I am starting to think that on-line atheists form something of a incestuous community... I get pointed to IGI from ATT, and then here from IGI, and who do I find? nogodsforme; Hal; Nam; Emily; Mr. Blackwell; and a host of others from the other two sites? Every one with thousands of posts on each site. Where do you people find the time?
This site was harder to connect with than the other two... hell, I had to go through 9 versions of the captcha before I found one I could read... three posts before I can post an introduction (?? what's up with that?) ... locked threads ... no access to "forum profile" for avatars and such (I assume that will appear, eventually).
Be that as it may, here I am. Perhaps I am not properly spiritually attuned, but here I am, nonetheless.
The spirituality/religion question is an old one for me. It's come up repeatedly in one of my longest-running discussion fora outside of Usenet -- a listserve involving a bunch of skeptics, paranormalists, and one hardcore Christian apologist. The paranormalists in particular insist that there is a significant difference between religion and spirituality. Frankly, the only difference I perceive is that religion is more communally organized, whereas those laying claim to mere spirituality seem to feel free to pick and choose from various religious traditions to construct their own individual religious beliefs.
Not to be too cynical, but most of the self-proclaimed "spiritual" people with whom I have interacted have all struck me as "new age" dilettantes, blithely pushing their metaphysical shopping carts down the aisles of the supermarket of world religions, snagging a bit of pantheism here; a bit of Judaic tradition there; some freeze-dried Sermon on the Mount; and maybe a little Timothy Leary or Carlos Castaneda in from the spice section.
What results is usually riddled with it's own sort of mysticism, it's just sometimes better concealed than it is in more communally organized religions.