As someone who reads about various schools of spirituality on a regular basis, I have come upon many different viewpoints as a result. One that I have found that is particularly prevalent in online communities based out of the United States is that the West is much more spiritually devoid than the rest of the world.
People tend to think that Middle Eastern and Asiatic peoples have a spiritual background that has not only more depth but also more meaning than those living in the West have. While this may be true for certain individuals, it is not necessarily true across the board.
Where Does This Belief Come From?
Let me preface this by saying that is mere speculation based on hours of research on online forums and speaking with people who hold this belief. It appears that people who hold the belief that the West is devoid of any spiritual roots believe this because of the rise of capitalism and what seems like an obsession with making money. While there are those in the West who do seek money for the sake of having it, these people exist all over the world.
If you personally feel that your religious beliefs have taken a passive role in your life and wish for them to have more of an impact, try spending some time doing certain exercises.
The western emphasis on media may be why we see more millionaires from this area on television than otherwise. Everyday people do not appear to be particularly obsessed with money just to have it; many of them work hard to be able to support and take care of their families. Love for your family and the desire to keep them healthy is a spiritual concept in itself. Manifesting love in the form of work to support your family is not even close to being spiritually lacking.
People also see the West as being neglectful of spiritual practices because the United States, specifically, is a nation that began with a large population of Puritans. Puritans did not perform rituals in an ostentatious or glamorous manner and in fact, emphasized simplicity over all else. A lack of luxuriance does not equal a lack of spiritual practices. For centuries, ascetics have preferred simplicity over all else and have seen drastic changes as a result of their practices of abstinence. This is common practice around the world.
The last major reason that people hold this belief seems to be that they think the West predominantly Christian. When they view them as Christians, they assume all originate from the Puritan tradition of austerity. There are many different accounts of Christian mystics out there so it is not fair to assume the religion to lack spiritual practices based on seeing non-practicing believers who do not make a habit out of exercising spiritual practices.
Wanting to Fight Back Against Spiritual Apathy?
If you personally feel that your religious beliefs have taken a passive role in your life and wish for them to have more of an impact, try spending some time doing certain exercises. Meditate, pray, look into the spiritual practices of your ancestors whether through research or psychic contact, read about different beliefs, practice introspection to figure out what your own beliefs are, and do not assume that you have to have certain spiritual beliefs merely because they are popular with those around you. Find what works for you! Do not settle for less.
If you have ancestors from northern European countries, look into the forms of Paganism that originated in that area (Asatru being one specific example). Being born in the West does not necessarily mean that all your ancestors were Christians or that Christianity is the only religion or set of spiritual beliefs you are allowed to adhere to. You may find a wealth of mystical knowledge in your own family's past! If you find that you agree entirely with Christianity, there is nothing wrong with that either. Spend a little more time reading the Bible if you feel it would help. Merely making an effort can go a long way!