Meditations as of Late

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So where am I spiritually as of late? That’s a tough question to answer.

Craving Aletheia is a beautiful, beautiful blog, and I really enjoy writing about spirituality. Many of the insights I have during meditation are not exactly the easiest things to share, though the reality is quite clear in the meditation.

Articulating insights is not as easy as receiving them, because there are a number of connections people are normally unable to see that become clear in meditation. The occluded becomes revealed whereas the false assumptions we have about reality begin to slowly fall away.

Suffering is something necessary for the Sufi, and I have suffered and suffered in many ways, unfortunately.

By and large the suffering lately has been largely self-imposed, or so I think, but I could be wrong. Longing is an all right way to suffer, in my opinion; I would give to have longing and more longing, and increasingly it seems to be leading somewhere, but not to a place I can totally understand.

There comes a point where the rational mind cannot follow into the mystical realms. One’s thinking stops. Many times I have experienced a brief encounter in meditation of a thoughtless state where there are no thoughts, and usually my excitement causes me to start thinking again. The brief thoughtless states occur in deep meditation, and perhaps it is the elusive Dhyana, and perhaps it is not; I cannot be sure. What I do know is that my senses do not stop; I can still hear and have impressions from the outside world, but perhaps, that, too, will eventually shut down; I am not sure.

Increasingly it’s becoming clear that the Black Fire I’ve so often mentioned is indeed the Shakti, the Kundalini inside of the body. Had I only realized this connection sooner! The connection between Lord Shiva, Christ, and the Earth Father Archetype has also become clear to me.

The internet recently stopped working properly at my house, thus forcing me to write on my computer with no online connection, and to be honest I enjoyed the sense of productivity and actually getting something done. My second novel is almost complete, just in time for me to begin the work on the third and fourth ones. If I have my way, I’ll complete them all by the end of this year.

Meditation has also increased. Guided meditations are helpful because they help me to relax more, and relaxing my body is a crucial for me to meditate since my shoulders always seem to remain tense.

Forgiving myself seems to the name of the game these days. I realize a great deal of the tension that stays in my heart actually originates from my own refusal to forgive myself, even for things long gone into the past that no longer matter whatsoever. Forgiving one’s self seems to be the key to be able to forgive others as well, thus it would be beneficial for me to learn what it means to forgive myself.

Beaux

MGMT Video: Kids

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This video is incredibly disturbing.

I think that it’s necessary to face it though, because it shows that human nature is uncertain, that we perceive the threats in the world at an early age, and that our infant mind can’t process things and that this creates a great deal of anxiety about the world around us.

But in the end, even though we have comforting images here (the Goddess/God the Mother appears at one point) and even then we have the image of Self or the Absolute, this, too, breaks apart and turns into an infinite chaotic rabbit hole of the Void into which we endlessly spiral.

That is the entire nature and journey of the human soul- we live our lives challenging this strange, empty world that’s in front of us, and then we discover that we cling to what is familiar, but even the familiar will transform into a chaotic Unknown for the mind.

What does it all mean?

It’s so deep, so incredibly deep.

Beaux

Quite a Nice List!

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From Dianne Sylvan’s blog, “Dancing Down the Moon: Witch, Please.”

Here are the things I don’t care about:

I don’t care what the name of your religion is.
I don’t care what the names of your gods are.
I don’t care how old your religion is.
I don’t care if your great-great-whatever grandmother passed down your famtrad Book of Shadows under the watchful eye of the Inquisition.
I don’t care if an entire civilization worshipped your Goddess for ten thousand years.
I don’t care if you made Her up based on manga or Tolkien or a dream you had.
I don’t care where you place your altar.
I don’t care which direction you call Earth.
I don’t care how psychic you are.
I don’t care if you’re smarter than me.
I don’t care why you eat meat, or don’t.
I don’t care how many shields you think you need.
I don’t care how your childhood trauma made you a powerful magickian.
I don’t care if you spell “magic” with a k.
I don’t care if you were an Atlantean Magus in your last life.
I don’t care if you’re brand-spanking new.
I don’t care how much you hate Christians.
I don’t care how many degrees you have.
I don’t care if people call you “Lady” or “Lord.”
I don’t care if you’re King of all Londinium and wear a shiny hat.
I don’t care if you can read minds or light candles with your breath.
I don’t care how the world owes you a living.
I don’t care if you’ve been studying the Craft for thirty years or thirty minutes.
I don’t care what your totem animal is, especially if it’s a wolf, raven, or unicorn.
I don’t care if you can trace your lineage back to Gardner.
I don’t care if you think I’m a moron, fraud, or basket case.
I don’t care how many books you’ve read.
I don’t care how much or how little money you have.

What do I care about?

I care that your religion has made you a kinder, more compassionate person.
I care that you can hold down a job.
I care that you’re growing past whatever happened to you as a child or last year.
I care that your gods help you become stronger without coddling you.
I care that you are willing and able to adapt and change as your life does.
I care that you care about the Earth.
I care that you care about someone and something outside yourself.
I care that you practice your religion with devotion and reverence.
I care that you respect others’ paths.
I care that you never stop learning.
I care that you can conduct adult relationships with respect and understanding.
I care that you get how hilarious life is.
I care that you know when to ask for help.
I care that you realize that someone will always be smarter, more powerful, and more together than you.
I care that you realize it doesn’t matter, because tomorrow you’ll be smarter, more powerful, and more together than you were yesterday.
I care that you have reasons for everything you do, even if those reasons are purely intuitive.
I care that you can admit when you’re wrong.
I care that you know you’re both a tiny speck in a vast universe and a rare, precious jewel in the darkened sky.
I care that you’re making a difference.
I care that you know when to speak and when to shut the hell up.
I care that you are seeking a relationship with Deity and with Nature.
I care that you are healthy.
I care that you’re contributing to your family and community.
I care that your capacity for love and joy increase with every passing year.
I care that you believe in yourself.
I care that you’re doing the best you can.

