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Interreligious dialogue : The Saints > Ecstasy

Onelittleangel > The Saints > Ecstasy
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T he Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali temple that was She who had become everything. She showed me everything was full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was Consciousness -- all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as It were, in Bliss,

Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kali temple; but in him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the Divine Mother-even the cat.





Hinduism 3875 | 
Nikhilananda, 1942; pp. 15-16 







I felt as if my heart were being squeezed like a wet towel. I was overpowered with a great restlessness and a fear that it might not be my lot to realize Her in this life. I could not bear the separation from Her any longer. Life seemed to be not worth living. Suddenly my glance fell on the sword that was kept in the Mother's temple. I determined to put an end to -my -life. When I jumped -up like a madman and seized it, suddenly the blessed Mother revealed Herself. The buildings with their different parts, the temple, and everything else vanished from my sight, leaving no trace whatsoever, and in their stead I saw a limitless, infinite, effulgent Ocean of Consciousness. As far as the eye could see, the shining billows were madly rushing at me from all sides with a terrific Poise, to swallow me up! I was panting for breath. I was caught in the rush and collapsed, unconscious. What was happening in the outside world I did not know; but within me there was a steady flow of undiluted bliss, altogether new, and I felt the presence of the Divine Mother.




Hinduism 3874 | 
Nikhilananda, 1942; pp. 13-14 







I behold Thee, 0 Lord my God, in a kind of mental trance, ... (1)
- Thus, while I am borne to loftiest heights, I behold Thee as Infinity... (2)
- And when I behold Thee as absolute Infinity, to whom is befitting neither the name of creating Creator nor of creatable Creator-then indeed I begin to behold Thee unveiled, and to enter into the garden of delights! (3)
... [In that vision] nothing is seen other than Thyself, [for Thou] art Thyself the object of Thyself (for Thou seest, and art That which is seen, and art the sight as well) . (4)





Christianity / Catholicism 3832 | 
(1) De visio Dei, XVI; Salter, 1960, p. 78 ; (2) De visio Dei, XIII; Salter, 1960, p. 59 ; (3) De visio Dei, XII; Salter, 1960, p. 57 ; (4) De visio Dei, XII; Salter, 1960, p. 56 







I n that breaking-through, when I come to be free of my own will and of God's will and of all His works and of God Himself, then I am above all created things, and I am neither God nor creature, but I am what I was and what I shall remain, now and eternally.

... When I stood in my first cause, I 'then had no 'God,' and then I was my own cause. I wanted nothing, I longed for nothing, for I was empty Being and the only truth in which I rejoiced was in the knowledge of my Self. Then it was my Self I wanted and nothing else. What I wanted I was, and what I was I wanted and so I stood empty of God and every thing.





Christianity 3812 | 
Sermon 52, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, pp. 200-2003 







I f you wish to form a picture of the [divine] Substance, you must raise your intellect to the last [substance] intelligible. You must purify it from all sordid sensibility, free it from the captivity of nature and approach with the force of your intelligence to the last limit of intelligible substance that it is possible for you to comprehend, until you are entirely divorced from sensible substance and lose all knowledge thereof. Then you will embrace, so to speak, the whole corporeal world in your being, and will place it in one corner of your being. When you have done this you will understand the insignificance of the sensible in comparison with the greatness of the intelligible. Then the spiritual substance will be before your eyes, comprehending you and superior to you, and you will see your own being as though you were that substance.




Judaism 3766 | 
Fons Vitae, III.204 







D ivine love (bhakti) is of the nature of nectar (amrit), gaining which, one becomes perfect, divine, and contented; and having gained which, a man has no further desire. (1)

... It is impossible to describe the nature of divine love precisely; one Is in the same predicament as a mute person asked to describe the taste of sugar. That inherent love may arise at any time or in any place within one who is fit to receive it. It has no distinctive characteristics, except that it is free of selfish motive. It is an extremely subtle inner experience of all-pervading Unity.

... Once that divine love is obtained, one looks only to that, one speaks only of that, and one contemplates only that, It is easily recognized; love requires no proof outside of itselfit is its own proof. It appears in the form of inward peace and supreme happiness. One who has attained it has no anxiety about worldly struggle; he has completely surrendered himself, the world, and everything to the Lord. (2)





Hinduism 3676 | 
(1) 3-5 ; (2) 51-61 







H e is super-essentially exalted above created things, and reveals Himself in His naked Truth to those alone who pass beyond all that is pure or impure, and ascend above the topmost altitudes of holy things, and who, leaving behind them all divine light and sound and heavenly utterances, plunge into the Darkness where truly dwells, as the Oracles declare, that ONE who is beyond all. (1)

That divine Darkness is the unapproachable light in which God dwells. Into this Darkness, rendered invisible by its own excessive brilliance and unapproachable by the intensity of its transcendent flood of light, come to be all those who are worthy to know and to see God. (2)

