Finding Truth in a World of Lies

If not the life we live, what is prayer? We all pray. Panic, anxiety, chaos, doubt, blame, fear, pride, form disposition, attitude presented within our spiritual environment. While I am confident that it is not usually the case, prayer is most useful when it is deliberate. Panic or fear do not generally calm us to be prayerful from a positive posture of mind. Anxiety tends to be chronic and its prayer perpetuates it. Chaos, doubt and blame work the same way to diminish a more useful presence of mind, and pride, bends poor attributes to seem proper.

Pride is a common theme and spiritual posture.

Many do value pride and use pride to hammer poor qualities into the cultural trophies we all desire. It is marshaled to rescue us from all manner of slight and harm. We imagine we deserve our trophies, that we have somehow earned them. On the other hand, the flip side, we imagine our failure is earned as well and blame ourselves for that.

When we look at the world around us, considering the circumstance of people less fortunate, people born into dire difficulties; how true is our pride? None-the-less, it is a useful hammer to forge our circumstance, no matter how dire its outlook or good its fortune, into something more comfortable. Something we can own as if we earned it. This conveniently allows us to blame others for their condition, good or bad, because pride requires this juxtaposition if it is to be true.

Prayer, the way we structure our identity in relationship to the myriad of concerns in which we are, is done in concert with everyone and everything else. Our mindfulness gathers around us a supporting cast. This is prayer. The world we shape is our collective prayer. There are many impositions generated of this. They are required if our collective posture is to be maintained.

In my experience, there are spiritual beings that work to fulfill our prayer. I have seen them. Some are Satans, some are Demons, some are Devils, some are Angles, some are Divas and some are Ascendant Beings. They work with us to manage our creation, and, to the extent to which our creation is false, we are its God. We alone are responsible for the lies we believe.

My prayer is to walk in this world, the world of lies, and be true.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

The Better Angles

Christianity is my north star. It is not my religion, I am a secular mystic. I believe things are as they are and I believe that is understood, absolutely. I am a product of my parents circumstance. I’ll call it; Original Fate. That includes my birth as a Catholic, as a Christian. Basically, that is what providence looks like. In other words, the direction on the sign begins with: You Are Here.

As a Catholic youth in parochial schools I was taught to be Catholic. The best thing about being Catholic was Heaven. All Catholics in good standing went to Heaven. Everyone else was going to Hell. It was hard for me to understand this as a good thing. Fistfights with my neighbor resulted. He was my friend, but he was not Catholic. I was so upset that this friend of mine was going to Hell, that my frustration lead me to punch him the face and initiate a fight.

There is no Hell, at least not one that is eternal, and Heaven, is the same way. Heaven requires Hell to exist. The same is true of Hell, without Heaven, no Hell. We have made these things up. Imagined them to be true. It is a terrible thing because there are real consequences to thinking some deserve Heaven and others Hell. The typical model has a lot more people in Hell than can ever hope to know Heaven.

These considerations, in turn, are how we model society, and as we have only ever imagined a Heaven and Hell, we are the God that owns it. An imaginary, yet brutal, God.

Christianity has its better Angles. The God that would create each and every one of us, individually as some sort of hobby, and then send nearly everyone to an eternal Hell, this psychopath, is also all forgiving. People hope to spend an eternity with that God. I am not one of them.

Okay, better Angles. Clearly all forgiving and eternal damnation are not compatible. All forgiving works for me. Eternal damnation, that just seems ridiculous. How is it sustainable? It would require a God, or whatever, to be determined that a misery so incomprehensible as to only be understood by its unending certainty and perpetual escalation, be maintained. An all forgiving God simply makes that impossible. Obviously.

These silly expectations are not necessary. They only matter to, and impact, the world we live in, enjoying no durability beyond human societies and cultures. It is sad that we would imagine such injustices, and then, turn a blind eye to the suffering they perpetuate, blaming God, instead of shouldering our own responsibility. We create these conditions and then we assign their consequence to an “all-powerful” God, a God whose true power is our denial. Our denial the we are that God. An imaginary God entirely of our own design and limitation.

I do believe a true God must exist. One that can only be known and understood by experience. We can understand God by the observation of what must be absolute. That which can only be known by a singular measure, complete in-and-of itself and immune to compromise. Unable to suffer injury or slight. The truth, understanding and compassion are three such things.

All efforts to define God fail as God is not of us. We are of God. We simply lack the authority to define God. God is to be understood by experience, by acceptance, by understanding and there is simply no way not to do this. We can imagine what is naught, we can deny, yet we can not escape God.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

Living the Life of Christ

The idea of Christ has gripped my curiosity all of my life. I was born in the shadow of Christ as a Catholic child. In hindsight, I never truly believed the church, although I did feel committed to it and expected to forge a life of service as a priest. I was indoctrinated. When young, I accepted the normalcy of my circumstance with naivete. Trust was my blanket and the questions that naturally arise were kept behind its veil. As I consider who I am, and the child I grew from, I see that doubt was a constant companion. While trying to negotiate the articles of faith, I only ever considered Jesus as a man. The sort of person anyone might aspire to be.

That was the undoing of my religious faith. As I grew, the thin veil of trust dissolved in the floodwaters of reality. All who are delivered here by their mothers womb are human. God is not so enamored by the beauty of a woman that a child is born. If God could be insulted, blaspheme, that nonsense would pretty much do it. Of course, the God of Abraham is fiction, as is noted by this silly story and countless others.

That does not mean that the story of Jesus is fiction, just that it is obscured by it.

I see very little evidence that Jesus intended to or did found a church. From my reading of history, it was Constantine who hobbled together the teachings and texts that formally founded the Christian church. For over three hundred years people had told the story of a man named Jesus. He was deified and and set apart as some impossible sort, except, for his Godly heritage. That Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a woman so pure that even God was smitten and a child was born. After three hundred plus years of storytelling, that is what Emperor Constantine’s Council in Nicaea came up with.

No. I don’t think Jesus ever told this story. I believe that whomever Jesus might have been, his story was distorted with the passage of time and the retelling of his story.

Miracles? No, I don’t believe in the supernatural. I believe in magic and creation. I think magic and creation are the natural way things are and that we fit the rules of reality to create a static environment suitable for community and humanity. The life we share.

Explain Wim Huff.

The stories we spin around our memory of Jesus, and others, tend to forbid. Look what happened to Jesus. Humiliated, tortured and brutally murdered. Abandoned by all of his friends in his time of need. And he was God. That is the story. It is a clear warning. One, you are not God, two; humiliation, torture, murder. The Catholic Church, I was raised in, would even have you sent to an eternal Hell if you imagined Jesus was like you, an ordinary human being.

Assuming Jesus actually did live, he would have been as we all are, an ordinary person living an ordinary life. The extraordinary and supernatural are fiction, while being unusual is normal. Someone else will do and live as Jesus did. It is inevitable. It is likely certain that others have.

I believe much of the story is fiction. The allusion to the sort of God involved is too much for me. Hell, is a ridiculous notion and a person the likes of Jesus would have recognized that. That wrinkle alone destroys the Christian notion of God.

I do believe there is plenty of evidence, in our world, to support the miraculous claims attributed to Jesus. Not the specificity but what these claims allude to. I don’t believe in miracles. I believe in nature and its laws. I believe that some people are more in tune than others and the story of Jesus alludes to that. It is an example for others to follow.

Micheal, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

The Nucleus of Creation / A Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity: Awareness, Being and Now. Together they are the nucleus of creation. Not some human-like God, just the unadorned nuts and bolts of existence. These three guarantee experience by simply grinding out creation as an unavoidable proof. Creation is the consequence of Awareness, Being and Now. It is inescapable. This nucleus of creation, can not be without a reality to support it.

On considering consciousness we imagine a progression, and that our species, the human race, is the crowning example. Certainly here on earth we demonstrate an organizational intellect that is unique. I don’t know that it is a higher consciousness. A higher responsibility, that seems obvious.

