Mystical Experience of Bernadette Roberts

Bernadette Roberts (1931 – ) is a former Carmelite nun and a contemplative in the Catholic tradition. She is the author of The Experience of No-Self: A Contemplative Journey, The Path to No-Self: Life at the Center, What is Self?: A Study of the Spiritual Journey in Terms of Consciousness, and The Real Christ.

Roberts describes her mystical experience as follows:

“[T]oward later afternoon, I was standing on [a] windy hillside looking down over the ocean when a seagull came into view, gliding, dipping, playing, with the wind. I watched it as I’d never watched anything before in my life. I almost seemed mesmerized; it was as if I was watching myself flying, for there was not the usual division between us. Yet something more was there than just a lack of separateness, “something” truly beautiful and unknowable. Finally, I turned my eyes to the pine-covered hills behind the monastery and still, there was no division, only something “there” that was flowing with and through every vista and particular object of vision. To see the Oneness of everything is like having special 3D glasses put before your eyes; I thought to myself: for sure, this is what they mean when they say ‘God is everywhere.’”

Quoted by Robert M. May in Cosmic Consciousness Revisited.

Photo Credit: Bernadette Roberts from

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