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Help from the "Other Side": Sacred Dialogues

Mystical Activism not only awakens direct awareness of divine reality, it allows us to reach out to spiritual entities outside the conventional space-time universe. Did you know that we can dialogue with God, our soul, deceased loved ones, ancestors, spirit guides and angels?  The only obstacle is our disbelief. And in this process, we receive not only invaluable spiritual guidance but support, love, and encouragement as well. Who would you like to talk with most? What questions would you like to ask?
I learned the dialogue process from psychologist Ira Progoff, the creator of the Intensive Journal Workshop. He, in turn, had studied with Carl Jung, who described "active imagination" dialogues with numerous incorporeal beings. I soon discovered that the dialogue process could easily be adapted to conversing with spiritual entities. Here's how this works.
Thousands of years ago, as humans were evolving their remarkable speech, language and conceptual abilities, a curious thing happened. The cerebral cortex began structuring two separate – though interconnected - forms of consciousness. The left hemisphere specialized in the language skills critical for survival. Now humans could define social roles, pass on discoveries from previous generations, record their history, create science and technology, make long range plans, and tell stories about their lives. This process also created the ego, a structure that soon became the personality's director of consciousness. While this conceptual programming of the left-brain was unfolding, the right brain maintained its highly developed capacities for here-and-now awareness, visual-spatial analysis, emotional intelligence, and facial recognition. It also maintained its mystical consciousness – the awakened thought-free sensory awareness of the sacred present.
Unfortunately, as time passed, our right-brain mystical consciousness was progressively demoted – thought and speech were far more useful and exciting to the ego. Without direct access to speech and language functions, the right-brain could no longer compete with the ego for director of consciousness or spokesman for reality. Little by little, language replaced mystical perception, we stopped seeing Creation, and humanity came to dwell entirely in its own labyrinthine mental world. But mystical consciousness was not lost, it still holds powerful resources for personal transformation, including conversing with spiritual beings from the "other world."
Our split-brain structure naturally and beautifully lends itself to spontaneous dialogues between the ego of the left hemisphere – the "I" or "me" talking about "my" problems, and figures coming through the mystical portal of the right hemisphere to respond to us. In this process, you, as ego, can ask questions or pose problems, while the "other" responds with new information. At first, this process can seem a little artificial or contrived, but once it gets started, you will be amazed at what spontaneously emerges. And, you can tell the "other" is responding because the conversations completely surprise you with information you didn't expect changing your whole perspective on the problem.

Two Examples of Sacred Dialogues
Let me give you a couple of personal examples. The first involves a conversation I had with my deceased father, who has become a strong support figure for me now in my work. The initials refer to me (M) and my dad (D). Near the end my soul (S) chimes in.
M: Hey dad, are you there?
D: Sure, John boy.
M: You make me laugh with that name you had for me.
D: I liked calling you that. Makes me feel close to you.
M: Thanks. Really. I love you.
D: Right back at ya.
M: So, dad, you expressed a desire to return, to help us here. What is our work? How can you help? What advice can you give me?
D: People have so many problems there on Earth all based, as you know, on the world of thought. So many foolish ideas, identities, childish prejudices, vain goals. Tell people to wake up. Tell people to stop thinking and see where they are. Your work is so simple, straight forward, obvious, and that's its strength. No complex philosophies or theologies. Just plain confrontation and revelation.
M: I think that's true. But where do I put forth this challenge? Certainly in workshops and talks, but that just tiny sliver of the world.
D: Your Milwaukee talk is a good place to start.
M: OK, but where else?
D: Write something direct, forceful, confrontative for Creation Spirituality, Sage-ing International, or Progressive Christianity.
M: Yes, I need to write a pithy article. And I need to speak from sacred consciousness to those around me. Those are good ideas. Something will catch on if I get a strong, direct piece out there. We have to start now. What do you want to do here?
D: I want to come over and be with you. You can be my mouthpiece. Others won't see me.
M: What do you want to say?
D: Love the world. It is love that brings the world alive. Love is the energy of awakening. This is what Einstein was saying to his daughter. It's a force. Just say it.
M: OK, so here's my message. I just wrote it. "A lifetime of study, a master's degree and two doctorates (psychology and spirituality), interfaith ordination, numerous articles, nine books, and the wisdom of age, can all be distilled to this: Stop. Stop talking, stop thinking, stop whatever you are doing. We are standing right now in Heaven on Earth. Reality is conscious and alive. It knows us. Divinity is everywhere and everything. We don't see this because we only see our thoughts that create another world, a world that is crazy and ugly. Stop everything, wake up, and SEE. When the ego goes, thought goes, beliefs go, false self and false world evaporate, and the whole house of cards falls apart to reveal that we never left the Garden. We are divine beings in a divine world - pure consciousness, joy, beauty and love. And in the great unity of being, I am you, you are me, we are God. Everything else is an illusion. This is the 'other world.'"How does this seem, dad?
D: You nailed it.
M: Soul, what do you think?
S: Say it LOUDLY! Say it POWERFULLY. Say it often. Eventually, it will resonate with what people already know but don't realize they know it.
(The message was later posted on the Creation Spirituality Website)
In this next dialogue, I ask God for support and guidance on how to handle the exhaustion I felt getting ready to present at a large workshop on the Divine Human and Mystical Activism.
M: Hello God. Are you here?
G: Always. How can I help you?
M: I head off to the Sage-ing International conference for my 3.5 hour workshop and 1.5 hour discussion group the same evening. I am feeling tired from preparation and I'm afraid I won't have the energy to get through both presentations with enough animation to make real contact. 
G: Let go of your worry. I will carry you. I am you. Relax and let me be you. Soul can help too if you need fierceness. Let me be your tiredness and I will transform it into freedom and love and joy. Let the pressure go. Watch me become you. You don't have to be or do anything. You don't exist anyway. Forget yourself.
M: I don't exist. I am not this exhaustion. I am free.
G: Relax John and let me take over the plan. I'll follow your plan but I will be so much more than that. The class will be me and they will realize it by the end of the workshop. Just stay in my consciousness. Feel my presence. Feel my energy carrying you, lifting you, being you. This is the mystical activism that you are teaching and revealing. Be what you are teaching, be me.
M: I am what you are. I am divine. I am you and you are me. My separate boundaries dissolve into the sea of divine consciousness and I am that. I come from that. I speak from that. I teach from that. I can feel you spreading inside me now and I am the divine force of conscious presence. This is my destiny, to be what you are. Live me. Be me. Be the teaching in this workshop. Fill the class with your energy and change everyone into conscious mystics. May they all open to this experience of divine fullness and be awakened to their real nature. Take me over, God. Take us all over that we may finally live in love and peace. I have come to show people a different glimpse of reality, to show them what reality is. We are one Being as countless true selves in love again with the world. I open this possibility to the world after so many dark ages. My gift is the revelation of our own divinity and our home in Heaven on Earth. We can see it now. It's only a matter of waking up and assuming our new experience as gods in God…creators of the divine world. Such joy!!
Mystical Activism: Transforming a World in Crisis teaches this kind of dialogue process as a source of spiritual direction, inspiration, loving support, trust and hope. Reading these dialogues, you can see that mystical intuitions come not from the logic and concepts of the left hemisphere but from the awakened consciousness of the right through which other spiritual beings offer their guidance. You can even have profoundly meaningful dialogues with the Earth herself. Just ask! This, too, is Mystical Activism - using mystical consciousness to find new ways of addressing the profound problems of our times. And help is always available. 

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"News or the Universe"

I have always known that I am what God is, just as the world itself is divine. The mystics, too, have always known this. Existence is all one vast living breathing conscious presence filling all space, time and being. Absent the self-illusion, I experience "my" being and consciousness as God's Being and Consciousness. We are all the substance and consciousness of the divine. Everything is God (or whatever name you prefer for this all-pervading intelligence). Tragically, the idea of self causes us to feel apart from this joyous and liberating unity.
Driven by the illusion of an endangered separate self, we make the world ugly with competition, greed, prejudice, hatred and war, a process that inevitably damages the life in Earth. Indeed, the climate crisis is created by our own destructive mental states. But in mystical consciousness, there is no self-idea to believe, inflate or defend, allowing reality to shine through the clear lens of consciousness as Creation. So it is that we create the climate crisis and only we can fix it by waking up together.
Because we are one, my awakening stirs yours and your awakening stirs the awakening of others. I am you when the idea of "you" dissolves in pure consciousness, then there is only divine consciousness and it belongs to the One. Experiencing this pure loving consciousness steadily transforms our very nature. Thus mystical consciousness erases the illusion of separation and, as we realize our unity with all living and non-living things, we cease ripping Creation to pieces, recognizing that we are in reality tearing our self apart. Yes, the ego continues as a useful aspect of the personality but it no longer represents your identity or personal worth.
But there's more, much more. Something vast is happening in consciousness. Something immense, cosmic. The conscious cosmos is evolving. I sense it. As the self-idea loses steam, awareness opens to the transforming waves of new states. Sadly, most here on Earth are slow to recognize this expansion of human sensitivity. What is this evolution in consciousness? Where is it going? Are we awakening, spiritually evolving, or approaching extinction?  
Climate change has lit the fuse on a vast change in the consciousness of humanity. In this apocalyptic time, everyday life as we know it will come to an end. A new epoch is opening inside the human mind. A new beginning. But you're either on the bus or it leaves without you. This is a time of mystical transformation, not simply physical security or survival. Fight over resources and you hasten humanity's demise. It's not about personal survival, it's about awakening. This is it. So, wake up, stop projecting mental fictions on the world, and experience who and where you really are. The Earth needs your enlightenment now if humanity is to be reborn in time.

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It's Time to Become a Mystical Activist

Scientists are telling us that a tsunami of climate instability and disruption is heading our way, one that will profoundly change our entire way of life: we will have to move inland to avoid rapidly rising oceans from melting glaciers; leave unlivable hot dry desert communities; sustain horrific wildfires in forests dead from insect infestations; face runaway global heat increases as we pass the last tipping point; exchange air travel for electric vehicles; replace dirty and inefficient meat and dairy production for artificial plant and cell substitutes; deal with depleted ocean fisheries, emptied aquifers, and shorter growing seasons; ingest polluted air and water; live through virtually apocalyptic storms; watch recurring waves of plant and animal extinction go on around us; acquire new heart, lung and other diseases from air and rain driven micro-plastics, chemical pollution and dangerous pesticides; experience new superbugs and multiplying parasites; adapt to overwhelmed hospitals and rising crime rates; adjust to widespread food shortages and regional conflicts over food and clean water; and integrate massive migrations of a fifth of the world's growing over-population escaping desperate living conditions. A cautious lot, scientists have actually been markedly under-estimating the pace of this approaching catastrophe according to Scientific American magazine.
We cannot afford to bury our heads in denial, cynicism, helpless avoidance, or ignorance, for no one is coming to save us. Instead, we must take responsibility for the damage we are still creating. But how can one person make a difference? Climate activist and prophet Joanna Macy tell us, "While the truth that we are headed toward extinction is a terrible shock, it has the potential to quicken our collective awakening powering a profound transformation of our world. This transformation begins within. We need to know ourselves, not only as individuals but as co-creators within a deeply ensouled web of life where all is conscious. Once we align with the reality and depth intelligence of consciousness itself, we connect with a spiritual and moral power that gifts intuitive wisdom, guidance, and courage…In essence, we are awakening into the profound intimacy of all things, where we directly know that all beings, nature, the earth, and the cosmos are a part of ourselves."  This is Mystical Activism.
And Matthew Fox adds, "More than ever, then, we need to stop and sit and be present to the Via Positiva (divinity as being) to allow our love for the world and the world's love for us to be deeply felt. This can carry us beyond nationhood and ethnic or racial or religious smallness into the much bigger world of creation itself. Love will be the source of our energy and of our imaginations that will render us effective agents for deeper change. Not superficial change, but a change that begins and ends with the reverence and gratitude we all carry in our hearts toward the universe that has birthed us. With that kind of deeper perspective, our prophetic callings stand a better chance of effective results. We taste the future, the goal, even as we walk the way. And it is a loving journey." This, too, is Mystical Activism.
These two spiritual giants are issuing a clarion call for a mystical transformation of collective consciousness. We can leave the narcissistic TV-world of escapist fantasies and transform ourselves into mystical activists. In easily learned mystical consciousness, we become the world, we know the world as ourselves, and we experience its sacred immensity. We fall in love again with Creation not as a Biblical reference but as the literal experience of the world itself. All I have written has led to this: we are divine beings in a divine world who have forgotten who and where we are. The left-brain of language of logic, belief and opinion, has taken over consciousness and now projects a false world of ugly mental illusions and delusions that will kill us and all life if we don't wake up from this nightmare. The answer lies in the right-brain's natural mystical consciousness with its transformed perception, awakened Self, new problem-dissolving tools, re-invigorated soul, hope-sustaining contact with other spiritual entities and forces, mystically awakened individual and group activism, and direct access to the needs and guidance of Creation. Change your consciousness and you can begin to change the world. Hide in left-brain fictions, and we will all go down together.
Coming out in February, Mystical Activism: Transforming a World in Crisis presents a revelation that explains our present crisis along with twelve workshop-tested re-usable experiential exercises for transforming yourself, your work, your experience of the world, and the world itself. If even 5% of us did this work, we would tip the balance of consciousness in favor of humanity's awakening. We are not helpless, we are powerful beyond measure, but we are stuck in fearful paralysis. Get unstuck.  

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The Mystic Always Returns to Nature

The mystic always returns to nature as the source of awakening and a deep awareness of nature in turn always makes us into mystics. The two - nature and mysticism - are profoundly related. It makes sense, then, that mysticism is now coming back into the culture's collective consciousness in this time of climate crisis and why mystical consciousness can save the world. Mystical Activism is an individual approach at first - we use the tools of Mystical Activism to understand the reasons for climate change and then transform our own response to it. We can't know how our work will turn out, but in mystical consciousness we will discover renewed energy, focus, resources and goals. And, as life is eventually a mystical revelation, it follows that The Three Secrets of Aging leads directly to Mystical Activism.

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Common Misconceptions of Mystical Activism

Misconceptions about mysticism have trivialized or demonized this natural experience for centuries. I hear similar misconceptions directed at mystical activism as well. Mystical Activism: Transforming a World in Crisis was written to rectify them. So here are some of the most common misconceptions and my response:
1.     This crisis is no time for "woo woo" distractions like mysticism
2.     Earth activists are already motivated by spiritual values and commitments
3.     Action is more powerful than prayer or mysticism
1.     Viewing mystical activism as a "woo woo" distraction or waste of time misses its profound gifts, including deep and sustainable motivation, transformational revelations, awakened wisdom and purpose, and divine guidance. The mystical experience of Creation changes us and the way we live, for we instinctively defend that which we experience as sacred. For those who experience it, mysticism is decidedly not a distraction, instead of revealing the very ground of being that supports and guides our work. Native peoples closer to the Earth have always known this right-brain dimension of existence; predominately left-brained "modern" people often lose touch with such direct knowing and conclude that it doesn't exist. Like swimming, the only way to really know what it's like is to experience it firsthand.
2.     Some activists are spiritually motivated are and some aren't, but the larger issue is that the majority of people in the world are not yet on board with the level of this crisis, the degree of behavior change required to combat it, or the deeply sacred nature of the world we are fighting for. Yes, time is running out but, as the Parliament of World Religions demonstrated, people from around the world respond through their spirituality. Religious and spiritual appeals bring us together. Mystical activism arises as transformative experiences move us from spiritual seekers to mystics to Earth activists with a singular motivation – caring for the sacred Earth.
3.     Action is absolutely necessary, but action divorced from continuous and direct mystical experience can also lead to burnout, endlessly warring narratives and campaigns that impose logical goals in place of an experience Creation's needs. Opening mystical consciousness to the sacred naturally generates acts of spiritual disobedience in the face of the Earth's wounds. We live in a divine world, shouldn't we listen to its voices large and small, here and beyond? This is, after all, a struggle to restore a sacred perception of life now overwritten by modernity, dualistic beliefs, and greed.
This is one of those both/and rather than either/or distinctions. We need both sides of the brain to stay balanced – logic and intuition, conceptual thought and sacred awareness, human and divine. Mystical experience actually takes very little time but can yield tremendous benefits in values, motivation, and wisdom. The mystical dimension, as old and humanity itself, provides the antidote to one-sided problem-solving as well as profound support in times of seemingly endless struggle, defeat and suffering. A deeper explanation of these counter-arguments can be found in Mystical Activism. Read it, go deep, and then see if you – and your work – grow in meaning, power and hope.

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We Are the Climate Crisis

We humans, busy, important, and distracted, reduce the incredible, wonder-filled, miraculous diversity of nature – which still exists – to monotony every time we name it, make it cute, and then move on. Giraffe. Sea turtle. Squid. Gnat. Rose. Apple tree. Worm. Seed. On and on. Each, seen for the first time, was astonishing and breathtaking – it's colors, smell, abilities. Indeed, wherever we are, we stand at the center of Creation but fail to see or sense it. Every time we name something, we kill its magic and make it expendable.
It's not just pollution, agribusiness, and toxic dumps that are destroying the world, though they are surely bad enough, it's us, it's conceptual thought as well. Remember that first glimpse of your lover's face, your newborn child, or the snail you watched crawling across the garden, where did that magic go? What happened to the thrill of discovering the work you love? We witness the world behind layer after layer of thought, belief, and future worries, and miss the here-and-now majesty and perfection of being. Our being. The world's being. Stand silently before any living or none living thing, examine it closely and without thought, and you look directly into an evolutionary miracle and a literal expression of the divine. We need to be re-amazed and re-astonished by the living, radiant splendor of existence or we will distractedly replace it through our focus on "economic progress" and "GDP."
It comes down to this: Our careless, anxiety-driven, preoccupation with naming, conceptualizing and explaining things kills the mystery we should be defending. The mystics have been calling us to wake upfor years, but we never have time. Time is running out. As Pogo said in 2014, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Only you and I can save Creation.

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Mystical Activism in a Time of Ecological Crisis

Addressing our escalating climate crisis, Matthew Fox recently observed, "An absence of the sense of the sacred is the basic flaw in…our efforts at ecologically or environmentally adjusting our human presence to the natural world." He adds, "My conviction is that we need not only an outbreak of creativity in the fields of technology and science…education, politics, religion, media and economics, but especially a spiritual awakening."
But Fox is hardly alone in this call to sacred action. In her paper, "Declare Climate Emergency Now," Joanna Macy said, "While the truth that we are headed toward extinction is a terrible shock, it has the potential to quicken our collective awakening powering a profound transformation of our world. This transformation begins within. We need to know ourselves, not only as individuals, but as co-creators within a deeply ensouled web of life where all is conscious. Once we align with the reality and depth intelligence of consciousness itself, we connect with a spiritual and moral power that gifts intuitive wisdom, guidance, and courage…In essence, we are awakening into the profound intimacy of all things, where we directly know that all beings, nature, the earth, and the cosmos are a part of ourselves." This is mystical activism.
Mystical activism arises from the intentionally awakened, thought-free, sacred awareness of the mystic that transforms our experience of self, work, and the world. In its fullness, mystical consciousness reveals the exquisitely beautiful, infinitely precious, and timeless reality known as Creation. Permeated by the divine Presence, everything is perceived as sacred, including us, for the Beloved is now experienced as the world and everything in it. This transformation of perception leads naturally to mystical activism for we instinctively love and protect that which is sacred to us. In the process, we create the kind of world we want to live in. Failing to see the sacred nature of reality, on the other hand, we will go on desecrating Creation, exploiting her as an endless supply of raw materials, a cash cow of new consumer products, or a garbage dump for toxic waste and discarded packaging. 


We are rapidly running out of time to address this ecological nightmare. The time to love and act is now.

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One Way to Become a Mystical Activist

Step outside. Open your senses. The world is alive with mystery, magic and beauty. Sensing it, we step into Creation and find our part in its great dance.
I sit here on a park bench on the Puget Sound. I feel the power of Creation pouring into me - a vast presence awakening the smell of saltwater and seaweed, the warmth of sunshine across 94 million miles of space, the cranky cawing of a crow amid echoes of distant dog conversations, the sight of two graceful herons alertly circling above in pursuit of lunch, and resplendent visions of cedar and pine framing reflections of the sky's light blue transparency and meandering clouds on peaceful waters on which a single kayaker quietly glides by trailed by a rapidly disappearing sparkling wake. 
From trees, grass, sand and water, a silent chorus of voices rises up, "See me, love me, join me, be me, dance with me." A tiny fly lands on my wrist and remarks, "Pay attention even to the littlest things for all embody the holiness of Creation." The heat from the sun now pushes me into the shade, then a breeze picks up and the shadows feel chilly. Nothing static here. My body says, "Get up and take me on a walk on the shore." I am caught in Creation's ever-changing spell. I stroll down a winding path, or is it moving and I am still? Einstein would understand but it doesn't really matter. This timeless perfect instant is a 3-D work of cosmic art here just for me, and a "gazillion" other little friends. It's spectacular. It's now. It's pure mysticism.
Times like these make us mystical activists. We awaken and see the infinite miracle of Creation everywhere. How can we let this beauty die? Open consciousness into moments like this and take the pledge from the Order of the Sacred Earth: "I promise to be the best lover and defender of Mother Earth that I can be."(Fox, Wilson, Listug, 2018).

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"The Future?"

When did the future become real? When did we overlay the here-and-now immediacy of childhood with an ever-enlarging fantasy of "the future?" Was is in high school worrying about upcoming report cards, or college when we began fretting about career, family and finances? By adulthood, however, "the future" grew so large that it consumed most of our thinking. We rarely lived in the present anymore. Then we got "old" and the future shrank down to short term plans – family celebrations, final trips, everyday errands - and fretful imaginings of the future eventuality of illness and death. And, paradoxically, there is also this abyss of time, the feeling that unfilled time is a wasteland that can spread out forever. What to do? No future? (never buy green bananas) or too much future? (stick with canned food). For many aging people confronting this conundrum, doing something, anything, creates a future worth living while having nothing to do is hell. Yet in truth, time is but an illusion of mind, the imposition of thought on the timeless divine present. For my part, I intend to keep exploring the sacred moment-to-moment mystery of being alive, which fully includes aging, decline, dying and death, for awakened consciousness transforms everything, revealing beauty and love beyond our wildest imaginings. Best to trade your thought-driven mind for timeless moments in the Garden. This is sacred living. This is mystical activism.

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What If?

What if we experienced the presence and consciousness of the divine every time our thoughts ceased during meditation? What if that divinity-as-consciousness experience could be sensed directly as our own inner Self? What if we merged that divine presence with our own being and discovered spontaneous new expressions of love and creativity flowing from our depths? What if we knew in this deepening incarnation that we were God? How might we think, feel, see, act and believe differently? What if you experienced this transformative process? What if we all did? Let's find out. And in the process, we might change the world one awakening at a time.

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