The Way The Truth and The Light

Justice. The first gift of compassion is justice. Compassion simply knows no prejudice or boundary. Its status is; Always enough. It can not be exhausted. The gift of justice is truth but without compassion truth is the needle in the haystack. The gift of truth is light and we see as things actually are. Justice without truth lets us tell our self what we want to be true. The gift of light is who we are. Outside of the light there are only shadows and we only know ‘how’ we are.

In all of this compassion is the key, forgiveness is the gate and then we are able to see. This is the way the truth and the light. It is the path to spiritual living. It is my path and I have no place to go except to be there. It is easy to be distracted by shadows and give them chase. When we do, we fall from grace and in our concern about how we are, who gets lost. I am not sure if I can bring who I am into full realization but there are stories of people who have. I have been a confusion of reluctance and certainty in this regard. Except for the encouragement of lore there is no guide to do this. Stories of others, just like you or I, who have done it. For some reason I have always felt this is what I have to do. That certainty, historically, has stirred strong emotion and that has never helped. My tendency is to be angry that I should see things, believe as I do. That is a tiresome position that I hope to wear out or just walk away from.

Of course I doubt. That is of little help and as a shadow to give chase. Except for this notion that I have to do this I would have taken a different path long ago and had a very different life. I have never been able to shake this certainty, this sense of what I have to do. It is what drives me. When I am angry about it or otherwise distracted, it never takes me to a good place.

Who are you? What drives you?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Ordinary Life of Jesus Christ

Ordinariness. I have written of this before. I believe in what is ordinary, that only the ordinary exists. Anything we consider extraordinary, most notably for the purpose of this blog, human endeavour, is the work of ordinary people. Conversely, I might consider everything to be extraordinary but I do not, I believe in ordinariness. That is not to say that we are all the same or that each of us has the same thing to do. We are just ordinary people, each of us, no matter what we do.

As a mystic this has always been my guiding principle. As a Catholic, a Christian, it is what drove me from the church. To my mind Jesus was as ordinary a human being as are you or I. That is the whole point of the story. Dogma and doctrine paint him as something much more than that, God incarnate. It is not true. A woman gave him birth, the same as you or I. The story of his deity is the story of power and undue influence wrought by those who tell such stories. It is not hard to believe that in the fourth century, around 326 A.D., when the Constantine ordered the Council of Nicaea, for the purpose of organizing the christian church, that these were the men who founded Christianity as we know it. They assembled the books that would become the New Testament. A small sampling of a larger collection, doctrine and dogma was set in place. Jesus did not do that. Others who claim to be his church did. Or course the books of the New Testament support their position and their claims. They were selected to do just that.

Churches, in particularly large churches, are political institutions. Designed to control people, often the result is violence and oppression. When a person or a group claims to be right, because of their ‘sacred text’, written words, they have undue influence. No words are sacred unless all words are. I do not believe any church. No truth can be written down. We write about it but the truth represents itself. It is its own evidence. Any who seek it can find it. It is important to first let go of what is not true and make no claim of ownership of what is true. Written words for example.

“I am the way the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me”. I can not arrive at a beautiful vista and share it with someone who is not there. To share the view of anyone who has found anything, regardless of its relative value, you have to be there. You are also that way, that truth, and that light.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Stillness I Seek

The Key of Solomon is without moving parts. It is from the Key that the illusion of movement becomes still. The stillness of the Key has no value, the value rests with me. When I am at rest, when I am still, I am the key.

In working to find this stillness I have been puzzling with the absolute known as compassion. It is absolute due to its quality of having only one measure. It is inexhaustible, always enough. A being can not withhold compassion and still have any measure of it. It is absolute, indifferent to fickleness. It remains enough. We can take no ownership of it and are only able to accept it without terms. It is the stillness I seek.

During this time, while I have considered compassion and its application, I have not been able to write and my blog has been silent. I am still here. Often my work is to write but not during this time.

Prior to my lesson on compassion I had been working with the spirit of compassion, Love, in order to spark the stillness that is compassion, I thought to use its spirit. I suppose that worked. It worked due to its failure. It made things worse. In working to repair a recurring theme of self-hate, hating not so much myself but my life, I was using the affirmation, “I love my life”. The truth is there were things that happened that I did not love. Painful, difficult and costly. A cost I have yet to pay, a cost I can not pay. I can not love these things. In my effort to tell myself, “I love my life”, the wound only festered and the echo of hate grew louder. I have no love for life’s difficulty and pain, mine or yours, but when I have compassion I allow life’s pain its place. In the boundless absolute of compassion pain gets lost. We can not hold on to our pain and have compassion. This is the lesson I needed to learn, not to love but to give permission. Admit and accept the pain that life has to offer by the only known remedy, compassion.

While writing this I learned that I had lost a loved one to cancer. A brutally fast departure. On February 1st she arrived at the hospital with what she thought was the flu and today, seventy-eight days later, cancer has taken her life. She was a middle-aged woman with all the familiar details, a daughter, a wife, a mother, and as we all do, as we all will, she left life’s details behind.

It is compassion that reminds us of who we are, even if we can not quite grasp it. When compassion rests with me I am that woman. I am her husband, her son, her mother and all of her loved ones. I am all that ever has been and ever will be. Every damnable act, no matter how heinous, I did that. Every act of kindness, all goodness, the miracles of lore, I did that. It is who I am. Who then are you? You are me, we are the same and there is no mystery.

