Anatomy of a Life

My passion, as many of you already know, is writing and sharing articles about Consciousness, the Law of Attraction, and Spirituality to help deepen our understanding of these interrelated subjects. My intention is to help alleviate some of the needless suffering in the apparent world. Here, as a change from my usual format, I offer a poem of mine entitled Anatomy of a Life. For readers who may feel stuck in fear or worry related to identification with the body-mind perspective, I hope the poem will help you turn within and glimpse your true Self, waiting to be recognized.

***

Anatomy of a Life

Neither in embryo do we begin,
Nor in dark grave do we end;
For we, Spirit--eternal, are but visitors here,
With soul and flesh to blend.
For three score ten, or more or less,
We breathe, we eat,
We taste, we touch,
We hear and smell and see;
And for a time unknown our hearts keep beat
To the rhythm of Mortality, that ghost of human destiny.
Throughout this mortal maze of Maya,
We dream, we scheme,
We plot, we plan,
Conceiving this and creating that
While holding a secret prayer in our heart
To learn our reason for Being,
To have our deepest thirst quenched.
Toward that goal,
We clutch to the glorious, sustaining hope
That this—this burning bridge of human trials and triumphs—
Will have mattered, held importance, or made a difference.
When Truth is known, we glimpse Eternity
And realize we are not who we’ve assumed ourselves to be.
We are God incarnate, and our character but a phantom of mind.
Having tread upon the dust of our ancestors,
We come and, inevitably, go.
Loving, lusting,
Laughing, crying,
Reaching, raging,
We have only dreamed this human time.
Such is the grandest mystery yet,
From first sunrise, beyond last sunset.

- R. Arthur Russell -

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

Self–Capital “S”

The Self that I’m referring to in the title of this article, as you have probably noticed, is One with a capital “S.” It is the Self that is routinely overshadowed by the majority of persons, who–due to innocent ignorance–blindly accept that their identity is name and form…only. All of us are very familiar with the lowercase self; but most are unaware that it is a conceptual self only, that seems to reside within the head or behind the chest. It is illusory through and through; at best, a ghost seeking pleasure and the avoidance of pain; at worst, a thief that is robbing us of the true joy which is our birthright. It is my fervent desire to help you become knowingly acquainted with uppercase “Self” via the publishing of this article. Let’s begin with the following thought-provoking quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, from his spiritual classic I Am That:

“To be a person is to be asleep.”

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, “I Am That.”

“So, Mr. Russell (writer guy), what the heck are you talking about?” For many, the notion of investigating the nature of our Being may seem a very boring, and unnecessary, subject matter; but such is not the case. It is one of the most exciting journeys that we may ever undertake. There is good reason why the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Greece, was inscribed with the words “Know Thyself.” That culture realized that recognition (to know again) of true Self was the way to transcend the slings and arrows (thanks, Shakespeare) that accompany the apparent daily life of a person. Most of us are very familiar with the polar swings between happiness and unhappiness. In spiritual terms, such is often referred to as a brittle happiness, for it is dependent on outer causes and, thus, easily broken. When we discover Self–capital “S,” we transcend our belief in the false self and, thus, are at peace.

Now it’s time for logic, which may ignite a spark of curiosity. Please contemplate this: Can you really–actually–be your name? Can you get burned from the word fire? Can you get wet from the word water? If you’ve been able to answer “no” to both of those questions, you’ve realized that the word is only a term by which we refer to the real items; in this case fire and water. Now, if you apply that very same logic to the case of your name (insert it here), you’ll realize that you cannot possibly be your name. Surely, then, this will naturally cause the question (“Who Am I?”) to arise within you.

Time for more logic: When persons clearly understand that they cannot possibly be their name, most will quite naturally assume that they must be their body. This assumption proves, once again, to relate to a fleeting ghost of a thing;” for the body is changing–literally–from one split trillionth of a second to the next. How can such a changeful thing (which is actually a functioning of Infinite Living Mind) be me? The answer: It cannot. “But,” you may claim, “I feel so real, within; then, I must be my mind.” This also proves to be a very fleeting identity; for our thoughts, which seem so personal, are changeful, too. The “personality” may seem stable, especially if we see evidence of such; but it’s actually fabricated by discrete flashes of intelligence, memory, and a repeated claiming of “i”. There’s no long-lasting person independent of mind. How could there be when mind is the creator of everything?

