Blog Update & Moving Forward

I apologize for the silence of late! I know that I still have some readers who check in to see if I’ve added anything, and it’s been months since I have.

I have indeed been writing, and I do have some articles in the works for this site. I did, somewhat recently, add to my Metapsychology of Liberation series over at Phanes (formerly Phalanx)—a site run by the indefatigable Angel Millar. I have also been working on a book. My goal is to have enough written for it to begin submitting to publishers in the spring, so of course that has taken up most of my writing time over the past few months.

But there’s more…

Since my initiation as a Nath two Septembers ago, now, I’ve been undergoing a shift in focus in my own practice. This hasn’t been a huge change so much as it has been a cleaner synthesis of spiritual impulses which have always been natural to me. Though it has forced me to reevaluate a lot of relationships, both to people and to ideas, it has been something of a homecoming for me. I am learning more and more how much of a natural fit so many of my prior practices have with one another. Many teachers I’ve had, organizations I’ve looked into or had brief affiliations with, and systems I’ve explored have (whether actively or passively) discouraged the exploration of other methods and ideas, or else discouraged their coming together with any other stream for any reason. This never sat well with me. And I’m happy to say that the Nathas have no such attitudes: While our focus is simple and straightforward, we are each encouraged to explore as we see fit and to make use of what gets the job done rather than worrying over some abstract doctrinal purity.

All of this to say that this blog, along with me, will be opening up a bit. I will begin to explore topics even further afield of a “purely Hindu” purview than I already have, and will hopefully bring a little more of the practical in here as well. It is also my hope to have the occasional guest writer or even interview to gain some perspective on practices well beyond my own. Context is king, after all, and the more we can learn about how and why others do what they do, the more our own contexts fill in.

The heart and soul of this blog are therefore staying the same: my own focus is, and ever has been, on the essentials of spiritual development. But I will also be working to fill in the gaps around the edges and hopefully to add some much-needed depth to prior discussions by making connections in a variety of directions. I know that this all sounds vague right now, but it should all start to come clear as I begin to post some new articles in coming weeks.

Thanks for sticking around, everyone. More soon.

Announcement: Books That Blew My Mind

So, I’ve read a few books over the years. Some of them have impacted me very deeply and changed the way I thought and looked at the world. Many of those have really stuck with me and I still like to share them when people ask me for recommendations, but I don’t always get the chance to explain why I point to those books in particular and not many other fine choices on the same topics. I’d like to use my blog as a way to do just that.

I’ll be doing a periodic and on-going series here on the “books that blew my mind”; they will be reviews but, more than that, they will also be articles explaining why those books were (or are) so important to me, where I was in life when they had their impact on me, and so forth. So, beyond just being reviews, they’ll be a bit of an under-construction memoir.

Finally, I’d like to welcome everybody to let me know (in comments, e-mails, private FB messages, or whatever) about the books which have had a similar impact upon you, because I’d love to check them out.

“Is Hinduism Rational?” on People of Shambhala

The first part of a two-part article of mine is now appearing on People of Shambhala. You may find it here: http://peopleofshambhala.com/is-hinduism-rational-part-i/

Please read and let me know what you think! Part 2 should be up next weekend.

Thanks!

Thanks to everybody who follows this blog, who reads it regularly, and to those who just stop by for a moment.

It seems that my poem post was quite a success; I’ve gotten a lot of response to it already. I suppose that’s a sign that I should probably just combine my poetry blog with this one and keep everything neat and tidy.

Again, thanks everybody for your support. We’re all in this together.

An Open Letter to People

Dear Everybody,

For a lot of people I know, today’s shootings in a Connecticut elementary school are, cumulatively, one more reason not to trust humanity or see the good in people. Believe me, I understand. Just last night, a friend and I were watching a documentary on Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, and it was not easy to stay calm about an event nearly twenty years past. And if one follows the news, there are numerous stories which can make us sad, angry, and confused. How do people do these things? How does society — that is to say, us — allow them to happen?

I will not, however, allow my faith to be shaken. We cannot forget the countless acts of good and compassionate people, large and small of scale, going on all the time. We cannot allow our hearts to harden at the sight of blood, but instead let our hearts be softened by the hurt of others.

Of course, for the moment, maybe it is enough to remember those who have lost from this event, and remember those in our lives whom we love. But when you go back out into the world tomorrow, or after your weekend of holding your loved ones tightly, do so with all of the caring you can. Violence is not fought by violence, but increased by it; violence is only defeated by peace and trust in what is good in us. So, I’ll see you out there. Say hello. We’re all in this together.

Aum Peace Peace Peace

Honesty in Blogging

Whether or not you have arrived here by way of my now-defunct blog, The Magical Messiah, it is best for me to quickly explain the purpose of this blog.

I have never been one to blog seeking an audience. Don’t get me wrong; my goal is not to not have an audience, either. However, I write mostly to help in organizing my own thoughts; if I can put something down in such a way that other people can see what I’m getting at, then my thoughts are at least somewhat clear. Thus, anything I write is not intended to be a statement of conclusion or finality, but rather a strong expression of “where I am at, right now” in my approach to any given particular. This brings me around to why I’ve started this blog and abandoned my other one: The Magical Messiah is no longer “where I’m at”, and I would have to delete the whole thing and start from scratch to reflect that shift. Still, there’s some stuff on there that I think is still good, or might still be useful to somebody, and very little I would like to disown. Instead, I’m just creating a clear point of separation. Let the past be what it is, but I’m no longer in it.

This blog, then, reflects the measure of peace I have gained in finally admitting to myself and others that I have embraced Sanātana Dharma (what is popularly, though not entirely accurately, known as “Hinduism”) by way of intense study of important Western writers in Perennial Philosophy. I don’t see this as a repudiation of my former Christianity, but as a blossoming of it. I have not abandoned Jesus but have taken a broader and, I think, deeper view of who and what He is. This has led me inexorably to conclude that I am now where I have felt drawn for years: nondual Saivism. Hermetism and Gnosticism were stepping stones from virtual nihilism through a sort of “New Age” pantheism to mitigated dualism, and into pure nondualism.

Let me emphasize that I do not hold myself above the authentic religious and initiatory traditions through which I have come to reach this point. I can only speak honestly about the road I have taken. I know many men and women personally who are ardent practitioners of Gnostic Christianity, contemplative Christianity, esoteric Hermetism, Kabbalah, Buddhism, and many other traditions besides, and I have nothing but respect for them and their path; there are many paths, but one Way.

All of that said, this is a blog about Perennial Wisdom in Her many forms, but more specifically about my own journey in Dharma. Really, they amount to the same thing (but I’ll get into that more as time goes by).

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that something of my journey can be of help in yours.

Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti