Spiritual, But Not Religious

More than one fifth of Americans describe themselves with this phrase. What does it mean?


07/27/2012 10:12:01 AM

Very interesting points - still looking for answers though. Have a look at www.thesourcefoundation.com what they say has a ring of validity to me.


03/18/2012 04:41:27 PM

whoops like a idiot - can't type my own URL! http://dispirited.org is the one!


03/18/2012 04:40:00 PM

The 'not religious, but spiritual' response to formal religion leads to, in my view, three major problems: 1: It ushers in an inclusivist approach to truth, whereby all 'spiritual' truths claims are grounded in non-testable self-authentication. It sees, like some form of monistic mysticism, all religious truth as true. This seems to me to do violence to the very notion of what truth is.. 2: It divorces belief from community and ethics. The inner turn is away from the worldly - and often cedes the world of material concerns to those without ethical concerns. Non-rooted spirituality, despite its fetish for asserting authenticity via ancient wisdom, is too short on ethical challenge and injunction.. 3: It allows us to perpetuate beliefs in life-after-death without judgement -it distracts us from mortality without substantial existential engagement forced on us by atheism - or by the best of religious traditions themselves: it is neither, and lets us off..But the lurking anxiety and dread of death is never dealt with... These (and see http://dispirirted.org for more..) are part of why I have such a problem with "non-religious spirituality"...


01/03/2012 01:13:10 AM

We don't need a long harangue about the historical use of the word "spiritual." When people say they're "spiritual but not religious," they're saying they have values and standards; they just don't need a religion to inspire or guide them in that direction. In some ways, telling someone you're "spiritual but not religious" is a way of saying you're a nice person. You have manners. You live your life by some code of conduct. Your pursuit, however, looks to sources other than religion for direction on how to live your life.


11/11/2011 03:08:53 AM

I've read with interest Mr. Fuller and reader comments. I find Mr. Fuller's description very adequate for myself. And spirituallity is like backpacking Europe and getting in touch with like minded people and the earth on which we live in an open/unstructured and interactive way. Religion is something totaly different. Religion is a different form of Politic. Religion is like a guided tour ... let's all wear our name badges so others know what group you are in. Today we should wear shorts and ... that's just too corporate boring. Please turn to page 99 of your Hymnal. This in affect is being led. This is not seeking truth. Religion is about identifying what party you are in and not about getting in touch with the spirit. Religion is about laws ... like how we act, what is moral behavior, how to become a model citizen. How we should worship a single God; What day should we worship; how we should worship, how much we should tithe. Religion is the Politic that controls our governments; the separation of Church and State is a most popular fable. It is all based on popular belief, and is vigorously supported by those who seek power and domination. Spirituality provides wings to transcend life. It lifts your inner being and it provides solid grounding to guide your life. Spirituality is your personal view of how this mysterious world works between life and death. And yes my seeking the spirit has stemmed from mystic experiences that my physical science can not explain. Spirituality has nothing to do with Religion, Politics, or Economics. Thank you for being open to comment. We all have a voice and ears between this life and what lies beyond. PS. In your drop-down Religious Belief, you have listed Pagan. This word has been so slaughtered sacrificially by Chistianity as to have become synonymous with heathan and a host of other slurrs of non-Christians. We use the word in a different context today, than it's original meaning. To the Roman Empire it meant 'country dweller' and did not conote the slurr that it does today.


05/16/2011 03:31:33 AM

Sanatan Dharma is the oldest culture in the world, and there was a time when it was spread throughout the world. People can find swastika in every culture like the American Indians, Greece, troy, Italy, Russia and many other countries have this symbol. Look at the 108 symbols of god in Sanatan Dharma and their origin. Things will become very clear about the origin of humanity in this world. It is time to free ourselves from the lies and deception spread throughout the world about our culture. Dont forget, even today in Sanskrit and Hindi the words for Divorce and any other abusive words do not exist.


07/13/2010 11:37:11 PM

In my experience, spirituality is like traveling to Europe as a backpacker, with the very few things you'll need right there with you, with no detailed itinerary, only your sense of adventure and the desire to enjoy your journey by discovering the little secrets in every place you get to visit. Most of the time you do this by yourself or with your mate, and eventually along the way you will find other backpackers and share a drink or two, but the next day everybody takes on their own trip again. You will most likely spend a lot of time with yourself, definitely get lost once or twice, but you will feel a total ownership of your ride. Reliogiosity is like traveling to Europe in an excusion, with pre-arranged stops and visits to major attractions. There is a need to comply with the "travel agency" schedule, and get-together ocassions. The people in these excusions thrust the knowledge of the travel agency about the places they will visit, and enjoy the ride following the instructions and feeling safe that they will not miss anything important. The travel agency gets a lot of power from the individuals, because they transmit the image of Europe that the excursionist will ultimately perceive, for good or bad. You will usually go into these excursions as groups, and tend to spend a lot of time together as a group. Each approach has its advantages, and for the people back at home, they both look a lot like the same thing: "you left for a trip to Europe", although both approaches are totally different in nature.


07/16/2009 10:45:13 AM

Mr Fuller's commentary and research is interesting and does an apt job of deluding the uninformed reader into following his train of thought. In fact he does a great job of supporting the popular religious conception that religious people are stronger and have purposeful life while others are lost and searching. Bravo in your false argument. It will be quite believable to the uneducated. I agree that while spirituality and religious might have meant the same thing long ago. Today they do not. While, Mr. Fullers depiction of self study versus group/organizational study I find quite accurate. He is missing one key element. Today, spirituality is also interchangeable with morality. Actually, a strength of morality that is found in the best and most moral of religious believers. A sense of morality that many spiritual but not religious individuals find hypocritical in today's religious followers. Secondly, I think he is confusing locus of control with search for meaning. Individuals with high self confidence and locus of control may be looking for truth, but this does not mean that they are lost and searching for a connection to a higher power. I actually laughed out loud reading the whole divorced, meditation and crystals bit and find it so stereotypical of a churchgoers mentality. Very sheltered, egocentric and limiting in scope. You will actually find many factual truths in what Mr Fuller has said but they are also twisted and biased to support a religious/tribal belief system. A more accurate depiction would be a frequency analysis of spiritual but not religious individuals. You will find what Mr. Fuller purports as a cultist mentality to be very similar in nature to stating that all religious people are Branch Davidians. Very biased and untrue. I would be the first to say that a scientific search for truth does not equate to a search for a higher power. They are distinct and separate schools of thought. That is unless you are religious and try to bias the facts to support a legacy belief system. A very small portion of spiritual but not religious individuals actually follow alternative spiritual practices in a search for a higher power. Again, spirituality is equal to morality today, If you read this, please don't think you are better or more righteous that others who don't hold your same belief system. People who are different have always been persecuted by the church. Don't allow yourself to subscribe to this shallow mentality. Open your eyes to a higher moral plane and you will find that the search for a higher power is right in front of you. It has been all along. Religion is the easy path toward cultural stagnation. So replace your concept that we are searching for a higher power with the concept that we are searching for ultimate morality. Now you have an accurate depiction of what spiritual but not religious people are really all about. The betterment of self, society and mankind.


05/03/2009 09:56:47 AM

spiritual is not synonymous to religious. First off, more than 80 percent of those that belong to a particular religion have not ventured out to know anything besides what they have been taught. Spirituality is freeing the mind and soul from bondage. Everyone says they want to be free, but religion is the number one form of oppression. people belong to religions and they have no idea why; they have been raised in it and have no basis or no ground knowledge of how the religion even started. Religion oppressess people, spirituality sets the mind free and allows for qualitative analysis beyond force fed human rules.


04/21/2009 07:40:41 PM

I'd say they should look into Open Source Religion.


01/17/2009 06:07:29 PM

Seems to me that most people that claim to be SNR use it as an excuse to do almost nothing that's not self-centered. I learned spirituality in a 12-step program. The elements of practicing it are personal growth, service (which includes prayer and meditation) and fellowship with other seekers. This is, of course, exactly what the Bible teaches along with all major religions. The church or other religious organizations' role is to provide the resources to practice these principles. They, for example, provide Bible studies, small groups and mission trips or urban aid type outings. Unfortunately, because of man's nature, these organizations are commonly corrupted. Even so, they are very beneficial in the long run. It's easy to criticise a church. Yet they frequently provide help to the poor, prisoners or disaster areas. Hard to argue with that. Olen Batchelor


11/03/2008 04:39:47 PM

Religion and spirituality are NOT the same thing. Spirituality denotes a belief in consciousness--that we are sentient beings. Religion comes from the Latin "religare" which means to "bind back." Bind back to what? To whichever God from which we have been "loosed." What kind of God? That lies in the belief of the religious one.