Spirituality is the recognition that we are more than physical substance and mental process. It is the awareness that there is purpose to human existence, that there is more to us than our biological structure, that there is an innate desire to transcend our ordinary consciousness. Spirituality is more than inherited doctrines and dogmas, although they can be an integral component in spiritual formation.

While religion is corporate and communal, spirituality is more of a personal expression. Religion (from the Latin religio, “to tie back”or “to reconnect”) tends to be systematic and structured. In our postmodern culture, many persons claim to be “spiritual, but not religious,” meaning that they want to be free to explore their transcendent nature and the implications for daily living without being bound to organizations and codified systems of beliefs.

I believe that one can be both spiritual and religious and that these terms often overlap in their meanings and connotations. Throughout our lives we may follow different spiritual paths or explore various expressions in the search for that which resonates with our own inner needs and yearnings. Some may be comfortable with the inherited structures of the past while others are restless travelers on a journey that needs no destination.

In this section I explore some paths with which I have become familiar and which have had some meaning in my own pilgrimage of faith. They are not as divergent as they may appear, for so often these paths merge and follow the same course for a while before branching off again in other directions. But in the end they may arrive at the same place and  it may be where we have started—in the mind and heart of God.


Creating the Architecture of a Spiritual Path