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

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

A Coin So Thin

The Law of Attraction–always functioning, ever present, one-hundred percent of the time. What we think about, we bring about. Due to it, we’re able to co-create in accordance with the habitual feeling-imbued thoughts with which we resonate and evolve on our paths toward the expression of higher consciousness. With that in mind, let’s examine the title of this post in more detail.

Most of us may be familiar with the custom of tossing a coin to make a determination. It might have played out as follows: A coin is selected and both sides–Heads and Tails–are shownA spokesperson for all involved–perhaps two teams of children–states his/her choice and waits for the coin to be tossed into the air. Then everyone watches. The coin is caught and slapped onto the back of the tosser’s other hand. The covering hand is lifted, revealing the verdict. It’s simple: Heads you win; Tails you lose: The team that called it goes first, or plays from a certain end. How that coin toss applies to the Law of Attraction is found through a saying of mine: You can never slice a coin so thin that it will not have two sides. Please read that again and contemplate the subject. What do I mean?

Based on the circumstances that we witness, it can often be easy to assume that Life is dividing us into categories, in much the same way as the coin toss. On one side, Heads, we may mistakenly believe that only winners are allowed. They will be the rich, the famous, the ones with the great career, great family, and great health. On the other side, Tails, we may mistakenly believe that only losers are found. They will be the poor, the downtrodden, the ones with minimum wage jobs, dysfunctional families, and poor health. In this article, we’re going to challenge that belief through the Principle of Polarity, which is discussed in a book of esoteric teachings entitled The Kybalion.

All of us are quite aware of opposites: Light and dark; up and down; right and left. The Kybalion informs us that both (although apparently opposites) are actually just poles, or extremes, of one thing. In the matter of Hot and Cold, no one can state where hot begins and cold ends, for both are merely differing degrees of the one. So, how does this mystical teaching apply to our lives? It means that if we are experiencing the negative end (or pole) of any situation, we should mentally begin to slide our attitude toward the other pole. This would be accomplished through deliberate and conscious mental effort. Using my example of the coin, we should figuratively toss the coin again–seeking the good that absolutely must be there! If a situation seems unfavourable, toss the coin again!Please contemplate the following: The Head side of the coin cannot exist–literally–without the Tails! In time, as we mature as co-creators, we realize that we (via our thinking) possess both sides of the coin about anything. The coin is always our coin–both sides! Each and every time, we may choose to toss the coin again and discover the good that inherently must exist.

This is not an exercise in trite sayings. This is fact. We are the ones having our life experiences, and we are the ones labeling them. I am not saying that challenging life situations will never occur; for they do. I am saying, however, that in every situation we may toss the coin again (applying The Principle of Polarity) and discover the other side of the coin. On a grander scale, we may come to realize that situations once labeled “bad” were actually blessings in disguise. Through conscious use of our creative abilities, we’ll come to understand that we have always held both sides of the coin; and that we can toss it again whenever we please. We can change ourselves–our attitude, our thinking–and thereby attract to us accordingly. If you’re going through a rough time, perhaps it’s time to toss that coin again and discover the positive side.

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

Working For “The One”

The following fictional account didn’t take place–ever; but for fun, let’s go with it and pretend that it did. Special Note: The characters and events depicted in this article are fictitious. Any similarity to persons, either living or deceased, is purely coincidental. No persons were harmed in any way during the writing, editing, or subsequent publishing of this article. 🙂 Thank goodness, no one lost their job, either; came close, though.

***

“Have a seat, Bob,” said Mr. Swanger. He descended from a long line of Swangers, before swanging became a cultural phenomena in certain circles.

“Thank you,” said Bob. He slowly stepped forward and settled himself in the chair across from Mr. Swanger’s desk. He tried to appear calm, but his fidgetting fingers gave him away.

Mr. Swanger leaned forward over his desk, which was distracting because he had a mole on his left cheek the size of Saskatchewan. His computer screen was open to Bob’s profile. “How long have you been working with us at The One?”

“Little over a month,” said Bob.

“I’ve brought you in here today,” said Mr. Swanger, “because there’s been a nasty rumor circulating, at the yellow ticker tape that surrounds the previously available water cooler.”

Bob leaned forward, an expression of innocent curiosity pasted on his face. “‘Bout what?” he said.

Mr. Swanger sat back and arched his hands together in the stereoptypical teepee power position. “This makes me very uncomfortable,” he began. “Rumor has it that you actually believe that you’re ‘Bob.’ That’s incredibly awkward, given that we all work for The One. See my point?”

“Can’t say that I do,” said Bob. “I’m not Bob?” He patted his knees; they certainly felt real.

Mr. Swanger rolled his eyes; inwardly he was wondering how Bob had slipped through the hiring process. “No,” said Mr. Swanger. “These bodies are what show up in the waking state. A few people still mistake that as reality.” Mr. Swanger turned his attention to the computer screen. “It says here,” he said, “that there’s evidence that you still believe you’re the doer.”

Bob crossed his legs and gripped the arms of the chair firmly–knuckles blanched. “I’m not?” he said.

“No,” said Mr. Swanger. “Not now–or ever, for that matter. These,” he said, moving his arms about with floating ease, “move by one power alone–Consciousness. This is idealism, Bob. We gave up that old software called naive realism years ago. That’s when we got with the times and formed the new company–The One.”

Bob began to fidget; he needed this job. He had nowhere else to go. Everyone these days was talking about the wonderful living immediacy of the present moment; the “Here and Now,” they called it. “What can I do to make it right?” he asked, learning forward. “I could stay late, make coffee. I have an advanced degree in Modern Sychophany,” he offered. “Would that help?”

“No,” said Mr. Swanger, with a wave of his hand. “Groveling is passé–went out with landlines and the notion of personal consciousness. Since enlightenment, we don’t work that way–we’re all equal here. There’s no solution except that you go home–now, of course–and spend some time in silent solitude. If you do so often enough, you’ll see that the true You isn’t Bob at all. This company is founded on the principles of The One. There’s no room for a bunch of persons running around like egoic chickens, thinking that they own the place. We work for The One; and the world functions a whole lot better when all of us know It.”

***

The meeting concluded a few minutes later, and Bob departed with a fearful I-could-soon-be-walking-down-the -road-kicking-my-lunchpail look. He was almost out of the building before he thought about the curious note with instructions that Mr. Swanger had handed to him before leaving. Politely but firmly, he had told Bob that if he wanted to continue working for The One, he should follow the instructions on the note closely. Bob’s pace slowed as his hand fumbled to remove the note from his pocket. It read as follows:

  • Meditate for ten minutes, once a day. Increase to fifteen minutes, twice each day.
  • Earnestly ask the question (“Who Am I?”) and don’t settle for the story self.
  • Read the works of Buddha, Jesus, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj; or, if you’re searching for any easier but informative book, R. Arthur Russell’s most recent work.
  • Watch this presentation on self-inquiry by Rupert Spira.

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

All “My” Ducks in a Row

Most of us have heard, or perhaps even used, the following expression: “All of my ducks are in a row.” It implies that everything is just fine; circumstances are under control; and that life is oh, so good. Although this may seem fine as an expression, it’s actually a horrendously unsatisfactory way to live. The problem with this life strategy is that it requires tremendous, unending effort. “Here, little Duckie, walk this way, now that,” while I juggle ten tasks that must be done–at the same time.”

The inspiration for this article comes, yet again, from the book entitled Awareness, by Anthony De Mello. It was recommended to me by fellow blogger “AP2, Clear Air Turbulence,” right here on WordPress (I hope you’ll check out his fine posts). Here’s the line, which relates to what I’ve expressed in the paragraph above:

You keep on insisting, ‘I feel good because the world is right.’

Wrong!

The world is right because I’m happy.”

The point at which the expression about ducks and the lines above intersect is called “me.” When we rise in awareness, we can understand that it is only “me” who is having a problem with life as it is here and now. Once the “me” is revealed for what it is (a conceptual self), we can experience more of the present-moment joy that life is freely offering. Nothing and no one can rob us of that joy if we don’t allow the little “i” to steal us blind. Ducks don’t need to be in a row; tasks don’t have to be juggled; and we don’t have to be tempted by a fictional point of perfection in a fictional future. Then, mysteriously, we discover the incredible paradox: By not trying to have our ducks in a row, we realize that life is just fine, regardless of the state of the ducks!

This is not to say that we should drop our goals, or set our heart upon accomplishing tasks. Doing still occurs; work gets done. The main difference is in our approach. With detached awareness, we may witness that when the fictional person is operating, having “my” ducks in a row is always more important than the condition of someone else’s ducks. It’s in our best interest, to discover the nature of the little ‘i.” When we do, through self-inquiry, we’re well on our way to freedom–from grief, strife, and suffering. In this way, we can still interact with others and perform our work; but we’ll do so without the interference of the separate little “me” that is never satisfied. Ironically, everything will seem “just duckie.”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With warm regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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 Hammer Named “Choice”

Once upon a time in a land very close, indeed, there lived an evil hammer named Choice. Everyone knew that The Hammer was big and monstrous and bad to the bone. How it loved to prey upon unsuspecting thumbs! All day long, it would hide in the bushes and await the opportunity to pounce. “Heh, heh, heh, ” the thumbs imagined Choice muttering as they walked by, “now, there’s a delicious-looking thumb to whack!”

The thumbs never knew when Choice would strike. On some days, a lot of thumbs were whacked hard; on other days, only a few thumbs were struck; and on rare days, most of the thumbs went merrily about their business. However, almost all of the thumbs lived with the pervading fear that at any moment The Hammer could fall. In secret, the thumbs held Town Hall Meetings with the window blinds drawn and the lights turned low. They would talk in whispers and discuss what could be done to improve the condition of their lives. During such meetings, a variation of the following was almost always heard: “Did you hear about Burt?” asked one thumb to another. A terror-stricken hush would fall upon the room, then: “Yup, got whacked today–real hard.”

One day, however, a startling revelation occurred to a bright little thumb. “Wait a second,” thought the thumb, “I cannot, in fact, know if I will be whacked by the big bad hammer today; but I can definitely choose how I live. I get to choose–how I think and feel about every circumstance that arises. Choice doesn’t have meI have Choice!” Empowered by the epiphany, the bright little thumb felt jubilation arise from within. It inhaled a deep breath and squared back its shoulders; and from that day forward, it focused on the beauty to be enjoyed here and now.

Within a few days, other thumbs noticed the dramatic change in the brave little thumb. It seemed to be shining with hope, positivity, and a fearless spirit. Often the brave little thumb would be seen marching around town wearing a T-Shirt emblazoned with “I Am Lion Thumb, Hear Me Roar.” In time, word of the change began to spread to other thumbs, who told two thumbs, and so on, and so on, and so on. The startling transformation spread far and wide. The thumbs all rejoiced, and there was dancing and singing as never before. They even held a Thumb Fest open to all; with everyone chanting “We have power, here; we have choice, now!”

***

So, what’s the point of this little parable? Did all of the thumbs march off into the sunset and live happily ever after? Well, yes and no. Like us, of course, the thumbs continued to be whacked by life; but the good news is that due to this, we and the thumbs evolve and grow stronger. So much of life is beyond our control, but we can definitely control our attitude toward it. We can cower, or we can express our courageous nature. The choice is ours. One of the greatest lessons we can learn is this: To live in fear is not to live.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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

Driver Training

———————————-Art” ~ 🙂 ~ circa 1906 ——————————–

Oh, how we love cars, especially those of us raised in Western cultures. We love them so much that we can hardly wait to get our driver’s licence. To us, a licence symbolizes freedom to come and go as we please and to, as Steppenwolf expressed in “Born to Be Wild, “get our motor running and head out on the highway! Before we acquire our licence, most of us have to pass a Drivers’ Education Class. We have to study the rules of the road and learn how to properly signal, accelerate, steer, brake, merge, and drive defensively. The lessons are in our best interest. No less is required for those of us who desire to deliberately apply the Law of Attraction.

Before we proceed, it’s important that we understand the nature of our vehicle. It is the body-mind, aka, the person. Contrary to popular belief, such is not the sum of What we are! In truth, we are Spirit–the silent witness that actually drives the body-mind through life. The quality of our personal journey is dependent upon the nature and intensity of our thoughts and feelings. Negative thoughtssuch as anger, hatred, revenge, jealousy, envy, pride, and selfishnesscan never lead us anywhere good. They create a rough ride and a tough life. Positive thoughts–such as love, kindness, compassion, empathy, generosity, humility, and selflessness–help lead us toward favourable destinations. The destinations we reach depend upon the skill with which we comply with spiritual laws.

So, are we buckled up? Have you checked your mirrors and left the story of your life in the past, where it belongs? Good, we’re off to a great start! Now, please know this: There are two powerful pedals that we must learn to operate before we pull away from the curb. One is Fear–it’s the brake; every time we  step on it (allow it to function in our consciousness) our vehicle slows down. The other pedal is Faith–it’s the accelerator; every time we press on it (feel triumphant joy rise in our heart) our vehicle moves closer to our desired manifestation! Through the power of Awareness (which can be increased through meditation), we’re going to learn how to be more aware of which pedal we’re pushing.

Our Driver Education Course required a set number of days; and the same applies to learning how to deliberately apply the Law of Attraction. In this case, thirty days. During this period–marked faithfully on the calendar–we’re going to monitor our thinking while going about our days. Our goal is to engage only positive thoughts. If we find ourselves concentrating on negative thoughts–either big or small–we’re going to begin our count anew. At the end of thirty days, we will arrive at our destination with a mind trained to focus on the positive aspects of life. The results that we’ll notice after successful completion of this course will make the effort required to pass it seem more than worthwhile.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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

My Sky is Blue

Chances are that most of us have heard the following question: What colour is the sky in your world? And chances are that whoever asked it (perhaps with a roll of the eyes) was trying to imply that someone else–a friend, a family member, a colleague, or a stranger–is living in a delusional bubble for being happy and optimistic in the face of a negative reality. Whatever the reason, the expression is usually intended derogatively.

I write about the question above to remind, or perhaps inform, that our experience of life is unique for each and every one of us. It’s also important to understand that we attract experiences according to the habitual way we think and feel. Therefore, feeling good not only benefits us in the present moment but also sets the stage for future moments. The fact is that the reality we experience can be very good even when everyone around us claims that the world is falling apart. This does not make us foolish–quite the contrary. To be ruled by circumstance, or the predominant opinions of others, places us at the whims of the world. The opposite is true when we practice our right to govern our own perspective. We may also remind ourselves that a shift in our perspective–to one of gratitude and optimism–creates the pathway for real and dramatic change to occur in our lives.

With this mindset, we may–despite hearing that we are beaten–think “I Am victorious!” With this mindset, we may–despite hearing that we look tired–think “I Am full of vitality!” With this mindset, we may–despite hearing that the state of the world is hopeless–think “goodness will triumph!” It is such optimismcombined with applied action toward positive goalsthat actually creates a Blue Sky Reality. This doesn’t mean that we’re denying a negative situation; we’re just choosing not to focus upon it.

Our evolution is up to us. We may live as a conduit to goodness, kindness, courage, optimism, power and perseverance. In the same way that we challenge our muscles by lifting heavier weights (and thereby grow stronger), we may challenge our attitude and live a more fulfilling life. Source–which is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient–supports us. We get to choose. Such is our power; such is our freedom; such is our birthright–if only we will claim it!

This world can attempt to exert a negative effect; but such cannot occur without our permission. On any given day, we can see the news and watch reports of terrible atrocities. We can listen to neighbours and hear them complain about politics, the weeds in their lawn, or the cost of a loaf of bread. Or, we may exercise our right to view the world through our own perspective. Through the use of deliberate focus and intention, we may turn our back to dark skies and face the light. And the next time someone asks “What colour is the sky in your world?” we may confidently and unapologetically reply My sky is blue.”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – 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