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What is being spiritual really?

Quite a number of years ago now, I became involved in a Spiritual Teaching, and a Guru. It was fun for a while, but then it turned out that many of the groups publications were copied from elsewhere, and re-published under the name of the founder of this particular teaching. I was a bit upset when I found out, and the long and the short of it was that I parted companies with this teaching, which turned out to be a good thing for me personally, so I am not complaining. However, at the time it was a bit traumatic, and I wrote a story about Guru’s, teachings, copying and tried to work through the issues using fiction.

My story was about a Guru called Sri Pompous Q McNinney, and a renegade disciple called Vortan the Deceptor who stole Sri Pompous’s teachings, and used them under his own name to set up a rival religion.

Here are a couple of Sri Pompous stories….


Sri Pompous Q McNinney tells the following story:-

“Once when I was a young man, I happened to read in the back of a comic book that I could send away and for only $2.99 receive a pair of x-ray vision glasses. Intrigued by the prospect of seeing people’s underwear, I promptly raided the piggy bank, and sent for my pair. I discovered the glasses to be a cheap fraud. But I knew that x-ray vision was no less a possibility because these glasses didn’t work for me. I turned to eastern mysticism, as it spoke of the third eye, and I felt that this might hold some promise in achieving my goal of x-ray vision. Not only would x-ray vision allow me to see girl’s underwear, but I could become a super spy, seeing secret documents inside safe deposit boxes and so on. So I practiced meditation for many years, and in the course of life have become an old man. I’m no longer interested in girl’s underwear or being a super spy. I never did develop x-ray vision. However I have a great recipe for savory millet dumplings in a white wine sauce.”


Sri Pompous looked up from his plate of rice crispies, and saw that a group of devotees were gazing at him expectantly, waiting for his pronouncement of Divine wisdom.

“Go away, you silly people,” he expostulated lovingly. “Go and get your own rice crispies. Let me have my breakfast in peace.”

“But Master,” interjected Vortan the Deceptor, “I have a dozen quotes from as many holy scriptures that elevate the master-disciple relationship to a sacred and inviolable trust.”

“Yes,” replied Sri Pompous, “But not at breakfast time.”

“The disciples are arguing amongst themselves about the precise location of the heaven of the Zanslucian lamas,” persisted Vortan, “Surely it is your duty to settle the dispute so that harmony can be restored.”

Sri Pompous merely picked up his spoon, in the bowl of which adhered a single rice crispie, damp with milk. Holding the handle of the spoon between the finger and thumb of his right hand, so that the bowl of the spoon was raised upwards, he used his left index finger to draw back the spoon in the manner of
a catapult. At once he released his missile, and the soggy rice crispy flew through the air, landing on Vortan’s forehead, precisely at the location of his third eye. There was an audible pop, and in that instant, Vortan the Deceptor became illuminated.

The Presence of the Master

Sri Pompous had decided that in order to reach the true seekers, he would set up an office, with a shop window, in which could be displayed various uplifting Spiritual frescoes and models. The centerpiece was to be Vortan the Deceptor’s model train set, which was to loop endlessly on its track to symbolize the tyranny of Karma and the wheel of births and deaths. It was arranged that Vortan could still play with it between the hours of 9pm and 12 midnight, when passing traffic had died down, during which time he would assume responsibility as night watchman.

On one such evening, as Vortan happily played with the miniature railway, there came a forthright knocking at the door, and Vortan opened it to reveal a plump middle aged fellow, heavily mustachioed, wearing thick framed glasses.

“What can I do for you?”, inquired Vortan, wondering if this were perhaps a seeker after truth, hungrily waiting for his words of wisdom.

“I came to warn you,” said the fellow. “I used to follow that master of yours. But he’s nothing but a cheat and a fraud. I’m a Seventh Day Adventist now, and I’ve come to convince you to join me!”

Vortan was overcome by an intense desire to ring the fellow’s neck, so overwhelming was his outrage at the insult to Sri Pompous.

“You shiftless scumbag!”, expostulated the Deceptor, “you hardly deserve to breath the same air. Why, Sri Pompous is the pinnacle of Spirituality, and you’re a dirty dog. Get out of here, before I lose my temper. Seventh Day Adventist! Bah!”

“Does your master teach you to insult and threaten others, and belittle their religion?” asked the fellow.

“Not normally,” replied Vortan, exercising his razor sharp wit, “but I’m sure he’d make an exception for excrement like you.” At this Vortan spat at the fellow’s feet, and shouted “Be-gone, agent of Satan!”

Immediately, the fellow whipped off the false moustache, and removed his glasses, to reveal none other than Sri Pompous himself, with a pillow shoved inside his shirt.

“Good God,” cried Vortan in mortification, “Sri Pompous!”

“None other,” he replied, then turned and beckoned to a fellow across the street. “We thought we’d test out the new video camera,” continued Sri Pompous with a smile. “Should be a hit at the devotee’s Christmas party, don’t you think?”

If you would like to read the entire story, you can download it here…


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Rebirth and renewal

After an extended hiatus, which has involved starting up a new mundane business, I have finally succeeded in getting back on line with Sulum Factum Magus, at a new web address: The previous incarnation of Sulum Factum Magus was taken down due to being infected with some kind of malware, and with the time constraints of running a new business, I haven’t had the time to get the site sorted again. Now finally, we are back in business, and I will over the coming months re-post old content, taking the time to edit and polish as I go. Some things will probably be better left languishing, but there is much that I want to get back up for people to work with. I will also be adding new content as well. In the mean-time, I have been working with the Fellowship of the Stag and Flame, holding healing circles and discussion nights focussed on self development Neopagan style. I hope that people who find inspiration in the material that will appear under the banner of Sulum Factum Magus, might consider checking out the Fellowship of the Stag and Flame, which will in due course offer mentorship to students of the mysteries.


Robyn Wood