Most men in society belong to one religion or another. These men keep faith in God, religious texts, scriptures and customs and practices of their religions. So most people are religious. However all religious men may not be spiritual.
Spiritualism is related to spirit or soul. Spirit/soul is the inner self or true self of an individual. True self is the true identity of a man. It is nothing but a source of life and consciousness., so spiritualism is related to the true identity of a man. A man who knows or tries to know his true identity is spiritual. He tries to realize God in himself. In many religions, it is said that God resides in the hearts of man or that the body is the temple of God. So in order to be spiritual, free and happy, one should understand and follow the points below.
- Come closer to life and consciousness. In the whole universe, there are two things or realities – one is conscious and other is matter. All living beings are conscious whereas objects which have no consciousness are dead matter. Where there is consciousness, there is life and life and consciousness are eternal and everlasting. On the other hand, material objects are destructible and momentary. So a spiritual man should try to come closer to life and consciousness and keep away from material objects and enjoyments.
- Give up dualism. Religious leaders who interpret religious texts mostly preach dualism; that is that God resides in heaven and the duty of a man is to follow all religious instructions, customs and practices so that after death, he may enter heaven and meet God or mingle with God. However if texts are interpreted correctly, one notices the true spiritual message in them. When Indian Upanishads describe Atman (soul) as Brahman (great) or the Holy Bible describes the body as the temple of God or heaven is within you, the messages are same. One should search for God inside and not outside. So a spiritual man should search for God inside and give up dualism.
- Freedom. Generally, people talk of political and social freedom. But these are only partial freedoms. Only spiritual freedom gives total freedom. So long as one searches for heaven and God outside, believes in stories from mythology, believes in the reality of material wealth, power and enjoyment, one is not free and remains in constant bondage. A spiritual man gives up dualists' views and searches for everything inside. He frees himself from all stories and all imaginations. He believes in what the Upanishads describe – soul and God are one and same. One who is free is spiritual and one who is spiritual enjoys freedom.
- Bliss. A spiritual man who has given up dualism and comes closer to his true self enjoys the bliss. In deep sleep, one sees nothing, hears nothing and remains in oneself and so enjoys the bliss. No worldly activity is as blissful as deep sleep. However, in deep sleep, one remains in an unconscious state. But when one comes close to true self consciously i.e. through meditation and total concentration of mind, one enjoys so much bliss that it cannot be described in words. So a spiritual man is free and enjoys the bliss. Freedom and bliss are one.