A sense of wonder
You don't need "spirituality" to experience this. At all.
and maybe even the "oceanic" feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself that Freud talks about are not things for the weak and gullible.
Actually, they kinda are, at least in the way spirituality entails it.
"Spirituality" doesn't have to be anti-reality or anti-critical thinking. "
By definition, it does. Sorry.
I don't like Carl Sagan much. He's a good science educator but never steps outside the scientific paradigm to examine science and faith on their own merits, which means his belief in reason and logic as sources of truth is not much different from the religious faith he condemns. Every book of his I've read has said the same thing a hundred different ways.
That's because faith has no merit whatsoever as a source of truth. Science and logic prove themselves time and time again, whereas faith goes nowhere. Also, the whole "faith in science is the same as religion lol" meme is beyond stupid, the worse kind of false equivalence.
As I said, semantics.
"The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition, although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred," where "the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration."
Yes, the sacred, which has nothing to do with anything anti-reality. Even the 'experience of God' that people have during religious experiences, psychedelic experiences, whatever, is "within-reality" and "conforms" to natural law, it's just natural law that we don't fully understand. And before you respond with how that's anti-critical thinking, no, it's just that we don't fully understand how the human brain works, and no, I'm not using that as an excuse to come up with nutty metaphysical postulations. Obviously the 'experience of God' has nothing to do with any kind of external subject imposing or introducing itself to a human subject, but the *experience itself* is real and can be mapped based on neurophysiology, although the field of psychology of religion/spirituality/wonder/sacredness/transcendence/whatever you want to call it is young.
Spirituality is a metaphor, a linguistic (mis)label, for real, subjective human experience. And the "numinous experience" in all its varieties, whether they be connection with nature, a feeling of union with a monotheistic God, or others, are all fundamentally similar. The experience is real; the interpretation is problematic.
Also, I'd encourage you to read some philosophy of science. Empiricism has worth and I do agree that it correlates with and has some foundation in reality, but Kuhn's discussions about paradigms of scientific thinking are based on reality as well. Scientists think they're totally objective and "just observing the facts," but it's not that simple. Philosophical presuppositions will always color empirical and scientific observation, from WHAT they're looking for to HOW they're looking at it.