We pray that we may come unto this Darkness which is beyond light, and without seeing and without knowing, to see and to know That which is above vision and above knowledge. (3)





Christianity 3671 | 
(1) Mystical Theology, I.; Editors of The Shrine Of Wisdom, 1965; P. 10 ; (2) Letter To Dorotheus, a Minister; Hathaway, 1969; p. 134 ; (3) Mystical Theology, II.; Editors of The Shrine Of Wisdom, 1965; P. 12 







W hen there enters into it a glow from the Divine, the soul gathers strength, spreads true wings, and, however distracted by its proximate environment, speeds its buoyant way to something greater; ... its very nature bears it upwards, lifted by the Giver of that love. ... Surely we need not wonder that It possesses the power to draw the soul to Itself, calling it back from every wandering to rest before It. From It came everything; nothing is mightier.




Philosophy / Néoplatonism 3670 | 
Enneads, 38:6:22-23; in Porphyry, Life Of Plotinus, Turnbull, 1936; p. 199 







I f the light of a thousand Suns suddenly arose in the sky, that splendor might be compared to the radiance of the supreme Spirit. And Arjuna saw in that radiance the whole universe in its infinite variety, standing in one vast Unity as the body of God.




Hinduism 3613 | 
11:12-13; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1962 







I n the Seventh Mansion} everything is different. Our good God now desires to remove the scales form the eyes of the soul, so that it may see and understand something of the favour which He is granting it, although He is doing this in a strange manner. It is brought into this Mansion by means of an intellectual vision, in which, by a representation of the truth in a particular way, the Most Holy Trinity reveals Itself, in all three Persons. …The spirit becomes enkindled and is illumined, as it were, by a cloud of the greatest brightness.




Christianity / Catholicism 3481 | 
Interior Castle. Trans. E. Allison Peers. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1990, p. 209, Seventh Mansions, Chapter 1, Paragraph 6 







A lthough I say that the soul "sees" Him, it really sees nothing, for this is not an imaginary, but a notably intellectual vision, in which is revealed to the soul how all things are seen in God, and how within Himself He contains them all. Such a vision is highly profitable because, although it passes in a moment, it remains engraven upon the soul. It causes us the greatest confusion, by showing us clearly how wrongly we are acting when we offend God, since it is within God Himself -- because we dwell within Him, I mean -- that we are committing these great sins.




Christianity / Catholicism 3470 | 
Interior Castle. Trans. E. Allison Peers. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1990, pp. 193-194, Sixth Mansions, Chapter 10, Paragraph 2) 







G od is the one who leads me and elevates me to that state. I do not go to it on my own, for by myself I would not know how to want, desire, or seek it. I am now continually in this state. Furthermore, God very often elevates me to this state with no need, even, for my consent; for when I hope or expect it least, when I am not thinking about anything, suddenly my soul is elevated by God and I hold dominion over and comprehend the whole world. It seems, then, as if I am no longer on earth but in heaven, in God.




Christianity / Catholicism 3458 | 
Complete Works. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1993, pp. 214-216 







E ven if at times I can still experience outwardly some little sadness and joy, nonetheless there is in my soul a chamber in which no joy, sadness, or enjoyment from any virtue, or delight over anything that can be named, enters. This is where the All Good, which is not any particular good, resides, and it is so much the All Good that there is no other good. Although I blaspheme by speaking about it -- and I speak about it so badly because I cannot find words to express it -- I nonetheless affirm that in this manifestation of God I discover the complete truth. In it, I understand and possess the complete truth that is in heaven and in hell, in the entire world, in every place, in all things, in every enjoyment in heaven and in every creature. And I see all this is so truly and certainly that no one could convince me otherwise. Even if the whole world were to tell me otherwise, I would laugh it to scorn. Furthermore, I saw the One who is and how he is the being of all creatures. I also saw how he made me capable of understanding those realities I have just spoken about better than when I saw them in that darkness which used to delight me so. Moreover, in that state I see myself as alone with God, totally cleansed, totally sanctified, totally true, totally upright, totally certain, totally celestial in him. And when I am in that state, I do not remember anything else…




Christianity / Catholicism 3457 | 
Complete Works. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1993, pp. 214-216 







W hen I am in that darkness I do not remember anything about anything human, or the God-man, or anything which has a form. Nevertheless, I see all and I see nothing. As what I have spoken of withdraws and stays with me, I see the God-man. He draws my soul with great gentleness and he sometimes says to me: "You are I and I am you." I see, then, those eyes and that face so gracious and attractive as he leans to embrace me. In short, what proceeds from those eyes and that face is what I said that I saw in that previous darkness which comes from within, and which delights me so that I can say nothing about it. When I am in the God-man my soul is alive. And I am in the God-man much more than in the other vision of seeing God with darkness. The soul is alive in that vision concerning the God-man. The vision with darkness, however, draws me so much more that there is no comparison. On the other hand, I am in the God-man almost continually. It began in this continual fashion on a certain occasion when I was given the assurance that there was no intermediary between God and myself. Since that time there has not been a day or a night in which I did not continually experience this joy of the humanity of Christ.




