When I was growing up, I had no inkling that one day I’d become a mystic.

I was pretty geeky, but not that geeky. When I was 10, I wanted to become an archaeologist. By the time I was 12, I was sure I was going to be a writer. By age 18, I wanted more than anything to fall madly in love and focus my whole being on the love of my life (whoever the heck that was!). By age 22, I was married and enrolled in graduate studies in art conservation. By age 25, I had settled down as a stay-at-home mom.

Nothing very mystical about that.

Where there hints about my mysticism-to-be? Did I have unexplained episodes of “transcendence” as a child? Did I “see” things that weren’t there? Or “hear” things that weren’t there?

Nope. I was a normal kid. I was a bookworm, and I wasn’t good at sports, and I was way too mouthy for my own good. (Still am.) But I didn’t have any unusual “episodes” when I was growing up; nor would I have received any encouragement for such from my famil. There was no enthusiasm in my family for religiosity. My family were nominal Christians, which meant we went to United Church services at Christmas and Easter. Sometimes my sister and I were sent to Sunday School, but these church experiences left little impression on me. The word “spirituality” was never mentioned.

Both my parents were eminently practical (having grown up during the Great Depression) and quite liberal and inclusive in terms of their values. So there was no talk around the dinner table about God’s true nature, or salvation, or apocalypticism. Acceptable topics of discussion included business and politics and law-abiding citizenship. I was a teenager in the early 1970’s, so, of course, there were numerous lectures about staying away from drugs, lectures which I took very seriously. To this day, I’ve never used street drugs, and I’m one of the few people I know who’s never tried pot. Not even once.

Yup. Still a geek, and proud of it.

The thing about genuine mysticism — the Real McCoy, as opposed to verifiable states of psychiatric dysfunction — is that genuine mysticism is not about random and unpredictable “transcendent episodes” sprinkled like chili peppers into an everyday bowl of bland and tasteless cream of potato soup. A genuine mystic (and frankly there aren’t a whole lot of them out there) is somebody who’s hardwired with a particular package of traits, learning styles, and talents. When these particular traits, learning styles, and talents are examined as a whole, a discernible pattern emerges, and if this pattern can be shown to be consistent over many years, then, and only then, can you say that a particular man or woman is a true mystic.

In other words, you can’t call somebody a mystic because he or she reports one or two unusual “episodes” of seeing or hearing or feeling the presence of the Divine.

This is just common sense. You wouldn’t call someone a professional artist on the basis of one or two beginner’s paintings. You wouldn’t call someone a professional mechanic on the basis of one flat tire correctly changed. Similarly, you shouldn’t call someone a mystic on the basis of one or two self-reported “events.” There should be a long track record of professional development and committed endeavour for practising mystics, as in any other field. This is the only way to prevent charlatans and fraud artists from ruining other people’s lives with their “predictions” and “divine assurances.”

What makes me a mystic (or a contemporary channeller, as I sometimes call myself), as opposed to a spiritual person or a person of deep faith?

Well, to turn it around a bit, is it possible for a spiritual person or a person of deep faith to also be a professional artist? Or a mechanic? Or a farmer? Or a teacher?

Of course! In fact, many people would suggest that if you hope to be a really gifted teacher (or mechanic or whatever), you need to bring all your faith and all your spirituality into your calling in a holistic way so you’ll be able to teach (or fix engines) from the heart. This, too, is just common sense.

For me, it’s the same thing. I’m a spiritual person and a person of deep faith, which makes me no different than the mechanic who starts and ends his day as a spiritual person and a person of deep faith. But where the mechanic delights in working on engines, and the teacher delights in guiding the minds of growing children, I delight in the work of a mystic, which is so philosophical and intellectual and esoteric that it would bore the living crap out of 99.9% of the people I know.

It’s my passion to delve each and every day into the deepest mysteries of Creation — questions about God, about the soul, about quantum biology, about who we are at both the quantum level and the emotional/creative level. My passion is to ask annoying questions, and my skill is to be able to hear the answers when they come down the quantum pipeline from God the Mother and God the Father. (And from Jesus, but that’s another story.)

Make no mistake — I both see and hear God. But it’s not random, and it’s not occasional. It’s an everyday part of my life as a mystic. It’s an everyday part of my life because I practised and practised and practised until I’d fully developed the talent I was born with. Through a combination of natural soul hardwiring plus committed human effort, I gradually “came into” my calling. It’s an unusual calling, to be sure, but it’s a genuine calling.

Everyone is born with natural intuition. I’m NOT saying I’m one of the few people who has intuition. Just the opposite, in fact. I think everyone can more fully develop their intuitive faculties and incorporate that aspect of their being into their daily lives. But intuition isn’t the same thing as mysticism. I want to be clear on that point. Like everybody else, I have normal intuition. But alongside that normal intuition I have another skill, a different skill, that not everyone is born with. I have what might be called, for lack of better terminology, an ability to accurately and consistently tap into the space-time continuum while in a fully conscious non-hypnotic non-drug-induced mystical state of connection to God.

One way to find a true mystic is to ask about favourite stories and films. True mystics always a special fondness for speculative fiction. Solar Sailor (c) Jamie MacDonald 2013. Used with permission of the artist.

One way to find a true mystic is to ask about favourite stories and films. True mystics always have a special fondness for well-crafted speculative fiction. Painting “Solar Sailor” (c) Jamie MacDonald 2013. Used with permission of the artist.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Space-time continuum . . . it sounds like something you’d hear on Star Trek. The original Star Trek. And you’d be right. You’re going to have to forgive me, though, because I can’t think of any other way to describe it. And besides, where would the Blackberry be today if not for the inspiration of Captain Kirk’s flip-phone communicator to urge inventors onward?

Did I mention I love the original Star Trek series? And TNG ain’t half bad, either? (I may like designer clothes, but, as you can tell, I’m still a geek at heart.)

P.S. I’m not a medium or a psychic, and I don’t believe in ghosts. So don’t ask me if my life is like “Medium” or “Ghost Whisperer” or “The Listener” or “Rescue Mediums” on TV, because the answer is NO.

My life is way more exciting than that.