Weird New Experience

Can’t believe what just happened to me. Thought I might blog about it. If people ask me who I am, I say I’m a mystic. I’m literally the only person I know who introduces himself as a mystic. Well, I say something like, “I call myself a mystic,” in a kind of friendly way that helps people realize I understand how strange that is.

So when I see this new local group called Philadelphia Mystical Awareness Group, linked here:, I  was pleasantly surprised. Hey, a meetup group for mystics like myself, I thought. I’m going to copy the text directly from the website, to convey its tone:

Do you communicate directly with Spirit? Are you looking for a community to support your path and where you can truly be yourself? Look no further, you found your circle!

This is a group for like-minded people to gather and support one another in their spiritual/mystical awakening. We are a group for those who have developed a heightened sense of awareness of what exists beyond the 3D physical reality. This is not a group for those just beginning to develop their sensitive, intuitive abilities. One could call it a urban retreat for mystics. We will share our experiences in a safe, friendly, environment. We can also explore effective tools to enhance awareness such as astrology, dream interpretation, and mindfulness. We will build community and have fun in the process. Future meetups will include group discussions, lectures, social outings, and classes.

 I am creating this group because it is something I wish was available when I first discovered my gifts. There was no structure in place and I just learned on my own until teachers appeared much later on. As more and more people begin waking up, I feel called to give back and share what I have learned with others. Together we will create an oasis that is warm and inviting and inspirational.

So I happily sign up, thinking I’ll get to share my experiences in a “safe, friendly environment”… until I get to the sign-up questions.

On a lot of meetups, they want you to fill out a little questionnaire they have for you. I guess it’s a vetting process. It certainly was in this case.

The first question was: Say a little bit about yourself. I said: “I’m a hard-core mystic:

Second question: When did you first start communicating with Spirit? My answer: “I don’t call it Spirit, but I had my white light, rebirth experience in 1997 at the age of 20.”

Third question: Are you currently diagnosed with a mental illness, such as Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression, etc.? My answer: “Yeah, why?”

Fourth question: If your answer to the 3rd question was Yes, are you currently being treated? My answer: “No. Why?”

I was pretty surprised at the last two questions. It reminds me that not everybody has such a low opinion of the mental health system as I do. To this day, I am still angry that the mental health system failed me so utterly as it did. In a way, it didn’t fail me, though, because it allowed me to get on Social Security for mental illness, which I now use to keep myself off the streets. But they did in fact fail me in that I never experienced any genuine ability on the part of the people who were supposed to know what to do with me. No ability to treat mental health problems at all. To this day I bear that cross, because I have to dig myself out of that hole alone.

I suppose that explains my disappointment when my membership to the meetup group was denied. Just like that, I know this group is not for me. It’s obviously only for mystics who don’t have mental health problems. But I’m wondering to myself, how many mystics don’t have mental health problems? Like, negative 2? I mean, why would you self-proclaim being a mystic if you didn’t ever have mental health problems?

I’m a mystic because I was cured by my mystical experience. I’m just shocked that this possibility never crossed the group leader’s mind, that a person stops needing treatment precisely when they see the mystical light. I might be reading too much into why my membership was rejected, of course, but I guess I’m just shocked by the shallowness of the criteria for a group which would seem to be so far beyond what I think the mental health system is designed for.

My current conclusions about the mental health system are that mystical experiences just aren’t on their radar. My original mistake with them, if you can call it a mistake at all, was that I was too innocent to realize that they were completely incompetent to deal with people like me. Unfortunately, I clearly just made the same mistake with the “Philadelphia Mystical Awareness Group”.

Just goes to show you, appearances mean nothing… literally, they mean nothing!

Alright, I admit it, I’m a little traumatized by this experience. Not like I really need more meetup groups to go to. Just didn’t realize the stigma of mental illness would be so strong in a “mystical awareness group.”


Original Transcript on Self-Love

I am going to post the email transcript of what I wrote on Self Love, the Edited for Blogging version of which appeared here just two posts ago. Besides being interesting, it’s a demonstration for comparison on how things appear when I edit my own material. This is a huge issue for my book, since editing tends to stifle the original flow, and yet often my reason insists on pedantically doing just that.

Friend: You’ve been thinking a lot about self-starter and I’ve been thinking a lot about unconditional love and acceptance of self. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Me: Well I guess acceptance of self depends on self-awareness first. You can’t accept what you’re not aware of. Self-awareness is stifled both by a lack of feedback and a lack of introspection. A baby learns what a person is by watching other people. Eventually it realizes that it is one of those things it sees walking around and talking. Therefore people are not as aware of themselves as they are of the people around them. What I always strive for is self-awareness, but that is extremely hard. I’ve invested years of my life just trying to gain an adequate amount of self-awareness.

Another thing to think about is the protective barriers the psyche creates in order to promote its own well-being. All beliefs in (a loving) God are such a protection. So it’s important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t live in reality, but must erect defenses which allow them to love themselves. Obviously these barriers can be damaging, because they blind the person from reality, allowing them to hurt other people in the process. But from this point of view, very few people can actually love themselves – most have to lie to themselves instead. So is it ethical to lie to oneself and thereby gain the self-confidence which comes from believing false things? Or is it better to have the life force sucked out of you by confronting the truth? It’s a choice each individual has to make (I basically chose the latter).

Acceptance of self is most required when no one else accepts you. The more you’re accepted by others, the less self-accepting you have to do. But how to do it without holding any delusions? Well, one of the best techniques is to acquire some secret knowledge. Some secret knowledge is fake, but the person ignores that fact because having a secret is far more important to them than whether their secrets are true or not. Hence all the talk about the Illuminati and other conspiracy theories. But these are delusions. Other secret knowledge is actually true, and this kind can give you a legitimate boost to your self esteem. If you gain secret knowledge, it can help a lot. That’s how I get a lot of my self-esteem.

Beyond secret knowledge, what can you do? Well, it’s easy to say “Find where you belong!”, but anyone’s who’s done that probably doesn’t need self-love. For a lot of people, maybe they don’t belong anywhere. And then what? Well, we could take the opposite approach and make a list of all the things which prevent you from killing your own body. In other words, stare death straight in the face. People don’t want to do this because maybe their reasons for living will turn out to be delusions. But if you’re really committed to self love, you could make a commitment to kill yourself if you can’t find things which really and truly keep you from doing so. In other words, forget everything anyone says about why you should live, and confront the matter on your own. You will find self-love or you will die trying! Honestly, that’s probably the best way to approach the topic, because now it’s just between you and you. You want self-love? That’s how you find it.

Let’s say you’ve chosen to live. Okay, now you have your baseline. Now we want more things. Maybe we can’t get them, but we’re alive, so we might as well try. Where does love come in here? I guess more love equals more confidence, hence greater risk-taking and better chances of reward. But there is so much competition for the rewards of life. Why would anyone love you who was competing with you? Can we expect people to love us when we are competing with them? No. Therefore you can only expect love from people who are not competing with you. Maybe you can get love from people who are striving for other things, but maybe not. Obviously self-love is good when you can’t get it anywhere else. But when you are competing, people will have less compassion for you, because they will not see you as needy or desperate, so why should they love you? Only unusually strong people will be able to love someone who doesn’t help them directly.

Most of life is unfortunately a barter system, where people use each other to meet their own needs. Unconditional love is very rare indeed. Usually only babies receive unconditional love. And that’s an enormous amount of hard work! That’s a good example of how hard it is to unconditionally love someone. It’s not easy, and that’s why it’s rare.

Okay, just some thoughts off the top o’ me head there.

Friend: Wow! I just read your email like it was some kind of movie thriller!! Hanging on the edge of my seat and waiting (not so patiently) for what comes next!! I will turn this around soonest but I did want to thank you in advance for your thoughtful and really insightful response. My Goodness – WOW. I’m looking forward to responding!

Hope you’re doing really well, Zack. 🙂

Friend, a week later: Hi there! How are you doing?? […] I’m headed back to Esalen this Saturday […]. I’m nervous! In the singing one, you have to get up in front of the group and sing a capella with no music. In the dancing ones, I want to try to express myself – not chicken out. These things get me antsy! Does that ever happen to you? Any suggestions??

Me: Well, I hear alcohol removes both your inhibitions & your skill. If only it would remove just your inhibitions! I guess you could meditate upon the cosmic irrelevance of everything. That’s it, just ponder the cosmic irrelevance of everything. That oughta do it…

Friend, two weeks later: Hi there! Hope you’re doing well! I owe you an email and I will get that to you soon. I just wanted to quickly mention something from my trip. (I got home last night.) I was talking to two people about your email. Separately. (And, btw, I don’t go around sharing what you write to me with the whole world but I was really FLOORED by what you said – in a GOOD way – and I really wanted to bring it into the light.) When I told the first guy about your “cosmic irrelevance” comment, he said, “Wow. Only someone REALLY SMART can write something like that.” I said – I know!! The second (a retired psychotherapist) said – Oh my God. What insight. I said – I know!!

Wanted you to know!

Me: Thanks! Just rereading my long email made me wonder why I wanted to edit it when I put it on my blog, because it flowed really well just as is. I think I’ll repost it! Thanks so much for this feedback. It’s just like I said above – I couldn’t even see myself when writing that and needed an outsider. Fascinating!