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

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

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

The Soul, Our Common Currency

I live in California on the San Francisco Peninsula, it is crowded. Here, along the shore of the bay, you can not escape the people. The roads are congested with people all trying to get somewhere and usually at the same time. All roads seem to be one giant inconvenient crush. The nine county bay area is home to about seven and a half million people, a reality that is hard to escape when your just trying to get home. I live on the Mid Peninsula and the congestion here is mild compared to the east or south bay. The cost of living here is mind numbing. Beyond my bay area home the world, in many ways, is unraveling. There does not seem to any region on our muddy speck of beautiful dirt, planet earth, free of social, economic, military, religious and or a political urgency/emergency. We have yet to recover from the latest blow to our world economy and one has to ask if the system is not broken. Certainly here in the States we have abandoned much of what built the strongest economy the world has ever known and wealth is gravitating to ever larger collections in fewer and fewer hands. That is a trajectory that will not sustain a vibrant broad-based economy and those who rally to stay on such a course do so at their own peril. With money, people like to consider it their own. We like to think about ‘my money’ as if it actually were our money. My name is not on the money anywhere. Governments print money, the value of the money is assigned by official decree and could not be more subjective. Capitalism is the guiding principle, a competitive system where value is determined by the amount one person has relative to another. It is a manufactured system that has only ever been known to work well when it is inclusive, when wealth is broadly distributed to include as many people as possible. Without a strong measure of socialism, capitalism always fails the population at large and as it does it includes fewer and fewer people with the privilege of economic comfort.

Along with the crush of my seven and a half million neighbors I have a collection of people; family, friends and business associates who more intimately impress me and influence my emotion, mindfulness and priorities. Why are these people and their wants, desires and expectations here, interfering with my priorities, with my wealth, with my success in life?

I have always imagined that success is a spiritual reality. I believe that as spiritual beings success is a spiritual application and pursuit of spiritual success should demonstrate success across all concerns in life. That the spirit has the strength to carry that load while making an example of just that. This approach, to fundamental spiritual-social-economic success, supports the notion that spirit gave life to animal as opposed to the other way round. That without spirit the animal is dead and it is spirit that exists even without its animal host. The animal is plagued with many problems and it is not at all clear that we know our spirit source. Animals do generate spiritual expressions that are every bit as temporary as the animal host, and our spiritual source, or creator, is displaced by these spiritual distractions we are so fond of.

It is the soul then that is the durable spirit able to lend life to animal forms. The soul is like money. We imagine it is our soul, that we can save it. The soul is not ours, we belong to it and the holy grail of spiritual success is to release the temporary spirits, of which we are so enamored, and allow the soul to walk in the company of its creation. To be an animal who knows its creator by giving the soul an animal home. As creator, the soul understands all spirits and is a stranger to none. All who ever have been and all who will be, are known by the soul. It is our salvation. Without choosing to accommodate attributes of our soul we have an estrangement, or separation, from the soul. The soul enjoys us no matter and none of us are a stranger to it. We can only make the soul strange to us but we can never be a stranger to our soul.

It seems the soul must live beyond the confines of time and space in a place of such intimacy that all is known and no mystery is possible. The animal, on the other hand, lives bound to time and space seeking a permanence that it can not know except for the soul. To fully know the soul, the animal must surrender all that displaces the soul and admit that it is but a host for spirit with no durable attribute except for the soul. To be divine is to be one with the soul and the animal. It seems to require a certain subtlety of choice and disposition unfamiliar to animal psychology. Something akin to death but unattainable through death. In death we may well unite with the soul but I will guess that we must be of a disposition that is like, as opposed to simply ‘known of’ by the soul if we are to make the segue. There are qualities that are absolute and are this segue, compassion, understanding and truth. It remains a mystery as to why these simple attributes, and their supportive disposition, are so elusive to the animal.

I have had some success with this absolute segue but never as a public demonstration or example of daily life as an openly successful mystic. It is surprisingly difficult to know the success I have known privately, in the context of being a person known to be mystic and by that mysticism, also a success. These thoughts and considerations, read here, are simply the unavoidable musings of my mystic mind. It is what fills me up and moves me forward. I am driven to write and post this as an exercise in personal growth, an effort to realize a promise that has eluded me and tempted me forward.

My mysticism is empirical, I do not read or follow, I am a spiritual being and expect that spirit communicates directly, that by my choice my spirit supports guides and mentors me. If my choice is true my spirit is true and divine existence is the option that presents. The secrets known to the soul are known to the animal who allows the soul to be the spirit it hosts. Working on this public spirituality does seem to agitate the spiritual environment that we share and it has the look and feel of the crush I experience on the road when I am just trying to get home. It feels oppressive, inconvenient and those feelings displace the soul. The soul knows no discomfort and being uncomfortable displaces the soul.

I write by divination and discover what I will write as I write. That is how the soul has become a topic for my blog. As I consider the soul it begins to present as something that makes sense. I believe we have one soul that is common to all and that its only judgement is to accept us as we are. It has a vastness that allows it to be known by and through countless persons. It draws no comfort from pain or suffering and instead is as a siren that would draw us away from harm and into its boundless goodness and benevolence. It is common to all of us. The suffering that we know can not endure and perhaps ignoring the suffering of others is also like that. The soul knows of our pain and would have us release it choosing instead what lasts, the qualities and attributes of the soul. Compassion/Truth/Understanding. These are absolutes and the soul, being free, unbound by time and space, present only now, is of an absolute nature. I believe it would have us form a community by which the soul is given form, a person, an animal to host it. I believe we have a subtlety in our awareness that is as a germ that will give rise to our divine nature and the soul will once again appear as a human being to remind us of our true nature.

There is a tension that pivots on this impending concern and while I look to see my way across the valley, the darkness that is this tension seems inevitable. The soul knows no darkness and my journey would celebrate the soul. How then to make the soul my companion and make the timeless trek to where I already am?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2014

Soul Survivor

Spirit. That which animates the animal is spirit and without it the animal is dead. As animals we create spirits that in turn animate us. We are the animal host for spirit. When the animal is gone, what then of its spirit? We are familiar with spiritual expressions that we share and have in common. Emotions are an obvious expression of the spirit we host. We have all known anger, grief, happiness, contentment, want, frustration etc. The spirit we choose reinforces itself emotionally, behaviourally, mindfully and we develop a personal psychology by which we are a known identity. We can and do choose the spiritual signature by which we are known. I believe that spirit is the creative force that is the life our animal knows. I believe it is life. Having said that, much of the spiritual experience we enjoy, I believe, is of a temporal nature and knows no durable quality.

I believe it is easy to make ourself, entirely, a temporal being of no durable quality and I consider that to be ownership. The notion that by any means we can deserve, or earn something. We can not. There is another way to consider ourself that does not include ownership; allowing the absolute quality of spirit, time and space. Life as the animal knows it, gifted to absolute-spirit, by the animal host. In Christianity, the culture I have been born into, we are taught that only a God can do this and we are taught that one man, and only one man, was also God. To be blunt, or as I believe Jesus would himself say, that is a lie. In Christian doctrine it is made clear that we should not even look for the truth but instead to accept it on faith. Faith being the only way the truth could be known and your faith must follow what you are told is true without question. Of course you are allowed to question within the parameters of the established faith; that is farce. Please accept my apology, I know it sounds rude to be so blunt, direct and honest. I have added these considerations up, as my lifetime, and have found my consideration, as written here, to be what seems to me to be true.

The story of Christ is meaningless if Jesus is God. Its only value is if it tells us of our human condition. Of who we are. A woman gave him birth, there is no mystery in that. If we can just be honest about that we begin to find our way. So what would Jesus do and does it matter?

I can accept what the New Testament alludes to as being true but not the testament itself. I know the history of the testament as well as the claims made about it and I can not accept the claims as true. As to what Jesus would do, I think he would do what I am doing, see for himself. Look, listen, question. Place all of his confidence in what is true, what is absolute, what is God, to have faith only in that and not what others claim about it. To accept that things can only be as they are and that a person committed to that discovery will find what makes an example and demonstration of itself, the truth. It needs no advocate and no one can take possession of it, yet, a person can make their self available to it by ridding their self of what displaces it. That is the message, the promise of Christ, that ordinary people do ordinary things even if it is unusual.

