Brian, One of the advantages of having a spiritual perspective is that one is not much restricted to topic. Let me take a couple of thoughts from Camus:
(From an interview) "Letís not beat around the bush. I love life Ė I love it so much I can not think of what is not life".
When I first heard this in a library audio room I acted like a damn fool, nearly broke into sobs Ė but, instead, jumped out of my chair and pounded the sound-proof walls. Yes! If I love life like I do I will not contaminate the love with embellishment. It strikes me that talk of the "spiritual" is embellishment.
(From The Rebel) "In order to exist just once in the world, it is necessary never again to exist."
It also strikes me that spiritual discussions almost always strive an infinite beyond the moment. It is the instant that is eternal; the past and future are transitory because they are free to change; the instant can not change. If we think or live beyond the present, we belittle the present. In arguing against an elaboration of simple experience, one begins to sound rather "spiritual". Perhaps the argument is dead for me Ė at least for the instant.
But to make it as personal as possible: I love life, I love it so much I canít think of anything else. And I canít imagine anything beyond this moment of creating with the soft chirps of starlings outside my window and a busy helicopter overhead.
Your sweet story about your friend did, indeed, confirm the metaphor of the bat in the cave.