Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Mysticism: Review

It is a fine use of time to "think on these things," as the mystic Paul wrote.

It is common for a mystic not publicly to identify herself as a "mystic." The word "mystic" is capable of terrible and horrifying misunderstandings. People apply it to everything from spiritual elitists to occultists.

The only time that a mystic is likely to so identify herself is when she has a chance to teach, and so, clarify that she is neither a spiritual elitist nor an occultist. If you were to ask the sweet old lady, Theresa of India, what she thought of herself, she would likely say that she is just an "ordinary" woman who has been gifted with an extraordinary calling and/or Love, which is not her own.

The greatest sickness in our world is the lack or absence of Love, intimacy, and even simple courtesy and friendliness. As Lao Tzu says, it is when the sage-mystic "gets sick of sickness" that she starts to discover a cure. And that healing is to allow more of the deep inner Lovemind to express Him/Herself through the "transparent" mind of the mystic. This is called "crystalmind."

I did not mean to suggest that Theresa made it an ironclad "rule" or "law" set in granite that no one call her "mother." It is just that mystics almost universally reject honorifics. Is this "only" symbolic? Yes, of course. A mystic is selfdefined by neither praise nor blame. Of course, nothing changes in selfimage when one receives a title from others. Theresa was likely only yielding to the tradition of her Church when she accepted the title "Mother." What I meant to imply was precisely the fact that she did not define her value in terms of this title. With intuitive knowing, I knew that she would have been more comfortable without it altogether.

In her own words, Theresa attempted to clarify this position: She was working for the mystical state called "detachment," which is not aloofness or irresponsivity, but simply a state of freedom in which one is not controlled by the world or environment.

Mystics do not live by dogmatic or granitic laws. It is a common tradition that, after the mystical experience, they do change their names. Still, lest this become a dogma, we should make it crystalclear that a number of mystics use also their given earthly names (birthnames)as well. When Jesus was born, he was named "Immanuel," but somewhere along the line, changed his name to "Jesus." Peter also was born with the name Cephas, and Paul with the name Saul, etc.

So, I've no objection to using the birthname. Even mystics historically and traditionally do this. But there is this: When Mary Smith has a transformative experience, and then says, "I am Mary Smith," she feels, correctly, as if she is lying: She has become so much more than Mary Smith.

What the mystic must watch, microscopically and assiduously, is her major challenge: ego. For it will, in a splitsecond, reassert itself as the master of her life, and will be delighted to "take over again," just like in the "bad ol' days." It is controlled by fear-- the mystic's only real enemy. The mystic has no human enemies. And even the ego can be seen as teacher rather than nemesis.

The mystic does not take her egoname with deadly, utter seriousness. The ego is just a mask, a role being played on the stage, in the play, of life, by the real Soul. And it is cosmic Mind that is "playing the role" of the Soul. But the mystic must be aware of and beware the cunning, subtle schemes of ego to take over her life, and control everything, as it once did.

Because God is playing every role, the mystic lives as a "part of God." Her mind grows towards becoming, or complete identification with, the cosmic Mind of Love.

So, the human name is only a tag or label, used for convenience. It in no way encompasses the totality of her being, nor does it describe in any way her infinite Mind.

People as a rule, on the whole, are growing and becoming gradually more spiritual. This is precisely why an educational enterprise of spiritual understanding is needed at this time.

The Spirit, Coremind, dreams up the cosmos. It does this in a subsector of Spirit called the "Creator." (This is Creatormind or Dreamind.)

The world is dreamed by the Spirit, but experienced by the conscious mind. The Spirit, being perfect, dreams up a world that is potentially perfect.

The Soul lies "halfway" between Spirit and conscious mind. As the Spirit is "sending" the dream to the conscious mind, it must pass through the Soul. When the Soul gets the dream from the Spirit, it adds its own karmic contents. (The personal Unconscious and preconscious do the same.) So, by the time that the world is perceived by the conscious mind, it is not perfect. That is, it is not all Love-filled, beauty, tranquility, bliss, etc. This is because the final dream that we call "everyday reality" has been modified by the Soul and the personal Unconscious.

The mystic wants to work towards an omega-point, a zenith in Mind, called the "allembracing" or "allgood" Mind, in which everything is seen to be good. Thus, she wants to grow to the point where all things are seen to be good. This means, as you imply, overcoming even bionature. For we are repelled at an organic or biological level by some things. (This is no doubt bioprotective.) To embrace the rabbit and puppy as "God" is easy. But it is not so easy to embrace, or even to like, the rattlesnake and the tarantula. And when it comes to the even less-pleasant things, they offend our natural and esthetic sensitivities.

Still, the full assignment of the mystic is to return to "eden," or "pleasure," and so, to find that all things are good, to be interpreted as the dream of One. That One is the good and perfect Mind, and cannot dream up anything that is bad or imperfect. And because Creatormind is also all beauty, He/She cannot dream up anything that is truly "ugly."

The entire point is that "bad" and "ugly" are just labels, and do not represent the "intrinsicity" of anything or anyone. So, we are given the greatest challenge of all-- to overcome our longstanding "prejudices," however deep their roots, and even if they are organic (built into the biosystem.)

Of course, people have different sensibilities and sensitivities. But mysticism calls us all to the one path, no matter what our natures. Is it more difficult for one than for another? Yes, certainly, especially this one of the "allembracing Mind." But other parts of the Way would be more difficult for other temperaments. For example, nonmaterialism is more challenging for taurus people than for sagittarians or geminis. The Way of silence is much more difficult for geminis and libras than for capricorns, etc.

Poverty, purification, etc. are often linked together in the development of the mystic's higher consciousness. Not that we must go to the extreme of Franciscan poverty. In fact, avoiding extremes, the modern mystic wants to stay out of poverty. At the other end of that same spectrum, she must avoid greed, which means taking more than her fair share of the pie of earthly resources. The perfect solution? Simplicity. This is described in my book Simplicity Made Simple: The Economics of Compassion.

