“Religion is sitting in church thinking about sitting in a kayak.
Spirituality is sitting in a kayak thinking about God.” [Author unknown]
This is an area of my life that is hugely lacking.
And I don’t know how to fill the lack. I’m not religious per se. And as the above quote articulates so beautifully, the two are not related. They may sit alongside each other. Or not. Whatever works for any individual. Atheism and spirituality are not improbable bedfellows – in fact there are scholarly articles that argue atheists are more spiritual than those who espouse great religious piety. And of course scholarly articles that argue the exact opposite. I couldn’t care less about the scholarly articles. I just want to figure out, how to figure myself out.
Ooh – as a quick aside, I wanted to pop in a definition of spirituality for your reading delight here, so I looked at the online versions of the merriam-webster dictionary (American) and the oxford dictionary (British). They are astoundingly different. I REALLY don’t care about the scholarly articles, but my dreadful summary is that according to American dictionaries, spirituality is religious, and according to British dictionaries, spirituality is about emotional and mental communion without material pursuit. My inkling – and yearning – is toward the latter.
Again – I think the two are not inseparable. There are many religious, principles, practices and people, that focus on emotional and mental communion without material pursuit. But a holy book is not a pre-requisite.
Having said all that – and my most humble apologies for having no doubt deeply offended some people – is that I am exploring not just spirituality but religion as well. I’m not sure why. I have found a lot of comfort in simply choosing to believe in God. Do I believe there is any more evidence now that he existed than ten years ago when I was completely agnostic (or possibly atheistic)? No. Evidence not required. I have always believed in Angels and I have never had any evidence. The belief simply gives me comfort. So now I am finding that a belief in God is starting to do the same.
The articles contained within this part of my blog are not all about God or religion. They are about recovery.
I (and I imagine most people) cannot recover from a mental illness, without some kind of spiritual belief. It is the basis of all 12-step programs – the higher power. The willingness to believe in something greater than ourselves, outside of ourselves. And for me there is also a little bit of exploration of why I am here at all. A philosophical question.
So within these cyber pages, you will find my thoughts on hope, freedom, God, spirit, soul searching, recovery, the depths of despair and the hunt for the stair to get out of there.
Phew! That was a lot more long winded and heavy than I’d anticipated. I don’t know if it answered any questions for you. But it certainly brought up a whole lot more for me…