Doubt can be a powerful motivator to help lead us toward Truth. For as long as we stay stubbornly rooted in our opinions (which are highly subject to change from person, place, or time), we have not opened our minds to experiencing the Truth of our Being. Let doubt serve you in this article. Let doubt cast a shadow over the false self, which the majority believe themselves to be. By turning your attention from the apparent outer world, to the still world within, you’ll discover that there is a deeper dimension of “You” that has been awaiting recognition. That is the Changeless, the Eternal, the Immortal Self–capital “S.” We are Spirit. “O Death, where is thy sting?”

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

Baby Jane

Still in hospital, John and Joanne Doe were beaming–how proud they were to hold Baby “Jane,” their first child. Weighing in at 6 lbs, 7 ounces, Baby Jane had finally–a week overdue–made her way into the “world.” John was praising “mom” up and down for her fine efforts; for the delivery had been long and exhausting. Grandparents, friends, and other visitors, as permitted, came to congratulate the young couple and sneak a peek at their new family member. Even before she was born, Baby Jane was absorbing all of the information like a little pink sponge.

Days, weeks, and months passed, with mom and dad learning new skills as time went by. There were the nighttime feedings, the changing of diapers, bath-time rituals, and new equipment to be mastered in the rearing of their child. Baby Jane was a trooper; she slept soundly, wet the correct amount of diapers, and gained the weight that informed mom and dad that all was well. After a few months, Baby Jane slept less, focused her attention, and even smiled; and in those weeks, mom, dad, and grandparents–so eager and conscientious–informed Baby Jane that she was her body and her name. They wanted her to learn the truth; to know who she was and help her to be able to navigate this world. Through it all, Baby Jane cooed and seemed content; but within (at the deepest level of her Being), she desperately wanted to tell good ol’ mom and dad a thing or two about Truth. Trouble was, she as yet did not possess the necessary physical or mental equipment to be able to do so. If she had, she would have told them the following:

***

“Dear Sweet but Naïve Parents,

I know that you mean well, but you’re both ill informed and sadly out of touch with Reality, aka Truth. Although you claim that I am your physical baby, and both of you my parents, I am actually a spiritual child of God, the Christ incarnate. I don’t mean to offend, but neither of you (nor any other human, for that matter) possesses the ability or intelligence to make flesh and bones spring to life. Just so you know, as case in point, I saw dad grimace as he struggled to remove the lid of the pickle jar the other night; how I wanted to offer advice that would have helped!

It is true that you were both apparently involved in the act of procreation; but only God, my Maker, knows how to make one of me. Both of you are also spiritual children of God; but your forgetfulness (which is a necessary part of being born to the human realm) is still upon you; that’s quite evident by the way you react to human situations. It may require a great deal more of samsara (cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material realm is bound) before the Truth of your Being is revealed to you. Don’t dismay; just trust God and know that I’m rooting for you!

I hope that you won’t be hurt by what I’m about to tell you; but when you tell me that I am “Jane Doe,” I inwardly cringe; for I still–intuitively–know in my heart that I cannot possibly be a name. A name is just a word for that to which it refers. Due to your innocent ignorance, you mistake my apparent body-mind for the sum total of my Being! Please investigate the nature of your true Self, my dear spiritual brother and sister, before your bodies expire. Have you never wondered why William Shakespeare stated that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? Bill (as I like to call him) knew–God love him!–that the name should never be mistaken as the thing. You would both benefit from spending less time in front of the television, and more reading good books. Perhaps you could begin with The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, the great Lebanese-American writer. Here’s one of his stanzas about children:

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you."

