The Mystery of Light
276 Pages

The Mystery of Light



The Mystery of Light is the first book-length account of the life and teaching of the Bulgarian-born spiritual adept Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov (1900-1986), who was one of the twentieth century’s greatest luminaries of Western spirituality. He was a disciple of the saintly Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), modern Bulgaria’s most remarkable spiritual figure. In 1937, at the behest of his teacher, Aïvanhov moved to France where he taught the timeless secrets of a universal gnosticism for nearly a half century. This book holds great appeal for seekers both within and outside established spiritual traditions.

Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned Yoga researcher and historian of religion with thirty books to his credit, including the award-winning The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga and the best-selling Living Yoga. He is also the founder-director of the Yoga Research Center and editor of Yoga World newsletter.



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Published 19 April 2012
Reads 120
EAN13 9782818400838
License: All rights reserved
Language English

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The Mystery

of Light

The Life and Teaching of

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov












Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D.

Foreword by Larry Dossey, M.D.





Readers are informed that this eBook might contain special illustrations and fonts that may shift when greatly enlarged.


Original title : The Mystery of Light

copyright 1992 by Therese Bony

Cover design by Steven R. Jerman

Passage Press is a division of Morson Publishing

Morson Publishing

P.O. Box 21713 – Salt Lake City, Utah 84121-0713

Printed in the United States of America 1994

ISBN 1-878423-14-2

© Copyright Prosveta S.A. 2011. All rights reserved for all countries. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, adapted, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, whether privately or otherwise, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, audio-visual or otherwise, without the prior permission of author and publishers (Law of March 1957 revised).

Prosveta S.A – B.P.12 – 83601 Fréjus CEDEX (France)

ISBN 978-2-8184-0026-5

Published simultaneously printed


In memory of Dr. Giovanni Boni

For all who understand that our life

is best lived as a pilgrimage.

May these pages help illumine their way.




I wish to record my gratitude to the following people:

– my spiritual friend Therese Boni, for making this book possible and for her boundless Mediterranean enthusiasm, which was manna for my psyche;

– the late Dr. Giovanni Boni, to whom this book is dedicated, for his ready appreciation of my efforts and his unfailing kindness;

– Rachel Haik, for her generous help with the French edition, which contributed to the improvement of the English edition;

– Paul Henri Gaillard, for cosponsoring the creation of this work;

– Christian and Jeannine Pleines, for their faith in me and their prompt and generous support of the revised version of this book;

– Lorli Chodrof, for generously cosponsoring the revised edition;

– Sister Blagost, a long-standing disciple of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, for adding to the book›s color by providing some anecdotal material and other valuable information about the life of her teacher;

– Cherry Frizzell, for freely sharing with me several anecdotes about Master Aïvanhov during her and her husband’s sojourn with him;

– Violet Nevil, for kindly assisting with the creation of the chronology (see Appendix);

– the officials of Prosveta, France, for granting permission to quote copyrighted material free of charge;

– David Lorimer, for kindly providing information about Peter Deunov, the Bulgarian teacher of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov;

– my wife, Trisha, for applying as usual her formidable editing skills and sound judgment to this work;

– Larry Dossey, M.D., for generously giving of his time to furnish this book with a much-appreciated foreword.

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


FOREWORD by Larry Dossey, M.D.

Author of Recovering the Soul; Space, Time, and Medicine;

Meaning and Medicine; and Beyond Illness

There are rare moments in our life when the discovery of a particular book, teaching, or piece of wisdom simply stuns us and leaves us breathlessly filled with awe, gratitude, and joy. We recognize immediately that we have come upon a great treasure. As we stand in its presence and yield to its brilliance, we can sense immediately that it has begun to change us. That has been my response to encountering the work of the remarkable Bulgarian spiritual teacher Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov.

The pages of history are littered with wise spiritual teachers. Regardless of the truths they have spoken, many of them have not made a great difference in people’s lives or the world in general. What accounts for the transforming power of some of them? Whether or not a great spiritual teaching actually engages us depends on our openness to it, of course, but on other factors as well. It is not enough for the teaching to be true. In addition, it must be coherent not only with former wisdom but with the best current knowledge as well. It must convey relevancy, immediacy, urgency. Above all, the teaching must somehow be right for the times, and it must feel right. At some point, if these conditions are met, magic may happen: We, and the world around us, can be transformed.

Not only is Aïvanhov’s teaching consistent with the greatest wisdom traditions of humankind, it is at the leading edge of our evolving knowledge about the world. This means that those who prefer their spiritual teachings to be dusty and crusty, archaic and arcane, will need to look elsewhere. Aïvanhov does not advocate taking refuge in a sentimental past.

Using reason to the fullest, and supplementing it with his remarkable visionary powers, he enunciates a breathtaking picture of human transformation that is modern and up-to-date.

One of the most striking qualities of Aïvanhov’s teaching is the simplicity and clarity that shine through at every moment. His unadorned, uncluttered words are a refreshing contrast to the hopelessly obscure obfuscations that pass today for “spiritual” teachings. What a joy to rediscover that authentic wisdom need not be opaque and impenetrable!

Although Aïvanhov’s teaching is consistent with the best of the ancient wisdom that has gone before it, it is in many respects fresh and new. Aïvanhov was obviously aware of the penetrating insights of modern science. He honored this window onto the world and, by applying his considerable intellect and understanding, opened this window even further. Unlike many spiritual teachers, Aïvanhov never went around the modern picture of the universe; he marched straight through it and expanded it. This is one reason his teaching seems so relevant for our age.

