Some millennials and adults are choosing to leave the churches they grew up in due to various reasons, like not liking the system, the introduction of new knowledge, confused about the existence of God, and more. According to the Pew study, nearly 23% of America’s adult population call themselves “nones,” or no faith affiliation. It is saddening that these people have chosen to leave their place of worship that first introduced to them the idea of God and wander to the unknown looking for something they don’t exactly know.
“However prevalent the superficial motives for being an atheist, there still remain in many instances the deep and disturbing psychological sources as well,” writes Paul C. Vitz, PhD.
One day, I overheard my parents talking about Alex, a friend who was an active member of our church choir. He spoke to his parents one day telling them that he will no longer come to church and did not want to get affiliated with any religion, but Alex assured his parents that he still considers himself a spiritual person. He still believes that there is someone out there who is more significant than himself, it’s just that he has lost faith in the system that runs the church. His parents are worried and so are mine because of this thing happening to many young people in our community.
What exactly is this spirituality that they are talking about? Is it possible to be spiritual and maintain spirituality without the guidance of the church?
Concept Of Spirituality
Seeing how happy and well Alex has been even without coming to church made me think, “What’s there to worry? He is still the same old Alex who continues to make people around him happy and how he goes out of his way to be of help to our neighbors and friends.” But one distinct change in him that I noticed was the glow on his face and that look of being so alive.
Is that spark brought about by the spirituality he is practicing now? Is it much better than what our church preaches?
I started to become curious about him being spiritual, and so I began to search for it. I want to know how different it is from being the kind of spirituality that the Bible teaches.
Spirituality to those who practice it is a boundless experience (or it could be too much freedom) for humans, which they then discover while they are searching for life’s meaning. They claim to have an awakening, a sense, an idea that they developed a connection to something greater and more powerful than they are. Is it God?
“Unlike any other dimension of life, religion and spirituality have a unique focus on the domain of the sacred — transcendence, ultimate truth, finitude and deep connectedness. Any psychology that overlooks these parts of life remains incomplete,” says Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD.
Misconception About Spirituality
There are many things I don’t quite understand, and I seemed more confused with everything that I have read.
To find the answers to all my curiosity, I tried talking to a spiritual counselor and at the same time confirmed what he was saying with our pastoral counselor. They both readily explained to me and answered my queries.
- Do spiritual people believe in God? It is the most common misconception that often comes to mind. The truth is they believe in God, but not the sadistic and vengeful God who looks over us and is responsible for the destruction that is happening to us. They do not believe in the God that is described in some religious textbooks.
In the mindset of spiritual people, God is a term which they use interchangeably with consciousness, reality, existence, and nature. It is a term they use with what connects them to everything, all things and self-awareness. They believe that God is not above us, or outside of us, but it is us.
- Do spiritual people denounce science? They believe and embrace science. They think that science is relevant, objective, an independent analysis of the classical and quantum world, and that it is a powerful helper in one’s spiritual journey.
- Do people who are considering themselves as spiritual belief in the paranormal, the knowledge of the unseen, or the occult?
They are not occult but do believe that we are all co-creating our experiences, specifically our thoughts, choices, and actions; and we are all part of that consciousness that is creating a world of religions, traditions, and all other things that are in our minds.
To them, paranormal happenings, telepathic experiences, out of body experiences, near-death experiences, and other unexplained hyper-natural experiences are due to the interconnectedness between the internal and external realms.
There are many misconceptions about becoming spiritual. So they do believe that there is a God. They are not atheists or pagans or those praying in the spiritual world (in a different context).
Swim To Your Sea Of Awakening And Know Your Reason For Living
I now understand what that glow is in Alex’s face. He had found that thing he has been looking for in becoming more spiritual. He experienced the awakening, which we all are in search of, that feeling of connection and purpose in life.
I was searching for that also, and it is the very thing that drives me to continue on my studying the Bible, for even the Bible teaches about spirituality, and how we can take hold of it. Spirituality is in us all along, for it is a gift from God, the God that is not vengeful but a God who loves us, and who made us in His image. It is written well in the Bible about how to awaken that spirituality in us and make it active in our lives so it could help us see our reason for living.
With continuous counseling and practice of meditation, I, too, am happy to say that I have awakened that sleeping spiritual person in me without giving up my being a Christian. It has helped me so much experience awareness, not only as a person who comes to church but a person who feels empathy, shows compassion not just for those people around me but to everything, even to nature, everything that God has created. Spiritual awakening is something that is hard to describe by words, but I call it my sea of awakening for it gives me the feeling of calmness with a clear mind, precisely like the serenity I feel once I breathe the fresh sea breeze. No matter how troubled I am, the sea has its magic of calming me down.
“Just being sensitive to a possible role of religion in a client’s life can broaden your evaluation and provide different solutions,” he explains. “Being able to help a person connect with the variable of spirituality in their lives can be a beneficial and important therapeutic accommodation,” says William Hathaway, PhD.
We may have our different approaches and ways on how to find that connectivity, the purpose, meaning, or whatever term you want to call it, but what’s important is that you know you are in the right path and that there is one God that is guiding you through the awakening.
There is nothing wrong with joining whatever religion or finding it yourself, connecting with nature, or with the guidance of some counselors. What’s important is for you to eventually come to experience that quantum leap and uncover the treasure, that thing you’ve been searching all your life.