For many people, spirituality is a way to become part of a community. You find acceptance and validation with people who believe what you believe. Sharing a path with someone can be the foundation for a very deep bond.
There are a great many people who walk their spiritual path alone by choice. I’ve largely been such a person for most of my life. Even when I was part of larger, mainstream religions I chose not to participate in a lot of unnecessary gatherings or activities. I needed personally relevant experiences, and for me those tend not to happen in groups.
Certainly now I can’t say that I know anyone whose beliefs mirror my own very closely.
Still, as I’ve contemplated the question of who out there believes what I believe, I’ve realized something possibly profound. My spiritual beliefs, as I’ve talked about some on this blog, link strongly to my social activism. And so, if I look at it from that perspective, I know many, many people who believe what I believe. I stand at protests with them and organize with them. Though our beliefs about the existence of a deity or what it means to be spiritual may differ, our beliefs about the value of humanity are the same. And though I may elect to search alone for answers about what lies beyond and beneath our mundane existence, the type of personally relevant and transformative experiences I have in gatherings with this larger community are equally important to my spiritual self.
Perhaps we all do ourselves a disservice by seeking spiritual community only in spiritual settings. Perhaps the communities we will benefit from the most are found when we put our spiritual beliefs into practice for a greater good.