In a blog post concerning the new ‘fad’ of calling oneself “spiritual, but not religious”, Derek Beres had this to say:

‘Spiritual, Not Religious’ is an attempt at defining oneself as someone who cannot be defined, a ridiculous paradox. Everyone has private thoughts and engages in at least some level of self-reflection. Each of us understands the world in our own way, which is probably wildly different than a number of people we pass on the street.

Now, I am definitely neither religious nor spiritual. But the idea that we are all definable, that we all fit into neat little boxes, is one of the things that turns me off most about religion and the religious. As Beres points out earlier in his post, religious leaders and institutions tend not to change as society does. This leads to a state of absolutism, both moral and otherwise. But in my experience everyone in reality is a relativist. As an example, Jesus said to turn our cheeks, and the bible explicitly prohibits killing, but every Christian I know believes it is acceptable to kill or hurt someone if your life is in danger. Relativism.

Precisely as Beres says, we all have individual thoughts. I would say we are all, to a greater and lesser extent, relativistic. None of us should submit ourselves to being defined so easily, because we are more complex than that. As situations change, as we learn more and experience more, we become more and more complex and our “definitions” change. I find being spiritual a tad ridiculous, but the idea of being undefinable squares well with reality.