Forgive Me My Sins

I freely admit that I have not lived a perfect life–far from it. Through insight, however, I can admit that the story of “my life” (complete with all of its so-called flaws) has provided lessons that were absolutely perfect for my continuing evolution. I trust this process (the Power that heals my cuts and beats my heart) implicitly. Every blade of grass and every so-called weed is in the right place, at the right time. Therefore, my weedly actions (and yours, too) may be considered right. Logically, how can we possibly do better until we know better? Without question, the key that unlocks improved behaviour in the world is knowledge of our essential nature. Until we know, we are destined to “miss the mark.” With that in mind, I offer one of my own quotes:

As we see ourself, we see another.”

Until we know our unity as Oneness, this world will be ruled by forces that arise from the perspective of the costumes, aka humans. In my case, the behaviour that was expressed through Art was–as with everyone else on the planet–due to karmic debt and the conditioning of my Being. We, quite literally, are programmed to believe that we are something (the person) that we are not. This erroneous identification with the apparent body-mind causes us tremendous pain and suffering; and whether we realize so or not, we bear the weight of our ignorance upon our back both personally and collectively.

For instance: A family whose members are unaware of their essential nature is destined to experience alternating periods of peace and strife in varying degrees. For a while, there may be little or no conflict; but eventually the polar energies of this environment called “Life on Earth” may lead to challenging conditions. Here, we can only know objects and concepts by their apparent opposite. For instance: We know mountain by its valley; right by left; in by out. Due to these polar energies, persons will be pulled or pushed in energetic patterns and collide psychologically, emotionally, and (in the worst case scenario) physically. The way that each person processes life further programs the persons within the environment. If harsh judgment rules the environment (due to ignorance), strife is bound to continue and may, in fact, lead to a fractured family.

The price that we pay for ignorance of our essential nature, both personally and collectively, is very costly; and all of us pay the price on a worldwide basis. The same alternating forces that play out within a family, play out on a collective global scale. Therefore, hateful thoughts lead to conflict and malevolent actions; selfish thoughts lead to selfishness and greed; insincere thoughts lead to hypocrisy and perfunctory behaviour. However, when Love governs our actions (which can only occur when we realize true nature), harmony will be witnessed and experienced by everyone.

The greatest sin we will ever make is to be unaware of What–not who–we are. We are neither the body, nor the mind. Ignorance will strongly attempt to convince us that we are this flesh and bones; this mortal human vehicle born to die, but such is not founded in Truth. We cannot “be” what we are not–namely, the mortal “human.” From Vedanta, Voice of Vedanta by Swami Vivekananda: We are “children of immortal bliss.” We are Spirit manifest in human form, having an apparent earthly life. My greatest sins occurred because I knew not true Self; therefore, I knew not the highest Self–Spirit–of everyone else. Just for clarity, we are not seeking forgiveness as a person (by other persons); we are seeking forgiveness from the perspective of the person. This occurs when we realize our essential nature.

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 Raping of The Sheep

Don” is in this life for himself, and he makes no bones about it. He frequently says “You gotta look out for number one,” and the expression perfectly reflects his attitude and behaviour in the apparent world. Behind his customers’ backs, he calls them foul names and ridicules their mannerisms. In business deals, which he approaches with utter lack of integrity, he’s proud of “raping the sheep,” which means getting the apparent upper hand through sly manipulation. The love of money is his sole reason for being. After a deal concludes, he smiles and shakes hands with his customers; but behind closed doors after they have left, he ridicules his sheep’s degree of gullibility. The memory of the sweet and easy deal with Rosie, one his trusting elderly neighbours, always brings a smile to his face; it was so easy to defraud her of an extra ten thousand dollars. In his personal relationships, he is no less ruthless; for his pleasure is what matters most. It is all about him. Although Don is six feet two inches tall, he is a small man; trouble is, he doesn’t know it.

***

What Don and innumerable persons like him don’t realize is that our body-minds are expressions of The One, aka Consciousness. Consciousness is the only reality. Due to this, absolutely nothing can be hidden from The One–how could it? If such were, indeed, possible, how could we ever accomplish this miracle of hiding our best or worst from the Loving Power–“That”—which is Omnipresent? In Luke 12:7, KJB, we may read the following: “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. When we come to know Truth, we realize that there is only One Knower and One Doer masquerading as a multiplicity and diversity of apparent forms. Any act performed against an apparent other is actually an act against ourself. I make no pretense of being an authority on the Bible, but this truth is clearly revealed in Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” It’s informing us that Consciousness knows whether you’ve been bad or good; so be good for goodness sake.

It’s important to realize that we are not punished for our sins (by some vengeful God in the sky); rather, we are punished by our sins (which is actually defined as to miss the mark). What we apparently do comes back to us. Fortunately, the same holds true as it relates to goodness. Thus, if we desire more love in the world, we must be more loving. If we desire to experience more compassion, generosity, and sincerity, we must be more compassionate, generous, and sincere. We can spare ourselves a lot of needless suffering by embracing high ideals on a regular basis. If we’re serving “we” on a regular basis, as opposed to the little “me,” we’re on the right track. Our human incarnation is of tremendous value; for it provides an opportunity to awaken to the Truth of our essential nature. We are so much more than name and form. We are divine Spirit having an apparent human incarnation.

***

Update: The majority of us are likely tempted to wish otherwise, but Don’s unethical business tactics went undetected while he remained in human form. However, nothing escapes the snares of karma. Subsequent to a major business deal in which he apparently raped all of the sheep involved, his body-mind passed from this world–not one soul attended the funeral. Don is currently serving time in Colorado, as an intestinal parasite in a sheep named Rosie. You might say, that’s he’s awaiting his extradition papers. With any luck and a little more grazing, he’ll be out in a day or so to continue his journey. Be kind; wish him well; embrace the love that flows through you–that is you–and be wise enough to turn the other cheek and seek not human revenge. Hold no evil wish against anyone. The wheels of this Universe roll along in unexpected and mysterious ways.

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

Entertaining “The Beast”

I thought I’d share the account of an incident which happened a couple of nights ago: I was feeling a little lonely, so I thought I’d call an old friend of mine, Satan. I asked if he was free and whether he would like to join me for dinner at my place. I suggested that we could have something hot and spicy, perhaps pizza loaded with dragon’s breath peppers. For dessert, I promised that we’d have baked alaska flambé. You’re probably getting the picture–it was to be a theme menu. A couple of hours later, the doorbell sizzled and guess who showed up? Art, it was Art!

***

The point of this article harkens to the old story of each of us having an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. The angel refers to our higher Self, Awareness, which is Being and Knowing. It is What we truly are. The devil refers to the lower self, the psychological “me,” which is frequently mistaken as our true identity. It’s not. It is a fictional self-centered little “i” that comes in a wide variety of types. Some are nice, with a little bit of an edge; some are not so nice, but do their best to conceal that fact. At their core, all false selves are ultimately self-centered and, in varying degrees, selfish. The problem with the false self is that it often makes our life a living hell, in one way or another. For instance: With the promise of future happiness, the false self attempts to convince us to spend our life chasing persons, possessions, wealth, and achievement (so-called success) like a crazed donkey chasing a carrot! The false self, which expresses lower forms of consciousness such as greed, shame, anger, hatred, and selfishness, is the antithesis of true Self.

Our true Self is timeless and eternal. It is not of this apparently physical world. It is Life without beginning or end–the alpha and omega of all that ever was, is, and shall be. The devil self arises and develops when the body-mind appears in the world. It is a conceptual self only, formed from repetitive thoughts and perceptions. Because it was born, it is subject to death; for all that comes into form must fall out of form. To believe it is conscious is an error. It is not. Only Consciousness is Conscious. The key is to recognize What we truly are before the body-mind makes its exit. Collectively, the false selves make up “the devil,” that scary figure often depicted in various doctrines. It’s not an entity unto itself (for there is no opposite to our true Self, which is Consciousness, aka God), but it can certainly seem so. It’s in everyone’s best interest to recognize true Self as soon as possible. So…back to Art, at the door:

***

“How have you been?” I asked, with a fake smile pasted on my face. “Oh, good,” said Art, extending his hand to shake mine. I feigned having greasy fingers from food preparation to avoid shaking his hand. Little Satan boy Art seemed to accept my lame excuse. Trust me, once you’ve given up the devil in you, you don’t want to invite him or her back into your life. A moment later, I told Art that I saw a ten dollar note lying on the floor behind him. As quick as you can say “Beelzebub is bonkers,” he spun around to pick it up, and I closed the door and bolted the lock. Amidst his incessant knocks, I whispered, “Nobody home.” I’m having the locks changed tomorrow.

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

Not Until “I Am”

The world, as all of us realize, is currently reflecting a state of tremendous confusion. Everywhere we see evidence of this. Even if we’ve unplugged from mainstream media, someone–somewhere–is going to inform us of ongoing fear and strife. There is the continuing world story about an apparent virus; conflict related to a presidential election; illogical regulations and restrictions; joblessness; hunger; homeless persons living in tent cities in the middle of previously prosperous cities. Entrenched ways that were corrupt–and heartless–at their core are being revealed. This is not intended as a rant; for what we resist does, indeed, persist. The heart of this article relates to the Law of Attraction and the following verse from Proverbs 29:18:

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

What does this mean? It means that if we desire positive change beyond our current circumstances (refer to the above paragraph), we must see with eyes not of this world. In short, we must envision a new world. The Law of Attraction (we bring about what we think about) applies both personally and collectively. If we–through ignorance of our essential nature–continue to believe that we are merely stick figures called persons, our challenges will continue unabated. Ignorance of our true nature does not relieve us of the effects that we, as co-creators, are creating. We must apply vision–such a rare commodity these days. We must learn to ask ourselves–and know–what we desire to see. What kind of world do we wish to inhabit? Is it a world in which we live free? Is it a world in which we value qualities such as love, honor, and respect? Or is it a world in which only robotic actions, performed by unaware persons, are welcomed? To move beyond what is currently presenting, we must learn to have faith–not in a God outside of us; but in a vision which we, as incarnate aspects of God, envision. I offer the definition of faith, as defined in Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

To understand what we’re currently witnessing on a deeper level, we may conceptualize humanity as a shared basket. All of us, whether knowingly or not, are spiritual basket weavers. Everyone is contributing, because what everyone thinks matters through the power of attention. We may ask ourselves what type of energy we are contributing to our universal basket. Are we offering the energy of fear or FAITH? Are we offering the energy of selfishness or GENEROSITY? Are we offering the energy of hatred or LOVE? Are we reinforcing–through focus–the current situation, or are we envisioning a BRIGHT NEW WORLD?

Not until we collectively unite and envision a positive future, will we see it. Not until we envision peace, will there be peace among nations. Not until we envision brotherly and sisterly love for everyone, will our interactions reflect that love. Not until we envision feeding the world’s hungry people, will everyone’s belly be full. Not until our hearts are purged of the negativity that has permeated our lives, will we see beauty rise, glorious and transcendent. Not until we have stopped gorging ourselves on problems, will we eat the fruit of solution-based thinking. Not untilI Am” reigns supreme over egos, will the selfish fires of humankind be extinguished.

What I’m asking you to do is to step outside the costume that has been masquerading as “you” and flex your spiritual power of Beingness. You, dear friends, are neither the body nor the mind; no more so than the boots in the corner of my kitchen. You are Divine Spirit…now. United in vision, we are capable of creating a bright new future. We arrive at that tomorrow by envisioning it as already existing…today, here and now. We are wise to embrace it, embody it, and wear it with every fiber of your being; for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

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

Heartbound

Today, a man on LinkedIn posted a short video presentation of a happening that occurred within his family. I watched his presentation intently. I’ll be honest, it moved me to tears. Literally, I wept. Why? Because what he shared resonated with the Truth of my Being. That “Being” is in me–pervading; and It is also in everyone else–pervading. It is the substance of That from which all of us are made. In a world of illusion, It is That which is Real. It is raw, undiluted LOVE in all its fullness. Here is the account:

***

My daughter did something wonderful this morning,” the man began. He then related that he had watched as his elder daughter placed some newspapers in the mailbox. He was puzzled, so he asked her why. She told him that her younger sister so enjoyed going to the mailbox and finding some mail. That’s why she did it–to be a source of joy for her little sister. The man then wondered to himself when the last time was that he had performed such a deed, purely for the sake of bringing joy to someone else. The man further shared that when his younger daughter checked the mailbox, she was ecstatic!

***

As I’m writing this, the joy of that short account is still ripe within me. No happiness of the ego can approach its transcendent authenticity. The account reminds me of what my dear mother, who experienced her fair share of suffering, often wisely told me. She told me that the easiest way to shake off the blues was to do something nice for someone else. There–in the heart of this timeless moment–is the secret to a very rich life; a life devoid of the self-centered “what’s-in-this-for-me?” perspective of the little “i.” If you can catch that thief in operation, you are on your way to liberation from its rule.

The false self, the character of Mister or Misses “me,” is not the real Self. As far as natures go, those two are galaxies of distance apart. True Self is giving. It is the Source of love, comfort, joy, and peace. We feel our way to It; and we recognize and appreciate It just as It is. The false self is the psychological me; the fictional self who outwardly may appear giving; but who inwardly is subtly or overtly interested in self-preservation, appearance, and taking. It is the author of The Book of Sly.

Today–right now–we can take back our birthright and be heartbound. We’ll recognize the nature of True Self by the way we feel. No thinking is required; in fact, thinking is the hindrance that keeps us from recognizing our essential nature, which is Truth. When we rediscover the Center of our Being, we are once again home in our sense of belonging. True Self is closer than our breath–not a heartbeat away. One of the best ways to rediscover It is to live from the perspective of that elder daughter. What can we give? A friendly smile or kind word? Some financial support? Time spent sharing a talent? A telephone call to someone who is lonely? A shoulder to lean upon? And what of that “beggar” on the street–the one who shares the same True Self? Isn’t it time that we truly live by giving of the heart?

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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

All “My” Ducks in a Row

Most of us have heard, or perhaps even used, the following expression: “All of my ducks are in a row.” It implies that everything is just fine; circumstances are under control; and that life is oh, so good. Although this may seem fine as an expression, it’s actually a horrendously unsatisfactory way to live. The problem with this life strategy is that it requires tremendous, unending effort. “Here, little Duckie, walk this way, now that,” while I juggle ten tasks that must be done–at the same time.”

The inspiration for this article comes, yet again, from the book entitled Awareness, by Anthony De Mello. It was recommended to me by fellow blogger “AP2, Clear Air Turbulence,” right here on WordPress (I hope you’ll check out his fine posts). Here’s the line, which relates to what I’ve expressed in the paragraph above:

You keep on insisting, ‘I feel good because the world is right.’

Wrong!

The world is right because I’m happy.”

The point at which the expression about ducks and the lines above intersect is called “me.” When we rise in awareness, we can understand that it is only “me” who is having a problem with life as it is here and now. Once the “me” is revealed for what it is (a conceptual self), we can experience more of the present-moment joy that life is freely offering. Nothing and no one can rob us of that joy if we don’t allow the little “i” to steal us blind. Ducks don’t need to be in a row; tasks don’t have to be juggled; and we don’t have to be tempted by a fictional point of perfection in a fictional future. Then, mysteriously, we discover the incredible paradox: By not trying to have our ducks in a row, we realize that life is just fine, regardless of the state of the ducks!

This is not to say that we should drop our goals, or set our heart upon accomplishing tasks. Doing still occurs; work gets done. The main difference is in our approach. With detached awareness, we may witness that when the fictional person is operating, having “my” ducks in a row is always more important than the condition of someone else’s ducks. It’s in our best interest, to discover the nature of the little ‘i.” When we do, through self-inquiry, we’re well on our way to freedom–from grief, strife, and suffering. In this way, we can still interact with others and perform our work; but we’ll do so without the interference of the separate little “me” that is never satisfied. Ironically, everything will seem “just duckie.”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With warm regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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 Hammer Named “Choice”

Once upon a time in a land very close, indeed, there lived an evil hammer named Choice. Everyone knew that The Hammer was big and monstrous and bad to the bone. How it loved to prey upon unsuspecting thumbs! All day long, it would hide in the bushes and await the opportunity to pounce. “Heh, heh, heh, ” the thumbs imagined Choice muttering as they walked by, “now, there’s a delicious-looking thumb to whack!”

The thumbs never knew when Choice would strike. On some days, a lot of thumbs were whacked hard; on other days, only a few thumbs were struck; and on rare days, most of the thumbs went merrily about their business. However, almost all of the thumbs lived with the pervading fear that at any moment The Hammer could fall. In secret, the thumbs held Town Hall Meetings with the window blinds drawn and the lights turned low. They would talk in whispers and discuss what could be done to improve the condition of their lives. During such meetings, a variation of the following was almost always heard: “Did you hear about Burt?” asked one thumb to another. A terror-stricken hush would fall upon the room, then: “Yup, got whacked today–real hard.”

One day, however, a startling revelation occurred to a bright little thumb. “Wait a second,” thought the thumb, “I cannot, in fact, know if I will be whacked by the big bad hammer today; but I can definitely choose how I live. I get to choose–how I think and feel about every circumstance that arises. Choice doesn’t have meI have Choice!” Empowered by the epiphany, the bright little thumb felt jubilation arise from within. It inhaled a deep breath and squared back its shoulders; and from that day forward, it focused on the beauty to be enjoyed here and now.

Within a few days, other thumbs noticed the dramatic change in the brave little thumb. It seemed to be shining with hope, positivity, and a fearless spirit. Often the brave little thumb would be seen marching around town wearing a T-Shirt emblazoned with “I Am Lion Thumb, Hear Me Roar.” In time, word of the change began to spread to other thumbs, who told two thumbs, and so on, and so on, and so on. The startling transformation spread far and wide. The thumbs all rejoiced, and there was dancing and singing as never before. They even held a Thumb Fest open to all; with everyone chanting “We have power, here; we have choice, now!”

***

So, what’s the point of this little parable? Did all of the thumbs march off into the sunset and live happily ever after? Well, yes and no. Like us, of course, the thumbs continued to be whacked by life; but the good news is that due to this, we and the thumbs evolve and grow stronger. So much of life is beyond our control, but we can definitely control our attitude toward it. We can cower, or we can express our courageous nature. The choice is ours. One of the greatest lessons we can learn is this: To live in fear is not to live.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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

All Our Petty Differences

How fervently humans hold their grudges, the petty offences we’ve deemed so important. How proudly we display them through spiteful speech and action like badges of woes pinned sharply to our lapel. How tightly we clutch the “he-did-this” or “she-did-that” accounts of wrongs against us. How dare they! Note: I, too, have been guilty as charged. With that in mind, we’ll begin this article with a line from a book that a fellow blogger suggested that I might enjoy:

We differ from others

–from criminals, for example–

only in what we do or don’t do, not in what we are.”

Awareness. by Anthony De Mello

Do those words–and the power contained within them–not strike us in the breastbone of our Being? Is Mr. or Mrs. Ego staggering from the punch? This short line begs us to ask the following: “How am I seeing?” Am I seeing with understanding born of the heart–from Truth, or am I seeing through the eyes of the petty little ego; the guy or gal who’s often so quick to judge; or reluctant–perhaps unwilling–to forgive?

It’s been stated that individuals who strike out against us personally, or collectively in society, are actually the ones most in need of love. This is perfectly logical. Why? Because such individuals are so far removed from their own knowing of love for themselves. For what other reason would they hate as much? How can we possibly give to another that which we, ourselves, do not possess? We must also remember to extend the same loving forgiveness to our own “self;” for until we do, the healing is not complete.

All waves are identical in nature as the One Ocean in which they are immersed. How could they ever truly be different? Each wave undoubtedly expresses itself differently in form–peaking here, like a saint; or crashing there, like a sinner; but each and every one is made of Ocean. We are THAT. When we see with the love of One Heart, we will know how to truly look upon this world and, thereby, raise It.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With deep love,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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

Driver Training

———————————-Art” ~ 🙂 ~ circa 1906 ——————————–

Oh, how we love cars, especially those of us raised in Western cultures. We love them so much that we can hardly wait to get our driver’s licence. To us, a licence symbolizes freedom to come and go as we please and to, as Steppenwolf expressed in “Born to Be Wild, “get our motor running and head out on the highway! Before we acquire our licence, most of us have to pass a Drivers’ Education Class. We have to study the rules of the road and learn how to properly signal, accelerate, steer, brake, merge, and drive defensively. The lessons are in our best interest. No less is required for those of us who desire to deliberately apply the Law of Attraction.

Before we proceed, it’s important that we understand the nature of our vehicle. It is the body-mind, aka, the person. Contrary to popular belief, such is not the sum of What we are! In truth, we are Spirit–the silent witness that actually drives the body-mind through life. The quality of our personal journey is dependent upon the nature and intensity of our thoughts and feelings. Negative thoughtssuch as anger, hatred, revenge, jealousy, envy, pride, and selfishnesscan never lead us anywhere good. They create a rough ride and a tough life. Positive thoughts–such as love, kindness, compassion, empathy, generosity, humility, and selflessness–help lead us toward favourable destinations. The destinations we reach depend upon the skill with which we comply with spiritual laws.

