"Religion is for those who are afraid of hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there." - David Bowie.
One of my favorite quotes because it explains precisely how I feel. Life will always be subject to interpretation therefore everyone has a unique perception, and no two are the same. A person's viewpoint is comparable to their thumbprint. In respect it is a known fact that not even identical twins have matching thumbprints, nor do they have matching personalities, and perception.
With that being said, another question arises, "What is heaven and hell?" People compare sensations of bliss to being in heaven. People express emotions of discontent, and firmly believe they are living in hell. Most have gone through such experiences. It is normal to have these thoughts. The difference between a spiritual, and religious person is that a spiritual a person will strive to come up with their own solution to solve their problems. Spiritual people don't rely on a single doctrine to learn from. They are more likely to accept new ways of thinking and will take interest in cultures outside of their own establishing meaningful bonds because they are not trying to change anything about people. No, instead they accept everyone is different.
In my experience, religious people aren't as open minded, or accepting of viewpoints outside of their religious teachings, and that's okay. We all make decisions with our individual, and our families wellbeing in mind. I am not writing in opposition to religion. I am merely suggesting we adjust our focus. Our priorities as a civilization need a desperate update. Being able to identify that fact is the heart of spirituality. Essentially people can be both religious, and spiritual.
What is important is that we know our roles in each other's lives. Where we stand, and how we interact with one another are both important. Which brings me to the next topic, consciousness. What does it mean to be conscious? Being conscious is more than just being awake. Being conscious is awareness. Take our breath for example, our breath is vital to our wellbeing. Do we breathe consciously? Without a doubt we do so when the doctor says to. During meditation people breathe consciously as well. There are patterns, and rhythms to apply to our breath that have a specific effect on both our brain, and body. Acknowledging the effect our breath has on us is the focus of spirituality. Our breath is our first guide.
When we are born the first thing we do is breathe. That's when we establish our first bond, we feel the touch, and love of a person for the first time after we experience our first breath. When I started to think of my breath as a guide on my journey through life then I began opening doors that were not present before I thought that way. My breath changed everything about how I perceive reality. Along with our breath there are many aspects to spirituality, and there is no easy way to describe it. At the core of it, spirituality is the constant drive to seek truth.