I see mysticism in Joseph Smith and his work at nearly every turn. Joseph united his mind and consciousness in God to such a great degree that he spoke with the voice of Christ. One only does that if one is genuinely in mystical union with God, or delusional, or a con man (a fake). I perceive Joseph was the first, and I’ll share a few reasons why.
(Credit: The portrait above of Joseph Smith is by Brent Borup.)
It seems to me that many people consider meditation to involve elaborate fantasies, imaginings, and visioning in the mind. This seems to be facilitated and encouraged by many guided meditations. I perceive that these kinds of meditation can have many positive benefits in creative pursuits, visualization, and problem solving, to go on adventures and vision quests in the mind. However, I think meditation can offer much more than this. Continue reading “A Word about Guided Meditations”
A kind reader reached out to me and asked me to elaborate how my writings about the nature of God work with Joseph Smith’s First Vision, since it seems that his vision was meant to “clear up the confusion” surrounding the nature of God, the prevailing idea that God “was not made with body, parts or passions.” Wasn’t “the point” of his vision to “define for the world who/what God was”? Continue reading “Didn’t the First Vision Reveal the True Nature of God?”
I shared this account in my introductory paper about mysticism, but I think it should be shared as a stand-alone post as well. This is because it is so stunningly similar in many respects to Joseph Smith’s accounts of the First Vision.
Bill Wilson, the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), had a spiritual awakening that involved bright light, sometimes referred to as his “hot flash” or “white light transformation.”
Prior to founding AA, Wilson was an extreme alcoholic, and was admitted to the hospital several times for it. At about age 39, on what would be his last visit to the hospital in 1934, he showed signs of delirium tremens, a condition caused by withdrawal from high intakes of alcohol. Similar to Joseph Smith, he found himself in an extremely distressed mental state. He later recounted: Continue reading “AA Co-Founder Bill Wilson’s “First Vision” Account”
A divine light is directed on me,
penetrating this glow in which I am contained,
whose virtue, combined with my vision,
lifts me so far above myself that I see
the Supreme Essence from which it is derived. Continue reading “Dante’s “First Vision” Account”