The purpose of this article is not to ramble on about “Art” and his apparent life. We’ve all heard enough “then-i-did-this” stories to realize that they usually, if not always, become quite boring. That is not to say that I do not love “Art” or appreciate his apparent journey; I do. It’s just that if we desire to recognize (know again) the Truth of our Being, it’s important to gain and maintain figurative distance between true Self and the character who you’ve erroneously assumed yourself to be. Most persons do not; and as a result there is the experience of suffering, both personally and collectively.
Physical, mental, and emotional suffering is related to a variety of circumstances; but despite the variety, all apparent suffering shares one root cause: our ignorance-based identification with the character that is masquerading as “you.” This identification is understandable, because from Day 1 of our appearance, we are conditioned to believe that we are the person of name and form that is experienced. The truth is that we are not.
We may illustrate this point by imagining that we are a court lawyer (true Self) who–day after day, year after year–is forced to defend the same defendant (our character) as though “our” very life depended on it! The defendant and we seem so closely united as to appear inseparable. On some days, it’s relatively easy to arrange bail for our character (which gives rise to happiness); on other days, it’s impossible to escape a harsh sentence (which gives rise to unhappiness). This is the human condition. It manifests as experiences that alternate between pleasure and pain.
For persons who experience the suffering related to identification with the egoic character, please know that there is a solution. It’s called enlightenment; which means to awaken from the dream of personhood and, thus, be liberated from identification with our character. It can happen in much the same way that persons awaken after sleep and realize that the events that occurred during the dream state were only dreams. It’s important to realize that true enlightenment refers to freedom from the perspective of the person, not as the person. No person ever becomes enlightened.
Regarding the title of this article, Visits From Art refers to remnant energies related to my character “Art” and his attempts to impress me with his realness. He and the apparent world are not absolutely real; they are both rendered in the waking state (termed reality by most persons), by the same Infinite Mind that creates dreams in the dream state. Occasionally, my character still whispers, or demandingly cries, that life must bend to “his” will. A few years ago, knowing Awareness was freed from Its delusional identification with “Art;” and the feeling of freedom and expansion that followed has been, and is, amazing. Now, when the imposter (Art) comes to visit, the natural tendency is to become still and settle knowingly in, and as, Truth. So, too, can YOU. You are not the body-mind character that has been suffering. True Self is immortal and infinite.
For those who are earnestly eager to recognize true Self, you might find my YouTube presentation beneficial. I’ll leave you with a quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, and his spiritual classic entitled I Am That:
“To be a person is to be asleep.”
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