The Mystery of Light: The Life and Teachings of Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov by Georg Feuerstein, PhD (Passage Press, 1994)
“Do not rely on others or on books; they can do nothing for you if your whole being does not vibrate and throb with the fire within, if you are not ablaze with fire, like the sun.” Aivanhov
I love the enthusiasm of Omraam Mikhael Ainvanhov, a philosopher and spiritual teacher who believed his teachings were universal, spiritual principles. I first read this book years ago, before beginning this mystic journey. In revisiting his work, I am reminded how his words have always resonated with me.
Aivanhov was fascinated with fire, thus his passion for the sun was his main source of inspiration. He called himself a Christian but his beliefs were more gnostic, emphasizing knowledge. He felt that theologians portrayed God as too abstract and too discouraging, a view consistent with many mystics. His basic belief was that we are here to learn as we evolve into spiritually mature beings, so we need to work on our personal growth. A consistent theme in his teachings.
“…The real miracle is to teach human beings to transform hate into love.” Aivanhov
Aivanhov’s message is love. While he lived from 1900-1986, his words remain powerful today. Sometimes we want to make our spiritual path complicated. Some criticize Aivanhov as too simple, but I find that is the strength of his message. Aivanhov wants to “save a soul by filling it with light” and reconnecting that soul to the Divine. What if we did that each time we felt negativity creeping into our lives? What if we focused on filling ourselves with light, or love, and renewed our connection to whatever higher power we honor? Might that change our perception? Aivanhov suggests such action will transform any hate. This is the way to begin.
Born in Bulgaria, he moved to France and eventually established a community of disciples. He lived and preached a life of balance, spending half of his time in seclusion with his inner work and the other half teaching. In 1959 he traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand and came back a changed man, as often happens to Western seekers. This Hindu and Buddhist influence stayed with him his entire life. Feuerstein believes “It is quite tragic that our civilization does not encourage us to be more reflective about our lives.” I agree.
“To my mind, the law of affinity is the most important key. My whole life has been based on it…all that exists in the universe, whether it be energy or matter, exists to a lesser degree in man.” Aivanhov
The law of affinity is also called the law of correspondence, or “As above, so below.” This is the first of the seven universal principles that I wrote about in Do It Yourself Guide To Spirituality: Seven Simple Steps, and simply means that everything is connected. “…All that exists in the universe…exists to a lesser degree in man.” If everything is connected, then everything we do impacts others and the universe. Aivanhov believes we should be spending more time assessing our words and actions to understand this interdependence.
Aivanhov’s success in his spiritual work was actually predicted by Nostradamus. I read the passage pertaining to Aivanhov and looked at the proof. Despite the obscurity of Nostradamus’s words, I am convinced. Nothing detracts from Aivanhov’s effectiveness as a teacher. His words and work speak for themselves. If he was the subject of a prophecy, all the more powerful.
“For me, magic is life..the whole of life, the whole universe. The true book of magic is there, lying open for all to read…but we have not yet learned how.” Aivanhov
His childlike enthusiasm is infectious. In Aivanhov’s fascination with magic, he understood another dimension of life and talked of how our ancestors were much more capable of accessing that realm. “I know the invisible world is listening to me, “ he claims. He was psychic, an unusual aspect of a mystic, or at least one less discussed. Aivanhov thought women “more capable of getting in touch with the psychic dimension of existence more easily than men.”
“It is women who are going to transform the whole world…But the world needs women who make up their minds to use the power they have over men, not to seduce them but make them nobler beings.” Aivanhov
Aivanhov was born in a culture where spiritual traditions were kept alive by women, so it is not a surprise that he saw women playing a leading role in any spiritual revival. I include the above thoughts on my website’s About page since they speak so strongly to me. Feuerstein claims that Aivanhov saw “women more than men as the spiritual custodians of mankind.” Now is the time for women to regain any strength and power we have relegated to the men in our lives. Unlike our feminist rally in the 60s and 70s, today the aim is a union of the masculine and feminine, both internally and externally. We need a balance of the two.
If there are so many sick people in the world today, it is not only because of the pollution of air, water and food. No, if the psychic atmosphere were not so polluted, human beings would be capable of neutralizing the external poisons. When a human being lives in a state of harmony, his inner forces react and reject impurities.” Aivanhov
Balance, or harmony, was important in Aivanhov’s life. He knew how to focus equally on the intellect and the heart. Aivanhov and other spiritual teachers provide space for inner work, work of the heart. So easy to look outside and find faults or issues; to look inside requires more patience, understanding and less self-criticism. While still understanding balance, a concept with which I often struggle, I now feel free to follow the mystic path of connecting more deeply within. Without any self-imposed guilt. Living in Aivanhov’s “state of harmony” is a goal and not an easy one. Balancing external delights and demands with internal growth continues to be challenging but necessary.
Aivanhov wants us to find love and balance. So important, so simple. Yet so often missing in our lives.