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

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

The Wise Builder

Upon what type of foundation (Truth or illusion; Real or unreal) are you building your life? Do you really believe that you’re a person of flesh and bones, or could it be that you are actually so much more? This article is based upon the parable of The Wise and Foolish Builders in the Bible. The basic account is related in Matthew 7:24-27:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The parable, of course, is not referring to the building of an actual house. It’s not informing us to seek out the town engineer, perform soil sampling, and examine the municipal records to see if a toxic dump was once located on the potential site for our home. It’s informing us about Life and true Self. There is actually only ONE Identity but we’ve been conditioned to believe in another. ONE is founded upon Truth; the other is mired in ignorance. ONE is lasting peace and joy; the other leads to heartache and suffering. ONE is changeless (like the rock upon which the wise man built his house); the other is shifting continuously (like the sands upon which the foolish man built his house). ONE is always safe; the other almost always feels vulnerable. ONE knows there’s no other against whom to compete; the other is competitive by nature.

The parable actually relates the important differences between our ego (the shifting sands) and true Self (the rock of our Being). If you’re seeking lasting peace, they’re worth investigating on a deeper level. Isn’t it true that your thoughts and feelings about yourself are always shifting? One day (or hour) you’re up, and the next down. Happy/unhappy. Satisfied/dissatisfied. If you’re like most persons who are ruled by ego, you might consider yourself to be an outright geennius genius one day but feel like flashing your Dummies Club membership card the next. These shifts in moods and attitudes comprise the shifting sands of the ego.

Beneath all of the various opinions we might hold of ourselves is That which is beyond all descriptions, definitions, and thoughts–either favourable or unfavourable. The true YOU is That which cannot be added to, nor subtracted from. It is neither conceivable nor perceivable. To feel good, It needs not a diploma, degree, or facelift; for It is already everything and yet simultaneously no thing. It is the same YOU that YOU were when your body-mind was five years of age; and It will be the same YOU that shouts yippee at one-hundred-and-five. To seek It, you need not take one step away from or toward your Self (nor is either possible). Seek That, knowingly, here and now.

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

Joe-Joe’s Egoless Shop

With sighs of relief, Joe and Joe sat their conceptual body-minds down on overturned pails outside their shop. The morning’s case had been a stubborn one; and now it was time for a break and a smoke. These ego-busters were from the good ol’ days, and they made no bones about it. They liked their cigarettes strong, their muscle cars fast, burgers with cheese and onions, and fries with gravy. We won’t get into their taste in women. They were an unlikely pair to be running an ego removal shop; but that’s just how life is. It can be full of surprises.

Joe-the-small lighted his cigarette and inhaled deeply. He then tossed his lighter to Joe-the-big, who fumble-snatched it and did the same.

“Well, that was a bit of a tough nut to crack, wasn’t it?” said Joe-the-big.

“Ohhh, yeah,” said Joe-the-small. “Kinda reminded of me of our first case. Remember it?

Do I!?” exclaimed Joe-the-big. “Like it was yesterday.”

“Back then, we were using mechanical methods.”

“When you know better, you do better,” said Joe-the-small. “We were green; not the suave and sophisticated gurus that we are now.”

“Nope. Good ol’ hammer and chisel–sharp of course; and one heck of a lot of anesthetic.”

“Jackhammer-under-the-chair method sometimes, too,” piped Joe-the small, “for shaking out that stubborn pride.”

And lust, and greed, and selfishness, and shame, and pride, and guilt, and fear, and attachment, and…”

“There are other conjunctions, you know,” quipped Joe-the-small, with a droll look.

And…so I’ve been told,” said Joe-the-big with a chuckle. “Remember what our first client said when he came to?”

“You tell it,” said Joe-the-small, “I know how it’s your favourite part.”

Joe-the-big leaned forward, his hands braced on his knees. He said, “I feel so much lighter! What the heck did you take out of me?!”

In unison, the two Joes piped, “a whole lot of conceptual nothing!”

”Ahhh, those were the days,” said Joe-the-big. He blew a smoke ring skyward in celebration.

“Yup, sure were. We had our slow days, though–probably ’cause we didn’t have no formal training.”

Details,” said Joe-the-big, with a swipe of his hand.”

“Yeah, you either got it…”

“…or you don’t.”

“I think our greatest contribution to the field of Consciousness, at least from the human perspective, happened on that rainy day when we were tinkering with tools in the back shed and invented the Whiff-OmeterTM.”

“Without a doubt,” said Joe-the-big, “I would agree. Quick and easy. Throw a bag over the client, hook up the hoses, and within minutes we got a reading of an approximate ratio of Being/Human. Pre-dated David R. Hawkins and his Scale of Consciousness by twenty-some several years!

“Uh, huh,” said Joe-the-small, with a triumphant thumbs-up.

“Good thing we had the gas pumps, though, for those slow days in between consultations.”

“Yup, and cleaning customers windshields kept them coming back for more.”

“Remember the look we got the first time we tol’ a client that he didn’t actually exist….as a thing?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s not somethin’ you forget. If I remember correctly, he went pale and googly eyed.”

“Cool face cloth fixed that.”

“We grew more tactful as the years rolled along.”

“Yessir, we did.”

Joe and Joe continued to sit on their pails and reminisce until they had drawn their cigarettes down to the filters. One look at each other, confirmed by glances at their watches, informed them that their break was over. Another client was due in ten minutes. A little mouthwash, a wash of their hands, and fresh coveralls and they’d be good to go.

***

It was Joe-the-small’s turn to begin. Holding a clipboard and pen (just for looks), he began by using the “Who Am I?” question.

“Who am I?” echoed the female client.

“Yes…really?”

