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

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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

Solomons Key and The Kundalini

Winning the lottery. Tonight’s Mega Millions Jackpot is $99,000,000. The lump-sum payout is about $26,900,000, after taxes, and that works out to just under $10,000,000 when divided by three. When I play the lottery, I plan on winning, and giving two-thirds of it away. I know that $10,000,000 is more than I will need to live and pursue my interests. I do not always play. I wait until it is in excess of $60,000,000 and even then I do not necessarily play. It has been some time since I have bothered and if it gets too big, I lose interest. It is not about the money.

I have always thought, why not the lottery? Even when I was young it seemed the obvious way to succeed. Beyond that, I came to believe I would win, even when there was no lottery, and, in the twenty-eight years of the lottery, I have not won. I still believe, and so, occasionally I play.

In science we know that light travels at a known speed. This allows us to look into the past, at least in so far as the our solar system and the universe are concerned. The future is very predictable. Things grow, it’s predictable. Things move, it’s predictable. We plan for war, it’s predictable. There will be a drought, it’s predictable and on and on. People imagine things, and predictably, create them. When I consider winning the lottery I think there is a way to see it beforehand. How? I work with metaphysics and spirituality. These areas of expertise are plagued and fraught with subtlety. When the subtle structure is true, there is clarity, perception, understanding and passage.

We can consider our human condition similarly to light. We can see into the past and the future is predictable. An individual is not alone and none of us are separated from the past or the future. Both tenses are entirely present in the moment and all of humanity is represented in each of us. All who will be and all who have been. This is where subtlety, for me, is most vexing. We are all creative and constantly creating, none of us do this alone. How then does a person realize the integrity of personal authority and create accordingly? After all, the creative collective of humanity is at best chaotic and that is our creative environment. How do we set aside the chaos and restore clarity? It would seem that with clarity chaos is naught. What appears to be chaotic is an illusion, albeit one that we tend to be trapped in and work to perpetuate.

There can be no separation between chaotic creativity and creative clarity, we are one community. Out of the apparent chaos, the community gives rise to creative clarity, much as an individual rises up within their person to find clarity, success. Metaphysically, spiritually I look at this using the template of the Kundalini. I have studied the Kundalini, as a metaphysical, spiritual tool, at length. It is what I call a mysticism, in other words, I have not read about it. Mysticism for me springs from providence and is entirely empirical. My understanding of the chakras, and the Kundalini, is from personal experience. I have flipped through a picture book and read, at best, a few hundred words on the subjects. Additionally, I believe there are such things as mystical keys. The one I am drawn to is the Key of Solomon. I believe I know what it is and fundamentally how it works. The center pillar of the key is the Kundalini. When the Kundalini is realized, it is as a pillar that supports a temple the centermost part of which is the Key of Solomon. It is an actually place and a way to be. It is clarity and the magic that has long been attributed to it is a myth. That is of course because it is no more magical than everything else we do. Everything we do is magic. It is our nature.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Vacancy of Now

The future already exists. It must exist because it consists entirely of the past. Our experience of it is skewed by our life and death. We tend to cling to false importance. We want to secure some lasting value but our animal condition will not last. We seek ownership, of something that will demonstrate our value, and that is a contradiction. Ownership is a lie, nothing can be owned. We confuse ownership with things like responsibility, accountability, honesty, forgiveness, truth, compassion and understanding. Stuff that actually has value. These values make a purchase of themselves and their value is in their generosity. They afford no pride of ownership as they are for the equal benefit of everyone and everything. None of these qualities are the sort of thing a person can take ownership of, they are their own value.

How then to make the future absent the difficulties of the past? Typically people will engage in established norms of education and employment, we will strive to establish and maintain nurturing relationships, friendships. Much of this only severs as a distraction, a mask for our sense of vacancy. I guess everything is like that, and for me, I believe that happiness and contentment can be discovered and their value then produce the trappings of success. Success is measured differently for different people, but happiness and contentment bring success to all circumstance and so if we discover those, before we set out, whatever we do, is success. I think many of us believe we need external trappings to be happy, we set out to secure those and worry about contentment and happiness later. Many of us are just naturally content and happy. For me, I remember a time of great happiness, a time past and so it must also be in my future, because, wait for it… the future is made of the past. I am happy today, especially when I write. The happiness I lost was that of a young boy. It is hard to imagine being that happy, but I was. What displaced it?

