Two Types of
Spirituality ... Faith and Knowledge
by: Edward B. Toupin
"spirituality" is a confusing term. Usually, when one mentions
"spirituality", the first thought in many people's minds is that of
"religion". While religion is an aspect of spirituality, spirituality
is not an aspect of religion. Spirituality covers other areas of belief as
well. Put simply, spirituality is the all-encompassing arena of "belief in
something greater." This can be a god, oneself as the greater being, or
simply, the life-force or essence that surrounds us all. But, society and
religion lead their followers in many different directions replacing the core
meanings with moralistic and idealistic terms in hopes of garnering attention
by answering those "big questions" pertaining to life, death, the
after-life, and a god.
--- Faith vs. Knowledge ---
While many religious zealots
view the idea of knowledge-based spirituality as "agnostic", indeed,
it is not. As a matter of fact, even agnosts believe in something, which
provides them an alternative stance to organized religion and gods. You have to
believe in something to take a stance!
Faith-based spirituality is the
belief and trust that things will be as they will be in the future. It is the
acceptance of the "great mysteries" of life and death for which
religion and society teaches that there are no "definitive answers."
Such an approach to spirituality creates a fear-based environment based on gods
who are vindictive and uncaring. Believers place their lives into the hands of
an unseen being in the hope that all will "work out for the best."
Knowledge-based spirituality is
the understanding and kinship of all and the desire to achieve and progress
through life toward one's own Vision and goals. The "great mysteries"
become topics of personal research and, with an open mind, answers can be
acquired from the environment and the Universe. This type of spirituality
invites one to set aside fears and examine the information and entities of the
surrounding environment. One has the chance to take life into one's own hands
and guide it along a path to one's own desires.
--- Hatred and Faith ---
One of the problems of today is
that, in our world, wars, hatred, and bias begin in the moral grounds
established by religion and society. Religion creates a solid separation
between different factions of humanity. These factions take the core ideals of
society and mutate them to suit the needs of their particular beliefs. In the
end, when societal boundaries are breached, and control languishes over the
ranks, uprisings and bitter conflicts begin to restore order. The stronger of
the factions wins and forces their beliefs on the weaker.
In faith-based factions, fear is
instilled and faith that a great hereafter exists. People fight to maintain
their beliefs because they've finally "forced" their conscious minds
to accept the unanswered questions based on invisible and unfounded guesses by
their "noblemen". The battles are fought to ensure that their
foundations and comfort zones are not affected by the infidels of the intruding
However, with knowledge-based
factions, fear is minimized and the great hereafter is right here and now and
continues on forever. Knowledge provides the mind with a greater degree of
processing information arriving at our many senses in many contexts. It allows
us to look beyond the basics and outside of the accepted "comfort
zones" to comprehend the ideas and ideals of other entities, both physical
--- Opening Your Mind ---
As part of our being, we all
have the need to believe in something greater than ourselves. There is a part
of us that "has to belong." Many people fall deeply into organized
religion because it provides the camaraderie and a focal point for their
community as well as a basis for the moral code of the community. These, in
addition to the faith-based answers to the "big questions", provide a
comfort zone and a foundation for many. However, by opening one's mind and
examining the many facets behind these "big questions", one can
develop and acquire the true answers within one's own context.
What is the key? Context-free
rationalization. Of course, "context-free" is a little strong as we
must all have a context, or a point of reference, that we can use to compare
information and apply our rules and belief systems. However, open experience
and vast knowledge can provide us with multiple contexts that we can use to
devise a wider view of a particular piece of information. This wider view is
what is called an "open mind". The open mind has no safety zone as it
is always risking it's "comfort zones" in search of new information
and new ways of examining situations and other beings.
--- What's next? ---
Acquiring this knowledge and
ability to move across many contexts is not a simple task as it requires the
ability to acquire, accept, and process information outside of our current
context. It is a "chicken or the egg" situation; however, it is a
decision that we make as humans to initiate such a move.
By opening our minds and
perceptions, we allow our conscious minds the ability to communicate more
freely with our subconscious minds. In doing so, the vast amounts of
information available in the collective unconscious, "The Grid",
"The Universal Library" is available to us, simply by
"looking." Consider the idea of opening the mind as a primer for what
follows once you are able to use your mind to its fullest capabilities and
acquire immeasurable knowledge from all entities across the Universe and
This is the true meaning of
spirituality. The knowledge and desire to exist with and within the Universal
essence. To accept and acquire knowledge that is freely available to you
through time and space. Finally, the knowledge to use this information in a way
that is beneficial to you, as protecting and projecting yourself, you are
providing a pathway for others and the betterment of your communities.
About The Author
Edward B. Toupin is an author,
publisher, life-strategy coach, counselor, Reiki Master, technical writer,
and PhD Candidate living in Las Vegas, NV. Among other things, he authors
books, articles, and screenplays on topics ranging from career success
through life organization and fulfillment. Check out some of his recent print
and electronic books as well as his articles covering various life-changing
topics! For more information, and to find out about his upcoming title on
book publishing, e-mail Edward at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his
site at http://www.toupin.com!
Copyright (c) 2004 Edward B.
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