Symeon the New Theologian (with thanks to christ-consciousness)
Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022 AD) was a Byzantine Christian monk and poet who was the last of three saints canonized by the Eastern Orthodox church and given the title of “Theologian”, which was applied to Symeon not in the modern academic sense of theological study, but to recognize someone who spoke from personal experience of the vision of God. A central theme throughout Symeon’s teachings and writings is that all Christians should aspire to have actual direct experience of God in deep contemplation, or theoria. Regarding his own mystical experiences, he presented them not as unique to himself, but as the norm for all Christians. He taught that the experience came after purification through prayer, repentance, and asceticism.
Symeon repeatedly describes the experience of divine light in his writings, as both an inward and outward mystical experience. These experiences began in his youth, and continued all during his life. They came to him during inward prayer and contemplation, and were associated with a feeling of indescribable joy, as well as the intellectual understanding that the light was a vision of God. In his writings, he spoke directly to God about the experience variously as “the pure Light of your face” and “You deigned to reveal Your face to me like a formless sun.” He also described the light as the grace of God, and taught that its experience was associated with a mind that was completely still and had transcended itself.
Light Will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage.
… Little by little, You will turn into stars.
Little by little, You will turn into
The whole sweet, amorous Universe.
Love will surely burst you wide open
Into an unfettered, booming new galaxy.
You will become so free
In a wonderful, secret
And pure Love That flows
From a conscious, One-pointed, Infinite Light.
Even then, my dear, The Beloved will have fulfilled
Just a fraction, Just a fraction!
Of a promise He wrote upon your heart.
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to.
O look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.
When your soul begins
To ever bloom and laugh
And spin in Eternal Ecstasy-
O little by little, You will turn into God.”