Misreading Scripture as Literal History: Elephants in the Book of Mormon

Religious texts are most often not literal history. They are allegory, narrative, parable, metaphor, simile, symbol, poetry, story, visionary, and figurative. They are not relating precise word-for-word conversations of the past, nor are they detailing literal events that took place. Yes, the Bible talks about many people and places that may have really existed, and may even abstractly refer to events that really took place, but it is not a history book.

The Non-Historical Book of Mormon is More Than A Mere Fairy Tale

Two readers posted comments recently on my article about Joseph Smith as tertön and the Book of Mormon as terma. They were both similar in questioning the idea that the Book of Mormon may not be a historical text.

The Book of Mormon as Terma, and Joseph Smith as Tertön

I suggest that the translation of the Book of Mormon was Joseph Smith's alchemical Magnum Opus, or "Great Work," a transmutation of his own base desires for materialistic gold and treasure into the highest spiritual realizations of human atonement in God consciousness, and a realization or awakening of eternal life in his Self, even theosis, which he continued to preach for the rest of his life.

The Mysticism of Joseph Smith

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.

The film Split (2016), Joseph Smith & the Book of Mormon

I wonder if we might find some insightful parallels and further understanding in the 23 distinct personalities who inhabit the mind of the one main character of the recent 2016 American psychological thriller film Split, starring James McAvoy, and the many personalities manifested through the writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon narrative.

Original Sin and Nonduality

I had a conversation on Facebook the other day about original sin and its relationship to non-duality. I thought it was a great discussion, and I thought I'd share it again here.

Rabindranath Tagore’s “First Vision” Account

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a Bengali author, poet, essayist, playwright, novelist, composer, and painter. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, the first non-European to do so. He recounted the following experience that he had while in Calcutta, India.

AA Co-Founder Bill Wilson’s “First Vision” Account

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.”