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

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 

Secular Reality / Mystical Sensibility

Why mysticism? I abandoned religion long ago and am confident that secular considerations of our common good are more forgiving, more accommodating, than religion can hope to be. It is the secular influence that has tempered religious overreach and opened the communal mind to progress. After all, Abraham’s God is not nice. The followers of this God, believe nearly every person who ever lived will be awarded an unbearable suffering so severe that its horror can only be known by endless misery. There will be a final judgement by which the whole of humanity, save the chosen few, gets eternal damnation in Hell. Wow. No thanks, I will accept no favor from such a God.

My consideration of God has no room for Hell. In Hell’s absence, Heaven is without purpose. It does not exist as it is bound to hell by the mutual bearing of Abraham’s God.

Not believing in Abraham’s God does not dissuade me from belief in, or devotion to, God. Rather, it lends legitimacy my mystical sensibility. To go forth and see for myself. To trust God to be as God is and for that to be apparent. That is the whole crux of mysticism, to discover what is on its own terms without prejudice.

I have considered creation and it seems apparent that the only time anything ever happens is now, that renders the past and the future as the same. We carry the past with us into the future. Now holds the entirety of the past, the future, and every imaginable possibility. It is the wormhole. It is creation. What we choose and what we think have creative authority, an authority mostly governed by a repetition of ignorance. The fact that anything exists, and the way it exists, is evidence of God. Consciousness – awareness – sentience, actually exist, and that has far-reaching implications. Intelligence. What isn’t intelligent? Intelligence is an inescapable wheel constantly turning in every known thing. The atoms and their moving parts give the illusion of matter, presenting seemingly solid form from what we know is not solid, but rather, an energetic construct that creates the illusion.

All of this represents and is evidence of God. I see no evidence of a cruel demanding God but rather one of endless generosity. All of this exists, it only exists now, and now is constant. We can only go where we already are and we can only go there now. Now is all there is. Now is God.

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

Pantheism The Quest For Existence

Motivated by the struggle of community, as we question and strive to wring understanding out of uncertainty, I write. I write of my personal experience, certain that experience is something we share, something we have in common. I hope to produce a fresh perspective of our collective experience. Understanding. It is the question of our existence, of how is it that we exist and why, of what can and should we do, this is the understanding that concerns me and at some level it concerns us all.

In the seeming vastness of what we consider as existing, countless light years filled with empty space, innumerable planets, planetary systems and galaxies, I ask if it is not just a matter of perspective, and in truth, it is all quite small. We imagine that our intelligence sets us apart and qualifies us as superior. Are we? How unusual is intelligence? I see it as as common as the empty space that fills nearly all that we know to exist. Modern physics has taught us that the matter we consider as solid, is not. It is held together energetically. This simple reality is repeated over and over again in every expression of reality. In galaxies, solar systems and empty space. Nothing that does exist can exist without first understanding. There is a fundamental understanding required for anything to organize itself well enough to exist. An intelligence. It is present even in what we consider to be inanimate.

There is no space between us and everything that exists is a collective expression of our shared consciousness. The further we look the more we see, because we are looking. We are what has been created and as such can not be separated from our creator. We can choose independence and refuse to know our creator, and then, that is what becomes of us. Grist for the mill of creation. The spirit that creates, that permits your animated self-aware person, can be chosen. That decision is known as purpose and it is why you are aware of your existence.

The wormhole is now. It is creation and it is where the spirit that created us is.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2015

The Gift of Life

Presenting the Divine, creation and creator, not as the same but as inseparable. While there are countless ways to present this construct, there is no other distinction by which it is known. The way we consider our self, and everything else, determines our relationship with whatever created us. God? I would never consider God as presented to me through the lens Abrahamic theology. That god is a monster and I want nothing to do with that. I don’t believe in monsters and would certainly not devote my life to one. All of the faiths that worship monstrous gods, gods who sanction hell while granting favor to others, each of them have given us examples of what a real monster might be, because they have been that monster. In different circumstance, I might be that example and bring the wrath of my imaginary god into our human community for sharing.

In my view, Divinity teaches that no matter what any of us have done, we share one common thread, innocence. I could also imagine that none are innocent. For me, the notion of innocence works best. To imagine that I might do what others do if I shared the experience of their circumstance, no matter how horrible or altruistic. There is a selflessness in Divine living that is measured by this sense of sameness, of no matter what. Of being like all others and all others being like me.

Today while I work on this puzzle my biggest challenge is defensiveness. It manifests as rage, anger, even self-hate. When I am approached by a spirit I respond by snapping at it, “What do you want!” It is not a question, it is more of a swat. It has become my habit. That kind of tension is not healthy for spiritual relations and the spiritual environment I live in. I allowed this tension to creep into my life, as I think most people do, accidentally on purpose. I cast blame outside of myself and imagined myself a victim of another persons intent.

In the past year I have paid scant attention to my blog while sorting out what has boiled down to the false notion of imposition. In matters of spirituality, there simply is no such thing. Everything is purposeful, an appointment generated by our true spirit, not in the past, or the future, but now. The moment of creation. You know, your spirit, that which breathed life into the dust and mud of the universe that it might experience life by creating a being to share it with. Spirit is neutral, which may seem indifferent. Spirit is what animates matter and ego is what animates person. I think the spirit that animates us and gives us awareness has endowed us with purpose, to surrender ego to spirit and give the creator life. To return the favor.

I believe that we can stand with spirit by recognizing the creative authority of now and letting all else go. Most of us, it seems, will not do that but even those are not lost because the creator and creation can have no true separation. This is the construct of Divinity, none of us escape it and all of us are invited to join it and be what the spirit is as well as its creation. That is Divine life. It is no mystery, it is just an inexplicably difficult choice to make, unless we let go of the difficulty. That is the singular obstacle and it is fickle.

Michael, the Mystic Tourist ©2015