In a follow up article to the one for agnostics and atheists, I offer a definition of spirituality that is based upon being open to enlarging one's perspective of self and life.
"My own personal Spiritual belief system is one form of spirituality. It is certainly not the only one. Mine works for me very well in helping me to have a relationship with life that allows me to be happier today. It is not necessary for you to accept my belief system in order for you to use the tools, techniques, and perspectives that I have developed for emotional healing / codependence recovery / inner child integration.
For the purposes of this discussion of spiritual integration, I would now define what I refer to as a Spiritual Awakening in the quote above, as: being open to a larger perspective - awakening from being trapped in a limiting perspective. In this regard, spiritual would be a qualifier, an adjective, that describes the quality of one's relationship with life.
This adjective, spiritual, would be (in my definition) a word describing an expanded level of consciousness. A level of consciousness, of awareness, that is expansive and inclusive and facilitates personal growth - as opposed to limited, exclusive, rigid, and inhibiting growth, development, and alternative view points.
By this definition, any religion that claims to be the chosen one, that excludes alternative perspectives or certain people, is not spiritual."
- The Recovery Process for inner child healing - spiritual integration
This particular column has grown out of the fact that this past Sunday was Easter. Easter, like other "Christian" Holidays, is a celebration that was designed to replace the pagan holidays of the people the early Christians were trying to convert.
"Christmas, like almost every other Christian Holiday, is a celebration that was usurped from Pagan religions that preceded Christianity. The early Christians obviously included some people who were very good at marketing, because they made Christianity more palatable to the people they were trying to convert by stealing Pagan celebrations and making them Christian Holidays.
This early pragmatism of Christianity laid the foundation for Christianity to become the state religion of Rome. That state religion then became very dogmatic in using Christianity to conquer, subdue, and control the masses."
- Joy2MeU Update December 2004
Easter is scheduled in the same time period as the Spring Equinox. Spring is the time of new beginnings - of new growth, of rebirth, of resurrection. Easter is about resurrection and the Truth of eternal life.
When I began my quest to understand how it was possible that there could be a Higher Power, a God-Force, that was Loving - one of the first limiting perspectives I needed to enlarge was my perspective of life and death.
As the quote from my book above states, death is a transition. The Soul / Spirit leaves the physical body at death - but the Soul does not die. The energy that is the Soul existed prior to birth and continues after death. The Soul has eternal life in my belief.