Methuselah’s Birthday

man in white crew neck shirt wearing black sunglasses holding black ceramic mug
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The golden globe peaks its head above the horizon, and Methuselah smiles. Sunrise–he has won again. “Ahh,” he thinks, as he dribbles that first cup of coffee, “life is grand.” He’s also happy for another reason: Tomorrow is his birthday; he’s turning six-hundred-and-fifty-two “years young!” He’s proud, too, for except for the fact that he’s had to purée his meals since his early 600’s, when his last tooth fell out, he’s in excellent health. He could easily pass for five hundred. All of his friends are invited to the party–oh, wait, they’ve all passed; so he’ll be celebrating alone. “Oh, well,” he thinks, “more cake for me.” His eighth wife (“hmm, now what was her name?” he thinks) would have been happy to bake it for him. Methuselah’s also proud that he’s still active. Every morning, he leans forward and attempts to do one “I-can-still-touch-my-toes.” Trouble is, he lost spincter control (in that region), about a hundred years ago; so every time he bends over, well, let’s just say it gets windy.

***

In truth, our bodies can live to a ripe old age, and we can be healthy, too; despite the picture painted by modern medicine. The greatest error of our human ways occurs when we mistakenly assume our body–the costume–as being our identity. Thus, we naturally fear its “end” because we believe that such equates to the end of me. We are not now–nor were we ever–the body-mind. We are the light that shines through it–the silent witness (Awareness) that has watched as we apparently lived all of our personal shenanigans. Edgar Allen Poe was not merely being poetic when he referred to our lives as A dream within a dream; he was stating fact.

Our misguided fear related to the demise of our body can lead us in many wrong directions. It can lead us to methodically count our vitamins one-by-one every day, and spring in fear if we have missed one; it can lead us to mistake a long life for a good life; it can lead us to deny ourselves decent pleausres that could have added immeasurable joy to our days; it can lead us to postpone plans for the perfect day–that imaginary day that only exists on the horizon of our mind.

Instead of focusing on our little “i,” (the one experiencing tremendous fear during this current period in world history), let’s rally together and joyously celebrate our shared humanity. When we know our true Self, we realize that there is nothing to fear. We can shift our self-centered attention from our conceptual self and help Methuselah–or someone else–celebrate their life. I’m sure Methuselah would be happy if we helped him celebrate his birthday. It is by shifting our focus from the me, me, me that’s afraid of dying, that we truly live. Maybe I could arrange  to have dentures made for Methuselah. What can you bring?

Dare to dream (and discover your true Self).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

The Tale of Johnny Doe

blur boy close up dark
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Johnny Doe has a busy day lined up–very busy, indeed. In the morning, he’s going to beat his heart; in the afternoon he’s going to breathe for a few hours; and in the evening he’s scheduled an appointment with his small and large intestines to digest his dinner of fish and chips. And after performing all of these tasks, he’s going to manage seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling. He might even throw in a little ambulation, coordination, and conversation just to mix it up a little. Johnny’s in charge. What a busy man, he is!

Preposterous? Absurd? Ludicrous? Yes, to all three–the behavior of Johnny Doe certainly is! But isn’t the world telling us that this type of behavior is what’s necessary right now? Have we become that lost that we truly believe we must splash ourselves with alcohol hand sanitizer, or wear masks and hide behind plexiglass barriers to do business? Have we forgotten–as is clearly the case with Johnny–that we were given a miraculous body; one that includes an immune system that functions tirelessly to perform its duty without human intervention?

The false self–that of name (Jane and John Doe) and form–would never agree with this; for it believes that it has to manage everything. This is the fallacy of the conceptual self, the ego; the little “i” that’s running around in our heads. You know–the egoic “voice” that’s having thoughts about this article right now. That is not our true identity. We are the Awareness that is Witness to that voice. We are So Much More.

Johnny Doe would join us in our efforts to protect ourselves; but right now he’s sleeping. It’s a complicated process–sleep. He has it covered, though. Johnny has an arrangement with a good friend of his, Fred. They take turns, spotting each other night for night. When Johnny needs to sleep, Fred ventilates him with a properly cleaned bag valve mask; and the next night, when Fred needs to sleep, Johnny returns the favour by doing the same for him. A pot of dark roast coffee really helps for those all-night shifts. Human teamwork–no need for God, a Power much greater than ours. We can do better than this…I know we can. It just might take a little introspection.

Dare to dream (and discover your true Self).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

 

The Story of T.V.

think outside of the box
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Once upon a time…Tommy Vee used to be Suzanne’s best friend. No matter what occurred in the world, Tommy–or T.V., as he was better known–could be counted on; because T.V. was dependable. On a daily basis, Suzanne looked to him for entertainment, although she readily admitted that most of his entertainment was mindless. Just by watching him, she would find herself smiling or laughing. She had even come to depend on T.V. as a source of news; for somehow, Tommy magically seemed to know the cause of everything that was happening in the world. He reported to her daily. This happened and–this–was the cause.  And that happened and–that–was the cause.  Tommy regaled her with his stories–so much so that Suzanne often found herself hypnotized by them. T.V. reported facts–not hearsay or opinion. T.V. knew it all; and Suzanne was almost always happy to end her day by having a visit with T.V. and listen to him “tell her the way it was.”

But one day, T.V. and Suzanne had an argument–over such a simple thing, really. Tommy had showed up unexpectedly at Suzanne’s home and found her reading a copy of a new book entitled How to Lead Sheep. She was startled by T.V.’s behavior. He was actually enraged–storming about her living room and stomping his feet–and all because he hadn’t been consulted about the book she was reading. Suzanne politely tried to explain that she didn’t have to ask T.V.’s permission to read a book; or to do anything else for that matter, because she was free. Without saying a word, T.V. grabbed the book and hurled it through her living room window. Tommy then stormed out; and Suzanne was left in tears, picking up shards of glass.

A day later, Tommy called to apologize. He offered to bring popcorn and promised to entertain her. But it was too late. Their unhealthy friendship was over. Suzanne realized that she had become dependent on T.V. Now, she knows that she can depend on herself and the Source of her Being. Suzanne’s not renewing her friendship with T.V. anytime soon. She pushed his off button a long time ago.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

Observations in Co-Creation

observations-in-creation

Oh, how I remember the days–when I doubted that I had created the experiences that had occurred in my life. Sure, I reasoned that I had created the good in my life; but how could I possibly have created the bad…and the ugly too? I could not accept this until my study of the Law of Attraction led me further along the mystical path. Then it became clear. Perhaps it’s now your turn. Let’s see if the logic makes sense to you, as it did for me.

To reach that turning point, please contemplate one aspect of your life. It might relate to where you live; your current career; or the partner with whom you share your life. Can you–with just a little introspection–accept responsibility for a result that manifest in the past? If so, can you step a little further into the introspection tunnel and admit “I created that”?” Is it by accident that you live in your present home and location? Or did your thinking play an integral role. Is it by accident that you married your spouse? Or did your thinking also lead to that? And of your career, were you dropped into it by Fate? Or did your thinking–perhaps through childhood daydreaming–place you in your current field of employment?

If you can logically trace the breadcrumb trail of thought–to action–to result in one aspect of your life, you’re in the position of power to create deliberately again. First: Decide what you desire. Make the vision strong, clear, vibrant, and impelling. Second: Believe, believe, believe. Visualize each and every day; making sure to imbue your visualizations with emotion. Feel the aliveness of your vision by engaging all of your senses. Third: Receive through action. When you feel the intuitive nudges to act, step through the door that leads to your desired future and dare to act; even if such action involves facing your fears. When you do, you”ll behold your dream made real.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

 

Place Your Reservation

Place Your Reservation

Imagine with me, if you will, that you walk into a fast food restaurant and approach the woman behind the counter. You look her in the eye and innocently say, “Yes, my last name is Smith and I have a reservation for two, at seven thirty. My friend and I would like a table with a view.”  What type of response do you think you would receive? Imagine with me, also, that you visit the beautiful state of Utah. However, instead of appreciating the beauty of it’s amazing vistas and rock formations, that you’re disappointed because you can’t reserve a hotel room with a view of the Pacific! And–you’re probably asking yourself–the point of this?

The point relates to an axiom of the Principle of Correspondence in the Kybalion, a book of ancient wisdom. It states: As Above, so Below; As Below, so Above. Meaning? It means that there is correspondence–or correlation–among the planes of being and life. The three planes– The Physical, Mental, and Spiritual–are not actual planes but arbitrary divisions or degrees in the scale of life. Such divisions are not hard and fast but shade in and out of one another. The Principle of Correspondence is important to understand, for with it, we can–and will–manifest more effectively.

What does this mean, practically? It means that to manifest more effectively we must align ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically. In the spiritual: We must habitually be whatever we desire. In the mental: we must habitually think of what we desire. In the physical, we must habitually act in ways that reflect what we desire. The three states must align–or correspond–before we’ll experience the manifestation.

Using the analogy of the reservations from the first paragraph, that means that we cannot manifest prosperity by being, thinking, and acting poor. That means that we cannot enjoy health by being, thinking, and acting sick. That means that we cannot enjoy success by being, thinking, and acting failure. To be, think, and act in ways that contradict what we desire–does not make sense; in the same way that seeking a view of the Pacific from Utah does not make sense. You just can’t get that from there.

So, what do we desire? Is it great health, increased wealth, wonderful relationships, or more success? If so, it’s time to place our reservations. How to you do this? Through the powers of our imagination–first. Be it, think it, act it! We must imagine what we desire, and concentrate with patient and detached persistence. By doing so, we’re placing our reservation with the Universe. After that, we have only to remain strong in our faith, and then act upon our intuitive nudges. Law will bring what we desire.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

Risking Life

Risk

All successful men and women are willing to do this to achieve their goals; and we can guess what that is by the title of this article. That’s right: Risk! That doesn’t mean these brave souls just jumped at whatever desire caught their attention. They did, however, take the risk of following their dreams.

The greatest risk that successful people take is stepping out of their comfort zones. They’re willing to leave the supposed safety and comfort associated with their old little self–the one that hadn’t achieved the goals they desired–and risk stepping into the brave new version. In doing so, they not only face the potential negative reactions of friends, family, and acquaintances; but also consequences that may range from financial to emotional. Ultimately they’re willing to risk losing their known way of being in the world to step into the unknown. They realize that only in the unknown–and a new way of being in the world–can they receive what the The Universe has to offer.

Did these brave men and women actually risk failure? No, not at all; for the only true risk is not attempting to achieve our desires. As the saying goes: Don’t die with the music still inside of you! Is risking easy? Are there going to be sleepless nights when we might wonder “What the heck am I doing”? Yes, absolutely; but that–in truth–is part of the excitement. The more often we step outside of our comfort zone, the more comfortable we become doing it! Doing so is just a skill set, like any other; and we can learn to live that way. That’s what successful people do. So can we. When we reflect upon our life, we’ll realize that we’ve done it before…many times. Perhaps we just need to be reminded that we can do it again. Go for it, my fellow beings–I believe in you!

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

 

 

 

All Systems Go!

sea flight sky earth

The mood of a nation–yes, even the world–is dependent on the mood of the people. Why? Because we literally are the world. Each and every one of us matter. By our spirit, we either rise or plummet; by our strength we either swim or sink; by our courage we either gloriously triumph or temporarily fail. We–and know this in the marrow of our bones–are going to get through this present challenge and shine.

As holds true for the launch of any rocket, we must prepare ourselves thoroughly and check our equipment to make certain that all systems are a Go for liftoff. We can do this right here, right now, by checking the systems within our own influence; beginning with awareness of what’s going on within our own minds. Checklist please:

  • Are we breathing right now?
  • Is there some form of food–even if it’s only bread and butter–in our home?
  • Is there water to drink?
  • Do we have friends, even one?
  • Do we still have the strength to be a friend?
  • Are we currently able to rise and shine within the confines of our home?
  • Have we reason to hope–perhaps based on past challenges–that goodness will triumph?
  • Do we possess the concentration to focus our mind upon something positive?

The point of this checklist is obvious, no doubt. Yes, of course, I’m presenting the list to help raise us out of the fear-based darkness of our minds, and into the light of the present moment. The message is intended to inspire us to notice the beauty that still surrounds us…now. This in no way is meant to deny the current situation in the world, or to trivialize any of the tragedies that have occurred. The truth is, however, that sickness and death due to some nature or other is happening every day in this world. The insidious virus of the mind (aka, fear) is far more virulent than anything we may encounter physically. Given the chance it will destroy us.

We can still lift off to a bright new world. To state such is not poppycock or a pitiful denial of what’s currently making news. To overcome our present challenge, however, will require that we deliberately turn away from the tempting–almost irresistible–habit of focusing on every bit of bad news that is currently making the rounds. We possess the strength to see beyond this; and when we do, the attitude and health of the entire planet will reflect our changed state of mind. Ten, nine, eight, seven…

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

Driver Training

driver-training

Oh, how we love cars, especially we individuals who were raised in a western culture. In fact, we love them so much that we can hardly wait to get our driver’s licence. To us, a licence  symbolizes freedom to come and go as we please; to (as Steppenwolf beautifully expressed in “Born to Be Wild): “get our motor running and head out on the highway! Before we acquire our licence, most of us have to pass a Drivers’ Education Class. We must learn the rules of the road; learn when to signal, accelerate, and brake; learn how to steer, merge with traffic, and drive defensively. The lessons were in our best interest. And no less is required as we learn to deliberately apply the Law of Attraction.

Before we proceed, we would be wise to understand just what our vehicle is. It is us–the body-mind. Contrary to popular belief, such is not the sum total of What we are! In truth, we are Spirit, and it is we–the silent witness–that actually drives us through life. The quality of our journey is dependent on our recognition of the One and Only Power there is, and the thoughts that we engage–whether they be positive or negative. Negative thoughts–such as anger, hatred, revenge, jealousy, envy, pride, and selfishness–can never take us anywhere good. They can only lead us to a rough ride…and a tough life. Positive thoughts–such as love, kindness, compassion, empathy, generosity, humility, and selflessness–can only take us to good destinations. How we travel–and the destinations we reach–will depend our understanding and the skill with which we comply with Law.

So, are you buckled up? Ready? Have you checked your mirrors, and left the story of your life where it belongs–in the past? Good, we’re off to a great start! Now, please also know this: There are two simple but powerful pedals that we must learn to operate before we pull away from the curb. One is labelled Fear; it is the brake, for every time we  step on it (allow it to function in our consciousness) our vehicle is going to slow down. The other pedal is Faithit is the accelerator pedal, for every time we press on it (feel the sense of triumphant joy rise in our heart) our vehicle is going to be drawn closer to our desired manifestation! Through the power of Awareness (which can be increased through meditation), we must develop the habit of knowing which pedal we’re pressing upon!

Just as a Driver Education Course takes a set number of days, so, too, will our driver training for the Law of Attraction Course. In this case, thirty days. During that time–marked faithfully on the calendar–we’re going to monitor our thinking while going about our days. Our goal is to engage only positive thoughts. If we find ourselves concentrating on negative thoughts–either big or small–we’re going to start over, and begin our course anew. At the end of thirty days, we will arrive at our destination with a mind trained to focus on the positive aspects of life. The difference this will make in our lives is well worth the effort required.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

Hiding in Our Midst

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It often seems that weeks, months, and even years blend into one another at breakneck speed until we run smack into a barriers that demand our attention: divorce, illness, death of a loved one, financial woes, career issues–these, and now the ongoing issue regarding a virus, are only a few of the circumstances that can cause us to pause and ponder the direction of our lives. At such times, the big questions often loom with great importance: “What do I really want in life? How do I wish to spend my remaining years? What holds meaning and importance?” However, an even bigger question often goes unasked; perhaps because most individuals believe it too simple to even consider. It is this: “Who Am I?” The answer–the real one, not the simple answer for which most persons settle–holds the key that can unlock great joy and peace.

Until we hit that barrier, the majority of individuals will likely be satisfied believing they know who they are. Case closed. We have been conditioned to believe that we are the sum total of name and form. In short, me: Art Russell, the name; and the body that is typing these words. We were programmed to believe this as children; and as the years rolled on, we added more descriptive terms related to nationality, career, age, bodily qualities, personality traits, and tied them together with words such as husband, wife, father, mother, brother and sister. Still, however, we were dealing with a conceptual self, not the true nature of our reality. The word “I,” which is repeated hundreds of times each day, either as a thought or spoken word, lends credibility to the identity that only exists in the mind.

Aren’t we just little John or Jane Does and our accompanying bodies? To arrive at the true answer, we must earnestly investigate. We must be willing to disentangle ourselves from our pat answers and learn to discern between the story of ourselves, and the truth of our reality. Even a little effort will reveal that we cannot be the body because it is always changing. It is an object. We, however, feel that we are the subject. We are the witness of the body; not the body itself. How can we literally be something that has no independent existence. The body is a fabrication of the mind, even though we feel a sense of residency within it. If we pay close attention, we can see–perhaps through meditation–that we can watch our thoughts, in much the way that we watch other objects that seem more tangible. Who, though, is the witness of our thoughts?

Answer: The real Self, which is Universal Consciousness. And this consciousness–the One and Only Consciousness–is not personal; it is impersonal. As it was never born into form, it is not subject to death. How could it be? Yes, the body will ultimately die, but that does not–in any way–mean that we die. We have always been the light that shines through the form; not the form itself. When understood deeply, this knowing can relieve us of so many of the worries that often consume the person, aka body-mind.

Person’s are often consumed with sensory input, to the extent that we rarely question that nature of the witness who knows our experience. To experience this directly, we need only turn our attention inward; toward the stillness in which we recognize that we are the Awareness that witnesses our sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts. Here, right now, is the freedom–from the belief that we are the body and any suffering it may encounter; when we shrug off the belief that we could ever be limited to name and form. We are Spirit. The drama that we witness is played upon the stage of the waking state. We are beyond any of the drama, any of the sickness, and any of the death. Isn’t this reason enough to investigate the nature of our being?

What is the relevance of this right now, especially with what’s going on in the world? The answer is of major import because it can actually free us of the conceptual “self” that is suffering any of the consequences that are occurring. Truth. When we know that we are the Awareness in which the body and world actually appear, we realize that we are just as free now–even with the restrictions to our bodies–as we have ever been. Nothing has truly changed. Through our innocent ignorance, we have erroneously believed that our identity was of name and form. The truth is, is that the personal “i” that we believed ourselves to be is a representation made in mind.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

“Essential People”

the tribunal of the king
Photo by James Finch on Pexels.com

In the small town in which I live, I recently saw a colourful poster staked on the front of lawn of an apartment building. It read as follows: Thank you all essential people!” The contributing artists had obviously spent time and effort to produce a poster that was as beautiful as possible. The message–no doubt–came from a sense of deep sincerity and gratitude.

As I drove past, I was struck with the another, deeper level, of the message on the poster. We should not assume, but in this case it’s impossible to write this article without doing so. Given the world’s current situation, it’s probably safe to state that the message was intended for first-line responders, paramedics, nurses, doctors, lab technicians and anyone else employed in work related to healthcare. If that’s the case, it’s wonderful that people are expressing their gratitude for work well done, especially during challenging circumstances. But what is the other message that is lying just under the surface of the words?

To me, the other message is akin to a situation that might occur in a large family; one in which there were ten children and two parents. Imagine how nine children might feel if one–and only one child–was repeatedly singled out for praise. Would not the nine other children feel, or possibly believe, that they were not special? And believing such, is it not likely that they might assume they had to work very hard to rise to be favoured–to be noticed, to be loved, and to be praised for the good that they do? Until they received that praise, however, those nine children might feel somewhat less than the child who had been praised. They might believe they were unworthy. To live with such emptiness is a desolate way to live; for it places many individuals on a treadmill from which they cannot escape.

The point of this article has absolutely nothing to do with whether health care professionals are the ones (deservedly) receiving praise; and everything to do with a point that is much broader in scope. To habitually praise the good we experience is a wonderful way to live; for it elevates all of us. As Meister Eckhart once stated: “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. The point that I’d like people of the world to know is this: All of you are Essential! A whole is not whole–for such is impossible–without every one of its parts. That literally means that You–whether labelled John or Mary, Miguel or Ruta, Ajay or Urvina–absolutely matter! Your name is not your essence; nor is the label connected with whatever work you perform. Your essential Self is made of the one thread of Gold that weaves through all of us.

So: Thank you to All. You’re all essential. You were born for a reason–a good one. Your gift is unique to you. Be blessed. Be safe. Be happy. Be good to one another. You are loved. And just for the record: A sincere thanks to everyone who is experiencing the current situation in the world, including each and every health care worker! We’re in this experience called life…together.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell