Una's Blog


Una’s little world 46. Spirituality

by Una Hearne.

Ooooh, big subject for a little blog! How brave am I? πŸ™‚ Onward…

I believe spirituality is an aspect of being human, along with being physical, mental and emotional creatures. For me spirituality is defined by the question most of us ask at some point ‘Why are we here?’. This question has never been answerable by human beings. Nobody knows for certain.

Religions / ideologies are attempts to answer the question and they all do it with a different story or explanation of the meaning of life. There are estimated to be 4,200 religions currently and in spite of the variety of beliefs there is no proof or disproof of any. Therefore we are free to believe what we like. If one of those religions makes sense to you and you find comfort, community and meaning in your life by belonging to it – that’s great, carry on. Just be wary of subscribing to any group which causes harm to you or others.

Great and glorious good has been done by organisations of people under in the name of all religions. Horrific and devastating evil has also been done in the name of all religions. The effect of any set of beliefs entirely depends on the actions of the people who subscribe to them.

All religions have some fundamental values in common – the idea that there is something greater that our human life; some form of prayer or meditation; and the idea that we should look after each other. You don’t have to belong to a religion to have these values at the core of your life or to know right from wrong. Your spiritual beliefs, philosophy of life and practices are entirely your own business. This includes atheism. Everyone is entitled to believe whatever they choose about the questions we cannot know the answer to. No one has the right to dictate or impose spiritual beliefs on anyone else.

Religious organisations have also been central in facilitating community, rituals and education. These are essential in human life. Again, we don’t need a religion to create community, to organise education or to mark significant events with rituals. It is perfectly possible to do this locally in whatever way works best for us. If you look at how different rituals are performed in different countries you can see how natural it is that we develop our culture and rituals locally. This allows for the diverse and rich expression of our humanity and spirituality. Grayson Perry’s series ‘Ritual’ showed beautifully how necessary ritual is and how beautiful and creative it can be.

It seems to me that our morality should be enshrined in human rights, law and government. How we express our spirituality belongs at personal and community level. What do you think?


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