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

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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

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

Growing Spirituality

What if, of what makes up what is, there is sentient, cognizant, aware, intelligent existence expressing the existence of sentiency, cognition, awareness and intelligence that is just a basic part of what is, of existence? That these qualities simply exist and that in addition to our experience, as physiologic life, purer examples, unfettered by temporal constraints, inhabit existence. What if of this there is a God entity? A gravity of these qualities and of this gravity a community of beings whose forms are independent of physiology. Unconstrained by time and space. What if we have a soul that is like that? Would that explain anything? Make sense? If it is so, and I like think it is, these beings know us. At least I think they do and I have had experiences that are supportive of my considerations.

This community would then be something we are a part of and our history is full of anecdotal accounts of its existence. I make such an account.

In my personal experience, involvement with the likes of these has reward. In my experience, to be with them in a cognizant state of shared awareness, requires, a certain calm and ease, a place of acceptance that is its own reward. Additionally, these are beings who are endowed with attributes, capabilities, functionality. They can be and are of profound assistance. That has been my personal experience, anecdotal as it may be. The most frightening experiences of my life have also involved these kind of ‘entities’ for lack of another word. They are transparent yet able to make an introduction and presentation that will not be ignored. That can be unsettling. Idiosyncrasy of thought, of mind, of subtle disposition seem to be an instrumental gravity by which cognitive awareness of this sort of presence is realized, or rather, appreciated.

I believe that these kinds of relationships are key to my happiness and success in life. I have no other incentive to pursue these concerns. Beyond a doubt, as an adult, I was my happiest and most content when these relationships flourished. At that time, I was careful to be guarded about my spiritual community of transparent entities, at least I like to think so. Many people have similar interests and I know many people. I have shared these experiences in a way that I imagined to be selective.

We choose our gravity. All of our considerations are then filtered as gravity does what gravity does; collect. It is in this way we find ourself in the midst of what I call providence. We are never given a different task but are always free to choose, if and when, we will do it. This is central to everything we can and will do. Our entire experience is the product of this single omnipresent opportunity. Around it we create the experience that is reality. It puzzles me that we choose to ignore the presence of these transparent entities. Ignorance has a gravity and when we choose it, it creates. Creativity, I think, is our only authority.

Proof. Do I imagine that I would prove all of this? No. I have no such hope and would consider it to be an exercise of folly. I write of personal experience. Anyone who would have such an experience is free to do it themselves and the incentives to do so are infinite, constant, everywhere. I only look to make myself comfortable with my own experience and to make that example in the open. To simply live the life I am drawn to. I am doing it. Writing about experience I have had and expecting the once rich spiritual experience I knew to return. I do expect that being spirituality open, vulnerable, will be a different experience. I expect it will be a more profound experience.

Will this tree bear fruit? Yes it will. Like you, I will have to wait and see just what that fruit is. One thing is certain, without the planting of seed, there is no fruit, and I have been planting seed.

Micheal, The Mystic Tourist ©2014

Drinking My Way to Enlightenment

I recently I conducted an inventory of sorts. In a muddle, I wrote my way to a better understanding of myself. Prior to my break from blogging, the time I spent conducting my inventory, I had managed to connect the Kundalini and that was exciting. I have connected the Kundalini before, but this go-round, is dissimilar to the experience I have known in the past. The connection that is the Kundalini brought into focus the disorder in my life and I quickly fell to the task of sorting it out.

For some time I have struggled with my habit of boozing. I like to drink and rekindled my drinking habit in 1999. I decided to begin a habit of drinking everyday. It was part of an overall effort to reconnect with my extended family of friends. It has been a long time since I realized that success and I am now well grounded by way of friendship. When I made my decision to drink, I expected that I would one day have to scuttle the habit and that day has been realized. While I do enjoy drinking, I prefer to be sober. If only I could do both.

I tend to be a person of extremes and so when my habit is everyday boozing, I tend to drink more than some people would think is prudent. I can and have moderated my habit to accommodate my excessive tendencies. Moderate drinking, by me, tends to be a lot of drink by some standards. Previously when I quit drink things were quite bad. Literally having ruined my life, and drinking being a big part of that, the decision to quit was one of last resort. Pretty easy. It also forced me to address the underlying cause of much of my habit at the time. Pain management. I had compacted my seventh thoracic vertebra and broken my neck in two different motorcycle accidents. I had ignored these injuries and done nothing to rehabilitate myself. To deal with the pain, I drank. I measured the strength of my drink by the strength of my pain. It ruined my life. I quit and spent two years out of work rehabilitating myself. The injuries were a direct result of my recklessness. A determination to force God to intervene in my life, by some kind of spontaneous enlightenment, or for attrition to end my life before I had lived long enough that I would have to take personal responsibility.

My drinking habit of late is by some standards excessive but it is in no way comparable to my youthful foolishness. At my age, drinking as much now as I did when I was young, would leave me destitute, unable to be socially productive.

