Guy Mystic has been a spiritual nomad for many years. His spiritual journey starts with his childhood, growing up in a small sect in the tradition of the Anabaptists. The sect grew out of the Mennonite/Amish tradition. Guy’s grandfather was one of the church’s lay ministers for many years. Although his grandpa was a farmer and welder by occupation, he read widely and attempted to teach himself what Guy would come to understand was a fundamentalist reformed theology. Guy recalls seeing the entire Thru the Bible five volume commentary by J. Vernon McGee sitting by grandpa’s chair. McGee’s folksy approach to the Bible and theology had a significant influence on grandpa’s sermons and was the basis of his fascination with the dispensational view of the “end times and the rapture.” Guy listened to hours of conversation and debate between his grandfather, father and uncles each Sunday after church. These discussions were foundational to his spiritual development.
After high school, Guy left that church and joined the Baptist tradition, still fundamentalist. After high school, he decided to further his spiritual education by receiving a B.A. in Biblical Studies from a college that had a staunchly Calvinist statement of faith.
Guy met the most fascinating woman during his first year of college. They fell in love, married and began this journey together, always in parallel. Each coaxing the other toward deeper and more significant mystical insights. Now nearly four decades later this parallel journey continues.
Shortly after graduating with his B.A. in Biblical Studies, Guy experienced several life experiences that threw him into a full on dark night of the soul. He traveled this dark night for several years.
One of the first stops along this journey was the book Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey. Toward the end of the book during the discussion of the Spirit, Guy experienced what he would come to understand, many years down the road, as a spiritual awakening, a satori. He recalls the recurring question that emerged from this awakening, “If God is in me, why do I need all of these rules? Why do I need to attend a formal church organization? If God is in me, isn’t church wherever I am?” He came to understand this experience of Spirit as panentheism. This was the start his personal collaboration with the Divine.
Journey of the Nomad
The next most significant stop along the way was when he came across Integral Theory by Ken Wilber. With Integral Theory, Guy was able to merge his enlightenment experience with the developmental models he had learned as part of his second undergraduate program in Human Development. His introduction to God in the first, second, and third person made sense. Giving context to his experiences of the gross, subtle and causal realms allowed him to adopt practices for more stable states in his experience of the Divine.
It was during this time that Guy adopted a universalist study of the Wisdom traditions, taking up the study of Buddhism more seriously (with his wife, choosing this tradition as the spiritual anchor for their children, while encouraging them to explore on their own). This study of Buddhism introduced him to the ancient consciousness technologies that help us stabilize our subtle states, interact with the world with more equanimity, and seek to help alleviate suffering. Along the way, Guy investigated several other esoteric traditions as well.
As a result of his studies and practices, Guy concluded that the preponderance of the evidence from all these traditions seemed to be pointing to one universal experience of the Divine. When stripped of their cultural contexts, each had developed or adopted technologies that directed one to the ability to have direct experiences with the Divine and its many manifestations.
Guy decided to merge the Buddhist concepts and practices he’d studied and adopted with the Christian tradition of his youth. The language of Christianity is his native tongue. However, the lens through which he now views this tradition can best be described as the Way of the Mystic. Seeing anew the anti-empire teachings of Jesus and understanding how radical Jesus was by siding with the marginalized led Guy to see that the promise of the Christian mystic flows from the same Spirit as the the Buddha’s Bodhisattva vow to relieve suffering and promote communities of love.
Living as a Mystic
As he merged the mystic traditions for his personal practice, he was reminded of the quantum related metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead to whom he was introduced during his study of Integral theory. Whitehead’s Process thought and theology make room for the Divine to enter into our lives as we co-create our lived experiences. The Divine is not outside of our experiences but an active participant. This eternal energy that makes up all that is, doesn’t dictate or predetermine our realities, but rather experiences it with us. When we are present and give attention to our creative impulse, we are able to give rise to events, relationships, and experiences that help increase flourishing and reduce suffering across the universe.
The journey continues…