The Spirit and the Muse
by Miles Mathis
First published April 12, 2019
My apologies to the real Muses, whose beauty I could not begin to approach with the works of art used to illustrate this paper. I tried to call up my own Muse’s advice in the choices, but she only recommended I avoid the nudes. She knows I would not nix those for my own reasons, but she tells me they don’t put the petitioner in the right frame of mind. Nothing wrong with nudes, but not here. For myself, I found all historical depictions far too manly, partially nude or not. Something worth commenting on there, but I will save it for another time.
Many of my readers have asked me for more commentary on spiritual matters. Although I worry when I include my little sermons in papers, I find that a certain segment of my audience likes those parts the most. I am sure others like them the least, but that is how it goes. Here, the entire paper will be on those topics, so those who like them the least can bow out now.
Up to now, I have been mostly silent on these things because my Muses have told me to be. I have been told that it is not proper to speak of such things, or that it is unseemly to say you know what you cannot know. I have even gotten the impression it is bad luck to talk of certain things, but possibly I was misreading the signs. I am certain it is best to listen closely to your Muses, but maybe it was not speaking of these things in general that was frowned upon, but speaking of them at too young an age.Possibly I was not ready to speak of them. I needed to learn more. But now the ban seems to be lifted, so maybe my thoughts and words have reached a point where they can be shared, or must be shared. We will see. If I feel any push back from within, I will stop.
I want to start with a broad observation, one gifted me by my Muse. Talk of spiritual matters has historically been couched in unnecessary mystery, complexity, nebulosity, and mumbo-jumbo. As with science and some other fields, anytime anyone has anything to say about spirituality, he feels the need to go cloudy, approaching every question from the side in great circles of fluff, instead of simply and directly. Even Jesus spoke in parables, though we are never told exactly why. Nothing has caused more confusion over the millennia than religions. Just as I have tried to cut through the lingo of science, I will try to cut through the lingo of religion, simplifying things as much as possible for easiest comprehension. I do this not because I think I am talking to dummies who can’t comprehend anything but the Cliff Notes, but because after three millennia or more some of these questions could use a good scrubbing. Most are so overgrown with addenda, accretions, asides, and tangential matters, that even the smartest of us can’t make heads or tails of them. Since we may assume a lot of that schist was later added for the express purpose of creating confusion, it would be helpful to strip down to essentials, getting down to bare skin, if you will. I am advised that there is no reason we can’t speak plainly and sensibly about these matters.
I suspect that in trying to get to the heart of the matter here, I will be accused of being reductive. But reductive means oversimplifying a problem to the point the essential character of the subject is lost.The dictionary definition also uses the word “crude”. A reductive analysis is considered crude, which may explain why religious commentary so pointedly avoids being pointed: it is running from the epithet “crude”. Better to be windy and cloudy in the extreme rather than risk being called crude. I think I will be able to avoid that claim, since it is precisely the essentials I am after. I am also not interested in turning religion to black and white. In fact, it is the true colors I am most interested in: the ones veiled or muted by brown patina after brown patina.
Here is an example, which I take from the Wikipedia page on Lurianic Kabbalah. You would think that an encyclopedia entry would attempt to make its subject somewhat comprehensible, but that is not what we find. Instead, we find this:
Religious Kabbalists see the deeper comprehensiveness of Lurianic theory being due to its description and exploration of aspects of Divinity, rooted in the Ein Sof, that transcend the revealed, rationally apprehended mysticism described by Cordovero. The system of Medieval Kabbalah becomes incorporated as part of its wider dynamic. Where Cordovero described the Sefirot (Divine attributes) and the Four spiritual Realms, preceded by Adam Kadmon, unfolding sequentially out of the Ein Sof, Luria probed the supra-rational origin of these Five Worlds within the Infinite. This revealed new doctrines of Primordial Tzimtzum (contraction) and the Shevira (shattering) and reconfiguration of the sephirot. In Kabbalah, what preceded more deeply in origins, is also reflected within the inner dimensions of subsequent Creation, so that Luria was able to explain messianism, Divine aspects, and reincarnation, Kabbalistic beliefs that remained unsystemised beforehand.