So, are we buckled up? Have you checked your mirrors and left the story of your life in the past, where it belongs? Good, we’re off to a great start! Now, please know this: There are two powerful pedals that we must learn to operate before we pull away from the curb. One is Fear–it’s the brake; every time we  step on it (allow it to function in our consciousness) our vehicle slows down. The other pedal is Faith–it’s the accelerator; every time we press on it (feel triumphant joy rise in our heart) our vehicle moves closer to our desired manifestation! Through the power of Awareness (which can be increased through meditation), we’re going to learn how to be more aware of which pedal we’re pushing.

Our Driver Education Course required a set number of days; and the same applies to learning how to deliberately apply the Law of Attraction. In this case, thirty days. During this period–marked faithfully on the calendar–we’re going to monitor our thinking while going about our days. Our goal is to engage only positive thoughts. If we find ourselves concentrating on negative thoughts–either big or small–we’re going to begin our count anew. At the end of thirty days, we will arrive at our destination with a mind trained to focus on the positive aspects of life. The results that we’ll notice after successful completion of this course will make the effort required to pass it seem more than worthwhile.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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 Power of Attention

There’s a common misconception associated with the Law of Attraction, which may be expressed thus: When I get this or achieve that, I will be happy. Due to this ill-conceived belief, many individuals spend their entire life striving to reach goals which–if and when achieved–bring little more than momentary happiness. When such occurs, most dreamers automatically reach for an even grander goal, in the futile hope that it will yield the happiness they seek. The error is to believe that an object, position, achievement, or even a person can ever be the source of true joy.

How, then, can we experience the joy we desire? If objects and people and status and achievement cannot yield the happiness we desire, what can? The true answer: Our essential nature, which is joy, itself. There, in the transcendent beauty of Self, we may know firsthand the joy that is already ours. If it has eluded us thus far, it’s only because we’ve been searching in the wrong direction–outward instead of inward. Toward this truth, I offer a quote by Paulo Coelho for contemplation: “You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.”

Attention is like a flashlight that we direct. Through it, we’re able to shine the light of consciousness in whatever direction we desire. We can shine it here–on war, famine, politics gone wrong, and crimes against humanity; or we can shine it there–on love, on family, on friends, on food in our belly, and a roof over our head. What an amazing power we possess! In any given moment, we may direct our attention to whatever we choose. If we live consciously, the choice is ours.

Does this mean we must toss our dreams aside and leave them in the dust? Not at all. We may still proceed with our dreams–the new house or car, the great career, world travel, the loving relationship–but with a wise approach. The problem of dissatisfaction only arises when we mistake our dreams as the source of our happiness–not a complement to it! When we live the wiser way, we’re going to discover a mysterious paradox: It’s when we’re most joyful within, that we manifest most successfully without.

Our joy is neither a million dollars away, nor the highest mountain climbed away. It’s neither a mansion away, nor a perfect lover away. It’s not a sports car away, a rich stock portfolio away, or a great travel destination away. Our joy is here, in this very moment–todayAnd the key that will open this truth as experience? GRATITUDE. By centering our mind in the peace of the present moment, we will be surprised at what we discover. With the aim of discovering your inner joy, please contemplate the following list with a grateful heart:

  • A breath exhaled slowly, followed by the miracle of another breath inhaled.
  • The warmth of summer sun on our back.
  • A hug from–or given to–a loved one; or the memory of such.
  • The first sip of coffee in the morning.
  • A barefoot walk across carpet or a sandy beach.
  • Bread and butter, for what it signifies: we have food.
  • Eyes closed, and then opened to reveal the miracle of sight.
  • The smell of crisp clean air.
  • Beethoven’s glorious “Ode to Joy,” or even more sublime, the words “I love you.”
  • A drink of cool water…and thirst quenched.

The doorway to our transcendent state of joy cannot be found in the future; it cannot be entered tomorrow or next week or next year. The threshold to our joy is here, in the ever-present, eternal NOW. The moments of our life come but once, bearing gifts both big and small. The question is, Will we receive the best this life can offer by using our attention wisely?

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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