Agnostics are individuals who doubt the existence of God and typically don’t subscribe to organized religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Paganism. They differ from atheists who lack any belief in God(s) and actively oppose the idea of God and/or religion. If you’re new to agnosticism or you’re trying the better understand an agnostic friend, then you may be wondering whether or not agnostics can be spiritual.
Although not all agnostics are spiritual individuals, being an agnostic does not require one to be anti-spiritual. This means that agnostics can, in fact, be spiritual people. Agnostics may not exactly pray to a specific God, but many agnostics believe in energy and even the human soul. Some even spend a considerable amount of time in meditation, which is very similar to spiritual prayer.
In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing agnosticism and spirituality. Although these two topics aren’t often discussed hand-in-hand, there are many agnostics who do practice spiritual routines (or at least believe in their spiritual energy). As an avid student of religion and world beliefs, I figured that this would be the perfect time to discuss some of the primary differences between these two common schools of thought and how they relate.
Agnosticism And Spirituality
Before we begin, let’s look at textbook definitions for agnosticism and spirituality:
- Agnostic: A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
- Spirituality: The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
If you listen to most people who talk about “spirits” or “spirituality,” you’ll find that most of them subscribe to a form of religion. For example, Christians often speak of the spirit of God or use the term “spirit” to reference their eternal soul bound to Christ. Muslims, on the other hand, use a lot of similar references when talking about the Divine spirit of Allah or their own souls.
However, in the past decade, a new form of spirituality has arisen. As we begin to understand more about the world around us, many of us humans are beginning to question organized religion. The never-ending stream of money-grabbing, reality-TV-acting, mega-church “preachers” has been a huge contributor to this.
As more people have started to question religion, they’ve also started to question the idea of God or other deities that people have historically believed in. This has led to the rise in agnostic Christianity and agnostics who still practice spiritual rituals but who have let go of their rigid, strict ideas of God.
Do Agnostics Pray?
Although not all agnostics pray, there are quite a few who do. Some perform their prayers subconsciously or out of habit, not even realizing it until after they’ve already sent out their prayers. Others pray with intention as they find the practice stress-relieving and meaningful (after all, who doesn’t want to vent to the universe from time to time).
How Agnostics Pray
The main difference between the way that agnostics pray and the way that religious individuals pray is who they pray to. Most religious practitioners typically pray to the God that their religion worships or to a deity who they’re trying to please or ask a favor of. Religious people often use their time of prayer to reflect and repent of their sins and wrong-doings, while simultaneously asking for a blessing (monetary or spiritual).
Agnostics, on the other hand, aren’t quite as strict with their prayers. Many of them just use their time in prayer as a time to reflect on their inner self or send out some hopeful “vibes” to the universe. Some agnostics also pray in hopes of hearing from a God who they don’t necessarily believe in to give said deity the chance to prove their existence.
Here are a few of the most common ways that agnostics pray.
Pray To Their “Higher Self”
Many agnostics subscribe to the theory of quantum realities. The theory basically states that there is a multiverse in which every potential version of you exists, including a perfect version of you (commonly referred to as the “higher self”).
Many spiritual agnostics believe that by meditating or asking things of their higher self, they can become closer to the quantum reality where they are perfect. These meditations are very similar to traditional prayer, but they typically don’t reference God or a deity.
Pray To A Non-Specific God
As we mentioned, agnostics aren’t necessarily atheists. Many agnostics are still hopeful about the idea of God and wish that they could find better evidence to prove God’s existence. Sometimes they attend Church, Synagogues, Mass, or worship in a Mosque in an attempt to find faith.
Pray To The Universe
While agnostics may lack belief in a God or subscribe to religious ideas of the soul and the afterlife, many do believe in “energy.” Eastern philosophy often teaches that every human has a “life force energy” or “Chi” that is made up of electromagnetic potential energy.
The existence of this energy has been proven by science, and although researchers don’t make much of it, some agnostics use this as evidence of a “soul” and believe that it gives them a sense of purpose in the universe. Many of these agnostics may also believe in the idea of collective consciousness and may “pray” to the universe for good things to happen to them.
Do Agnostics Celebrate Religious Holidays?
Yes! Although some atheists are a bit reluctant to celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter, etc., most agnostics do still go through the motions. While they may not attach a lot of spiritual or religious value to the events, they still take joy in the holiday season’s social aspects such as gift-giving, seeing their families, and sharing their gratitude with others.