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

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The Definition of God

My beliefs run like this; I was born and raised Roman Catholic. My interests, curiosity and all of my personal drive are dominated by God. I have no interest in whether or not God exists or how God might be defined. I am sure that if I define God, then that is a God that I have created. I let God define God’s self without any interest in what that definition might be.

I am confidant that God is, or God is naught. Nothing can change that, my confidence lies with things being as they are and no other way. My devotion, to God, is such.

What about Jesus Christ? Jesus dominates my life as well. I am a mystic I think he and I have a lot in common. If there is any one person who is as a hero to me, it is Jesus as I understand him to be. He is my role model. I am certain that a woman gave him birth and am not confused as to how that happened. He was as you or I are, an ordinary human being and that is the power of his message. Those who make claims of his deity, have stolen his message and taken what they think is his power. They have profited and the church they claim was not founded by him. It is the work of others who came after him. If you or I would know what Jesus knew, we must take a similar path. That is the much alluded to, Way, Truth and Light. If we walk where he did, do as he did, we will be as he was and how else can we walk from our mothers womb to the grave?

I believe in absolutes. That if I consider what is absolute and work to incorporate that into my way, I resolve myself with God, because whatever God is, absolutes, must have their bearing there. I know of three absolutes and one gate that is also the narrow path. Truth, Compassion and Understanding are absolutes. The Truth is boundless, it knows no harm or injury. Even what is not true, a lie, gains its support from the Truth and the Truth remains unscathed. Compassion only knows a single measure and can not be exhausted. It also knows no boundary and we only need choose it to learn that. Understanding, there is nothing that can not be understood and all that is expresses that by its very existence. Nothing is organized well enough to exist without Understanding. It is absolute. The narrow path is Forgiveness and its gate is the opportunity to forgive. The key to the gate is the act of Forgiveness.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Now, The Wormhole

As humans we cause reality. We are one humanity comprised of individual shards, unwell due to false limitations that reproduce replicas of our prior poor example. Because we are shards, pieces of a whole, we communicate. Wanting restoration, completion.

There is small value in private spirituality, it can grow into a greater value but privately, it is no more than seed. Even as seed we marvel at its value, what it might be if allowed to grow. Key to this growth, this greater value, is communication. As we communicate reality takes form. We make agreements creating possibility. For the most part this discussion takes place in the background of our mind and we ignore it. Ignorance does not curb our creativity, diminish our authority, it only causes injury to our reality. Through ignorance we discard our responsibility and imagine outside influences are at play shaping, forming possibility. They are not. We are responsible.

As I forge reality communication builds a place. A structure suitable for proof. And what would I prove? Nothing. There is nothing to prove. Proof belongs to itself, it is evidence of itself. I work to make an example of the way things are. To communicate it. In doing this work, communication, a community takes form. This causes an actual place, a structure. The community, by communication, forms the structure and its dimension. I have built this sort of thing before and so I know something about it. In the past it was entirely spiritual, today, the charge is to build it in the temporal world. To build a spiritual structure using temporal components.

I have no experience doing this but having built similar structures, without temporal components, I have an idea and that is beginning to take form. The place already exists and it is little more than alignments that reveal it. What I choose to think, what I choose to do, creates those alignments. The habit of thought is the most crucial component, it spawns all else.

I need to be comfortable with this, to let go and be there. That creates a template for manifestation and in turn spawns communication. The communication creates a place for reality take form and prove what needs no proof. The way things are. The secret to all of this is magic. The illusive wormhole of lore. It has a name. When we let go of everything we are left only with what is, we are no longer lost in the past or plotting the change we want to see. In choosing to let go, we actually get to do it. All of the crap, we hold on to, instead of letting go, well it shows up as a constant temptation. Once we have settled this score and actually let it all go, we are left only with what is. Providence alone dictates our fate and we are free to choose our recognizable destiny. To be here now and to do only what is asked of us, what is best. The wormhole is now. It is the magic and our singular appointment if we choose to keep it.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Way The Truth and The Light

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

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

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

Who are you? What drives you?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Salvation of Jesus

Writing as the Mystic Tourist I have altered my presence in the collective mind. Of the people who have known me and been my community, none knew the Mystic Tourist, until I created him and gave him a blog. Of course I am the Tourist and I am as I was before. The difference is that I have let anyone who can find my work, know. Additionally I have done what I can to make myself available so any who know me personally might also know, The Mystic Tourist. It creates a different consideration of my self.

