Category Archives: Mysticism

Threshold, Door and Gate: Mettle Maker #253

Threshold, Door and Gate: Mettle Maker #253

    • Stand at the threshold.  Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
    • Open the door.  If you haven’t done this month’s constitutional, get there (see video below).  If  you have, then do this little wrestling conditioner pyramid for variety.  Get out your floor bag and set a timer for 6:00.  Start off with the bag on top of you.  Do 1 Reverse to Top Saddle, 1 Pass to Cross Body (with good form),  and 1 Clock (mat is lava!).  Step over bag and fall back into a Short Arm Bar.  Then to 2 of each and 1 Short Arm Bar, 3 of each and 1 Short Arm Bar, etc.  When the timer beeps, finish the set you’re on and then descend in reps back down to 1 of each.
    • Make your passage. Half mile Balboa run.  Throw a variety of punches non-stop as you run.   Finish faster than 6:29 and you’ve got me beat.
    • scoutingClear the bar.  Can you pass the original 1908 Scout’s Test?  Do you know the composition of the flag and how to fly it? Can you tie the following knots: reef, sheet bend, clove hitch, bowline, fisherman’s,  and sheepshank?  Do you know elementary first aid?  Do you know semaphore or Morse code for every letter of the alphabet?  Can you follow a track half a mile in 25 minutes?  Cover a mile in 12 minutes?   Lay and light a wood fire in the open using no more than 2 matches, and then cook a quarter pound of meat and 2 potatoes with no utensils?  Have at least sixpence in a savings bank (that’s about $10 in today’s money)?  Do you know the sixteen points of the compass?  If not, in a survival situation you’re less capable than an 11-year-old from 1908.
    • Become the gate.  The word “contemplation” has “temple” as it’s root word.  A temple is a space set aside for divinity to enter.  Practice your contemplation so that you can be the gate through which the divine enters the world.   Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm.  Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to dissipate like ripples on a pond and your mind to approach a state of calm and relaxed awareness.  Do not think at all, but especially not in words — do not evaluate, judge, make lists, fixate on emotions, let your mind wander, or any of that.  Just breathe and be.”Lift up your heads, O ye gates,
      Yea, lift them up, ye everlasting doors,
      That the King of Glory may come in.
      Who then is the King of Glory?
      The Lord of Hosts; He is the King of Glory.”
      ~Psalm 24



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

The Essential Warrior Path: Monks, Knights, Jedis, Braves and Adepts

I was reading History and Doctrine of the Rose-Croix by Paul Sédir and I had a realization.   Paul Sédir, by the way, is a pen name.  He was born Yvon Le Loup on January 2, 1871 in Dinan and died on February 3, 1926 in Paris.  He was an esotericist and mystic, author of numerous works on esotericism and Christian mysticism.   This particular book on the Rose-Croix is an exhaustive,  condensed version of virtually everything ever written on the subject of the Rosicrucianism since they leapt onto the scene in the early 1600s.  Anyway, at the end of the book Sédir lists the “Secret Signs of the Adept” as follows:

The Secret Signs of the Adept

1. A Rose-Croix is patient
2. Good
3. He doesn’t know envy
4. He doesn’t hurry
5. He isn’t vain
6. He isn’t untidy
7. He isn’t ambitious
8. He isn’t irritable
9. He doesn’t think ill of others
10. He loves justice
11. He loves truth
12. He knows how to be silent
13. He believes what he knows
14. His hope is steadfast
15. He has no cravings
16. He remains a member of the society forever

And as I read these I thought, “With a few exceptions, this sounds like a list of warrior attributes.” And then I thought, “What are the core warrior attributes?  And how would I arrive at them?”

There are 8 warrior types I know something about, so I decided to analyze their codes, rules, tenets, maxims, and rituals and put them into a database.  From that database I distilled 12 attributes which I expressed as maxims — pithy sayings based on actual expressions of the precepts of the various traditions.  See video for details.

For even more details — all of my notes, much of which didn’t make it into the video! — are available to my Patreon subscribers for as little as $1/month pledge.

Without further ado, here are the 12 maxims.

The 12 Essential Warrior Maxims

  1. Self-control: Be relaxed and tranquil even unto death’s door. (Shaolin)
  2. Courage: Every day consider yourself as dead. (Samurai)
  3. Detachment: Do not display anger or other emotions — be free of passions, yet full of love. (Stoic)
  4. Justice: Everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against injustice and evil. (Knights Templar)
  5. Prowess: Aspire to the height of grace and skill in action, voice and demeanor. (Powhatan)
  6. Education: Read with diligence, and do not rest satisfied with light and superficial common knowledge. (Stoic)
  7. Fraternity: Remain faithful to your friends. (Hwarang)
  8. Indomitability: As the pine scorns frost and snow, stand tall and persevere despite negativity, obstacles, and repeated failures. (Hwarang)
  9. Integrity: Thinking, speaking and doing are the same action. (Samurai)
  10. Renunciation: Give no thought to what you will wear, what you will eat, or where you will sleep. (Shaolin)
  11. Sacred Speech: Every idle word contains a sin; speak therefore little, and then only in truth, care, and simplicity. (Knights Templar)
  12. Stoicism: Never cry out in pain. (Powhatan)



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Independent Catholic Holy Communion: Mar. 21, 2021

I am a Deacon in Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary, and the Host I am consuming in the Communion video below has been Consecrated by my Bishop for this purpose. This is the Body of Christ, and must be given the Sacred Reverence due the Son of God.

Those desiring to follow along and partake of Communion at home should first consider carefully. If you are also a Sacramental Christian, you should observe the guidance of your Bishop, as to whether, and in what manner, you may partake of Communion at home.  Other Baptized Christians should observe the guidance of their Pastor or, if unchurched, discern with the help of the Holy Spirit. Persons who have not yet been Baptized into the Christian Church should not take Communion.


If you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting my work by buying one of my ebooks, shopping at Mitch’s General Store, or supporting me on Patreon.

Recant: Mettle Maker #252

RECANT: from Latin recantare, present active infinitive of recanto (“to sing back, reecho, sing again, repeat in singing, recant, recall, revoke, charm back or away”), from re- (“back”) + canto (“to chant, to sing”)

The first fitness post I made on this blog, the pre-cursor of the current “mettle maker” format, went as follows:

Solo Martial Arts Workout 11/13/12:

1/2 pyramid up to 10 reps: Lunge, Jackknife, Jump Squat, Pike (Total of 55 each, 20 minutes).  500 kicks in combos of 2, 3, or 4 (20 minutes).  Stretching (10 minutes).  Contemplation/Meditation (10 minutes).  Total time 1 hour

I often cringe when I re-read old posts.  I look at this one and I think (a) How does it take more than 10 mins to do those calisthenics? (b) Why would anybody want to do 500 kicks in one go? (c) There’s no definitive evidence that stretching is beneficial to a healthy, uninjured person. (d) What was I thinking?

I feel the same way when I read many of my other old posts about politics, corporate America, religion, and so on.  But I refuse to take them down because they’re real.  I said those things.  I will not to try to sanitize my past.  No backsies around here, only keepsies.

Because, despite all my errors, misconceptions, and embarrassing moments, there is a unified refrain: the pursuit of excellence, sense-making, goodness and indomitable spirit.  If I hide my errors I also hide my improvements.  And thus I fail to let the power of the Divine Logos, to which I owe all that I am such as I am, to shine forth from my face.

So I recant in the literal sense of the word.  I sing back, I sing again, I sing forever.  I confess and reveal my sins and thus proclaim the Eternal Truth that reveals itself whenever and wherever its pursuit is dauntless.

recant: Mettle Maker #252

This week we recant and rehab the first training session on this blog.

  • Reheat. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Repeat.  1/2 pyramid up to 10 reps (55 total) as fast as you can: Lunges, Jackknifes, Jump Squat, Pikes.  This should take about 10 minutes, not 20.
  • Recycle.  Instead of 500 kicks in combos of 2, 3 or 4 in 20 minutes, do 25o vs. air or 150 vs. the heavy bag in combos of 2, 3 or 4.
  • Rerun.  Are you prepared to run to escape or get help in the event of an emergency?  Cover 2 miles as fast as you can.
  • Reflect.   Assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to calm and your body to relax.  Now review the biggest mistakes and sins of your life — the things that most fill you with the most shame and horror.  Now think about all of the beloved people you have known who were taken from this world before their time.  Ask yourself, “Why is it that God has permitted me to live?  What is my purpose?  How am I going to make amends for my mistakes and denounce my sins — not in my words but in my actions?” There is a word for this: repentance.  Dedicate yourself to this and it will change your life.  By the way, this is a condensed version of the second exercise in the first week of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.


TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Independent Catholic Holy Communion: Mar. 14, 2021

I am a Deacon in Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary, and the Host I am consuming in the Communion video below has been Consecrated by my Bishop for this purpose. This is the Body of Christ, and must be given the Sacred Reverence due the Son of God.

Those desiring to follow along and partake of Communion at home should first consider carefully. If you are also a Sacramental Christian, you should observe the guidance of your Bishop, as to whether, and in what manner, you may partake of Communion at home.  Other Baptized Christians should observe the guidance of their Pastor or, if unchurched, discern with the help of the Holy Spirit. Persons who have not yet been Baptized into the Christian Church should not take Communion.


