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

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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

A Wardrobe For Our Soul

The soul lives without flesh. It is timeless and every mystery is dissolved in its presence. The soul longs to walk among us, to be one of us, to be flesh. Some believe that the ego is the enemy of the soul, that for divine living, the ego must be defeated. I see no path that leads in that direction. The soul desires no conflict and knows no enemy. It is in surrendering the ego to the soul, not in defeat, but as a gift, that the soul becomes flesh.

The soul can not be saved. It is the soul that does the saving. Living outside of time and space, it has nothing to lose. It is salvation.

Our ego belongs to flesh. The ego is about what we are, how we are, but not who. Who, is the soul, and the collection of ego, that together is humanity, is as a wardrobe for the soul. The soul has interest in a suitable ego and when it finds one, surrender keeps its promise and divinity is known.

We are not in conflict with our soul but when we are conflicted we fashion a reality separate from our soul. It is a false reality. That does not mean it is not real, it is just conflicted and conflict is unsuitable for the soul. If we are to know peace, in this world, we must surrender ego, to soul. Our ego is not intended for permanence, that is our soul. It is in surrendering that the ego knows permanence through acquaintance with its soul.

Today, as I sift through my existence, the texture of my disposition, my restlessness, I have made these observations about the soul. It seems to me that ego is given but one task, to surrender itself, as a gift, to the soul. That old dog, my ego, does not know this trick. I do believe I am learning the lesson and expect to one day flip the switch. At any rate I am busy being schooled in something and the lesson has kept me from writing but I am still here. I expect to learn my lesson. I will keep you posted.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

Soul-Copy and Paste

The following is a response I gave in a comment thread about an article, a gentleman named Drew, posted elsewhere. It is my comment and I have exercised my privilege to copy and paste it here. In his article Drew had endeavored to say that the science regarding the soul increasingly demonstrated that the soul does not exist. My response clarifies much of how I consider existence itself as well as my experience of it. It belongs here on my site as much as it belongs anywhere and I hope you enjoy it.

Here is the link to the article if you want to read it: Four Bad Arguments for the Soul

Hi Ron. Perhaps Drew will join us and shed more light on his assertion, or consideration, that the soul may be fiction. Personally I have no problem with that, as it could not possibly make any difference. We can not change what is, only how, and all remains as it is with the exception of how we consider it.

For me personally I only recently gave the soul any real consideration. It was always presented in the most impossible predicament. Save it or have it spend eternity in hell. Right, I have no time for that. I suspect that the soul Drew would prove or disprove only exists as a figment of imagination. As such it does exist but is absent any durable quality.

My own experience, of the soul, is not at all like what I imagine people like to consider to it be. It is independent, in every sense, from the animal expression we consider our self to be. On the other hand we could not exist without it. It gives us permission to create the experience we have, within the constraints of what does actually exist. We can be the bridge between the animal world and the reality of origin, of existence, from which the possibility that is our experience of life, springs and returns. Our soul. It needs no salvation but rather is our salvation. It is what is. Who is. Or it is naught. It makes no difference.

Should I find the way to give the soul a place, in animal form, to walk among men I will let you know. I am quite certain it has been done before and it will be done again. There may well be people today walking among us in the company of the soul.

Michael The Mystic Tourist ©2013

A Knot In Time

THE LAW OF ABUNDANCE

So we find our self alive. We are given a time, a place, a name. Who are we? Surely we must know. Are we the time, place and name conception and death graced us with? A knot in time. I can be said that this is where we are and the way we have found ourselves to be but quite unlikely that it is who we are. In this grand distraction we can unravel the knot and remember. If we would know the future we only need remember the past. It must be the same thing because the future is made of the past.

In considering this question of who, where we came from, it must also be where we are going. If we choose to remember this past, we also remember the future and who we are. It is a simple matter of letting go of all that we are not. That which diminishes value and divides into parts, is naught. This desire to divide is our folly. It is false ownership. An effort to collect the parts and imagine our value is determined by the number of parts we collect. There is no need to collect parts. The gift of life is ours in its whole measure. To end our want and need we must accept whole measures and then we are complete. One part. This is the one path, the one way that is known by all. Is is discovered by letting go and then all that actually is, is at our disposal. Free. There is nothing to collect. Letting go fulfills every want and need, abundance is the law.

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