When I used to give talks (a.k.a. satsangs) at gatherings of the India-based spiritual group that I was a long time member of, one of my stock lines was "The easiest vow for most of us to follow is the injunction not to disclose our inner experiences."
Ha-ha. Laughter would follow.
Because people knew that I was speaking the truth: meditation resulted in almost precisely zilch, nada, zero enlightenment or ensoundenment experiences (the practices of this organization were intended to bring about contact with divine light and sound).
So when the guru enjoined his disciples not to speak about their grand mystical insights into cosmic mysteries, this was a pretty darn easy commandment to obey -- given that nobody I knew was having any (we figured that it was OK to speak about not having inner experiences).
Since I entered my churchless phase, I've actually had more cosmic revelations. Which isn't surprising, since when you're starting at zero, the only way to go is up on the revelation scale.
Take today, an excellent day to take.
Sunny, warm, clear skies. Not at all uncommon during our beautiful Oregon summers. (As Gov. Tom McCall said, please, come and visit; just don't stay here.)
Life...it isn't going to last forever. Not even close to forever. This moment, this view, this sensation of being on horseback, there's no way to value IT. Except maybe as infinitely precious.
This revelation, which many other people have also, is horribly devalued by religious belief. I know, because I used to believe that Real Life was going to begin sometime in the future, likely after I died and went to heaven (the Eastern philosophy equivalent, of course).
Or when the enlightenment curtain lifted in my psyche and I saw things as they really are, not as how my current deluded maya-encrusted mind viewed the world.
Not surprisingly, this there and then focus, which is a hallmark of religious belief systems, worked to dilute my appreciation of the here and now. Now -- what a beautiful word! -- I'm much more aware of how precious each and every passing moment is.
Because when my life is over, I no longer believe that more moments will be forthcoming.
The insect had its thing to do. I had mine. Our moments intersected for a moment before we went our separate ways.
IT was present here also, that sensation of never again, so now! that seems to be amplified when I look through the viewfinder of my camera and press the shutter button.
I'm grateful for that feeling. I don't consider that it comes from anywhere but myself. However, there's plenty of room to bow down before the mystery of self.
No god is needed for revelations. Just an awareness of what is.