Here & Now: The Holy

Oh, how our ego loves to tell tales. With its sly reptilian ways, it regales us with non-stop stories about our humanness. Through its perspective, we and so-called others are labelled wicked or worthy. Via the faculty of memory, it can fill us with pride about our successes; and then–in a moment flipped like a coin–empty us to shame about our failures. In a dizzying twirl, it can wind us up like gossiping toys about our neighbours’ recent sins; yet conveniently forget our own transgressions. Through our belief in the reality of the ego, suffering arises.

In the blink of an eye, our ego can shape-shift from role to role. As the charmer, it coddles us with, “You’re the best–so good and lovely!” When it plays the judge, it holds the gavel and we pray for a favourable verdict. Reduced to beggars, we wonder, “Today, will I be spared or thrown to the lions? And even if we are spared, our ego then immediately pokes us with the next grave thought–“But what about tomorrow?” Behind our backs, our ego slaps its knee and howls, “Ha-ha, hoh-hoh, they don’t even realize that NOW is all there is!”

***

Dear Readers: If you’re begging for release from your ego’s harsh judgement, please consider the practice of daily meditation. Even five or ten minutes is enough to begin. You might also consider asking: Who Am I?–really. Are you really the person that is observed? If the person can be observed, what is That which is witnessing? You are home–“free”–when you recognize that true Self is beyond the ego’s stories–both good and bad.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2023 – 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

Yogananda’s Diving Board

Paramahansa Yoganda was a famous yogi who brought knowledge about meditation and Kriya Yoga to the west. He also wrote many fine books about our essential nature; including Autobiography of a Yogi and Man’s Eternal Quest. Please stand with me, if you will, on the following quote from the latter. We’re going to springboard from it into deeper spiritual water:

Sssplaasshh! Please just catch your breath and tread water alongside me as we contemplate the meaning of his quote. If what Paramahansa Yogananda expressed is true (and it “is”), that would mean:

About the contents of “my” life:

Yes, it’s all occurring within a dream.

***

About the belief that I’m the body-mind:

Yes, it means that I can’t possibly “be” the person.

***

About the nature of the world:

Yes, that it’s only relatively real; an appearance within Consciousness.

***

About being the apparent doer of actions:

Yes, such is impossible. We’re also certain that we’re the doer during nighttime dreams.

***

About all of our worries and cares:

Yes, they relate to an illusory “self” that’s known by “our” name and form.

***

About the nature of space-time:

Yes, it’s not fundamental. It’s rendered via the mind; as is everything else.

***

About my belief that death of the body-mind means the death of “me.”

Yes, it’s totally bogus. We never “were” the body-mind. It’s an appearance within a dream.

***

About God (Consciousness/Awareness) being illusory:

Yes, that God is All there actually is.

***

Now that we’re at the edge of the pool: “Would you like to dive from another quote from Paramahansa Yoganda, or should we grab our towels and call it a day?

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2023 – 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

Draw Nigh

The following verse is from James 4:8:

 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

In response to this verse, the majority of us might ask; “And what the heck does that mean? In one short passage, we’re told that we have dirty hands, that we’re a sinner, and that we need to purify our heart and get rid of a mind!

I humbly offer my following interpretation: In the Bible, hands often symbolize the will; therefore, dirty hands would imply that we were living through the perspective of the person; instead of God’s (which is selfless and infinitely wise). To be a sinner means to miss the mark regarding the Truth of our being. To purify our heart would mean to cleanse our perspective of the thoughts and beliefs related to being the person; because to some degree or other, it is tainted with selfish motives. To be double minded would refer to the predominant world belief that there are eight billion separate persons who possess a mind of his/her own. The Truth is that God (the only Consciousness there is) is actually living us. That the former is believed is the cause of every conflict that arises.

How do we draw nigh (near) to God (and thereby improve everyone’s quality of life), when information can only relate knowledge about God? If we’re seeking union with God, it’s important to realize that the term “near” still implies distance; which means that we are still rooted in the dualistic perspective of subject to object. Our real aim is not only to draw near to God, but to actually merge in–and as–our true nature. For this to be known, we must be God in the apparent form of you, me, and eight billion spiritual brothers and sisters.

To draw nigh unto God can only be known directly. During meditation, the realization arises that the perspective of the person is witnessed by a No-Thing which isn’t localized in space-time. When this occurs, we realize that our sense of “I Am-ness” is not ours, but God’s. The strength of this revelation indicates the truth that the Self which we have been seeking is everywhere and, yet, nowhere. This also leads to the realization that our personhood is being lived as an appearance within Consciousness. Our understanding is reinforced through the following verse from Acts 17:28:

For in Him we live and move and have our being.”

Dear Readers: Draw nigh unto God. Despite the appeal of the apparent body-mind perspective, it gives rise to tremendous suffering. This occurs because the body-mind (which is appearance only) exists in a dualistic environment. Good and bad are interrelated polaric opposites; therefore, one cannot be known without the other. When we know ourselves as That which we truly are, we know the peace that passeth all understanding.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2023 – 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

Song Of The Soul

The conditioning that is prevalent in the majority of western-type societies has created a mythological version of happiness that is highly conditional. It is founded upon ignorance of our essential nature and offers an empty promise that is dependent on one simple word–“when.”

Led by the relentless desires of our ego, we often conclude that life will be dandy: when I find the love of my life; when we move into our new home; when all of our bills are paid; when the dishes are done; when I complete my first marathon; when we have financed our children’s education; when I receive a pay raise; when I summit another mountain; when my book is published; when I buy another fifty pair of shoes; when I buy another motorcycle/boat/thing; when the economy improves; when so-and-so is elected; when our neighbours behave; when I receive an apology for what he/she did twenty-two years, three months, and two days ago; when it’s Friday; when the weather is just right; when the waiter arrives; when I lose/gain twenty pounds; when I’ve had another three (ten?) beers; when I’m living on the west coast (east coast); when he/she/ loves me; when my bank account reflects a certain amount of numbers; when my talent is recognized by “others;” when I can bench press a Buick; and last, but not least, when I’m perfect.

The voice of the ego temptingly assures us that when our desires are fulfilled, we will be happy; but here’s the catch–it’s LYING! The sad, and often overlooked, twist to this conditioning is that NOW is all there ever IS. When we attempt to acquire happiness by fulfilling the desires of the time-bound phantom “self,” we overlook the very non-thing whose nature is happiness Itself. Our BEing is not dependent upon anything to be happy. It rejoices in LIFE, as LIFE. It revels in Isness. Can you, here and now, become still and feel the delightful song of your soul?

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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

Based On Assumption

The quality of our experience within so-called “reality” depends upon one assumption that is rarely, if ever, questioned. The assumption is this: That apparent “things” have existence apart from the mind in which they are seen. Because of this, we exhibit great confusion about our essential nature (which is Spirit) and the actual substance of the “world” in which we live. Believing our little “i” to be made of flesh and bones, we must assume that it requires a physical world made of “matter” in which to live. To this, I offer the following quote from an advanced-level law of attraction book entitled The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel:

“All things have their origin in mind, and appearances are the result of thought. So we see that things in themselves have no origin, permanency, or reality. Since they are produced by thought, they can be erased by thought.”

Our instinctive reaction to this will most likely be as follows: “But, I can see myself; I can feel myself; I know that I am real as the body-mind.” At one time, I would have definitely agreed; but I can no longer. Having recognized true Self, I now realize that my body-mind is an appearance within Consciousness only. In spiritual terms, this is sometimes referred to as waking from the delusional belief of personhood. Let’s stoke this spiritual fire through the following quote from Neville Goddard and one of his wonderful books entitled Neville Goddard’s Interpretation of Scripture:

Things have no reality other than in consciousness. Therefore, get the consciousness first and the thing is compelled to appear.”

