This is part of God Flux but split into smaller sections for an easier read.
Views on other beliefs
I retain a relatively moderate view on people who take an external god literally, so long as they never cross the line of violence especially with children, nature or other cultures. I understand the need many feel for organised religion, that most people love to be told how to live and lose themselves in rituals because this is an effective method for many to feel peaceful, forgiven and loved by an almighty power. At the same time, Campbell emphasises the positive necessity of a rich mythology to delve into at a time of personal crisis. Some organised religions (like parts of Hinduism and Buddhism) also contribute some guidelines which an aware individual could use as exposure to explore new aspects of her spirituality.
However, individualisation of spiritual paths would dissolve the potential for political power play and communal violence caused by attachment to strong religious identities. The more individual thinking and/or experience is involved in the spiritual path, the more original and strong it has the potential to be.
After I started my PhD, I pondered on the concept of god less and less. As I soaked myself in science and critical thinking, and agreed with most of the arguments I heard during my exposure to Atheism, I became less open to things lacking straightforward evidence. I still speak of god as a mythically and metaphorically important concept that has been relevant for human cultures world-wide (Joseph Campbell) but I believe the time has come when, just as children of the Occident grow out of Santa Clause, we as humanity need to grow out of the delusion of an external god.
If god exists, it is in the wonderful universe around us, in everything, no matter how we judge it with human values. It is the forces of nature and in humans, in plants and in gadgets. So much so that if god is everything, there is no need for a god at all; merely the understanding of the interconnected nature of existence itself, and the laws of physics, discovered and undiscovered, that govern it. Just as nature is sacred, so is the human capacity for growth. At this early point in our spiritual evolution we, as a species, may seek more growth at the material level in the form of accumulation of monetary assets and comforts, but I would dare to hope that at some point, more of us would look to less limited realms; towards our highest mental, emotional, physical and spiritual potentials.