Time To Be Still

In the folly of my teenage years, I had a default coping strategy which, although not actually acted upon, most likely set the stage for some problematic years and experiences. Whenever a troubling circumstance or situation felt beyond my skill set, I would visualize running as fast as I could and jumping a freight train. Where was the train headed? In my adolescent mind, the answer was always: “Wherever I could escape having to experience the damned feelings running through me.” The great flaw in this strategy, of course, is that wherever you go, there you are. To run, run, run, run-runaway makes no sense at all. Neither, truly, does anger, when it is a means of coping with fear.

Although I stopped visualizing jumping a freight train to escape uncomfortable or fearful situations many years ago, my childish strategy for dealing with the stresses of life may have covertly morphed into other mechanisms (such as distraction, or a bull-dog “let’s-make-this-right” attitude) that are also ineffective at dealing with the root of the issues. In the first, we’re basically ignoring the hurt through redirection of our attention; in the second, we’re putting our shoulder against the world and expecting it to move. The main point is that unfelt issues related to the human experience–such as loss, embarrassment, guilt, shame, regret, grief, loneliness, ridicule, resentment, and fear–are potentially going to turn around and bite us where it hurts unless we acknowledge them at the time…and feel them. The following are examples of situations that might give rise to uncomfortable feelings:

  • What does it feel like to lose a loved one?
  • What does it feel like to experience sudden divorce?
  • What does it feel like to be given a life-changing diagnosis?
  • What does it feel like to be faced with homelessness?
  • What does it feel like to be forced to change careers midlife?
  • What does it feel like to be estranged from family members?
  • What does it feel like to have high expenses and low income?

This strategy related to feeling is not intended to bog us down in self pity or remorse. Its effect is actually the opposite–to liberate us. By feeling what needs to be felt, we gain greater clarity of perspective and allow ourselves to positively move forward. I believe that the following quote from Joseph Campbell expresses the best potential result:

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

By simply being with our fears (and, as a dear friend suggested, even welcoming them), we disarm so many of their negative effects. When we take time to be (with the good, the bad, and the ugly), we allow their energies to be felt and accepted. Our intention is not to judge anything; for this is the grand territory of Isness, not the petty place of rightness or wrongness. From the vantage point of Being, we realize that nothing can truly harm us. We are not our stories of triumph or tragedy; nor are we the character playing the starring role in our life movie. Fear, when faced, loses so much of its imagined power.

In my life story, I have come a long apparent way. No longer am I seeking to run away from my fears on a freight train headed for who knows where. Now, I’m willing to sit with what frightens me–including sides of my personality that are less than perfect, and circumstances that feel uncomfortable. This, I believe, is opening me to all of the incredible goodness that this life has to offer. May such also happen for you.

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

I Walk With You

To go for a stroll with someone you love is one of the grandest experiences we could ever have. In the right company, with the right prevailing spirit, a walk hand-in-hand is sublime–a blessing for both. It is both comfortable and exciting at the same time. When we are moved by a deep sense of love, it matters not the conditions. Most persons quite naturally assume that they walk under their own power. They are absolutely certain that it is their hips, legs, and feet (in combination with other body systems) that propel them forward. What if, however, that such is not truly the case?

Whether we realize it or not, the wonderful close relationship that I described in the paragraph above is actually occurring with our Divine Creator. If it was not, walking–and every other human activity–would not, and could not, occur. To our logical minds, this seems ludicrous. Humans are indoctrinated to accept a set of beliefs that are based upon, and founded in, innocent ignorance. By this, I do not mean to imply that humans are stupid. In its root form, ignorance (derived from Latin, ignorantia) simply means lacking knowledge. The following Bible passage (John 15:4) may help us understand the principle more clearly:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

Is this not true? Have you ever seen a fruit that grew unto itself, by itself? Or did it need to be connected to the Life-Giving Vine to express the juicy gift within it? The easiest way that I can relate this principle is not coincidentally) through the analogy of a set of Christmas lights. Did you ever see a single light that was shining by its own power, or did it have to be connected to a source of power? Perhaps another passage from the Bible (John 14:10) will give rise to another insight within us:

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”

As much as we’ve been conditioned to believe otherwise, the principle of connection to our Source also applies to humans. Through confusion about our essential nature, it is, indeed, possible for us to believe we are disconnected from our Creator (as related in the parable of The Prodigal Son); but such can never actually be the case. Unless our body-mind (person) is connected to our divine power Source, it cannot manifest as a living form. It is, therefore, true that we never walk alone. To do so is impossible.

Through enlightenment, we interpret the activities of our body-mind and the occurrences within the world from a vastly different perspective. We realize that just as we could not possibly be the person who is walking in our nighttime dream state (although it definitely feels as though we are during our dreams), we are, likewise, not actually performing our own walking now, in the waking state. In Truth, it is more accurate to state that we–as the apparent body-mind–are being walked. We are an aspect of our Creator, having an apparently human life. When we directly recognize That which walks by our side at every moment, all of our human mountains become so much easier to climb. In other words, when we draw nigh unto our Creator, our Creator draws nigh unto us. Hiking boots anyone, or would you prefer sandals or sneakers?

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

Mining Gold

The Gold to which I refer within the content of this article is not the type found as shiny nuggets panned from streams; nor is it the kind that is bound in ore at great depths within the earth. To mine this nature of Gold, drilling rigs, dynamite, and mammoth mining trucks are not required. The Gold of which I write is Spiritual Gold, and It is closer than your breath. It is the MOST precious non-thing, never found via the senses.

The following information will be useful to help us set up our mining operation. In spiritual circles, our shared Oneness is often analogously referred to as Gold. We, as humans of various shapes, sizes, and colours, are likened to articles of golden jewelry such as rings, bracelets, or necklaces. Through this analogy, we understand that at the core, all of the articles of jewelry are, in essence, gold. This principle also applies to humankind; for at the Core, all of us are fashioned from, and known by Awareness. In spiritual terms, we refer to It as God; in scientific terms, we refer to It as the Unified Field; and we informally refer to It as “I Am.”

To understand our essential nature more deeply, it’s important that we realize that Awareness knows Itself, through Itself. It is knowingly self aware of Its own nature. It’s essential nature is creative. Out of the One Spiritual Gold, all forms that are known, including the world and our body-minds, are made. Logically, therefore, each and every one of “us” must intrinsically possess a shining nugget of Goldness within. It could be no other way. It is this one-and-only Gold that I devote the contents of this article.

For reasons which may only be surmised, the majority of modern cultures have attempted to hide the realization of our Goldness from humankind. To whatever degree that this may be so, the good news is that our nugget of Gold is the one non-thing that can never be stripped from us–it is our Golden birth right. For periods of time, we may be confused about our essential nature; but we can never actually be other than That which we are.

To mine our spiritual Gold within, it’s imperative that we realize that no amount of data collecting or soil sampling about our essential nature (books, religious services, spiritual retreats, online presentations) can ever replace leaning into our shovels and digging into the very nature of our Being. Daily meditation is the tool that we use to spiritually mine (recognize) our nugget of gold within. When we shovel away the overburden (that which is not our essential nature; i.e., name, form, title, status, nationality, race, etc), the nugget of gold is directly revealed.

To recognize the nugget of gold, we must turn our attention within and merge with IT.

One of the greatest consequences of knowingly mining our Gold (God) within us, is that the world and everyone benefits by this recognition. When we raise God from the depths of our Being to the surface of our daily interactions, everyone’s life is enriched. The world, and our experience of it, is quite literally transformed. Selfishness is displaced by Godly selflessness. Base human traits are displaced by the genuine love of the Creator. Due to our rich discovery, we may now see and appreciate the Gold that is shining through and from everyone and everything. Perhaps it’s time to consider setting up your own Gold mining camp, Here and 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. (F. A.) 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Walking on Water

I am not certain if the content I relate in this article will resonate with readers; but I feel compelled to share it. Most persons who delve into the subject of spirituality are doing so for one of two reasons: (1) Due to suffering, they are seeking solutions beyond the normal scope of daily living; or (2), for reasons unknown, they have been naturally drawn to investigate life at a deeper level. My life contained both components, with the balance periodically tipped toward suffering that provided the driving force to find answers NOW.

For many of my years, I lived in the opposite manner implied by the title of this article. I felt as though I was walking on eggshells–that circumstances could go horribly wrong at any moment. When we live in a fearful mode for extended periods, we unconsciously invite fear to stay, as though it were an old familiar friend. In my case, the behaviour may have been fostered by the sudden passing of my father when I was sixteen. It was then that I learned that unforeseen events can arise swiftly, without warning. What we assume is guaranteed–isn’t. Not even close. In hindsight, it’s not surprising that my fearful subconscious paradigms gave rise to circumstances that mirrored them. The tendency to worry provides situations that prompt an even greater degree of worry.

One of the practices that helped shift my perspective from fear to FAITH was the daily use of positive affirmations expressing gratitude to God. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the deep significance of them; but they definitely felt good to say. They helped me learn that I could trust that all was actually well, in spite of apparent circumstances. The following affirmation is still one of my favourites:

Thank you, God, for being my Infinite Source and Supply.”

What, you might ask, has this to do with the title? Am I now proclaiming that I’m capable of walking on water? No. However, I can relate that a dramatic shift in my life makes me feel as though I could, if the need arose. The shift is due to recognition of my essential nature, true Self. Now, I realize That which is the true Source of power and intelligence. The resources of Art Russell are as naught without the loving benevolence of The Absolute. Through That, I know peace that was previously lacking. I also realize that wherever I walk, through whatever nature of circumstances, I never walk alone. EVER. It is this direct recognition, dear readers, which I wish for you.

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. (F. A.)🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Ever-Present “I Am”

Regarding knowing recognition of our essential nature, it has been my experience that apparently “little” points can make a huge difference in the degree of our understanding. Through Grace, the gifts of clarity often arrive when we least expect them and displace more of our delusional beliefs. The following is the account of one such incident that occurred out of the blue:

***

About three years ago, I was in a local store when I met a man whom I occasionally interacted with during my career as a paramedic. His formal career was as a respiratory therapist; but from our past discussions, I also knew that he was very knowledgable about our spiritual nature. Our meeting was an opportunity of which we took full advantage. For several minutes, we stood to the side of an aisle and allowed our enthusiasm to transport our conversation into the very depths of life.

At that time in “my” life, a lot of conditoned beliefs were still being shed. On some days, it felt as though “Art” had disappeared in the ocean of Truth; but on other days, it felt as though “Art” had reappeared to recite the details of “his” apparent life. In relating the situation, I believe that I said that some days I feel as though “It” (meaning my essential nature) is here, but that on other days as though “It” has left. In response to this, my friend made the following short comment, which serves as the foundation of this article. He said:

Where would It go?”

I immediately smiled and nodded in agreement–expressing even a glimpse of self realization can be tricky. The comment that my ex-colleague had made was so relevant and CLEAR. On those days when it felt as though my essential nature had departed, that, of course, wasn’t the case. And it can never be the case for you, either! A seeming departure actually means that my old conditioning (the belief in being the person) had once again returned and attempted to take center stage. Although our essential nature can neither be described nor defined (for it is limitless), It is often expressed as being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent–meaning all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere.

The main point of this article relates to this: We awaken to true Self when we knowingly recognize That which neither comes nor goes. It is the substratum of all that ever was, is, and will be. The Absolute is One, playing all of our apparent roles as persons. It does not arise in us–the persons; we–the persons–arise in It. Eternal and indivisible, It is the unchanging foundation of our Being.

***

The photo at the top of this article is taken from my apartment. Several years ago, I felt inspired to attach the quote from St. Francis of Assisi to an old suitcase that had belonged to my parents. His message was that we are now–already–That which we are seeking. My point in attaching the message to the suitcase is actually the opposite of what persons might assume: We don’t have to pack our suitcase and travel anywhere to know That which we already are…here and now. We can unpack our history, take a deep breath, and just BE.

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. (F. A.) 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Oh, Jubilant Heart

Recently, I, Heart, heard several rapid-fire knocks at my door. When I opened the door, I saw Mind dressed in a loud plaid suit and holding a briefcase. Mind said that it had some information of pressing importance to share and that it would appreciate a few minutes of my time. I didn’t wish to be impolite, so I invited Mind to enter. We sat across from each other at my kitchen table.

This is your lucky day,” said Mind, as it opened its briefcase, “because I have a plan for your life; and I think–rather, I know–you would be wise to follow my advice. At FollowTheCrowdInc., we have a monthly installment plan that makes payments easy and affordable. Mind then edged a colour brochure toward me that was filled with graphs, glossy photos, and gobbledygook. “It seems to me,” said Mind, with a few judging glances, “that you need some help putting your life in order. How lucky are you that I stopped by–chuckle, chuckle, hack, hack! Perhaps you can’t see it because you’re too close to notice; but it’s obvious that you’re not living your best life possible. Here’s a few questions to get you thinking. Are your taxes in order? What about savings? Income property–do you have one? Have you considered multiple streams of income? And what about the Joneses down the street–can you not only keep up to them but also outdo them? I noticed that car of yours is looking long in the tooth–can you afford a new one? What about your children, if you have any–can you help them financially? Diapers aren’t cheap you know. Retirement, whew, now there’s a topic! How many years before you get the golden handshake? Do you have continuing benefits? Dental coverage isn’t cheap you know–you don’t want to be gumming it at the golf course. And what about funeral arrangements? Have you made them? Are you thinking burial or cremation? What about plans to travel before you’re too old and doddery? Have you got your name on a nursing home waiting list yet? And last but not least, have you filed your GYBTB-4321-Yellow Form yet? Don’t want to be late with that one! As you can see, there are so many details that must be arranged. Thoughts?” asked Mind, as it surfaced for air.

With a soft smile, I, Heart, handed the brochure back to Mind, and said, “Yes, I do. I plan to live my days as fully as possible, without carrying the burden of an illusory past or worrying about a future that never arrives. I am Life, Itself, enjoying this rare and wonderful experience. I am that I am, here and now; and that’s what matters the most. On a daily basis, I ensure that I keep my worries low and my enthusiasm high. I frequently get up early to view a sunrise and occasionally go for a walk in the rain. I make sure that I watch what I think–not a television. I eat well, enjoy a little drink now and then, and practice the golden rule with everyone I meet. I write, take pottery classes, and paint when intuition nudges me to do so. Oh, and I sing in the shower and have been known, on occasion, to skinny dip at midnight. But that’s probably a little too much information, isn’t it?

“Yes,” said Mind, gagging forth an awkward smile, “I think it is.”

And with that, I, Heart, politely showed a very glum-looking Mind to the door.

***

Dear Readers: Live, live, live! Oh, how I love you.

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. (F. A.)🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

“Spiritual High Rollers”

The majority of Beings are knowingly unaware of their essential nature; so it really wasn’t surprising to learn that Reginald still seems lost in his body-mind “story.” How can we be certain that Reginald has not yet awakened to his true nature? When he was recently a contestant on a game show called Spiritual High Rollers, the host asked him to complete the following sentence: “As it relates to your essential nature, beyond name and form…”

I

A m

A n

E T E R N _ L

B _ _ _ _

As the clock ticked down the remaining seconds (dum de dum-dum, dum dee do; dum dee dum-dum, dee, dee, dee-dee-dee-dee), Reginald’s face turned red, and he blurted the following answers:

I am an eternal bigot!

I am an eternal beast!

I am an eternal baker!”

When the timer alarm sounded, Reginald spun on his heels and flung down his arm. It was over, and he knew it.

“I’m sorry,” said the host, as he noticed Reginald’s dejected expression, “but time has run out. Please don’t feel too sad, though; there’s good news. We’re inviting you back for another round!”

***

What about you, dear reader: Beyond belief, would you have known–directly–the answer that stumped Reginald? We can recognize a deeper dimension of Self here and 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

Theo McFacts

Theo McFacts was forty-four going on ninety four, with a spirit so covered with body-mind debris that he seemed more dead than alive. That is to say that his perspective was almost always buried in the dank grave of his present circumstances and his oh-so-terrible personal history. If asked to tell of the last time he really felt unbridled joy, he would have been hard-pressed to offer an answer. Perhaps, that time when a two-for-one coupon unexpectedly arrived in his mailbox–yes; that was pretty neat, yes it was!

The point of sharing this account about Theo is not to ridicule him; not at all. The point is that without being aware of it, Theo had developed the unconscious habit of arguing for his limitations. Theo McFacts knew the facts, and no one was going to convince him otherwise! If he had been a defense lawyer, he would have won every case! The reason why he couldn’t fall in love again was that he had experienced a painful divorce ten years prior. The reason why he couldn’t start a new successful business was that he had started three that flopped in the past. The reason why he was destined to carry the spare tire of weight around his abdomen was that he had already tried every diet in the books. He would love to date a compatible woman, BUT, you see, it could just never work out. He would love to dream big, BUT, you see, that just isn’t practical. In short, Theo habitually defended an “I cannot” attitude. As many motivational speakers share, Theo was allowing the wake (story) of his boat (person) to determine the direction of his life.

All there is, is NOW. The past does not exist if we stop carrying it forward, through our attention to it. If you know someone like Theo, perhaps the following quotations will help him/her break free:

***

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”

Plutarch

***

There is but one consciousness in the universe able to think; and when it thinks, its thoughts become objective things to it.”

Charles F. Hannel (The Master Key System)

***

Certainty, Faith, Belief, is a necessary part of creating wealth–or anything else for that matter. It is that which gives the universe a go-ahead to do as you wish it to do.”

Daivd Cameron Gikandi (A Happy Pocketful of Money)

***

To know this law is enough: Whatever we accept as a permanent mental image in our consciousness must manifest in our world, for we become in life what we are in consciousness, and nothing can alter the fact.”

U.S. Anderson (The Magic In Your Mind)

***

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men [women], for they act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

T. E. Lawrence

***

Dear readers: Life is far more magical and vibrant than you may have assumed. The ideas, thoughts, and beliefs that we habitually entertain make a tremendous difference in the apparent circumstances that manifest in our life. Are you living the best life you can imagine?

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

Observations of Terah

In a distant galaxy, far far away, there is a planet named Terah with a population of almost eight billion people. The people, who are of various races, colours, and creeds, live in compartmentalized sections of land called “countries” and usually consider themselves to be quite civilized; that is, when they aren’t waging war against one another in the name of keeping the peace. Terahlings are usually quite proud of themselves; for they believe they have advanced from the dark ages. Ignorance, however, can be a tricky beast to wrestle, because we are often unaware of its presence. This is the case with the majority of Terahlings, who, for reasons unknown, choose to turn a blind eye to the following:

***

Despite the discovery in 1911 by Ernest Rutherford (one of Terah’s acclaimed scientists) that atoms are actually comprised of 99.999% empty space, the citizens of Terah continue to believe that they live upon a planet made of solid stuff called matter, which they assume to exist independent of consciousness. No amount of logic-based arguments can sway their population from the reports of their senses.

***

Despite passages in one of their Holy books called the Bible, which states (in Acts 17:28) “for in Him we live and move and have our being,” Terahlings continue to believe that each of them is, indeed, a separate source of consciousness. Their argument is that it certainly feels that way. That David Chalmers, who is a noted philosopher and cognitive scientist, coined the phrase “the hard problem of consciousness” to refer to the unprovable assumption that neuronal processes of the brain give rise to consciousness seems trifling and unimportant.

***

Despite the best efforts of sages and saints of Terah, who claim that the “reality” of their lives actually occurs in the Waking State (which is similar to the well-known Dream State, in which people, objects, and events are also experienced), the majority of Terahlings choose to ignore such reports and continue to believe in their autonomy as “persons.” The irony is that by doing so they are denying the existence of the Creator that is the very Source of their life.

***

Despite evidence from science (The Double-Slit Experiment), which strongly suggests that mind is directly related to apparent objects experienced in consciousness, and that a world independent of consciousness cannot be proven, Terahlings continue to deny their divinity as co-creators with Infinite Living Mind and assume themselves to be mortals of flesh and bones.

***

The majority of Terahlings are actually prodigal, without being aware that such is the case. In the well-known Biblical account of the prodigal son, the son turned away from The Father (his Creator) and spent his inheritance with his attention facing outward, toward the apparent world. When his suffering related to the perspective of being a “person” became too great, the son finally turned his attention back toward The Father, which symbolizes turning his attention within, to the Truth of his Being. That same opportunity to investigate their essential nature is available to all citizens of Terah NOW.

By last account, life is much the same for the citizens of Terah–strife, conflict, mass shootings, selfishness, greed, and war. Of course, there is also a lot of goodness occurring on Terah; but for some reason, that doesn’t often get reported. One noted university professor of Terah, who preferred to remain nameless for the purposes of this article, stated, “Do you have any idea how much it would cost to rewrite all of our history books…and tell the Truth?! Don’t be insane!” Please note; any similarity to the situation on Earth is purely coincidental.

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

The Still Small Voice

One day, Frank became aware.

He became aware that he had been living unaware; that for as long as he could remember he had been existing on automatic pilot. Every day of the week was pre-planned, and so a week, a month, and, thus, a year. With startling clarity, he realized the life ahead of him; and the shadow of his future–scripted by forces not his own–was both frightening and depressing. The revelation foretold the story of a man, apparently alive, standing at the foot of his own grave, awaiting the fall.

As Frank’s level of consciousness increased, he noticed that for years untold, he had willingly subjected his “self” to the “cacophony of the multitude.” The trend had been so insidious that its increasing noise level had escaped his attention. Morning news (“weapons of mass destruction“) was parroted at mid-day and echoed, yet again, at night. Repeatedly, various media outlets offered identical sound bites. For most of his life, Frank had assumed that the intention of such programs was simply meaning to inform; but now, he realized that conform, conform, conform was their more likely message. He also began to notice that neighbours and colleagues, in somnambulistic reverie, were eager to instruct him in action that he should take…if he were wise. “They’re asleep,” Frank now thought, “as was i.”

When Frank examined what he had assumed to be his life, he discovered that the grooves of his own patterned ways were very deep, indeed. He realized (from the perspective of witness), that he always stirred the milk into his coffee with three clockwise turns–not two, followed by a tapping clink of the spoon against his favourite mug. He realized that he prefaced many sentences with the word actually, for no apparent reason. After showering, he realized that if it were not for awareness, his right arm would always reach to dry his left shoulder first. From his new vantage point, Frank intentionally severed as many patterns as possible; and as a result, he felt more alive than he had felt in years.

On that day that Frank became aware, he made a promise to himself, which he has kept. The promise is that he would always favour the Still Small Voice within, instead of the cacophony of the multitude. Much later, Frank discovered that the Voice that guides his actions is referred to in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Frank also wisely follows another action. When persons ask him for his opinion, it is to “That”–their own Still Small Voice–that he politely suggests they turn.

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