Two things give birth to religion and spirituality: mystery and questions. We encounter the mystery of being alive, and we have questions. The questions indicate that we need answers, but perhaps the greater need is to learn to live with mystery. We can ask questions about the mysteries of life, and we may receive an answer, but for every answer, there is another mystery.
When religion was born, one of its roles was to makes sense of things, to make the mystery palatable. The world is so uncertain and seemingly chaotic that there had to be order, and when order was established in religion, dogma was created. The dogma revealed the way it is and was designed to bring comfort and equip us to live with the mystery.
This is the dream of religion, but like all dreams, there is a need to awaken.
We must learn to live in the balance of doubt and faith. Where this balance is achieved, we move beyond religion and begin to discover spirituality. To our left is doubt. It extends its hand to us, and we do not want to take it. To our right is faith, and we reach out to it, but faith refuses to take our hand. Why the refusal? Because only one who embraces doubt may grasp the hand of faith. Both enable us to live with mystery and where there is mystery, spirituality abounds.
Religion has its dogma, but it pays a price. It fails to acknowledge doubt because it is certain that it knows the way. And where there is no doubt, there can be no faith, but where doubt and faith are wed, a child is born—spirituality.