The Mystic's Vision
Hello. My name is Swami Abhayananda. God has revealed Himself to me in mystical vision, and I wish to share with you that vision in the hope that I might inspire you to know Him in yourself.
This website, The Mystic's Vision, is dedicated to the praise and glory of God and is created solely for your benefit. What you read here is based, not on belief or religious doctrine, but on my own direct mystical experience.
Some may think that the mystical experience of God is a kind of psychological delusion, but, though it is rare, it is very real and unquestionably true. Mystical experience presents a clear and authentic window into the universal spiritual Reality.
As we all know, Jesus of Nazareth, by the Grace of God, famously experienced his mystical vision on the banks of the Jordan river during his baptism by a holy man named John. And when he told others of the experience, few believed him. Now, twenty centuries later, this mystical experience continues to happen periodically to a few devout souls, and yet the recipients of this divine Grace are still not believed, and are still rejected and ignored by the people.
Please understand, Spiritual or Mystical experience, the personal revelation of God, is a real thing. It doesn't happen every day. Nor does it happen to everyone. But it does happen to a select few. Human history is replete with examples of the occurrence of this Divine revelation.
Mystical experience, or “the mystic’s vision,” occurs by the grace of God and uplifts one’s individual consciousness to union with the eternal Source of all consciousness and all being. That vision has been referred to as “enlightenment,” “the vision of God,” "samadhi," "nirvana," “Self-realization,” “the mystic marriage,” or “union with God;” but no matter what it is called, that unitive mystical experience reveals an eternal truth that is one and the same for all, regardless of one's religious belief or affiliation.
In that revelatory mystical experience, an individual directly experiences the Source and spiritual substance of his own being, and thereby realizes his own eternal identity. This is the experience by which Siddhartha, the Buddha, became enlightened; this is the experience by which the authors of the Upanishads realized their eternal Self; this is the experience by which Jesus came to know his oneness with God; and this is the experience by which al-Hallaj and Rumi and ibn-Arabi came to know ana'l Haqq, “I am The Eternal.” My friends, that rare God-given realization is the same for all who experience it.
“Ask of those who have attained God; all speak the same word. All the enlightened have left one message; ...it is only those in the midst of their journey who hold diverse opinions.”
The enlightened tell us that the journey of the soul is a journey that lasts through numerous lifetimes and leads you progressively toward the purification of your heart to the ultimate realization that you are eternally one with God. It may not be immediately evident, but God brings his children through all their unique life-experiences to the eventual purification of their heart through love, and the reward of that purification is “the vision of God.”
Do not imagine that when you experience “the vision of God,” God will be seen as something or someone else standing before you; No, the vision of God is the divine revelation that you and all creatures, as well as all things that exist, are made of God, reside in God, and are ultimately nothing else but God; it reveals the knowledge that all this world lives within God and that God therefore lives within everything and everyone. As Jesus taught us, 'this world is in fact the kingdom of God.'
"The vision of God" is an opening of your own consciousness to the realization that you and all beings are contained in and consist of the one divine and all-pervasive Consciousness that is God. To experience that awakening is your sole goal and purpose in this journey of many lives. In reaching this goal, you will clearly know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.
Your soul will begin its journey when God mercifully awakens His love in your heart. That love in your heart is God's own love, and it has the power to draw your heart to Him, despite all other attractions. Give Him the one-pointed devotion of your heart and follow wherever He leads. O my friends, do not pass by such good fortune as this! He is in your heart, for He has fashioned you as His own image. Acknowledge His presence and follow His guidance, and He will lead you to your perfect joy in Him.
The unitive mystical vision experienced by the enlightened radically challenges the way one ordinarily sees the world, for in that vision all is seen as divine, all is seen to be the one eternal Consciousness appearing as the various objects of the world. One who has experienced that vision and has known his or her transcendent Identity as the one all-pervading Spirit is said to be a mystic. By that vision, he or she is enlightened, knowing with certainty that all beings are but waves on the ocean of God, immersed in God, united with God, and made entirely of God.
Believe it or not, my friends, there really is such a thing as enlightenment—a sudden revelation of your own divinity and the divinity of all reality. I know, because it happened to me. And that divine experience has overwhelmingly transformed my life. Now, I can't tell you how you can attain spiritual enlightenment; that is in the hands of God! I can only tell you how I did and what was revealed to me.
My own mystical experience occurred in 1966, when I was twenty-eight years of age. I had been drawn to a remote cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains of California by my desire to know God. Prior to that time, I was an ordinary fellow who knew nothing of mysticism or mystical experience; but it was there in that remote cabin in the woods on one November night that God blessed me with His revealing vision and changed my life forever.
On that night, I prayed to our Father that He let me be one with Him—not that I might glory in His love—but that I might speak out in His praise and to His glory for the benefit of all His children. And, in that instant, He revealed to my inner eye that even I am in Him and belong to Him. Once He revealed the Truth to me, the first words out of my mouth were, "O my God, even this body is Thine own!" He made me to see with His eye that everyone and everything exists in Him, that everything is enveloped in Him, and consists of His own being.
Since that time, I have endeavored to fulfill my promise to Him by speaking out in His praise and to His glory, solely for your benefit. By His Grace, I have seen the everlasting truth, and my only current task in this life is to share that truth with you.
I shared that experience in my first book, THE SUPREME SELF, published in 1984. This book may be read in its entirety or downloaded free at the READ OR DOWNLOAD BOOKS page. However, if you would prefer to see a brief excerpt from that book, describing only the occurrence of my mystical experience, go to the Menu--the column on the left side of the page--and click on
MY MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE. I urge everyone who wishes to get some sense of this divine experience to please read this brief excerpt from my book, even if you read nothing else.
My second book, HISTORY OF MYSTICISM, published in 1987, is an introduction to the Great Mystical Tradition and the brilliant mystics who have comprised its ranks from ancient times to the present. There, you will see how many great souls throughout human history have experienced and extolled the vision of God! And yet how quickly they and their words have been forgotten by the people. This book may also be read or downloaded free on the READ OR DOWNLOAD BOOKS page.
I highly recommend these two books, THE SUPREME SELF and HISTORY OF MYSTICISM, as fundamental to anyone wishing to familiarize themselves with the mystical experience and its perennial occurrence throughout history.
Please think of The Mystic's Vision website as a Well of Nectar that God has bestowed on everyone and which is freely available to all. Drink as much of it as you like. All of the Books and Articles on this website are in the Public Domain and may be downloaded free. All downloadable Files on this website are in PDF format. To open these Files, you will need to have a PDF Reader installed on your computer or device. The Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader may be downloaded free at this link: https://get.adobe.com/reader.
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This is what God revealed to me
and this is my message to you:
Only God, the Divine Mind, is eternally real. The universe, made of His form-producing Energy, appears to be real, but it is only a transient mirage, a colorful illusion. And yet this illusory universe is filled with and enlivened by His Consciousness. He is its Soul, its animating power, and is thereby the life and soul of every being in it. All the forms appearing in this universe are made of His Divine Energy, but the briefly appearing forms in this phenomenal universe quickly change and vanish; in fact, the entire universe is only an illusory appearance, a fleeting mirage, while He, and the Energy He contains, lives forever, undivided, unchanged.
He alone, the one eternal Mind, is eternally real. And that is who you must one day realize you are. For that eternal One is the origin and substance of your being, the soul of your soul, and your only lasting Identity. It is the one divine Self you have always been and will always be.
This is the truth: Nowhere is there anything other than God. This world is a drama performed by one actor in a multitude of roles. We, His distinctly variant roles, are nothing but Him! What can we do but dance to His tune? He has made Himself into all these worlds and all these beings, and we are but His manifold forms. Though we appear to be independent entities, our characteristics and our inclinations are all programmed by Him and enacted by Him. Everything being done is being done by God! And whatever is to be done in the future will also be done by Him.
And so, glory be to God—in the highest and in the lowest!
Glory be to the One who lives as you and who lives as me!
Waves on His ocean, we think we’re distinctly our own,
Unaware that we’re forever inseparable from Him.
Calling Himself “I,” He lives us, He breathes us.
But only in the depths of His Grace are we able to know Him as our eternal Self.
The false ‘I’—the individual person we think we are—doesn’t really exist! It’s merely a mental phenomenon, an imaginary being. The true 'I'—the only one who really exists—is the all-pervading Spirit. That is your only true identity. You are That. I am That. We imagine that we have a separate and distinct identity, but it is the one divine Spirit alone who is living as you and as me. So—can you grasp it? When the sage asks you to inquire “Who am I?” he’s asking you to become aware of the divine Reality who is the true and everlasting identity of everyone.
Though you are unable at this time to know your Self as all-pervading, the truth is that you are in the clouds, and you are in the gritty soil. You are the pulse of the turtle; you are the clanging bells of joy that thrill the hearts of all who know joy. It is you that stirs in the heart as a rising song; it is your love that flows throughout the world. Here, there, everywhere, it is you alone who exists.
Whether you objectify that all-pervading Divinity as other—as ‘He’—or know that divine Self as ‘I’ within, the divine Reality is all there is in this world and beyond. ‘He’ and ‘I’ are the same. What Jesus proclaimed is true for all of us: ‘I’ and ‘the Father’ are one. Say it in your heart, and know it is true. Whatever name stirs you to remembrance of the one divine Spirit—sing that name in your heart and let the blissful awareness of His endless presence continually fill your soul.
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The Menu of alternate selections appears in the narrow column on the left of this page. Each of the selected Articles appearing in the Menu may be read online or you may download it to your device by clicking on the "Download File" icon located at the end of the Article.
The first selection is entitled ABOUT SWAMI ABHAYANANDA. There you will find a wealth of information about my history and my spiritual message. Next in the Menu is the BOOK CATALOG, which describes each of my published books in order of publication.
That is followed by the READ OR DOWNLOAD BOOKS page, where each of my books is available for reading or free downloading. Only a few of my books are still in print, but all of my books are available here for downloading in PDF format.
Next is THE NONDUALITY PAGE, containing a collection of my writings on the Philosophy of Nonduality.
Following that is an Article presenting an overview of Mysticism as it appears in the various religious and philosophical traditions, entitled THE MYSTICAL TRADITION.
