Moth & the Flame/Viaje a lo Luminoso
Moth & the Flame is available for free download on this website. A hard copy version is being planned for the future.
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Spanish: “Viaje a lo luminoso” – 23.5MB (PDF)
Reviews of Moth & the Flame
“I write from the perspective of being a longtime student of comparative religion (both East and West) and of spirituality, a teacher of peace studies, and simply as a fellow traveler on life’s journey. And what an exciting journey of discovery Arran Stephens has been on, beginning in his teens as he struggled to find life’s meaning and purpose.
“His early odyssey took him from his native British Columbia to California and New York, as he explored the venues of the artist and the excesses of the times. We relive with him the turbulent era of the sixties and share in auspicious encounters with Allen Ginsberg, Eden Abhez, and others on the leading edge of the counterculture. Then, fueled by an intense inner yearning, Arran embarks on a painstaking search to find a genuine spiritual mentor. After some false starts and promising leads, in 1964, he learns of the great Indian sage and mystic adept, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj. That first contact awakens a deep recognition and triggers several profound mystical experiences. As a result, his life undergoes a transformation… Now over thirty years later, Arran remains deeply involved in the study and practice of an age-old, yet surprisingly modern spiritual path—not as a monastic recluse—but as a civic-minded family man and highly successful pioneer in several natural foods enterprises.
“Moth & the Flame is very much in the tradition of books written by seekers who have turned inwards and eastward to reclaim their spiritual roots, such as Paul Brunton’s Search in Secret India, Julian Johnson’s The Path of the Masters, Irene Tweedy’s Chasm of Fire, and Andrew Harvey’s Journey to Ladakh.
“With loving care, Arran weaves the times and teachings of his mentors into the tapestry of his own growth and struggles. The pages overflow with picturesque descriptions of life in India, including details of trips to the pristine Himalayas, to the dusty byways of rural villages, and to shrines and pilgrimage centers. Descriptions of the hubbub of chaotic crowded cities and the contrasting oasis-like serenity of ashram life provide an evocative backdrop for the book’s narrative thread. Many of his accounts reveal things which defy explanation by ordinary standards of understanding, including miraculous healings and the sudden appearance of the radiant form of the Masters to individuals many thousands of miles away in times of need.
“The reader is provided a rare opportunity to witness the daily activities of living Saints and their interactions with people of all walks of life – from presidents and princesses to simple rural workers. One encounters in action the deep humanity of these servants of humankind, as well as their extraordinary qualities of transvision, protection, and access to inner spiritual dimensions. We are treated to memorable meetings with Raghuvacharya, renowned among the yogis of Haridwar, who late in his lifespan of one hundred thirteen years, became an advanced practitioner of the inner path, and we encounter a wide range of humanity from venerable Tibetan Lamas to two former hardened criminals whose lives had become transformed.
“As the 20th century drew to a close, Arran witnessed the positive response from large numbers of people throughout the world to the teachings of theMystic Adepts. Besides the rare boon of associating with three highly unique spiritual teachers in one lifetime, the author acknowledges other benefactors. I was moved to read of his friendship with the then elderly Dr. Edmond Bordeaux-Szekely, translator of the Aramaic Essene Gospel of Peace and of his meetings with the eclectic Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now.
“In Moth & the Flame, the reader encounters an individual’s struggle with the apparent paradoxes of the spiritual life: effort and grace, separation and union, death and life, pain and ecstasy. One glimpses the profoundly transformative personal relationship which lies at the heart of mysticism—that of the competent adept and the sincere wayfarer.”
Arthur Stein, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science,
Co-founder of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies,
University of Rhode Island, Wakefield, RI
“This beautiful book—accompanied by more than 70 rare and wonderful photographs—recounts the tale of one man’s spiritual quest and the finding of his Guide, an authentic Adept in a lineage that traces its roots in distant ages. These ancient teachings were revived five centuries ago by Guru Nanak and Kabir Sahib, and were again given new life and relevance in the 20th Century. It is a teaching that emphasizes service, ethical living, as well as a free, scientific method of meditation which seeks to unite the individual soul with its Divine Source.
“The book is filled with the author’s inspiring experiences and adventures, along with illuminating converse with his Master and successors. At one place, Kirpal Singh tells him, ‘A hungry man is an angry man and to speak of God to an angry man is a mockery. We must serve those naked and hungry Gods moving on Earth.’
“[His account] is a fascinating story of the trials and ecstacies of the spiritual quest and how the author manifests his mentors’ teachings in life through meditation and the path of service. Along the way, Arran Stephens founds the highly successful Nature’s Path and LifeStream food companies, which express his ongoing vision of improving the world we all share.”
Carolyn DeMarco, MD,
Take Charge of Your Body:
A Woman’s Health Advisor.
“His richly detailed accounts of ashram life, meetings with renowned saints, scholars and teachers—including the mystic poet-Sant Darshan Singh, vibrate with aliveness and soar with vision. In Moth & the Flame, a personal memoir is transformed into a universal story of every heart’s search for meaning and truth.
“As a successful entrepreneur and organic foods pioneer, Arran has admirably translated his spiritual learning in the physical world. He demonstrates the value of meditation and moderation in our fast-paced western lifestyle, which adds a powerful practical relevance to his book. Moth & the Flame is a remarkable story that reveals both the struggle and rewards of living the spiritual life.”
Rex Weyler, publisher of Shared Vision magazine,
co-author of Chop Wood, Carry Water,
co-founder of Hollyhock Seminar Centre
“Stephens’ riveting spiritual autobiography chronicles the divinely miraculous, yet still captures the endearing humanness of his day-to-day life in the presence of enlightened spiritual guides. Moth & the Flame truly leaves ‘footprints on the sands of the timeless’ for those who aspire to walk the spiritual path. Destined to become a classic!”
Elliot Jay Rosen, LA Times best-selling author of Experiencing the Soul – Before Birth, During Life, After Death.
“Arran Stephens kept a wonderfully detailed journal of his years in India with Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, one of the truly great mystic adepts of our age. He has captured the essence of his experiences with the Master and his successors in this engrossing, devotionally charged account of his own spiritual quest.
“Reminiscent of Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, Paul Brunton’s Search in Secret India, and Norman Paulson’s Christ Consciousness, Arran’s language is sublime and melodic as he tells a story of miracles, mystical experiences and his joys and struggles along the spiritual path.
“The story begins when Arran’s idyllic childhood on his family’s Vancouver Island farm is torn apart and he ends up as a teenager on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles, forced to scramble for survival in the drug culture in the 1960’s. A deep spiritual yearning propels him to India to sit at the feet of the Master Kirpal, who has mysteriously appeared to him in his dreams and who now begins to change the course of his life.
“The devotee has learned his Master’s lessons well; sincerity, dedication, insight and absence of ego motivation are subtly apparent in Arran’s writing. He has included numerous direct excerpts from Kirpal Singh’s words and writings; the power and veracity of which frequently lifted me up as I read along.
“Returning to Vancouver, BC in 1967, he opened Canada’s first vegetarian restaurant; an arranged marriage took place the following year in India. The story continues as he and his new bride go back to the West to found LifeStream Natural Foods, a trailblazer in the organic foods industry and a national cultural icon. LifeStream/Nature’s Path’s success in Canada and the United States proves that a large company can consciously embrace spiritual values and survive quite well in the commercial world.
“This is a real-life story of ups and downs, of laughter and tears and ultimately of spiritual practice bearing fruit. This fellow has had quite a life so far, and I really enjoyed his book.”
Reviewed by Charlie Spring, New Times of Seattle.