Lunch Break: Temple of Apollo

In our modern age, Kristo and Morpheus would have excelled as ironworkers on the tallest skyscrapers; they moved with confidence and ease high above the ground. At the sound of the whistle, they set down their chisels and hammers and reached for their nearby lunch pails. Their torsos were dark bronze from many hours under the sun. With their legs dangling over the frontispiece of the Temple of Apollo, in Delphi, Greece, Kristo and Morpheus examined the contents of their lunches. “What!” exclaimed Morpheus, “eggs and sardines again!”

“Be grateful,” said Kristo, as he reached for an olive, “we’re fortunate to have food to eat.”

“Yes,” said Morpheus, “but variety is the spice of life.”

Kristo’s attention was drawn to a distant hawk that was soaring effortlessly; for a few moments, he felt as though he was flying along with it. “What do you think the inscription means?” he asked.

Know Thyself?” said Morpheus with querulous expression.

“Yes,” said Kristo.

“I’ll tell you exactly what it means,” said Morpheus. “It means another day, another drachma. Haha, nothing like overtime pay!”

“Agreed,” said Kristo, “overtime pay is wonderful. But what do you think the inscription really means?”

“What care I as long as I get paid?”

“We might learn something.”

“I know all I that need to know!” spat Morpheus gruffly. “It means only that some big mucky muck thought it would be a catchy phrase.”

“Nothing more?”

“What more could it mean? Know Thyself…really? I know that I am Morpheus and that you are Kristo. We are men, Greek, in middle age, with families to feed and mortgages to pay.”

Kristo looked away, squinting against the sun. “An intuition tells me that the inscription relates a message that is much deeper.”

“Have it as you will,” said Morpheus. “I know who I am!”

The whistle blew, signalling that lunch break was over. Both men rose to their feet and exchanged their lunch pails for their tools. Soon their forearms and shoulders were once again straining with each hammer strike to chisel. The afternoon passed as usual for Morpheus; but as Kristo worked, he felt the following message hammer softly at him from within:

There is more to me than meets the eye.

There is more to me than meets the eye.

There is more to me than meets the eye.”

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 Decree

As its name implied, Trouble Town was experiencing more than its fair share of trouble. The town’s jail was packed with offenders; homelessness was rising dramatically; the majority of politicians were corrupt; and the unspoken motto of “Greed, More Greed” was prevalent. The residents had endured the atrocious conditions for so long that they believed them to be normal. In desperation, Mayor Marjorie Wisdom called an emergency council meeting. She concluded the meeting by standing and reading the following decree: “By unanimous vote, I hereby decree that as of midnight this coming Sunday, the residents of Trouble Town will magically begin to awaken to true Self.” Raising her tear-filled eyes, she then somberly said, “May recognizing God help us all.”

During the following week, a gradual awakening to Truth did, in fact, occur. As a result, many wonderful changes occurred in Trouble Town, not the least of which were the following:

***

On Sunday, at 06:04, Joey and Tom were about to steal their neighbour’s car when they suddenly realized that to steal Mr. Hampton’s car would be to steal from themselves. As a result, they quietly turned and walked away, never to steal from anyone again.

On Monday, at 21:09, Jack, with intent to rape, was about to attack the young lady who was walking alone through a local park when he suddenly realized that both he and she were aspects of God. As a result, he could not possibly lift a hand against her or anyone else.

On Tuesday, at 10:02, Harvey, who owned an appliance store, was about to accept payment from Mrs. Newman for her new refrigerator when he suddenly realized that to cheat the elderly lady of $200.00 by inflating the bill would be to cheat himself. As a result, he wrote a new contract that reflected a fair price.

On Wednesday, at various times in multiple locations, one hundred residents suddenly realized that God was the only power in the Universe. As a result, they immediately became more humble and grateful. One resident was heard to say, “Thank you, God, for the beat of my heart.”

On Thursday, at 12:31, the Deputy Mayor, Mr. Snider, was having lunch with a local businessman who was looking for favours with regard to a major building project. As a result of his awakening, Mr. Snider found it impossible to accept the bribe money that would have ultimately resulted in the construction of an inferior and possibly unsafe building.

On Friday, at 23:02, Fred and Lisa Delaney, who were owners of a chemical factory, were about to discharge dangerous toxins into the river that flowed through Trouble Town when they realized that by polluting the river they were actually polluting themselves and their neighbours. As a result, they returned to their factory and arranged for proper waste disposal the following day.

On Saturday, at 13:39, Mike Dempster was about to pull the trigger of the loaded handgun that was pointed into his right ear when he awakened to the Truth of his Being. As a result, he was able to see that he was neither his body-mind nor the painful story attached to it. Weeping, he unloaded the gun and later arranged for treatment through qualified professionals.

***

This, of course, is a fictional story. It relates some of the potential benefits that could be expressed through humankind if we, by some magical occurrence, suddenly recognized our shared divinity. What would occur if we listened to the still voice of God instead of the blare of our self-centered egos? What if we realized that “thy will be done” reflects infinite wisdom and that “my will be done” reflects ignorance? Would we not literally create a New Earth that was filled with love, compassion, and kindness? What but the belief in our egos is hindering us from experiencing that world NOW? We’ll close this article by repeating the parting words of Mayor Marjorie Wisdom: “May recognizing God help us all.”

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

Johnny’s Mean-Looking Truck

Johnny Duggan had lived a coloured life–at least so he thought. He had been married thrice; filed for bankruptcy twice; and done a stint in jail once. The story of “him” was always uppermost on his mind; it was the mean-looking truck that he drove everywhere he went. At the gym, out on a date, dining at a restaurant–there it was: Johnny’s mean-looking truck. It continuously spewed fumes about itself; and it was so full that Johnny had to beef up the suspension and build up the rear racks to contain all of the dark mental stuff from his past.

One day, Johnny was talking to a guy who claimed to know a little about meditation and the powers of the mind. Johnny told him that he had tried to meditate during his stint in jail (he had certainly had time enough for it) but that it hadn’t done him a lick of good.

“When you meditated,” asked the guy, “did you take your mean-looking truck with you?”

“I sure did,” spat Johnny. “My mind was piled high with all of the junk in my truck. Couldn’t concentrate on nothing else!”

“Uh, huh,” said the guy, as he scratched his chin. “No wonder you’re still having such a hard time.”

“What do you mean?” asked Johnny.

“I mean,” said the guy, “that you’d be wise to check the load that you’re carrying. If you want your life to improve, you gotta offload all of that yuck from your truck!”

“What difference is that gonna make?” asked Johnny.

“Seriously?” said the man. “You really don’t know?”

“Know what?” asked Johnny.

“You don’t know that what you’re impressing into the mind on a habitual basis is going to be expressed as the circumstances of your life? By concentrating your energy on everything that’s bad, you’re actually impregnating your future with more of what’s bad!”

“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s Chihauhau!” exclaimed Johnny.

“If the shoe fits,” said the man. “You have to find the good within before you’ll experience it without. By continuing to rehash the negative events in your life, you’re actually creating more for your future. You’d be wise to focus on what’s good for a change. Andrew Carnegie, who commissioned the book entitled Think and Grow Rich, summed up the principle this way:”

Any idea that is held in the mind,

that is emphasized, that is either feared or revered,

will begin to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate form available.”

The last we heard, Johnny was at the local dumpsite for toxic waste. He was shovelling off a big load of yuck from his truck before settling into his regular meditation session–hint, hint; nudge, nudge. By offloading the “bad stuff,” he made room for all of the “good stuff” that had previously gone unnoticed. Oh, and Johnny has also improved the quality of his life by practicing gratitude on a daily basis. He discovered that the more grateful he is, the more he attracts circumstances for which to be grateful. Probably just a coincidence–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

What Are You?

What are you, my brothers and sisters–do you really know? By this, I am not asking, “What do you think you are?” I’m asking, “What are you?”–prior to the mind’s interpretation. Do you really believe you are only a particular person of flesh and bones; or do you sense, if only faintly, the immeasurability of your Being? If you investigate your essential nature, be not fooled and, thus, robbed, by the various stories by which the mind (as though plying you with liquor) will attempt to intoxicate your discernment. Can you spot a pickpocket in a crowd or, closer, the conceptual one that’s attempting to steal your understanding of true Self?

What is your true Heritage, your Origin, which–although denied–can never be stripped away? Minus name and form (and the related good, bad, and ugly stories), is there anything (not a thing) that remains? Do you really believe that “you” are contained within the apparent boundaries of the body-mind; or does the body-mind and, in fact, the world, arise in YOU? Are your parents, as wonderful as they may be (or not), really the source of your Being? Do they make miracles, or does I Am That I Am? Are you willing to toss aside the fabricated human story you’ve been handed and stretch your soul’s capacity to knowingly recognize your birthright as sons and daughters of I Am?

Please be with me NOW in warm embracing recognition of our I Am-ness. We are not leaving; for there is, in fact, nowhere else to go. We–as Omnipresence Itself–are everywhere and nowhere already. In Truth, we are nothing perceivable or conceivable. We are Spirit pervading, Divine Consciousness. As stated in the 77th Gospel of Thomas: Jesus said, “It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.” Please listen not to the false voice that howls that you were born of earth and will die to earth. Heed not its ever-so convincing claims that you are a separate body-mind in time and space. When Truth speaks, we know that space and time are concepts in us. Through Divine Father/Mother, we dream worlds, universes, distant stars–and persons with various names and forms–as easily as drawing breath. Be still and breathe with me in Presence, and recognize the Light of True Being.

In Luke 23:43, it is shared that Jesus on the cross stated the following words to one of the symbolic thieves on either side of Him: “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” I humbly offer that Jesus realized that Truth, when freed of the cloak of ignorance that surrounds our apparent persons, would stand triumphant as Heaven revealed. Our essential nature is That which is formless, dreaming Itself to be a world of finite persons in time and space. This is not a belief; it is the Reality of our Being.

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

Motorcycling, Then and Now

Once upon a time, a man named “Art” believed that he was made of flesh and bones. It certainly appeared to be the case; for he–as were you–had been conditioned to believe the lies of his senses. Due to his forgetfulness about the Reality of his Being, he, therefore, assumed that the apparent highs and lows of life were real as real. He enjoyed life immensely when all was going well and suffered terribly when life was going poorly. He was deeply attached to his family and possessed by a strong drive to succeed. As so often happens in stories, life suddenly delivered a blow (divorce) that shocked Art to his very core. The family that he had loved so dearly was no more.

As part of his healing journey, Art set out upon ride after ride on Scout, his beloved Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 motorcycle. He intuited that the freedom afforded by the open road would be good for his spirit. Travelling by motorcycle also felt far less lonely than sitting by himself in an empty car. Several years, and thousands of kilometers, rolled by. Art rode west, north, south, and east in a futile attempt to leave the pain related to loss behind him. He rode long hours upon the saddle and stopped only briefly at sites along the way. Such was the apparent then part of the story.

***

Through the Light of Grace, awakening happened; which basically means that The Absolute, Universal Consciousness, knowingly re-cognized that It never had been Art–not now, nor ever. Art was merely a mind character in Lila, the play of Life. All of his apparent history–of marriage, family, career, and those long-distance rides on Scout–occurred only in the placeless place in which anything actually can take place: as a dream in Consciousness. Thus, it was also learned that Art (as he had assumed himself to be) was never the doer. This is the now part of the story; right here, where we awaken to All That Is Real, and discover that anything else is only apparently real.

***

I deliberately used the term then to refer to Art’s historical perspective; but please know that I am aware that any apparent motorcycling (and anything else that appears to occur for you or me) can only seemingly take place now. For those dear readers who may be wondering if it’s time to dial 911 and summon help, I offer the following quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and his spiritual classic entitled I Am That:

“Both sleep and waking are misnomers. We are only dreaming.True waking and sleeping only the gnani [knower, sage] knows.We dream that we are awake, we dream we are asleep.The three states are only varieties of dream state. Treating everything as a dream liberates.”

I also offer the following few sentences from Open Secret, by Wei Wu Wei (Terence Gray):

“Our dreamed ‘selves,’ autonomous in appearance, as in life, can be seen in awakened retrospect to be puppets totally devoid of volitional possibilities of their own. Nor is the dream in any degree dependent on them except as elements therein. They, who seem to think that they are living and acting autonomously, are being dreamed in their totality; they are being activated as completely and absolutely as puppets are activated by their puppeteer. Such is our apparent life, on this apparent earth, in this apparent universe.”

I’ll wrap up this article with a quote that is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha:

“Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof.”

If you, dear spiritual brothers and sisters, are going through your own apparent trials and tribulations, please take heart. Contemplate what has been shared within the lines of this article. The true YOU is divine, immortal, and untouched. If you have understood the information contained in this article, you will arrive at one incontrovertible conclusion regarding my true “I”-dentity. What, therefore, must YOU be also? Are you really only name and form…or so much more?

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

Bob’s Dream of Coffee

At precisely 7:00 a.m., Bob Dingaling heard the sound of the alarm on his bedside table and slowly wakened from his slumber. He shut off the alarm, stretched his arms wide, and ambled to the washroom. A few minutes later, he groggily joined his wife, Helen, in their rustic kitchen. The room was aglow with the warm sunlight that was shining through their kitchen’s eastward-facing window.

“Coffee?” Helen asked, as he approached her and kissed her softly on the cheek.

“You know it,” said Bob, with a grin. He added milk to the coffee and assumed his favourite position in the glider chair next to the window. The first few sips of his coffee tasted like morning nectar.

Holding her own cup of coffee, Helen moved into a chair directly across from her dream guy. Twenty years earlier, when she had first learned that Bob’s last name was Dingaling, she had wondered if she could ever bear to take it; but now couldn’t imagine being anything but a Dingaling, albeit by marriage.

“You know,” began Bob, “last night I dreamed that I was drinking coffee that tasted every bit as real as this.”

“Tell me more,” said Helen.

“Well, I was holding my favourite mug, the one you and boys got me for my birthday. I could feel its weight, the heat of the coffee, and even smell the aroma of the freshly-ground coffee beans. Strangely enough…just like I’m doing now.”

Helen took a few sips of her coffee and looked around their kitchen. “It’s incredible, isn’t it,” she said, “how the mind can replicate reality in our dreams.”

“It definitely is,” said Bob, “even to the point of fabricating skyscrapers, mountains, and people.”

“Truly amazing,” said Helen.

Lost in thought, Bob seemed to freeze momentarily. “You know,” he said, with a puzzled expression, “it almost makes you wonder if the mind could be rendering this, right here and now.”

“What do you mean?” asked Helen.

“You know, dreaming us, drinking coffee in our kitchen.”

“Well, that’s preposterous,” said Helen.

“Is it?” said Bob.

Helen smiled and softly pinched her cheek. “I feel pretty real to me,” she said.

“But we feel real in our nighttime dreams, too,” said Bob. “When we dream that we’re skiing, driving a car, or eating a meal, it aall seems very real.”

“Oh, you–you crazy Dingaling!” exclaimed Helen.”Don’t be so silly. Enjoy your coffee and then get your butt into the shower. “Our backyard lawn really needs to be cut today.”

