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

The Pillars of Experience

Mysticism. I say this is how I am, that I found myself captured, by this condition, and left to fend for myself. What does it mean?

My entire life I have felt a devotion to God. As a boy growing up, I imagined that I would become a priest. I only came to see myself, as mystic, after losing all faith in traditional paths related to God; religion and the written word. Whatever God might be, surely God alone was capable of expressing it. Only a firsthand account would do. To rely on secondhand accounts, is a demonstration of doubt. Not faith.

After decades of mystic life, I reached the conclusion that faith, is a poor vehicle for understanding God. Confidence serves best. A certain confidence that God alone defines, and is God. Any attempt to otherwise define God, is failure. By lending my definition to God, I create, and no one has the authority to create God.

I am here (being). I am aware. I exist. I do not believe these conditions are born of some accidental biology. That anything is known to exist, implies a timelessness that obviously includes awareness. Of these three, awareness, being and existence, awareness is the most curious. Without it, nothing exists. There is no being without awareness and nothing can exist without it. Obviously, stuff does exist. Awareness seems an attribute of existence, but existence, might just a well be a product of awareness. Being represents awareness coupled with existence. It would seem that the product, the creation of existence and awareness, is being.

These three seem fundamental to all we experience, and now, seems the only force able to sustain them. Now, absent a past or future, is eternal, as then it would seem, so too is existence. That which has no beginning has no end.

I addition to the pillars of experience, I have been discussing here, Existence, Awareness and Being, there is understanding. Understanding seems an absolute, as is truth. They are magical catalyst’s. Without them, nothing can be organized well enough to exist. Understanding is the foundation existence rests on, and the truth, is omnipotent. While understanding allows for all existence, it is not in itself true. It is indifferent to the truth, and the truth, likewise, is indifferent to understanding. This allows for all manner of chaos and confusion, the kaleidoscope we call life.

Mysticism is an act of confidence that the truth can be understood. Not only can the truth be understood, but that it is, and all else is a distraction.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

Being Spiritual and Spiritual Beings

Satan’s, as the Mystic Tourist, I have blogged a few hundred words on them here. In my experience, they are misunderstood. Often those who believe, or are inclined to consider the existence of Satan’s, are frightened of them. I spent much of my life terrified of them.

I am a mystic. Like being alive, I simply realized one day, this is how I am. As a Catholic youth, I imagined that my religion held the answers I desired. I came to realize that my confidence was misplaced. The first blow came in sixth/seventh grade. I began to doubt credibility. I did not understand why women were thought to be so poisonous that marriage would despoil a man, making the priesthood, no longer an option. Of course, there is a much broader dehumanization of women enshrined in that doctrine, and that seed, eventually destroyed my religious faith.

It was very difficult to let go of my religion. I came to accept that its promise, was a lie, and I felt betrayed. I did do a stint as a “Born Again” Christian. Very short-lived. I was seeking shelter from my drug addled youth, but what I found, was the same emptiness and deceit. Again, very hard to let go. The comfort of knowing (religious faith), and the community it provides, is very powerful. I returned to the drugs and proceeded to ruin my life.

I survived religion and the ruin I brought against myself, born, of my disappointment. I wanted the ready answers that are the false promise I found in church. I wanted to serve the true God.

Faith has its place and its worth, but you don’t need it to know the truth, that is just a lie.

I have no qualms with Jesus. If I have a hero, it would be my consideration of the man he might have been. I have no reason to believe he formed a church, or that he equated himself with God. I believe it is possible to live a similar life, to have that human experience. I believe that is the message, the invitation made by the story of Jesus. I believe others, men and women, have found the same path, seen the same light, and, accepted the truth independent of the preconceived conditions of religious faith.

So what of Satan’s? The fingerprints of my religious youth are all over my spiritual considerations. As a young man, I realized, what I sought would not be found in religious text or doctrines. Dogma, could only lie. I still believed Satan would pursue me if I sought God on my own, without the stamp of religion and it’s shield; faith. I was terrified.

Eventually I came to realize that my fear was misplaced. Other human beings are much more dangerous than Satan. Just ask the kids in Parkland Florida or a Syrian refugee.

None-the-less, I have experienced what I believe are Satan’s Demon’s and Devil’s. Angles as well, and Ascendant Beings. Such is the life of this mystic.

We are made of carbon and water, animated by spirit. Satan’s, like Angles and such, are spiritual. Satan’s Devils and Demon’s influence and animate us. I believe they have no durable quality whatsoever, beyond the illusion of the past and future. They are made of the same fiction. The only authority they have is what we grant them. We are that authority, by our freedom and power; choice.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

The Gravity of Now

The future. We design our expectations of life, projecting from our experience and capabilities, into the opportunities that our circumstance allows. We consider this a progression of time. A past distinct from a future. It seems to me, that the past and the future, being made entirely of each other, are actually the same thing caught in the gravity of now. It is our determination of things past and future, as being independent of each other, instead of dependent pieces inseparable from each other, that traps us in conflict. Imagining what is naught, as being what is, is conflict.

Everything that exists, represents success, by the fact of its existence. Conflict and success are mutually exclusive. The mere fact of existence, being an obvious success, tells us that conflict is imagined. That it is independent, divorced from the fact of existence. It is imagined.

By our determination to imagine our future separate from our past, we create fiction. In this fiction we live in the past as much as we do in the future, when in truth, we are only here now. The future, never arrives, and the past, is absent. Yet we persist; now.

