The Spiritual But Not Religious Journey

by Oct 10, 2021Rev Karla's Blog

The Holy meets you right where you are

I recently spent time going through questions from followers — thousands of them from this past year. Some people share their stories. Some people simply want to be seen and loved. But many of them are about being spiritual but not religious.

For so many years, those two words — religious and spiritual — have been used synonymously. The blurred lines between religion and spirituality were intentionally manufactured by organized religion to control the masses. By harnessing their beliefs they could convince them that the only way to the Holy was through church doors.

Let’s pause here to say this — and it’s not meant to insult religion — it’s merely a fact. Your affiliation with or affection for religion should not be mitigated by that fact. Accepting the flaws in our collective history reveals our spiritual maturity. Rejecting those flaws is concerning. Organized religion and their religious cohorts would make great strides in healing some of the wounds caused by their dark history if they only admitted to it instead of watering it down and dismissing it as “the past, and we just need to move on.”

That said, religion intentionally hijacked pagan and communal traditions, supplanting them with religious holidays, such as Easter, All Souls Day and Christmas. This forced the suspension of the people’s traditions and amplified the importance of the newly established church traditions…

and they were called sacred.

Sacred then became associated with religion-sanctioned events that left no room for anything else.

The truth however, is that sacredness, holiness, and spirituality belong to all of Creation, not just to the religious. That is the truth that I and millions like me, are now realizing as we reject the construct of organized religion to explore the unknown paths of the spiritual wilderness.

The data shows that more people now consider themselves spiritual but not religious, intentionally making that proclamation to stand in our truth. There’s sacred wisdom and deep holiness here. Embracing the spiritual but not religious path expands us in indescribable and undefinable ways.

This path isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be lonely and unsettling when the road map you’ve been relying on is no longer there. This paradox can be overwhelming, sending some back to church where they silence their internal longing and “fake it in the pews,” which is a phrase used by those who say it’s easier to fake it than risk being ousted from the only spiritual community they’ve ever known.

It’s understandable. It’s lonely out here.

But when you trust the call and begin to untangle from the indoctrination that no longer serves your highest spiritual self, what arrives cannot be contained inside the walls of a church.

It was never intended to be.

Beloved, if you hear that call, know that it’s real. The spiritual but not religious path is waiting to welcome you with open, loving, and affirming arms.

Only you can discern your spiritual journey. Those who encourage you to remain entrenched in religion may have selfish reasons to do so — after all, the institution must keep people in the pews to ensure perpetuity.

Spend time in quiet contemplation, listening for cues that will feed your soul and enrich your life — not to what others have to say. Spirituality suffered when it became weaponized and harnessed to control us this way.

May the mystery of the spiritual wilderness entice, enrich and bless you — and remind you who you truly are.

Blessed be.