Back to Eden

Just considering these words, Self-Respect, Self-Control, Opportunity and Optimism, has corrected my mind. It has silenced my self-deprecating inner voice. Much like a magical incantation. The effect was instantaneous and has been durable. It is just this sort of experience that motivates me to live a providence based life, devoted only to God, sure that whatever I need is before me at all times. That God, whether God is or is naught, provides, and I only need to accept, by grace, what is the answer for every question. I know that the subtlety of thought is powerful and it creates how I am. My expectation is to allow my thought to create, who I am. To prepare a place, unstructured by burdensome thought, free of the restraint that our thought so often imposes on us. A place suitable for my soul. A temple, a throne.

My ability restored, I can now begin to live the life that will bring me the opportunity needed to be the person I am.

I have seen the subtle power of the content of my mind, its thought. Much of what we think is as a box, a prison that restrains us. We think we have to build a place of strength but our thought serves us best when it has no rigid characteristic. When thought is flexible, creation is unleashed and the magic that is our nature is revealed.

It is not our place to define ourselves, so much as it is to allow ourselves to be defined as we are. Generally, I stay away from biblical reference because it is used to support every position, any position. People spin it any way they like, but here goes. In Genesis we were said to ‘name’ the creatures. It is an act of creation, the name implies what is. It defines and creates it. The whole of the creature is contained in its name, in the thought that comprises it. This is why we can not ‘name’ God. When we name God we define, or create God. That is always a false God, powerful yes, but false. It seems obvious to me that this is what is being implied by the naming of the creatures in Genesis. It alludes to who we are, and so I mention it.

I am also fond of the Tree of Knowledge, you remember, Adam and Eve shared an apple. I do not buy into the good and evil story, I see right and wrong. The fruit of the tree is right and wrong and that is evil. Nothing is right without wrong, and wrong, without right, is naught. Ownership is the poison of this tree. Right and wrong are the foundation of ownership. There is no special knowledge that separates me from the rest, but ownership, implies an undeserved privilege. The name of this tree is Knowledge and Knowledge is ownership, unless it is simple acquaintance.

The knowledge I seek is acquaintance, the simple observation of what is. I seek only truth, and have no care for being right. Please, I don’t believe. Why should I consider myself right? I can see my life and I am standing here looking at yours. Anyone who thinks they are right is wrong because of it. It is not possible to be right without wrong. They are the same. If we are not inclined to be right we can instead do what seems best. You don’t have to be right and no one is wrong.

I decided long ago that this was as far as anyone need look in the Bible for guidance. The first few lines of Genesis is all you need and if you are looking for Eden, here on earth, don’t bother. We left it. It is not an earthly place. You can travel there in your mind and know its mystery, its secrets, but that is the only place you will find it here on earth. Eden is where your soul lives. You can make a place suitable, in your person, for you soul, and who you are will also be how you are.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Solomons Key and The Kundalini

Winning the lottery. Tonight’s Mega Millions Jackpot is $99,000,000. The lump-sum payout is about $26,900,000, after taxes, and that works out to just under $10,000,000 when divided by three. When I play the lottery, I plan on winning, and giving two-thirds of it away. I know that $10,000,000 is more than I will need to live and pursue my interests. I do not always play. I wait until it is in excess of $60,000,000 and even then I do not necessarily play. It has been some time since I have bothered and if it gets too big, I lose interest. It is not about the money.

I have always thought, why not the lottery? Even when I was young it seemed the obvious way to succeed. Beyond that, I came to believe I would win, even when there was no lottery, and, in the twenty-eight years of the lottery, I have not won. I still believe, and so, occasionally I play.

In science we know that light travels at a known speed. This allows us to look into the past, at least in so far as the our solar system and the universe are concerned. The future is very predictable. Things grow, it’s predictable. Things move, it’s predictable. We plan for war, it’s predictable. There will be a drought, it’s predictable and on and on. People imagine things, and predictably, create them. When I consider winning the lottery I think there is a way to see it beforehand. How? I work with metaphysics and spirituality. These areas of expertise are plagued and fraught with subtlety. When the subtle structure is true, there is clarity, perception, understanding and passage.

