Yet another “First Vision” Account from St. Symeon the New Theologian

St. Symeon the New Theologian

St. Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022 AD) was a Byzantine Christian monk and poet, and was canonized as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox church. He wrote much about Christian mysticism, including his own experiences.

I’ve written twice before about St. Symeon’s “First Vision” accounts. He seems to have recorded many of them. He was prolific in sharing his experiences of theosis, or deification, and is called by Father George A. Maloney the “mystic of fire and light.”

Continue reading “Yet another “First Vision” Account from St. Symeon the New Theologian”

Another “First Vision” Account from St. Symeon the New Theologian

St. Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022 AD) was a Byzantine Christian monk and poet, and was canonized as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox church. He wrote much about Christian mysticism, including his own experiences.

I have written previously about his experiences of the Divine Light, and his writing in Hymns of Divine Love. Here I relate perhaps his very firstFirst Vision” experience of that Light which he wrote in a homily called On Faith, which he experienced prior to becoming a monk. He seems to have related this experience in the third person, under the name “George,” which may have been his own birth name.

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Richard Bucke’s “First Vision” Account

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Richard Maurice Bucke

Richard Maurice Bucke (1837-1902) was a Canadian psychiatrist. He is best known for his 1901 book Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mindin which he explored higher forms of consciousness as they have been expressed throughout human history.

In 1872 Bucke had a mystical experience of his own, which he later recorded: Continue reading “Richard Bucke’s “First Vision” Account”

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “First Vision” Account

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Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1876

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) was a Russian novelist, writer, and philosopher. He often explored questions of psychology, philosophy, and religion. He wrote many acclaimed novels.

He published a short story in the 1870s in a collection called A Writer’s Diary with the title “The Dream of a Queer Fellow,” also published as The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. As Maria Popova points out, “the story sheds light on Dostoyevsky’s personal spiritual and philosophical bents with extraordinary clarity — perhaps more so than any of his other published works.” As with so much so-called “fiction,” it is perhaps a true reflection of his own deepest intuitions, spiritual experiences, and understandings. Continue reading “Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “First Vision” Account”

Annie Dillard’s “First Vision” Account

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Annie Dillard

Annie Dillard (b. 1945) is an American author of fiction and non-fiction. She won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction in 1975 for her work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. This nonfiction book was written in the first-person detailing Dillard’s exploration around her home in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and her close observation of nature and life.

The following passages comes from that book. The first is her review of passages from another book about congenital blindness and gaining first sight. Continue reading “Annie Dillard’s “First Vision” Account”

John van Ruysbroeck’s “First Vision” Accounts

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John van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381)

John van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381) was a Flemish mystic and writer. He was raised in the Catholic faith, becoming a priest. He is now venerated in the Catholic Church. He was beatified in 1903 by Pope Pius X.

The following quote comes from his treatise The Sparkling Stone. Another well-known modern mystic, Evelyn Underhill, described this passage thus: “The old Mystic, sitting under his friendly tree, seems here to be gazing at, and reporting to us the final secrets of that Eternal World.” Continue reading “John van Ruysbroeck’s “First Vision” Accounts”