Category Archives: service

Someone asked: “What would cause mystical experience?”

Someone asked: “What would cause mystical experience?”

In the broadest sense, wider experience in all forms comes through evolution, both in the external and spiritual sense. So it is the growth of the soul—through many life times—that results in mystical or spiritual experience. So, to some degree, people tend to be born with an inclination toward such experiences. As a result some people have spontaneous mystical experiences that appear to have little relationship with the life they are living. If one happens to be, as a result of many lives of growth and experience, at a point of readiness for revelation then a seemingly trivial life experience—something seen or even a thought, can trigger mystical experience.

But more specifically, however, there is a path—or a number of them according to needs and temperament—that accelerates evolution in a way that tends to evoke whatever immediate potential exists for spiritual experience.

Many would say that it is meditation that leads to mystical experience, and while this can be true for many, the path is much broader than that. In addition to what we come in with at birth, it is our way of life—how we think and feel and act—that determines whether our potentials for deep experiences are activated or remain latent.

The key thing is: real mystical experience includes some degree of transcendence of the little ego—that is of the little mind, emotions, and body—that we have misidentified as “I.” The question becomes then, what type of life is resonant with such transcendence? What type of life takes us beyond the little self-centered ego with its many desires and petty concerns?

First, this is a life of love and service, a life that expands our focus beyond our personal needs into the wider world of humanity and nature. The second factor is how the mind is used—the mind must be developed and educated along some line, otherwise, our ability to be helpful or creative will be limited. Third, right meditative thinking, and more universal thinking is key. The life of service, of love, of creativity, and right thinking is supported by study. Right thinking means educating and equipping the mind so that it is an instrument of service and creativity. Right thinking means optimism and focusing the mind on questions related to wisdom, questions related to the needs of humanity, and of the part we can play in making the world a little better for all who live in it.

We should understand this word “service” very broadly. The mother serves by being a good mother. The scientists serves by discoveries. The artist services by inspired creations. The statesman services by good governance that takes into account the highest good for the greatest number. We serve by thought, by communication, by words of kindness, by words of warning, by words of poetry. And most importantly, we serve by making our emotional nature clear and translucent so that it is no longer dominated, as is the usual case, by fear and selfishness.

In the way of life that is service, the key thing is motivation. There is only one true motive and that is love, broadly understood. So, we do not let our interest in personal things dominate. For instance, the desire for mystical experience should not be uppermost in our minds or condition unduly our emotions. The evocation of mystical experience is the byproduct of right living. It will come to us when it is time, according to natural and spiritual law. Such experiences are useful not only to ourselves personally, but to others, to world. It is same with meditation. Meditation should not be something pursued for its own sake. Your awakenings, your talents, are gifts for giving.

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Sunflower Motivations

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Something above phantasmal self shines continually. We try to find it in acquisitions. We humor each other with names attached to faces and voices, and play games of getting, but all unconsciously, and for a purpose hidden, then slowly revealed.

And finally, to approach acquisition and faculty by way of love–that I think, is key. The Sun, symbol of self, is our archetype. The physical sun serves us well, and the spiritual sun serves well. We also must serve well, which is the value of getting. Acquisition, personal growth, aspiration, seem to me to be preparatory schools that find they’re meaning in service of light. Our light-seeking moves toward discovered radiance in which is our happiness. And as sun cannot help but give itself in radiance, so also our inner nature. We are more light sphere than anything, and with but a thin veil between brain and our fiery core.

Breathing in and Out

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Inspiration and expiration are automatic, inherent in physical life. By analogy, spiritual inspiration and expiration are inherent in our inner life, are virtually a definition of it. We inhale (receive) and exhale (give), and these two are a natural law and rhythm. But in our human egotism we have broken the sacred rhythm—we would take in and not give forth. We would breath in with little breathing out, and we choke and sputter on our own egotism. We try to absorb the beauty of creation, but do not create beauty—we read, but do not write, we receive but do not transmit, we want love, but are poor at giving it, and on it goes… I’m reminded of the fellow who noted only two types of people in the world: lawn-sprinkler people and vacuum-cleaner people, with the vacuum-cleaner types being predominant. In the homely image of a lawn-sprinkler person we have a picture of an individual who is reestablishing the sacred rhythm, bringing life back into balance. This concept has been named “service.”