No Traditional Path

Human spirituality is my basket and God is its handle. A boundlessness that accommodates every possible concern. I feel good sharing my spirituality, my thoughts of God and our spiritual nature. A calm and ease is seeping into my life. It is due to my decision to bring my spirituality into the open. To make public my spiritual life. I expect that casualness, that is calm and ease, to unleash my creativity.

For whatever reason, I am a mystic. I always have been. I came to understand I am this way in my middle teens. I did not receive the news well and I decided to break my life. Oh the joys of youth. I was not satisfied to break it just once and I managed to ruin my life four times. All because I did not want to be what I am. A mystic. I have no other drive, my sense of mysticism encompasses my whole life. Everything I have to do. I knew then, as I know now, I would have to acknowledge my mysticism in a public way. I also knew that I had no traditional path. I could not look to others to find my way. No teachers, no books, just walk the walk. Providence alone would guide my way. Well here I am.

What will I do with my life now that I have discarded my self-imposed taboo and replaced my outrage with approval? What will I learn about human spirituality now that I have decided that I will live openly as a spiritual person?

The life I might have had, as a young man, that choice, has been restored. The gift that was success, by the circumstance of my birth, is offering me a second chance. To choose the life that was before me then, instead of the mess I made. The difficulties I built into my life have been with me a long time and are like an old friend. This kind of familiarity lends itself to permanence and a certain delicacy is needed to let it go. As I take up my promise, making my best choice, my gifts begin to take form. I am who I am but I have yet to do what I am about to do, what I have always refused to do. Much like this stuff I write, I will find out what those gifts are capable of as they present themselves.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The False Prophet

The name of Christ will be restored, it belongs only to Christ. Much has been said about Jesus Christ by those who never knew him. They tell a grand story, making great claims on his behalf. It begins with his mother, a woman, so pure that even God could not resist her and she gave birth to God’s son, Jesus. This man, Jesus, was in turn, no ordinary man, he was God. Being human we each can be certain of one thing, no man is God. All men are ordinary and Jesus was a man. We know this because a woman gave him birth. He taught us what ordinary men are capable of. He is not the only one and Christ will return. If you would know the true story of Jesus then know Christ, not the stories others tell about Christ.

It is an insult to the legacy of Jesus to suggest he was other than human.

I suspect many have known Christ in their lifetimes but not all are called to do what Jesus did. It is sad that we have taken the life and actions, of this man, Jesus, and reduced them to a fanciful tale we know is not true. A story we can not believe except by faith. We do not need faith to know God, to know Christ, we only need to ‘be’ and choose their acquaintance. This secret is known by each of us. It is an understanding we can not escape although we are free to ignore it. Mostly that is what we do, creating a fiction we call reality.

The fictional life of Jesus Christ is false and those who repeat it are false prophets. Have confidence and find your strength. Walk the path that Jesus did and you will know Christ.

It is this action of knowing Christ that tells the truth that Jesus knew. It seems there are different degrees, or appointments, in our acquaintance with Christ, ranging from ignorance/denial to full-blown companionship. A state where Christ makes an appearance as a person, a human being that anyone might know. It seems that Jesus was that Christ. Clearly few are called to do this but I believe this is what he did and I am confidant someone else will do the same. That was his message, the lesson, the example of his life.

What of the of the power of faith, of faith in Jesus? The good works done through faith and faiths ability to affect us. Faith is a mask for confidence  It pretends to be confidence but confidence has no need of it. For a healthier mind, and relationship with God, skip the faith and let all of your confidence rest with God. Make no claim on God’s behalf. Allow for naught and then God can present God’s self, as God is, or as God is naught. It is alright. What threat could you be to God and any God worth knowing is no threat to you.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Way The Truth and The Light

Justice. The first gift of compassion is justice. Compassion simply knows no prejudice or boundary. Its status is; Always enough. It can not be exhausted. The gift of justice is truth but without compassion truth is the needle in the haystack. The gift of truth is light and we see as things actually are. Justice without truth lets us tell our self what we want to be true. The gift of light is who we are. Outside of the light there are only shadows and we only know ‘how’ we are.

