if the acceptance and love of others as they are is the essence of Christianity, then the acceptance of our loneliness and doubt in a world far beyond our understanding is the core of all non-fundamentalist religion.
pg 219 Andrew Sullivan, The Conservative Soul
What religion can be at its most sublime is the fusion of that wonder we should really feel all the time in the presence of God. What religion can be at its most sublime is the fusion of that wonder with practical life. It is the marriage of the poetic and practical modes of experience. This does not require the imposition of fixed rules and doctrines, although they may be helpful guides from time to time. It requires a constant reimagination of the potential of life lived on earth as if it were heaven. It requires letting go of our desire not to let go. Jesus saw it in children. One of his most radical teachings was the notion that only if we become like children will we enter the kingdom of God.
Children love rituals, and their games are full of them. Perhaps because they are not yet fully formed, every moment matters more. We older types have sometimes become inured to the wonder and mystery of everything.
These moments may come upon us when we least expect them. We may see flashes of eternity in the simple grin of a child in a game of hind and seek, in the approach of the tide on an autumn afternoon, in the eyes of a lover in sex, or in grandmother’s ritual– but we know them when we see the. The key is to be open to them, because they happen all the time, all around us. But we are too “busy” to notice.
The opposite of this kind of faith is fundamentalism: the constant recourse to abstraction and authority or text.
In very real ways, soul, consciousness, love, and the Holy Spirit are one and the same. Each of these point to something that is larger than the individual, shared with God, ubiquitous, and even eternal—and then revealed through us! Holiness does not mean people are psychologically or morally perfect (a common confusion), but that they are capable of seeing and enjoying things in a much more “whole” and compassionate way, even if they sometimes fail at it themselves. 
.. Our effort is not a self-conscious striving to fill ourselves with the important Christian virtues; it is more getting out of the way and allowing [Christ’s] Spirit to transform all our activities. Christ will do the rest. His Spirit has joined ours and will never abandon us.
and then, as I often do, once I’ve worked on a talk, I just — at some point, you have to just let go of the outcome. And you say, “Look, if they boo and they throw things, it’ll last for 20 minutes. And then it’ll be over, and I’ll have an anecdote. It’ll be fine. I’ll go back to my life.”
Ms. Tippett: In Now Go Out There, you said, “The opposite of love is fear,” and you told these graduates that “fear can take that expensively educated brain of yours and reduce it to the state of a dog growling over a bone.” But you did say, “Ask yourself who’s noticing how scared you are,” and that that’s where your soul is. And if you can get curious about it, you get less scared
.. you note the connection between “breakdown” and “breakthrough.”
Ms. Karr:Right. [laughs] Is it a nervous breakdown or a nervous breakthrough? That’s right. That’s a good question.
Ms. Tippett:Because you had both, right?
Ms. Karr:Well, I think every nervous breakdown is a nervous breakthrough, if you let it be. I really do. I really believe that. I believe that it’s the old Hemingway saw of: “All of us are broken, and some of us get stronger in the broken places.”
Ms. Tippett:Yeah, here’s something else you said. You called the place you went the “Mental Marriott.” [laughs]
And even for those who seek, God often seems to be elusive. Why? Perhaps it is because God is closer than we can objectively or outwardly see.
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). This same God who dwells in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16) chooses to dwell inside creation.
.. It’s not just that God dwells inside you, but God is at the center of your spiritual makeup, an integral and enduring part of who you are. God is not added to you, but you are added to God. God is the foundation onto which your soul is built. Everyone you meet is also a God-particle wrapped in a soul.
.. We find God by peeling away ourselves. God is hidden treasure (Matthew 13:44) buried in the center of our souls, and we can find God when we tear away the onionskin layers of self.
If we persevere in clearing this well of its clutter, we’ll discover that the water of this inner well—the water in which we’re swimming—is God. We’ll find ourselves floating in God, encompassed by love. In a wonderful reversal, soul is now wrapped in God, and God moves to the outside as described in John 7:37: From our “innermost being will flow rivers of living water,” which is God’s self spilling out into our life and into the lives of those we touch.