Okay, so it’s getting late, and bedtime approaches. I know that you’ll be tucking me in soon, changing my diaper (thank God!), and singing those lovely lullaby songs. How I wish that I could tell you now–this very moment–the Truth regarding your essential nature. Buddha called this world dukkha, a term which basically translates as suffering. Both of you have lived long enough to know what I’m talking about–one moment you’re on top of the world; the next you feel as though you’re plummeting toward the abyss. Earth is a polar environment of apparent opposites. As a result, humans spend their lives ping-ponging between pain and pleasure. The Source of the happiness you seek can only be found through recognition of true Self. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to share with you for now. I know that you’re doing the best that you can, given the circumstance. Just easy on the “Jane” story, okay? Oh, and remember to powder when you change me–keeps rash to a minimum. Love 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

A Frog By Any Name

Once upon a pond named Earth, there lived a male frog. If viewed by us, frog might have been described as big and green and slippery-skinned; but to the frog, he was only is-ness. Frog was quite oblivious to the world around him. He gave no thought to yesterday or tomorrow; for frog knew not the silliness of humankind. Every day was a new and daring adventure. When nature decreed, he would do leap-laps around the perimeter of the pond, lazily swim out to the submerged log on the other shore, or perch upon one of the big rocks that surrounded the pond and cribbet frog opera just for the sheer love of it. Frog didn’t know a lick of Italian, but he never judged the quality of his croak-singing against any other frogs’ musical efforts–such would never have occurred to him. Frog flelt at home in the pond because is-ness allowed him to instinctively know he was an integral part of the world as a whole. But then…

***

One day, “thought” entered the still voidness of frog’s consciousness and whispered “you should give yourself a name.” At first, frog was befuddled, hearing that little voice within his head; but the more frog listened to thought, the more he liked the idea. “Yes,” he thought, “I shall name myself–a name befitting a frog of my grand status within the pond.” Initially, frog was tempted to use alliteration, thinking that names beginning with an F might be quite appealing. For one full day, he mulled over names such as Freddy, Franklin, and Fernando; but frog finally settled on naming himself Ralph Lauren–no relation to the designer. Once he had chosen the name, frog sensed pride rise within himself; he felt as though he was wearing a king’s crown as he stepped smartly around the pond. Now he was a “somebody.”

As life would have it, within a few days Ralph Lauren caught the protruding eye of one of the lovely lady frogs that inhabited the pond. When Ralph Lauren noticed, he played it cool, very cool. In response to the voice in his head (which said, “Damn it frog, stand up straight and look your best!”), he stood up on his hind legs, squared back his shoulders, and puffed up his chest. To top it off, he nonchalantly smiled his “I’m-the-frog” smile and snagged a fly in mid flight without even looking. Lady frog, who was quite impressed, smiled back; and Ralph felt his heartbeat quicken. The voice in his head was very happy, indeed.

Within a few days, Ralph and lady frog arranged to go out on a date. They would have dinner on one of the lily pads with a view. In preparation, Ralph paid a visit to a local apparel shop not far from the pond. After much deliberation, and a silent “yes” from the voice within his head, Ralph selected a tuxedo–basic black, notch lapels, french cuffs, and silk pant stripe. Oh, how Ralph smiled as he strode from the shop, the tuxedo within a clothing bag over his shoulder. He was feeling on top of the world, and he was going to look oh-so-fine on the date!

The date, unfortunately, did not go as planned. When Ralph Lauren rang the doorbell at lady frog’s pad, she opened the door, took one look at his finery, and laughed him off her front stoop. “You think I’m going to go out with you if you’re wearing that!” she exclaimed. “What kind of frog wears a tuxedo to dinner?!” Dejected, Ralph Lauren turned and plodded home. All night long, the voice in his head tortured him. “If only I’d chosen a white suit,” he thought, “everything would have turned out fine.” Life had once seemed so easy; but Ralph was now miserable due to the endless commentary by the voice in his head. How Ralph yearned for the days when he was a nobody singing opera on the big rock at the pond.