As a young man, I made some very poor choices. I expected to end my life by attrition. It was my way of flipping off God and the elements of society that fell short of my expectation. I considered it performance art and expected it to convey some deep meaning, a message of outrage to humanity for its shortcomings, I had an anger I simply could not contain toward God. I did not like being mystic, and, I could not escape it. I abandoned education, failing to graduate even high school. To this day I am unable to motivate myself scholastically. I am still motivated, only by mysticism, devotion to God. In my sense of God, anything that alludes to God is of an absolute nature and so devotion to God encompasses everything, all concerns and relationships find their completion and satisfaction by the absolute context of devotion to God. I do think there is something about mysticism that is of value, that my pursuit of it will bring me the success I need to live comfortably, affording the food and shelter that I desire.

It is strange to be in pursuit of my interests, of the life that motivates me and not be so angry about it. Imagining that could actually build something of value with it. Had I made these investments forty-four years ago, where might I be now? Oh well, I could not do it then, I was just too angry. Why? Did I have to go through all of it, all the trouble I made for myself? Perhaps I did.

Let us hope it is not too late to salvage the worldly success that was the promise of my birth circumstance and that I so forcefully worked to destroy.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Mystical Money

My decision to make a business using mystic creativity has created a shift in my disposition, as if I finally decided to fit the round peg into the round hole. In the past few months, I have been irritable. I believe that everything has purpose and the purpose of my irritability is to draw my attention to its underlying cause. As the passage of time has drawn me closer to the realization of using my creativity for marketing purposes, to sell merchandise, I am both sure that it is what I have to do and dismissive of the idea as implausible. Irritability. The disposition that brings cessation to my irritability is the decision to go ahead and develop a market. Having poured considerable thought into this idea I have finally put a little money into it as well. I have researched options for manufacturing merchandise and ideas for marketing are beginning to gel. The thing that has, at least for now, curbed my irritability are the steps I have taken to actually set the business in motion. I now have a fictitious business name and have applied for a business licence. Having taken these steps my irritability seems to have evaporated, disappeared. Hopefully this exercise in psychology will also produce a worthwhile business adventure.

What exactly is mysticism? Is it unique to people like me? Am I somehow different? I see mysticism as what we are all doing. Each of us walking in the dark, on our way to where we already are, hoping to realize some lasting value or meaning in exchange for our experience, our existence. A person like me, who is mystic, believes wholly in providence. I live a life dominated by God. I need to accept everything on God’s terms, believing that providence is the guiding hand of God and it alone will satisfy me if only I observe and follow its direction. So what do I think of God? I think God is, or, God is naught. It makes no difference as things can not be different than they are. No God worth knowing could be offended and I have no fear of God, only reverence. I let God define God and am not the least bit concerned about what the definition might be. I believe that what can be considered absolute, is indicative of God and I hold those qualities to be of the greatest value. Compassion, Understanding and Truth.

As my temporal expression slips into the emptiness of time, lost to the past and absent in the future, I imagine that time is like a telescope, with but one way to properly function. The only lens that is of any value is now, but it is not usual for any of us to find ourselves wholly here now. Generally we scatter our self across the past and future, which don’t really exist except in one sense, they are the same thing and the only way to make sense of it is to be present, in full, now. The past and the future are the same because the past is carried into the future making it what is past. We create the whole thing in the only time that actually exists, now. When we are here now, creation is understood and being here now is a matter of alignment, like a mystical key. The alignment is also a process. An investment of time and choice. Actions and behaviors that build a way and place to be. A place that already exists. It is much different to do this privately than to do it publicly, the alignments are less familiar but I think it can be done and that it is what I have to do. I shall continue to puzzle it together and write about it here on my blog.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013