Spirituality * Culture * Self-Expression

Month: May 2014

The Mystical Palace

Michael A. Michaileye552
Copyright © 2012
All rights reserved

The natural world, the universe, is a big place. There are billions of galaxies, trillions of stars and untold numbers of planets. Living things thrive throughout all creation. On Earth alone there exist some 9 million known species with the likelihood of many more millions yet to be discovered. Yet, most of us seem to go through life thinking we are the only creature worth a thought – and not even all humanity, but just our own small collection of people.

Similarly, the mystical world is really like an enormous and lavish palace, with countless rooms, long hallways, sweeping staircases, elaborate bathrooms, fully stocked kitchens and pantries, ballrooms, game rooms, and beautiful balconies overlooking lush gardens and breathtaking vistas. And yet most people, even those who might consider themselves metaphysically minded, seem content to live in one or two Spartan rooms – never even thinking of exploring and enjoying the full extent of their dwelling place.

Why is this? Why do we humans choose to limit ourselves? What stops us from accepting and experiencing the splendors of the world around us?

Common reasons are fear of the unknown, lack of faith, and low self-esteem. Through fear and a diminished sense of self-worth the average person pretends to be content to live a life of limitation. It’s easy to say that the wonders of the universe do not exist, or, if they do, they are too hard to get. It appears to some to be much better to keep to an accustomed place in life and never strive for a real sense of living. Oh, of course, it is true that many people seek wealth and fame, prestige and worldly honors – they have no qualms about using and manipulating the people and things around them in order to grab up the rewards they think they should be going for. And many people of this sort do gain the world – but at what price? What makes it ok to chase after and exploit the things of the flesh but to ignore and perhaps mock the things of the spirit?

The beauty and power of the universe, the grandeur of the mystical palace are not things that need to be bought; they cannot be stolen; and no amount of manipulation will help a person acquire them.  Real living is free and available to all – we just need to accept it into our lives. Perhaps this is why people fear and shun the mystical world – they are suspicious of anything so wonderful that is simply given to us as a gift by the universe.

Stepping out of a little bare room and into the magnificence of the mystical palace is easy and also one of the most difficult things that can be done. However, the difficulty comes from the need to change our own mind about reality. We must have confidence that the palace exists, faith enough to believe that our desire to live fully is justified, bravery to face the unknown, strength enough to resist the temptation to stay where we are, and a willingness to embrace the transformation of our heart. It can be done if one will only accept the possibility, stand up, open the door and step through into a new life.

To claim the mystical palace requires an expanded sense of awareness – an imagination and freedom of spirit that will allow them to draw the wonders of the universe into their personal circle of being. The way to expand awareness, raise the consciousness and enlighten the spirit is through meditation.

Meditation is easy. It requires practice and a bit of discipline, but it is easy to learn. While you choose to confine yourself to your little room, like a monk in a cell, why not sit quietly and let your thoughts turn inward to your spirit. Breathe deeply and freely and let all your fears and worries flow out of your life while peace and harmony are allowed to grow within you. Soon you will find your heart growing lighter, your awareness will increase and you will open up to new possibilities in life. In time it will seem like the most obvious and natural thing in the world is to just stand up, walk to the door, turn the knob and step out into the splendor and freedom of the mystical palace. Once you set your feet on the path and begin to explore your real place in the universe, you will be amazed at how truly remarkable the world can be.

Rocks, Pebbles, Sand, Water

focus on what matters

This is an old story and I’ve seen it in many places in many versions. I’m not sure who wrote the original (if you do, please let me know), but it has a kind of timeless quality about it. I want to share it because aside from the more mundane, though still important, meaning that can be derived from it there is also a deeper, mystical layer to it – one that goes along with the words of Jesus who said:

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:31-34

seek first the kingdom

A teacher walks into a classroom, stands at the front of the class and sets a large one gallon wide-mouthed Mason jar on the table. Silently and carefully, he places a collection of fist sized rocks one at a time, into the jar. When the jar is filled to the top and no more rocks can fit inside, he asks the class if the jar is full.



The class unanimously agrees that the jar is full. The teacher says, “Really? Are you sure?” He then reaches under the table and pulls out a bucket of pebbles. He dumps some pebbles in, and shakes the jar, causing pieces of the smaller stones to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asks the group once more, “Is the jar full?”

By this time the class is on to him. “Probably not,” one of them answers. “Good!” he says and reaching under the table again he brings out a bucket of sand. He dumps the sand into the jar, and allows it to get into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asks the question, “Is the jar full?” “No!” the class shouts. “Excellent!” he replies and taking out a pitcher of water he proceeds to fill the jar to the brim.



The class laughs, and it is clear to all that the jar is now finally full. The teacher smiles and steps around to the front of the table saying, “Now suppose this jar represents your life, what does this experiment show you?”

A bold student replies, “No matter how busy you think you are you can always take on more.”

“That is one view,” he replies.

Then he looks out at the class making eye contact with everyone, “Here’s how I see it. The rocks represent the BIG things in your life – what you will value at the end of your life – your family, your partner, your health, fulfilling your hopes and dreams. The pebbles are the other things in your life that give it meaning, like your job, your house, your hobbies, your friendships. The sand and water represent the ‘small stuff’ that fills our time, like watching TV or running errands.”

Looking out at the class again, he asks, “Now, what do you think would happen if I had started with the water, the sand or the pebbles?”

“The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”


“What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life? Your children….Your loved ones…Your education… Your dreams…A worthy cause…..Teaching or mentoring others…. Doing things that you love…Time for yourself…. Your health….Your significant other – Whatever they are remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first, or you’ll never get them in at all. If you spend all your time worrying about the little stuff (the sand, the water) then you’ll fill your life with these little worries that don’t really matter, and you’ll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks).”

So, what are the “big rocks” for someone on a mystical path?  As Jesus, and indeed all spiritual masters, would instruct the “big rocks” are Enlightenment, the Kingdom of Heaven, Awakening, Awareness, and Self-Realization. Other things – material things – are certainly worthy of consideration. They are fun, entertaining, challenging, and productive – but if you have chosen the mystic path you must make the quest for self-realization your primary task. This is the “big rock” that must take precedence in your life. Once this is achieved you will find all your other needs and desires gratified.

So, therefore, wake up! Wake yourself up anyway you can. And then you can proceed to wake up others.

man in praise

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