This community explores the human mind and consciousness and its deep relationship to what many throughout history have called “God,” the “Divine,” or the “Transcendent” from an inclusive interspiritual and scientific perspective, looking particularly at classical mysticism in all traditions.
We discuss how we may meditate, contemplate, pray, and use other traditional spiritual practices and modern means to change our minds and hearts to perceive this Oneness or Nonduality in a pure state of consciousness, as nearly every religious and spiritual tradition points toward in so many different ways, and what this might also mean from a neurological or scientific point of view. And then from this experience of unitive consciousness we may learn how to love all beings, to do good in the world, and promote light, life, truth, beauty, mercy, and justice in all we do, and achieve a state of highest well-being and satisfaction in our lives and communities.
My name is Bryce Haymond, and I started this community and write most of the articles as a springboard for discussion. You may see the articles here. My translation of Judeo-Christian scriptures is here. You can subscribe to email updates by clicking the menu button in the top-right corner, and clicking “Subscribe.” You can also learn more about me here, or contact me here.
I look forward to getting to know you, and discussing this immensely ennobling, indispensable, and far-reaching topic of our time. Welcome!
On 7 April 1844, in Nauvoo, Illinois, just 81 days before he was killed, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith gave a sermon. This is known as the King Follett discourse, and is one of the most well-documented and most significant sermons he ever gave in his lifetime. Yale literary critic Harold Bloom once described it as “one of the truly remarkable sermons ever preached in America.”1 In this sermon Smith said these profound and controversial words:
Here then is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God—you have got to learn how to be a God yourself in order to save yourself, to be Kings and Priests to God, the same as all Gods have done—by going from a small capacity to a great capacity, from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until the resurrection—till they are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, to sit in glory, as doth those who sit enthroned in everlasting power who have gone before… The mind of man [the soul or spirit] is as immortal as, and coequal with, God himself… Some shall rise to the everlasting burnings of God; for God dwells in everlasting burnings…2
The American visionary artist, Alex Grey, has depicted such a human rising to everlasting burnings and union in God consciousness in a remarkable and spectacular painting shown in the center of the image at the top of this page which he calls Theologue (1984). Grey included this caption:
The Union of Human and Divine Consciousness Weaving the Fabric of Space and Time In Which the Self and Its Surroundings Are Embedded3
He further described the painting in this way:
During deep meditation, I entered a state where all energy systems in my body were completely aligned and flowing. It was in this state that I envisioned Theologue… I stared into an infinite regress of electric perspective grids that radiated from my brain/mind and led to the horizon. A mystic fire engulfed me… I was seeing both the perceptual grid of my mind on which space and time are woven, and the universal mind which was both the source and the weaving loom.4
We often look for lasting fulfillment and well-being everywhere except within ourselves. But religions throughout history, and even science today, are showing us that the answers may be found within us, in our state of consciousness and the development of our mind. “God” has been said to dwell within us, as our innermost being, and as the fundamental being of all of nature. We may become aware of this reality directly within consciousness, if we desire. This is what so many mystics, prophets, monks, nuns, ascetics, sages, contemplatives, gurus, shamans, and visionaries have attested throughout history.
This has been called theosis, divinization, deification, resurrection, atonement, paradise, heaven, enlightenment, awakening, salvation, exaltation, liberation, realization, nirvana, nonduality, and many other things in both the East and the West. Today scientists, academics, researchers, psychologists, pharmacologists, and engineers of all kinds are beginning to study this phenomena of “enlightenment consciousness” or “higher states of consciousness,” and how we may nurture their development, attain them more readily, and integrate them into our lives for the well-being of our personal life and of all those around us. Many people, both religious and secular, have called this the highest goal of all of human life.
Join me as we discuss this subject, using the wisdom and resources from all times, people, and places. I look forward to our conversations as we learn together.
1. Bushman, Richard Lyman (2005), Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, New York: Knopf, p. 533.
2. This is my amalgamation from the four reports taken during the King Follett sermon from Thomas Bullock, William Clayton, Willard Richards, and Wilford Woodruff. I also used as references the 1844 Times & Seasons amalgamation, the 1855 Jonathan Grimshaw amalgamation, and the 1978 Stan Larson amalgamation.