When we lead a good and honest life, whether we were born into it and raised within it or whether we reached it on our own, the focus of our search for God is sharpened.
For people educated in a world of faith in which there is more room for God, this is more natural and obvious.
But living in an environment of faith does not necessarily improve our odds of reaching our spiritual goals.
In fact, what is often referred to as “religious society” is not necessarily a place where much attention is paid to spirituality.
The frequent observance of commandments of all types, within any faith or belief, does create religious frameworks, habits, and modes of expression, but does not necessarily lead to actual holiness as expressed in an individual person.
It might be surprising to learn that you can observe numerous commandments and pray frequently but still be unaware of what you are saying and doing.
You can live your entire life in a completely religious world without ever thinking about the essence of this world or its underlying meaning.
Such a way of life is similar to our relationship to the sun.
The sun illuminates everything, and at times we may mention its brightness or heat, but we do not necessarily devote time or effort to thinking about it.
It exists, it functions, and that’s it.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz