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The Inspiration that You Seek is Already Within.

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The inspiration that you have so desperately sought for so long could be found within you all along. Upon realizing this, I urge you not to waste another minute on mere wishing, on hopeless daydreaming, or on blaming others because things aren’t as good as you wish they were. Don’t waste a single second on complaining about the circumstances that currently seem to confine you. The real you cannot be confined. If you only realized how free you really are you would not allow the temporary pleasures and pains of the world to torment you to such an extent. If you had an accurate understanding of your own freedom you would realize how free you already are to control your mental state and to balance your emotions and thoughts, to ultimately bring about the exact conditions you long for. It’s unfortunate that we often waste so much precious time knocking on so many doors on our quest for that missing thing, that magical thing that could fill the emptiness within us, that long missing which is still missing even after we’ve given ourselves to every worthless vice on the planet. Could you believe it if I told you there was never anything missing in the first place? The blind man cannot see the world before his eyes, yet the world is there nonetheless. He would be reasonable to believe that the world is not there, if he were never told that the world is there. Another example is Plato’s classic cave parable. There is so much more to us than can be perceived by the ordinary senses, and this in itself inspires me greatly.

The desire for extra-sensory perception can be a danger for sure though as it can lead to dissatisfaction with daily life in someone who has not realized their inner inspiration. Such people are easily attracted and lured in by the first fleeting feeling of potential escape from the life they loathe. If we add to this the fact that many of us spend our days slaving away at jobs which we don’t enjoy and can find no true sense of purpose in, it is only natural that so many people seem to feel uninspired. So many of us feel like there is no value to anything we do, simply because often times we are not doing exactly what we would like to, or life isn’t looking the way we expected it to. We fail to realize that there is intrinsic value to every life experience we go through, whether it is one which is typically labeled ‘good’ or ‘bad’. All human experience can be used as practice in the development of our spiritual powers, in our ability to tune in to our divine inspiration which is intuition.

Few people fully comprehend this essential nature of adversity. As a result of hardship, financial or otherwise, many of us fall into depression after countless years of feeling sorry for ourselves, of pitying ourselves and of harboring a secret hatred within, a gradually developing rage against the world because it fails to provide the magic we so desire, the substance, the grand significance and meaning we live and breathe for. We think we are all meant to be celebrities, singers or actors, or famous revolutionaries or politicians or leaders. Many of us become severely disappointed because of these false idea of grandeur, of seeing “success” as a necessity. It is imperative to our species that we understand something: success is not measured by material goals or status or personal power. Success depends on how we react to daily obstacles, how we treat those who wish us harm, whether we curse or bless those who mock or talk down on us. Come to think of it, success really is based on power. But not personal power. The power by which success can be measured is that immense and holy power which resides within every human being, the power of decency, of integrity, of selflessness, of intuition. Ultimately, we may call it the power of divine inspiration, and there is no power that can compare to, or that even comes remotely close to, this infinite power. How could it be possible if all powers can only exist through this one infinite power?

As we waste away praying to find our purpose or our passion, we become blind to the blessings which make up our life situation, even things we take for granted like our health or our friends and family, or electricity or running water. We have absolutely no trust in God’s plan, in the divine order of things, so we stress and ruin our health over what our passion is and how we can find it, how we will survive and make ends meet and follow our passion all at once. With so much stress on our mind, we cannot take a moment to relax and tune into our inspiration. When we look at the situation this way, we can clearly see that the problem is not that life does not provide inspiration, but rather that, in our ignorance and in our greed, in our restless need for more, we ignore all the simple blessings which are meant to inspire us, blessings which should leave us in a state of awe, such as our breath perhaps, without which none of us could even live on this planet. We cannot see that life in itself is the biggest blessing of all, it is inspiration itself, with all its highs and lows. Life is just as much a part of this Great Spirit as we are, and it has many lessons to teach us if we are willing to pay attention.

As living beings, therefore, and as beings which are inseparable from nature, as God’s children, we all contain this inspiration within us at every moment. We can access this divine inspiration whenever we wish, and the only thing separating us from it is our ingrained belief that there exists no such thing. But inspiration is real, and as long as we remain alert and have our inner eye open to see beyond ignorance, as long as we choose to respect the undeniably inspiring feeling of intuition which we feel within us, then doing so will become our most powerful habit. Divine inspiration turns blind faith into true faith, it turns dreams into reality, and it is the magical force behind all miracles. As long as we spend our time complaining about how pointless life is, about how annoying everything is, I can assure you we will not be able to perceive the blessings which are taking place all around us as well as in our own lives, both in our day to day as well as in the bigger picture of our lives and of collective humanity and life in general.

We all have access to incredible wisdom directly from the source, and with this wisdom we can develop an inner strength, a stubborn and persistent kind of courage that keeps us motivated through the even harshest of tragedies. Inspiration comes from fearlessness. As the Spirit of God is manifesting itself through all our lives, we are all naturally divinely inspired. The more we ignore this the harder it becomes for us to grasp and understand this inspiration within us. This inspiration would transform our lives, it would allow it to positively transform the lives of those we love and even millions more. This inner inspiration would be the solution to every problem, it would enable us to move mountains even. The problem is that we live in fear, and fear does not allow us to proceed, it stifles our progress. Fear is a low emotion which we feel during this earthly existence because we identify solely with our body and with who we are, our personality in this particular incarnation. Fear comes from identification with the individual body, from misunderstanding, from wrong view. Ultimately, fear arises only when we see others as separate from ourselves. Unable to perceive the oneness which is everything, unable to perceive that all that happens is part of God, unable to perceive that there is no need for fear and that all divine inspiration should be acted upon, we struggle to even survive because we become paralyzed, mentally and eventually physically. We may go from here to there but we never make a move, we never pursue our dreams, we never try to give life to the plans we have, and we never even take a moment to sit back, relax, and accept our life as the blessing that it is. We must learn to do this.

After all, life is in a constant state of flux, of continuous change, and even though things may not be going so good for us today, we can always feel happiness as we rejoice at the joy of our friends and family, or of those who we do not know. After all, we are all one, and accepting this is the end of all fear, the beginning of inspiration. Accepting this amazing truth also suggests acceptance of the Great Spirit which resides within us all and in which we all reside. The grace of God is the reason why we are even alive to ponder these ideas. When we realize that we are all alive due to God’s divine mercy, due to the oneness behind all duality, at that point what could possibly incite fear in us? At that point we will find that when we lose our unfounded fear, which is indeed all fear, only then will we find our unconditional inner inspiration. This truth has been known for thousands of years, as we find in the Isha Upanishad: “Who sees all beings in his own self and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.”

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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In Order to Give Light, One Must First Burn.

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In order to give light, one must first burn. Wise advice from Rumi, one of history’s greatest Sufi mystics. Although great ideas like this are often explained with the noblest intentions, we never really know how they can be interpreted by those who try to comprehend its meaning. Many people, belonging to various religious and non-religious groups, who strongly identify with certain ideologies, seem to think, for example, that being a light unto the world requires that not only they themselves burn, but that they also burn others down with them in the process of spreading their message. People such as terrorists, etc. Yet many of us engage in the same kind of behavior in our daily lives. In our self-righteous attempts to shine a light unto the world, we end up creating problems, because what we believe is the truth, what we believe is the way in which others should live, is not necessarily the way in which they themselves believe they should live. Often we are the ones who are wrong, yet we go around our whole lives spewing nonsense and corrupting the minds of those who are unfortunate enough to hear us.

Too often we think that shining a light requires us to be heroes, to start great political or religious movements, to reform some kind of movement or to help thousands of people in need. All of these can be truly noble pursuits, but we don’t need to achieve some great, outstanding achievement in this life in order to be a light. In fact, the constant feeling of needing to be someone, to be important, has taken hold of many of us who now live based on our ego, telling ourselves that what we need to achieve is for the people, for our families, or for our friends, when it is really for ourselves. Many of us let this idea get in the way of relationships, as we may believe ourselves to be superior to everyone else, and we may try to control the way in which others behave, or shame others for the way they live or think.  We need to restrict the number of proclamations we make based on little or no evidence, for they are far too many nowadays. Many of us in today’s world, wish to shed light on topics we feel strongly for or against. Although there are certainly things which should be, and are for the most part, frowned upon by society as a whole, such as any action that harms innocent people, there are other things which are not so clear. Sometimes in an attempt to shed light on something we believe we have the authority to speak on, we end up judging people based on nothing but our own preconceived notions, or on ideas we’ve adopted from our society over time. Both are quite the same really.

When we condemn someone else for something, we often fail to see that we are condemning ourselves. As the expression goes, when you point at someone you’re pointing three fingers back at yourself. There are no good and bad people. We have all been good and bad at some point, and the good we might have done might have simply happened without our good intention even. So was it really a good deed? The fact is that everything which is good is in some way bad, and everything which is bad is in some way good, in the grand scheme of things. There is nothing in this physical plane which escapes the law of duality, of cause and effect, or that is beyond the illusion of separation, of maya. We can only come to an understanding of the oneness beyond the illusion of separation if we accept that all difference is due to illusion, and that all is really the same. 

We must realize that, although some crimes might be more severe than others, we are all essentially committing the same sin, to put it in an understandable way. What sin is this? The sin of allowing our lower instincts to take control of us, and to make us act against our better judgement, against our inherent wisdom, against our inner light. We have allowed ignorance to consume us, we have embraced suffering and become it, devoid of divine perception. This transgression leads to every single evil present in our world, it all comes from this same source. So instead of blaming others, blaming the system, the elite, or the bankers and the politicians, or blaming gangs and organized crime, or blaming religion or the media, rather than spending our time assigning blame, we need to humble ourselves and to come to the realization that we are no better than anyone else.

We are all equal in spirit, but not in mind. And speaking of mind, keep in mind that mind is not eternal. Mind, or brain, will come to and end. The person and the body you identified with so closely, which you nurtured so dearly for so many years, will die, will cease to exist in the blink of an eye. Where will you go? Where will you be? We have many religions and philosophies which attempt to provide insight into where we will be after death, but apart from that, there is another way in which we will continue to be: in the hearts and minds we have touched while on this planet, during this incarnation. The legacy we leave behind can either be one of light or one of darkness. And you might ask, well, isn’t everything both light and dark in the end?

The answer is that it is, but only in illusion, only in the limited way in which we  perceive the world. No matter how many choices we make, reality on this plane will keep on manifesting itself and generating experiences based on perfect dual balance, or so it will seem to the untrained eye. Behind the scenes of all the suffering and pain, of all the glory and triumph, of all the love and the hate, all our thoughts and actions are bringing about equal opportunities for wrongs to be set right, for past mistakes to be corrected to create a better future. The only wisdom we can leave behind as a legacy to this forever-divided world is that of the oneness behind the illusion, so that the message may reach those who are blessed to receive it, so that they may see past the illusion and may live to teach others about the oneness of it all. 

When we live with this perception of everything as one, compassion becomes more natural to us, we become less anxious for situations to go our way, we become less stressed and worried about the future, we become less controlling of those around us and instead we open our minds and get in touch with our intuition in order to honestly evaluate every area of our lives. When we live with this perception of oneness, it becomes harder to judge others, since we see that their mistakes arise from the same state of ignorance which our own mistakes arise from. We begin to see the need to lead by example, as opposed to merely teaching and preaching everywhere we go.

Teaching is good, but more important is walking the talk, living a life of integrity which others can learn from. At times, this may seem impossible in a world filled with so much ignorance. But this helpless feeling can be alleviated by seeing the ignorance itself as an illusion. All ignorance is there so that we may see past it, as a motivational boost for us to keep rising, improving, moving beyond our limited state of perception. Living life in such a truthful and honestly mystical way will no doubt come with its challenges, often great ones at that. But to one who has felt the deep oneness which underlies and pervades all existence, and who feels the necessity to make this known, the task seems more  important than even his own personal identity. Such selflessly enlightened souls are definitely ready to burn in order to provide a dazzling light, a bright candle which will shine forever, opening the doors of perception for those brave ones looking to venture past what they think they already know.

Plato said that “those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses. Martin Luther King Jr., Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, all imprisoned for the noble cause of uniting divided peoples, of rebelling against division and separation and hate. Gandhi was also assassinated for peace by a man who was strongly driven by extreme nationalism. Among artists, John Lennon was assassinated among many other activists for peace throughout the ages. And let’s not forget Jesus whose very message of peace led to his violent death by crucifixion. Sometimes one feels the need to heal this world no matter the consequences. Most of us ignore this sentiment, preferring to go about our daily lives without a care. Those who are brave enough to accept such an uncomfortable challenge are truly heroes, God’s shining lights illuminating the Earth at various point throughout the ages.

~ Rebel Spirit ~

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Life and Death are Two Sides of the Same Coin.

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“Death is not the end, but the beginning of a new life. Yes, it is an end of something that is already dead. It is also a crescendo of what we call life, although very few know what life is. They live, but they live in such ignorance that they never encounter their own life. ~ Osho (1931-1990)

What is death? What is life? Cannot these two questions be asked in the same sentence, side by side? Shouldn’t they? Are they not one in the same after all? Life and death are simply two sides of the same coin, and in their seemingly separate form they are another example of the illusion of duality which we project onto the reality we live in. In truth, there is no separation, yet we choose to see the whole of life and nature as separate from us, from our individual being. We go through life passionately protecting this individual being from death, from the grim reaper which will eventually come to harm us and drag our souls to hell, to burn in our deepest fears, or perhaps off to heaven to enjoy all our unfulfilled fantasies. Even the greatest believer in heaven is not willing to take his own life in order to reach its gates as soon as possible, no matter how hard he may be currently struggling on this earthly plane while he still has breath. No matter what we may believe we will encounter after death, we fear the unknown and hold on to the familiar, to the only life we currently know.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves, of our health and our bodies, of our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, but many of us become completely obsessed with our small individual self, to the point that we come to believe that the universe revolves around us; we would do anything to protect our self, no matter how immoral or harmful we might have to behave towards other beings. We have become desensitized and we now kill for sport or for food when it is honestly unnecessary. My purpose is not to judge either, as I myself still haven’t completely given up the habit of consuming meat, although I would like to and am gradually taking on the task. There is an ancient idea, recognized by the sages of various religions. This idea, which the Vedanta teaches so eloquently, of the oneness behind the duality, this is the idea that permeates throughout all religion and ethics, the reason for morality, for love and unconditional friendship. We are all one people, children of the Great Spirit of which nothing can be said by us, since nothing regarding its infinite properties can even begin to be grasped by the finite mind.

This oneness is itself a contradiction to our warped view of things, to our view of the world in which everything is of dual nature, in which everyone is an enemy and is out to get us, in which life itself is a competition, one which we absolutely must win, we simply must come out on top by any means. We are so caught up in illusion that we have no way of perceiving the infinite oneness beyond it all, that Spirit by which the eye can see, that by which the ear can hear, Brahman as explained in the Upanishads. We choose to use separation as our base point, the reference point from which we see and interact with the world. We fail to realize that even death cannot separate us from those around us, so how can life do so? We are always connected as one because the Spirit which gives me life gives you life, the Spirit which is in you is the Spirit within me. What we perceive as separation due to ignorance is in fact all together, all hearts are beating because of this one rhythm, and all our lungs are breathing in life because life is flowing all around us, within us as well as without us.

Death can never erase us, as everything that is simply keeps on being, if not here then somewhere else, if not today then tomorrow or yesterday. Time and space are nothing to the Spirit. We perceive all as separate but our life is simply a flash, just as all other lives are, before we continue on to new adventures. The law of cause and effect makes the cycle continue, and from death we must keep on working out our karma, doing our duty, our dharma no matter where our consciousness may find itself. It is definitely an interesting concept which makes much sense, and as I have always believed, the Spirit of God dwells within us all and is the reason why we have what we call conscience or intuition, why we are able to love and to sacrifice ourselves for others, why many of us devote our lives to serving others, whether our wives or husbands, brothers or sisters, mothers or even distant relatives, be they the poor or the sick, or the orphan and the widow as suggested in the Bible, we all have the ability to love and to care for all others because we are all one, we are not only similar, but we are the same as long as we look beyond our own individual illusions regarding reality.

Compassion, therefore, is a perfectly natural virtue, which many have unfortunately attempted to kill off throughout the centuries because it does not fit their political purpose, or whatever other purpose may drive them. Hate is a very strong force, yet the force of love and of all that is good can never be eradicated off the face of the earth. Even what we see as evil, what is indeed evil, what our fellow human beings do, or what even we ourselves do, while under the influence of ignorance, is indeed evil if that is the word we are to use, yet every action we take is powerless against the infinite love of God which keeps this world and everyone in it alive. We can never disrupt creation, and everything we do is balanced out in order to deliver what is deserved to each person based on their actions in the present, in the past or in the distant past. The law of cause and effect is duality itself, is one of the laws which govern the illusion of maya which we are immersed in. This is one of the seven ancient Hermetic Principles and is a key concept in the Kabbalah as well. Everything brings about its effect, yet there is a oneness above even the laws themselves, including that of cause and effect, and everything falls into place according to the supreme law, according to Divine Will.

Nothing ever dies, everything simply transforms and continues living, just as the universe is in constant motion (Another Hermetic Principle, that of vibration). God is energy, and the laws that are in place in our dimension and all those that may exist are employed under this divine energy’s commands so that everything works perfectly. The vast majority of humanity will fail to comprehend this Divine Will for a long time because everything appears as a contradiction to us. Life and death seem to disagree, as one brings about so much joy, and the other so much pain. But our vision is sadly incomplete, and that is the real problem here. Life not only brings about much joy, it also brings tremendous pain along with it, starting from the very moment of childbirth. The mother experiences excruciating pain to bring into this world a child who is one hundred percent sure to experience his or her fair share of suffering throughout their life experience as well. Why would she bring this baby to life, being aware of this? Because pain is inevitable for as long as we live, and it is contained within life just as much as joy is. And how do we not know that death does not bring joy to those departed? How do we know that there is not a very special reason why they had to leave us? One thing is for sure, at least: Being part of the eternal Spirit of God, as nothing can be without the Spirit, we can never truly die. We are immortal, and there is no reason to grieve for anyone. We must all move along with life.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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The Root of our Problems: Humanity Disconnected from its True Purpose.

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“The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance. Like music also, it is fulfilled in each moment of its course. You do not play a sonata in order to reach the final chord, and if the meaning of things were simply in ends, composers would write nothing but finales.”

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

~ Alan Watts (1915-1973)

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Two days ago, I posted about the harshness of truth, and how we should follow it regardless. Well, with something as true and as important as today’s subject I feel it’s best to get right to the point. Unfortunately, due to many complicated circumstances, many of them of our own creation, we have become a society devoid of meaning and significance, robbed of our true purpose. The extremely high levels of mental afflictions such as debilitating depression and anxiety which we see today are related to the lack of purpose we all feel inside, some of us more than others. We have become a society of people who only do things if there is a secondary purpose to doing them. Disconnected from our higher purpose, many lacking even a notion of such a thing, nothing that we do feels valuable or meaningful, and the days go by like autumn leaves down a river stream. By now it has become quite clear that the dehumanizing, robotic aspects of the kind of society the majority of us live in has completely stripped most of us of our passion to do anything, and sadly many people are just going along, struggling through life and hating every second of it, having nothing meaningful to pursue or to cherish. This is, of course, an illusion. If one can connect with one’s inner being one can always persevere, no matter the situation. But then again, the system which we live in makes even bare survival a tremendous struggle for a lot of people, and we all help it achieve its oppressive goals when we bury ourselves in debt because we cannot control our desires. They promote the products and we run to the store to buy them. We have become accomplices in their own scheme, and we are on the losing end of it. We have played ourselves and now we are paying the price. The point is that, for one reason or another, so many of us are now struggling to even find a purpose to live for. Truthfully, I wish we could all find something which we genuinely love to do and that we could do it for as long as we live with no financial worries. Work becomes play when you do what you love.

Me, I love to make music, among many other things, and when I get in the zone and I start recording my music, editing and replaying it again and again in order to perfect it, I become entranced. Time flies by and I don’t even feel it. I become completely immersed in the music and I become one with the process. I’m chilling in my own musical world, so to speak. No distractions come into my mind throughout the session and I am in an energetic state of flow. A lot of spiritual rituals involve music and dance, and I think the reason why is kind of obvious. I believe these activities are reminders to us that, in life, we do not always need to have such a specific purpose for doing some things. When we obsess over the destination we end up losing the joy which was meant to be part of our journey. We need to see that there is always a purpose behind the scenes, but we don’t need to always stress about it. I think of the concept of faith as being prepared for any opportunity, at the same time as trusting that there is a higher purpose for our lives, which we can connect with at all times. When we spend every second of our lives planning out a future achievement, we often ignore the best of God’s blessings which are right in front of us. Take the workaholic as an example, the one who is convinced that his rushed and busy lifestyle will secure financial stability for his family and take care of education fees down the road. He never considers that his child will also suffer greatly from his absence down the road, maybe even more than he most likely is already. Perhaps this father has vaguely thought through the consequences of his present actions, but yet he deems it definitely more important to secure his child’s financial future. Some people like these might not even be physically absent all the time, yet even when they are around their children, their mind is distant, far, far away, drifting from one work problem to the next, mentally shuffling through clients and contracts and such trivial nonsense.

In order to realize that we have become a society which has lost its sense of purpose, we need only notice how the most important thing on the planet is money. Literally speaking, money itself is simply a symbol for other things which we use, things which we believe have actual purpose. But money itself has no purpose or value at all, it is just a means to and end. Despite this, money has become our god, the highest achievable human goal, the thing that the majority of killers probably kill for, the thing that drives all corruption and injustice when it leads to greed. So, whether we want to accept it or not, the fact is that, these days, money really does make the world go around. We need to take a moment to stop and think about what this means and whether we want this to become our main purpose as well, or whether we want to follow another purpose, a higher purpose. What other purpose could there be to life? I’ll leave that up to you. Learning to accept life and its constant changes is no easy task. Some think that accepting means giving up and never trying to improve your situation in any way. This is not the case at all. In fact, accepting any problem is the first step to solving it, a necessary step no matter what the nature of your problem might be. Accepting means that you are not in denial of your situation, that you have decided to stop living in fear of your demons and devising escape tactics in order to avoid what you know is killing you from within. True acceptance means that you are now ready to do what is needed to change the problem.

An alcoholic who never accepts that he is an alcoholic might come to realize it many decades later once he has lost his family and his health, along with probably much, much more along the way. An alcoholic who accepts that he is alcoholic, however, can then take the necessary steps to free his or herself of such an afflictive addiction. Life is full of changes. Some we will like for sure, some not so much. We have to understand, however, that all change is necessary, and that what is bad to us might be the best news someone else has gotten in a while. There is no such thing as a good day or a bad day, because on the day that you celebrate the birth of your firstborn, another family has just realized that their own is no longer living among them. Can we say that this is really a good day overall? Both events took place within the same day. Can we call it a bad day? Of course, it is a good day. This good is above the duality of what we perceive as bad and good, though. Everything is the way it is meant to be, and when we face an obstacle which we think is too big for us, we need to think again (or stop thinking), and we need to remember (realize) that whatever obstacle we are facing is the exact obstacle we need to face at this moment in time, because we are who we are and we are living the life we are living. Life is alive everywhere, and everything affects everything. Regardless of how individual and separated from other people we may feel, the truth is that everything we do affects the lives of countless others, and everything everyone else does affects us in some way as well. We even affect ourselves in unknown and unexpected ways, both directly and indirectly, without ever having a clue. Nikola Tesla said “Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.”

We need to stop complaining and acting like victims. It is true that there are many people who are doing evil deeds daily, all throughout the world, and in no way am I defending some of the unspeakable practices some people engage in, nor am I say that what they do is correct or moral. What I am saying is that, although we have free will, everything eventually is arranged into what it needs to be, everything flows where it must no matter how many times we mess up. We cannot ruin God’s creation or throw it off balance, as it is perfect. Every evil and every kindness are surely to be repaid at some point. It might not be immediate but it will happen eventually. The world only seems imperfect to us due to our imperfect and partial view of it. Maya is illusion, it is not real, so it is not even evil as many portray it. We need to break through. Not through some kind of magic but through real life experiences, through ideas and thoughts that are manifested into the collective consciousness, through TV, radio, internet, through books. Books written thousands of years ago are still among the most influential ones today. Did the authors ever imagine they would influence such distant people, both in time and space? Time and space are non-existent, after all, in spirituality, in truth.

There are many avenues through which both good and evil can be repaid, such as some of those mentioned a moment ago. What we call “God’s mysterious ways” is karma, mysterious to us since it is unknown, containing the intersecting and invisible paths that lead to never-ending creation and manifestation. When we stop complaining and we start accepting life as it is and that we as a whole, we as humanity, have caused the problems which we are facing now, even our individual ones, we cannot be angry at God or the universe. We will realize that every experience is meant to help us progress in some way. Even our individual problems are created by our specific attitudes and worldviews, which have been affected by the environment we live in, which will depend not only on the family we are born into and the people who they grew to be through years of living their own lives, but also by the society we live in, which has also been influenced by countless teachers from the past, all of whom had their own teachers and so on. Life is a continuous cycle, and every change that takes place is a change we need to embrace. We need to jump into the dance of life, we need to forget about always having an alternative purpose for living. We need to remember that life is no more than the present moment, and we need to fill the present moment with things that truly matter to us, with thoughts and actions that are conscious and purposeful. We need to start living just to live.

~ Rebel Spirit ~

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There is No Religion Higher Than Truth.

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Every day that passes, hundreds of thousands of babies are born all around the world. It is estimated that about three hundred thousand babies, to be more exact, are born worldwide every single day, into different families, cultures, religions and environments, each under its own unique set of circumstances. In most cases, these circumstances play a big part in producing personality. It’s hard, if not impossible, to fully understand just how much of what we believe and feel as adults, how much of what we think, however confident we may feel about our beliefs and ideas, comes from these elements which we are born into, seemingly by no decision of our own, which surround us as we grow up, things including but not limited to family life and social position. Or how much of who we grow to be is already embedded in our own DNA when we arrive on this planet, just like the essence of a tree is embedded in the smallest seed, and how much of us is perhaps actually something carried over by the spirit from a previous incarnation? Most importantly, from all these possibilities and theories of reality, how can we be so sure of the absolute truth of either one? Are we born with a distinct personality which is further shaped by our life experiences, or is each of us born as a blank slate, another blank page yet to be written in the book of history? If we believe the latter possibility, then who is the author of such a book anyway? Who or what designed this world full of beauty and inspiration, but also overcome by brutality and ignorance? Is this all part of a grand design which we simply cannot comprehend at our level of consciousness? A divine plan perhaps? Or are we all accidents, existing merely by chance – a chaotic concoction of coincidences?

Many religions and philosophies attempt to provide us with answers to these timeless questions, which personally fascinate me almost to the point of obsession, a feeling which manifests in my life as a driving desire to discover the truth hidden deep within the soul of the world and its inhabitants throughout the ages, the perpetual truth masked behind all the advertising, the corruption, the labels, the denominations and the propaganda – the perennial philosophy, as Aldous Huxley would refer to this truth I seek. See, I grew up in a Christian home. My mother, a true follower of Christ, is devout, caring, and kind to all people – the purest person I’ve ever had the privilege to know. She, along with my father, raised me to live with integrity, with respect for everyone and everything. They recited Bible passages to me from a very young age and taught me about God – Jehovah, Jesus, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. As a young child, I believed what I was told without applying any critical thinking. I found out that when I grew up a bit and started learning more on my own, reading more, wondering more, thinking outside the box, the absolute certainty of many of some of my beliefs didn’t seem so certain at all anymore. I realized that we all have the capacity – no, the duty – to wonder, to inquire into the deepest parts of our spirit. My mother wholeheartedly believes that one must accept Jesus as one’s sole savior and God incarnate in order to reach heaven eternally after death – if not then the alternative is hellfire and suffering, also eternal. I’m not saying that any of this is something I believe or I don’t believe necessarily, but what I am saying is that one must make the effort to investigate and learn from religions and philosophies other than one’s own, in order to compare – not to create division, but to connect the similarities, to dive into the differences, to enrich one’s life experience. An early unease with this situation about hell, and the injustice and cruelty I feel about the idea of it, as well as the possibility that it could be a total invention, a tool for mass mental control, and an unease with not knowing how people can be so convinced of their beliefs beyond doubt, have been like fuel for me, they have ignited the fire of inspiration in my soul to always learn and to grow more, to leave aside all vanity and to follow what is true and good, to always dig deeper and to doubt everything – to believe all but to believe nothing all the same. To believe in one religion exclusively is to shut oneself out of the richness of other cultures, of deeper understanding among brothers and sisters who are also God’s children.

Closing ourselves off from religious and philosophical teachings from many of the world’s great people throughout history and today because they did not or do not share the same label as us is closed-mindedness, it is willful ignorance, and it only results in a loss for ourselves, at least in the immediate sense. Way too much suffering has been caused and is still being caused by people with the idea that they must spread their perceived truth to humanity by any means necessary, disregarding all values in the process. How can we be completely certain of any specific religion or belief unless we consciously expand our horizons and study other people’s beliefs? After all, a child born to a Christian family in America, especially Central or South America where the culture is centred around family values more than in North America, has a high chance of growing up with Christian beliefs and forming a Christian family, while a child born in India might grow up as a Hindu, also respecting and caring for the planet and for humanity, trusting in God, except that he may call God by a different name, or by various names which could even represent the different energies of God at work in the universe – such as the Atman which represents our Spirit, the Divine reflection of God’s essence, referred to as Brahman. In the Middle East, many Muslims bow down daily in reverence to Allah, devout and pious people who have no appetite for destruction and death. They worship the same God of Abraham who founded the Jewish faith and also inspired the faith of the Christian religion and all its subsequent denominations. After all, Allah is just the Arabic word for God. Jews and Arabs are basically cousins, and yet the ceaseless fighting and war is devastating families and communities, all because we can’t put our pride aside, put our differences aside, and coexist as a peaceful people, as vessels of the divine Spirit, without labels and hence without prejudice. It is essential that we all open our minds and hearts to the wisdom of others.

                With so many religions, philosophies and ideologies, one at times might wonder how any critically-thinking person can follow one specific religion or belief system and feel completely confident in it. How can one be certain that one’s belief is in fact the ultimate truth of the universe, without ever even considering any of the other “ultimate truths” our fellow humans believe? We have friends who we have known for years, and yet we never ask them about their beliefs because we are so sure about our own. We all walk around in multicultural communities, everyone interacting with each other in a friendly manner, working, playing, socializing, everyone making their earthly existence work out as best as they can by means of constant collaboration. We call ourselves brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, co-workers, friends, relatives, partners, and yet we all might call ourselves by different religious labels. One of us might believe that you and I will reincarnate here on this planet or on some other one, as people or animals or anything, or you might believe we will either go to heaven or hell. If my friend stopped for a moment to think about what his religion teaches him to believe about someone who does not share his same religious belief, he just might conclude that such a person will burn in hell upon death, as if he could accurately judge said person’s purity of character. But just as a reminder to those who see others in this way: Jesus himself warned against attempting to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye as you blindly ignore the log in yours, and he also dared any man without sin to be the first to cast a stone at the woman who was about to be killed for having been caught in the act of adultery. Do not judge others because there is plenty to judge in yourself, not so that you can put yourself own, but so that you can correct any continuous mistakes and destructive habits.

Just as one person might believe his friend will go to hell, another might believe that he will simply drop dead one day and that will be it – the movie’s over and everyone exits the theater. So many beliefs to critically consider, at least if you’re on a mission for the real Truth, not just the convenient one. All of us ordinary citizens pretend that we are so sure of our beliefs, but if each and every one of us would take a moment to try to understand each other’s views on deep, important subjects, we could hardly handle such a conversation for more than a few minutes without our egos getting in the way, starting trouble and leading to fights breaking out. Why is this? Because we have turned personal beliefs, spirituality, religion, and many subjects on humanity and life into delicate, offensive triggers for those who can’t wait for the next opportunity to express anger or feel offended and hurt once again. On our quest to become completely politically correct, we’ve come to live in fear of each other instead of respect. We can’t handle even friendly opposition to our opinions.

