Peter Urs Bender   Previous Page  |  Next Page

Introduction to Gutfeeling
How to get the most out of this book

The reason I call this book Gutfeeling is because I have trouble with the
word spirituality. Whenever I hear the word spirit, it makes me want to pack
up and go. I would have left at an earlier stage of my life. The minute
anyone started to talk about "spirituality," or "spiritual values," I would
simply turn away saying, "That's not for me."
      That reaction seems strange to me now, but it's understandable. The
minute one talks spirituality most think they're talking "religion." There are
so many conflicting religions and religious beliefs floating around. The idea
of becoming involved with their bureaucracies seems like a giant waste of
      However, you can be spiritual, and not religious. The point I'd like to
make is this: Spirituality does not come from religion. Religion comes
from spirituality
. A major definition of religion says it is "an
institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices." The
emphasis is on the "institutionalizing process." You can be "religious" and
be "spiritual" at the same time.
      In fact, I believe it was religious practice that presented the aspect of
spirituality in a way that made me turn away from it. Institutionalized
spirituality tends to create a whole hierarchy of "beings" in order to explain
its beliefs. Spirituality, one aspect of that, was presented as, "What happens
when you die? Where does your spirit go?" Frankly, I believe when you die,
you die. The show is over. End of story. However, assuming there might be a
reincarnation-I will come back, no argument!
      If you're a believer and involved in an organized religion, and find
happiness through that, I think that's great for you. I might even envy you.
My book can still help you to get more in touch with your Gutfeeling. What
I'm outlining here has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with
increasing your knowledge of yourself and of your inner feelings.
      I don't worry about a final Judgement Day either. I am judged while I
live. By myself and those around me. After I'm gone, no one is going to
care. However, I do believe it's important to live a decent and ethical life. I

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