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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spirituality vs Religion

OK pilgrims, step aside for your lesson on Spiritual vs Religious.

Spiritual;

Religious;

12 comments:

  1. Hmmm...I think if you asked ten people what the difference is between spirituality and religion you might get ten different answers. Unless you ask it in AA, and then you'll get the pat "Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell and spirituality is for people who've been to hell" answer. I think it's a little more complex than that, because the two are, by the very nature of the question, compatible. In fact, it used to piss me off when I'd be in a meeting and hear someone spew that cliche and then use it as a basis for bashing religion. In all fairness, a lot of us have been damaged by religion, or rather by people who hide behind religion.

    Myself, I'm not religious in the sense that I attend church services.

    Johhny Cash was a very spiritual man who never concealed his Christian faith or his struggles. His cover of "Hurt" is to me at least, a spiritual song in the sense it conveys the depth of hurt and despair that some of us experience as we try to find in the words of Kris Kristofferson "Our lonely way back home."

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  2. The twelve steps came from religion; what we have was loaned to us, principles made more simple and specific for the foolish.

    The twelve step program was custom tailored for pig headed rebels who were too sick, too anti-social, too preoccupied with self, too sensitive, too unable to relate to others in a cooperative way to become a healthy part of a religious fellowship.

    The shear irony of it ...all, the 12-stepers who still look down on religion as if they invented something that religion cannot see, those 12-stepers meet in churches, under the charitable wing of a religions compassion for the addicted.

    No, it seems that 12-stepers have a much bigger problem with religion then religion does with them. But religion just keeps that enigma as their little secret. Religion knew that what they have works before we knew that what was shared with us, works.

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  3. Plus they're allowed to drink... and they're allowed a prime spot i. HEAVEN. Now, if they would just stop raping young boys, all would be Utopia.

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  4. The 12 steps were designed for the alcoholic to have a spiritual awakening. I hate to disappoint, but the same "pig headed rebels who were too sick, too anti-social, too preoccupied with self, too sensitive, too unable to relate to others in a cooperative way to become a healthy part of a religious fellowship" exist in the religious fellowships as well. They just choose to hide their shadows as opposed to gaining strenght thru one another's weaknesses. Some of us alcoholics like to think of ourselves as terminally unique. I was raised Catholic and never encouraged by the Church or my family to seek my Truth, always told to believe certain dogmas which i had no experience or convictions. What works for me today, thanks to the program of AA, is my real relationship with God discovered Only and continuously strengthened by my openmindedness, willingness and honesty; something so many "religious" people lack.

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  5. Good points Dave.

    I wanted to add this... In A.A., I'm told to be open-minded about concepts and realms of God... to "See where religious people are right", and to "Make use of what they offer." If I'm predispositioned to some religion, I'm not encouraged to sit on the side and mock and berate those of religion... dogmatic or not. I'm encouraged to "get back to" those convictions... while continuing on with A.A.

    And that's exactly what I do. I go to church once in a while... and I'd like to attend more than I do, but I'm ok either way. When I go to church, I listen to what the minister/preacher/etc. has to say and how he/she (yup, Methodists have entered into the 21st Century as women can minister as well as men) interprets what the Gospel means to them/us in this current day/time.

    But here's the problem with the religious folks and the church for me... at the end of the day when those folks go home and they stub their toe, or get the job! or find the girl! or succeed in some way... they don't drink. You and I drink.

    A.A. is for alcoholics and I'm staying in... no matter what. I'm doing this because I decided into this and I'll run with it until it doesn't work or until it doesn't work for me. But it works fine and if I decide my soul needs saving, I can go after that too.

    So I can give my Heart to Jesus. But my Ass belongs to the Program.

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    1. "Methodists have entered into the 21st Century as women can minister as well as men"

      Damn hippies.

      Wait until Jesus finds out about that one.......

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    2. Bring it on Catholic.

      A hippy married my wife and I... my current wife... not the Catholic one who fucked around on me and became a nasty thieving felon.

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    3. "not the Catholic one who fucked around on me and became a nasty thieving felon"

      I know some felonious Catholics.

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    4. My parents are Catholics. They're not very felonious in their old age.

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  6. Church is good for some folks. I've never been much of a church person myself, tried a few-in early sobriety I tried The Foursquare Gospel Church, lots of singing and praising and tongue talking and falling down and what have you. Actually I kind of liked that stuff, but it was the exclusivity of their doctrine that turned me off. Plus I could never swallow the idea that I need a savior to die for my sins.

    I've looked into The New Thought movement-like Unity School of Christianity or Science of Mind. Emmett Fox was a proponent of New Thought, but most of the New Thought churches have taken his teachings and twisted them around into "God, please make me a money magnet."

    I like The Quakers and their simplicity.

    Through his writings, Thomas Merton, who was a monk of The Cisterian Order of The Roman Catholic Church has been a teacher of mine.

    I've sat in sweat lodges and prayed.

    Currently I practice insight meditation, a Buddhist practice. The hardest part of my current journey is finding community, but I've always been a rather solitary person anyway.

    I had a call from an AA member the other day, asking me how I was doing as I haven't been to a meeting since about the middle of January. I was kind of surprised to get the call, as I haven't had but one other one since I made the decision to pull away. I told her I was doing OK but I wasn't going to meetings anymore and didn't consider myself a member. I got the usual fear-based stuff that you hear about people who stop going to meetings. I told her that I didn't consider myself powerless and diseased and unmanageable anymore. She asked me if I still thought of myself as alcoholic, a question I hadn't been asked yet. Had to think about that one...I told her that I never even think about whether or not I'm alcoholic unless it comes up in conversation. She asked what if I drink again? Well, what if I do? People drink again all the time, whether they go to meetings or not. Like it says, I'm not afraid and I'm not cocky, it isn't even something that is the realm of my thinking anymore. Besides, I told her that for years my whole identity was wrapped up in being an alcoholic and being a member of AA. Why isn't it OK to just be a guy who goes to work and pays his bills and taxes and tries to contribute to society and not hurt others and who falls in love and makes mistakes and gets a broken heart and gets pissed off once in a while and doesn't drink? I have problems these days, but not because I'm alcoholic. I have problems because I'm living my life.

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    1. "I kind of liked that stuff, but it was the exclusivity of their doctrine that turned me off. Plus I could never swallow the idea that I need a savior to die for my sins."


      Ironic that even people in AA make it exclusive. I think that must be a basic part of human nataure. Good enough for me-good enoug for you.

      The need to have a savior is one of the things that keeps me Christian these days...lol. Humans as a race are a bit off, to me. The whole concept of original sin and savior at least address that in some logical manner.

      Then again, I can only see through my own sick perceptions so maybe the human race is fine and I need the savior ???

      LOL. Nahhhh. I'm fine. It's all you guys who need to shape up......

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