The purpose of this article is not to ramble on about “Art” and his apparent life. We’ve all heard enough “then-i-did-this” stories to realize that they usually, if not always, become quite boring. That is not to say that I do not love “Art” or appreciate his apparent journey; I do. It’s just that if we desire to recognize (know again) the Truth of our Being, it’s important to gain and maintain figurative distance between true Self and the character who you’ve erroneously assumed yourself to be. Most persons do not; and as a result there is the experience of suffering, both personally and collectively.
Physical, mental, and emotional suffering is related to a variety of circumstances; but despite the variety, all apparent suffering shares one root cause: our ignorance-based identification with the character that is masquerading as “you.” This identification is understandable, because from Day 1 of our appearance, we are conditioned to believe that we are the person of name and form that is experienced. The truth is that we are not.
We may illustrate this point by imagining that we are a court lawyer (true Self) who–day after day, year after year–is forced to defend the same defendant (our character) as though “our” very life depended on it! The defendant and we seem so closely united as to appear inseparable. On some days, it’s relatively easy to arrange bail for our character (which gives rise to happiness); on other days, it’s impossible to escape a harsh sentence (which gives rise to unhappiness). This is the human condition. It manifests as experiences that alternate between pleasure and pain.
For persons who experience the suffering related to identification with the egoic character, please know that there is a solution. It’s called enlightenment; which means to awaken from the dream of personhood and, thus, be liberated from identification with our character. It can happen in much the same way that persons awaken after sleep and realize that the events that occurred during the dream state were only dreams. It’s important to realize that true enlightenment refers to freedom from the perspective of the person, not as the person. No person ever becomes enlightened.
Regarding the title of this article, Visits From Art refers to remnant energies related to my character “Art” and his attempts to impress me with his realness. He and the apparent world are not absolutely real; they are both rendered in the waking state (termed reality by most persons), by the same Infinite Mind that creates dreams in the dream state. Occasionally, my character still whispers, or demandingly cries, that life must bend to “his” will. A few years ago, knowing Awareness was freed from Its delusional identification with “Art;” and the feeling of freedom and expansion that followed has been, and is, amazing. Now, when the imposter (Art) comes to visit, the natural tendency is to become still and settle knowingly in, and as, Truth. So, too, can YOU. You are not the body-mind character that has been suffering. True Self is immortal and infinite.
For those who are earnestly eager to recognize true Self, you might find my YouTube presentation beneficial. I’ll leave you with a quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, and his spiritual classic entitled I Am That:
“To be a person is to be asleep.”
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. 🙏🧡
5 thoughts on “Visits From “Art””
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’d like to hear more stories about your apparent life. Because for enlightenment to be worth following, we need to see how it shows up. The theory is great and I agree with it but the choice we make to understand we aren’t our thoughts doesn’t just go away – we have to make it again and again and that means real life situations that produce real stories that have meaning to others. Does that make sense as to the rich circumstances that have real value to share with others?
Sure, I’m happy to share more about my apparent life–honestly. So here goes: I didn’t even know the term “enlightenment” before it “happened.” During the years post divorce in 2006, I found myself watching videos of a spiritual nature (Rupert Spira, Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, etc) and also reading a lot of books about spirituality and the law of attraction. I wasn’t aware that the books about the law of attraction and spirituality actually had a common theme–a deeper nature of Self, beyond name and form. At times, I would find myself pulling away, thinking that this was nonsense; but still there was a part of me that realized there was more. A deeper level of understanding gradually began to reveal itself; and in 2017, I had an experience that was quite amazing. Prior to that, a presentation about the function of eyesight also revealed a pivotal insight. (I mention this in my book). Watching Rupert Spira videos were also instrumental in a deepening of understanding.
I’m including a few links to a few presentations, in case they are of interest. If not, that’s great, too! The first is a link to one of my recent videos, with regard to my personal history (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuvwYMXS5wA). The second is a link to a video about Schopenhauer (an idealist). The first five minutes explains what I learned in the video about eyesight.( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-djIdl8WO4&t=208s). The third is a link to one of Rupert Spira’s presentations about the “material” paradigm of reality (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgcfa0LFKXc&t=696s).
Sorry if this seems long. I just wanted to answer as well as I could for now.
To be in perpetual awareness of this state of being sounds liberating. The more years I spend meditating, the stronger this awareness becomes, but I have not fully integrated it into my thoughts – thoughts that get consumed with daily living and doing.
Thanks for sharing some of your experience. The meditation definitely plays a key role: “Be still and know I am God,” is so true.
It does take some getting used to, for sure; because the old energies related to the false self periodically show up, but each time a little weaker. Sri Ramana Maharishi described it as a fan that had been shut off, which begins to rotate again. I know what you mean about daily living, and how it can draw us into the apparent world. On my channel on YouTube (think2wice), I recently posted a video about my enlightenment experience.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you, Art. I appreciate your reply. I clicked on your channel – I will check it out!