Insights From Ashtavakra

Note: Readers who are ready to receive an important message related to Truth, will find it within this article. To all others, the content will pass as words, just words.

Thanks to Janki Parikh, we have a wonderful translation of the Ashtavakra Gita (song of Ashtavakra), which is considered one of the holy texts in Hinduism. It relates a dialogue between a King named Janaka and a sage named Ashtavakra, about the our essential Self and the nature of reality. The dialogue occurs after a troubling event in the king’s life:

***

One night, King Janaka had a terrible dream. In the dream, his kingdom was invaded by a brutal enemy. Although he and his army fought valiantly to defind his kingdom, they lost the battle. In exile, King Janaka found himself living as a beggar. People who had been his subjects, wouldn’t even approach him. Seeking food and shelter, he wandered through the streets, lost in misery. The dream, which seemed so incredibly real, ended abruptly; and once again, he found himself living as a king in his beautiful palace. However…

His misery soon transformed into deep confusion. He wondered: “Which is real?” He felt caught between two worlds, with a question he could not answer: “Am I really a king who dreamed I was a beggar, or am I really a beggar who dreamed I was a king?” In the following days, his condition worsened until Asktavakra was able to offer help. With great wisdom, Ashtavakra questioned King Janaka about the state in which he appeared to be a king, and the one in which he had imagined himself to be a beggar–both which came and went. Finally, King Janaka knowingly recognized a glimpse of his true nature. The following passages in bold are quotes from Ashtavakra Gita, by Janki Parikh:

Then it’s simple, O King. If that [you as a king, in a kingdom] doesn’t always exist, and this [you as a beggar, in the street] doesn’t always exist, then neither this nor that is real!”

“What is real, then?” asked King Janaka.

Then, Dear King, neither this is real, nor that is real. Only YOU are real!”

***

Now, dear readers, please allow me to ask: Do you know–with absolute certainty–that you are the person who is reading this article, or have you merely assumed it so? Do you know beyond doubt that you experience a body-mind, or do you actually experience thoughts, sensations and perceptions that imply a body-mind? Could it be that the mind that creates nighttime dreams also creates the waking state, which the majority of persons refer to as “reality?” Are you really a king, queen, or beggar reading this article, or is all of this occurring within a dream? Could the real YOU be all-pervading, Consciousness, immortal and eternal, dreaming a so-called human life? I freely admit that I, true Self, witnessed “Art” apparently writing this article. Recognition of true Self is at the heart of nonduality. Wake up, dear soul, wake up.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

I Am ( _ _ _ _ _ _ _ )

With regard to the rather strange title of this article, I’m going to pose an odd question: “Do you dare?” That’s it, at least in part. Now here’s the question in full: “Do you dare fill in the blanks with the desire–most dear and important–that you hold in your heart?” At one time, I (as is the case with many others) was too afraid to claim what I most desired. As a result, it could not manifest. That was then. This is Now.

One of the teachers that can help us learn how to manifest our deepest desires was a man named Neville Goddard. Born in the Barbados, Goddard later moved to the United States. There, he met a mystic named Abdulah, who taught him many of the mysteries of the Kabbalah. In following years, Neville wrote several books and held lectures about spirituality and the law of attraction. The following quote is borrowed from one of his books entitled Feeling is The Secret:

The dominant of two feelings is the one expressed. I am healthy is a stronger feeling than I will be healthy. To feel I will be is to confess I am not; I am is stronger than I am not.

To understand this more deeply, it will help if we briefly examine the subject of time. Please become still with me NOW, and ask yourself the following question: “When but now, could you experience any event?” Last night’s dinner was eaten now. Tomorrow’s breakfast will be eaten now. When you get married, or graduate, or move into your new house, you will do so now. How can this be? Because any other time either past of future, is conceptual. This is why we must absolutely claim what we desire NOW. By gently and repeatedly claiming our desire as though achieved (through affirmations and visualizations imbued with feeling), we impress a clear paradigm (mould or example) upon the subconscious mind. Let’s go deeper via a quote from Proverbs 23:7:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

The heart is the real YOU, beyond the “person” of name and form that you usually assume yourself to be. To manifest our dreams, we must claim–here and now–what we desire. To believe that our desire can be achieved in a conceptual future that doesn’t exist, is to doom our dream to remain unfulfilled.

