Religion exists by virtue of extortion and bribery. They both have temporal and eternal aspects. Extortion's temporal expressions take the form of shunning/banning/exclusion and excommunication. And its eternal expression is hell with its torture and anguish. Bribery's temporal form is Baptism and Communion and their assurances of the blessings of God's grace and forgiveness, and the supportive presence of the Communion of the Saints. And its eternal form is the promise of the glories of heaven everlasting. There is something to get from religion, and something to avoid having. That is why we should be religious. Spirituality takes the AA path of "attraction not promotion/coercion," and trusts the joy and satisfaction of living out of our own original nature to be enough to keep us involved with the tasks of spiritual practice. "Sincerity and spontaneity, not contrivance/exploitation/manipulation" is the anchoring orientation of spirituality, which eschews theology, doctrine, and dogma in favor of the personal experience of numinous, ineffable, reality through art, music, nature and the right kind of relationships with other people, as the means to find the support necessary to sustain adherents path through life. Believing that the way we live matters--to us and to "The Way"--and having faith in oneself to have what is needed to find what is needed to do what needs to be done in each situation as it arises, lead to the realization that we already are spiritual beings. Knowing that is to take up the work of being who we are-- finding and living our life-- the life that is our life to live, by doing what has life for us within the context and circumstances of our living. Balancing the opposites, integrating the contradictions, bearing the pain of polarities and contraries, in harmonizing the forces of good and bad, right and wrong, etc. within all the relationships t hat define and limit our life. Our spiritual practice comes down to understanding that we all are Sisyphus rolling his rock up the hill, following it down the hill, to roll it back up the hill, and that the real work of being Sisyphus is to develop an attitude and demeanor that allows us to accept our work and find joy, satisfaction and purpose in our life throughout the time left for living. Saying, "YES!", to life just as it is is the spiritual task of life, and it is the simple secret of being fully alive in the life that is ours to live, in each situation as it arises.
The ground of happiness, joy and satisfaction is found in living to honor, exhibit and express our original nature ("the face that was ours before we were born) within the context and circumstances of our life, by serving and sharing the gifts/daemon(sounds like "diamond")/ shtick/specialties/qualities/virtues/ knacks/interests/etc that came with us from the womb in each situation as it arises all our life long-- by doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, where it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, because it needs to be done for the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it, moment by moment, day by day, forever. If you can do better than that, do it!
Blaise Pascal wrote (in 1654), “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Adam and Eve were sure they could improve on Paradise, and we have been at it ever since. "Making Things Better" could be the motto of every age. All the wars, and the genocide, and the crusades, and the heresy trials, and the witch hunts, and the colonization, and the planned conquest of space... are all about Making Things Better. For whom? By when? The questions are not asked. The quest has its own momentum. All we know is we need some relief. Our Spirit, Energy, and Vitality have gone flat. Our Balance and Harmony are tangled and fighting it out. Anything would be better than this. And off we go. Even if we only take our mind off our misery, it will be worth it for a while. We can't stand being alone with our own company. Let's have ourselves a little war. Take over some nation. Get our mind off our troubles by making trouble for someone else. It's the best we can do. If we could think of something better, we would be on it. "Like the white on mashed potatoes." Blaise Pascal was talking about us. We are a dissatisfied lot. And need to be entertained, distracted, cheered-up. Continually. Maybe, if we sought the Center, we could find all the adventure we can manage stirring within. Who is game? The chase is on!
What's your shtick? Your specialty? Your "thing"? What is "it" for you? What makes your little heart sing and your little toes dance? What is your deep joy and the love of your life? What, when you are engaged in it, makes time stand still, or makes the minutes fly by so that you can't believe how long you have been at it? How do you build your life around it? How do you blend it into your life? How does your life harmonize with your bliss to create rapture and radiance, wonder and beauty? If you know what I am talking about, keep doing what you are doing! If you have no idea of what I am talking about, ponder the matter of your soul's true joy, and see where you are blocking the way, turning aside from the path, and refusing to follow the impulse of your heart's true love. And get with the program!