I have started to notice a vague correlation between my posting and the number of hits that I get. Which is enough to inspire me to post even my musings are not really sufficiently fleshed out for this forum.
And on the subject of inspiration...I have come to the conclusion that I don't really believe in spirituality. What does that mean? Not that I don't believe in holiness or closeness to G-d. Not that I don't believe in moments that make you feel all warm and inspired. Not even that such moments don't have their religious uses.
But here's the deal- I don't believe in this whole spiritualization of Judaism. I went to a speech on kabbala where the speaker was listing things that can be spiritual- singing, dancing, meditation- and mitzvot. Which treats spirituality as the goal and mitzvot as a helpful means of getting there. I don't believe that. Spirituality- by which I mean a feeling of closeness to G-d - is all very well and good, but that's not the point.
The point of human existance, according to Judaism, is to serve G-d, emulate, and become close to G-d by obeying His commandments. Zeh hu. Warm mushy-gushy feeling does not appear on the list. (I am not referring to kavana, which is part of the mitzva and involves the intellect- intention and awareness- rather than the emotions.)
Of course, a feeling of inspiration is often quite useful, given that humans aren't all that good at the self-discipline thing and often need emotions to inspire them towards the correct actions.
But the emotion there works as a means to an end. And of course, somebody who is genuinely close to G-d may have a feeling of being so and thus feel spiritual. However, the spiritual feeling is simply a symptom, side-benefit, or result of the genuine closeness.
What's the nafka mina? If Person A goes and climbs a mountain and communes with the stars and recites poetry and gets the biggest spiritual high in the world and Person B spends six hours making food packages for needy families or checking a mountain of lettuce for bugs or building a sukkah and feels nothing, Person B has acquired more holiness. Now, if Person A's communion then inspires them to do useful things, then he can get as much or more holiness as Person B. And of course, it would be nice if Person B felt close to G-d, because 1) it will make it more likely that she will do these good things in the future, because humans crave that sense of closeness and 2) because her actions really are meritorious and a proper understanding of the world would involve being aware of that fact and it's good to understand the world properly.
BUT the spiritual high itself means nothing. It's not holiness, it's not sacredness, it sure as heck isn't righteousness. It's an emotional massage. It's a feel-good pill of warm fuzzies, whether it comes from your lovely mountaintop, or a Kabbalat Shabbat with songs and dances, or a group meditation. Sure, it feels nice. Sure, it makes you feel holy. But that's not the point. Your feelings- they may be totally off-base, they may be an accurate representation of reality, they may be a useful tool for gauging growth- but they're not the point.