From time to time, the universe reveals glimpses of itself to me in moments of deep religious experience. Ordinary people can have extraordinary experiences and awareness, and sometimes these come to me, but not at my bidding and they are always unexpected.
I try not to use the word "God" as people tend to think immediately of some kind of superior being that is separate from us, such as the Christian concept of a father God. All I can say is that in my spiritual wanderings I have never encountered such a being, but I have from time to time connected with a "greater reality" which many people may call God. In any case, my declaring that "God exists" (or God doesn't exist) would be of no value to anyone as it is my conviction that each of us must discover "what is" for ourselves. No-one else, whether priest, pope or dalai lama, can make that discovery on our behalf.
My journey of discovery sometimes takes me into places I do not expect (or wish) to find. For example, I had never understood why people perform rituals. It always looked so meaningless and boring to me, and people seemed to repeat them mindlessly simply because they had been taught to do them or because they thought they would obtain some merit. If you had asked me to describe my ideal world, I would certainly have envisaged one that was ritual free. So, when ritual "came" to me one day without my ever having sought it, I was quite surprised, not to mention a bit annoyed at having to let go one of my pet hates.
It is hard to describe in words what happened, but I will try. A meditation came upon me that filled me with solemnity. I was drawn to enter a nearby dam where I cupped water into my hands and let it fall down my face - a very simple movement which was imbued with feelings of holiness. On another occasion I had a similar feeling while making the bed, although not as intense.
Many wondrous things have come and gone. I have seen/felt pure love emanating from an ordinary person and heard music through what I can only describe as heavenly ears. And yes, without drugs. There is certainly "more than can be dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio". But I've learnt that one cannot rush the "process" or direct it where you will. Life has its own agenda and I defer to its wisdom.
My mother had a saying which sort of sums up my spiritual attitude and which has helped me a lot along the way:
"We shall see what we shall see."