What the heck is Eclectic Spirituality?

When people learn that I’ve written a book, their first question is always, “What is it about?” I reply, “Eclectic Spirituality,” and they inevitably nod, smile and say, “Oh! That’s interesting,” as if they know what that is.

Of course, they don’t.

Not many people do. After all, Eclectic Spirituality has no founder, leaders, congregations or organization. It is a term that a small number of practitioners have come to use — organically and independently — to describe a their spiritual path.

Eclectic Spirituality isn’t a New Age religion, though any given practitioner may include New Age elements.

Eclectic Spirituality isn’t synonymous with “spiritual but not religious,” though any given practitioner’s version of the philosophy may fall neatly into that category.

I define Eclectic Spirituality as “A highly individualized spiritual belief system composed of selected elements drawn from various doctrines.” In plain English, this means that each practitioner has the liberty to “take what they like and leave the rest” from multiple religions or philosophies, creating their own unique “fusion” belief system, tailored specifically to meet their spiritual needs.

If designing your own spiritual belief system sounds simple, trust me when I tell you it’s not. It requires fearlessly examining your current belief system and being willing to discard what doesn’t work while adopting new spiritual concepts that may be totally alien to you. It may require researching new religions and philosophies and spending countless hours studying and practicing new forms of prayer and meditation. You may feel uncomfortable when you realize that, maybe for the first time, you don’t have a priest, preacher, rabbi or other religious leader telling you what to believe. You may feel like the very foundation has been pulled out from under you…until you realize that you are building a genuine, unshakable belief system that is uniquely yours.

And, if your spiritual journey does a 360 and takes you right back to where you started, that’s okay. You will know that you have done what very few people have the courage to do: examine why you believe what you believe and whether it’s the right path for you.

12 thoughts on “What the heck is Eclectic Spirituality?

  1. I’m sort of doing this. When I realized I didn’t resonate with Christianity any longer, I was wracked with guilt, and terrified for the fate of my eternal soul for years… until I remembered the parts of church that always felt ‘true’ to me… God is love… God has not given us a spirit of fear… Jesus said only those who become like children will enter heaven; beautiful, loving, curious, exploring, questioning CHILDREN… immeduately, I felt such peace, and EXCITEMENT… the Divine never intended me to blindly follow, that little addition was man’s contribution.

    Anyway… now I’m working on figuring out what I *do* believe.

    I like your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judie Sigdel

      That’s so beautiful, Amanda. How can we say that “God is love” and then say that He is going to send us to hell? Weeding through man’s additions… That’s the catch.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Judie,
    This is an interesting idea, but I wonder if it goes far enough. How easy is it to throw away the concept of a god or gods before you start cherry-picking what you want to believe, or decide that you believe? Would it not be better to take belief down to a blank slate, and then start all over again?
    I was brought up christian, but I never knew I had a choice! And when I found I had a choice, I was already so indoctrinated that I could not see that I was even able to throw away god. That would have been sacrilege. But nothing I chose made any sense to me, since it still revolved around god. I had not taken myself back far enough. When I finally realized that I did not have to believe in a god was when I finally became truly free. I wonder if in your workbook you suggest such a thing?
    Once I became an atheist I finally found my own form of spirituality that works for me. To look at it one might think I cherry-picked certain things, and maybe I did, but none of it made sense except as a whole. After I saw the whole the parts, like reincarnation, became more important. And then, when I looked at life, and saw it held everything in place, like glue, was I truly satisfied. Now I am home at last.

    Like

    1. Judie Sigdel

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing your story, rawgod! I am truly happy that you found a path that works for you. Knowing that people “have a choice” is the whole point of my book.

      Stripping down to a blank slate is certainly a valid way of approaching things. My path was different, and “cherry picking” made sense to me. Please keep in mind that this occurred over the course of decades and wasn’t taken lightly. The memoir portion of my book describes my experience in great detail.

      The workbook suggests that readers examine everything fearlessly. For some, that may mean throwing everything they believe out the window and starting with a blank slate. Others may be able to salvage portions of their existing faith. It’s all about doing what’s right for them. I ask questions, then I suggest how readers may move forward with what they discovered through their answers.

      The workbook does include questions that specifically address whether Diety (god/dess, other…) is necessary to the reader’s faith and, if so, what the nature of their Diety is today and what they need it to be (if they need it at all! Spirituality doesn’t need to include Diety) moving forward.

      I invite you to read my book and leave your honest feedback on Amazon.

      Like

      1. Is it available for free anywhere? I have a strong belief that if a thing, no matter what it is, is about spirituality, it cannot be charged for, but must be free to all. Money is a hindrance, and if it keeps anyone from spiritual knowledge, then it is worthless. This is my own belief, and do not expect anyone else to abide by it, but I will not purchase anything, or sell anything. If it isn’t free, I don’t look at it.

        Like

  3. Karen

    Since I was a kid until now people asked me what I believe or what religion I follow. And I always said ‘I have my own believe/religion. I take what is useful for me.’
    People laughed or got sortof uncomfortable, not to know what to answer. And only just now when I am sitting on my balcony this word came to me out of the blue. I searched for it (because English is not my mother tongue) if it was an existing word….and I smiled when I read it. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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