My concerns are spiritual. I know of no other way to consider anything, even as I am distracted. I am happy to share my view of current social-political concerns. The way I think we ought to behave as a society. I enjoy letting people know where I think we have fallen down and how I think we might best stand ourselves up. These are distractions. It is what I do as filler. Something, anything to do with my mind and the small measure of time apportioned to it for it to spend. There is always something that I might otherwise do. A different way to spend myself. I think we can do a lot to improve the condition of life here on earth and to create a future more to our liking. I also think that we do all of that as spiritual persons. That it is the spiritual part of our being that is power and authority. The bridge that is creation.

My concerns are spiritual and I while my time to bring spiritual living into animal form. I did this first by creating a spiritual place for myself. A place to discover something true about my experience as a spiritual person. That was very powerful. Step two has been to shine a light on that, to let people know of the rich spiritual experience I have known. Step three is a shared experience. To end the mystery of spiritual life by living it in the open, not as an act of  ‘faith’ but as a fact of life. To demonstrate our spiritual form, not as a philosophy, not as an interpretation of theology or scripture, but as my life. The purpose of my life can not be to die and go to heaven. To imagine that as the answer to life, as its purpose, is to be dishonest. If I can only know after I am dead and gone, why I am here, I have told myself a lie. This is the place, this is the form, this is the person to know the answer and now is the time or I am lying to myself.

In the Christian tradition we are all waiting for Jesus to return and when he does he will bring a harsh judgement, except of course, for the few. The chosen few. Mind you this is the Jesus who reportedly, in his last agonizing moment, sought the forgiveness of those who humiliated him, tortured him and brutally murdered him. Such a man could have no part of a judgement so harsh that it landed almost all of us in hell. Not just any hell mind you, but a hell so unbearable that it never ends.

The story of  Jesus is meaningless if Jesus is God. Its only possible value is if it is our story. The story of our human nature and of how and who we are. That is the message and it is not a message of how to be after we are dead. It is how we must be now. If you would know Jesus then know yourself. He is the same as you are. The story of his return is your story, it is my story. If Jesus or anyone else could live the life that he did, then surely, someone else will do it as well.

There is no reason to believe that Jesus founded a church. Others did that in his name. They assembled a book and then claimed that the words therein were God’s words. It is not true. You must have faith to believe that. I have no faith, but I do have confidence, all of it rests with God. Fear of God? I have no fear, certainly not of God. I fear those who claim to speak for God, who claim they own God by some book, written words. I fear those who claim to speak for God and threaten me with hell. Forgiveness, that is what it is about. It is the narrow gate. To deal with those who make false claims of God, for and about God, forgive them, by acting out the truth concerning God. Let God be God and make no claim on Gods behalf.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

How To Be Who

I am not the way. I am not the truth. I am not the light. I am the door. I am the window. I am the gate. I am. However I consider myself, that is how I am. It is different from who I am. Who I am has a single desire. Who I am has endowed in me the authority to create. It desires that I should create who I am. In that way, how I am, becomes who I am. It is intended that they should not be the same. That how should be chaotic, unless we choose something different. In choosing who we are, over how we are, we let go of all that is naught and how becomes who. This simplicity lacks the complication we are so fond of and we feel threatened by that. It’s OK, it is supposed to be that way. It is the mystery we entertain ourselves with. Of course each of us is fully aware that there could be no mystery, after all, we do exist, we are sentient beings. It should be obvious that nothing could exist without first understanding. That is the only way anything can organize itself well enough to exist. What we see, what we experience, we create, not because we are God, but because we exist and we are aware of it.

Who is; the much maligned or much revered soul. It all depends on whether or not you think you have a soul. I never used to give it much thought. My soul was always cast in the most impossible of scenarios by those who would have me save it, if I failed it would spend an eternity in hell. That is pretty damn harsh. To teach me a lesson god (I never the give the hideous god who would design hell the respect of capitalization) would send me to a place so unbearable, so hideous, that only eternal suffering could convey it. A place so awful that a person could only survive it because god would have it never end. Fine. Let that god go to hell. Neither one of them exist except that we have imagined them. As for my soul, I can not possibly save it, it saves me. I, the how of who I am, must choose it.

Why do I write with such authority? Presenting myself as understanding the things I write about. Do you have faith, certainty that things are as you want them to be due to religion or some other construct? Perhaps you are an Atheist and presume yourself as having no faith. Why? Are you sure, as I am, of what you consider to be true. I write with authority on these matters because I have considered it at length and tested it to the best of my ability. I have stepped beyond the social norms to see what I can see for myself and am reporting it here on my blog.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Psychology of Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013