Many people confuse religion and the processes of exploring consciousness, but they are actually very different. Find out how this difference affects your life.
How Spiritual Exploration Differs From Religion
Here’s one way to look at the differences. The most popular religions in the world are the Abrahamic religions (1). These are the Western organized religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Wester organized religion is at the opposite end of the philosophical continuum from exploring consciousness. We’ll explain how we come to this conclusion from several angles. We’ll start by explaining the terms.
Consciousness exploration is the use of processes and methods for altering and expand awareness. These processes have nothing to do with faith or belief in religious doctrines. This is splendid news. It means if you can follow a process, then you can engage in consciousness exploration. These tools do not require belief or faith. You don’t need to join any religion.
A good analogy for these processes is baking a cake. When you want to bake a cake, you follow a recipe. This involves is putting the right things put together in the right order and cooked at the proper temperatures. The result is something delicious if you just follow the recipe.
The cake analogy is a good one for beginning meditation. First, you find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Then you sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Next, you bring your attention to your body, your posture, and breathing. That’s it. The result is a quieting of the internal chatter. This silence can be very restful and delicious. You don’t need to join a religion or seek the help of any mystical beings.
This is how spiritual exploration differs from religion. They base Western organized religion on faith and belief and superstition. This has nothing to do with processes for exploring consciousness and developing awareness. Let’s explain the terms we used to come to this conclusion.
Spirituality is a term with several meanings. The basic part of this term is the word spirit. This refers to the non-physical part of our mind. Many people believe we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, and many people are drawn to the inner quest. We are explorers of the unknown, so the journey inward is another frontier we deserve to explore.
Unfortunately, the word spiritual suffers from misuse and overuse. The technical term for this is semantic satiation. This is a loss of meaning because of repetition or overuse. Words also lose their meaning because of misuse. This is when someone distorts the original meaning of a word, which happens most often in the realm of spirituality.
People like to sound spiritual. That’s because there’s an unspoken sense of respect attached to spirituality. So, people who seek adoration and respect use religion to fill this need. So, it’s not uncommon for people to use spiritual language to enhance their vocabulary. Religions often use clothing and personal grooming to enhance their social appearance of spirituality. For the most part, these are selling tools and distractions.
So, we need to discuss how we use these terms and why.
We relate the word spiritual with the term Spirit or Soul, and the human Spirit or Soul is synonymous with consciousness. We use the term spiritual because the processes are a way of exploring consciousness. Investigating consciousness is a common desire. Some people refer to this as the call of our spiritual quest. We use methods for traveling the depths of awareness and higher states of consciousness.
We use the term exploration because exploring consciousness is one of the primary purposes of these methods. They help us explore the fabric of our very nature. Above all, we use processes that are scientifically sound and repeatable.
We investigate claims of new types of processes. However, we have found nothing new in the last 40 years. There are a lot of attempts to rebrand and repackage, but these are often substandard imitations. This repackaging is done so they can market the process as their own invention.
This should help you understand how spiritual exploration differs from religion. It is the use of processes to develop awareness and explore consciousness. It promotes the use and development of rational thinking, common sense, and logic. In comparison, most religions focus on belief in mythology.
The three most popular religions in the world focus on faith and belief in imaginary friends and enemies. They are the rebranding of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions. The modern versions of these superstitions are the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Today these religions boast over 3 billion members. These regions have well over 10,000 different variations.
Everyone has a unique approach to the subject of a higher power. Each one proclaims that they alone are the correct interpretation of these systems. Because of the critical mass in the culture, they have a significant influence on the cultural narrative.
Whether you believe in these religions, you still feel their effects in all areas of life. They use their influence to infiltrate society with their superstitions. Use proven groupthink manipulation tactics that make and maintain converts. Faith and belief can subvert thinking. These tools have an inverse effect on the use of reason and common sense.
They cloak these doctrines in spiritual language and build structures to their superstitions. All the while, they sell ideologies that are inherently discriminatory, biased, and prejudiced. These systems are the real enemies of progress. Their belief systems spawning religious bigotry, resulting in wars and genocide. It is a testament to the power of groupthink manipulation.
The Origins of Consciousness Development Tools
You can find these tools for expanding consciousness all around the world. For instance, we find techniques for meditation and Shamanism on every continent. These include Japa Meditation from India, Tai Ka from Indonesia, and healing arts like Reiki come from Japan.
There are also some processes from the Western cultural tradition, like The Enneagram Profile. Above all, these systems focus on sharing and safeguarding this valuable knowledge. Thus, preserving the integrity of processes. The actions of these cultures help to raise the consciousness of man.
Some of these technologies have gone through a marketing re-branding effort in the West. This makes it easier to market. You can find creative visualization or guided meditation techniques across many Western paradigms. These processes have their roots in Shamanic tradition.
Spiritual technologies are processes. Are the tools of consciousness. They enable us to expand awareness and explore higher states of consciousness. These processes stand up to the test of science. They exhibit repeatable common experiential phenomena, and many have unique physiological characteristics. These signatures are unique from waking, sleeping, and dreaming. Because they are processes, they do not require belief or faith in any religious doctrine. All you need to do is follow the process.
To Believe or Not to Believe
As an adult, people should make informed decisions about reality. Everyone makes their own decision regarding how they respond to the call of the spiritual quest.
Most people don’t choose a religion. Their family indoctrinates them as children. It is not an informed choice made from potential options, but a requirement of the family and culture. This is how religion grows and maintains its cash flow.
Others chose religion when they are going through a crisis. That’s because people in crisis are seeking help, and so they are vulnerable. Vulnerable people are susceptible to groupthink manipulation tactics.
However, if you are reading this, you have the choice to become a freethinker, a healthy skeptic. You can reject mythology in place of facts. This is the path to spiritual freedom. You can still follow the spiritual quest, but you can do it without religion.
We hope you can see how spiritual exploration differs from religion. It is the opposite approach of the three dominant religions of the world. Western organized religion focuses on belief in doctrines derived from mythology. Whereas, the exploration of our spiritual nature focuses on processes.
People often ask us if you can use these processes and still practice religion? Yes, you can. Once you experience the difference for yourself, you can see a way to escape the mind-numbing beliefs of religion. The simple meditation practice we outlined above is a step in the right direction.
We hope you found this article helpful, perhaps thought-provoking. You will find more articles on our blog. Use the search option on the blog pages to find articles by words, terms, topics, or category.
Want to learn the awareness expanding methods we are talking about? We offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions using our blended learning process. This learning process ensures the best learning outcomes and aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey (2).
Our mission is to spread these methods for developing and exploring consciousness. You can find out more about us and this learning process at our FAQ link. Please donate to support our mission and help others learn these life-changing tools.
Here’s a tip. If you register on our site, you will get special offers, online training discounts, and free unadvertised downloads. We will always comply with all GDPR guidelines and never share or sell your data.
(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia