Lunch Break: Temple of Apollo

In our modern age, Kristo and Morpheus would have excelled as ironworkers on the tallest skyscrapers; they moved with confidence and ease high above the ground. At the sound of the whistle, they set down their chisels and hammers and reached for their nearby lunch pails. Their torsos were dark bronze from many hours under the sun. With their legs dangling over the frontispiece of the Temple of Apollo, in Delphi, Greece, Kristo and Morpheus examined the contents of their lunches. “What!” exclaimed Morpheus, “eggs and sardines again!”

“Be grateful,” said Kristo, as he reached for an olive, “we’re fortunate to have food to eat.”

“Yes,” said Morpheus, “but variety is the spice of life.”

Kristo’s attention was drawn to a distant hawk that was soaring effortlessly; for a few moments, he felt as though he was flying along with it. “What do you think the inscription means?” he asked.

Know Thyself?” said Morpheus with querulous expression.

“Yes,” said Kristo.

“I’ll tell you exactly what it means,” said Morpheus. “It means another day, another drachma. Haha, nothing like overtime pay!”

“Agreed,” said Kristo, “overtime pay is wonderful. But what do you think the inscription really means?”

“What care I as long as I get paid?”

“We might learn something.”

“I know all I that need to know!” spat Morpheus gruffly. “It means only that some big mucky muck thought it would be a catchy phrase.”

“Nothing more?”

“What more could it mean? Know Thyself…really? I know that I am Morpheus and that you are Kristo. We are men, Greek, in middle age, with families to feed and mortgages to pay.”

Kristo looked away, squinting against the sun. “An intuition tells me that the inscription relates a message that is much deeper.”

“Have it as you will,” said Morpheus. “I know who I am!”

The whistle blew, signalling that lunch break was over. Both men rose to their feet and exchanged their lunch pails for their tools. Soon their forearms and shoulders were once again straining with each hammer strike to chisel. The afternoon passed as usual for Morpheus; but as Kristo worked, he felt the following message hammer softly at him from within:

There is more to me than meets the eye.

There is more to me than meets the eye.

There is more to me than meets the eye.”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🤍

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Decree

As its name implied, Trouble Town was experiencing more than its fair share of trouble. The town’s jail was packed with offenders; homelessness was rising dramatically; the majority of politicians were corrupt; and the unspoken motto of “Greed, More Greed” was prevalent. The residents had endured the atrocious conditions for so long that they believed them to be normal. In desperation, Mayor Marjorie Wisdom called an emergency council meeting. She concluded the meeting by standing and reading the following decree: “By unanimous vote, I hereby decree that as of midnight this coming Sunday, the residents of Trouble Town will magically begin to awaken to true Self.” Raising her tear-filled eyes, she then somberly said, “May recognizing God help us all.”

During the following week, a gradual awakening to Truth did, in fact, occur. As a result, many wonderful changes occurred in Trouble Town, not the least of which were the following:

***

On Sunday, at 06:04, Joey and Tom were about to steal their neighbour’s car when they suddenly realized that to steal Mr. Hampton’s car would be to steal from themselves. As a result, they quietly turned and walked away, never to steal from anyone again.

On Monday, at 21:09, Jack, with intent to rape, was about to attack the young lady who was walking alone through a local park when he suddenly realized that both he and she were aspects of God. As a result, he could not possibly lift a hand against her or anyone else.

On Tuesday, at 10:02, Harvey, who owned an appliance store, was about to accept payment from Mrs. Newman for her new refrigerator when he suddenly realized that to cheat the elderly lady of $200.00 by inflating the bill would be to cheat himself. As a result, he wrote a new contract that reflected a fair price.

On Wednesday, at various times in multiple locations, one hundred residents suddenly realized that God was the only power in the Universe. As a result, they immediately became more humble and grateful. One resident was heard to say, “Thank you, God, for the beat of my heart.”

On Thursday, at 12:31, the Deputy Mayor, Mr. Snider, was having lunch with a local businessman who was looking for favours with regard to a major building project. As a result of his awakening, Mr. Snider found it impossible to accept the bribe money that would have ultimately resulted in the construction of an inferior and possibly unsafe building.

On Friday, at 23:02, Fred and Lisa Delaney, who were owners of a chemical factory, were about to discharge dangerous toxins into the river that flowed through Trouble Town when they realized that by polluting the river they were actually polluting themselves and their neighbours. As a result, they returned to their factory and arranged for proper waste disposal the following day.

On Saturday, at 13:39, Mike Dempster was about to pull the trigger of the loaded handgun that was pointed into his right ear when he awakened to the Truth of his Being. As a result, he was able to see that he was neither his body-mind nor the painful story attached to it. Weeping, he unloaded the gun and later arranged for treatment through qualified professionals.

***

This, of course, is a fictional story. It relates some of the potential benefits that could be expressed through humankind if we, by some magical occurrence, suddenly recognized our shared divinity. What would occur if we listened to the still voice of God instead of the blare of our self-centered egos? What if we realized that “thy will be done” reflects infinite wisdom and that “my will be done” reflects ignorance? Would we not literally create a New Earth that was filled with love, compassion, and kindness? What but the belief in our egos is hindering us from experiencing that world NOW? We’ll close this article by repeating the parting words of Mayor Marjorie Wisdom: “May recognizing God help us all.”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Johnny’s Mean-Looking Truck

Johnny Duggan had lived a coloured life–at least so he thought. He had been married thrice; filed for bankruptcy twice; and done a stint in jail once. The story of “him” was always uppermost on his mind; it was the mean-looking truck that he drove everywhere he went. At the gym, out on a date, dining at a restaurant–there it was: Johnny’s mean-looking truck. It continuously spewed fumes about itself; and it was so full that Johnny had to beef up the suspension and build up the rear racks to contain all of the dark mental stuff from his past.

One day, Johnny was talking to a guy who claimed to know a little about meditation and the powers of the mind. Johnny told him that he had tried to meditate during his stint in jail (he had certainly had time enough for it) but that it hadn’t done him a lick of good.

“When you meditated,” asked the guy, “did you take your mean-looking truck with you?”

“I sure did,” spat Johnny. “My mind was piled high with all of the junk in my truck. Couldn’t concentrate on nothing else!”

“Uh, huh,” said the guy, as he scratched his chin. “No wonder you’re still having such a hard time.”

“What do you mean?” asked Johnny.

“I mean,” said the guy, “that you’d be wise to check the load that you’re carrying. If you want your life to improve, you gotta offload all of that yuck from your truck!”

“What difference is that gonna make?” asked Johnny.

“Seriously?” said the man. “You really don’t know?”

“Know what?” asked Johnny.

“You don’t know that what you’re impressing into the mind on a habitual basis is going to be expressed as the circumstances of your life? By concentrating your energy on everything that’s bad, you’re actually impregnating your future with more of what’s bad!”

“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s Chihauhau!” exclaimed Johnny.

“If the shoe fits,” said the man. “You have to find the good within before you’ll experience it without. By continuing to rehash the negative events in your life, you’re actually creating more for your future. You’d be wise to focus on what’s good for a change. Andrew Carnegie, who commissioned the book entitled Think and Grow Rich, summed up the principle this way:”

Any idea that is held in the mind,

that is emphasized, that is either feared or revered,

will begin to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate form available.”

The last we heard, Johnny was at the local dumpsite for toxic waste. He was shovelling off a big load of yuck from his truck before settling into his regular meditation session–hint, hint; nudge, nudge. By offloading the “bad stuff,” he made room for all of the “good stuff” that had previously gone unnoticed. Oh, and Johnny has also improved the quality of his life by practicing gratitude on a daily basis. He discovered that the more grateful he is, the more he attracts circumstances for which to be grateful. Probably just a coincidence–not!

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

What Are You?

What are you, my brothers and sisters–do you really know? By this, I am not asking, “What do you think you are?” I’m asking, “What are you?”–prior to the mind’s interpretation. Do you really believe you are only a particular person of flesh and bones; or do you sense, if only faintly, the immeasurability of your Being? If you investigate your essential nature, be not fooled and, thus, robbed, by the various stories by which the mind (as though plying you with liquor) will attempt to intoxicate your discernment. Can you spot a pickpocket in a crowd or, closer, the conceptual one that’s attempting to steal your understanding of true Self?

What is your true Heritage, your Origin, which–although denied–can never be stripped away? Minus name and form (and the related good, bad, and ugly stories), is there anything (not a thing) that remains? Do you really believe that “you” are contained within the apparent boundaries of the body-mind; or does the body-mind and, in fact, the world, arise in YOU? Are your parents, as wonderful as they may be (or not), really the source of your Being? Do they make miracles, or does I Am That I Am? Are you willing to toss aside the fabricated human story you’ve been handed and stretch your soul’s capacity to knowingly recognize your birthright as sons and daughters of I Am?

Please be with me NOW in warm embracing recognition of our I Am-ness. We are not leaving; for there is, in fact, nowhere else to go. We–as Omnipresence Itself–are everywhere and nowhere already. In Truth, we are nothing perceivable or conceivable. We are Spirit pervading, Divine Consciousness. As stated in the 77th Gospel of Thomas: Jesus said, “It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.” Please listen not to the false voice that howls that you were born of earth and will die to earth. Heed not its ever-so convincing claims that you are a separate body-mind in time and space. When Truth speaks, we know that space and time are concepts in us. Through Divine Father/Mother, we dream worlds, universes, distant stars–and persons with various names and forms–as easily as drawing breath. Be still and breathe with me in Presence, and recognize the Light of True Being.

In Luke 23:43, it is shared that Jesus on the cross stated the following words to one of the symbolic thieves on either side of Him: “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” I humbly offer that Jesus realized that Truth, when freed of the cloak of ignorance that surrounds our apparent persons, would stand triumphant as Heaven revealed. Our essential nature is That which is formless, dreaming Itself to be a world of finite persons in time and space. This is not a belief; it is the Reality of our Being.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Motorcycling, Then and Now

Once upon a time, a man named “Art” believed that he was made of flesh and bones. It certainly appeared to be the case; for he–as were you–had been conditioned to believe the lies of his senses. Due to his forgetfulness about the Reality of his Being, he, therefore, assumed that the apparent highs and lows of life were real as real. He enjoyed life immensely when all was going well and suffered terribly when life was going poorly. He was deeply attached to his family and possessed by a strong drive to succeed. As so often happens in stories, life suddenly delivered a blow (divorce) that shocked Art to his very core. The family that he had loved so dearly was no more.

As part of his healing journey, Art set out upon ride after ride on Scout, his beloved Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 motorcycle. He intuited that the freedom afforded by the open road would be good for his spirit. Travelling by motorcycle also felt far less lonely than sitting by himself in an empty car. Several years, and thousands of kilometers, rolled by. Art rode west, north, south, and east in a futile attempt to leave the pain related to loss behind him. He rode long hours upon the saddle and stopped only briefly at sites along the way. Such was the apparent then part of the story.

***

Through the Light of Grace, awakening happened; which basically means that The Absolute, Universal Consciousness, knowingly re-cognized that It never had been Art–not now, nor ever. Art was merely a mind character in Lila, the play of Life. All of his apparent history–of marriage, family, career, and those long-distance rides on Scout–occurred only in the placeless place in which anything actually can take place: as a dream in Consciousness. Thus, it was also learned that Art (as he had assumed himself to be) was never the doer. This is the now part of the story; right here, where we awaken to All That Is Real, and discover that anything else is only apparently real.

***

I deliberately used the term then to refer to Art’s historical perspective; but please know that I am aware that any apparent motorcycling (and anything else that appears to occur for you or me) can only seemingly take place now. For those dear readers who may be wondering if it’s time to dial 911 and summon help, I offer the following quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and his spiritual classic entitled I Am That:

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

I also offer the following few sentences from Open Secret, by Wei Wu Wei (Terence Gray):

“Our dreamed ‘selves,’ autonomous in appearance, as in life, can be seen in awakened retrospect to be puppets totally devoid of volitional possibilities of their own. Nor is the dream in any degree dependent on them except as elements therein. They, who seem to think that they are living and acting autonomously, are being dreamed in their totality; they are being activated as completely and absolutely as puppets are activated by their puppeteer. Such is our apparent life, on this apparent earth, in this apparent universe.”

I’ll wrap up this article with a quote that is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha:

“Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof.”

If you, dear spiritual brothers and sisters, are going through your own apparent trials and tribulations, please take heart. Contemplate what has been shared within the lines of this article. The true YOU is divine, immortal, and untouched. If you have understood the information contained in this article, you will arrive at one incontrovertible conclusion regarding my true “I”-dentity. What, therefore, must YOU be also? Are you really only name and form…or so much more?

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Wise Builder

Upon what type of foundation (Truth or illusion; Real or unreal) are you building your life? Do you really believe that you’re a person of flesh and bones, or could it be that you are actually so much more? This article is based upon the parable of The Wise and Foolish Builders in the Bible. The basic account is related in Matthew 7:24-27:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The parable, of course, is not referring to the building of an actual house. It’s not informing us to seek out the town engineer, perform soil sampling, and examine the municipal records to see if a toxic dump was once located on the potential site for our home. It’s informing us about Life and true Self. There is actually only ONE Identity but we’ve been conditioned to believe in another. ONE is founded upon Truth; the other is mired in ignorance. ONE is lasting peace and joy; the other leads to heartache and suffering. ONE is changeless (like the rock upon which the wise man built his house); the other is shifting continuously (like the sands upon which the foolish man built his house). ONE is always safe; the other almost always feels vulnerable. ONE knows there’s no other against whom to compete; the other is competitive by nature.

The parable actually relates the important differences between our ego (the shifting sands) and true Self (the rock of our Being). If you’re seeking lasting peace, they’re worth investigating on a deeper level. Isn’t it true that your thoughts and feelings about yourself are always shifting? One day (or hour) you’re up, and the next down. Happy/unhappy. Satisfied/dissatisfied. If you’re like most persons who are ruled by ego, you might consider yourself to be an outright geennius genius one day but feel like flashing your Dummies Club membership card the next. These shifts in moods and attitudes comprise the shifting sands of the ego.

Beneath all of the various opinions we might hold of ourselves is That which is beyond all descriptions, definitions, and thoughts–either favourable or unfavourable. The true YOU is That which cannot be added to, nor subtracted from. It is neither conceivable nor perceivable. To feel good, It needs not a diploma, degree, or facelift; for It is already everything and yet simultaneously no thing. It is the same YOU that YOU were when your body-mind was five years of age; and It will be the same YOU that shouts yippee at one-hundred-and-five. To seek It, you need not take one step away from or toward your Self (nor is either possible). Seek That, knowingly, here and now.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Joe-Joe’s Egoless Shop

With sighs of relief, Joe and Joe sat their conceptual body-minds down on overturned pails outside their shop. The morning’s case had been a stubborn one; and now it was time for a break and a smoke. These ego-busters were from the good ol’ days, and they made no bones about it. They liked their cigarettes strong, their muscle cars fast, burgers with cheese and onions, and fries with gravy. We won’t get into their taste in women. They were an unlikely pair to be running an ego removal shop; but that’s just how life is. It can be full of surprises.

Joe-the-small lighted his cigarette and inhaled deeply. He then tossed his lighter to Joe-the-big, who fumble-snatched it and did the same.

“Well, that was a bit of a tough nut to crack, wasn’t it?” said Joe-the-big.

“Ohhh, yeah,” said Joe-the-small. “Kinda reminded of me of our first case. Remember it?

Do I!?” exclaimed Joe-the-big. “Like it was yesterday.”

“Back then, we were using mechanical methods.”

“When you know better, you do better,” said Joe-the-small. “We were green; not the suave and sophisticated gurus that we are now.”

“Nope. Good ol’ hammer and chisel–sharp of course; and one heck of a lot of anesthetic.”

“Jackhammer-under-the-chair method sometimes, too,” piped Joe-the small, “for shaking out that stubborn pride.”

And lust, and greed, and selfishness, and shame, and pride, and guilt, and fear, and attachment, and…”

“There are other conjunctions, you know,” quipped Joe-the-small, with a droll look.

And…so I’ve been told,” said Joe-the-big with a chuckle. “Remember what our first client said when he came to?”

“You tell it,” said Joe-the-small, “I know how it’s your favourite part.”

Joe-the-big leaned forward, his hands braced on his knees. He said, “I feel so much lighter! What the heck did you take out of me?!”

In unison, the two Joes piped, “a whole lot of conceptual nothing!”

”Ahhh, those were the days,” said Joe-the-big. He blew a smoke ring skyward in celebration.

“Yup, sure were. We had our slow days, though–probably ’cause we didn’t have no formal training.”

Details,” said Joe-the-big, with a swipe of his hand.”

“Yeah, you either got it…”

“…or you don’t.”

“I think our greatest contribution to the field of Consciousness, at least from the human perspective, happened on that rainy day when we were tinkering with tools in the back shed and invented the Whiff-OmeterTM.”

“Without a doubt,” said Joe-the-big, “I would agree. Quick and easy. Throw a bag over the client, hook up the hoses, and within minutes we got a reading of an approximate ratio of Being/Human. Pre-dated David R. Hawkins and his Scale of Consciousness by twenty-some several years!

“Uh, huh,” said Joe-the-small, with a triumphant thumbs-up.

“Good thing we had the gas pumps, though, for those slow days in between consultations.”

“Yup, and cleaning customers windshields kept them coming back for more.”

“Remember the look we got the first time we tol’ a client that he didn’t actually exist….as a thing?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s not somethin’ you forget. If I remember correctly, he went pale and googly eyed.”

“Cool face cloth fixed that.”

“We grew more tactful as the years rolled along.”

“Yessir, we did.”

Joe and Joe continued to sit on their pails and reminisce until they had drawn their cigarettes down to the filters. One look at each other, confirmed by glances at their watches, informed them that their break was over. Another client was due in ten minutes. A little mouthwash, a wash of their hands, and fresh coveralls and they’d be good to go.

***

It was Joe-the-small’s turn to begin. Holding a clipboard and pen (just for looks), he began by using the “Who Am I?” question.

“Who am I?” echoed the female client.

“Yes…really?”

“Well,” she began, “my name is…”

At this, Joe-the-big rolled his eyes ever-so-slowly to the far wall, as though looking for an escape hatch that didn’t exist. Another hour would pass before he and Joe-the-small would be outside again, sitting on their pails. At least they could look forward to the evening. They were going to play euchre with their wives (you guessed it), Josephine and….

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Willing To Change

Every–and I mean EVERY–motivational speaker who knows what he/she is talking about stresses the absolute necessity of changing within if we desire to improve the apparent conditions and circumstances without. Bob Proctor, who has been studying and teaching the Law of Attraction for almost sixty years, informs persons that they must change their paradigms (a collection of subconscious thoughts and beliefs about every aspect of our life) before they can ever expect to see what they desire. Why? Because what is apparently outer is actually only a reflection of our inner beliefs. In short, the results that we achieve are directly connected to our self image. As noted speaker and author Dr. Joe Dispenza states: “To change our personal reality, we must change our personality.” I offer the following quote from William Blake for you to contemplate:

In your own bosom you bear your heaven and earth,
And all you behold, though it appears without,
It is within, in your imagination,
Of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.

Perception “is” the world. Period. Without knowing it, the majority of persons are steering around in a subjective world, which they erroneously assume to be objective. This is quite understandable because the illusion of time, space, and causality seems incredibly real. I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist; I am just stating that reality is not made of what the majority of individuals assume. It is made of consciousness–the only reality that is. This explains why the Bible is abundantly rich with passages that are intended to guide us toward better life experiences. I offer you the following passage from Philippians 4:8, which clearly advises us to focus positively:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

***

A short quote that supports this is found in The Kybalion, a book of esoteric teaching related to the Law of Attraction:

“As within, so without.”

***

Truth is shared, yet again, through the following quote from the noted spiritual healer and teacher, Joel S. Goldsmith:

“No circumstance or condition can be experienced unless it first be found within our own consciousness.”

***

Still more is offered through some of the first lines in The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel:

“Would you bring into your life more power?

Get the power consciousness.

More health?

Get the health consciousness.

More happiness?

Get the happiness consciousness.

Live the spirit of these things until they become yours by right.”

This world functions according to spiritual laws. Despite appearances to the contrary, nothing happens by chance. Do you see now why it is imperative to hold your inner vision (through afffirmations and visualization) of that which you desire (as though having it already)? Until you do, you will continue to be blown about like dust in the wind. Say no to that; and yes to your vision for a better life.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Bob’s Dream of Coffee

At precisely 7:00 a.m., Bob Dingaling heard the sound of the alarm on his bedside table and slowly wakened from his slumber. He shut off the alarm, stretched his arms wide, and ambled to the washroom. A few minutes later, he groggily joined his wife, Helen, in their rustic kitchen. The room was aglow with the warm sunlight that was shining through their kitchen’s eastward-facing window.

“Coffee?” Helen asked, as he approached her and kissed her softly on the cheek.

“You know it,” said Bob, with a grin. He added milk to the coffee and assumed his favourite position in the glider chair next to the window. The first few sips of his coffee tasted like morning nectar.

Holding her own cup of coffee, Helen moved into a chair directly across from her dream guy. Twenty years earlier, when she had first learned that Bob’s last name was Dingaling, she had wondered if she could ever bear to take it; but now couldn’t imagine being anything but a Dingaling, albeit by marriage.

“You know,” began Bob, “last night I dreamed that I was drinking coffee that tasted every bit as real as this.”

“Tell me more,” said Helen.

“Well, I was holding my favourite mug, the one you and boys got me for my birthday. I could feel its weight, the heat of the coffee, and even smell the aroma of the freshly-ground coffee beans. Strangely enough…just like I’m doing now.”

Helen took a few sips of her coffee and looked around their kitchen. “It’s incredible, isn’t it,” she said, “how the mind can replicate reality in our dreams.”

“It definitely is,” said Bob, “even to the point of fabricating skyscrapers, mountains, and people.”

“Truly amazing,” said Helen.

Lost in thought, Bob seemed to freeze momentarily. “You know,” he said, with a puzzled expression, “it almost makes you wonder if the mind could be rendering this, right here and now.”

“What do you mean?” asked Helen.

“You know, dreaming us, drinking coffee in our kitchen.”

“Well, that’s preposterous,” said Helen.

“Is it?” said Bob.

Helen smiled and softly pinched her cheek. “I feel pretty real to me,” she said.

“But we feel real in our nighttime dreams, too,” said Bob. “When we dream that we’re skiing, driving a car, or eating a meal, it aall seems very real.”

“Oh, you–you crazy Dingaling!” exclaimed Helen.”Don’t be so silly. Enjoy your coffee and then get your butt into the shower. “Our backyard lawn really needs to be cut today.”

Bob smiled and slowly sipped the remains of his coffee; but as he showered and, later, cut the grass, the question about the nature of reality kept begging his mind for an answer. As Helen washed the breakfast dishes, she also found herself pondering the following question: “How would we know if our lives were a dream?”

That afternoon, Bob was rummaging through papers on his desk when he came across the following quote by T. E. Lawrence. Given what Helen and he had talked about earlier that day, it gave him pause to think. Could it be…?

All men dream, but not equally.

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind,

wake in the day to find that it was vanity;

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,

for they act on their dreams with open eyes,

to make them possible.”

***

From The Final Truth, by the great Ramesh S. Balsekar:

The manifested universe is therefore simultaneously dual and non-dual.

Time, space, mind, ego, etc. have acquired illusory reality

although they have not been created at all.

Nothing has been created as a a separate thing,

though it may appear so.

***

Awaken, dear spiritual brothers and sisters, you’re dreaming. When you realize this, a new and exciting world full of possibilities opens up before you. It’s the reason behind the following verse from Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Yes, this requires surrender of the belief that you’re the “person” (of various name or form), but with this knowing, you also realize what you truly are, Spirit eternal.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. ✌✌

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Harmonica Player

Art doesn’t know the man’s name; but I Am knows the harmonica player very well, indeed. In fact, I Am knows the count of every hair on his head–and ours–and every sparrow that falls. I Am knows that the harmonica player once owned a successful business, lived in a modest home, and was married to his high school sweetheart…until. I Am also knows that he fell on tough times and lost his way. Passersby who know not one whit about him will judge him as this or that, worthy or unworthy. Hunched forward, the harmonica player sits on the concrete skirt outside the entrance to the grocery store, his weathered coat fanned out in front of him. A few coins have been tossed upon it by passing shoppers who are eager to fill their carts. The harmonica player, who at best guess is fifty-five or sixty years of age, has a grey beard and a full head of hair. Intermittently, he offers several notes of unrecognizable musical selections. His performance at Carnegie Hall is not scheduled anytime soon.

***

What–not who–is this apparent man who plays for us? Is his disguise of particular name and form really any different from the disguises worn by you and me? Is there not a Golden Thread that unites our various stories related to skin colour, nationality, gender, and status? Are not definitions such as rich or poor, friend or foe, and winner or loser utterly worthless in terms of the Truth of our essential nature? Does the harmonica player’s name, or ours, reveal anything real? Who is he in relation to us, and who are we in relation to him?

We, the apparent multitude of flesh and bones, will not recognize the harmonica player’s true Self until we look within and recognize our own I Am-ness. Until then, the Truth related to him–and everyone–will remain an uninvestigated mystery. Unaware that we’re unaware, we will continue to conceptualize beings as Mr. or Mrs., Bob or Betty, Miguel or Mabel, Pradeep or Pratima. Through our own innocent ignorance, the harmonica player will, thus, appear to us as only a “so-and-so,” a “down-and-out,” or “the guy outside the store.” Surely, we and our world deserve more than this sorry tale of fiction.

It is time for Truth.

***

On his way into the store, Art approaches the man, says “hi,” and offers a few coins to his brother from another mother. The harmonica player smiles, says “thanks;” and they make idle mention about the weather. There is no running mental commentary of “i” the giver or “i” the receiver. In Presence, there is no room for our tired personal stories related to name and form. Thank God our eyes reveal what the heart knows. Can you “see” the harmonica player in your Self? Can you see your Self in him? The I Am that is you and I and every “other” of our nearly eight billion and counting world population is the same I Am that is him. Nothing separates us but the disguises of our mind.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers