Ecstatic Journey: The Transforming Power of Mystical Experience

Overview

In this rich and deeply personal book, Burnham describes her own arduous and momentous journey into mystical awareness - the rowing toward God, as she calls it. That journey began with a subtle, unnamed longing, passed through various stages of prayer and spiritual awareness, and broke open in a single transformative moment at the ancient Peruvian site of Machu Picchu. Threaded through her own story, Burnham gives us scores of first-hand accounts of mystical encounters as recorded by ordinary people today, as ...
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Overview

In this rich and deeply personal book, Burnham describes her own arduous and momentous journey into mystical awareness - the rowing toward God, as she calls it. That journey began with a subtle, unnamed longing, passed through various stages of prayer and spiritual awareness, and broke open in a single transformative moment at the ancient Peruvian site of Machu Picchu. Threaded through her own story, Burnham gives us scores of first-hand accounts of mystical encounters as recorded by ordinary people today, as well as by saints, seers, ecstatics, and holy men and women of every faith. In addition, Burnham delves into the physical side of mystical experience - levitation, elevated body temperature, psychic ability - and warns against an overemphasis on such powers. She also describes the age-old practices that invite mystical experience - prayer and fasting, meditation, ascetic discipline - and points out the landmarks that one passes on this extraordinary spiritual journey.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780766959286
  • Publisher: Random House, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/15/1999
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 323

Meet the Author

Sophy Burnham, mother of two grown daughters, grew up in Maryland. The award-winning author of ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers, The Art Crowd and A Book of Angels, she is best known for her speaking and writing on angels and the spiritual dimension. She has written prize-winning works for both children and adults--novels, plays, films, articles, essays, and investigative journalism. Her work has been translated into twenty languages.
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Read an Excerpt

I felt a pressure on my neck, as if a hand were pressing me down. It was terrible and majestic. It said, "You belong to me," or "You are mine"--not in words, but rather as a form of knowledge. "If you are God," I answered, surrendering with my last coherent thought. At that I was immersed in a sweetness words cannot express. I could hear the singing of the planets, and wave after wave of light washed over me. It is hard to speak of what happened at this stage. At one level I ceased to exist, swallowed into light. How long that lasted I do not know. At another level, although I no longer existed as a separate "I," I saw things, thus indicating the duality of "I" and "other." In that state I knew things that today I haven't even the questions to ask about. Some I do not remember, but I know that I saw into the structure of the universe. I had the impression of knowing beyond knowledge and being given glimpses into ALL. I capitalize because of the feebleness of words. It was knowledge untranslatable into verbs and nouns and it filled me with joy.
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