We can consider our human condition similarly to light. We can see into the past and the future is predictable. An individual is not alone and none of us are separated from the past or the future. Both tenses are entirely present in the moment and all of humanity is represented in each of us. All who will be and all who have been. This is where subtlety, for me, is most vexing. We are all creative and constantly creating, none of us do this alone. How then does a person realize the integrity of personal authority and create accordingly? After all, the creative collective of humanity is at best chaotic and that is our creative environment. How do we set aside the chaos and restore clarity? It would seem that with clarity chaos is naught. What appears to be chaotic is an illusion, albeit one that we tend to be trapped in and work to perpetuate.

There can be no separation between chaotic creativity and creative clarity, we are one community. Out of the apparent chaos, the community gives rise to creative clarity, much as an individual rises up within their person to find clarity, success. Metaphysically, spiritually I look at this using the template of the Kundalini. I have studied the Kundalini, as a metaphysical, spiritual tool, at length. It is what I call a mysticism, in other words, I have not read about it. Mysticism for me springs from providence and is entirely empirical. My understanding of the chakras, and the Kundalini, is from personal experience. I have flipped through a picture book and read, at best, a few hundred words on the subjects. Additionally, I believe there are such things as mystical keys. The one I am drawn to is the Key of Solomon. I believe I know what it is and fundamentally how it works. The center pillar of the key is the Kundalini. When the Kundalini is realized, it is as a pillar that supports a temple the centermost part of which is the Key of Solomon. It is an actually place and a way to be. It is clarity and the magic that has long been attributed to it is a myth. That is of course because it is no more magical than everything else we do. Everything we do is magic. It is our nature.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Which End of The Telescope

When confined to the realm of the lower chakras, people are an obstacle and we are one with them, one of them. We congregate by our emotional response to how we have been conditioned. This congregation of emotional reality serves to bind us to be the subject of judgement and to judge. We entertain this condition emotionally and rationally, building connections that bind us to the lower chakras. It can only end if we connect the lower chakras to the higher chakras.

Even after making the connection the binding that we dutifully built will remain.

The first task, after reaching the higher chakras, while still bound by emotion, judgement and condition to the lower chakras, is to embrace being bound this way. What needs to change is the way we respond to the judgement we previously bound ourself to. It is this response that allows the binding to relax releasing the self into the higher chakras, or conversely, to allow the lower chakras to pull us back down. I was able to rise to the higher chakras by considering, self-respect, self-control, opportunity and optimism. Self-respect and Self-control granted passage to the fifth chakra, Sea of Justice Seat of Truth. This position of Truth allowed Opportunity to open the sixth chakra, Light Gate and in turn Optimism opened Spirit Gate, the seventh chakra. Now, as I consider this, the pull of the lower three chakras works to restore its grip.

My first attempt to relax these bounds has been ineffective. What to do? There was a time that I enjoyed a relatively secure continuity of the seven chakras acting as one. That was a different time and I realized it by releasing the aforementioned bounds, thus allowing the self to rise. I think there must be a different expectation of me now. Something along the lines of reverse engineering. To build the path from the top down, something resembling an out-of-body experience. To provide the connection I established with self-respect, self-control, opportunity and optimism and allow osmosis to do the rest. I think this must be it. I can see the emotional soup of judgement and conditioning swirling around me, as if to swallow me and pull me under. The screams of Devils and Demons. The ridicule and taunt of Satans. The imposing expectations of both agreement and disagreement born of our human community. These are the things we typically ignore as we bind ourselves with ignorance and deny the obvious, hoping to fit and be like the rest.

This time, as I work to restore the temple by realizing its central pillar, the seven chakras of the Kundalini, it is a time I think to simply bear witness until the clamor runs its course. Without adding my voice there will be no conversation and the place I am will quite. This I think must be the purpose, to change the conversation, but this time from the top down.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Spiritual Awakening

My ability to be independent, free and resourceful, unburdened by the hand of restraint, has found a new lease. I have renewed my commitment to opportunity, restoring possibility to my sight. It had been beyond my sight, a distant horizon and all I needed was to stand. Easier said than done. The burden that pulled me down did so incrementally. Employing just the moment; persistent, constant, unnoticed. The product of my long-held betrayal of self, now informs me. These burdens always collect in the lower chakras and when they pull us down, we establish norms and habits that perpetuate and reinforce their permanence. The lower chakras are, at best, poorly lit.

Back in 1981 I came to believe I would win a lottery in California and that would be the means of my financial security. Not very helpful. There was no lottery in California at that time, only the constant talk of, maybe, someday. Idle chatter across the populace. In 1984 the voters of the state passed proposition 37 and on October 3 1985 the first drawing was held. I am still confident that I will win the darn thing, but not by some luck. There is a way to understand it. To be honest I would rather have some different notion than imagine that such a thing is possible and that I should pursue it. I do not waste much time or money on it. I only play if the jackpot is in excess of 60 million dollars and then I buy three identical tickets so I can easily give most of it away. In the meantime I pursue more traditional career paths. That is not working out very well either. The cost of living has outpaced my means.

Today I am able to be open about my mystical sensibilities without hedging against the hostile intentions of an intimate acquaintance. I have managed to restore myself spiritually and expose myself in the process. I suppose that is some sort of notable benchmark. I wonder if it is? I have long suspected that my overall success was tied, first to my spiritual life and secondly to living spiritually publicly. I am pretty sure I have restored my spiritual posture and I have done that very publicly. Now I shall see if I can walk the walk. If I can it is a Brave New World because I have not done it before.

I believe the world is magical and we are magical beings. That nothing happens any other way. It is the norm, the way things are, what we are doing all the time. Call it creation if you will and that we are creative. This belief leaves me with one incentive; to live that way. It is the way I live.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Humanization of the Mystic

The chakras. I have discovered that the binding of my seven primary chakras, as one, had been compromised by a dearth of optimism. Rationally, I knew to be optimistic and had assumed that would suffice. This assumption, that knowing the importance of optimism sufficed, as being optimistic, was so casual that it was nothing more than ignorance. I had not thought about it. Such is the way life lives us while we imagine we are living life. Life has a lesson for us to learn and then an application, or appointment, to test our condition. The absence of optimism, my ignorance of it, was as the log in my eye while I tried to see the speck. I could not see.

This corruption of optimism was seeded in my life nearly two decades ago, during a time of crisis, much of which was beyond my control. I let that overwhelm me and I retreated from my best option. An option that did not seem available. I could not see a way to avoid an extended period of misery. Misery that someone else designed and intended for me. My failure was in seeing things in this way. The life I expected was to be ruined and I was charged with salvaging the lives of my children from the wreckage. That all came to pass. Had I considered this without a sense of misery and wreckage, I would have kept optimism intact. I did not and optimism fell from my list of concerns. My adversary had intended to destroy me and was in a position to realize a good measure of that. I have yet to recover financially and that has been tough, but now, I have found my discarded optimism.

Rationally, I had not blamed anyone else for the challenges I faced, but without optimism, that is a moot point.

So now what? There is a visual aspect of mysticism, I can see the spiritual world. I have seen it, but not for some time. I get glimpses of it, yes, and the memories are a pillar of strength. It is the fleeting glimpse and the memories that have kept my resolve intact. Now with optimism, I have seen my home again. It has brought the higher chakras to, place/flesh, the first chakra. It literally turns on the light – the sixth chakra is Light Gate. When the awareness of the lower three chakras rises to the seventh chakra, Spirit Gate, you can see the spiritual world and the Kundalini is complete, the chakras united as one. The fourth chakra is Compassion, it is the bridge chakra that permits the union of the higher and lower chakras. Turns out that without optimism it does not work. Go figure.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

When Love Fails

Love. What is love? Is it just a choice we make to insulate our emotions from less desirable feelings? Do we love others or is love something we have for our self that we in turn share with others? It is very personal and I expect that no one can love another without first loving their self. We may be part of a community that helps us to love our self and we may truly regard another person, so affectionately, that we are in love. People who love must love themselves if there is to be any love for others.

There are many expressions of love. Love of family and friends, of people in general, of life, of different things and activities, and no discussion of love is complete without the illusive complication that is romantic love.

Let us look at romantic love. Different cultures approach it differently and have different considerations. Across all cultures, I think our hopes and aspirations concerning love, are largely the same and this is true for romance. Certainly love is fraught with failure. It only takes one participant to ruin a marriage and family. Those who are innocent bystanders in such a failure are left to make the best of it and often the salvage falls to one person who steps up to carry the load. This of course is the case when children are involved and a marriage has become poisonous. In such a situation one person can be the difference while the other is so toxic as to threaten everyone’s welfare. Of course both parents in a failed marriage can be supportive and work for the good of the family. That is so easy, so obvious and simple but it is rarely the case. Often neither parent consider the best path forward.

Love is very personal and romantic love is as personal as we get. When a loved one uses this intimacy to harm their partner the violation is durable. Such a person does not love their self or they would not do such a thing. I think, the cause of this sort of dysfunction is often due to misplaced worth. Many people think it is someone else’s responsibility to make them happy. When this type is not happy, they blame the person they have charged with the task, of their happiness, for the failure.

When love fails badly where can a person turn for the resolve to do and build what seems best? It is important not to treat a toxic ex in kind, especially while the marriage is coming apart and then while raising children in the aftermath. There is something that is not love, it is similar but it is not fragile and it has a strength that is inexhaustible; compassion. Compassion is indifferent. It makes no judgement of worth. It is enough. We can choose not to make our self available to it but it is always available. There is no weight greater than it and it can not break. It can not have, and knows, no favorite. Its measure is the same no matter what, it is boundless. We choose it and it is there.

Compassion is an absolute because of its qualities or at least its qualities demonstrate its absolute nature. I consider absolutes touchstones for whatever God might be. It would be a failure to define God and so I am comfortable with whatever God might be and when I consider God I do so by observation of the absolutes; compassion, truth and understanding. When we define God we simply create God in our own image and we all know how troublesome that has been. I have no concern for what God might think of me, if God can even do such, and instead, I strive to do what is best. I do not care about being right or wrong. I see right and wrong as the two sides of the same worthless coin whose purchase has no value. In doing what is best it is not possible to be wrong and there is no need to be right.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

A Vacancy of Optimism

In wondering what might be amiss in my life and looking to divine an answer, I was directed to seek the counsel of an ascendant being. Someone from the eighteenth century, a historical figure, but I had no idea who it might be. I decided I would find the person’s name by Googling eighteenth century historical figures. From there I chose the ten most influential figures and discovered James Watt. I asked James to help me and he did. Thanks James.

You are thinking, what is an ascendant being? Some people refer to them as saints, I do not care for the term as it implies superiority and that to my mind is a lie. An ascendant being is simply a person who is no longer repeating the cycle of incarnation. They have not so much escaped it as thy have come to understand it. They have resolved their ego to also be their soul. It is an act of forgiveness, but forgiveness needs to be for the self. Not some other self, but yourself. If you can forgive that person then you are done and you have forgiven all for everything.

I have been a bit self-deprecating but I have not understood why. Like any bad condition, without correction, it just gets worse. That is no accident, just natures way of focusing our attention. I have tried all sorts of things to curb this poor habit of thought and have expected I would somehow turn a corner and get past it. On working with James I was directed to restore hope to my attitude by replacing self-deprecation with optimism. Well that makes perfect sense. I had lost my sense of optimism back in 1994 and 1995 and I needed to return to those times to release the emotional anchors that bound me there. After I did that James advised me that I needed to identify four words that would replace my history of self-deprecation. Optimism, self-respect, self-control and opportunity. Wow, works like magic.

Of course I did not realize that I had forgotten to be optimistic, had I realized that I would have changed it a decade or more ago. Thanks James, you were a huge help. Now let’s see what I can do with my life. Is this the turning point I have been working toward?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Our Miraculous Nature

We either have a miraculous nature, or we don’t. If we do it is not something that is particular to just one person, it must be a trait we all share. If we do have this authority, then the world we experience is its product. It is active and we are its masters. It would also be true that ignorance is the throne from which we rule. How then might a person retrieve this authority from behind the seal of denial, in the void that is ignorance? The tomb from which its ghost haunts us.

Why believe we have creative authority, a miraculous nature, that we are magical?

I abandoned religion some forty plus years ago but my interest in this lies in my Catholic upbringing. Today there are touchstones from that cultural tradition that stoke my curiosity. The story of the miraculous nature of Jesus Christ, of course, and the legend of Solomon. Francis Bacon is an interesting character of which many interesting stories have been told. A modern example of magic-like control, are the well documented talents of Wim Hof. My observations lead me to be sure that we control much more than we allow ourselves credit for.

How then might a person discover this understanding of our nature? Well the first thing is to accept that it might actually be true. People have profound experiences as a matter of everyday life. Stuff that seems supernatural. Much of this can be dismissed, by further investigation, and some of it can not. Basic communication is an interesting topic to explore. How many times have you wondered, who is staring at me, only to turn your head and see the person? That is communication, however, do we understand it?

There are a lot of exercises a person can do to develop intuition. One of my favorites is to know when a traffic light will change, to sense it, and be on mark. You can imagine what is in the mailbox, and be on mark. Whether or not the newspaper has arrived and so on. This develops intuition or psychic skills. For a time I was quite skilled at this sort of thing, now, it is all hit and miss. Not sure why. Subtlety is the rule. Any ownership compromises success in matters of spiritual truth. What have I owned? Maybe it is a variation, along the lines of ownership, that I do not quite understand. I have thought it might be reluctance and have worked to be more open, transparent, honest. In the meantime my success is sputtering along, waiting for the round peg in the round hole.

My life is no less spiritual. It is as if someone is standing beside me asking if I am going to come along with them. I answer yes and yet that does not seem to be the required answer. It keeps me wondering, is there an action, a behavior lacking? I know the answer is immediately at hand, but what is it? I will guess that my resolve is the answer and an epiphany is to be expected, a sudden realization of what has been obvious all along.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Psychology of Faith

The comfort of religion is born of faith. It stills the turmoil of question and wonder, giving it a reservoir where it can be kept safe and not trouble us. We turn to faith when life’s difficulties give rise to doubt. We make it our resolve and forgo the question, taking comfort in an answer that is faith. It is a path to confidence that frees a person from all sorts of troubling details. A person of faith, will form the rational supporting their faith, into a structure that protects faith, isolating faith from challenge. A fortress in which faith is fortified and faith also has a community. The faith-based community is a source of strength and support providing exclusive opportunity. Displaying the symbols of faith sends easily recognizable signals and opportunity falls in your lap. Faith gives us psychological tools by which we defend and promote our self. These tools plug us into a larger web of supportive cultural psychology. All of this lends a person resolve and confidence.

Faith is as a shortcut to confidence. Confidence does not need it but faith is useless without confidence.

Does faith help? Is it good? I think it depends on the individual, pretty much like everything else. When a person is rigid in their belief, I think that their faith has injured them. Blinded them. When the person of faith is flexible, that individual taps into something much deeper. Something true. It is not their faith so much that they value but the tenants of it that allow flexibility and accommodation. To be accepting without judgement, a truly supportive person. Each person, whether they have faith, or not, chooses the tenants of their character and I think faith is as valuable a resource for building a respectable and admirable character as any other choice. After all, good people are needed in the faith-based community, just as they are needed everywhere else and you will find them there.

Some of the most remarkable people I have ever known draw their strength from their faith. These are people who are admired by nearly everyone they know. People who are as an anchor, giving community a bearing of durable value. Of course the opposite is as true. The empty drum does make the loudest noise and some people of faith, just aren’t very nice. Judgmental, pious, self-righteous but you do not need faith to be an ass and faith really has little to do with it. Poor behavior, by a person making a show of their faith, gives the faith-based community a black eye, but it shouldn’t. Behavior is particular to the individual.

Me, I have no faith. I just believe things to be as they are. Things can only be as they are, there is no other possibility. Everything is self-evident and can be observed. To me that is God. I am aware, I am a cognizant sentient being and I do not believe that cognition, sentience or awareness depend on physiology to exist. I think they exist with or without it and that we create reality. Creation is a constant and we have creative authority.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Vacancy of Now

The future already exists. It must exist because it consists entirely of the past. Our experience of it is skewed by our life and death. We tend to cling to false importance. We want to secure some lasting value but our animal condition will not last. We seek ownership, of something that will demonstrate our value, and that is a contradiction. Ownership is a lie, nothing can be owned. We confuse ownership with things like responsibility, accountability, honesty, forgiveness, truth, compassion and understanding. Stuff that actually has value. These values make a purchase of themselves and their value is in their generosity. They afford no pride of ownership as they are for the equal benefit of everyone and everything. None of these qualities are the sort of thing a person can take ownership of, they are their own value.

How then to make the future absent the difficulties of the past? Typically people will engage in established norms of education and employment, we will strive to establish and maintain nurturing relationships, friendships. Much of this only severs as a distraction, a mask for our sense of vacancy. I guess everything is like that, and for me, I believe that happiness and contentment can be discovered and their value then produce the trappings of success. Success is measured differently for different people, but happiness and contentment bring success to all circumstance and so if we discover those, before we set out, whatever we do, is success. I think many of us believe we need external trappings to be happy, we set out to secure those and worry about contentment and happiness later. Many of us are just naturally content and happy. For me, I remember a time of great happiness, a time past and so it must also be in my future, because, wait for it… the future is made of the past. I am happy today, especially when I write. The happiness I lost was that of a young boy. It is hard to imagine being that happy, but I was. What displaced it?

As a young man, I made some very poor choices. I expected to end my life by attrition. It was my way of flipping off God and the elements of society that fell short of my expectation. I considered it performance art and expected it to convey some deep meaning, a message of outrage to humanity for its shortcomings, I had an anger I simply could not contain toward God. I did not like being mystic, and, I could not escape it. I abandoned education, failing to graduate even high school. To this day I am unable to motivate myself scholastically. I am still motivated, only by mysticism, devotion to God. In my sense of God, anything that alludes to God is of an absolute nature and so devotion to God encompasses everything, all concerns and relationships find their completion and satisfaction by the absolute context of devotion to God. I do think there is something about mysticism that is of value, that my pursuit of it will bring me the success I need to live comfortably, affording the food and shelter that I desire.

It is strange to be in pursuit of my interests, of the life that motivates me and not be so angry about it. Imagining that could actually build something of value with it. Had I made these investments forty-four years ago, where might I be now? Oh well, I could not do it then, I was just too angry. Why? Did I have to go through all of it, all the trouble I made for myself? Perhaps I did.

Let us hope it is not too late to salvage the worldly success that was the promise of my birth circumstance and that I so forcefully worked to destroy.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013