So, I dare you (out of love): Please fill in the blanks (written in a few concise words) with the desire–already achieved–that you hold most dear in your heart. In private, quietly affirm it to yourself repeatedly, in a calm and relaxed manner. Write your goal on a card and place it in your wallet, pocket, or purse, and refer to it often. In your mind’s eye, see your desire fulfilled in every detail, from a personal point of view. Engage as many of your senses in the imaginal scene as possible. As doors swing open that lead to the achievement of your desire, step fearlessly forward. YOU, here and now, deserve this!

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Doe Boy

The Doe boy, John, learned everything he knew about swimming from his parents, Mike and Mary Doe. In truth, they knew very little about swimming; but, nonetheless, they did their best to teach John how to swim. They were of good heart, but unaware of that which they were unaware (as are we, all). As a result, John was taught, by environment, that to swim effectively he must continuously pat the top of his head with one hand, while flailing the water with his other arm. He swam in circles for years.

Likewise, John was taught what was acceptable and not. Seeking love and approval, he, therefore, denied the deep callings of his heart and allowed his parents, teachers, and other influencers in his life to teach him how to be a good “person.” Thus, John believed that to be worthy he must achieve great marks (in subjects that bored him); hold a respectable career (even if the field was not of interest); be a financial success (defined by neighbours); say “yes” to keep the peace (even if such meant denying himself); be married (with children); and never, ever, be late. From his limited perspective, he came to believe that “this” must be the fabled way of becoming happy. To settle for anything less would signify that “he,” not the circumstances, was a failure.

Just as John’s swimming style appeared awful; so, also, did the quality of his life. Having sacrificed the Truth of his Being for the loud opinions of the masses and his demanding ego, he found his career, marriage, and finances in ruin. The level of his health diminished, too. The suffering he experienced was nearly unbearable. In his darkest hours, alone in his loneliness, he seriously questioned whether his life held any value.

An unexpected event changed him: One summer day, when he found himself wading into a nearby lake, he heard a faint but undeniable voice–as though spoken from within–whisper: “Just turn on your back and float. Let me carry you.” At first, John was puzzled; by both the voice and the message spoken. Could it possibly be true, that by not trying so hard, he could actually remain afloat?

Daringly, John waded into the water…to his knees, waist, and then chest. A quiver ran through his being. Leaning backward, trusting, he then let his head drop backward, while he focused skyward. With a gentle push off, he let his legs and belly rise. There, on the surface, he realized–directly–that swimming (and life itself) needn’t be such a struggle. With barely any movement at all, he floated easily.

In the coming months, John also realized that true Self, the One beyond name and form, had been there all along; patiently waiting to express Itself. As he heeded the intuitive nudges of his essential nature, other aspects of his life soon began to improve dramatically.

***

Dear Friends: The account of the Doe Boy is fictional, of course; but what it represents is true. If you’ve been struggling through life, please know that there is a reservoir of Divine Power within you, beyond name and form. Through the practice of self inquiry, you may knowingly recognize true Self. You don’t have to try to be That which you are. To knowingly discover that deeper dimension, you may begin by asking the following question: “Who Am I–really?” You are not a name; not a definition; not your body-mind. You are a spark of the Divine Creator, having an apparently human experience. The peace and joy that you’ve been seeking lies within.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

The Blink of A Porch Light

We are warned by psychologists and counselors to heal our apparent wounds; to recognize the importance of dealing with our emotional issues. To carry them into the so-called future is paramount to inviting a tiger to claw at us whenever it pleases. Such is not a way to live, or thrive, because there remains the threat that the wound will rip open again and bleed when we least expect it. An issue that I once had was related to the blinking of a porch light.

I am fortunate to have been raised in a loving family. My family was comprised of two loving parents and two wonderful older sisters. We lived in a rural setting (not remote by any definition); but neighbours lived far enough apart, that it was a very special occasion when they came to visit. Through my perspective, such visits were all the more terrific if the visiting family had children who were close to my age.

I remember well those summer and fall evenings; of playing tag or hide and seek with my friends. Full of youthful innocence, we made the front and back yards come alive with great adventures. At some point, a chase—full of nibble legs and panting lungs—was almost certain to occur. The spirit of those fun times sang through my veins like a high note held by an opera singer—that is, until there came the twice or thrice blink of the porch light. We children knew that such was a signal from our parents to wind down the play. It was time for the visit to end. I do not recall there being immense suffering at the time; but I definitely remember a shiver of longing. At the heart of the issue was more time; yes, more time—“just five more minutes, please!” To this day, I’m not sure if I really did cry out for more; but it certainly feels that way in memory.

