For me, God is what mysticism is about, and, as a mystic, I believe in God. My own experience with religion has discouraged me and so I look for God elsewhere. I do not believe God is escapable so I believe we find God where we are. There is no church or special club a person has to join and prayer, more than anything else, is simply the life we live.
Condemnation, punishment, persecution, these are human endeavour’s. All person’s are acceptable to God. The notion that God would single out a person or group for favor, or scorn, seems an absurdity to me. If a person could find themself separate from God I expect it could only be by determined cognizant willful intent. I imagine it would result in the loss of existence which itself seems impossible. It seems probable to me that the God most people would distance themselvs from does not exist except perhaps in our mind.
God is not accountable to us by our good works, by what we believe or by the religion we join. God does not punish us for failing in these areas. We are simply acceptable to God. The quest I think is to find ourselves acceptable to ourselves. Should we accomplish this simple task then we find, within ourselves, acceptance of God.
When I speak of God I am not making a referance to any particular doctrine as I expect that only God represent’s God. I do think there are certain qualifiers by which a person finds peace with God. The two that I have been able to trust are compassion and understanding. Compassion is such that it has a single measure. That measure is simply enough. It does not single out a person or a group as being more deserving than another. It finds it’s one measure enough for all or it is not there. The attribute of understanding is the same. Everything is understood. I believe the fact of existence reveals the underlying understanding. That is that nothing could organize itself well enough to exist except that there would first be understanding. The sensibilities of compassion and understanding allude to the absolute. Their attributes are such that they can only have a single measure. That measure is always inclusive and always enough.
These fundamentals of compassion and understanding are as the voice that guides ones footfall on the mystic path.
The Mystic Tourist
I have on occasion educated myself on the history of Christianity. The person or perhaps more accurately the ideal of Christ is captivating. From my observation of known history I have no reason to believe that Jesus ever founded a church. Why would he?
What I do know is that Constantine sacked Rome and in the fourth century seems to have established the Christian Church. After installing himself as emperor Constantine ended the persecution of Christians. He insisted that the various Christian sect’s hobble together a unifying Christian Doctrine. The first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 did this. They did this and they also agreed on the New Testament.
The New Testament claim is controversial. As near as I can tell it is a technical matter. When were the book’s written, what group’s referenced them and when? It seem’s unlikely, knowing the nature of this council, that they did not decide on this particular collection known as The New Testament. It seems to me that they must have at least confirmed it.
It is easy to believe that Jesus existed because of the history. It is much harder to believe the doctrine. You have to believe, on faith, the doctrine tied to the text. I have to ask myself what came first? What about the usual suspect, motive? Miracle’s, that is another post but I do not have a problem with miracles. Consider this, in clinical trial’s placebos work 30% of the time.
It is the ogre pretending to be God waiting to damn you to hell for joining the wrong religion that is hard to swallow.
Here is an article from The Guardian about placebo’s.
Here is an article from P.B.S. About Constantine and Christianity. You can easily scan this article by scrolling to find whatever information might interest you.
There is a ton of information about Constantine and also placebos. Have fun!
The Mystic Tourist
Mysticism is what I do and what I will blog about. I will be fifty-eight this year. It is my belief, that by circumstance, I was born a mystic. Of course I did not realize it at birth but after seventeen years it was clear that mysticism is what dominates my life.
Being mystic is not so much a choice I made for myself as it is the way I have found myself. God is as a singular interest in my life. There seem’s a quality about God that is all-inclusive and so devotion to God allows that each relationship in life might reach its full measure.
Religion? I place my confidence in God. Even if God does not exist I am good with that. Religion is the place I did not find God. I was born and raised Roman Catholic including ten year’s of parochial education. How and why does one separate the truth from the lies? Of religion, I have been cured.
It was this sensibility, when I was seventeen, that really upset me. I had no peer, no mentor and no literature to guide me. Having found myself this way I did not feel it was a choice and I turned my rage against society and God. That lasted twelve year’s. It caused the complete ruin of my life three time’s.
In 1981 after a brawl at work that destroyed the company office as well as assorted public property, private property and my truck I found myself in jail once again. I had lived my life sure that attrition would take my life prematurely or that my reckless lifestyle would force God’s hand to do for me what I would not do myself. It was not working out. It seemed to me I had become what I was so angry about. It occurred to me that God might not intervene, attrition might not take me out and being what I was angry about was not a viable option for me. I changed. I decided to embrace the mysticism. I decided mysticism would prove its worth or run its course. Either way I would be able to get on with my life and leave the rage behind me.
I am an empiric mystic. I believe that God make’s an example, an expression and does represent Gods self. I believe that only by that does anyone come to know God, or God does not exist.
The Mystic Tourist