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In the above quote, Allan Watts’ captures an aspect of enlightenment that recognizes "what already is." And what is, presumably is to be present to The All That Is.

Allan Watts was a philosopher and theologian who I believe understood this concept of enlightenment better than most contemporary philosophers. As an astute British/American thinker and writer, his whose influence was greatly felt during the 'beat' era of the 50s and 60s.

Today, 45 years after his departure from earth, he is still regarded as one of the foremost intellects who helped bridge Western traditions of philosophy and theology with that of the East. He was influenced by the teachings of Carl Jung, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Joseph Campbell and several other seminal thinkers of the 20th Century.

I’ve enjoyed reading (portions) of Watt’s exemplary book, Behold the Spirit, In Part 2, the Heart of God: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion. Here is an excerpt from this book that, for me, seems to capture the essence of how mysticism is to be experienced.

“Instead of trying to catch and possess the wind of the spirit, he lets it blow freely around and through him, finding peace, joy and salvation in its every movement. He surrenders the desire to possess it in any fixed state or form, and lets it possess him, affirming and joining in its unceasing and ungraspable movement as in some divine dance for melody.”  

Mysticism has always been distrusted by theologians and philosophers since it is difficult to capture the ‘numinous’ nature of the Spirit. Though the experience might be described, more or less, as Watts indicates above, still it seems to lack precise definition. Perhaps this is out of necessity.

In any case, from what I can tell, to be a true mystic is to be enlightened. In other words, to explore the topic of enlightenment is to also explore the topic of mysticism. But what does it mean to be enlightened and therefore a mystic?

To answer that, it might be helpful to read Watt’s book. For the sake of brevity, however, I’ve taken a slice from my pending novel, ELYSIUM’S PASSAGE: QUANTUM LEAPS. On this subject, the three main characters, Mo, Eli and the protagonist, James, discuss the subject.

But will any of this show you "how to be an enlightened mystic?" Probably not, since only life can do that. But it may inspire you to aspire to experience some of the mystic's fullness of being, as described above by Watts.

To this end, I hope you will find this... if I might say, ‘enlightening.’


Taken from Chapter 11 of Quantum Leap.

‘This is a process,’ Mo said, ‘that often takes gurus and sages a lifetime to accomplish. But you, James, are in a unique position to access a higher octave, provided you desire enlightenment with all your heart and mind. Very few on earth have come this far this quickly, which is why we’re confident you will go the distance as you remain focused on finding your way further up and further in.

‘And then, when you have conquered the fears of your ego-mind, you will be prepared for your surreal adventure and whatever might occur thereafter. Remember the ancient saying: He conquers, who conquers himself, meaning, conquering your ego-self. You will learn you are only able to conquer by uniting your mind with your heart, thereby putting on the divine Self, the Christ… the real you. That is what you are going there to achieve. Then you will have accomplished what the ancients implored when they stated, KNOW THYSELF.’

‘That’s a lot of heavy stuff you’re heaping on me. I’m not sure I’m ready to venture out on this little retreat which, quite frankly, sounds more like a battle. But let’s say I do, what happens after? Assuming I survive the retreat in one piece, and remain of sound mind, won’t I need time to recover from the battle?’

‘Not really,’ Eli said, ‘it will probably seem more like a time of quiet reflection. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy your rest since there won’t be any work for you to do. Just remain a good eco-tourist until your captain arrives.’

‘My captain; who’s my captain?’

‘Oh Captain! My Captain,’[1] he quipped, ‘will be someone I’m sure you’ll find most compelling and amusing.’ 

‘That will be different,’ I said, ‘since I’ve never met anyone other than you two in this dimension. Is this Magical Mystery Tour[2] going to be something like a DMT trip?[3] I know how induced states can open the mind’s portals to shift consciousness into higher dimensions. As you may know, Huxley recommended hallucinogens to open the doors of perception[4] in order to expand the conscious evolution of humanity.’

‘I would have thought,’ Mo said, ‘our time together has already been enough of a trip to prepare you. What more do you need? To benefit from these artificially induced experiences, one must already be a match for the higher reality that is sought, otherwise, great mental distortions can result. In fact, the psychological damage can result when chemicals give shape to the phantoms of old fears.

‘You’ve often heard me quote Aquinas: All things are received according to the nature of the recipient. That’s why sometimes there are unfortunate consequences of induced states of altered consciousness. It’s not so much what the drugs do as what might be released in a troubled soul.’

‘Unfortunately,’ Eli said, ‘few recipients on earth are prepared for shortcuts. Those who ascend towards enlightenment already have intimations of divine union in their meditative states, just as you did in your sleep before ascending here.’

 ‘I must confess,’ I said, ‘in all my psychedelic indulgences, I don’t know of anyone in my gang that achieved anything more than a momentary state of nirvana, even in their most cataleptic moments. I think, for most of us, it was pure escapism, not much different than going to the pub and getting wasted. That’s why I decided the best way to expand my consciousness was to keep my feet firmly on the ground and study philosophy.’

‘Except when your feet weren’t firmly on the ground while falling through the chasm,’ Eli said, smirking. ‘A rather uncommon approach to becoming enlightened, wouldn’t you say? But then, James, there never has been much that’s common about you or your trips, be they up or down.’

‘No, nothing much,’ I said, ‘except what I have in common with you and Mo… which isn’t very common at all, such as this most uncommon Magic Mystery Tour you have lined up for me. Who needs chemicals when you’re already high on the Summit?’

‘But the tour won’t be about getting high,’ Mo said. ‘As you said, those experiences didn’t do much for the expansion of your consciousness.’

‘Not necessarily for me,’ I said, ‘but are you suggesting hallucinogens don’t help to expand consciousness? Try telling that to Carlos Castañeda and his shaman friend Don Juan.’[5]

‘We’re all different, but that’s not what this is about. As you said, your experiences were more about escapism than serving a higher purpose. I have no doubt peyote and whatever else helped Carlos and Aldous expand their consciousness, along with several others, but that hardly applies to you since you’re already out of your physical body. Where would you be if you were out of your spirit body, too?’

‘An interesting ontological conundrum,’ I said, chuckling. ‘Speaking of drugs and disembodiment, I once had a rather frightening experience while doing opium in Ankara. I remember it took me in a direction I didn’t want to go. I looked in a mirror but there was nothing there to see. That really freaked me out; I never felt so alone. It felt like I had lost myself... quite literally. Really bad stuff I got from a half-stoned Turk in a seedy alley. I guess I was too young to know better, and so it was some time before I did anything that stupid again… perhaps a month or more.’

‘You need not worry about this trip,’ Eli said, ‘yet it will be even more expanding than anything you can imagine, with or without your Turkish opium. Then one day, when you look in a mirror, you will notice that not only are you all there, but it will seem you have more substance than ever, after getting to know your real Self. What you and others appear to be seeing without, will be a reflection of what’s within. That’s what it means to become bigger than life.’

‘In fact,’ Mo said, ‘after your island experiences, you might find yourself awakening to archetypal memories that were derived from the most ancient of ancient days. You were once there; a time long forgotten before earth’s estrangement from Elysium. It may take several years to assimilate what arcana you find in your Egyptian adventure, but as you begin to understand what it means you could show the world its way forward.’

‘Did you say Egyptian adventure?’

‘Of course,’ Eli said, ‘but not until after you return to the earth plane. What you discover there might help save the world from itself.

I’m not sure you are being serious,’ I said, ‘but if you are, how do you propose I accomplish this tour de force?’

‘For now, you need do nothing,’ Mo said, ‘except continue to record all you discover while you remain in this reality and all that you witness on your island ventures.’

‘You mean the Magical Mystery Tour, the big MMT?’

‘As you prefer,’ he said. ‘Let me emphasize that you will experience more fascinating imagery than on any trip before, but without the regrettable experience of returning to a nauseous body.’

‘Taken together,’ Mo said, ‘the retreat and tours after will go a long way in making you the man you’re meant to be. The real test, however, will not occur until you return to the earth plane. It’s only the refining fires of your world that will give unadulterated substance to your soul.’

I wasn’t sure what Mo meant by all that, but decided I should go along for the ride anyway. Who knows what might come of this trip? But I thought I’d hold out a little longer before agreeing to go, just to see what they might say.

‘So, are you in, James?’ Eli asked.

‘I must admit, gents, it sounds most intriguing, but probably not at this time. As I’ve said before, I think I’d prefer to remain her to discuss literature, philosophy and the mysteries of the universe. Besides that, I’m not sure if we’ve solved the really big mystery of what women want. Where else could I go to have these types of discussions back home? I think I need to take advantage of this opportunity while I may; who knows how much longer I’ll be here before the fall guy calls me back.