The wound to which I alluded is not unique to me. Who of the human race will not feel at least a hint of suffering when the good times come to an end—when the porch light blinks? Who, having married, wants to imagine the day when a partner exits? Who, having found a new friend, desires to waste the present moment by worrying about when the friendship will be lost. I’ve found that my wound is most vulnerable when I forget, yet again, that the porch light even exists. What begins…must end. This symbolizes, at least to me, that I may have taken a friendship or situation for granted to some degree.

The description of this particular wound will probably resonate with most people. If it does, I’d like to assure you that there is a solution. The solution is found in knowing more about our essential nature; of “What”—not who—we truly are. If we continue to assume that we are the person, it is highly likely that we will, therefore, miss other people when they depart. The emotional pain associated with this perspective can be debilitating; it can lead those who remain to wish—even pray—that it was they who died. Such is the nature of the human heart, and the pain associated with “time over.”

For those who are earnestly eager to transcend the suffering related to the human condition, self-inquiry offers a starting point. The following question is usually asked: “Who am I?” The answer, of course, cannot be found in the usual descriptors. We’re not actually seeking words that reflect gender, nationality, race, or career. To get to the heart of the issue, where we realize relief from apparent suffering, we must transcend the belief that we are the human. At the core of all suffering is an erroneous assumption. Such is just part and parcel of the human journey.

Recognition of the Truth of our Being can be reached when we commit to daily meditation. There, in the stillness, we can realize that the true Self—Awareness—is actually witnessing the sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts of the person whom the majority of Beings have long-assumed themselves to be. When such occurs, a logical question will arise: “What is the nature of the ‘I’ that is witnessing these?” We are “That,” not the objective body-mind that is apparently suffering. This realization frees us from the suffering related to porch-light circumstances. The error, we realize, was a case of mistaken identity; we had fallen into ignorance of our true nature. To awaken from the dream of personhood is termed enlightenment.

One, Universal Consciousness, cannot really become a multitude of apparent people; it can only dream it so. Likewise, the ever-present Here and Now cannot actually become lasting space and time. Everything is rendered by the mind. How readily humans accept that the mind creates the ephemeral worlds (so real while experiencing them) in the dream state; yet stubbornly cling to the erroneous assumption that the characters and world experienced in the waking state must have real independence of their own. The reason is simple to understand: Out of fear, the false “i” clings to the belief in its own existence. It must, however, be crucified if we desire eternal life as That which we truly are. So-called “personal” consciousness is only a reflection of One Consciousness, often referred to as God. We need not worry about the blink of a porch light; we are in good hands.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Holy Water

I once believed that water deemed Holy was water that had been blessed by a priest, minister, or other holy person; that it was contained in a vessel and would be used as a sacred symbol in services such as christening or baptism. Now, having shed at least part of my ignornance, I also know it as follows:

***

Holy Water

This,

Container and contained,

Is–All–Holy Water. It permeates,

And is.

Everything perceptible

And conceivable,

From the most beautiful sunrise,

To a garbage-filled gutter. Holy Water, pervading,

Pours through, and is,

Every plant, rock, and animal. It glistens as Life Itself,

Through every human. No thing and no one,

Is left untouched. Ant, bear, and eagle,

And, yes, your body-mind and mine,

Are made of a drop divine.

***

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

With

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the preposition “with” includes the following definitions: “used as a function word to indicate the object of a statement of comparison or equality;” and “used as a function word to express agreement or sympathy.” For the purpose of this short essay, we’re going to combine both definitions and think of “with” to mean whether we are capable or incapable of getting along with people, situations, and circumstances as they are. Such is often described as a state of “flow.”

Of this, we are fairly certain: If we place two persons within a room for a period of time, said persons will eventually reach a point of disagreement. This disagreement may be subtle or overt; voiced or unvoiced; implied or demonstrated. No matter how well attuned those two persons are, they will not agree with each other’s viewpoints on every subject, all of the time. Such may appear to be the case in polite society; but since no two persons actually live in one another’s shoes, have had the same experiences, or process life in an identical manner, this conclusion is inevitable. When we place ten, twenty, or one hundred people in a room, the effects are multiplied. When eight billion persons share an apparent world, the consequences of various opinions about who we are, and what we desire, often lead to disastrous consequences; including war.