Quitting without a crisis is a different animal. My decision is just a matter of personal preference. Instead of having a drink, I decide not to, over and over again. A bit tedious. All of the idiosyncrasies of my person continue to support the habit I invested so many years and my reputation in. I have every reason to believe that they will be replaced by a person more to my liking and healthier habits will emerge. That is happening and it is easier to keep my growing resolve as time slips past.

My habit has been to drink in the evening and I have been wanting, perhaps, a tea to enjoy instead. I finally did shop for tea. I first just looked at straight herbs and was lost. I stumbled across a blend, in the herbal tea aisle,  that had Kava Kava in it and then I thought, oh, Kava. I chose bulk Kava Kava to make my tea. Very nice. After a few days I remembered the therapeutic application of Kava in treating anxiety and that changing my boozing habit is an obvious trigger for anxiety. I am quite pleased with my choice and the tea is very nice. It has a texture and flavor that is soothing.

What I have noticed, since I put down the bottle, is the counterproductiveness of my boozing habit. I had imagined it was a way to relieve stress at the end of the day. Nothing could be further from the truth. It simply reinforced the expectation that the day was stressful and that I was in need of relief. In this way it caused of much of the stress for which I sought relief. Absent the decision to drink, I find that I am also absent  much of the imagined incentive.

I had become isolated from friends and the support that accompanies friendship. Drinking was a way for me to prioritize those relationships by being less spiritual in my affairs. I did make myself known again as a rather ordinary sort enjoying the party and the good time. In the end booze was creating more stress than it possibly could relieve and my friendships had always been independent of it. It remains to be seen what impact its absence will have on my overall well-being. Will it be instrumental in restoring the richness I once knew in my spiritual life?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2014

An Empty Promise; Fulfillment

As I take my spirit walk, working to reconcile my temporal nature with something more complete, something spiritual, I write. I rarely have an idea other than to write and I discover the content of my work just as you do when you read it. When I am not writing content for this blog, I am still writing, writing what could only be helpful to me. I do write plenty of social-political content and that all winds up, for the most part, on Facebook. I love to write. I realized, by way of my awkward writing ritual, that I needed to be very direct about my relationship with God. To write of it here on my blog.

What is this God? How do I explain God? Certainly much of my blog answers these questions and yet I have come to believe that being more forthright is required if I am to grow into my appointment, the elimination of potential by way of realizing it. Writing as the Tourist I have hoped to avoid building a box and calling it God. It is not our place to define God. God self-represents and so definition is needless. Pointless. The definitions we have given God have created God. A God in our image and likeness, a false God.

To my mind, It seems that cognition, sentiency, awareness, being, the ability to appreciate experience, are as is everything else of which yourself, myself, everything is comprised. I believe that these conditions are independent of physiology. That like everything else that is, they are. My temporal form is not required and these qualities are manifest in its absence. I believe in creation. I believe it is what is. It is the only thing that ever happens, it is constant and perpetual, infinite. There is no end to it or beginning. Without it nothing exists and every, any possibility, is known because of it. We are imbued with its authority and that greater authority is of God, or perhaps, God also is of that authority, yet we are not the greater authority. I believe, that of the ability to be self-aware, there is what is like, but is not a human person , and that it is God. That, God existence, would know us and would that we would know it. It seems a person might empty their self in such a way as to be with God and I have spent my life swinging back and forth between thinking I will make this discovery, or not be bothered. I am always pressed with the urgency of this decision and it dominates my life. I have found that I am happiest when I pursue it. I spent twelve years being outraged; I thought it was outrageous that I should be dominated by such sensibilities as a sense of devotion to God.

Ego is the fundamental challenge in knowing God. Perhaps God has no ego. Ego is not inclined to be empty, it wants to be full as well as to fill the circumstance that is its place. The emptiness that is, can not be filled, and ego then makes the effort to fill it a waste of its time. You can take nothing with you when your time is spent. There is a desperation in that and ego is keen to express it.

Some spiritually minded people believe the ego must be defeated, destroyed, if enlightenment or spiritual fulfillment is to be realized. I do not. I believe it must be reconciled with origin and destination, to be in a state of approval, contentment, of satisfaction. To be without want, content with what is. Poverty nor wealth matter. The law is of abundance and all conditions support it. When we let go of everything that fails to fulfill us we are left with what does.

Such is my consideration in matters of being with God. There is no possibility of making this an accomplishment and that is difficult for the ego. The ego must reach a state of acceptance, of letting what is be and of being what is. To abandon the effort of making more of it or making ruin of it. Either posture is that of ownership which we all know is naught. We leave life as we found it taking nothing but rather we give to it. We give what we have created as that is our only authority.

When I think of fulfillment, as a human temporal presence, I look to be divine. To be what is incarnate, as well as what animates us and yet is not incarnate. An awareness of self that precedes and succeeds the brevity of my so-called life.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2014