For those who believe that their own religion is the only path to God, I have added here a brief collection of the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, entitled:
ALL PATHS LEAD TO GOD.
This is followed by thirty-six numbered
ESSENTIAL ARTICLES OF SWAMI ABHAYANANDA
on various topics, each of which may be opened and/or downloaded individually. Each of these Articles contains a plethora of rare mystically inspired information on that specific topic.
For your convenience, these
ESSENTIAL ARTICLES OF SWAMI ABHAYANANDA
may be downloaded and viewed independently or in any of three volumes, containing twelve Articles each. You may download any or all of these three volumes from the Menu or from the READ OR DOWNLOAD BOOKS page and have access to all thirty-six Articles on your computer.
In addition, I have compiled a one-volume Collection of THE SUPPLEMENTAL ARTICLES OF SWAMI ABHAYANANDA,
containing the following seven Articles:
1. REMEMBERING BABA MUKTANANDA
2. INTRODUCTION TO VEDANTA
3. THOUGHTS OF A MYSTIC
4. THE QUESTION OF DESTINY
5. THE NEO-COPERNICAN REVOLUTION
6. THE ASTROLOGER'S VISION
7. WHO WE ARE
Each of these seven Articles may be read or downloaded individually from the Menu page, or as the complete Collection of THE SUPPLEMENTAL ARTICLES from either the Menu or the READ OR DOWNLOAD page.
It is my opinion that the material contained in this website constitutes the most important contribution to human knowledge produced in the past millennium. It encompasses the fields of History, Psychology, Science, and Religion, and if recognized, has the power to beneficially alter all of successive human history, psychology, science, and religion. Do with it as you will.
For those of the Christian faith, I would like to call particular attention to the 6th numbered article, entitled "Enlightened Christianity." I believe it clearly and accurately describes the path ahead for that religious tradition.
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I have also included on this website a Page for READER'S COMMENTS, to which you are invited to contribute your thoughts and comments about anything related to this website.
Finally, I've included some LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES that also focus on personal accounts of mystical experience.
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Did You Know?
Did you know that the Lord grants to some chosen few an expanded vision whereby they are able to see all existence through His eyes, and from His unified perspective? Yes. It's true! In this vision, the narrow consciousness of the individual becomes suddenly transformed into the all-inclusive consciousness of God. Then the duality of ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ vanishes like a dream, and what remains is an ‘I’ that knows no ‘other’—an ‘I’ that is an eternal and limitless awareness, filling all. That ‘I’ is the one Mind, the original Consciousness, the sole Creator and Self of all selves.
Does everyone know about this vision? No. In fact, nearly everyone on earth would deny that such a vision exists. And yet this awakening, this transformation, keeps happening to a few young men and women throughout the duration of time— It happened to the authors of the Upanishads; it happened to the Buddha, and it happened to Jesus, Plotinus, al-Hallaj and Meister Eckhart, and many others. It also happened to me in this present era, revealing the Truth to my inward eye. And yet so very few are even aware of the occurrence in our midst of this strange enlightening revelation!
Does the Lord wish to keep it a secret, or does He wish to gradually let everyone know about it in His time? I don’t know! I only know I have been inspired to share this secret with you. There have been many others who have experienced this inner vision and have spoken of it as best they were able, and yet, despite the many voices that have told of it, its occurrence remains largely unknown among the people.
Also, no one seems to know how to bring about this rare vision, except by drawing near to God in highborn contemplative thought or prayer. It is agreed by everyone that it occurs only in those to whom He chooses to reveal Himself; that it is His doing and His alone. Still, we must pursue it, for there is no other treasure so worth pursuing. It is an inestimable blessing that makes a wise person of a fool, a joyful person of a wretch; and turns an ordinary person into a king.
Therefore, seek Him out in the depths of your heart. Call to Him in the lonely darkness of your nights. Shine the searchlight of your desire into the hidden corners of His fathomless Being and beg Him in song and in prayer to shed His mercy on your otherwise inconsolable soul.
Do You Believe In Miracles?
If you believe in miracles, then you are able to believe in Mystical Experience, because mystical experience is God’s miraculous intervention in the lives of countless individuals throughout history. There is no empirical proof or scientific explanation of mystical experience. Its occurrence is nothing short of a miracle. Mystical experience is entirely outside of any known physical or psychological law; it is completely inexplainable by any conceivable cause—except for one cause: Divine grace. In other words, it is a miracle.
And yet, hundreds if not thousands of people attest every day to having had such a miraculous experience. These assertions are by people of unquestioned integrity, people of deep learning and intellectual ability, all swearing that, for a brief moment at least, God entered their lives, miraculously revealing His immanent presence. Discover the testimonials of these people. Consider what they have to say, and then judge for yourself.1
1, To read the accounts of many famous and not so famous people who have had a mystical experience, go to: www.imere.org. This is the Institute for Mystical Experience Research and Education. But be aware that they are also a generator of mailing lists used for marketing commercial products.
To read an excellent summary of mystical experience based on the IMERE site, see Ken Gordon’s article, “A Glimpse into Paradise” at: https://www.awakeningofthegods.com/new3.html#glimpse
from the article: PRAISING GOD
Hardly anyone believes in the existence of the tyrannical God that the ancient Greeks invented and called Zeus, nor does hardly anyone believe in the existence of the tyrannical God the Jews invented and called Jahveh. Those who have actually experienced God within themselves have told us that the Divinity underlying all Reality is a universal Mind--a Spirit that lives as the Consciousness of every sentient being. That Spirit is also the Creator of all earthly and celestial forms: It periodically radiates from Itself a high-frequency Light that easily transmutes into various forms, constituting all the individual beings and objects that fill the universe. Human knowledge calls this radiation, 'The Big Bang.'
That Divine Spirit is very different from what we used to think of as "a god.” It is not a being among beings but is rather the sole Existence that contains everything that exists. It is ubiquitous Consciousness, but It also has the Power to create innumerable worlds with Its expanding form-producing Light. It is therefore in every instance, both the background and the foreground, both the absolute Existence and the divine Creative Energy, both all spiritual Souls and all manifest bodies.
We are naturally reluctant to call this dual-faceted Spirit "a god” since It does not fit the old mold created by the Greeks or the Jews. But, since It is a unique and all-inclusive category unto Itself, we may call It whatever we like. We may call It “God,” we may call It “Brahman,” we may call It “Allah,” we may call It “the Void,” we may call It “the One,” or we may call It “our Father.” In fact, every imaginable word ultimately signifies that Divine Presence, as everything is contained in and constituted of It.
Just remember that He is within you, as the ocean is within a wave; and that you are within Him, as a wave is within the ocean--that you and the divine Father are one, just as the wave and the ocean are one.
Our God is very wonderful. He is the very epitome of Good. He fulfills the desires and inner longings of every soul, and just as a loving Father leads his children home, He leads us to our blissful rest in Him. When souls come to know Him in themselves, their love awakes, and their happiness knows no bounds. And then they sing His praise and experience His joy in their hearts. This is His wondrous gift for which we lift our voices in song to praise our God, our Father, the One who is alone the summit of all sweetness and joy!
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WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
Oh, you don’t believe in God, huh? So where do you think you are?
In some accidental material universe? This universal matter is but an immense congregation of Divinely produced electromagnetic signals! You're in God’s miraculous light show, genius!
And who do you think you are? Did you create this mind, this body? Wake up, my friend! This consciousness you call “yours” is really His. This body you think of as “yours” is His—made of His Light. Wake up, my friends! Discover who you are and where you are. Then maybe you’ll begin to understand something!
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AND THE POPULAR CULTURE
Mystical experience is the bedrock source of all wisdom. It is the source of the Upanishads; it is the source of Buddhism; it is the source of the teachings of Abraham and Moses; it is the source of the teachings of Jesus; and it is the source of the teachings of Muhammed in the Quran. Why is it then that there is so little public acknowledgement of the existence of mystical experience and its importance in the lives of the great representatives of human spirituality?
Mystical experience has occurred throughout our history to a few extraordinary individuals, who having told of their divine revelations, have deeply affected the course of human religious tradition and the history of human development; and yet our popular societal culture is quite oblivious to the occurrence of mystical experience.
The “news media” may be relied upon to feature daily the latest rap star or movie queen, but when was the last time you heard or saw in the News any mention of mystical experience and its profound implications for an increase in understanding of our true nature and the true nature of our world? Is it possible that we are just in a cultural slump these days? No. It is not just the commentators of today; it has always been thus. Reporters of the secular culture have always been deaf and blind to accounts of anything beyond their sensory experience. It is only the mystics themselves who speak of mystical experience; the subject remains utterly closed to the ignorant majority of people in our popular societal culture.
Frustrating as it is, the layered inequality of spiritual understanding among people seems to be an intended feature of the Creator’s universal scheme of things, and therefore the mystic’s vision will continue to remain an inconceivable mystery to all but those blessed few who are privileged to experience it. Only those who are known as “mystics” are able to speak authoritatively about mystical experience, its source, and its content. To all others, it is an unfathomable mystery whose existence is subject to belief or disbelief in accordance with each individual’s personal inclination.
On the positive side, however, the academic community is very much engaged recently in discussing ‘mystical experience’. Since William James' Varieties of Religious Experience, we have seen a rash of learned academic articles regarding the validity or non-validity of mystical experience by academic professors whose only familiarity with such experience is from what they have read in books. But however beneficial this may be to the general awareness of mystical experience in our society, I would like to point out to these earnest scholars that one of the distinguishing hallmarks of mystical experience is that such an experience, being a divine revelation, occurs beyond the level of normal human consciousness, and is therefore quite beyond any kind of normal psychological evaluation or explication.
For that reason, if an admittedly ineffable mystical experience is to be spoken of, it may be done effectively only by one who has actually experienced it. It is only fitting that what we learn of mystical experience we learn from those who claim to have experienced it. Those who are tempted to offer their learned opinion on mystical vision, without any direct experience of it, must be kindly advised to remain silent.
