There is, in this third stage, a condition that never fails to arouse the greatest wonder when initiation into it begins. In certain ways it corresponds to, and mentally parallels, the condition of the embryo in a mother's womb. Therefore, it is called by mystics who have experienced it "the second birth." The mind is drawn so deeply into itself and becomes so engrossed in itself that the outer world vanishes utterly. The sensation of being enclosed all round by a greater presence, at once protective and benevolent, is strong. There is a feeling of being completely at rest in this soothing presence. The breathing becomes very quiet and hardly perceptible. One is aware also that nourishment is being mysteriously and rhythmically drawn from the universal Life-force. Of course, there is no intellectual activity, no thinking, and no need of it. Instead, there is a k-n-o-w-i-n-g. There are no desires, no wishes, no wants. A happy peacefulness, almost verging on bliss, as human love might be without its passions and pettinesses, holds one in magical thrall. In its freedom from mental working and perturbation, from passional movement and emotional agitation, the condition bears something of infantile innocence. Hence Jesus' saying: "Except ye become as little children ye shall in no wise enter the Kingdom of Heaven." But essentially it is a return to a spiritual womb, to being born again into a new world of being where at the beginning he is personally as helpless, as weak, and as dependent as the physical embryo itself.
-- Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 7: Contemplative Stillness > # 11
-- Perspectives > Chapter 23: Advanced Contemplation > # 47