I wish I could once again be the kind of reader I was as a child. I distinctly remember the feeling of being so deeply in the world of whatever I was reading that it was a true shock to be brought out of it. In a strange sense, I don’t actually remember the reading part, because the level of being aware that I was reading simply didn’t exist.
–NY Times interview with conductor Alan Gilbert (1/18/15)
Isn’t that feeling of being immersed in another reality just another way of describing what for lack of a better term can be called a “spiritual experience”? Something that unites us seamlessly with a different world in which there is no sense of “self”–as in, here I am, a divorced beekeeper with a love of pastrami sandwiches–and instead, in the absence of categorizations, there is the chance to feel united with something beyond ourselves, which is our true identity, a universal personhood that only reveals itself in moments of transcendence. Right?