In one’s normal, everyday state of consciousness, it is admittedly possible to conceive some ideas about the nature of God and His creation, but it is not possible to actually see the spiritual nature of things; for that, you must enter into the divine consciousness. You must be drawn by the grace of God into an altered state of rapturous awareness, in which the divine glory is made visible and where all things and all beings are clearly realized to live in the kingdom of God. This is realized in an abnormally hightened state of awareness. I would not call it a trance, but it is definitely other than one’s ordinary state of consciousness; it is more concentrated, more focused, more awake, and only in that extraordinary realm of awareness will you be able to see your true nature as divine, as all-pervading. Unfortunately, however, there are no roads leading to this clarified state of consciousness and no directions for how to find it; it is a place to which only God can take you.
When I was a young man, Almighty God, who fills the universe and commands the elements, who is the Lord and Ruler of all that is, placed in my heart a prayer; and then He fulfilled that prayer by making me one with Himself, filling me with divine knowledge and grace. Is this not a moment to celebrate as one of the very greatest moments in all of human history? To me, of course it is. And, when the Lord casts His gaze upon you and enlightens your heart with His divine favor, the greatest moment in human history will occur for you. Until then, continue to seek Him with all your heart and soul.
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An Unfamiliar Truth
(Last revised: 1-29-23)
It has been repeatedly shown throughout history that the common people will believe whatever the religious and political authorities want them to believe, even if it is untrue. It should not be so difficult, then, to believe that the story told by the early century Church authorities of the impregnation by God of a Palestinian woman who then gave birth to Jesus of Nazareth was also untrue. And, although it has become clear that there are no recordable instances of God ever having behaved in that manner, popular belief in the story has persisted simply out of habit and respect for a long-held and oft-repeated cultural myth.
For twenty-one centuries, we in the Western world have been fed a load of crap by the established religious institutions. The early Christian zealots claimed that Jesus was the sole and unique progeny of God Almighty, the very incarnation of God, and therefore a legitimate object of devotion. And it was these Christian zealots who originated the religious organization whose purpose was to establish and support widespread belief in that very doctrine—the doctrine of Jesus’ unique divinity.
The simple truth of the matter, however, is much more amazing and wonderful: As Jesus himself has told us, not only is he divine, but all of us are divine! God manifests Himself in and as every human being, and when that human being becomes spiritually evolved to the extent that he or she can experience the transcendent awareness that they are in fact a manifestation of God, then, by the Grace of God, they awake to their divine Identity. This is the experience that awakened Jesus on that fateful day on the banks of the Jordan river. It is an experience that many others have also experienced, and you too can experience that great awakening.
Jesus was a normal young Jewish Palestinian who, because of his devotion to God and God’s merciful Grace, experienced a profound revelation during a spiritual baptism on the banks of the Jordan river. That divine revelation enabled Jesus to see into his own nature, to know that he was in fact the one universal Spirit, that he and all creatures are truly the projected manifestations of God.
During the lifetime of Jesus, such an enlightening experience was wholly unheard of among the people of Palestine and was therefore misunderstood by many of those to whom Jesus spoke of it. Because of this misunderstanding, Jesus was murdered by an ignorant mob of outraged citizens. But Jesus’ teachings had also inspired a number of earnest followers, and for his followers, Jesus’ vision had only one explanation: that Jesus had experienced his oneness with God because he was a uniquely divine being, a being who was to be exalted and worshipped as God Himself.
Today, that assumption has become a worldwide myth that many regard as sacrosanct truth, a myth that has become established in the minds of the people for over twenty-one centuries. However, over the centuries, other young men in other parts of the world have experienced the same revelation that Jesus experienced, and therefore the myth of Jesus’ unique status has been steadily eroding.
Today, it is understood that a number of devout young men of differing nationalities, who have lived at various times throughout history, have also experienced such a spiritual or ‘mystical’ vision, and have testified to the content of this experience. These testimonies, however, have been minimized and obscured by the popular Western culture, influenced as it is by Christian religious doctrine.
According to the testimonies of these many ‘mystics,’ it is a ‘unitive’ experience, given by God, in which the individualized soul no longer experiences its limited soul-identity, but experiences its greater Self, its Source and Origin, the Father of the universe, and knows its own eternal Identity. It knows, as Jesus had known, ‘I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. I and the Father are one.’1
To experience the Divine revelation, in which it is revealed to you inwardly in your soul that you are a manifestation of God, and identical with Him—identical with the supreme Existence—is a very remarkable thing! To experience this is to experience what was revealed to Jesus, what was revealed to Meister Eckhart, what was revealed to Rumi and Ibn Arabi, what was revealed many long years ago to Lao Tze, Heraclitus, Socrates and other favored souls throughout time.
It is in fact only a relative few who have experienced this revelation, and today few have even heard of its occurrence, even though each of these aforementioned individuals attempted with all their heart and all their strength to tell of it to all those living at the time. I too have made a great effort to tell of this experience to all who would listen, but very few have the ability to even hear and/or comprehend information regarding the spiritual Reality. If you haven’t known God, you cannot understand how wonderful, how extraordinarily wonderful, such an experience really is. And you are not to blame for this lack of understanding, for only those who have been graced by His revealed presence can know what it is. The question of why that experience is limited to so few, however, is a mystery that I cannot explain.
