Spiritual But Not Religious – Book Review
In his book, Spiritual But Not Religious, Robert Fuller provides fascinating answers to the questions of spirituality as opposed to religion.
Currently 40% of all Americans have no connection with organized religion. However, the majority of these people live profoundly spiritual lives. What is the value of spirituality? Is it a recent phenomenon, a new fad that will soon fade, or a long-standing and essential practice of human experience?
Fuller’s research reveal that spiritual practices have a long and rich history in America, starting in the colonial period, when church membership rarely exceeded 17% and interest in astrology, numerology, magic and witchcraft was high.
Fuller traces spiritual traditions into the mid-nineteenth century, when Americans responded enthusiastically to philosophies such as Swedenborgianism, Transcendentalism, and mesmerism, including meditation, channeling, divination and a host of other spiritual practices.
Fuller emphasizes that people who practice spirituality are far from the unstable and narcissistic dilettantes they are made out to be. People who practice spirituality embrace a mature and dynamic set of basic beliefs. They focus on an inner source of strength, courage and wisdom. They believe in the accessibility of God and in the mind’s untapped powers. They practice a fundamental unity between science and spirituality and an equality between genders and races. They are more willing to examine their beliefs and change them when they prove untenable.
Spirituality emphasizes focusing on one’s inner life. The four key components are:
- Time for quiet and solitude
- Practicing gratefulness
- Cultivating a specific spiritual practice or discipline
- Grounding spiritual practice in the support of a community
- Bringing reflection and heightened awareness to everything
These undertakings provide a poignant change of perspective and antidote to fear, stress and worry. Many people combine several practices, such as: Buddhism, Hinduism, the Tao, Mysticism.
- Buddhism is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha, meaning “the awakened one.”
- Hinduism is the predominant spiritual practice of Indiaand Nepal. Hinduism includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Śrauta among numerous other traditions. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of “daily morality” based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs.
- Taoism, the object of spiritual practice is to ‘become one with the tao’ (Tao Te Ching) or to harmonize one’s will with Nature (cf. Stoicism) in order to achieve ‘effortless action’ (Wu wei). This involves meditative and moral practices. Important in this respect is the Taoist concept of De (virtue).In all its uses, Tao is considered to have ineffable qualities that prevent it from being defined or expressed in words. It can, however, be known or experienced, and its principles (which can be discerned by observing Nature) can be followed or practiced.
- Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism follows practices intended to nurture these experiences. Mysticism may be dualistic, maintaining a distinction between the self and the divine, or may be non-dualistic.
In this diverse, seemingly unorganized group of open-minded seekers the trend to approach spirituality in a reasonable, rational and pragmatic manner is the fastest-growing group in America—Spiritual, but not religious. ###
Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Metaphysician – Certified Hypnosis and Regression Practitioner, Author and Speaker. Dr. Dorothy facilitates clearing blocks, fears and limiting beliefs as well as restoring your Mind, Body and Spirit back to vibrant health. You can live the life you desire. She facilitates Past Life Regression, Life Between Lives and Future Life Progression. She is featured in the documentary The Business of DisEase. She was a World Regression Congress faculty member in the Netherlands, India, Braziland Turkey. https://drdorothy.net http://facebook.com/DrDorothyNed http://empowernetwork.com/drdorothy