In the following weeks, Ralph Lauren visited a local frog psychiatrist, who, after numerous sessions, diagnosed Ralph as displaying human-like behaviour, proclaimed him neurotic, and prescribed anti-anxiety medication, which he still takes to this day. The psychiatrist also advised Ralph to continue their appointments indefinitely. In an effort to alleviate his suffering, Ralph is currently seeking a guru to help guide him back to recognition of his true Nature–That–and the blissful life he knew before “thought-in-the-head” convinced him to believe that he could ever be anything other than what he is already. As of last report, frog had dropped the moniker of Ralph Lauren, preferring to simplify his life as much as possible. Be forewarned, folks. Could it happen to “you?” Special note: “Lady frog” soonafter shacked up with an old toad with a criminal background, and she’s put on a lot of weight. “Thought-in-the-head” would be happy.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Master Key

A “master key,” as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is as follows: “a key designed to open several different locks.” In the ordinary sense of the word, we might imagine someone–perhaps a landlord–who, in an emergency, might need to gain access to various apartments. In this article, however, we’re interested in the extraordinary–the meaning that can help us recognize true Self and, thus, unlock esoteric powers to co-create that are not in the domain of those who still assume they are the persons they’ve been conditioned to believe themselves to be. Accompany me, if you will, as we journey toward a deeper understanding of master key:

***

The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel (who was a successful businessman and new thought author and teacher) is a foundational book for anyone with a keen interest in the Law of Attraction. To the uninitiated, it may not seem an easy read; but it is definitely a worthwhile read, for the teachings contained within its pages are unparalleled. Originally published in 1912 as a correspondence course for those interested in the study of new thought, it was first published as a book in 1916. It begins as follows: “It is my privilege to enclose herewith Part One of the Master Key System. Would you bring into your life more power? Get the power consciousness. More health? Get the health consciousness. More happiness? Get the happiness consciousness. Live the spirit of these things until they become yours by right. It will then become impossible to keep them from you. The things of the world are fluid to a power within man by which he rules them.”

Those of you who–believing yourself to the sum total of body-mind–may now be tempted to throw up your hands in frustration and shout “lunacy”–or worse! But if you’re keenly interested in manifesting a more successful life, you may be curious enough to keep reading. What Haanel was stating is the same truth that all successful motivational speakers still inform us of today: If we desire to change what “appears” without (the phenomenal world), we absolutely must–FIRST– change our paradigms within. A paradigm (again, courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary) is defined as follows: “example, pattern; an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype.” With regard to deliberate manifestation, we might consider our paradigms to be a set of closely-held subconscious beliefs related to every aspect of our apparent life.

Key to understanding this subject matter on a deeper level is this: We can only manifest that with which we are in harmony. Meaning: We’ve got to be it (our desire) before we can see it. If we’re telling ourselves that we’re financially rich but still embracing a poverty mindset (as evidenced by our shopping patterns and the words that we speak–“I can’t afford that!”), we have more work to do with regard to changing our paradigms. There are various ways to change our paradigms, but repetition of new beliefs (stated in the affirmative, present tense: “I Am rich,”–not “I Am not poor.”) is the most powerful. In conjunction with putting the mind to work, we must also put our Awareness to work; for Awareness is the guardian at the gate of our mind. Through Awareness, we govern what we permit access into our mind and that which we don’t. Please remember this: What is habitually impressed upon the mind will be expressed as our “reality.”

From the time that we were young children, all of us mentally absorbed the habitual beliefs of our parents, neighbours, and persons in positions of authority. We had little choice to do otherwise; for our persona (which would become more apparent later) had not fully developed its right to govern what information to believe or disbelieve with regard to the world. Thus, if our parents believed that money was hard to come by, such also became our belief. If they habitually spoke of apparent lack, limitation, and disease, we naturally assimilated their negative paradigms unless those beliefs were challenged as “untrue” by persons with greater influence and more positive worldviews.