Christianity / Catholicism 3456 | 
Complete Works. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1993, p. 205 







L ater, this same companion {I.e. Masazuola} told me, brother scribe, that on one occasion when Christ's faithful one {I.e. Angela} was lying on her side in a state of ecstasy, she saw something like a splendid, magnificent star shining with a wonderful and countless variety of colors. Rays of astonishing beauty, some thick, others slender, radiated from Christ's faithful one. Emanating from her breast while she was lying on her side, the rays unfolded or coiled as they ascended upward toward heaven. She saw this with her bodily eyes while she was wide awake, near the third hour. The star was not very big.




Christianity / Catholicism 3454 | 
Complete Works. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1993, p. 144 







I saw a fullness, a brightness with which I felt myself so filled that words fail me, nor can I find anything to compare it with. I cannot tell you that I saw something with a bodily form, but he was as he is in heaven, namely, of such an indescribable beauty that I do not know how to describe it to you except as the Beauty and the All Good.




Christianity / Catholicism 3451 | 
Complete Works. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1993, pp. 151-152 







O grandeur of ineffable glory! O excess of love! He Who embraces all things makes His home within a mortal corruptible man, He by Whose indwelling might all things are governed, and the man becomes as a woman heavy with child. O astonishing miracle and incomprehensible deeds and mysteries of the incomprehensible God! A man carries God consciously within himself as light, carries Him Who has brought all things into being and created them, including the one who carries Him now. He carries Him within as a treasure inexpressible, unspeakable, without quality, quantity, or form, immaterial, shapeless, yet with form in beauty inexplicable, altogether simple, like light, Him Who transcends all light. And, clenching his hands at his sides, this man walks in our midst and is ignored by everyone who surrounds him. Who can then adequately explain the joy of such a man? Will he not be more blessed and more glorious than any emperor? Than whom, or than how many visible worlds, will he not be more wealthy? And in what shall such a man ever be lacking? Truly, in no way shall he lack any of God's good things.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3437 | 
On the Mystical Life : The Ethical Discourses. Trans. Alexander Golitzin. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1996,(Vol. 2), p. 135 







T hou Thyself becamest visible… {Thou} didst grant me to see the outline of Thy form beyond shape. At that time Thou tookest me out of the world -- I might even say, out of the body, but Thou didst not grant me to know this exactly. Thou didst shine yet more brightly and it seemed that I saw Thee clearly in Thy entirety. When I said, "O Master, who art Thou?" then, for the first time Thou didst grant me, the prodigal, to hear Thy voice. How gently didst Thou speak to me, who was beside myself, in awe and trembling… Thou saidest, "I am God who have become man for your sake. Because you have sought me with all your soul, behold, from now on you will be My brother, My fellow heir, and My friend




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3436 | 
The Discourses, pp. 375-376, Trans. C.J. de Catanzaro. Ramsey, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1980. 







H ow good it is thankfully to proclaim the blessings of God, who loves men!… By grace I have received grace (cf. Jn. 1:16), by doing well I have received [His] kindness, by fire I have been requited with fire, by flame with flame. As I ascended I was given other ascents, at the end of the ascent I was given light, and by the light an even clearer light. In the midst thereof a sun shone brightly and from it a ray shone forth that filled all things. The object of my thought remained beyond understanding, and in this state I remained while I wept most sweetly and marveled at the ineffable. The divine mind conversed with my own mind and taught me, saying, "Do you realize what My power has done to you out of love for men because of but a little faith and patience that strengthens your love? Behold, though you are subject to death, you have become immortal, and though you are ruled by corruption you find yourself above it. You live in the world and yet you are with Me; you are clothed with a body and yet you are not weighed down by any of the pleasures of the body. You are puny in appearance, yet you see intellectually. It is in very deed I who have brought you into being out of nothing."




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3435 | 
The Discourses, p. 205, Trans. C.J. de Catanzaro. Ramsey, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1980. 







A s we ascend to that which is more perfect, He who is without form or shape comes no longer without form or without shape. Nor does He cause His light to come to us and be present with us in silence. But how? He comes in a definite form indeed, though it is a divine one. Yet God does not show Himself in a particular pattern or likeness, but in simplicity, and takes the form of an incomprehensible, inaccessible, and formless light. We cannot possibly say or express more than this; still He appears clearly and is consciously known and clearly seen, though He is invisible. He sees and hears invisibly and, just as friend speaks to friend face to face (cf. Ex. 33:11), so He who by nature is God speaks to those whom by grace He has begotten as gods. He loves like a father, and in turn He is fervently loved by His sons.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3433 | 
The Discourses, p. 365, Trans. C.J. de Catanzaro. Ramsey, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1980. 







