Spirituality is having a connection with God/Universe/Higher Power outside of any traditional religious structures. Deists are people who are willing to examine the religious beliefs of their parents, teachers, and religious leaders and then only accept those beliefs which make sense to them. Some of the best-known deists through-out history are Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, Marcus Aurelius, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson. Because deists do not conform to their society’s religion, they have often been painted as irreligious atheists and sometimes jailed or even executed (like Socrates).
The deist spirituality of the Greek and the Roman sages dominated Western culture from Socrates’ time (about 450 BCE) to the rise of Christianity (about 300 CE). This spirituality was suppressed by Christian persecution, but it was revived in the seventeenth century by thinkers dissatisfied with Christianity. The seventeenth and eighteenth-century deists rejected all organized creeds of the Christian establishment. They rejected all ceremonies, rituals, and sacrifices as having no inherent spiritual power. Instead, they emphasized each person needed to have inward purity of the heart and mind, and not just perform mere external actions. They emphasized keeping lower passions and desires in check so that one could be focused on following God’s will. They often prayed to get closer to God, and some believed God sent them messages and signs.
Deist spirituality is significantly different from the spirituality that most people are currently familiar with. It does not emphasize achieving Oneness like Buddhism and Hinduism; it does not emphasize feelings, imagination, creating reality or achieving your own goals. Instead, it emphasizes having a connection with God/Universe/Higher Power, and never on being One with God or satisfying only your own desires. Instead of a personal experience of Oneness with God, it emphasizes being the fingers of God by doing the Universe’s work in this world now. It emphasizes the necessity of thinking critically because to be spiritual requires examination of our selfish desires and foolish ways of thinking.
Anyone can participate in this exciting, challenging, incredibly joyful and even magical way of living.
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