Why spirituality and religion are so different

Religion and spirituality are not the same. Spirituality is not concerned with myths and fairy stories, but with life. That’s why many people are leaving the traditional religions. They cannot relate to the dogma and ritual that characterises them. They say nothing to them about life as it is lived.

To be valid, a spiritual truth must be true for everyone, everywhere and for all time. It must apply equally to people living in the Arabian Desert, the Arctic wilderness and the Himalayas; in the fifth century BCE, tenth century CE and the twenty-first CE; men, women and children, the old and the young; those who have passed on and those yet to be born.

Religions seldom satisfy these criteria. Some are even restricted to a particular race or genealogy.

A religion is a formalised set of beliefs. It lays down what its followers should accept as true and how they should behave. It insist on compliance and reproaches those who transgress. Often fear and chastisement are used to ensure conformity.

Any religion which controls, divides and excludes cannot, in my opinion, be truly spiritual.

All bone fide religions began with a search for truth, but the living message of spirituality that they purport to offer has often been lost. No doubt the founders of our great religions had the best of intentions, but in a spiritually enlightened world there would be no need for separate religions, as John Lennon said that in his song, Imagine.

Even so, the major religions have much to teach us. Their common ground far outweighs their differences. 90% of their teachings are the same; wars have been fought over the other 10%, so let’s focus on the 90%! No one creed has exclusive rights to the truth. We should look for points of agreement and put differences aside.

We should seek truth wherever we can find it and welcome the many paths that are open to us.

©David Lawrence Preston, 26.12.17

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The Law of Laws – Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect is the Law of Laws. It states that for every result or thing that exists, there is a cause, and every action has an effect. When you throw a pebble into a pond, the ripples spread out from the centre in ever-widening circles. So it is with our actions. Good actions are causes. They create good effects; bad actions create bad effects. The effects spread outwards, affecting other lives to a greater or lesser degree.

Actions are causes, so are words and non-verbal forms of communication such as facial expressions and gestures, and also non-visible things such as attitudes and emotions. However, the chief causes are thoughts, since every action is preceded by a thought.

We reap what we sow

We reap what we sow – but not necessarily where we sow. Every thought, word and action eventually returns to us.

When we lay down good causes by thinking good thoughts and acting on them, blessings return to us – love, prosperity, health and kindness etc. But actions resulting from thoughts of selfishness, greed, ignorance, malice and so on also have consequences. They set up a chain reaction which eventually returns to hurt us.

The Law of Cause and Effect reminds us that we get out of life exactly what we put into it, and when we change the causes, we get different results. We cannot get something for nothing and if we try, we will eventually be caught out. Knowing this brings order and purpose to the mind and enables us to fulfill our deepest desires.

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow. Lay down the right causes each moment and the right results will surely follow.

©David Lawrence Preston, 31.5.2016

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The Universe is not run by blind forces

Science tells us that the Universe is not run by blind forces. It is regulated by fields of intelligent energy. We have difficulty grasping this concept because the world appears so fickle and our untrained minds, dominated by the five senses, cannot see beyond appearances.

Consider a waterfall. Water cascades and sends spray everywhere. It appears chaotic, but every drop moves according to laws of motion which can be observed and measured.  Similarly, the universe, which appears so turbulent to the casual observer, operates according to laws which are just as timeless and reliable, and work for our good. These laws have always existed, but we have not always been aware of them. For instance, there is no more electricity in the world today than ten thousand years ago, but it could not be harnessed until someone identified the laws by which it functions.

‘Spiritual means ‘non-physical’. 

‘Law’ implies a rule which is unchanging, unyielding and continuous, established and enforced by some power. Whatever is ‘law’ today was the same yesterday and will be forever. Humans are not responsible for carrying out the laws which govern the universe, and we can do nothing to change them in any way. But we can learn about them and apply them. And just as we understand many physical laws, many spiritual laws are already understood, and no doubt others – physical and spiritual – are waiting to be discovered.

Spiritual laws apply to all and can be counted on 100%. When we honour them, we grow in wisdom, love, creativity and personal power. When we think positively, we grow in mental strength; and when act lovingly and show kindness to others, we feel fulfilled.

©David Lawrence Preston, 30.5.2016

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