H itherto I had frequently seen a light, at times within, when my soul had enjoyed calmness and peace. At times it appeared to me externally, from afar, or even it was completely hidden, and by its hiddenness caused me the unbearable pain of thinking I would not see it again. But when I lamented and wept and displayed complete solitude and obedience and humility it appeared to me again. It was like the sun as it penetrates through the thickness of mist and gradually shows itself a gently glowing sphere. Thus Thou, the ineffable, the invisible, the impalpable, the immovable, who always are everywhere present in all things and fillest everything, at all times, or if I may say so, by day and by night, art seen and art hidden. Thou goest away and Thou comest, Thou dost vanish from sight and Thou suddenly appearest. So bit by bit Thou didst scatter the darkness that was within me; Thou didst dispel the mist and dissolve the thickness; Thou didst clean the dim eyes of my intellect. Thou didst remove the barriers of my eyes and didst open them; Thou tookest away the veil of insensitivity. At the same time Thou didst put to sleep all passion and every fleshly pleasure and totally expel them from me. Having thus brought me to this state Thou didst clear the heaven of every mist. By "the heaven" I mean the soul Thou hast cleansed in which Thou comest invisibly (how or from whence I know not). Thou who art everywhere present art suddenly found and manifested like another sun. O ineffable condescension!




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3431 | 
The Discourses, pp. 364-365, Trans. C.J. de Catanzaro. Ramsey, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1980. 







W hile many have seen {the light of God}, they have not all acquired it, just like many have seen the great treasure in the royal vaults and have gone away empty. While a divine light and illumination often comes in the beginning to those who are fervently repenting, it passes away immediately. If they give themselves up even to death itself and seek it with hard labor, presenting themselves to the Lord as worthy and blameless in every way, then at last they receive it again come back to them. If however, they become a little lazy and take leave from throwing themselves into greater labors by loving their own souls, they become unworthy of so great a gift and do not enter, while still living in the body, into everlasting life.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3430 | 
On the Mystical Life : The Ethical Discourses. Trans. Alexander Golitzin. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1996, (Vol. 1), p. 159 







B lessed are they… who have received Christ coming as light in the darkness {Jn 1:5,12}, for they are become sons of light and of day {1 Thes 5:5}.

Blessed are they who even now have put on His light, for they are clothed already with the wedding garment. They will not be bound hand and foot, nor will they be cast into the everlasting fire… {cf Mt 22:11-13}

Blessed are they who hourly taste of the ineffable light with the mouth of their intellect, for they shall walk "becomingly as in the day" [Rom 13:13], and spend all their time in rejoicing…

Blessed are they who have kindled the light in their hearts even now and have kept it unquenched, for on their departing this life they shall go radiant to meet the Bridegroom, and go in with Him to the bridal chamber bearing their lamps… {cf Mt 25:1-13}

Blessed are they who ever weep bitterly for their sins, for the light shall seize them and change the bitter into sweet {cf Mt 5:4}.

Blessed are they who shine with the divine light and who see their own infirmity and understand the deformity of their soul's vesture, for they shall weep without failing and, but by the channels of their tears, be washed clean.

Blessed are they who have drawn near the divine light and entered within it and become wholly light, having been mingled with it, for they have completely taken off their soiled vesture and shall weep bitter tears no more {cf Rom 13:12-14}.

Blessed are they who see their own clothing shining as Christ, for they shall be filled hourly with joy inexpressible and shall weep tears of astounding sweetness, perceiving that they have become themselves already sons and co-participants of the resurrection.

Blessed are they who have the eye of their intellect ever open and with prayer see the light and converse with it mouth to mouth, for they are of equal honor with the angels and, dare I say it, have and shall become higher than the angels, for the latter sing praises while the former intercede. And, if they have become and are ever becoming such while still living in the body and impeded by the corruption of the flesh, what shall they be after the Resurrection and after they have received that spiritual and incorruptible body? Certainly, they shall not be merely the equals of angels, but indeed like the angels' Master, as it is written: "But we know," he says, "that when He appears we shall be like Him" [1 Jn 3:2].

Blessed is that monk who is present before God in prayer and who sees Him and is seen by Him {cf Jn 14:21, Mt 5:8}, and perceives himself as having gone beyond the world and as being in God alone, and is unable to know whether he happens to be in the body or outside the body {2 Cor 12:2-3}, for he will hear "ineffable speech which it is not lawful for a man to utter" [2 Cor 12:4], and shall see "what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived" [1 Cor 2:9].

