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

Get Over Your “Self”

If you ask the majority of persons where they believe the little “i” of them resides, most body-minds will invariably point to a location behind the forehead or to the middle of their chest. Such just feels true. Due to deeply imbedded beliefs that are rarely, if ever, investigated for validity, humans almost always accept such blind assumptions as fact. They are not. This is backward to the nature of Reality. Please contemplate the following if you’re curious about recognizing true Self.

For any “thing” to be known (including an apparent object that is described as a person), there must, indeed, be a knower. How else could any “thing” ever be known? When we assume that our knowing identity rises and falls with the relatively long-lasting form labeled by various names (insert your name here), we are bound to suffer. Because body-minds believe that they began with conception or birth they, therefore, believe that they “end” when the body-mind dies. This also means that persons take life events (ranging from those rated incredibly great to ghastly terrible) of their character very seriously, indeed. Due to the polar nature of Earth, pain and pleasure are united, for they are complementary aspects of one.

How, dear friends, do you know with any certainty that the Consciousness which knows what is occurring to your “i” is within the head or behind the chest? Scientists have rigorously been searching for the seat of consciousness within the body-mind and cannot locate it. Newsflash: They never will. Why? Because it does not arise from neural processes. In fact, the body-mind arises from the one-and-only placeless place that gives rise to everything–Consciousness. When we understand that Consciousness is The Absolute, we will clearly understand that attempting to locate its Source within the body-mind is not only absurd but also futile. You cannot contain the Container; for Consciousness is, in fact, the Container of all that ever was, is, and will be. What I’m stating is that you are an aspect of God. Your “I”(the word through with which you refer to your Self countless times every day) is the same “I” that fashions universes. It is the Foundation of All. It is also the same “I” by which “others” refer to themselves. Such means that we are all spiritual brothers and sisters, despite the counter claims of our ego.

There are invaluable teachings of historical and modern-day sages, saints, and saviours. Their names included Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Eckhart Tolle, Rupert Spira, Shunyamurti, Mooji, and many more. Their teachings may be summed up as follows: Get over yourself. You are NOT the concept that you believe yourself to be. Time spent investigating the nature of the “imposter” that goes by your name and form is time well spent; it may, indeed, be a contributing factor toward liberation.

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

Life More Abundant

Our egoic “i” attempts (and often succeeds) to convince us that everyday experience is about us–and only us. Of course, we realize that other persons matter to a degree: but in most cases, our conceptual self deems itself most important. Our ego would have us believe that life revolves around our needs, our desires, our wants, our home, our family, our career, our health, our wealth, our possessions, our social status, and our yada yada infinitum. To a sad extent, our societies are often driven by these “apparently” separate selves and selfish mentalities. It’s no wonder that we witness so much conflict and strife in the world. With everyone acting with such a mindset, how could they not?

We are fortunate that there is a much deeper way of being in the world. It can spare us from the atrocious consequences related to greed, hatred, selfishness, and anger that frequently accompany the false self. The solution is fundamental to the teachings of the Law of Attraction and at the heart of knowing true Self. The following passage from John 10:10 serves as a potent reminder of how to live in this apparent world:

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

In my humble opinion, an important point has been missed if we believe that this passage referred only to Jesus. It applies to all of us. We are here–NOW–to make life more abundant for everyone. The teachings of the Law of Attraction have always stressed that a goal must serve the best interests of everyone involved–not only us! Everyone with whom we interact must depart with the feeling of increase. This, in fact, is the compass that enables us to know if we’re following the right path. If we sow selfish desires, the harvest we reap will ultimately lead to our destruction. When we know our deeper dimension of Self, we realize that our purpose is actually to improve the quality of life of those around us. Thus, we discover the following valuable reasons to spend the hours of our days:

TO HELP ONE ANOTHER

TO CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER

TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Who of us can say that we are allowing our life to be lived for the sake of others? Even though I realize that serving “Art” and his self-centered desires leads to nothing but trouble (plus boredom and suffering), do I–even now–always cast aside my interests in the service of my fellow brothers and sisters? To surrender our false selves that are robbing the quality of life from our societies is an act of great wisdom. Although it may seem as though we’re sacrificing a very important “person,” we are, in fact, only surrendering the illusion of self. This can be known fully when we make an effort to “Know Thyself” beyond the shallow definitions of name and form. Are you curious? If so, you might begin by asking “Who Am I?”