Now, I am considered a pretty smart guy, but if there is any meaning or content there, I missed it. You may think I chose the worst paragraph on the page, but I didn’t. Visit that page and see for yourself: the whole thing reads like that. It is like swimming in a vat of cold green jello and cottage cheese. So we can’t blame the Wikipedia editors for not making sense of it: such a thing is not possible. It was written to confuse, and has been overwritten thousands of times since first creation by people also hired for the jumble in their heads. Luria may have been listening to a Muse when he wrote, put he impresses me as the sort of person who could mistranslate a grocery list. I simply don’t trust anyone who talks like that.In every case I later found they were trying to scam me.
But let’s move on, lest you think I am picking on Kabbalah. I’m not. It was just the obvious example in illustrating my point about clarity. In my previous papers on the Buddha and Buddhism, I have shared my discomfort with the worldview presented there as well. But Buddhism happens to be a useful lead-in here, since—like all other religions—it seems to me to be partly right. In Buddhism, we are taught that the meaning of this life is to escape it through perfect renunciation. Only in perfect renunciation can we achieve Nirvana, and avoid infinite rebirth. It is not hard to see the perversity in that idea, especially when it is stated so baldly. It is illogical on the face of it. Why would our spirit be placed here, and then be instructed to renounce everything? If we should renounce anything, shouldn’t that be only the bad things? Why renounce the good things? Yes, this life is corrupt, but it seems a wise person would renounce only the corruption. This life is also beautiful and miraculous, so why renounce that? Shouldn’t we embrace that? What could we possibly learn as spirits by renouncing the good and beautiful?
No, it won’t do. But the reason I think Buddhism is seductive and widespread is that it is partially correct. This life IS very corrupt, and we should renounce the corruption. Life is indeed a sort of test,and that is part of it. And the goal of this life IS to escape it, in a way. The goal is to transcend the corruption and to find or create a better existence. This you can do only by passing the tests that are put to you in this life. But your reward for that is not Nirvana (bliss in the lap of God or something) or Heaven (perfect and easy existence of some sort), it is your spirit being passed to the next level.
In this way, the Earth is a sort of testing ground for mid-level spirits. Even the atheist Christopher Hitchens roughly put it that way, though he called it a dumping ground for poor spirits. [Strange statement from an atheist, regardless.] It could also been seen that way, I guess, especially from the point of view of a poor spirit like his. He will be back, we can be sure. But from the point of view of somewhat richer spirits, the Earth is simply a step on the ladder, one that all spirits have to take at some point. It would seem that most spirits spend many lifetimes here, getting it wrong. I now assume most get it right eventually, moving on to the next level. As for the time tables, none of us are privy to them.
It helps to look at it from the point of view of the next level. Imagine a planet not too far away—it could be in our own Solar System for all we know, hidden from view. This planet is the next step in the ladder. Well, those folks don’t want your corruption. They have a system that works very much better than ours, and they don’t need us there clogging it up. So until we prove we can live there without causing mayhem, we aren’t welcome. If we insist on being nasty, we can do that very well here.
And why do I believe this? Have my Muses told me so directly? No. I am not claiming divine inspiration of any sort. I am not channeling an entity. I come to it from my own experience, though I think part of this experience is a schooling by the Muses. I feel constantly tested in just this way.Some of the tests I have failed and some I have passed. I continue to fail, and I continue to pass. I am in no hurry. I am not claiming I will pass at the end of this life: I probably won’t. But I am confident I am moving forward. I am not moving backward and I am not just spinning. That is the thing.
I can tell you that the main reason I am optimistic—despite my growing awareness of the corruption around me—is that I can hear the instruction and follow it (for the most part). I don’t need to read religious texts, because I can hear the instruction directly from the source. I know when I have done wrong, and I have the discipline to stop doing it. And I know when I have done right, and I have the courage to keep doing it. May that courage continue for the larger tests that are sure to come.
So we are not damned spirits, and we are not “dumped” here. There is no such thing as a damned spirit. There are only unpassed spirits. Yes, unpassed spirits can feel damned, but that is why they are unpassed. To pass the blame for their own actions, they claim the gods have cursed them. But the gods have cursed no one. The gods simply don’t pass the unworthy.
Remember that. You belong here (for the time). If you didn’t belong here, you wouldn’t be here. None of us are too good for the Earth. This is our current level, which should be a cause for humility.
Which is not to say there aren’t differences. Some spirits here are very near being passed and some are very far from being passed. I would say the Governors are very far from being passed, since they aren’t even aware of the rules of life anymore. They seem to think they get extra points for piles of cash or for 20-car garages or for titles. While in truth they are simply stacking up demerits for those things.
The Governors expect you to play by their rules, but they forget that they themselves are bound by rules. And while their rules are arbitrary and false, the higher rules are true and immutable. They know this, since we are all born knowing the rules. True morality is like language: it is innate. It doesn’t have to be taught. . . it has to be untaught. Most of your vulgar modern education is an unteaching of this innate morality, to make you more pliable for the Governors. Your innate knowledge is a nuisance to them, and so they try to squelch it. . . just as they have squelched their own.
We all have our hills to climb, but just imagine the hill in front of a rich man. He has not been given the easiest test, but the hardest. Who knows what he did to deserve such a test, but we can be sure he does deserve it.* He must find a way to force the camel through the needle. We see the famous rich failing the tests in spectacular fashion, falling down the hill in the ugliest manner possible. Some of them are so wretched by the end I suppose they don’t even qualify to be reborn here on this beautiful Earth. They have to go back a step. And I don’t mean being reborn as a dog or something. I suspect dogs and other animals are not back a step from us. More likely they are forward a step. I mean the rich must go back to the planet beneath the Earth, wherever that is.
Of course I mean all these things figuratively. I don’t know where these planets are, or even if they are planets. I am stripping this all down for the easiest comprehension.
Now, what of the Devil, or devils? I have said I don’t believe in Satan, and don’t even think the most evil Governors qualify as Satanic. What do I mean by that? I mean that the idea of an evil god is illogical. Who knows at what level your spirit, being passed many times, becomes godlike, but we may assume you don’t get there by being evil. Being evil is what keeps you from being passed. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t fallen spirits. If you can move a step up, you can also move a step down, and devils are simply spirits that have passed to the next level, then been thrown back to our level. But since they are now at our level, they aren’t gods by any stretch of the imagination. They are no more powerful than you or me. And if they stick to their bad ways after the step down, they aren’t as powerful as you or me, since they are continuing on their way down. Which is precisely why the “evil ones” are so pathetic. They exist almost entirely on bluff, since they aren’t gods and aren’t praying to any evil gods. There are no evil gods, by definition. So these fallen spirits aren’t tapped into any dark force. There is no dark force. You are either tapped into the light, or you are untapped. If you are untapped, you are on your own, since the Muses cannot help you. The Muses only have good advice or none, so there are no dark spirits from a higher level helping these people. If they are talking to dark spirits, those are dark spirits like them—at this level.
Which isn’t to say they cannot cause major trouble. Spirits even at our level are quite powerful, though they are nothing like gods. As such spirits, they are capable of major mischief. You yourself are capable of major mischief, much more than you know. But that is not why you are here. If you would move up, you are here not to destroy, but to create.
And that brings us to the next major point. To prove yourself worthy, you don’t renounce life. That is only a sign of weakness or inversion, and they have no need for that at the next level. No spirit advances on weakness. Spirits expand by taking on more light. In this way they grow and become more powerful. As larger light bodies they have more strength. So that, as a reversal of Buddhism (and in some ways a reversal of Christianity), you advance by embracing the good things of this life. Some have thought that because this life is corrupt, the spiritual thing to do is flee it, keeping your eyes on the next life, the next step, or the next incarnation. No. Yes, you do flee or fight the corruption, but part of your test here is how much you help your fellow beings. They are on the same ladder you are on, but you cannot advance by pushing them off or ignoring them. As you help them, you help yourself. This is because in order to help them, you have to create or channel more light. That channeling is not a loss of light for you. You do not lose what they gain. In learning to channel more light, you become larger at the same time.
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