Stand Up, Be Counted

Most of us believe that if we saw someone being beaten, it would be unconscionable to stand back and do nothing to stop it. Depending on the circumstance, our actions might range from calling for help to stepping in and throwing a few punches or doing our best to otherwise subdue the attacker. In doing so, we would have to set aside our own fearful concerns for our self and engage; to do everything within our power to prevent the injustice from continuing. Noble spirits have done this in the past and often paid a very dear price for doing so. Still, that price is less steep than what we pay for doing nothing–for with that we live in shame for the rest of our days.

Is what we’re currently experiencing as the collective human race any less of a beating than the one referred to above? Are not the majority of human beings paying a very dear price, indeed, for standing back–arms folded–and watching, hoping, wishing, and praying that our living conditions will improve of their own accord; without our having to lift a hand against the faceless bureaucracies that are imposing their agenda, not protecting our rights? Are imposed curfews in other countries important to us, or of no concern as long as they aren’t implented here, wherever we live and move and have our being? Are lost jobs of any concern, or not as long as we still have employment? Do we care enough to take a look at information that is opposite that which is being espoused by mainstream media, and question whether most of the enforced rules and regulations are even remotely sensible?

We are mistaken if we believe we are powerless to prevent this situation from happening; for we do have some power–UNITED; not picked off like individual ducks at a shooting range. Votes, purchasing power, peaceful rallys, and honest sharing about what is occuring may be some of the ways we can help. Every silent voice states “Let the beating continue!” If we choose to look away and pretend the whole ugly beating isn’t occuring, maybe we can still get a deal on plexiglass. Someone will be glad that we’ve made the purchase; no doubt the same someone selling masks, test kits, sanitizer, and one-way arrow stickers.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

P.S. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020) please press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey.

A Tyrant in our Midst

A Tyrant in our MidstMost of us have run into persons who pretended to know what was in our best interest. They might have even professed to be experts in their fields of knowledge; you know, the way flat-earth persons professed to be experts in theirs. When we were younger, it might have been a seeming friend, whose initial suggestions began to increasingly feel like commands; so much so that we invented plausible excuses not to visit as often. “I’m sorry, Johnny, I’d like to get together, but I’m washing my hair every night next week,” –or–“Gee, Carol, I’d like to come over, but I’ve got to overhaul that engine on the backhoe.” At the heart was one reason: We desired to pry ourselves from the clutches of tyrranical behaviour.

Wannabe tyrants who desire to implement change that suits their motives are smart enough to do so subtly; for to do so overtly silently screams–to most listeners–that a violation of our rights is occurring. This signal, which alerts us to the raping of our rights, is avoided at all costs; often through lubrication in the form of “We’re doing this for the good of humanity,” or guilt in the form of “If you really cared about others, you would do as you were told.” Such makes the act of tyranny seem tolerable…at least at first. Persons who really care for us, such as therapists or psychiatrists, are wise enough to help us arrive at our own conclusions. They respect our rights; as we do theirs. They ask questions such as “How do you feel about this? or “What do you feel is the best solution?” Why? Because they realize that only the patient/client has lived his or her particular life situation. To make blanket decisions enforced by bylaws or jail time or worse is to deprive beings of their lives. We might ask ourselves if life without freedom truly is life, or whether such makes us Pinnochio being pulled by strings.

Tyranny is most effectively implemented very subtly, indeed; so that those who are tyrannized (the birds) are unaware that a cage has been placed around them until they realize they’re no longer free to fly. Governments, which at least on the surface, proclaim to be for the people, have behaved in such ignorant ways many times in the past. History is replete with such instances; and given time, the people–having tired of living as blind slaves of those who would control them, have listened to the call of their spirits and risen up and finally demonstrated “enough is enough.”

Am I pretending to know what’s best for you or anyone else? Of course, not; for in doing so, I, too, would become a tyrant. This article is only intended to help facilitate our innate ability to think for ourselves…while remaining caring and compassionate to the needs of others. Perhaps we could be open to a forum that includes opinions from experts who are currently being silenced. It might make for a balanced approach; one that favors sensible action over dictatorship.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

An Uncomfortable Diagnosis

An Uncomfortable DiagnosisNote: The names of the persons directly involved in the following account have been changed to protect their right to privacy, as guaranteed (okay, maybe not “guaranteed,” but “implied”) under the Medical Privacy Act of 1923, as first instituted quid pro quo somewhere in Liechtenstein; amended in 1927, somewhere in the Nether Parts; and later modified (see attached pamplet explaining “said” modifications) somewhere over the rainbow.

***

“Doctor Phuphuey will see you now, Mr. ImScared,”  said the nurse. She was carrying a manilla chart. “Please follow me.”

Mr. ImScared rose from his chair in the packed waiting room and followed the nurse to the doctor’s office. “You can sit here,” she said, pointing. “Doctor Phuphuey will be with you in a few minutes.” She snapped the chart onto the desk and made a hasty retreat. The door closed with a firmess that suggested finality.

The quiet of the office seemed to hold Mr. ImScared as though in a straight jacket. Without moving his head, he googled his eyes around the room: Diplomas, crooked; a picture of a smiling family; and–oddly enough–an old-fashioned pedestal ashtray at the end of the desk. Suddenly the door sprang open, and Dr. Phuphuey entered; he was the spitting image of Kramer from Seinfeld. “Sorry to keep you waiting, ” I was performing a private examination on another patient–the part in question begins with a “P,” ends with an “E” in case you want to guess.” He picked up the the chart and began to thumb through it. “So, what can we do for you today?”

“I’m here for the results, you know, from the test a few days ago. About the virus.”

“Which virus?” asked Dr. Phuphuey. “There’s a lot of them.”

Mr. ImScared couldn’t believe his ears. “Whhaaaa!” his mind cried. “You know…the virus…the one that’s been the star of the media show for the last eight months.”

“Ohhhhhhh, that one,” said the doctor. “The one that presents as mild to moderate symptoms in 99% of the populaton?”

“Yessss,” exclaimed Mr. ImScared, “that one!”

“Well, we’ve got some good news for you, Mr. ImScared. Your tests were negative. No trace of the virus whatsoever. Not a smidge.”

In Mr. ImScared’s mind he heard the sound of a plug being popped in a bathtub. He felt the tension drain from his body.  “You mean I’m going to live?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Dr. Phuphuey, “…at least for a while. Of course, I can’t guarantee that you won’t drop like a sack of gummy bears on your way to the parking lot. But, ç’est la vie, right?” With that, the doctor reached into his desk and removed a pack of Export A Cigarettes. “I like ’em strong,” he said, as he lit a cigarette and took a deep draw.

“This is insane,” said Mr. ImScared. “This is a doctor’s office. You can’t smoke in here!”

“Well, I beg to differ,” said the doctor. “My office, my rules. Besides, they’re legal, and if they were really bad for your health, they’d be outlawed. They’re not banned at all. You can buy them anywhere. Why just two weeks ago, I was travelling in East Ring-a-Ding-A-Ling, and they had them in all sorts of pretty packages. A lot of fufu about nothing, if you ask me.”

A cloud of tarry smoke wafted over them. Mr. ImScared coughed. “What did you mean when you said I was going to live…for a while?”

“Just that,” said the doctor. “You do realize that your body is going to die? Right?”

Mr. ImScared felt as though he might choke on his adam’s apple. “But when?”

“Your guess is as good as mine.” The doctor inhaled deeply and yawned a smoke ring toward the ceiling.

“But I’m free of the virus.”

“Yup, you certainly are…but there’s no telling if you might catch it next week, or next month. In the meantime, you might die of a hundred other causes.”

“You missed ‘Bedside Manners 101,’ didn’t you,” said Mr. ImScared.

Dr. Phuphuey nodded. “Yup, skipped it. Went bowling, instead. Rubbish. Simple waste of time. By the way, second letter in that exam I referred do is ‘R.’ Wouldn’t be ethical to tell you the whole word; but I can tell you a few facts about life, if you care to listen.”

“Shoot,” said Mr. ImScared.

“Let me be clear; your body IS going to die. It’s not a question of ‘if.’ But here’s the real scoop: If YOU LET FEAR DOMINATE YOUR LIFE, YOU MIGHT AS WELL GO DIG YOUR OWN GRAVE AND DROP DEAD INTO IT RIGHT NOW. Just think ‘dead‘ long enough and it will happen. My prescription is this: GRAB A SET OF NUTS ON YOUR WAY HOME AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. NO ONE–NOT EVEN THE POLITICAL PUSSIES THAT TRY TO PASS THEMSELVES OFF AS CARING HUMAN BEINGS–ARE GOING TO LIVE FOREVER. GET OVER YOURself AND BE HAPPY–YOU’VE GOT TODAY; THAT’S ALL ANY OF US HAVE. Oh, and one last point: CUT BACK ON THE T.V–IT’S GOT YOU ALL FUGGED UP.  And with that, Dr. Phuphuey ground out his cigarette in the ashtray and watched as Mr. ImScared rose from his chair.

At the door, Mr. ImScared turned and said, “Same time next week?”

“You got it,” said Dr. Phuphuey. “I’ll be here…maybe.”

***

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

When…

When

Humans are an intriguing bunch, with mindsets that often range from delighted to deranged, and variations, thereof. Depending on our mood, the day, or the news, the majority of us express behaviour that reflects how we feel on a moment-to-moment basis. Now we’re fine–smile, relax, and breathe easy; now we’re not–frown, swear, and kick a garbage can. The stock market is up! The stock market is down! We got the job, the house, and the spouse, or–$#!%–we lost the job, the house, and the spouse! To surrender to such an existence is to fate ourselves to misery. To state that such behaviour is unstable is a gross understatement.

We’ve become so accustomed to these swings that we accept them as being perfectly normal. We reason that such is just the way life is. One day up; the next day down. The world is currently in the throes of a virus that is accentuating our tendency to swing between pleasure and pain; and until we evolve into greater awareness, our habitual behavioural swings will become even more dramatic. Is this truly desirable?

If permitted, our mind would deprive us of every last drop of genuine joy. How it loves to convince us that we are dependent on persons, things, or circumstances and watch us trot–like wayward donkeys chasing carrots–between desire and fear. The mind often employs the following trickery disguised as logic: “I’ll be happy when…”  We need not be geniuses to realize the “whens” that might apply to the situation regarding the virus: “I’ll be happy when the virus is under control. I’ll be happy when I get back to work, or find another job. I’ll be happy when life gets back to normal. I’ll be happy when the grocery shelves are fully stocked again. I’ll be happy when masks, gloves, and social distancing are of the past.” The list could go on and on.

Such thinking, although understandable, only chains us to a vulnerable position. Why? Because it encourages us to hibernate in our fear and put our dreams on hold until life becomes perfect and perfectly safe–which, of course, is impossible. It also encourages us to become wait-and-see specialists who place our faith in masks, gloves, one-way arrows, and the efforts of those who would presume the ability to save us. Will eleven or twelve feet be enough social distance during the next virulent times? That’s not to be negative or to criticize our present precautionary efforts; rather, to state a truth. When the Corona story has played itself out will not yet another circumstance vie for our attention? When a virus is no longer newsworthy, will we not merely shift our focus to a different life-robbing headline?

So what’s the positive amidst the current situation? That we can consciously choose to take back our power–now! Free of the minds dominion, we can rise in awareness and dare to proclaim: “I am happy in this moment, right here and now!” We can stop searching for guarantees that don’t exist! We can shift our awareness away from the flesh-and-bones costume with which we have mistakenly identified, and step into the glory of our True Nature. We can deliberately practice gratitude, and in doing so train our mind to seek that which is noble, worthwhile, and good. We need not surf the mind’s tumultuous wave between good or bad, triumph or defeat. We can detach and yet still do our part to make our collective life experiences as good and as safe as they can be. When this current situation is finished, we will remain–as always–the silent witness that is above the mind and, most importantly, beyond the reach of fear.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

Feel Our Roar!

Feel Our Roar

A worldwide situation related to a virus is currently–understandably–garnering the largest portion of our attention. The subject seems to leave the majority of individuals with little vision for any other focus. We begin our day with thoughts about it; marinate our minds in it throughout the day; and often permit it to be the last thought before we drift off to sleep, exhausted. The weight of the situation is made heavier by the fact that many people are experiencing personal and professional consequences from every direction.

What the virus doesn’t know, however, is that we didn’t arrive at this stage of our evolution by being a pushover. The negative and often frightening stories that are currently circulating might temporarily cause us to forget our true position in life; but we are wise to remember that we possess reserves of incredible strength. If we fall down for the hundredth time, we will rise–fist punched skyward–for the 101st and shout, “we will prevail!” Again and again we rise, for however many times it takes to triumph. There’s a roar waiting within each and every one of our brave hearts. It’s there. We can feel it!

Along with our innate strength, we possess an ever greater power: Our power to think. We can originate thoughts and also attract them. We realize that we have the ability to direct our attention to whatever we desire. Most importantly, we know that whatever we focus upon–be it courage or cowardice, strength or weakness–is ultimately reflected in the circumstances of our lives. By imbuing our thoughts with feelings of strength–in spite of our situations–we exhibit more strength. The same principle holds true with regard to our vision of vibrant health.

Please look at the image of the lion atop this page. It would have been easy to select a stereotypical image of a lion posed on a cliff, roaring at the top of its lungs. Not this time, and for good reason. I wanted to convey power at rest and help you–incredible brave hearts–to remember the tremendous power that is within you. The lion exudes power without having to demonstrate it. It is confident in its strength. It is powerful because it realizes that of which it is made. Human beings are vastly more powerful than the lion. We have ROAR inside of us, waiting to be unleashed. Now would be a good time to feel that power.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell