Sunday, August 14, 2011

Faith vs. Spiritual...

Tonight, my friend Diana had tonight's blog title as her facebook status.

To me, Faith tends to be more specific (a particular god, a particular doctrine) while spirituality does not.

She asked me which I considered to be more 'right', and my response was that there are a lot of faith based people who also happen to be very spiritual. But that there are also a lot of spiritual people who don't follow any particular faith. (I tend to class myself amongst these.) In my opinion, as long as they don't impinge on the lives of others (meaning neither condemning others for not doing as they do, nor being overzealous in their desire to 'convert' anyone to their ways, nor actually threatening/taking the lives of those who won't), then they're all 'right'. It gives people a greater sense beyond mere mortal existence, a way to connect to other people and the universe at large, and typically results in more compassionate, more respectful people.

Facebook can be a hotbed for religious contentions. Particularly when you do NOT have the same religious views or faith. Another friend of mine had a status update that said, "To all of the Pagans, Athiest and Hypocrites that cause Turmoil for, place obstacles before and Test the Faith of the Followers of Christ... Thank You for your willing participation in God's Plan... Oh and you be sure to have a Blessed Day!"

They were expressing their pride in their faith.

It seemed to me that the line between proud and out to confront was particularly thin. Thankfully, they clarified that they weren't saying that one religion is better than another-- that when you look at the core of most religions, you will find God or a translated version of-- the name doesn't really matter. And -that- is something that I completely agree with.

My entire adult life, I have felt that God and religions are like a wine glass half filled with wine, in the middle of a room on a glass pedestal. And all of the people who have their beliefs are in this room, looking at it.

I blame this, in part, on being an artist. It's called a still life. Everyone is technically looking at the same thing-- but if you walk around and have them describe it, draw it, paint it or make any other attempt to render it so that another can see what they do-- you'll discover that it's not identical. Just as an example, someone sitting on the floor looking up sees through a lot more pedestal than the tallest person in the room looking directly down at the mouth of the glass.

But because they ARE looking at the same thing, there are going to be some of the same basic tenants and principles. And in religions and spirituality, a lot of those focus on treating other people with compassion and respect. And accepting that there even is a glass of wine in the middle of the room.

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