It's one of those "you learn something new every day" kind of things…it started with a question on Facebook, "Are you religious?". I answered "yes", because I was born and raised Catholic, even went to both a Catholic elementary school and a Catholic high school.
But then I read comments of the post, and people were saying that "no, they're spiritual but not religious". And this got me thinking…what would I be considered?
I looked up a few articles that explained a bit about the differences between the two. To quote www.huffingtonpost.com/ed-and-deb-shapiro/religion-and-spirituality_b_967951.html , "In the seeking of such meaning, religion and spirituality come together. Spirituality highlights qualities such as caring, kindness, compassion, tolerance, service and community, and, in its truest sense, so does religion. But where religion is defined by its tradition and teachings, spirituality is defined by what is real in our own experience, arising from an inner search within ourselves, the finding of our own truth."
Is it possible to be both religious and spiritual? I know that sounds incredibly stupid to ask but it almost seems like some definitions of the two are that they are mutually exclusive.
In any event, this is what I am – I was born and raised Catholic, and still go to mass (though not nearly as much as I used to due to my Mom's personal anger with God), but I study Buddhism and Zen teachings. I believe the Buddha existed, but do not worship him as a god. Instead, I see him as a teacher. In addition, I have begun exploring other religions not to condemn or forsake my own, but to learn from them with an open mind. I'd love to learn more about Hinduism since there are similarities to Buddhism. I know a little about Judaism and Islam but would be interested in learning more, maybe even trying to read the Torah and Quran. I am absolutely fascinated with Wiccans and Druids, and have come to find they are incredibly nice and humble people as I have met a few personally. I love learning about the Native Americans' views on God and spirit guides, and am always trying to learn from my totems.
What do you guys think? Does this make me 'spiritual', am I still 'religious' since I'm going to the same church I have been for 26 years? Or am I both?
Also if you happen to follow any of the religious/spiritual paths I mentioned above and have any good links, suggestions, or anything to help me learn more about them, I'd be honored to check out anything you have to offer. I know a good bit about Christianity since I was raised as a Catholic, but I'd love to learn more about Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Wicca, and Druidism.
Thanks guys, please feel free to discuss any of this below.