Let me be clear: This is not to say that things are not real; only that they are not absolutely real in the way that most readers may currently believe. An apparent person crossing the street who is struck hard by a car will still experience an injury and feel pain. The example of a desert mirage is often related; for although we know the mirage is not real (in the absolute sense), it still has an apparent reality within consciousness.

This glorious incarnation is an unparalleled opportunity to truly KNOW THYSELF. To awaken to true Self is to realize that our apparent human life is being lived within the waking state; which the majority of Beings erroneously assume to be foundational reality. Through comparative contemplation, we can realize that apparent matter, buildings, and persons are also experienced within the dream state. They must, however, be rendered only via the activity of the mind; for there is nothing other than mind from which they could be made.

With this knowledge, does the well-known placebo effect (in which an inactive ingredient within a pill yields a positive effect) now make more sense? Our beliefs (whether good or bad) that are habitually impressed upon the subconscious mind will be expressed as our apparent circumstances. Through more understanding, of ourselves and the way that creation occurs, we can deliberately choose our focus wisely and, thereby, attract the best outcomes possible.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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

Home in The Heart

Home in The Heart

How lovely

To look upon

You, and you, and you

And recognize true Self shining

Resplendent through all.

Suddenly, the question—“Where do I end

And you begin?—is realized as being absurd;

For the illusion of separateness is shattered

When we see everyone and every thing

As Holiness expressed.

Here, now,

There exist no fences or boundaries between us.

In the stillness of the heart,

Everyone is back home,

Cradled in Love.

– R. Arthur Russell

***

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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

An Epiphanic Star

Anyone who has followed my writing about the law of attraction (that we bring about what we think about) knows that I don’t believe in accidents. To me, this universe functions in an orderly manner: summer follows spring not once in a while, but always; and fall surely precedes winter each and every year. When planted at the right time, in the right place, a corn seed will grow into a corn plant–not a pea plant. On the human level, I believe that spiritual laws also apply: our habitual thoughts form beliefs which lead to actions and results that we witness in our lives.

With regard to the apparent events that we experience, a revelation recently occurred to me. It was as though an epiphanic star blazed across my awareness and, by its trailing light, revealed a hidden belief that had been buried deep within my subconscious mind. There “it” was: the reason. We can learn what is contained within us by examining the repetitive patterns we experience; but to do so, we must be aware and pay attention.

The background: On a Wednesday in May, 1974, when I was sixteen, I returned home from high school and immediately heard my mom anxiously call to me from my parents’ bedroom upstairs. She thought that my father, who was lying in bed, might have had a heart attack. That was how the horror of that afternoon began. At about 10 p.m. on the Saturday of that same week, my father’s dead body was being removed from our house. In a grief-stricken blur, you soon find yourself standing with your sisters and mother in a funeral home, selecting a casket. How can that be?

Any memories of what I was feeling at that age will be tainted, as all memories are notoriously imperfect. I can, however, do my best to recall. As a shy teenager, who was unaware of the ways of the world, I might have quite naturally assumed that life would be hard without my father; that there would be challenges to deal with, made worse by my adolescent fears. Without him, how would you learn how to be a man? How would you know how to perform the tasks and maintenance that he used to perform? Without his guidance, how would you find your way?

Has my life offered results of that belief? Yes. Of course, I realize that in hindsight we can draw faulty conclusions and build a case to fit the effects that show up in our life; but I also realize that to ignore our intuitive understanding is unwise. I have long believed that to experience different results we must be willing to change; and with that logic, I have applied the principle of the following ancient hermetic axiom for many years:

As within, so without.”

The epiphany that shot through my awareness is this: I did, in fact, believe that “life is going to be hard without dad.” The tears which came, in a sudden and unexpected release of emotion, seemed proof. That they came, however, is actually good; because it means that I’m letting go of a belief that was formed by an adolescent mind. It’s time to feel that belief in its entirety and replace it with a better one. I, thus, deliberately choose the following:

Today, I live fully, completely, joyously. I am Life, itself.

I choose–NOW–to embrace this moment and live with ease and grace.

Dear Readers: If you have been experiencing undesirable patterns in your life, I encourage you to dive deep into your beliefs and examine them for validity. Are they true? Do they serve you? If not, you can consciously replace them with ones that produce better results.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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

Recognizing YOU

Life has no shortage of circumstances that challenge our strength. On any given day, someone–perhaps you–is dealing with the impending death of a loved one; the heartbreak of an unexpected divorce; or the humbling conditions related to poverty. Our body-mind, which we once trusted to be full of vigor, may at some point seem a weakened traitor, both physically and mentally. In response to loss, strife, or fear, we may shudder as we hear a sorrowful cry of “this can’t be happening to me,” and later, vaguely realize that the voice was our own. Doors that we so eagerly open, and imagine to be leading to our shining promises, may, instead, lead us to despair. Upon the seeming luck or fate of our little “i,” we attempt to base our happiness. At best, this is folly; at worst, a formula for varying degrees of suffering.

***

Dear Readers: Please join me, if you will, and sit still for a few minutes. You may also find it helpful to take three relaxing breaths. To find our way to the peace that we inherently are, it’s important that we distance our perspective from the mental noise related to our person and the stimuli of the apparent world. It’s also important that we investigate the nature of the little “i” who seems to be going through such trying circumstances.

Ever since our appearance on earth, we’ve been habitually conditioned to believe that we are a person (of name and form) in a world made of so-called “matter.” This is so strongly impressed upon us, that to even question it seems ludicrous. However, to recognize YOU (the deeper dimension of Self) and, thereby, live with greater peace, we must investigate the assumption for validity. The following questions may be of help:

  • Are you absolutely certain that you are a separate body-mind in a big world? (or, are the body-mind and the world actually within YOU, Consciousness?)
  • Do you know, for a fact, that matter exists beyond your awareness of it? (If so, how?)
  • Is it possible, that objects and persons within the waking state (defined as “reality” by the masses) could also be rendered via the mind that produces similar effects within the dream state?
  • Is the knower of your body-mind’s experience growing older? (or is It ageless, changeless, and eternal?)
  • Can you find a limit to the YOU that is aware of your body-mind?

Many Beings may be unaware that science has been unable to identify matter that is independent of the mind that perceives it. This, in itself, is a pointer which can deepen our understanding; because it means that Consciousness and matter are intimately interconnected. Let’s further our inquiry by taking a look at the meaning of the following verse from John 10:30:

I and the Father are one.”

When we understand the meaning of the verse (which the Bible attributes to Jesus) the degree of suffering related to identification with the person may lessen. Many seekers conceptualize the Father as a distant God sitting atop a cloud in the heavens, but such a view doesn’t suggest the Oneness referred to in the verse. It implies a relationship that is based in duality: subject to object. Through enlightenment, we recognize–directly–that the Father (Consciousness) is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus’ body-mind would, therefore, be an appearance within Consciousness, as would ours. The old expression, The All in All, relates the same principle: The All (the Father) must, logically, be within us (the children); and we, therefore, are within the Father (the All). In I Am That, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj offers his sage advice through the following quote:

Before the mind–I Am. ‘I Am’ is not a thought in the mind.

The mind happens to me, I do not happen to the mind.

This indicates that Consciousness (Awareness) is prior to the mind; that Awareness is self aware and eternal. That we have erroneously identified with being a person, in an ever-shifting environment, is the cause of great suffering. Within each of us, there is a dimension of YOU (true Self) that is untouched by anything that your apparent body-mind may seem to be experiencing. We need not wait for suffering to recognize our essential nature. When better than NOW?

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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

Expressions of Divinity

I begin this article with a bold assertion that will probably be questioned at least or, perhaps, even strongly denied:

Everyone, and everything, is an expression of Divinity.

After reading my claim, some readers may be tempted to call 911 for my apparent rescue and/or straight jacket. Given the apparent state of our world, their common-sense perspective might also give rise to the following question:“Where, dear laddy, do you sense evidence of divinity here on earth?”

A glance at world media news–with its reports of murder, war, greed, corruption, and abuse of mother earth–would certainly seem to justify such an imaginal question. Based on superficial review, it might appear that we do, in fact, live upon a Godless planet in a Godless universe; but for readers who may be seeking a deeper revelation, I’ll offer more:

Due to our deeply conditioned beliefs, the expression of “That” within us which is divine is greatly hampered by the degree to which we remain ignorant of the Truth of our origin. In other words, it is impossible to express our highest nature if we are unaware of It. The majority of Beings quite logically believe themselves to be a body-mind limited to time and space, and express themselves accordingly. Such belief leaves little room for appreciation that all Life flows from a Divine Source, and that our essential nature is unlimited.

Beings who are unaware of their innate Divinity may, quite naturally, assume that their circumstances arise because they have been blessed or cursed by a distant God. This may lead to an “if-I-had-only-lived-more-wisely” attitude and the feeling of tremendous guilt. The underlying spiritual principle is as follows:

We are not punished for “our” sins; but, rather, “by” them.

Wayward thoughts and errant beliefs, which lead to actions that create negative circumstances, eventually lead to suffering that causes us to change within and realign with our higher ideals. God’s system, which is founded upon goodness, was never intended to work against Itself. It functions as a metaphysical mirror that reflects the nature of our thoughts and beliefs. Negative circumstances indicate that we have gone astray. We are, thereby, guided to turn our attention toward God and raise the quality of our thoughts. It is absolutely true that when we turn our attention to God every aspect of our life improves.

Without knowledge of true Self, it’s impossible for us to knowingly express Its inherent nature. Such would be akin to requesting that we use a tool that we didn’t realize we possessed. The atrocities that we witness, and also our lesser sins, are not caused by an apparently Godless Universe. Such conditions arise due to humankind’s ignorance of its origin. Fortunately, one divine spark can ignite a blaze within the masses. When the majority of us realize That which we truly are, the quality of our world will improve dramatically. It’s law.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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

Rumour Has It

Rumour has it, that the devil of the underworld is on a rampage. Apparently, it’s not the stereotypical beast that we’ve been warned about–you know, the red one that’s often imagined as holding a bident amidst the fires of hell. By some accounts, the beast is more devious and elusive than we may have believed. It lurks where we may least expect to find it.

No matter how detailed, all descriptions of the devil are useless. They can never be accurate. Just when we think we have captured its likeness, the devil–as though made of flowing mercury–is able to pour itself into a different shape and behaviour. Its hatred then seems to become love; its pride, then humility; its greed, then generosity; its deception, then honesty. Without hint of remorse, it’s capable of appearing angelic, after having performed the most horrendous crime. A recent “Look Out, Beware Bulletin,” listed below, may be of service to help us avoid the devil’s touch:

  • It proclaims itself separate and autonomous of the one-and-only Power.
  • Its nature is primarily greedy; its motives, self centered in varying degree.
  • It loves to boast without appearing boastful.
  • It prefers judgment over discernment.
  • Its nature is rooted in comparison to all apparent others. It competes to win, not for joy.
  • It haunts the past and the future, and shuns the ever-present NOW.
  • Its moods are subject to swings between good and bad.
  • It wouldn’t be caught dead reading David R. Hawkins’ Scale of Consciousness.

Throughout the centuries, the devil has been referred to by various names, including (but not limited to) the following: Satan, Prince of Darkness, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Mephistopheles. Such terms actually refer to a lower level of consciousness, which periodically presents itself in lesser or greater degrees. My personal devil is known as “Art.” What name does your devil go by? Collectively (when we assume the body-mind to be our actual identity), we are the devil mentioned above. In Oneness, as Consciousness Itself, we are spared the negative consequences related to egoic identity.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

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