A Nyxall Minute #6
Steven J. Shupe
Steven J. Shupe
Shakespir Edition, License Note
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Nyxall Minutes to date:
Minute 1: The Universe that is You
Minute 2: A New Touchstone of Reality
Minute 3: Plotting Your Great Escape
Minute 4: Expanding Your Spiritual Truth
Minute 5: Beware Thy Hungry Ghost
(Minutes 1 thru 5 available beginning July 2, 2016 in Five Minutes to Freedom)
Minute 6: Cosmic Reflections in a House of Mirrors
Table of Contents
“No individual self exists, only the Universal reflecting upon itself in an earthly house of mirrors.”
Rather presumptuous, counterproductive even, for an author to claim that no separate selves exist, while he is attempting to garner and entertain individuals in a readership. But I am writing from within the dream, from the illusory earthscape in which we ephemeral characters are fooled into believing we and our world are solid, individual, real. Or maybe you have already awoken to the fact you are the Universal, the creative mind in which this author and seven billion other fleeting characters are taking shape in your dream to serve the cause of enriching your consciousness.
If so, congratulations—and don’t waste your time by reading further. No, these Nyxall Minutes are designed for those of us still clinging to remnants of a false sense of self and the limited conditioning we have been fed for a lifetime to support it. Yet we at least know enough to recognize the falseness, to yearn to break free from earthly lies, to reach into the unknown with hopes that the Light of truth will burn away the layers that veil our true and total existence.
A tough task, admittedly, particularly for those raised in American values where rugged individuality and liberty sprang from our country’s idealistic roots and landed upon the silver screens and impressionable minds of baby-boomers basking in the abundance of post-war prosperity and optimism. If you sense a tad of nostalgia in these words, you are correct that this emotional tendril at times arises from the longings of my ego’s remnants. As recently written:
…Where are those childhood role models of yesteryear, stalwart pedestals for ten-gallon headgear and unflagging advocates for individual rights and freedom? The Magnificent Seven riding south to liberate downtrodden peasants (hmm, by training them to both kill and die for their scanty corn crop); or Davy Crockett atop adobe wall raining down expletives and musket balls for independence, (upon those who had built the Alamo mission in the first place?); or pre-princess Grace Kelly as beautiful Quaker bride triggering a salvo into the back of the bad-guy to save Gary Cooper from high-noon death (while forsaking her sacred vows of pacifism!).
My gracious, within a world of duality even the stalwart Hollywood platforms of youth grow shaky and ambiguous in hindsight as good and evil swirl together in lively two-step. Moreover, the foundational truth of my Midwestern upbringing—that the rugged individualism of American freedom was vastly superior to the communal life of those red-tainted Ruskies—has gotten distorted in the adult house of mirrors.
This former little flag-waver pledging allegiance to individual rights is now advocating, as a wordy messenger, to know thyself as the universal, as One in the collective consciousness— instead of remaining slave to a false identity that clings desperately to its human materialism and supersized portions of apple pie. No longer an imperialist Yankee dog, I now bang my shoe on the podium while threatening to bury your measly little egos beneath the enormity of the collective combine of spirit and universal mind. No hammers and sickles required to reap the harvest of freedom; just the willingness to die to the capital ‘I’ in your false, earthly self-Identity. [Reprinted from, The Nyxall Chronicles, Beyond Illusion, Centarium One.]
Good. That refreshing if wordy breeze swept the cobwebs of nostalgia from my mind’s path to truth and serves as a reminder of the falseness of the human self-image we see in the mirror and defend as oneself. Next, when one starts to uncover a lifetime case of mistaken identity, the question naturally arises from existential angst:
“But if I’m not me, then who am I?”
Unfortunately for Mr. Bane in Matrix Revolutions, his personal answer involved having had his body-mind invaded and assimilated by the nefarious Agent Smith while fighting for freedom. Assuming you are not suffering a similar fate and are instead clashing solely with a human ego for dominion over your identity, the following food for thought is served regarding the nature of self and your perceived world:
You are, from my vantage point, a wonderfully-crafted vessel of perception giving form to a unique, diverse, and dynamic universe. That universe springs into existence before your very eyes upon awakening each morning, expanding and evolving while a plethora of daily scenes and sensations flood your awareness and take form in your mind. Filtered through your individual history, emotions, and location, your perceived world is unique in detail—although it is but one of many such parallel universes observed through seven billion personal points of reference on Earth. And in the minds of others, you are a secondary character at best, part of the supporting cast occasionally taking form in their perceptions.
But in the known universe that forms each dawn with your opening of eyes, you are the overseeing awareness, the creative force itself. And the human character which you perceive daily acting out through your body-mind is the star of this world, the one actor who is always there on the earthly stage that you watch, the one giving your awareness, your consciousness, direct experiences of life on this spinning planet. A fascinating production, is it not?
