Wow! Fabulous article. As a practicing Buddhist I was struck by your sentence, “I may be able to realise the divine through developing non-conceptual cognition that is fresh, accurate, and decisive.”
The Lotus Sutra is considered Sakyamuni’s highest teaching for just those reasons. I practice the Lotus Sutra as taught by my mentor, Daisaku Ikeda. In India the organization he founded is named Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG).
I have to take issue, though, with the word “developing” in your sentence. The key teaching of the Lotus Sutra is that there exists a direct path to the “divine” in ourselves and our environments. A direct path not dependent on our past relationships. A way to directly tap the eternally existent divine nature in all phenomena. That is why upon hearing the Lotus Sutra many “incorrigibles” instantly attained enlightenment. Ironically, at the metaphorical ceremony in the air where the Lotus Sutra was preached, it was pointed out that the teaching was so powerful that even intellectuals could achieve enlightenment through its teachings.
Your struggle,as a “non-believer”, to be understood by “believers” also resonated with me. A Catholic seminary student once asked me to explain Buddhism (which would be considered pantheistic) to him “in a nutshell”. I responded with a series of questions to which I would provide answers in order to lead him down a logical path to the Buddhist “conclusion”. The question/answer series went like this: https://medium.com/@casamurphy/a-catholic-seminary-student-once-asked-me-to-explain-buddhism-which-would-be-considered-c6234ebb9208