I would like to excerpt a few stataments from your explanation to illustrate the differences between your thinking and mine.
. Science assures us that everything in the universe exists within the framework of cause and effect
. The deepest cycles of cause and effect extend beyond the present existence
...cause and effect both exist simultaneously within us in the present moment
.We create our own present and future by the choices we make each moment
First of all, just as I claim above, your thinking is rooted in cause and effect. That is pure classical physics, just as I said, where everything is deterministic. Science no longer believes this to be true. So we significantly differ on our thinking on what science is.
Science is no longer just classical physics. Classical physics of course applies to macroscopic phenomena controlled by F=MA, but in my opinion it is very unlikely to apply to a subtle, undetectable guiding force like the mystic law or god, or anything similar in between.
But our perspective on life and nature differs even more significantly on whether we create our own future. Based on that last statment of yours, you see the individual as responsible for everything that happens to him or her. That is one of the essential teachings of Buddhism. It's true, but not the whole truth.
For example, take the idea of coincidence. My life is ruled by it. Rather than making things happen, I just allow them to happen. Now we can use the idea of cause and effect here as well and say that the mystic law, or god, arranges these coincidences. Fine. But what I do not like about Buddhism is the result that the inidividual has such firm control on his or her behavior that the mystic law or god has little opportunity to arrange coincidences. To me, this creates bad Karma, to put it bluntly.
Modern science, a religion in itself, is based on chance. We have to allow for enough chance or randomness in our lives so the subtle guiding force can use us for its higher purpose. That seems to me to be the opposite of Buddhist thinking.
Certainly there are individual purposes, in essence to gain salvation- or in my opinion to evolve to the next level of spirituality. Buddhism has meditative and chanting techniques that are very powerful for this purpose. But there are collective purposes as well. For example, collective purposes are emphasized in the Jewish religion. The collective purposes can be nationalistic. But they are becoming planetary as exemplified by the environmentalists and the global economy.
The highest collective purposes of all are universal. What we could call the mystic law. We can only guess at exactly what those purposes are. But we can support them without knowing what they are. How we support them is largely based on our guesses as to what they are- hence the number of different religions. But who can say one guess is better than another.
The readers will please pardon me for preaching. But this forum seems to be in a preaching mode at the moment.