How may the ugliness of war and its atrocities be avoided? Through the profound realization that the world with, and its apparent opposite against, actually unite in the middle. As explained in many esoteric books, apparent opposites are not actually opposite at all. An illustration about hot and cold is often related. We are asked if we can determine a point at which hot ends and cool begins. The answer, quite clearly, is “no.” They are one, expressed in a multitude of varying degrees.

As this relates to billions of persons who are struggling to get along with one another, while living their apparently separate lives, the solution is deceptively simple: We must realize our Oneness. Who, realizing That which we truly are, would be prideful? Who, realizing That which we truly are, would be unwilling to forgive? Who, realizing That which we truly are, would defend the illusory “person” or ever desire to injure a so-called “other?”  We must clearly know—not just believe—that all persons of various colours, creeds, and nationalities are but apparent variations of the One. Thus, when we look at one another, we see our spiritual brother and sister.

God always gets along with everyone in all ways. From God’s vantage point, there is actually no-thing apart from Him/Her/It; logically, therefore, God is always at peace with all circumstances, all events, all people, and all nationalities. The position of against is only related to the delusional perspective of our egoic selves, which are unreal. They are based on who we think we are; not upon That which we are in Reality. When we recognize humanity by the Light of our Oneness, what difference do we see? Isn’t it time to experience peace, by bringing Truth down to Earth?

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Be Curious: (Gospel of Thomas)

We have been conditioned to believe that “each” apparent body-mind that we term a “person” has a separate and independent consciousness that arises at birth (however that is defined) and ends at death. Such is the predominant view held by the masses. It is BUNK; synonyms being: poppycock, balderdash, and hogwash. In this article, I offer information that I hope will provide reasons to contemplate any uninvestigated assumptions related to that perspective.

***

In 1945, near the village of Nag Hammadi, Egypt, two peasants found several leather-bound texts in a large jar. One of the texts turned out to be The Gospel of Thomas, which is comprised of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus. The prologue begins as follows: “These are the hidden sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Judas Thomas the Twin recorded.” Please consider next, the 29th saying:

Jesus said, “If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit
came into being because of the body, it is a marvel of marvels. Indeed, I am amazed at
how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty
.”

The wonderment expressed by Jesus (regarding persons’ belief that the body-mind gives rise to consciousness) has recently been echoed by David Chalmers, a philosopher and cognitive scientist. He is well known for coining the term “the hard problem of consciousness,” which refers to the challenge that neurologists encounter when they attempt to explain how neuronal processes give rise to consciousness. Here’s why: They don’t. There is a correlation only; not cause.

***

You are not who you think you are. The following question may naturally arise: “Then, Who/What am I?” You are actually God incarnate (Christ Consciousness, The Tao, Buddha Nature, Brahman, etc), whether you are knowingly aware of this or not. How can this be so? Because there is only One Consciousnessl and It is Universal in nature. The Father and I are One. All that is form, is representation, only; it is the manifest of That (God, Consciousness), which is forever Unmanifest. This is why it is expressed in Luke: 17:21 that you cannot point “lo, here” or “lo, there” to your Being. Consciousness is omnipresent, but we do not, and cannot, experience it with our senses as a thing. Because Consciousness is not a thing, it is impossible to define or objectify it with the mind. To discover the kingdom of heaven, we must look within.

We’ll end this article with saying number 3, in its entirety:

3. Jesus said, “If your leaders say to you, ‘Look, the kingdom is in heaven,’ then the birds of heaven will preced you. (2). If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. (3) Rather, the kingdom is inside you and it is outside you. (4) When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. (5) But if you do not know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty, and you are poverty.”

From my understanding, our greatest poverty is to believe that we are separate from God. We may knowingly recognize the Truth; and such will, indeed, set us free from the suffering that is associated with believing we are the person of name and form.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Footfall Of An Ant

We begin this article with a quote from Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. Although its message may seem ludicrous to the masses, it will strike a resonate chord to those who’ve realized their true nature. Here, I offer the quote:

“Pray to Him in any way you will. He is sure to hear you,

for He hears even the footfall of an ant.”

What nature of Power could possibly hear the footfall of an ant? Is this message to be taken seriously, or is it merely an exaggeration intended to grab our attention and ease our troubled heart? To understand the quote more clearly, we’re going to set aside our assumptions and dive deeper into our very own nature.

Although the Holiest of Holy cannot be defined (for such would be the foolish attempt to limit That which is Limitless), the following three terms are often used to guide us to recognition: Omniscient Omnipotent, and Omnipresent; meaning, all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere present. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to refer to It as the All in All.

If we contemplate these descriptors seriously (and I hope that we do), we realize that all forms, including ours, must be within, and comprised of, this All Powerful Field. To exclude our body-mind from the All in All would be illogical. Thus, the energy of this field pervades everything, including you, me, and eight billion apparent “others.” Taken further, this Field must (for how could it not?) pervade the body-mind of the ant. Therefore, when the ant makes a footfall, the All in All has to be there to hear (know) it. From Its perspective, the footfall may seem thunderous.

Logically, this must also apply to us; as much as this might seem impossible to Beings who have been conditioned to believe they are a separate body-mind that functions autonomously. When we dive deeper through self-inquiry, we are enabled to knowingly recognize the Treasure Within. A few questions will help point us to realization: Could it be that an erroneous assumption has been made regarding the nature of the “i that permeates our Being? Could it be that The All in All (which is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent) is the real Knower, and that It has been overshadowed by a fictional “i,” whose only apparent existence is derived from a repetitive, and usually negative, thought pattern? What is That which knows the thoughts appearing now? When true recognition occurs, and the identification with personality is shed, epiphany reveals that the YOU that knows your body-mind, and the YOU that knows mine, are One.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

Quit Thy Childhood, Wake Up

The inspiration for this article arose from two recent events. The first was related to the poignant account of a man whose wife had recently passed away; of how he and his wife had walked a pathway together for many years, including periods when her body-mind had been ill. The second occurred when I read the following quote attributed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau:

Sors de l’enfance, ami, revéille-toi!”

Quit thy childhood, my friend, and wake up.” [tr]

The purpose of this article is to ease suffering that’s associated with the human perspective. Its content is a distillation of ingredients derived from my apparent personal challenges, and my passionate interest in the nature of consciousness, spirituality, and the law of attraction. The information will naturally pour forth to anyone who feels inclined to hold out a cup.

Every “thing” appears to have a beginning and an end, including persons. A sapling appears in the forest, and we realize that (if it grows unimpeded) someday an aged old tree will fall. Due to our conditioning, the predominant belief held by humans is that we “are” the objective body-mind that appears. The body-mind (person) has a birth date and also a death date. The conclusion, therefore, is often that death must spell our end. Directly and indirectly, we experience the suffering the comes with this perspective. My personal story includes the sudden loss of my father when I was sixteen.

Let’s deepen our understanding NOW, by contemplating the meaning of the quotation above. By writing, “quit thy childhood,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau seems to be urging us to abandon our childlike nature and be adults; but, surely, he realizes that those who read his work are adults. How nonsensical! And what did he mean by, “wake up,” punctuated by an exclamation mark? The quotation seems like an apparent slap in the face. The key to a deeper realization is closely related to the subject matter of the book in which I found the quote: The World As Will And Representation, by Arthur Schopenhauer. In the first few lines, a strong clue–directly stated–is found for those who are ready to decipher its meaning:

The world is my representation: this is a truth valid with reference to every living and knowing being, although man alone can bring it into reflective, abstract consciousness.”

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the first definition for the word representation is as follows: “an artistic likeness or image.” The majority of humankind may exclaim, “But, surely Schopenhauer didn’t mean this literally!” The “world” to which he refers cannot possibly be imaginal–it’s real, material, and objective, independent of our perspective! We are absolutely certain of this; but here’s the catch:

We’re certain, not because we truly know; only because we assume it so.

Many readers may, understandably, exclaim the following: “But my body, it’s real–I can feel it and sense it!” This, indeed, is a major component in the illusion that is being cast. The Sanskrit term for this is Maya. When we stay rigorously present with our direct experience (as Rupert Spira advises), we can acknowledge that we experience sensations and perceptions (via tasting, touching, seeing, hearing, and smelling) but never an actual body or world. It is only via the mind that we “know” anything objective. We assume that objects, including our body-mind and the world, possess independent existence; that we are merely observers of them. This, however, is assumption. That which is Real, eternal and immortal, is the Knower, not the apparent phenomena. To recognize this directly, we must turn within and discover the deeper dimension of ourselves that is beyond flesh and bones.

