My Thoughts on the New Age, and How It Differs from Mysticism

I am not fond of much of the New Age movement. Sometimes my thoughts about mysticism may seem like the New Age, but I think that is because the New Age has adopted a lot of mystical language and concepts, not that classical mysticism inherently belongs to the New Age. They are two different fields, which have some overlap. The New Age developed just in the 1970s. Mysticism has been around for millennia, indeed, for all of human history, in every part of the world.

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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”

Joannes Stobaeus’ “First Vision” Account

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”

Is Spiritual Purification like Polishing the Tile of the Mind?

I saw a quote on Facebook today:

There is no such thing as “samskaric burdens” except in the imaginings of the mind. When the mind drops away, so does that which imagines itself to be burdened with karma. It is instantaneous. “Cleaning the container” is certainly good for reinforcing the illusion of a more peaceful ego, but it has nothing to do with awakening. You can polish a tile until hell freezes over and you will never turn it into a mirror.

(author unknown)

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Which comes first? Consciousness or Matter?

Walt commented and asked a question on a recent post:

A day or two ago, you stated that consciousness arises in matter of sufficient complexity. If you know Spira, you probably know he asserts something different, which is that matter and mind and everything else rise out of and are ‘made of’ consciousness. Just wondering if you disagree with him there, and if so, why?

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