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Illumination is an expansion of understanding and awareness, a recognition of deeper meaning and deeper significance to life. Illumination may include recognition that "truth and goodness" guide the order of things. Illumination is syncretic term for Awakening, and a Connection Outcome.


William James relates an account of one individual... "What I felt on these occasions was a temporary loss of my own identity, accompanied by an illumination which revealed to me a deeper significance than I had been wont to attach to life."[1]

"As this feeling encased me, it seemed as though I immediately grew in the knowledge of God's permeating presence in the world. An understanding that essential truths and goodness guide the order of living infused me to my core. At once, I knew7 that something greater than I and all of the persons around me was at the center of all life experiences."[2]

Karl Hanes reports a case study of an individual who experiences "illumination and insight into the nature of things..."[3]Hadamard, Jacques. An Essay On The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. Read Books, 2013.

Jacques Hadamard[4] provides several examples of spontaneous insights, not grounded in previous work or understanding, but that are wholly novel and inexplicable, that led to the discovery of new mathematical principles. Hadamard refers to these as "illuminations" but, given their mundane quality, we would prefer to refer to them simply as insights, leaving the concept illumination to refer to more spiritually oriented understandings.


  1. James, William. Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature (p. 67). Kindle Edition.
  2. Kacela, Xolani. "Being One with the Spirit: Dimensions of a Mystical Experience." The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling 60 1-2 (2006): 83.
  3. Hanes, Karl. “Unusual Phenomena Associated With a Transcendent Human Experience: A Case Study.” The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 44, no. 1 (2012): 36
  4. Hadamard, Jacques. An Essay On The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. Read Books, 2013.

Connection Outcome