Sometimes “First Vision” experiences are more subtle than others, while still being profoundly moving and life-changing. These can happen quite spontaneously, in any place or situation. The following two accounts come from an archive of over 6,000 first-hand religious or spiritual experiences from all around the world compiled by Sir Alister Hardy and now housed at the Religious Experience Research Centre (RERC) at the University of Wales, Lampeter. Continue reading “All-Encompassing Light “First Vision” Accounts”
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”
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. The following comes from his Hymns of Divine Love:
Joannes Stobaeus was a 5th-century AD compiler of Greek texts in Stobi, Macedonia. He likely read widely, and recorded many of the most interesting passages he came across from Greek authors, including poets and prose writers. The following seems to be a reference to the ancient Mysteries, religious rites, secret ceremonies and initiations, and what took place in them, perhaps a reference to the Eleusinian Mysteries. The reference may have come from Plutarch. Continue reading “Joannes Stobaeus’ “First Vision” Account”
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”
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was a noted poet, essayist, and journalist, perhaps best known for his collection of poems titled Leaves of Grass.
He wrote of divine experiences on several occasions in his poems: Continue reading “Walt Whitman’s “First Vision” Accounts”
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) is widely known as a great 19th century transcendentalist essayist, poet, philosopher, naturalist, and historian, among other things. He is most well-known for his book Walden, and his essay “Civil Disobedience.”
The following comes from his poem titled “Inspiration”: Continue reading “Henry David Thoreau’s “First Vision” Account”