(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans16b/dec16-2.html)
Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit in Florida
What is the difference between spiritual cultivation and morality, and between spiritual cultivation and religious education?
— Abram, New Zealand
Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
Spiritual cultivation is cultivating the spirit. Morality is practicing high moral values. Religious education is being knowledgeable in religions matters.
They are all different, though related; just as an orange is different from an apple, and an apple is different from a pear, though they are all fruit. Many people, however, do not realise the difference between spiritual cultivation, morality and religious education, though they can tell the difference amongst an orange, an apple and a pear.
Some people may be highly cultivated in spirit, but lack morality and may not believe in a religion. Black magicians are examples of highly cultivated in spirit but lack morality, and even if they believe in a religion they do not practice it, as all religions teach people to do good. Asuaras, who are powerful supernatural beings, are highly cultivated in spirit but lacking in morality and do not practice the good teaching of religion.
Some people with high moral values, like they are compassionate and caring, but may not be spiritually cultivated. For example, they are afraid of ghosts, which show that their spirit is week. They are usually religions, from whose teaching they develop high morals, but some may not believe in any religion.
Some who know a lot about religion may not be spiritually cultivated. They are depressed, for example, which shows that their spirit is not high. Some may use religion to cause harm to society.
Nevertheless, highly spiritually cultivated persons usually have high morals. Not only they know much about religion, they celebrate with followers of other religions.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at email@example.com stating your name, country and e-mail address.