My teacher once told me, “If something is spiritually correct, it must also be scientifically correct.” This makes imminent sense to me and has motivated me over the years to find the parallel streams of consciousness in these two approaches to truth.
The ideas presented in The Mystical Christ are drawn from a wide range of experiences, the most profound of which I had while being trained in the Holy Order of MANS, an esoteric school of initiation, from 1970 to 1977. While in the Holy Order of MANS, I came to know the great Sufi teacher, Murshid Samuel Lewis, attending many of his lectures in San Francisco. Also in SF, during my priesthood training, I took a complete course in the Tarot given personally by Jason Lotterhand, the renowned Tarot expert and one-time head of the Builders of the Adytum in Los Angeles. These lessons were generously supplemented by Mother Ruth Blighton, the co-director of the Holy Order of MANS, who spent many hours with me one-on-one explaining the deeper truths hidden in the Major Arcana, the first 22 cards of the Tarot.
In the mid-1980s, I had the good fortune of meeting, conversing, and meditating with Katagiri Roshi, student of Daisetz Suzuki and head of the Minnesota Zen Center in Minneapolis. One of Katagiri’s students is Natalie Goldberg, the famed author of Writing Down the Bones. I am forever in her debt for getting me started as a writer. Among other books and authors to whom I am indebted are A Course in Miracles, Huston Smith, Joseph Campbell, J. Krishnamurti, and the scientists David Bohm, Richard Feynman, and Hans Jenny. I have also studied extensively the works of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami of the Himalayan Academy located on the island of Kauai.
My first love, however, is the Holy Order of MANS, and I now serve on its Board of Directors. Through the HOOM, I fell in love with the teachings of the Rosicrucians, the Theosophists, and Rudolph Steiner, all interpreted through the inimitable Father Paul Blighton, founder and head of the HOOM. These teachings continue to influence me deeply and guide me in my inner work.
Yours in Christ,
NOW ON YOUTUBE:
Books by Michael Maciel
REVIEWS OF THE FIVE VOWS:
Michael Maciel is a rarity among authors of spiritual topics. He is not only a clear and down-to-earth wordsmith but the depth of his experience of the inner world is evident in all that he writes. This wonderful book is no exception. I know Michael Maciel to be an authentic example of a life crafted by the tools of the vows he so adeptly describes. It took me quite a while to read this little book as it became immediately clear that sentence after sentence was ripe with topics of contemplation. And contemplate them I did!
– Matthias Dominic Indra
Who in this day and age would even consider writing a book on Vows? It seems so “old world” in this age of instant communication, yoga studios sprouting up everywhere, spirituality on the internet. Vows? Don’t miss this book. A real eye-opener. Uncomplicated, straightforward, entertaining, funny, and very much to the point—how to live a spiritual life on the planet earth in the 21st Century. And not live someone else’s life, or what someone else thinks would be “a good way for you to live your life”, but how to find out who YOU are and how to live YOUR life. It doesn’t matter what path you’re on, Eastern or Western, this is a must-have if you’re serious about “finding” the Spirit within. And this will be one of those books you pull out each year and read again.
– Margot Whitney
The Five Vows distills the wisdom of a true spiritual Master into a book that is bound to be loved, treasured and referred to again and again by those fortunate enough to discover it. Of course, books such as this come into a person’s life when the reader is ready for it and some might say that this is not really a book for beginners, however, having said that, if someone new to the spiritual life were to read it, he might thereby avoid quite a few common pitfalls.
The author comes across as down to earth and well-read in a number of spiritual traditions, but above all as authentic. He is clearly someone who has learned to “walk his talk,” someone who can speak about these matters with the authority of one who has really lived them. He has obviously been influenced by the classic Christian monastic tradition—I am sure St. Benedict would love the chapters on Humility, so reminiscent of his own teaching—but the influence of Buddhism and above all New Thought, are also quite apparent. Only a person who has integrated these various influences and actually lived them can present them in such an original way and avoid coming across as “eclectic.” The author manages this beautifully and his book, a real labour of love, seems to flow from the heart, avoiding Catholic guilt and centuries of obfuscation on the one hand and excessive New Age individualism and lack of depth on the other.
Our Lord said, “My yoke is easy and my burden light” and the author really gets across the lesson well that living a vowed life is something God does for and within us rather than something we do for God. There is no life-denying and dis-empowering asceticism here, but rather a call to theosis, a vision of a God in whom we live and move and have our being who calls us to become mirrors of his power as well as images of his goodness.
I have great pleasure in recommending this book to all novices and professed members of my Benedictine community as well as seminarians and clergy of the Holy Celtic Church.
– Rt Revd Alistair Bate OSBA
REVIEWS FOR WORLD PRIEST:
Reading this book felt like receiving oxygen. Michael Maciel’s writing is so clear and powerful, that I took breaks after each short chapter, to absorb the material. There is so much wisdom here, and woven with practical and simple to understand instructions, that I have hope that all who truly want to know and serve God can find resonance here. Michael’s writing is a gift and a invitation, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I know so many that will feel the longing he captured, as I did.
– MaryAnn Fry, Author of Going Naked Being Seen, The Power of Being Real
The World Priest is yet another example of the author’s fearless exploration of the inner worlds and the insights that can only come through direct spiritual experience. The Eternal, Mystical Priesthood Michael Maciel describes is both cosmic in scale and practical in application. It joins his book, The Five Vows in a place front and center not only for those responding to the call to this Priesthood but for all who want to discover what it means to be a priest unto ones own self.
– Matthias Dominic Indra
I’ve read a very wide ranging variety of spiritual philosophy and theology over the years in my quest for truth. This book came at a very synchronistic time and really brought me full circle in a number of ways. The book is absolutely filled with revelatory insights and Maciel is gifted at conveying deeply layered and symbolic truth/wisdom that often gets lost in its “esoteric” nature. If youve ever felt called to the priesthood or have intuited the call to serve and lead others spiritually, I would highly recommend this book. Our world desperately needs men and women who will answer that call – this book will leave you feeling excited to take your spiritual journey to the next level and get busy serving.
– John P. Miller