I voice this podcast episode for Methods Podcast, which introduces the vipassana method of meditation.
I suggest that Joseph Smith's earliest direct encounters with God happened in mystical experience, or what is also known as altered states of consciousness.
An addition to the BHT, which may be the very earliest words written in the New Testament, around 50 AD, in Paul's letter to the family who are gathering in Thessaloniki. Paul is exuberant about their faith, and talks about how they knew it for themselves through the manifestation of the Spirit in themselves, after much suffering, just like Paul and Jesus. Their great example was quickly spreading abroad.
I think the story of Adam & Eve is a mythological allegory describing humanity's "fall" of consciousness into the dualities of self-awareness, subject/object relationships, and the opposites of existence. This is symbolized in the partaking of the "tree" of knowledge of good and evil, i.e. dualities.
Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a lecture with Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB, at the Carmelite Monastery of Baltimore in Towson, Maryland. It was sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters of Baltimore, and the Benedictine Sisters of Emmanuel Monastery, as well as The World Community for Christian Meditation, of [...]
The ideas we have about God are not God. Any idea, thought, or concept never was and never will be God. They may be helpful symbols that point to God, metaphors, analogies, allegories, images, but they are not God as God is. They will inevitably conflict with one another and be fallible, as every symbol eventually fails at actually being the thing it is supposed to represent. The symbol is never the thing-in-itself.
John van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381) was a Flemish mystic and writer. He was raised in the Catholic faith, becoming a priest. He is now venerated in the Catholic Church. He was beatified in 1903 by Pope Pius X.
The following are excerpts from a discourse given by the Byzantine Christian monk and poet, Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022 AD), to the monks of the Monastery of St. Mamas.
"The highest form of meditation is not an activity that is undertaken by the mind. It is a relaxing, falling back or sinking of the mind into its source or essence of pure awareness, from which it has arisen."
In the video below, non-dual spiritual teacher Rupert Spira beautifully discusses the journey from traditional exoteric outward-facing dualistic religion that worships and prays to an external God, and towards higher stages of a more integrated perceiving of non-dual at-one esoteric inward-facing union spirituality, where we realize that "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30).