Blessed is he who has seen the light of the world take form within himself, for he, having Christ as an embryo within {cf Gal 4:19}, shall be reckoned His mother, as He Himself Who does not lie has promised, saying: "Here are my mother and brothers and friends." Who? "Those who hear the word of God and do it" [Lk 8:2]. So those who do not keep His commandments deprive themselves voluntarily of so great a grace, because the thing was and is and will be possible, and has happened and happens and will happen for all who fulfill His ordinances.





Christianity / Orthodoxy 3429 | 
On the Mystical Life : The Ethical Discourses. Trans. Alexander Golitzin. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1996, (Vol. 1), pp. 166-169 







W hen in fear, trembling and unworthiness we are yet permited to receive the divine, undefiled Mysteries of Christ, our King and Lord, we should then display even greater watchfulness, strictness and guard over our hearts, so that the divine fire, the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, may consume our sins and stains, great and small. For when that fire enters into us, it at once drives the evil spirits from our heart and remits the sins we have previously committed, leaving the intellect free from the turbulence of wicked thoughts. And if after this, standing at the entrance to our heart, we keep strict watch over the intellect, when we are again permitted to receive those Mysteries the divine body will illumine our intellect still more and make it shine like a star.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3406 | 
On Watchfulness and Holiness: ("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 179, text 101) 







T he guarding of the intellect may appropriately be called light-producing, lightning-producing, light-giving and fire-bearing, for truly it surpasses endless virtues, bodily and other. Because of this, and because of the glorious light to which it gives birth, one must honour this virtue with worthy epithets… {Those who have become contemplatives} bathe in a sea of pure and infinite light, touching it ineffably and living and dwelling in it. They have tasted that the Lord is good (cf. Ps. 34:8)…




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3404 | 
On Watchfulness and Holiness: ("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p 192, text 171) 







W hile we are being strengthened in Christ Jesus and beginning to move forward in steadfast watchfulness, He at first appears in our intellect like a torch which, carried in the hand of the intellect, guides us along the tracks of the mind; then He appears like a full moon, circling the heart's firmament; then He appears to us like the sun, radiating justice, clearly revealing Himself in the full light of spiritual vision.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3403 | 
On Watchfulness and Holiness: ("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 191, text 166) 







S o I entered the place where I usually prayed and mindful of the words of the holy man I began to say, "Holy God". At once I was so greatly moved to tears and loving desire for God that I would be unable to describe in words the joy and the delight I then felt. I fell prostrate on the ground, and at once I saw, and behold, a great light was immaterially shining on me and seized hold of my whole mind and soul, so that I was struck with amazement at the unexpected marvel and I was, as it were, in ecstasy. Moreover I forgot the place where I stood, who I was, and where and could only cry out, 'Lord, have mercy,' so that when I came to myself I discovered I was reciting this. But who it was that was speaking, and who moved my tongue, I do not know - only God knows.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3368 | 
Cathecetical Discourse XVI 







D uring the day he managed a patrician's household and daily went to the palace, engaged in worldly affairs, so that no one was aware of his pursuits. …One day, as he stood and recited, "God, have mercy upon me, a sinner" Lk. 18:13), uttering it with his mind rather than his mouth, suddenly a flood of divine radiance appeared from above and filled all the room. As this happened the young man lost all awareness [of his surroundings] and forgot that he was in a house or that he was under a roof. He saw nothing but light all around him and did not know if he was standing on the ground. He was not afraid of falling: he was not concerned with the world nor did anything pertaining to men and corporeal beings enter his mind. Instead, he seemed to himself to have turned into light. Oblivious of all the world he was filled with tears and with ineffable joy and gladness. His mind then ascended to heaven and beheld yet another light, which was clearer than that which was close at hand. In a wonderful manner there appeared to him standing close to that light, the saint of whom we have spoken, the old man equal to angels, who had given him the commandment and the book. …




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3366 | 
The Catechetical Discourses XXII 







W hen certitude about God Most High does occur in the heart…the heart becomes tranquil through the Majesty of God; then it abstains from what is other-than-God. So, it stands weak and is compelled to cry out to God for help. Then He who responds to the necessitous when they cry out to Him, responds to it. That radiant light settles into the heart and the darkness of preoccupation with what is other-than-God is extinguished therewith. Then the reality of the Realm (al-Malakut) becomes visible to it, and that is what Harithah meant when he said to the Messenger of God: "It is as if I see the Throne of my Lord distinctly." And the Messenger of God said, "The Light of God Most High is faith in one's heart."




Islam / Sufism 3290 | 
The Key To Salvation: A Sufi Manual of Invocation. Trans. Mary Ann Koury Danner. Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 1996, p. 150 







I saw the visions described in the scriptures. Sometimes I saw the universe filled with sparks of fire. Sometimes I saw all the quarters glittering with light, as if the world were a lake of mercury. Sometimes I saw the world as if made of liquid silver. Sometimes again, I saw all the quarters illumined as if with the light of Roman candles.




