Let There Be Light celebrates the splendor of radiant Light that has been known, embodied and taught by mystics, saints and sages over the millennia. Readers at every level will enjoy this book for its insights and message of hope: Light is available to all who seek it with humility and grace.
Within the world's sacred scriptures, many significant passages involve light-be it the "burning bush" experience of the lawgiver Moses on Mount Sinai, the "light brighter than a thousand suns" of which the Bhagavad Gita speaks, or the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light" (Matthew 6:22, KJV).
We seek to highlight in this book those who have experienced this divine light. Numerous esoteric references to Inner Light appear not only in the scriptures of the distant past, but also within the personal experiential accounts by Masters, sages, and seers across the centuries. Also we draw upon wisdom stories and tales from many cultural and ethnic traditions.
We draw attention to a number of significant related references and accounts by teachers and practitioners of the closely related phenomenon of Inner Sound, which is also known within various teachings or mystic lineages as "audible sound current," Naam, Word, "celestial music," or other descriptions.
Testimonies are provided by persons who have experienced aspects of Inner Light and Sound in a variety of circumstances outside of formal religious or spiritual contexts. These may be precipitated, for example, by being profoundly moved by uplifting music, sudden personal epiphanies, near-death experiences (NDEs), and during the dying process itself.
One common thread among great teachers, sages and practitioners of spiritual traditions have emphasized throughout the ages is that Inner Light and enlightenment can be most directly accessed by utilizing meditation, prayer and other contemplative practices.
Today humankind collectively is faced with a host of great challenges: political, socio-economic, and ecological-which ultimately at their roots are primarily spiritual in nature. Fortunately, possibilities for transformational changes are also accessible. Increasing numbers of people of all ages around the planet, both individuals and collectively, are seeking to tap into resources that will enhance self-understanding and recognition of a "deeper" shared level of Self and consciousness, within themselves and in the world.
Simply put, can enough persons of goodwill find sufficient common ground to pull together and live into being a unifying ethos for humanity? What will it take to build a nonviolent, sustainable world upon foundations of lovingkindness, compassion, cooperation and social justice?
It has becoming increasingly clear that there can be no real peace in the world until there is peace within and between religions. It is encouraging in this regard to witness increased participation among the faith traditions in interfaith dialogue. Harbingers of positive change include the "new" interspiritual movement, which attracts people from a wide range of perspectives and highlights a growing awareness that the basic core of spiritual experience emerges from the same wellspring(s).
We sincerity hope that Let There Be Light can help contribute to thoughtful questioning, appreciative listening, and openhearted dialogue as people with diverse origins come together to share their spiritual journeys with each other.
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About the Author
His books include Seeds of the Seventies: Values, Work and Commitment in Post-Vietnam America. For his teaching and community service, within and well beyond the classroom, Art has been recognized for his "commitments to human rights and ecological concerns that have inspired thousands of students over the years." He has been a speaker, "scholar in residence," and workshop facilitator at numerous universities, colleges, and civic programs worldwide.
Dr. Stein has studied and had longtime interests in the fields of comparative religion and spirituality, ethics, mysticism, and contemplative practice. Courses he has created and taught include "Wisdom Traditions of the World's Cultures and Religions," and "Meditation, Mindfulness and Peacebuilding: Within Ourselves and Globally." For over 40 years he has practiced meditation. He has participated as a presenter and/or facilitator in each of the five global Parliaments of the World's Religions held between 1993-2015.
Andrew Vidich Ph.D. is an award winning author, educator, and transformational speaker in the fields of spirituality, mysticism, and death and dying. He is the author and/or editor of five books. Dr. Vidich has been an adjunct assistant professor of religion at Manhattan College and at Iona College in New Rochelle where he has taught courses in the nature and experience of religion, meditation, and death and dying. He lectures and presents seminars and trainings at educational and religious institutions, conferences, radio and TV shows, throughout the world on a variety of leadership topics.
He is a founding member of The Interfaith Council of New York, a not-forprofit interfaith organization, as well as a member of the council of trustees of The Temple of Understanding, a global interfaith organization, which promotes understanding and cooperation across all religions and faiths. He has been meditating for over 45 years. He has participated as a presenter and/or facilitator in each of the five global Parliaments of the World's Religions held between 1993-2015.