Okay, given the feelings of aloneness that Barb has expressed, I guess I should come out and say it: I also hold beliefs about the universe that are currently considered irrational. If forced to describe myself with a label, I would probably call myself a spiritual pantheist as well.
That being said, I don't believe in the supernatural per se. After all, many phenomena we now understand the mechanics of were once attributed to supernatural causes. I just think that we haven't come up with the proper tools to measure things like psychic abilities, ghosts, etc. The short version is that I think the universe is both more subtle and more responsive to consciousness (and may itself BE conscious) than is generally believed.
What's my evidence? A whole lot of personal experiences, which happen often enough that I feel it at least stretch the boundaries of pure probability, if not break it entirely. At the same time, the plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence", so I try to remain skeptical of extraordinary claims. The difference I see between my mindset and most people here is that I try to use skepticism as a method rather than holding it as a worldview; the difference I see between my mindset and U.P. and Barb's is that if I can't come up with an explanation for something, I'm more likely to shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, that's a toughie" than say "because God."
Is this way of looking at the world less rational than the pure reason many of the people here seem to go for? Possibly. Am I trying to derive a sense of purpose and comfort from the universe that it simply doesn't owe me? Possibly. But I don't try to make the claim that my views are just as rational as the current scientific consensus, nor do I try to claim that they give me insight into some divine plan or that I have a direct line to the Universal Consciousness (as I call it). After all, it's a big universe; even if I'm right about it being conscious in itself, it may not care about us any more than we care about individual cells in our bodies. If these beliefs are irrational, then it's an irrationality I'm comfortable enough with not to argue about or debate with others. I don't care if you're a pantheist, polytheist, monotheist, deist, atheist or anti-theist; I care about how you treat other people and animals and the impact you try to leave on the world around you.
You've said it better than I could. Thank you so much.
One thing I must clarify to the others....Again, I respect Atheists and would gladly side with Atheists fighting frummerism and Atheist-Rights.
Anyway. It's been a fascinating talk. I'm not looking to convert anyone. In fact, I perfectly understand why some would find spiritual stuff "irrational". Different people see things in different ways. Different minds....different perceptions.
To me, Ultimate Paragon, R.U. Siruis & whatever....The spiritual/metaphysical/non-corporeal/mystical/etc. is absolutely REAL & plausible to us. To others, it's about as believable as the Tooth Fairy. That is okay. People are people. Only character should be judged. Things only become problematic if it involves fanaticism and conning people of their life-savings or free-will in a dangerous cult or "psychic" scam.
However, being a moderate person who goes to an Episcopalian Mass every Sunday while not being a judgmental nut who rejects science & common sense is fine......Same with a guy who shells out $15.00 for a psychic reading for fun.
In fact, my spirituality has kept me from losing my marbles.