Living the Life of Christ

The idea of Christ has gripped my curiosity all of my life. I was born in the shadow of Christ as a Catholic child. In hindsight, I never truly believed the church, although I did feel committed to it and expected to forge a life of service as a priest. I was indoctrinated. When young, I accepted the normalcy of my circumstance with naivete. Trust was my blanket and the questions that naturally arise were kept behind its veil. As I consider who I am, and the child I grew from, I see that doubt was a constant companion. While trying to negotiate the articles of faith, I only ever considered Jesus as a man. The sort of person anyone might aspire to be.

That was the undoing of my religious faith. As I grew, the thin veil of trust dissolved in the floodwaters of reality. All who are delivered here by their mothers womb are human. God is not so enamored by the beauty of a woman that a child is born. If God could be insulted, blaspheme, that nonsense would pretty much do it. Of course, the God of Abraham is fiction, as is noted by this silly story and countless others.

That does not mean that the story of Jesus is fiction, just that it is obscured by it.

I see very little evidence that Jesus intended to or did found a church. From my reading of history, it was Constantine who hobbled together the teachings and texts that formally founded the Christian church. For over three hundred years people had told the story of a man named Jesus. He was deified and and set apart as some impossible sort, except, for his Godly heritage. That Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a woman so pure that even God was smitten and a child was born. After three hundred plus years of storytelling, that is what Emperor Constantine’s Council in Nicaea came up with.

No. I don’t think Jesus ever told this story. I believe that whomever Jesus might have been, his story was distorted with the passage of time and the retelling of his story.

Miracles? No, I don’t believe in the supernatural. I believe in magic and creation. I think magic and creation are the natural way things are and that we fit the rules of reality to create a static environment suitable for community and humanity. The life we share.

Explain Wim Huff.

The stories we spin around our memory of Jesus, and others, tend to forbid. Look what happened to Jesus. Humiliated, tortured and brutally murdered. Abandoned by all of his friends in his time of need. And he was God. That is the story. It is a clear warning. One, you are not God, two; humiliation, torture, murder. The Catholic Church, I was raised in, would even have you sent to an eternal Hell if you imagined Jesus was like you, an ordinary human being.

Assuming Jesus actually did live, he would have been as we all are, an ordinary person living an ordinary life. The extraordinary and supernatural are fiction, while being unusual is normal. Someone else will do and live as Jesus did. It is inevitable. It is likely certain that others have.

I believe much of the story is fiction. The allusion to the sort of God involved is too much for me. Hell, is a ridiculous notion and a person the likes of Jesus would have recognized that. That wrinkle alone destroys the Christian notion of God.

I do believe there is plenty of evidence, in our world, to support the miraculous claims attributed to Jesus. Not the specificity but what these claims allude to. I don’t believe in miracles. I believe in nature and its laws. I believe that some people are more in tune than others and the story of Jesus alludes to that. It is an example for others to follow.

Micheal, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

The Nucleus of Creation / A Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity: Awareness, Being and Now. Together they are the nucleus of creation. Not some human-like God, just the unadorned nuts and bolts of existence. These three guarantee experience by simply grinding out creation as an unavoidable proof. Creation is the consequence of Awareness, Being and Now. It is inescapable. This nucleus of creation, can not be without a reality to support it.

On considering consciousness we imagine a progression, and that our species, the human race, is the crowning example. Certainly here on earth we demonstrate an organizational intellect that is unique. I don’t know that it is a higher consciousness. A higher responsibility, that seems obvious.

As we experience creation, creation is our companion. We imagine that a God, much like ourselves, is the creator, but we are that God. We have the authority of creation to create and we have created an imaginary God, that must in turn, be us. Creation on it own, is true, but what we imagine that distorts creation, is our own. It is not true. This does not diminish the existence of God.

I do imagine that a true God exists due to our own sentience. Sentience; it does exist. It exists now, and now absent a beginning, has no end. It is eternal. There must also be an eternal aspect of sentience, and clearly, we are not that. At least not as we consider ourselves.

We have the authority of creation but largely just let it slip. Some authority beyond ourselves is to blame. Whether that be for good, evil, or whatever. We do this as group while considering ourselves to be individuals.  Kind of like individual brain cells imagining themselves independent from each other. That would be a little confusing.

I write as the Mystic Tourist and what is read here are my personal considerations born of mystical contemplation. My mind won’t let it go. I have been snared by this from birth and I hope to write my way to freedom. That is my disclaimer lest anyone think more, or less, of my words.

I am drawn to the notion of Divinity. The incarnate expression of eternal sentience. What we all must actually be yet are determined to imagine otherwise. To the extent that we are able to imagine what is naught, to be what is, we do compose ourselves of what is naught. Just a flash in the pan. Conversely, we must also be able to imagine our self to be what actually is and live a divine life. I believe many people actually do this in the quite resolve of their personal life. Quietly making a real difference in the circumstance of fate.

Micheal, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

 

The Pillars of Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

The Gravity of Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

The Dream and The Dreamer

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

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

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

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

We are the dream and the dreamer.

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

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

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018 

The Wheels of God

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

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

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

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

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2015

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