This is some of Joe at his best:
The truth was always the only frontier and it has always been an inner one about seeking and unflinching acknowledgement of what one discovers -- which in the end inspires universal compassion. Looking upon the world with eyes as cold as ashes but with a heart like a furnace.
And that makes it spiritual. Not religious, not esoteric, not mystical, not cosmic, not New Age, but utterly and humanly spiritual. We are not and never were individuals, but merely brief swimmers in the river of flesh called mankind. Yet inside each frail sentient being there is that small bead of light, of self, of the truth of pure existence. It can guide us in those right things before us, that we either will or will not rise to doing. That is its purpose, if it can be said to have one.
Now that Cotton Mather's City On The Hill has proven a vapor, there are worse things we could attempt than fix upon that light as a beacon for crossing our spiritual Jordan's turbulent waters, toward some more perfect inner shore.
Perfection, whether of the stripe sought by socialists, Christians, atheists, Buddhists or Muslims, is within each of us. It's unhip, unscientific, archaic, politically incorrect and guaranteed to hurt. But it's the truth.