've been burned by my birth religion and/or a cult I wound up in, so I'm going to say I'm Against Religion because that's a trigger word for me."

I've encountered people for whom "spiritual" meant "I'm into the numinous but I have no particular drive to codify my feelings about it."

I've encountered people for whom "spiritual" meant "I don't have a name for what I do and/or I'm playing everything by ear so I don't feel comfortable calling it 'religion'."

I've encountered people for whom "spiritual" meant "I'm too wishy-washy to commit to anything but being a white lighter makes me feel good about myself."

(ETA: And other variants.)

I haven't seen as many variations on "religious", but they have included "I have a praxis-set shared with others that I take seriously", "I am a regular attender of organized celebrations", "I am a strong believer in Rules", "I am a strong believer in Rules and you should be too".

If "spiritual" means interested in the numinous and "religious" means having a codified practice, I am both.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

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