More recently I purchased CDs with Masses by Orlando de Lassus, Hymns and Songs of the Church by Orlando Gibbons, some cool CDs from the Harmonia Mundi label with music for Epiphany and for Corpus Christi, and some other early music. I attended Christmas Mass at the Russian Orthodox Church this year and got me some CDs with respective music, I occasionally listen to Renaissance music on the internet and years ago I bought a CD with works by Thomas Tallis (motivated by the Fantansia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams, which is very beautiful). Apart from the ethereal vibration of that kind of music, resemblant to that of Scelsi, I was always attracted by the sacral, though I am not actually a religious person and not exactly a believer. But I seem to have always liked gravitas and sincerity, and the mix of sublime and the celestial as well as piety and humility, specifically expressed in such a kind of music. It gives me a sense of the gravitas and sincerity, the depth of the world – with, however, the deep ground not being a hostile or nihilistic abyss, but something that cares and protects, unobtrusively, even if that is only a mirror image of myself amidst cosmic indifference. Think of darkness in a late november evening, there is a cabin in the woods where inside there is a subtle light that illuminates and warms. That is the religious deep ground of the world.
Spirituality means a heightened and intimate intellectual/ethical/emotional attachedness to the world, somehow resulting in transcendence of personality and a transcendent perception of the world. There is a notion of a certain amalgmation of subject and object/world, respectively with the transcendent (God, infinity, nature, Tao et al.). It should bring about tenderness and familiarity with all that exists. A spiritual disposition can exist in a person per se and need not be something difficult to achieve; spiritual attachedness can be to anything, there is also superstitious or occult spirituality, or it can be a tool for a person´s narcissism.
Mysticism on the one hand refers to a deep (and very sincere) connection to the world, but to (aspects of) a world that is not immediately there but that are concealed, mysterious, deep and profound. The true mystic experience is considered to be a matter only for a very elevated mind, the mystic´s path usually involves pain, profound life experience and some sort of asceticism. Mysticism also refers to the unio mystica, i.e. the becoming one with God or with the supreme or primal instance of existence (e.g. infinity or Tao). It is not as plebeian as „mere“ spirituality, but maybe invokes false sense of grandiosity and megalomania. Mysticism involves some potential for obscurantism and diverse hallucinations, or it can be a tool for a person´s narcissism.
Religion etymologically refers to „careful consideration“ and devotion to the commandments. Unlike spirituality and mysticism it primarly refers to awe and deep respect for a higher instance that is forever out of our reach, and that is, finally, intangible. Although I am not exactly a religious person I referred elsewhere that I appreciate the idea of gravitas involved in that sentiment and that, although not exactly a believer, I like the idea of thinking of an instance that is forever more intelligent and better than myself and considering what it might say to me and how the instance would judge me, somehow like Kierkegaard´s jubilation about the idea that „against God we are always in the wrong“. Religion is a means for imposing power of a ruling class over people and also a means for giving an identity to people and a collective. Holding on to religious beliefs may be primarily based on lack of creativity and need not change or elevate a person very much (i.e. a paranoid person will have a paranoid understanding of religion, an anxious person an anxious one; good and altruistic persons will see it as an amplifier of goodness and altruism, etc.), or it can be a tool for a person´s narcissism.
To truly experience spirituality, mysticism or religion i.e. to increase attachment to the world and establish communication with the horizon of the world (i.e. the transcendent), it needs to involve the fundamental aspects of spirituality, mysticism and religion. Spirituality, mysticism and religion is a kind of trinity. Einstein´s „Cosmic Religion“ (based on awe for the sublimal depth and harmony of the universe and the quasi-sanctity of the truth-seeker) is like that and an expression of the extreme „mystical“ immersion and empathy of Einstein´s scientific mind and may be the expression of a religious sentiment in a modern, scientifically enlightened age, and gives a sense of how correct balance of the individual and the (horizon of) the world can be achieved, and, bearing that in mind, on rare occasions even be transcended: Extremely sophisticated and pure individuals like Sufi mystics Attar of Nishapur or Bayezid Bastemi are even in the position to argue and express anger (however: not revolt) against God, due to his shortcomings, occasionally they win the argument, occasionally they lose.
I see the spirituality/mysticism/religion trinity as a kind of sun before me, however it shrinks to a shining sun (or white dwarf) in my hand, maybe I move along, there are other planets surrounding me as well, but that one is, of course, important.