Why do some people/groups strongly feel the need to connect in a close and spirtual manner with the world they perceive around them?thanks
The greatest need of people is to find meaning in their lives. For many, the most fulfilling meaning is the spiritual one. The belief in a hereafter in which one is rewarded for his/her travails and tribulations in life is very comforting to the spirit of the human heart; there is, at least, some reason to work hard and to be longsuffering.
It is for these reasons that Karl Marx cynically declared that religion is "the opium of the people." Marx perceived religion as duping the people and providing them with a hopeful delusion. Nevertheless, the power of a spiritual belief often produces suprising results that cannot be explained logically. People of great spiritual faith who have had illnesses have recovered and prayer has produced positive results, so many people belief in the spiritual life and feel it is essential to their well-being.
One such "group" you may be speaking about is anyone who believes the Bible is the Word of the living God. In this, it is written that humans were made in God's image. This means, Christians (and any others who consider The Bible a holy text) believe they need a spritual connection to others and to God because he created humans with this need.
According to the book of Genesis, Adam was created to be a companion to God. Eve was created to be a companion to Adam. Christians believe that God's desire to know his creation has not changed sinse the beginning of it all, therefore, humans will always have an inherent desire to make spiritual connections with others.
For centuries, and as early as history can be traced, there is a tendency for the human mind to want to search for a knowledge and to make a connection that is higher than them. Part of this has to do with our need for closure in matters such as death, tragedy, and plain curiosity.
The human brain and thought processes have a deep need for understanding cause and effect. When we do not find a cause for an event , we tend to search for alternative explanations. We may turn to religion, metaphysics, you name it, but its mostly a need to close the gap between our lives and the happenings that we simply cannot control, or find an answer for.
Another group, the Transcendentalists and like-minded others, sought to form and maintain a spiritual connection to the world around them because that is where they believed they were closest to God. They sought the "Eternal Being" in the world of nature, believing that such meditation would one day ultimately allow them to be one with Him.