The Still Small Voice

One day, Frank became aware.

He became aware that he had been living unaware; that for as long as he could remember he had been existing on automatic pilot. Every day of the week was pre-planned, and so a week, a month, and, thus, a year. With startling clarity, he realized the life ahead of him; and the shadow of his future–scripted by forces not his own–was both frightening and depressing. The revelation foretold the story of a man, apparently alive, standing at the foot of his own grave, awaiting the fall.

As Frank’s level of consciousness increased, he noticed that for years untold, he had willingly subjected his “self” to the “cacophony of the multitude.” The trend had been so insidious that its increasing noise level had escaped his attention. Morning news (“weapons of mass destruction“) was parroted at mid-day and echoed, yet again, at night. Repeatedly, various media outlets offered identical sound bites. For most of his life, Frank had assumed that the intention of such programs was simply meaning to inform; but now, he realized that conform, conform, conform was their more likely message. He also began to notice that neighbours and colleagues, in somnambulistic reverie, were eager to instruct him in action that he should take…if he were wise. “They’re asleep,” Frank now thought, “as was i.”

When Frank examined what he had assumed to be his life, he discovered that the grooves of his own patterned ways were very deep, indeed. He realized (from the perspective of witness), that he always stirred the milk into his coffee with three clockwise turns–not two, followed by a tapping clink of the spoon against his favourite mug. He realized that he prefaced many sentences with the word actually, for no apparent reason. After showering, he realized that if it were not for awareness, his right arm would always reach to dry his left shoulder first. From his new vantage point, Frank intentionally severed as many patterns as possible; and as a result, he felt more alive than he had felt in years.

On that day that Frank became aware, he made a promise to himself, which he has kept. The promise is that he would always favour the Still Small Voice within, instead of the cacophony of the multitude. Much later, Frank discovered that the Voice that guides his actions is referred to in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Frank also wisely follows another action. When persons ask him for his opinion, it is to “That”–their own Still Small Voice–that he politely suggests they turn.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

I’ll Be With You…

Most of us are familiar with the saying, “I’ll be with you in a moment.” We have probably heard it or even used it ourselves. It’s often stated in polite conversation, to indicate that there will be a short delay before an intended interaction will occur. In the majority of cases, it is uttered perfunctorily; in much the same way that an empty glass is handed to someone who is thirsty for water. If we care about the depth of our communication (and I hope that we do), we would be wise to contemplate the deeper meaning of the expression.

In the deepest sense of the saying, it’s actually impossible to “be” with someone in a moment. By the most literal interpretation, Being only occurs in the eternal and timeless NOW. To accept anything less, means that we are dealing with the concept of time and, thus, interactions between conceptual selves. What this basically means is that my thought of “me” is dealing your thought of “you.” While this may seem to be of trifling consequence, I assure you it is not.

To the degree that the interpretation of the expression differs, the communication between persons is highly vulnerable to conflict or misinterpretation. Why? Because the definition of a “moment” is subject to various opinions. To one person, a moment is literally one second–one little blip of a digital time piece. To another person, a moment, used offhandedly, might signify a lapse of five or ten minutes. Of course, we’re well aware that all of our words are not interpretted literally; it’s up to us to determine when we are speaking literally or figuratively. A personal best habit, however, would be to choose our words wisely.

The most important point of this article (of truly being present) can be expressed more easily through the following: Have you ever shared the company of someone and asked, or been asked, “Where are you?” If so, you understand that the two persons, although physically close, were dimensions apart. One might have been quite present, awaiting a reply. The other, due to physical fatigue or a busy mind, may have drifted mentally and, thus, not been present. To truly “be” with someone (in various situations, as deemed socially appropriate), we must meet them at the level of heart. In this placeless place of sympathetic resonance, words and actions do not occur.

If we desire to truly share openly and honestly with other dear souls who are taking this apparent journey called “life,” we owe it to ourselves and them to be “here” with them NOW. To do so requires that we get out of our busy mind and be present: such is the price of admission to real, meaningful communication. In time, everyone is being defrauded, in varying degrees. When we, as Presence, are there for “others,” we also benefit; for this means that we’re not functioning on behalf of the “voice in the head” that claims to be our real identity. With regard to issues that really matter, to settle for anything less than heart-based communication is to offer an empty glass.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Chain of Gratitude

Recently one morning, I had finished eating my breakfast of poached eggs, when a thought entered my mind about gratitude. I was actually brushing my teeth when it occurred. I found myself thinking, “thank you for my breakfast.” Just as quickly, another thought related to gratitude entered my awareness; leading to the following chain:

  • Thank you for the eggs.
  • Thank you for the bread, butter, and plate.
  • Thank you for the frying pan and stove.
  • Thank you for my kitchen.
  • Thank you for my refrigerator.
  • Thank you for my apartment, electricity, and running water…

As you can readily tell, the list of related items and conditions for which I gave thanks are like links of a chain. I soon actually chuckled to myself, because I realized the chain is endless. I’m glad that a willing and eager desire to offer thanks is within me. Such is part and parcel of realizing a good life.

I am not advocating a Pollyanna approach to life–far from it. People who deliberately give thanks still encounter challenging situations. My point about offering sincere gratitude is related to the science of neurophysiology. Hebb’s Rule, or Cell Assembly Theory, basically states the following: neurons that fire together, wire together. By practicing gratitude, we’re actually training our mind to deliver a positive outlook, which equates to less suffering.

As this relates to the law of attraction, it’s important to know the following: Whatever we practice becomes performed more easily. It, thus, becomes our habit. This also includes suffering and pity parties, in which we have trained our mind to label situations negatively. We can avoid worsening challenging times by ingraining a perspective in which we deliberately seek out the good that surrounds us. It is here. Napoleon Hill, who wrote Think and Grow Rich, was well aware of this. I offer one of his famous quotes:

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

Gratitude, habitually and sincerely expressed, has the power to transform our lives. Circumstances and events that might have been considered commonplace (such as a breakfast of poached eggs) become miraculous. You might ask yourself the following: “What have I trained my mind to focus upon–that which I’ve labelled good, or that which I’ve labelled bad?” If you’re seeking to improve the quality of your life, I highly recommend introducing, or continuing, the practice of gratitude. Breakfast anyone?

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Lock, Stock, and Barrel

The expression “lock, stock, and barrel” is commonly interpreted as the following: the all, entirety, or completeness. Initially, it referred to the three major components of a gun. This article has nothing to do with guns, but it has everything to do with knowingly recognizing our essential nature.

***

How completely gullible “i” was; so completely trusting. I believed the story of “Art,” lock, stock, and barrel. Until a few years ago, I assumed that all of “my” life events and circumstances were, indeed, factual: that i had been born to Katherine and Walter Russell. If asked about my upbringing, i would have shared about being raised in a rural setting, with two loving sisters and wonderful parents. We were rich, indeed, in family. How fortunate we were to love one another so whole heartedly.

Major details, accumulated along Art’s way, would include travel, adventure, writing, paramedicine, marriage, children, and divorce. Of course, there would be other minor occurrences, labelled either good or bad, that I accepted blindly and dealt with as effectively as possible. There would be suffering, too, both physical and mental; but I’m grateful that such caused me to go within and question my uninvestigated assumptions.

Liberation, aka enlightenment, means to be freed from the belief that you are the person. To awaken to the recognition of our essential nature, beyond name and form, is much similar to the way that a person awakens from a nighttime dream. When daylight dawns, the majority of persons yawn and stretch, and believe that they are now in foundational “reality.” We accept that the events that occurred whilst our body-mind slept were only dream happenings; that the scary dragon of our dreams wasn’t actually real (in the usual sense of the word), and neither was the daring rescue from the skyscraper, or our parched drama in the desert. We assume, however, that our morning coffee and a shower are very real, indeed. In actuality, it is all a grand illusion (as is this, right now); produced, directed, and created by the one-and-only Infinite Living Mind.

Little did I realize at the time, but by not realizing That which I truly Am, karma would decree that “i” would figuratively shoot myself in the foot repeatedly. I’m sorry to say that “others” were occasionally wounded. With this knowing, we are wise to remember that this–even the reading of this article–is occurring within the framework of a dream. This Spiritual knowing confirms what science realized about apparent “matter” more than a hundred years ago–that it cannot be said to exist independent of the mind that perceives it. As we recognize our essential nature in increasing numbers, our collective dream experience will reflect that positive energy. Each delusion that falls away allows me to knowingly see more clearly That, which I truly Am. More importantly, it also allows me to know the The Greatness That Is You.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Almighty Fearlessness

Have you experienced fear that robs you of the joy of each moment? Have you, as the person, been afraid of the so-called future? Have you, in the dark of night, tossed about in a bed of worries about the coming day? If such is the case, there’s a solution of which you may be unaware. Here, I offer you a short passage from Teachings of Ramakrishna:

Q: What is the nature of absolute reliance?

A: “It is like that happy state of comfort and satisfaction which is felt by a weary man when, reclining on a pillow, he smokes at leisure after a hard day’s toil: it is the ceasing from all anxiety and fear.”

The peace that is described in the passage is not achieved by actions taken by the person. In fact, to attempt any actions from that perspective will almost certainly fuel our anxiety, or at best allow a brief reprieve. To rest in peace, deeply and fully, we must recognize our essential nature beyond name and form. To do so is to discover the peace that passeth all understanding.

To understand this clearly, it’s important to realize that fear which arises in the form of persistent anxiety and worry belongs to the perspective of the false self, also referred to as the person. Our body-mind is imbued with natural protective instincts that are intended to keep it safe; these usually function perfectly and should be heeded. However, prolonged anxiety and stress is generated by the fictional “i,” which believes itself to be separate from All That Is. Fear of any nature does not belong to true Self, because That which we truly are has nothing to fear. Since it is One, there is literally nothing to oppose It.

How do we adopt this point of view? We do not attempt to do anything from the human perspective; and neither do we repress our fears and just pretend to be brave. In both cases, we would merely be adding another layer of belief to the false self. To arrive at true fearlessness, we must go within and knowingly recognize That which we actually are. To do so is to practice self inquiry. When we habitually become still (meditate) and know that I am God; we realize that we never were the person. We are Consciousness, in which the perspective of our body-mind appears. It was only our our human conditioning that has made us process experience in such a fearful manner.

When we recognize that our higher Self is actually in charge of our life, we realize that we are free to live fearlessly. We learn to trust and have faith during circumstances that seem very uncertain. And the more that we trust That, which is our true nature, the more easily we flow with life. John 14, offers more words of inspiration: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Birthday Assumptions

On my apparent birth date, “i” (baby boy) was consciously unaware that such was the donning of a costume named “Arthur” that “i” was destined to wear. In a continuous display of magic, that costume of flesh and bones transformed from baby to infant–to child, teenager, and adult. At birthday after birthday, cakes with lighted candles were placed before me; and “i,”–so fortunate–silently affirmed my future wishes. To have questioned any, or part, of these celebrations as unreal would have seemed ludicrous. Just one finger held to a lighted candle would have verified the facts. Here, though, is a passage from Hebrews 11:3, which might help us investigate those apparent facts more closely:

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,

so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

What do you think that this passage means? How very strange to state that “things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” The passage means that objects, persons, and the world have no independent existence, apart from the mind that perceives them. They are made of, and known by, the only Substance that is: Consciousness.

When we assume ourselves to be a relatively long-lasting “self” in time/space, the weight of personal history labelled mine often becomes burdensome. Due to ignorance of our essential nature, we attempt to carry our experiences, instead of allowing them to flow to, and through, us. Because of this attachment, even the pleasant past memories related to family and friends may give rise to suffering; especially if they are no longer currently present. In our blind assuredness that we know all there is to be known, we unwittingly invite suffering to come and visit. Too often, it comes to stay.

Until a few years ago, I assumed everyone and every object in the apparent world to be as real as real could be–that they were discrete and independent of my mind. How could I have possibly known that my body-mind is actually a character in a dream of my own making? When we experience nighttime dreams, we naturally assume that our character and the dream are real. The food in our dreams is hot and spicy; the beverages cool and wet. A high mountain peak is covered in snow; a desert, filled with sand.

It is only when we awaken that we realize that all was but a dream.

This, dear friends, provides a major clue to a deeper understanding of our essential nature. We may know life, stripped bare of assumptions, here and now. Is it not so, that the reading of this article, could also be occurring within a dream? If not, how may we be certain? Is it not possible that the mind that weaves our nighttime dreams could also be creating our daylight world? What if there was only One Knower/Creator that was dreaming our various roles? Could it be that the Creator searched the world over–seeking “others” to play our apparent roles–but found no other than Itself existed? Such would imply that “i’ was God incarnate. So, too, are you.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

“Spelling” Success

In the following fictional account, I share real tips that I hope will help you experience more success in your life, both personally and professionally. As the title suggests, it relates to casting “spells:”

***

Kate and Sloane, who are now forty-three and forty-five respectively, first met when they were young children. They liked each other immediately and soon became best friends. During the long hot days of summer, they enjoyed spending time together as often as possible. They took great joy in sharing their secret dreams of success–of countries they desired to visit, businesses to start, and possessions to acquire. Excitedly, they would high-five each other and exclaim, “Yes, we can do this!

When they were in college, the difference in their approaches to life became evident. Although both of them faced challenges, Kate somehow managed to surmount them fairly easily. Sloane’s life was filled with struggle–with his grades, part-time jobs, and relationships. Undaunted, he vowed to work harder to achieve the success he deserved. Over time, their friendship slowly drifted apart. Their lives diverged in other ways, too. Kate did, indeed, achieve the success she had envisioned; Sloane, however, did not.

From a law of attraction perspective, the difference in their level of achievement resulted from the ways that they were spelling success. Whether we realize this or not, everyone is casting “spells” via our habitual thoughts, feelings, and actions. Kate happily performed her work “from” the perspective of already being successful. She was living her passion, which made it natural to feel successful. This was the paradigm (pattern, or example) that she carried within her wherever she went. Sloane, on the other hand, performed his work with the dream “of” one day being successful. He reasoned that if he worked hard enough, he would finally achieve his dreams. The subconscious paradigm that he mentally carried was of his self-proclaimed past failures. He talked about them frequently. Kate had mentally claimed her success, before it manifest; Sloane was mentally chasing success that he hoped to experience in the future.

***

The reason for the varying degrees of success experienced by Kate and Sloane is related in the following passage from Matthew 13:12:

For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance;

but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

Whoever has” refers to those who have claimed their success and prosperity in consciousness (in health, wealth, and relationships) and, thus, carry it with them in the core of their Being. “Whoever does not have” refers to those who carry subconscious paradigms of failure and poverty.

This message is echoed in the following passage from Proverbs 23:7:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

If you’re seeking success (as you, yourself, define it), you might consider asking yourself the following question: Do I already possess my success at the core of my being, or do I hope to experience it in the future? Just for the record, no one has ever experienced the future; in other words, “you can’t get there from here.” We live eternally, now.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Notes From Beyond

In the spring of 2019, I was drawn to purchase “I Am That,” which is considered a spiritual classic. At the time, I was consciously unaware that its content would play such an important role in liberating “me” from “my” life. The book, which relates the wisdom that Sri Nisargatta Maharaj shared with seekers of Truth, has a bold and highly recognizable design–a bright yellow border that surrounds a black inlay, with the title “I AM THAT” in the center. After I finished the book, I immediately began successive readings in which I highlighted quotations that resonated with deep meaning, such as the following:

Both sleep and waking are misnomers. We are only dreaming. True waking and true sleeping only the gnani [sanskrit, “wise” or “sage”] knows. We dream that we are awake, we dream that we are asleep. The three states are only varieties of dream state. Treating everything as a dream liberates.”

From the materialist paradigm (example or pattern) of reality, the quote will seem ludicrous. After all, this world is real, and we know itor do we? What could Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj possibly have meant? That we would be perplexed by, or totally discredit, his message is understandable; for we have little or no way to process it. Since our apparent birth, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the “world” in which we rise and shine is comprised of solid matter. However much that we assume this, science has been unable to discover “matter” that exists independent of mind. Perhaps the following quotes will help shine more light on the nature of the world and our essential Being:

The mind is the creator of everything.”

The Law of Success, by Paramhansa Yogananda

***

Phenomena only ‘exist’ in the mind that perceives them.”

The Tibetan Book of The Dead, by Sogyal Rinpoche

***

All your body sensations, all your visual and audio input, the body itself, all the objects in the room, all the objects in the sky, everything–it all exists in aware [Consciousness].”

Liberation Is, by Salvadore Poe

**

It is not the body that contains Awareness and separates it from the world, but rather our true body, Awareness, that contains the body, mind, and the world.”

The Intimacy of All Experience, by Rupert Spira

***

If you understand that this is all illusion, the body, mind, and all that you see and perceive, then I can say you are on the right path, and you’ve understood yourself.”

Illusion vs Reality, by Shri Ranjit Maharaj

***

This world is a play of the mind.”

Thought Power, by Sri Swami Sivananda

***

The Absolute [Consciousness] is the only reality, all else is unreal.”

Teachings of Ramakrishna, by Sri Ramakrishna

***

The world which is described from observation is a manifestation of the mental activity of the observer.”

Neville Goddard’s Interpretation of Scripture, by Neville Goddard

Humankind’s understanding of the nature of reality has been erroneous for hundreds of years. Do not the occurrences in nighttime dreams seem very real–until you awaken? Such is the case with the continuing drama of “our” life in the waking state. So-called “matter,” our body-minds, and all apparent objects only exist in Consciousness. The brain does not give rise to consciousness (the hard problem of consciousness) ; consciousness gives rise to the apparent brain. Yes, dear readers, this means that YOU are dreaming the reading of this article right now. We are Spirit, eternal, having an apparent human experience within the Divine Matrix. Have you been told stories to the contrary?

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Forever Now

Alice kept a close eye on time. It was a driving force in her life. She was fascinated by it, at least when it wasn’t driving her around the bend. The thought of ever being late was a stimulus that could set her pulse racing. She had a small collection of favourite watches; one for every occasion. Every spring and fall she even synchronized her watches with Greenwich Mean Time, to ensure that their time was as accurate as possible.

One afternoon, Alice and Blake (the new tenant down the hall) engaged in a brief conversation. It began when they stepped onto the elevator of their apartment building, and he noticed her glance at her watch.

“Nice watch,” Blake said, smiling. “Is it new?”

“Thank you,” said Alice. “I’ve had it for about a year.”

It’s odd, isn’t it” said Blake, “we count something that doesn’t exist.”

“Say what?” said Alice, with a puzzled look.

“Time; it’s just a concept. All there actually is, is the eternal now; but humankind mentally slices it into arbitrary measures that we label seconds, minutes, hours, and days.”

“But there’s even atomic clocks,” said Alice. “They’re incredibly accurate.” The elevator doors slid open, and they stepped out, onto the 8th floor.

“Yes, I know,” said Blake, “but they’re still just measuring a concept.”

“I’m not sure that I know what you mean,” said Alice.

“Can we sit for a minute?” said Blake, with a glance toward the bench opposite the elevator. Alice nodded, and they sat down.

“This might help,” he said. “Time is just a convenient concept. It’s basically a framework that we use to arrange our lives. It allows us to get to appointments on time, and schedule a conceptual future.”

“Conceptual?” said Alice, perplexed.

“Yup, conceptual. Let’s try this,” said Blake. “If I asked you to meet me at McMillan Park this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. to go for a walk, when do you think that would take place? That is, if you agreed.”

“Well, this Saturday at 2:00 p.m.”

“This is where time gets tricky,” said Blake. “Our walk at the park could only take place now.”

“But that’s crazy!” exclaimed Alice. “Now, we’re sitting on a bench in our apartment building.”

“Is it?” asked Harold. “Can you ever live the future, even half an hour from now?”

Alice became still, and a grin swept across her face as she arrived at her answer. “No, I guess not.”

“We only live now,” said Harold. “It’s all there is.”

“I agree,” said Alice. “It’s important to be in the moment.”

“We can never actually be in a moment, either; because a moment is still a measurement of time. It might help if you considered the Now as a constant backdrop, rather than a measurement. We literally can’t escape it.”

“This is so strange,” said Alice.

“I agree,” said Blake. “We live our lives as though a real past and a real future actually exist; but they don’t, and they never will. The past is just a conceptual period in memory; and the future is just a conceptual period in imagination.”

“So, if I understand you correctly,” said Alice, “you’re saying that this morning at my job doesn’t really exist.”

“Not beyond memory, no,” said Harold.

“Sure feels real,” said Alice.

Harold smiled. “I know. I learned something from Eckhart Tolle that helped me understand this stuff more clearly. Here’s an example he gave about the past: He said that if you had a time machine and could push a button and travel backward in time–say to the 17th century, that you would still step out of the machine and say, “Now, I’m in the 17th century!”

“I get it,” said Alice, smiling. “And now, I guess I better get these frozen groceries into the refrigerator before they melt!.”

With that, Alice and Blake stood and headed off in opposite directions to their apartments. He had only taken a few steps, when he turned around and said, “What do you think about having a walk in McMillan Park? Would you like to go sometime?”

“Sure,” said Alice, with a smile. “Now?”

***

Dear Readers: Have you been carrying worries that belong to the false self in time/space? They do not belong to the real YOU.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Story of Gain and Loss

The paradigm of reality which I relate in this article is radically different from the one that we’ve been conditioned to believe. Almost everyone, particularly in western-type cultures, has been programmed to blindly accept that they are a separate self (the little “i”) who either gains, and is, therefore, labelled a success; or losses, and is, therefore, labelled a failure. Due to this, we naturally judge the value of our apparent life and that of people around us by this criterion. Such could be described as a competitive way of living at best; a treadmill of despair at worst.

For many, this societal system based upon comparative ranking is the cause of many sleepless nights and an underlying stress to perform. “Yes,” says the little i-voice within us, “if i perform well enough, i will then receive what i need.” That need is usually the desire to be loved. The trouble is that this little i-voice lives a life that toggles between success and failure on a regular basis. It is a fickle phantom, inclined to whimsically praise or criticize. Any success that is achieved is eventually replaced by so-called failure. It is this erroneous belief that leads to false pride and boastfulness in so-called winners; and their opposites in the so-called losers. We might contemplate the situation of a star athlete who is happy as long as his/her career is going along well. What happens in retirement, after the glory days are over? What then?

The compass related to the “personal” story of gain and loss points only outward or inward. In the outward direction, persons continue to believe that if they work harder, perhaps in a different arena, they will achieve the success (and, thereby, love) for which they yearn. In the inward direction, the failure-related suffering can be so great that Grace (our higher Self) appears and points us to a deeper dimension of Self, which transcends the world of the person. The majority of persons may be unaware that success based soley on outer circumstance must ultimately fall to its opposite. How could it be otherwise in an ever-changing world?

What I’m suggesting is that the quality of everyone’s worldly experience improves dramatically when we catch the thief—the egoic “i”—before it steals more of our innate joy. Being is easy. Attempting to be a “successful person,” however, is riddled with pitfalls and problems. Buddha called such Dukkha, which loosely translated means “stress” or “suffering.” When we investigate the nature of the little “i” that has been blindly chasing gains and shunning losses, we may discover—sometimes quite suddenly—that the “i” that we’ve been attempting to appease truly doesn’t exist.

In the paradigm of reality that I refer to as Truth, every person and everything flows from One Fountain of Divinity. As droplets of The Divine, each of us possesses unique talents that are intended to be expressed. We might imagine this as dipping our ladle into the Ocean of Universal Consciousness prior to incarnating. The droplet of consciousness labelled as John Brown, might later express a talent for carpentry or the practice of medicine; while the droplet of consciousness labelled as Jane Smith might later express a talent for writing or the practice of law.

Upon recognition of the truth of our Being, we naturally transition from the competitive mindset and embrace our collective talents and abilities. Everyone is viewed as being essentially equal. No one is above or below “another;” for ultimately we realize that there is no “other.” In recognizing our Oneness, we appreciate All. When this occurs on a grand scale, everyone experiences a more peaceful and beautiful way to live. The phantom storyteller of gain or loss is nowhere to be found.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers