Eroded by life

This outer world, our day-to-day lives, can be very distracting. They buffet our minds, emotions, and senses. We let things that happen to us form experiential sores; existential callouses.
As we pick at these, our surface grows tougher. We are less sensitive where we’ve been scarred.
Then we learn that there is a deeper life; we don’t need our toughness and scars anymore. That which grinds away our surface can free our core. As it polishes away the outer shell, the hull, the pod; we find our souls pulsing inside.
– From “The Gardens of Ailana” handbook for mystics & healers

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Reaching the hopeless through our own doubt.

My love/guide told me today that if I hadn’t had all those years of suffering and crippling doubt I couldn’t have written the books that I do, and could’t have reached the people I reach. I write books of hope for the hopeless; stories of deep meaning for the lost and out of touch. I couldn’t have come to them in compassion and empathy if I hadn’t myself felt disconnected, and like God and all meaning had turned from me.

Heart pain can lead us Higher

When my arms grew long and strong enough I started pulling myself up onto the roof to lie back under the stars, praying for their vast peace to drain off some of this hurt. I ached for something higher, richer, undeniable, and there were moments when I was teased with just a glimpse. I could lose my heart in a picture of Jesus or Mary, in a rainy autumn sunset, or a field of stars, and it was like I’d gone home. Everything dissolved into pure, aching sweetness. How vast love can be when we don’t hack off a chunk and hoard it, call it ours, or chain it to someone; when it isn’t love for some thing or someone, just love.
I was only allowed brief visits to this world beyond worlds, though, and couldn’t bring the bliss back with me. Trying to hold on to that soul piercing, excruciating sweetness was like tearing my heart apart; but maybe that was exactly the point. Broken hearts show us we’ve grown out of one stage, by ripping us wide open for the next.
We’re forced to choose what we do with all that pain: turn it against ourselves, aim it at someone else, or tap all that power and reach higher.
– From “Entertaining Naked People”

Hidden spots of Mysticism and magic.

There are places on this planet not confined to the logic of men or limitations of science. Something inside a few special people draws them to these centers when they are ready.
Early man may have erected strange mounds, or circles of giant stones there. Early religions may have inspired great cathedrals or temples there. Legends may have spread about miracles and healing wonders, and for centuries pilgrims may flock in from all lands.
Or they may just have been left alone, unknown but to the few; tended by very special beings.
In our story, four deeply caring souls have been broken by their childhoods. As adults now they secretly yearn for forgiveness; their own, or to find the clarity of heart to forgive those who have hurt them so badly. They yearn, but don’t pray. If life has taught them anything it’s that no loving, caring God could have let tiny vulnerable children be treated so cruelly.
But what if all things really do have a reason?
What if everything does serve some purpose?
And what if there are places and people one is drawn to when she has finally found the courage, or the depths of desperation, to face herself down and be free?
“The Gardens of Ailana” is a tale of redemption. Of what lies beyond; what is deeper than suffering and more real than life itself. It is about finding one’s deepest truth and dearest peace. It is a story of returning to innocence.
– My next novel; due out probably in late February.

Dark night of the mystic soul

Aside

As she wandered back to her cabin, searching for any fond memories she might have buried from her childhood, light faded everywhere around her.

How about the coloring? Children enjoy coloring, how about that? She’d spent so many hours and days on her art. It was as close as she could remember to having her Mamma stand over her with anything even remotely resembling approval. Her books and comics could be tales of Jesus, but coloring books had to be Old Testament because “No child’s impure hand could touch a crayon to the sweet beautiful face of our lord and savior Jesus Christ.”

So the little girl had scrunched down over Daniel in the lion’s den. Samson, screaming, being blinded with daggers and torches. The redder she made the flowing wounds of a man of God shot full of arrows, or stoned to death, the richer the flames of three men being burned in a box, the longer mamma let her stay out of that closet.

But the men still came. Mamma had no say over that. The Cleansers from the church had to step in as her father, since women were weak and needed men to set them straight. Mamma had done the unmentionable, and that sin must be cleansed from the girl child.

Paulette had fought so hard not to hum while she colored, since music was sinful. Now she fought to lock that vision back into its box. It was as close as she came to a happy childhood memory, but even this one gnawed away at her insides.

As that long night of deepening terrors took hold, her room grew colder. The trees outside began to quiver, then wail. The winds rose up, gathering the darkness in around them.

She heard rivers running everywhere, whitewater roaring far off.

But it was only those ominous winds, scraping and clawing through long-dried leaves that should have been left to lie still, and die quietly.

– From today’s chapter of “The Gardens of Ailana”

Falling through the bottom.

If my life shows anything, it’s that no matter how lost you may feel in your deepest pits of depression, you can always be led to something Higher.  In fact sometimes it seems you may have to fall through the bottom before you can rise to your true heights. Sometimes you have to be consumed by your own darkness before you can find that tiny light to lead you out. Or maybe I should say before it can find you; before you are ready to let it in. You can be guided out of any mess into something clearer.

I’m not of course recommending any of this as a path to enlightenment, but it doesn’t cut you off from it either. You don’t have to be a vegan yogi living in isolation on barren steppes somewhere hidden from the world, and from life. You can get drunk, have sex, get angry, hate God and His world, and still find Him.

God, or whatever you choose to call Him, Her, It, That, Them.

Or nothing. Maybe it isn’t God you are finding, but your deepest, highest, vastest, truest self. Which may be the same thing as God.