Emptying The Cup

The cup to which the title of this article refers is the cup of personhood. It is a cup comprised of sensations, images, feelings, thoughts, and deeply held beliefs and memories; all of which have led the majority of beings into the very heart of darkness and ignorance. The problem is that we are unaware that we’re unaware; therefore, we continue to live at a superficial level of understanding. At a deeper dimension, however, we know that something is amiss. In Awakening Mystical Consciousness, Joel Goldsmith (a noted spiritual teacher and healer) expressed the following: “There is no Truth to be known about man.” So true.

How could this be possibly be? Because this whole realm is founded upon a sham. Although we appear to be human (for everything outwardly supports this assumption), in Truth we are not. We are Spirit, aka Consciousness. The problem is that we have been deeply conditioned to believe that we are persons. Consciousness is actually the creator of body-minds and all other objects. To investigate this matter (rather than to merely scoff at my audacity for stating such in print), we must enter the still silence of meditation, with the detached aim of knowingly re-discovering our essential nature. This does not occur by accretion; for we need not add anything to become what we naturally are. Meditation is only the means by which we allow that which is false to fall away.

“Empty yourself completely.”

“Give up all ideas about yourself and simply be.”

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: I Am That (page 188)

To discover what is Real, it is absolutely necessary that our cup be emptied of the false “self,” of all that we have previously believed to be true. We must willingly surrender all of our “I-did-this” tales, personal trophies, and medals pinned to our chest. Pride, which is a human trait, must be abandoned. It attempts to chain us by iron handcuffs (negative traits, for which we are ashamed) and even more strongly by golden handcuffs (positive traits, for which we boast). When this is first attempted, we will discover that the false “me” with whom we have erroneously identified, will rail. The ego (known by various personal names) will protest that such is nonsense; it will clutch its petty stories of victories and woes as though they were cherished prizes. How the ego loves its trivial accounts of triumph over tragedy, success over failure, strength over weakness! In Truth, all are nothing but story upon story.

If we’re searching for true Self, we must empty the cup, by whatever name and form it is known. We must recognize that all of our life events have been fiction; little more than bedtime stories intended to frighten or enthrall. We are not now the body-mind–and never have been! Consciousness is our true nature, now and forever. The good news is that once we pour out that which we are not, we have room to be knowingly filled with the Truth of our Being. Paradoxically, it is then–and only then–that we may say that our cup runneth over.

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

Word, Words, Words

Words, words, words, you say–nothing more than words! No, my friend, we are told in John 1:1 that in the beginning was the word; so it was–and still remains. Words are incredibly powerful–far mightier than the sword. Therefore, use them–and choose them–wisely. In The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel, he stated that “words are but the cloaks of thought.” By that, he meant that words are but spoken thoughts; conversely, thoughts are but silent words. Why, should this matter? Because our habitual thoughts, words, and actions are determining the very quality of our life. What is impressed upon the mind–especially with feeling–will be expressed. What we’re telling ourselves literally “matters.”

If all of this seems like so much mumbo jumbo, please continue reading to give yourself a chance at understanding the depths of what’s being shared. The placebo effect is well known–it has been for centuries. Have you not heard of old wives’ tales in which warts were “cured” by having the “patient” rub them with bacon, or perform some other bizarre ritual? And yet, the warts disappeared; depending on the faith of the patient; the cure had nothing to do with the actual efficacy of some potion. That’s the reason why the Bible has a verse such as the following, from Matthew 17:20: “…If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” What you may not know is that there is also an effect termed nocebo (to harm), which is related to habitually focusing on negative thoughts and feelings. Many of you have probably heard of someone who was informed that he/she only had six months to live and, instead, was dead within six days. The effects, you see, are related–at least in part–to what the patient believes.

You’ll understand the depths of this if you’re willing to consider–even though this is going to seem impossible to believe–that the world in which you’re seemingly immersed is a thought world made from Consciousness alone. Yes, this is a mental universe. If you doubt this (and I most certainly did) please consider what would be the most essential ingredient involved in having any experience. Could you know anything, could you experience an event, could you remember information in the absence of Consciousness? No, of course not. The linchpin of all is Consciousness. It is not produced by the brain–the body-mind is in Consciousness, of Consciousness, and known by Consciousness!

The affirmation in the photo at the top of this article is actually taken from my bedroom. I see it every day in passing. It’s based on the original from Charles F. Haanel, who was a New Thought teacher and successful businessman. His affirmation–which was considered ideal–read as follows: “I Am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.” When I first read his affirmation many years ago, I admit that I found it challenging to state it with any authority. It just seemed like such a stretch to my rational mind. If you choose to use it, the affirmation may also challenge you; but I assure you that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so.

The point of this article is not to tell you to do anything; and I’m certainly not advising you to go against any medical advice if you’re seeking treatment or any kind. The point is to share knowledge that may be of assistance and help you live a more rewarding and successful life. I’ll leave you with another passage from the Bible, found in Phillipians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Coincidence that the message is so positive?

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 “Discernment Show”

Backstage, in the Green Room,

ten minutes before the interview is about to begin:

Two guests, Mr. Ego-Head and Ms. IAmThatIAm, are sitting in chairs as the secretary to the host of the show preps them before going onstage. “So,” Ms. Hathaway, began, “because this is a live show, we’ve decided to set a timer for your replies–just to be fair about the interview. You’ll both be given three minutes in which to make your statement, and then the other guest will be given an opportunity to make a statement and/or a rebuttal. That sound, okay?”

Mr. Ego-Head said, “Certainly, Ms. Hathaway. Thanks so much for having me. By the way, that’s a lovely dress you’re wearing.”

“Certainly,” said Ms. IAmThatIAm with a smile.

“Great,” said Ms. Hathaway. “Let’s get you into your chairs onstage and we’ll roll in about five minutes.”

***

And…rolling:

“Welcome, folks, I’m your host Donald Discerning; and this is the “The Discernment Show;” a show in which we get to the bottom of topics that range from ants in your pants to quantum physics to the use of the media to control the masses. Our guests today–who have widely differing approaches to life–are Mr. Ego-Head and Ms. IAmThatIAm (cue applause). Donald nodded to both of the guests and then said, “Welcome to both of you.”

“Thanks for having me,” said Mr. Ego-Head.

Ms. IAmThatIAm nodded, smiling.

“So,” continued Mr. Discerning, “we tossed a coin backstage (honestly, this has nothing to do with a guy named Art Russell guy who pretends to write these articles) and the toss went to Mr. Ego-Head. We’ll begin with you.”

A smile the size of Saskatchewan (hint: Canada) spread across Mr. Ego-Head’s face.

“If you will, please tell our viewing audience a little about your approach to life.”

“Well, Donald, thank you for asking. “Why, it was just the other day that a good friend of mine–a well-known professor at Yale–was asking me for advice about that very topic. I said to him, Barney, I’ll tell you the same points that I shared with the president. I said blah, blah, blah, blah, yada yada yada, blah, blah, blah, blah–and then I said yada blah blah, yada blah blah, yada blah, yada blah, yada yada, blah blah. Well of course, I laughed; and my friend just howled–he has such an infectious laugh! I tell you, I slapped my knee more than once! But it was important that he realized this:

***

3 Minutes

(Donald waves, in a polite attempt to get Mr. Ego-Head’s attention)

***

yada blah haha, yada blah haha. Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti do, MEEEEE-so-so, MEEEEE-so-so. La, la, la, la, laa laa laa. La, la, la, la, laa laa laa. This-life-is-all-about-ME and ME and ME and Me and MEEEEE. This-life-is-all-about-ME and ME and ME and Me and MEEEEE. Yada yada, bling, so-ho. Yada yada, bling, so-ho. He saw my point–he truly did. He said to me, you are so wise–perhaps the wisest man I’ve ever met. How fortunate I am to have a friend like you

***

13 Minutes

(Donald is standing, waving, stomping his feet; signaling for help from crew members back stage)

***

….and so I said to Sylvester, Stallone, that is, I said, ‘Sly, why don’t you do a film about boxing; you could call it Rocky.’ He wasn’t too sure, but thank goodness he listened to me. Rata tat, haha, rata tat, haha. I was a gifted child. Chug-a-chug, chug-a-chug, me me meeee. Chug-a-chug, me me meeee. Got straight A’s–in everything! Yada bling, yada bling, so so so. Steve–you know–Jobs, was once asking me for advice; and I said, ‘Why don’t you go with something fruity–maybe an apple, with a different look to it.’

***

47 minutes…and counting

(Backstage

(Crew Member One: “Can you get a bead on him?” Crew Member Two: “No, he keeps moving too much.”)

***

Finally

Donald Discerning fanned his hands at Ms. IAmThatIAm to signal there was nothing more he could do. Through it all, Ms. IAmThatIAm had remained peaceful and calmly detached. She appeared as though a serene bird that was perched high in a tree. Below her, a different bird was busily building its nest and tasting of fruit that was either bitter or sweet. Ms. IAmThatIAm was not bothered by such nonsense; for she realized that so much of what people worry about really doesn’t matter. Mr. Ego-Head was still talking when Donald Discerning signaled to Ms. IAmThatIAm that they might as well leave. They stood and quietly walked off stage. Stage hands soon appeared and began to sweep the floor. When they were finished, the stage manager turned off the overhead lights. As far as we know, Mr. Ego-Head is still there.

***.

Special Note: What’s the point of this little drama above? My intention is to illustrate that we have a choice–one largely unrecognized by the masses–about what type of Being/guest we invite to be dominant in our life. We can let Ego-Head dominate, especially if we desire to listen to negative and meaningless chatter all day; or we can discover that deeper dimension within ourselves and live with the peace of I Am That I Am. (P.S. The statement “get a bead on him” at the forty-seven minute mark referred to a water gun…just in case you were wondering.)

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

In The Spirit Of Oneness

As Tom sat on the bench at the edge of the park, the beauty of the warm spring day caught his ego off guard. It stole his attention and dissolved his personhood in the transcendent unity of the present moment. He was limitless, beyond time. It was impossible to say where he began or ended; for there was only here and now. The birds and squirrels and flowers–even the ants at his feet–seemed to shimmer with innocent aliveness. Everything felt so beautiful. There was no impulse to judge this as right, or that as wrong. He was afloat in the world of Is-ness; his heart overflowing with gratitude. All thought of work or need or duty or fear had vanished. The faint echo of Spirit called to him; and he found himself mouthing, “Hello.”

“Hello,” said Spirit. “I’ve been missing you.”

Without thought or pause, Tom said, “And I, You.”

“Please come and visit,” said Spirit.

Tom smiled, and a shiver of delight swept through his Being. It had been a long time since he had visited that placeless place. “What do I need to bring?” he asked softly.

“Nothing,” whispered Spirit. “Just come as you are.”

“But don’t I need to bring my trophies, or at least my résumé? ” asked Tom.

“No, Little One,” said Spirit. “You need bring none of those things.”

“What does it cost?”

“Nothing, it’s free to everyone.”

“Do I need to schedule an appointment?” asked Tom.

“No,” said Spirit with a smile that Tom could feel, “it’s always Now when we visit.”

“What should I wear?” asked Tom. “Is this a formal or informal affair?”

“This is a LOVE affair,” said Spirit, “and everyone is welcome. Just come as you are. In fact, it’s impossible to bring anything else.”

“That’s so different from the human way,” said Tom, incredulous. “Here, it’s the custom to pride ourselves on being above one another. Almost all of our societies implicitly and explicitly command our members to feel superior or inferior based on criteria that ultimately mean nothing.”

“Yes,” said Spirit, “I know. That’s the human way; but such is not My Way. With Me, everyone is welcome. My love does not discriminate. It embraces all in all.”

“A current of relief swept through Tom’s body. “You mean I’m good enough just as I Am?” he asked.

“Oh, yes,” replied Spirit, “most definitely.”

A fluttering butterfly brought Tom’s attention back to the bench. Tom looked at his lunch bag, which was untouched. Had he dreamed the enlightening conversation with Spirit? No, he had not–it was real. In fact, his experience felt more real than the world around him. A glance at his watch told him it was time to return to work. He ate his sandwich as he walked back to the office. Later, at home, he would make time to meditate…to commune once again in the Spirit of Oneness.

***

Dear Friends: I’m sure that you reaize this is not just a sweet account of a man daydreaming on a park bench. It’s far more than that. Through the use of the story, my intention was to illustrate an inner dimension–of true Self–that is beyond the conceptual little “i” of name and form. This dimension goes unnoticed by the majority of persons, who’ve become lost in the apparent world of form. The price of admission to knowingly enter this dimension is to become still and quiet the mind for a few minutes each day. In doing so, we escape the clutches of the mind and ascend to a vantage point where we may recognize our true nature. From The Mystical I, by Joel Goldsmith, I offer the following quote: “The reason we meditate is that the Kingdom of God may be established on earth as it is on heaven.” It’s possible–here and now–to wake up from the dream of personhood. We are neither the body, nor the mind. We 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

A Message From Source

“Source:” Godhead, The Fountain, The Absolute, The All in All, Noumenon, The Universe, That. In truth it matters not the term by which we refer to Source; for words deal only with concepts and will, therefore, always miss the mark. To believe that a name could actually “be”–That–which is Most High only reveals our innocent ignorance and creates a false idol. What matters most is that we think, speak, and write of That Which Cannot Be Named with utmost reverence. This article, which is intended for everyone, contains a message from Source that is writing itself through the form known as “Art.” Here, as humble servant, “i” offer the following:

***

“I,”–the only true Self there Is–do not see you as you see yourselves from your finite perspective. In I, there is no judging of greater or lesser, favoured or unfavoured, sinner or saint. As you are in and of I, how could I love some of you more and others, thus, less? To do so would be an act against Myself. I Am Love, Itself; and all of you are my spiritual children. It is only through confusion and innocent ignorance of the nature of your Being that you have erroneously believed that you are unloved, unlovable, or separate from Me.

It has been stated that I will never forsake you; that I will be with you beyond the end of time. Such is absolute Truth and you may know this–directly–now. You, space, and time are, in fact, in Me. Before all forms (of whatever nature), Am I. It is I That causes the sun to shine; likewise, your lives shine due to me. I Am the Rock of your Being; and you may lean on me for strength, love and compassion, and I will freely give to you. All, including each and every one of you, are in Me; it is, thus, impossible for you to ever perish. Through grievous error, you have adopted the belief that you exist due to the body-mind. Such is backward. The body-mind and the Universe appear because “I Am.” You are eternal, immortal, an aspect of That which is beyond the appearance of birth and death.

My dear dreaming children, please awaken to what you ARE. One of your great sages, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, clearly informed you that “To believe that you are a ‘person’ is to be asleep.’ You have become mesmerized with the world of form. You are neither the body, nor the mind; to believe so leads to tremendous suffering. We are One, Spirit, differing only in degree. Have I not told you through sacred texts that you were created in my image and likeness? I Am the ocean of Consciousness–all of you are waves in Me. It is, therefore, impossible to state where I begin and you end. I give rise to all that to all that ever was, is, and will be–for such is my nature. The world and all forms are only relatively real. The real “You” exists eternally because I exist. Lastly, my dear children, please know that you are loved beyond measure.

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

In The Case of “Stupid”

“All rise,” said the bailiff in a booming voice–there was a loud shuffle of feet as members of the courtoom stood. The bailiff continued: “Court is now in session. The honourable Judge Mary Sassafrass is presiding.”

The judge ascended the two steps to the raised platform and assumed her position behind the bench.

Mr. Travolta, the attorney for the defense, raised his hand.

“Something on your mind?” said Judge Sassafrass, with a frown.

“Yes,” your Honour, “may I approach the bench?”

“Only if you do a funny walk.”

Without batting an eye, Mr. Travolta stepped out from behind his desk, did a slide step right, a scoot to the left, and a two-step goose step. After a brief moonwalk, he was there–in front of the bench. Ms. Ciriello, the Crown Prosecutor, sedately stepped forward and joined him.

“Nice work, Travolta,” said Judge Sassafrass as she leaned forward. “You realize this is highly irregular. We haven’t even begun.”

“Yes, your Honour, I’m well aware; but I believe I can supply evidence that can end this trial before it even begins.”

“Hmph, we’ll see about that,” muttered Ms. Ciriello.

While the members of the court remained standing, the two attorneys conferred in whispers with the judge. Finally Judge Sassafrass gave a nod and motioned for the bailiff to approach the bench. After he listened to her instructions, he nodded assent and turned around to face the members of the court.

When the attorneys were standing behind their respective desks, the bailiff nervously said, “All of you may now be seated–ahem, except the stupid ones.”

A great kerfuffle erupted. The members of the court sat, stood up again, turned right and left, and yo-yoed between standing or seated positions.

“Do I look stupid?” one elderly woman beseechingly asked the person next to her. “Not particularly,” came the reply.

“I got a “C” once in Home Ed. Does that count?” asked another lady.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” exclaimed a man behind her. “Letters don’t count–numbers do!”

“I’ve never been good with directions,” said one woman nervously. “I got lost twice coming here!”

“I don’t know a great deal about cooking,” stated one man with a glum expression. “I’ve been eating bacon and eggs for years–don’t know how to cook anything else.”

“I flunked History and Geography in high school,” said a young woman.

“My ten-year-old son had to solve my Rubik’s Cube for me,” stated a mother, close to weeping.

“I once purchased polyester slacks,” blurted another lady. “Honestly, I thought they were cotton!”

“I’ve been married six times,” said one lady. “Does that make me stupid?”

“Of course not!” exclaimed the man to her right. “I’m on my seventh–practice, my dear, practice!”

The see-saw of the members of the court seemed unstoppable. With a stern expression, Judge Sassafrass finally reached for her gavel and slammed it down hard. “Order!” she exclaimed. “All of you–sit down, now!”

Mr. Travolta adjusted his tie. “May I, your Honor?,” he asked with a wave of his hand.

“I wish that you would,” replied Judge Sassafrass, “since you’re the cause of this mess.”

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he began.

Suddenly the doors at the back of the courtroom flung open as Jack Nicholson burst into the room and snapped off his trademark sunglasses. After positioning himself mid aisle, he shook a scowl onto his face and bellowed, “You can’t handle the truth!”

“C’mon, Jack, ” said Mr. Travolta, “is this really necessary?”

“Not at all,’ said Jack, grinning nonchalantly. “A guy named Art Russell asked me to do a walk-on.” He then saluted the court, snapped his heels together, and marched from the courtroom.

Mr. Travolta rolled his eyes at the court reporter and said, “Now, where was I?”

The reporter carefully scanned her computer and said, “yada, yada, yada.”

“Oh yes,” said Mr. Travolta, “thank you. I assert that my client, Mr. Dimwatt, has been unjustly accused of “Gross Stupidity” and that all charges against him should be dropped immediately! We’ve just had proof–right here, in this very courtroom–that even you fine folks cannot determine if you’re stupid unless you compare yourselves against someone else. Humans have this insane habit of judging themselves by appearance and performance. It’s nonsense! Is it not true that each and every one of us has strengths and weaknesses? Aren’t all of us gifted in our own ways? I’ll tell you what’s really stupid, folks–trying to be like everyone else! Be yourself, shine! We’re meant to share our gifts for the common good. I strongly urge you–in fact, I beg of you–to find Mr. Dimwatt NOT GUILTY, on all counts! Finally, Mr. Travolta spun around to face Judge Sassafrass and spiked his best Saturday Night Fever impression. He then bowed and said, “Your Honour, I rest my case.”

Given a few moments to reflect upon the case (and the secret knowledge that she had flunked the Bar Exam twice, and always been a Jack Nicholson fan), Judge Sassafrass snapped down the gavel and proclaimed, “Case dismissed! Mr. Dimwatt is free to go.”

***

Believe it or not, theres actually a point to the story: The competitive mindset of humankind is the cause of great suffering and misery. If we desire to express our highest potential, we must learn to accentuate what’s positive and embrace our innate creativity. We must cast aside our negative habit of judging ourselves against the appearance and performance of so-called others. Each of us is a miracle, with unique talents to share. The truth is that all of us have intrinsic value. Isn’t it time that we learned to love ourselves…just…as…we…are?

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

Dr. Phuphuey’s Happiness Prescription

“Dr. Phuphuey will see you now,” said Nurse Whatsthebigfuss, clutching a clipboard across her chest. As it was Clothes-Free Friday, she was naked except for a tasteful leopard-print mask. “Please follow me.”

With a roll of his eyes, Mr. Notfeelingsogreat got up from the waiting room chair and followed her to an examination room that adjoined Dr. Phuphuey’s private office. “He’ll be with you in a few minutes. Please remove all of your clothes, including your underwear, and place them in this bag.”

“But I’m here for psychiatric reasons!” exclaimed Mr. Notfeelingsogreat.

With a stern look, Nurse Whatsthebigfuss wagged a finger toward a neon sign in the corner of the room that was flashing GeT NaKeD. “Sorry, she said, “but rules are rules.”

When the door closed, Mr. Notfeelingsogreat reluctantly stripped off his clothes and stuffed them into the bag. He sat down, clutching the clothing bag over his lap, and thought “Rules, damn rules” as he nervously surveyed the room.

A few minutes later, Dr. Phuphuey made his grand naked entrance. A stethoscope was dangling from his neck. He sat behind his desk and briefly scanned Mr. Notfeelingsogreat’s chart. “So,” he said, “what can we do for you today?”

“I haven’t been feeling so great,” began Mr. Notfeelingsogreat.

“Tell me more,” said Dr. Phuphuey. He leaned back in his chair, flopped his legs onto the desk, and fanned his arms behind his head.

“Well,” said Mr. Notfeelingsogreat, “my infancy would probably be a good place for me to begin. I was told that my mother refused to breastfeed me. How can I know for sure? I mean, I don’t have any proof, but on a certain level I, myself, have felt this rejection–I know I have. In grade school, I was once ridiculed by my school chums, about a little spelling mistake, of all things! It seems that I thought egocentric ended with ck–you can understand my blunder, I’m sure. As a young boy, my life went downhill after that. I soon made a fool of myself by making a math error. I made ones in geography, history, and science soon after. Yes, I admit it–I’m not perfect! I suppose I should get to the point, about my problem with me now. For quite some time, I’ve realized that I’ve been feeling sluggish and lethargic. I’ve lost all the zip in my doo dah. I’ve haven’t been sleeping well, either, even when I put myself to bed early. Also, I’ve been feeling confused; I’ve been feeling useless; I’ve been feeling depressed. I’ve been feeling lonely; I’ve been feeling stressed; I’ve been frustrated. I’ve also been overeating; but when I do, I blame myself. Then I get on my exercise bike, but when I begin to pedal, I begin to wonder if I’m pedaling correctly–I mean I’m not a pedal pro. I wonder whether I’m pedaling too fast or whether I’m pedaling to slow. Often, I stop pedaling after only a few minutes; but sometimes I jump right back on my bike, and I pedal some more. I feel a great deal of uncertainty in my life. Should I do this? Should I do that? Maybe I should do this, that, and the other thing! I make a plan for my day, but then I ask myself if that’s what I really want to do. So–wisely, I think you would agree with meI stop, I pause, and I reflect about my own inability to decide what I want to do. Sometimes the situation becomes so difficult, that I make myself a cup of tea and I think, and I think, and I think some more; but then I, myself, wonder if I’m over thinking. Can you help me?

A long snore, a brief snort, and the faint call of “Mommy,” caught Mr. Notfeelingsogreat’s attention. Dr. Phuphuey had fallen asleep behind his desk and was clutching his teddy bear. His head was lolled against the office wall, as though in a hangman’s noose. Before he fell asleep, Dr. Phuphuey had scribbled a prescription that was lying on his desk; it contained various suggestions that could help alleviate Mr. Notfeelingsogreat’s chronic I-itis, which in layman’s terms means inflammation of the I. You, dear reader, can help by selecting one, several, or all of his helpful pointers. Here they are:

  • Reduce the use of personal pronouns such as I, me, and my.
  • Life is not just about you–it’s about all of us!
  • Begin every day with sincere gratitude for being alive. Continue all day long.
  • Think give, not get. Improve the quality of someone else’s day. Repeat until it becomes a habit.
  • Meditate.
  • When your ego van is rocking, your false self is knocking. Don’t go near!
  • Step out of your mind every day. “Be” in nature–allow a squirrel or a flower to remind you how to live.
  • Stop listening to the fictional story of your fictional “you.”
  • Unplug from the matrix by shutting off your T.V. It’s called programming for a reason.
  • Discover your real Self. You’re not who you think you are.

Suddenly, there was a quiet knock on the door. Nurse Whatsthebigfuss peeked into the room and quietly informed Mr. Notfeelingsogreat that his appointment was over and that another patient was waiting. Clutching his bag of clothes and prescription, he timidly made his way past the waiting room and out to his car. He’s still waiting to hear what you would prescribe.

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

Bye, Bye, Ego–Hello “Videhi”

For many long years, I believed (as you may still believe of yourself) that I was the body-mind, aka “person.” It would have seemed insane to deny the apparent but erroneous conclusion. Thus, if Art’s body was physically satisfied and his mind mentally stable, “i” was content and happy. If such was not the case, Art used distraction, deliberate focus, and self-help books to rectify the situation. But here’s the rub, of which you’re probably well aware: At some point after circumstances slide to the polar opposite of pain and suffering (pain free happiness), the forces of this earthly realm, which are always in play, invariably slide the person back into challenging situations. Such is the human predicament.

Although none of us would choose suffering as a first (or last) choice as a method to “wise up,” it does serve a useful purpose. As I’ve mentioned previously, suffering reminds us that we have strayed too far from the Truth of our Being and need to change our ways. The degree of our suffering will be different for each of us; for although we are one in Essence, we are unique in character and form. Problems are relative to the person having them. We might view suffering as a tireless loving parent. “Be careful,” suffering shouts, “you’ll get burned if you touch the hot stove!” And time and again, we reach for the hot stove. Is there a way to avoid such needless suffering?

Yes! The solution (which is seemingly insane, yet paradoxically beautiful) occurs when we transcend the perspective of the person and recognize our essential nature. We discover the Truth: That we are in the world…but not of it. Problems are inherent to the body-mind perspective because the person is a creation of mind and, therefore, unstable. One minute, the person is happy; the next minute sad. To overcome suffering, we must realize that the body-mind is not who we are; it is a costume we wear for this incarnation.

Let’s now investigate the Marathi term videhi from the title of this article, in the hope of gleaning more understanding. I was unfamiliar with the word until I noticed it in a book entitled Amrut Laya, The Stateless State by Shri Sadguru Siddhameswar. In the book, he shared the account of a king who sought a guru to help him recognize his essential nature beyond name and form. The king eventually did; and thereafter the king was referred to as a videhi, meaning “he without a body.” From an online Marathi-English dictionary, we find the following definition: 1. Disembodied, released from the body. 2. Weaned from bodily and earthly enjoyments and pursuits. Please don’t be alarmed by the term disembodied; it’s not as ghoulish as it may seem. Such only means that you realize–right here and now–that you are not the body-mind. You know that you can’t possibly be who you think yourself to be.

Truth: You are Consciousness, Itself–an immortal Being, beyond this shadow of this place called Earth. Your true Self is of the same quality and nature as that of God, only varying in degree. Your entire life story is but a divine play of God. To realize this directly (not as a concept in the mind), I earnestly suggest that you enter the stillness of meditation on a daily basis; for it is in the placeless place beyond the mind that you will discover that, indeed, you are now–and always have been–a videhi. Awareness is commonly assumed to arise due to body-mind functions; but such has never been proven by science, and it never will be. The Truth is that the body-mind arises due to Consciousness; not the other way around. Bye, bye, ego. Please take your suffering with you.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Tree House Talk

One might naturally assume that with the last name of Biggley, Hector would have been saddled with a few extra pounds; but such was not the case. He was quite thin, despite having an appetite that easily convinced him to clean his plate at every meal. On the other hand, Ronny Rail, was on the heavy side, despite being force-fed leafy greens by his parents. Such is life. The boys, who were ten and nine respectively, had been best friends for five whole years. On this day, they were sitting in their shared tree house, talking about life. Topics such as smoking, stealing, and doing drugs had already been discussed and unanimously voted down; and the subject of dating girls wasn’t yet on the agenda.

“My mom is a big fan of somethin’ called the Law of Attraction,” blurted Hector. He opened a small bag of salt and vinegar chips and began to munch.

“What’s that?” asked Ronny. He dug into his coat pocket and removed the tupperware container with carrot sticks that his dad had packed for him.

“She says that it’s a spiritual law; that what we send out as thoughts comes back to us, kinda like a boomerang.”

Ronny’s mind immediately dashed off to the time when he and Johnny Brewer had gone to a playground with Johnny’s new birthday boomerang. They’d thrown that thing for hours, but couldn’t get it to come back. “Carrot stick?” Ronny said temptingly, as he held out the Tupperware container.

“Nah, thanks, though,” said Hector as he continued to munch his chips.

To Ronny, Hector’s response seemed to disprove this whole thing about the Law of Attraction. He took a bite of a carrot and said, “What else she say?”

“She said a lot,” said Hector. “She said that the Universe was always watching–that it knew everything. She said that when you gave something, you had to offer sincerely or the offer was more like bartering.”

“Bartering?”

“Yeah, you know. That’s when you offer something but you’re really thinking about getting instead of giving.”

Ronnie’s adam’s apple bobbled and his eyebrows raised by their own volition. “You don’t say,” he said. Point noted, he filed it away in his young mind. “She tell you anything else?”

“She said the law of attraction really works–that it was how she’d turned our home business into a success. She tol’ me that she visualized every day, just for a few minutes.

“What’s that?” asked Ronny.

“You know. It’s when you imagine what you really want. You picture it as being already done in your mind.”

Again, Ronnie’s mind darted off to the image of the chips, the bag of which was now crumpled on the tree house floor. “Maybe next time I’ll focus more strongly,” he thought.

“Mom tol’ me that when we think positively, send out good feelings to the Universe, and are kind to people, it’s a lot more likely that we’ll get that kind of treatment back. She said we should be nice to everyone.”

“Everyone?” said Ronny.

“Yup, everyone,” replied Hector.

“You don’t think that means we even have to be nice to our little sisters?”

Hector paused for a moment, giving the question its full due. “Nah,” he said, with a shake of his head. “That’s different.”

“Whew,” said Ronny; and with the subject settled, the boys descended the tree house ladder and headed home.


***

One of the verses that sums up this spiritual law is found in Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This is not intended as punishing rule for persons who believe in a personified God. The verse is intended as good advice, to help us improve the quality of our circumstances and the lives of those with whom we interact. It means that if we’re going to sow any ideas–with regard to business, health, wealth, or relationship–we must sow them sincerely from our heart! What do you think, folks, worth a sincere try?

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

Substance Abuse

Most of us are well aware, either personally or professionally, of the unfortunate type of substance abuse that is so prevalent in our current world. This article has nothing to do with that issue, but the title is still appropriate. The Substance to which the title refers is Consciousness. It (aka God) is the foundation of our Being. Without Substance we literally could not be. The abuse of Consciousness occurs every time we use God’s name in vain, or benefit from God’s goodness without expressing our gratitude. Substance is our very breath; every inhalation and exhalation is a gift. I’m aware that this may be a seemingly impossible case to build in a short article; but I’m up to the challenge. So, let’s begin….

The cropped photo attached to this article is from a book by Neville Goddard. He was a modern-day mystic (born in the Barbados) who lectured widely throughout the United States in the early to middle twentieth century. Some of his other books include The Power of Awareness, Faith is Your Fortune, and Feeling Is The Secret. That “Consciousness is the Only Reality” will be easier to comprehend if we answer the following questions: “Have you ever had an experience in the absence of Consciousness? Could such be possible? Could you ever know a sensation, image, feeling, thought, or object without Consciousness? No, of course we couldn’t. Here, we at least acknowledge that consciousness is integral to our life.

To someone unfamiliar with the Law of Attraction, the claims that “what we think about, we bring about” may seem patently absurd. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we are separate selves and the physical doers of actions. We’ve also assumed (due to long-standing ignorance) that events happen by chance. All that it takes to debunk this myth is to take a look at nature. How often does spring follow winter? Occasionally…or always? What type of plant might we expect to manifest if we planted a corn seed? A sunflower…or a corn plant? What of the tides? Do they only ebb...or do they also flow? As has been expressed many times, we live in an orderly Cosmos (not chaos) that functions by spiritual law.

The comedian Steve Harvey made a statement that adds credence to this article. From what I know of Mr. Harvey, he endured some very challenging years before becoming a successful comedian and television host. During an audience warm-up prior to the taping of one of his television shows, he made the following (paraphrased) statement: “You don’t get yourself up in the morning; God gets you up!” Most persons would proclaim, “Baloney, I get myself up! What if, however, our assumption that there is a little “i” in the head is erroneous? What if we realized, contrary to common belief, that we do not have volition as persons? To awaken to our true Self is to awaken to power.

That which is termed “reality” by the majority of persons is actually the waking state. Although similar to the dream state, it is more clearly defined and has a continual plot. Beings who’ve deeply investigated their essential nature are aware that they are not the doers of our actions. This is echoed in books such as Ramakrishna on Non-Doership by Gautam Sachdeva. Mind is the power that moves our bodies, despite the persistent illusion that we move ourselves. Such is directly states in John 14:10, through the following words attributed to Jesus:

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?

The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself; but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.

John 14:10

Does that help to build the case that we are not the doers? Consciousness (God) is the Doer. Let’s add a little more evidence through another verse; this time from Acts 17:28:

For in him we live, and move, and have our being.”

Acts 17:28

When we realize that Consciousness is the only reality, the quality of life we experience can change dramatically. Such is dependent on our level of understanding and degree of faith. If we dream our desire with feeling, God can make it apparently real. That’s the deal. That’s also the reason that the Bible contains verses that relate this understanding, such as the following from Matthew 17:20: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

You’re not the doers, folks; neither am I. This article appears in Consciousness because Spirit (what I truly Am) desired to share an inspirational article that had the potential to elevate your life. I know that it definitely feels as though we’re the doers; but that’s the very nature of dreams–to feel real. You know, like the ones in which you wake up in a sweat? For us to be the doers, there would have to be a “someone” within the body-mind, and such is not the case. Science has deemed the search for that little rascal (the ego) as “the hard problem of consciousness.” Science will never find it because it’s a fictional character. God (Consciousness) is the only Knower. Our true Self is Spirit, dreaming a human life. This is the truth that lies beneath Henry Ford’s famous quote: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Mr. Ford realized that through God all things are truly possible.

An effective way to attract the good that we seek, is to stop the Substance abuse by giving thanks to God each and every day…even for the supposedly little things. Gratitude is the polar opposite to ingratitude; and according to spiritual law, it must attract circumstances that are in harmony with it. Just ask Mr. Harvey. Note: For those who are curious to learn more about the mysterious nature of this “reality,” press here for a link to a twenty-minute presentation about quantum physics.

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