Just like information processing paradigms help us to understand the mechanics of the brain, mirrored by the advent of computer technology, religious entities may also be the reflection of an inner realm of reality. Neither are less valid than the other, rather there is an 'unfolding' from the inner to the outer.
In my experience, the outer reflects the inner, experienced through the mirrors we create in the external world. The unfolding and enfolding (to use Bohm's words) from and to the inner dimension. We learn from and experience emotion through our relationships with others. The mirror that I am you and you are me.
Our challenge in experiencing the flow of life, is the rigidiy of 'I'. Buddhists regard this 'I' as the ego; the attachment to a sense of self; the fixed perception of a self that identifies with the outer, rather than living from the inner, realm.
Spiritual practices such as Mindfulness allow the person to experience what is beneath the layers. Our analytical thinking is dissolved as the experience of 'being' emerges. These practices can be greatly enhanced with the education of Transpersonal Psychology, which encompasses the mechanics of mind and the science of compassion.
What is spirituality?
Many people might not realise they are already on a spiritual path, that their values and attitudes are echoed in ancient spiritual texts. Spirituality is to trust that life works in a divine, purposeful way. As a result qualities such as compassion, unconditional positive regard and wisdom naturally emerge.
While religions such as Buddhism have faith in an inner dimension, Christianity and other religions have faith in an external entity (God).
There is a divine purpose to our lives that is not of a purely physical nature, rather a spiritual nature with compassionate intelligence. Spirit is expressed through the body, the body is spirit manifested. There are trends in materialist science, towards devaluing subjective experience, not seeing it as meaningful beyond its purpose here in our observable day to day. According to science, what we can't see has no real importance. Lightning is an amazing phenomenon for example, but because we can see how it might affect our lives, we seek to understand it.
The body-form to me is the home of our earth-based experience. It is the inverse to how we think it ‘should’ work. What is ‘out there’ while it all appears to be vast and 'to be grasped', is actually more 'holographic'. What is ‘in here’ is the substance and core, the flesh and blood, the juicy stuff that we can chew on and savour.
If we unfold from the fabric of a collective consciousness, a collective lifeforce that shapes and brings in to manifestation forms developed upon the blueprints of what has come before, then we are living and perceiving the world from the inside-out.