Heartbound

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

All Our Petty Differences

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

We differ from others

–from criminals, for example–

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

Awareness. by Anthony De Mello

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

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

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

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With deep love,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Dismantling Fences

There is an old saying which states that “fences make good neighbours.” Although this may seem a logical way to deal with conflicts that invariably arise due to the human condition, it is a shortsighted solution. On a larger scale, building fences–even mending fences–leaves us subject to judgmental behaviour that ignores our shared oneness. Relying on the mentality of the masses, which is always fluctuating, only serves to separate us from the good that inherently unites us. Our only hope for lasting peace amongst neighbours and nations lies in dismantling our minds’ fences…forever. Below, is only one example of what can occur when we truly don’t know one another:

December 1, 1955: On a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, the bus driver orders Rosa Parks and three other riders to give up their seats in the coloured section because the white’s only section is filled. Rosa refuses to do so. As a result, she is arrested for civil disobedience and later fined ten dollars for violating segregation laws, plus an additional four dollars for court fees. A court case is launched and a bus boycott ensues for more than a year. The Supreme Court finally rules that segregation laws are unconstitutional. Throughout this time, and for years afterward, Rosa and her family receive death threats…for standing up for rights and basic dignities that should be–MUST BE–afforded to All.

At what level do we do begin to dismantle fences? Nothing short of a spiritual approach will yield the best effect. However, there is a common misconception that spirituality and enlightenment (which may be defined as waking from apparent personhood through recognition of our True Self) is something that is done; an activity that will add a beneficial dimension to our life and make us better persons–in much the same way that someone might pad a resumé. To be interested in matters spiritual might even be conceptualized as something namby pamby; an activity to be shunned by those who have better activities with which to occupy their time. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To embark upon a spiritual quest is the bravest–most important–journey we will ever undertake. It is a figurative journey that involves travelling from conditioned ignorance to an awareness of our True Being. Such is a courageous act because recognition of True Self–by definition–requires that we surrender the false self, with whom we’ve identified for the majority of our so-called personal life. Such can involve a tremendous amount of pain; for it requires that we surrender our pride, historical story, and every triumph which we may have held dear. In short, we realize that our trophies never belonged to us; for there is truly no one here to receive them. True enlightenment is not freedom as the self; it is freedom from the self.

Until we see the Truth beyond our own mask (the name and form identity called “me“) it’s literally impossible for us to see the true nature of those with whom we share this planet. Spiritual teachings may, at best, lead to more civilized and tolerant behaviour; but such is not the solution. It can lead to the smug piousness that turns individuals away from the subject of spirituality. The solution is to directly experience our Oneness; for through this knowledge–lived–our fences fall down of their own accord.

The journey to Self–and a better world–requires that we engage a deep sense of earnest curiosity; a daringness to discover That which is beyond the egoic costume which masquerades as our identity. Such a journey holds unparalleled value; for when we discover the Truth within ourselves, we, thus, are enabled to see It shining as the glorious identity in everyone of varying class, colour, and nationality. With clear insight from our heart, we realize that persons on the opposite side of the fence are, indeed, not others; they are ourself.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Fire of Our Being

In this article, we’re going to figuratively gather around the collective “The Fire of Our Being.” We might imagine it is a large bonfire that is glowing with flames that are dancing lively and flicking their sparks toward the evening sky. The burning wood snaps with sizzling crackles as its energy is released. Around the fire, there are benches and chairs on which we can get comfortable. Children, who may not be ready to listen to our chat, are frolicking behind us; they are gleeful, chasing one another in a game of tag. When we gaze upward, we see stars in the heavens that are sparkling like diamonds; and the brilliant moon is so close–we can see the “man” who lives there smiling back at us. Here on earth, we’re sitting together closely as brothers and sisters. We’re taking turns to share, listen, congratulate, and hug one another tight. Everyone is welcome to sit around our fire. It’s my turn to talk…so I begin:

***

“My brothers and sisters,” I say, with my arms spread in welcome, “a trick has been played upon us. And it has fooled the majority of us far too long. NOW is the time for knowing better. When we first came to earth, we–each of us–were given a name. Our names come in great variety; and we speak with many accents, depending on where we live. But it’s important that we know our True Identity. We are not our names! A name is only a word that refers to that which it represents. You can never get wet from the word water!

We’ve been conditioned to believe that there is a separate “me” looking out from each of us. But that is not the case. Only the mind attempts to fool us this way! There is only One Knower, and our body-minds shine by Its Light. When we get still and quiet our mind, we can realize through our heart that the Knower in you–Consciousness–is also the same Knower in all of us. In Truth, we are all One.

What are we…truly? We are aspects of That which makes this earth, the sun, and galaxies. Out of The One arises everything–all that was, is, and shall be! We are born of The One that makes all of the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers; if it was not for The One, nothing would flow, including us. The One is the only Creator; and, we, creations of The One. We are alike in nature–Spirit; differing only in degree. Our body-minds are on this earth, but we–Spirit–are not. We belong to, and exist through, The One. We are intended to work together, to help one another, and to express the best that is within us; and the best within us is God.”

***

The fire burned all night; and we–brothers and sisters–huddled around it until the wee hours of the morning. At one point, a shooting star blazed across the inky sky; and soon after, another one–playing tag–flamed behind it. To stay warm, we gathered closer when the fire died down to embers. Our shared atmosphere was bathed richly with Love–the real, everlasting kind. There was no talk of nations or division; no line drawn in the sand to separate this and that. We knew the harvest of the world was to be shared equally. Everyone had enjoyed much talking and laughing, eating and drinking, sharing and caring. And when we departed to go our apparently separate ways, we were happy in the knowing that we were expressions of The One.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Voice of Icarus

Today’s article must be prefaced with a little information: Icarus was a character in Greek Mythology, the son of Daedalus. Both the father and son attempted to fly away from the island of Crete by attaching feathers to their bodies with wax. Before leaving, the father cautioned Icarus not to fly to low (to avoid the dampness of the sea) or too high (to avoid the heat of the sun). You may or may not know that Icarus was so entralled with flight that he wanted to fly higher and higher.

The world is in turmoil; there’s so much fear present. Due to this, many persons who possess tremendous skill and talent are (understandably) afraid to step into the unknown and dare to express their Greatness. Fear will keep us grounded forever…if we let it. To help us focus on what’s possible, I offer you the following poem that I wrote thirty years ago. May it inspire you to continue to reach for your dreams:

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The Voice of Icarus

 “I, Icarus,

Once soared with eagles high.

I swooped, I dived,

I felt the rush of warm air slipping by;

And in my thrilling, pounding heart, I knew

Sweet rapture of the bluest sky–

Not just because I dared believe,

More, because I dared to try.

One path to freedom, one truth to hold

Is steadfast optimism–fly, be bold!

Leave common ground, be skyward bound!

Strap on your wings—your dreams and goals,

And risk the chance of falling

To fly to your potential.

I, Icarus,

Who flew with waxed-on wings

Too near the sun

Have, even in my falling,

Won.”

R. Arthur Russell

***

Special Note:

Dear Readers: All that you’re going through right now is preparing you to express the Greatness within you–that “is” the Real You. Through you, your dreams are given opportunity to fly. Have faith. Believe. Visualize the result that you desire. Act. I believe in you.

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

Service…With a Smile

Guilty–as charged! Yes, the title of this article is cliché, but there’s good news: The content isn’t; but you’ll be the judge. As you may have guessed, the content relates to service–the real kind; not the smarmy “have-a-nice-day” (insert roll of the eyes) kind. On a deeper level, service can be interpreted as Purpose, with a capital P. Through wisdom, we learn that Being, Life, and Purpose are all so interdependently woven that one thread cannot be withdrawn without tugging on the others. Please let me explain.

It’s been shared in the past, but the message is so important that it’s worth repeating again: “We’re not here to ‘get a life’ but to express the life that ‘is’ us.” The majority of persons may find this a perplexing statement; because from the perspective of the little “i” that presumes to be running our daily lives, it can certainly seem as though we live for the sake of our “self.” The “me-kind” of purpose, which most of us may have demonstrated at one time or another, is ultimately empty and meaningless; for such means that our sole reason for living is to keep the egoic self (the thief) fed, watered, and physically and mentally satisfied. Such is a brochure to a destination–and a way of living–that most individuals wouldn’t want to visit.

There’s a spiritual saying that can is paraphrased as follows: “Before you can move into the big house, you must first move out of the little house.” It means that before we can recognize our True Self (the Big House), we have to move out of the little house (the ‘i”); and we do so by investigating its nature. The question “Who Am I?” is a good place to begin. One of the glorious realizations during my transition of houses occurred when I read–and understood–the following quote. Its measure of truth–a 10/10–is deserving of center stage:

The tree does not eat of its own fruit.”

What a powerful quote–so vibrantly ripe with meaning! The words resonate with the core of our Being. They barge right past the little guy or gal who’s been pretending to be “me” and shout: “Why do I live? What’s my purpose? How may I help, contribute, or serve? When we find the answer, we have discovered the gold that’s to be shared with everyone! Does this describe a life of self-sacrifice? Yes, most definitely! But here’s a related point that’s referred to in the first paragraph: The self that’s surrendered isn’t real. We only sacrifice the thief that’s been robbing our life of true joy.

A secondary, yet important, point is worth making: When we knowingly discover our True Self, our lingering energies of the little house may tempt us to remark about the purpose that others express. It could be tempting to judge. Resist; better yet–don’t. Would such behaviour express our highest ideal? No. Everyone one of us is at a different stage in our journey; due to this, all of us–at heart–are doing the best that we can, given our vantage point. A note of profound meaning is worth remembering: If love is our benchmark, we can’t go wrong.

A perfect world (balanced in Harmony, Truth, and Love) demonstrates that the real reason we live is for one another. That means that the good that I do serves you; and that the good that you do serves me or one or more of our worldwide brothers and sisters. Everyone is included; for The All has no room for exclusion. The phrase that describes such a way of living is Peace on Earth.

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

Snakes and Ladders

When I was a young child, one of the games I used to enjoy playing was a board game called Snakes and Ladders. It’s actually still available to this day. It consists of a board with horizontal squares numbered 1 to 100; beginning in the bottom left corner. The objective of the game is very simple: A player wins by being the first to land his/her gamepiece at the square marked 100. Players take turns rolling a die and advance their gamepiece accordingly. If players land on a ladder, they can scoot upward; conversely, if they land on a snake they must slither downward. So, what’s the point?

What I didn’t realize until recently is that this simple game is based on an ancient board game from India called Moksha Patam. Moksha, for those who may be unfamiliar with the term, means to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. This occurs through enlightenment; a term which refers to the recognition of True Self (which is Spirit) and, thus, the falsity of the conceptual person. The game was originally intended to help teach basic lessons regarding morality and how to better live with one another. The ladder represents our noble qualities–such as love, compassion, kindness, generosity, and empathy. The snake represents our ignoble instincts–such as lust, greed, anger, selfishness, and hatred.

On a human–grown up–level, we can still learn many valuable lessons through analogy of our life and the game of Snakes and Ladders. It reminds us to be aware, especially with regard to our thoughts, speech, and actions; for these are building our character and, thus, creating our destiny. If we allow our life to be driven by our little egoic “i,” we are certain to lose; for a self-centered cannot help anyone win. Such will be a shallow life, to say the least; one lacking the depth and richness that ultimately makes life worth living. To truly win, we are wise to apply ourselves to helping others climb their way to success. In effect we, thereby, become the ladder for their ascension and let our life stand humbly in the background. Sweet idea, isn’t it? Even better lived.

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