Hinduism 3198 | 
Mahendranath Gupta. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. Trans. Swami Nikhilananda. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1942, 1948, 1958, p. 333 







W hen the latent treasure of inner Shakti is released in meditation, you will soon ascend to the higher stages of meditation. You will see splendid sights and glorious forms. You will perceive internal divine lights. It is only by virtue of these lights that your body becomes beautiful and you feel love for one another. As the magnificent radiance sparkles in meditation, your craving for beautiful and loving forms will be satisfied. You will see the whole world as radiant.
Along with visions, you will hear inner sounds. Sweet, divine music will ring in your ears. As you listen to it, you will have such a sleep as is enjoyed only by heavenly beings. These melodious strains will compel you to dance in ecstasy and eradicate your indifference, distress, and ramblings of mind. Not only this, the inner music will release celestial ambrosia and you will relish its sweetness. This nectar, trickling from the palate, is the sweetest of all tastes. Each drop is worth more than millions. This elixir will expel all your diseases and fill you with gladness. Your anger will vanish. You will exude ambrosial sweetness. You will rejoice in your spouse and children. As you taste this nectar and become absorbed in it, you will be transported with inner delight.
0 my dear ones! You will also inhale divine scents. As your inner aroma is released, not only your home but your whole world will become tranquil; your body will shed its heaviness and sloth, and become lithe and vibrant.
When your inner Kundalini Shakti is stirred, She will release Her impulses of love throughout your body and its seventy-two thousand nerves. She will thrill your every blood cell with Her ecstatic joy. Only then will your craving for touch be truly gratified. You will recover the lost luster of your eyes. Your withered face will again glow with love and your lips will become rosy. Your world will quiver with beauty, joy, and love! You will become aware of the omnipresence of the Lord; you will realize that this entire world is His and that He is maintaining it.





Hinduism 3125 | 
in Jonathan Star, the Inner Treasure, Tarcher Putnam, from an unpublished work written in 1972. 







T he state of a Siddha is beyond both knowing and not knowing. In that state, bliss is embraced by bliss. Joy is experienced through joy. Success is gained through success. Light dwells within light…. In that state, astonishment drowns in astonishment. All dos and don'ts are silenced. Rest attains total rest. Experience delights in experience. The state of a Siddha is the attainment of total perfection. Siddhas are like this. 0 friend, read this very carefully.




Hinduism 3118 | 
a talk given in Ganeshpuri, India, 1983, and Darshan Magazine, Vol. 30131:162 (1989). 







L ast night I learned how to be a lover of God
To live in this world and call nothing my own.

I looked inward
And the beauty of my own emptiness
filled me till dawn.
It enveloped me like a mine of rubies.
Its hue clothed me in red silk.

Within the cavern of my soul
I heard the voices of lovers crying,
"Drink now! Drink now!"-

I took a sip and saw the vast ocean
Wave upon wave caressed my soul.
The lovers of God dance around
And the circle of their steps
becomes a ring of fire round my neck.

Heaven calls me with its rain and thunder
a hundred thousand cries
yet I cannot hear …

All I hear is the call of my Beloved.





Islam / Sufism 3054 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







T he first time I entered the Holy House,” said Bayazid, I saw the Holy House. The second time I entered it, I saw the Lord of the House. The third time I saw neither the House nor the Lord of the House.

By this Bayazid meant, I became lost in God, so that I knew nothing. Had I seen at all, I would have been God.





Islam / Sufism 2973 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.245 







A nd thus at this time the soul also suffers great darkness in the understanding, many aridities and afflictions in the will, and grievous knowledge of its miseries in the memory, for the eye of its spiritual self-knowledge is very bright. And in its substance the soul suffers profoundly from its poverty and abandonment.
Now, since this is the remedy and medicine that God gives to the soul for its many infirmities, that he may bring it health, the soul must needs suffer in the purgation and remedy, according to the nature of its sickness. For here its heart is laid upon the coals, so that every kind of evil spirit is driven away from it; and here its infirmities are continually brought to light and are laid bare before its eyes that it may feel them, and then they are cured. And that which aforetime was hidden and set deep within the soul is now seen and felt by it, in the light and heat of the fire, whereas aforetime it saw nothing. Even so, in the water and smoke that the fire drives out of wood are seen the humidity and the frigidity that it had aforetime, though this was realized by none. But now, being brought near to this flame, the soul clearly sees and feels its miseries, for - oh, wonderful thing! - there arise within it contraries against contraries against contraries, some of which, as the philosophers say, bring the others to light; and they make war in the soul, striving to expel each other in order that they may reign within it.
God, who is all perfection, wars against all the imperfect habits of the soul, and, purifying the soul with the heat of his flame, he uproots its habits from it, and prepares it, so that at last he may enter it and be united with it by his sweet, peaceful, and glorious love, as is the fire when it has entered the wood.





Christianity / Catholicism 2847 | 
Saint John of the Cross, taken from Saint John of the Cross: Poems, translated by Willis Barnstone (New York: New Directions, 1972). 







H ow, I asked Father Seraphim, "can I know that I am in the grace of the Holy Spirit? I do not understand how I can be certain that I am in the Spirit of God. How can I discern for myself his true manifestation in me?"
Father Seraphim replied: "I have already told you, Your Godliness, that it is very simple and I have related in detail how people come to be in the Spirit of God and how we can recognize his presence in us. So what do you want, my son?" I want to understand it well" I said. Then Father Seraphim took me very firmly by the shoulders and said: 'We are both in the Spirit of God now, my son. Why don't you look at me?" I replied: I cannot look, Batiushka, because your eyes are flashing like lightning. Your face has become brighter than the sun, and my eyes ache with pain."
Father Seraphim said: "Don't be alarmed, Your Godliness! Now you yourself have become as bright as I am. You are now in the fullness of the Spirit of God yourself, otherwise you would not be able to see me as I am." Then bending his head toward me, he whispered softly in my ear: "Thank the Lord God for his unutterable mercy to us! You saw that I did not even cross myself; and only in my heart I prayed mentally to the Lord and said within myself. 'Lord, grant him to see clearly with his bodily eyes that descent of thy Spirit which thou grantest to thy servants when thou art pleased to appear in the light of thy magnificent glory.' And you see my son, the Lord instantly fulfilled the humble prayer of poor Seraphim. How then shall we not thank him for this unspeakable gift to us both? Even to the greatest hermits, my son, the Lord God does not always show his mercy in this way. This grace of God, like a loving mother, has been pleased to comfort your contrite heart at the intercession of the Mother of God herself. But why, my son, do you not look me in the eyes? Just look, and don't be afraid! The Lord is with us!"
After these words I glanced at his face and there came over me an even greater reverent awe. Imagine in the center of the sun, in the dazzling light of its midday rays, the face of a man talking to you. You see the movement of his lips and the changing expression of his eyes, you hear his voice, you feel someone holding your shoulders; yet you do not see his hands, you do not even see yourself or his figure, but only a blinding light spreading far around for several yards and illumining with its brilliance both the snow-blanket that covered the forest glade and the snowflakes which besprinkled me and the great elder. You can imagine the state I was in!
"How do you feel now?" Father Seraphim asked me.
"Extraordinarily well;' I said.
"But in what way? How exactly do you feel well?"
I answered: "I feel such calmness and peace in my soul that no words can express it."
"This, Your Godliness," said Father Seraphim, "is that peace of which the Lord said to his disciples; 'My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you' (John I4:27). What else do you feel?" Father Seraphim asked me. 'An extraordinary sweetness" I replied.
And he continued: "This is that sweetness of which it is said in Holy Scripture: 'They shall be drunken with the fatness of thy house, and of the torrent of thy delight shalt thou make them to drink' (Psalm 36:8). And now this sweetness is flooding our hearts…. Mat else do you feel?" An extraordinary joy in all my heart."
And Father Seraphim continued: 'When the Spirit of God comes down to man and overshadows him with the fullness of his inspiration, then the human soul overflows with unspeakable joy, for the Spirit of God fills with joy whatever he touches. You my son, have wept enough in your life on earth; yet see with what joy the Lord consoles you even in this life! What else do you feel, Your Godliness?"
I answered: 'An extraordinary warmth.'
"How can you feel warmth, my son? Look, we are sitting in the forest. It is winter out-of-doors, and snow is underfoot. There is more than an inch of snow on us, and the snowflakes are still falling. What warmth can there be?"
I answered: "Such as there is in a bathhouse when the water is poured on the stone and the steam rises in clouds.' 'And the smell he asked me, "is it like the smell of a bathhouse?"
"No," I replied. "There is nothing on earth like this fragrance. When in my dear mother's lifetime I was fond of dancing and used to go to balls and parties, my mother would sprinkle me with the scent that she bought at the best shops in Kazan. But those scents did not exhale such fragrance.'
And Father Seraphim, smiling pleasantly, said: I know it myself lust as well as you do, my son, but I am asking you on purpose to see whether you feel it in the same way. It is absolutely true, Your Godliness! The sweetest earthly fragrance cannot be compared with the fragrance that we now feel, for we are now enveloped in the fragrance of the Holy Spirit of God.
Our present state is that of which the Apostle says, The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace in the Holy Spirit' (Romans I4:I7). Our faith consists not in the plausible words of earthly wisdom but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power (see I Corinthians 2A). That is just the state we are in now. Of this state the Lord said, There are some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power' (Mark 9: I). See, my son, what unspeakable joy the Lord God has now granted us!"
I don't know Batiuslika,' I said, "whether the Lord will grant me to remember this mercy of God always as vividly and clearly as I feel it now. 'I think,' Father Seraphim answered me, 'that the Lord will help you to retain it in your memory forever, or his goodness would never have instantly bowed in this way to my humble prayer and so quickly anticipated the request of poor Seraphim; all the more so, because it is not given to you alone to understand it, but through you it is for the whole world, in order that you yourself may be confirmed in God's work and may be useful to others. The fact that I am a monk and you are a layman is utterly beside the point. What God requires is true faith in himself and his only-begotten Son. In return for that the grace of the Holy Spirit is granted abundantly from on high. The Lord seeks a heart filled to overflowing with love for God and our neighbor; this is the throne on which he loves to sit and on which he appears in the fullness of his heavenly glory. Son, give me thine heart (Proverbs 23:26; see Matthew 6:33), for in the human heart the Kingdom of God can be contained."





