Being Spiritual


I started life as any South African child did. I was born and raised in a strict Christian home. I had no say in the matter. When I became aware of my surroundings, things like reading from the Bible, praying before meals, praying before bed-time, believing in Jesus and going to church every Sunday were solidly part of my every day life. We were – of course – also brainwashed that other religions are wrong and that they all would go to hell. They were the enemy and they were wrong. We were the chosen ones and we were right. In that way, beautiful and innocent little minds were programmed from birth to have the “them and us” mentality.

Yes, it is unfathomable that people can do this to their innocent children.

In this way – even in this modern world – beautiful and innocent little minds gets destroyed and polluted from birth. Most will never be able to break free from the brainwashing and indoctrination. The aim is to instill good core values into children. The actual result is that people are being split into opposing groups and most will become incapable of clear, independent and logical thought.

The word abuse comes to mind.

I only realised later in life that we were already split into opposing groups at birth. This is where the “them and us” mentality comes in. Our parents, the school system, religious leaders and the government were responsible for programming us in this way. The same happened in every religious group in every country all over the world. Every religion taught their newborn children the very same thing. We are right … they are wrong.

See the problem in this picture?

All of them believed in one God and all of them professed that this one God was speaking through them. If that was true, then the bottom line was simply that the one God – whom all were praying to – was giving opposing messages to each religion … thereby consciously creating opposing groups. Is that not a fair conclusion to come to? That’s the logical conclusion, indeed. That doesn’t reflect well on God, does it? Now that’s a problem for me. Even within each religion, you will find multiple denominations, all with different views. In the absence of the “one God” who is supposedly speaking through all the religious leaders, the reality is that each religious leader creates their own following by preaching his own doctrine or variation of the parent doctrine. By doing this, there is no consensus. There is no “one God” leading mankind along the same path … nope, mankind has hijacked God’s name and created thousands of religions or different versions thereof. Why? Three reasons.

  1. There is no one God in control of all mankind.
  2. Religion was created by man.
  3. It is all about money and control. In short, it is a huge business.

One God, but so many different religions … and so many variations within each. If you step back and actually think about it, you will realize how utterly shameful and ridiculous this is. Humanity has taken something beautiful and made a mockery of it. They have made God’s name cheap and laughable. They have turned the God of Love into something ugly and superficial.

You see, what the above picture caused was for me to doubt God and his intentions. Religion was simply tainting his name. I did not like what I was discovering as time went by. I had to learn that God is God and that religion was man-made. The two could not be linked together logically. Religion and the behaviour of its followers simply tainted God’s name. It is common knowledge that the ugliest (not in a physical way), delusional, most judgemental and most incapable of clear and independent thought, are the religious minds. Just look at incidents making the news headlines all over the world on a regular basis….

The facts cannot be disputed.

Yes, all of these violent and murderous people are praying to the one and the same God and are finding their inspiration and justification in their religious texts. No one religion does not have blood on its hands. The problem is not only limited to certain religions. You can argue that religion has created monsters out of otherwise innocent and good people. This statement cannot be faulted. The facts are there for all to see. No well spoken argument can deny or erase the cold, hard facts.

I completely lost my appetite for religion and religious people. It seemed to me that the ugliest people you could find was the religious ones. I could not associate myself with their superficial and delusional existence. Simply put, they don’t know God. They are religious, yes … and they say all the right things (but mostly do the opposite), but they don’t know God. Their behaviour and character makes that clear.

You see, knowing God is to be simply beautiful at heart, kind, uncomplicated, tolerant, peaceful, harmonious, respectful and loving towards all life forms. God is not something ugly. God is something pure and beautiful. Most religious people do not know God, period. All they know is their programmed beliefs, forced upon them by others. Being religious means to be at the very bottom of your spiritual journey.

I needed to be guided by God. It held no appeal for me that a self chosen human being was trying to force his interpretations and beliefs onto vulnerable people. That’s effectively what is happening all over the world. There is no consensus. It became clear that people had hijacked God and turned his image into a less than flattering one for their own gain and to enhance their own agenda.

I wanted purity. I wanted a deep and real connection. Being led by another human being was never going to work for me. I anguished long and hard about this. I read up on all religions and sects. I have a library filled with books dealing with all religions. Each religion has beautiful teachings (amongst all the immoral and bloody stories) … and I have embraced those beautiful teachings from each.

As time went by, I became spiritual, not religious. What does that mean?

The first thing being spiritual means, is to not see the need to debate the matter and try to convince or convert people to my point of view. Only religious people will debate the matter and try to “win your soul” for their respective religion. A spiritual person will love you and live in harmony with you regardles of your beliefs. A spiritual person will respect your beliefs. A spiritual person will love you no matter what your sexual preference is. A spiritual person will just be and let be.

Just be kind.

Just be loving and pure.

Just be peaceful.

Just be compassionate.

Just be uncomplicated.

