I was not aware of this. Do you remember where you heard this?
I think a lot of it is people expanding the concept with their own visuals and imagery in the Christian tradition, although the root concept of the force of God burning anything less with its radiance is expressed several times in the Bible itself:
And he said, You can not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. Exodus 33:20
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. Isaiah 6
In the Isaiah verse, I have heard it stated that the Hebrew and Aramaic is more suggestive- that they are covering their faces to shield themselves. The implication is that here the highest rank of angels in the Judeo-christian tradition know better than to look at God.
I am not myself a Christian, as that is not how I interface with the world. That said, there are fantastic things to be found in that tradition if you know where to look. I was immersed in Catholocism for several years as an outsider; I found that although I could not accept most of the basic premises ( I knew that going in), that there was much a person could learn from it if they were open to it, just as I had previously learned from the east. Watch a nun pray the rosary in some random Italian hill town and you will see what I mean.
I think an important thing for people to understand is that this experience is not something that you need a church or guru or other religious leader for. This is a human experience. God however you understand him is for everyone. All people are meant for this not just gifted or special ones.
I whole-heartedly agree on each of these accounts. I think this experience may be a human birthright. It is over and above what many people ever get to experience, but I think the structure is there for any healthy person to experience it if they are led in the right directions. I don't feel like I am a special person for having experienced it (no more than everyone is special at least), but I count myself incredibly lucky.
I badly want to show others how to reach it too, but I know that I shouldn't until I have years of understanding it, before I even suggest how to engage with it. And even then... I want to be sure it is safe for people... I am not completely sure if it fully is at this point. Chasing it down Alice's cave seems like something I really have to take in measured amounts. I want to go far faster than I feel I should. Restraint seems like a virtue here unfortunately. If I am fully sane a couple years from now, I may consider putting the full concept into writing.