Spirituality without Structure is another book in the “Pagan Portals” series published by Moon Books and is written by Nimue Brown, an OBOD-trained Druid who blogs over at Druid Life.
This little, but thoughtful, book discusses the personal quest of finding your own spiritual path rather than merely following the rules of a religion. While Nimue draws on her own experience of Druidry, the book is a guide for anyone seeking a more spiritual connection to life, whether they are Pagan, Christian, atheist or anything else.
I’ve always had the usual issues with organised religion myself, and tend to think that any system that puts a hierarchy of clergy or middle men (and it often is men) between the individual and the sacred has potential to become more about power than about any real spiritual growth. “Religion”, writes Nimue, ” is the means by which countless lives have been harnessed”. Spirituality, by contrast, is a “felt thing” that “gives a person a feeling of profound connection with something beyond themselves” and so is deeply personal and can only really be discovered for yourself.
In this vision of lived, felt, spirituality, belief in the existence or absence of gods is not the central focus. It’s natural that people should come to different theological conclusions based on their own different spiritual experiences. But lack of belief does not mean a lack of meaning or spiritual wonder. As Nimue says, “There is no call for belief in the quest for wonder, nor do you need to ascribe supernatural meaning to what happens. The most rational and non-believing person can still feel awe”.
OBOD’s Philip Car-Gomm writes in his review of this book, that it is “an encouragement to feel not only comfortable, but excited about not following a religion. It provides the stimulus for us to start building our own philosophy, our own sense of ethics, our own spiritual way”.
I would recommend Spirituality without Structure for anyone who maybe feels like there is something “more” to life, but doesn’t feel the need to fix that “something” to a particular religious label or set of beliefs. It’s a great pointer along the way for spiritual seekers who want to find and develop their own relationship with the Sacred, whatever that may be for you.