A New Mission

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Having finally completed Bernadette Roberts’s book What is Self? I can now give a greater and fuller commentary on it than before.

Again, I want to point to her unique perspectives on things, and by reading about her journey, I now understand Christianity in a much different light, and it’s only a solidification of the mystical aspects of it.

In mainstream Christianity, there are plenty of errors, which typically begin with a bad approach and eventually devolve into some kind of legalism that requires one to find Bible verses to back up reality. That is not the focus of this entry, however. I can still spew out my spite for the Bibliolatry that so many Christians fall into, but that’s not going to get us anywhere here.

Bernadette is critical of some others who speak about Christian mysticism, notably Evelyn Underhill. Since I have Underhill’s book on Christian mysticism, I’m going to read it and see where she falls in regards to Bernadette.

I do find it strange that Bernadette proposes that we continue even upon the death of the body as we know it- in the sense that there is some aspect of the body that exists that we cannot readily perceive with our senses. As I pointed out before, this seemed to be a lot like the idea of the soul or spirit, only spun differently.

I’ll know when I get there, I suppose.

So my new mission is to go through more of the Christian mystical literature and see what I can find that relates to Bernadette’s experience and potentially to my own experience.

Some would say that I shouldn’t “follow” anyone as a particular teacher, but then, that never worked. I understand that we can’t expect one human to give us everything that we need, and yet maybe that person can take us far enough along the path that we can stand on our own.

I wouldn’t say that I’m following Bernadette Roberts so much as I would say that I’m going to practice Christianity and see if it really does result in what she says it does.

Of course, I should also make the point that she mentions how we can absorb the BEST of all other paths without necessarily leaving our own. And I’m okay with that. I’ve definitely absorbed a bulk of Sufism- but to call myself Gnostic and Sufi is kind of a redundant.

Christianity, even with all the numerous errors that it has produced over the years, is still the basic framework with which we can go in the American culture. Some might object to the Catholic sense of it and go one further to say that American Christianity has largely been puritanical and Protestant in nature, but the Catholic mystery still holds, and I’m all for that.


Everyday To-Do List

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1. Listen to music you like, when you first get up in the morning, and before you go to bed. Seek out and listen to at least one song you’ve never heard before.

2. Write a short story, even if it’s only a single page long.

3. Draw. Anything. Seriously.

4. Exercise! Your body wants it.

5. Pray and meditate. Your soul wants it!

6. Free-think. Allow random patterns and connections to form in your mind, and then gently nudge them to create novel, arbitrary ones.

7. Matrixing. Throw your senses into some random object, and isolate the senses, one by one. See the blueness of something. See the squareness of something.

8. Create something. It needn’t be a masterpiece- just a creation!

9. Learn a new word in your native language- and use it.

10. Study a foreign language.

Sorry about the random blog.

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I posted a food blog to this blog earlier by sheer accident; I wasn’t paying attention, and look what happened. Haha.

Salmon patties are not that spiritual.


Advantage: God is in the Pain

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So, as things have come to what they have come, I have to remember continually to surrender myself to Christ, and yet this is a terrible, terrible thing to have to do.

It is said that before doing so, surrender is the most difficult thing, and after doing so, surrender is the easiest thing.

I suppose I have not surrendered.

The Rock is still there, despite all the pain that has happened recently. I wonder, and I wonder more, and I still wait for the real meaning of things to become clear. Often this can only happen in retrospect, and I do wonder at times how many tears one must cry before one is exhausted.

Bhai Sahib said that the ego cannot go through laughter and caresses; it must be chased with sorrow and drowned with tears.

Perhaps the greatest strength I have is found in the weakness of my sensitivity. Because I am so sensitive, because I live my life in a raw fashion, because it does not take much to hurt me, it does not take much to break me down, it means things that are not hardly perilous to a normal person can be used by God to destroy and grind down my ego. Things that would not phase someone with a stronger personality crush and distort and bend me all around.

Thank God for it. Thank God that my suffering, while tremendous, is not the suffering that some have endured in their lifetimes. This is peanuts compared to what some go through, and that, I think is the ultimate saving grace in it all.

For many mystics, there is not as much suffering, but whatever the reality of the path that I have chosen is, I know that it will and does and has involved suffering; that is obvious, and it is obvious that the suffering is conducive to my progress.

But as I have heard, once the ego goes, there is no trace of it any more- no trace of the entity that suffered all things. One does not sit and remember those things as they were- it could no longer hurt you when you get to that stage, so let us hope, let us hope that this is the final nail in the coffin, and that the ego can no longer dominate.

God is in the pain. Somehow, somewhere, God wants this, and I’ll take it, and I’ll offer it back to Him. God is in the pain.


The Incredibly Busy Brain of Beaux

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Craving Aletheia definitely has such a lack of focus at times that I wonder if there’s even a point to writing in here, and yet I find that if I don’t record my own journey, then there may be a time when I regret it and that it will not be able to help others in the way that the journeys of others have helped me.

One thing that happens to the mystic is that we take heart in seeing that another mystic has gone through something similar to ourselves. This is when we realize that no matter how crazy things may seem, someone else has seen the same thing, and thus it is another aspect of reality that is important to accept.

A note that has been made by a few different mystics recently is that God will ultimately make you do things that you do not want to do, and sometimes will not give you what you do want. I want to write a direct commentary on this experience for the sake of clarification, and it’s quite important to read it.

First, what is meant by this, from my own experience, is that you will automatically say and do things in accordance with God’s Will without any personal reflection of your own- or at least very little. You are not given the option in this case- you simply speak and act and do accordingly.

What is revealed in this situation is that God is in control, and you’re in no position personally to question God about these matters- at least in practice. But I do want to point out that this almost an instinctual response, though it doesn’t seem quite in line with what we normally think of as being instinctual. Rather, it’s an automatic response that just happens whether you want it to or not.

The trouble with saying this is that for millennia, religious leaders have abused the idea of God’s Will to their own ends and for their own sakes. A notorious example is that God’s Will is relegated to some kind of reference to one’s own conscience and is used to make one feel guilty for going against certain cultural standards that may not make sense to begin with.

So what I mean by God’s Will in this case is something much more subtle and different, yet in the moment, it is Absolute. On the ego-level, there is a lot of confusion that can happen, but below the ego-level, there is a steadiness that exists. I think this may be the proverbial “rock” upon which one must build one’s house.

In reality, the opposite seems to happen, at least in my instance- the rock suddenly emerged, and suddenly I was attached to it forevermore. This is at least when the rock is here apparently; sometimes God’s Presence is not so readily apparent, as many mystics can tell you.

Now I am realizing what it means to be given in service to others, to be focused on others. Focus on myself has done relatively little to improve anything. That does not mean that, at this point, that I have no shred of self-concern; on the contrary, I do, and I can see it happening many times during the day. But it is amazing to see that in the midst of the self-concern, God’s Presence can overwhelm it, and a much greater reality intervenes in that movement, and my ego is not truly an issue.

I don’t want to be presumptuous- but I do wonder if the dawning of the “unitive state” is upon me. I’ve had some suspicions because of a few experiences that have happened over the past few months in knowing my own oneness with God, but it doesn’t seem to have completely eradicated the ego- at least not yet. Perhaps it isn’t an all-or-nothing moment; perhaps it is more gradual than I had guessed originally.

The hallmark of this all is a kind of unshakeable confidence, the rock I mentioned, which had been until now completely missing. Now I know that, even if it doesn’t appear at all moments, somewhere, it is there, and I am one with it, and it is unshakeable, unmovable, and nothing can ever destroy it or end it- the rock is there, and it is Eternal. There is nothing that could happen to the inner rock that could ever move it- so despite my fears, despite my anxiety, despite the very obvious amounts of adrenaline running through my body, when I am aware of the Inner Rock, the Inner Authority, I am grounded in something stronger than the winds and tides of life.

One thing I can say- the mystics have not been lying. They have not told an untruth about the Self; the Self is quite real. I can see that for myself now. I have seen many of the archetypes and so forth. These are all real, and so I can, at this point, only conjecture that if the No-Ego state is real, then the No-Self state must also be real- it’s an interesting and frightening prospect, Reality, but I’m in it for the long-haul, and I daresay God’s better at alluring me than I know, because His Beauty will draw me to Him again and again, and I just can’t resist Beauty!

That’s all for now.


Fast Track

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Maybe God put me on the fast track to Him.

One thing after the next, but it must be offered up to God, again and again and again, until there is nothing left to offer.
There is pain, but the pain isn’t something I understand. There is disappointment, but there is a tired and great stillness below it all.
What is it that I want?
My confusion is great about what should happen. I seem to automatically be yielding to God, not knowing what it is that God wants for me and from me in my suffering, but I offer it to Him anyway. Perhaps it is merely ego that assumes that the suffering will somehow enlighten me, that somehow there’s something good to come of it, but why else would there be such suffering?
The nature of the Absolute is mysterious. The nature of the suffering is mysterious. Everything seems to be a great void in this moment, but there is pain, too- emotional hardship that others wouldn’t necessarily grasp.
On another level, I feel that it’s difficult to keep holding on. There’s not much more of me to go. There’s not much more of an ego that can be here, is there? I can’t imagine that there is. I can’t imagine that there’s much left to suffer, to be miserable, to hurt.
After I finish reading Bernadette Roberts, it’s own to the Dark Night of the Soul.
I pray that I know the right thing to do. I pray for love, love of God and love of fellow man.
Red State Mystic: I haven’t forgotten the blog about grace and taking things, I promise you. What’s happening now necessarily ties in.


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I’ve noticed a strange thing about moods.

Basically, a mood comes on, and it runs in the background. If one is in a basically good mood, one may become stressed or dismayed still, but the mood remains basically good- one can bounce back to it.

A bad mood, on the other hand, operates the other way. You may find something funny, you may find something that you enjoy, but the mood is still running on negativity.

This is an intriguing discovery to me, to learn that a mood is something happening unconsciously or at least subconsciously. This makes me wonder: what do we do to improve our mood? What do we to feel happier? How does a bad mood or a good mood come about? Is it all unconscious? Do we have any control over it? It’s curious.


More on Bernadette Roberts


To anyone who is into mysticism and more specifically Christian mysticism (which is largely oriented towards the great Catholic and Gnostic traditions), I highly suggest picking up a copy of Bernadette Roberts’s book What is Self?

Her perspectives end out upside the doctrinal boundaries of mainstream Christianity for the most part and challenge positions posited by Carl Jung and various mystical systems in the world, which may seem somewhat threatening on the one hand, but she does so in concluding that humanity is ultimately diverse, and she also takes care to spell out the differences in the use of terminology.

However, her own philosophy that is offered is extremely novel and refreshing, and I think that much makes it worth the read.

Her ultimate conclusions are something I encountered in Actual Freedom and from U.G. Krishnamurti, and it’s no wonder that she’s specifically “dealt with” on the Actual Freedom website- her perspectives are so incredibly analogous to what they say that she naturally challenges their dogma, and as Richard and his ilk are not the sort of people who enjoy being challenged (or rather, ridicule anyone who argues with them).

But the real thing that sets them apart is that Bernadette comes from a Christian perspective in which the individual soul is not God. Richard in the Actual Freedom Trust comes from the Eastern perspective that ultimately, the soul is God and God is the soul, and thus if one eliminates or goes beyond the Higher Self, one necessarily goes beyond God.

Bernadette simply says that the experience of God ceases- that ultimately, the experience was all of the Self and not of God. You can see how this can be problematic for the Eastern systems.

But she also goes on to say something that U.G. says- the body is eternal. There is an eternal body, in other words- an aspect of the body that we don’t readily apprehend through our senses and so on, and so that only death that ever occurs is the “death of the Higher Self.”

It’s all very confusing, and I wonder sometimes if I go through the whole journey, what will happen, what I will encounter, what I will report back to everyone else.

Certainly, I plan to not be dogmatic or run around with a superiority complex over it- as this seems to be problematic with some of the people who actually make the journey. I’ve yet to understand how people who claim to have no ego and no self can be so absolutely arrogant in the way that they are.

For the Gnostic, the concept that the body and not the soul is eternal is somewhat problematic because of the idea that spirit is superior to matter. However, perhaps it can be said that it is not matter that is the problem, but the systems and limitations imposed on matter. Bernadette seems to find the reconciliation in saying that the Higher Self is actually the “veil” that separates us from absolute reality and the knowledge of Christ and matter and so on.

She also deals with the idea of “Christ is matter,” which she said is an error, but that it’s at least a closer approximation than a lot of ideas that go around.

I’ll continue reading and continuing searching, and I’ll go receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist as often as possible.


The Catholic Mass…Revealed!

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I love this video.

I may end up in the RCC after all.


Hey, It Can Hurt: To Be True or NOT to Be True; that is the Question! …True or False?

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One of the latest writing prompts from WordPress suggested we talk about Truth and whether or not it hurts; that is, the whole principle of, “Is ignorance bliss?” and so on.

So this is our question:

Is it better to know the truth, or is ignorance bliss?

Truth, truth, truth.

Here’s why: knowing the truth, you can do something. Or you may not be able to do anything. But yes, I think in most cases if you know the truth, you can also respond authentically to that truth. Reality flows, nothing is impeded.

Truth may hurt.

But the ignorance can hurt more.

Ignorance is, in reality, the preparation for a much more unpleasant truth on down the road. Better to hurt a bit now than to be in the dark and get your ass kicked later on. In other words, sooner or later, truth is going to come pushing up through the situation anyway.

For instance (and this a gory example), you may have cancer. And if you do, you need to be told so- so that you can take steps to be healed. But if you’re not told you have cancer, well, what can you do about it? You would just end up dying suddenly.

So truth is better, hands down.


P.S. Sorry everyone for the former lack of post. My blog client was having problems.

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