What makes it even more interesting is that in the infancy of this personal play, your consciousness began to identify with the leading actor as itself, as your human self-identity. Hence the proverbial Fall from paradise occurred when you, as pure awareness, tumbled from your heavenly perch by mistaking yourself for the toddler being perceived. Then the real tragicomedy took center stage as you started identifying with a bawling mass of flesh and bone, taking personally its associated thoughts, emotions, desires, fears, and survivalist tendencies. And this convoluted self-identity, this hungry ghost, now plays out an adult human role—with the bitter, bland, and sweet all being part of a lifelong banquet giving your consciousness various tastes of earthly duality. Multiply this experience by seven billion taste buds, and it’s one hell of a smorgasbord for our collective experience. [Reprinted from, The Nyxall Chronicles, The ‘I’ of the Storm, Chapter One.]
And one hell of a pitched battle between ego and consciousness fighting for control over the feast. Yet most folks are understandably oblivious to this inner conflict since earthly survival and comfort are their more immediate concerns—plus, of course, we humans tend to blame some external cause for our turmoil rather than do the inner homework to find true harmony.
But for those of us fortunate enough to have the time and inclination to journey inward for solutions, modern India is an excellent teacher for both bringing turmoil to the fore as well as offering rich spiritual traditions and lovely natural settings in which to explore alternatives for liberation. The Himalayan vista pictured in the opening photo of this Minute #6 (from Deodar Manor in the village of Khajjiar) is one such peaceful setting that coaxed my consciousness to the fore while quieting my noisy ego with a plethora of nature’s gentle distractions. A Tibetan monastery a few hours eastward also offered an abode and inspiration for my journey to freedom from old conditioning and false self-image. This latter site provided, as well, the setting for a workshop chronicled in Beyond Illusion at which the battle between ego and consciousness was brought to the fore:
A bell chimes signaling commencement of the main bout. A rustle of anticipation fills the monastery hall as Ego squares off to face Consciousness in their age-old battle for earthly dominance. Here in India, as in the rest of the world, the burly human ego—though bloody and battered—clearly holds the advantage over its more ethereal opponent.
The robed gentleman sitting by the bell gazes outward to begin the round. His intense brown eyes blink against smoke that wafts from incense sticks in nearby corners. He scans the spectators whose eyes stare back with the anticipation of seekers yearning for wisdom from their guru of choice. Is he sage? Charlatan? A madman swaddled in orange cloth ready to carry his flock to freedom; or perhaps to toss the bunch into an infernal abyss?
Likely the bearded fellow is all of the above in this world of duality where humanity is constantly pummeled between opposing poles while entangled in threads of contradiction. The current setting is itself a paradoxical web glistening with global hue. A predominantly North American group sits in Tibetan monastery on the outskirts of Indian village named after a Scotsman of the conquering Raj. McLeodganj—the current home-in-exile for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and a refuge for worldwide pilgrims with hopes of finding meaning in the madness, a respite from earthly contradictions among Himalayan foothills. Yet even now incongruity raises its voice as the orange-clad Indian guru, one Cyrus ‘Bubha’ Rajnish, begins speaking with strong Texas drawl.
“Y’all are lost in space, plane and simple,” Shri Shri Cy Bubha announces to his attentive listeners. “You’re flat-out fooled by time, too. Matter, gravity, and other scientific fictions we were force-fed as youths likewise blind and bind us to this narrow world,” he propounds while pointing his finger toward the forested window view.
“A waste of a good universe, if you ask me, particularly since over a century ago Einstein’s mind rode a beam of light to uncover new dimensions free from absolute notions of time and space. Then even before the Roaring Twenties had quieted, Niels Bohr and other quantum physicists exposed matter as a fleeting dance of energy and probabilities that transcend human logic.
“Yet we babes who boomed after World War II were still handed textbooks that treated us like a Dick,” he declares to the startled audience, “or a Jane or some such solid citizen merrily marching to linear time through a three-dimensional world of stars, stripes, and straight-arrows on the silver screen.”
The unorthodox guru takes a moment to scrutinize his audience. “Or if you were born later and educated curbside on Sesame Street, you were given different role models who were more obvious puppets of the cultural mainstream. The astute among you might even have exposed the great delusion, ultimately concluding that you, like a Cookie Monster or Miss Piggy, are merely a mass of inert material coming to life via your creator’s guiding hand gyrating up your backside. Yes?”
Cy Bubha smiles at his flock while adjusting his posture on the dais cushion. “Your adult life has likely reinforced this discomforting discovery of your physical place in the cosmos. Fear not, however, for I shall endeavor to screw only with your mind today, twisting your limited 3-D reality to adapt more comfortably to space-time curvature through which you have mindlessly spiraled for a lifetime or more.
“Before entering this voyage, kindly drop all limited notions of your self-identity along with any excess baggage filled with your faulty beliefs about time, space, and matter. And we shall be free to sail the infinite ocean of wisdom that laps at our feet upon ancient Himalayan shore.”
