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

The Content of Contentment

In matters of spirituality, spiritual living, what is possible? I know it is possible to calm my center, to loosen gravity and let go of disturbance to calm. I have done, am doing that. It works, but what then? I have quieted most of the noises that serve only to upset me. The idea is to replace all of that with calm and from that gravity, create, while growing a durable calm. I expect the calm to become my content and by its gravity to produce, content, that is both calm and prosperous. You see I believe in creation, that we are its master. That we create. Theoretically creating a calm place draws to me possibility. Clearly abundance is part of our existence and from abundance, prosperity. A calm prosperity, if calm is to be the place to be. Or a place of being.

To my ego this is unsettling. It wants control but I think it is confused, what ego needs is to be controlled, by calm. When not calm it finds anything to hide that, to control it. A career, a hobby, anything and we tend to ignore what is irritating us by letting ego take charge. It is not a bad thing it just is not what I want to do. I know my time here is very brief and so I look to see the flaws that make ego squirm and then, fix them. I think ego can then prove the magic of now, by being here now. By being calm.

Ego would achieve, but I would not. Ego needs to see the absence of achievement as what it wants, that it has no true control and being controlled is the control it seeks. Calm. I seek to receive what is, to allow it and from that create reality. I know that we create it all the time, but haphazardly. Ego runs amuck imagining control that it can not possibly have. That chaos is what we usually create. It need not be that way. I have many ideas as to what is possible when ego accepts calm and learns of magic, is here now and only now, calm. I believe it is the fabric intended to be worn by the soul but only if it is calm. Our eternal self, our soul, can then make an appearance in this time and place, now.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. What else is a person to do? Have you got a better plan?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Faith No More

My process of enlightenment involves a purity of experience presumed to be possible by reliance only on providence. I expect experience to be guided by providence and to be my teacher. I expect that anything that has been written, concerning matters of enlightenment, can be understood by providence, by experience. To expect that some great truth is scribbled in a book seems a stretch to me. If it is not available to each and every one of us, simply because we are curious, it does not exist and so book-reading has never been very high on my list of priorities. A curious mind is all that is needed and I am curious. Faith, I believe, is harmful to curiosity and so I abandoned it long ago. Religion, I have found it to be useless in my pursuit of enlightenment. I long for community and a sense of belonging but for me religion is an empty bag. My search is for a broader community than it seems religion could hope to provide. I have no faith. To me, faith is an impostor, it pretends to be confidence but confidence has no use for faith. I have confidence. I believe that things are as they are and that can not be disputed. I believe that knowledge of that is the fact of existence. This is not a knowledge of intellect, of sophistication,  it is the simple knowledge that is acquaintance. Providence. Providence, I think, is the inexhaustible reservoir that assures that whatever we pursue, consequence is certain.

All of this I have observed in my life and as I live it proves its validity errorlessly. This is because I believe in providence, I expect a great deal from it and live my life by it.

I do concern myself with enlightenment and expect that providence assembles what does prod me along a true path. Whatever path I choose, providence assures that consequence is immediate. Should I choose a career, education, whatever, providence works the same way. When we are not right, not at ease or comfortable with our self, that is providence. It knows what we are in need of and tirelessly works to bring that to our attention. Distraction from what we are given, by providence to do, is perhaps more obvious than providence. There are many good and worthy pursuits and when we choose one we walk with providence and it calms us with contentment. For my pursuit of enlightenment I have learned to use divination as my primary tool. Others might use a book or find a wise teacher but I have found the divining rod is well suited to my person.

Trial and error. This is an excellent way to determine the way things actually are. I have found it helpful to assume no knowledge, other than the knowledge that is acquaintance. Knowledge, in matters of enlightenment, is acquaintance. There is no sophistication of intellect that can purchase enlightenment. The moment a person thinks they have earned enlightenment, by any kind of merit, intelligence, God’s favor, whatever, it is lost.

In my experience providence never fails. Whatever our true pursuit is providence assures success. For some of us providence makes certain that we can not avoid a very narrow path. Any error is met with low tolerance. I have reduced my life to that state a number of times but sometimes people arrive here in such a condition or conditions evolve that are very tough. When I consider the reality that we share and the extraordinary hardships that abound I am driven to enlightenment. Enlightenment is a realization, I am confident is just lying around waiting for discovery. It is not to be accomplished and some people have discovered it.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Odds and Ends

Allow the value of living for liberation and self realization through secular mysticism to establish the contentment my life has long desired. End the conflict enjoyed and celebrated throughout my life and begin my true purpose. Starting with self-degradation; end it. Admit that I enjoy being mystic and end my lifelong campaign of outrage at being mystically inclined.

Well that would be a fresh start.

This does seem the crux of my conundrum and certainly the task I have toiled at for many years. Even as I struggle to end my sense of outrage it remains a pivotal structure in my life. Why? This is a riddle I have worked on since 1981. In that year I had finally had my fill of unchecked rage against myself. Against being mystic. It was a poor investment that increasingly looked like it would not result in the consequence I had in mind. The intent of my rage was to cause the end of my life, by attrition, or force an intervention from God. My thinking was that I did not chose or want to be mystic and so the rage would somehow amend that. I expected the reckless nature of my life would, through attrition, cost me my life or God would decide it was time to intervene. Foolish? Well rage does not bring out the best in a person. I do not know why the rage is still there. Perhaps the effort, twelve years of rage, has given me this gift. It is not very nicely wrapped but the binding seems quite secure. It is likely that, held captive by my decision as a young man to rage, is a key. A linchpin keeping this package of rage intact and my effort here, as the Mystic Tourist, has allowed me to return to this earlier time and change the past. I would so love to get this done. I have worked at for nearly 32 years. Perhaps the 33rd year has some numerological charm.

I do tend to be upset with myself over something pretty much all the time. Not that I think I should be or that I think I have a reason to be. It is a product of the disrepair my life fell into at the end of my marriage. A condition that has been steadily improving for a good time now as I root out the recesses of my life where unhealthy habit is able to take hold. It all has purpose and as long as I follow my discomforts to a source, it really does not bother me. There is great satisfaction in discovering how and where stuff like this can get stuck in a person’s life and then rooting it out. Each success is very gratifying and my quality of life appreciates markedly. I am happy with my life. The upset is just a tool for spiritual growth. I did lose it, this sense of being upset with myself, for a number of years. That was a time when I could not do the work that is getting done now. I do think it unlikely that I would know the progressive success that has been my life today if it were not for the calm and satisfaction I knew in those years. Those years of spiritual calm and satisfaction were not free. I worked very hard to get there and it was extraordinary. Having known such satisfaction I was surprised at how far I could fall, that there was still so much work left for me to do. How can I complain if my life needs work and I am given the opportunity and wherewithal to do it? In this post I am sharing the way I find the work my life expects me to do. It is not a complaint but an observation. It is work that produces results and I am glad to do it. Today as I look at my life I know who created the mess I have been cleaning up, I did it all by myself. One of these days I will have cleaned it all up, the rage will once again be gone. I will get up one morning and have finished this work having stood up the life I expected, something satisfying and fulfilling like the work I am doing to get there.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012

Defending God

Belief, Religion, Faith and Protest. These elements can make a toxic soup. If protest is removed the recipe is much more versatile. Protest implies an inflexible position, defensiveness or imposition, that is a short list but you can see my drift. Truth, God, absolutes, do not need defending and indeed can not be defended. If they could be defended that means they could actually be exposed to a threat. What could possibly threaten God, truth or any absolute? Protest is simply useless in matters of Religion, Belief and Faith. It is the corrupting influence. This holds true in my secularist view as well and I am as guilty as any when it comes to protest. You can see protest in slogan-like declarations. Claiming credit for Allah, for Jesus, for Jehovah or whomever, either by a grand call for their intervention or similar claim of their allegiance to your cause, is as a call to arms. The ‘faithful’ clamor to the sound of these declarations and an inflexible posture is noticed by all. It is great for circling the wagons and if a person longs for being insulated within such a group it is likely the community will welcome them in. In these kind of arrangements we all hope they are organized for the purpose of inclusion. Our history is a cesspool of religious violence. Secular minded people are in no way innocent in this regard. They are however far less likely to be as organized but the injurious nature of the posture that is protest knows no boundary except its absence.

I bring this up because I am looking in my life to lose this tendency, it is a hurdle. It is of no use to jump over said hurdle, its only purpose, is to learn of its uselessness and remove it. How can I reach out to ‘all’ people while I maintain the archetypeture of protest in my person? There is no way to do to it and it is the wall or barrier that cripples growth. What growth? Openness, inclusion, availability, there can be no wall, no barrier, if these attributes are present. Maintaining any barrier becomes a common denominator. Anyone who maintains their protest (barrier) has it in common with anyone else they meet who does the same, and it serves to separate. By any name it is the same thing and no matter what side we are on, or if we think of ourselves as a united group, it only serves one thing, division, separation, argument. When we encounter someone in this posture, we assume the posture our self, either in agreement or opposition. Whatever side we choose to stand on makes no difference as to what we are actually doing. The only way to amend this tendency is to put down the wall and take no position of protest, ever. What we are left with if we have no wall, behind which to take cover, pretending strength, is nakedness. On the face of it this seems uncomfortable but really it is just unfamiliar. God, truth and absolute can not be defended because they can know no threat. The only way to stand with what is God, truth and absolute is to know no protest and take no defense. So now, how to do it?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012

Casual Spiritual Living

The purpose driving The Mystic Tourist is to flesh out my spiritual life in the public theater. Coaxing myself into the open. I have had to slay a few beasts on the way, personal demons and the like and am beginning to feel much less self-critical. My casual intuition is showing signs of life again. The ability to write about this stuff, my blogs content, is due to being familiar with it. It is the stuff of my life. My goal has always been to restore my casual spiritual experience, it fell off the truck when my marriage went up in flames in the mid 1990’s. It was easy to blame my spiritual path for that failure, but it had nothing to do with it. I wound up replacing a fulfilling spiritual experience with hardship and times were hard. The marriage was a failure from day one and all that was left for me was the commitment, to put everything I had into it, I did. In the end I felt quite bankrupt and my ex used my investment to try to ruin me and my children. We are fine but you can not behave like that and be alright, so she is not. I wish her only well and continue to hope that she will begin a course of good decision-making, for her own well-being.

Casual spiritual living. This is what I have worked to get back to. As long as I have known who I am I have known that I will one day have to make my public life, and my spiritual life, the same. As I look back today I see that I was more open than I have given myself credit for. Many people, in the community providence arranged for me, knew of my spirituality. The place that providence has arranged, and where I find myself this morning, is not the selective openness of my past. It is a world without walls where discretion is openness. Never been comfortable with that but this work is building that wall-less world and I am beginning to know a sense of comfort and ease. This is the place I am building. A place where my spiritual companions can stand. Before they will stand, I have to be comfortable with it. I see spiritual realities and as I look for what remains to be done I am not sure if I have a wall yet standing, a door to open, or just what. Something remains and a part of me is still inclined to threaten me. The voice of protest hoping to dissuade me from openness. Oh well, I am sure I will conquer that as well, but not without your help. As much as writing this blog has nurtured and produced my growth those who read it have done as much. Thank you for your patience. I do think I will get to the point one of these days. Love to all and to all my gratitude. Building a public place for spiritual reality to be known requires the element that is ‘public’ and I am indebted to you.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012

Me and My Ego

People fail to acknowledge that choice has magic. Instead their choice anchors past compromise entangling others.

In order that sustained resolve produces verifiable results, recognized independently to be credible, commitment by my public life is a must. Beginning with past missteps, establish myself, my known person, by my comfort and willingness to engage with anyone. Reveal to all who have an interest, my ability, beginning my life when I concede all excuses. Now; There is no more to explain, it is magic. Being what does exist, Now, proves my worth. Being at ease and openly expressing myself is new to me. I have a long history of making my opinion known and that implies a certain level of comfort in public circumstance. Socially and politically, I have a number of strong opinions. Anyone who knows me personally is unable to escape that. My apologies. The loudness of my opinion is an expression of inner conflict. What I really need to express is found on this blog and I have long been conflicted about making public, the life I live within. I have also long believed it is something I can not escape. As you can see, that is conflict realized. This blog represents my conquest to put the conflict to rest. If you have read my work you know that I have often mentioned the richness of my spiritual life. I expect to successfully end my conflict and connect the spiritual world I know with the shared experience of our animal life. In this transition the spiritual content of my life is distant. I believe it is due to the charge that I make it public, and the path I must cut so that spiritual beings can walk the animal world at my side.

I do believe that I have cleared my future of the obstacles that defeat now. Quite sure that task was finished well over a decade past. Recently, as mentioned here on my blog, I discovered past decisions that were fundamental to the development of my disposition. Having hid them quite well I was surprised to find them where they were. Sitting in plain sight waiting for this writing project and unfolding circumstance to remind me of a past in need of redress. I believe I have committed that redress and am moving along the newly cleared path.

The constant obstacle, in all such endeavors, is Ego. Our Ego develops in our world at a time when we are quite young. The Ego remains young, never quite growing up. It wants to guided, nurtured, loved. It is to be directed but often is the director. It is not intended to be such a thing and so it populates our life with weeds. You see the Ego is our personal garden and if we fail to care for it, the garden is weeds. Even if we should manage our garden into good health, when we slip-up, it always populates the landscape with the same weeds. Now in my life, I think the garden is clear. My tendencies remain, I fixed them in place as a young boy. I will see what I grow in this garden now, hoping to avoid whatever pitfall pretends to spoil me.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012