Find out how spiritual exploration differs from religion. Learn how to make the world a better place to live.
First of all, many people think spiritual exploration is similar to religion. This isn’t true. They differ considerably. Spiritual exploration is the opposite of religion.
Religion Versus Spiritual Exploration
The confusion begins with the word “spiritual.” That’s because the term spiritual has a wide range of meanings. It often depends upon who is using it. But, we aren’t here to argue whose definition is better. Our task is to clarify the differences between religion and spiritual exploration. We will attempt to do this by examining the tools of religion and the tools of spiritual exploration.
We contend that these are two opposites. Religion versus spiritual exploration is at opposite ends of worldview perspectives.
Here we go.
The Tools of Religion
The Tools of the Abrahamic Traditions
These three above doctrine deserves a closer look.
1) Accepting the premise of a Supreme Being is central to these belief systems. Is this a valid premise? Or, does it depend on your perspective? Let’s look at this premise by asking a question. Would you consider the belief in Apolo or Zeus as belief in the Gods of the Abrahamic tree? If you answer NO, then you probably a member of a version of the Abrahamic model. If you answer YES, you probably view all Gods as mythology.
2) Establishing boundaries to justify murder, rape, ethnic and gender discrimination, genocide. It empowers leaders of any given sect to enable behaviors that would otherwise be unacceptable. Does this justification qualify as spiritual in your paradigm?
3) The afterlife is the all-time best-selling spiritual idea for recruiting and retaining members. It uses both reward and fear as compelling arguments. The reward, eternity in Heaven for the believer. Or, an eternity in Hell for the non-believer. There are no unsatisfied customers. Because the reward or punishment is only revealed after death. A quote from Bill Hicks sums up this last point.
Eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s, infinite love. ― Bill Hicks
We hope this overview of the tools of Western organized religion is helpful. Organized religion seeks to blur the lines between mythology and spirituality. Religion versus spiritual exploration couldn’t be further apart. Let’s look at tools and of spiritual exploration and see why this is so.
The Tools of Spiritual Exploration
In contrast, spiritual exploration is the application of processes for developing consciousness. These are ways of expanding awareness and investigating higher states of consciousness. That’s it. It’s all about the development of the individual on both a physical and mental level. This is the essence of “inner work.” These tools increase our ability to think.
Why Not Call It Consciousness Exploration?
Why don’t’ we call it consciousness exploration or something else? We choose the term spiritual exploration for two main reasons.
First, to keep the techniques intact. They used spiritual vocabulary to describe their processes. For example, they use language about spirit and consciousness. They talk about the Soul and the Observer of our awareness.
Second, to honor the cultures that pioneered these methods. These tools are the spiritual heritage of mankind. So, you could refer to these processes in any number of ways. Some refer to it as awareness research or the investigation of human potential. You could also call it the survey of the parameters perception, or methods of cognition.
A Eureka experience is a personal breakthrough characterized by the euphoric realization that; what you believe about spiritual reality is wrong. Joy rather than resignation is the effect when boundaries of belief and dogma are smashed to bits. ― Guru Tua
This sums up the conflict between religion versus spiritual exploration.
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They result from generations of research by cultures around the world. These processes stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable and measurable. Everyone who can follow a process can use these tools. We call the practice of these processes spiritual exploration.
You can list these tools in several ways. Some fall into more than one group. We like this simple method of grouping.
The first group is several analytical tools to enhance critical thinking. The Enneagram Personality Profile is the first tool of our blended learning process. This tool provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct.
The second group is the tools of logical reasoning. These tools help you to think logically and assess information using common sense. These tools are Logical reasoning, spotting logical fallacies, and logical axioms.
Next, a research tool we call Comparative Analysis. This is a process to help us explore and compare belief systems. This process is a scientific process form of comparative religious studies. Together these analytical tools give a solid foundation of common sense thinking. They sharpen your ability to discern facts from fiction.
Seated meditation is the heart of most spiritual practices. This includes a wide range of meditation techniques. It starts with Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation. It progresses to more advanced forms like Japa Meditation the Siddhis of Patanjali.
This is another foundational element that strengthens the mind-body connection. Moving meditation is another tool key to our health and wellness. This progression includes several methods of energy collection. Here we teach Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi. It also includes more contemporary processes for Grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Pathways for expanding awareness include a variety of tools. This group includes practical tools like a Spiritual Journal and Automatic Writing. Here we introduce Lucid Dreaming, the Shamanic Journey, or Guided Meditation. There are also techniques for Third-Eye Awakening and soul memory awareness.
Healing practices are the last group. This branch includes Pe Jeut, Reiki, and Shiatsu. Self-care is an important element of this group. It is vital for normalizing our inner work and maintaining our health and wellness.
Religion versus spiritual exploration is a battle between two very different paths.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia