Just returned from my first official vacation and it was very enjoyable. During the trip I set aside some time to explore a mine noted for producing crystals similar to those included in my Herkimer diamond research project. I was anxious. I needed these samples and yet all the available information said it was going to be nearly impossible. The area was closed to collecting, the Internet revealed no local rock shops, the local mineral club provided no useful information and I had never been to the area and I had only half a day. Yet, even in the face of an absence of information and facing probable failure, I knew I had to go. I was called to go. It is never easy to go into the unknown just on faith.I have been pondering on this whole idea of exploring the unknown. How do we navigate into those areas for which we do not have answers? Is logic and reason enough to guide us or is there some other quality of human nature which allows us to perceive patterns, extrapolations of patterns, and glimpses into the mysteries of the unknown that are ahead of us even though we don’t have any logical concrete information. I think this is part of path of the mystic. This is part of what mystics have been trying to talk to us about. It is not a path that can be grasped by logic and reason alone because the solution is not acquired from a straight linear analysis. It is not a path that can be discovered with data and numbers alone simply because the extrapolation of the known into the realm of the unknown (as defined using the above illustration) is not one that is linear. Rather it is a revelation of new information based on a new data set that is yet to be discovered. Yes, there’s probably mathematical relationships that draw the old and the new together but when you’re at the edge of this frontier and you haven’t seen the new landscape yet you cannot logically provide a description of the new based on the old data. You just cannot understand what this new frontier might look like. It is often too big a paradigm shift. This means that there has to be some other way that human beings go about discovering this Gnostic revelation. This is part of the path of the mystic. I am not saying that I know all there to know about this path. I just know that I have experienced what I have termed, and other authors have termed, a “calling”. The book, “The Mystic Relationship”, is all about the calling, using a metaphor of “making a phone call to God” to describe some of the features associated with a Divine calling. It is a topic which can get convoluted by academic types very quickly, yet it can also be quite simple. The trip into the unknown to find Herkimer like crystals for the research project was like that. Logically there was no way to find good samples in half a day. They were needed, but the need did not drive the process, rather it was a sense that the journey had to be taken. It was a feeling which filled me to the point of action, to the point of pursuing an undeniable goal oriented action – a calling that had to be followed into the unknown.A calling is not the same as having an urge. While having breakfast in this small cafe I noted that there was Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the refrigerator. People often ask me if there’s anything that I really have trouble resisting. Thankfully I have been addicted to very little in my life. But Ben & Jerry’s is another matter. If there’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in the house there is a 90% chance it won’t make it through the night. And it almost doesn’t matter what flavor (although I do have my favorites). So as I’m writing this I can visualize those pints of Ben & Jerry’s staring back at me from inside that little café. I have an urge to devour a pint but this urge is simply that just, an urge. It is not the same as a calling.These two examples may seem simplistic: a trip to find crystals in the face of probable failure versus a trip to the café to find Ben & Jerry’s, but internally they are both emotive stirrings, sensations attached to feelings and desires. It is very easy, so very easy, to confuse the two. Oh no, I’m not talking about confusing Ben & Jerry’s with a trip to find crystals. I’m talking about confusing our personal urges with a calling to act in a Divine way that ultimately promotes our well-being.In our country we have a very divided and derisive political system. There is a shadow oligarchy influencing politics. Some think it is it so bad that the “Fourth Reich” is about to appear and our civil liberties are going to be trampled by those brandishing power and wealth. There is deep fear that because so many people are seemingly blind, brainwashed, not able to act with wisdom for the betterment of society that the government in this country is permanently broken. This rhetoric is legitimately built on a foundation of fear, mistrust and frustration. There is a terror felt so strongly that it necessitates terror management. This terror management drives powerful urges that dredge up demons from memories of both personal and cultural historical trauma. I feel this post 9-11 terror for my family, my community, and my country.In this country there are distinct “camps” – us and them, with different views about where we should be headed. There are different arguments as to what is the “good life” and the threats to it. Terror management necessitates an us versus them solution, a building of protective wall against the fear of demons. But there are clear distinctions between duty, or “being called to serve” out of a sense of obligation to this terror management and a calling which is of divine purpose. Yes, the two can overlap. One can have a divine calling which is set on the path of facing injustice. But the two can also be easily confused. The calling of divine purpose is not about the democratic state, nor about the republican state, but about the state of our well being as a society. The mystic path has always been about seeing the big humanity picture. A divine calling is not an impulse saying “oh I should do this because someone has to”. A divine calling fills you up with a radiant sense of purpose and pulls you in a direction that may not make sense but which you have to follow. Following it may be very difficult, but not following it is torture. When one has given one’s being fully to the calling there is a sense of awe and a deep penetrating calm, touching upon that still quiet space of Divine purpose. The crystals were discovered, and with even better success than imagined…..and the Ben & Jerry’s stayed at the café. .