I don't believe in God. But I believe in the feelings that accompany belief.
So now that I've realized the falsity of religion, I've discarded the theological aspects of my former belief system and kept the positive feelings.
Here's some examples.
I used to enjoy the feeling that God was looking out for me, managing my life in such a way that even bad experiences were aimed at bettering my long-term salvation chances. This made me feel hopeful about the future, since I considered there was a trajectory to my life that would end with me becoming familiar with divinity, and maybe actually merging with it.
Now, I'm simply hopeful. The feeling is the same. I've just eliminated the crazy theological reasons I had for believing that the future would turn out fine.
Serving God (or a guru, for I was a member of an organization that believed the guru was God in human form) was another enjoyable feeling. Back in my true believing days I engaged in a lot of seva, as it was called, which is an Indian term for service, or volunteering.
Well, I still like to feel like what I'm doing is benefitting others.
But I've discarded the notion that there's some sort of special benefit to being of service to a supposedly Godly person or organization. This allows me to enjoy the sensation of "selfless service" without having that feeling rest on an imagined theological foundation.
People cling to religion because they like the good feelings that come with believing.
What I'm suggesting is that those feelings are separable from the theological framework, rituals, holy books, forms of worship, and other trappings of a religion.
In the same fashion, happiness is a feeling. But obviously there are many ways for someone to be happy. There isn't a single cause of happiness, just as there isn't a single cause of the good feelings that people enjoy from embracing religious beliefs.
You can give up religion and keep the feelings.
For many years I was the secretary, or leader, of the people in my town who embraced the teachings of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, an Indian religious organization.
I'd arrive early at the place where we held our Sunday morning meeting to get the room ready. I'd sweep the floor and arrange folding chairs just so, getting them all lined up nice and neat. I enjoyed the feeling of seva, being of service.
Today I went to Lowe's and bought 16 bags of garden fertilizer and 6 large containers of weed preventer (we have a really big yard, living as we do out in the country). My wife had noticed spring weeds beginning to pop up, and March is when I spread weed preventer, so today seemed like a good time to do it.
I was careful. I did my best to put the weed preventer every place in our yard that needed it. I enjoyed the feeling that after some rain arrived in a few days, it would be activated and stop weeds from sprouting. This was "seva," service -- just not to any imagined God or other divinity.
It was service to my wife and to myself, because we enjoy our yard more when it looks good and doesn't have a bunch of weeds. The good feeling I had after a couple of hours of work was very similar, if not exactly the same, as the feeling I used to have when I was performing volunteer service for a religious group.
So it doesn't make sense to cling to a religion because you enjoy the feelings that come with being a believer. Those same feelings can be produced in a myriad of different ways. Keep the feelings; ditch the theology.