In all of this compassion is the key, forgiveness is the gate and then we are able to see. This is the way the truth and the light. It is the path to spiritual living. It is my path and I have no place to go except to be there. It is easy to be distracted by shadows and give them chase. When we do, we fall from grace and in our concern about how we are, who gets lost. I am not sure if I can bring who I am into full realization but there are stories of people who have. I have been a confusion of reluctance and certainty in this regard. Except for the encouragement of lore there is no guide to do this. Stories of others, just like you or I, who have done it. For some reason I have always felt this is what I have to do. That certainty, historically, has stirred strong emotion and that has never helped. My tendency is to be angry that I should see things, believe as I do. That is a tiresome position that I hope to wear out or just walk away from.

Of course I doubt. That is of little help and as a shadow to give chase. Except for this notion that I have to do this I would have taken a different path long ago and had a very different life. I have never been able to shake this certainty, this sense of what I have to do. It is what drives me. When I am angry about it or otherwise distracted, it never takes me to a good place.

Who are you? What drives you?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

What Next

It is one of those mornings when I know I have something to write and no idea what it might be. It is seven a.m. on Wednesday April Third and looking at the computer for two hours has produced only this observation, I have no idea except to write. By the time anyone reads this at least one more morning will have been spent. I have no idea where this is headed.

I am torn between the life I am living and something more fulfilling. I believe my interest in mysticism, the work I invest in it, has a tangible purpose, a net worth that in itself it represents success and I expect that success to manifest in all areas of my life. I await a revelation as to what it looks like. It seems that I could just step into it, as if it were a simple choice. I am confident of this means and yet I find myself at work doing what I imagined would only sustain me, temporarily, while I managed my investment and commitment to a more durable life choice. My spiritual life, our spiritual life. If spirit has value surely it produces results. Where are they? I expect my spirit-walk to find success. I have no inclination to market spirituality. Certainly the world has enough of that and it seems to me a fraud. I can not sell my spirit and have it retain its value. It is its own worth and that value, if it truly exists, must clothe me with the success I seek. That is what makes it true. There is some profound observation that completes my puzzle, something profound only because without it there is no completion. A simple observation, acknowledgement, of what is already obvious.

I am so finished with the work that has filled my time for the purpose of income that I actually hate it, not the work, but that I am still doing it. That is unhealthy. I have worked, and continue to work, to fix that. It seems that I am actually finished with what I have always considered a temporary occupation, I have exhausted its time and purpose. That makes moving on the only way to cure my ill. To end my hate. But how? Everything I have done to repair it leaves the hate intact. That is new territory for me. My efforts to address the issue have only concentrated it. I did set out to do just that, and now that I have, I am left the question of what to do.

All of the goals I set for myself I have reached. Goals preparatory by design. Things I felt I needed to do to ready myself. If I no longer need to prepare myself, if I am prepared, what then to do? It must be obvious. Why am I not doing whatever it is that is this difference, that is no longer temporary but rather what I have prepared myself to do?

I have allowed myself two options as a mystic. To accept my mystical sensibilities as tolerable and pursue life as a mystic, was first, my concession. To stop punishing myself for being mystic. Once I made that choice I was free to explore the possibilities. I rationalized that my life would be enriched by my mystic pursuit in one of two ways. It would prove to be a complete waste of time or it would bear fruit. Well it has been plenty fruitful. Even as I work to understand how to create, or discover, this transition, the obvious passage that can only be where I am, my skills are apparent. The stress is eating me alive, very painful. Feels as if I have a few knives in my neck and upper back, the sites of rather serious injuries I knew some decades past.  If I spend a few minutes considering the cause of my immediate stress I can identify it and in a moment diminish my discomfort by 80%, or more. It keeps coming back but this has long been my method of wellness. I have restored and managed my good health in this manner for decades. I suspect that it is time to take this to a new level, something less private, but how? I feel that if I did that my pain would pass. That the healing is not intended for me and if I let it go it will find its own way. My way will we be revealed. The success that awaits me only asks that I would come along and take a walk with it.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Corruption of Now

As a curious reality I continue to struggle with my opposition to exposing what I consider to be my spiritual life, even though it is something that I have already done. It is an opposition to doing what I want to do. Well that seems a bit odd but I suspect it is not at all that unusual for a person to be self-conflicted in this way. I suspect that we all have some of this tendency. Not that we would all struggle with this as I have. I am sure plenty of people are very comfortable in their own skin. Personally I am more comfortable as time passes. I work to be that way and I bring the issue up as a simple observation. Internally it is as a constant complaint but when writing about it, it is an observation. It is certain that as long as I remain conflicted in this way I will fall short of my goal of being spiritually successful in the real world.

The human story has long included spirituality. People have considered themselves to be spiritual and to have spiritual experience. A few of us are revered as having found the way. It is usual that we hold these people to a different standard, as if they are somehow different. They are not. If they were their lives would be meaningless as they would not be like the rest. They would in fact be different. The only possible value in having an observable spiritual experience is if it is an experience anyone might have. Then it tells us something about ourselves. Who and how we are. This is the experience that I write about. My spiritual experience and I think it is the same sort of experience anyone might have. I have no reason to bother with it if it is not. That being said, we are not all given the same thing to do. That would be boring. Together we create a collective spiritual appointment. I am trying to keep mine. Which reminds me, so long as I am trying, I have yet to do it and am only trying.

There is something about creation, about magic, that I have yet to include in my understanding of now. It is certain that the only time ever experienced is now and the past and the future emanate from that single moment constantly. It would seem that all of time is created in that instant and contained there. I have thought that it must be creation itself, but increasingly, I see there is more to the equation. I believe it is something about the future that we can apply and the past is made to be obedient. It is common to remember the past but uncommon to remember the future. I really do not think it is any more difficult, we have simply long ignored this ability and in so doing forgotten how to do it. How can we remember what we have forgotten how to do? In the past we were born and perhaps we will be born again in the future but the only way to accomplish that is to first die. Is this why we will not remember the future? Are we simply afraid of what we can not avoid? Clearly we are as dead as we are alive, there is no other resolution for our animal existence.

I think there must be something for me to learn about the future. I think perhaps this is where my discomfort and complaint reside. The future. Have I made it a reservoir for fear and uncertainty? If I have then that future broadcasts itself into my past corrupting now and preventing it from expressing the success I am certain to enjoy.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Nine Lives For The Cat / How Many For You

This morning I will explore what looks to be denial. Once again it is a physical sensation like a pie wedge I can feel. Like there is something taking up space in my body and aura. I recently wrote about temporal spirits and this physical sensation is like a soft spot where intrusive temporal spirits can get up close and personal. In, Death of a Seminarian, my last post, I wrote of this sensation as well. In looking to understand it I saw that the discomfort I knew was resentment and now it seems that below that is denial. Denial of what?

Often when looking to understand something like this I find it is tied to an event or a time in my life. A time in the past. When I consider how this denial is anchored I am reminded of a motorcycle accident, somewhere around 1974. It was a bad accident and it resulted in a broken neck, soft tissue damage. As I understand it I tore a massive amount of soft tissue, muscle, away from the right side of my cervical spine. Enough that it was considered to be broken. Naturally, I did nothing about it. It did bother me quite a bit. A short while after this wreck I began my career as a hot roofer. You can find harder work but you really have to look for it and for a person as angry as I was, hard work is great. At the end of the day I would measure the strength of my drink by the strength of my pain. I carried my right shoulder several inches lower than my left. I could not stand up straight and this condition combined with heavy drinking eventually was not sustainable. But that is another story. So what does denial have to do with this?

Just thinking about this, wondering what this denial thing is all about, I can feel the angry man I once was beginning to stir, like a distant echo. That past life is at ease in this place that is as a void in my physical person and aura. Denial, I am in denial of control. Control of my outcomes. In this accident, the outcome was in my control. It was serious enough that my death was as likely as not and yet I stood up and walked away. The part of me that controlled that outcome would have me invite it, to be in charge, to assume control. To end injurious possibility simply by direction. It would seem a piece of me was left behind, buried at the point of impact that was this accident. Interesting.

Years ago, while working through psychotherapy, I dealt with this issue of leaving a part of myself buried there. It was a very intense visual tactile experience, as was much of my psychotherapy experience. My person was not stopped at the point of impact but rather the momentum carried me into the bowls of the earth. A part of me was left behind and I had to retrieve it. That was a powerful experience. So why am I looking at this again? The time has come to admit I was actively trying to end my life. Well, if I admit that, I will have to surrender my long-held position that I was simply tempting God to intervene.

It seems I just need to be honest with myself and admit that the extreme recklessness that was my life, held no innocence. I did not want to be the person I thought I was, so much so that I worked to create enough attrition to avoid it. I do not get a pass on this one. Even if I use clever rationalizations.

So now I have found a large measure of denial, honesty will mend that and perhaps I will knit together a more complete person. The person I worked very hard for many years, not to be.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Death of a Seminarian

I continue to maintain resentment that spiritual wisdom is my only interest. I first chose resentment by virtue my eighth grade epiphany that women are considered less than men. I had long thought that I would graduate eighth grade, go on to seminary and eventually be ordained a Catholic priest. By the time I reached eighth grade I realized that the church was teaching that if a man took a wife, that condition would so defame him so as to make the man unfit as a priest. Was this a rule I was taught? No, but it implication is unmistakable. The silly rules I knew of and that were imposed on women, by the church, took on a new meaning and a new urgency to make sense of it all troubled me.

There were rules designed for women only. Women could not be priests. They had to cover their head in church, men could not. What is that supposed to mean? At the time the church taught that it was a sin for women to wear pants. It was also a sin for a woman to use a tampon. I think the list was a bit longer, but being a man I am ignorant, these rules did not apply to me. It was not hard to notice that women did not make these rules, men did. I could not abide by this shaming of women. It made no sense to me and I began to question my expectation to become a Catholic priest. I never went to seminary and I resented the lies I had been told by the church. If I could not trust the church, how do I reconcile my life with God? This was when I first realized that I would have to find my own way. That men did not speak for God.

I would like to trust the church. I could have made a career out of that. How about the sense of community, of belonging? None of that for me. If you are a part of a church you are part of a network that enriches life in many ways. The God Club supplies support in countless ways. It can be a powerful tool for wealth. People in turn claim that their prosperity, and good fortune, is due to their faith in God. Without the church, a like-minded support group, I think things might be a little different. There is a vested interest in seeing the members of your church succeed. The success can be pointed to and the claim made that it is due to God. What about the network of support, could that have anything to do with it? You need to raise funds for a charitable enterprise and you turn to your church. It is not hard to see that it is the network of like-minded people gathered together for a common purpose that deserves the credit given to God. Churches do wonderful things and it is good to have support but the notion that God favors one above the other is insulting. Not to God of course. What insult could God possibly suffer? It is an insult to ourselves.

Reading that last paragraph it is easy to see that the vein of resentment, my resentment, runs deep. Before sitting to write this post I had long believed resentment of my spiritual drive was rooted in my high school years. I had always thought of this eighth grade epiphany as a turning point but never as the onset of my spiritual resentment. I have learned a great deal by finding my own path. My determination that no man, no book, reveals God has left me to trust God. I believe that wherever I am God makes God available. Providence. I do not seek the false shelter of religion to shepherd God.

I like to think that my pursuit of God, on Gods terms, reveals a secret that is itself success. Well that is a nice thought, maybe it does. And there is that resentment jumping out like the boogeyman. I am writing about this to unravel the physical sensation that is caused by this resentment. I can feel it and it is uncomfortable. In looking to understand what it is, this is what I find. The words I am writing.

One of the things I have long associated my spiritual resentment to is the belief that I would have to make public my spiritual curiosity and its product. That was a realization I became aware of in high school. Now that I am actively doing that it has forced me to deal with the resentment and so this post. I need to find a way not to feel this way about it, to grow past it. My curiosity is a good thing as is whatever it reveals.

