Suso, Henri - Goes out of body on the Feast of St. Agnes
Type of Spiritual Experience
Many of Henri Suso’s spiritual experiences were caused by ‘angst’, however, he had others caused by practises such as ‘purgation’ [fasting, isolation, etc]. In the following it is worth knowing that Suso always referred to himself as ‘the Servitor’.
I have placed in italics some key phrases. This describes an out of the body experience, but it may also describe a kundalini experience. Kundalini experiences are not in general induced by angst, but it may be that Suso was also doing ‘other things’ that helped without realising the effects they would have.
A description of the experience
The Life of Henri Suso by Himself – Henri Suso
In the first days of his conversion it happened upon the Feast of St. Agnes, when the Convent had breakfasted at midday, that the Servitor went into the choir. He was alone, and he placed himself in the last stall on the prior's side. And he was in much suffering, for a heavy trouble weighed upon his heart. And being there alone, and devoid of all consolations - no one by his side, no one near him - of a sudden his soul was rapt in his body, or out of his body.
Then did he see and hear that which no tongue can express.
That which the Servitor saw had no form neither any manner of being; yet he had of it a joy such as he might have known in the seeing of the shapes and substances of all joyful things. His heart was hungry, yet satisfied, his soul was full of contentment and joy: his prayers and hopes were all fulfilled. And the Friar could do naught but contemplate this Shining Brightness; and he altogether forgot himself and all other things.
Was it day or night? He knew not. It was, as it were, a manifestation of the sweetness of Eternal Life in the sensations of silence and of rest.
Then he said, 'If that which I see and feel be not the Kingdom of Heaven, I know not what it can be: for it is very sure that the endurance of all possible pains were but a Poor price to pay for the eternal possession of so great a joy’.
This ecstasy lasted from half an hour to an hour, and whether his soul were in the body or out of the body he could not tell. But when he came to his senses it seemed to him that he returned from another world. And so greatly did his body suffer in this short rapture that it seemed to him that none, even in dying, could suffer so greatly in so short a time. The Servitor came to himself moaning, and he fell down upon the ground like a man who swoons. And he cried inwardly, heaving great sighs from the depth of his soul and saying, 'Oh, my God, where was I and where am I? And again 'O, my heart’s joy, never shall my soul forget this hour!'
He walked, but it was but his body that walked, as a machine might do. None knew from his demeanour that which was taking place within. But his soul and his spirit were full of marvels; heavenly lightnings passed and repassed in the deeps of his being, and it seemed to him that he walked on air. And all the powers of his soul were full of these heavenly delights. He was like a vase from which one has taken a precious ointment, but in which the perfume long remains.
This foretaste of the happiness of heaven, the which the Servitor enjoyed for many days, excited in him a most lively desire for God.
The source of the experienceSuso, Henri
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Loneliness and isolation