Baby Jane

Still in hospital, John and Joanne Doe were beaming–how proud they were to hold Baby “Jane,” their first child. Weighing in at 6 lbs, 7 ounces, Baby Jane had finally–a week overdue–made her way into the “world.” John was praising “mom” up and down for her fine efforts; for the delivery had been long and exhausting. Grandparents, friends, and other visitors, as permitted, came to congratulate the young couple and sneak a peek at their new family member. Even before she was born, Baby Jane was absorbing all of the information like a little pink sponge.

Days, weeks, and months passed, with mom and dad learning new skills as time went by. There were the nighttime feedings, the changing of diapers, bath-time rituals, and new equipment to be mastered in the rearing of their child. Baby Jane was a trooper; she slept soundly, wet the correct amount of diapers, and gained the weight that informed mom and dad that all was well. After a few months, Baby Jane slept less, focused her attention, and even smiled; and in those weeks, mom, dad, and grandparents–so eager and conscientious–informed Baby Jane that she was her body and her name. They wanted her to learn the truth; to know who she was and help her to be able to navigate this world. Through it all, Baby Jane cooed and seemed content; but within (at the deepest level of her Being), she desperately wanted to tell good ol’ mom and dad a thing or two about Truth. Trouble was, she as yet did not possess the necessary physical or mental equipment to be able to do so. If she had, she would have told them the following:

***

“Dear Sweet but Naïve Parents,

I know that you mean well, but you’re both ill informed and sadly out of touch with Reality, aka Truth. Although you claim that I am your physical baby, and both of you my parents, I am actually a spiritual child of God, the Christ incarnate. I don’t mean to offend, but neither of you (nor any other human, for that matter) possesses the ability or intelligence to make flesh and bones spring to life. Just so you know, as case in point, I saw dad grimace as he struggled to remove the lid of the pickle jar the other night; how I wanted to offer advice that would have helped!

It is true that you were both apparently involved in the act of procreation; but only God, my Maker, knows how to make one of me. Both of you are also spiritual children of God; but your forgetfulness (which is a necessary part of being born to the human realm) is still upon you; that’s quite evident by the way you react to human situations. It may require a great deal more of samsara (cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material realm is bound) before the Truth of your Being is revealed to you. Don’t dismay; just trust God and know that I’m rooting for you!

I hope that you won’t be hurt by what I’m about to tell you; but when you tell me that I am “Jane Doe,” I inwardly cringe; for I still–intuitively–know in my heart that I cannot possibly be a name. A name is just a word for that to which it refers. Due to your innocent ignorance, you mistake my apparent body-mind for the sum total of my Being! Please investigate the nature of your true Self, my dear spiritual brother and sister, before your bodies expire. Have you never wondered why William Shakespeare stated that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? Bill (as I like to call him) knew–God love him!–that the name should never be mistaken as the thing. You would both benefit from spending less time in front of the television, and more reading good books. Perhaps you could begin with The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, the great Lebanese-American writer. Here’s one of his stanzas about children:

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you."

Okay, so it’s getting late, and bedtime approaches. I know that you’ll be tucking me in soon, changing my diaper (thank God!), and singing those lovely lullaby songs. How I wish that I could tell you now–this very moment–the Truth regarding your essential nature. Buddha called this world dukkha, a term which basically translates as suffering. Both of you have lived long enough to know what I’m talking about–one moment you’re on top of the world; the next you feel as though you’re plummeting toward the abyss. Earth is a polar environment of apparent opposites. As a result, humans spend their lives ping-ponging between pain and pleasure. The Source of the happiness you seek can only be found through recognition of true Self. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to share with you for now. I know that you’re doing the best that you can, given the circumstance. Just easy on the “Jane” story, okay? Oh, and remember to powder when you change me–keeps rash to a minimum. Love you!”

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

A Frog By Any Name

Once upon a pond named Earth, there lived a male frog. If viewed by us, frog might have been described as big and green and slippery-skinned; but to the frog, he was only is-ness. Frog was quite oblivious to the world around him. He gave no thought to yesterday or tomorrow; for frog knew not the silliness of humankind. Every day was a new and daring adventure. When nature decreed, he would do leap-laps around the perimeter of the pond, lazily swim out to the submerged log on the other shore, or perch upon one of the big rocks that surrounded the pond and cribbet frog opera just for the sheer love of it. Frog didn’t know a lick of Italian, but he never judged the quality of his croak-singing against any other frogs’ musical efforts–such would never have occurred to him. Frog flelt at home in the pond because is-ness allowed him to instinctively know he was an integral part of the world as a whole. But then…

***

One day, “thought” entered the still voidness of frog’s consciousness and whispered “you should give yourself a name.” At first, frog was befuddled, hearing that little voice within his head; but the more frog listened to thought, the more he liked the idea. “Yes,” he thought, “I shall name myself–a name befitting a frog of my grand status within the pond.” Initially, frog was tempted to use alliteration, thinking that names beginning with an F might be quite appealing. For one full day, he mulled over names such as Freddy, Franklin, and Fernando; but frog finally settled on naming himself Ralph Lauren–no relation to the designer. Once he had chosen the name, frog sensed pride rise within himself; he felt as though he was wearing a king’s crown as he stepped smartly around the pond. Now he was a “somebody.”

As life would have it, within a few days Ralph Lauren caught the protruding eye of one of the lovely lady frogs that inhabited the pond. When Ralph Lauren noticed, he played it cool, very cool. In response to the voice in his head (which said, “Damn it frog, stand up straight and look your best!”), he stood up on his hind legs, squared back his shoulders, and puffed up his chest. To top it off, he nonchalantly smiled his “I’m-the-frog” smile and snagged a fly in mid flight without even looking. Lady frog, who was quite impressed, smiled back; and Ralph felt his heartbeat quicken. The voice in his head was very happy, indeed.

Within a few days, Ralph and lady frog arranged to go out on a date. They would have dinner on one of the lily pads with a view. In preparation, Ralph paid a visit to a local apparel shop not far from the pond. After much deliberation, and a silent “yes” from the voice within his head, Ralph selected a tuxedo–basic black, notch lapels, french cuffs, and silk pant stripe. Oh, how Ralph smiled as he strode from the shop, the tuxedo within a clothing bag over his shoulder. He was feeling on top of the world, and he was going to look oh-so-fine on the date!

The date, unfortunately, did not go as planned. When Ralph Lauren rang the doorbell at lady frog’s pad, she opened the door, took one look at his finery, and laughed him off her front stoop. “You think I’m going to go out with you if you’re wearing that!” she exclaimed. “What kind of frog wears a tuxedo to dinner?!” Dejected, Ralph Lauren turned and plodded home. All night long, the voice in his head tortured him. “If only I’d chosen a white suit,” he thought, “everything would have turned out fine.” Life had once seemed so easy; but Ralph was now miserable due to the endless commentary by the voice in his head. How Ralph yearned for the days when he was a nobody singing opera on the big rock at the pond.

In the following weeks, Ralph Lauren visited a local frog psychiatrist, who, after numerous sessions, diagnosed Ralph as displaying human-like behaviour, proclaimed him neurotic, and prescribed anti-anxiety medication, which he still takes to this day. The psychiatrist also advised Ralph to continue their appointments indefinitely. In an effort to alleviate his suffering, Ralph is currently seeking a guru to help guide him back to recognition of his true Nature–That–and the blissful life he knew before “thought-in-the-head” convinced him to believe that he could ever be anything other than what he is already. As of last report, frog had dropped the moniker of Ralph Lauren, preferring to simplify his life as much as possible. Be forewarned, folks. Could it happen to “you?” Special note: “Lady frog” soonafter shacked up with an old toad with a criminal background, and she’s put on a lot of weight. “Thought-in-the-head” would be happy.

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

God Trumps All

God–not the word, nor the concept–trumps all. How can this possibly be, when humankind seems so very powerful? Because God (also referred to as Consciousness), is all that there IS. It is One, indivisible, irreducible, unchanging; the Alpha and Omega of all that ever was, is, and will be. It is the Ultimate Frame within which we–as apparent human beings–live. It is That, appearing as a multiplicity and diversity of shapes, forms, and colours, which we classify according to name. From the finite view of “the world,” we may appear to have dominion over all of the Earth; while from the Infinite persepctive (which is the viewpoint of Truth), humans are little more than phantasmagorical phenomena within the Waking State of God’s Infinite Dream–dream bodies, relating their supposedly important tales of triumph or tragedy to other dream bodies.

To understand this more deeply (for those earnestly curious about Truth, or weary of suffering their apparent person) requires that we set aside our erroneous assumptions–of which there is great abundance. We must set aside everything we have been told about the nature of our being and dive deep–beyond appearance–to discover the Truth within. In short, we are not “who we think we are.” The Consciousness through which, and by which, the words of this webpage are comprehended does not arise within the body-mind. Consciousness is not personal! Only Consciousness, Itself, is conscious. Such only seems to be the case due to reflected consciousness within the dream of our life.

We–as name and form–do not truly exist. It is more truthfully expressed that we appear. To believe that we have independent existence as physical bodies which somehow magically give rise to personal consciousness is an erroneous positionality–one untenable through investigation. Science confirms this (see “the hard problem of consciousness”). What we sense, including our body-minds, are but effects of Consciousness–erroneously claimed to think and act by their own power. To believe such is unawareness of Truth; for only in Him do we live and move and have our being. Our body-minds, which arise simultaneously with the world in which they interact, are actually discrete momentary manifestations successively related together so quickly as to appear “solid” and “seamless.” So it is, also, with the apparently personal “i” (the ego-thought), which is nothing more than repetitive “i-thoughts” that lead us–via memory–to assume there is an actual somebody within the head. To believe so is to attribute the flashing moment-to-moment experience of God’s Infinite Dream as actual “matter.” Quantum Mechanics has long postulated the Observer Effect, which is basically stated in the following passage from The Tibetan Book of the Dead: “Phenomena only ‘exist’ in the mind that perceives them.”

The process (not truly a process, for there is nothing we must do to be what we are) of recognizing true Self–a child of God–is simple enough; it involves surrendering all that is false. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry summed this up through the following quote: “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” God IS that perfection; and we come closer to That when we drop our concepts related to a fictional entity. Come with me now, if you will, and re-understand your true Being from the point of young child–long before you were educated in the falsities so prevalent in this realm called Earth. Know that your body is just that–a flashing appearance in consciousness; your mind but sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts appearing–likewise–to the true “You,” Consciousness. Spill out your stories related to i, me, and mine; and, through the ensuing emptiness, rediscover your-Self filled with the power and the glory of all that you Are. You are not now–nor were you ever–the body-mind. You are Consciousness, silently witnessing and co-creating the dream of your life. Why let the concept of what you are “not” prevent you from directly knowing what you already are–Consciousness, Love…here and now.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Shaking The Maya Tree

If we were to shake a tree that was full of ripe oranges, we would–quite logically–expect to see oranges fall to the ground. Likewise, if we shook a tree that was loaded with ripe apples, we would witness the falling of apples. To expect something other than the fruit of each tree (perhaps coffee cups or lollipops) to fall would very soon result in our being labeled insane. With regard to the title of this article, I am going out on a limb by sharing that all that falls when the Maya (Sanskrit, loosely translated as illusion) Tree shakes must, in the absolute sense, be illusory in nature. The fruit of Maya is transient, changeful, and ultimately unreal. Some would appropriately call such dreaming.

To transition from the view (subscribed to by the vast majority of persons) that “reality” is only defined by what appears via our senses is not an easy task; and to be honest, only those rare beings who are, indeed, ripe with curiosity for Truth (captial T, as opposed to belief or opinion) will be willing to make the earnest effort to investigate the deeper nature of their Being. Until the dream of life turns challenging or outright nightmarish, it is highly unlikely that individuals will question the blind assumptions that have formed their commonly accepted definition of reality. To take a figurative step in the direction of Truth, it may help if you know the following:

  • When Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi (a realized sage) was questioned about the difference between Dream State and the Waking State (referred to as “reality” by the masses), he replied, “Waking is long and dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings seem real while awake, so do those in a dream while dreaming.”
  • From The Law of Success by Paramahansa Yogananda: “Mind is the creator of everything.” You might think of this as the shaking of the Maya Tree. Please note that he stated everything is created by mind.
  • Paraphrased from Vedanta, Voice of Freedom by Swami Vivekananda: Knowledge is the axe that severs the axle that joins the wheel of the Truth of our Being and the wheel of the body-mind perspective. Through knowledge of Truth we are liberated from the conditioned (and erroneous) beliefs that we are a person.
  • Press here for link to “Life is a Dream” by Leo at actualized.org.
  • From William Blake: “As man is, so he sees.”
  • And finally, a photo passage from Open Secret by Wei Wu Wei:

What is the benefit of knowing this information? If your “life story” is ticking along fine, you’re almost certainly not reading this article. You’ll be apparently slaying dragons in the business world, or flying to your island home in your personal jet. If, however, you’re finding that your story has run full speed into a brick wall, it may help to know this: that what you have previously called HARD FAST REALITY is not, indeed, reality at all. It is the fruit of the Maya tree; which appears when the mind’s ability to perceive via the senses is functioning. The so-called real world (as we have assumed it to be) recedes from waking state to dream state (a more ephemeral dream world), and is totally absent in deep sleep, which is without objects, time, and space.

The real Self is That by which the apparent world is co-created and known. So what of “us” is real–for it certainly seems that we exist? Consciousness–independent of form. Please contemplate this: Can anything be known–an object, an event, even a person (including your own body-mind)–without the presence of Conscousness or a Knower? If you believe this possible, how could such ever be proven so? Is that not, in fact, like trying to know if the refrigerator light remains on when the door is closed? A tree in the forest that supposedly falls unwitnessed, neither exists, falls, or makes a sound; for such requires an observer to co-create the event and report its occurrence.

I, known in the apparent world as Art, am intuitively dictating this article to my representative form from the other side of the bridge of transition. Weird? Okay–define and label if you must; but to me what’s really strange is to blindly accept the assumption that we could ever be as finite and small as the name and form for which most persons settle. We are so much more. We are Divine Spirit, dreaming our character’s role of personhood. To know this now–while living–places one in the position of a jivanmukta (one who has attained liberation while living). If you’re tired of suffering the world of form, please come join me on the other side of the bridge. The view is beautiful–and eternal. You are not who you think you are–never have been. You can only be what you are in realitySpirit.

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 Chains That Bind

There was a time when I wouldn’t have had a clue about the deeper nature of the chains referred to in the title of this article. I was–as is the case with so many persons–still lost in the concept of personhood and working hard to arrive at that mythical human destination called success and lasting happiness. It would be many apparent years and a truckload of suffering before I was granted reprieve. Coincidentally, “he,” who was the cause of my suffering, goes by the same name as the guy who is apparently writing this article. Let’s just say that we can blame the unhappiness on Art.

As much as it might seem, I’m not being facetious. The only guy who apparently experienced the suffering was Art. At the time, I was missing one crucial piece of information: Art is conceptual only; he has no independent existence apart from the finite mind. Neither does the character with whom you’re most likely identified. You read that correctly. The person who you think you are isn’t the “real” you. The True “I – Self” that is our essential nature is beyond all human drama. It cannot be stained by life. The Bhagavad Gita states the truth of our Being this way: “Weapons cannot cut It, nor can fire burn It; water cannot wet It, nor can wind dry It.

I share this for one reason only: To help spare others the pain and anguish of needless suffering. Although it definitely doesn’t seem the case, suffering paradoxically serves a purpose; for it indicates that we have strayed too far from the Truth. It, thus, informs us that we need to change our direction and seek a meaningful way to live a fuller life. When we rediscover the nature of True Self, everything improves; for we are living from the perspective of Truth.

