Krishnamurti introduced Americans to an eclectic fusion of occultism consisting of "Vedanta teachings of the divinity of the self" infused with Western psychologies of self-reliance. Both Krishnamurti and Suzuki provided SBNRs with the understanding that the essence of spirituality is comprised in the immediate, temporal and highly mystical experiences of human reality that paradoxically transcend the triviality of everyday existence.
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The meaning of the term "spirit" is more narrow in English than that of other languages, referring to all of the uniquely human capacities and cultural functions.
However, religion is a highly contested term with scholars such as Russell Mc Cutcheon arguing that the term "religion" is used as a way to name a "seemingly distinct domain of diverse items of human activity and production".
Abrahamic religions have been viewed as negative institutions because they propagate a certain way of believing.
Abrahamic traditions emphasize that one’s best bet is to look outside to a higher power that can guide and correct one's corporeal misjudgements.
The field of Religious Studies cannot even agree on one definition.
Critical theory in Religious Studies encourages a focus on the political nature of any attempt to determine what the "real" boundaries of religion are.Scholar Robert Wuthnow argues that spirituality is the shorthand term used in Western society to talk about a person's relationship with God.The concept of religion is a social construct, since in other eras, religion, culture, and even national identity were often inseparable.To be "spiritual," in contrast, connotes personal practice and personal empowerment having to do with the deepest motivations of life.As a result, in cultures that are deeply suspicious of institutional structures and that place a high value on individual freedom and autonomy, spirituality has come to have largely positive connotations, while religion has been viewed more negatively.Conversely, only 8% of religiously unaffiliated individuals are 65 and older.