Christianity / Orthodoxy 2840 | 
SAINT SERAPHIM OF SAROV, adapted from A Wonderful Revelation to the World by Saint Seraphim, translated by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore from Orthodox Life, vol. 4 (1953). 







A nd therefore, too, such enlightened men are, with a free spirit, lifted up above reason into a bare and imageless vision, wherein lives the eternal indrawing summons of the Divine Unity; and, with an imageless and bare understanding, they pass through all works, and all exercises, and all things, until they reach the summit of their spirits.




Christianity 2832 | 
John Ruusbroec, adapted from the translation by Evelyn Underhill in Mysticism (London: Methuen, 1911). 







W hen God is seen in darkness it does not bring a smile to the lips, nor devotion, fervor, or ardent love; neither does the body or the soul tremble or move as at other times; the soul sees nothing and everything; the body sleeps and speech is cut off. God spoke to me, all those which you ever wrote - I now understand that these were so much less than that which I see with such great darkness, that in no way do I place my hope in them, nor is there any of my hope in them. Even if it were possible that all these previous experiences were not true, nonetheless, that could in no way diminish my hope - the hope that is so secure and certain in the All Good which I see with such darkness. Christ's faithful one told me, that her soul had been elevated only three times to this most exalted and altogether ineffable way of seeing God with such darkness, a vision which was a superlative and utterly wonderful grace. For in this state it seems to me that I am standing or lying in the midst of the Trinity!'




Christianity / Catholicism 2819 | 
Angela of Foligno, from Angela of Foligno: Complete Works, translated by Paul Lachance (Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1993). 







A fterward, I saw him in a darkness, and in a darkness precisely because the good that he is, is far too great to be conceived or understood. Indeed, anything conceivable or understandable does not attain this good or even come near it. My soul was then granted a most certain faith, a secure and most firm hope, a continual security about God that took away all my fear. In this good, which is seen in the darkness, I recollected myself totally. I was made so sure of God that in no way can I ever entertain any doubts about him or of my possession of him.




Christianity / Catholicism 2818 | 
Angela of Foligno, from Angela of Foligno: Complete Works, translated by Paul Lachance (Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press,1993). 







I magine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down, along with all our busy thoughts about earth, sea, and air; if the very world should stop, and the mind cease thinking about itself, go beyond itself, and be quite still; if all the fantasies that appear in dreams and imagination should cease, and there be no speech, no sign: Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still - for if we listen they are saying, "We did not make ourselves; he made us who abides forever" - imagine, then, that they should say this and fall silent, listening to the very voice of him who made them and not to that of his creation; so that we should hear not his word through the tongues of men, nor the voice of angels, nor the clouds' thunder, nor any symbol, but the very Self which in these things we love, and go beyond ourselves to attain a flash of that eternal wisdom that abides above all things: And imagine if that moment were to go on and on, leaving behind all other sights and sounds but this one vision that ravishes and absorbs and fixes the beholder in joy; so that the rest of eternal life were like that moment of illumination that leaves us breathless:
Would this not be what is bidden in scripture, Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord?





Christianity 2805 | 
Saint Augustine, from Eknath Easwaran's anthology God Makes the Rivers to Flow, copyright 1991, Nilgiri Press, Tornales, CA 94971. 







E ntering upon the eighth stage, with the "turning-about" at the deepest seat of consciousness, the Bodhisattva will become conscious that he has received the second kind of Transcendental-body (Manomayakaya). The transition from mortal body to Transcendental-body has nothing to do with mortal death, for the old body continues to function and the old mind serves the needs of the old body, but now it is free from the control of mortal mind. There has been an inconceivable transformation-death by which the false imagination of his particularized individual personality has been transcended by a realization of his oneness with the universalized mind of Tathagatahood, from which realization there will be no recession.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2603 | 
Ch XI, p.341, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 





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