This post may not be particularly coherent or organised. It is now 1:00 am and Mr Wang does want to switch off his computer soon and hop into bed. However, he also wants to continue from exactly where he left off in the preceding post. Which means that Mr Wang will now proceed to yak about spirituality.
Firstly, let me say something very obvious. Being spiritual is not the same as being religious. Being religious is not the same as being spiritual. The two are very different things. If you cannot instantly see that for yourself, I'm not going to explain it to you. Leave now, go evolve, and in your next life, try reading Mr Wang's blog again.
Oh. You're still here. Okay, you passed the basic test. Read on.
Since you agree that being spiritual and being religious are two different things, let us examine the implications:
1. You can be religious AND spiritual.
2. You can be religious but not spiritual.
3. You can be neither religious nor spiritual.
And finally -
4. You can be spiritual and NOT religious.
Today Mr Wang is going to walk you through Point 4. It has two levels of meaning.
Level 1 is obvious. Imagine for example a Catholic who never bothers to go to church; does use condoms; thinks that the Pope is not to be trusted; believes that homosexuality is just an amoral genetic disposition; and never bothered with the rosary. In other words, this Catholic is not religious. Despite all this, however, he carries on a constant inner dialogue with his God, prays a lot in private to Jesus, and has a very heightened awareness of His presence in his everyday life, and in fact believes completely that God is his source of strength. So he is spiritual.
The second level of meaning is less obvious. Imagine for example a person who is spiritual, but does not believe in any religion at all. Imagine for example a spiritual atheist.
Am I bending your mind yet? Hang on tight.
For the sake of discussion, let's make three assumptions:
1. God exists.
2. God is omnipotent.
3. God is omnipresent.
If God is omnipresent, this means He is present everywhere. If he is present everywhere, he must be present in all our lives. If he is present in all our lives, then he is present in the lives of believers AND non-believers.
It cannot be otherwise. For example, suppose God is present in a believer's life. This believer shares his life with a non-believer (for example, they are married). If God is present in the believer's life, then he must be present in the non-believer's life. If God is present in the believer's house, then He must be present in the non-believer's house.
It's the same house after all.
And after all, God is everywhere.
Now, if God is everywhere, the question is whether you can sense Him. For the sake of further discussion, let's adopt a simple working definition of "being spiritual". Let's say that being spiritual means you can sense the presence of God. And the more spiritual you are, the more easily you can sense the presence of God.
The thing is this - Mr Wang doesn't see any reason to believe that only believers can sense God, while non-believers are disqualified.
Let me explain. Firstly, be aware that we have moved out of the realm of intellectual constructs or formal beliefs, into the experiential realm.
For example, suppose that Tan knows what a sitar is, and Lim does not. Then suppose a sitar is playing softly somewhere in the background. Tan hears it and Lim hears it. Tan knows what it is, and Lim does not. BUT this does not mean that Lim did not hear it; he did hear it too.
In fact, if Tan's ears are not sharp, and Lim's ears are, it could well the case that Tan is the one who hears nothing, while Lim hears quite distinctly the sound of a sitar (even though he does not know what it is).
In the same way, a non-believer may well sense the presence of God, but simply not name it as such. In fact, the non-believer may well sense God's presence frequently, and easily, far more than many other believers, and he may even reach the stage of even being able to communicate and interact directly with the presence of God - without knowing that this is God, or believing in such a notion.
In other words, he would be a highly spiritual atheist.
Did Mr Wang just bend your mind? That's all for tonight.
Sleep tight, and good karma to you.