Religious people follow received doctrine, often based on a holy text that is then interpreted for them by clerics and priests. They may never have seen a god face to face or heard the voice of a demon or experienced a miracle, and usually they don't ever expect to do so. But they believe -- or profess to believe -- what they have been told by religious authorities.
A spiritual person has direct experiences of a spiritual nature. He sees visions, hears voices and receives messages directly from the spirit world. His holy knowledge originates in his own mind, and he is more likely to find himself at odds with authority. That is why genuine visionaries are so often martyred.
Religious people by and large are non-limerent, Spiritual people experience limerence both as a personal unidirectional attachment and as a general flow of ideas. They do not study; they are inspired. They do not "work at a relationship"; they fall in love. They do not memorize doctrine -- they receive epiphany.
In Our Lady of Kaifeng, Marah Fallowfield is spiritual, though non-religious. Ted Sesame is religious, but decidedly un-spiritual. The conflict between their points of view can be seen most clearly in this scene:
People with common sense are rarely spiritual. Visionaries are usually low on common sense. Great religious movements are built on the hard work of plodding multitudes with common sense, but no vision. But without the visionaries, how would they ever get started? And once the people with common sense take over the faith, how can the vision be maintained?Sesame was cross. “Fine. Then here's your answer. Mr.Ch'en is a deranged dope fiend. If he thinks that we can build awhole airport for American planes to land just outside ourcamp, without the Japanese noticing, well, he's completelyinsane.”“And besides,” Gilkey said. “we have over fourteenhundred people here, most of whom are either elderly, womenor children. There is no way that we could make any sort ofexodus from this place without the majority getting killed ordying of exhaustion en route.”“In Exodus there were women and children and infantsand elderly people. And there were no airplanes or airports.And they got out okay,” Marah said. “They went on foot, andall they had to eat was some unleavened bread and gold thatthey stole from their neighbors. Which you would think wouldnot be any good for purposes of ordering food in the desert.”“Well, yeah, but they had manna dropping from heavenand Moses to part the red sea for them,” Sesame replied.“And we don't?” she asked. “We have a camp full ofsaints and martyrs, social workers and philosophers andclergymen, and nobody can perform miracles? Can't Eric Liddellpart the China Sea for us? And you, Mr. Gilkey, who are sogood at creating extra space just by redistributing rooms,couldn't you work a loaves-and-fishes miracle for us, too?”“This is real life, Marah, not the Bible,” Sesame said.“So you don't actually believe!” she cried. Here beforeher stood a professed Christian who said he believed in theliteral transubstaniation of matter in the Eucharist, and herewas she, the staunch atheist, and yet he had faith in nothing butcompromise when it came to practical reality, whereas shebelieved in miracles ...
Kipling had an apt verse on this head:
He that hath a GospelTo loose upon MankindThough he serve it utterly—Body, soul and mind—Though he go to CalvaryDaily for its gain—It is His DiscipleShall make his labour vain.--Rudyard Kipling
Beware of the false spiritualist, though. That would be the person who tells you that spirituality leads to a calming effect and will make you reconciled to the status quo. Such people are soap peddlers. No real spiritual leader ever had as his goal the perpetuation of the status quo. Visions don't work that way!
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