Welcome to Sanctuary 9

by Christopher Lovejoy on December 7, 2021

Note to readers: this post is the ninth in a series of posts about flowing into and out of sanctuary

As I ready myself to wrap up this series on Sanctuary, I cannot help but marvel at how much can be said about it ~ indeed, at how much more can be said. If nothing else, I’ve come to appreciate just how important it is for me ~ for anyone, really ~ to sanctify “my word, my wand.”

Sanctify and sanctuary derive from the same Latin root ~ sanctus, meaning holy.

I must confess, however, that holy often sounds too foreign to my way of thinking, and so I fall back on wholly. Wholly, as in . . . “be yourself wholly in the midst of challenge or change;” or else, “be your wholly self in the midst of challenge or change;” or how about this: “be your wholly self, coherently and consistently, with courage and conviction, in the midst of challenge or change.”

For me, the key to this confession is the courage of my conviction.

If, as, when I keep bringing a conscious, deliberate, intentional, inspirational, sacramental attitude to the Word, I invariably find myself attuned to the Logos (the Word), which in turn facilitates alignment with the Law ~ with common law, natural law, spiritual law, or universal law.

In light of this commitment, at what point do I cease to insist on certainty?

what one needs in this universe is not certainty, but the courage and nerve of a gambler; not fixed conviction, but adaptability; not firm ground whereupon to stand, but skill in swimming

In view of this uncommon wisdom from Alan Watts, paradoxically spoken with conviction in a universe of constant change, I know that I cannot ~ must not ~ cleave myself to any interpretation of Logos or Law, lest I miss the deeper, broader, higher interpretation of said Logos or Law.

What do I mean by this?

Consider the use of postulates and precepts for coming to terms with Logos and Law, respectively.

Where a postulate is a proposition suggested or assumed as true as a basis of discovery, as a basis for discerning, discussing, and believing, a precept is a general rule of conduct called upon to monitor, moderate, and modulate thought, feeling, and behavior, respectively.

I invite you to ponder this postulate with a matching precept for living life to the fullest:

Postulate: I am, and I exist, and if I exist here and now, which I do, then I exist here and now for eternity, which is to say that (a) I have always existed, (b) I exist here and now, and (c) I will always exist in some form ~ in whatever form this existence takes, in and out of space and time

Precept: what I do in every moment matters more to me than what I do every once in a while

Where postulates contain a bias towards being and knowing, precepts carry a bias towards doing and having. Where postulates favor a state of contentment with a soul of gratitude in the light of intimacy, precepts favor a state of enchantment in a spirit of generosity in view of ecstasy.

Let’s revisit the principles of Huna Wisdom to illustrate these distinctions. The first principle ~ the world is what I think it is ~ is a postulate, which contains a bias towards being and knowing. Interestingly, the second principle ~ there are no limits ~ can be partitioned as follows:

  1. there are no limits . . . to who I can be and what I can know (postulate)
  2. there are no limits . . . to what I can do and what I can have (precept)

The third principle ~ energy flows where attention goes ~ can be modified slightly as a precept to yield energy swells where attention dwells, which is a postulate. The fourth ~ now is the moment of power ~ is a postulate, whereas the fifth ~ to love is to be happy with ~ is a precept.

A quick quiz for you:

all power comes from within ~ postulate or precept?
‘effective’ is the measure of truth ~ postulate or precept?

hint: which favors being and knowing? which favors doing and having?

I invite you now to bask in the postulates that follow as personal for the whole of your creation:

1) I am, and I exist, and I exist here and now, and for eternity: I have always existed, I exist here and now, I will always exist in some form ~ in whatever form this existence takes, in and out of space and time

2) I am, and only my experience, here and now, is real and true

3) the One instantiates all that exists; where and when I am not the One, I am one instantiation of the One in a world where and when everyone and everything are integral to the One, which means I retain potential access to everyone and everything, everywhere and everywhen

4) energy swells where attention dwells; as within, so without; what goes around comes around: my experience of reality is a reflection of who I am and what I most believe to be true; not unlike a mirror, my experience cannot change in my favor unless and until I make a change

5) in a universe of constant change, change is the only constant; as this is so, which bias do I favor, here and now? do I favor an existential bias, with a set of postulates, toward being and knowing? Or do I favor an experiential bias, with a set of precepts, toward doing and having?

