Early Fragment (2)

And what of enlightenment? I asked. What do you make of that?

It’s a name bestowed on an ideal, future-self, by those who long for it.

So there’s no such thing? I asked. No one is ever enlightened?

I didn’t say that, he answered. There are some. Here and there. Maybe.

And how do we know them? Who can we believe? I asked.

The world seemed full of people claiming to be enlightened. Most of them had something to sell.

That’s simple, he smiled. By looking in the mirror and reading Proverbs 26:12. Let me know what you see.

That was all he said, so later, I fished out my bible, and did exactly that.

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

The First Review (5/5 Stars)

The first review of the Naked Mystic has come through on Amazon UK. It’s also available on Amazon.com.

It’s very positive.

5.0 out of 5 stars A personal journey that ratified some of my personal thoughts on organized religion

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 April 2021

An engaging journey from someone entrenched early on, and deeply, in the Christian faith.

Well written, in a personal, conversational style. It tells the story of someone struggling to come to terms with the organized faith of his past, leading to a kind of personal epiphany, which I would imagine would resonate with many like myself, who are somewhat perplexed by the way doctrines of Christianity are portrayed in the traditional sense.

It follows the internal battles and conversations that are undertaken as he wrestles with the past, reasons for his faith, and the subsequent contradictions placed before him.

I was gripped and finished the book in two days, despite the continued moments of reflection it forces the reader to think about.

I think it would make a brilliant play

The Naked Mystic

After a few years in the making the Naked Mystic is now available on Amazon (US) (UK) in paperback and on Kindle.

Published by the Metanoia Press

Here’s a snippet from a review by one of the earliest readers:

“The Naked Mystic is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those of us looking for guidance through this labyrinth we call life. A beautiful story of a man’s journey into, and out of, the darkest corners of his mental struggle to know God. For anyone who believes the bible is the beginning and the end of spiritual understanding — this book is for you. For anyone who questions the role of institutions in the world of God — this book is for you. For anyone who struggles with loneliness and fear — this book is for you. A story about the end of stories. While intimate and particular to one man’s struggle, it remains extraordinarily relatable and helpful — Woven in such a way that helps us understand the bible in a way that helps us understand our Self. In these times of widespread fearmongering and quarantine, The Naked Mystic offers us a guide to being okay with being alone. No doubt, The Naked Mystic is a spiritual autobiography worthy of the name.” ~B.R.

(Cover art and photo by Branka Jukic)

To Be or Not To Be

A voice came clearly: 

Listen! 
Tell me what it is, 
if you can, that knowing 
that knows that you are mad. 

Listen! 
And then tell me 
what you will choose to be: 
the knowing or the madman? 

And I heard the voice say to his friend: 

Watch! 
Tell me, which one 
you think he will choose? 
At least a madman is something to be. 

Watch! 
And then tell me, 
if you can, whether he will 
prefer that to the nakedness of knowing. 

The Tower of Babel

How does one say
the same thing about
Nothing, again and again?

Lay the first course of bricks
from a corner-dream-stone, and
on a strong foundation of fresh air?

Paint seven pictures of the night in 
seventy times seven misty colours, and
watch the morning sun consume them all?

Put a story-capstone on an ever changing
tide of nameless feelings labelled into thoughts,
then fence a portion of that sea and call it Me?

My plans point at me and laugh from the
rubble they have left behind, and watch the
smoke rise and dance from the end of my cigar.

This Silence

This rising tide of
silence murmurs life
into my fault lines.

She always finds her
own way home in me,
to flood the cellars.

Here she takes her seat
– she has always been
the abbess of my abyss.

She greets those hungry
ghosts as long-lost friends
as they fade into her waters.

She is all that’s left of my
ruins – she is the foundations
and the pillars of this world.

Dreamscapes

How is it that when I dream
I am the father, the source
and the creator of worlds?

Aren't I the one who also
seems to love and fear in
those same landscapes?

As I sit the thought arises
out of nowhere - a place
I know but can not find.

I am being dream-spun by
the father, the source and
the creator of these worlds.

My Real Resume

I make and drink sloe gin
and walk my dogs, but only
when it's dry; when it rains
they turn back in and I watch
them wrestle on the furniture.

On hot weekends I think about
the beach and disappoint myself;
I'm not what I would like to be in
garden centres, retail parks, or
the musty darkness of a matinee.

Most days I avoid my friends;
I can’t say why. I sit a lot and think
too much. When words do come,
I'm hardly ever writing, at my desk,
by the window with the view.

I roll my own and smoke, a lot.
It’s something simple I can do
while I remind myself, again,
that I am slowly burning up inside;
It’s the proof that I am cooking.