Mystic DudeWelcome to my blog. A place where I scribble about my life; stuff that messed me up, stuff that I messed up, stuff that interests me; things that transformed me, things I feel are important; stuff I am passionate about, stuff I have learned; or just senseless rambling about nothing at all like this long-winded post about my background. So here I go. I have had, and continue to live, something of a maverick or renaissance life where I passionately purse many different professional, intellectual, academic, spiritual and creative paths – as well as many different careers – without any particular destination in mind. In other words I coddiwomple. I travel purposefully and passionately through life, with a vague destination.

Although it may be difficult to define or categorize me due to so many different careers and varied intellectual pursuits – and apparently not much of a destination in mind –  I do feel I have a singular purpose during this corporeal existence: develop and expand my capacities as a self-conscious human being to their fullest extent, and share what I learn with others so they may also lead a purposeful and flourishing life of self-discovery.

For the most part my interests, passions and careers fall into three broad categories…

  1. Technology & Research
  2. Psychology & Spirituality
  3. Psychedelics & Wellness

… and so I have provided a bit of background on these categories below. What I am trying to accomplish with this page is to provide an overview of my life, interests and philosophies along with some background information which have contributed to creating the man that I am today, a Jolly Mystic Dude.

(1) Technology & Research Interests/Background

While studying Neuropsychology at Simon Fraser University in the 80’s, I started a computer company called Academic Computers. The purpose of starting this company was to ensure I remained current with the rapidly evolving technologies which I knew would play a significant role in my future. For the most part it was always a part-time venture as I earned a living through other means such as working as a research assistant, doing some statistical consulting and working with youth. Applied Statistics was a minor and I discovered that I had an aptitude for statistics and research design and so this eventually became a career as a Statistical and Research Consultant with clients ranging from academic scientists, Master’s and PhD candidates, the Ministry of Forests and numerous marketing companies.

Although I returned to academics in 1998 at UNBC to pursue a Master’s degree in Consciousness and Applied Statistics, losing my graduate advisor and general discouragement with the program led me to leave in 2001 before completing my thesis. I was still operating my technology company part-time under the name Open Enterprise Solutions to reflect my support for open-source technologies and software which were growing increasingly popular in governments and businesses around the world. I decided I would focus on a business and technology career with an emphasis on the Linux operating system and other open-source technologies for business. The reason I focused on this particular area of technology was due to the philosophies of community, collaboration, shared-value and shared-knowledge which is the foundation of the open-source development model. A technology and community philosophy mirrored by the South African philosophy known as Ubuntu (which is also the name of a Linux distribution). The word Ubuntu roughly means “I am what I am because of who we all are” and is a philosophy which considers the success of the group above that of the individual.

I chose to promote, support and advocate for open-source software not only because it is a grass-roots, collaborative and community-based method for developing powerful, secure and inexpensive software (often free), but because I believed the underlying philosophy of sharing knowledge and value would be beneficial in many areas outside of software development. As it turns out I was right as we now have massive global movements towards Open Science, Open Access, Open Government and the overarching concept of Open Knowledge. Not to mention the growth of Social-Enterprises, Social-Entrepreneurship and Shared Value Economies which recognize and support the underlying interdependence between corporations, its people and the community. Open, egalitarian, collaborative, participatory and social – this is how we will create an optimal future on this planet.

The underlying and important philosophy here is Ubuntu. We are better off when we work collaboratively though a community-driven process of sharing knowledge and resources. This collaborative philosophy literally gave us the Internet which is overwhelmingly driven by open-source software. Most of the largest technology companies and infrastructure software used in critical applications (super computers, air traffic control, space shuttle launches, the Android operating system, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things etc) are usually driven by Linux and other open-source software. But this philosophy of focusing on the community and sharing knowledge and resources also has implications for our ability to thrive both individually and as a species on an increasingly crowded planet. This leads me to the psychological and spiritual aspects of my personal life, and ongoing education.

(2) Psychology & Spirituality


Psychology - Johnny StorkIn 1991 I earned a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Neuropsychology and Applied Statistics from Simon Fraser University. In 1998 after a few years of working with and developing programs for, violent and sexually offending youth, I started a Master’s of Science program at UNBC in Consciousness Studies and Applied Statistics.  I also worked as a Research Assistant in a Cardiovascular and Emotions Research Lab. Due to losing my advisor (who was the only faculty that could advise me in structural equation modelling), conflicts with the department when I started a consulting team of fellow graduate students developing adolescent sexual/violent offender programs for the Ministry of Children and Families along with some personal problems, I left the program without completing my thesis and began a career of business and technology consulting primarily in the areas of Linux and other open-source software.

In September of 2012 I returned to graduate school to begin a Master’s Program in Transpersonal Psychology. After completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Transpersonal Studies from Sofia University, and a Certificate in Mindful Habit Coaching, I completed a third Master’s program in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology through the Alef Trust, which is accredited by Middlesex University in the UK. My areas of study in this graduate program include Consciousness, Meditation & Mindfulness, Shamanic Psychology, Spiritual Awakening and the role of social-media in supporting well-being. My thesis title was “A Facebook Strategy for Well-Being” which I will soon be making available online in a simpler format for those who may wish to deploy the strategies I found which led to improved well-being on Facebook (and could be applied to most social-media platforms).

The renaissance of interest in Eastern spiritual philosophies, various mystical traditions, meditation, ancient and aboriginal wisdom, as well as the widespread psychedelic experimentation during the stormy 1960s, made it absolutely clear that a comprehensive and cross-culturally valid psychology had to include observations from such areas as mystical states; cosmic consciousness; psychedelic experiences; trance phenomena; creativity; and religious, artistic, and scientific inspiration.
(Stanislav Grof on Transpersonal Psychology)

Spiritual Life

Spirituality - Johnny StorkAlthough I was raised in a Lutheran family, other than going to Sunday school a few times, religion or any other form of spirituality was not really part of my early childhood. When I was around 14 or 15 I was introduced to the writings of Carlos Castaneda which was my introduction to both spirituality (Shamanism) as well as altered states of consciousness. I was captivated by the stories of journeying, hallucinogenic plants and the mystical experiences and shamanic teachings which Castaneda was given under the apprenticeship of Don Juan Matus, (Yaqui “Man of Knowledge”). There is no doubt in my mind that my spiritual interests, personal practices and even academic and professional pursuits all stem from that early introduction to Shamanism.

More background content coming….

(3) Psychedelics & Wellness

More background content coming….

Personal Philosophy

As a result of various personal experiences, decades of reading and learning about many of the world’s Personal Philosophyspiritual, philosophical and scientific traditions, I firmly believe that our civilization is in need of a significant paradigm shift in thinking, learning, educating and communicating, if we are to succeed in the future. I believe this paradigm shift can begin through the collective impact of individuals realizing and living through their True Nature. I believe this True Nature, or Buddha Nature, the Ultimate Reality, the Perennial Philosophy is transcendent of traditional human sensory experience but can be experienced and reinforced through meditation or other spiritual and introspective practices – as well as through the expression of Genuine Compassion. I also believe this True Nature can only be described, or defined, through metaphor and the creative expression of gifted artists. I don’t believe anything truly worth knowing, is directly knowable by man.

The ultimate, unqualified mystery is beyond Human experience”  (Joseph Campbell)

I also believe that our apparently obvious and self-evident perception and experience of separateness or individuality is a common and pervasive form of collective human psychosis and delusion. Our perceived separateness from others is an illusion and the basis of many of man’s individual and collective problems. The most important and consistent message from most of the world’s spiritual, philosophical and even scientific traditions is one of Fundamental Interconnectedness – UNITY. We are all truly a singular, unified global community of Interconnected Organisms and need to think, speak, act and engage with our fellow human beings with this as our Guiding Principle in order to Transcend our Digital Human Freight.

Tat Tvam Asi – We are It, Thou Art That

Why “Jolly Mystic Dude”?

I have come to realize that the philosophies, values and attributes I have picked up along my journeys through life, seem to reflect a general sense of optimism (Jolly); strong leanings towards mystical teachings and experiences (Mystic) and I am very much an Old Hippie with strong Taoist leanings (Dude – The Big Lebowski).

Hence the self-appointed moniker Jolly Mystic Dude.