River......Your two cents are well taken. I know we tread some tender ground here when we wander onto anyone's religious turf. Coming from a real religious upbringing, raising a family with those values, I can say it's been nothing short of a "miracle" that I've taken these steps in to this lifestyle. In reality, I've been headed down this road for a long time. As a science major in college, and a medical professional for 30 years, my mind, my beliefs, my feelings have all drifted away from the traditional religious grounds revolving around "God" and toward a purely evolutionary all encompassing "Universe" of power, majesty, limitless energy and wonder......or maybe it's just an odd feeling I keep getting about there being a Mothership floating around "up there", lol,lol,lol.
In any event, my core beliefs now center around this life, right here, right now, the close immediate relationships/loves I have in my life and the inate feeling that I have that this is it. I no longer believe that there is a magic far away place up in the "heavens" where I'll go to see long dead relatives and live forever in air conditoned comfort drinking as many Margauritas as I want to, without ever getting a hangover!
I think we make our own heavens and hells right here, right now as we move through this life, living our lives. That's about what I've reduced the hereafter to, and my desire to share my life and love with two wonderful women, to make their lives more of a "heaven" here on Earth seems to be a gravitational force more powerful than any I've known before in my life. There is "mystism" in that for me. My personal life, combined with my professional life, my unique abilities to affect other peoples lives in a positive way through medicine, is in fact, my religion.