Sunday, 23 August 2009


This is the beginning of my first real blog although I did make my own using dreamweaver but it got so inundated with SPAM that I have had to resort to this with all the bells and whistles that keep the spammers away! It is a kind of personal experiment with the whole idea of blogging. I understand that a general theme would be fitting and I will choose the word 'spirituality' ... I will be sharing my explorations and developments along the way and welcome feedback.
Why Urban Mystik and why the wrong spellink? Well ... Urban Mystic had been taken so I plumbed for the closest I could find. My belief is that spirituality should not be reserved for those who may be considered to be the elite ... the cloistered ... surrounded with nature's resonating language of God's handiwork. (I say 'considered to be' because i am sure that they themselves do not regard them selves as'elite' - furthermore God is a rather loaded word I know but rather than unpacking it I hope it will 'unpack' itself along the way.) ... hence the idea of a mysticism which is on street level available to the most ordinary and the most unassuming in the least expected places.
I will stop there and in my next post tell you a bit about myself and where I come from and where I have travelled. (spiritually speaking)
(24/8)I am 56 years old (yesterday!). More than 30 years ago I remember my spiritual search beginning having left the repressive confines of a boarding school and launching into a drug fuelled few years at University - they were good times and bad times. I took LSD which disorientated me but also awakened me to an altered state of consciousness. Recognising the damage such drugs could do I determined to seek the same experience without the use of drugs. I took up Buddhist Practice and meditative techniques using the I Ching for guidance. While my usage of such things was as much to do with being trendy than anything else there was a genuine search taking place. Total acceptance was key and I remember being perturbed by the fact that Jesus Christ while being someone I admired was at the same time someone I could not accept. Furthermore (how I dont know) I recognised that to accept Jesus was more than just to value his teachings or even his historical activities but to accept him as the centre of my life. After much trepidation and persuasion I finally accepted him in this way.
My experience of God at this point was so great my life was turned around. I gave up the drugs immediately and started to attend church. It seemed to me reasonable at the time that all relations to my past life were to be rejected which included my whole mode of seeking prior to this experience. 'Be here now' was one of the catchphrases I embraced prior to becoming a Christian. I labelled that concept with the passivity / existentialist tag and left it behind. Being still and being 'present' were ideas which I had left behind with the old life.
It is only over the past few years that I have begun to re embrace some of these ideas and considered them consistent with my Christian experience. It is thanks to books such as 'Practicing the Presence of God' by Brother Lawrence and 'Cloud of Unknowing' as well as techniques such as 'centering prayer' introduced by Father Thomas Keating that have enabled me to discover new Christian areas of prayer not too inconsistent with my previous approaches.
Further down the road I have looked into teachers such as Eckhart Tolle and the 'Sedona Method' with Hale Dwoskin. Under which label I would put these I dont know (If a label is necessary)- Esoteric, New Age, Buddhist - I dont know but I have found them extremely helpful in my spiritual growth. I am now asking such questions as: How distinctive is the Christian revelation from modern spiritual approaches to God? Where is the overlap? Is there room for dialogue? Can we afford to use new concepts to define God, sin, salvation etc without compromising the central tenets of the faith thus becoming more relevant to the present modern spirituality? I hope that this blog will contribute to research into this .... who knowzzzzz

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