My interest in the nature of consciousness, spirituality, and the law of attraction paid an unexpected dividend. True to what sages, saints, and gurus have shared for millennia, this world, and our experience of it occur in a dream. It is to this that “quit thy childhood, wake up” refers. To avoid needless suffering, we must shed our childhood perspective and mature in the knowing of what we really ARE. Sri Ramana Maharshi advocated self-inquiry via the question “Who Am I?”, termed jnana-vichara in Sanskrit. In Truth, we are Consciousness, Spirit, dreaming a so-called human experience. To know this directly is what can ease the suffering that is part and parcel of identifying with the human perspective.

If this seems too ludicrous to consider, please contemplate the nature of your dreams at night. Do they not also seem real when they occur? However, in the morning do you see any evidence related to them, beyond fleeting memory? No, of course not. What Schopenhauer realized is that our true nature is Spirit eternal. When awaking occurs in the morning, we merely enter a deeper level of dream. Once again, we don the perspective of a separate “self,” with a continuing plotline for the character that is known by our name and form. The erroneous belief is that we can actually be that character. We cannot.

To believe that we and the ones we love are merely flesh and bones is to perpetuate a most enfeebling perspective about reality. It is founded upon ignorance (meaning unawareness) of our true Self. When we assume it, we are apparently limited to the abilities of that level of consciousness. To promote it through our own uninvestigated assumptions about our identity is to invite great suffering. This needn’t be so. Please, ask yourself, “Who am I?”–really. Any answer short of Truth will not suffice.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

To “Die Before You Die”

Sri Nisargaddata Maharaj was considered one of the most notable sages of the twentieth century. Named Maruti Shivrampant Kambli at birth, he was given his honorific title when he recognized his true nature at the age of thirty seven. “Nisargadatta” means sharing of that beyond phenomena. He lived a humble life as a smoke shop owner in Bombay, India, which was renamed Mumbai in 1995. Soon after he realized the Truth of his Being, seekers began to flock to his home, where he held satsang up until the time of his body-mind’s death. The following short discourse is borrowed from his spiritual classic entitled I Am That:

***

Questioner:

“Imagine you are ill–high fever, aches, shivers. The doctor tells you the condition is serious, there are only a few days to live. What would be your reaction?”

Maharaj:

“No reaction. As it is natural for the incense stick to burn out, so it is natural for the body to die. Really, it is a matter of very little importance. What matters is that I am neither the body nor the mind. I am.

***

The majority of persons are tremendously afraid of death; it may seem the final fear. For some, there is the faith that there is an afterlife; but in the case of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, he didn’t surmise that there was more, for one profound reason:

He knew with absolute certainty that he wasn’t what he appeared to be on earth.

Recognition of true Self, as distinct and separate of the body and the mind, can be known directly now. In fact, such is the only way that true realization is known. Realization is not dependent on any belief system, whatsoever; for belief is of the mind, and our true Reality is beyond the mind. To know this is “to die before you die.” Religion sometimes expresses this through the following: “To find yourself, you must lose yourself. From the perspective of the person, this might seem the most twisted conundrum ever posed.

To recognize our essential nature, we must discern clearly and understand the nature of the false self, which is conceptual only. We are not the mind; for we, Awareness, witness the mind. The false “i” of name and form is unstable, changing, and relatively short lived. Conversely, true Self is stable, changeless, and eternal. Due to innocent ignorance which is part and parcel of the human condition, we have erroneously identified our Being with that of apparent flesh and bones. To do so invites fear and great suffering.

This is the reason that Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was fearless when asked a question about impending death. He knew. He was neither guessing nor believing. Anything short of direct realization is inadequate. He realized that he was and still IS) the foundational Awareness (aka Consciousness) in which body-minds and the “world” appear. For anyone who is earnest about recognizing Truth beyond name and form, you might contemplate this question: Are you one percent certain that there is a “you” located somewhere in the body or the mind? Or is that an erroneous assumption? The practice of self-inquiry will help you discover the real answer…and the real YOU.

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers