Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Our Mystical Family: Some Notes


First, we need to restate a principle stated at the last Pneumariumgathering, just to make it crystal-clear: My intention is not, ever, to suggest that any person, under any conditions or circumstances, simply abandon any pharmaceutical protocol prescribed by a physician. Any recommendation to abruptly cease, or even change, any prescribed medication could be very dangerous-- and, in some cases, lethal!

It can be very difficult for a person to admit that she is held back, or held up, by depression. But there is absolutely nothing "shameful" about it, and it does in no way represent any kind of "failure." But changing medications must be done under the most careful supervision of a qualified physician. Neither sporadic, interrupted use of a medication, nor "cold turkey" discontinuance should ever be recommended.

Simply "dropping" prescription drugs can create some very serious sideffects.

Avoidance of extremist thinking, or extremist action, has been a core of our teachings for years.

A mystic uses respect, but will speak up absolutely against any government, any church, or any activity that hurts the people. Don't believe me? Read Matthew chapter 23! Your readings in the history of mysticism are incomplete if you see mystics as "doormats," or uncomplaining, neutral, or mousy people! They were often so controversial that they were crucified, or driven out of town.

Mysticism is not a religion. Nor can it correctly be reduced to a "belief system." Each person in the Pneumariumfamily knows that she is free to embrace any religion in the world. This has been repeated dozens of times in our sessions.

Tolerance is definitely interwoven at every point in the psychology and philosophy of the mystic. And nothing but tolerance has ever been practiced in the Pneumariumfamily, and nothing else has ever been taught in any of our sharings.

We are very sensitive to the damage that cults can do, to the person and to society. But we do not define them. They enjoy a crystal-clear academic and sociological definition, which includes nearly two dozen identifiers. This is not the place to go into them (out of mercy on you, for this article is already too long).

No, we, as mystics, do not always preface all statements with, "In my opinion,..." because the mystic is supposed gradually to erase as much of the lower self (the "I") as possible. But anyone with even half a brain knows that, when a person is talking, she is expressing an opinion. It has been made crystal clear dozens of times that no claim is ever made of supernatural or superhuman status, special knowledge, or "extraterrestrial" or "extradimensional" sources for knowledge or wisdom. (These are all superstitions.)

As mystics, we value humility, and try honestly to cultivate it. Among our little group, no one, to our awareness, has ever acted smugly superior.

As far as being open-minded towards other faiths and patterns of living, we not only agree that people have a right to them; but we have actually gone out of our way to present and discuss them together. We have carefully discussed dozens of religions and philosophies in the Pneumarium. Although calling a destructive act or teaching what it is, we have approached groups as variable as Catholics, agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, Baptists, and Hindus with only Love in our hearts. And we continue to do so, as a part of tolerance.

We have discussed in detail how the ancient gnostics gathered in groups, as did the sufis and the kabbalists. The "leader" was the servant of all-- the least, not the greatest, in the entire group! And that is honestly how others in the family are encouraged to see any teacher-- as the servant, the least, of all. What kind of "fame," "power," or "glory" could be involved in teaching a group that very rarely exceeds ten people?!

We have gone out of our way to show extra and extraordinary kindness. We had an entire Pneumariumsession about the challlenge of how to handle and to treat people whom we do not "like." Love given to anyone would never be "Love wasted."

Should Love ever be limited to like-minded people? No way! And it certainly is not! The family shows Love every minute of every day to people of all faiths and views, including fundamentalists, atheists, people who are strongly conservative, and others-- just to give you a sampling.

We are always superdelighted to see each other at the Pneumarium! But whenever a stranger comes to join us, we are all, and always, excited! As mystics, we seek to adapt our conversation-style and subjects to the other. We do not seek to shove spiritual wisdom or philosophy down the throats of others! And let's face it: In our culture/society, over ninety percent of all conversation is friendly "small talk." Mystics do this out of compassion, adapting to the perceived needs of the other. Besides, if two strangers know nothing about each other, "small talk" is absolutely and totally normal. It is what people do.

Love is never to be limited to familiar people -- those whom we already know. We encourage each other, at virtually every Pneumariumsession, to reach out actively to "love" friends, family, strangers, and neighbors -- no matter how "different" from us they happen to be! As mystics, we fully recognize that most people are very different from us. This is like a hyacinth and a rose: Different, but neither is "better."

We are all part human and part Spirit. To be born a human being is the greatest of all karmic opportunities.

We are never defensive if certain views are challenged. You are absolutely free to believe that the moon is made of green cheese if you choose to! But, as a teacher, it is my calling to facilitate the clearest understanding possible among friends/students/clients. I think that you will agree, we mystics deal with some "heavy" concepts! We don't do a lot of "Love light.":)

We mystics have never had the smallest, most microscopic hassle from knowing how many people disagree with us. In fact, it is the majority of the population of the world. But, historically, the "crowd" has usually been flat-out wrong!

The mystic is free to believe, and to express, any idea that she wants.

It is strongly sensed that you would like to be a spiritual teacher. The first ingredient is wisdom; the second, equally indispensable, is kindness.

But universal Love does not imply that we just roll over, and let anyone say absolutely anything to us; it does not mean that we allow ourselves to be hurt or "bull-dozed" by strong personalities. For those who present themselves as "strongest" are really the weakest; you know that this is a sound psychological principle.

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