The Way

Religions derive from spiritual paths. Spiritual paths derive from spirituality. All are guideposts along the way.

If you seek spirituality, look in the eternal mirror. If your reflection has a smudge, start polishing.

Where there is a Soul; there is a way.

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Do a Life Review Today

Today’s Quote: “May our lives bear better fruit and not bitter fruit.”

Once upon a time and many years ago my brother almost died. Traveling apart from our families, he and a friend had biked cross country to the ocean and were swimming at the shore. They got caught in an outgoing tide and were desperately trying to swim back to the ever receding beach. My brother who was a better swimmer, in addition to his own survival, was trying to pull his friend along also.

They made it. Barely. Exhausted, they collapsed on the isolated beach for a long time to gather their strength.

Funny thing was, in hearing this story years later, my brother also told me that he had experienced a “life review” as he faced growing belief in his imminent death. This occurred just before he and his friend gained a last second edge over the current; a renewed hope in life. That edge just saved them.

Life review?

My brother had seen, in several flashes, all of the experiences he had gone through in his young life, as if seeing an array of pictures each containing their own video reenactment or movie segment. He had witnessed the major events as well as the most minor, insignificant moments. He had seen it all in several instantaneous flashes before his eyes.

He literally had a near death experience (NDE). Part of his subjective experience was a sort of “opening” of normal consciousness into a greater expansive vision; he could see every aspect of all his life experience in several separate instants; unlike the way our “everyday” consciousness knows things sequentially; in parts and pieces.

His awareness seems to have, however briefly, transcended time.

In Mythosophy, we redefine myths as “truths” as opposed to falsehoods or deceptions. Myths are our true stories based on our experiences. Myths are also our true words, true speech based on our experience. Our stories and words express our spiritual wisdom.

Many spiritual traditions have myths reporting a life review that occurs upon the demise of the physical body; what is called death. Many of these myths additionally report an evaluation or assessment of one’s life experiences. Often these reviews are prequels to our next spiritual steps or future lives. Examples range from the ancient Zoroastrian myth of crossing the “Chinvat Bridge” into the afterlife to Hinduism’s myths about “Yama, the King and Judge of the Dead.” Another is Plato’s “Myth of the Warrior Er” at the end of the Republic who returns to life upon his funeral pyre and reports what he has seen.

We all eventually face death. My question is: Why wait for death? Why not perform a life review now; today?

Some questions to ask, spiritually, in self-evaluation are: “What were some lessons?” “What was learned?” “What did I do well?” “What could I have been done better?” “What were my patterns?” “Out of what consciousness was I, at times, acting?” Remember, this is about you, not someone else. Whatever someone else could have done better is for their own life review, not yours.

What are your insights? Do you see themes? What is your story; your wisdom, your true words? Mythosophy as a practice is a special type of insight into stories and speech. Practice is part of the Contemplative Path traveled always through your heart. Mythosophy, the Wisdom of Myth is all about the insights conveyed by our story; our lives.

In the face of death my brother had realized that his consciousness had a transcendental component that, however blocked out by everyday life, was always present.

Those who have been near death experience a greater appreciation of life. Awareness of death may, paradoxically, be a tool to a better, more fruitful life. Yet, we don’t have to die to do a life review. You can do it today. What might one change now? Changing our present presence changes our future.

Let us pause to reflect. May our lives bear better fruit and not bitter fruit.

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Spiritual Acceptance

This post quote: “The things in your life that resist your best efforts are your spiritual assignments.”

Amidst our life’s hopes, dreams and aspirations there is the hard reality of what must be dealt with and handled. It is natural to resist and lament “Really? I have to expend my time and energy on that instead of creating my dream, my ideal? Why?“

It is natural to question the situations we face.

Acceptance is the humility to trust that total consciousness (“God”) is leading you toward Its realization amidst the gritty muck of everyday life; that the mundane may give way to the eternal.

Flexibility is the key to spiritual acceptance.

Aesop’s fable, “The Tree and the Reed” well portrays this. Once upon a time there was a mighty oak tree and a little reed at its base. The great tree looked down and said: “Why don’t you grow as tall, strong, and majestic as I? There is nothing that can harm me.” The little reed looked up and replied, “I’m quite content just as I am, and safer.” The great tree sneered, “Safer! Who shall lay me low?”

Time passed and a great wind arose. The mighty oak resisted with all its strength. The little reed offered no resistance and bent with the wind. Rising to a gale, the fierce wind toppled the great oak tree over. As the wind ceased blowing, the reed rose back upright again and gazed at the fallen oak. The mighty was brought low and the small was raised up.

It’s about the hardness and rigidity of ego versus the flexibility of spiritual consciousness.

We do what we do and create what we can, but when life presents us with insurmountable obstacles, we must bend with them. If we resist, we enter a fighting ring and begin a terrible travail that may harm us, perhaps “knocking us out for the count.” We upset our equipoise until, tired of the struggle, we finally surrender and accept.

We learn to bend.

There is a time to act, do and create. There is a time to accept. Wisdom knows the difference. Usually, when nothing we do works any longer, it is time to accept. However, spiritual consciousness, if we listen, can more quickly bring acceptance. Humility is behind our flexibility to accept that which we cannot change.

Patience gets us through.

Honor the suffering not for the greatness of their spirit, but for the recognition that God (total consciousness) so trusts them that He gives them His problems to carry for safekeeping. Our problems are really God’s problems; we just think they are ours.

We carry God’s problems and God carries us.

The things in your life that resist your best efforts are your spiritual assignments. If you can, accept them. Even simple acceptance is a great spiritual step; the acceptance of a little reed.

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Myth and Silence

This post quote: “Silence seems to speak to me; I’ve learned to not talk back.”

Quote #2: “Listen to a person’s words and listen to the silence behind their words.”

Does myth connect with silence? As previously posted on July 8 and August 8, 2014, “myth” comes from the later Latin mythus based upon the earlier Greek muthos. The etymological root of muthos is mu, the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet.

Mu roots may be found, among other words, in: muse, bemuse, amuse, amusement, museum, museology, museologist, music, musician, and the goddesses of creativity, the nine Muses.

Myth connotes “muse.” Mu also connects with “mu-o” which means to “close the eyes, close the mouth;” hence silence. One is reminded of “mute” and the Sanskrit muni “silent sage.” The closing of eyes and mouth is one facet of meditation or contemplation.

Myth connotes “muse” and “silence;” the silence of contemplative work. How paradoxical, that the words and stories of myth can be rooted in silence!

A well-known author once asked why he had not heard anything from me for quite a while. I replied, “Well, I’ve had nothing to say.” He responded by assuring me that my viewpoints were of value and to not feel badly about this…

…as if I had ever felt badly by it. Funny, but I had never for one instant felt poorly about it. Why should I? When dwelling in silence I feel alone with some inexplicable, mysterious presence that uplifts.

Silence can be contemplation and a deepening of one’s life experience. Words can distract from contemplation. Silence seems to speak to me; I’ve learned to not talk back.

I have a question: Why does silence, in popular culture, imply a lack of personal reality or social being? And, further, have we so reduced the importance of our subjective selves in favor of the outer world and its chimeras that we worship the latest social (media) trend, fashion, fad, or way to make money? Is inner presence and self-worth dependent upon one’s influence or impact upon the outer world and its little dramas we deem so vitally important?

Plato once said “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

I’ve been happy to swim through oceans of spiritual silence.

I have not, in a sense, spoken nor written for a very long time; years, decades, lifetimes. My spiritual role was to listen, record, contemplate, and “be.”

We dwell, spiritually, where we place our attention. If your goal is to improve the world, you will inherit the world. If your goal is to do harm; you will inherit that which is harmed. Our attention follows our ideals. As captain of our own consciousness, if our ideals are of this world, our journey will return us to the world.

If we have nothing to say, choose the Grace of Silence as opposed to the chatter of some social function or media outlet (same applies to rational argumentation which some indulge to the point of irrationality). If you feel or think you have something to say; practice silence. Tune out the noise and cacophony; tune in. Silence can fill you with presence. Quiet the mind and emotions and let silence invest your consciousness with the fruits of Spirit. Silence can heal.

“Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.” Rumi

Yet, all sounds are ultimately of the Voice of Presence. All voices hearken back upon this Divine Ground. All. Life is a mirror. Presence is a mirror. What do you see when you look into this mirror? What is in your reflection?

Dwell in the Eye of God so that all you see will be holy.

When we speak, write or act, we create. At some point, we must ask “What am I creating? From what ideal image am I communicating?” People assume their own rationality and then promptly sally forth and create images far less than divine. Some do not even comprehend the difference between emotional reaction and rational deduction; much less spiritual contemplation; gnosis.

Yet, all are spiritual beings; all are of Soul. All. But, a Soul projecting forth its creativity through reactive emotional outbursts, mental obfuscations and rationalizations (rising to the level of dishonesty), is a being more interested in manipulating outer reality and deception rather than practicing inner acceptance. These creators suffer (or will suffer) from their creations via the Law of Unintended Consequences (“What goes around, comes around”). Karma.

“Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know.” Tao Te Ching, chapter 56.

The wisdom of silence recognizes that each viewpoint connotes another, even opposite, point of view infused with elements of truth. Views and counterviews exist because of an overarching canopy of silence from which they all derive. Each is a particular insight into total consciousness.

“Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.” Jorge Luis Borge

Pythagoras, the philosopher, reputedly assigned his students five years of silence before their being allowed to speak in his school. Consider: after five years of silence, a person’s words would be profound; words worth listening to.

Listen to a person’s words and listen to the silence behind their words. What does their silence tell you? What is their ideal; their clarity?

If we stop projecting our ideals onto the freedom of others and begin practicing self-examination, our creations will stop haunting us and we begin cultivating an inner garden of truth. Recognizing one’s flaws and strengths is the beginning of self-acceptance. Acceptance is humility and is of the Beautiful; a high ideal to practice. Realize the Soul within.

Listen to the hush of falling snow, the hiss of sand blowing across a dune, the sighing of wind through pine boughs. They are stepping-stones to silence. Listen to the silence behind nature as well as behind a person’s words. Listen to your silence when you pray, meditate, or contemplate. Realize the still, quiet self within.

Mythosophy is the Wisdom of Myth. The great cross-cultural myths of antiquity were born of Silence. Our new understanding of myth as “true stories and true words” is born of Silence; true silence. Part of Mythosophy is learning to listen for the silence behind words and stories.

Before the Word, there was Silence; the Silence that speaks volumes; the creative silence pregnant with possibility, of what may be born; creation.

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Applied Mythosophy 1

This post quote: “If you do what you love, you will end up loving what you do.”

To date my posts on Mythosophy have been somewhat theoretical. Mythosophy is, in reality, quite practical.

I find history fascinating and have avidly followed news of the many 150th American Civil War historical reenactments. For the participants, it must be a kind of “men’s club” with a historical focus. Men practice working together through group activities such as setting up camps, cooking meals over a fire, and marching in formations. Wearing uniforms, they set aside career and individuality to create a historical military hierarchy based on rank and mutual respect. The simulated battles must give, for them, a small sense of the historical reality and sacrifice. It certainly does for the spectators.

I once interviewed some participants at an event. There is a range of ages from young teens to some men in their 60s. In visiting one camp, I overheard two young men discussing a worry over what they would do with their History degrees after graduation from college; perhaps, they should quickly change majors to something more marketable. Such a modern topic while wearing replica uniforms from the War Between the States was ironic. No matter, Mythosophy inspired me to interject: “You know, if you do what you love, you will end up loving what you do.” One asked: “What do you mean?” I continued: “Well, if you follow your true love, your true interests, and do what you love, and not break the law, you will create the future conditions for work or a career you will be happy with. Here’s why: If you do what you love, you are making a bet on yourself. When you bet on yourself, you are betting on your truth and happiness. You may or may not end up working as an actual historian, but you will find that an opportunity will come your way so connected with history that it will inspire your interest and creativity. You will likely end up happy in your work and career. You must bet on yourself. Betting on yourself creates your better future. If you don’t bet on yourself, why should anyone else do so? That’s how you honor and practice your truth. Make the bet.” The two young men found confirmation in my words and seemed relieved. I don’t know what they eventually decided, but these were the words that came through. I had spoken mythically. Myth, as previously posted, means true stories and true words.

This is what we do: we share our words, stories, “lessons learned,” our wisdom to help one another. We are each on a march through life. This march is a practical one, not a theoretical one. Sometimes the route is easy and wide; level or downhill. At other times the way is upward and rocky; narrow and dangerous. Who among us has never benefited from a helping hand or word of wisdom?

When ideals conflict within our hearts we can experience a personal “Civil War.” Within the crucible of our consciousness the heat and pressure of conflicting ideals work toward resolution. As “scientists of consciousness” we must experiment, distill, and identify the ideal that will take us farther upon our path. The fires of experience can scar; the living waters of your inner solace, as Soul, can always assuage and heal. Seek the inner balm of mythosophical reflection and contemplation.

There is nothing theoretical about the spiritual life. It is as practical as cleaning one’s home and taking out the trash. Your creative process is your life; your craft is your particular excellence, your expressed clarity and purpose–your wisdom. It is your heroic march.

When we experience the fullness of living truth, we find that experience so refreshing, nurturing, and uplifting that we often spend our lives seeking again to reenact the conditions that occasion these transformations. We march from the holy, through the holy, and toward the holy. The knowledge of mystical experience is gnosis. Know and flow; be and see.

Make the bet on your highest ideal; it’s an essential part of your happiness and journey to truth.

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Spirit is Breath

This post quote: “Inspiration is spirit in motion.”

In Mythosophy, we muse. We muse and wonder about life.

What is spirituality? Well, it is that which makes us spiritual; connects us with spirit. What, then, is “spirit?” The word comes from the Latin spiritus which means “breath, breathing.”

Spirituality is that which allows us to breathe better. What restricts our spiritual breathing?

People all the time gladly join and commit to organizations or institutions which wind up promoting, regulating, and enforcing rules, guidelines, procedures, and restrictions. Those who grow in consciousness eventually move beyond limitations. One day members awaken and realize they cannot breathe as freely as they once did, “once upon a time.” Nor breathe as freely as they now wish. Our natural inclination is freedom, yet we work against ourselves by binding ourselves to organizations, religions, dogma, social contracts and social approval.

Some of this, of course, is necessary to make our way in the world. A business structure, for example, can be a useful tool for advancing the individual, family, and the common good. But, does that mean we worship that structure? A tool is useful during the work day, but when day is done, we set aside our tools.

Detachment is the key to unlock our fetters.

Fear and guilt, also, can restrict our breathing. They can place a choke hold upon our well-being that constricts our freedom to choose and be. Under their dictatorships we become enslaved. These twin phantoms can shadow our consciousness until life is done unless first resolved.

What allows you to breathe better, to be inspired? What allows your creativity? Move toward this oasis and dwell therein. Inspiration is spirit in motion.

Spirituality is breathing deeply your freedom as a creative spirit; Soul. With our whole beings let’s breathe so deeply that we feel we are breathing from our heels.

Mythosophy is one way to breathe deeply the spirit of life.

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Addition to “Myths are ‘True Words'”

What is Myth?

Part 4 Addition: Myths are “True Words”

This post quote: “On the ocean, you are too alone to ever be lonely.”

Quote #2: “The small contains the infinite; the infinite contains the small.”

In addition to Myth being a story conveying absolute truth, part of the meaning of Myth (muthos, Greek) is “true word or true speech.” Let us look at another example of mythic speech. Once, as part of a spiritual discussion, I heard the following: “On the ocean, you are too alone to ever be lonely.” For some reason I had thought this quote was from Kabir, the famous 16th century Saint from India, but research suggests it is likely a re-phrasing of something more modern by Tania Aebi, an American sailor (“You can’t be lonely on the sea—you’re too alone”).

No matter. What do we make of these words? The saying is certainly paradoxical. If applied Mythosophy is akin to an insight meditation on myth, then what does mythosophical contemplation reveal?

