By Daniel Moler
Since I can first remember I was a natural-born mystic.
This doesn’t mean I was born with some supernatural ability to channel cosmic powers. It means that I never settled on the institution of religion being the final answer to the experience of God, Great Spirit, or whatever label you would like to put on the Cosmic Big-Wig. My parents can testify to the fact that I constantly questioned dogma, yet it was not for the sake of rebellion (as they may have assumed at the time). My one and only goal, since the very beginning, was to seek answers in order to deepen my relationship with Creation.
My spiritual path has led me down many avenues. Whether it was on the summit of a majestic mountain or a drug-addled alleyway in the city night, my agenda has always been the same. I am not talking about being a spiritual seeker. The tendency for many spiritual seekers is to try to fill a void which was left from some sour experience with a church, a previous relationship, or even their parents. In that way, spiritual tourism becomes an addiction.
That seeker’s cup never gets filled. They tend to use spirituality as a salve to make them feel better, a form of pseudo-therapy.
I would beg to argue that it is not the role of a spiritual path to be your life coach. Certainly, one’s spirituality can augment their happiness, but that does not mean the aim of the spiritual quest should be personal satisfaction.
If I were to expect any one person in my life (my wife included) to make me happy, I would never be happy. Happiness comes through being in relationship without expectation. In fact, joy arises via relationship itself: learning new things about the other person, being surprised (as well as disappointed), going through years of ups and downs, etc. Relationship is about more than getting what you need; it is the full circle of good and bad, beautiful and ugly, all wrapped up into one package of experience.
This is the adventure of consciousness. If we seek only enlightenment from the Source of Creation, then we are missing out in what all of Creation has to offer. Within the sacred Shaiva text the Spandakarika (“Song of the Sacred Tremor”), Vasugupta states:
“In the absolute sense, pleasure and suffering, subject and object, are nothing other than the space of profound consciousness. To grasp this fundamental truth is to see absolute freedom everywhere. Thus, the activity of the senses itself dwells in this fundamental freedom and pours forth from it.” (Odier translation, stanzas 5-7)
The experience of life is a vast buffet of versatility; we are missing out in a rich relationship with the Universe if our end goal is driven by our own selfish needs. If we expect something specific from God is to experience only a fraction of God. From this perspective, I approach my spiritual life the same way I approach relationship with the people I love: I check in with them, I make inquiries to get to know them better, I express gratitude for their presence in my life. I may ask for help, but I do not expect that it is their job to always fulfill my needs. After all, the whole of being a conscious entity with free will is to participate in the privilege of responsibility—something we shouldn’t take for granted.
I don’t want God answering my every need. Otherwise, what would be the point?
To be a mystic is to be in communion with the fullness of the Creative Principle of the Universe, not as some anthropomorphic dude controlling the destiny of all, but as an experience of consciousness permeating through every aspect of the world. Enjoy it like a marriage, for better or worse, in sickness or health; because God is all of it, not just a part of it.
God is the wholeness of existence. To experience anything less would be incomplete.
Daniel Moler is the author of Shamanic Qabalah: A Mystical Path to Uniting the Tree of Life & the Great Work from Llewellyn Worldwide publishing, as well as the psychedelic urban fantasy RED Mass, the Terence McKenna guidebook Machine Elves 101, and a contributor in Ross Heaven’s book Cactus of Mystery: The Shamanic Powers of the Peruvian San Pedro Cactus. Among being trained in a variety of spiritual and healing modalities, Daniel is a sanctioned teacher of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition, a form of Peruvian shamanism brought to the U.S. by respected curandero don Oscar Miro-Quesada. You can read more works by Daniel at http://www.danielmolerweb.com/.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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