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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God Is Not A Mystery

God

Secular Mysticism; Faithless Confidence in God.

When I write that I am without faith, I am being specific. I am without religious faith. My faith is of a secular nature and is a confidence entirely and only in God. I believe in God. My life is dominated by God. I trust no dogma concerning God. No God I would care to know needs an intermediary and those who claim God does, implied or otherwise, are undeserving of my trust in this regard.

This God, whom I claim is my singular devotion, who is this God? I consider that God is inescapable. Even if God is naught, then that is the God that can not be escaped. It is not possible to remove yourself from the experience that is God and so I think God would know each of us personally. Directly, without intermediary, so I know God. We all do.

Like all people, influence runs roughshod over my life experience. I consider the influence that fills my life to be born of Providence, that is to say, it is directed by God, and through my devotion to God, this is how it has shaped me.  I am a Taoist, not because I have studied it but because that is the nature of my life. I live that way. I was raised a Christian under the auspices of Catholicism. I believe Jesus was as I am because that is the only Jesus that makes sense to me. Time alone, is what separates me from Jesus and so we are the same. He made an example of how any person might live. That was his purpose, his example and expectation of me. I do not believe the words, of others, who tell me who and how he is. I am confident that whatever he did, the same might be expected of any of us and so I live as if it is.

Did God create me? I believe God gave me permission to create myself and there is expectation in that gift, an obligation, or appointment to be kept. Only in keeping my appointment do I stand with God. I have not always been keen on keeping my appointment but I am making the effort again. I think that what each of us is capable of is largely ignored, and I, have a history of taking that as a personal insult, of being angry. The world we live in, the way things seem, we create. We are imbued with creative authority. We each use this authority, collectively for the most part, pretending all the while that we do not. This would be our primary, or original sin, ignorance, and the message Jesus endeavored to teach us. We are as he was and that is made clear because a woman gave him birth. There is no mystery in that.

What do I think of the stories that tell us Jesus performed miracles? I think they are stories. I do not believe in miracles. I believe if Jesus did, what people call miracles, that it was an example of our true nature. An example to emulate. Something that he considered ordinary, something anyone might do and so he did. He set aside his ignorance and the denial it creates. With that out-of-the-way he behaved as anyone else might, or, it is just a story. Fiction. The truth concerning this can be known, not as an exercise of sophistication, but rather as a matter of acquaintance. Knowledge, in matters spiritual, absolute truth and the like, is always by acquaintance and never by sophistication. The Tree of Knowledge is known for its sinful fruit, usually referred to as good and evil, but I have come to understand the fruit of this poisonous tree to be right and wrong. Right implies ownership which always corrupts the true nature of knowledge which is always, as a matter of truth, merely acquaintance. Right also creates wrong, it must because it does not exist without it. That is the nature of the Tree of Knowledge whose seed is ignorance. You can also read of the Tree of Knowledge in the Book of Genesis. I would not recommend it but as a reference I mention it.

It has been some time since I have added to my blog, not that I have not been busy, I write daily. Writing is a tool for my personal growth. It is always personal and at times unsuitable for publication. Of late that has been the nature of my writing, unsuitable for publication. I seem to have been taking a spiritual inventory that can serve only me. I hope to be back to The Mystic Tourist and wherever it leads now that I have made this contribution. We shall see. For a blog post this one is considerably longer than I prefer and so I will leave you with an apology for that and my hope to make regular, yet brief, contributions as we go forward.

Micheal, The Mystic Tourist ©2014

Back to Eden

Just considering these words, Self-Respect, Self-Control, Opportunity and Optimism, has corrected my mind. It has silenced my self-deprecating inner voice. Much like a magical incantation. The effect was instantaneous and has been durable. It is just this sort of experience that motivates me to live a providence based life, devoted only to God, sure that whatever I need is before me at all times. That God, whether God is or is naught, provides, and I only need to accept, by grace, what is the answer for every question. I know that the subtlety of thought is powerful and it creates how I am. My expectation is to allow my thought to create, who I am. To prepare a place, unstructured by burdensome thought, free of the restraint that our thought so often imposes on us. A place suitable for my soul. A temple, a throne.

