Chop Wood, Carry Water

FeaturedPoster of Zen proverb

Enlightenment is an INNER transformation of one’s state of consciousness or one’s human awareness. It is not change that occurs in the outer realm of human experience; nor is it change that is directed toward the outer world of illusory appearances.

That is why in mystical practice, we do not try to change the illusory appearance of things. Rather, we direct our personal efforts inwardly toward the realization of truth in consciousness.

Hence, the Zen proverb which says: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.  After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

Poster of Zen proverb
Zen Proverb on Enlightenment

Before we become enlightened spiritually, we engage in our normal, mundane, regular human activities — the “chopping of wood” for firewood and the “carrying of water” from the well to our home.  After we have become enlightened spiritually, we continue to engage in our same normal, mundane, regular activities in the world.  There is usually no visible change or difference in the normal life activities we engage in in the world of appearances.

For example, if we are farmers, then and after we continue to till the ground and and to plant, water and care for our crops. If we are physicians, we continue to receive and attend to patients. If we are cobblers, we continue to make and repair shoes for clients. If we are bakers, we continue to bake and sell our cakes, pies, pastries and cookies to customers. And so forth and so on.

However, perception is radically changed.  In our altered state of awareness, our perception of those same activities is altered fundamentally to the core with a lightness of spirit, a new heart, a new take on life, by a newfound awareness from the enlightenment we have experienced.

Nothing might change in the immediate setting or environment of our individual lives in the outer world, but our state of consciousness will have been altered profoundly and indelibly.  Nevertheless, change can be thoroughly far-reaching, too.  Not uncommonly, we could find ourselves actually reinventing ourselves, redirecting the purpose and course of life, rearranging our value system, altering personal lifestyles and/or even remaking or making over our very lives and relationships altogether.


Here is a book that I read many years ago, which I heartily and highly recommend to you. I know it will bless your life as it has mine.

Facsimile of book cover for "Chop Wood Carry Water"
Book Cover of “Chop Wood Carry Water




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Experience a unique and pure kind of higher spirituality through us, a unitive spirituality. It’s practice is simple, easy and lean — shorn of religious beliefs, dogmas, doctrines and cultural trimmings in the form of rites, rituals and traditions. At no point in modern times has the learning and practice of mysticism been made available so DIRECTLY, so SIMPLY and so EASILY than through our methodology and presentation.   

We offer a spirituality that is rooted in the teachings of nondualistic oneness. It captures and embodies authentic mysticism in a very concise and direct manner. It is practiced and exercised using a proven methodology that is scientific and mystical at the same time. You will find it to be highly transformational in consciousness and totally empowering to the Soul.

Discover the true nature of God and the meaning of life.  Learn the purpose of your existence and the reason behind all human suffering. The mystical teachings are timeless yet urgently relevant today in our lives. They are profoundly true yet remarkably truly simple in their message.

We are the only true contemporary mysticism that is born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.

Download our electronic flyer for your perusal. Travel with us along the mystical path of life.   Explore and advance your spiritual journey at The Mystical Path.


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The ONE Life

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Never, never think or believe that you are living only a human life of your personal own and/or that you are not actually living the divine life of God, despite all outer appearances to the contrary.
🤔

REFLECT ON THIS . . .

Contemplate this truth always.
The life that you are living at this present moment, including all its past and future moments, is GOOD and PERFECT, despite how problematic, painful, despicable or abhorrent it may appear humanly to you, because it is God’s life, GOD LIFE — the infinite perfect life of God — that is living itself in and through you, as You!

The failure to see, realize and understand that statement of truth does not make it an untruth or a falsehood. It merely shows you that the finite human mind with which you are trying to comprehend that spiritual truth does not have the state of awakened total clarity that exists in the stillness and silence of the divine Mind of God. This is the reason why we meditate — to enter into the state of pure clarity and receptivity that exists and operates within the very stillness and silence of the divine Mind, the nature of our infinite spiritual mind.

Do this then:

  1. In silent contemplation, acknowledge and be grateful that it is God’s life and not your personal own that you are living, for there cannot be nor is there any life other than, separate from, or apart from God.
     
  2. Then, in the inner joy that will subsequently fill your being, rejoice, rejoice in that awareness quietly in your heart, simply for the very reason that it is so.

That is all you need to experience and have: The felt intuitive awareness of spiritual truth. There is no need to mentally rationalize or intellectualize spiritual truth. That is not the purpose or function of spiritual contemplation. In terms of modern-day neuroscience, you merely have to bring the conscious “awareness of truth” past the left-brain hemisphere of the intellect realm beyond the “alpha-theta bridge” and into the right-brain hemisphere of the intuitive mind, to experience the conscious “awareness of truth” through the theta brainwave pattern level of the mind-brain continuum where it can begin to resonate deeply in consciousness and come alive in your individual experience. Make your practice utterly simple and firmly keep it true.
😇

Make your practice simple
and keep it true.


“Whatever purifies you is the right path, I will not try to define it.”
~ Rumi ~


Every individual human being is a faithful authentic reflection of the God-Self in the divine and infinite Mind of God. Since God-Self’s nature is life itself, every single reflected individuation of the God-Self in the divine Mind becomes alive and conscious, and eventually self-aware as the One Life which singularly casts an infinity of its own reflections in the Mirror-Mind of life and existence. This is the true and real meaning of mystical oneness. Remember that as you contemplate THE ONE LIFE of God. There may be many ways to practice attaining the realization of The One Life, but whichever vehicle you choose to ride on the mystical road to wholeness and fullness of being, there is only and will always only be The One Life that is God.

The Man in the Mirror (a spiritual fantasy image)
“Aha! It’s You.”
The Creator looks at Its own living “image and likeness” in the mirror of Its Mind.

Your lifetime now is the right path for you; otherwise, it would not even be your life at all today. Therefore, let it be the most purifying agent for your spiritual transformation.
~ Marc of Contemplative Pathways ~





Image of Thumbs-Up SmileyDiscover, learn, see and feel the difference!

Experience a unique and pure kind of higher spirituality through us, a unitive spirituality. It’s practice is simple, easy and lean — shorn of religious beliefs, dogmas, doctrines and cultural trimmings in the form of rites, rituals and traditions. At no point in modern times has the learning and practice of mysticism been made available so DIRECTLY, so SIMPLY and so EASILY than through our methodology and presentation.   

We offer a spirituality that is rooted in the teachings of nondualistic oneness. It captures and embodies authentic mysticism in a very concise and direct manner. It is practiced and exercised using a proven methodology that is scientific and mystical at the same time. You will find it to be highly transformational in consciousness and totally empowering to the Soul.

Discover the true nature of God and the meaning of life.  Learn the purpose of your existence and the reason behind all human suffering. The mystical teachings are timeless yet urgently relevant today in our lives. They are profoundly true yet remarkably truly simple in their message.

We are the only true contemporary mysticism that is born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.

Download our electronic flyer for your perusal. Travel with us along the mystical path of life.   Explore and advance your spiritual journey at The Mystical Path.


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Solitaire: The Only Game in Town

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So, you want to become a mystic?


Then, be prepared to play SOLITAIRE — the only game in town. 😏 Shall we play?


In this business of “mystical oneness,” I have learned to play SOLITAIRE over and over and over again, time and time again. There is nobody else playing… but the Self, your Self. There is no other player, no “other self” to play with — only the one Self playing solitaire.

Solitaire Card Game


Referring to Neil Sedaka’s song “Solitaire,” I find that I have become that lonely man: A heart that cared but went unshared, until it died within the silence. Neil’s song “Solitaire” resonates strongly with me for that very reason. But, thank God, there will always be Neil to comfort you and me with his song, as we play solitaire.
🥰


Why must one’s journey along the mystical path always have to be a game of “solitaire”?  Why must fulfillment be found in only the one Self, and in nothing else or in no one else?  Why is “solitaire” the only game in town?

Indeed, although it seems that life goes all around us everywhere in a flurry of things, people, activities and events, the truth is: We’re just playing SOLITAIRE.   How ironic that is!

But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58, NLT2)

THAT is a lonely man.




Image of Thumbs-Up SmileyDiscover, learn, see and feel the difference!

Experience a unique and pure kind of higher spirituality through us, a unitive spirituality. It’s practice is simple, easy and lean — shorn of religious beliefs, dogmas, doctrines and cultural trimmings in the form of rites, rituals and traditions. At no point in modern times has the learning and practice of mysticism been made available so DIRECTLY, so SIMPLY and so EASILY than through our methodology and presentation.   

We offer a spirituality that is rooted in the teachings of nondualistic oneness. It captures and embodies authentic mysticism in a very concise and direct manner. It is practiced and exercised using a proven methodology that is scientific and mystical at the same time. You will find it to be highly transformational in consciousness and totally empowering to the Soul.

Discover the true nature of God and the meaning of life.  Learn the purpose of your existence and the reason behind all human suffering. The mystical teachings are timeless yet urgently relevant today in our lives. They are profoundly true yet remarkably truly simple in their message.

We are the only true contemporary mysticism that is born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.

Download our electronic flyer for your perusal. Travel with us along the mystical path of life.   Explore and advance your spiritual journey at The Mystical Path.


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Intellectualizing Love

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Several days ago, a seemingly well-meaning but rather intellectually bloated blogger on Facebook posted the following message:

As a teacher of a university course on pop music, I regularly come across songs that reinforce the muddled ideas we have about love and relationships. Here are some examples:

“I’ve been waiting for a girl like you to make me feel alive.” Foreigner
“I’m gonna make you mine.” ABBA
“You give it all but I want more.” U2
“Sometimes I feel so insecure, and love so distant and obscure, remains the cure. Don’t wanna be all by myself anymore.” Eric Carmen
“When you left, I lost a part of me.” Mariah Carey
“If you leave me now you’ll take away the biggest part of me.” Chicago
“You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’” Righteous Brothers
“At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side.” Gloria Gaynor
“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” U2
“I’m love with your body.” Eddie Shearing
“This time I’m mistaken/ In handing you a heart worth breakin’.” Nickelback

Based on this picture, we are needy halflings, in constant search for a better half to fill with us with their love, and even then, it’s never enough. This explains why there is so much guilt in relationships. Deep down we feel that the arrangement is inherently unfair—taking all of another’s love and offering very little in return.
This picture also explains the panic associated with breakups. Your partner has the power to render you halfless.
In our desperate search for love, we have overlooked the only real place to find it—inside. When you discover that eternal source of love, you will no longer approach relationships out of a sense of neediness. Healthy relationships are built when two whole people join to share the love they have already claimed as their natural inheritance.

He ended his particular post with the following graphic:

I commented on the person’s post with a link to a recent blog of my own taken from a Facebook page I manage. Here is the blog I linked to:

That was followed by several exchanges that ensued between us:

HIM: that’s because falling in love is not really about love, but emotional attachment and possession.

ME: Who’s to say what is or isn’t love when it comes to experiencing a very subjective feeling? ☺

HIM: that’s the point, really. Love is not a feeling. It is an openness and extension of your true being.

WHAT? “Love is not a feeling”? That stunned me — coming from someone whom I had earlier perceived to be an intelligent, mature, fully human, and truly spiritual person. I guess my initial impression was wrong. I then realized the mindset of the person I was blogging with: It was the bloated intellect of a pseudomystic’s ego.

I saw the precarious direction in which the thread would go if I pushed the discussion down along the road we were taking, and I was not in the mood to engage in needless human confrontation and conflict. So, I decided to desist from from replying further. I was later moved to write this post you are reading now to share the sad tale of “a bloated intellect” and to caution you about its inherent pitfalls.

According to his Facebook bio, the blogger is apparently multi-credentialed with several academic degrees to his name:

    • Musicology, PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
    • Music History, MM (Master of Music)
    • Bible, BS (Bachelor of Science)
    • Music, BM (Bachelor of Music)

    Now that is a huge problem: The mind that is encumbered with degrees and credentials ends up with a bloated intellect and a puffed-up human ego that believes its intellectualism is the beginning and end-all of truth, life and reality. It has the makings and the trimmings of a personal self-righteousness and spiritual arrogance.

    We feel first before we think.
    I feel, therefore I am.

    For heaven’s sake, where does love begin in a person but from a FEELING of attraction to the object of one’s love, whether it be another person, an animal or pet, a job, career or profession, an undertaking or activity, or anything that deserves the focus of our desire and pleasure valuation. Don’t tell me that love is not a feeling. Don’t repudiate or deny a perfectly beautiful human emotion of “falling in love” or “being in love.” Don’t deny me my humanity by invalidating my most fundamental experience of love as a feeling, an emotion.

    As human beings, we FEEL first and foremost and think later as an intellectual after-thought, introspection, analysis or reflection. That is how we as an animal species rose through the ladder of evolution, and that is how we first emerged from our mother Nature’s womb functioning with the animal intelligence we were born with — our human instincts. A new-born human infant does not intellectualize or think that it is hungry or it is cold, or that it needs to be held, touched and comforted before it starts to cry aloud in need. The infant FEELS those things. Even as the infant grows and matures physically, the grown-up person still FEELS the hunger, the cold or the deprivation at the first instance before the person becomes intellectually aware of such to seek out the food, warmth or companionship.

    Don’t intellectualize love by saying that “it is an openness and extension of my true being.” That is sheer intellectual bullshit.

    It does not mean a thing to me at all if you, as someone who professes to love me,

    tell me you have an “openness and extension of your true being” for me or that you are “opening yourself and extending your true being” to me. You would either make me run away scared of your weirdness or split apart at the seams laughing at the absurdity of your statement. However, if you express your feeling toward me through appropriate words or corresponding gestures, now that would paint a warm smile on my face and likely cause me to engage you in friendly conversation.

    Admittedly, the initial feeling of love is not the end of the relationship process. It is only the start, a beginning. After we become emotionally aware of our feelings of love, we progress and develop intellectually as part of the process by trying to better understand the feeling in terms of becoming aware cognitively or intellectually why we are attracted to the person, what qualities of the person appeal to us, what makes us appreciate the particular person especially, and so forth. We thereby build on our feelings of love. It is in the course of building up the relationship that we “open up” more to the other and “extend” aspects of ourselves to the beloved other. Only then does love become clothed (not supplanted or replaced) with openness and an extension of our authentic being. These are building blocks of love not the foundation of love. The feeling is absolutely foundational such that should the feeling leave us or go away from us, then the love fades, disappears and is said to be gone from the heart.

    The feeling of love is a highly,
    if not purely, subjective
    personal experience.

    The feeling of love is a highly, if not purely, SUBJECTIVE personal experience. I cannot feel love for you nor can anybody else. By the same token, neither you nor anyone else can feel love for me. When I say “I love,” it is me who is doing the loving and nobody else. Thus, the emanation of love’s energies originates and moves out from the subject lover to the object beloved. This is true at the human level and at the spiritual level. That is why religion teaches that God loved us first before we ever loved God.

    From the mystical perspective, the essence and nature of God is pure unconditional love. Because of our mystical oneness with God, then our essence and nature is likewise pure unconditional love. Because God is infinite, then divine love in us is likewise infinite: It cannot help but be OPEN and manifest itself as an “openness” to all that seeks to include all and not to exclude some. And because of God’s integral wholeness of being, love by necessity extends God’s universal being to all beings partaking of that One-Beingness. It is only in this utterly transcendental, mystical sense that one can even begin to seriously consider that love is “an openness and extension of my God-being.” Such a love is humanly incomprehensible — it being beyond thoughts and words — therefore, not even applicable to describing the love between and among finite human beings. There is a perfectly good reason why we “feel” with the heart and not with the mind: A bloated intellect and love do not mix well.

    Divine love paradoxically is an emptiness which aches to be filled to overflowing, and a nothingness that seeks to be defined by something or someone.

    It is a fallacy asserted by the blogger in his original post that: “
In our desperate search for love, we have overlooked the only real place to find it — inside. When you discover that eternal source of love, you will no longer approach relationships out of a sense of neediness.” Divine love is paradoxically an emptiness which aches to be filled and to overflow. Divine love is, also, a no-thingness that seeks to be defined

    Painting by Peter Paul Rubens of St. Augustine of Hippo
    St. Augustine of Hippo Painting by Peter Paul Rubens
    by a something or someone. That is why this thing we call “God” created us: God NEEDS us as much as and as badly as we need God.

    God finds the completeness of its love in our loving God back in return. The cosmic God is incomplete without us — each and everyone of us — each and every consciousness that has individuated from it.

    “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” ― St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions ―


    Indeed, we are “an unhappy race of halflings, seeking a better half to complete us” (quoting the graphic poster image above on pop music). The earlier we can come to realize this and to accept it to be true of our humanity, the better we can all come to grips with our predicament in the human condition, not by intellectualizing our lives but by spiritually realizing our innate oneness. Then, we can start reaching out humanly to one another — to other “halflings” — in love and with love, in relationships where not only love resides and thrives but fulfillment is realized as well. 
And hopefully, prayerfully, we would have unleashed love out into the world.

    A bloated intellect and love
    don’t mix well.

    Poster on




    Image of Thumbs-Up SmileyDiscover, learn, see and feel the difference!

    Experience a unique and pure kind of higher spirituality through us, a unitive spirituality. It’s practice is simple, easy and lean — shorn of religious beliefs, dogmas, doctrines and cultural trimmings in the form of rites, rituals and traditions. At no point in modern times has the learning and practice of mysticism been made available so DIRECTLY, so SIMPLY and so EASILY than through our methodology and presentation.

    We offer a spirituality that is rooted in the teachings of nondualistic oneness. It captures and embodies authentic mysticism in a very concise and direct manner. It is practiced and exercised using a proven methodology that is scientific and mystical at the same time. You will find it to be highly transformational in consciousness and totally empowering to the Soul.

    Discover the true nature of God and the meaning of life. Learn the purpose of your existence and the reason behind all human suffering. The mystical teachings are timeless yet urgently relevant today in our lives. They are profoundly true yet remarkably truly simple in their message.

    We are the only true contemporary mysticism born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.

    Download our electronic flyer for your perusal. Travel with us along the mystical path of life. Explore and advance your spiritual journey at The Mystical Path.


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    Saturn Retrograde: A New Beginning

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    I just finished going through the experience of a physically debilitating and emotionally traumatic surgical procedure. Wholeness, restoration and healing are coming more fully into my personal experience with every new day.

    That, after nearly a decade of really rough sailing through life — being uprooted and tossed around, being subjected to a number of health issues and difficulties, suffering betrayal by people I trusted, to name a few.

    I’m glad the retrograde cycle of Saturn is ending. 🙄

    September 18, 2019 Saturn Retrograde Cycle Ending


    I look forward to a new beginning in life, even as I tell myself: NEVER AGAIN.

    Image of Thumbs-Up Smiley

          Discover, learn, see and feel the difference!

    Experience a unique and pure kind of higher spirituality through us, a unitive spirituality. It’s practice is simple, easy and lean — shorn of religious beliefs, dogmas, doctrines and cultural trimmings in the form of rites, rituals and traditions. At no point in modern times has the learning and practice of mysticism been made available so DIRECTLY, so SIMPLY and so EASILY than through our methodology and presentation.   

    We offer a spirituality that is rooted in the teachings of nondualistic oneness. It captures and embodies authentic mysticism in a very concise and direct manner. It is practiced and exercised using a proven methodology that is scientific and mystical at the same time. You will find it to be highly transformational in consciousness and totally empowering to the Soul.

    Discover the true nature of God and the meaning of life.  Learn the purpose of your existence and the reason behind all human suffering. The mystical teachings are timeless yet urgently relevant today in our lives. They are profoundly true yet remarkably truly simple in their message.

    We are the only true contemporary mysticism born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.

    Download our electronic flyer for your perusal. Travel with us along the mystical path of life.   Explore and advance your spiritual journey at The Mystical Path.


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