In a recent thread, the topic of atheist mysticism came up in a different context. The concept may sound surprising, after all, mystics are generally understood to be seeking closeness to, or even union with, a divine being. Deeply awe-inspiring or unifying experiences can and do occur to people who do not believe in any god, however. Commonly cited are experiential insights of the vastness and boundlessness of space, contemplating the starry sky or the subatomic levels of nature. Mathematical contemplation can similarly lead to a bone-deep sense of vastness and detail. Mystics often report crises of identity or faith which are to be overcome as part of a personal developmental process in their relationship to the divine. Similarly, atheist mystics experience profound personal development triggered by their realizations of the scheme of things and their place or function. If there is interest, I'm willing to go into more detail. Ask away!