Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians

Connecting the esoteric teachings of Rosicrucians, Theosophists and Freemasons with Witches, Pagans and Heathens

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Notes on the Nature of Reality

The more bizarre situations I witness in life, the more attracted I am to the philosophy that reality is a malleable jelly, existing only in the mind of the beholder. One writer in particular calls life a tale told by an idiot - full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. 

Here's a bit of magick for you. Do you have a deck of playing cards? Pick a card - any card - and hold it up in front of your eyes. Turn it edge-wise, till all you can see of it is a straight line. Look hard at that edge. Focus on it. Pay attention. 

The thinness of that line is all that separates life from death. It's all that divides prosperity from disaster. 

If that isn't magick, I don't know what is.  

On one side of that thin edge, your spouse is dying and you don't have enough money to take care of her or to support yourself after she is gone. On the other side of that tissue-like divide, you have plenty of funds in the bank and can get her the best medical attention. You can both exist very comfortably for another decade or two. 

If you're on the good side of the playing card, you have a lovely retirement condo in Florida. If you're on the bad side, your condo was built over a sink hole that opens up underneath your bed in the middle of the night. Before you can even understand what is happening, you are dying hellishly - suffocating under tons of earth. 

On one side of that thin edge, you have a healthy, well-liked family living in a nice part of town. On the other side of that edge, your neighbor just invaded your home and murdered your wife and children - and your dogs, too, because he couldn't stand their barking. 

Those last two examples come right out of this month's news. Real life is more bizarre than fiction. 

The difference is just a card's edge. A hair's breadth. That is how delicate the division really is between life and death. 

How insane is that? Why shouldn't philosophers conclude that life is a pointless crap shoot, and that reality itself has no meaning? Why shouldn't they tell us to eat, drink, be merry and spend money when we have it, because we can't take it with us? 

This is where your mind becomes all-important. It's a proven fact that life can turn from pleasant to nightmarish in an instant; but  how does your mind interpret that fact? The conclusions you draw could determine your conduct for many years to come. And your conduct will determine your future karma.    

I have always tended to draw the most depressing and nihilistic conclusions, out of fear that otherwise I would look like a mindless idiot; but it would be equally possible for me to choose a different perspective. Maybe the Gods would like me to come up with something more proactive, from my observations of life. 

The advice we get most often is to be grateful for our blessings - hard to do if I'm constantly terrified of losing them at any moment. Maybe a more practical use of my energy would be to make other people's lives a little more bearable. Maybe the Gods are prompting me to be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem. 

Perhaps I should exert some effort to encourage my brothers and sisters. After all, I'm supposed to be a teacher - and the line between opposites is so fine; the difference is only a hair's-breadth. On one side of the card I can make people feel demeaned and stupid. On the other side I can respect their need to ask questions. And then I can clarify the situation and help them to understand it. 

Maybe it was my fault they didn't understand it the first time. On the other hand, maybe they are getting at something that I haven't thought of yet - and maybe if I get my ego out of the way and listen to them non-defensively, I will learn something and benefit from it! And in this way my life, also, will be improved.  

Mine is not the only brain on the block, not the only intellect struggling to figure out the nature of reality. Why do I keep thinking that it is? Hubris, thy name is Theo!

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A student of esoteric traditions since the age of 16, Ted Czukor (Theo the Green) began teaching Yoga in 1976 and was adjunct faculty in the Maricopa, AZ Community Colleges for 26 years until retiring in 2013. Raised Christian but deeply influenced by Rosicrucianism, Vedanta, Hinduism and Buddhism, his Pagan worship has strong Gaia-Goddess tendencies. He is an Interfaith wedding celebrant and the author of several books, two of which are available online. He lives with his wife Ravyn-Morgayne in Sun City, Arizona.

Comments

  • Jamie
    Jamie Wednesday, 30 October 2013

    Ted,

    My Gods what an awful fate, that poor man with the sinkhole beneath his bed. I pray that Lord Hades offers a wonderful place in Elysium to someone swallowed up in like manner, just as Zeus is supposed to grant a blessed afterlife to the victims of deadly lightning strikes.

    So true, also, the razor's edge between prosperity and disaster. One twist of fate is all it takes...sometimes our fault, sometimes somebody else's, sometimes no one's.

    I have an image of Hermes/Mercurius in my beat up old car (as well as my home shrines), in front of the shifter. I pray to Him as I travel...especially when my gas tank's low, I'm driving to work in a snowstorm, the stop light changes just when I need it to, or I narrowly avoid an accident.

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