In view of these lofty postulates, I am given to wonder: do I favor the bias of enlightenment, if only for a time, by way of being and knowing, in a contemplation of postulates? Or do I favor empowerment, if only for a time, by way of doing and having, with the precepts that follow . . .

1) In this moment, in every moment that I can, I embrace and embody a fundamental ________ (peace, love, joy, bliss, grace, ease), which is my signature vibration, to act upon (to expand, to explore, to express, to exalt) more of my ________ (passion, excitement, inspiration)

2) I do this as best I can, going as far as I can, adjusting my beliefs as I go, until I can go no further

3) I act on my ________ (passion, excitement, inspiration) with zero insistence (no assumption, no expectation) of how my desired outcome should actually look, sound, or feel (“this, or something better”), knowing full well that my ideal outcome may not be what I expect it to be

4) I play “the equanimity game” for one reason and one reason only: to restore, reclaim, and refresh a positive state with and through unity and harmony; in losing my equanimity, I recall: “in bringing myself back to a positive state, I am that much more able to derive positive benefit”

when force of circumstance upsets your equanimity, lose no time in recovering your self-control, and do not remain out of tune longer than you can help; habitual recurrence to the harmony will increase your mastery of it ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Note to self: in my experience, I find that when I summon patience in keeping with this passage and in keeping with this question ~ how best to proceed in a way that benefits one and all? ~ I can usually discover, and then recover, my sense of how to proceed in a beneficial manner.

For my contemplation: is it true that all force of circumstance is without meaning until I give it one?

5) I reserve the right to place all of my beliefs under investigation, releasing and replacing only those beliefs that are infused with fear, as well as those beliefs that no longer align with who I prefer to be

In my experience, I have found that these five precepts activate what is known as synchronicity (“serendipity with serenity” as I like to call it); to the extent to which I do this, is the extent to which the course of my life seems to flow more or less naturally, pleasantly, and desirably.

As I bring these postulates and precepts to life, I pace and place myself into a position where I can give life to what call the Seven Grand Themes of Life, to which I’ve appended questions that might seem radical in the extreme but are actually designed to plumb the depths of Self:

cosmogenesis, consciousness, syncretismus, evolution, ascension, sovereignty, immortality

cosmogenesis: is there a cosmos? if so, am I the originator? if not, could I be the originator?

consciousness: in light of information, matter, and energy, does consciousness have primacy?

syncretismus: am I merging all systems of belief and practice into one and only one system?

evolution: “going and growing with the knowing and flowing” ~ is this the point of evolution?

ascension: what does it mean to ascend? does higher mean better? if so, why? if not, why not?

sovereignty: if, as, or when I merge with the One, at what point does it cease to be personal?

immortality: is death but a thought with a feeling? am I destined to live forever and ever?

In view of all these lofty postulates, percepts, and themes, wherein lies sanctuary?

Beyond Sanctuary? Or a Different Kind of Sanctuary?

Sanctuary ~ a nature reserve; a place of refuge or safety; a temple, or some other holy place ~ implies a space and a time for retreat: a retreat from danger, perhaps, or a retreat from insecurity, a retreat from dissatisfaction, or even a retreat from irrelevance and insignificance.

Many of the most challenging emotions ~ fear, anger, grief, anguish ~ all play a role here.

By contrast, a “cheerful composure” might sound like an oxymoron, but I cannot think of a better default setting for the emotional operating system. Coupled with prohairesis (reasoned choice), a cheerful composure, genuinely felt, seems like an ideal indicator that “all is well.”

Even so, the ____ (fill in the blank with the name of your model of choice for how you describe reality ~ the field of infinite possibilities? the Universe? the Grand Simulator? the Higher Self? the one infinite Creator?) has an uncanny way of giving us precisely what we do not need or want, forcing a confrontation with the subject or object of our refusal or resistance.

Again, many of the most challenging emotions ~ fear, anger, grief, anguish, and more ~ all play a role here, and here, it seems obvious that the promise of sanctuary recedes into the distance, fails us, abandons us, if only for a time (“this, too, shall pass”). In the interim, we suffer, to the degree to which we refuse or resist, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

That carefully, cheerfully cultivated composure seems not so composed; the posture of prohairesis buckles under the pressure; and what we’re left with is defenseless and indefensible ~ raw, real, and all too ready for a fight, a flight, a freeze, a fawn, or a fix. “What the __ happened?”