Thanks for reading.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Temporal Spirits

Considering that we are spiritual, as I do, it is wise to accept that some spirits are temporal. Just as are we. We do exist. We are aware. I think existence and awareness are independent of my temporal expression. That there is an eternal or everlasting quality that is independent of my biologically based expression, except that, I exist, I am aware. We are animated, or another way to say that is that we have spirit. It is spirit that animates us. Much of our spiritual experience, as temporal beings, is also temporary. It is this temporal spiritual interaction that we are most accustomed to as spiritual beings. We interact with each other spiritually. It is not something we pay a lot of attention to but we are constantly interacting in a spiritual realm. We can see this represented in our daily lives. The example that always comes first to my mind is this; I think we all turn to see the person we are sure is looking at us and see them doing just that. What communication is at play?

I see these spiritual expressions, or at least I believe I do. Perhaps I have simply structured a framework to explain the experience that I am familiar with but at any rate I have experience that supports my explanation. I am also familiar with spiritual beings that present themselves as being independent of biologic form. I know them as Angels and Ascendant Beings. I am also familiar with Demons, Devils and Satans and have come to believe that these only exist in temporal spiritual realms. We make agreements in our temporary spiritual world with all of these influences. Most of these agreements are accumulative. We do not sit around and fashion the choices we make that form our spirit presence, we just find our self the product of the accumulative subconscious habit of thought. By and large we ignore the spiritual conversation we are always engaged in. It is difficult to have a habit of ignorance without giving way to full-blown denial. There you have it. Nothing could be more obvious than our spiritual experience. Why are we so determined to corrupt our rich and powerful spiritual experience with denial and ignorance? It amazes me. I of course am just writing about the experience that I have and my interpretation of it.

Much of what we experience spiritually is generated by us and expressed into the shared realm of temporal spiritual experience. We each then cope with that. Some of us are better at it than others. Some people are hypersensitive to spiritual expression, auditory, visual, whatever and often this can cause emotional or psychological dysfunction. Most people seem to completely ignore their spiritual experience because they have other more pressing concerns. I sometimes wish I was that person but I am not.

Some days ago I wrote The Psychology of Spirit. I only posted it this morning but I wrote it several days ago. Since then I have been sorting out a spiritual landscape that has a lot of useless temporary spiritual expression. My quest is divine life and that means creating a spiritual place free of useless spiritual expression. That is what lifts the temporal spiritual presence to experience a spiritual realm that is more durable. That is true.

This is not new territory for me but it is different. For years people would approach me, in spirit form, and ask for my help. At the time I was very familiar with Angels, Ascendant Beings and the like because they also made a habit of approaching me. I would do what I could to help. It was really a fun time. Satisfaction. Fulfillment. This work was done privately, discreetly. It is a luxury I am no longer allowed. Those were powerful times and they continue to give me strength as I work to restore my spiritual integrity. If I am to restore my casual acquaintance with Angels and such I have to make my spiritual life public. At least that is the path I am being offered. I have never done that before and it brings stuff into our shared spiritual room that I am not familiar with. I have to puzzle it as I go. It is a lot of work. Who knows if I can do it or if it is worth it? This stuff does not pay the bills, at least not in the short-term and all of my eggs are in this basket. Wish me luck.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Psychology of Spirit

None of us would face difficulty if we did not need the lesson it brings. In considering what people do with their lives it is clear that we each take from our life what we choose. The lesson I learn is determined by what I choose to do with my life. It is the same for each of us. We are each driven by our individual sensibilities, priorities we think we must meet. I do not know that what we choose to do matters so much as how we choose to do it. The way we choose to be determines our sense of satisfaction. People in all walks of life, service, profession, whatever, find that respect and admiration is the prize bestowed more on some than on others. This is due to how they are perceived by their peers but if they carry this sense of worth within themselves it is due to how they see who and how they themselves are. I think most of us want to feel good about our self within our self.

My sensibilities, priorities, are spiritual. I believe that if I succeed spiritually all other concerns are met. That it is the only thing I have to do. Friends, family, prosperity are all satisfied by taking a spiritual path. My path is secular and I have no faith. Religion is of no value to me. I do not believe. I am certain that things are as they are, that I do exist, I am aware and this condition exists independent of me except for the simple fact that I am, I exist. I have no reason to believe in a beginning or an end as it is clear that nothing happens in the past or the future. The only time anything is known to happen is now. There is an absolute quality that allows for everything and I consider whatever that is to be God. My devotion is to God. God being absolute my devotion reaches everything and everyone. Everything I am given to do, every relationship appointed to me is satisfied by devotion to God. To the absolute. Absolutes are also easily identifiable. Anything of a singular nature that can not be exhausted is absolute. Truth, understanding, compassion these only know a single measure and can not be exhausted.

On the narrow path there is a narrow gate. There is but one key, it may have different names but I know it as forgiveness. With forgiveness we discover compassion, understanding and truth.

As I have considered my spiritual psychology, how it is my spiritual life is healthy, or not, I have learned what you are reading here, my blog. My last lesson was a tough one and it took many years to learn. Thirteen, oddly, the number of completion. It was proceeded by four or five years of great difficulty that then became my life. Of course this sense of difficulty was as much to do with perception as it was the challenging circumstance I faced. I had unwittingly made myself a victim. Deciding that the actions of another were harmful to my character. This was an indirect choice, accumulative in nature, subconscious.  It seeded my life, my past, with all sorts of nasty stuff to support it. That in turn became my spiritual path. To return to the past and fix it. This was stuff I had already spent years of my life ridding myself of, and here it was, restored. It was interesting to see that the same weeds grow back. Not necessarily in the same place but every bit as prolific.

I am not sure why I treated myself to this experience. I will guess it was necessary, providence. I have learned things that perhaps I might have learned some other way. This is the way I did learn my lesson and it may well be that there is some value that could not be had any other way. If I have learned anything I hope it is how to avoid doing something like this to myself again.

My spiritual health is returning.  One thing I have known for a lifetime that I must do has come to pass. I have made public my spiritual aspirations.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Chalkboards and Other Dark Places

Well that took a while, since my last post seventeen days have passed. I have been busy, sifting through my life and writing my way out of it. Nothing fit for blog posting. I have been having an issue with self-hate. That has been going on for some time and it finally came to a climax. I have been working to sort it out for a few years and the more work I did the louder this idea of self-hate became. Did not make sense to me but it kept coming up until it was all that was up. That is not what I expected, I expected it to diminish as I worked and yet it became the constant noise in my head.

Having been through difficulty I have a good idea what triggered the hate, but what I could not see, was where it lived in my life. You see the trigger is one thing but that can not give rise to what is not there. Once triggered, hate, will fester, grow and pollute. While there are many ways to repair something like this we are each given the way best suited to serve who we are. What we have to do. For me I had to return to the events in my life where I did hate myself, what had happened to me, and find the choices that were this hate. I had no idea where to look for it or that this was what I had to do. As time passed, naturally, it became clear. This stuff lived in my past and did not come from what triggered it. Once triggered it was able to grow and become established.

Most of this nastiness was from my early childhood, first, second, third and fourth grade. It was a tough time in my life. I even considered and made a feeble attempt at suicide, in second grade. I was Catholic, I did not figure I would die, I figured I would go to heaven and from there look down and see if my loved ones had any care for me. It did not seem to me that they did and I wanted some answers. Going back in time, to events that shaped my life, due to their unpleasantness, was pretty darn unpleasant. Up close and personal with the worst moments my life has to offer, wallowing around in the muck to find some choice I never knew I made. If it is not something you have to do, I would not recommend it, but if it is what must be done, by all means get it over with. That is what I did over the holidays, admittedly I had been working on the project for some time but this is when the heavy lifting came up. I thought I had already gotten most of it done and I guess I had. Perhaps now I have completed that project but I have been fooled before.

I do feel that I have a clean slate. As if all the scribbles and notes on life’s chalkboard have riddled an answer and now the board is wiped clean again. That was a big piece of work. I wonder if finally I have found all the pieces and fit them back together the way they were meant to be.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Happy New Year!