This is bound to stir up some discussion...
When I was a kid, I took being spiritual and being religious to be the same thing; they're not. I also thought psychics were weird people who talked to the dead; not necessarily (but there are some weird psychics out there) ... but, I digress.
Where I'm coming from, is this. There's a lot of misconception about what it is to be spiritual. When I started getting "into" this kind of work, people started asking me if I was a born-again Christian? Had I gone all religious? etc. The answer is "no" to both of those by the way.
I thought I could clarify a few things by looking up the definitions of Spiritual, Psychic and Religion on the Internet; and we all know that if it's on the Internet it's got to be true. The problem is, true or not, different resources can't seem to make up their respective minds on what these terms actually mean; and that's half the problem. When the academics can't agree, there's not much hope for us lesser mortals.
I'm not entirely sure where Google gets its definitions from, but Google, Wikipedia and various online dictionaries DO NOT agree on their definitions, so no matter what I say, someone will be able to find information online to counter it. Anyway, jumping in feet-first...
I actually like Google's definition of spirituality:
the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. - "the shift in priorities allows us to embrace our spirituality in a more profound way"
It doesn't actually mention religion, nor for that matter a belief in a deity.
Google's definition of psychic:
relating to or denoting faculties or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws, especially involving telepathy or clairvoyance. - "psychic powers" - "you have to tell me—I'm not psychic" - "I could sense it—I must be psychic"
For me, the interesting bit here is "apparently inexplicable" (though I am not sure what "by natural laws" means). I have seen enough things over time that I cannot explain and I am sure in my own mind that there is far more going on than science can explain. In fact, my "epiphany moment" was accepting that I couldn't explain everything. It is also immensely liberating when you DON'T have to understand everything.
Google's definition of religion:
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
"ideas about the relationship between science and religion"
a particular system of faith and worship.
"the world's great religions"
a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.
"consumerism is the new religion"
This is probably the one of the three where I least agree with Google. I take "religion" to be a man-made belief system, usually focused around a God or gods. For me, God isn't as much an entity as a state of being, and in fact I wrote a previous blog post on just that: Who is this God Person Anyway?
So having gone "around the bushes" with Google's definitions, etc., where do I stand?
- A spiritual person is simply someone who is in-tune with their own spirit and body. e.g. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it.
- A psychic is someone who is open to more than just the sights, sounds, smells and touch around them. e.g. If you walk into a room where there has been an argument, how is it that you can FEEL the atmosphere?
- A religious person is someone who follows a belief system (often) based around a deity.
They're all different, just because you are one of them doesn't imply you have to be all the rest. For myself, I am two of these but not the third. I leave it to you to decide which - if it even matters.
“The world according to John”, March 2019