We Live to “Solve for X”

canyonlands 16x24 edged

Canyonlands, Utah, Russell K. Davis ©2011

Today’s Quote:  “No path or religion ‘owns’ spirituality; you do.”

Quote #2:  “Our lives are experiments; our particular science is to conduct our experiments to distill wisdom’s essence.”

 

As heroic Souls we are not here to live a life of ease, but to face our tests and learn our lessons.  The world is a schoolroom and the different parts and phases of our lives are as separate classes we take for a grade.  Many times we pass; sometimes we fail.    Life is about solving problems; turning problems into situations.  As in a mathematical equation where we solve for an unknown answer “X,” we live to “solve for X.”

I once belonged to a spiritual path that through decades had devolved and transformed into a religion.  Sensing that the “church” was gradually becoming more dogmatic, bound by guidelines and rules, I left.  I still appreciated the teachings of spirituality just not the “dos and don’ts.”  Increasingly, to participate one had to perform a kind of organizational dance that I with amusement called the “should and shouldn’t shuffle.” Continue reading

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The Examined Life

Today’s Quote:  “The unexamined life is not worth living…”  Socrates

Have you ever taken a test at school with which you were so well-prepared that its taking was fun?  I have, and the memory stands in contrast to other memories of other tests whose taking were “less than joyful.”  Our lives are as school courses we take for a grade.  We undergo a series of tests with the goal of at least passing and hopefully excelling.

Clearly, life for us is a kind of classroom.  We learn our lessons quickly or slowly until one day we graduate. We then learn that graduation is not an ending, but a beginning for our next course of study.  Our life’s journey is a path, a way.  Our journey is a course we travel; it is our life’s teaching.  It is our school examination.

Mythosophy, the Wisdom of Myth, deals with our “Foundational Life Goals” or Motivating Ideals.  These often manifest as our practical goals.  They serve us as creative matrices or focal points in our lives for movement of our consciousness.  Toward what do we move?  That is up to us. Continue reading

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Icarus, Balance and Spiritual Flight

Today’s quote:  “Balance is living in spiritual flight.  Spiritual flight is living in balance.”

I have been a pilot most of my life and have often wondered about the metaphysical implications of the work we do.

“Airliner 123, cleared for takeoff, runway 27 Right” says the Tower Controller.  “Cleared for takeoff, 27R, Airliner 123” reads back my co-pilot.  As Captain, I switch on the takeoff lights, enter the runway and line up on the centerline.

One last check inside and out, then thrust levers advanced, auto-thrust engaged, and we begin our takeoff roll. Continue reading

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A Sound Exercise

Lone Tree, Namibia 2007

Lone Tree, Namibia© Russell K. Davis 2007

Contemplative Practices:  A Sound Exercise

Part 4:  The Spiritual Exercise of H-U-M

Today’s Quote:  “Sacrilege or sacrifice; when are we not contemplating?”

Quote #2:  “Look into the eternal mirror for your true reflection.”

Mythosophy is a contemplative path to spirituality.  It is the awakening of your journey in consciousness from yourself, through yourself, toward your future self, spiritually.  Practice is essential.

How does one contemplate?  What practices do we employ?

Good question.  I throw it directly back to you, the reader; the contemplator.  What say you? Continue reading

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Art, Myth; our Creativity

White Sands, New Mexico 2012

White Sands© Russell K. Davis, 2012

(Originally published October 15, 2015 at Mythosophy.org)

Today’s quote:  “You are an artist; your past is your portfolio.”

At the heart of Traditionalism, also called the Primordial Tradition, is a viewpoint called the Perennial Philosophy.  Briefly, the Latin philosophia perennis was first used by Agostino Steuco in 1540 and later mentioned by Gottfried Liebniz in the early 1700s.