There are probably more so-called spiritual teachers today than ever before. The West is flooded with them, and it has been difficult in many instances to sort out the sage from the scoundrel. Amid the current super-market of offerings, the spiritual seeker’s task of finding a genuine teacher can be daunting. That is one reason why it is a great honor and privilege to recommend the teaching presented in this book. It is in a class with few others.

Georg Feuerstein is uniquely qualified to bring the writings of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov to our attention. Dr. Feuerstein is a world-renowned scholar in the field of spirituality and comparative religious studies, from whose books I have benefited for years. His writings—and his life—embody the same depth, integrity, and dignity of his current subject.

This volume is an enchanting, lyrical song between Feuerstein and Aïvanhov—Aïvanhov singing the melody, and Feuerstein rounding out the score with his skillful, unobtrusive interpretation.

I am frequently asked in lectures and seminars, “Who today is a believable, genuine, spiritual teacher?” Now I can answer without hesitation: Encounter Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov and see what happens.

Larry Dossey, M.D.

New Mexico



Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov



The present work is the product of a series of most felicitous circumstances. In 1989, I came across the English translation of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov’s book Toward a Solar Civilisation. I had requested it for review, and to my delight found the book absolutely fascinating. I gave it an appropriately laudatory review.

This is where Therese Boni appeared in my life. As the then director of the American branch of Prosveta, the publisher dedicated to promoting Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov’s life work, she thanked me for my review with her characteristic enthusiasm. Before I knew it she had gifted me with forty volumes of Aïvanhov’s talks that had been translated into English.

Soon afterward I met Therese in person, and we instantly struck up a wonderful friendship. I also found myself delving into Aïvanhov’s teaching with growing admiration and gratitude. I was amazed that I had never heard of him before, not even during my many years in Europe, although he had taught in France for nearly half a century. I particularly regretted that I did not know of him when he visited California in 1984. I would gladly have journeyed to Los Angeles from my home in Northern California to see him.

However, in the course of working on this book I came to appreciate the degree to which great teachers live on in their ideas. There were also many moments in which I felt an invisible presence supporting me. Sometimes writing can be a laborious task, but in the present case the work was filled with so much joy and luminosity that I almost regretted completing it.

I hope that this book will inspire you, the reader, as much as I was inspired by the powerfully transformative ideas that form its backbone. I am not referring to my own ideas, which merely serve to provide a context for Aïvanhov’s teaching, but to those potent thoughts and images that express a universal truth, crystallized by one of the finest representatives of perennial philosophy.

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov was a simple and direct man. Sometimes simplicity and directness are merely the product of lack of sophistication. In Aïvanhov’s case, they are the fruit of a wonderful mental lucidity and great personal integrity. He presented even the most complex ideas in a clear and lively manner, and with an unpretentiousness that is deceptive.

Our age loves complicated matters. We pride ourselves in being sophisticated, and we generally assume that profound thoughts call for complex expressions. We always wonder whether an opaque thinker might not be incredibly deep. Aïvanhov cut through all this pretense and confusion. His countless talks—he never wrote anything—are uniformly simple, lucid, and deep.

Many who have listened to Aïvanhov during his nearly fifty years of teaching found him to be too simple and moved on to other, more complicated-sounding teachings and philosophies. We discover the depth of his ideas only when we approach his teaching without intellectual snobbery and preconceptions. As the American physician and writer Larry Dossey, M.D., remarked:

“A mark of a great spiritual teacher is to convey wisdom of such luminous clarity that it seems genuinely simple—as if we might have known it all along, as if it is innate in everyone. Such a teacher is Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, whose words have the ring of familiarity and truth. In an age that confuses profundity with impenetrable esotericism, Aïvanhov is a refreshing discovery.”

There is a traditional story about a somewhat presumptuous aspirant who came to a renowned spiritual teacher for instruction. When the teacher asked him to sweep the floor, the young man hesitated. When the teacher reassured him that this was in fact his teaching, the newcomer sneered and left. He had missed the whole point of the instruction and hence never caught even a glimpse of the teaching that would most certainly have transformed him.

In some respects, reading Aïvanhov’s published talks is like sweeping. Many of his ideas sound so familiar that we easily come to the hasty conclusion that we have already moved beyond them. But there is a vast difference between knowing something and living it. Aïvanhov’s talks and his exemplary life constantly remind us of this crucial distinction.

As we delve into Aïvanhov’s recorded talks, we are humbled by his tremendous depth of understanding. When we follow his thoughts attentively, and gradually discover their profundity and beauty, we are touched and transformed by them.

In the present publication I have tried to express myself as simply as possible. Of course, I could never hope to successfully emulate Aïvanhov’s rich metaphoric language, and to compensate for this shortcoming of mine I have interspersed my commentary with ample quotes from his vivid talks. The purpose of this volume is to introduce Aïvanhov and his teaching to the English-speaking world and to provide the necessary background for understanding both.

In presenting Aïvanhov’s life, I have almost exclusively relied on the scattered biographical tidbits found in the volumes published in English. This was supplemented to a certain degree by the information I was able to obtain from some of his longtime disciples. Thus, my book does not purport to be a biography, which, however, is a definite desideratum.1