What Is a Functional Reality? – Can It Include Spirit Guides?



Learning From The Other

In our own minds we engage in fantasy and dreams. We also explore legends and myths. But I have also found that my understanding of reality or lack thereof has been built by my clinical experience which means interacting with other people. I found it essential to adopt varying frameworks when I was talking to people. Each of their worlds may be quite different from my world and that means there is a different reality. Early on in my studies I was told that being involved in psychotherapy meant learning from your clients. How true. Not just in psychotherapy, but learning from others is a lifelong process.

Don’t Talk About It!

It is really odd that in most of our lives we simply do not discuss this much. But at the same time I understand why we don’t. What a time sink! In contrast I would argue that it is a worthwhile time sink if we would only focus it. We need not spend all our time on it, but in a social context, for example, we can clarify our policies in a meaningful way if we will see how and why we differ and how it might be reconciled for the common good. In governance it is useful for conservatives and progressives to talk together to construct a functional way forward. Too often it becomes an unproductive ideological battle. Functionality may begin with an abstract approach as we look toward the future of humankind.

Where Is This Going?

When it occurred to me that I wanted to write a post about functional reality I had a sense of what I was thinking. Let’s face it, if you are going to write something it helps to know where you might be going with it. In preparation I googled it and to my surprise I found I was not alone in thinking about it. See what you find when you google functional reality.

Functional Versus Unfocused

I found it useful to create a view of functional reality in my thinking for my clients and as I said I believe it is useful in social planning. Of course, while dealing with the lives of real people it cannot be anywhere near as abstract as this discussion.

We move to another range of functionality when we think about stewardship whether it is of our fellow humans or our planet. At that point we come to a utilitarian functionality.

Varied Tools and Ways Forward

And there is the matter of tools which leads me to my interest in speculative fiction. In fiction we can create a functional reality of sorts which guides the development of our story and our thinking. That in turn lets us to look to future possibilities in our writing and for our own lives.

Maybe I’m a little odd in that regard, but I like to know where I’m going and love to look ahead in other regards. In short, I like to speculate. Perhaps you have similar inclinations. Who knows? We might even uncover the meaning or existence of things such as spirit guides. We really do not know what other life forms there might be nearby. And particularly as we forage in creative lands it just might be that we will get unexpected guidance. Or, sometimes, it is a matter of being willing to go out there and just take a look. There is a range of functionality. There is what serves for right now and it extends out to the utility of what might be and where our dreams may lead us.

What is the usual focus of speculation for you? Do you have a spirit guide?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon page

Someone Precious



Is there someone who travels with you?


She never told me her name. I call her Companion. Often she sits looking off toward a distant horizon seeming deep in concentration. I wonder what holds her attention but do not ask. I think I know. Clearly she has a world of her own but I know she is there for me. In fact, while I don’t know her name, I know who she is.

Every man travels through life with a woman inside of him—his anima. Our relationships with them vary considerably. A man’s anima may take many forms and may be touching, loving, a dangerous seductress, a harridan. What form of her a man carries is a mystery. If we are fortunate, we discover her and her purpose for us. Or at least she may be a resource.


To me my Companion is a loving creature. In times of pain or desolation I call her. She comes to me and we rarely speak. She knows what I feel and we talk in feelings. To travel through life with her is a great gift I don’t know why I deserve. But she gives balance and richness in feeling and perception. Her perceptions are rich and revealing of truths too often beyond easy grasp.

She is part of me but also a spirit and I believe I know what holds her attention in that place far away. It is the meaning and substance of the Tethyan people Companion has brought me.


On Earth we wonder about the destiny of humankind. We seem to grow in fits and starts from our conflicts and presently appear to be entering a culmination. Companion introduced me to the Tethyans and their story suggests the meaning of the empowerment of women. Opposition to that empowerment is strong and bears only bitter fruit but the roots of our beings suggest it is women who will bring fulfillment and help us harvest beauty and quite probably a transformation.


Companion inspired me to write the story of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. The process is rich in conflict but also promise. We cannot be sure, but it seems there is a process of development of a kind we may not have yet perceived. It is all potential and we can hope it will be inspiring. It is a matter of asking what might be and exploring alternatives. Through empowerment comes true partnership between men and women which brings a joining or interface between the two universal forces of the Mysterium and the Maelstrom. I will explain a possibility and it is best done through the story which is now unfolding.


For me life means being enticed to search possibilities. All things may have meaning but typically are not definitive. It is what they may be or could be or where they might lead that constitute the real venture of life that we have been given. The title of this blog is Cusp of Reality because that is how I perceive the world. There is no firm reality and, as you will see, the common theme of the coming posts is possibilities. As I said in a previous post my third grade teacher told my mother that I had a lot to offer when I was in class. That meant I had taken a statement or a thought and flown out the window to explore it. And I continue the explorations in the blog posts to come.

Do you have a form of companion?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

My Choice of Mysterium



What did you conclude after reading about Mysterium Tremendum?

The Library of the Unconscious

Up front I have to tell you about my curious brain. I have files in there that were chosen for retention because I found the item interesting or important in some fashion. All too often the item may not be attached to the data which suggested to me I should be storing it. Such is the case for the term Mysterium.

When I set out to write the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy there was much of it which was ill-formed. In fact, I did not set out to write a trilogy. It just became a torrent which I knew related to my regard for the empowerment of women, what it represented and where it might lead humankind. Early on it was apparent that at least some of these women were extraordinarily engaging to the men they met. Beck, the lead male protagonist, was utterly enchanted by Avery with whom he fell deeply in love. Out came the term Mysterium to describe her ability to passionately engage and “bewitch” him. But it was not just bewitching which can be pejorative. It was to form a deep, extraordinary, passionate experience which enhanced their lives together. I happen to be an ardent fan of the Mysterium and chose to make it an important part of the story.

Enriching Fiction

Recently I thought it best to describe the meaning of Mysterium in more specific terms and I went googling. What I found was pages of references to a board game. Not what I had in mind. And then I happened across the material in the post of January 18th.

It seems I had filed the term decades ago as I was foraging in the world of Carl Jung and James Campbell. And there it was as something which well described what I was seeing in the relationship forming between my lead protagonists.

As it developed in a world of empowered women who were tended by our Earth Mother Gaia, it became clear to me that it explained something. I believed it related to a process, a perception, and experience deep down in the human psyche. Intuitively I felt it explained the opposition by men to the empowerment and equality of women.

A Universal Phenomenon

We see the desire to contain the influence and power of women everywhere, in every culture and it has always mystified me. And now I’m going to tread into territory where I think many of my male compatriots may take extreme exception. But, I’m going to say it anyway. The impact of a woman’s mysterium strikes deep into men. I believe the power it exerts threatens their sense of their own power.

Lets face it, from the beginning, men’s power has been a significant force. It was essential in our most primitive days to survive and to defend. It is so fundamental that it is not easily contained. Then comes a woman who is attractive and draws us in. We use words like bewitch which is often how men experience the attraction. And then in lovemaking an extraordinary climax is reached and as it ebbs the need for it subsides and with it much of the feeling of power. Then a man experiences alternatives. He can be disturbed by her power and what has happened to him and the two of them or he can rejoice in her, hold her close and revel in the experience of the endorphins they share.

Plumbing the Depths and Overcoming

Yes, I hear you. It is much more complicated than that. Yes, it certainly is, and when we reach deep into the human psyche and extraordinary experiences, we cannot crisply define what we find. But, I believe this is our nature and it is a major contributor to the irrational fight to contain and restrain women in all regards. And it is my belief that in the empowerment of women we are seeing a process that will help us accept it and all its many benefits. And then, in the end we will have true partnership and discover its true meaning and glory.

Much more to come over time.

Do you find these thoughts intriguing or do you hate the very idea of it?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery Amazon page


The Myth Underlying the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy: Part 5


Join us at cuspofreality.com. the commentary, join the conversation, and get the FREE Novella at publication.

Another form of empowerment of women?

Because of the nature of the conflict, the Progenitors and Primals had to be prepared to defend themselves and their defense could not be passive. They knew, when it was essential, they had to be aggressive and unforgiving. If they were to prevail over the forces they were up against they might have to meet brutality with brutality. In that regard they had a sophisticated and well prepared warrior class. This class was composed of women.

In our world there is a mythology which referred to a warrior class of women as Amazons. The legend of the Amazons is, indeed, derived from this class of women warriors except today they are far more sophisticated and are integrated into our societies across the world. They stand to defend the Primals and Progenitors and all things which are sacred and essential in this movement to preserve and elevate humankind. These women are called Andromeda. The name relates to one meaning of the word which is “ruler of men”. They took their places among well tended societies but they were prepared to respond aggressively.
She came from a Primal family and was headed for an education at La Sorbonne in Paris. Her grandmother was an important figure in the environmental defense community and it seemed she might follow her into the future. That is, until her grandmother was murdered. The event changed her future dramatically and she was insistent that she would become a member of Andromeda. Her inclinations, in the end, led her deep into the spirit world.


#women rising

#empowerment of women

The Myth Underlying the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy – Part 2




Join us at cuspofreality.com. Follow the commentary, join the conversation, and get the FREE Novella at publication.

Does the coming empowerment of women mean we are beginning a resolution?

In the beginning, in order to compete with other animals on the planet, these beings created tools and used their capacity to formulate culture to aid in their development and endeavors. The males would have to be larger and more aggressive to ensure survival. The females were smaller, generative in agriculture and the arts and produced the children. They were central in tending cultural development. In the beginning they held less power but Gaia knew that their time would have to come and that, while generally less powerful physically, they would have to assume a different kind of power. True partnership between the males and females would become essential. Predation among these beings would have to be contained.

Over time these creatures collectively known as humankind had become successful and ruled the planet. But a final struggle was taking form. It was the struggle Gaia knew was surely inevitable. Over the millenia the clever animals were assuming diverse ways. Some were inclined to be dominant and aggressive and continued their predation in a myriad of forms. Others were more inclined to stewardship whether it was of their own people or the planet itself. Sooner or later Gaia knew there would have to be a definitive confrontation and resolution.
Beck Eriksen – lead protagonist
It was all so simple. He earned an engineering degree, then an MBA following the track his father had foreseen for him. Then he got a job with a defense contractor headed by an unscrupulous Overlord. He couldn’t have dreamed of or considered this fate. But Avery was with him and deeply committed. And the most wonderful thing was that he was not threatened by her lush Mysterium. In fact, he dove deep into it with her. Life was often difficult but she made it all worthwhile. He was her rock and knew they would prevail.

Life Among the Living


Do you have a special myth you favor?

Many of us don’t consider it unreasonable to ask if angels really exist, do we have spirit guides or how real our day or night dreams are? Certainly there is a great deal of speculation about paranormal phenomena. There is no point in trying to comprehensively enumerate the various kinds of life forms there are or may be. And related are various forms of consciousness that may be related to them.

In fantasy, science fiction and paranormal fiction we see various forms of exploration and belief. The fact of the matter is that it is unreasonable to dismiss any of them out of hand. I consider myself to be a very rational person which translates into meaning rationally it is unreasonable to dismiss them.

Other Life Forms
Alternatives are seen in the belief in spirits of all kinds. We love to think about them, love to read about them and write about them. It seems, though, that we cannot definitively establish their existence. And there is a very sound reason why we can’t. As human beings we have a very specific sensory system which is meant to help us survive in what we call the real world. In most instances we don’t need to sense spirits in order to survive.

Likewise, the head of the patent office early in the twentieth century declared that they might as well close up because everything that could be invented had been invented. He was just a little bit off base or, not in touch with reality. At that time we hadn’t mastered wave lengths for radio or other forms of communications. Now we know that there are all manner of waves humming around us that we can’t sense ourselves.

Dismissing Nothing
As I already noted I was told I was getting an education in being a scientist. Well, as a scientist I have come to understand that it is irrational and unscientific to dismiss all these various kinds of possibilities. But still we torment each other. We cry, “Get a grip! You can’t know that. Get a life. I have one and you don’t”. But the fact remains that what has been speculated may well exist and it may be that we haven’t yet been able to reach out to the other life forms—yet. And so we write about them, give them lives we create and yearn for the future. And it is so enriching to engage in this search and speculation. In fact we have better and richer lives when we do it.

Let me know when you have made contact. I want to meet whatever it is. At least as long as its friendly and is willing to share. For now please share your thoughts with me/us.  rogerbburt@gmail.com

Dedication to Our Angels and Spirit Guides – Women


How important do you think recent changes in empowerment for women will be?

An Underestimated Wave for Our Future
This blog addresses a number of themes which play out in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. The fact that we live on the cusp of reality is one of the themes. Another central one relates to the empowerment of women and the fact that women are rising to full partnership with men. I chose to make women central to these books because of the importance of the changes. The mythological context gives it life and highlight.

We live on a planet and woven into our mythology is the name Gaia. She is simultaneously our goddess and our planet itself. In a variety of ways she is our spirit guide. Isn’t it interesting that this being is a woman. Atlas is said to hold the world on his shoulders but the planet itself is a woman. Of course she is our mother in many ways and our image is born of the woman who bore each of us. And there are the angels who have stirred us over the ages.

Rising Feminism
Let me go to another level. I am a dedicated feminist. I must confess I’m not entirely sure how this commitment began. Perhaps I should take myself into therapy to discover why. Except, of course, I don’t consider it problematic and it gives me no trouble whatsoever. So, maybe I’ll just probe it in this blog and the trilogy.

But it is clear that the subject of women rising needs attention because it is clearly happening in a way that exceeds anything in human history. Let me point you toward an essential book. It is Uprising: A New Age Is Dawning for Every Mother’s Daughter by Sally Armstrong.

I won’t even try to summarize this amazing book here. It is a must read and spells out the essential direction for women and humankind as a whole. The implications of the work brought tears to my eyes. It has been a long struggle for humankind and while our conflicts still rage we may be seeing light at the end of the tunnel and that light is seen in the eyes of women.

And So I Forged a Story
My perception of the coming age of women and their importance led me to place them as the central force in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. Men are involved in the story but women rising and how they shape the outcome of the story makes them central and essential.

I’ll be blogging a lot more about women in this series. Who they are and who they are becoming is deep in a growing reality as well as being found deep in mythology. In mythology we often find great truths and these themes about women belong in the speculative fiction I have written. Variously we see them as our angels and spirit guides.This is going to be a very interesting journey indeed. And the women we share it with are truly exciting.

What do you find most interesting about the world of women? Where do you think it will lead?

The Meaning of Reality – An Ancient Mystery


Do you consider reality mysterious? Have you ever heard that question before?

In Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery, the first book of the trilogy, our heroine, Avery, had constructed her reality around her current life and dedication to microloans for women in the third world. Suddenly that reality was shattered and her adventure began.

Let’s begin with some definitions of reality:

The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
The state or quality of having existence or substance.
(I have no idea whose definition those are. Google sent them to me.)
(The next two come from Merriam-Webster) The quality or state of being real.
The totality of real things and events.
(And here is one from Dictionary.com) Something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.

Oh dear. Now we are in trouble. These definitions clarify the nature of reality not at all. It seems I am to get over it and just accept that reality is real. Really? Or perhaps I should turn to prophesy, visions of the spirit world or fantasy.

What About Being a Visionary?
My philosophical nature gets in my way but I find it all up to interpretation. And that’s what I mean by an ancient mystery. There are enduring mysteries and dreams. Simply accepting reality as reality is considerably less intriguing than to pursue speculation and evaluation of possibilities. Perhaps there is no fixed vision but the process can be fascinating.

Okay. Let’s Begin With a Reality Being Presented to Us
For example, there was this morning. When I opened my eyes I saw the reality presented to me. It was, however, conditioned by my mood. Was it a good day or a bad day? What did my perception of the weather tell me about the moment or the day ahead? But that reality may change over the day and is different every day.

And there is the matter of how we see reality as we proceed through our lives. As a child I passed through various realities and the same can be said as an adult into old age. It gets even worse when we are dealing with other people. Surely you have been in a maddening discussion with someone who has no shred of agreement with your perception of reality or the topic at hand. We learn to simply move on.

We Choose a Path
Mostly we ignore the problems with this morning’s reality. We gloss over the issues and proceed with our day. Deep inside we assume we have the proper view of the reality. And the same process occurs as we move toward our future life.

And when I was engaged in providing psychotherapy, I had to be aware of the intangible nature of reality. Were we dealing with different views or insanity? I had to adopt a viewpoint or we were lost. And I had to understand the goals of my client and their view of reality. The issue was how to gain a perspective to deal with the problems they were having in their lives.

The bottom line seems to be that we reach some common agreements about reality or individually and collectively we are lost.

Have you seen a failure to address reality? What happened? Join the conversation by emailing me at rogerbburt@gmail.com.