Perhaps the most succinct expression of this viewpoint is given by Aldous Huxley in the introduction to his book The Perennial Philosophy:

“…the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent ground of all being—the thing is immemorial and universal.”  (Huxley A., p. iii, from the Introduction, Harper, New York:  1945)

In other word, (1) there is a divine reality, (2) we share a connection with it and (3) life’s purpose is learning how we participate in this divine reality.

Mythosophy, the Wisdom of Myth is one way of discovering our individual connection with this divine reality through our “true words” and “true stories” (the original meaning of mythmuthos in Greek).  Mythosophy is myth made personal.

Mythosophy is idealistic in that it is the examination, identification and practice of the Ideal we hold most dear; from which our creativity flows into expression.  Our Ideal generates our motivating Ideas which give birth to our creative Images.  Our Images are the substances from which we draw, color and paint the pictures from our hearts upon the blank canvas of our lives.

Creativity is key.

You are an artist; your past is your portfolio.  Moving forward, what will your artistic talent render?  How may we best fill in the blank canvas?

A work of art is a thing of beauty.  What can we do to make our lives works of art?   Mythosophy, the Wisdom of Myth, can assist in improving our art.

Improving our art brings clarity and knowledge of our participation in Divine Reality.

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Direct Spiritual Realization

(Originally published September 15, 2015 at Mythosophy.org)

Contemplative Practices: Direct Spiritual Realization

Part 3: Direct Spiritual Realization Technique

Today’s Quote: “We create our paths back to our Source.”

Quote #2: “God Consciousness is consciousness of God.”

Mythosophy is a wisdom path. The Wisdom of Myth is the experience of our true stories and our true words distilled from our lives. In the pursuit of wisdom we will gain and endure spiritual experience. We will learn to talk with Spirit, the expression or “Word” of Total Consciousness. Talking with Spirit means we will mostly listen.

One of the central tenets of Mythosophy is: Anyone can realize any spiritual experience at any point in time.

In offering some spiritual practices or exercises we must also inquire “What is your Spiritual Practice?” We ask this in recognition that you, the individual Soul, are already engaged in your challenging journey through life and practicing successful methods of navigation toward your distant shores of expanded consciousness. Continue reading

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Let’s Think Mythically

(Originally published August 16, 2015 at Mythosophy.org)

Contemplative Practices: Let’s Think Mythically

Part 2: Thinking Mythically about Narcissus

Today’s quote: “Life is a mirror. Life unerringly reflects back to us our states of consciousness and what we place our attention upon.”

Quote #2: “Avoid the possessions of the ego so that you are not possessed by the ego.”

Quote #3: “Our Ideals are messengers of Total Consciousness.”

Life gives; life takes away, but we always have the contents of our consciousness. How then shall we spend this inner wealth? On what shall we put our attention?

The spiritual riches of myth may be unlocked by the practice of thinking mythically as introduced last month here. An earlier reference to this contemplative practice is last year’s “Let’s Jump into Mythosophy” here.

Let us think mythically about a story from Greek myth: “Echo and Narcissus”

Narcissus, an extremely handsome young man, was enamored with his great beauty. Others were attracted, but he rebuffed all comers leaving many broken hearts in his wake. He even rejected the embrace of a beautiful goddess, a mountain nymph named Echo, stating “no, I would sooner be dead than let you touch me.” Heartbroken, Echo wasted away until nothing was left of her body except her voice which even now “echoes” in the mountains. (She had previously offended Zeus’ wife Hera, Queen of the Gods, who cursed Echo with only being able to repeat the words of others).

After another suitor is rejected, a prayer was offered up: “Let Narcissus love and suffer as he has made us suffer. Let him, like us, love and know it is hopeless. And let him, like Echo, perish of anguish.” Someone was listening, a goddess, one named Nemesis. Nemesis, “the corrector,” acted when things go too far in one direction. Nemesis granted the prayer and set a trap.

Deep in a glade on Mt. Helicon there was a pristine crystal clear spring never sullied by animal or man. Thirsty, Narcissus leaned over the pure pool’s edge for a drink and saw a lovely visage looking up at him. He began gazing at this image’s great beauty. Intrigued, he wondered who this person was. He spoke to this image and its lips silently moved in response. Leaning over in hopes for an embrace and a kiss, the image seemed to respond, but then cruelly vanished at the last moment in a shimmer of watery ripples. He fell in love and only then realized he had succumbed to an illusion. Compelled by this great beauty, his beauty, he could not look away. Transfixed, Narcissus wasted away (like Echo) and eventually died gazing at his reflection. (Tales From Ovid, Ted Hughes, summary of pps. 69-78; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York: 1997)
What does thinking mythically (contemplation) reveal?

Life gives; life takes away, but we always have the contents of our consciousness. What then shall we choose to contemplate? Taking a few deep clearing breaths and perceiving with our whole being; not just our minds, let us look and see.

Life is a mirror. Life unerringly reflects back to us our states of consciousness and what we place our attention upon.

What does Narcissus choose to contemplate? He puts his attention on his physical image. Narcissus is enraptured with his reflection; not his real self. Rather than looking within toward the Ideals of Soul, Narcissus looks outwardly at his surface image whose personality is the ego. In the story he is literally taken with his physical appearance. Falling in love with the lowest aspect of himself leads to his undoing and death. His physical death is preceded by the death of his consciousness: his immobility in the face of his reflection. Narcissus represents the exact opposite of consciousness which has the water-like qualities of fluidity and flexibility. Rather it is water (consciousness) that is the backdrop for Narcissus’ frozen image. Narcissus has narrowly focused on one small part of Total Consciousness to the exclusion of all else.

Narcissus has tunnel vision. The reflection of his truth is excessive self-love. He is the source of our word narcissism.

When we muse upon our higher Ideals, we allow our consciousness to flow creatively. When we place our attention upon lower objects, we become transfixed by those images and stop our creative flow.

The satisfaction of the ego is not possible because it always wants more. It is never satisfied. To pursue the way of the ego is to stumble along a winding, tortuous path that will lead to the land of shadows and echoes. It is a path by which one can easily get lost.

“Midway upon the journey of life I found that I was in a dusky wood; For the right path, whence I had strayed, was lost.” –opening verse of Dante’s Inferno

The theme of self-love directly applies to us today because, more often than not, it is in the glassy reflections of our smart phones and tablets that we see our egotistical reflections.

We live in an era of insufferable narcissism.

So attached are we to our “smart devices” that it is now common to see people walking, heads down, into walls and other objects or persons. Once while I was driving, a young woman walked off the curb directly into the street in front of me. Her head was down looking into her phone oblivious to her surroundings. Only quick braking saved her from injury.

These devices may be “smart,” but we sometimes are not. Mythosophy is about looking, seeing and finding our inner path through the stories and words of myth.

Just like Narcissus, we see our images reflected in the mirrored, glassy surfaces of our computerized screens. Poignantly, like him, we are unable to look away. As Narcissus gazed into the glassy pool surface, transfixed unto death; so, too, do we stare into the glass surface of a technological device oblivious to all else.

Narcissism isn’t awareness; it is loss of awareness.

What truths reflect back to you in your internet searches? Let us wisely and carefully choose what we place our attention upon. For that which we contemplate we move toward and gradually become. If our attention is on the little self, we become small. If it is upon the Soul, then we can become spiritually great. Shall we step into lesser or greater versions of ourselves?

Let us not seek the narcissistic ways of the ego. Rather, let us seek the realization of a Divine Image whose riches flow from Ideals such as Truth, Beauty, Justice, Honesty, Courage, Nobility or their other sibling spirits.

Avoid the possessions of the ego so that you are not possessed by the ego.

The result of thinking mythically is to illuminate the transcendental image or ideal of a story. This is important because when we resonate with ideals, they become the stepping-stones of our spiritual path; of what we really honor and revere in our lives.

Our Ideals are messengers of Total Consciousness.

 

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