For simplicity avoids both poverty and extreme greed and wealth. This Way enhances respect for the earth's limited resources,and also for our brothers and sisters.

Historically, mystics have often embraced actual poverty, but this has often been more symbolic of renunciation than any kind of "requirement" for the pursuit of mysticism.

Pot and Spirituality

Is it "evil" to smoke pot? Wise and good people always obey the law when possible, and pot is illegal.

Is the act of getting high "evil"? No, for nature wants us to enjoy our lives, to create as much joy as possible. In fact,our brains are "drug-factories." They produce a number of families of natural drugs, one family of which is sedatives, and another, euphorics. (A "euphoric" is a drug designed to lift the spirits, to create happiness or natural "highs.") After sex, for example, most people feel these chemicals released from the brain into the bloodstream. Also, other happy events can give us "natural highs." These can last from minutes to hours.

But the fact that we are capable of any number of varieties of natural highs does not automatically okay the use of artificial or natural drugs. Certain cultures use psychotropic agents to boost their spirituality at times, as part of their sacraments. The Rostafarians use ghanja (pot)sacramentally. Is this "evil"? No, for they are sincerely seeking God(Love).

Still, drugs are far too dangerous to use carelessly, for mere "recreation" or entertainment. True, some drugs are "natural." But so is arsenic; but that does not mean that nature created it to be ingested by human beings.

Does the mystic have anything personally against the moderate use of mild drugs? If a drug is used sacramentally, in a sacred manner, by adults, there can be a place for its moderate use. An example is the use of alcohol-- a very potent drug--in the Eucharist or Communion services of most Christian faiths.

This issue can be of great importance to young people. Many of them are too inexperienced to use drugs moderately, or wisely. Everyone reaches that stage, at around age sixteen, of intense and relentless curiosity. The real concern is that the young, inexperienced person will get involved with a drug "crowd," and lose all her spiritual progress. The use of mind-altering substances is dangerous, but the crowd who uses them might be as great a peril. Not wanting to see her spirituality-- such as it is, in embryo-form-- crushed and shattered, we need to do everything possible, reasonable, and loving to support young people who have begun the interior Journey. Everything that we do, we should do
sacramentally-- as a part of our spirituality, and not outside of, or contrary to, it.

The Miracle of Communication

Contemplation re communication has been occurring. "Communication" shares two roots with "communion," the major teaching, and the apex and zenith, of the Enlightenment Tradition. How astonishing is it that two or more minds can communicate, and even join for moments, through squiggly lines on paper, or through the correct arrangement of teeth, tongue, and airflow!

Monday, November 29, 2004

The "Donkey" (Physical Body) as Teacher

We have all come to earth to a very difficult and challenging life formed, designed, and created by our Souls for the purpose of growing our inner Lovenature. Only giant Souls have taken on giant tasks, Love 401 instead of Love 101!

If you have major challenges in your life, you must be precisely such an advanced Soul. Spiritual advancement can be gauged by how difficult are chosen challenges. "Baby" Souls are very frightened of life, and avoid challenging assignments. But more experienced Souls feel capable of taking on missions which terrify them.

Our greatest teachers are often our "donkeys," or physical bodies. (St. Francis called his body "Brother Ass," which sounds so harsh in English that it has been modified to the petname of endearment "Brother Donkey.":)

This "donkey" is a most intimate "laboratory." And labwork is unavoidable in the course. That is the first factor that makes the donkey such a good and sound teacher. The second is that you cannot avoid it: You cannot stay outside of your body for very long. So, you cannot avoid somatic tests.

Inner "angels" of Love

Much angel-lore has been compiled over the centuries. Its study is called, in fact, "angelology." It is quite an old art, going back to the earliest centuries, and peaking in the Middle Ages. It often involved magic-- the calling forth (invocation) of "spirits" to do one's bidding.

The "One Mind" view of the cosmos, ("monism") is not at all averse to the belief in angels. Like us, if they exist, they are just "packages" for the one Mind, just as you can put ocean water in a five-ounce bottle or a fifty-five gallon barrel. Mind is like that ocean, in this parable, and we are the little bottles, while angelic forms are like the barrels.

"Angels" can also be symbolic representatives of those parts of our minds that contain Love. Lincoln spoke, for example, of the "angels of our higher Selves." Love can forgive, indeed, does forgive, all, without exception.

Also, it is never "too late" for Love. Love embraces all, heals all, invites all to and into Itself. Love knows no time, and so is unlimited by clocks and calendars. In our lives, It is what It is because we are what we are: It speaks through our mouths, touches through our hands.

Education, Freedom, and Society

My friends, in a free society-- and freedom is crucial to spirituality--everyone has a perfect right to hold her own opinions,completely without being influenced by others. I am not interested in "forcing change" upon anyone else, and it would never occur in the wildest dreams to attempt to do so. It might well be argued that there is a fine line between education and influence, and this is true. Still, the Way calls us to educate only. If education influences, that is up to the individual receiving the education. This is no artificial distinction.

Politically, we refuse to throw stones. We are repelled by nature by extremist conservatives, but extreme liberals have a simlar effect. In politics, as in life and spirituality, moderation and centrism are the only paths that make any sense. It is counterproductive mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially for people to polarize and hate each other, as both conservatives and liberals have done. Anytime that we can do anything to erase any of the hate, we will jump at the opportunity! We, as mystics, are obligated by compassion to speak up against lying, absence of compassion, bigotry, and offensive war. If this must mean the rejection of certain policies, parties, or politicians, then, so be it. We remain forever concerned, not with only politics, but with minds, hearts, and Souls. Most importantly, in this world, it is a fulltime job to increase the Love.

Finding Your Animal-ally (Totem)

In native American tradition, each person has an animal-helper. This refers not only to living, actual animals, but also to the "spirit" of that species. An animal "ally" is a mental image that you call forth within your mind when you need the power of that creature. For example, if your totem is a horse, it might give you speed; and an elephant can bring power, and a dolphin, playfulness, etc. When you call upon the spirit of the creature, it gives you its qualities and characteristics.

You can choose mythical creatures for your totem as long as you know their strengths. Yes, you can have both a mythical and "real" animal for your power allies.

To discover your spirit animal, here is the exercise:

In deep relaxation, visualize yourself in the middle of a beautiful garden filled with flowers, cool breeezes, and warm sunlight. It is filled with crystals, rainbows, and good energy. This garden/park is filled with every creature, all that are mythical and real. They are all quite friendly, and they all love you. While you are meditating in the center of the garden, the various creatures will approach you. Either they will touch you, or they will just appear in front of you. Do this
for quite some time. The first creature that manifests itself three times to you has "chosen you" to be your guardian spirit, helper, and spirit ally. (These three times do not have to be sequential.)

This is the best way to find your ally, and goes way back in native American tradition.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thought, Mind, and Bodies

What is the "mechanism" for self-recognition and other - recognition "allocognition")? In the deepest Mind (Spirit), it must be the structure of the energy-body. This is created by Mind; and Mind uses it to pick up information. In tradition, this is often called the "lightbody." This energic body must be able to support patterns of complex circuitry. For information must be "encoded" in electrical patterns before it can be assimilated by the brain. For, like the physical brain, the lightbody is partly electrical in nature.

But it also consists of higher, finer energies. This body is much finer than the physical body, and lacks the relatively crude "wiring" of the physical nervousystem. (The electricity-processing system consists of physical nerve-cells, which are made of dendrites, axons, and related structures.)

Mind (awareness) is related to certain organized patterns or structures of energy. This is true of the energic, as of the physical, body. Patterns of the lightbody are superordinate to those of the physical body. That is, changes in the lightbody precipitate changes in the physical. And what causes changes in the lightbody? Patterns of consistent, repeated thought. The quality of your thoughts will manifest, sooner or later, in the body.

Does this mean that all biomedical problems are the result of "wrong" thinking? No, for that is naive and simplistic. A biomedical condition usually has several synergistic causes, ranging from karmogenetics to diet.

But if thought has its origin in this energy-system, it is an antique perspective to try to reduce it to the structure of the physical brain. It is dependent upon very complex arrangements and organizations of energy.

We are accustomed to locating all thought, and its origin, in the head or brain. But metaphysical anatomy suggests that thoughts can be encoded throughout the body. The brain plays a major, gigantic role. But evidence is accumulating that some thoughtfeelings might have their origins in other parts of the body, as metaphysical tradition suggests. The brain might be a kind of "mother board" or cpu, for the whole system.

If this is so, then the mystical teaching of selflove, expressed by caring for your body, starts to make even more sense.

"Mystic" Defined

A mystic is not a member of a certain religion; mysticism is a Way of life, not a religion.

A mystic is a person who has discovered personally, within her own mind, some very great truths: "God" is not distant, not a grumpy old man in the sky, but is all the Love in all the heartminds throughout the galaxies. This God, as incomprehensibly enormous, vast, colossal, immeasurable, illimitable Love, lives within you and me, and all sentient (selfaware) beings.

She has also realized that the cosmos is a structure of Mind, a dream of the vast, gigantic Mind within. The spacetime world of everyday "reality" is not real, but dream, virtual reality, or "illusion." Nothing "material" is real; only Mind is real. All who have mind are plugged into one vast network of Mind. And the Core of all Mind is Love.

So, God presents three faces to the mystic: 1) As Mind, God is Reality Itself, 2) God is also shared cosmic Mind deep within the Unconscious, and 3) most importantly, God is Love.

A "mystic" is an otherwise ordinary person who has discovered these great truths, plus has adopted a commitment to erase her ego-mind and gently, gradually replace it with reflections of the great cosmic Mind of Love.

There are two kinds of mystic: The "mindmystic" has had an explosive, mind-boggling touch of this interior Love, blowing her away. Although the "practical mystic" has had no mind-blasting, soul-searing experience of the inner galaxy/ocean of Love, she still lives by the principles of Love to her honest best. But she, too, is a real mystic! In this context, what she believes (religion/philosophy) is not important; but the practice of compassion is everything. So, although mystics are in fullest agreement re many ideas and concepts, only their mutual Love --not their ideas-- can be accurately seen as sacred.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Practical Spirituality, Kung Fu, and Self-defense

Spirituality must be practical and realistic, or it is good for nothing and no one. Utter passivity and extreme pacifism-- allowing another simply to harm or even kill you out of a commitment to "nonviolence"-- is foolishness. For this "nonviolence" does extreme violence to the self.

"Spiritual" writers rarely write about this because they can tend to be rather too idealistic, or even out-of-touch. Spirituality must be about EVERYTHING. Spirituality is not just cathedrals, hymns, candles, and gold-plated altars and Buddhas. The whole world, with all its messes and filth and grime, must be included in a viable, satisfying spirituality.

Many personal views arise from nature and the ancient Taoist (mystical) system called "kung fu." This phrase has been terribly abused in our country. It does not refer to fighting, but to living, and living well. It means simply, "excellent mastership." Thus, an excellent carpenter who had no particular defense-skills would be a "kung fu carpenter," and a good singer who knew nothing about fighting or defense would be a "kung fu singer." Only the one who has fully mastered her life-- emotions, responses, thoughts, tranquillity, meditation, kindness, intelligence, and other factors, is a "kung fu master." She excels at living, in all its forms, varieties,and manifestations.

In short, according to the Chinese, only a mystic is a genuine kung fu master. She masters not others, but her self. Lao Tzu, the legendary founder of Taoism, and thus, of its split-off, kung fu, would have agreed. He wrote a very simple classic in mystical literature, usually called the "Way of Virtue," which takes about an hour or two to read, but ten thousand years to understand! A fresh rendering of this mystical classic is found in Luminous Jewels of Love and Light, Volume 2, Part IV, "The Book of the Great Mind and Its Expression."

There is no creature in nature that is not equipped to defend itself. Even the softest, prettiest, friendliest kitten is armed with the teeth and claws of a killer. And then, of course, there is my favorite, little Brother Bumblebee. And think of Brother Rattlesnake. About five inches in diameter, or less, he has no arms and no legs. He has a brain the size of a marble. Doesn't sound like much of an opponent,does he? Yet everyone is terrified of him, because nature has gifted him with defensive mechanisms.

Since we humans lack developed natural defensive-systems, we must often compensate by carrying non-offensive (defensive) protectors. Pepperspray is better and more effective than mace. It can be a good investment in the self and its protection. When you make this all-important investment, make sure that the spray does work. And make sure that it remains in working condition.

But the most important factor inselfdefense is not the technical method-- gun, spray, ballbat. It is psychological. It is attitude. For, at the moment that she is defending her life, the kindest, most loving being in the world must not dull, and infact, must reasonably develop, her natural "killing" instinct.

When you are attacked, you must go into a new mode of mind that can be thought of as "steely." You must become as "hard" as steel-- or at least, as close as you can come. Remember: When a person attacks you, she loses all natural rights, and savage energy is to be met with equally savage energy. This is not because you hate the other. Fighting out of anger weakens you. instead, it is because you are fighting for Love-- Love for yourself-- that you have this power of "savagery." This is not
the time to hold back, or to be asking yourself questions of "peace and morality." Drop your inhibitions-- all of them-- like old baggage, and give it everything you've got. For your life might well depend on it.

This is where your totem (animal-ally) comes in. When you mentally plug into your ally spirit, you gain its natural power. Even if your totem is a harmless frog, a frog can leap the equivalent of fifty feet! Even if it is a turtle, nothing can penetrate its shell. My spirit-allies are two: the dolphin and the elephant. Dolphins defeat sharks, and elephants lions. Neither is exactly a "killing machine," but because of a combination of structure, strength, and strategy, they are very powerful indeed!

If you will share with me what is your spirit-ally, I can recommend some patterns that help you get in touch with its energy. In traditional kung fu, the art itself had totems-- praying mantis, tiger, dragon, serpent, and-- my choice-- white crane. Among these, of course, the white crane seems most pitiable, most defenseless.

The legend is that its founding monk was meditating in the forest when he heard a ruckus. He opened his eyes to behold a rushing, ferocious elephant barreling ahead at full speed. Suddenly, in its path, this female white crane appeared, to defend its young. She was all of three feet tall, and the elephant about ten! With a combination of circular wing-movements typical of this school of Kung Fu, she successfully beat the elephant into submission. Actually frightened, he left, and she returned to her place of serenity.

This is the teaching of "yin." This word means weakness, vulnerability, powerlessness. Its opposite, yang (pronounced "yong"), means dynamic, strong force. yet Lao Tzu wrote, "The most yin thing in the universe will always overcome the most yang thing in the universe."

What did he mean? That real Power is psychospiritual, not physical. It comes from mind and discipline, not weapons and muscles. Here, training is everything. You do not need another to train you. When I was young, I remember having some spectacular "fights" that often lasted for hours. This was natural kung fu training, and also a healthy release of energy that could otherwise have been harmful.

Also, you need to consider what the ancients called a "bo staff." This can be a broom or mop, or any long, cylindrical piece of wood. (Originals were bamboo.) Then, you need to spend time every day practicing, or "doing bo," with imaginary enemies. Then, if the real thing occurs,your bodymind will be prepared. Then, you can shift instantly into "savage defense mode."

Love and Cybertech

Anything in the "material" world can be abused by over-use: TV, cyberdevices, sleep, eating, sex, entertainment, politics, religion, computer-use, and a plethora of other areas exist wherein an unhealthy addiction can lead to extremes. Still, it is important to note that none of these things is harmful in itself; it is the abuse that is hurtful. And, of course, as mystics, we seek to avoid all extremes; addiction, by definition, is spiritually and psychologically unhealthy.

The same applies to cybertech. We need not see it as "bad" or even "counterproductive." To some, who value the familiar, it might seem alien. But it also holds great opportunity. While with snailmail, it was common to write only a few letters a week, that many, and more, are now written every day. Also, as in the uld, cybertech is a great teaching-tool. Thus, it enriches friendship as Love (spirituality).

Still, needs vary among people. For example, unlike your cyberhistory, in my own, several new friendships have been forged, and healthily maintained, by the use of email. Since friendship is a very rich source of Love, it is healing to establish, and maintain, new friendships. If cybertech can support that, then it, too, can become an instrument of Love (God) in our world. In the final analysis, it is all about Love--as is everything else!

When Your Heart Seeks the Sky

My brother, Jian Wang, from China, has just completed a really charming book for children. And we wanted to introduce all of you to Jian. We have been "epenpals" for a couple of years, and I helped him with the editing of his book.:)

Visit his site and take a look at the book:

When Your Heart Seeks the Sky


Relaxation Techniques

A cascade of oceanic Love awaits you in your own heart. This is to support you, and to bring you increased understanding, for Love grants understanding without horizons or boundaries.

A "negion" generator is an aquarian neologism. It refers to a "negative ion" generator, now standard with many models of air-purifier. Inhaling negative ions has been shown to support and precipitate neurological changes that enhance, and even trigger, mild euphoria. In nature, these "negions" are found everywhere, for example, after thunderstorms. This grants the world the special scent of having been purified by heaven. Even in a non-urban area, even in the country, a negiongen is recommended to maximize any type of pranayama or breath-work.

One approach that can facilitate and support relaxation is a newsfast. This is simply ignoring the "news," perhaps replacing it with positive spiritual or humorous reading. News-shows on tv can be replaced by educational shows, or even sitcoms, in moderation. The newsfast sounds, and feels, like the right thing to do. Very positive "vibes.":)

It is a good idea also to review positive, helpful suggestions often, to reinforce them not only intellectually, but emotionally. Putting these suggestions into actual operation can do a world of good, even though they might seem simple. For example, we all know that the quality of life is powerfully affected, indeed determined, by neurochemistry. Still, it is easy to forget that neurochemistry is often strongly affected by oxygen-content of the blood, and that, by breathing!

So, breathing is a good idea!:) But deliberate breath-patterns can enhance both relaxation and clarity. Some who are into breath-work over-emphasize the effect of the pattern of your birth. The relevance of birth-trauma is highly controversial. Does it have an effect? Indubitably. Is that effect insuperable? Not at all. In fact, it can, in many cases, accurately be described as somewhat peripheral, which is not to say irrelevant. Of course, from the highest perspective, "You" are not even "fully human.":) For you are a mind, not just a biological organism. And, as mind, you are integrated, unconsciously, with the Infinite and Eternal, which is also Mind.

You touch this deepest Mind best when you are most relaxed. That is one reason for meditation. A great need for you is to slow down, at least periodically. To aid with this, you might want to try fifteen minutes a day with orange essential oil. Simply saturate a cottonball with the oil and hold it to your nose during each inhalation. Exhale through the mouth. Keep this up for a steady fifteen minutes. Breath will slow, and deep relaxation begin. Orange-oil is a natural somatic (muscular) relaxant and a mild euphoric. Also, orange-oil costs less than five dollars a bottle, and a bottle lasts forever!:)

Please remember that you are of infinite value, well worth an investment of fifteen minutes a day! Please don't think that you don't "have the time." Please TAKE the time. You'll be glad and grateful that you did!:)

Spiritual Growth

For a person interested in teaching, no event is more exciting, more breath-taking, than to sense real progress! And you, my friends, are showing many major signs of genuine movement along the Path.

The Enlightenment Tradition teaches that spiritual awakening, although it has dramatic moments, is a gradual and incremental process.

For us who live in the West, it is sometimes best to construct a thorough, detailed, meticulous matrix of intellectual understanding as our very first steps on the infinite Journey. You have placed your foot on the path that your Soul, and the Spirit, want you to follow. It takes probably ten thousand years fully to know the path. But who knows how long you have already been exploring the mysteries of deeper Mind? That large overview should help with the cultivation of selfpatience.

It is exciting and delighting, satisfying and gratifying, to have been a small part of your great Journey, my dear friends. It is really thrilling to hear you talk about moving away from the paltry ego, wich is at best a pale and distorted, barren, poor reflection of your deeper Self.

May sweet breezes and warm oceanic currents continue gently to ruffle your mind, creating new patterns and blowing back the curtains so that you can discover what lies beneath!

Some Love-miscellanea

Tell the truth; you don't have to remember so much.
Some days you are the bug, some days the windshield.
People are always walking into and out of your life. But only true friends will leave the glow of their presence in your heart.
To take care of yourself, use your head. But to take care of others, use your compassionate, tender heart.
"Anger" stands only one letter from "danger."
If anyone betrays you once, it is her imperfection; but if you are betrayed more than once, it is yours.
Great minds discuss ideas, average minds, events, and small minds, people.
She who loses money, loses much. She who loses friends loses very much more. But she who loses touch with interior Love loses all.
Learn from the mistakes of others. If not, you will live to make them yourself.
We are very true friends, you and me.
You brought another; now, there are three.
We are a Center of circles of friends.
It knows no beginnings, it knows no ends.
Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift, sweet and pleasant,
And that's why it's called "the present."
Just a quick note to remind you that you are beloved, and that someone thought of you today with blessings, joy, peace, and Love.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The "Eternal Now" and "Parentizing"

The words of the Wisdom Way or the Enlightenment Tradition remind us of just how important it is to live in the "eternal now." After all, everything that is real is NOW. And if we can remain centered in that now, allowing the past to die a graceful and peaceful death, and reminding ourselves that the future is still unborn, we will increase our personal peace.

Also, while we might share with other adults our discoveries along the way, we must be careful lest we go too far and "parentize" others. We need to be "mommies" and "daddies" to only our children. In dealing with other adults, even if we perceive them as vulnerable, we must not let the "inner parent" control our behavior or communications. This is a factor that does great harm to many relationships, friendships, and marriages.

Of course, we can still share our best advice in compassion and Love, if we are asked. Where the line must be drawn is in any attempt to control the other. If we can completely let go of this one, we will expand exponentially our inner tranquillity.

Expressing Wisdom

"Good" (effective and beautiful) writing is an artscience. It embodies and imitates the structure of nature. Atoms make molecules, and molecules cells, and cells tissues, and tissues organs, and organs bodies. So letters make words, words make sentences, sentences paragraphs, etc. Until, lo and behold! From a mere twenty-six humble letters has arisen the Library of Congress, with over a billion pieces of

What a wonder and miracle! But like most miracles, this one, too, usually goes right over, or under, the public's collective head-- such as it is!:)

Three related tools are the matrix of communication: passion, simplicity, and clarity. And of course, from one perspective, like the Trinity, these three are one.

A person can validly follow two careers, making them also one. The overriding mastership of agapology (the psychology of Love) has never been questioned. But its pursuit, indeed, its explanation, has sprouted the secondary career of logophilia (Love of words).

Let's see just how clear the most complex of matters can be made, through words: The Center of all is Mind, Mind is all, and there is nothing else that is real. And the Center of all Mind is Love. It is the fuel that keeps the psychocosmos running. But, fascinatingly, It is also within every atom of that very "material and external" cosmos.

This moves us into the philosophy of "monism." Stated most simply, monism teaches that there exists only one Mind. That alone is absolutely real, and It has no opposite. Because we, as human beings, all have Mind, or minds, we are all irrevocably "plugged in" to that great, cosmic Mind.

Honorable Self-defense

Security is not a matter of locks and bars, but a question of inner tranquillity. Still, as mystics, we try to let wisdom and reason be our guides, together with compassion for all, including crooks. It is never an easy task.