You can visit her blog here:

Dancing Down the Moon

She’s got a pretty good list going there, and I have to agree with her.

Beaux


Memoirs of My Religion III

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During my post-Christian era, the major religions that came to the forefront for me were Wicca and Buddhism. What I liked about them specifically, I’ll try to spell out here, as they were symbolic of the larger struggle that I experience even to this day.

Wicca appealed to me for the sake of power and by virtue that all was related to nature. Allow me to first back up, though, and bring out something else:

When I was in 5th grade, the movie The Craft came out. Magic had always interested me, specifically the kind you see wizards and witches using (I was obsessed with the Wicked Witch of the West as a child), and The Craft, when I finally saw it, brought out a theological point that I didn’t quite understand.

Namely, that theological point occurs when Sarah asks about Manon.

Nancy explains that Manon is like God and the Devil- that it’s everything. It’s the moon, it’s the rocks, it’s the trees. If God and the Devil were playing football, Manon would be the stadium they played on, it would be the Sun that shown down on them.

And provided, this concept of God resonates heavily with the concept of Brahman from the Hindu traditions, and the reality is that it magnifies God to be much larger and more inclusive than the evangelical Christian idea of God. There’s not a lot of room for argument on that.

Thus, Wicca was in. In the more orthodox sense of Wicca (if such a statement can be made), there is actually the worship of a God and a Goddess. They are, however, synonymous with Nature in most cases, and the question of whether they’re actual anthropomorphic spirits, personified energetic currents, archetypes, or symbols is often a moot point in the actual practice of Wicca.

The structure of Wiccan ritual was neatly defined. The theology was laid out, and as far magic and casting spells went, this was largely left up to the practitioner.

There’s an entire blog I’ll have to write about the politics within Wicca and the larger Pagan and Neo-Pagan community, along with the realm of arguing who is and isn’t Wiccan and who is and isn’t a witch.

Naturally, as a teenager outside the mainstream, using the edgier term “witch” was totally in with me. Also, I had a tendency to be drawn more towards spells and spell-books, and naturally I missed the deeper spiritual current that existed in Wicca.

The other majorly influential religion at this time was Buddhism. Buddhism was and is part and parcel of Japanese culture as well as the culture of East Asia in general. Buddhism also afforded me something that seemed more realistic- the concept of Nirvana, a state of being in which one experiences bliss, compassion, and wisdom. The ethical arguments of the Buddhists, the principles of meditation and the rational explanations that were given appealed to my highly skeptical mind.

But Wicca and Buddhism had serious theological conflicts. Now that I look back, I see they are in reality not as conflicted as I thought, and I have managed to gather what the crux of the problem is, glossing over it in other entries.

In the end, it went something like this: I was Buddhist as my religion, but not Wiccan as my religion. I practiced magic, yes, but not in terms of a religious structure.

Around this same time, a former friend, the same one who introduced me to comparative religion and the Astrotheology I had been so avid about a few years before, began to pursue Sufism because of his philosophy teacher.

Sufism, in a nutshell and by most people, would be classified simply as Islamic mysticism. The current of Sufism my friend brought was not quite like that.

Sufism was all about love. Love, Longing, and God. God was everything, and everything was God. The concepts were highly analogous to Buddhism but made use of Western religious words and imagery. The Sufis largely were everything that the fundamentalist Muslims were not- loving, embracing, tolerant, filled with a love for God and all mankind and wanting peace in the world.

The current of Sufism affected me, somehow. I’m still not sure when it took, when it began to happen, but I firmly believe even now that God cried out to me then in a way that I had never heard Him.

Then came the dark era. The same friend introduced me to a website called the Actual Freedom Trust. The AFT claimed to be a new, non-spiritual way to find liberation. Their leader, Richard, claimed to have found a state no one else had ever been in and developed a method to find that state.

Somehow, they really brought me to a point of fear, a point of, “What if when we die, we really do just stop existing?” that caused me to become one of their blind followers. The only solution, if we just die when we die, is to seek out this state Richard’s talking about!

This was my next real experience with cults.

My critical thinking skills were not sharp enough at the time, and inability to question authority except in extreme cases of abuse led me to swallow huge amounts of Actual Freedom “dogma.” Intuitively, I knew something was wrong, though I was unable to articulate exactly what it was about the AFT that bothered me so much.

I fought against their concepts but felt the pressure of the authority prevented me from thinking for myself.

At this time, I declared myself an avowed atheist, I became more arrogant and self-righteous than I had ever been (after all, I suddenly found the “right” religion again), and I was literally more miserable than I had ever been before.

Off and on again there was an internal battle with Actual Freedom, and finally at the beginning of 2006, I managed to completely shirk the 3 year long battle and move on with my life.

One of my first assessments of the AFT prior to my swallowing their dogma was that they were simply parroting mysticism of old, and even though it was repackaged and resold teachings of all the world’s traditions, they acted like they had something new- but it wasn’t. It was simply mysticism put in extremely materialistic terms. Numerous people would say things to get approval, and numerous other people said stupid things to try to explain to the poor idiotic fools who didn’t agree with them just why they were wrong.

Making an open comparison between Actualism and Mysticism was tantamount to heresy and created all kinds of ridicule of just how wrong people were.

Eventually the abuses, the lies, the contradictions, the blatant superiority complex of Richard and his followers, and failure of the method to deliver what it promised it would deliver to me caught up with me, and I rightly left that path.

That brings us almost into the modern era of my spirituality- almost, but not quite, which is to say we probably have two or three more blogs on this subject.

Beaux