Sometimes to see where you are you have to look back at where you’ve been. Don’t linger there, just take a quick glimpse, fill in any unaddressed hollows that could haunt you into the forevers.
Introspection while steeped in solitude is the best way I’ve found for unraveling the knots of self misconception.
In 1997 when I moved from the west coast of California to the high desert mountains of Arizona I traded seagulls and the ocean for ravens and the high desert sky.
I traded people and the city for the life of a recluse and the wilderness.
I spent 9 years in solitude.
It took 3 years of just sitting or aimlessly wandering the hills like an unteathered camel to wash away forty eight years of accumulations motivated by fear.
Almost half a century held captive by fear.
It took another three years to trade anger for compassion, sorry for joy and the intellect for intuition.
And another three years to end reification and set myself free from me.
Nine years facing the wall of introspective solitude.
Because I believe if you don’t take the time you forfeit the rhythm of simply being.
People have asked me how can you spend nine years in complete solitude.
The further out you go, the longer you stay and the longer you stay the less likely you are to find a reason to return.
I’m a spiritual wisdom thief, I’ll steal wisdom anywhere I find it. I’ve taken it from the esoteric Christians, Sufis, Buddhist, Taoists, Hindus, Native Americans and Aborigines. When I received my doctor of divinity in esoteric belief systems I became the James Bond of solitary monks with a license to steal. I do have my principles however, I only steal the ancient stuff who’s copyrights have long since expired.
Esoteric refers to something less known or understood, the mysticism in spirituality is a good example. Mysticism is abstruse and obscure, two things that human nature is uncomfortable with. Most people prefer the exoteric beliefs that are easily understood with literal meaning. A good example is John 3:16, one of the most favored passages in the bible, “For God so loved the world…” it’s comforting and that’s the whole point behind beliefs. Spiritual beliefs should bring you comfort in living which brings comfort in death.
For myself I derive comfort from understanding. In the Tao The Ching, believed to be written in the 4th century BC by the Chinese Taoist mystic- Lao Tzu, he writes; “Heaven-and-Earth is not sentimental; It treats all thing as straw dogs.” may seem blasphemous and not very comforting but it explains a lot about the workings of life and the world.
If your going to believe in a supernatural power and supreme being, a divine deity whose nature and power is independent and transcends the material universe, it would stand to reason that sentiment (a human emotion) wouldn’t or couldn’t have a factor in why things happen. This keeps me from blaming or finding fault with the Divine Deity and ever asking “How could God let this happen.” When I was two I contracted polio in the orphanage and barely escaped an iron lung. I didn’t ask “Why me.” The logical response was why not me? During the polio wars of the 1950’s there were 350,000 casualties, I just happened to be one of them. Behind every seemingly misfortune is an underlying good fortune. I’ve never had to slow down and smell the roses because I’m not capable of moving fast enough to have to slow down. I worked with enough paraplegic and quadriplegics daredevils in my career to appreciate the fact that polio limited my options for self destruction. From age 9 to 16 the state social services department didn’t have any place else to send me so I wound up in a work house and went days without eating. Sure it was a bitch but I learned early on how hard I was capable of working which is why I was able to accomplish what I have. I eventually jumped out the bedroom window and ran away and lived on the streets but continued to go to school. School was so much easier than the work house that I graduated with a full scholarship to the university of my choice.
The Divine workings operate on a scale that is beyond our comprehension. Acts of nature like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and forest fires are difficult to understand in the eyes of man but in the eyes of the divine I refrain from judgement. The actions of humanity can be similarly viewed. People have a wide behavioral variant, we run the gamut from saint to sadist and thankfully there are more of the former than the latter. The day may come when that changes and this glorious planet shakes us off it’s surface like a dog does water after a bath. I trust that my belief in the workings of Divine continuance sends me sailing into space on mystical winds with a smile.
Mike and Lori
There is a totality that’s so complete, it goes beyond conventional existence.
It would not be seen if found, nor felt if touched. If you were to stand in the middle of it you wouldn’t know it. If it roared past you there would be no sound or the hint of a breeze.
It is beyond thought and so it can’t be pondered by conventional mind or verbalized with voice.
It can only be known through it’s intention and so it goes beyond conscious concern.
Intention is the fluidity in mystical movement and we are but a drop in it’s ocean.
Become the intention
When I first plunged into the mystical waters of prolonged solitude.
I met my insignificant self.
You could hear my joyful laughter for millenniums.
The older I become
The more I understand
But the less I’m understood
Because subterranean mumbles can only be heard by diggers of mystical tunnels
in the bedrock of forever unknowings.
Where very few people venture to go
because the lack of any definitive can bring a sense of absence in being
Where there is no distinction between anything perceived
In the great immensity of singular expanse.
There are so many things in modern living that take us away from the essence.
Insidious distractions of desire grown not from the earth but the bank vaults of currencies.
Spinning our destiny’s into the hollows of profit based insignificance.
We stand in the middle of Divine wonderment while searching for a WiFi connection to a manipulated nowhere.
And miss the true movement of the earth spinning in the essential wonderment of mystical revelry.
Where the wind of the spin whispers the ‘knowing’
that will continue to go tragically unnoticed
until the spinning simply stops.