For me, I would respond with the question, "What does becoming Spiritual mean to you?"
For those who equate it to finding God, they would respond by telling you to go to the Temple, Church, Mosque or some other religious place of worship that is related to his or her own belief, and there is nothing wrong with that. For man has equated having a religion as finding God which is the world's most common and acceptable path of becoming a more spiritual person. For all believe that God is the perfect being to heal them from any weaknesses especially of the flesh and promise heavenly blessings. Therefore all religions teach good virtues with their own sets of commandments or rules which if followed will make a follower become a more spiritual person. This means that he lives a life that is different from the everyday norm of others who have less spiritual inclinations.
A second alternative is for people who do not believe in God but can also be able to live a spiritual life. This has created a diverse spectrum of the practice of atheism. For those who leave out God in the equation, becoming spiritual can also mean living a life that is different from the everyday norm. The everyday norm or what man is commonly preoccupied with is more about the ME that we are concerned about than the YOU. It leads to wanting more and more material things and pleasure. It seems to be carnal, sensual and often times plain selfish, reflecting the attributes of the natural man. A spiritual person can choose to bridle his own wants of materialism including carnal and sensual desires to achieve a more 'beyond life' or lofty purpose in life.
There appears two ways for one to become Spiritual. One is by way of finding God through organized religions and the other is by a self discipline or self help approach to overcome the natural weaknesses of Man. In the modern world, as the freedom and independence of Man becomes greater as well as his knowledge in terms of science and technology, there may be a trend for many to doubt existing organized religions and choose a self-help approach. This may not mean they reject the existence of God but may declare that they can find God in their own personal way. As in the case of my father, he never denied God but led a life which kept him free from the masses. He was a very private person with only few but genuine friends. In his later life, he went to a Chinese temple to learn 'Tai Chi' and practiced it very religiously but carried home no religious doctrines and had always left his family to choose their own religious beliefs.
Doubts in organized religions comes about when one is discouraged by the observation that there may be a difference between what the religion teaches and how the proclaimed follower behaves. This is not surprising as we can observe that many have attended an educational institution yet can come out acting like they are uneducated. Thus comes the saying ; 'They may have gone through education but didn't let education go through them! However do we discard the instituitions of education because of existence of such cases as we would discard organized religions because there are a few Judas Iscariots in the midst of the followers?
Further, successful individuals advocating self-help methods of attaining spirituality may grow to become very popular with large numbers of followers globally that they may be forced to become even more organized evolving to become classified as an organized religion through time. The underlying truth we should know before we begin to judge organized religions of the world is that there is a difference in the process of 'Learning' and 'Becoming' where the former may be done speedily while the latter requires much more time and experience.
With the above foundational understanding of the alternatives of becoming a Spiritual person, I will now advance to share my thoughts about the topic of Faith and Knowledge in the next post, the very basics that I had to go through before I could call myself a member of a Church that is classified as an organized religion.
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