Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not religious

Saying for the day: Philosophy is the love of wisdom: Christianity is the wisdom of love. ~Augustus

I’m not a religious person but I am spiritual.
I don’t know how many times I’ve read that statement or heard it.
It seems to be communicating something but is it really?
The problem is that there are four basic groups of people around us. They are:
1. People who belong to a Church, Synagogue, Mosque, or some kind of traditional group. They worship using forms provided by the group. Often they try to bring others into the group.
2. People who believe that any belief in God in this Scientific age makes no sense. They reject all traditional beliefs.,
3. People who believe in the tradition but reject the organized group from which it came. They worship the traditional God in their own way without the group.
4. People who believe there is a force behind the universe but not a traditional God. They believe they are in touch with that force.
Now the problem is that each of these groups use the term religion and spiritual in a different way. If you are talking to your own group the sentence “ I am not religious but I am spiritual” might make sense. It might communicate something. But to those not of your group it won’t.
For example a person in group one will find the statement to be confusing because for them spirituality is an extension of their religion. It is living what they believe. You can’t be spiritual and not be religious.
For the second group the statement is irrelevant since there is no God and no other power both religion and spirituality are meaningless.
For group three it means you believe in a traditional God but even though you have rejected the old organization ( ie. Religion) you still communicate with God and walk with God.
For group four it means you are in touch with nature and the force of nature.
So the statement does far more to confuse than to clarify.
It would be better if we dropped the statement all together and replaced it with what we mean by it.
So one could say :
“ I don’t believe in God but I am in tune with other human beings and their needs.”
“I don’t belong to any organized group but I believe and try to walk with the traditional God.”
“ I don’t believe in the old God or Gods but I believe that nature is alive and I am in communion with it.”
At least then we would understand each other.

News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal .Buddy East is waiting for the reports of the judges on the writing contest and the votes of the writers. They have until Sunday. Buddy says that you must never rush judging. They need time to savor the stories.
The Petrovichs finally named the babies. They are Kathryn Alexis Petrovich and Elizabeth Alexis Petrovich. Petrovich wanted to call one Alexis Alexis but his wife put her foot down and said no. So they compromised and he allowed her to pick the first name and he picked the second. She named them after an old friend Kathryn Elizabeth Fortress. Of course the names won’t be official until they get to Green Bay and have them baptized in the Russian orthodox Church. Pastor Joan, who is a friend of Mrs. Petrovich, offered to baptize them in Pigeon Falls. But Mrs. Petrovich pointed out that the child would get Communion for the first time right after baptism. That’s how it’s done in the Orthodox Church. The wine and bread are made into a kind of pabulum and served on a special spoon.
Tammy and the Tommy Club found thin tire marks and holes that looked like a pole had pushed into the ground in the area where the White Rabbit was last seen. They decided that this indicated some kind of mechanical device and probably shows the rabbit to be a hoax. Tommy UK disagreed, of course, he said those tracks were probably made by some kind of railroad equipment. Possibly the machine they use to clean the tracks of garbage.
But little by little Tommy UK stands alone against the Club. But then he has been there before and has always been proved right.

Today's Link-Tales of a "Roach"
It was a nice day. In the morning I helped Betty with her new computer. In the afternoon she and Bree dressed 52 year old Barbie Dolls that we hope to sell on E-Bay. I had a call from my sister in Ishpeming. She sent me a treasure chest of pictures which came today.I visited all my links which took a lot of time as there was lots to read. Now I need a breathing treatment.

If your hot here are some pictures from a winter in Crystal Falls.


    Blogger Janvangogh said...

    I must have missed that the Petrovich twins were both girls.

    3:59 AM  
    Blogger Janvangogh said...

    BTW, have always wonderdered how those Yoopers put up with all that snow.

    4:01 AM  
    Blogger Melli said...

    My eldest daughter is one of those non-religious "spiritual" persons! She has karma and is "in tune" with the universe! She doesn't really care where the universe came from. It just IS, that's all! *sigh*

    I didn't make it back to read the stories last night. I'm going to try this for this afternoon! I have nothing currently on the agenda AFTER VBS today! It's looking hopeful!

    Petrovich is one of those incredibly intelligent bloomin' nutcases, isn't he?! I used to work with a whooooooole slew of them!

    The Tommy club is sooooo wasting their time! They need to get back to trying to figure out where everyone WENT when they all disappeared!

    4:51 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    RELIGION n. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience

    SPIRITUAL n. of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature

    It seems to me that the problem is, the two words used to define the 4 differing types of belief, have very fluid definitions. The English language has one of the largest vocabularies of any language, making it a "precision tool", yet our most important and fundamental beliefs are explained using ethereal words. Interesting, yes?

    5:25 AM  
    Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

    Very perceptive observations on those who are not religious but spiritual. You perhaps forgot a fifth group that says it only because they are too lazy to think things through.

    8:24 AM  
    Blogger Dragonstar said...

    All that snow! How did you cope with it all? Looks very beautiful though.

    9:36 AM  
    Blogger Stacy said...

    Interesting post, Dr. J. I guess I used to fall into Catagory 1, but now I guess I'm #3. God gave us basic rules to live by, but I just can't imagine the rule-filled religions we have now being quite what he had in mind.

    11:21 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I am religious...I am the words of our creator... "I AM"

    peek a boo!

    12:45 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think I'm religious and spirtual..but those snow pics made me smile.

    9:19 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've heard that phrase used often myself and it can be misleading and often confusing.

    As for me, I don't know what my definition would be concerning my belief and devotion. I do know, I love the Lord with all my heart.

    No definition needed I suppose.

    7:47 PM  

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