It was always left a bit ajar, even in my darkest, most cynical moments. God had disappointed me - or rather, I should say, my indoctrinated ideas about God had rung untrue for me in so many ways. However, the door I could never completely close was the door which leads to a deeper meaning and a spiritual outlook on life.
Something inside me, something I fought for years to turn off, continued to gnaw at me. The more I fought the more I felt I was being dishonest with myself, that I was denying something that just seemed so obviously true to me.
William Newton Clarke, a liberal theologian from a few generations back, put into words something that more than anything forms the basis for my thinking:
We men are not the only thinkers in existence: there is a vaster mind. Science is our witness that the universe has been embraced in a single thought. It is one, and not a mass of fragments. It has been thought through, and the relation of each part of it to the other parts has been thought of. And so we live amidst rational operation, and there is something with which to compare our mental processes. We can judge of the validity of our reasoning. Our minds and their processes are supported by the universal mind. We are rational in a rational universe, seeking truth in an honest world, children thinking out the thoughts of the vast mind to which all things owe their intelligibility. The world is honest, and life is not a delusion.
(The emphasis there via underlining is mine.)
The idea of a Universal Mind forms the basis of my spiritual worldview. I have no need for the imagined authority of the various "holy books" that at best, it seems to me, contain only efforts by the ancients to make sense of the Universal Mind.
I limit my own search to what I find within myself and without, as I contemplate the cosmos. And I find myself free to explore without a need to impose my ideas on others.