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Published Collections of Mystical Experiences

The World Was Flooded With Light: A Mystical Experience Remembered

Genevieve W. Foster (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985), pp. 42-43, 48.

Genevieve Foster writes of a single experience that happened to her decades earlier. Although this book contains a few interesting points, it will only be of great interest to those who are familiar and desireous of knowing more about the early Jungian therapists in America. Filled with gossip about these therapists, the book stays far away from a discussion of mysticism in its larger context or in its specific forms.

"It must have been during the college vacation, because I was at home on a Monday afternoon and the children were not around. I lay down for a nap on the living room sofa. I will tell the preliminaries as well as I can after thirty-odd years, since I think they are interesting. I had a dream of levitation; I seemed to be suspended in the air a foot or two above the sofa. But my good Jungian training had emphasized the importance of "keeping my feet on the ground," so, still in the dream, I said to myself, "This will never do," and I managed to pull myself back down to the sofa. There was a further fragment of a dream, something about the beating of wings above and around me. Then I woke up. The experience I then had would have been called hallucinatory by a psychiatrist of the day, perhaps by most today. In the technical language of mysticism (and I use the word in its strictest sense, not in the popular sense of some sort of fuzzy pleasurable contact with the unconscious) it is what is called "intellectual vision." That is, I saw nothing unusual with my outward eye, but I nevertheless knew that there was someone else in the room with me. A few feet in front of me and a little to the left stood a numinous figure, and between us was an interchange, a flood, flowing both ways, of love. There were no words, no sound. There was light everywhere. It was the end of March, and everywhere outdoors shrubs were in flower, and indoors and out, the world was flooded with light, the supernal light that so many of the mystics describe and a few of the poets. The vision lasted five days; sometime on Saturday afternoon I had a sense of fatigue, and could sustain it no longer, and it faded....I new that I was "companioned." That numinous figure is still there (nearly four decades later), I know, and it is the deficiency of my vision that prevents me from seeing it."



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