A New Touchstone of Reality: A Nyxall Minute #2


A Nyxall Minute



A New Touchstone of Reality





Steven J. Shupe



Copyright 2016

Steven J. Shupe



Shakespir Edition, License Note

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Table of Contents

Quote-Photo #2

The Exposition

Introduction to The Nyxall Chronicles



The worldly illusion and its confining falsehoods take form when one

misidentifies the waking state as the touchstone of reality.




What if you had been raised solely in a cave for your first thirteen years, tended and trained by the greatest minds of your culture? Day after day, year after year, they pass on their wisdom to your open mind, teaching that the universe is a wondrous realm of energy, of boundless potential through which you can freely flow, explore, even create.

As this knowledge takes root to define your reality, your senses in the dim cave grow attuned to a vast array of subtle energies that constantly pass through the universe, unseen by most mortals. But your power to perceive becomes acutely fine-tuned, intense and focused upon an ever-expanding multiverse. Your sensitive mind is freed from false notions of a physical self, to soar not only above the earth outside your confining cave but to enter the land of your ancestors, of spirit guides, and into a variety of realms existing beyond the norm of human perception. Worlds composed of so-called ‘dark’ matter that vibrate so highly, so purely, that you can only catch fleeting glimpses of their brilliance. Realms which curve through the interwoven fabric of space-time, spiraling into intricate patterns as you watch in delight while images dance into form then dissolve into scenes from the next higher dimension and the next and next.

Even space and time eventually lose their constraining grip upon your reality as you come to understand that all the worlds take shape in your mind while dwelling in the cave. You celebrate this final realization that you are the creator of the known universe as it flashes into form inside of you, as you, and you as it. No separation, no limitations, only a oneness with All as you walk from the cave into mountain air, embraced by your clan to take your rightful place as apprentice shaman.

Not your reality? Pity. Neither was it mine since I was not born in the Columbia highlands and selected as a babe by tribal elders to be raised in the shaman cave. Although I did enjoy watching the documentary about this advanced indigenous culture and its various spiritual practices.

No, I was born and bred on the flatlands of Kansas where the closest demonstration of mystical ritual arrived on weekday afternoons as a wizardly Jimmy, topped with mouse-eared cap, conjured up the next cartoon for eager young club members glued to the boob tube. Just more Mickey Mouse on a screen and in a culture that espoused there’s no place like home, while encouraging us youngsters to swap colorful lands beyond the rainbow for a return to dusty plain. No wonder our touchstone of reality became the narrow world we perceived upon awakening in our jammies as we pattered forth to pour our morning dose of sugar masquerading as cereal. Thus, unlike the child quietly sitting in cave, we and our world shrank into a single, confining bandwidth hiding within a grand spectrum of endless creative potential never to be explored. A pity indeed.

Ah, but never say never. Time still remains to redefine our adult reality, does it not? So how can we reclaim our rightful heritage, our intrinsic power of creation as a Mind free of earthly constraints? How to make our power of perception, our consciousness the true foundation of reality upon which we build new worlds and dimensions through creative thought—and expose our earthly ‘waking’ state as little more than hazy illusion?

For some, an answer is reflected in the photo that began this Nyxall Minute, taken while residing at the Tse Chokling Monastery in northern India, where four Tibetan Buddhist monks are pictured meticulously positioning colored sand grains into proper order. The resulting sand mandala represents an etheric, yet spiritually substantive, structure existing in the higher dimensions of the monks’ reality. Numerous realms, in fact, exist in Tibetan cosmology ranging from a land of hungry ghosts to a dimension of demi-gods basking in heavenly bliss. One’s consciousness may incarnate in various of these worlds, they say, including in the human realm to gather experiences, work through karma, and ultimately liberate from this cycle—once the total Mind is fully embraced and understood.

My effort to re-Mind myself began in earnest in the 1990’s and extended well into the new millennium as I journeyed through India and used creative writing to jog loose memories and insights about the path back to full mindfulness. When at last I proudly declared I was ready to embrace my higher mind, one of my book characters popped into my psyche to keep things in perspective:


“That’s like Jonah embracing his inner whale,” laughs Magdalena the Christ, “and remember where he ended up? No, a union with your higher mind swallows your known self and world, regurgitating you into a far larger universe where even your body’s sense of space and your mind’s sense of time merge into an experience beyond duality.” [Excerpt from, The Nyxall Chronicles: A Mindgame to Remembrance, Chapter 3.]

JUST ONE OF MANY times my new and improved spiritual ego received its comeuppance delivered by the Guiding Hand with a quick swat at self-importance. Fortunately, the arrival of a wise if nebulous gentleman soon followed Magdalena’s message to apply a balm of understanding about the nature of one’s higher mind:


“In order to grasp this important relationship with your higher mind, nighttime dreams provide an excellent analogy,” states the chap in tweed suit who enters your psyche.

“How so, Professor Jung?” you ask, recognizing the renowned psychologist.

“When dreaming, you typically identify with the main character in the dream—seeing, hearing, and feeling his experiences as your own. Upon awakening, however, you realize that you are the mind in which both the imaginary scenes and your fictitious dream character took temporary form, and that your actual bed-bound self resides in a higher realm of existence beyond the nocturnal dreamscape.”

You think a moment then respond, “So the analogy is that my human identity, this Steven self-image, is just a fictional character in an earthly dreamscape of my higher mind?”

“Correct, and when you fully awaken to the higher mind, the limited earthly dream ends and you are free to roam the higher levels of consciousness. Which is precisely what Magdalena and my other heavenly teammates are helping you and all candidates to ultimately achieve.”

Your inner Professor takes a minute to peruse your candidate file and continues, “Actually, today’s hiking experience was a milestone for you as your consciousness, instead of identifying with the character trekking up the mountain, watched the worldly drama from the standpoint of the higher mind without fear or attachment. We call this lucid observing, which also has its nocturnal counterpart.”

“Right. I’ve occasionally had that lucid experience at night when my awake consciousness realizes I am only dreaming, while the dream continues, becoming extra vivid and intense.”

“And even dramatically more vivid when you fully awaken from this daytime dreamscape as well,” Jung adds while indicating the current setting. “For when the minds of the dreamer and the dreamt unite in lucidity, your narrow perceived world bursts into a wondrous universe of boundless potential. The false notions of time, space, and matter can no longer hold you prisoner of Earth once you realize that your daytime world is just a dreamlike perception in your lucid mind.”

Professor Jung looks at the darkening clouds and concludes, “But at the moment you had best start hiking again in order to get to the Baba River campsite by nightfall.” He takes a last look at your file and adds, “You can soon explore this topic more thoroughly with your higher mind once you feel closer to merging together.”

You ask with anticipation, “How far away am I from becoming at one with my higher mind?”

The instructor answers obtusely yet wisely, “How much distant separates the dreamer and the dreamt?” [Reprinted from, The Nyxall Chronicles: A Mindgame to Remembrance, Chapter 3.]

ADMITTEDLY NOT FAR, Professor, but in my case the short hop seems to have taken lifetimes to achieve, filled with blood, sweat, and numerous punch lines to the cosmic jokes on oneself. Yet when the dreamer and dreamt finally merged last decade, when my union with the higher mind felt complete, it was indeed a glorious experience simply to bask in the liberating sense of lucidity. Eye became the watching consciousness giving form to the perceived world, no longer identifying with the awkward human character that used to define myself; no longer slave to its desires, hopes, and fears. I was free now to quietly, detachedly observe the chaos of earthly life unfold on the screen of my mind—all in awareness, all in perfection, all for the enrichment of consciousness.

Lovely. Peaceful…but something is amiss. Damn it, I can’t switch the lousy channel! A similar quandary, it seems, to what Morpheus posed in The Matrix:


“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real?”

“What if you were unable to wake from that dream?”


Hell’s bells, Morpheus, I do know that the Earth world is just an illusory production in my mind, but I still can’t wake up and change the channel to a more interesting show. Every morning it’s the same sordid backdrop of earthly duality and conflict, the same cast of seven billion clamorous players, the same drama from one dreary Groundhog Day to another. What in creation is wrong?

I pause typing for a moment, hopeful that an answer will appear on-screen……..

Nope, just a blinking cursor. So instead, I must again call on characters from the Nyxall Chronicles to provide insight for this dangling Minute. [The following reprinted from, The Nyxall Chronicles: Beyond Illusion, Round Two.]


“So, formation of our universe is an ongoing process,” the orange-robed guru professes, “wherein each of our consciousnesses awakens at dawn to begin creation afresh, as eyes open to give shape to our individual worlds of perception. And another day of wish fulfillment begins.”

