Religiosity vs. Spirituality RECAP

Everyone has a different perception of religion and spirituality. AWiB kick-started Saturday sessions with “Religiosity vs. Spirituality” on the morning of Saturday, September 5, 2020. Ambanesh Kebede, the facilitator, started the RTD by welcoming members back to AWiB and gave a short introduction about the topic.

Religion is believing in something Godly. There are decisions when it comes to religion because of the disagreements regarding how to conduct the religion. This is why there are different types of religions all over the world. But when you look at the core values, they all have similar intentions: to be good and do right. Some people want religion, since we are social creates, to have a sense of belonging. We want to be together and grow. Even though religions have similar values, the ways different people perceive them vary. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as it isn’t taken to the extreme. Highly devoted followers will do whatever the priest/leader says. These leaders may or may not have good intentions.

You can be spiritual when you are religious but often not the other way around. With spirituality, you are connecting with yourself, not with a higher being/creator. With religion, there are basic guidelines to follow. Spirituality requires you listen to your inner voice for answers. It is part of someone’s nature. Its energy can be found everywhere. We can feel energy from plants, the air, our surroundings and the like. Spirituality is following our soul’s desire. We should be humble and have pure intentions. When we focus and work on ourselves, we will be able to find our true calling. Just like religious groups, spiritual groups that promote connecting to ourselves are also available.

Religiosity and spirituality are similar in a way that both should promote morality. However, we need to be careful not to follow blindly, be it religious or spiritual groups. We should investigate and see if these groups are in fact here to serve with pure intentions. We are at a time where people are starting to ask questions. In previous times, people follow leaders without question. People couldn’t even ask because it was seen as being disrespectful. Thankfully, that is a thing of the past. We can’t be ignorant anymore. We need to ask questions about everything and it begins with ourselves. We have to question our morals, values, perception and the like. This is how we transform into a better version of ourselves. When we do this, the people around us will see our change and would want that for themselves.

There are greedy people all around us who only care about money no matter the cost. But the problem isn’t money; it’s how we use it. When you do something for another person or give a gift, what’s your intention? Do you really want to? Or is it because this person did something for you? As humans, we’re beyond this world. We are responsible for our own growth—no one else. We’re like seeds. You throw a seed on concrete and it dies. You throw it on soil and it grows into something big. We have to go somewhere we can grow and flourish.

In conclusion, Ambanesh told the attendees to continue this discussion outside of AWiB. We first start with ourselves, then with the people in our circle. Sharing our knowledge is important. We can never know who might appreciate it. People might have questions of their own but not know who to ask. Open the floor for them. Keep following your soul. Don’t only talk about the bad or good parts of religion. Talk about all sides. Let’s create an impact on our environment, even if it’s just in our own homes.

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