Philip, I generally agree.
Let me start at the finish. First of all forgive me for not having read your articles yet. The questions I asked earlier were based on quick glances through your articles and highlights from them. I don't have my own computer yet, so I'm restricted to other peoples' good will, mainly my girlfriend's. ;-)
So, I am all for spirituality. I am not entirely in favor of religion. Of course, each person must make up his/her own mind.
This above attitude is basically mine. My reservation would be that you indicate a suspicion towards religion as always being a "binding", and hence a restriction, of personal freedom and choice. I would not see it necessarily that way. I see it more like - I've said this before - a pyramid with four sides, where each side represents a religion. You can't climb to the top of the pyramid without chosing a side to climb. You also can't climb it on ALL sides at the same time; you have to choose one side.
Therefore the "binding" you talk about is a result of the person who exercises his free will to choose TO BE RESTRICTED to ONE doctrine of faith. He chooses to BIND himself to the chosen doctrine. Once that person makes his choice he has to stick to it; all the more important that choice is!
Also, I don't think you can have spirituality (the esoteric possibilities of a religion) without a given form (exoteric manifestations of a religion). You say you're "all for spirituality but not entirely in favor of religion". That would mean you want the inner possibilities of a religion without the outer, ritual form. I don't know if that's possible. You can't enjoy the taste of the apple without taking a bite through the peel.
I am a Christian, but I consider my Christianity a personal relationship with the Creator and not some formalized program of rituals. Thus, I concern myself with spiritual realities, not ritualistic practices with no spiritual value.
I'm very much the same, or I WAS the same for a long time. I didn't like formal religion to dictate to me what my relationship with God would be like. But lately I've started thinking in other ways. I've realised that, like we agreed before, we should not judge religion by todays' standards. If I follow that trail of thought I come to the conclusion that at some point religion degenerated and became subject to an involution. Hence, my opinion is that in the primordial past ritual practices had EVERYTHING to do with spiritual realities and the proper execution of those rituals were essential to the achievement of spiritual fulfilment, for individuals as well as communities.
What my main concern now is to find out if there is a genuine doctrine of spiritual fulfilment with all needed, essential attributes intact, i.e. rite, esoterism, experimentation, mysticism. And of course to find a person with the necessary wisdom, competence and authority to learn from.
Yes, it does sound fantastic, I know, but I'm hopeful! :-D If I don't find that person I will have to do it on my own, that's all.
I promise, I'll read your articles as soon as I get the opportunity!