Boy, when you post, you post Big. You are in as diverse a community here as the rest of "out there". Much of what you are looking for is spread throughout these pages (gee thanks). I would imagine the replies will be as helpful and confounding as anything.
Now for my own confounding help... (I am a crappy, reluctant Christian by the way) It is appearant first there is two ways to go. Either there is a conscious Creator (a Being) or there is not (Higher flexible Power). That is a crucial question that seperates Eastern thought from Western. And there is no compromise... Also, the idea that All is Godness, all religions are correct and lead to the same place (pantheism
) where one can claim to be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and what ever simply because they are in touch with the Spirituality behind all religions. Monotheism
(belief in one Creator) stands solid against such a belief and the pantheist must assume monotheist have it wrong. And visa-versa... Where you fall on either side then offers all types of theologies, joys, pains, evidence, history and loads of crap. But this is the crux... Feel free to encourage me to go on...