If you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting my work by buying one of my ebooks, shopping at Mitch’s General Store, or supporting me on Patreon.

Bone Shaker: Mettle Maker #251

One of Noah Scalin’s amazing skulls…www.noahscalin.com

The essence, the meaning, the central issue, the tastiest bit — this is the marrow.  To get to the marrow, dive deep.  Get down to the core.

Get dirty.

When you skim the surface of an endeavor, not only do you fail to arrive at its kernel, you reduce the total time and energy available for mining once you decide to dig.  Read that again and let it sink in.

Life is short.  Death is forever.  Don’t waste time getting your head right — right with truth and reality, right with your calling, right with God.

Bone Shaker: Mettle Maker #251

  • “Bones” is another word for dice.  These are Martial Base Fitness Dice (c) and they’re available from Mitch’s General store.

    Roll the bones. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.

  • Break some bones.  Have you completed this month’s constitutional yet?  If not, get there.  If so, do it again but substitute  O Goshi (or similar hip throw such as Cross-Buttocks Throw) for Seoi Nage.  Use the heaviest bag you can manage (60 – 75 lbs. works for most folks).  If you’re stuck, see video below.
  • Rattle your bones.  Are you prepared to go for a strenuous hike — either for fun or in the case of an emergency?  Shoulder a pack of about 2/3 your comfortable max (I used #25 because I rarely hike with a pack >#35) and cover at least 2 miles.  Do this regularly so that you can manage when the chips are down.  Those who never hike and don’t own packs, start with a #10 bookbag and work your way up.  Advanced folks, extra credit if you fashion your own pack from tarp and cordage.
  • Pick them bones clean — apply survival strategy to everyday life.  Wander for hours after realizing you are lost and you’ll waste precious energy and daylight.  Stay put instead.  Make shelter before darkness falls and rest warm.  Assess resources, abilities, likelihood of rescue, etc. Get your bearings by watching the sunrise.  Then, based on facts, decide on sitting tight and signaling for help or hiking out.  Here’s the thing: this is true about other areas of life.  Every penny spent on toys isn’t saved for retirement, every minute spent training low-percentage techniques takes time away from critical skills, every bit of attention paid to the frivolous steals time from the essential.  Where can you scavenge a little more money, a little more time, and a little more attention for the things you really care about?  Chew on this and take corrective action.
  • Feel it in your bones.   Set timer for 10 minutes and practice your contemplation.   Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to dissipate like ripples on a pond and your mind to approach a state of calm and relaxed awareness.  Do not think at all, but especially not in words — do not evaluate, judge, make lists, fixate on emotions, let your mind wander, or any of that.  Just breathe and be.



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Keepsies: Mettle Maker #250

Robert Mitchell (my pop) — November 21, 1934 ~ July 8, 2008

When I was a kid we played marbles.  My pop showed me.  Playing marbles was on the long list of games he had mastered, right along with croquet, dominoes, and checkers.  I never saw him lose at any of those.

When you play marbles you must decide if you are playing for fun or if you are playing for “keepsies.”  When you play for keepsies, you get to keep the other guy’s marbles.  This is the origin of the expressions “playing for keeps” and “for all the marbles.”

Real life is always keepsies.  Get this through your head and say it with me.

Real life is always keepsies.

This is true with regard to your philosophical life, your emotional life, your physical life and your spiritual life.  Thoughts, desires, actions and beliefs have extremely important consequences.

Face reality because life is for keepsies.

This month’s martial focus is Grappling (stand-up wrestling or “clinch work” in the common parlance) and our spiritual symbol is The Bell (contemplation).  All of this month’s mettle makers will revolve around these two themes.

Keepsies: Mettle Maker #250

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Train for keeps.  Complete this month’s constitutional which is all about directly relevant martial fitness.  Get out a heavy bag, grappling dummy, or just a big gym bag full of towels, mitts and gloves and get through this: 25 Seio Nage (put a shirt or sash on your bag or dummy as needed), 100 yards of Bear Walks, 25 Scarf Hold Switches, 25 Bag Lifts (regular or Kansas-style, your choice), 25 Shots, 25 Sprawl ‘n’ Punch, and 1 HB Squeeze to failure.  If you finish in under 15 minutes, go back and do 20% more of each exercises 1 – 6.  If any of these exercises are unclear, sounds like you need to take one of my classes or buy my Scufflin’ Dice program.
  • Move for keeps.  Run 1 mile like somebody’s chasing you.
  • Forage for keeps.  If you want to forge your mettle, don’t shy away from reality — confront it head on.  Get up tomorrow morning, walk out your front door, and give yourself 20 minutes to find breakfast.  You don’t have to actually eat it if you don’t want to, but say to yourself, “If I don’t find something to eat this morning I’m going to skip breakfast.”  I did this on Monday and the best I could do in 20 minutes was some wild onions, some inner pine bark and some pine needles for tea.  Slim pickings in my suburban neighborhood because many of the spring plants haven’t shot up yet — see the video below that I made last March.  A few calories and some electrolytes could make the difference between life and death in a survival situation.  Get dirty!
  • Contemplate for keeps.  There is a common misconception that contemplation is about shutting out the world or “navel gazing.” What we call contemplation is very similar to zazen, the meditation method taught in Zen Buddhism and is closely related to the Christian “prayer of quiet.”   Call it whatever you want as long as you do it.  Set timer for 10 minutes (beginners 5 minutes, advanced folks up to an hour).   Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to dissipate like ripples on a pond and your mind to approach a state of calm and relaxed awareness.  Do not think at all, but especially not in words — do not evaluate, judge, make lists, fixate on emotions, let your mind wander, or any of that.  Just perceive reality.  Click the picture above for more pointers.  Stay with regular contemplation practice and you will begin to “break through” and experience true, inner quiet (the presence of God, theoria, satori, “silent illumination,” etc.).



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Appearing in Sacramental Whine: Chronicling the Independent Sacramental Movement

I’m pleased and flattered to announce that I’m featured in Sacramental Whine: Chronicling the Independent Sacramental Movement by Bishop David Oliver Kling. The book is based upon transcripts of the podcast Sacramental Whine and includes interviews and material documenting a specific facet of Sacramental Christianity, the Independent Sacramental Movement (ISM).

I was interviewed by Bishop Kling with regard to my role as a transitional deacon in pursuit of Holy Orders of the priesthood in Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary.


If you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting my work by buying one of my ebooks, shopping at Mitch’s General Store, or supporting me on Patreon.

Independent Catholic Holy Communion: Feb. 28, 2021

I am a Deacon in Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary, and the Host I am consuming in the Communion video below has been Consecrated by my Bishop for this purpose. This is the Body of Christ, and must be given the Sacred Reverence due the Son of God.

Those desiring to follow along and partake of Communion at home should first consider carefully. If you are also a Sacramental Christian, you should observe the guidance of your Bishop, as to whether, and in what manner, you may partake of Communion at home.  Other Baptized Christians should observe the guidance of their Pastor or, if unchurched, discern with the help of the Holy Spirit. Persons who have not yet been Baptized into the Christian Church should not take Communion.


If you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting my work by buying one of my ebooks, shopping at Mitch’s General Store, or supporting me on Patreon.

Life Line: Mettle Maker #249

No preamble this week — straight to the work.

Life Line: Mettle Maker #249

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • lightning bolt movementCome in under the line. Set timer for 10 minutes and string up a line about jaw height –– hand wraps, jump ropes or Karate belts will do.  Visualize opponent’s head sitting on the line as you move forward and backward up the line, practicing lightning bolt movement and throwing combos from alternating sides of the line.  Start with a jab-cross combo, then move to jab-cross-uppercut, jab-cross-hook, etc.  No idea what any of this means?  Links to home training options below.
  • Go for red line.  As a training session finisher, complete one 50 yard heavy carry (BHC, FC, SC, etc.) at 2/3 of your PR.  Walk it off for 2 mins.  Then push up the weight to PR and walk to failure.  If 2 sets aren’t enough, you aren’t doing it right (I picked BHC and did a #105 and then finished with #140 for 50 yards).
  • master mindGo offline.  When was the last time you put your phone on do not disturb, closed your laptop, shut off your tablet, and spent some time completely disconnected from glowing screens?  Do it.  A whole weekend would be great, but do the best you can.  What do you do with the time?  Cook a new recipe, read a book, play Master Mind (my favorite game) with your partner, or go outside and get dirty.
  • Fall in line.  Last week we kept a notepad handy and gave ourselves demerits for behaving in a manner inconsistent with our precepts (the Five Vital Graces).  That’s top-down pressure, and it works.  But this week, try using bottom-up pressure instead (see video below).  Align yourself with goodness, truth and light like a string on a violin vibrating in accord with the others, or a compass needle lining up with the earth’s magnetic field.  Try to sense when you are “out of line.”  Common symptoms of imbalance are tension, worry, nail-biting, talking to yourself, cursing, impatience, anger, loss of focus, forgetfulness, drumming, and tapping your feet.  When you manifest a symptom, slow down and search yourself for the underlying cause.  Heed the answer, address it sensibly, relax, and move forward.



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!