“Make it so!” a voice calls out supportively.
The guru acknowledges the command with a half-salute, then continues at full impulse, “So let us begin today’s self-help seminar by recalling the first rule in this cosmic Fight Club where our ego and spirit duke it out to determine what is our true nature. That first rule of self-help being…?” the guru queries while cupping a hand to his ear.
“There is no self!” the group answers as one voice to this daily litany.
“Excellent. A wise yet vexing conclusion,” the guru acknowledges, “that can throw a wet blanket on the spiritual fire of even the most ardent seeker. But keep the faith, folks, for my job is to ensure that getting there—to your self-annihilation—is half the fun. And presto change-o, you become the universal.”
The leader notices a frowning participant in the middle of the group and adds, “Mr. Jameson, you don’t look as if you’re having fun yet.”
The young man replies while shaking his head. “I just don’t get how we can honestly say to ourselves that there is no self. It still doesn’t make sense.”
“Welcome to the land of paradox, pal. A world where the mind expands until it realizes there is no mind. Where one comes to know thyself so deeply that the self disappears. Where the universe that holds your consciousness dwells within your consciousness.”
Cy Bubha gives the group a serious look then breaks into a grin. “But hey, we’re only in day four of the workshop. Sages and yogis usually take at least a week to transcend the paradox of their earthly illusions and grasp the punch line to the ultimate cosmic joke.”
“That punch line being what?” asks the young man.
“That your spiritual path eventually leads not to the liberation of Mr. Jameson, but to the liberation from Mr. Jameson.” The guru looks at the confused fellow and adds, “But to get the joke on yourself, you sort of have to be there. So let’s go ahead and play this lila—that’s Sanskrit for this ‘divine sport’ of earthly humanity—and pretend that there is a you out there and a me up here talking nonsense. Are you game?” he asks the workshop attendees.
A round of affirmative gestures and sounds fills the room. “Just don’t make the mistake of taking yourself or what you hear too seriously. The wondrous movie called life quickly becomes tedious, even a horror flick, if you forget that you are the watcher, the awareness giving the show form. And that your human self is little more than a black-and-white character playing on the screen of your perceptions.” [Reprinted from, The Nyxall Chronicles, Beyond Illusion, Round One.]
The subsequent three Nyxall Minutes will continue with the wisdom of Shri Shri Cy Bubha and his workshop participants. The upcoming Photo-Quote in Minute #7 asserts that: “When you know yourself beyond the personal ego, you gain the freedom of having nothing left to defend, with no stake in an outcome. Pure experience, pure acceptance, pure being.”
Minute #8 builds upon its Photo-Quote suggestion: “Uncover all that is unreal in the realm of mind until even the concept of reality is exposed as fiction.”
While Photo-Quote #9 contends that: “You are an infinitesimally small point of perception—in which an infinitely large universe takes form.”
None of these assertions, however, is as potentially threatening to one’s individual sense of self as Cy Bubha’s previous statement to Jameson that liberation is from, not of, the person seeking it. This punch line to the cosmic joke is one I personally experienced after having been a longtime spiritual journeyer hoping to achieve liberation. Yet as the joke implies, my known universe was ultimately freed from my seeking self, rather than my human persona being liberated into some higher state. In short, not only did my old ego have to go, but my new-and-improved spiritual self-image needed to die for the cause of freedom as well.
I had been given this distressing news several years back by a booming voice in dreamtime which announced, “Satisfy your day to die. 937 days.” And over the next 937 days, I often felt like the aforementioned puppets of Sesame Street being gyrated by the Guiding Hand towards the abyss; but with my ego expressing more like Renee Zellweger and her puppeteer in Chicago:
Gere: “How you feelin’?”
Zellweger-Gere: “Very frightened.”
As you may know from personal experience, the fear generated by my tricky ego turned out to be simply a smokescreen implanted in this dummy to fog the path and discourage my taking the final leap into the Universal. Gratefully, its fear tactics did not succeed—however, nor have I yet hit the bottom of the abyss to disintegrate into the eternal beyond mind, beyond these Nyxall Minutes that keep forming through fingertips upon keyboard. So you are invited in a few days to join in Minute #7 in which, with the help of Shri Shri Cy Bubha, we will delve further into self-awareness on the path to ultimate freedom.
continue below for a summary of The Nyxall Chronicles
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. All in perfection, all in awareness, all for the enrichment of consciousness.
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
“No individual self exists, only the Universal reflecting upon itself in an earthly house of mirrors.” This provocative assertion begins the Nyxall Minute #6, challenging the reader to delve deeply into self-awareness to expose antiquated notions one was taught about the nature of the personal self and its limited world. The Nyxall Minutes are a series of thought-provoking essays—both insightful and humorous at times—designed for those bravely exploring both one’s spiritual 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 Nyxall Minute 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.