Religious Purpose

The purpose of religion is determined by the practitioner. Most usually people join or remain religious, I think, to quiet the conflict within themselves that is God. Not God’s self, but the individuals confusion and puzzlement about God. Puzzling God, if it is not a casual pastime, is often a calling. Religion seems a good place for those of us who have this interest. For many religion offers a continuing opportunity to serve God through service to community. The doctrines and dogmatic nature of religion tend to bind people in harmful ways and some practitioners corrupt the value that might otherwise be found in religious doctrine.

Religions are human institutions. It is unfortunate that we insist that they carry the authority of God. Why not allow God to represent God’s self without this intervention? Can we find the confidence for that or is an intermediary required? My interest in God has given me no satisfaction with religion. A complete lack of confidence in any religion leaves me only one discipline, to experience God empirically.

In writing of purpose and religion of course I am not writing about the purpose of life, the purpose that a person finds that is their life. I am writing of purpose as it relates only to religion. It is easy to confuse life’s purpose with religion. God and life’s purpose are bound together nearly as one but religion and God are not so closely bound. Omnipotence allows that no matter our community God’s presence is discernible. It is equally true if God does not exist. That then would be the omnipotent dictate. God’s existence or not is of little importance. The value lies in asking that this question would give us its answer. In being confident and satisfied without predetermination. Only in this way can I find and be confident in God.

I have no question in my life concerning the existence of God. I have an answer that satisfies me, and so the question has been answered. I am sure that there is nothing that does exist that has not always existed and always will exist. There is an underlying origin or source, an omnipotence, God. It is not something I have to own by definition. I am confident God self represents. What is true is God. I believe in creation, not as described in text. I believe it is how things are and that it is something we can understand if we do not define it before hand. I expect that I must discover for myself what would otherwise remain a mystery. So dominate is this sensibility in my life that I consider it my purpose.

The Mystic Tourist

Disease

Disease. In my life disease has been a condition I impose on myself. I have always been able to manage the germs and bacteria I encounter with ease. I do have allergies that corrupt my wellness. That being said I have had issues with my health that have been definitive. I have spent more than two years of my life doing nothing but recovery and rehabilitation. Additionally I have spent months unable to work, handicapped by debilitating pain. When I was still a teen I injured myself with methadrine and psychedelics. When I was in my late teens and twenties if I was not working I was drinking.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area it was easy to get pure LSD in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. I took more of it than I should have. I was not interested in recreation but rather communion. In 1970 pharmaceutical grade methadrine was everywhere. I got strung out for three months. I ended up getting busted, thank God. I thought I was kicking it but was so high when I was arrested that it took three days before I came down. I found my bearing and walked away from it. I was not unscathed. When I was twenty-one I had to teach myself that two plus three was five. Quite a fall from being the top of my class in my high school college prep program. I still fantasize about recovering my math skills but I don’t know what I would do with them. It is like having a lost friend. Boozing and motorcycles damn near killed me a few times.

I walked away, literally walked away, from two motorcycle accidents that were very serious. As likely to kill me as not. I managed a compacted thoracic vertebrae in the first and a broken neck in the other. Those injuries eventually forced me to reconsider my lifestyle. At twenty-nine I was using booze to manage my pain. The combination proved disastrous. Once again thank God. Through all of this and still today God has been the dominate feature in my life. I expect to encounter God empirically and am confident in no other path.

I have found pain to be something quite fickle. It is so easily influenced by stress that it seems discretionary. I have learned a lot about myself by living with it.

The Mystic Tourist

Managing My Broken Back

Decades ago I injured my back and then my neck. In 1970 I fell seventy feet while riding a motorcycle off-road. I managed to set the bike down and stay on it. On impact I sat down hard enough to compact my seventh or eighth thoracic vertebra. Then when I was twenty-four I drove a motorcycle into a ditch and was catapulted into a mountainside at 70 m.p.h. The bike had lost its brakes and it was the best option I had. I was helmeted and wearing a leather riding jacket. I hit the mountain with my head and right shoulder. The riding gear saved my life but when I took the jacket off my favorite shirt, a heavy cotton rugby shirt, was now being worn around my waist, having been torn off of my back. The riding jacket, no worse for the wear, is probably why I still have two arms or even am still alive. I walked away from these accidents. No hospitals, no doctors.

The earlier injury forced me to the chiropractor on a number of occasions, but, I did nothing but increase my drink, to control the difficulties associated with the second accident. That strategy came to a halt two and a half years later. While at work my neck suddenly went very bad ending my work day and sending me to a chiropractor. I never saw a more puzzled look on any face than his look when he returned with the x-rays. When did you break your neck, he wanted to know? I told him I never did. Eventually, after another two and a half years, the amount of drink required to work, Hot Mop Roofing, and deal with the pain had wrecked my life. I quit drinking and quickly found I could not work without it.

I was twenty-nine and it dawned on me that my reckless lifestyle might not, as planned, kill me. The only attrition might be a long and painful life. I decided to try Acupressure. I found a man studying Transpersonal Psychology. He was using acupressure in his studies while he worked on his doctorate. I had no income and could not pay so he suggested I should barter and I became his Acupressurist and Counselor in exchange for the same. This experience was profound. I spent a year and a half doing nothing but rehabilitation. During this time I consulted an orthopedic surgeon who advised me that people in my condition did not recover well enough that labor was an option. He then clarified his advise by stating that as a medical doctor ,this was the only responsible advise he could give me. He said, it was rare,  but some people ignore good advise and manage to recover anyway. I should not count on that.

I learned many tricks during this time to manage my stress. I had long been ill-tempered and the years of drinking had fortified that. If I allowed myself to get angry it would undo months of rehabilitative work in a few seconds. When anger arose I would go into the yard and walk circles. I would then walk in the other direction to counter the tendency to wind up. The anger would be in the ground. I used Qigong to do all the things it is good for and I used affirmations. I used a cane to force myself to stand straight. (When I started I carried my right shoulder several inches lower than my left). I learned to use a divining rod to discover and unravel stress. I slept on a padded board. I modified my truck so I could drive it without re-injuring my back. I modified my chair to help me sit straight. I would take four and five-hour walks. I already mentioned the psychotherapy and acupressure.  This effort did get me back to work and overall improve me as a person.

After a year and a half I was able to work again. The work did, however, re-injure my back. I had two three-month stretches of no work and lots of rehabilitation. Due to this I opted for self employment. Labor was very difficult, at times driving me to tears. Extremely painful but I worked through it. The mobility that I enjoy today is likely do to my determination and the physical labor that is my occupation. The doctor gave me sound advise. He was right.

To this day I continue to see improvement and my back today is pretty good. It requires maintenance. I continue with chiropractic and from time to time practice Qigong. I use my swing rod to divine what is best now. Dowsing seems the most useful tool I have in managing and reducing my stress. My neck is no longer a frightening thing to live with. When I last had it x-rayed it was fusing itself. Six or so years ago I corrected that and I continue to see marked improvement in comfort and flexibility. The pain and discomfort in my back and neck would eat my alive if I did not have a way to manage and improve it. I do. I use divination. It has proven itself as my best resource in my continuing recovery and pursuit of happiness.

The Mystic Tourist

Occupational Rehab

Working and living a normal, ordinary life, has been my aspiration. Physical labor has been a hallmark of that endeavor. I now look to move to an occupation less dependent on my physical labor. Having proven, at least to myself, normalcy, I have other work to do. The need for proof is not my concern. I am who I am. As I look at success in the world I live in what strikes me is how easy it is. Clearly it is just a choice we make and then subsequent choices follow. There are many components but success can be expressed in any circumstance. In my circumstance I can make success easily out of my life. It is not that it is any easier than whatever else I might do it is that it is as easy. I need to rehabilitate my financial occupation to be more secure.

When I started this blog I thought I would work it somehow toward that goal. I think there is probably enough interest what interests me that I could develop a market or that this pursuit will reveal my opportunity. From the onset I have imagined that the success I will find will be different than the designed goal I started with. To create a financial success using a blog is a lot of work. It is easier to work it the other way around. To start with a product and then blog to support and market it. You can hobble it together any way you like. Start with a blog, develop the existing interest and then develop a market. I have a strong work ethic so putting work into something is just one of the things I do.

I am surprised by the pace of personal growth that blogging has spurred and I find myself asking if that alone was not the success I desired. Still in need of a better financial footing I wonder if this blog is a vehicle capable of that. I wonder if it is desirable to exploit it that way. For a blog to generate income, traffic is needed, and, if I focus on that I can spike my traffic. I have done that. I could develop product on a different site, direct traffic from that site to this site, and vise versa. My blog is a proven vehicle for growth but is it a vehicle for financial growth? I do not know the answer yet.

I very much would like to improve my financial security. What to do, what to do?

The Mystic Tourist

Searching For Secular Mystics

I am forever searching for blogs similar to mine. I know there are people who think and feel as I do, they do not seem to be blogging. I am a secularist who believes in truth, in what actually is. In God. The notion that God needs an intermediary seems absurd. Typically the God found in religion is defined by men and that can not be God. Additionally, religion, has been propagating lies and falsehoods for thousands of years. This stuff is easy to discover and those who care to look, find it. Yes religion does many good things and I respect that. I think for some people religion is good. They are able to overlook its human condition and find the underling value. God. But I am a secularist looking for a dialog about what might actually be true. I am also a mystic. My experience is mystical.

This post is about my quest for like-minded bloggers. I have found Ron Krumpos. He is not a blogger, at least not that I know of, but he does have an online book, it represents his interest in mysticism. I have enjoyed my exchange with Ron. In my quest I have come across many Christian sites. Largely these folks are not interested in open dialog. It is really quite sad. They are so weighted by preconception that they are blind. One woman, at a site that gets a lot of traffic, was espousing her New Testament inspired hatred. It is her site! I commented that I did not think Jesus was into hatred. She tried to explain that is was OK because God hated. There was a lot of Bible quoting and in the end she could not understand why I thought she was saying that God was hateful. Another woman there really ripped me up with all sorts of Bible quotes to prove her rightness with God. If it was not so sad it would be funny.

Enough of the disappointment. I have found other sites that have been welcoming, at least for now. Certainly Ron Krumpos has been refreshing and encouraging. I have found this site, Rock And Theology. They seem to be open to dialog and to date have not taken down my comments or blocked me. Without contest the site most like mine, that I have found is, Unreasonable Faith. Those guys are Atheists but they post some really interesting stuff and welcome dialog. They are like my site in that we think a lot alike, we have mutual interests.

If  you read this Blog and know of sites that might interest me please comment or send me an email, mystictourist@att.net . I would like to create a Blog Roll.