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

To Swim As God

One of the books that I’m currently reading is entitled The Yoga of Knowledge, Jnana Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda. From what I’ve discovered about Swami Vivekananda, he was an Indian monk who was a disciple of Ramakrishna and played an instrumental role in bringing the teachings of Vedanta and Yoga to the West. Here, I offer you the quote which inspired this article:

Only the man [woman] who has actually perceived God and soul has religion.”

What was the great Swami Vivekananda attempting to communicate? Was he stating that only a few special Beings were worthy of knowing God? Not at all. The heart of the message that he was sharing is analogous to persons who state that they are swimmers…without having ever stepped foot in the water. The point is that intellectual understanding of a subject is never the same as knowing. We can study a thousand books about religion; we can visit various ashrams, temples, synagogues, and cathedrals until we are turquoise in the face; but until a Being gets “wet” with the personal–direct–knowing of “The Water” it would be ludicrous to state that he or she is truly a swimmer. Ramesh S. Balsekar, who was a remarkable author and teacher of nonduality, stated the same principle this way:

No amount of description can replace the taste of a mango.”

The word “religion” stems from the Latin verb religare, which means to “re-bind.” Its meaning is similar (if not identical) to that of “yoga,” which means to yoke. To be known fully, that yoking or religion to the Source of our Being must be experienced directly. It is not something that can be handed to us through intellectual studies or a lifetime spent attending church. I’m not passing judgment on any of these activities (which definitely have benefits in their own right); I’m only stating that neither is the same as direct experience.

This is why the great sages and saints realized that in most–if not all–cases, silence spoke the loudest. So what’s “the way?” To the best of my understanding, we must go within to discover The Treasure that’s lying there waiting to be discovered. It cannot be named; for to name It is to attempt to place a conceptual definition upon That which is Infinite, therefore limitless. What is that unchanging part of You that knows all experience? You descended from That; so logically it follows that the heart of you must be Thatness. This is reflected in the following passage from John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.”

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

Take Me “Home”

This article was inspired by the song entitled Take Me Home, Country Roads, by the late John Denver. As many of will realize, the lyrics relate memories and feelings of a man who is longing for his home of West Virginia, USA. I’m using the theme of the song to share a way to help seekers recognize true Self, which in my opinion is our Holy Home. This Home–which all of us intuitively know–is described in a short passage from The Inner Life, by Hazrat Inayat Khan, who was a Sufi mystic:

The real home of man is the Spirit of God, and elsewhere he will never be satisfied.”

In my book entitled This Taste of Flesh and Bones, I share the following information as one of the primary means that helps to keep me anchored in the perspective of Truth. When we understand how eyesight functions, we realize that Consciousness is actually Universal, even though it feels separate and individual. Here’s the passage from my book, which is available at Amazon:

The easiest method that I’ve discovered to see the truth pertaining to the symbols we mistake for reality is to remind myself how eyesight functions. Eyesight is almost always taken for granted, which means that we are not practicing discernment! When a person opens his/her eyelids, photons of light enter the eyes and travel through the cornea and then the pupil. Light then hits the lens, which focuses the light rays on the retina (a light-sensitive nerve layer) and gives rise to an inverted image. The optic nerve then carries signals of light to the visual cortex area of the brain where the signals are cross-referenced at lightning speed and assembled into images projected right side up. Thus, we are informed of what is seen. The coffee cup that we believe is on the table positioned in the center of the floor is a three-dimensional representation formed in the dark space within the brain. All of the objects—the coffee cup, the table, and the floor—only appear to be outside.

This method of staying centered in the perspective of “home” reminds me of what we’re truly seeing when we view the apparent world. It’s reinforced by a passage from Hebrews 11:3: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” As challenging as this may be to accept, everything that we see (including our body-mind) is representational…ONLY. There is no way to interact with the reality as it actually is because it is always mediated by the mind and perception. Rupert Spira (a renowned spiritual teacher of non duality) likens this to a skier who is searching for white snow while wearing orange-tinted sunglasses. Our senses are the sunglasses.

The message that I’m sharing in this article reflects the perspective of idealism; and it is at complete odds with realism, which has conditioned us to believe that we live in a world made of stuff called “matter.” Please contemplate the fact that scientists cannot find the smallest units of matter; they’re well aware that atoms, which were once considered the building blocks of the so-called “material world,” are actually 99.999% empty space. This, my dear friends, is why remembering how eyesight functions truly helps to Take Me Home. Perhaps it will help to do the same for you. We are Spirit–here and now. It’s impossible not 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

The Death of “Me”

           

Occasionally we may hear the phrase that serves as the title of this article: “That will be…the death of me.” It implies that a stressful situation or difficult task will spell our end. What I propose to relate in this article is that such is impossible—no matter how challenging the task. This basically means that you can never—”not”—be. Why? Because the true “I” does not die. This stance, although certainly contrary to the belief held by the majority of the world’s population, is not new. It’s in alignment with the following quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in I Am That:

The Real does not die; the unreal never lived.”

I am not denying that body-minds (aka, persons) die; for the daily news is filled with obvious proof: an earthquake results in the deaths of several hundred persons; an armed gunman enters a mall and kills twenty-five innocent bystanders; a multi-vehicle pileup on the freeway leads to the death of eight persons. Why, then, am I writing an article in which I state—unequivocally—that we do not die? The answer is related to the following inscription that was engraved on the frontispiece of the Temple of Apollo, in Delphi, Greece:

“Know Thyself”

If you believe that all there is to “you” is the body-mind that is apparently reading this article, you will be left with little choice but to scoff at its content. Who could blame you? If, however, you’re eager to investigate a deeper dimension of Being that is beyond name and form, you may be tempted to continue reading. We may get a taste of our essential nature through meditation; for when we become still, we can, indeed, realize that Awareness is prior to mind. We are the Silent Witness of all sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts. When we re-cognize true Self, we know with certainty that we could not possibly be a name; nor could we ever be a body, which is exchanging approximately three-hundred million cells per minute. Our essential nature is That, the changeless Source of all that is changeful.

In his best-selling book entitled The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle (a famous spiritual teacher and author) shares what happened to him at the age of twenty-nine: “I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread.” He had experienced similar occurrences several times previously, having coped with anxiety for several years. Suddenly, he was caught off guard by the following thought that kept repeating in his mind: “I can’t live with myself any longer.”

Eckhart Tolle then became increasingly aware that the sentence implied two: the “I” and the “myself,” which was the cause of all of his suffering. As his puzzlement deepened, he began to wonder if only one of them was real. It would be the night of his awakening to true Self; which basically means liberation from identification with the false self of name and form. Humankinds’ great confusion about death occurs because the majority of persons remain asleep to a deeper dimension that transcends name and form. In short, we erroneously believe that consciousness is personal; when, in fact, Consciousness is impersonal and Universal—the Foundation of all that is. This knowledge may help to explain the following passage from Psalm 23:4 and its use of the specific word shadow:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;

for thou art with me; they rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

To merely believe the information that is being shared in this article is pointless; for such means next to nothing when the rubber meets the road, so to speak. To know the realness of what is being shared, we must be willing to set aside our assumptions related to identity and directly investigate our true nature. Can you really be J-a-n-e or J-o-h-n Doe? Please consider this deeply. Are letters strung together in the form of words (which are merely symbols that refer to things) actually you? No; of course not. It’s why the noted author and speaker Alan Watts stated that you can’t get wet from the word water. If you can acknowledge that a word is only a symbol for that to which it refers, you’ll easily apply the same logic to your name. It’s what William Shakespeare meant when he penned the following famous line from Romeo and Juliet:

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Although persons might be persuaded to accept that a name cannot possibly be their identity, most will struggle to accept that they are not their body-mind. We’ve been conditioned since infancy to believe that we are the person; that deep belief is completely understandable. However, it may help us dive deeper into the nature of our Being if we understand that all effects (including our person) are rendered by the mind, contrary to what most persons believe. In The Law of Success, Paramahansa Yogananda states the following:

Mind is the creator of everything.”

Consciousness, not a supposedly material world made of “matter” is the very substance of every form and experience. We could not, indeed, have an experience of any nature in the absence of consciousness. This also helps us understand why Jesus stated the following, borrowed from Luke 17:21: “Neither shall they say, lo here! or, lo there! for behold the kingdom of God is within you.” He meant that universal Consciousness cannot be located in time and space as an object. Contrary to popular belief, our body-mind is actually a function of mind; not an independently-existing entity. Our true identity is Spirit, aka Consciousness. Could all of this, as Edgar Allen Poe penned, actually just be a dream within a dream? Most definitely.

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

Roar, With Spiritual Heart

Bring It On.” Can you imagine the stance of someone brave enough (not cocky or arrogant) to utter those words? Can you picture the way that he or she might stand? Slumping–or standing straight and tall? Head down–or level headed? Shoulders rolled–or squared back? Eyes averted–or clearly focused? Does such an individual appear nervous and fidgety–or calm and full of coiled energy? The difference between the two is at the heart of today’s article. We’re going to dive deep, beneath the mask of personhood, and expose the Source of our Being.

Conditioned to believe in their smallness, so many persons–existing fearfully from day to day–pray to have an easy life; a life in which they somehow manage to tiptoe through the maze of personhood, living the so-called “good life.” For these individuals, success might mean to reach the apparent end of the labyrinth and fall, while sleeping, into their waiting grave. For these individuals, such may seem a perfectly sound strategy for navigating this human world. Is it really wise? In my humble opinion, “No.” Why? Because life often delivers circumstances that surprise and shock us. They will be faced one way or another.

Please let me be clear: I am not saying that I pray for challenges–far from it. All of us who temporarily inhabit this place called Earth will naturally encounter our fair share of them. The difference that I desire to relate is the manner with which we approach such challenges. Do we meet them as a timid person, or do we dare to meet them from a dimension of Self that roars with spiritual heart? There is a part of you that is the same part of me–in fact, every person on our almost eight billion. That, which is One, is utterly FEARLESS. Why? Because in Truth, there is nothing outside of IT-Self of which to be afraid. Through recognition of That, we can stare fear straight in the eyes and courageously mouth, “I Am That I Am.” That is enough.

If I had one prayer to share in this article, it would be this: “May I knowingly recognize that dimension within myself–That ‘IS’ Myself–that is boundless, eternal, and connected to my divine Creator. Let me know the way to overcome my challenges; and also to help others know that they, too, may triumph.”

How do we find that dimension? The Truth is that we–already–are That. We cannot–“not”–be That. That, which is Spirit, is our identifying spots of a leopard; the mane of a lion; the high flight of an eagle. To rise in power and courage, we need only slough off the false identity that we’ve been conditioned to accept as real. It is not! I am not the body; I am not the mind. I Am SpiritHear Me Roar!

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 believe it holds value. 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

Emptying The Cup

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

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

“Empty yourself completely.”

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

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: I Am That (page 188)

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

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

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell

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

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Ride-Out Day At Spirit Hall Ten

It was Manuel’s first ride-out day at Spirit Hall Ten. The previous few months had been spent in the college classroom; but now he was going to have the opportunity to experience the practical side of saving lives. A banner just inside the entrance to Spirit Hall Ten read: “Humbly Deflating Egos Since 1882.” His preceptor, Michael, greeted him at the door and introduced him to his partner “Buster” (as he was affectionately called) and his colleagues who would be using the second rig at the hall. “My boots haven’t looked that shiny since–never,” quipped Michael with a smile as he pointed to Manuel’s footwear. Manuel blushed; he had wanted to make a good first impression.

After all of the gear had been checked on the rigs, the crews of Spirit Hall Ten retired to the crew room. A few poured cups of coffee; others began to make a light breakfast. Within minutes, the emergency tones blared, and a dispatcher’s voice said: “Respond for a 99 slash 1. Repeat, 99 slash 1. More details on the air.” The other crew, who was first up, stopped what they were doing and smartly headed out to their rig.

“Your turn will come,” said Buster, noticing the glimmer in Manuel’s eyes.

“What’s a 99 slash 1?” asked Manuel.

“Your teachers haven’t taught you that yet?” asked Buster

“Nope,” said Manuel. “Dispatch codes aren’t until next semester.”

“A 99/1 is one of the most dangerous calls in the book. It’s when the body-mind, aka person, is extremely out of balance–99% human, with only 1% recall of Spirit.”

“That sounds bad,” said Manuel.

“It is,” said Buster. “Balance is key. Most persons forget to nurture the Spirit.”

“Have you ever gone to a 100/0?”

Oh, here we go, thought Michael, with a soft wince. He sat down on the couch; for he knew the direction that the conversation was headed.

“You might want to pull up a chair, ” said Buster. “I remember it like it was…yesterday.”

(Insert flashback scene lighting and music here):

***

“What do we have?” asked Buster as he approached the police officer on scene.

“It doesn’t sound good,” said the officer. He tipped back his hat. “I’ve already talked to the family members. It seems the patient’s been using ‘I, Me, My, and Mine’ excessively for the last few weeks. There was nothing they could do to stop him.”

“You had a look at him yet?”

“Only through the living room window,” said the officer. “I know this is your field of expertise.”

Buster hustled back to the rig to get his equipment. Michael and he knew they had to follow the book on this call. Only one of them would be allowed to attend. It was too dangerous to place both of them at risk. When he returned a few minutes later, he was carrying a kit of Deflato SyringesTM and a ten-foot extension pole with a pin attached at the end. He had donned his protective chest shield, helmet, boots, and gloves. He was about to turn toward the residence, when the officer called, “Just so you know, he’s bloated…real bad.”

It took a belly crawl, a dash this way, and a scoot that way for Buster to make his way close to the patient. He tip-toed the last few steps into the dim-lighted living room. The air was filled with the unmistakable putrid stench of ego. The patient appeared unconsciousness; his respirations irregular and shallow. He was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “It’s All About Me” His entire body was bloated like an overinflated balloon.

Years of experience told Buster that the situation was beyond the use of syringes. The patient was so full of himself that only the pole and pin would do. If he could just deflate that ego a…little…at…a…time. Inching closer, chin tucked toward his chest, he was about to apply the pin, when the patient suddenly exploded: BAA-BOOMMM! Windows shattered, floor boards up heaved, and Buster was catapulted across the room. When he gathered his senses, all that Buster could see were signs of ego splattered everywhere. Pride was stuck to the ceiling; ignorance and arrogance covered the walls; the glop of lust, fear, envy, jealousy, greed, anger, and hatred were dripping from the furniture. There was nothing he could do.

***

“You okay?” called Michael. “You okay?”

“Uh, huh,” said Buster, obviously shaken by the traumatic memory of the call. He took a deep breath and blinked. Everything was fine; they were safe and sound at Spirit Hall Ten.

Manuel looked pale, indeed. “You know,” he said to Buster, “my mom always wanted me to be an accountant. I’ve always been good with numbers. I think I’ll serve humanity that way.” And with that, he got up, grabbed his books, and exited Spirit Hall Ten without looking back.

***

We’ll conclude this article with a quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, borrowed from I Am That: “The real doesn’t die; the unreal never lived.” You’re Spirit, folks–now and forever.

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