Beyond Appearances

The conversation, which had begun pleasantly enough with idle chit-chat about the weather, sports, and the price of fuel, was morphing into ugliness right in front of Walt’s eyes. The tow truck driver, “Mike” by the name tag stitched to his coveralls, seemed oblivious to the pain he was inflicting. Had it not been pouring rain, and his Volkswagen Rabbit not been hooked to the winch, Walt would have told Mike to stop the truck and gotten out. Non responsiveness wasn’t working, either; it only seemed to fuel Mike’s pressing desire to talk. His hatred seemed boundless as he spewed forth racial slurs, epithets, and insults upon anyone who he deemed deserving.

Onward they travelled westward, jostling in the truck. The windshield wipers obliged with clichéd wump-wump as they beat back the rain. The town in which Walt lived, and the dealership at which they would drop off his car, was only a few minutes away. Walt mouthed a silent “thank you” that he had learned long ago (during a lengthy learning curve) that to engage in verbal battle only risked losing the war. Years prior, he would have foolishly stood toe to toe with such a judging character and, thereby, ignorantly proclaimed himself as judge and jury also. No, not this time. He would be a good soldier and stand down for the rest of this ride.

Not soon enough, they arrived at the dealership. Mike proudly exited the cab; and Walt, as though on automatic pilot, stepped down from the cab and watched as Mike unhooked his car. His only subtle retribution was to refuse to bite the bait of Mike’s hint that “for a few bucks” he could do him a favour by breaking company rules and taxi him home from the closed dealership. “No, thanks,” Walt said, “the walk will do me good.”

“Have it your way,” Mike said, with a toss of his head. Walt watched as the tow truck sped away, and then slung his small backpack over his shoulder and began to walk.

***

At home, Walt immediately changed out of his soggy clothes and gave thanks that the evening was drawing to a close. Still, the events of the evening ride in the tow truck lingered. He realized that persons such as Mike were actually full of self loathing. But what did he know beyond assumptions of Mike’s background? Had he been exposed to such abuse, or even battery, when a child, or told that he was worthless? How had he become filled with such hatred of others? Walt knew that to give love, you must first have it to give. Mike hadn’t expressed anything that even remotely resembled love.

Walt climbed into bed and shut out the light on the bedside table; but he soon realized that sleep was playing hide and seek with him; and no matter how much he tossed and turned, he just couldn’t find it. As with all matters that bothered him, especially those labelled “don’t-know-what to-do,” Walt surrendered the troubling issue to his divine Creator. He followed his instincts and quietly mouthed the following words:

Dear God,

Please help me to see with Your understanding;

To look beyond this world of appearance

And be a conduit of Your wisdom.

Oh, and please look after Mike.

Amen.

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

Little Johnny Acres

At the tender age of nine, Little Johnny Acres witnessed the death of his father. Family, friends, and neighbours labelled what occurred as “passing over” or “going to a greater reward,” but Johnny knew the facts of the matter. He had seen his father die. He had witnessed his father clutch his chest, turn blue, and take his last breath. The father that he loved so dearly was dead and…gone. Afterward, Johnny pretended–as the rest of his family were pretending (he assumed)–that his father was in a dreamy place called Heaven and now at peace and free of pain. But deep in his heart, Johnny Acres knew better. The facts don’t lie.

In the following years, what Johnny Acres had witnessed coloured his attitude toward many of his activities. He chose to live now, for tomorrow you may die. He believed, as the majority of persons still do, that you only live onceso make the best of it! He knew the absolute truth that, indeed, you could be here today, and gone tomorrow–or this afternoon. Time seemed an enemy that could knock any of us down without warning. The world continued to revolve; and as little Johnny matured, he preferred to be known as John. He was a grown up now; but within the core of his being, he was still the little boy subconsciously clutching the childhood wound of his father’s death. He held that piece of history as though it were a tragic prized possession; for keeping the memory was, to him, equivalent of keeping his father close. To set that historic event down would mean giving up on his father; and he wasn’t about to do that anytime soon. Until…

***

One day years later, John was reading a book entitled The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel. Mr. Haanel was a fascinating man, indeed, for he had studied wisdom teachings of the far east and been successful at whatever business he touched. First printed as a correspondence course in 1912, his book was about the Law of Attraction. John found the book a challenging read, to say the least. Over and over he read it, gleaning what knowledge he could from within the pages. Upon one such reading, a short passage leapt out at him and slapped his awareness in the face. The passage, from Chapter Twenty, reads as follows:

The spirit of a thing is that thing; it is necessarily fixed, changeless and eternal. The spirit of you is — you; without the spirit you would be nothing. It becomes active through your recognition of it and its possibilities.

The Master Key System ~ Charles F. Haanel

Over the coming weeks, John re-read The Master Key System several times. With each reading, his understanding grew by leaps and bounds. The tumblers of his previously locked view of the world were clicking into place, unlocking the Truth of his Being. He even noticed a paragraph in Chapter Twenty-Four that referred to the Promised Land, which is another term for enlightenment. What Haanel was sharing was that we are–right here and now–spiritual Beings. Through daily meditation, John realized a deeper dimension of his true nature and learned that, contrary to what the majority of persons believe, Earth–this place that seems so very real–is only relatively real. Finally, John was able to peacefully set down the wound related to the death of his father; for he realized with absolute certainty that his father still lived. With the help of knowledge from other books about spirituality, and the touch of intuitive wisdom, he realized the truth of the following passage from Acts 17:28: “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”

***

Dear Readers: I know that many of you may have already experienced (or will undoubtedly) the death of a loved family member or friend. Such is the nature of this realm called Earth in which we’ve come to know ourselves. At the time when such occurs, the shock of the experience can send us reeling. The pain can seem unbearable; and all of the expressions uttered by those who care can seem trite beyond staleness. I won’t pretend to know what you are going through; for each of us processes death–and life–in our own unique way. If it feels right to you, please contemplate the words that helped to free Little Johnny Acres from so much emotional suffering: “The spirit of a thing is that thing.” Appearances can, indeed, be deceiving. We are not who we appear to be. We are That–Spirit. This is supported by the following quote from the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Hindu holy books: “Weapons cannot cut It, nor can fire burn It; water cannot wet It, nor can wind dry It.” Let not your heart be troubled.

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

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:

***

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. 🙏🙏

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