There are all shapes and sizes of spiritual beliefs. They are mostly quite interesting and while I think some have more substance to them than others, I listen and investigate and try to be as open-minded as possible.
I do not go to church because I don't agree with organised religion. I believe that your spirituality and beliefs should come from within yourself based on what you have discovered and experienced, and not just on what the fat bald man standing behind the podium says.
I have had some very interesting experiences and discussions with people of numerous belief systems and can see merit in each one and some stuff in each one that I do not agree with.
One of my most interesting encounters has been with people who have a sort of new age spiritual outlook. They believe in vibrational energy and that people vibrating on a higher frequency will soon move into the 5th dimension (the 2012 predictions) and will not be able to be seen by those with lower vibrational energy.
They believe in totems and tarot and faeries and even unicorns. They strongly encourage getting back in touch with your inner child and learning how to utilise your imagination the way you once did as a child.
They took me outside into the beautiful garden at work and asked me if I could see the faeries and told me how to summon them. They made me close my eyes and asked me if I could feel the enormous unicorn standing right in front of me. Trying to be truly open to new experiences, I had to at least genuinely try. I stood there with my eyes closed, the scent of the flowers surrounding me filling my nose, the soft grass tickling my feet and the gentle breeze blowing just enough to cause a slight shiver and I felt...nothing. Well, apart from all the environmental factors.
I wasn't sure what to make of these people. Was it something that I was too skeptical of to see and feel? Were they just really deprived of attention as children and were trying to compensate now? Were they perhaps in need of psychiatric medication for their delusions? Or did they need rehab for whatever they were already taking?
Another group of interesting people that I encountered were the Mormons. I worked for a company a while back where I was the only person who was not a Mormon.
These people were very happy and lived very pure and healthy lives. They believed in 3 levels of heaven and a period of waiting before God comes and reclaims your body and then He decided where you go. During this time, if you are worthy, you will perform celestial duties.
They believe that heaven is a physical planet closest to a planet called Kolob. There is also a mother god and is gets a little complicated about who is considered divine and who not.
Basically, unless you seriously are a suckey person, you get to go to a level of heaven and be happy there with everyone of your same non-suckey level there with you.
They wear special under garments to remind them of vows of purity that they have taken and then they watch a terrifying movie where the "devil" threatens them if they tell anyone about their sacred ceremony or break their vows.
Blah blah blah happy clappy religions, blah blah blah, forsake everything material religion, no matter what though, all of these have common denominators and they all seem to interpret the exact same things very, very differently and then fight about it.
Does it really matter if Peter thinks he looks great in purple but Jane thinks he looks better in teal?
I love to listen and learn and maybe find amusement or truth or whatever but when people try and shove it down my throat, I get annoyed. Surely if Michael truly believes that dancing naked every night and sacrificing a bowl of macaroni to the moon is right and he follows this every night without fail, then surely he's on the right path? If a person believes in their heart of hearts that what they are doing is right and what God or Buddha or the Pink Panther or whoever they worship wants, who is anyone to judge? And who is anyone to try and shove it on anyone else? Maybe it's right for you and not for them. Maybe your interpretation of the "one and only truth" is different from theirs.
A message to those who shove their beliefs at everyone else:
Before you go and run off and call people evil and tell them that they're going to hell for not going to church/eating meat on Monday afternoons/watching Harry Potter/not believing what *you* do, stop and think about what a closed-minded fool you are and a zillion other people would probably tell you too that you're going to hell for your beliefs and as much as you know you're not and know you're right, so does everybody else know the same about themselves. Just live and let live.