The modern mystic-the contemporary spiritual seeker-is always looking for ways to enhance and expand his or her consciousness. Using quotes from spiritual masters as well as personal stories and anecdotes, A Manual for the Modern Mystic shares practical, easily attainable tools that promote spiritual growth through consciousness development.
Rio Olesky, a professional astrologer and spiritual practitioner, offers a thoughtful guide through the mystical thought of several major spiritual traditions while exploring the ultimate goal of the mystical pursuit-the meaning of life. As he defines and discusses twelve universal laws-each reflective of a sign of the zodiac-he helps lead you to discovering a deep personal connection to the Divine while avoiding self-undermining behaviors that limit spiritual growth. Through Olesky's explanation of universal laws, mystics will learn more about their connection to the physical plane, fascinating social behaviors, and the complexities of family dynamics.
Development of consciousness is perhaps the ultimate purpose and prime reason that life exists. A Manual for the Modern Mystic helps contemporary spiritual seekers tune in to a rich, intuitive awareness of the world around them that ultimately leads to peace of mind and happiness.
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A Manual for the Modern MysticHow to Practice Being in the Presence of God
By Rio Olesky
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Rio Olesky
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Law of Creativity
Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.
—I Ching, Wilhelm translation
Increase and Multiply
I used to live in a pristine part of Northern California on the Klamath River. It was wild and untamed and a perfect place for me to understand more about the nature of life. One of my friends was a person we called a mountain man. When I knew him, Hubert was in his fifties and had long reddish-brown hair and a beard. He alternately made his living by being a fishing guide and by climbing up and down steep mountain slopes, collecting huckleberry brush for the local brush plant. He would routinely pack up to one hundred pounds of brush up those slopes. The plant sold the brush to florists for bouquet filler. As a fisherman, he was without peer. One day after I had been fishing unsuccessfully from the river bank for hours, Hubert came by. He put his pole into the water where mine had been. In about thirty seconds he got a bite. Pulling in the fish, he threw his line out again, twenty feet away from the first cast. Another thirty seconds, another catch. His success in such a short time was a credit to his experience, his knowledge of fishing and of the river. Hubert had essentially lived out of doors most of his life. I assumed that since he was so close to nature that his daily observations of the physical plane would provide insights into the profound truths of life. One day he casually mentioned that everything in life has a purpose. I asked him what was the purpose of mosquitoes. Without hesitation he shot back, "To make more mosquitoes."
I'd asked about mosquitoes arbitrarily. It just popped into my mind. I could have asked what was the purpose of deer, or robins, or even people. The answer would have been the same, and the lasting image would have been more pleasant. But mosquitoes reminded me of my childhood. On summer evenings, when I was put to bed, my father would come into the room with a sprayer containing DDT. He would proceed to spray the entire room, especially the space around my bed, in order to kill all the mosquitoes that were buzzing around, waiting to feast on my blood. This seemed like a good idea at the time, as it did eliminate a potential bump or itch. Years later it was realized that the cure was worse than the problem. In any case, Hubert's words brought consternation. If he was right, mosquitoes have as much right to exist as we do. After all, we both come from the same Source. Yet mosquitoes are loathsome, disease-carrying insects. Isn't the idea to kill them before they make our life miserable? A more delightful take on the image of mosquitoes comes from the Dalai Lama. The Buddhists believe that all life is sacred and that people should strive to protect all forms. As if to validate Hubert's idea, the Dalai Lama has responded to the question of "How do you deal with mosquitoes when you are trying to meditate?" by saying, "We do the best we can." We don't have to allow mosquitoes, or any life form, to hurt us. It is important, however, to realize the common origin of all life. It's also important to realize that what applies to mosquitoes applies to people. If the purpose of mosquitoes is to make more mosquitoes, the purpose of people is to make more people.
In the Old Testament, Jehovah exhorts us to "Go forth and multiply." Assuming that the Bible is, in fact, the word of God, this is more than mere biological imperative. It is the command from the Creator, and we are under that commandment as much as insects. All life forms are connected by their need to create.
The first universal law is creativity. It is the initial and most fundamental of the laws. It's the life-giving spark from which all the other laws emanate. This principle is continually at work. Mosquitoes are being created, humans are being created, solar systems are being created. Recent scientific photos of the outer regions of space have revealed dots or flashes of light. Some appear for milliseconds and then disappear. Some last longer. They suggest that the universe is constantly creating. This is an ongoing, never-ending process that takes place in every aspect of life and most likely on every plane of consciousness. By consciously connecting with the Law of Creativity, we tap into and become a conduit of the vital life force and become a part of the never-ending chain of creation.
Origins of Creation
Our physical universe began at the moment of the big bang. Approximately 13.7 billion years ago, a spark of light exploded in an ultra-hot flash. At that moment, space and time, matter and energy began to exist. All of the physical matter that exists today, anywhere in the universe, was created at that moment. At first, the energy was formless and fluid. As time went by, the nebulous energy began to congeal into gas and dust. Eventually, those elements, too, became denser, forming atoms and molecules. When a gas cloud becomes big enough and is compressed, it collapses under its own gravity and ignites as a star. If the star is big enough, it will attract more dust and gas. This may eventually solidify to form a planet that revolves in the gravitational force field of the star. Some planets form with the proper combination of elements so that they, too, can create significant life forms.
The creation of life on earth began roughly six hundred million years ago when single-cell organisms gave rise to multicellular creatures. What is amazing is that our single-cell ancestors were genetically equipped to generate all the attributes found in more complex organisms, including organs, limbs, and feathers. The process of physical creation is ongoing.
The New Testament describes the beginning of life by stating, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God" (John 1:1–3). Thus, in addition to the dust, gasses, and particles, the origin of physical being had another fundamental component: sound. The source of everything is potentially audible. This audible vibration is God, as is the initial spark that gave rise to the big bang
Aboriginal myths from around the world describe the ancient ones who first appeared as being more ethereal than physical. According to many legends, these beings participated in the task of creating everything physical. They also serve as a conduit, connecting the human experience to primal forces. Over time, they actually created everything we perceive in nature: lakes, trees, snakes, turtles, and kangaroos. The Australian Aborigines connect with the ancient ones in what they call "Dreamtime." This is a state of being that enables the Aborigines to experience both the physical environment and transcendent states of consciousness in ways that are harmonious and supportive.
This story has been repeated in many indigenous cultures throughout the world. Human beings have been aware of the process that created life for thousands of years before science confirmed it. In most of the cosmologies, the original beings who made the earth their home began as the physical universe itself: ethereal and amorphous but with limitless potential to generate endless forms. As time went by, and more physical elements and attributes appeared, the beings became more corporeal and physically dense. They came to identify more with their bodies than with their divine potential. Their ability to endlessly create was consequently curtailed. This tendency has been inherited through the generations down to us. It has led to the perception of life as duality. Duality conveys the idea that the spiritual plane is "out there," and the physical plane is where we are. This leads to the false assumption that we are separate from the Divine and outside of the creative flow. Civilization has evolved in a way that has continued to prioritize the physical and to perceive it as separate from the spiritual.
The truth is that the process of creation is continuous, and we are integral, inseparable parts of that process. It may not appear that way to our perceptive mechanisms, because we have unconsciously programmed ourselves to experience our life as separate, both from each other and ultimately from Source. The One is perceived as "many." This illusion can be strong enough to affirm the assumption that we are outside the creative loop. The more we perceive everything as being separate from everything else, the more disconnected we feel. That perception perpetuates duality. You and me. Us and them. This sets up an opposition of forces and manifestations. From there, it's a short step to mine being better than yours, or ours being better than theirs. Instead of perceiving life as a beautiful, interconnected wholeness, in which every part serves, supports, and reflects every other part, humanity has evolved a fragmented consensus reality. Something is perceived as being more desirable in some way than another part. And of course, if I had that good part I would have to hang on to and defend it. If I didn't have it, I would strive to obtain it. So much for harmony and mutual support. So much for all of the mutually interdependent parts of the One doing their creative dance as parts of the whole.
Creativity is the foundation, origin, and essence of life. In the West, we've been taught that "God created heaven and earth." That's it—a done deal. Some might feel that the best we can do is fit into the construct of that which already is, has been, and always will be. Perhaps one letter of that line was mistranslated; it is the most crucial one and alters the entire concept. The translation could be "God creates heaven and earth." The ongoing manifestation of life suggests that creation is present and continuous. Pollywogs become frogs, oceans become deserts, forests become plains, viruses mutate, and primates became human beings.
What's in a Name?
Consciousness development is the purpose of life. Creativity is the vehicle that enables us to accomplish that goal. Because creativity also implies a Creator, it suggests that there is a Source that generates all that is. The process of the One becoming the unlimited forms of life is creativity. It is an expression of that first spark of light that exploded to become all that we experience physically. Depending on cultural context and historical time frame, the One Creator has had many names: God, Jehovah, Allah, Jah, Heavenly Father, the Vital Force, the One, Mother Nature, Love, the Light, the Universe, the Divine, and the Unmoved Mover. Some cultures have referred to this concept as "the Unnameable." The Buddhists refer to this concept of Creator as No Thing, which means that Creator is beyond rational understanding. It is not this or that but is, in fact, everything. It is not male or female but is, in fact, the integration of all that is: universal Oneness.
Regardless of the variety of names, each reflects the same concept and represents an attempt to define that which is ineffable. When we attempt to define this concept in a linear way, we limit it to a mental construct. By doing so, we create two problems. One is the cultural disconnect between people who see these names as actually describing different things. For example, God and Allah are seen as separate, leading to the assertion that "God is on our side" or "my God is better than yours." Attempts to perceive and define something that unifies has lead to a fragmentation among peoples of the world.
The second problem is that the defining or naming of the Source has led to the development of religions, as opposed to the awareness of spirituality. With religion comes dogma; with dogma comes politics. Dogma has prevented direct, conscious connection to Source, and the politics of religion has created the idea that the deity is simply another politician—someone "out there" who needs to be placated, feared, or followed. The idea that the One is not separate from us—nor we from it—has been lost in translation. This has given tremendous power to those who claim to be intermediaries between God and the people. They can use their knowledge and prestige for personal gain. An example of this comes from ancient Egypt. The priests in that culture were also astrologers. They knew about natural phenomena, such as eclipses. Prior to a new moon solar eclipse, they would announce that the gods required more tribute. If the people did not contribute more to the priestly coffers (in the form of food, livestock, etc.) the priests would block out the sun. At first, the people might have responded with skepticism, but as the moon slowly moved across the face of the sun, and the midday sky grew dark, the people no doubt brought whatever they had to the temple. As the moon completed the eclipse and began moving past the sun, the priests would congratulate the people on their generosity, announcing that the "gods" were satisfied, and all would be well from that point on.
Some people are raised in dogmatic traditions. Their experience of religion or God is limiting and repressive, sometimes to the point of abuse. People from any tradition may tend to avoid spirituality, confusing it with the religion within which they were raised. Their experience of the deity may reflect the negativity with which it was introduced to or forced upon them. Other people simply avoid deviating from the path of their childhood religion. They were taught that spirituality is different from their religion and therefore is either bad or perhaps anti-God. For these reasons I have chosen to refer to the prime deity in this book by neutral names such as Spirit, Source, Oneness, and Transcendent Divine. I want to avoid any negative connotations associated with a name or any associations with any particular organized religion. The reader can then have a clearer understanding of the concepts I am discussing.
What Is the Creative Source?
Regardless of the labels chosen, the question of who or what is the Source of creation remains. Let's answer this question by defining its qualities. Spiritual masters from all cultures and traditions state that it is something that was never created, has always existed, has always flowed through everything, and can never be destroyed. Two attributes that it seems to possess are the intention and ability to create. How can we know more about the nature and purpose of the Divine? We can use our intuition and explore the concept of Creative Source through mystical attunement. We can find validation for this process by analyzing some of the great books of our heritage, written by people of inspired intention and clear vision.
The Bible says, "So God created man in his own image ... male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). Does that mean that all people should resemble the familiar, stylized image of Jehovah as an old man with long white hair and beard and flowing robe? In this sense, it seems more likely that we created God in our image. Putting Source in a human form has enabled us to feel less alienated and fearful in the face of a physical reality that has been continuously changing and challenging. It has enabled us to avoid dealing with our spiritual potential by defining Spirit in limited, human terms. But I think this biblical passage means that we contain within us the same potential to create—continuously and unabated—that is expressed eternally by the prime Source. In this respect, we are the descendents of those mythic beings who created all the physical attributes of the earth. If the purpose of the Divine is to create, and we were made in the image of that Creator, then we, too, must possess both the intention and ability to create.
One thing that separates humans from other species and connects us even more to Source is that our creative process is not limited to the physical plane. We can generate ideas that enable us to organize ourselves into social groups. We can create technologies that enhance our potential to communicate, to transport, or to make our physical tasks easier. We can generate art that provides a reflection and expression of ourselves, and we can produce situations such as war and peace.
Creation is imminent in all human endeavors. One example is written language. There were four original cultures that independently invented written language. The Sumerian people of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) created a written form of their language prior to 3000 BC. Other cultures that accomplished this were in Egypt (around 3000 BC), China (1300 BC), and Mexico (600 BC). This is a geographically vast and culturally diverse group, indicating a strong and universal drive to express ourselves through linguistic creativity.
Excerpted from A Manual for the Modern Mystic by Rio Olesky Copyright © 2011 by Rio Olesky. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Law of Creativity....................1
Chapter 2: The Law of Survival....................29
Chapter 3: The Law of Both/And....................55
Chapter 4: The Law of the Eternal Present....................79
Chapter 5: The Law of Love....................105
Chapter 6: The Law of Service....................128
Chapter 7: The Law of Harmony....................150
Chapter 8: The Law of Eternal Life....................179
Chapter 9: The Law of Abundance....................205
Chapter 10: The Law of Karma....................234
Chapter 11: The Law of Impermanence....................260
Chapter 12: The Law of Transcendence....................283
Chapter 13: The Universe Wants Us to Be Happy....................313
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