NOTE: I put this here as a placeholder. I’ll make a proper “Mystic Arts” page soon and move this to a proper post.
These phases aren’t linear. It is possible to spend time in all four phases in a single day. No “great master” lives exclusively in 3 or 4. “Spritual Development” (or “Personal Growth”, if the word ‘spiritual’ is too loaded for you) means spending more time in 3 and 4, less time in 2, and reducing #1 to a bare minimum.
Fixated on the past or future. Trying too hard. Afraid of success and/or failure. Egocentric. In your head. Guilty. Wounded. Anxious. Depressed. Irritable. Angry. Sad. Shy. Lazy. Obsessed. A desperate inkling that something is “off”. Tortured. Despite feeling unsatisfied, you overly emphasize safety and security. You think that achieving some goal or connecting with some person will free you and allow you to finally “be happy”. Hateful. Smothering. Invested in giving or receiving blame and/or credit. Attention-seeking. Attention averse. Paranoid. Insecure.
Historically, most people live here most of the time. This is changing.
You caught a glimpse of “it” and you believe there’s an “answer”. The ego has an “off” switch and life is joyous when it’s “off”. You read books on mysticism, magick, and/or personal development. You go to workshops. You meet teachers. You experiment with tricks and techniques, trying to become something more. Some of the stuff you try “works” and you occasionally think you found “it”, only to discover that there’s more. Sometimes you feel confused and overwhelmed. sometimes you feel superior (“I’m no sheep!”).
You unlock the mystery of unconditional love. You surrender to life’s flow. You allow and accept and let go. You master the ego’s on/off switch. You become more present. You find “it”, at first through life lessons, and then you discover that it’s been with you the whole time. And you keep finding it.
Most Functional Mystics and Advanced Practitioners stay here.
Life takes on a surreal magical quality (as waves of inspiration and play) and mysticism becomes intensely practical. The tricks and techniques you experimented with before suddenly become funny and interesting. You discover that the ego doesn’t have to be a fearful demon and can instead be a faithful friend — if properly retrained and put to work. Not only are you a slice of the divine, but you live with the powers and responsibilities and freedoms that come with Knowing. And you continue growing as an embodied expression of Universal Consciousness — fully aware and participating.