Thanks again for responding. Coversations are hard to find these days.
Your experience has a lot of similarities to mine in at least a couple of ways, but my searching and learning unfolded pretty much the inverse order of your's. The exploration through schooling and literature and religions and philosophies came first. Afterward came my revelation of God, Jesus, and the Bible. I suppose all the other alternatives became worn out and roads that ended up going nowhere.
What I think you are talking about are belief systems. Those are what I denote as Christian denominations and religions such as you mentioned. In my opinion both denominations and all codified religions are fairly useless in the long run. They may give some structure to Societies, but they are nothing more than houses of cards - hardly dependable in crisis or in the stresses of daily living, for that matter.
As a child I was brought up as a Presbyterian. I am grateful for the lessons taught through children's Bible stories and the idea that God of the Bible existed. That would come into play later in my life. Until then, they were only passing legends and morality plays. I left that church early in adolescence and lived without another thought about God, Jesus, and the Bible for a long, long time.
That also brings up the difference in defining "belief," as you are talking about it, and my definition of "belief," as I am talking about it. Same word; different definitions. As you use the word, everything you are saying is true. However, I use the word differently. Our differing definitions of "faith," I suppose, is also placing us on a sea as "ships passing in the night."
To me faith and belief come from persuasion from substance "meat and potatoes" experience - not blind hope - practical, applicable, engaging, empowering, and productive - beneficial in all the dynamics of life. It is not a matter of "doing it for me." It's not just "a cheap thrill" or a "passing fad." I've had my fill of those.
Your ending thoughts are valid , too, except for the one phrase "a corruption by Paul." If you are talking about the apostle, Paul was a stickler for accurately portraying the Good News of Jesus. He vehemently opposed false teachers and their corrupt teaching all his life. The apostle Peter agreed with Paul and pointed out the fault and where the fallacious corruption came from: "Paul, spoke of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction." 2 Peter 3:16, New Living Translation.
So, I think I understand and agree with most of your perspectives, and I hope you can fully understand mine and where "I am coming from." It's a whole new world.