‘Apart from not having any women here, at least with any real substance, I must say I’m getting rather attached to this mountain life, not to mention all the whiskey in the cellar. And I really enjoy playing cards with you two. I may never know the hand I’m dealt, but at least a card in the hand is worth two in the… .’

‘Okay, James,’ Eli said, interrupting, ‘what we’re about to deal you now, to use your metaphor, is a hand full of aces. So how can you lose? All you need is to play along, take the trip and rake in the chips. It may seem a gamble, but then, what if we decided to no longer be here with you each day? Would you be prepared to go it alone up here?’

‘Rather than having to raise the ante,’ Mo said, ‘we’d prefer that you trust us and go along with our plan. You’re a quick learner, so we’re sure you’ll get much more out of this than sitting around here talking more philosophy. We’ve given you the basics so now it’s time for you to go beyond learning to discovery. Truth will come alive to you when you acquire your own insights into what could never have otherwise been understood.’

‘But isn’t that what philosophers are supposed to do,’ I said, ‘to make truth so real that it might be understood by everyone?’

‘Of course,’ Eli said, ‘words never teach; at best they can only point the way. To truly discover, there must be deeper engagement. Socrates knew this; that’s why the Socratic dialectic isn’t just about learning, but discovering one’s truth through interacting in relationship.’

‘I suppose one may say that,’ I said, ‘since it seems his actions spoke just as loudly as his words.’

‘By identifying important questions through life’s encounters,’ Mo said, ‘one’s actions bring self-awareness. I’m not sure how many of your academic professionals understand this, but then, how many of them would be willing to go on this Magical Mystery Tour? Perhaps none… which is why I think you will.’

‘Think I will what?’

‘Go on this venture so you might rediscover your life, not just from what you observe, but from what your captain reveals to you. He’s been around for a very long time, so is most proficient in this art of teaching. You’ll soon find that he will lead you towards new epiphanies that come from within.’ 

‘And then,’ Eli said, ‘one day you too will become a mastermind who teaches others to discover what they have forgotten aeons ago. It’s rare to find anyone on earth who has your tenacity and determination to leave the security and comfort of the Lowlands that you might struggle up this Summit. Because you have joined us here, we are able to take you higher and higher since that remains your hidden wish.’

‘Interesting perspective, Eli. Have you ever heard of the Afro-American soul/rock group called Sly and the Family Stone?’ I asked. ‘They were around long before I was born; I think sometime back in the 60s. When you said that, I remembered that line they sang over and over: I want to take you higher.[6] Anyway, that came to me out of nowhere; probably not relevant to our discussion.’

‘Actually, it is very relevant since that’s what we really wish to do; to take you higher and higher, far beyond where you’ve ever been before… much higher than this Summit. You ascended this far, but it’s only a base camp for your journey higher up and further in. Your MMT will provide you invaluable training to enable you to climb to ascend even higher while you remain here. We promise you, when you ascend to your final vista, the view will be so spectacular that it only can be seen with your inward vision, not your eyes.’ 

‘That’s interesting,’ I said. ‘You must assume that I’m ready to proceed, as you say, higher up and further in.’

‘Not really,’ Mo said, ‘but we trust you will be by the end of your retreat. Now’s the time to prepare yourself for whatever is ahead; wherever you are, here, there, or on the earth plane.’

‘A most splendid thought, I’m sure, but what is this tropical island retreat all about? From the sound of things, it doesn’t appear anything like nirvana, not that I know what that is.’

‘Perhaps nirvana is something you might wish to pursue in Tibet at a later time,’ Eli said. ‘But that’s not what this is about; rather this is to clear your inward clutter so the light will dawn upon you when you’re ready. Remember, you can’t make enlightenment happen just by contriving it whenever it suits you.

‘Rather, enlightenment is more of an ongoing process of conscious intent, than an actual event. As Mo said earlier, the best you can do is ready yourself, so that when the time is right, it will come to you. And that’s what you will be doing on the island; getting ready to be ready.’

‘How long is this going to take?’ I asked. ‘I don’t think it took Buddha much time… all he had to do was sit there under his Bodhi tree for a while.’

‘Siddhartha’s experience was his, not yours,’ Mo said. ‘Besides, his enlightenment had begun long before he sat under his tree, otherwise, he wouldn’t have bothered sitting there.

‘The voice of I Am will come to you as an inward understanding or knowingness when you are called. That’s why, as we’ve said before, it’s not about apprehending, but being apprehended. Not seizing, but being seized. It speaks not about things, but about your Self, the hardest thing there is to know. That’s because you’re not a thing, but a god that’s forgotten who he is; a vessel containing God’s essence.

‘When you finally come to recognize the voice, it will always be there for you because it always was. You just didn’t recognize it because you didn’t recognize your Self. When you do, you will hear it and know all you need to know.’

‘I’m not sure I understand what you mean by the voice.’

‘This may not be a burning bush I AM, experience,’ he said, ‘so it might not be audible, but what you sense will be unmistakable because it will have come from you, for you, and you only. Not for Eli, not for me, and certainly not for anyone else. Furthermore, you never know where or how it comes, but when it does, it will be commensurate with comprehension and how open you remain to it.

‘That, James, is what you have to prepare for. There’s still too much dissonance within your intellect that gets in the way of clear reception.’

‘So, are you saying I’m too smart for my own good?’

‘If you were smart, you would get out of your own way. Essentially, your mind, in-as-much as you allow, is who you are, even when it gets you into trouble. So try to subordinate it to the voice of the heart… it knows.’

‘I’m not sure I like that word subordinate,’ I said, ‘sounds too hierarchal.’

‘Fair enough,’ Mo said, continuing, ‘obviously, you’ve been listening to those in the Flatlands who so ferociously oppose any such notion. But if you don’t like the term, perhaps we could say aligned with the heart. Many practices have been developed by highly evolved mystic schools and esoteric traditions that require a great deal of silence to hear what the inward voice has to say.

‘You don’t have to be in an ashram since mystical encounters can occur almost anywhere: under a tree, not necessarily of the Bodhi phyla, in the church choir singing the Halleluiah chorus or swimming with the dolphins. As long as love and peace are present, and fear and judgement are not, anyone may receive the light.

‘More often than not, enlightenment occurs in silence when no one is present except the Presence. Then it’s gone again, at least until the next time. Yet the peace lingers.’

‘That’s jolly,’ I said, ‘but the problem with enlightenment is that it always seems to come at such a great price. Most of the famous mystics I’ve heard about had few possessions and even less money, so they paid dearly for these epiphanies.’ 

‘The price you pay for enlightenment is not determined by what is given,’ Eli said, ‘but by what is not given – the less willing, the higher the price. Often much time and effort are required to release what one doesn’t wish to release, such as misguided beliefs. These distractions might have to do with outward fixations related to money, relationships and achievements, but not necessarily so. It may be more subtle than that, such as misguided beliefs that result in pride, fear and vengeance.

‘For this reason, it doesn’t matter how much one has, but what one is.  Out of that essence, proceeds the desire to dwell within the divine light. The light cannot dwell within until one is first willing to dwell in the light. So it is with enlightenment… it can only come to you when you are willing.’

‘This may require the circumstances of one’s life to be significantly altered. But then, I guess you know all about that. Such disturbances are often necessary to get the noisy, distracted mind to settle down long enough to see and hear with inward eyes and inward ears.’

‘Are you calling my fall a mere disturbance? I’m sure the fall guy would consider it far more than that.’

‘Indeed,’ he said, ‘the disturbance was so traumatic that the fall guy still hasn’t gotten over it, even with all the loving care he is receiving.’

‘But this is not about your fall guy body,’ Mo said. ‘You’re the one who requires solitude to deal with whatever has been obstructing your vision. As it is often said, it’s difficult to see what’s below the surface until the mud settles. That’s why the ego-mind is always stirring things up to prevent you from getting to the bottom of what you really are… that being your Christ Self.

‘However, when the heart quiets the confused mind, it is surprising how quickly things become clear. This is what it means to be enlightened, if only for a moment.’

‘But how does one quiet the confused mind?’ I asked.

‘That’s for everyone to discover for themselves,’ Mo said. ‘For you, it may be a tropical island retreat. For the Buddha, the precursor to his enlightenment was to sit under a tree for a very long time. He didn’t read a how-to book… he waited. That’s the hard part; letting the mind run its course so the heart’s wisdom may surface.

‘If it was just a matter of reading books, your whole university would be enlightened. But it’s not. Though most seem intelligent enough, is there anyone in your department you would consider not just knowledgeable, but enlightened? Being bright and being enlightened really aren’t the same thing.’

‘I’m not sure they would agree with that,’ I said.

‘That’s because most intellects fail to understand that enlightenment is not learning about the light since the light is always present. Rather it’s discovering the light by removing the fetters of darkness that we might see things as they are. The light never comes from the mind but the heart. The mind only gives form to the light when in union with the heart, but it is not the light. Remember what you told us about the voice you heard in the mountain meadows?’

‘Of course: nothingness, nothingness, nothingness!’

That’s right; nothing is required, not more books, no more lectures… you need only allow. That, in essence, was the message of the message!

‘Somehow, I didn’t get that message.

‘This is the paradox,’ Eli said. ‘You first be willing to let go of what’s in the way. For example, you wished to learn about the meaning of life and so that’s why you studied philosophy. Yet you found that studying philosophy wasn’t enough. That’s because anyone who wishes to become enlightened must first be willing to surrender all their cherished beliefs in order to hear what the Spirit wishes to reveal. This requires deep reflection and focus, since there’s nothing more undisciplined than the separated ego-mind.’

‘You see, James,’ Mo said, ‘this is the real price of admission to enlightenment: releasing your ego’s beliefs. But it’s not that much of sacrifice once you realize what you’re giving up was never what you really wanted; all those things that held you back from being free and happy. There is nothing about the ego that is desirable since it is that which keeps you in bondage on the earth plane. For you, this is mainly about letting go of what you thought you knew.'

"Then you might find that enlightenment is nothing more, and nothing less, than the absolute transformation of mind, removing all blocks to fear, hatreds, and most importantly, removing all blocks to love's presence through forgiveness and compassion for all things."

‘As you continue to learn and desire only what is true by throwing off the beliefs of the ego and its fearful distractions, you will come to know what you need when you return to the earth plane. Once you know, the means will take care of itself as each step will naturally present itself to you as you move forward.

‘Realize the journey is never over, there will always be new Summits. We never stop ascending into expanded reality. But then, why would we want to?  That’s the nature of the Infiniverse, and since we are its sons and daughters, that’s our nature too.’

[1] In reference to the title of Walt Whitman’s poem (1865) regarding Abrahams Lincoln’s death.
[2] Of course, I was referring to the name of the Beatles’ psychedelic album played at Julianne’s party.
[3] Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a psychedelic drug similarly structured to the body’s serotonin neurotransmitter/hormone.
[4] The Doors of Perception was written by Aldous Huxley in 1954, advocating the use of mescaline to advance man’s spiritual awareness in religion and art. The title was inspired by a line in William Blake’s poem Marriage of Heaven and Hell: If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. As an aside, Jim Morrison of The Doors, named his group, The Doors, after Huxley’s title.
[5] Peruvian-American Anthropologist and author of The Teachings of Don Juan (1968)
[6] I Want to Take you Higher, a 1969 Motown hit song by Sly and the Family Stone.


As I final touch to this post, mystic Ruper Spiro of Oxford has very 'enlightened' thoughts on what enlightenment is and what it isn't.




This is a series of seven Elysium Passage novels regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.  

After experiencing a near-fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding of life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed or could believe.

An engaging and sometime surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality and our ultimate destiny. 

The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.

To read a sample press review at  


                          INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES






The following comments are excerpts from among the first readers including a number of Amazon five star reviews. To read the full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on or directly at 

"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture and humour; Mr. Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”

"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…"

“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"

“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing, but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”

“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting, yet calming, experience that is not to be missed."

"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters, kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."

 “N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."

"I am really enjoying your book, it’s fantastic! It is so incredible and diversified that I can’t really explain it other people, so what I say is just read this book. Thank you so much for the blessings that you’ve given the world!"

“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”

“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous thought provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humor together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”

“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”

“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.

“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr. Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”

“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)

“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.”  (CLARION REVIEW)



The following titles in the ELYSIUM’S PASSAGE series are projected to be released as follows: 

THE ASCENT fall 2021

THE SUMMIT winter 2022




HE ELIXIR fall 2023

THE RETURN sometime in 2024/25






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AMAZON: Elysium's Passage: The Summit and is now available: Go to and click on the Amazon link.