Sunday, September 7, 2008

Spiritual Instead Of Religious

I just looked outside my house to the street to see a bus from one of the area churches dropping off about 5-6 teenagers in the neighborhood to go walking door-to-door to do what that particular church calls soul-saving. I live in the Bible Belt of the South (USA) so this happens quite often. Sometimes it is teenagers. Sometimes it is adults. This is a practice that I have never been comfortable with, no matter what church I was attending at the time.

To me, my spirituality is personal, between God and me. If someone asks, I will talk about it but I don't feel the need to try to "save" someone else. If I want to influence others, I think my actions---how I live my life---is a better way to do that than talking to change someone's mind and beliefs.

I have never felt right telling someone that my religion is better than theirs. I believe how you live your life is more important.

We are all on our own journey back to God. How we get there is up to each individual.

Most of the time that someone comes to my door to discuss religion, unless they were invited by me, gets politely turned away. I don't feel the need to be convinced by them that my beliefs are wrong and I don't feel the need to convince them that their beliefs are wrong. We are each exactly where we need to be in our spiritual journeys.

Someone asked me once why I read and used the information from so many books rather than just following the original 12-Step information that I was given. I think that my answer could also apply to why the world has so many different religions. Not everyone learns the same way. What appeals to me and helps me learn and remember may be different than what you need to learn and remember the same subject. I think that is why we have so many different religions in the world. Different ways of processing need different ways for information to be presented to the people of the world. Does that make sense to you? You may process information, religious or otherwise, differently than I process that same information, therefore, you and I may need the information to be presented in different ways to each of us.

Also, we aren't all on the same page at the same time. That can further complicate things. Different page, different time, doesn't mean that I am any more or less spiritual than you are.

Related Articles:
What Is God ---

Are You Judging Others As Less Spiritual Than You? ---

Ego-centered selfishness vs. Spirit-centered Selfishness ---

Tools Of The Ego ---


Deb Estep said...

HI Patricia,

I was raised Catholic and to me, the idea of going door to door talking about one's faith was unheard of.

As a child I can recall my Mom telling us to turn the TV off and not to talk. She would then just wait for the folks at the door to leave.

When I had a house of my own I never followed that same rule. LOL
I was always curious about people who would take the time to walk about and talk about God.
Not curious to learn about it from a religious stand point, but curious to let them speak and observe the people themselves.

Perhaps my view would be different if I lived in an area where there were frequent visitors attempting to share their beliefs.

If I have 3 such visits a year it's unusual. Mostly they are
Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons.

Now I am not talking about inviting them in for tea. I usually just let them speak through a cracked door.

What I have observed over the years is that these folks have a certain spirit about them and a gentle nature.

They without fail always leave saying.... 'God Bless You'.

Again... IF I lived in an area where I had constant visits maybe my take would be different.

Patricia IF I was constantly bombarded at my door, I would put up a sign.

I have a neighbor who has a home business of window decals and signs. Let me know and we can come up with something for you. :)

xo xo
Debs E

Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, some previous owner of our house put up a Beware of Dog sign on the front fence that keeps out most of them. We get Mormon, Jehovah Witness, and Baptists mostly here. They usually leave a pamphlet hanging on the front gate. Sometimes they will ignore the sign and come to the front or back door. I used to feel intimidated by them but today it doesn't bother me as much. I just don't like having someone tell me that I am going to Hell because I have a different religion than theirs. Most of them don't go that far. Some of them do. I believe that all should have the right to whatever religion they choose.

Pat R said...

Patricia - your topic is expressed well and from the heart. Whatever our beliefs, whether we believe in God or not or if our belief expresses the meaning of God differently, He meets us where we are and that's what I see you doing too.


Patricia Singleton said...

Pat, thank you. You expressed my thoughts in a perfect condensed version.

Corinne Edwards said...

Dear Patricia -

This is the core for me in your article!

"I don't feel the need to try to "save" someone else. If I want to influence others, I think my actions---how I live my life---is a better way to do that than talking to change someone's mind and beliefs."

One of the principle reasons I was attracted to A Course in Miracles is that it said there are thousands of ways to God - and they are all good!

Patricia Singleton said...

Corinne, I think the time for me to start studying A Course In Miracles is coming near. One of the main things that attracted me to Sai Baba is his statement that all religions lead to God. Thanks for sharing.

Irene | Light Beckons said...


Ditto! This is EXACTLY how I feel about the topic, and I couldn't have said it better. :)

Patricia Singleton said...

Irene, thanks. Glad you are feeling better.

Slade | Shift Your Spirits said...

Oh, Patricia,

I can't myself but comment. You don't find me writing publicly about this much because I believe what you resist, persists.

You remember in my interview with Stephen Hopson when he asked me about "my darkside" and I answered "outrage"?

Well, this is exactly what was going through my mind as I left that more general answer.

My recent mantra/wisdom that keeps me from resisting the forces of religious conversion comes from Wayne Dyer. He gave me the perfect words to describe how I aspire to approach this issue:

"When you talk about religion, people want to argue with you. When you talk about spirituality, they want to listen."


I have asked Mother Mary about this many times and her advice to me is "Infiltrate their hearts with an exciting alternative." Hmm...

So, even surrounded as you are by radical, willfully ignorant fundamentalism, rather than "fight" I quietly offer to as many people as I can something "else" to choose, a powerful, personal option.

You may not remember but I did write about this at some length as a guest post on Druid Journal, if anyone wants to check it out

love to you for helping to create that alternative by your example,

Patricia Singleton said...

Slade, your comments are always welcome. I am glad you gave the link for your article at Druid Journal. I had forgotten it. I feel that being an example is the best way to teach.