What price we pay for our apparent ignorance. Because we’re unaware that we’re unaware of our essential nature, we take ourselves and life–and its barrel of tumbling circumstances–as real as real. How could we not? Our conditioning has dictated, via the stinging lashes from the whips of reality, that we accept what our senses report without question. Until we knowingly recognize Truth, we are thus ruled by ignorance-based beliefs related to everything we think, say, or do. Our family was certainly not immune to this. The month was May; the year, 1974:
“We think your father has had a heart attack,” came the anxious call from my mother, who was upstairs with my dad. It was about 4:00 pm; and I, sixteen, had just returned from school. My two older sisters came home as soon as possible.
Shock and a depth of fear previously unknown gripped our family, but we clung to our brave facades. “This” could not be happening. By the following day, it was obvious that my father knew what was coming; he talked with mom about being conservative with decision making; of remaining in the house for at least a year. Our anxiousness and intermingled hope gave way to despair when my father died three days later.
My mother, sisters, and I sat on a front pew in the United Church. Below and in front of the pulpit was the casket and my father. To me (and, I assumed, the majority of persons in attendance), it was not just his body-mind lying in that casket; it was him in his entirety. Due to my ignorance of my deeper Reality, it was impossible for me to know his. Handshakes, hymns, prayers, tears, and the minister’s eulogy all blended into a nightmare that refused to end; even when we had followed the hearse to the cemetery and laid my father’s body to rest.
Enough of this pitiful display! Let grief be reserved, and tears be shed, only for own ignorance! I share this account in the hope that doing may help alleviate at least a small degree of suffering. Our relationships (with family, friends, and colleagues) mean so very much. We like, love, and become infatuated with one another one day; and we often fall out of like, love, or infatuation the next. Upon these shifting sands of the mind we foolishly attempt to build our so-called stable realities. Not realizing that it is only through Him that we live and move and have our being, we assume that each of us is a discrete autonomous person; capable in varying degrees of moving through time and space that we assume to be objective. This is illusion, my friends, ILLUSION.
Awareness is the only Reality. Not now, or ever, have we actually been these persons of flesh and bones. Only in appearance has such seemed to be so. Everything–from fairy tales to Ferris wheels–exists only within the illusion. Here, in this relative realm that we’ve assumed to be real, we perform surgeries, land on the moon, wheel and deal, climb mountains, and conduct autopsies on body-minds newly departed. Having forgotten That which we are, we–assuming our avatars to be our ultimate identity–mourn the death of other projected avatars. What term do you prefer for this movie of the mind–dream or simulation?
Pray tell, upon which foundation–the Real of Spirit, or the unreal of matter–have you built the foundation of your life? To not know–“this” is the price we pay! Contrary to what the masses believe, Consciousness cannot possibly arise of “you” and “me;” this world and our body-minds arise in Consciousness. If you are unaware of this, please dare to investigate your blind assumptions.
As for my father, and more recently my mother, I grieve no more; for in recognizing true Self, I now recognize them. They never were their body-minds. To you, my spiritual brothers and sisters, I cast neither opinion nor belief–only breadcrumbs that may help direct you to your own trail to Truth. In a void that can never be pointed to as existing here or there, we, Spirit, remain as Life eternal.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2021 – 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. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🤍