What I have experienced:
- Reconciliation with A.A.
- Reconciled to glandular fever
- Sharing what I felt with M.
Each occasion has arisen when I’ve given myself up. The first two times, circumstances have changed in a way I could not have foreseen and independently of my own efforts. But both times my attitude to the situation was destroyed before the situation changed. .On the third occasion, my resistances were broken and I felt I had absolutely nothing to give. The first time I have ever just let myself go + been prepared to be humiliated and foolish in front of someone else. She forgot herself too. In this case, objective circumstances did not change but I felt the biggest single release of tension I’ve felt in my life. My subjective situation changed in that I learnt the value of taking. Since then I’ve seen the need for reciprocal relationships more than before, i.e. submission and obliteration of self followed by unexpected, optimistic reversal.
I would attribute word “God” to this relationship of events. This is an instance of “God” that I know I have experienced.
Where my experience overlaps with others` who attribute “God” to situation:
- Meeting in Lancaster and listening to Mozart’s Requiem afterwards.
- Moulins Cathedral, Peter Hurford organ recital, Shutz’s Matthew’s passion.
- An indescribable joy and peace of mind related to nothing specific. Utter joy and optimism at the way the world is. Security, contentment and enjoyment. The way everything and everyone fits together. Felt like water was pouring into the crumpled polythene, listening to the music.
- Joy and peace of mind about some aspect of life. Future or St. Andrews etc. and `religious` side of life.
The first experience corresponds with what many people call visions of `God`. Secondary experiences all give same intensity of feeling though rooted in different causes. All characterised by my self-elevation + certainty. I feel at `one` with my own life but other people do not really come into it as I’m abstracted from them. In 1) though I felt almost in distinguishable from anything, although it was me who was thinking it.
I wouldn’t class 2) as experiences of `God`. They are long-shot illuminations of certain aspects of my life. Particular, specific and probably delusions. 1) Too universal and abstract to invalidate the intensity of the experience, i.e. not relative or dependent upon other circumstances or variables. A `pure` universal experience.
1)2) and 1) – three outstanding incidents. Can’t be removed or explained away in light of future events,.got the feeling not of something in me or outside me but beyond me. Incident with M. – something beyond either of us – but I don’t know if my understanding of it will change when I don’t know her anymore.
If I limit my notion of `God` to these incidents that I’m absolutely certain about (i.e. have experienced) then there is no logical reason to connect religion with morality.
But I obviously do. Perhaps if I look at some of the beliefs I hold as `religious principles` I could find some common factor, or connection with my `religious experiences:
- Life is all we have. It should be preserved at all costs and no ideas are worth anyone’s life except your own.
- There is no life after death. Once your body goes your `soul` goes with it.
- There is no force of `evil`
- Life runs through everything: nature, music, people.
- Should value yourself and should value others.