HERE’S #2 INSTALLMENT, FOLKS… ENJOY!!
4. IT CAN CHANGE YOUR REALITY
Religion and spirituality are thought by some people to be merely wishful thinking. Perhaps it does create cheerful states of mind, they think, as well as the morals on which all good human conduct is based. But that’s it. Their main contention might be that spirituality is useless against the laws of nature and the larger manifestations of human evil, and always has been. (This is especially the case with some deistic believers (Ch.6,S.3) who generally hold that divine intervention is quite rare.)
The main antidote to this is having an open mind and being willing to “examine the evidence,” which in this case is more subjective,
involving both introspection concerning our own minds, and admiration of some other peoples’ minds. We end up admitting that we do envy those others’ levels of personal fulfillment, and that they must see the world, somehow, in a “happier” way than we do, even though they remain intelligent.
How might your reality change if you had a better or worse attitude towards life than you do? For many people, the changes in their own lives suffice to support the idea that attitude does have a real impact. Others don’t trust themselves that way. They benefit more from understanding the spiritual principles connected with those attitudes by which those changes are thought to come about, in conjunction with modern physics and psychology. This requires study, but it’s worth it if you have trouble relating to more subjective material.
Along these lines many books have been written on creativity and manifestation, which explain and help us apply spiritual laws to bring about beneficial changes. In a very real sense this is a science as well, since all the good writers in this area say the same things in different ways.2 The idea of “think and grow rich” does have a grain of truth to it, although in a more sophisticated and mature way than most of us are aware of. At certain stages of the spiritual journey, it is possible to employ one’s faith, intention and so forth to bring about changes in you life which otherwise would not occur (Ch.11,S.6).
An important thing to understand in this connection, finally, is that especially since the inception of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in the early 20th century, and that of Quantum Mechanics shortly thereafter, the boundary between the terms “natural” and “supernatural” have blurred.3 A growing body of popular, quasi-academic liter-ature exists supporting the contention that these theories provide evidence for the subtle mechanisms through which spiritually-related phenomena take place, such as such as telepathy, prescient dreams or visions, hunches which turn out to be true and so on, as well as the classic spiritual powers described in mystical literature.4 This new, scientific support of mysticism may be the biggest factor contributing to the spiritual awakening currently taking place on the planet.5
5. EVERYONE’S A MYSTIC
This word brings all kind of images to mind, so we need some clarity as to what a mystic is. It’s used in mostly two ways. The first is to refer to somebody who has spiritually-related powers and abilities, maybe above and beyond the average psychic. The other, more academic use is in connection with spiritual teachers in the religions who are presumably enlightened and experience union with God. Any renowned guru, master, sheikh, etc. is by definition also a mystic, although the term is not usually used in that way due to its association with psychic powers.
A third use of the term might be anyone who either reaches enlightenment or is serious about trying, and understands it to be something anyone can pursue, whatever our station in life might be. That’s how we will think of it in this book.
6. SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION
Finally, spiritual evolution does exist, and people do change their practices, understandings and associations as they move along in their journey. For this reason, a duality runs through this book for instructional purposes. The main way this duality manifests is in the contrast between different basic stages of spiritual development. Fundamentalist or orthodox per-spectives and experiences are discussed at one stage, and mystical, profound, or sometimes liberal-minded perspectives and experiences are discussed at the other stage. In some of the pictures, likewise, superficial meaning often contrasts with profound meaning. However, although this distinction has validity and is clear most of the time, neither of these positions can be defined and they clearly break down in some cases.
While I don’t mean to disrespect anyone, I do wish to stimulate a good bit of thinking and personal reevaluation, both for those who haven’t thought about these things, as well as for those who’ve thought too much in unproductive ways. Again therefore, everybody is a mystic—at least potentially.