Once we evolved sentience we required a fanciful positive incentive in order to deal with the fact that the universe is hostile to us, does not care about us, and will exterminate us in a heartbeat if we cease the struggle.
And that our collective consciousnesses in each tribe constitute the god we speak to so that together we maintain the illusion that there is some ‘hope’ for us.
So some cultures look to the past(china, japan), some to the future(the west), and some to fantasy (Islam, Christianity, but most certainly Hinduism), and some to the rejection of reality altogether (Buddhism).
That describes all possible extremes of present-avoidance available to man. I did not say that spirituality provided what is good for man. In fact, other than Stoicism, I think all cults in history are as destructive in some sense while constructive in another (But why does Christianity create prosperity?)
But they all provide the same escape from stresses in the present through membership in a virtual ‘pack’ or ‘herd’ that we can appeal to through direct subjective introspection of the patterns in that system of thought.
All of which is largely an external consequence of sentience without the ‘internet’ equivalent of constant communication from mind to mind that seems to occur between pack and herd animals.
Individual thought comes at a high price.
As an aside: stress is created by what psychologists call ‘neuroticism’. So some personalities feel this need greatly, and some personalities feel it very little.
If we combine this with intelligence, we see some people have a trust issue because of dunning Kruger effects (they cannot tell whether someone lies or not).
So if we combine intelligence vs neuroticism we get a pretty obvious way of graphing different populations and societies.
Westerners have higher creativity, and this seems to be correlated with the fact that we have higher neuroticism.
It may be that either higher demand for individualism produces higher neuroticism or the inverse.