David Spangler’s childhood vision “on the road to Damascus” introduced him to the Source of Light and laid the foundation for his eventual understanding of the process of incarnation. Ten years later a second vision changed the course of David’s life and shaped the structure of what ultimately came to be known as Incarnational Spirituality.
David writes in Apprenticed to Spirit: The Education of a Soul:
There were no bells or whistles. There was no out-of-body flight or any sensations of entering an altered state of consciousness. There was nothing as dramatic as what had happened when I was seven. I only saw a human figure in front of me.
This was not a specific person but a generic individual, almost like a department store mannequin. It was not a being of Light as I was used to seeing, but seemed sculpted from light that glowed from within itself. It definitely appeared solid and physical, even though radiant with light.
It seemed bursting with meaning; so much so that if information were heat and light, it would seem that this individual was standing in front of a furnace. I felt overwhelmed by the insights this figure contained, and could not grasp them all. Almost fifty years later, I am still unpacking the information it had to offer.
But one thing stood out. This figure represented an incarnate person in physical embodiment. It was neither a spiritual nor a non-physical being. It was not an image of what a person might become if he or she left the physical plane or became some kind of ascended master. It was an image of the spiritual Light contained within and radiating from the act of individuation and personhood. It was the light of being a person.
As I watched, the figure changed into a chalice and then became a figure again. It did this three times altogether, as if emphasizing that this person also represented a quality of holding. Afterward, I thought of this figure as “the person who is also a chalice.”
At the same time this vision unfolded in front of me, I sensed the presence of a group of inner beings in the background, one of whom came to stand behind me. He said quite distinctly, “There is a new spirituality emerging, a spirituality of personhood and incarnation. It will represent a new way of being in the world.” And then he said, “Your work is to help this emergence.”
Then the vision faded.
My main purpose in sharing these visions is to establish this most basic framework, without which any study of Incarnational Spirituality may be largely incomplete or impeded; from the perspective of this emerging spirituality, the origin of the human being is an Order of Light.
Having said that, I don’t think that the old stories of creation need to be forgotten, ignored or even directly challenged. They are part of our cultural inheritances, our ways of coming to terms with living in the world, and need to be honored as such.
Yet I fully admit that it may take a great deal of courage for some of us to believe that human beings can be inherently more than weak, frail, fragile and sinful. Or that our egos deserve the same place of distinction that our souls possess.
But at the beginning of my own personal exploration of Incarnational Spirituality, I felt this story of light needed to be shared. Like the woman at the airport suggested, it’s part of a larger understanding of spirituality that could change everything!