I offer now a couple passages from the Bible, which I believe have the power to help you manifest that which you desire. The first is from Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” We must claim that our desires have already been fulfilled NOW–not that they will be in the future (which is non-existent). The second is from Job 22:28: “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” It’s important to understand that the apparent “reality” we sense is rendered by the mind–only. As Paramahansa Yogananda stated in The Law of Success, “Mind is the creator of everything.” We’ve all been programmed to believe that we are the body-mind (aka person) and that we must work–very hard, indeed–to achieve what we desire. However, we are not now, nor were we ever, the doer. Mind is the doer. We are living Spirit, witnessing an apparently human experience in the Waking State.

Not by accident (for there truly are none), I selected a photo that has a heart-shaped lock within it to accompany this article. The heart represents an important ingredient toward successful manifestation. We must feel the truth of our affirmations (against all logical protests from the little “i”) if our desires are ever to manifest. Time spent in meditation is beneficial on two counts: It helps us become acquainted with true Self (the silent witness), and we can also use the quiet solitude to visualize the end results that we desire. If doing so, it’s important to visualize yourself from the perspective of your desire fulfilled. To do so sends a very clear paradigm to The Universe, which, according to spiritual law, must manifest.

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

Rising Out of Ignorance

low angle grayscale photo of empty brick stairs
Photo by Ravi Kant on Pexels.com

This article’s title may raise some eyebrows or perhaps some snickers. And such is understandable. On personal levels (which means relative levels), opinions are bound to differ–that’s just the way of life in this environment. During the course of our human story, we have developed a persona–the mask; and due to that mask, which is formed from a collection of thoughts, beliefs, and apparent experiences, each and every person interprets the world in a fully subjective manner. To some readers, the title might suggest that I am now claiming to be a genius; that my days of being stupid, acting foolish, or exhibiting illogical behavour are over. Alas (now, there’s an old word), that is not the case; at least when “Art” is around. I am happy to announce, however, that my once abundant ignorance has at least decreased.

“Art,” the character, has been experiencing the pain of his issues for quite an apparent time; but perhaps enough karmic debt has been paid that Grace could lead the way to liberation. On most days, “I”–Awareness–no longer view the world through Art’s hazel eyes; nor do I see the world through his well-intentioned, although ignorant, perspective or deeply-rooted opinions. I have learned that there is much lighter way to approach life and the phenomenal world. To do so is to look from a perspective that is above and beyond the earthly character that the majority of persons still believe themselves to be. This is the ignorance to which the title refers.

It’s in our nature to rise; for indeed we were cast out from the Most High to experience Itself in a multitude of forms. This time, we chose–or were indebted–to play the role of human. A basic spiritual principle of rhythm rules: The swing of the pendulum to the left is equal to the swing to the right. Thus, we will–in due time–rise once again to the level from which we were originally cast out. Such is inevitable. As we rise, it’s important to remember the following: It makes no sense whatsoever to blame ourselves for actions committed by the little self that was apparently mired in ignorance. Such could have not been different. It’s perfectly understandable that all of us–believing ourselves to be body-mind only–apparently acted from that perspective. How could we have done otherwise? To tell someone not to act stupid or foolish–or from a point of arrogance, ignorance, or human pride–is like demanding that someone (with no knowledge of rocket engineering) build us a rocket ship to go to the moon.

How may we rise out of ignorance? From my understanding, there is one key method: meditation; be still. It is erroneous to believe that we may rise out of ignorance by merely acquiring more knowledge; for the human perspective is relative. From that vantage point, what is right or wrong, correct or incorrect, is forever changing. However, when we still our minds, doing so silences the false self (the little “i”) long enough to allow the Source of All Knowing to be directly realized.

So what does rising out of ignorance feel like? It may be described in one word: Bliss, aka peace. To rise is to be released from the constrictive limitations of the human perspective into the expansive domain of Spirit. To rise is to discard the human perspective as though it were a worn-out set of clothes. To rise is to stand apart–and watch–as the ego that was once believed to be “you” is seen for what it is. That false self, which still may occasionally try to yank us back down into ignorance, can now be witnessed from afar. To rise also allows us to look upon others, who are experiencing their own karmic debt, with a heart filled with loving compassion. Through greater understanding, we come to realize that to transition from person to Presence is part of our apparent journey. There’s much higher to rise–much higher; for to pretend to have arrived at a point of All Knowing would only be to proclaim our ignorance!  If we are wise, we won’t be tempted to look down. A little understanding goes a long way.

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

God Trumps All

God–not the word, nor the concept–trumps all. How can this possibly be, when humankind seems so very powerful? Because God (also referred to as Consciousness), is all that there IS. It is One, indivisible, irreducible, unchanging; the Alpha and Omega of all that ever was, is, and will be. It is the Ultimate Frame within which we–as apparent human beings–live. It is That, appearing as a multiplicity and diversity of shapes, forms, and colours, which we classify according to name. From the finite view of “the world,” we may appear to have dominion over all of the Earth; while from the Infinite persepctive (which is the viewpoint of Truth), humans are little more than phantasmagorical phenomena within the Waking State of God’s Infinite Dream–dream bodies, relating their supposedly important tales of triumph or tragedy to other dream bodies.

To understand this more deeply (for those earnestly curious about Truth, or weary of suffering their apparent person) requires that we set aside our erroneous assumptions–of which there is great abundance. We must set aside everything we have been told about the nature of our being and dive deep–beyond appearance–to discover the Truth within. In short, we are not “who we think we are.” The Consciousness through which, and by which, the words of this webpage are comprehended does not arise within the body-mind. Consciousness is not personal! Only Consciousness, Itself, is conscious. Such only seems to be the case due to reflected consciousness within the dream of our life.

We–as name and form–do not truly exist. It is more truthfully expressed that we appear. To believe that we have independent existence as physical bodies which somehow magically give rise to personal consciousness is an erroneous positionality–one untenable through investigation. Science confirms this (see “the hard problem of consciousness”). What we sense, including our body-minds, are but effects of Consciousness–erroneously claimed to think and act by their own power. To believe such is unawareness of Truth; for only in Him do we live and move and have our being. Our body-minds, which arise simultaneously with the world in which they interact, are actually discrete momentary manifestations successively related together so quickly as to appear “solid” and “seamless.” So it is, also, with the apparently personal “i” (the ego-thought), which is nothing more than repetitive “i-thoughts” that lead us–via memory–to assume there is an actual somebody within the head. To believe so is to attribute the flashing moment-to-moment experience of God’s Infinite Dream as actual “matter.” Quantum Mechanics has long postulated the Observer Effect, which is basically stated in the following passage from The Tibetan Book of the Dead: “Phenomena only ‘exist’ in the mind that perceives them.”

The process (not truly a process, for there is nothing we must do to be what we are) of recognizing true Self–a child of God–is simple enough; it involves surrendering all that is false. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry summed this up through the following quote: “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” God IS that perfection; and we come closer to That when we drop our concepts related to a fictional entity. Come with me now, if you will, and re-understand your true Being from the point of young child–long before you were educated in the falsities so prevalent in this realm called Earth. Know that your body is just that–a flashing appearance in consciousness; your mind but sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts appearing–likewise–to the true “You,” Consciousness. Spill out your stories related to i, me, and mine; and, through the ensuing emptiness, rediscover your-Self filled with the power and the glory of all that you Are. You are not now–nor were you ever–the body-mind. You are Consciousness, silently witnessing and co-creating the dream of your life. Why let the concept of what you are “not” prevent you from directly knowing what you already are–Consciousness, Love…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

Shaking The Maya Tree

If we were to shake a tree that was full of ripe oranges, we would–quite logically–expect to see oranges fall to the ground. Likewise, if we shook a tree that was loaded with ripe apples, we would witness the falling of apples. To expect something other than the fruit of each tree (perhaps coffee cups or lollipops) to fall would very soon result in our being labeled insane. With regard to the title of this article, I am going out on a limb by sharing that all that falls when the Maya (Sanskrit, loosely translated as illusion) Tree shakes must, in the absolute sense, be illusory in nature. The fruit of Maya is transient, changeful, and ultimately unreal. Some would appropriately call such dreaming.

To transition from the view (subscribed to by the vast majority of persons) that “reality” is only defined by what appears via our senses is not an easy task; and to be honest, only those rare beings who are, indeed, ripe with curiosity for Truth (captial T, as opposed to belief or opinion) will be willing to make the earnest effort to investigate the deeper nature of their Being. Until the dream of life turns challenging or outright nightmarish, it is highly unlikely that individuals will question the blind assumptions that have formed their commonly accepted definition of reality. To take a figurative step in the direction of Truth, it may help if you know the following:

  • When Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi (a realized sage) was questioned about the difference between Dream State and the Waking State (referred to as “reality” by the masses), he replied, “Waking is long and dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings seem real while awake, so do those in a dream while dreaming.”
  • From The Law of Success by Paramahansa Yogananda: “Mind is the creator of everything.” You might think of this as the shaking of the Maya Tree. Please note that he stated everything is created by mind.
  • Paraphrased from Vedanta, Voice of Freedom by Swami Vivekananda: Knowledge is the axe that severs the axle that joins the wheel of the Truth of our Being and the wheel of the body-mind perspective. Through knowledge of Truth we are liberated from the conditioned (and erroneous) beliefs that we are a person.
  • Press here for link to “Life is a Dream” by Leo at actualized.org.
  • From William Blake: “As man is, so he sees.”
  • And finally, a photo passage from Open Secret by Wei Wu Wei:

What is the benefit of knowing this information? If your “life story” is ticking along fine, you’re almost certainly not reading this article. You’ll be apparently slaying dragons in the business world, or flying to your island home in your personal jet. If, however, you’re finding that your story has run full speed into a brick wall, it may help to know this: that what you have previously called HARD FAST REALITY is not, indeed, reality at all. It is the fruit of the Maya tree; which appears when the mind’s ability to perceive via the senses is functioning. The so-called real world (as we have assumed it to be) recedes from waking state to dream state (a more ephemeral dream world), and is totally absent in deep sleep, which is without objects, time, and space.

The real Self is That by which the apparent world is co-created and known. So what of “us” is real–for it certainly seems that we exist? Consciousness–independent of form. Please contemplate this: Can anything be known–an object, an event, even a person (including your own body-mind)–without the presence of Conscousness or a Knower? If you believe this possible, how could such ever be proven so? Is that not, in fact, like trying to know if the refrigerator light remains on when the door is closed? A tree in the forest that supposedly falls unwitnessed, neither exists, falls, or makes a sound; for such requires an observer to co-create the event and report its occurrence.

I, known in the apparent world as Art, am intuitively dictating this article to my representative form from the other side of the bridge of transition. Weird? Okay–define and label if you must; but to me what’s really strange is to blindly accept the assumption that we could ever be as finite and small as the name and form for which most persons settle. We are so much more. We are Divine Spirit, dreaming our character’s role of personhood. To know this now–while living–places one in the position of a jivanmukta (one who has attained liberation while living). If you’re tired of suffering the world of form, please come join me on the other side of the bridge. The view is beautiful–and eternal. You are not who you think you are–never have been. You can only be what you are in realitySpirit.

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 Chains That Bind

There was a time when I wouldn’t have had a clue about the deeper nature of the chains referred to in the title of this article. I was–as is the case with so many persons–still lost in the concept of personhood and working hard to arrive at that mythical human destination called success and lasting happiness. It would be many apparent years and a truckload of suffering before I was granted reprieve. Coincidentally, “he,” who was the cause of my suffering, goes by the same name as the guy who is apparently writing this article. Let’s just say that we can blame the unhappiness on Art.

As much as it might seem, I’m not being facetious. The only guy who apparently experienced the suffering was Art. At the time, I was missing one crucial piece of information: Art is conceptual only; he has no independent existence apart from the finite mind. Neither does the character with whom you’re most likely identified. You read that correctly. The person who you think you are isn’t the “real” you. The True “I – Self” that is our essential nature is beyond all human drama. It cannot be stained by life. The Bhagavad Gita states the truth of our Being this way: “Weapons cannot cut It, nor can fire burn It; water cannot wet It, nor can wind dry It.

I share this for one reason only: To help spare others the pain and anguish of needless suffering. Although it definitely doesn’t seem the case, suffering paradoxically serves a purpose; for it indicates that we have strayed too far from the Truth. It, thus, informs us that we need to change our direction and seek a meaningful way to live a fuller life. When we rediscover the nature of True Self, everything improves; for we are living from the perspective of Truth.

The degree of suffering that we experience in this apparent life is in direct proportion to our understanding of the truth of our being. If we think we’re the little John or Jane Doelookout! The only true solution is to transcend the nature of the little “self” that is apparently experiencing it. In other words, to recognize (know again) the Truth of our Being. A lot of very wise beings–including Buddha, Jesus, and Lao Tzu–knew this, and so can we. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj summed up the matter this way: “You can only be what you are in reality; you can only appear to be what you are 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

Forgive Me My Sins

I freely admit that I have not lived a perfect life–far from it. Through insight, however, I can admit that the story of “my life” (complete with all of its so-called flaws) has provided lessons that were absolutely perfect for my continuing evolution. I trust this process (the Power that heals my cuts and beats my heart) implicitly. Every blade of grass and every so-called weed is in the right place, at the right time. Therefore, my weedly actions (and yours, too) may be considered right. Logically, how can we possibly do better until we know better? Without question, the key that unlocks improved behaviour in the world is knowledge of our essential nature. Until we know, we are destined to “miss the mark.” With that in mind, I offer one of my own quotes:

As we see ourself, we see another.”

Until we know our unity as Oneness, this world will be ruled by forces that arise from the perspective of the costumes, aka humans. In my case, the behaviour that was expressed through Art was–as with everyone else on the planet–due to karmic debt and the conditioning of my Being. We, quite literally, are programmed to believe that we are something (the person) that we are not. This erroneous identification with the apparent body-mind causes us tremendous pain and suffering; and whether we realize so or not, we bear the weight of our ignorance upon our back both personally and collectively.

For instance: A family whose members are unaware of their essential nature is destined to experience alternating periods of peace and strife in varying degrees. For a while, there may be little or no conflict; but eventually the polar energies of this environment called “Life on Earth” may lead to challenging conditions. Here, we can only know objects and concepts by their apparent opposite. For instance: We know mountain by its valley; right by left; in by out. Due to these polar energies, persons will be pulled or pushed in energetic patterns and collide psychologically, emotionally, and (in the worst case scenario) physically. The way that each person processes life further programs the persons within the environment. If harsh judgment rules the environment (due to ignorance), strife is bound to continue and may, in fact, lead to a fractured family.

The price that we pay for ignorance of our essential nature, both personally and collectively, is very costly; and all of us pay the price on a worldwide basis. The same alternating forces that play out within a family, play out on a collective global scale. Therefore, hateful thoughts lead to conflict and malevolent actions; selfish thoughts lead to selfishness and greed; insincere thoughts lead to hypocrisy and perfunctory behaviour. However, when Love governs our actions (which can only occur when we realize true nature), harmony will be witnessed and experienced by everyone.

The greatest sin we will ever make is to be unaware of What–not who–we are. We are neither the body, nor the mind. Ignorance will strongly attempt to convince us that we are this flesh and bones; this mortal human vehicle born to die, but such is not founded in Truth. We cannot “be” what we are not–namely, the mortal “human.” From Vedanta, Voice of Vedanta by Swami Vivekananda: We are “children of immortal bliss.” We are Spirit manifest in human form, having an apparent earthly life. My greatest sins occurred because I knew not true Self; therefore, I knew not the highest Self–Spirit–of everyone else. Just for clarity, we are not seeking forgiveness as a person (by other persons); we are seeking forgiveness from the perspective of the person. This occurs when we realize our essential nature.

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