So what then of spirit, can we choose a spirit that is true? Did spirit create us or do we create spirit, and does it matter?

If there is a true spirit I think it would be the soul, a soul that can not be saved, but rather, is itself salvation. It does not belong to you, you belong to it. It created you and enjoys you, no matter what you do. You are forgiven and forgiveness is the narrow gate on the narrow path. The key to this gate is compassion. There is no compassion without forgiveness and compassion is an absolute because it knows only a single measure and can not be exhausted. Should a person truly be compassionate, and maintain forgiveness, they will also know, or be acquainted with, the truth, because the truth is absolute and all absolutes are of the same single measure. Certainly God is absolute, whatever God might be.

What of this forgiveness, this narrow path and gate? Who is it for? I can only forgive myself. When I have done that forgiveness exists in this world and anyone in need of it can find some measure of it in me. We are all the same, as likely to be one way as another and this is why forgiveness for the one, for the self, is forgiveness for the other. You remember, “There but for the grace of God go I”.

So then there is the spirit of forgiveness which is the gate by which compassion and its spirit is known. It is a narrow path and easy to fall from forgiveness. In the struggle to remain on the path we are taught how, what and who to forgive. Eventually we reach the gate.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2014

The Gravity of Being

Transitioning from a guarded spiritual experience to one of openness, I must be at spiritual ease, even among those who can not accept what I experience. To make public the experience of spirit, establishing in every opportunity of community, the spiritual and the terrestrial being.

Between terrestrial life, its beginning and its end, is life. Flesh without its spirit is dead and we have no evidence our spirit expires with our dead body. We do imagine that our body, being animated and with spirit, is that spirit. It is not. It knows our spirit and our spirit is part of a spiritual community. The spiritual awareness we have, as terrestrial beings, tends to be limited, distracted by our gross nature. Our animated form is dead except for its spirit. There is an inherent anxiety in that. When I consider nature, there is a consistency that I am drawn to; gravity. I imagine a cellular gravity and it creates polarities, movement, electricity, chemical reaction, etc. I have not studied the science of this but am quite certain that some gravity, perhaps by a different name, a different understanding, is at play. What I see is gravity, by whatever name. I see gravity as fundamental, a theme that is basic in all that is known to exist. A constant that must be expressed and respected. The being, that is the bearing of a terrestrial life form, creates a gravity that attracts a spirit.

Of terrestrial life there is a temporary being that mimics spirit. We form, I believe, a temporal gravity of being, or beings. This community then mimics the spiritual community of which we belong displacing it and we create reality.

I have seen spirits that are without terrestrial form. I do not think that is particularly unusual. Young children, I think, are particularly receptive to the spiritual life that we are connected to. It does not take long to get distracted. We develop other concerns and a gravity that works to fulfill those concerns. We can return to our spiritual orientation, developing a gravity that sheds barriers to spirit and draws to us the community of which our spirit heralds. It seems that this effort, in human social environments, has an ‘original’ handicap. That handicap is the social environment and its gravity that drew us, as children, away from spiritual concerns and acquaintances. By this process our bearing became fixed to physiologic-social concerns. Bearing creates gravity. This gravity, centered on physical needs, collects and in turn separates us from our spiritual origin. Drawing the expressions of our spirit-origin into human social circumstance, requires a gravity, that is unusual but no less ordinary than any other human activity.

By creating a bearing, the intention to do such a thing, gravity begins. If the bearing is true, and remains true, it creates an environment of both terrestrial and spiritual beings. The subtleties of doing this can not be overstated. It is not an achievement. There can not be sense of achievement. No merit. That tends to be quite contrary to the bearing we develop as we build the identity that becomes our terrestrial person.

I am between the private comfort of spiritual acquaintance and a casual openness, accepting the rationals that would challenge my spiritual experience, while simultaneously enjoying spiritual living. To greet skepticism with approval and not feel oppressed. A comfort in being spiritually aware and humanly engaged, simultaneously, without serving as a partition between the two. A casual comfort or bridge willing to engage, or not, all the while being fully engaged. I think this middle ground, I seek, is where I will once again know the casual comfort of non-terrestrial spiritual beings.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2014