Much disagreement in spiritual and religious matters (as well as many
others!) is caused by misunderstanding the terminology used. We would
like to offer the following definitions courtesy of the Collins English
Religion: 1. belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural
power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny.
2. any formal or institutionalised expression of such belief.
Spiritual: 1. relating to the spirit or soul and not to physical
nature or matter; intangible. 2. of, relating to, or characteristic of
sacred things, the Church, religion, etc.
Spirituality: 1. the state or quality of being dedicated to God,
religion, or spiritual things or values, especially as contrasted with
material or temporal ones.
Supernatural: 1. of or relating to things that cannot be explained
according to natural laws. 2. characteristic of or caused by or as if
by a god; miraculous. 3. of, involving, or ascribed to occult beings.
Divine: 1. of, relating to, or characterising God or a deity.
Mysticism: 1. belief in or experience of a reality surpassing
normal human understanding or experience, especially a reality perceived
as essential to the nature of life. 2. a system of contemplative prayer
and spirituality aimed at achieving direct intuitive experience of the
Occult: 1. of, or characteristic of magical, mystical, or supernatural
arts, phenomena, or influences. 2. beyond ordinary human understanding.
3. secret or esoteric.
Esoteric: 1. restricted to or intended for an enlightened or initiated
minority, especially because of abstruseness (i.e. not easy to understand)
Enlighten: 1. to give information or understanding to; instruct;
edify. 2. to give spiritual or religious revelation to.
Enlightenment: 1. the act or means of enlightening or the state
of being enlightened. 2. (Buddhism) the awakening to ultimate truth by
which man is freed from the endless cycle of personal reincarnations to
which all men are otherwise subject. 3. (Hinduism) a state of transcendent
divine experience regarded as a goal of all religion.
Finally, for the definition of magic, we should look at the definition
endorsed by writers such as Dion Fortune and W.E.Butler: Magic
is the art of causing changes in consciousness at will.
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