Three-B And The Mystery Man

Bartholomew Bentley Beckham (better known as Three-B, since he was a child) was bothered–a lot. He grew into that way of living and unconsciously clutched it, the way that a four-year-old child clutches an ice cream cone. He was bothered when projects didn’t turn out right; he was bothered by weather that didn’t behave; he was bothered when siblings, friends, colleagues, and strangers made remarks that irked him. He once had a rant for a full day…about an increase in the price of stamps. To Three-B, this was not odd in the least; it was his habitual way of living. He accepted it fully. The possibility that life could change for the better never occurred to Three-B. That is, until…

One day, at the age of forty-two, Three-B was sitting on a park bench for his lunch break. As he examined the sandwich from a local fast-food restaurant (the order was incorrect again!), his facial muscles assumed the trademark grimace that friends and family knew all too well. It was at that instant that a mystery man with white hair and a cane approached him and asked if he could sit on the other end of the bench.

“Certainly,” said Three-B, feigning politeness with a nod. In truth, he would have been happier to be left alone with his misery.

“Thanks,” said the man, who sat down, propped his cane against the bench, and began to sip his cup of coffee.

Again, another nod came from Three-B as he took a mouthful of food.

“Something bothering you?” asked the man.

“My lunch is wrong,” mumbled Three-B. “I told them to hold the mayo, mustard only. I also asked for pickles, but they added tomato instead.” To the mystery man’s shock, Three-B then spent the next fifteen minutes recounting an unwanted summary of the other horrible aspects of his life.

“I see,” said the mystery man. With great daring, he said, “Would you like my opinion?”

“Not really,” replied Three-B, with an automatic look of disdain.

Undaunted, the man said, “It appears to me that you’re unaware of a great secret, the ignorance of which is hindering your enjoyment of life.”

“Oh, yeah?” said Three-B, with a roll of his eyes.

“You’ve made the mistake that the majority of persons do in an incarnation; they identify completely with their dream character and assume that it has independent existence of its own. It does not. Nothing does. To quote The Tibetan Book of The Dead: Phenomena only ‘exist’ in the mind that perceives them.”

“Say what?” said Three-B.

“I said, basically, that your suffering occurs because you’ve identified with being the “person.” You are not. You are Consciousness, dreaming an apparently human existence. Consciousness is fundamental–it does not arise from so-called matter. Go ahead, try and have an experience in the absence of Consciousness. It’s impossible. You’ve assumed that you are the person due to innocent ignorance of your BEing. It’s why “Know Thyself” was inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Greece. Change your personality, and your apparent reality will reflect that change. Galatians 6:7, expresses it clearly: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Practice sincere gratitude all day long, in all of your interactions. Instead of complaining and thinking about your self, which is actually rendered by the mind, think of ways that you can serve. Be aware of your habitual thoughts, words, and actions; monitor them as though the quality of your life depends on them–because it does! We are both dreaming this right now. Our human lives are a psychological drama. They occur in what is termed the waking state, which is akin to the dream state, only sharper and more defined, with a continuing plotline. Infinite Living Mind is the creator of all of this. If you’d like a greater understanding about the nature of matter, you can go online and look up the Double-Slit Experiment and the Observer Effect.”

“That’s absurd,” said Three-B, “you must be raving mad!”

“Really?” said the mystery man politely. “Seems to me that you’re the one who’s mad–at the world. I’m having a lovely day.”

A minute later, the mystery man picked up his cane and said, “Anyway, I must be going. I’ve got a big date tonight, and I’m looking forward to it.” With a departing grin and a wave, he turned and soon disappeared beyond a knoll.

As for Three-B and the negative attitude that he had clutched for so long, people soon noticed a subtle change in his behaviour. He seemed less angry at himself and others. He was even occasionally overheard offering compliments. Perhaps he did take some time to research the nature of matter. Maybe he even looked up “the hard problem of consciousness,” which is a phrase coined by David Chalmers to relate that neurologists can’t explain their claim that neuronal processes give rise to consciousness. In contemplative moments, Three-B did secretly wonder, “Is it possible that I’m holding erroneous assumptions about life and who I actually am?” The short answer: YES!

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,


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

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