On Mystical Consciousness and the Awareness of Subtle Things

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After being born, and as we adjust to our awareness of this world, we learn words for various phenomena and are able to communicate that we “see red, taste sugar,” and so on; consciousness acquires symbols to describe and express its contents. Generally speaking, however, this process seems to stop at a certain point for the vast majority of humans- the reason being that from an evolutionary point of view, the amount of consciousness necessary for us to survive in this world was determined long ago, and though we are aware that we are aware, few of us ever consider that perhaps the process can continue.

Enter mysticism. The nature of mysticism is, from one perspective, a logical progression of consciousness- it expands beyond the normative degree of awareness that has proven immediately evolutionarily beneficial.

The biggest hurdle at this point is the use of symbols to describe what is going on as they rarely, if ever, are able to fully contain the sublime contents present in the mystical mind; the second biggest hurdle seems to be relaying the experience to others who then mistake the symbols for the thing-in-itself.

This is precisely where religion and spirituality arise, and this is precisely where everything begins to fall apart. People who are taught religion far too early in their lives acquire a muddled, immediate, literalistic interpretation of the complex myth and poetry and rituals that destroys most of its usefulness beyond mere social cohesion dedicated to a cause.

Ideology and social rallying have their place; I’m not here to argue against that.

Rather, my argument is, and has been, that religion’s purpose is one of transformation and change of the individual to be united with something greater than themselves and ultimately to attain a state of enduring, unshakeable peace, if not also happiness and fulfillment.

But to back up for a second- we see the yearning, the desire for myth and ritual, in many people, especially creative people. Our storytelling, religious or not, is about conveying something more complex than a few sentences. Entire books, classes, and courses are dedicated (and have been dedicated!) for many years to the analysis of various pieces of mythological and literature.

The real question that always comes back for some of us is whether or not there’s an element of a teacher/analyzer’s own agenda and whether or not they’re simply reading things into a book that the author never intended.

But perhaps that is, in fact, an element of importance- perhaps finding something NEW in myth and story is what it’s all about.

Yet eternal novelty doesn’t solve all problems, in the same way as simply taking refuge in tradition doesn’t solve all problems.

We are rooted in the past but growing toward the future. Such is the nature of our consciousness. Reading the same book every ten years might yield new insights to the book as one grows older and has more life experience.

I’ve always been unapologetic about my likes and dislikes. It’s actually amazing the number of movies I’ve seen that are critically acclaimed or panned, but that I hate or love. I’m not interested in what’s considered an “objective” critique of movies; the “objective” critique is simply a critique with a consensus, and the consensus may well be wrong.

MY like or dislike for a story is ultimately based upon whether or not I can personally relate to the story, the characters, or whether or not their interactions are interesting.

That being said, allow me to return to my original line of thought.

As I get older and continue with my own private spiritual practice, a subtle awareness has developed and made itself increasingly known within me. Let me be clear that regardless of what I may have done to help this process along, the sudden awareness of this awareness was not my doing; I’ve struggled for many years to be aware that I’m aware and to kindle what I call the Black Fire within me only to have no avail.

Yet now it blazes freely but subtly.

You see, the idea that God is in the small, still voice is true- it’s a reference to the Divine or whatever one might call it being such a normal part of reality that It’s pretty much imperceptible.

There’s also what I would call, at times, a thinning of the worlds between the conscious and subconscious mind. I’ve consistently held that we are always dreaming, but that our conscious mind suppresses the on-going dream. We are indeed living multiple lives simultaneously, and it is a most miraculous process.

The creatives of the world show some honing of this reality and utilize it- so much the better. We need more creative people in the world to access this deeper realm and show us that there is more to our minds, our lives, this world, than most people think. The mechanistic image of the universe be damned, and be damned again, and be damned yet again; down with the age that has taken reason to the level of a savage and destroyed its nobility by stripping it naked and flogging it until it’s but a steaming pile of broken flesh.

I’m not sure what the word to describe me is- perhaps I’m an Idealist at heart? I need to study philosophy more so I can more accurately identify my positions, though I think all positions are, in some way or another, “qualified” and not raw and pure “this or that.”

More later.


On Experiencing that I’m Not Pagan

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Recently, on my Facebook, I had taken to posting artwork and depictions of the Wiccan God and Goddess; a kind of movement was going through me in conceiving of That One Force in the universe as The Goddess and so on.

My husband and I did a small Wicca-based ritual before dinner this past Saturday night, and I have to say, the ritual…well, it left me empty and lacking. It didn’t nourish me the way I needed it to. I didn’t have the same connection I had once felt to any kind of Goddess-God dynamic.

I went through the Unitarian Universalism “new member” classes a few weeks ago. I actually had no interest in joining; I took the classes for the sake of my husband and to support him learning more about being UU. (He’s already a member.)

A particular status was provided for me, though- Friend of the Congregation.

And that status is identical with how I feel about Paganism in general- maybe one might making a joke and say “Friend of the Coven.”

This is most surprising to me; I genuinely thought I could partake of every religion equally, or at least to the extent that I was able, but everything suddenly has been turned on its head.

Not much left to ponder- I simply know that I’m in the realm of the Christian religion, albeit a highly mystical and esoteric one.

May the peace of God be upon you all.