Thursday, August 9, 2012

SPIRITUAL FICTION - What Does Fiction Have To Do With Spirituality?

When I first began to read, I never considered what "genre" the books that I was reading fell into. Like most people, I initially chose topics that I was interested in and books that looked easy to read. As my reading progressed I was able to quickly pick up a book and determine within the first few pages whether it would appeal to me. This also allowed me to check out books that I probably wouldn't have otherwise.

It was quite a few years (decades, ALMOST!) until I really discovered that I was most interested in books that could help me grow spiritually, intellectually and inwardly. I realized that some of the books that I previously enjoyed could be classed as "spiritual fiction", and most of my favourite movies fell into this category as well. Books like "The Hobbit", "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy, "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" series, and "A Christmas Carol" I read more than once, prior to my focus on spiritual fiction.

My favourite movies are "Oh, God!", "Scrooge" with Alastair Sim, "It's A Wonderful Life" and "The Lord Of The Rings" movie trilogy. It probably isn't a coincidence that I also watch all the Christmas classics still - "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas", "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "The Little Drummer Boy". Probably my two favourite Christmas movies (which are getting hard to find on TV now) are "The Homecoming" based on "The Waltons", and "An American Christmas Carol" with Henry Winkler. Yes, "Fonzie" starred in a spiritual fiction classic, and if you get a chance it is well worth watching. "The Homecoming" isn't really spiritual fiction, however since I can't imagine living the way they did, it might as well be fiction for the majority of us today.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Celebrating Spiritual Freedom

Spiritual freedom is the energy of the heart. No matter where you live, the circumstances of your life or if you practice a religion or not, you have the freedom to tap into the energy of your heart. The energy of the heart is the Spirit that gives you life. Each one of us, all humans on this planet, can tap into the energy of their heart. As each individual taps into their heart's energy and allows this energy to guide their thoughts, words, and deeds, together we will evolve into One Heart and One Spirit. Learning and experiencing heart energy is vital to the evolution of our human race and the healing of the planet. Celebrating spiritual freedom is the first step.

The beliefs of a religion can appeal to our intellect and the spirit of the religion can appeal to our heart. Religion is what gives shape and form to a particular belief system. Religion provides Holy Books, teachings, rituals, and guidelines for followers to use. Following a religion can give a sense of security by having a system of beliefs while providing connection to a community. For some, it is a necessity to belong to a religion - having beliefs gives structure to their lives. And, there is a Spirit at the heart of every religion that frequently is forgotten and lost in the practice of the religion. You can be a member of a religious community and tap into the true Spirit of that religion, thus celebrating Spiritual freedom.

Some find it challenging to feel the spiritual essence of their religion so they abandon their religion in order to experience their heart energy. Those who say they are "Spiritual, not religious" typically are saying they believe in the Spirit of life without adhering to the structure of a religious belief. Spirituality has become a "buzz" word to mean that you're not religious. With the concept One Heart and One Spirit, it makes no difference whether you follow a specific religion. Remember, Oneness is one, without division. With or without a religion, you can tap into the energy of your heart. Bringing the head and the heart together in Oneness is dynamic. Once this is achieved, you can join the collective movement of conscious living.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Five Similarities Between Religion and Spirituality

When we were children we were asked, Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If we based our answer on the creation story in the Bible, we would answer, Chicken. But if we based our answer on our experience in raising chickens, our answer would be, Egg.

The same can be said of the answer to the question, Which came first, Religion or Spirituality?

In terms of our experience with religious books and discussions, religion came first. It is only now that more and more people are talking about spirituality and writing about it. In terms of the origin of the reality behind those words or in terms of the object of our understanding, spirituality came first. The spirit was there before there was any religion. God was there before there was anybody to worship him.

We can even say that spirituality is an offshoot of religion. For many centuries people professed religion. Some of them fiercely opposed religions other their own. Christians for many centuries opposed paganism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and any other religion. This has happened also with paganism, Islam, and the rest with respect to the other religions. They too opposed other religions.