All of our lives we’ve heard about the number of cars produced by a plant, electronic parts produced by various countries, the number of widgets and gidgets we’re expected to produce at our jobs for any given hour of any given day. At the job that paid my way through college I was expected to help produce, pack and load X number of boxes of butter per day. Sometimes that was only fifteen thousand pounds. Sometimes it was twenty-five thousand pounds or more. For a scrawny college kid who didn’t weigh a lot more than the boxes he was throwing…


You are the prize in your life. The greatest prize you will ever receive. First, however, you have to do something intensely profound.

You have to be willing to do the work necessary to have a deeply spiritual life. Eating, sleeping, breathing and all those other physical things humans perform perfunctorily will not make you the prize you desire to be.

Neither will going to the right schools. Studying the right subjects. Being born from and knowing the right people. Getting the right job.

The world has enough women and men who consider themselves geniuses. Let them be happy thinking…


The times in which we live are as tumultuous as during both World Wars, the Industrial Revolution and the simultaneous nationalist revolutions. We are living during one of the most unsettled times in history.

Humans and our lack of humanity are the cause of the tumult.

There is the false supposition that prior to 9/11 America and the world were much better off than in the twenty years following. Anyone who is old enough to remember the decades before 2001 knows the world had already spun off its spiritual axis.

That axis which keeps us sane, balanced and fully alive…


Daily we tell ourselves we’re moving forward with life. Pressing on with whatever we’re convinced are the important matters at hand.

It’s about such time that we frequently get another postcard from our past. Another reminder of where we have been in our life.

Every postcard, every reminder of our personal history is an opportunity to either stay mired in the mist of our personal mythologies or create new legends. It’s a fresh prospect of how we think about our lives — how we live all of our goals, not just material goals — and life in general.

In the…


Look for…. Keep your eyes open. Watch out! There are many different versions of saying the same thing. We hear them at home, work and out in public. Sometimes we pay attention.

Sometimes factors outside our control keep us awake. Taking care of someone ill. Loud storms and fireworks. Either a new moon or full moon can cause sleepless nights. The changes in tides, especially for people living near large bodies of water, can pull the strength out of us or fill us with incredible energy.

There are also the times when an inexplicable feeling grabs hold of us. We’re…


Live with your eyes, mind and soul open. If you choose, your life can be hard. Regardless of our background, where we come from and where we plan on going, that is the reality for most people. They choose to think that life has to be constant drudgery.

Be aware of the fact that it is a choice. That’s the way people before us thought it had to be. It’s what we learned. The old American idea is that we have to pull ourselves up by our boot straps and plow on. No matter what.

If only that were the…


Welcome to summer in the American South. It’s hot. It’s humid. We all want to be someplace other than where we’re sweltering.

It doesn’t even seem like rain helps in this part of the country. Almost as soon as it comes, it passes and the world heats up again.

This is what it’s like for a Yankee enduring yet another summer in the South.

As much as the weather grinds on our nerves and makes even the most level-headed a titch testy, some people are able to find peace and serenity. …


It’s been said that spiritual health is like coffee. We all have our own special blend.

There are days and even weeks when we feel like our life is a bland drip. One day after the next is a great big blah. Other times we could swear that life is the perfect espresso blend. We are full of zip and vigor. Our outlook is totally positive.

It is how we want to live our entire life.

In fact, we can.

When we remember to believe in ourselves, when we exercise our faith in ourselves and in the Spirit, life is…


As you are hearing and seeing on the media, this summer of 2021 the Western United States is on fire. There were several years when forest fires were all around where I lived. In the Central and Eastern states there were a day or two of heavy smog caused by the fires. The smell may have filled your nostrils and even burnt your throat. There may have been air quality alerts in your area.

That is a small fraction of what it is like to live in a town where the mountains all around can suddenly be up in flames…


Expect good things from yourself. It is why you are here, why you were born. You are on this earth to be a good person. To be the good person you need yourself to be to accomplish your personal life goals.

Step up.

Embrace yourself.

Embrace yourself completely, the good and the bad. It may sound strange, but when we accept and embrace what we judge to be bad or wrong or incomplete within ourselves, we become more.

With that knowledge we have the ability, should we so choose, to be surprisingly kind to ourselves. Not lenient. …

Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is an American mystic, author and blogger. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” discusses his lifelong mystical experiences.

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