It is hoped that you have, therefore, some reasonable form of selfdefense. The first piece of advice for a peaceful warrior is, "Never be far away from a defensive weapon." This "weapon" can be a lamp, a broom, a toaster. Certainly, it is the height of pure ignorance to respond like the wimpy women in the movies, beating impotently on the chest of a maniac, and screaming and crying. Clearly, the cosmos wants you to empower yourself. You should practice using, say, a broom as a weapon, until you are faster and more clever than can be imagined. (This practical program of selfdefense doubles as an excellent exercise-program

Not that you want to fight. You and I both know that that is certainly not so. One of the basic principles of the "kung fu" arts, so abused in this country (here discussing the genuine and deep philosophies of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu) is, "Never engage in offensive violence, and severely restrict the place of defensive violence."

My favorite example of "defensive violence" is the sweet, good-natured bumblebee, who can easily scare the hell out of a large man! In their everyday lives, bumblebees are quiet and quite inoffensive critters. Contrary to myth and urban legends, a healthy, normal bumblebee will not attack; her stinger is only defensive. (I owe a debt of honor to the bumblebee Spirit, but that's another story.)

Another kung fu principle is this: When a man attacks you, at that very moment, he loses all his rights, even the right to be treated with kindness and respect. When you are attacked, that is nature's signal to go into "animal" or purely "defense" mode. But, as a human being, you have intelligence not possessed by animals; you need to use your brain to increase your power in any way that you consider honorable. So, the first thing that you need to do is to increase your personal power by finding a "weapon"-- a footstool, coatrack, or whatever is handy. Just remember that, at the moment of attack, anything that you must do is okay.

A lamp or even a saucepan might be good as a "weapon" in an emergency. But any weapon is only as good and useful as the hands of the person holding it. And those hands are only as useful as the mind that controls them. This is why "defense-mode" is like an altered state of consciousness in which the usual formalities and inhibitions must be entirely droppped. During a violent confrontation with an attacker, you must call upon your totem or "ally," your Power animalspirit, for aid. During that time, your human qualms and hesitation might be deadly for you. Again, a maxim of defense: If you have to think, it is already too late.

Of course, we all agree that the person of wisdom tries to lead a life of perfect ahimsa, "noninjury" or "harmlessness." We never want to hurt any living thing, under any circumstance. Offensive violence (attack) is out of the question!

Still, there is a viable place in the Way of Love for purely defensive violence. If it is a matter of hurting or allowing the self to be hurt, you must keep in mind the principle of Love for the self. In cosmic balance, there is no reasonable justification whatsoever for the premise that you should allow yourself to be hurt, and not the attacker. In fact, if he were hurt, it could well be seen as "instant karma."

With those crucial principles all firmly in mind, please remember that this article is written only out of a sense of Love-- Love for all. Still, it is not written to "parentize" anyone. I've absolutely no interest in being a "daddy" for any other adult. I do not want to tell anyone what to do.

The purpose of this article is to share, not to set forth the "law of God," writtten in tablets of stone. Just consider it, please, as friendly advice based on fifty years on this planet-- this time-- and centuries before.

Return to the "House-church"

In some ways, it is regrettable that a fine, lovely,and wonderful little group "belongs" to a larger organized faith. I'd love to find a small, simple church that did not belong to a larger "mother" organization--
complete with hierarchy, dogma,finances, and all the rest.

I guess that this is just a fantasy that I've brought over from the first century. Then, as primitive Christians called "gnostics," we met in homes or "house-churches." Everything was delightfully, marvelously simple. That is why we have the Pneumarium family gatherings in our garage. It's the closest thing to a "house-church" in the modern world. Simple and sweet, no granite dogmas, no administrative hierarchy, no complex economics or real estate!

Upcoming "Heartmind" Program

"The Masks of Fear"

Our programs are prepared some weeks in advance, for the radioprogram "Heartmind," and the next few have already been written. But the one regarding "The Masks of Fear" is going into the future-file, and you will very likely hear it sometime soon.

May Love continue to blossom in the heart, erasing all fears!


The great, cosmic Law of Karma states quite simply that a being is responsible, and will pay karmically, for any intentional, deliberate activity about which her information is complete. So, an act of good intention, even if it harms others, will create "good" karma. But an act designed deliberately to harm, even if it helps others, will bring "bad" karma back upon its creator.

An act performed in ignorance, especially ignorance of the moral guidelines that govern the cosmos through Love, will create no bad karma.

That is why spiritual education brings with it welcome responsibility.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Autumn Gray Joy

Gray days are lovely. Nature dips her brush into the inkwell of dove-gray, then graphite, and paints the skies with the soft shimmering beauty of a thousand glowing shades and tints. Nature knows no "bad" or "unattractive" colors, and her palatte is alive and shining even when it contains only shades of gray. It reminds us that the best sunshine is indeed in our hearts, and that is the dazzling brightness of Love. On those refreshing days of mist, fog, and cloud, we get to stoke each other's Lovefires, and bask in the light of each other's Loveflames.

What greater gift could nature give, could Goddess give, than that?

Taking Cosmic "Exams"

Our "donkeys" (physical bodies) are our very best teachers! Your commitment to, and love for, Sam [pseudonym] is being put to the test. Also, your patience is being tested. The cosmos gives us the lessons, and then, the exams. The course, Love 101, is never easy, for the cosmos needs to "strike" us at our weakest points. For it is in those areas that we need to grow. The good news is that, when you take an exam, and fully pass it, you never have to take that test again.

Your strength is being developed by recent events. The message for you is: Love and tenderly support others, but do not lean on, or cling to, them. At times, you might need human support, and this is not a "bad" thing; it is normal and natural. But life is alternating between supporting and being supported. Now, you are moving through a testing-phase in which your Soul, and the Spirit, must empower you to support Sam. So, his weakness is making you stronger, more patient, and wiser. It is also teaching you to trust the Spirit, the Dreamer, and to face the future with confidence instead of fear.

So delighted and excited to hear that the book is helping! Stay on the Love-path, my friend, and it is guaranteed that you will never go wrong!

Enriched by Goddesses

The idyllic vision of "woman" is kind, tender, gentle, nourishing -- in a word, beautiful! This "perfect" woman far too easily becomes a "pedestal" woman, and that is not healthy! But I have always far preferred the company of women to that of men precisely because of their more open emotional and spiritual natures. The Greeks and other ancient peoples had it right, back when God was a woman! You just cannot beat the mindpictures of such beautiful archetypes as Venus, Aphrodite, Tara, Hera, Ceres, Demeter, Kwan Yin, Sophia, Mary, Shekinah, the Lover of Sufism, and others. These have greatly, enormously enriched the history of religion and the contents of spirituality.

Friendship and Communication

You and I, my dear friends, have communicated well and consistently for quite some time now. That is a good, sterling accomplishment, and a source of joy for me, as it is a gift that we have shared freely with each other. That is sweet and pleasant, and it is validly and repeatedly to be celebrated!

It has occurred simply because we are human!

You were on exactly the right track when you decided to speak minimally and with caution. Now, however, you have gone to an unhealthy extreme in having decided to cut yourself off completely from people. It is known, of course, that this kind of hermiticism is a capricorn tendency, but it seems one of the less healthy ones.

If you can successfully communicate with me, you can also do it with others. This supports a balanced, healthy, happy, and spiritual life. While, of course, there is a time and place where even hermiticism has its valid place, to withdraw out of hurt will tend to seal you away from others. Every person has the potential either to enrich or to drain energy from our lives. But positive people-- often few and far between--can enormously enrich the joy of your life. It would be a tragic error to cut yourself off from them. That would be anti-therapeutic, or pathogenic.

A second factor here is that the cosmos will never judge you on the basis of how others interpret you. Instead, the Mind selfevaluates based only on motive or intent. If your intentions are pure and honest, then, it simply will not matter, in the larger perspective, how others interpret you.

I know that this realization does little to heal the wound and pains left by misunderstanding. Still, you might want to think about this aspect of the issue seriously, for your own peace of mind. Please note: Adamaria and I have decided not to have kids because, for one, I do not want to be a "daddy." So, I am here not trying to "parentize" you, or to tell you how to live.

As a friend, though, I simply long for you to have the happiest life possible. I can "see" that, in the longterm, you will hurt yourself by cutting yourself off from all others. Or, perhaps, you were contemplating cutting yourself off from just this one lady-- which could, for a short time, actually be a good decision.

Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone gets misunderstood. Do we really need the hassle? Yes, we do. It is the Mind's way of teaching us more cautious speech. Like all events, it is part of our learning agenda.

Do I speak from experience? You bet! I've been misunderstood, as a person, but especially as a spiritual teacher, more times than I care even to know. When younger, I was so idealistic (read "naive") that I actually thought, and hoped, that once a friend, always a friend. Since those days, life has somewhat sadly awakened me to the realistic fact that some people deliberately misunderstand and misinterpret. Friends leaving your life is as natural and normal as friends entering.

Here's the bottom line: If a person secretly wants out of the friendship, she will find an excuse. People do what they want to do. So, conversely, if she wants to maintain the friendship, she will also find a way to do that. A good friendship is platinum, and worth the timenergy. But this does not mean that we have to go panting and begging, in panic,when a person backs away. We are called to do only our fair share. As you know, there is a time when it is appropriate to rebuild a friendship, and a time when it is appropriate to let it dissolve.

Hope and Joy

Sent to a man who had just lost a son:

Is life "crazy"? Why so much pain? Is there really a "higher Power"? Or is it all just imagination and wishful thinking? What in the world is even worth doing?

At this special time in your life, please let me share positive and reliable answers to life's most difficult and perplexing questions. I am cohost of the radioprogram "Heartmind" on WVXU, 91.7 fm, on Sundays at 6:30 pm., where we discuss issues such as spirituality, philosophy, psychology, and metaphysics. As you might know, for thirty years, I have been a spiritual teacher, lifedesign consultant, and psychospiritual advisor.

These questions do have satisfying answers. Please let me share them with you, enriching your life with new and refreshing joy.

Joy of the Pneumarium Family

Yesterday was gorgeous! But for us, it was so thoroughly lovely because of the hearts, minds, and Souls of our buds and pals. The weather matched the mood of all of us, not in temperature but temperament. We enjoyed a most delightful Pneumarium gathering, and that made everyone "high," as usual! It always so warms the heart and brightens the mind! By two pm, we were seriously "glowing"!:)

Monday, November 22, 2004

EPA to Test Toxic Chemicals on Low Income Kids

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking input on a new proposed study in which infants in participating low income families will be monitored for health impacts as they undergo exposure to known toxic chemicals over the course of two years. For taking part in these studies,
each family will receive $970, a free video camera, a T-shirt, and a framed certificate of appreciation. The study, entitled Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS), will look at how chemicals are ingested, inhaled or absorbed by children ranging from babies to 3 years old.

Please take a moment to follow this link and join tens of thousands of citizens in petitioning the EPA to terminate this study prior to its proposed launch in early 2005.

More information, related newspaper headlines and petition here:


Protest Use of Animals in Military Testing

I have just read and signed the petition

Stop the use of goats and live animals in military testing

Please help by signing this petition to end the cruel, inhumane and outdated use of animals by military testing. It takes 30 seconds and will really help. Please follow this link:


The system centralizes signature collection to provide consolidated,
useful reports for petition authors and targets. Please forward this
email to others you believe share your concern. To view additional
petitions, please click here:


Tell Congress to Investigate the 2004 Election

Questions are swirling around whether the election was conducted honestly or not. We need to know -- was it or wasn't it?

If people were wrongly prevented from voting, or if legitimate votes were mis-counted or not counted at all, we need to know so the wrongdoers can be held accountable, and to help prevent this from happening again.

Members of Congress are demanding an investigation to answer this question. Join me in supporting their call, at:


Saturday, November 20, 2004

Mystical Dreamworld (virtual)

As a mystic, I have long believed ("known," through gnosis) that the "material" and "external" cosmos was neither. It is all a dream of the great, enormous Mind of unimaginable complexity. But in this "virtual" reality, there is no need for a computer or "machine." That reflects only the dire limitations of primitive thinking. The great Mind makes this redundant and unnecessary.

Nothing that you can do can disprove this view that the "ordinary" world is actually a dream. Of course, the simple inability to disprove is not proof, but it is interesting that anything which you can do, you can also dream that you are doing! So the theory of the great dream cannot be

Beyond Cogito ergo sum ["I think, so I am."] it is impossible to go. So, yes, you can prove the existence of Mind-- by thinking. But you cannot "prove" beyond doubt the independent existence of even the simplest bit of matter. So, this can lead either to unhealthy solipsism [teaching that the egomind is all that is] or to the idea of maya, an ancient Sanscrit word used to describe the "material" world as "illusion" or dream.

Cutting-edge scientists are not "there" yet, but they are on the right track! This is only one fascinating teaching that makes mysticism the most fascinating spiritual path in the world.

Mysticism: Hope for Religious Unity

I believe that general mysticism, which is interreligious and
intercultural, is the only hope for Christians, Jews, and Moslems to find
common ground and harmony. It is at the apex of spirituality that we
find our union in thought and heart.


Yes, Jesus did instruct us not to "judge." (Mt. 7:1) But we must understand definitions for this verse to make any sense. And we must avoid fanaticism.

To "judge" the value, or ultimate value, of any person is to say that she is worthless, irretrievable, incapable of being "saved" from ignorance even by the limitless Love of God. Or, it is to say that she has committed an "unforgivable" sin -- one that even God's Love cannot cover, or forgive.

To "judge," then, is much more than forming, or expressing, an opinion. If I say that nazis or murderers,thieves, or bigoted people are not behaving constructively, even if I say that their behavior is harmful or "bad," that is not judgment.

That is the ability to tell right from wrong. That involves two other processes, discernment and positive discrimination. If you say that you do not want to live like a person who is greedy and evil, or that her greed and evil are harmful, that is not judgment. Judgment is forming an opinion about the value of a human being. Every human being has infinite value, for she has the Source of Love within her. This evaluation of her eternal worth, or her total worth, is judgment. This is what Christ, in Jesus, warned against.

Enlightened people, including Christians, are not expected to be naive, or even stupid. They are expected, as normal, functional minds, to see certain behaviors as evil or morally, ethically wrong. They are expected to turn away from these ideas, and often, from the people who uphold, support, or disseminate them. But to label a behavior as bad or counterproductive, even antispiritual, is not judgment. To label a person as hopeless, worthless, or evil is judgment. We do not have the right to so label a person, since the good or light within her will, someday, result in her salvation through God's grace.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Political horrors!

Political Horrors

I was reared in a very idealistic world, not at all like the world of
twenty-oh-four. In that idyllic cosmos, America was founded upon high
and noble principles. In that world, things ran on honor and integrity.
In that far distant world, there were things, and people, that could not
be "bought."

One of the most important impurchasables was the American Presidency. In
those bygone days, that office had to be earned through intelligence,
integrity, honesty, and straightforward openness with the public. A
robber-baron could not become president. Neither could a person who
lived in a solipsistic cloud, without a clue. Neither could a "keystone
cops" bumbler, or fool.

You could not become president "by inheritance." You could not steal,
lie, or cheat your way into the office by pulling strings, pulling
favors, promising everything to corporations, or by other forms of
economic blackmail.

I treasure, if only in nostalgia, the days when honesty and wisdom were
more important, and more potent,than mere greed.

Foreign policy was based on compassion and justice, not on the gaining of
immense, enormous wealth for a few oil-tycoons. Americans then would
never have gone to war for a pipeline in Afghanistan that promised a ten
trillion dollar profit! Americans would never have shed the blood of a
hundred thousand innocent Iraqi men, women, and children for "free" oil!
Thus, the U.S. would not have become the Number One motivation for
becoming a terrorist! This greed, at this level, was only a dream,
anyway. If U.S. leaders thought that it was going to be "easy" to use
the U.S. military as a source of "free labor," to obtain and sustain
"free" oil supplies, they were rudely awakened by the murderous, bloody
reality on the ground.

However much the president is "in debt" to corporate interests, he does
not have the right to ignore and neglect the welfare of the American
people to pay down those debts. When the corporate representativessay to
him, "Give us everything that we want, and we will give you the
presidency," he still has the option of decency; he can still say,
"No;the interests of the American people must come first."

But this requires enormous courage of one's convictions. In an
energy-bill, it is still easier, and much more personally profitable,to
give billions to the energy-companies. And in a bill that ostensibly
helps seniors, it is much more profitable to give billions to the
pharmaceutical corporations. In dealing with corporate
America, it is much more profitable for the one man who is president to
relax laws against pollution-- sacrificing, and damning, the health of
all asthmatics, and of future generations, for the quick, convenient, and
dangerous "buck."

Greed knows no practical limits. A billionaire will never learn to say,
"Enough!" For him, there is not "enough" mony in a trillion universes to
fill his greed. For this sickness arises from a deep sense of personal
worthlessness. But if a president has this disease, we need to
reconsider his qualifications for office. For a president, in wrecking
himself, also takes down the entire country with him. He steals from
children (education), seniors, veterans, and many others to fill his own

Enormous greed leads to inexhaustible thievery. It leads to fascism--
defined as sharing power between governments and corporations. This is
not good government; in fact, it is rotten to the core.

Now, as never before,this country needs women and men of honor and
integrity to step onto the stage of national politics and to take back
our country for democracy. An undemocratic country cannot "democratize"
countries of the Middle East, and, in fact,does not have the right to
claim to be any kind of "model" of democracy.

Ironically, progressive liberals are now more "conservative" than the
cons. For while the neocons want to establish an Orwellian order in
which the U.S. is imperial ruler, many of us progressives long for a
country more like that which we knew in earlier times. Then, we had some
values worth preserving and conserving. We must return to honesty in
government, kindness and generosity towards the people, and the full
renunciation of greed as the great evil of corruption that it is. Only
after that do we have the right seriously to suggest that the U.S. is a
light to lead and guide the rest of the world.