The Valley of Shadows

I have operated on the principal that if I just keep plugging away, sudden realization would be inevitable, and, confidence born of success, that is itself success, would be revealed. Imagining the spiritual landscape, I already find myself in, as success, is quite different. The confidence I seek is to be comfortable in my spiritual skin. Specifically to be comfortable in the spiritual shadow-land occupied by temporal spirits. Where doubt and shame, ridicule and embarrassment, reign. I refer to the expectation found in human sensibility that doubts spirituality. Many are sure that timeless beings of spiritual constitution are nonexistent and our realm of temporal spirits is populated with the spiritual equivalency of that certainty. That is because we are spiritual beings in a temporal reality. As spiritual beings we are by nature creative and our temporal spiritual landscape reflects the collective product of that creativity. The most prevalent disposition concerning our spirituality is ignorance and we blissfully deny the spiritual condition we are in as well as our authority regarding that condition. The spiritual influences we create in turn produce an agreed upon perception of reality. Forty three years ago I decided I would not share my understanding of our spiritual nature. How I see who we are and who I am. My attitude was; Let someone else do it, why should I bother. After all it is no secret. The path is clear for anyone who would take it. In a world where people ignore who and how they are I was angry that I could see it. Worse than that I was driven to pursue it. I wanted nothing to do with myself or the world I found myself in. Why bother?

That rage did tear me up but I managed to survive. I do think that at times destiny is stronger than death and we survive what would otherwise kill us. To my amazement, I, like many others, have survived.

While recovering from the worst of my behavior, a motorcycle accident, I finally took up the mystic person I had always been and tried it on for size. If it had any merit it would prove itself. It did. That time is over and I fell from my spiritual comfort zone. The path I have chosen to restore it goes through the shadowy valley of temporal spirits. To walk in the open as a spiritual being. When I was last faced with this choice, forty-three years ago, I decided to rage against all creation, until by attrition I was dead. It did not work but the temptation to take up that rage again remains strong. After all, nothing has changed, I am faced with the same question; Will I take a spirit-walk as a public figure? To make an example of our true spiritual nature, in a very public way. Time will tell that story best and I still have some left.

Anyone who has been reading this blog must know by now that I write to prod myself into the open. To force myself to let go and simply be here now. Even if I have put it off too long and fall short, this is worth it. I am the same as you and anyone can see as I do. Someone else will do it If I don’t. I feel that much of my writing is circular, the same story over and over. I apologize, I really should get to the point and just do what I am here to do. Take my spirit-walk through the valley of shadows. Invite the spiritual beings who have no temporal origin to join me. They are very comforting, I know this from personal experience, but if I am not comfortable they can not join me. I am as yet undecided about it. I am looking for the decision that will change that.

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

The Path of Ignorance

Divine life must account for the influence both forces bring to bear in building community. To be accepted as credible, recognition of the spiritual beings that wield influence is required. There are beings of darkness and beings of light. The spiritual realm, in which these exist, affords both groups the guise of transparency. We pretend we can not or do not see them. Even that they do not exist. This takes place while we make agreements and otherwise involve ourselves with our spiritual companions. To live the divine life the spiritual world must be breached. There is a certain tension when such a breach is recognized. Naturally this tension surrounds ignorance of our spiritual reality. While many do believe, the spiritual realm is still polluted with ignorance and its unavoidable byproduct, denial.

In considering living the divine life the criticism that is this body of ignorance, looms menacingly. Unless the life I am living is divine, I am maintaining agreements and contracts that assure the status of ignorance. Ignorance of matters spiritual is not true, it is a lie we tell our self. In telling such lies ignorance is an instant and unavoidable consequence. We soon deny knowledge of our own spiritual life and our spiritual associations. Unraveling my poor spiritual decisions is like the story of the swamp and the alligators. As I drain the swamp I am left with the alligators. It is easy to imagine that the alligators are the problem but the truth is these are my alligators. They are agreements I have made to establish and maintain ignorance and they entangle all of my associations whether they are spiritual or human. I must own my choices to dissolve the contracts that are my ignorance. Like learning to see when there is no light.

We do not make our spiritual contracts in isolation. Our human community supports us in these arrangements. There is considerable tension as we look to end the ignorance on which the lion’s share of these agreements are based. It is only when I realize that this tension belongs only to me that I am able to release its restraint.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012

Ikisat The Serpent

The company I keep enforces the contract I crafted when I chose their acquaintance. We contract with all manner of spiritual beings and those are the agreements to which I refer. There are beings that reveal the true nature of the agreements we make with them and others who, by our agreement, deceive us. I do not know that it is possible to get through life without contracting with both of these types. I know of none who have and I have heard no stories to suggest any person ever has. Of these beings one of the most troublesome I have known is Ikisat.

I first met Ikisat decades ago. Ikisat is a Satan who is as a serpent. As with all Satans we must make a contract, an agreement with them, in order to be influenced and fooled by them. Because all Satans are liars when we make an agreement with them we are instantly corrupted with their lie and we deny the knowledge of our agreement. We even deny the existence of the Satan with whom we have made the agreement. It is all part of our bargain. We accept the lie and in doing so we lie to ourselves at the very moment of the bargain we strike. They are just liars and when we make an agreement with them we only fool our self and deny our divine existence. Satans only wield influence. We choose to align with them and the only authority they have is the choice that you or I make. Without our authority they have nothing. I know of five different types of Satans but the serpent is the most intimate. The serpent enters our being through any orifice and as such is an extremely corrupting influence.

Any discussion of spiritual beings is incomplete without the mention of Angels. Angels guide and protect us even when we inadvertently become corrupted by the Satanic influence so common in our human community. Satans are not to be feared. They cause no harm as they can only influence. They are to be understood. When we see the nature of our relationship with them we can appreciate the difficulty we all face. This appreciation gives opportunity to exercise compassion and to move and act by its spirit, love.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012

False Responsibility

Agreements made in the dark perpetuate reliance on and approval of false experience. Let me compare what we experience to watching a movie, the movie is real. Reality is much the same way, being real only qualifies it as something we experience. When we ignore the spiritual beings that populate our experience it gives the spirits that thrive in darkness their existence. Without the darkness, our ignorance creates, they lack the fundamental requirement for their existence, the dark. Once we create this shadowy reality the mechanisms to support it fall automatically into place. It is the light, of course, that makes the false reality possible. Much like the light at the movie theater. We sit in the dark and stare, enjoying the distraction.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012

The Devil You Know

Spirits of good purpose, where can I find them? The first place to look is where they are naught. It is good to remember providence when embarking on any quest as providence is the source of confidence. In looking for spirits providence is particularly helpful especially in areas where good spirits are naught. There is no place, where awareness, consciousness and sentiency exist, that spirits are absent. While I think some of us do walk with good spirits and ignorance , ignorance is the preferred realm of harmful spirits. Some of us walk in the light of grace and ignorance serves a less sinister purpose allowing the good spirits to populate our surrounding. Grace is also a constant presence and so we each find its light in our life. Ignorance is as a veil of differing density. When we allow it to become dense enough it is denial. Ignorance always filters light to some degree, but denial blocks it entirely. Goodness is a vague term unless I define it. Goodness is associated with grace and providence. With God. All that is good is in the light or gives light.

When we harbor darkness in our thoughts it begins to bundle together the qualities of darkness and block the light. There are spirits that populate the darkness and those spirits crave permanence. Ignorance makes it easy to pretend these spirits do not exist while we forge agreements to assure the darkness these spirits crave. Our personal caches of darkness develop chamber-like reservoirs that harbor dark spirits and behaviors. These are what devils are and it is usual for people to acquaint themselves with them while pretending devils do not exist, or that they are not like this. The spirits that inhabit the devils we create build a web of agreement with the human community propagating ignorance and denial and our collective purchase of it. These spiritual beings have no durable quality. They are as a fiction that we entertain as a reality while pretending they are naught.

The personal devils we create distract us from our acquaintance of good spirits. The good spirits live in the light and we construct darkness inventing an imaginary separation from them. In the dark we imagine all sort of terrible things about what lies there while pretending we can not see it. We know full well what is there, it is required in order to make our agreement to ignore it. We find the beings that live there frightening and ignorance serves its purpose. Demons, Devils and Satans are what populate the darkness we create. They exist in darkness and do not like to be seen. To dismiss them we must meet them and dissolve our agreement with them. They are a fiction and our good spirits await our dismissal of them.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012

The Veil of Ignorance

The veil of ignorance is a trickster. Once we have chosen ignorance we never know where it will manifest. It is as a prolific weed that is also a chameleon able to pretend. It replicates itself everywhere we look and fashions itself to appear to be what we are looking for. It sets the parameters for denial and we begin to consider things as they are not. It does not mimic the rational mind, it employs it.

In our social experience ignorance is prolific and as we grow and fit ourselves in, we give it permission and accept things as they are not. To be a member of the social community it seems a rite of passage.

It has a true purpose. Having become the filter, clouding the lens through which we consider everything, we are given our appointment. It is intended that we learn to see it. To learn its tricks and then we can find our way.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012