“I have no ideology. My life is my message.” ~Gandhi
We are born into a story not of our making. The story of the unfolding universe begets the story of the earth begets the story of evolution begets the story of our species which begets the story of the culture we were born into.
The mystery walk is our proactive contribution to the overall story of the unfolding mystery. It’s a spiritual journey into our own personal story. A story that includes what has been told already, what we decide to write into it, and how we adapt to the story that fate writes us into. It goes beyond good and evil, beyond right and wrong, beyond alpha and beta. It launches us into Meta, where the metaparadigm puts things into perspective.
The mystery walk is an anamnesis that synthesizes thesis and antithesis. This synthesis creates a metathesis in which we are encouraged to engage in an exploration of our awareness. What’s revealed is our own evolving truth quest in relation to how we should live as a young species on an ever-changing planet.
As individuals on our own mystery walk, it’s about questioning with persistence, being open to experience and ecstatic revelation, and the ability to reflect on the amplitude of our human experience through a coalescence of mind, body, and soul. It’s the ability to measure our own drama against the overarching drama of the greater cosmos. It’s a delicate balance, a highwire act, with the pressure of fate and culture pressing on us from all sides.
The mystery walk and fate:
“There are no wrong turns when you go where there is no path.” ~Christopher Gray
We have some freedom to write our story, but it will always be limited by the greater story. We call these limitations fate, luck, destiny, or the vicissitudes of life. Or it could be as simple as the limitation of universal law. It turns out that being-in-fate is just as much a factor as being-in-itself or being-for-itself.
Without the mystery walk, or something similar, we are merely slaves to fate and culture churning us out into impersonal, codependent, and ultimately non-spiritual cogs in an unhealthy clockwork. With the mystery walk, however, we gain the courage to write our own independent story out over the narrow highwire, complete with all the mystery and fate and vicissitudes of life that make up a healthy, challenging truth quest.
The mystery walk is a spiritual (but not religious) experience in itself. Our mysterious self within a mysterious reality creates a mysterious story that will continue the mysterious evolution of the universe. The metaparadigm magnifies the mystery of it all into the confounding spiritual experience of the Great Mystery (God).
A good story, a good mystery walk, is a story that is in balance with the greater cosmos. A good story is a healthy story, a moral story, that’s in alignment with the greater story. The metaparadigm teaches us what’s healthy and moral through an intimate interconnectedness with all things (interdependence). The meta-perspective gives us interdependent perspective.
A good mystery walk—one grounded in interconnectedness—therefore, leads to a healthy destiny. Even a bad mystery walk (a dark night of the soul, for example), is more likely to lead to a healthy destiny, as long as one can learn from the moral of the story, and as long as one can write themselves out of the unhealthy story they’ve been caught up in. At the end of the day, even an unhealthy story can be a sharpening stone.
The mystery walk as a social leveling mechanism:
“Today I am proud to say that I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothing to do with creeds and principles. I have nothing to do with the creaking machinery of humanity-I belong to the earth!” ~Henry Miller
The mystery walk is also important because of its power to act as a social leveling mechanism on both the immediate culture and the evolution of the species. Just a single individual learning about health and morality from the metaparadigm of their own mystery walk has the potential to change the world.
For example: if our culture has us following an immoral story filled with codependent greed, dogmatic closemindedness, partisan politics, paranoid xenophobia, and ecocidal tendencies, the mystery walk of a single individual could rewrite the story of an entire culture by being a healthy spark that lights the fire of a healthier way of being human on a planet with finite resources.
Rather than poison the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or the minds we live amongst, we learn from the metaparadigm of our mystery walk how to live without poison. We learn from the metaparadigm of the mystery walk how to be a healthier human despite a profoundly sick society.
The metaparadigm that we discover on our mystery walk gives us a bird’s-eye-view of the world. We gain Over Eyes, a perspective akin to the Astronaut Overview Effect. We see how local is linked to global, how psychosocial effects sociopolitical, and how the cultural shadow undermines the evolution of the species.
The mystery walk and the Self:
“The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” ~Seneca
The mystery walk is also important because it helps us better understand the mystery of the self. It grounds us in the question, rather than drowning us in the delusion of an answer. Grounded in mystery we are free to unfold the unique story of the self into the greater mystery of the cosmos.
When our mystery walk lines up with the greater mystery, our authentic self emerges as a character with the wherewithal and spiritual plasticity to overcome the existential angst of never having a solid answer for either the mysterious self or the mysterious universe.
The only answer is to question. The only permanence is impermanence. The mystery walk is the living embodiment of this wisdom, a walking meditation. The truth quest is never ending not because truth is unattainable but because it can always be questioned and because the universe is always in flux.
The mystery walk allows the question of self and cosmos to unfold organically, metaphorically, symbolically, and spiritually. No need for absolutes. No need for dogma or aggrandized politics. No need for extremism or taking things too seriously. No need for trite tribalism or petty one-upmanship.
We are the tip of the spear of the Great Mystery itself. We are God telling itself into existence through the metaparadigm. The mystery walk, if we dare to walk it, is simply an existential reminder of this fact that can become a deeply spiritual experience.
In the end, the mystery walk acts as a spiritual grounding in a world that has lost its spiritual compass in the outdated brambles of dogmatic religions and indoctrinated states. The mystery walk is the living embodiment of the retrieval of our spiritual compass.
Nothing is more spiritual than an individual full of questions despite a world filled with “answers.” Just as nothing is more dogmatic than an individual fill with “answers” despite a world filled with mystery. The mystery walk, and the metaparadigm revealed, heals the latter by teaching the former.
About the Author:
Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.
This article (The Mystery Walk: Seeking A Metaparadigm for the Evolving Truth Quest) was originally created and published by Self-inflicted Philosophy and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary Z McGee and self-inflictedphilosophy.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.