As we experience creation, creation is our companion. We imagine that a God, much like ourselves, is the creator, but we are that God. We have the authority of creation to create and we have created an imaginary God, that must in turn, be us. Creation on it own, is true, but what we imagine that distorts creation, is our own. It is not true. This does not diminish the existence of God.

I do imagine that a true God exists due to our own sentience. Sentience; it does exist. It exists now, and now absent a beginning, has no end. It is eternal. There must also be an eternal aspect of sentience, and clearly, we are not that. At least not as we consider ourselves.

We have the authority of creation but largely just let it slip. Some authority beyond ourselves is to blame. Whether that be for good, evil, or whatever. We do this as group while considering ourselves to be individuals.  Kind of like individual brain cells imagining themselves independent from each other. That would be a little confusing.

I write as the Mystic Tourist and what is read here are my personal considerations born of mystical contemplation. My mind won’t let it go. I have been snared by this from birth and I hope to write my way to freedom. That is my disclaimer lest anyone think more, or less, of my words.

I am drawn to the notion of Divinity. The incarnate expression of eternal sentience. What we all must actually be yet are determined to imagine otherwise. To the extent that we are able to imagine what is naught, to be what is, we do compose ourselves of what is naught. Just a flash in the pan. Conversely, we must also be able to imagine our self to be what actually is and live a divine life. I believe many people actually do this in the quite resolve of their personal life. Quietly making a real difference in the circumstance of fate.

Micheal, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

 

The Vacancy of Faith

How is it that there is a God and we are charged to revere said God through faith? If we are to have any hope of a productive association with God, we must first accept on faith, predetermined parameters that fix God and our proximity to God. This seems an exercise by which faith is vacated rather than expressed.

If we truly had faith in God, surely we would allow that God is competent, able to make an appearance and representation, free of intermediaries. Any actual God would have the confidence and authority to express God, without help or supervision. This is the conclusion I reached as a young man in my teens. I began to see religion as community service, a basic social-political framework intending to build behavioral norms into our shared experience. Norms that we expect to carry value. As I observe the results, I see a mixed bag of conflicting consequences. Some good, and others not.

I do believe religious faith is powerful and I believe that God is part of the mix. There is great power in community. There is great power in the comfort carried by the certainty that is attached to faith and its symbols. There is great power in God, no matter our considerations or the actual fact of God.

Many seem to believe in God yet don’t believe that they are allowed to know God, to behave as if God is available to them and that they have the liberty to express that outside of strict established guidelines. In spite of that, much definition has been spent on God and that definition carries the weight of consequence.

The God worshiped in Abrahamic traditions is brutal. This God is the deliberate creator of every single thing, is all-knowing and all-forgiving, yet is so petty we are to be forever fearful of this God’s wrath. It is difficult to reconcile these contradictions in one God. I do it by dismissing Abraham’s God as fiction. It is clear to me that this God is a projection of our own insecurities. An insecure God is a truly frightful. Being imagined does not diminish the fearsome reality spawned by such a monster. So many worship and do believe and that is real power.

This template is common in human culture and society. We have long used it as a formative stamp. It is pervasive. The Christian tradition gleefully awaits Armageddon, the final judgement. Justice. The chosen will be saved at everyone else’s expense. We use this Godly template to justify injustice and suffering, to imagine it is deserved. We expect that even we might deserve such ourselves, but for the favor and grace of God.

I have no use for such a God. The idea that God would create each person individually, and then send most of us to an eternal Hell, just doesn’t hold water. Heaven after all, is an eternity with that God. That sounds very unpleasant. What does it say of those who would accept God’s favor knowing the cruelty imposed by their God? It is a model that fails of its own absurdity. Heaven exists in juxtaposition to Hell, without Hell …

These Hellish trappings of God seem certain to be our projected insecurities.

We do exist. We are aware and do experience it. The singular gravity of all that is known to exist and to be experienced, is now, and now, is without beginning. Without a beginning, there is no end.

Whatever God may or may not be, I am certain, fear of God is pointless.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

The Fog of Time

Divine living is the idea that a better representation of being can be realized. A more complete expression of awareness. We can not deny the fact that we exist. We imagine ourselves to be independent of others. I do not know that we are. We have an independence of person as individual people, but existence and awareness seem to be of a singular quality. This singularity is implied by existence itself.

We exist, yet without awareness, there is no existence and these two give rise to being.

Living beings are imbued with awareness of existence. Being, awareness and existence seem variables of a whole. Interdependent functions of a greater singularity. As human beings we imagine a beginning and an end, yet only ever experience now. Awareness, existence and being, sustain each other in the eternal embrace of now. Now neither begins nor ends, it is the gravity of eternity from which there is no escape.

Being, awareness and existence, exist now, and that implies an eternal presence.

The people we are exist in a framework of time to which we attach ourselves. We imagine and do spread ourselves across a past and future expanse, but only experience now. It is this past and future distraction, from now, that prevents divine expression. Divine expression incorporates the temporal reality, as an example and expression of the eternal reality.

As living beings emanating from a singular source, we none-the-less have the impression of independence. This is coupled with the beginning and end sensibility so pronounced in our shared experience. In that there is no beginning or end to now, and at no time past or future will anything ever happen, everything housed between the bookends of beginning and end, is fiction. That does, it would seem, include our person in as much as we define it within that frame. This fiction would then be for the observation of our eternal being.

As a singularity that imagines its self as a community of independent selves, we remain connected by our singular nature. The connective tissue of this is spirit. Spirit is what animates us and we are animated by countless spirits. These spirits are known and shared. Just as we obscure now and ignore it, we ignore these spirit influences and imagine them as fiction, or in some other way, distant from us. Untenable variables, even if we think some validity is their due.

Not to be dismissive of life as simply an imagination, a false construct made of some fiction we call time, it is more than that. It is our shared responsibility.

We exist, we are aware and we are animated by spirit. This implies that there is some spirit that is also eternal. Spirit is known to exist. Being is an animated experience and it is spirit that animates it.

In looking to demonstrate human life as a divine expression, I find myself in a fog of spiritual chaos. The spirits I encounter go largely ignored by everyone I know. This does not diminish our mutual awareness and spiritual complicity, only that we exercise this condition in ignorance.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

God is not a Monster

Is life really just preparation for Heaven and Hell? A cruel joke intended to end in eternal damnation, or the alternative, Heavenly glory. Is there a God that creates each one of us and then subjects us to seemingly random identities, vastly different circumstances through which we are charged with pleasing said God, or, suffering God’s eternal wrath? I was taught that something like this is true. At the end of my life, I would know an eternity of unimaginable suffering, or God’s eternal blissful favor.

Growing up Catholic I was taught that only Catholics go to Heaven. Everybody else was going to Hell. Just being born and raised Catholic, might not guarantee your salvation. Your faith would have to be properly maintained, and a slip up, could land you in Hell. That is how I understood Christianity as a Catholic. Other versions carry the same theme of salvation, for the chosen few, while all others are going to Hell.

In 2010, only 23% of the world population was Christian. Due to technicalities, not all of them will qualify for the bliss of an eternity with their God, a God that singled everyone else out for eternal damnation. Think about that. This God is said to have created every person, individually, and then sends almost all of us to an eternal Hell.

It is my consideration that this God, so many live in fear of, is a false God. I believe that has real consequences. We imagine much about this being, and in so doing, create a spiritual framework for our “God”. This spirit requires a lot of our shared spiritual space. I think that is harmful.

Satan’s Demon’s and Devil’s, are the supporting cast of this monster we call God. They don’t exist without it. Together, they are the two sides of a worthless coin by which we make a spiritual purchase. It is a very poor investment.

We need not define God. It is an exercise in absurdity to imagine any definition of God, is within our grasp. What if God does, or, God does not exist? What possible difference could it make? It is enough to accept things as they are without pretext or preconditions.

This is how I imagine God.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2018