Bob smiled and slowly sipped the remains of his coffee; but as he showered and, later, cut the grass, the question about the nature of reality kept begging his mind for an answer. As Helen washed the breakfast dishes, she also found herself pondering the following question: “How would we know if our lives were a dream?”

That afternoon, Bob was rummaging through papers on his desk when he came across the following quote by T. E. Lawrence. Given what Helen and he had talked about earlier that day, it gave him pause to think. Could it be…?

All men dream, but not equally.

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind,

wake in the day to find that it was vanity;

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,

for they act on their dreams with open eyes,

to make them possible.”

***

From The Final Truth, by the great Ramesh S. Balsekar:

The manifested universe is therefore simultaneously dual and non-dual.

Time, space, mind, ego, etc. have acquired illusory reality

although they have not been created at all.

Nothing has been created as a a separate thing,

though it may appear so.

***

Awaken, dear spiritual brothers and sisters, you’re dreaming. When you realize this, a new and exciting world full of possibilities opens up before you. It’s the reason behind the following verse from Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Yes, this requires surrender of the belief that you’re the “person” (of various name or form), but with this knowing, you also realize what you truly are, Spirit eternal.

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

Perspective As Oneness

I’m sure that most of us have heard the expression that “perspective is everything,” and, indeed, a change of viewpoint can make a tremendous difference in the quality of our life. There are two basic ways to look at life: one which is the predominant world perspective; and a second that is completely at odds with the first. In the first, persons believe that they and the world are real (in the absolute meaning of the word) and that there might or might not be a God. In the second, Beings know that they are an aspect of The One; and that the world, persons, and objects are part of God’s Divine Dream. As it turns out, it is quite challenging to prove the Truth of either; for the dream world of “matter” behaves as one might imagine–very real. However, it is, in fact, fashioned from and through Consciousness.

Persons who adhere to the first view believe that consciousness magically arises in what they assume to be a physical brain. Despite any supportive evidence (beyond correlative activity), it is assumed that neuronal processes give rise to a personal “you” that exists somewhere behind the forehead or near the heart. Because it is assumed that “you” began at or near birth, it is also commonly believed that “you” end with death. In the second view point, Beings (through direct experience that is impossible to share via words) know that this apparent “world” occurs in a dream. They realize, as Paramahansa Yogananda stated, that mind is the creator of everything.” For these folks, daily life (which the majority of persons term “reality“) occurs in what is known as the Waking State. We basically have a case of those who believe in “matter” as the substance of everything; and those who believe in God, aka Consciousness, as the Substance of everything that ever was, is, and will be.

For those who are curious to realize a deeper level of life, the following questions might help spur you to investigate your essential nature more deeply:

  • What happened to the meadow, mountain peak, or desert that was part of your dream last night? Where are they now? Of what were they made? Consciousness. Could this apparent reality–here, now–be made of the same?
  • Have you ever had a dream so real that you wakened in a sweat? Is it possible that “reality” of your personhood on “Earth” is a sharper, more defined, dream with a continuing plotline?
  • Why do you claim that consciousness is personal? Science has yet to discover how it could possibly arise from neuronal processes. The issue is termed “the hard problem of consciousness.”
  • What is it–not who–that is aware of your sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts? Could it be that Awareness is the substratum of the world, not that ever-elusive “stuff” called matter?
  • Can you really be a name? If not, What are you?
  • Why do you continue to embrace the paradigm of matter? In 1911, Ernest Rutherford discovered that atoms (which were once believed to indivisible units of matter) are actually 99.999% empty space. This is fact, not fiction.
  • What is the one-and-only ingredient required to have an “apparent” experience? Consciousness.

Am I attempting to convince you to believe in God? No, not at all. Our world has experienced great suffering by those who force their religious views upon others. I am, however, gently prompting you to investigate your spiritual nature. You might be surprised to discover that you’re not who you think yourself to be.

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

Behind The Eight Ball

The expression that serves as the title of this article implies that someone is at a disadvantage for whatever reason. Persons might be considered to be “behind the eight ball” if they were in a Catch22 situation, faced with a puzzling life conundrum, or uncertain of how to proceed. This type of situation is made even worse when persons don’t realize they’re behind the eight ball. In other words, they’re unaware that they’re unaware. The majority of indivuals don’t realize that they are–right now–in such a position. I know that I definitely fit into that category.

So, Mr. Russell, just what do you mean? The answer is simple, but not easy to comprehend. If you believe–as did I–that you are a person, you are behind the eight ball. Period. Have you settled down yet? Spilled your coffee? Called 911 and ordered me a straight jacket (medium, please)? Scrolled to someone else’s article? Pressed delete and cursed because it didn’t work? Stopped guffawing? The point, dear folks, is that I’m being one-hundred percent serious. No joke.

The majority of persons on this planet are unaware that they are Spirit having a “human” experience. They may have heard or read of such a “tale” (and most likely laughed it off); but the Truth of that statement has probably escaped them–so strong is Maya (loosely defined as “illusion” in Sanskrit). Such is easy to understand. From the time of our apparent birth, we are taught that we are name and form. That’s the way that we process this “world” because those who raised us had been conditioned to believe the same of themselves. In other words, they knew no better. They, too, had fallen deep into the illusion that we call “life on earth.

The Truth is that “reality” as persons know it, is occurring in the Waking State. It’s somewhat akin to the nighttime Dream State, only with a continuing plot set in high-definition 3-D. Everything is created by mind. To arrive at this knowing of Truth (and thereby step out from behind the eight ball), it’s necessary to get still, meditate, and place your attention inward, to the One-and-Only Knower of experience, Universal Consciousness. Until you do, you will remain behind the eight ball and assume that the knower will someday be found within the “person.” This is usually imagined as a point of knowing either in the head or the chest. Modern science has been unable to find the seat of consciousness within the human body-mind, and for good reason. It’s not there! Our body-minds are placed in apparent motion through forces of Infinite Living Mind. As much as it seems to be the case, they do not move by their own power; nor are they sentient. Consiousness definitely seems personal, but that’s just part of the illusion. Body-minds exist in Consciousness only–that wispy-like dream “material” in which space, time, and your life story occurs. (This is referred to in the following highlighted readings from: Open Secret by Wei Wu Wei; Who Am I? by Sri Ramana Maharshi; and I Am That, Sri Nisargadatta Maharah):

The good news is that you actually do exist–but not as a person. The definition of “You,” if you’re earnestly seeking it, would more appropriately be called Being + Knowing, which = Awareness. For the record, That is of the same nature as our Creator, God (aka Consciousness). Consciousness dreams worlds into being and we, the human contingent, are part of that creation. From the perspective of true Self, we have dominion over the illusion (because we can think and imagine); but such is not the case from the human perspective. This is why the following is stated in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Its purpose is to get us out from behind the eight ball. Huhh–more rumors about a straight jacket?! On second thought, make it a large; it will leave me wiggle room.

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 Whole Enchilada

The expression that serves as the title of this article implies completeness and integrity. Nothing is lacking. I’m using the expression to refer to the type of “knowing” that we experience when we recognize our essential nature. When we “become” a knower of Truth it is unmistakable because it is incomparable. Anything less is just spice and bits–a poor imitation of the Truth that we seek. When you knowingly discover That within ourselves, we realize that we are home in Awareness of our Whole True Nature.

At some point, the majority of persons become dissatisfied with life as it is. By stating that, I’m not being negative or ungrateful; such is just an inherent part of our shifting human experience. The historical Buddha called it Dukkha. In spite of financial abundance, great relationships, and wonderful health, most persons eventually become aware that something (not a thing) seems missing. We realize that no matter how great our efforts, the results that we chase only yield temporary happiness. This is when many individuals embark upon a spiritual journey of discovery.

The investigation of our spiritual nature may initially bring a sense of fulfillment. We may find contentment in visiting distant ashrams, temples, or cathedrals. We may also enjoy studying scriptures or listening to gurus, ministers, or priests who share knowledge of true Self. The practice of meditation or daily prayers may seem new and exciting. For a while, the disruptive negative noise of the ego may lessen or seem to have stopped. However, seekers often discover that even this new spiritual activity also loses its ability to deliver happiness. Still, something seems to be lacking.

In deep sleep, we have intimate experience of the peace that comes with Being our essential Self; for in that placeless place, we know nothing of a self, world, time, space, or the problems or pleasures that are associated with our human conceptual self. With the return of the Waking State (erroneously assumed to be reality), most persons find themselves in the same happiness quandary. Perhaps the following two questions and answers borrowed from Who Am I? by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi will be an aid to deeper understanding:

5. Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there (taken to be real)?

There will not be.

6. Why?

The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substratum will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization fo the Self which is the substratum will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real is removed. [The referral to the rope and snake is related to a story in which a monk was once greatly frightened because he erroneously believed a rope to be a snake.]

Enlightenment means to be free “from” the dominance of the little “i” that was dissatisfied with human experience–not “as” the little “i.” There is no way that an illusory character can be free of itself because in Truth it doesn’t exist. In other words, if we’re still carrying the perspective of our personal John or Jane Doe, we have not yet knowingly experienced The Whole Enchilada. I’m not sharing this to pass judgment on anyone’s position as being right or wrong; for events are unfolding in the right time, in the right manner. The message is only intended as a kind pointer to help guide you to the rich knowing that only you–yourself–can experience.

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 Rich Life

Human beings define wealth and what it means to be rich by a wide variety of views. For some persons, to be rich means having millions of dollars. For other individuals, nothing less than qualifying as a member of the exclusive B-Club will suffice; thus, to be a billionaire. The majority of persons consider themselves rich, indeed, if they have clean drinking water and enough food to feed their families. Others base their definition of wealth upon health and family relationships. This article is not intended to challenge any of those views or judge them as right or wrong. My view of wealth, which is spiritual in nature, relates to the following quote by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in his spiritual classic entitled I Am That: “Your begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it, you are a pauper.”

It’s easy to understand that environmental conditioning plays an important role in determining what we define as symbols of personal wealth. In our early years, it’s highly likely that we were conditioned to believe that wealth is related to tangible things; therefore, external to us. The child who receives a tricycle or bicycle on a birthday serves as a fitting example. Just look at the gleeful expression on the child’s face when he or she receives such a gift. This pattern is reinforced through our coming years.

If we desire a relationship and find that special partner, we deem ourselves rich. If we get that job that rewards us with financial abundance, we decree we have made it. If we own a home, investment properties, and a stock portfolio, we proclaim that we’re ascending the human ladder of wealth. If love of family is our definition of wealth, we consider ourselves rich when family are gathered together, or at least emotionally close. The problem with these types of wealth is that they are dependent on circumstance. Beneath all of them lies a trapdoor waiting to spring open. If we believe ourselves to be rich only with these signs, such implies that we will feel very poor, indeed, without them. The following passage from The Gospel of Thomas relates to wealth of a different nature:

Jesus said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will go before you; if they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will go before you. But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.

Saying Three, Gospel of Thomas

Literally billions of Beings have as yet to discover their true wealth. By definition, we could not truthfully state that it is a type of wealth; for such wording implies that it belongs in the categories of human wealth and, thus, shares their nature. The wealth to which I point via this article is unique; it is God’s wealth; thus, ours by birthright. Unlike human riches, this wealth is everlasting in nature. To find It, all that is necessary is to look within and investigate our essential nature. Upon recognition of true Self, we realize that we have always been rich, for we are children of God. When we discover That, we have found wealth beyond compare.

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