"There are no interruptions, everything that happens is a sign read correctly or incorrectly." Carla Ansantina
Table of Contents and Introduction
Alternate table of contents: (Go here to glance over the 80 some topics in this section)
Concepts and Definitions
Wandering in the realm of the non-ordinary
Excerpts from the field of unknowing
Notes, email address, new additions
Home (Taoism, other)
Work in Progress
Advisory for the mystical journey
The immediate world is too sudden and over-much with content. We pull back from it, recoil at its raw image; we halt the drama that constantly tumbles out of it. We must think our world in order to slow it down; to manage it we carefully box it into conceptualizations and thus decrease its overwhelming intensity.
The mystic is less heedful, eschewing the carefully groomed surface she plunges into the immediacy of life. She exposes her heart to the full radiance of each unmediated moment. With the flood gates released, the exquisite splendor of the world pours in, with all of its joy, poignancy, awe, and potential terror.
I suggest the mystical journey be initiated carefully. There is nothing to be gained from haste. Speed of success is directly correlated to patience. And the voyage has as much opportunity for disaster as it does for good fortune.
It is helpful to remember that one will not be able to further perfect oneself, unless one realizes that one is already perfect.
See also: vulnerability, danger
A primary objective for this presentation
My first objective in this writing is to assist myself and others fully grasp the following two points:
In the practice of mysticism the only thing that matters is the way you and I inhabit this immediate moment, the one here at hand now.
Everything you and I need to know about mysticism is inscribed within us; we only need to learn how to access the information.
The presentation that follows may help the reader learn how to better inhabit this moment. But neither this nor any other writing is essential to the task. What is essential is good humor, profound dedication, and complete openness. With these ingredients present, if a stage is reached where further guidance is needed, such guidance will arrive right on time.
Happiness, the purpose of apophatic mysticism
The task of apophatic mysticism is the cultivation of self-contentment. In the words of Zhuang Zi, the adept's goal is "zi le," reaching the kind of contentment that is invulnerable to circumstance.
Notice that this purpose is one of the here and now, and it is based in natural desire, not on any a priori belief system. It is empty of metaphysical speculation: its foundation is experiential not doctrinal. Its authority is heart, not scripture. The immutable satisfaction of the apophatic mystic arises from process not promise, experience not belief.
Apophaticism and religion
The practice of apophatic mysticism works effectively whether it is practiced within or outside of a doctrinal religious system. This web site will treat apophatic mysticism as it is practiced outside of any doctrinal system of "truth." For purposes of brevity I will refer to this non-doctrinal apophatic mysticism as simply "apophatic mysticism," but here remind you the reader that an apophatic tradition exists both inside and outside of various theological systems of belief.
Is this apophatic mysticism religious?
Should one consider this non-doctrinal apophatic mysticism to be religious? It might be, if what we mean by religious practice is the development of trust in a reliable approach to our world, an approach which continually brings us satisfaction no matter what comes our way.
My own belief system
I believe there is a singular
dynamic embedded in the natural world of phenomena which surrounds
us. And if we intimately engage this dynamic we will feel secure
and content no matter what happens to us.
There is a Chinese expression: Qing jing wei tian xia zheng: "With clarity and inner serenity everything under heaven falls into place"
Apart from this I have no beliefs, which also means I have no disbeliefs. Well maybe one: I believe that your beliefs and disbeliefs are probably as plausible as mine.
The next page, (see below for link), covers some key terms and concepts. However, if you would like an overview at this point, you can skip ahead to an essay that presents such an overview here: Sovereign Contentment.
next page: here