There are many who would like to know which came first, spirituality or religion? It is somewhat similar to the question that children commonly ask: ‘which came first egg or the chicken?’ . If the answer is to be focused on Bible based creation story, then it is Chicken. However, if answer is to be based on experience, then it is the egg.
Understanding Religion and Spirituality
When it comes to having experience with religious discussion and books, then religions is said to have come first. Presently, people in huge numbers have been discussing about spirituality. When human understanding is concerned, it is spirituality that came first. Before religion was introduced, spirit existed. God was very much present before any human being started to worship him.
Spirituality is also considered to be the offshoot of religions. People for centuries had professed religion. There were many who had opposed fiercely other’s religion. However, with time, people have been discovering the fact that mere religions would not be able to get answers for their deep yearning for better life. This is why they have been turning into something that is much better and deeper than religion, which they have found in spirituality.
Knowing the similarities between Religion and Spirituality
Since spirituality is regarded to be offshoot of religion, some similarity is bound to be present between them, similar to that of the chicken and the egg.
- Firstly, both have the belief of some kind of higher power. It is in God that Religion believes in and so does Spirituality, which regards God to be a primal or universal energy. Such being, according to both are said to possess higher and greater power than human beings have.
- Secondly, both spirituality and religion prefer to have good relationship with the higher power. Even though, relationship nature is quite different in religion when compared to spirituality, there is present a desire for relationship. This higher power is connected by religion with tremble and fear, while spirituality connects it with affection and love.
- Thirdly, both spirituality and religion are known to have some practices and rituals that deepen the person’s spirituality or religiosity. Usually, there are sacraments or sacred sites in religion, while spirituality follows yoga or meditation sessions.
- Fourthly, the other worldly and the sacred are revered and respected by both, which is not just respect to God. It is rather respect for those reality which is seen to be beyond the reason and senses of the common man. As this respect gets pushed to the extreme by religion, it becomes superstition. Again, when this respect gets pushed to its extreme, this becomes religious spirituality.
- Finally, both have the fear of failure. Failure in religion is punished by repetition of existence, hell fire or something that is much worse. But in case of spirituality, this failure is seen to be the inability towards realizing the individual’s true value or worth and that of a meaningless life and destiny.
The above are few of the similarities noticed between religion and spirituality.