Yesterday, a friend died of cancer in the afternoon. In the evening I started playing Mozart’s Requiem to reflect on it, and as I heard the Introitus something happened.

Most of my life I have been a firm skeptic, a rationalist, a nonbeliever in transcendental realities. I felt that and asserted it. In one moment, the music led me to understand that there are feelings, sensations, and experiences beyond our ability to capture them in words or any rational perception. They only can be felt. Until that moment, I was closed off to that feeling—blocking it. Among many changes that have come to me is this: now I feel it. For anyone who has had a similar experience this is no revelation. To me, it was.

I don’t believe this is an alternate reality, a parallel universe, or anything metaphysical. It is a state of mind, an emotional understanding. It is very real, but the reality lies within the person who lives it. It is the source of wonder, reverence, and awe.

Until very recently, I would describe myself as a non-spiritual person. That was inaccurate. In that moment I became aware of the essence of spirituality. My quest for this knowledge in the past didn’t bring me closer to experiencing it. Always, it eluded me. The energy I spent seeking it held me back, raising barriers between my awareness and what I sought.

No, I don’t suddenly believe in God, Krishna, or Allah, or that the son of a god was born on Earth to save us from our sins. Those belief systems are built upon this universal awareness which is intrinsic to human beings. It is part of us. We dress it up with fanciful ideas to satisfy our need for elaborate structures, but they are superfluous.

It is not a direct experience of the infinite. Our minds and our senses are completely finite. We can never experience infinity. We can only sense that there is something out there beyond our reckoning.

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