Perhaps Life happened; perhaps a course correction happened; or perhaps a psychic adjustment happened, one that brings personal truth ever closer to the heart and soul of who and what we are in the wake of lust, in the light of wisdom, for the sake of life, and for the love of life.


be careful what you wish for ~
you just might get it,
in a form you might not recognize,
and sooner than you think

More than a glitch in the matrix, the retreat of sanctuary itself can feel unnerving, unsettling, unending, depending on the perceived seriousness of the threat associated with the retreat. Love, faith, and hope come calling: need a hand? need a kind word? a reassuring touch, perhaps?

In a dark night of the soul, the suffering seems depthless, eternal, timeless yet interminable, and the Witness ~ holding on, caring just enough to notice, observe, watch, and witness ~ is the final refuge, the only sanctuary that remains that can offer any respite on the brink of oblivion.

Or so it seems.

The light at the crack of dawn appears, as it always does, though not nearly as soon as we would like.

Ah, sanctuary.

If we’re especially fortunate, we might, yet again, review those lofty postulates, precepts, and themes, and wonder: where do I go wrong? did I go wrong? if so, what can I do now? if no, where do I go from here, if anywhere? do I beat a hasty retreat into safety? or do I follow my path with heart and move forward into “going and growing with the knowing and flowing”?

A recovery from a cosmic bitch slap can take time, but in the meantime, we dutifully lick our wounds and proceed the best way we know how, knowing we have even more to humanize and personify, for ourselves and others, in a bid to explore, expand, and express, and yes, exalt.

Onward and upward, as they say.

My Final Destination?

Moments ago, while taking a break from my writing and scrolling a newsfeed, I learned that two supermassive black holes are on a collision course with destiny. Imagine that. Imagine, too, the repercussions of this collision for life here on Earth some 89+ million years from now.

Located in the galaxy NGC 7727 in the constellation Aquarius, these two supermassive black holes are about 1600 light years apart, some 89 million light years from Earth, beating the previous record of 470 million light years, making this newfound pair the closest one to us yet.

This had me wonder: who or what is generating this information? Is it me? Or is it some aspect of me? Am I projecting this data onto my 3D desktop? Or is this being projected for my benefit? The fact that I cannot answer these questions tells me something very, very interesting.

Yes, of course, I could assume that this information is wholly independent of me, but this surely begs the question: what if this assumption is false? What if this assumption is a product of social conditioning, of psychological programming, of a metaphysical confirmation bias?

Just what if ?

The fact that I can resonate with this information enough to make some sense of it, to derive some sense of meaning from it, tells me that this information is not wholly independent of me, even as it remains for me to assess how relevant and significant it is to pursue it further.

cosmogenesis: is there a cosmos? if so, am I the originator? if not, could I be the originator?

Now this might sound like quite a leap, but what if I am, in reality, the originator of my very own version of the cosmos and not yet know it? And so, what if, in coming to know it, I assume a lead role for generating, elaborating, and perpetuating my very own version of the cosmos?

It all sounds so very heady, and yet, what if it were true?

More to the point, what if I made it come true with a coherent, consistent commitment to care?

consciousness: in light of information, matter, and energy, does consciousness have primacy?

Allow me to elaborate: does my experience of consciousness have primacy in relation to my experience of information, matter, and energy? That is to say, does my experience of consciousness come first, before the appearance of matter, energy, information, and inspiration?

If this is true, does this not put me in the driver’s seat with intentionality at my beck and call?

Let’s make this even more interesting: suppose that matter (being mostly empty) and energy (being mostly information) is reducible to light, which, when shaped by conscious, deliberate intention, yields a 3D desktop through which to generate, elaborate, and perpetuate a life?

A life ~ a life grounded, governed, and guided by a set of beliefs and practices ~ beliefs and practices that I get to choose, if I so choose, from a cornucopia of beliefs and practices that I have conceived and received through my interactions with others on their own cosmic journeys.

syncretismus: am I merging all systems of belief and practice into one and only one system?

Intuitively, I know that I can have one system of belief and practice for one area of my life (my work, for example), but can I nevertheless form one whole system of belief and practice for the entirety of my life, even as I cultivate and calibrate the subsystems of this one whole system?

Now this is where things might get a little weird.

In forming one subsystem of belief and practice for work (as play), and in forming one subsystem of belief and practice for play (as play), how might it benefit me to personify these systems, which is to say: assign one personality to work, one to play, and one to the whole system?

hello, reality, may I give you a name?

you just did

and so I did; thanks

When I pause to gaze around me, I see a place full of things and realize that I am either generating and perpetuating this 3D desktop of icons ontologically without realizing it wholly and fully, or I am allowing this 3D desktop to be ontologically generated and perpetuated for me.

Without a pure profound love of self, option A seems more isolated and isolating, and without expert guidance, option B seems rootless, if not pointless, but can my imagination not (a) summon a pure profound love of self, or (b) summon and apply the requisite expert guidance?

I could exercise option B to a point where option A becomes a matter of course; with option B, I assume that the entirety of my reality, including my experience, is grounded, governed, and guided by someone with a mind, heart, soul, and spirit of its own, with a personality of its own.

With option B, I could spend time getting to know this person intimately through a process of discovery by advocating on its behalf, cultivating and calibrating an attitude of gratitude through mutual love and respect, with a wholehearted commitment to extraordinary discernment.

Does this person have a sense of humor? Does this person like to challenge me on occasion, and if so, why? Do I feel as if this person is trying to lead me somewhere, along a certain path, perhaps, and with some sort of progression and agenda in terms of my evolution and ascension?

evolution: “going and growing with the knowing and flowing” ~ is this the point of evolution?

On the one hand, I yield, as required, faithfully and fatefully, to this person, to go and grow into a bigger, better version of myself; on the other hand, I take it upon myself, on occasion, to choose and care for my own destinations, thereby rising and shining in and for my own destiny.

ascension: what does it mean to ascend? does higher mean better? if so, why? if not, why not?

It is commonly assumed in spiritual circles that evolution and ascension go hand in hand: where evolution is sensed as progressive (“going and growing with the knowing and flowing”), ascension is sensed, relatively or absolutely, as conclusive (“I can go, and grow, no further”).

As a fait accompli (as accomplished and irreversible), ascension would imply the end of evolution ~ no more “going and growing with the knowing and flowing” ~ but is such a fait accompli necessarily desirable? More deeply, is such a fait accompli necessarily inevitable?

Those who remain open to engaging and enjoying infinite possibilities in 3D would likely respond “no, and no,” whereas those who are content with the prospect of closing off any further engagement and enjoyment with infinite possibilities in 3D would likely respond “yes, and yes.”

A bias toward ascension as completion implies the end of evolution; a bias against ascension as completion implies no end to evolution. As a process that is integral to evolution, ascension implies having a bigger, broader perspective, but is it necessarily a better perspective?

As I continue to humanize and harmonize my relationship with reality, one that holds an infinite number of possibilities, my perspective on this evolutionary process likewise continues to grow, moving upward in accordance with “going and growing with the knowing and flowing.”

As I continue to acquire and apply knowledge, skill, experience, and wisdom to fruitfully address and assess or resolve practical problems and challenges, my perspective on why certain problems or challenges keep coming back to me under various guises also continues to grow.

In this sense, bigger and broader is better, but could bigger and broader also be infinite in scope?

sovereignty: if, as, or when I merge with the One, at what point does it cease to be personal?

If all that we presume to own, including our very lives, can be taken away by fate, bad luck, or death at any time, what can we say we own? If nothing, and nobody, then why presume to own anything at all? And so, what might be a worthy substitute for ownership? Authorship.

I am the author of my own life because I am the author of my own story; for as long as I can make choices with due care, I remain the author, giving life to my story and giving story to my life ~ I guide the course of my life with story, even as I govern the course of my story with life.

Here, I would do well to exercise due care when I speak of rule in relation to life and story: do I presume to rule over other rulers in my story? Or do I presume to rule with other rulers in my story? And what does it even mean to be a ruler with other rulers in the story of my life?

Does a ruler with other rulers mean “one who cares enough to gauge, coherently and consistently, the quality of a story and the vitality of a life? Can I remain coherent as I continue to improve the quality of my story? Can I stay consistent as I continue to enhance the vitality of my life?

As a ruler, in what direction do I take this improvement and enhancement?

In what kind of world do I choose, to care enough to rule with other rulers?

what kind of world? STS, STO, STN, or STC?

choice 1

STS = service to self (at the expense of other)


STO = service to other (at no expense to self)

choice 2

STN = service to neither (sovereignty = zero)


STC = service to creation (creator = Creator)

A true test of one’s cosmic service orientation is this multiple choice question, which I spell out as follows: “revenge is a dish best _____” : (a) served cold (STS), (b) not served at all (STO), (c) huh? (STN), or (d) taken calmly and coolly, to be usefully employed with Zen-like care (STC).

In other words, with savoir faire, where choice and choicelessness converge.

In the light of appreciation and authenticity, which are vital for the cohesion of teams, groups, and families, vengefulness and vengeance are deemed failures of character by those who remain in service to other. Any sort of self-righteousness not only detracts from authenticity, it also makes genuine appreciation (in contrast to recognition) impossible to give or receive.

Speaking truth to false power, however, is a righteous posture, not a self-righteous one. Speaking truth to false power by looking, sounding, and feeling righteous, while walking a fine line between vulnerability and invincibility, pre-serves both genuine appreciation and authenticity.

Rulers in service to other (STO) polarize and orient themselves into the service of creation (STC) by getting to know themselves, by coming to accept themselves, and by becoming Creators in their own right, evolving and ascending toward sovereignty with a hard-won set of beliefs and practices, but the question is begged: at what point do they cease to be themselves?

Again, if, as, or when I merge with the One, at what point does it cease to be personal?

To put it another way, at what point do my life and my story cease to be personal to me?

I will respond to these questions by turning a spotlight on the prospect of immortality.

immortality: is death but a thought with a feeling? am I not destined to live forever?

When exploring these questions in depth, with breadth, I do my level best to keep the emphasis of my responses, not on the inevitability of death, but on what I call the inevitability of life in relation to death.

to philosophize spiritualize is to learn how to die live! (Cicero, edited slightly)

I do my best to live this life the best way I know how, even as death and dearth lurk, more or less, in the background. I am happy to know that I am here to learn and grow ~ to apply what I learn to what I am given, all in the spirit of “going and growing with the knowing and flowing.”

With a meaningful prospect of immortality, both fate and destiny are given their due.

Speaking personally, the posture of my life works well with finding my sweet spot between “receiving what I do not expect with gratitude and appreciation” and “giving without expectation of return in a spirit of generosity.” In the light of this posture, it might be said that “death is but a thought with a feeling.”

Admittedly, the culture in which I presently inhabit is saturated with images of death; is this not ample evidence that death is inevitable? In the finest literature, too, it is made all too clear, in no uncertain terms, that death is inevitable, and so who am I to question this presumption?

man is snapped off like a reed in the canebrake!
the comely young man, the pretty young woman ~
all too soon in their prime Death abducts them!

~ the Epic of Gilgamesh

Prosperus: every third thought shall be my grave

~ Shakespeare

I am one of those unfortunate souls who, as a child, did not feel wholly appreciated, and who, as a child, did not feel free to act authentically, and therefore spontaneously. Even now, I suspect I remain in recovery, in a bid to reclaim a soul of gratitude, in and with a spirit of generosity.

“Oh yes, dear, we do love you, we really do, but you must behave yourself! And you must believe what we tell you! And yes, you must give yourself up to a higher calling! You must, you must, you must. Otherwise, it’s simply unacceptable! Do as we say, not as we do! Do as we tell you!”

I furthermore suspect that I betrayed myself as a child, suffering a secret death in childhood.

“I see. I see the perfect paradox here. Everything looks and sounds so normal. No crime committed. No harm intended. No corpse, no guilt. Can we not see the sun rising and setting as usual? Of course we can. But what is happening? You expect that I betray my very soul and spirit!”

Could this be why I had such a fascination with death? Could this be why I sometimes (oftentimes, if I’m perfectly honest) feel mired in dearth? Dare I expose the many little sacrifices of soul and spirit that I made in my childhood and adolescence to bring my self-betrayals to light?

In so doing, might death not then become a mere thought with a feeling?

The beauty of these questions is that they can turned around for my benefit: could I not couple any fascination with death with a fascination for life? Could I not forever rise above and beyond any and all mires of dearth with a vision of life lived in the light of love for the love of life?

for me, the best is yes! to come, and so, does it not follow that I am destined to live forever?

Yes!, that is, to a stellar vision of life lived in the light of love for the love of life with no constriction or restriction of wholesome desire: would the immortals among us not be destined to live forever in their bliss at peace with themselves, each other, and the world in which they inhabit?

Here, the worm at the core is “unwholesome desire,” and so we have a threshold to meet between those insist on the mortality of all, those who resist oblivion with amortality in heaven above, and those who persist in making a heaven of Earth through the prospect of immortality.

Truth be told, the literatures for each of these are as varied as they are vast.

Many philosophical and scientific minds insist on oblivion, or else leave the question open, while ignoring or dismissing mountains of clinical evidence that say “yes!” to life after death, to life after life (reincarnation), and to lives between lives (accessible via “spiritual regression”).

Those who insist on mortality ~ oblivion ~ can be easily ignored or dismissed by those who resist oblivion with clinical evidence, as well as by those who draw on many of the scientific and technological innovations and advancements that are coming to light in favor of immortality.

Granted, where amortality and immortality are concerned, the skeptics, the cynics, the pessimists, the fatalists, and the nihilists are not easily cowed, especially in view of the many and various blights and plights that continue to plague the bulk of humanity seemingly without end:


These mundane realities play out daily in 3D like so many attention whores invading the news and entertainment media. It’s almost as if the dark heart of humanity can’t get enough of them, but if we care to step back a little into the Witness, what we find is something quite interesting:

note: every encounter and experience is measurable in terms of duration, frequency, and intensity

A full explanation of this chart is beyond the scope of this post, but if you care enough to do anything, take note of the tensions that arise from a contemplation of these threads of experience with reference to the fundamental blessings of contentment, fulfillment, and enchantment.

What I can say before I close out is that any magical worldview, cultivated, calibrated, and celebrated with no perceived adversity or difficulty, with no perceived problems or challenges, remains within the realm of possibility with a pure love of self, a pure space to live, a pure path to joy, not to mention a pure lust for life ~ one lived in the light of love for the love of life itself.

Such a realm, in my view, is psychospiritual in nature, a realm occupied by soulfish free spirits ~ sovereign benevolent rulers of themselves who have healthily, heartily, happily transcended any and all preoccupations with egoic morality in accordance with these measures of OCEAN:

O is for “open to experience”

C is for “conscious of life, love, light, lust”

E is for “excellence with exuberance”

A is for “affable, amenable, agreeable”

N is for “no more, no less!”

Together, these oceanic measures add up to “no more rubricizing” (to use a term coined by Abraham Maslow), which means “no more stupid, ignorant, lazy, mindless, heartless, immature, malicious, pathetic slotting of persons or peoples into tight little categories of convenience.”

Tight little categories like . . . “the untouched” or “the untouchables.”

The point here is to forgo undue reliance on rigid systems of control to allow for idiosyncratic and idiographic appreciation and recognition of persons and peoples both, all in a bid to bring forth manifestations and realizations of the deepest, broadest, fullest potentials of humanity.

In a free and open society, what need would there be for sanctuary if, as, when each and every moment in experience could be construed as some sort of blessing?

For those who keep up with the progress of a world advancing into a future where the prospect of immortality is par for the course, this fivefold proposition, in the form of five pointed questions, would inevitably intrude on the conscience: “can I? should I? would I? could I? must I?

When these questions cease to have relevance and significance to anyone at all ~ when the blessings of security, privacy, liberty, and prosperity cease to have relevance and significance to anyone at all, we’ll know, without a doubt, for better or worse, that we have merged as One.

The ultimate ultimate Sanctuary?

Maybe. Maybe not.


Note to readers: this post is the ninth and final one in a series on finding sanctuary, which I’ve placed into Sanctuary under the Resource tab in the Navigation menu at the top of this site

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