Some people believe that to be religious means to be spiritual and vice versa. They might go to church regularly, and have a great knowledge and understanding of scriptures, and believe this is what it means to be spiritual. They may even treat people badly or even live like the devil, but because they go to church and know scriptures they believe they are spiritual. Information gleaned from near-death accounts show that spirituality is very different from being religious. Perhaps the best way to distinguish religion and spirituality is to say that religion is the outward formula for guiding people inward to the spiritual force of love and compassion for others. In fact, religion and spirituality are so different, you probably know somebody who is so religious they’re not very spiritual.
The Spirituality of the NDE
The following information is a summary of the insights concerning spirituality gleaned from the near-death accounts on this website:
According to near-death accounts, the reason for our very existence is to attain spiritual growth. We are more of a spiritual being than we are a physical being. We assume a body of flesh out of a desire for spiritual growth, to complete a mission for God, to qualify for higher spirit realms, to test our spiritual ideas we had before we were born to see if we actually possess these ideals, to obtain a level of self-realization, to re-discover higher knowledge in physical ways, to be more of a companion of God, to find the kingdom of heaven within, to achieve our goal of evolving into the higher spirit beings we once were, but with individuality, to make God stronger by spreading love which is God, to bring light in a world of darkness, but more importantly, to play, love, laugh, and live for the sole purpose of it because this is the way to holiness.
Love is God and loving others and everything is all that really matters. Everything else, our achievements and material wealth, is totally irrelevant. The important thing is to love people, nature, animals, and everything in creation. Whether people realize it or not, love is what we seek and need to sustain us. Although love is too immense and profound to be fully known in one lifetime, without love we are nothing. To love everyone as ourselves, we must love ourselves else our love for others is false. It is impossible to be really happy if we only have love for ourselves. Until we give attention to others, we will not be able to grow spiritually. Our choice is between the spirit of God (self-love, love for others) and the spirit of self (selfishness, love only for self). By conquering self, we can change and grow easily, and know ourselves to be ourselves, yet one with the Whole. When we do unto others, the same will be done unto us.
All paths eventually lead back to God – love. Love is the hard lesson we are here to learn more about and apply ourselves. While in a physical body, the kingdom of God is located within. Part of our mission is to manifest the kingdom into the world. Our goal is to attain a human-divine unity. As spirit beings, our core is perfect love – a spark of divinity. When our human nature fully recognizes the divinity within, self-divine-realization is the result. Part of this realization is that everyone is connected together through divine love – God. What one person does, affects everyone else. We are all of one spirit and to change the world we only need to change ourselves. One simple act of unselfish love affects everyone else. A simple smile has the power to alter the course of human history. The good we do for others will eventually come back to us. The important things is that we are to help each other rise to a higher level of love. Life is about people, not pursuits. It is about loving people, not things. To know love is not enough. It must be expressed. Whatever we become in life is meaningless unless it is done for the benefit of others. The ideal is to love others completely, unconditionally, more even than we love ourselves. It is the little things that count: a small act out of unconditional love.
Religious dogma means nothing on the other side. True religion is to love others as ourselves. It is what’s inside that counts. Love, not religious dogma, creates spiritual growth. What is important is what comes from the heart, not what one professes with their lips. Love in action is what lasts. The more we live in love, the closer we are to God. The way to heaven is through the practice of love. Love is the law of the universe and holds the universe together. The Golden Rule is the governing principle in the spirit world. Our state in the spirit realm is determined by our level of spiritual maturity. This is often attained through hardships that challenge us and help us grow and stay compassionate. Before we can really feel joy, we must know sorrow. This world is the tough course that helps create within us the tough love of God. Life is a cycle of improvements that ultimately leads to perfection.
Once we leave the physical world, we will step into the spirituality we have cultivated within ourselves. We then will view reality from an inward perspective instead of an outward one. Heaven and hell are not locations but are spiritual states of being. We grow to heaven. We don’t go to heaven. The spiritual state of being we attained on earth is the spiritual state we take with us. We are all at various degrees of light which corresponds to various levels representing different stages of spiritual growth. The central factor determining our level of spiritual growth is the degree to which we have lived for the sake of others. Our ability to accept truth, to live by it, governs our progress in the spirit, and it determines the degree of light we possess. The higher our spiritual maturity, the brighter the light will shine from our spirit.
The chief purpose for returning to the physical world is for instruction that leads to the advancement of our souls in spiritual maturity. We are given all the opportunities it takes, as many lifetimes as it takes, to achieve it. Then, like the prodigal son, we return to our true home. Once we have learned the lessons needed in the physical world, we do not need to return.
I have always believed that “zindagi me bahut sare relations se better hai ki relations me bahut saari zindagi ho”, and that all are lovely souls connected together by awesome energies of the universe…..
I was happily surprised after reading this aritcle to find so many people think like I do 🙂 I am glad and thankful to lovely God that He made me think like this….. each sentence….