Armella Nicolas’s “First Vision” Account

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Portrait of Armella Nicolas, known as “the good Armella” (17th century)
Armella Nicolas (1606-1671) was a serving-maid who lived in France in the 17th century, who came to be held in high veneration in the Catholic church. She could not read or write, but told friends of her spiritual experiences, including sister Jeanne de la Nativite, who wrote down her experiences. The following is one of her recorded experiences: Continue reading “Armella Nicolas’s “First Vision” Account”

Joseph Smith’s “Sinking” Into the Darkest Abyss to Commune with God

A recent quote I saw shared was from the nondual spiritual teacher Rupert Spira, in which he said this:

…just as the beam of light from a flashlight can be directed towards an object but cannot be directed towards the bulb from which it emanates, so awareness, in the form of attention or mind, can direct the light of its knowing towards objective experience but cannot direct itself towards itself.

Continue reading “Joseph Smith’s “Sinking” Into the Darkest Abyss to Commune with God”

Exodus 3 BHT, Moses Meets God as a Fire in His Self

An addition to the BHT, my translation of Exodus 3, one of the signature chapters of the Old Testament and Torah, where Moses first encounters God in a burning “bush,” which I perceive was a mystical vision of God within Moses’ very own mind and heart (cf. Psalm 104:4; Isaiah 33:14). (The painting above is “Holy Fire,” by visionary artist Alex Grey, 1987, oil on linen, 224 x 90 inches.) Continue reading “Exodus 3 BHT, Moses Meets God as a Fire in His Self”

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

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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”