We are not charged to love life’s pain.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013



Of Imagination and Spirit

Become known to all I meet, let each person consider me as they choose. I am not made more or less by false claims. Every claim about me is mine to validate. It is my handling of it that matters, not what is said about me but the way I actually am. Any claim that is false, be it flattering or demeaning, ends its distraction when I am confident in the person I know myself to be.

What is true? What claims that rattle around my head are true? How much of what I consider to be external, originating from others, actually is? The spiritual content of experience is its own matrix. Much of the content is imagined and images are real. We respond to our own imagination, obviously, and I think we respond to the imaginings of others as well. How do we differentiate between imagination and spirit? In my experience they are very similar. As recently as two years ago I had not considered the spiritual world we create and share as spiritual. I considered it as image. A place where image is real. Most people consider that reality to be spiritual and I have come to accept that. It makes for an easier use of language when writing about the realm of image I am familiar with. We are as we imagine ourselves to be and when we imagine others to be a particular way that consideration then becomes a structure that we share. Much of this realm of image is not true but it is real.

The part of our shared realm of image that is false is the product of our temporal nature, our animal self. It can be pretend, or make-believe, but nonetheless it has profound influence in our experience. In working to marry spirit with animal, as a shared interpersonal experience, I think it is necessary to distinguish between spirit and imagination. Imagination is as powerful a tool any human being will ever know. It is not to be considered lightly. We create, with our imagination, the world the way we want it to be. It is not done in isolation. We all have the power of imagination and we each craft agreement by which we exist in the shared environment of image. My observation tells me that most are not very concerned, or even interested, in this corner of experience. It plots along under the influence of ignorance. It is a realm that spirit understands. Spirit speaks the language that is image. To know of spirit personally, privately, is not comparable to a public or shared experience of our spiritual presence.

As I try to do this it is easy for the animal to be distracted by our shared realm of imagination and react to it. To meet my spirit in the human community, the animal world, and share that space as the same place, I’m sure is easier than it seems. I expect it is a matter of correcting imagination. Instead of reacting to all that is imagined, by the human community, I can imagine what is true and the passage is revealed. My spirit knows the true path. If my animal self imagines it, we are the same. See, it is very simple.

My animal self is so conditioned to pick up what we all have agreed, imagined, as acceptable and that is the challenge. Not picking all of that stuff up I feel naked but that is the secret. It is that nakedness that reveals the truth and all take notice of what is naked. It’s our nature.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

What Next

It is one of those mornings when I know I have something to write and no idea what it might be. It is seven a.m. on Wednesday April Third and looking at the computer for two hours has produced only this observation, I have no idea except to write. By the time anyone reads this at least one more morning will have been spent. I have no idea where this is headed.

I am torn between the life I am living and something more fulfilling. I believe my interest in mysticism, the work I invest in it, has a tangible purpose, a net worth that in itself it represents success and I expect that success to manifest in all areas of my life. I await a revelation as to what it looks like. It seems that I could just step into it, as if it were a simple choice. I am confident of this means and yet I find myself at work doing what I imagined would only sustain me, temporarily, while I managed my investment and commitment to a more durable life choice. My spiritual life, our spiritual life. If spirit has value surely it produces results. Where are they? I expect my spirit-walk to find success. I have no inclination to market spirituality. Certainly the world has enough of that and it seems to me a fraud. I can not sell my spirit and have it retain its value. It is its own worth and that value, if it truly exists, must clothe me with the success I seek. That is what makes it true. There is some profound observation that completes my puzzle, something profound only because without it there is no completion. A simple observation, acknowledgement, of what is already obvious.

I am so finished with the work that has filled my time for the purpose of income that I actually hate it, not the work, but that I am still doing it. That is unhealthy. I have worked, and continue to work, to fix that. It seems that I am actually finished with what I have always considered a temporary occupation, I have exhausted its time and purpose. That makes moving on the only way to cure my ill. To end my hate. But how? Everything I have done to repair it leaves the hate intact. That is new territory for me. My efforts to address the issue have only concentrated it. I did set out to do just that, and now that I have, I am left the question of what to do.

All of the goals I set for myself I have reached. Goals preparatory by design. Things I felt I needed to do to ready myself. If I no longer need to prepare myself, if I am prepared, what then to do? It must be obvious. Why am I not doing whatever it is that is this difference, that is no longer temporary but rather what I have prepared myself to do?

I have allowed myself two options as a mystic. To accept my mystical sensibilities as tolerable and pursue life as a mystic, was first, my concession. To stop punishing myself for being mystic. Once I made that choice I was free to explore the possibilities. I rationalized that my life would be enriched by my mystic pursuit in one of two ways. It would prove to be a complete waste of time or it would bear fruit. Well it has been plenty fruitful. Even as I work to understand how to create, or discover, this transition, the obvious passage that can only be where I am, my skills are apparent. The stress is eating me alive, very painful. Feels as if I have a few knives in my neck and upper back, the sites of rather serious injuries I knew some decades past.  If I spend a few minutes considering the cause of my immediate stress I can identify it and in a moment diminish my discomfort by 80%, or more. It keeps coming back but this has long been my method of wellness. I have restored and managed my good health in this manner for decades. I suspect that it is time to take this to a new level, something less private, but how? I feel that if I did that my pain would pass. That the healing is not intended for me and if I let it go it will find its own way. My way will we be revealed. The success that awaits me only asks that I would come along and take a walk with it.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013