Just know that the story of Jesus is true, though it has been misinterpreted over the years. Some authors of the Upanishads have also known God, as has Plotinus, Philo Judaeus, Meister Eckhart, Ibn Arabi, Jalaluddin Rumi, and many others. I am happy to say that I am also to be counted among these fortunate souls.
I have been writing about my unitive mystical experience for many years now, and I have long known that the larger ignorant populace regards my testament of mystical experience as either a hallucination or a fraudulent representation and considers me to be either a liar, a deceiver, a con artist or simply a pitiably deluded fool. I don’t think that this universal judgement is due to any fault or inability of my own, but rather because it’s just so difficult to know and trust what a person has to say when that person says that they have come to know God directly and intimately. To those unfamiliar with mystical experience, it sounds very much like the preaching of ordinary zealots whose only basis for their knowledge is what they learned from a “holy” book, and it may seem to the traditional-minded be a dangerous precedent to acknowledge its occurrence.
This public judgement is, of course, helpless to affect or harm me, but the judgement of those who are bound by cultural tradition greatly hinders my ability to have a beneficial effect on others through my writing, and I have been unable to understand what I must do to counter this mistaken public judgement. No doubt, Jesus was also unable to counter it, as were many other mystics throughout history who had to endure the resistance of an ignorant public to the truth.
Though I have long undertaken to tell you about my mystical experience, I have discovered that, in these current times, almost everyone believes that God and the experience of enlightenment is a myth; it seems that no one is aware of the fact that ‘enlightenment,’ the experience of union with God, is even something that is possible. And so, I am up against the opinion held by nearly the entire populace that I am either dishonest or deluded or both.
It seems that it is also futile for me to bring up the similar experience of Jesus of Nazareth, since his experience is also believed by many to have been a singular unique event or merely a myth. To speak of the other mystics who’ve existed throughout history and who have written of their experience of God is also a pointless exercise, since no one seems to be aware of their existence either.
Make no mistake, if it were not for the gracious gift of knowledge that God bestowed on me, I would be just as ignorant as everyone else. This is what I must continually remind myself of whenever I am angry and frustrated with ignorant people and their violent culture. I am free of their ignorance and their pain solely by the grace of God, and I am offering to everyone that same knowledge and that same blissful freedom. I fear for you, my brothers and sisters. I’m afraid that your deliberate ignorance and your unwillingness to learn will bring calamity upon many.
According to the Gospel of Thomas, it was over two thousand years ago, near the end of his life, that Jesus uttered these words:
“I took my place in the midst of the world, and I went among the people. I found all of them intoxicated [with pride and ignorance]; I found none of them thirsty [for Truth]. And my soul became sorrowful for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have vision.” 2
And now, sadly, in the year 2022, I must also say:
I took my place in the midst of the world, and I went among the people. I found all of them intoxicated [with pride and ignorance]; I found none of them thirsty for Truth. And my soul became sorrowful for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have vision.
1. Those wishing to explore this subject further, will find more information in my article, “Enlightened Christianity,” and in my book, History of Mysticism.. Both are available as downloadable PDF documents at this website, along with many other valuable articles for your edification.
2. Thomas, Gospel of, nbr. 50, Robinson, James M. (ed.), The Nag Hammadi Library; San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1977, number 28,
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THE NEO-COPERNICAN REVOLUTION
by Swami Abhayananda
Published in the Public Domain 10-27-2020
(last revised: 6-6-22)
We are all familiar with the story of Copernicus and his revolutionary sixteenth century theory of a heliocentric solar system. Prior to the publication of his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) in 1543, everyone living in the world believed in the geocentric astronomical theory, that all the planetary bodies seen in the sky revolved, not around the Sun, but around the earth.
When Copernicus showed astronomical evidence that all the planets, including the earth, actually revolve around the Sun, few were able to believe it. Centuries of religiously based tradition were not easily overturned, and people were bitterly reluctant to give up their habitual beliefs. In fact, the heliocentric system became accepted only after the passage of many years, not because thousands of people read Copernicus’ work, but because the new vision of the solar system became acknowledged as valid throughout the scientific community and then eventually filtered down as established fact to the lay religious populace.
Today, the people of the world are in an historical period similar to that which preceded the Copernican revolution, insofar as the people of all the many nations hold fast to their long-held belief in their own regional religious traditions in which one or another historical person is considered to be an icon and personification of that religious tradition, represented as a divine prophet, messenger or progeny of God. But I believe that we are in the latter stages of that prolonged historical period in which the people strongly believe in their multiple regionally based religious mythologies. What is needed now is a revolution in thought similar to the scientific revolution that followed the revelations of Copernicus, but this time a spiritual revolution that would establish a universally accurate empirical theory embracing and applying to every religious tradition, just as Copernicus’ heliocentric theory included and applied to every planet.
Enter the evidence of the seers, the mystics—men and women of every spiritual or religious tradition throughout the centuries—who report having experienced a common subjective phenomenon which they describe as “a union of the soul with God.” The empirical evidence, accumulated over more than thirty centuries, clearly shows that, not only those who are religious icons, but many ordinary people also, have purportedly experienced intimate contact with their ultimate Source and have told of that experience in various degrees of detail. In nearly every instance of such ‘mystical’ experience or vision, several common features are noted:
1. Mystical experience reveals to the one experiencing it that the universal Reality is a single integrated Mind-born continuum of Consciousness in which all beings exist, and whose identity is both eternal (as the One Mind) and transient (as the phenomenal universe containing individual objects and individual embodied souls). The fact that all individual souls are contained in and consist of that all-inclusive continuum of Consciousness ensures the consciousness of each individual soul and its interconnection to the entire continuum as well as to its Source. Each individual soul is therefore as capable as any other of becoming purified and being graciously uplifted to an experience of union with the Divine Source (referred to by Jesus as “the Father”).
2. That unitive experience, which is divinely initiated and facilitated, is a transient one, but while that experience lasts, the individual soul experiencing that “union” is absorbed in and made “one with” the One Mind, knowing itself no longer as an individual soul, but as the One Mind in whom all is contained. It is reported that in that experience of “union,” the duality of “I” and “Thou,” of soul and Father, no longer exists, and the experiencer perceives and knows ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me. I and the Father are one.’
3. Also, in that experience of “union” or “unity,” the dualities such as ‘life’ and ‘death,’ ‘time’ and ‘space,’ ‘mind’ and ‘body,’ no longer exist; nor do the dualities normally framed in the individual human mind, such as ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ ‘love’ and ‘hatred,’ ‘beautiful’ and ‘ugly,’ ‘happy’ and ‘sad,’ etc. These dualities are merely conceptual or emotional and are exclusive to the individual ego/mind in which they exist. With the vanishing of the illusory ego (the sense of an individual ‘I’), those opposites are gone; the eternal One is alone and is experienced as one’s only Self.
The fact that over the centuries multiple individuals have experienced this mystical “union” with their eternal Source strongly suggests that the early stories portraying those who experienced that “union” as divinely appointed ‘saviors,’ ‘messengers,’ or ‘messiahs’ are simply examples of the zealous misinterpretation of the unitive mystical experiences that occurred in various individuals in the past. Such misinterpretations commonly occur in societies of people who are ignorant of the perennial occurrence of the unitive spiritual experience—societies such as those existing in the time of Jesus (See footnote 1) or al-Hallaj, or today, for example.
If, in accordance with God’s will, such a modern Copernicus was to appear and provide the explanation to the people that the region’s favorite prophet, messenger, or progeny of God was in fact simply someone who had a profound mystical experience, momentarily experiencing his oneness with God, and that such mystical experiences are a regular feature of God’s activity in rewarding pure souls, might not such an explanation provide a meaningful alternative to the diverse religious narratives existing today?
Such a hypothetical Copernicus might well support his narrative with the overwhelming experiential evidence provided by the recorded testimonials of the mystics. He might even issue a History of Mysticism (See footnote 2) to show the recurrence throughout the ages of mystical experience along with the unanimous testimonials of the many mystics of all religious traditions. In this way, he could formulate a convincing historical narrative and initiate a basis for a lasting revolution in the spiritual understanding of all the peoples of the earth.
It would also be helpful if that modern Copernicus were himself a mystic (See footnote 3). That way he would have personal experiential knowledge of his subject, and he would thereby possess the requisite understanding and passion of certainty required to convince the public of the truth of his observations. A universal revolution in spiritual understanding would not develop immediately, however. As in the case of the 16th century revolution, it would require an initial cadre of credible advocates, and, even so, the revolution would likely spread only slowly at first.
But, in time, as the old die-hard partisans of multiple regional religious traditions eventually died off, the many well-known occurrences of mystical experience throughout the ages would become acknowledged, and the universal capability of all people to experience such mystical vision would gradually become universally accepted (See footnote 4). We may even dare to hope that, with the elimination of multiple false religious traditions, bigotry as we now know it would disappear from this world, and all people would at last come to know the joy of the Eternal in their own lives.
And that, of course, is the Divine objective to be attained. Mystical experience shows to the recipient the truth that we all exist in God, that we are all evolving within God, and that our very own nature is God. God is infinite Existence, Consciousness, Freedom and Bliss; and to know Him as our eternal Self is to partake of that nature and to share in His gifts. To know God is to know a security, contentment, imperturbability, intelligence and serenity that you never dreamed was possible for you. Having known God as your own divine Self, you will urgently wish that divine happiness for everyone, and you will sing His name ever in your heart.
1. See my article, "Enlightened Christianity: The Story of Jesus, The Mystic."
2. See Swami Abhayananda, History of Mysticism, Atma Books, Fallsburg, N.Y., 1987. This book introduces the reader to the Great Mystical Tradition and the brilliant mystics who have comprised its ranks from ancient times to the present. It is available in PDF format as a free download at www.themysticsvision.com.
3. See Swami Abhayananda, The Supreme Self, Atma Books, Fallsburg, N.Y., 1984. This is an autobiographical work, containing my own mystical experience, written as it occurred. This book is available in PDF format as a free download at www.themysticsvision.com.
4. See a wide variety of accounts of mystical experience at www.imere.org and see an excellent summary of those various accounts at https://www.awakeningofthegods.com/new3.html#glimpse
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NOTE: The Mystic's Vision has been online since April 22, 2013, and as of January 31, 2023, interested viewers have registered more than 153,000 page views of this website. I stopped counting after that.