Jameson asks while shaking his head, “But Swami-ji, if my consciousness has the power to manifest whatever beauteous worlds it wishes, why in blazes would I keep giving form to my same crazy earth life over and over each day?”

“Some sages would say because we are slaves to memory, conditioned into falsely believing that our illusory body must wake up in the same illusory world, the same bed even, in which it fell asleep,” Shri Shri Cy Bubha answers. “And we end up endlessly pursuing Punxsutawney Phil until realizing we only chase shadows of memory in shaping our narrow, repeating days. Then we are free, theoretically, to manifest new seasons, new identities, and new worlds reflecting our consciousness’s true desires and creative imagination.”

“Why do you say, theoretically, Swami-ji?” you ask.

“Because even after seeing through the illusions of memory, matter, time, and space—which each of us four has accomplished to a degree—one is still interconnected to and generally limited by the current paradigm of the collective human consciousness that believes this earth world is solid and objectively real,” the guru answers.

Cy Bubha takes a sip of tea and continues, “Granted, many folks can already freely travel the astral plane independent of space and gravity, as well as communicate telepathically between dimensions. And I’ve visited with advanced swamis and fakirs in India who never eat, it seems, and who can live buried for days without air. But our mainstream human consciousness still hasn’t reached the critical mass needed to embrace such expansive notions; it hasn’t developed that proverbial 100th Monkey required to shift the current mindset to free ourselves to explore the multiverse beyond limited human thinking and beliefs.”

Maria remarks, “So in order to soar unfettered into new paradigms, I guess we need to find ninety-six fellow explorers who have realized that their true self is not confined by gravity or by the need to consume illusory food to feed one’s illusory body, or by other imaginary physical constraints.”

Jameson shakes his head and responds, “Sorry, Maria, but I’m still one of the monkeys believing that bananas, air, and other sustenance are necessary to fuel my swings through the world.”

“It might help you to recall, Tom, the first tenet in understanding the universe—that there is no objective world ‘out there’, only our mind’s perceptions giving form to one’s inner, subjective reality,” declares Sister Iris.

“But aren’t we each experiencing the same reality right now,” Jameson counters, “all seeing the identical room and having a common conversation here in Peru?”

“That’s your viewpoint. But maybe from my perspective, I am in a Houston Holoroom watching a 3-D film of four people talking,” Maria states hypothetically. “Or Swami-ji considers this a dream in his mind in India, while Sister Iris perceives us as her thought-form friends chatting in her inter-dimensional tree house. And Nix might think this is just a scene he is imagining while writing a book.”

“Remember, Tom,” Sister Iris interjects, “nothing perceived is either real or unreal. Existence is simply your perception taking form at any given moment—no more or less valid than other viewers’ perspectives of their momentary worlds.”

Cy Bubha puts a hand gently on Jameson’s shoulder. “And someday, perhaps, your desire for more bananas and other distracting dualities to satisfy your earthly existence may give over to a single, burning desire to dwell in Truth beyond mind, in a realm beyond illusion.” [End of Chronicle excerpt.]

REFERENCE TO GATHERING a hundred fellow monkeys—or more accurately, to our joining mental forces with kindred spirits whose open minds embrace their creative power beyond 3-D fictions and limitations—should give you a hint as to my true motives in writing these Nyxall Minutes. No, I am on no divine mission to save souls nor does greed for greenbacks drive my typing fingers across keyboard at this juncture. The free offering of all Nyxall Chronicles and Minutes is simply designed to entice you to enter a shimmering mental web wherein your progressive thoughts, your expansive mind weave with others into our small, if high-vibrational group consciousness. Woven in hopes that with this collective mental energy boost, plus a bit of luck, I might finally be able to change the channel from familiar earthly scenes to view more colorful settings and higher-dimensional worlds of my choosing.

What’s that you say? You don’t care to join forces with some self-focused couch potato in his quest for free premium programming from the cosmos? Well then, at least kindly consider the larger ramifications of our collective mental upgrade upon Earth’s future, as reflected in some recent computer modeling undertaken in a hi-tech, nondenominational heaven found in A Mindgame to Remembrance:


“Today,” Albert announces to get down to business, “we have some encouraging news to share about Earth’s probable future.” He lays a stack of computer model printouts on the desk then looks up at Magdalena and the Archangel of Duality. “You remember my describing how the energy blueprint for Earth is molded and sustained by the collective human consciousness?”

“Sure, that the totality of human thought creates a universal energy field, a template from which each person’s observing consciousness perceives the world.”

“Right, and as modern science, religion, and thought expand, so too does our blueprint of reality evolve to reflect current thinking.” Albert then spreads the research papers across the desk while explaining, “The big news is that sometime during the next decade, global polarities and conflict will likely become so intense that the human collective consciousness will actually split, giving rise to two different blueprints, or two alternatives for how people can perceive their Earth existence.”

Magdalena looks at the charts and remarks, “It’s not surprising to see that the stronger of the two Earth templates will be viewed, sustained, and populated by those human minds still attuned to duality. More March Madness, April Armageddons, and summer clearance sales to continue business-as-usual on their planet, right?”

“True,” concurs TED as the model’s Technical Environment Designer, “but our research is also seeing a growing counter-reaction to this mainstream polarity, where many are yearning for less rather than more, for escape from noisome competition and consumerism. In short, enough people’s spiritual longing is manifesting an alternative group-consciousness to create and maintain a new-Earth blueprint.” He points to a graph and concludes, “By the year 2020 or thereabouts, their minds will be able to perceive and dwell in this harmonious new Earth realm—perhaps not a return to Eden, but close.”

“Sounds like the polar-opposite existence compared to conflict and consumption,” Magdalena interjects. “So every person will have the opportunity to experience an earth world compatible with their values, be they associated with their ego’s material needs or with their spiritual desires. Nice.”

A PLEASANT FANTASY, indeed, in the realm of we dreamers whose touchstone of reality sparkles in the creative mind rather than ends with a thud in earthly density. But to be honest, my observing consciousness won’t be satisfied merely to improve the reception of a perceived Earth realm filled in 2020 with spiritual light and lush gardens. So if you too are reaching for a more profound break from past conditioning and familiar earth settings, join me next week in Nyxall Minute #3 to put our heads and shoulders together for a collective shove against the prison door while addressing the quote: When imprisoned in a mad world of duality, most lifers decorate their cells, organize group functions, and lobby for improved jail conditions. (Others plot an escape…)

And keep in mind the parting wisdom expressed through Michelle Yao’s eyes and in these words from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon:


“The things we touch have no permanence.”


return to table of contents


continue below for an introduction to The Nyxall Chronicles

Introduction to


A True Story in Spiritual Allegory and Science Friction


Welcome to The Nyxall Chronicles, a journey of spirit, of imagination, of freedom. The path is lined with humor and intrigue to guide one’s Consciousness—your innate power of perception—to reclaim its rightful place as creator of your known universe. Retaking this throne means, of course, supplanting its former master, the measly human ego that has kept your spirit enslaved to its endless desires and false conditioning for a lifetime. No doubt, this grasping persona will kick up some dust along the path and scream in protest at being usurped. But as freedom rings and spirit soars into the infinite, one’s limited self-image and narrow world that supports it inexorably melt back into the nothingness from whence they arose.

That nothingness is represented by ‘Nyx’ in the series title, the ancient Greek goddess who is the infinite deep, the dark emptiness from where all creation emerges and into which all ultimately dissolves. Zeus himself was said to fear confronting Nyx and vanishing in her embrace. And indeed, those lounging upon lofty peak while vigilantly preserving their self- importance and the material world they created, had best forego the pummeling, cleansing, and laughter at one’s mortal foibles that The Nyxall Chronicles expose.

But if you are ready for truth to set you free from the mess—or at least to provide some entertainment while pondering disposal options—then read on, brave explorer, remembering that another’s words are, at best, guideposts for reclaiming what you already know deep within your fount of quiet wisdom. Or as sagely expressed from ancient Asia: If it can be spoken, it is not the Tao.

While Mrs. Lao Tzu chimed in from the garden, “Right, Mr. Airy-Fairy, and if it can be smelled, take out the garbage already!”

Good advice for all occasions. But in The Nyxall Chronicles, the odorous remnants left by a controlling ego and its ultimate demise are, admittedly, solely those of the author—while the guiding trail of fresh breadcrumbs and sparkling gems which light the way to freedom were dropped by spirit guides, angels, demons, and other messengers of grace that smashed to smithereens this engineer-lawyer’s comfortable reality and sent my world spinning off into two decades of mystery, discovery, and cosmic vertigo.

The seeds of this reality-shift and its convoluting effect on mind and manners are recounted in the initial Chronicle, The Now or Never, written at the turn of the millennium along the sacred river Ganga in northern India. As in each of The Nyxall Chronicles, the story includes a healthy dose of ‘science friction’ wherein an author vigorously rubs together fact and fantasy to generate heated suspense and spiritual Light in order to send one’s limited existence up in smoke. The Chronicles are essentially nonfiction, however, in that they accurately trace the author’s creative imagination, multidimensional compositions, and real-world journeys which collectively led to both a fiery self-implosion into Nothingness and to an uplifting union with All.

That refreshing experience is embodied in Beyond Illusion, the final Chronicle where the scene shifts from Himalayan vistas to Peruvian Andes in year 2015. Getting there was indeed half the fun, as an earlier book, A Mindgame to Remembrance, cavorts between a humorous heaven and India intrigue to rescue Consciousness from terrestrial entanglements; while The ‘I’ of the Storm flings the reading mind into orbit around a precariously wobbling planet to wipe out antiquated views of a three-dimensional world and its transient inhabitants.

These four books of The Nyxall Chronicles, although interrelated, can be read in any sequence since they each contain a unique storyline, message, and resolution. What ultimately emerges in this journey is an intricate dance of Mind, of mystery, of a spirit buffeted and buoyed by the winds of change in a cosmic house of mirrors.

If you choose to engage in this creative two-step twixt reader and scribe, lead with your inner wisdom, swirl with your imagination, and open sesame to the wonder of an ever-expanding universe—the universe that is you.

Books of The Nyxall Chronicles:

The Now or Never (2001)

A Mindgame to Remembrance (2004)

The ‘I’ of the Storm (2010)

Beyond Illusion (2016)


For further book information or to view the author’s bio, link to


A New Touchstone of Reality: A Nyxall Minute #2

What if you had been raised solely in a cave for your first thirteen years, tended and trained by the greatest minds of your culture? Day after day, year after year, they pass on their wisdom to your open mind, teaching that the universe is a wondrous realm of energy, of boundless potential through which you can freely flow, explore, even create. As this knowledge takes root to define your reality, your senses in the dim cave grow attuned to a vast array of subtle energies that constantly pass through the universe, unseen by most mortals. But your power to perceive becomes acutely fine-tuned, intense and focused upon an ever-expanding multiverse. Your sensitive mind is freed from false notions of a physical self, to soar not only above the earth outside your confining cave but to enter the land of your ancestors, of spirit guides, and into a variety of realms existing beyond the norm of human perception. Only a pipe dream? No, a long-held practice in the remote reaches of Columbian highlands, with enticing concepts and ramifications for expanding an antiquated material worldview and narrow reality throughout global cultures. The second Nyxall Minute in the weekly essay series looks at ways of enhancing your inner spiritual path and discarding limited conditioning, beginning with the premise: The worldly illusion and its confining falsehoods take form when one misidentifies the waking state as the touchstone of reality. The discourse explores how your Mind and its power of perception give form to a fluid universe of boundless energy and infinite potential—at least for those with the eyes to see and a mind which opens to realities beyond outmoded models of time, space, and matter. This dynamic inner duo of creative mind and perception, as embodied in your Consciousness, is the true touchstone of an expanding reality to carry you beyond an outmoded self-identity and into new realms of discovery. About the Nyxall Minutes: The Nyxall Minutes are a series of provocative essays—at times challenging, at times humorous—designed for those bravely exploring both one’s truth and falseness garnered over a lifetime on this convoluting planet. Themes range from knowing oneself as universal consciousness (rather than as a limited human ego), to the vagaries of love, quantum physics, and ultimately to seeing through life’s transient illusions that veil the eternal perfection abiding in one’s core. Each discourse begins with a stimulating quote overlain on a photo taken by the author during his decades-long spiritual path, primarily in Asia and Peru. The quotes were written during moments of insight along the way, often then incorporated into his series of books, The Nyxall Chronicles, composed from 2000 to 2016. Excerpts from the Chronicles appear frequently in the essays to enhance the discourse and provide direction on where to look for further stimulation and entertainment with the topics at hand. During the summer of 2016 roughly a dozen Nyxall Minutes are planned, weaving a spiritual tapestry to decorate the walls of our confining earthly abode and to uplift one to the freedom beyond.

  • ISBN: 9781311727282
  • Author: Steven J. Shupe
  • Published: 2016-06-11 19:00:30
  • Words: 3781
A New Touchstone of Reality: A Nyxall Minute #2 A New Touchstone of Reality: A Nyxall Minute #2