Let’s start at the beginning. I was born into a Southern Baptist family and raised in that denomination. I never found anything but boredom and intolerance in the churches I attended, and by the time I was 11 I had stopped attending.
For a long stretch of years, spiritual matters were very far from my mind and I paid no attention to such things. More recently, I’ve begun exploring paganism – Wicca, shamanism, and other beliefs. At the same time, I’ve also been looking into the Bible quite a bit.
I’ve attended a number of religious services for a variety of different religions, both Christian and non-, and I’ve felt absolutely nothing. I’ve tried praying, and I’ve gotten no response. I’ve tried meditation only to sit there and feel like an idiot for it. I’ve tried magic spells, and they’ve not worked.
In short, I’m looking for help to… well, to get in -contact- with something, power or being, greater than myself. To have a real experience of a spiritual nature.
A few additional notes…
I don’t need any answers of the ‘just have faith’ variety. I tried just having faith for quite a while. It -didn’t- -work-.
I’m open to serious suggestions from any religious path. I am -not- open to hearing myself or any of my friends in their various religions denounced, going to hell, etc. Divine judgment is not the dominion of mortals. (I think.)
I’m not necessarily looking for rock-hard proof. It’d be nice if I had some, but what I really need is more of a personal experience, some way of really -feeling- this, not some abstract proof that lets me know that some god is in fact out there and not answering his prayer-phone when I call.
And, er… yeah, that’s it for now. >_< In response to earlier answers: I have already read the Bible cover to cover, twice. It did nothing to help this feeling, and certainly has no instructions on how to contact God that I was able to use. As for all religion being bogus, this is perhaps true, but I don't believe all spirituality is, and I definitely can't reconcile the possibility of us being the end-all and be-all of the universe against the evidence elsewise. More answers: No, I am not an atheist, because atheism makes no sense to me. Being an agnostic to me is kind of a bad thing, because it simply means being stuck in a state of not knowing - whether objectively or subjectively - about the state of one's own spirituality. Or at least, that's what it means to me... Thank you for the encouragement. How does one stop mind chatter? No one's really told me HOW to meditate, they just keep telling me to do it. I've read how-tos, but they haven't been helpful. Just because I -want- to believe something doesn't mean I do. That's what I mean by unwilling agnostic; I very much want to believe in a higher power, want to find a connection to them, but everything I've found so far has led nowhere.