Regarding "...need not be dwelt upon in this life", That is fine for most people, but my suspician is that the other side, assuming there is one, needs us as much as we need them. You might respond that each side does not need the other at all. But my feeling is that it`s holistic at the combined level and that somehow they are energized by our energy rather than being so powerful that its all one way.
Regarding "...the need for some outside director...". The outside director are not just religions. Science and especially politicians and police forces are also outside directors. That`s why I strongly favor the protection of religions, including the Wacco types. True the legal system must ensure that individual rights are not being abused. But just as often individual wishes to participate in such religions are also abused. So although religions are often directive, we have the freedom to not follow there directives. Not so regarding the legal system. So freedom of religion is often a protection against abuses from the political and legal systems.
One freedom that we definitely lack in this country is the freedom to be crazy. If you are legally determined to be crazy, you lose all your rights. And it is rather easy for you to get that definition if for example your relatives decide to make it happen. Other cultures are much more tolerant of their crazies. Many even have periods of time every year in which everybody is expected to act crazy. In this country the legal system supports the right to deprogram anyone crazy enough to join a cult.