People ask us how spiritual exploration differs from religion? The short answer is they are two very different things. Find out how this difference affects your life.
The confusion between these terms starts with religion masquerading as something spiritual. Organized religion is all about the belief in doctrines surrounding an imaginary friend called God.
How Spiritual Exploration Differs From Religion
Here’s one way to look at the differences. The most popular religions are the Abrahamic religions (1). These are the Western organized religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
We’ll show you how religion and spiritual exploration are different by looking at the subject from a few different angles. One way to look a spirituality on a continuum. On one side are mythology and superstition. At the other end of the continuum are processes for exploring and changing consciousness.
As you might suspect, truth is one end of the continuum, while on the other is falsehood. We’ll explain how we come to this conclusion from several angles. We’ll start by explaining the terms.
Consciousness exploration uses processes and methods for altering and expanding awareness. These processes have nothing to do with faith or belief in religious doctrines, which is splendid news. If you can follow a simple procedure, 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. You need to put the right things together in the correct order and cook them at the proper temperature. The result is something delicious if you 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, posture, and breathing. That’s it, and 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 any mystical beings’ help.
One primary way spiritual exploration differs from religion is its focus on developing the individual. It does this with processes for expanding and exploring consciousness.
Western organized religion focuses on faith and belief in mythology and superstition. Believing in mythology 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 fundamental part of this term is the word spirit. It refers to the non-physical part of our mind. Many people believe we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. The spiritual quest is part of our natural needs. 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; it loses meaning because of repetition or overuse. Words also lose their meaning because of misuse. It also happens when someone distorts the original meaning of a word. We see this a lot in the realm of spirituality.
It’s hard to tell which are vehicles of superstition or truth without getting below the surface.
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 use clothing, rituals, and artifacts to improve their spiritual appearance. For the most part, these are selling tools and distractions.
Next, we’ll examine how spiritual exploration uses 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 these methods’ primary purposes. They help us analyze 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 many attempts to rebrand and repackage, but these are often substandard imitations. This repackaging is done to market the process as their “own” invention.
We hope this helps 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 rebranding Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions. The modern versions of these mythologies are the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But myth works well. Today these religions boast over 4 billion members. These regions have well over 10,000 different variations.
Are these religions vehicles of superstition or truth?
Everyone has a unique approach to the subject of a higher power. Each religion proclaims that to have the correct interpretation of these systems. They have a critical mass in the culture. So, they significantly influence the cultural narrative in many parts of the world.
Whether you believe in these religions, you still feel their effects. 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 enemies of progress because they spawn religious bigotry, resulting in wars and genocide. It is a testament to the power of groupthink manipulation.
Which Are Vehicles of Superstition or Truth?
There are tools for expanding consciousness. These tools do not require belief in mythology or superstition. 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 from Japan.
There are some processes from the Western tradition. The Enneagram Personality Profile system is an example. 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 rebranding effort in the West. It 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.
When we talk about spiritual exploration, we refer to processes for expanding awareness and exploring higher states of consciousness. These processes stand up to the test of science. In other words, they are true and accurate. 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 spiritual quest’s call.
Most people don’t choose a religion; their families indoctrinate them as children. So, it’s not an informed choice made from potential options. It’s a requirement of the family and culture. Western religion uses indoctrination to maintain a steady cash flow.
Others choose religion when they are going through a crisis. That’s because people in need 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. When you leave superstition, you start down 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. In contrast, the exploration of our spiritual nature focuses on processes. But what is important is how do you see it? Which of these two approaches are vehicles of superstition or truth?
People often ask us if they can use these processes and still practice religion? Yes, you can. However, once you experience the difference for yourself, you can see a way to escape religion’s mind-numbing beliefs. The simple meditation practice outlined above is a step in the right direction.
Are you interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. We offer this curriculum through our individually tailored virtual learning academy and traditional face-to-face sessions. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (2). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.
(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia