“Not Religious, but Spiritual” Means What Exactly?

I recently wrote about spiritual enlightenment in a discussion (AALBC.com ) centered on Beyoncé’s Grammy performance.
It seems as if everyone has an opinion on her costume but little knowledge to go with it.

Well, maybe if you’re from West Africa, you knew immediately which Goddess she was emulating. Mostly everyone else who is not an artist, creative, or studies religions; not so much.

So while the rest of the world was chatting about Bey, sending her and Oshun all this glorious energy (me included), the conversation turned to spirituality.

When pushed to think about spirituality and then define it, well, that was the moment that gave us pause.

So, I conceded that maybe spiritual enlightenment is a misnomer.  It’s more like spiritual re-enlightening.

Spirituality, for me, is simply remembering the ancient energy that animates all things, also resides in me. If I had to describe this energy, it would be THE ONE eternal flame that lights all the candles on a birthday cake.

I honor that flame in all living things.

Since I’m fascinated with the etymology of words, I believe the spirit is exactly how it’s defined: spiritus, which means breath.

The Latin word “inspirare,” from which we get the word to inspire, means “to breathe life or blow into.”

So, I like to believe that the spirit is that ancient energy that’s not created or destroyed. It just changes its form, and it is that breath that animates our bodies with what many call the soul.

When our bodies are worn out or destroyed, the energy that is “us” continues on.

The spirit is that thing that’s omniscient and has a small voice but speaks with temerity and speaks first in all matters of our daily life.

There it is, my definition of spirituality, spirit, and the soul for today. It could change tomorrow.

Are you Religious, spiritual or both? How do you define either term?