Spiritual simply means I live my life in a Godly fashion. No religious talk. I simply strive to lead a good and pure lifestyle every day of my life. Spiritual means action speaks louder than words. There are no paybacks. I lead a good life, because I have good core values. I don’t have to justify why I lead a good life. I simply do. That is who I am … a good person for no reason at all. There is no promise of a heaven for me. I can’t be bothered by such talk.

The idea that I must advertise my God and win souls for him, is simply too shallow for me. Think about it: if you have to advertise your God, he/she is really not as big and powerful as you may think. I would argue that such actions actually belittles your God. A powerful and visible God will need no advertisement, testimony or winning of souls. Ridiculous, isn’t it? I want something real and deep. You cannot get more real and deep, than just being a good person for no reason at all. That is being real. No pretence. No acting like I am a good person simply for the delusion of a passage to heaven.

Spiritual means to lead a Godly lifestyle.

Being spiritual is to love and care for every form of life. It means doing the right thing when nobody is watching. It means giving without the thought of ever receiving. It means to live in harmony with the earth and everything on it. It means to be dignified in your behaviour even in the most trying circumstances.

Being spiritual is to see your body as your temple and to only feed it with good and pure foods and drinks. It means living a healthy lifestyle. It means being fit and active. It means being disciplined and in control of yourself. It means to be an example for everyone in who you are … your behaviour … your appearance … your lifestyle. Being spiritual means to live it, not say it.

Being spiritual is for those able to live life on the next level. Being religious is entry level. Being spiritual is a high level of being. Some would call spiritual people names, like atheist. They mean it in a derogatory manner, but the fact is that atheists are more Godly in behavior than any religious person. All the atheists I know are beautiful, kind and peaceful people. All of them are very intellectual. To me, being called atheist is a compliment, even though I would rather describe myself as being spiritual, not religious.

Being spiritual is to not hide behind the convenient “God will forgive” me mentality while you consciously lead an unhealthy, immoral and shady lifestyle. Being spiritual is to own up to our mistakes and behaviour and to always strive to better ourselves. Being spiritual is not for the weak minded. It is for strong, disciplined people with true integrity. It is for people who actually live a Godly life, not for those just talking a good religious talk, but then actually doing the opposite.

Being spiritual is to be kind and respectful to the poorest person. Being spiritual is to rather take a different path or retreat, than to cause a bird to take flight where it is peacefully sitting on a branch. Being spiritual is to have a deep awareness and to live in harmony with everything and everyone.

Now that’s next level, isn’t it?

Being spiritual is to avoid making loud noises and disturbing the sounds of nature. Being spiritual is to respect every person and his or her beliefs and never to make derogatory comments about their beliefs. Being spiritual is to not be homofobic … to not see the colour of people’s skins … to do things unconditionally for others and keep it a secret … no ego driven public announcements.

Being spiritual is to live and let live.

Being spiritual is to see the character and soul of a person, rather than their skin colour.

Being spiritual is for enlightened beings, free of religious indoctrination. Being spiritual is real, raw and deep. It is pure living. A spiritual person will only ever kill an animal if truly hungry … and when he does, he will apologise to the animal and thank it for sacrifising it’s life to ensure your survival. Bloodthirsty recreational hunters are mostly religious. They enjoy hunting and killing … for recreational purposes only. A spiritual person can never kill an animal for enjoyment, period. In fact, killing an animal would be the absolute last resort and only out if necessity. Even then, the spiritual person would be emotionally distraught about the loss of animal life.

I can liken being spiritual to Buddhism. It really is much the same thing. The principles of Karma applies in both cases. A simple, uncomplicated and beautiful lifestyle is what we embrace. Buddhism goes in very deep … even deeper than most spiritual people will ever dwell. For that reason, being spiritual is less complicated and free of teachings and rituals. It really is just to be….

A spiritual person cannot cheat on his/her partner. We cannot lie. We cannot live a life that is anything, but with integrity. We cannot become involved in affairs. We cannot do anything that will cause harm, loss, hurt or emotional distress to anyone else. It is real and honest living. Real and honest being. We understand the art of harmonious living and being. Even throwing a rock into a dam and causing alarm to any life form in the water, will be hard to do for a spiritual person. We just want everyone and everything to be at peace. Why cause ripples where there is a smooth and peaceful reflection on the water? Maintain the beauty and the peace. Avoid causing ripples. This goes for every facet of our lives.

Yes indeed, being spiritual is to have awareness of everyone and everything and the state they find themselves in. A conscious awareness is central to our existence.

Spiritual people cannot hate or feel anger. They are dignified beings. To them, having a lot or having nothing is the same. There is no greed or desire to be part of the rat race.

Being spiritual is to lead a healthy, meaningful, constructive and harmonious life.

We live it. We don’t say it.

God = Universe.

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Published by Gerhard J. Loots

I am currently completing my Bachelor of Architectural Studies through Nelson Mandela University. I am the published author of Stuttering Joe - Part 1 (Growing up in Sunny Valley). I have also recently launched my blog, called Stuttering Joe, which is based on my true life experiences, personal growth and adventures.

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