God has given great gifts to me, not the least of which is the opportunity to share with you His revelations, and He has granted me a most happy and satisfying life. I am now eighty-five years of age, and it is uncertain when this life will end, but regardless, this website will continue to appear online until September, 2026. Whether or not my writings are preserved beyond that time depends on you.
So, do you want to know how my story ends?
Make no myths about me, people of this earth. I’m an ordinary mortal, with no extraordinary powers or talents. The great Father of this universe has revealed the Truth to me and blessed me with the joy of sharing It with you. End of story. (12-5-22)
PERSONAL UPDATE (8-20-2023):
I am now eighty-five, and I’m posting this update on my current life. Within the past few months, I had surgery on my colon to remove some cancerous material, and thank God, all the cancer has been removed and I am now completely recovered from that surgery, and doing very well. God continues to support and inspire me to this day, but unless the Lord inspires me to add to my previous testimony, I believe my writing days are done. I believe that I have said quite enough and have left a sufficiently weighty legacy of information for those who wish to know more about Mystical Experience.
Mystical Experience remains a mystery, of course, insofar as one's personal contribution and requirements are concerned, though its Source is clearly the Eternal. God is within you; He is your eternal Self, You may take up your case with Him. As one of my predecessors has said, “Seek and you shall find,” “Knock and He will give you entry.”
To The Young Person Seeking God
Just so you know, your journey will not be easy. Be prepared for the enmity of everyone. Your friends will abandon you; your parents will view you with shame, your siblings will declare war on you, and citizens and strangers alike will denounce you and will turn their backs on you. That is the test that God has prepared for those who love Him, for those who would enter His courtyard and seek entry to His secret chamber.
You will know poverty and hunger, but He will also provide the strength and determination that you will need. He will shed light on your pathway, and He will guide you by His own hand through the darkened passages. Through the long nights He will lead you, and over the treacherous terrains He will carry you, and at the height of your aspiration He will uplift you into His Light.
Persevere with trust in His benevolence; persevere through the years of solitude and disappointment, for He will reward you with a treasure beyond imagining, a treasure you never dreamed of attaining: Once He has purified your heart, He will reveal that you are His, that He is you, your eternal Self, and you will be eternally free.
But in the world of men, it will not matter what you say; no one will believe you. You may have the vision of Abraham, the poetic skills of Shakespeare, and the persuasive abilities of a Christ; nevertheless, you will be ignored and rejected, At the end of your life, all your work will seem to have been in vain; you will be forgotten, and you will die all alone. But you will have known God, you will have known your true Self, and, having overpassed this tumultuous life, you will dwell as the eternal Life in every bosom forevermore. And somehow, if God so wills it, the words that He has spoken through you will be preserved for all mankind.
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If you feel as I do that this spiritual message of mine is one that is much needed today, and should be shared, please feel free to copy, pass along, publicize, promote, and disseminate it to all. I am designating everyone as active agents for the dissemination of the works contained in this website. Therefore, anyone who wishes to do so may copy and distribute any or all of my written works, and may disseminate as printed documents or as downloadable Files any or all of my works that are available at this website, all of which are in the Public Domain. Be assured that anyone who has the faith and determination to carry on this work has my sincere blessing and gratitude.
God bless you every one.
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My dear Father, You have given me such a wonderful life; You have revealed Yourself to me, You have allowed me to love You and to serve You and to sing of You for the benefit of all Your children. What happiness can compare to this? All praise and glory to You! All praise and glory to You!
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Dedication of My Works To The Public Domain
Monday, March 12, 2018: On this date, I, Swami Abhayananda, born Stanley R. Trout, do hereby permanently dedicate all of my previously copyrighted written works and all of my future written works to the Public Domain. This means that I no longer maintain the exclusive rights to the publication of the books and articles written by me and listed on my website. Now these works may not only be downloaded freely but may be published and distributed in whole or in part in any language by anyone wishing to do so without any requirement of permission.
Included in the works dedicated to the Public Domain are the following books, all of which are authored by me:
The Supreme Self
History of Mysticism: The Unchanging Testament
The Wisdom of Vedanta
Jnaneshvar: The Life And Works
Dattatreya: Song of The Avadhut
Thomas á Kempis: On The Love of God
Plotinus: The Origin of Western Mysticism
Mysticism And Science: A Call for Reconciliation
The Divine Universe
Reflections On The Soul
Body And Soul
The Essential Articles of Swami Abhayananda, Vol. One
The Essential Articles of Swami Abhayananda, Vol. Two
The Essential Articles of Swami Abhayananda, Vol. Three
Thoughts of a Mystic
The (Complete) Astrologer's Vision
The Supplemental Articles of Swami Abhayananda
The Nonduality Page
The copyright pages of the books on my website have been rescinded to indicate their Public Domain status, and I shall continue to maintain this website, “The Mystic’s Vision” (at www.themysticsvision.com) into the indefinite future in order to provide and maintain authentic texts of these Public Domain works to anyone who wishes to download or copy them. I ask only that, in reproducing or disseminating this material, proper attribution be given regarding the title of the work, author, publisher, and date of publication.
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