The mission of this community is to explore human consciousness and its relationship to what has traditionally been called “God,” and how we may use our minds to commune with, be transformed by, and realize oneness or nonduality in this Ultimate Reality.
Welcome! My name is Bryce Haymond, and I’m a designer, artist, philosopher, writer, and a contemplative and mystic.
I grew up in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah, raised as a Mormon (LDS). I participated in all of the typical Mormon activities growing up, getting baptized at eight, participating in scouting, being ordained to the priesthood at twelve, serving in many capacities in the church. I even went on a two year mission to El Salvador, which was an eye-opening experience, and provided me a great learning experience and much growth into adulthood.
When I returned from my mission I went to college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where I studied and received a degree in design and a minor in ballroom dance. I also met my sweetheart there and we were married in the Salt Lake Temple.
I continued to serve and participate in Mormonism in various capacities, and even wrote about the Mormon temple for many years. Then I came to read and understand some things that were in sharp disagreement with the teachings of the church. After some prayerful consideration, my wife and I decided to step away from the church, and I began to investigate spirituality much more broadly.
What I found was a world of rich spirituality in many different traditions. I began to practice meditation, something which I had never been taught before. I found it to be deeply satisfying spiritually, a kind of very deep soulful prayer and communion, which began to open perception and understanding to me of things which I had never before considered. Great awakening experiences began to occur, even mystical experiences. Insights began to flow into my mind which made sense of so many things which I had previously learned in Mormonism, but from an entirely new perspective. It also opened up a world of mystery and uncertainty, and I realized just how little humanity knows for certain (see my note on truth below).
I came to highly value the subjects of mysticism and contemplation, which are very much related and interconnected. I went on a couple 10-day Buddhist silent meditation retreats, which were deeply enriching. I had more experiences, opening me to the vastness of spirituality and some of the richest intuitions that may be realized in meditation, which were also very humbling.
Through all of this I’ve come to a perspective of perennial wisdom, also called the perennial philosophy. This is a view of religions which sees them all as sharing a similar metaphysical Truth about human life and reality, and often all originating under similar mystical conditions which revealed that Truth. All of the diversity among the different religions seems to have been a growth from out of that original mystical insight, often attempting to point back to it, and reflects the diversity of our human cultures and traditions. When we begin to perceive the highest truths in direct meditative and mystical awareness, we see how all the various perspectives come together in One Great Whole. It is Wisdom that is perennial, and which has been rediscovered by mystics, prophets, sages, monks, nuns, saints, and gurus since the beginning of time, and throughout the world.
Consequently, I don’t have a single preferred religion. I don’t think there is any one “true” religion. I think there is truth in all of them, and I value the various perspectives that they all give. A thousand fingers pointing at the moon is of greater help than only one. I find much to appreciate in Christianity (which includes my own Mormon background), as well as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Shamanism, Jainism, and many others, including Agnosticism/Skepticism, and Atheism. I think that Science also adds equally to our understanding of the world, and should not be minimized or neglected. I think many of these use symbols, words, forms, and images that are their own cultural and historical reflections of the highest truths, but I do not think they are ultimately different truths. As it says in an old Hindu verse, “Truth is One; the wise call it by many names.”
That doesn’t mean that everything each of these religions or denominations teaches is truth or good. Many of them may have departed significantly from their founding Wisdom, and their purest teachings and practices may be found among the more mystical schools or contemplative subsets of them: there is Sufism in Islam, Kabbalah or Merkabah in Judaism, Christian mysticism in Christianity, Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism, Zen or Dzogchen in Buddhism, etc. I think these all have value and a similar spiritual goal and destiny, perhaps without their knowing it. Another word for this is universalism.
The name of this website comes from a letter of the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, as he sat incarcerated in a dark prison cell.
The things of God are of deep import, and time and experience and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O Man, if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation must stretch as high as the utmost Heavens, and sink and search into and contemplate the lowest considerations of the darkest abyss, and expand upon the broad considerations of Eternal Expanse. He [or she] must commune with God.
I think this quote perfectly encapsulates the mystical perspective, of going deep into one’s own mind and consciousness to contemplate the highest and lowest considerations, to enter into a purity of mind which is communion with God, Oneness, Nonduality, or the highest Truth.
As noted at the beginning, the mission of this website is to explore the human mind and its relationship to God and the divine, and how we may use our minds to commune and become one with God. We will explore this from many different angles, different religious traditions, and perspectives. I may write often from a Christian perspective, because of my own background in Christianity, and because much of the West is predominantly Christian. I will occasionally write directly about Mormonism, since this is the tradition I came from, and the mystical qualities that I see in it, but these insights may often also be applied more generally to Christianity as well. I presented a paper at the Mormon Transhumanist Association Conference in April 2017 which was the first article posted to this site, giving an introduction to the mysticism I perceived in Mormonism.
My wife and I have four children and we currently live in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
I look forward to exploring this subject with you. If you’d like to get in touch with me, please write to me on the Contact page.
A Note on Truth
I will not tell you the truth on this website. You might ask, “what good is it then?”
It is a pointer, nothing more.
I cannot tell you the truth, because the truth does not reside in a few symbolic words or letters. It doesn’t reside in grammar, syntax, or structure. It doesn’t reside in a phrase, a paragraph, or a page. Neither does it reside in a book, or even a library of books. We won’t find it there.
The ultimate truth can only be experienced, directly, personally, primarily, and in the first-person. I can’t give it to you. No one can. I can only point in the general direction, and at times point more specifically.
This is all that teachers are really doing—they are pointing. The wisest will point towards the way for you to come into possession of the truth for yourself, to discover it on your own. They won’t attempt to give it to you from them. The truth is not theirs to give. It never was. It can’t be communicated from one person to another. It can only be truly discovered and known through one’s own direct experience.