The closest thing I ever had to a religious experience happened one strange, sad July 4th while repeatedly listening to "Supper's Ready" from the album Foxtrot by Genesis. Maybe religious is the wrong word, although the song is rife with Christian imagery. Perhaps mystical, metaphysical or spiritual are more appropriate? Whatever it was, it was strange.
Describe it? Not even. I don't think I could ever do it justice. There were no visions or hallucinations, but there was a weird sense of dislocation, moving from room to room without any memories of doing so, time compression and the distinct sense of being outside myself observing the whole thing.
No, I wasn't drunk.
However, at the time, I misunderstood the lyrics. Towards the end of the song, Peter Gabriel sings, There's an angel standing in the sun/And he's crying with a loud voice/"This is the supper of the mighty one"/Lord of Lords/King of Kings/Has returned to lead his children home/To take them to the new Jerusalem. But due to the way the song is mixed (and also because my CD is not the remastered version), I could not understand the "with a loud voice" bit, so I thought the climactic battle depicted during the "Apocalypse in 9/8" segment had been won by the forces of darkness/evil and that the angel was weeping, not heralding. My bad!
Furthermore, "Apocalypse in 9/8" features the parenthetical addendum "Featuring the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet." Who is Gabble Ratchet? I read somewhere that the Gabble Ratchet has something to do with the souls of unbaptized children, which is a bit unsettling -- especially considering that I was never baptized -- but according to an online Genesis FAQ, it's "the sound of wild geese that heralds the arrival of archangels (or something similar)."
Anyhoo, the song has always held a special place in my cold, pitch-black heart. Clocking in at a healthy 22 minutes, 58 seconds, it's broken into seven seperate subsections, and, as "Come Sail Away" is to Eric Cartman, "Supper's Ready" is to me. Once I start the song, I have to finish it. As you can imagine, you don't really get too many opportunities to listen to 23 minutes of prog rock goodness, so when I decided to visit some friends back in my old stomping grounds, I loaded up on the Genesis and had a little party. "Supper's Ready" got me from my house to Indiana, so after the fadeout, I switched CDs over to Selling England by the Pound; for while "Supper's Ready" is my pick for best Genesis song ever, I actually think Selling England is a more cohesive album.
Plus, I didn't want to have an out-of-body experience while barreling down I-64 at 75 m.p.h.