“Well,” she began, “my name is…”

At this, Joe-the-big rolled his eyes ever-so-slowly to the far wall, as though looking for an escape hatch that didn’t exist. Another hour would pass before he and Joe-the-small would be outside again, sitting on their pails. At least they could look forward to the evening. They were going to play euchre with their wives (you guessed it), Josephine and….

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 Harmonica Player

Art doesn’t know the man’s name; but I Am knows the harmonica player very well, indeed. In fact, I Am knows the count of every hair on his head–and ours–and every sparrow that falls. I Am knows that the harmonica player once owned a successful business, lived in a modest home, and was married to his high school sweetheart…until. I Am also knows that he fell on tough times and lost his way. Passersby who know not one whit about him will judge him as this or that, worthy or unworthy. Hunched forward, the harmonica player sits on the concrete skirt outside the entrance to the grocery store, his weathered coat fanned out in front of him. A few coins have been tossed upon it by passing shoppers who are eager to fill their carts. The harmonica player, who at best guess is fifty-five or sixty years of age, has a grey beard and a full head of hair. Intermittently, he offers several notes of unrecognizable musical selections. His performance at Carnegie Hall is not scheduled anytime soon.

***

What–not who–is this apparent man who plays for us? Is his disguise of particular name and form really any different from the disguises worn by you and me? Is there not a Golden Thread that unites our various stories related to skin colour, nationality, gender, and status? Are not definitions such as rich or poor, friend or foe, and winner or loser utterly worthless in terms of the Truth of our essential nature? Does the harmonica player’s name, or ours, reveal anything real? Who is he in relation to us, and who are we in relation to him?

We, the apparent multitude of flesh and bones, will not recognize the harmonica player’s true Self until we look within and recognize our own I Am-ness. Until then, the Truth related to him–and everyone–will remain an uninvestigated mystery. Unaware that we’re unaware, we will continue to conceptualize beings as Mr. or Mrs., Bob or Betty, Miguel or Mabel, Pradeep or Pratima. Through our own innocent ignorance, the harmonica player will, thus, appear to us as only a “so-and-so,” a “down-and-out,” or “the guy outside the store.” Surely, we and our world deserve more than this sorry tale of fiction.

It is time for Truth.

***

On his way into the store, Art approaches the man, says “hi,” and offers a few coins to his brother from another mother. The harmonica player smiles, says “thanks;” and they make idle mention about the weather. There is no running mental commentary of “i” the giver or “i” the receiver. In Presence, there is no room for our tired personal stories related to name and form. Thank God our eyes reveal what the heart knows. Can you “see” the harmonica player in your Self? Can you see your Self in him? The I Am that is you and I and every “other” of our nearly eight billion and counting world population is the same I Am that is him. Nothing separates us but the disguises of our mind.

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

“I” Pretending To Be “Other”

Whether we are aware of it or not, each and every one of us is taking part in an incredible play of Universal Magic. The stage show called Life on Earth is unparalleled in Its grandeur; incomprehensible to the human mind. From the dazzling darkness of our Divine Origin, we have come to shine in our assumed roles as human beings. Due to forgetfulness, the majority of humans are consumed in and by the roles they play. “I’ll be a doctor,” says one. “I’ll be a wife, a writer, a plumber, a rocket scientist, or a carpenter,” say five others. The majority of us remain asleep to our true nature; we are figuratively lost in the illusory roles that we have been conditioned to accept as our identity. They are not. We are forever Spirit–having an apparently human life. Beyond life as it appears to be lies the Truth. It is absolute, never changing. In John 10:30, Jesus expressed this one-and-only Truth as follows:

“I and the Father are one.”

Never questioning, the majority of us blindly accept the information we’ve been told about our origin. On such-and-such a day, at precisely 09:12, we arrived. As soon as possible, we utter a statement akin to this: “I’m _ _ _ _ _ _ ; my parents are Mr. and Mrs. _ _ _ _ _ _ .” “Ah, yes,” replies the sleeping listener, who (while still innocently unaware of his/her true nature) replies, “I well remember your parents; what a lovely couple.” Soon after, we declare, “I was born in Scotland, Peru, India, Jamaica, or Canada;” therefore, “I’m Scottish, Peruvian, Indian, Jamaican, or Canadian.” In fact, these locations refer to nothing more than longitudes and latitudes in Consciousness. This, my dear friends, is the story of our human ancestry. It is just thata STORY. Although it may seem to have relative importance, in the realm of The Absolute it is nothing more than fiction. Why? Because when we are aware of the ultimate understanding, we realize that only Consciousness is real. We may choose to honour and respect the relative perspective while apparently here; but we are wise to avoid attaching too great an importance to its narrative. In Matthew 10:39, the Bible offers guidance to help us recognize the dimension of Self which is Absolute:

“He that findeth his life shall lose it:

And he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

How can this–possibly–be so? Through dreaming. By It’s magnificent creative power, The One (which can not actually be other than It is) experiences Itself through a multiplicity and diversity of form. It imagines that It is the All in All. It is THAT which pretends to be all other. It pretends to be a planet populated with human beings racing around in their relative world of delusions, which they assume to be oh, so very real. It imagines that It is every saint, sinner, and savior who ever “walked” the face of the earth. It imagines Itself to be every rock, tree, butterfly, and ant. It takes the form of everything–from a grain of sand to the very peak of Mount Everest. Look within and you may realize that It imagines that It takes the form of YOU. Please awaken, dear spiritual brothers and sisters; for you, yourself, are God incarnate. A human incarnation is, indeed, a rare and precious opportunity to awaken to the Truth of your Being. When we do, the world and all contained within it benefit greatly. 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

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