KNow Thyself: AN INCOMPLETE Manifesto of play 

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is more people that have come alive.”
–Howard Thurman

Experiential, magical and deeply imaginative pathworking and body-mind practices of all kinds, culled from humanity's great global Wisdom Traditions, when approached with sincerity and commitment can serve as golden threads that anyone can follow deeper and deeper, and deeper still, all the way back into oneself and on even further into the very archetypal soul of the world where, paradoxically, one arrives back at the beginning again only renewed and transformed, wiser and nothing like what one originally started out as...these are the creative paths of spiritual evolution that deeply affect the very nature of our material world too and much like these opening sentences, are most often experienced as wonderfully winding ways that never seem to end...

These various and multitudes of "medicinal arts" form together to become the life long journey and processes of transformation and transmutation through conscious acts of re-creation that our greatest scientists, poets, artists, mystics as well as plants, minerals, planets and galaxies have known intrinsically but that we everyday humans must consciously choose to engage in because we find that when we do, change our minds and engage, we join in the grand drama of Creation as players in a vast cosmic Play.

Of course it’s all in your head dear one! You’ve just never known how big your head really is!
— Anonymous Magus

The Medicinal Arts comprises a vast and creative world of both inner and outer practices, pathworkings, wisdom traditions, crafts, skills, aptitudes and capacities that if consciously engaged and cultivated can and will, if approached with sincerity and a willing heart - change your life and your karma world forever.

We call this process ART becasue much of the experience of walking any honest path of growth is ineffable and often quite impossible to encapsulate with words. Truth must be experienced directly, incorporated through practice and then lived. Regardless the tradition one chooses to uphold, the true path emerges as each step is chosen and in the end, it is as it should be, only for you to define what your medicinal art is and how to take it. 

The Medicinal Arts have existed since before recorded history on through to this day as an ageless underground river of wisdom that nourishes the soul of humanity and the world. 

Seek less. Create more. Experience everything. Believe nothing. Let The Self be The Guru.Become a verb.

The true invitation reverberating from the beating heart at the center of The Medicinal Arts is one of a life lived as The Artist - in Total Freedom from the known - not labeled as a seeker, not as an architect, not the student, the child nor the master, not even as the lover. Instead, one walks the razors edge, eternally curious and forever in beginners mind, simply and beautifully as Creation Flows so The Artist Is.

We are talking of something entirely different, not of self-improvement, but of cessation of the self...It’s truth that liberates, not the effort to be free...
— Krishnamurti

To begin, we simply observe. We watch and we listen. We receive and we witness. We cultivate a sublime appreciation for what is (wash, rinse, and repeat). After some time practicing these skills we begin to notice that any work of self discovery or the offering up of some skill or talent from within or the honing and development of a state of excellence, learning to build focused attention or nurturing a genius from within is indeed a life long process of self awareness and self mastery. With practice we begin to appreciate the magnitude of the reality of actually transforming anything, especially the Human Ego.

And yet we notice that Creation, in Her starring role as Nature, is effortlessly transforming Herself all the time. The making of any work of art becomes medicinal be(cause) it transforms the maker as well as the world it was made in through the sheer act of it's creation. In this view there isn't much in creation that isn't a form of medicinal art for us, if we want it to be. A sort of play of mindfulness. A divine trick of imagination, to make the making of oneself The (Great) Work of Art. Now, that's quite something...!

And, of course, this is happening all the time - Creation is always creating freely, wantonly, unashamedly. What makes any act of Creation a Medicinal Art is the volitional quality of attention and intention one has cultivated before, during and after as  expressions of The Flow of Creation.


A lifetime of Divine Play within The Medicinal Arts

ultimately serves to make us clay, vessel and fire all at once. To make ourselves and the living of life an endless act of Self-Creation.

Starting, again and agin, with what where we are at in each moment, what we think we're doing or creating in each and every moment, both inside and outside of ourselves as well as consciously and more often than not, unconsciously. This constant movement into observation eventually becomes the great movement within that changes ones inner world first and then flows back again to the outer world to affect change there as well. And on and on this goes until the circle draws itself complete until there's no separation between ones inner and outer world. By first observing this as a natural function of Creation and then eventually finding delight in participating in this dynamic flow again and again and at higher and higher levels of less-ego-centeredness, we transmute the Lead of Ego into the Gold of Spirit, realize True Freedom and become The Artists of our own minds and lives. 

If one feels called, there certainly are clearly defined pathways and masters and guides to take you on what is essentially a path of no paths. There certainly are plenty of teachers looking to teach themselves to others. As AMA we practice, support and teach The Art of Being Human. We observe that there's simply no one path for everyone and what a blessing that truly is. It's quite awe inspiring to contemplate the shear magnitude of the possible paths of Creation. So, we like to ask why take any of them? Why not let the paths emerge behind you? Why seek to follow anyone and why seek followers? That said, there are always things to learn on the path and a true guide can be hard to find much less even recognize.

What a rare and breathtaking Freedom is is to find oneself without any prescribed path to follow, living Radiantly True in Creation just as Creation Is. 

Sadly, we aren't given over to that or any kind of Freedom too easily. We are out egos too, and we love our stories even if they are our cages. For any of us, true wisdom is hard won and borne of daily practice and a lot of painful getting over ourselves that age and experience tends to deliver us clean smack into whether we like it or not. (Perhaps that's the function of our time here, to wear us down and see us remade...?)

The Medicinal Arts are a treasure trove hidden in plain sight shining forth as humanity's true wealth. These paths are for those who hear the artful call of Creation and choose to follow the golden thread through the labyrinth of life and the inner world. For those who remake the labyrinth with each and every choice. For those intrepid explorers who choose to cultivate the courage and curiosity to make their lives their own. For those who are willing take great risks on their own behalf, on behalf of Living As Creation Is. For those who observe that choice is the engine of our evolution and find the depths of this revelation inspiring and curiously seductive. For those who care less about the "how" and "why" and more about the "what" and "what if".

Any path or no path at all, it's simply about observing all of this epic life that's playing out within us and around us from the darkest shadows and into the brightest lights and then choosing as best one ever can, with each breath, to keep playing and making, creating and re-creating just for the sheer pleasure, power and freedom that's experienced in the radical act of making it all up and in return, being remade by all of it.

America is a word with a few possible sacred etymological meanings. Sacred etymology looks for the hidden meaning in words drawing from patterns in ancient source languages. America as a word, from this perspective, means the "the beloved eternal spirit" or "the eternal spirit that is loved". It can also be a combination of Yin and Yang expressed as the meaning "moon eagle". With this in mind one can walk the razors edge following the silvery thread of spirit through all life and within all things. It is uniquely American, this Syncretic, Hermetic, Integral and very Alexandrian approach to living ones life as A Great Work of Art. It's also supremely Romantic and it's an impossible dream...

When your eyes are tired the world is tired also. When your vision has gone no part of the world can find you. Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes to recognize its own. There you can be sure you are not beyond love. The dark will be your womb tonight. The night will give you a horizon further than you can see. You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in. Give up on all other worlds except the one to which you belong. Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.
— David Whyte