It seems to me that we have, and are, just one being. A timeless being from which everything is imagined . Much as a dream. It would seem that being is an expression, or component, of now. That like now, without a past or a future, it is eternal. It can neither begin nor end, as it is, and always has been, here now. That which has no beginning, has no end. Awareness also exists. Many attachments are made to the tenants of being and awareness. Some, more permanent than others.

In considering now/time/being, as I am doing here, it is also so reasonable to think that not all that exists, is of a durable nature. As persons of free will, we might choose to drift so far from now’s gravity, that it no longer holds us, and without now, we don’t exist. It is also reasonable to imagine that we might allow our self to become so weighted by our past and future, that its gravity pulls us into now and we expire in the process. Certainly, the animal that we are, does not survive, and the person we are is very much produced by that animal existence in time and space.

Still, the tenacity of our experience and the reality it generates, keeps us in the orbit of now while we seem unable to settle into its gravity alone.

This leaves us with now. With being. With awareness. All of which exist. It would seem that these have an eternal nature. Our temporal condition, seems improbable, without some tenants that are eternal.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

The Dream and The Dreamer

Long ago, far away, in a distant future lies an illusive throne. Now. In the maddening tangle of the long dead past, and the promise of an uncertain future, now, known to all, hides.

It is this moment of now, alone in the expanse of time, that confuses and ages us. The past and the future are places that do not exist. Nothing ever happened in the past nor will something ever happen in the future. Now is the only time anything ever happens, the only time known to exist. As such, the past, the future, all that has been might and will be, finds its completion, now, and by that completion, is complete, now. Everything exists at once.

How then is it so hard to be here now? To sit on the throne and hold the magic.

We imagine ourselves as having a past and a future, yet if the past and the future don’t really exist, then the person we imagine as our self, and the people we consider as our companions, do not exist. We are instead as a dream. Who then dreams this?

We are the dream and the dreamer.

What happens when the mask of the past and future is removed, and now, is all that remains? Not much. Our consideration of the past and future is fiction, because we imagine they are some time other than now, which simply can not be. To grasp this truth is to let it go. Any time other than now, is a false gravity that pulls and displaces us. I believe it is this dispersal that generates all the people and things we in turn imagine, as being, as existing. All of these imagined beings and things, in turn, generate our collective experience, and again, a false gravity. It pulls us away from the dreamer and we imagine we are the dream.

We are the dreamer and now is all there is. Without a past, there can be no beginning and that which has no beginning, has no end.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018 

The Wheels of God

The animal kingdom, having risen from dust, presumes an importance for itself that is more than that. We are less than the stuff we are made of, if we are at all. The animating influence is less than the matter it supports. Spirit animates form and the intelligence required is commonplace. All that is is imbued with intelligence and physics has exposed it in the constant molecular motion of the atoms. The wheels of God. Now that we understand, that at the molecular level, nothing, no matter how substantial, is even solid, we can begin to consider the smallness of being.

Wherever we look, we see, because we are looking and the universe expands to accommodate our gaze. It is an act of creation. Who are we that we have creative authority and yet we do not know our name? We are the grace of God. We imagine our self to be other than that and we become lost, confused. Our inexhaustible creative authority accommodates our confusion and forms a reality to support it. Our condition is proof of creation and our role in organizing it. If we imagine it is not that way then we create that. It is our choice by God’s grace. What of this God? Does it have a name? It has no name that can be pronounced, that can be written, or otherwise restrained.

The name of anything is as an enveloping structure within which it exists, it is an article of creation, and also of ownership. Any god considered in this way is false as we did not create God and do not own God. Knowledge of God is not a sophistication of intelligence, but rather an act of acquaintance and is unavoidable. All that is is evidence of God and as such God is unavoidable and unnameable.

There is nothing to separate us. We are one. If I should live long enough to forgive myself, I will have forgiven everyone as there is nothing to forgive. The vastness of space and time, of all that is, is complete in the stillness of our single mind. We are what is.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2015

Buoyancy

Attraction. We attract success, never anything else. We know beforehand our destination then we decide to reach it or not. Success is inevitable, it is not always obvious how we chose the success we know, and it often looks like failure, but it is none the less our choice, our success. Choice is not often a deliberate calculation but rather a casual behavior much like breathing. It is a constant activity and it carries us along our way. This casual decision-making is of a supportive nature and it tends to fix us in place.

People find themselves in difficult circumstance. Many are born into it or are visited by an unfortunate act of nature, or by an accident. People are victimized by their government or the malice of others. The element of choice and attraction, in this, is difficult to consider but it is none the less found there. We arrive where we are with certain fates already pronounced and we plot our consideration of them by choice. For example,  we are born male or female with a collection of cultural and circumstantial fate attached. We then consider how we will arrange fate to achieve our goal. The process creates, or diminishes, a buoyancy that can be considered attraction. When we are buoyant, In addition to being lighter we find that our environment is less dense and light itself more prevalent. We rise or fall in this environment free to move in any direction, by the whim of choice, or how we consider our self and our environment.

Through all of this we establish habit, a disposition that reinforces our trajectory and stature. It is composed of choice. It is this that colors our character and determines how we feel about our person and place regardless of the trappings of success or failure the litter our landscape. It is this success that determines our happiness and satisfaction. We all know of people who, regardless of circumstance, are happy, who are content.

When I consider my circumstance, and the success handed to me by the circumstance of my birth, what I in turn did with that, well, I did not always make the best decisions. Some of my most determined choices were counterproductive. Determinative decisions attract a lot of thought and causal choice, habit. These attitudes of habit are easy to return to. Along with the poor choices, I made good choices and as I drift into a more buoyant state I expect the clarity of that realm to assist in a more pleasing success.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2015