Spirituality vs Religion

By: Nina Bergstedt

“Refuse to inherit dysfunction. Learn new ways of living instead of repeating what you live through.” -Thema Davis

First, I would like to say that, while I may make many references to religious beliefs, this is not intended to be a bashing of or debate of religion; however, some things must be highlighted in order to innerstand self, as religion plays a major role in what we believe and is a key player in our oppression. In order to heal and grow, we must innerstand why we believe what we do and the role each belief plays in our makeup and daily activities.

If a person asked you why you believe what you do, where your morals come from, how you became to be the functioning being that you are, you would trace all origins to the person or people that raised you. Science has proven that who we will become is created in our first seven years of life. “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man” (this quote’s origin is disputed). In the first seven years of life, the brain is in a theta state, also the state in which hypnosis occurs. This is why everything we learn becomes our life long programing.

The majority of us were raised with some type of religious upbringing. Taking Christianity for example, since it is the most practiced religion worldwide, the Baptist believer, who is overcome with emotions every church service, shouting, dancing, the pastor who preaches loudly and very animated, versus the Catholic believer, who sits quietly, repeating scriptures and mantras, some say, mourning their faith. Are not both sets of believers worshiping the same god, teaching from the same book? Are the scriptures of what a believer should be, not the same? Then why does one celebrate their faith and the other mourn it. The simple answer is, each followed what they were taught. During my phase of Christianity, I don’t recall the Bible ever stating that in order to get to heaven or be a faithful believer that it required either rituals listed above. Yet in still, both parties believe their religious ceremonies are the right one and God’s will for them.

For those that practice religion though, if I were to ask you how you know what you know about your religion, what would you say? Would you honestly be able to say that someone introduced you to the belief but you researched the information and its origins on your own; meaning that you solidly believe what you do because you studied for yourself? Or if you were to be completely honest, say that you know what you know and partake in the ceremonies you do because it’s what you were taught; mom or grandma took you to church every Sunday and made you partake, so it’s just what you know. Would you be honest enough to say that you don’t study beyond what the pastor instructs you to or what another person teaches in Bible studies about their interpretation?

Our society has become so desensitized and pays little attention to ALL words a person uses; we typically extract what we want from a conversation and throw away the rest. With that being said, how many sermons or teachings of the Bible have you heard but skipped over the pastor saying “I believe” or “It’s my interpretation that”. Did you fact check his or her interpretation? I believe the Bible says that God is not a God of confusion, yet so many feel the need to give interpretations of his word. I have personally heard one scripture interpreted 100 different ways, each fitting what that person was going through and/or the point they were trying to make. Why do we not question that? Why do we not fact check? Most people will die for their religion but yet the majority has never studied beyond what another person told them, so we stand on beliefs and morals we subconsciously know is questionable.

For those that don’t partake in religious activities, often state they are “spiritual”, but what does that mean? The stereotypes we associate with this term is the Buddhist (still a religion) or the “tree hugging” nature lover, that spends their time outdoors, meditating, and has a house full of crystals and cymatic/fractal images.

After doing my own research and innererstanding the purpose and history of religion, I freed myself and began self-identifying as “spiritual”; proclaiming to believe in “Universal Consciousness”. As I learned about the power of crystals and cymatic/fractal images, I found my house was transforming to the stereotype noted above. I began in depth research of Universal Consciousness, listening to all the well-known “gurus” and it all began to make sense; all the disconnects in religion, those dots were being connected. I hopped right in to all the classes, seminars, and social platforms these “gurus” had to offer but quickly I began to feel the same way I did within religion and couldn’t figure out why.

Since I was a child I’ve always had a “gift” or uniqueness that allowed me to read energy and see things spiritually (this is why I struggled so many years with religion); it’s a uniqueness I struggled to innerstand because I knew what I felt and saw but people always made me feel I was crazy or tried to convince me it’s not what I saw or felt, usually to hide information or intention. For the record, I put quotations around the word gift because it is an ability we all possess but many have not tapped in to. But now embracing and innerstanding my abilities, and having a marketing background, I began to truly pay attention to the information being conveyed, the words people spoke, actions/practices of these “conscious” tribes/communities.

What I found is, the majority of those that claim to be conscious, are no different than the religious folks. Many use their “consciousness” or “cosmic understanding” to manipulate others for profit or personal gain. They teach that we are disconnected from the Earth/nature, only to sell you steps on how to reconnect.

Reality is, being disconnected is a conscious thought and decision to believe you are disconnected. You don’t need to meditate on the top of a mountain, on one foot, while holding crystals, to be connected to a universe you were created in/from. Saying “namaste” or chanting mantras does not make you spiritual, these are nothing more than religious practices that people teach.

So, without going to much deeper, as we’ll deep dive in to many of the topics named above at a later time, spirituality vs religion, what’s the difference? The short answer is, there is none, spirituality is a reconstructed version of religion, that may only offer a little less oppression and guilt but still holds a person in a prism aka prison of one’s reality. What I’ve learned is that ALL is self. To innerstand who we are, where we come from, universal make up, etc, one must go inside; unlearn everything you’ve learned and tap in to your own energetic make up. All the answers we need are within, they just have to be extracted!

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