“Take now the case of a less eminent mystic, who has also left behind him a vivid personal description of his entrance upon the Mystic Way. Rulman Merswin was a wealthy, pious, and respected merchant of Strassburg. … One evening, in the autumn which followed his retirement, ‘about the time of Martinmas,’ he was strolling in his garden alone. Meditating as he walked, a picture of the Crucifix suddenly presented itself to his mind. … The mental image of the Cross seems to have released subconscious forces which had long been gathering, … and of his own free will, ‘Lifting his eyes to heaven he solemnly swore hat he would surrender his own will, person, and goods, to the service of God.’
“This act of complete surrender, releasing as it were the earthbound self, was at once followed by the onset of pure mystical perception. ‘The reply from on high came quickly. A brilliant light shone about him: he heard in his ears a divine voice of adorable sweetness; He felt as if he were listed from the ground and carried several times completely round his garden.’ … Merswin’s heart was filled by a new consciousness of the Divine.” ~Evelyn Underhill
It may seem like the awakening experience of each mystic is different. There are certain things that they often have in common. Unfortunately, the most important one is often ignored by those writing on the subject.
One think we need to understand about the apparent sudden mystic awakening of some is that it is rarely sudden. Merswin is described as being a very pious man before his awakening. The same can be said of Jacob Boehme. And while St. Francis of Assisi was not known as a pious person, his awakening was still not sudden. It occurred after he had another kind of awakening as a young man on a battle field.
While each experience may be unique, they do have a common thread. The mystic awakening has certain common factors. Unfortunately, many of their stories were recorded without complete knowledge of what truly happened. In other cases, the truly important factor is ignored because of what most religious people think really matters in these awakenings. What I’m talking about is Light and the Sun.
St. Francis was watching a sunrise when he experienced his awakening. The mystic awakening of Jacob Boehm happened when sunlight reflected off a silver bowl he was carrying struck him in the eye. And Merswin had his awakening while walking in his garden. While the quote doesn’t say so, when he say a great cross before him (cross, not crucifix) he was probably looking toward the sun, or at least in that direction. An image of a Cross of Light is a common way of seeing the Spiritual Sun. It is the light of that spiritual sun which causes the mystic awakening. There may be a few exceptions, but most mystic awakenings occur when one is looking toward the sun and is suddenly filled with a Great Light.
Our Mystic Awakening
I’ve been noticing people recently posting the question on spiritual group pages on social media asking how they can be awakened. Many of the answers they get are clearly coming from individuals who are themselves not awakened. You are not awakened simply by declaring it to be so. None of the great mystics, seers, and prophets ever made such a claim. Most, if not all, were awakened by that light from the Spiritual Sun. If it worked for them, we should be doing the same thing. Our society today may be different. We may be different people than those prophets were. But the basic rule remains the same. We are awakened by the Light. The spiritual light that flows mostly to us through the spiritual sun. So turn to the spiritual sun for your mystic awakening.