The degree of suffering that we experience in this apparent life is in direct proportion to our understanding of the truth of our being. If we think we’re the little John or Jane Doelookout! The only true solution is to transcend the nature of the little “self” that is apparently experiencing it. In other words, to recognize (know again) the Truth of our Being. A lot of very wise beings–including Buddha, Jesus, and Lao Tzu–knew this, and so can we. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj summed up the matter this way: “You can only be what you are in reality; you can only appear to be what you are not.”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

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 Hidden Treasure of “I Am”

What if you were told that there is far more to “you” than meets the eye. Would you be curious? Would you be tempted to set out on a journey to discover your essential Self that is beyond name and form? As a young man living in Bombay, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (born Maruti Shivrampant Kambli in 1897) was earnestly curious; and as a result he realized true Self at the age of thirty-four. Soon after, be began to hold informal satsang (spiritual discourse, sacred gatherings) with seekers in his humble home in Bombay until the passing of his body in 1981. One of my favourite quotes from his spiritual classic entitled I Am That reads as follows: “Your begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it, you are a pauper.”

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj wasn’t talking about the number of coins in our pocket, or the status of our bank account; although such is the prevalent worldly defintion of wealth. He meant that as long as we are still identified with name and form (as our society has conditioned us to believe), we have not discovered the treasure of “I Am.” We may also think of I Am as That without a Second, Source, or The Light of Pure Awareness. It is eternal, immortal, and limitless. The treasure referred to in the title of this article is true Self–“I,” Consciousness. It is the very foundation of our Being. Contrary to popular belief, consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of biological processes. In fact, the common world paradigm of materialism is backward; for the body and the mind arise within Consciousness; not the other way around as is predominantly believed.

To help with our understanding, let’s begin the process of discerning between what is real (lasting and changeless) and what is false (transient and changeful). As we know, our body is losing millions of cells every moment–by some estimates as many as 300,000,000 cells per minute. How, logically, can we claim to be that which is changing so rapidly? At what precise moment could we stop the clock and exclaim, “There I am!” The same logic can be applied to our sensations, images, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions; for all of these are also transient and changeful. However, true Self does not come and go. Our true “I Am” is the same today as it was when our person was ten, twenty, forty, or sixty. There’s a good reason to explain this: Consciousness is beyond the limitations of time and space; for both are constructs of the finite mind. The true “I” is infinite and eternal.

Our name is another good place to further investigation into our essential nature; and we may do so by understanding that a name is a representation for that to which it refers. In short, we can’t get wet from the word water; nor can the word quench our thirst. That means, of course, that common names for persons cannot literally be them. This alone–this opening for doubt about our essential nature–may provide the stimulus for us to investigate our true nature via the question “Who Am I?” –and not relent until we’ve discovered the treasure of “I Am” within. It is the heart of our Being–eternal, immortal, and limitless. We have nothing to fear; for we are Life itself. The body and mind have a beginning and an end; but true Self does not. The person and the world are within us–not the other way around.

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

Beyond The Mask

We’re going to begin this article with a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The following is sourced from Wikipedia: “He was an American poet, playwright, and novelist; born to parents who were enslaved before the American Civil War.” In 1902, his body passed at the tender age of thirty-three. How talented a writer; how rich his writing. I include his poem because I believe it clearly relates his understanding of true Self–That, which is beyond our mask of name and form:

***

We Wear the Mask
 
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
 
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
 
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!
 
Paul Laurence Dunbar
 
***
 

We may also discover true Self, That, which is beyond any of the human drama that may have apparently occurred in “our” life. We are not now–nor were we ever–the mind’s sharpness or dullness; the body’s health or disease; our apparent failures or successes! We are neither our costume nor our story. We are beyond the mask! We do not rise or fall by our mask; the mask shines by the light of true Self. We are That which cannot be defined. I Am is our true Self–SPIRIT!

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

One Hundred Strong

Many long years ago, a group of one-hundred set out by foot on a journey of 4,000 miles. Of various races, the group was made up of men, women, and children. They wisely saw their group as colourless and faceless; no one held status above another–in fact, they knew not what such could have meant. All held a unique role within their group. Some were gatherers; some were hunters; some were fire makers; and some were makers of clothes. All were equally respected as aspects of The One.

The dangerous journey involved the crossing of mountains, great rivers, and a desert. No one was guaranteed safe passage. Each member worked toward the achievement of their common goal. When members stumbled or fell back, the group slowed and made allowance until they could all move forward together. If a member became too weak to walk, a litter was made and the member was carried by those who were stronger. When they made camp for the night, no one proudly decreed “i have made it.” They functioned as “we,” not “me.” At the end of the day, they gathered round the fire and gave thanks to The One that they had made it to a resting place.

The members of the group were known by names, but they recognized identity at a deeper level than is common now. The eldest was Ecob; his face was deeply wrinkled from long years under the sun; his form, once tall, was now stooped. He was the carrier of wisdom. Never would he, or any other member of the tribe, confuse his or her name with identity; for all the members knew that in reality they were One masquerading as many. They realized that a name was merely a way of pointing–not to be confused with whom we actually are. To think of themselves “as” a name or status would have been ridiculous.

It would make a nice fairy tale to state that all of the members made it safely to their destination; but such is not the case. Along the challenging journey, some fell to their bodily death when crossing mountain ranges; several fell ill with fever, lost appetite, and died; a few perished under the blazing heat of the desert sun; and two slept away of old age and frailty. When the remaining members arrived at the shore of their destination, they numbered seventy-six. Although diminished in numbers, they were still strong–united as ever in the goodness of their common goal. The first night in the new world, all bowed and gave thanks to The One for safe passage; and they paid tribute to the contributions made by those who now lived on in the un-manifest.

***

How different that group is, my friends, when compared to the collection of little “i’s” running themselves ragged upon the face of our Earth. This is the period of our return to Truth; for despite appearances to the contrary, we are Oneness expressing Itself as an apparent multiplicity and diversity of forms. Together “we” will make it; divided into the conceptual little “i’s” of name and form, we are sure to perish. Through our openness to serving the common good, we will prevail. Namaste: I honor the Greatness That is You.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With deep love,

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

Stepping Out Of The Program

Oh, how we–as apparent humans–love to believe that we are free. How forcefully we defend the fallacy that we choose, we do, we decide. In reality, the opposite is true. What freedom could a representation possess? By most accounts, from ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of a person’s decisions, behaviours, and emotions occur due to subconscious programming; with most of our beliefs installed via environment before the age of six. There is a high probability that if momma and papa performed an action this way, that we will perform it in the same manner. Our paradigms (the collected beliefs that serve as the mould for apparent reality) rule every aspect of our lives until we become aware enough to change them.

The key that liberates us within the matrix (subconscious programming) is recognition of true Self; for until such occurs, the matrix is running the body-mind system without our knowing it. The re-discovery of Self is similar to leaving a darkened room and stepping into one filled with brilliant light. To experience this, we must put our awareness into service–not our mind. We must stop identifying with our conditioned self (the little “i” of name and form) and dare to step into the expansive dimension of Being. To do so is to step out of so-called reality, into the glorious beauty of impersonal Nowness. To live in this manner is to break free of the clutches of the character that has been masquerading as “you.”

If you doubt that this could apply to you, please be willing to assume the role of silent witness for a day. Be presentthoroughly–with every action of body and mind. Pay attention to how, where, and why your “self” does whatever it seems to do. Notice: how you stir your coffee three times before tapping the side of the cup with your spoon; how you find yourself automatically pulling up to the same parking space at the grocery; how you favour either right or left foot as you approach a flight of stairs; how you towel yourself dry in the same manner after a shower; how you reach for a worthless platitude in conversation as you might reach to shake salt upon food that doesn’t require it; how you reach for a “yes” if you’re a habitual people pleaser, or a “no” if you’re closed to opportunity. If you’re really so free (and true Self is), why don’t you change it up once in a while? If what I’m suggesting feels natural, please give it a try. You may be pleasantly suprised at the fresh sense of aliveness that arises.

The following is from The Nature of Consciousness by Rupert Spira: “The body is not an object made of matter; it is an activity made of mind–the activity through and as which consciousness limits and localizes itself.” This is totally at odds with what we have been conditioned to believe–that we are flesh and bones only; and that as such, our end will coincide with death of the body. Our true nature is Consciousness, aka Spirit. Contrary to what the mind would have us believe, space and time are not the container in which we live and move and have our being. They–and the body-mind–arise within us. The Now is all there isever fresh. We are not the program of the mind–Self is prior. We are ultimately freer than free. To live as such, all we have to do is be willing to step out of the program.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With deep love,

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