Monday, November 25, 2013

Returning to Pain, Self-Torment or the Isness of the Past

Each of us, should we be persistent in doing the Great Work, will enjoy peak experience to the point that we have a life changing epiphany. I do not mean those small moments of realization we get as we go along. I am talking radical changes in perspective so all-encompassing that it is impossible to live with any other would view. Within the new viewpoint, a sense of self emerges that is so complete the random insults of the world fall impotent against one's understanding.

In my case, I have the perfection, the unfolding, and the wholeness. I know that my daily practice must include purity (not in the context most think of it) and continuity. Other people will have other understandings. Though, in reading Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation, I was amused to learn that my understandings parallel the great mystic with some consistency.

There is something odd that happens though. Out of left field, one starts to reminisce of the past. You start to feel that old emotion and want to go back to who you were. Funny thing, you never do. You can't. You are not that way any more. In order to go back you'd have to be beyond indulgent. It would require a willful decision to be less than you are. I cannot imagine anyone doing that.

I mention this because a couple of my friends have had the same experience lately. I have some theories as to why this happens but nothing definitive enough to write here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Truth Test

The way to find your spiritual truth is not through any particular system. You just need an approach that can support an attitude of spiritual aspiration.

There is a simple test to determine if you have found a truth:

Did what you find make you happy?
Did it strike you as unmistakably clear?
Did possessing this knowledge change your life in a meaningful way?
Do arguments against your truth make you smile?

By unmistakably clear, I mean that once you 'saw' your truth you did not have to think about it or justify it in your own mind.

If you can answer yes to these four questions, you have found your truth, at least in part.

Inversely, if you see someone behaving in ways that indicate these answers are no, simply be aware they are still searching.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Catalyst I Am, a Teacher Not.

I have found myself involved in several situations that put me in a role of authoritative sharing. Authoritative meaning that I am viewed as an authority not as in that I have some sort of rule-enforcing power. I teach a qabalistic tarot class that is heavily tinged with spiritual development practice. I have a very small working group that engages in a practice we call communion (with the gods). I moderate my local Manifestation Meditation group. I have a private student. I am doing life coaching. Lastly, I am engaged in many a private conversation with the spiritually engaged.

I am uncomfortable with the word spiritual teacher as it implies that I share a specific path. Guru* implies a level of obtainment I have not achieved. At the moment, catalyst seems the correct word as 99% of the progress is of their own doing. 

Today, I have received two notifications of tremendous growth from folks in my general surrounds. Seeing this makes me feel something I also have difficulty naming. The only words I can find is soft satisfaction.

* The MM group has pegged me with the nickname Gurulicious, which is the only nickname I have had that made me laugh. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Purity as a Discipline

Unless you are new to this space, you are already aware of my mystic ontological viewpoint.

  • All things, events and humans are perfect
  • All things, events and humans contribute to the perfect unfolding of the human soul both individual and collective
  • All things, events and humans are whole and complete at all times.
I have come to understand these principles to be true. I question them not and have not questioned them since they were revealed to me. This is the way things are.

Living as a mystic among these truths can be harder because the mind is filled with flawed human perceptions. I believe now I have found a discipline that aids this process. 

This process was revealed to me in three steps. These steps would not be necessary for others, just myself. 

The first step was the idea of purity itself. It struck me as I was preparing a tarot class. The infinity symbol appeared both above the magician and the strength card of the Rider-Waite deck. The odd part was that I was not looking at this deck at the time. 

Infinity is quite a difficult concept to the human mind. Perhaps mathematicians may have an understanding but the rest of us, likely not. This thought lead nowhere until I saw the symbol stood on end (more like an 8) before me and within the perfection. Immediately as above, so below popped into my mind. That was quickly followed by the Thoth two of pentacles. 

Look at the light in the top circle and the darkness in the bottom. All of this suddenly slammed into me and brought the realization that this was a symbol of purity. The universe is clean our perceptions are not. I began using the 8 shape as a filter and began looking at the world as pure

The second step was the revelations of forgiveness. There is no need to cover that again here, except to say that I have sent some short note of forgiveness to four people involved in various aspects of the very bad thing. Forgiveness is the release of any debt. I am owed nothing.

The third step involved many compliments from humans that both are aware of my work and live in ignorance of it. Some of those words would have spun my head into a period of ego masturbation in years past. This time, I put my memories of my old self before me and used it as a filter to their words. This was not a conscious decision. My soul objected.

The other day, after a long talk with a man named VI, I decided to view this old self through the lens of purity. Then I heeded the prompt to view my current self through that lens. When I did, my mind reached out and absorbed many 'incidents' of my old self. It was like I ate and digested my old selves. It was quite the visual.

Since that time, my default thought is I am. There are no projections or worries. I am.

Viewing life through the lens of purity means accepting each interaction without any prejudice from prior experience or deformed thought. It is total acceptance of the now. This of course is very difficult or it will be until I get the next key to unlock this as a permanent skill. Regardless, this is my discipline now.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mystic Forgiveness

Sometimes people do harmful things to you. Sometimes you do harmful things to others. Both must lead to an act of forgiveness on your part but those acts take different forms. In doing my MM work, version 6 or 7 if you are counting, I have been lead to forgiveness.

This has always been an issue for me. Why would I forgive a person that does not feel they have done anything wrong? Why would I forgive a person that has demonstrated a propinquity to do the same to others? What does it mean to forgive a person? Where is the value? When I read on the topic I continually encountered the idea that forgiveness is about one's self not the other person. By that standard, forgiveness is a selfish act. That didn't sit right either.

So within my meditation the other day, Hermes Chthonios appeared and started pushing this forgiveness idea. You do not need to rationalize your position on things to gods, They know. To make a long story short, Hermes kept showing me visions of the event(s), my feelings, attitudes and perspectives. He challenged me to remove all except the events themselves. In that, I came to a deeper understanding as to how the perfection and unfolding occurred through the negative forms I experienced

Step 1: Forgive the Universe

I cannot argue with the Universe and the creative forces of nature. It was the easiest thing to do to forgive the Universes for its method. Yes, I forgave the Universe. That part was easy. I was never upset with the Universe.

Then Hermes Chthonios showed me the Ace of Swords from the Thoth Deck. Immediately, I was able to divorce the personalities from the events. My attributions of the motivations of others fell away from the causal actions. I still had my perspective but the personalities and events were no longer one thing but two.

I am not sure why that aided the process but it did.

Hermes Chthonios showed me that the lack of forgiveness was holding on to pain in my heart. I visualized the pain and made the statement I was willing to let it go. A good part of it faded and a good part remained. The point is that I have made the decision to let it go and it will over time. I have done this sort of work a long time now, long enough to know that the beginning of the process is the end. The completion will come.

This is the part that leads some to believe forgiveness is about one's self. Sure, it is better not to hold onto the pain. This does one a lot of good. However, this is not the end of the process.

:Step 2: Forgive the so-called wrong doer.

Hermes Chthonios immediately showed me step two. It was about the connections humans share. The best way to share this is to use a more human interaction rather than the personal visions he provided me.

If someone does something wrong and is confronted by the wronged party or even a third party, the first tendency of most is denial. In time, most people come to realize their level of culpability, be it great or small, and some of the courage to make amends. Often, this begins long after the original accuser is far away as the process is internal and private. This is readily understood by most.

When the aggrieved hold onto the pain and accusations, even if unspoken, those energies stand as a constant accusation on the formative plane. This is met with the impulsive energy of denial from the other on that same plane. In order to stop a cycle, that is impacting and influencing both the injured party(s) and the other(s), one side or the other must break circuit. No matter who does it, no matter how it is responded to, this is an act of compassion. This too, is not the end of the process.

Step 3: Others

Holding onto the pain of the original causative action creates a filter through which we see the world. That filter interferes with the relationships between oneself and all other parties. If you embody any level of agape toward your fellow humans, you owe them to approach them with a pure heart and clean perspective. This is a debt of human existence that must be continually paid. The only way to pay true respect to the stranger or anyone else is to do so from a pure stand. One must forgive. One must be pure. One must remove every possible filter.

This is very difficult. It is impossible if one is hanging onto a painful past.

More personal note: I have sent two messages of forgiveness to people who participated in a painful past event. Not quite yet to the primary actor, she will take a bit longer but that too is coming.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Disruptive and Inconvenient Realization -- Response

Teo Bishop has published an article, A Disruptive and Inconvenient Realization, in Witches and Pagans issue #27. I read his words in The Wild Hunt

Persistent readers of this space know of my past antagonism with Christianity but have also witnessed that my references have begun to reflect an understanding of random Biblical passages and ideas. Despite that I did rankle a bit as I read of this man's conversation from Pagan to Christian. Even as my "Oh Hell No," mantra kicked in, I saw the makings of a spiritual man. As I have learned to follow my soul, I have listened to the shouted whispers of the Universe. So, I understand when he speaks of following a call. 

When he wrote, "But an authentic spiritual life is rarely, if ever, easy." I totally understood. Making that hard left turn in Albuquerque can leave one's friends feeling lost and confused while they stay moving along the I-40. The only way to stay authentic is to make that left turn. Those who love you will make that effort to understand and be supportive. Those with an agenda will resent you. Being with those that love you is so much more important. 

My only quibble is that an authentic spiritual life is always easy. When you are moved by the spirit of your soul, it is the easiest thing in the world to turn that wheel. When we project what our spirituality ought to be or try to fit into some mold we have projected upon ourselves then it gets hard. That difficulty is a sign of error. 

That isn't how I interpret his words though. The difficulty is more subtle and compassion-based than that. For me, seeing the perfection was the best moment of my life. Difficult was watching someone I respect go into a tizzy over it but living the spiritual life born of that realization is pretty easy.

Mr. Bishop goes on to say, "But here’s the crazy thing: I get the hard polytheists now. I feel like coming to understand their relationship to their Gods has provided me with a context to understand this immediate relationship I’m experiencing with God in Christ." Here he reveals yet another spiritual truth. Your past does not define you, it educates you. He has learned all he could from his Pagan path and is now moving onto more lessons. To this I say, "Hazzah!"

He continues, "If I’ve learned anything during the last several years it is that admitting one’s own ignorance and asking questions of others can lead to the most profound exchanges."  This true is the mark of a man of spirit. Sincerely embracing one's ignorance is fundamentally more than parroting wisdom one does not own. Simply put, if you can't discard notions when proven incorrect, you cannot claim the wisdom of ignorance.  

So to Mr. Teo Bishop, I wish Godspeed on his journey. May his Pagan past serve him well and his Christian path spur his journey onward. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Getting the F Out of the Way

There is someone local that has come to me to begin their spiritual path. In truth, it started long ago and I am just a weigh station. Today, I got out of her way and had her engage with someone else. That someone else is taking her places as I watch. 

There is a part of me that is proud that I got out of the way. There is another part screaming, "Hey but I wanted to do that!" This is the ego and pride and bullshit. 

I am suddenly aware why so many that want to call themselves teachers cannot do that. Fuck, it is hard to get that ego in check to the point that it cannot move. However, it is what this person deserves. She is on a path.