How do you see yourself in relationship to the life, the universe and everything?
I mentioned previous the importance of having a balance in one’s life among the five tasks life presents us. One that is often neglected until one is older is the spiritual task. First let’s start with one life’s purpose and in the broadest sense I think we want to belong and feel a part of things. In the spiritual task, the task is to figure where we belong in the great scheme of things. Generally religion is a search for the answer to that question in a community of people who have similar beliefs and metaphors. However I think it goes well beyond that and does not need to include religion, although the search for the meaning of life often leads to joining some community.
I have heard it said that if you have a solitary conversation with a higher power, it is amazing how much she agrees with you. Thus talking to others about life, the universe and everything can be helpful in our spiritual journey.
I also think that it is a journey and the issues in your life at different points are quite different and the questions you have are much different. From being a child and figuring where you fit; as teenager, dealing with independence and complex life choices; young adult and finding ones place; a young parent and dealing with your new family responsibilities; etc. I think the problems and the spiritual development we need at each stage are quite different. Often we harken back to our religious teaching in our childhood for answers and I think we are looking in the wrong place. Your relationship with the universe is much different and we and the questions we have are much different.
Of course many people want a simple answer to very complex questions. In my experience the answer change with my life circumstances and my development and are never simple. When something is really bugging me, I realize there is a message for me and I try to discern the message. Not easy, but worthwhile. Having somebody to talk with is helpful in those times.
However I do believe that we all can benefit from taking some time in our day, week or year to work on the spiritual task. Balance is the key.
The points you make in this post are excellent. I really find this an interesting topic. There is another guy that writes on this subject, and he does it really well. His name escapes me at the moment though.