Americans Growing More Spiritual, Less Religious

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Recent polls reveal an increasing number of Americans who consider themselves Â?spiritual but not religiousÂ? Â?- but is it possible to worship without priests, imams, or rabbis? The new book God Without Religion shows how itÂ?s not only feasible but far more advantageous, and offers a groundbreaking bridge between organized religion and personal spirituality.

Judging by recent events like the Supreme Court’s split decision on public religious displays and the prominence of evangelicals of all denominations in politics and the media, it seems that Americans are becoming increasingly devout. Yet appearances can be misleading. Despite the mushrooming concern about politicized religion, recent polls show a growing number of Americans seeking a connection to God free of religious doctrine.

Christian evangelicals, for example, amount to less than 10 percent of the American population, according to the Barna Group, a Christian polling and research organization. Further, a January 2002 USA Today/Gallup poll found that evangelicals are far outnumbered by the 33 percent of Americans describing themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” Other studies also conclude that Americans are distancing themselves from organized religion, ready for a more individualized approach to spirituality uncircumscribed by outdated dogma. “The rise in personal spirituality is the major religion story of our time,” observes D. Patrick Miller in the July 2005 Fearless Bulletin.

But where’s a spiritual seeker to turn, if not to a church, mosque, or temple? An answer—and many new questions—lie in the book God Without Religion: Questioning Centuries of Accepted Truths by Sankara Saranam. Saranam, an ascetic, mystic, and scholar, proposes a path directly to God without intermediaries—a way to an increasingly expansive spirituality through the science of intuition, or looking within. Saranam’s investigation of spirituality originates in the mystical traditions that form the basis of many of the world’s major religions. Mystics throughout the ages have employed the science of intuition to arrive at a universal understanding of life, unshackled by the need for answers from religious authorities.

To help spiritual investigators achieve a universal spirituality, Saranam teaches many of these centuries-old techniques for developing a firsthand knowledge of God through an expansive identity. In addition to inward exploration, he suggests replacing the community experience offered by denominational settings with group discussions questioning the nature of God. “It’s possible to enhance your spiritual well-being simply by being curious,” Saranam explains. “Unquestioningly accepting inherited beliefs about God promotes a narrow view of yourself and the world. To expand your perspective, worship by wondering. The more questions you ask, the more profound the answers will be, leading to deeper questions. Constantly challenging your conclusions and refining your knowledge of God promotes deep spiritual growth that takes into account the growth of all of life.”


Hillary Welles

The Pranayama Institute


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