Disclaimer: This will be a peaceful thread. No debates about which religion is better than the other, please. I am seeking advice.
Lately, I have been experiencing a spiritual rebirth. For a couple years, throughout my college experience and up through my early 20s I kind of lost faith in religion in general because I disliked the tension between religions (especially after seeing religious wars and such with terrorism) and how I felt that the rules for each religion didn't quite ring home for me. Furthermore, I went through kind of an existential crisis... contemplating the existence of the afterlife, and with a background in science, I had thought that basically what happened to us when we die is that our bodies just sit there and decompose, and what keeps our spirits alive is in the hearts and minds of our relatives. The trouble is, even though this may be what reality is... something deep seated in my heart wants to be spiritual. Previously I had considered myself to be a free-spirited liberal Christian... I didn't really go to church or anything, but I still believed in God and had more of a personal connection with Him as a spiritual guide. Even when I was experiencing an existential crisis in my early 20s, I still had moments where I would pray to God... usually in times of spiritual crisis.
The thing is, despite being an agnostic, I really do wish to have some sort of spiritual element in my life. At this moment, I feel a great state of cognitive dissonance... as a scientist I should believe in what is observable facts... but it gives my heart great pain to think that once my life ends, there won't be a spiritual home for me to return to, nor will the same thing be the case for any relatives that have passed on.
The thing is, I want to believe in a higher being, something greater than me. I suppose in a sense I am monotheistic. I want to believe in Heaven. The thing is, I want to belong with a group of believers that are tolerant towards others with differing spiritual views, accepting of science and the theory of evolution, allow women to make their own decisions about reproduction, allow women to be spiritual leaders, more accepting of the LGBT community, value compassion towards others and that human suffering is more of a test of faith and is caused by humanity on its own. I also feel a deep spiritual connection between other people and me... as well as a deep connection between myself and the universe and nature. I suppose I have a liberal view towards religions, because they all explain the same type of thing, just in a different perspective. This can get a bit brain boggling, especially when you see things from different angles.
Which religion(s) would you suggest?
Remember, please keep this peaceful.