My ability restored, I can now begin to live the life that will bring me the opportunity needed to be the person I am.

I have seen the subtle power of the content of my mind, its thought. Much of what we think is as a box, a prison that restrains us. We think we have to build a place of strength but our thought serves us best when it has no rigid characteristic. When thought is flexible, creation is unleashed and the magic that is our nature is revealed.

It is not our place to define ourselves, so much as it is to allow ourselves to be defined as we are. Generally, I stay away from biblical reference because it is used to support every position, any position. People spin it any way they like, but here goes. In Genesis we were said to ‘name’ the creatures. It is an act of creation, the name implies what is. It defines and creates it. The whole of the creature is contained in its name, in the thought that comprises it. This is why we can not ‘name’ God. When we name God we define, or create God. That is always a false God, powerful yes, but false. It seems obvious to me that this is what is being implied by the naming of the creatures in Genesis. It alludes to who we are, and so I mention it.

I am also fond of the Tree of Knowledge, you remember, Adam and Eve shared an apple. I do not buy into the good and evil story, I see right and wrong. The fruit of the tree is right and wrong and that is evil. Nothing is right without wrong, and wrong, without right, is naught. Ownership is the poison of this tree. Right and wrong are the foundation of ownership. There is no special knowledge that separates me from the rest, but ownership, implies an undeserved privilege. The name of this tree is Knowledge and Knowledge is ownership, unless it is simple acquaintance.

The knowledge I seek is acquaintance, the simple observation of what is. I seek only truth, and have no care for being right. Please, I don’t believe. Why should I consider myself right? I can see my life and I am standing here looking at yours. Anyone who thinks they are right is wrong because of it. It is not possible to be right without wrong. They are the same. If we are not inclined to be right we can instead do what seems best. You don’t have to be right and no one is wrong.

I decided long ago that this was as far as anyone need look in the Bible for guidance. The first few lines of Genesis is all you need and if you are looking for Eden, here on earth, don’t bother. We left it. It is not an earthly place. You can travel there in your mind and know its mystery, its secrets, but that is the only place you will find it here on earth. Eden is where your soul lives. You can make a place suitable, in your person, for you soul, and who you are will also be how you are.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The False Prophet

The name of Christ will be restored, it belongs only to Christ. Much has been said about Jesus Christ by those who never knew him. They tell a grand story, making great claims on his behalf. It begins with his mother, a woman, so pure that even God could not resist her and she gave birth to God’s son, Jesus. This man, Jesus, was in turn, no ordinary man, he was God. Being human we each can be certain of one thing, no man is God. All men are ordinary and Jesus was a man. We know this because a woman gave him birth. He taught us what ordinary men are capable of. He is not the only one and Christ will return. If you would know the true story of Jesus then know Christ, not the stories others tell about Christ.

It is an insult to the legacy of Jesus to suggest he was other than human.

I suspect many have known Christ in their lifetimes but not all are called to do what Jesus did. It is sad that we have taken the life and actions, of this man, Jesus, and reduced them to a fanciful tale we know is not true. A story we can not believe except by faith. We do not need faith to know God, to know Christ, we only need to ‘be’ and choose their acquaintance. This secret is known by each of us. It is an understanding we can not escape although we are free to ignore it. Mostly that is what we do, creating a fiction we call reality.

The fictional life of Jesus Christ is false and those who repeat it are false prophets. Have confidence and find your strength. Walk the path that Jesus did and you will know Christ.

It is this action of knowing Christ that tells the truth that Jesus knew. It seems there are different degrees, or appointments, in our acquaintance with Christ, ranging from ignorance/denial to full-blown companionship. A state where Christ makes an appearance as a person, a human being that anyone might know. It seems that Jesus was that Christ. Clearly few are called to do this but I believe this is what he did and I am confidant someone else will do the same. That was his message, the lesson, the example of his life.

What of the of the power of faith, of faith in Jesus? The good works done through faith and faiths ability to affect us. Faith is a mask for confidence  It pretends to be confidence but confidence has no need of it. For a healthier mind, and relationship with God, skip the faith and let all of your confidence rest with God. Make no claim on God’s behalf. Allow for naught and then God can present God’s self, as God is, or as God is naught. It is alright. What threat could you be to God and any God worth knowing is no threat to you.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Ordinary Life of Jesus Christ

Ordinariness. I have written of this before. I believe in what is ordinary, that only the ordinary exists. Anything we consider extraordinary, most notably for the purpose of this blog, human endeavour, is the work of ordinary people. Conversely, I might consider everything to be extraordinary but I do not, I believe in ordinariness. That is not to say that we are all the same or that each of us has the same thing to do. We are just ordinary people, each of us, no matter what we do.

As a mystic this has always been my guiding principle. As a Catholic, a Christian, it is what drove me from the church. To my mind Jesus was as ordinary a human being as are you or I. That is the whole point of the story. Dogma and doctrine paint him as something much more than that, God incarnate. It is not true. A woman gave him birth, the same as you or I. The story of his deity is the story of power and undue influence wrought by those who tell such stories. It is not hard to believe that in the fourth century, around 326 A.D., when the Constantine ordered the Council of Nicaea, for the purpose of organizing the christian church, that these were the men who founded Christianity as we know it. They assembled the books that would become the New Testament. A small sampling of a larger collection, doctrine and dogma was set in place. Jesus did not do that. Others who claim to be his church did. Or course the books of the New Testament support their position and their claims. They were selected to do just that.

Churches, in particularly large churches, are political institutions. Designed to control people, often the result is violence and oppression. When a person or a group claims to be right, because of their ‘sacred text’, written words, they have undue influence. No words are sacred unless all words are. I do not believe any church. No truth can be written down. We write about it but the truth represents itself. It is its own evidence. Any who seek it can find it. It is important to first let go of what is not true and make no claim of ownership of what is true. Written words for example.

“I am the way the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me”. I can not arrive at a beautiful vista and share it with someone who is not there. To share the view of anyone who has found anything, regardless of its relative value, you have to be there. You are also that way, that truth, and that light.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2013

The Identity of Christ

Reveal, using mystic calculus, the identity, capability and person of Christ. OK. In my usual way I pulled that sentence, word by word… from where? It is actually a topic I like to avoid, at least publicly. If I keep the rage calm perhaps I can breach even this topic. It is my rage, concerning this, that muddies the water rising a cloud to obscure what would otherwise be obvious. I know the identity of Christ. It is the nature of Christ that we all know this, Christ, is simply known by all. We just find our own way to muddy things up and avoid the issue. Anyone who brings divine living to fruition is Christ. It is not a matter saintly action, it is just matter of fact. Bring to the temporal reality, the temple of flesh, blood and bone, he who is. The human soul. Make the temple a place where the soul is who and how you are and Christ walks and talks. Secrets are no more. All mysteries fall away.

There, that was easier than I thought it would be.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012

The Antichrist

Christ. Christ is the dominate theme in my life. No, I am not a Christian or in any other way religious. I am the Antichrist. I am here to dispel the myth of who Christ was. If I were religious the notion that a woman gave birth to God would be blasphemy. Jesus was as ordinary a man as there ever was. How can I be so sure? A woman gave him birth.

When we say that Jesus was any way other than the way we are, we insult Jesus as well as ourselves. If it were possible to insult God, obviously it is not, claiming that God was so taken with a woman that she became pregnant and bore God a child, well that would pretty much do it. The same logic applies to the sin of blasphemy. How could we possibly offend God? We only sin against ourselves.

The story of Jesus Christ is meaningless if he is not who we are. The Christian doctrine has turned the story of this simple mans life into a cautionary tale. Complete with the implied threat of crucifixion or worse. See what happened to Jesus when he lived as he did. Only God can do as Jesus did. Step out of line and you will go to hell. A woman gives birth and a child is born. A child just as were you. The child Jesus grew into a man and made proof of our divine nature. It really is that simple. Why so much disrespect for Jesus, for ourselves? Why so little confidence in God?

Michael, The Mystic Tourist ©2012