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Towards Atman   hardback book

FORWARD

True mysticism,(the reason for the poems that follow,) can be defined
as a classical or scholarly understanding in contrast with its degenerated and much abused use today, of any loose connection with the occult.
I do not mean to say that areas within paganism are completely devoid of divine awareness. Quite the contrary, since I feel that man's closeness to the earth, brings him closer to the source of his life, providing his ritual approach does not drown out his natural intuitive senses, where all meditative inclinations are lost. I think of the American Indian who through ritual, had a keen sense of the divine in all living things, including himself.
 

To make this difference of true mysticism more explicit, one might suggest a rather obvious comparison, say between the Christian mystic St John of the cross and the contemporary figure of 'Mystic Meg'! Or witchcraft, Druid symbolism in contrast with the enlightened minds of J Krishnamurti or shri Ramana Maharshi.
If we draw on the insights of Vedanta/Advaita/ upanishads or even the many mystical utterances of Jesus, we may eventually arrive at the understanding, in knowledge and in experiential terms, that only one thing, or rather no thing, actually 'is' or 'exists'.
 
 
This discovery certainly corrects the vision and would seem to turn it upside down, or in Lao Tzu terms, turn it the other way around, as Alan Watts would so precisely and accurately put it.
Major religions have been the cradle of mystical truths though they have often fought against it in their own particular midst. The Sufis were persecuted and murdered in history by mainstream Muslims and Christians did similar things to their mystics. - A monk in the 16th century was put to death for insisting that all things are one! Much as Jesus himself did, being executed for blasphemy. Jesus, not declaring
a new theology but simply what he felt. For me, personally, Jesus is the embodiment of true mysticism. His cosmic consciousness enobles him to the title of cosmic empathiser.
 

Alas! As many writers have said, now and in the past, Christianity as a monotheistic religion has been a disaster, a classical example of the folly of following the teacher and not the teaching.
Little more needs to be said on this save to say that such deep wisdom and truth is available to the world, yet mindless fundamentalism still reigns, opposite high liturgical practices.
The mess speaks for itself. I think of Jesus's words,  "you search the scriptures daily for you think you have life in them".
Scripture is as much idolatry as any other kind when it becomes biblical worship. Monotheistic religions always draw on divine transcendence while ignoring immanence. What might be detected from time to time in the body of poems here written, in simple settings, is the seed of sage teaching and of true mysticism. The negation of all idolatry, both tangible and intangible, and certainly including biblical idolatry. It may  also point to the various spiritual paths that lead us on to self and no-self enquiry, for it is there and only there, that the sacred ground of all might be encountered.Alan Watts is correct to say with his wonderful book title, and I commend it to all, "The book on the taboo against knowing who and what you are",  a taboo that we are unaware of or that we tacitly conspire to ignore.

          R.K.Austin




 

Blurb -book description

A series of poems from the poet’s ‘mystic seed’ collection, where many point to sage paradigms and teachings, which include awareness of ego self as an illusion. A realisation of the ‘one self of the world’, deathlessness, timelessness, the unborn self of Buddhism, the lila / maya - the illusory and playful nature of the divine as an insight of the Upanishads. Wonder according to Goethe is the highest that man can achieve, faced with the infinite and eternal.The mystical utterances of Christ in contrast with monotheistic belief in organised religion.

 

 

   

All images/artwork and photography copyright © Sarah Austin.
All poems and article text copyright © R.K.Austin.
2006. All rights reserved
No photographs or other material to be reproduced elsewhere without permission.