Well, I was raised Catholic, and I definitely retain some of the framework of belief which I was raised under, however, I have found personal strands to augment/shift that paradigm just slightly.
I still believe in good works and the power of helping others—I believe Christianity has deep roots in bringing together jewish religious thought and eastern religious thought, and yet I struggle constantly over the distinction between the highest good in christianity and the highest good in buddhism: Purest enlightenment (and excuse me if I don't fully understand the depth of the dogmatic thought I am about to discuss) in Tibetan buddhism is the relinquishment of all worldly cares. The Dalai Lama is supposedly at the last step before total enlightenment, in that he still believes he can teach others, and in that, maintains a level of worldly concern. As opposed to Christianity, which finds salvation in sacrifice for others.
I tend to lean toward the idea of enlightenment from within the world, and being able to maintain compassion while retaining an astute sensibility. I tend to call myself a moral experientialist
. For me, this means that the highest order of things I am capable of in this lifetime is the pure engagement with and experience of the gift that is this world. In some sense, I believe that the universe/God is ultimately unable to understand itself subjectively, and thus life and the experience which life generates (in all forms, from all types of life) is a sort of organic process in which the cold rule based universe to understand itself, to come to a self knowledge that it cannot gain from the purely logical standpoint from which it manifests itself.
The combination of these things lends itself to the appreciation of all forms of experience, 'good' or 'bad'. The undesirable series of events, which apparently ruined your day, is just as valuable to you and the world as a whole as the bliss generated by something you expected and knew you liked, in fact, perhaps moreso. However, this does not justify wrong action, for I still maintain that personal freedom, within constraints of reason, is still paramount, and that undue license exerterted is essentially a form of treason against society, life, etc. We are not here to control life, but rather to understand, enjoy and appreciate it.
Just the other night I had the pleasure of wearing one of my favorite shirts. It's a note pasted to the back of walkie talkies, baby monitors and other small radio devices. It reads: