Until recent years, the idea of looking within for all answers, especially those in the spiritual realm, was seen as sacrilegious. The bulk of humanity was considered laymen, who would seek guidance from their spiritual and religious leaders. In certain religions, if you claimed to have a direct link to divine guidance, you were accused of being a heretic and risked extreme ridicule, isolation, torture or death.
We, as humanity, are gradually moving away from the paradigm that we must look outside ourselves for the answers and we’re learning to trust our own inner-guidance. Self-help books began a gradual growth in the sixties and have exploded in success over the past few decades. More and more spiritual and religious teachers, coupled by motivational speakers and coaches, are giving us the same message; that the answers lie within.
Yet, quite often, we’re still looking for that quick fix, that easy answer. We’re still shaking off the ancient residue of being led by a master, someone who surely knows more than we do and will show us the way to righteousness.
Of course there are many wise experts in the world who know more than us on countless particular topics. If the old wiring in your house needs to be updated, you’ll likely hire an electrician (unless that’s one of your honed skills). If you plan on traveling overseas and wish to ensure a great place to lodge, reading a series of reviews can help you narrow down your choices. Such examples acknowledge the fact that others have gained a skill or experience that you have not, and you rely on their experience.
This is different than taking it for granted that a spiritual or religious guide, a politician, or your local car salesman can honestly tell you what’s right for you. They can give you options, but it takes the willingness to accept greater responsibility if we wish to shape a world around us where we feel fully supported, nurtured, and inspired.
You might think to yourself, “Sure, I know that the answers lie within me,” yet how would you feel if someone called you a mystic? What would be your immediate thought and response? Likely, you’d shrug it off and deny any truth to the statement. After all, wouldn't it be grossly egotistical to consider that a mystic lies within you, an all-knowing essence that knows, without doubt that we are all intrinsically connected and one with the Universe?
We share this collective notion that mystics are far and few between, being gifted with this all-knowing wisdom at birth. Imagine this scenario….you are birthed into this world and from the moment you’re born, or perhaps from the moment of conception, everyone around you is praising your wisdom and the immense gifts that you’re here to bestow upon humanity. Everyone sees your perfect nature and cherishes you as a wise, perfect and whole essence in form. Not better than anyone else, simply unique and amazing, here to be a radiant light of service and goodness.
In this idyllic scene, wouldn't it be likely that you’d grow into adulthood with an unwavering sense of self and naturally radiate your gifts and your wisdom throughout all circumstances? People would consider you a healer because all you would see is the pure essence in others.
Perhaps we can nurture and foster the mystic that lies within each of us. Every time that we choose to rest in love’s pure essence and release all constrictions of fear that bind and blind us, we open the floodgates of perfect flow, intuition and harmony. Perhaps mystic consciousness is naturally revealed whenever we see beyond life’s illusion that we’re separate from others, the planet and the universe.
Whenever we devote time to being still, whether in nature, meditation, star gazing, looking into our beloved’s eyes, or otherwise, we heighten our perception and often experience a greater sense of peace and harmony within. We become more attuned to the subtle energies around us and enhance our innate wisdom and compassion. As a result, our patience grows and we begin to feel at home wherever we are. As we expand, we become a guiding light and those around us naturally feel lighter and safer in the world.
As Gandhi said, “We must become the change we wish to see.” We recognize that when we blame others, we’re also casting judgment on ourselves, so as the blame dissipates, we become free within and glide through this world clear and unencumbered. We embrace the mystery of life’s ever changing and expanding adventure.
Is this the life of a mystic? One day we look in the mirror and all we see is love.
Carl Studna is a world-renowned photographer, inspirational speaker, teacher and award winning author. Carl’s intimate portraits of influential people ranging from Sir Paul McCartney to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are published and known worldwide. Carl has taken his message and experiences to print in his book, CLICK! Choosing Love One Frame at a Time. Studna’s innovative work, the LuminEssence Method©, teaches a new paradigm for radiating the light that resides within revealing each person’s authentic gifts.
(c) Photography by Carl Studna