Saint Teresa of Ávila’s “First Vision” Accounts

Saint Teresa of Ávila, by Peter Paul Rubens, 1615.
Saint Teresa of Ávila, by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1615. (click to see the full painting)

Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) was a Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and was canonized a Roman Catholic saint by Pope Gregory XV.

In her penetrating autobiography, The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, she describes many of her ecstatic visions of the Divine, which should ring many bells for Latter-day Saints.

Here are a few selections, beginning with a vision of hell: Continue reading “Saint Teresa of Ávila’s “First Vision” Accounts”

Shankara’s “First Vision” Account

shankara-yoga-vedanta
Shankara, early 8th century CE

The following is from Adi Shankara, the 8th century philosopher and theologian from India:

Now I will relate to you the nature of the Supreme Self, knowing which a person is freed from boundaries and attains Kaivalya, Unity…

It pervades the entire universe but nothing pervades it. It is effulgent by nature, and its splendor illumines everything… Continue reading “Shankara’s “First Vision” Account”

Eternal Fire “First Vision” Account

This is a statement attributed to the Buddha in one of the earliest Buddhist texts:

“But it is only when all outward appearances are gone that there is left that one principle of life which exists independently of all external phenomena. It is the fire that burns in the eternal light, when the fuel is expended and the flame is extinguished; for that fire is neither in the flame nor in the fuel, nor yet inside either of the two, but above, beneath, and everywhere.” Continue reading “Eternal Fire “First Vision” Account”

Norris Stearns “First Vision” Account

This is an account written by Norris Stearns of Greenfield, Massachusetts, published in 1815, five years before Joseph Smith’s First Vision experience, in a pamphlet titled The Religious Experience Of Norris Stearns Written by Divine Command. The 35 page pamphlet can be read in its entirety online at this link. Here is an excerpt of part of his vision:

Continue reading “Norris Stearns “First Vision” Account”