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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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The Mystical Awakening of Humanity

Abraham Maslow, the father of humanistic psychology – the "Third Force" of American psychology, and its wonderfully enlivening concepts - "hierarchy of needs," "peak experiences," "self-actualizing personality," suffered a severe heart attack in his early 60's and died several months later. In the intervening months, a time of very fragile health he called his "post-mortem life," Maslow's personality changed dramatically, shifting from a nearly workaholic level of ambition and productivity to a steady state of transcendent calm, characterized by a deep serenity, unitive consciousness, spontaneous spiritual insights, and pervasive perceptions of radiance, beauty, and the miraculous nature of being. He described this state as the way the world would look if a mystical experience settled into a persistent state.
 
This experience changed Maslow. He now viewed humanistic psychology as a transitional state, a preparation for a higher transpersonal or trans-human one, a "Fourth Force" in psychology, one that could be taught and intentionally evoked. He called this new state of consciousness the "plateau experience" and said he could awaken it voluntarily and remain "turned on." He talked of teaching "classes in miraculousness." 
 
I'm proposing that mystical consciousness, our long-forgotten but fundamental human capacity for the direct perception of Creation, can be one of the most important resources for healing ourselves and the collective illusions that are destroying our world. Indeed, the approaching climate apocalypse may be the turning point in human civilization, moving us from the greed and power and the false self to the all-infusing love and unity of divine reality. This climate disaster is not the end of humanity, but it is a call to grow in sacred consciousness. It's a call to conscious elders and all who long to transcend the straitjacket of identity, time and story to come home to a new revelation of Eden.
 
I'm also proposing that we work together to enlighten human consciousness. Borrowing Maslow's brilliant intuition, what if we taught classes in "miraculousness," classes that dissolved left-brain illusions in right-brain mystical awareness? Re-balancing left and right brain functions we would envision a new kind of civilization, one where thought arose from divine consciousness to serve all life. Matthew Fox calls this kind of creativity "art as meditation" and I believe its unifying consciousness was the implicit goal of the University of Creation Spirituality and its later incarnation The Fox Institute. In such an awakened teaching environment, the whole spectrum of false self identities – rich, poor, teachers, homeless, mentally ill, doctors, soldiers, athletes, academics, scientists and seekers – discover that they are not who they think they are but so much more. When welcomed, a mystical pedagogy could thrive in countless places such as schools, businesses, nonprofits, churches, environmental agencies, community centers and activist organizations.
 
Fox concludes, "My conviction is that we need not only an outbreak of creativity in the fields of technology and science but also education, politics, religion, media and economics, but especially a spiritual awakening–What Joanna Macy and David Korten call the "Great Turning" and Thomas Berry calls the "Great Work" and I call a metanoia or change of consciousness from an anthropocentric…world view to an Original Blessing and Creation Spirituality worldview." This awakening is the essence of mystical activism.

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I Live in Divine Consciousness. Does That Interest You?

I live in God's actual consciousness. I experience it every day. My consciousness is God's consciousness. And this consciousness changes me. It opens the perceptual gates to the divine world described by countless mystics. Heaven on Earth is not a fairytale and it holds the secret to the escalating crisis of climate change.
 
I know many will regard this statement as arrogant and judge me with the belief in a world populated only by false selves, but it has nothing to do with my false self which disappears in this consciousness anyway. "I" as a personal construct have no reality in thought-free mystical awareness (which is the secret behind the joy of awakening). You, too, can experience this sacred expansion of consciousness. Its clarity, freedom, joy, guidance and love will ease your suffering, but more importantly, its collective use can ease the suffering of our sacred Earth and her beings.
 
We are not the fictional, problem-ridden personas we enact daily in the world, and the world is not what we think it is. We are the divine consciousness that dissolves artificially-constructed false selves and the imaginary soap-opera world they project. The character you play will not bring the happiness, spiritual realization, or a divine world, nor will it heal our escalating global crisis. But we can discover the divine Self that lives in and through us and experience its life-transforming consciousness.
 
The journey of age is also transformed in divine consciousness. Conscious elders no longer need to be prisoners of the past, trapped in outdated identities, personal stories, or ossified reality constructs. In conscious sacred aging, we are witnesses to a new Creation and can bring this revelation to the world. Everyone has an exciting new job in Creation.
 
How do you experience divine consciousness? Here are some suggestions:
1.     Believe this shift in consciousness can happen. Read about it. Understand it. Want it! Then do it for yourself and the world. Only you can transform your consciousness. Be serious.
2.     Practice the experiential exercises in my books. They were created from the firsthand awareness of divine consciousness and open this same awareness to anyone experiencing the steps described. It's all about the direct experience of the sacred. The exercises are not difficult and include Mystical Consciousness, Presence, Heaven on Earth, Divine Self, and Interactive Dialogues with God, Soul, Earth, Ancestors, Angels and other spiritual beings. These exercises build on one another synergistically until you finally grasp the truly simple path to awakening. Yes, you will have to buy the books, but bookselling is simply a means of distributing information; the vast majority of authors do not get rich and don't write for the money. For me, writing is a spiritual discipline.
3.     Practice daily. Waking up needs to become a daily, even hourly, experience in order to replace the left-brain's robotic personality functioning. The primary obstacle to waking up is the habitual return of the false self that occurs the second we start thinking again. We are addicted to our preoccupation with obsessive thought.
4.     Be patient but notice the thrilling expansion of consciousness that signals progress. Every experience of divine consciousness, no matter how small, offers immediate and immense reinforcement. The sense of release, relief and freedom is amazing.
5.     Notice divine consciousness transforming your perception and behavior. This is the whole point! Become the mystic you were meant to be and evolve into the artist and prophet that arise in mystical consciousness. Then help save Creation.
 
These spiritual teachings will also be found in the forthcoming book, Mystical Activism: Transforming a World in Crisis coming out early next year. Its moral: Wake up to who and where you really are, and watch problems dissolve into the firsthand experience of divinity as Creation herself. Then ease into the divine flow of Creation and discover the reason you came into the world.

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Part III. The Ultimate Choice

     Mystical activism means waking up to the firsthand, timeless experience of Creation and sensing what our work is in the present moment. It is a hands-on, action-oriented mysticism - mysticism in action. The flow of Creation becomes the source of our work and our creativity. In this awakened consciousness, the mystic becomes the artist and prophet, revealing - and defending - the divine as the nature, source and purpose of life against the destructive forces of the patriarchal false world. We sense that reality is alive, conscious, love-drenched, and always brand new, an experience so precious and profound that we defend it with our lives. The illusory dualities of sacred and profane, divinity and humanity, Heaven and Earth disappear. Experiencing the inner divine Self, we always know what to do; we dwell in Garden consciousness and care for it as like a newborn baby. In sum, mystical activism is about returning to - and embracing - the divine world as our very self.
 
     Of course, people will want to tell you that this mystical "woo-woo" is a waste of time and that you should be doing something more important, but here is the counterpoint: the most authentic doing comes from divine being. In conscious being, we know in the moment what to do whether that means driving and flying less, avoiding plastics, filling our gardens with drought-resistant plants, or simply being kind. When we fall in love with Creation, we do everything we can for the Beloved. Yes, we absolutely must heed the warnings of science and make huge changes in civilization, but all that comes more easily when we know who and where we are: divine beings in a divine world. Explore mystical consciousness, step into the divine world, and then do your work. In Mystical Activism, we hold the power to perceptually change the world right where we are. Who can do this? The answer is anyone who tries. Maybe not all at once or all the time, but as a spiritual practice, Finding Heaven Here will steadily open our eyes to the real world we are meant to live in.
 
The Ultimate Choice
     We stand at the threshold of the divine world and the ultimate choice of humanity: the choice of which world we want to live in. Warring thought-driven worlds always perish in time; Creation as divinity always survives and flourishes in eternity. Let us choose the latter and restore thought to its rightful place as a divine gift in service of Creation. At this moment in human history, our greatest work is to wake up to who and where we really are and birth a new flowering of civilization.
 
     If this article doesn't change your consciousness, read it again. Read it a thousand times. Read it until you see what I see, what the mystics see, what truly is. Read it until you wake up from the self-perpetuating illusions of this suffering world. Wake up and help others do the same.❤️
 
(The documentation behind this work can be found in the forthcoming book, Mystical Activism: Transforming a World in Crisis, and throughout my writing.)

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Part II. The Practice of Finding Heaven Here

     Finding the divine world cannot be an intellectual exercise. Because we need to see it directly, for ourselves, let's explore an experiential exercise. This exercise is an experiment in the mystical consciousness. Don't worry about doing it perfectly. Don't worry about whether anything is happening. Don't try to figure it out. Just follow the directions and notice what you notice. Take all the time you need, go slowly, and try to experience the sensory qualities described in the instructions Ready? Here goes…
 
1.     Find a relatively quiet and peaceful environment free of interruptions for at least fifteen minutes.
 
2.     Keep your eyes open throughout this exercise. You can't see the divine world with your eyes closed! And remember, this is not meditation, guided imagery, or spontaneous fantasy. In fact, it may be different than anything you've done before.
 
3.     Take a moment to quiet your mind. Let your thoughts slow down and unwind. Get comfortable in your chair, centered in your own personal space and physical being. Focus attention on the sensory perception of the immediate here-and-now.
 
4.     Now, slowly, consciously and deliberately, focus your attention on something near to you: you hand, a watch, a pencil, the fabric of your pants. Let it be your visual focal point for the exercise. Just keep gazing at whatever you've chosen.
 
5.     While you're looking at this focal point, listen to the silence and sense the stillness of the present moment that is everywhere. Any time your thoughts resume, remind yourself to stop thinking and return to silence and stillness as you gaze ever more deeply at your chosen point.
 
6.     Now in this still and conscious moment, I want you to heighten and sharpen your senses even more. Become as alert, awake and aware as you possibly can. Wake up!
 
7.     Heighten this awareness even further by opening the awe response. You already know what awe feels like. You felt it when you stood in rapt attention as a child gazing up at the night sky or, as an adult, down at your newborn infant. That intense, wide-eyed, breath-catching, thought-free awareness. Awaken that intense consciousness and you expand your sense of awe as you continue gazing at your focal point.
 
8.     Now carefully examine its visual properties of your focal point: its colors, pattern, and texture. Experience its depth, beauty and perfection. Notice how the light plays on it. Smell it. Touch it. Look deeply into it with your soul. Love it. Merge with it. See it exactly as it is without thought. This is pure perception. See it as if you've never seen anything so clearly before. Be amazed.
 
9.     Keep looking at the object. As you gaze at it, become aware of your own consciousness, in other words, become conscious of consciousness itself, remembering that all consciousness is divine consciousness. Keep gazing at the object with this pure awareness. See if you can sense that divine consciousness now exists all around you, as if space itself were becoming alive and aware. Just notice.
 
10.  This heightened state of mystical consciousness may further change your perception. Leave your focal point and begin to look around you. Notice that your environment may seem brighter, more beautiful, interesting, radiant and alive, and it is because you are dissolving the lens of thought that separates you from the divine world. In this consciousness, everything is incredibly beautiful, infinitely precious, perfect, enchanting, radiant, shimmering with light, conscious, alive, and full of love. The divine world is still here, you are looking at it, you are looking into it. You knew this world as a child, you can find it again as an adult. Be amazed. Be grateful. Take your time to absorb this profound revelation. You are in deep communion with divine being as the world itself. Just experience it.
 
11.  When you're ready, bring yourself back to normal everyday consciousness. Move around a little, sit up, and reconnect with your customary self-experience. Get the operating system of your mind back on line, as the computer folks might say, so you can reflect on this experience and perhaps write in your journal.
 
Review
     What did you experience in this exercise? Reflect on the little or big things that surprised you and any curious intuitions you had. Understand, too, that mystical consciousness, like any skill, will develop with time and practice. As you practice this exercise again and again, try to keep track of what did happen, not want didn't, in order to continue developing your mystical awareness.

 

     One of the wonderful things we can learn from the practice of Finding Heaven Here is the extraordinary beauty and freshness of everyday life. It heals us naturally because thought-free sensory consciousness is where the divine is found, where wisdom arises naturally, and where our hearts come alive. It is literally the threshold of Heaven on Earth! Because conventional reality beliefs are so deeply ingrained, however, we often cannot even conceive that the world is more than just a collection of material things and processes, so here are some additional suggestions for transcending our collective blindness.  
 
·     Start with positive expectations for seeing Heaven on Earth. We see what we expect, so expect it. Remind yourself, "This is Heaven on Earth" or "I am in Heaven on Earth" and see what happens.
·     Feel the joy of this potential revelation. It's like saying, "It's an amazing day" and then discovering that it really is.
·     Look for beauty everywhere. The mystics have long said that beauty is a doorway into the divine world.
·     Practice seeing your environment with gratitude as an incredible and sacred blessing. Practicing gratitude will further awaken the perception of the imminent sacred.
·     Practice loving the world unconditionally just as it is. Love is itself a channeling of divine energies and a transformation of consciousness.
·     Practice awe, for awe is always related to the sacred.
·     Practice happiness. You already know how to feel happy, just do it. Happiness also profoundly affects our perception of the world.
·     Practice silencing thought-driven consciousness in thought-free awakened perception.
·     Practice often. Remember the adage, "Practice makes perfect"? It works here.

 

Coming Next: The Ultimate Choice

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Humanity's Ulitmate Choice: Which World Do We Want to Live In?

Introduction
     Global warming, an existential crisis of monumental proportions, is rapidly descending upon us. We don't know where this escalating apocalypse is going and we can't instantly stop or reverse it. Science is working on it. Countless enlightened governmental and grassroots organizations are mobilizing for action. The news cycle is finally admitting the crisis is real. Will this concerted effort be enough? In consideration of this critical question, there is, yet, one more avenue we should pursue: mystical activism. This three-part blog explores the questions: What is mystical activism and how might it help us find our way through this time climate reckoning?
 
What Is Mystical Activism?
     Mystical activism begins with mystical consciousness: an intentionally awakened, thought-free, sacred of awareness that transforms the experience of our self, our work, and the world itself. 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 now manifests as the world itself. This transformation of self and consciousness leads naturally to mystical activism for we instinctively love and protect that which is sacred to us. In the process, weco-create the kind of world we want to live in.  
 
How Does Mystical Consciousness Change the World?
     The dualistic mind created by the evolution of the split-brain fools us into believing that there is only one world and one way to fix it. It says we live in a physical reality properly described by thought, that reality is what we think it is, and that logical thought processes are the best ways to improve the world. This is the left-brain approach to problem-solving and western science, technology and industry are extremely good at it. But when we name and explain things with intellectual constructs only, we lose touch with the magic, mystery, and wonder of the divine world and the sacred fabric of existence fades from awareness and memory. In fact, we may not believe it even exists. Jewish mystic Abraham Heschel explained, "As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines. Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind." He added that the greatest hindrance to an awareness of the sacred is "…our adjustment to conventional notions, to mental clichés." The answer? "Wonder or radical amazement, the state of maladjustment to words and notions, is therefore a prerequisite for an authentic awareness of that which is." And Heschel warned, "Mankind will not perish for want of information; but only for want of appreciation…"
 
     Mystical consciousness is a powerful antidote to the conceptual mode of problem-solving. In mystical consciousness, we temporarily leave the left-brain's thought world, heighten sensory awareness, experience reality in a consciousness free of thought, expectation, agenda and self, and then open the transformative power of pure consciousness. With practice, we discover that nothing is what we think it is, everything is literally sacred, including us, and that consciousness is not just in me, I am in it and it is the consciousness of divinity. This is mystical consciousness, offering us a revelation of the infinite beauty and perfection of Creation and the untapped power of mystical activism. It's not that we would ignore the left-brain's prodigious skills but we would imbue them with sacred consciousness so our work benefits all of Creation. Left-brain planning with awareness firmly planted in the divine consciousness would make a huge difference in healing the world at both individual and collective levels.

     Next up: The Practice of Finding Heaven Here

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