There is a difference between loneliness and aloneness. Loneliness speaks to separation and lack; absence of contact with others produces an emptiness that needs filling. Loneliness is need and an attitude of deprivation; a poverty of consciousness. In contrast, aloneness is simply a condition of being self-sufficient and implies a wholeness of self. There is no neediness implied with the condition of aloneness. One is equally happy in the company of others or not. Aloneness can mean fulfillment.

“Alone” evokes the mystical phrase of being “alone with the Alone,” a spiritual experience of being in the presence of the Holy. And, what is spiritual experience? It is subjective attunement with “that which is greater than thou” and gives expansion of consciousness, upliftment and healing. It is the reordering of all priorities away from ego and toward the Good, some say God (I sometimes say “God–not God;” my term for the utter indescribability of the Transcendent).

“Ocean” refers to the fullness of all consciousness (the Good or “God—not God”). There is never a minute we are not sailing upon that sea; whatever experience you are having, you are inscribing a course on that endless tract. We have but to awaken and realize we are sailing or travelling from God, through God, toward God in the guise of our own unique consciousness expressed as awareness. We travel from ourselves, through ourselves, toward ourselves. The minutest of awareness touches the greatness of all consciousness. The small contains the infinite; the infinite contains the small.

Most likely, there has been a time in your life when you found yourself speaking high words of truth to another perhaps in helping someone through a tumultuous experience. Alternately, you may have found yourself giving calm and clear instructions in the midst of calamity and disaster. Apt descriptions of events can clarify complexity into basic essentials and serve to raise the sights and hopes of your hearers. Mythic speech can transform problems into situations. With clarity comes resolution; with resolution, courage, and it is through courage that heroes are born. Often, after such utterances, one wonders “Where on Earth did those inspired words come from? It wasn’t from me!” This means you have spoken mythically. It means you have allowed the Spirit of Truth to speak through you and have participated in concert with sacred energies. Part of spirituality is the expression of truth; Mythosophy, the wisdom of myth, (sacred speech, sacred story), is Truth’s Voice clearly and consciously expressed. Within this, we may all dwell.

These words of wisdom sometimes become part of family lore. They can become an ancient clan or family motto inscribed within a heraldic crest or simply posted on the refrigerator door. Regardless, mythic speech involves the speaker and hearer in a transcendental moment, the power of which can cause a shift or change in perspective; a changed state of consciousness.

At the level of Poet or Prophet, to speak mythically is to know and speak forth about things past, present, and future. Muthos needs no adjudication or truth assessment. It carries its own truth value by means of its reference to greater consciousness. Mythic speech “rings true.” It either is or it is not.

Do you have a family saying or bit of wisdom that you carry with you? Mythical speech is the expressed wisdom of your heart. It is stepping upon the path that returns you to your divine source. Returning to spiritual references to “Ocean,” some other sages (Sufis) say “The Ocean refuses no river.” Let the stream of your consciousness so return to “that which is greater than thou.”

We have seen in this and the previous “Myths are True Words” post (August 8, 2014) that myths are true words and true speech; mythic speech: “profound words, sometimes paradoxical, spoken in the moment, unfiltered, from the heart, truthfully, and without guile or calculation.”

To immerse oneself into the Forms of Beauty is to step successively into greater versions of oneself. This is nothing less than your own divinity incarnate. It is nothing more than you being yourself with your attention focused upon the Transcendent and willing to follow its dictates. It is you at your highest, greatest capacitance.

So, speak truly. Be within the spirit of Beauty and speak beautifully. Those who cannot speak must let their acts speak for them. Let us become as lights unto the world and use the sound of our voices to inspire all we meet. Thus, do we become as heroes communicating the high ideals of our lives. We create our own myths through our lives. Heroes live the creative life!

Impossible, you say? Can’t do this all of the time? No worries. Each day a moment arises when we have an opportunity to uplift through our words or acts. Seize those moments, own them, and dwell within their eternity; embrace them, be within them. Part of our true purpose is to uplift ourselves, those around us, and heal in some small way the broken world we travel through. We can always be better, not bitter. With this, Mythosophy, the Wisdom of Myth, can assist.

On the ocean you are too alone to ever be lonely? Aloneness is awareness of divinity. There is no creativity without aloneness. Words are born from silence.

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