For me, I guess it's almost like I believe too much. I read the principles taught in the texts of my religion and I want to live by them as much as possible or at least recognize when I'm not following them.
As a young person in the church, I wanted to implement what was being taught and be a part of things.
As I got older, I began to see just how much of a disconnect there was between what I had read and had been taught and what was happening. I could have even lived with that if the disconnect had been acknowledged, but it wasn't. People in spiritual positions of power lied, stole, cheated, bullied, etc and, to all appearances, were not the least bit repentant. They sincerely seemed to believe themselves entirely justified and if anyone opposed them or even said something like "Hey! Ouch! You're hurting me!" they blamed it on their victim's unrighteousness, lack of faith, etc.
From what I could see, they loved money and it was their God. They twisted the scriptures, my God's scriptures to subdue their victims through shame and fear. At first I was unable to believe that I was seeing what I was seeing, but there was no other explanation. It makes me very, very angry.
I know this is not all religious people or religious leaders, but the religious people and leaders will not confront this rot. They either don't see it or pretend they do not.
Then I realized just how much crap their political teachings were and how they were just acting as corporate tools -- being cowed by tales of boogiemen into selling themselves out. I decided I would not be part of that anymore. Now I am thought of as at best misguided, at worst backslidden. That annoys me.
Now I find myself still religious, but always a skeptic, wanting to obey the commandment to be part of a fellowship, but very much not the target audience of the ones that seem to share my religious beliefs. They are often loud and emotional and lacking rationality. I don't doubt their sincerity, but I guess I question their depth.
So I guess that makes me just as self-righteous and hypocritical as they are, maybe more so, I don't know. For now, we've found a church where the music isn't too annoying and we can respect the pastor's intellect and character, but we don't really want to stick around to get to know people (which kind of defeats the purpose).
I don't really feel a lot of spiritual stuff that other people seem to feel. I know people that hear God talking to them all time (people that are otherwise sane, so who knows?) but I don't get that hardly ever myself and it's always open to questioning when I think I do. But I am still passionate about the Jesus I know from the Bible and the things that are taught there about how we treat one another, etc.
I'm completely capable of self-forgetfulness if something is interesting enough. I don't feel a particular connection to larger universe. I am enthusiastically and skeptically mystical. I love imagining what could be even, or maybe especially, if it's kind of crazy.
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” ~ John Rogers