This is an issue which has been bothering me quite a bit lately, due to my specific set of circumstances. You see, I was born to two very loving, compassionate and authentic parents, and I already mentioned my mom for a moment. My father is also very religious, or spiritual, depending on your definition of those two words. My dad has described to me how he would wrap a pair of headphones around my mother’s pregnant belly, so that I was being influenced by the words of the Bible before I was ever born. My mother read Bible stories to me since a very young age, and I grew up going to church. I also have some very hazy childhood memories of attending synagogue services, as it can be said that my father has always felt a strong connection with the Jewish faith and people. To be honest, it’s difficult to pin him down to a specific religion, but one thing was always clear with my parents—The Bible is God’s book, and His Holy word. Interpret it as you wish, but it is the only book to interpret. According to some sources, there are approximately thirty thousand denominations within the Christian faith alone, not to mention many other religions and belief systems regarding the universe, ranging from Judaism to Islam, from Buddhism to Hinduism, from atheism to Satanism, from the beliefs of the Native American Navajos, to New Age spirituality. Who is right, if anyone at all? For someone who was born to atheist parents, or into a household in which religion or spirituality do not have much influence, and who came to the point of embracing a specific God or religion later on in life, the answer might be easy. If such a person has gotten to that point in life, then they believe they have found their truth, by walking their own path. No one has imposed their beliefs on this person. They searched and they found, they have experienced something. But is that the case for someone like me, who grew up on Bible stories? Can I truly believe what I believe just like that, without fear of being ignorant?

All the death, the horror, the injustice and the ugliness that dwells inside us as well as all around us is ignored. This enables us to go along our day, minding our own business, pretending everything is fine in the world. After all, we all have enough of our own problems to deal with. How could we possibly make time to listen to other people’s issues, and to care for them? How can we possibly take time to listen to, or read about, other people’s beliefs, and to ponder them, to consider them at the very least? It seems that a lot of religious folks are unfortunately too busy to do these things, although they sure are quick to cast judgement upon others who do not share the same label to define themselves. In fact, however, someone who truly follows the teachings of Christ, and loves his neighbors as himself, who judges none, who teaches love and compassion; someone who walks with the needy like Jesus or Buddha, someone who lends a helping hand to his brethren, that person is walking in the teachings of all enlightened beings since the beginning of time, regardless of his religion or denomination. Such a person simply has no religion because he has no need to impose any belief on anyone else. This person is full of love for himself and for the planet, as he sees the world as family to himself, as identical in nature.

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Living by the Light of Truth.

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All of us know what truth is, but do we really? The truth is often hard to accept, there’s no question about it. This is true because of another phrase which is also true: ignorance is bliss. This phrase itself is very superficial in its explanation however, and if we go just a bit deeper we will realize that the bliss referred to is not actual bliss but merely a fake and fabricated illusion of it. It is the illusory sense of euphoria felt by someone imagining big dreams blossoming in their own near future, completely unaware of an illness which will claim their life very soon and which is already growing inside their body, destined to eventually put an end to such dreams. The great feeling of attempting to live in a false future as we ignore the blessings which surround us in our current situation is definitely a curse as it hinders our progress and fills our time with idle daydreaming. Let’s not forget that any and every conception of the future is pure fantasy since it is only real in the thought realm within our own minds. Ignorance cannot be real bliss because, by definition, it includes not knowing. And we all know that we love to know things more than anything else. There is nothing that can be done without knowledge. After all, knowledge is power, right? So, can we be blissful without knowledge? Can we say that we are truly happy if our happiness is a product of not being fully aware of the full picture, of the true scope of what’s going on, of the true state of our lives? If knowledge is power, can we be blissful without any power at all? Without control of our minds and lives? 

Many people would respond affirmatively, but in reality, they would be completely crushed by a loss of even a minute amount of whatever power they currently hold over their own life and their perception of it. When one begins losing control over one’s thoughts and emotions to the point where one can no longer discern between reality and fantasy, one is diagnosed as a psychotic and possibly treated as a schizophrenic. Others, upon reaching old age, are afflicted by that horribly debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s. Not knowing is a curse. Ignorance is terrifying. Yet this sort of ignorant and completely carefree attitude towards life is promoted every day, all day, to everyone everywhere, as we are encouraged by others and by ourselves to lie to ourselves, to seek so-called happiness (which is most of the time just cheap pleasure, in the minds of the masses) over meaning, over a life purpose or a legacy to leave behind. The system which society is based upon is set up in such a way that it exploits the human need for meaning and purpose, our very will, the essential engine of the human spirit, reducing it to a tool within the physical body, redirected towards mere survival by a system of debt slavery, and although there are people behind this, we are the only ones to blame. “There is a path of joy and there is the path of pleasure. Pondering on them, the wise one chooses the path of joy; the fool takes the path of pleasure.” ~ Katha Upanishad 1:2:2

The more we choose to value petty pleasures over noble pursuits, the more ignorant we become to what is going on in our world and in our own lives, souls and minds as well as those of our fellow human beings. We are very quickly becoming detached and disconnected. The more we choose to live in blissful ignorance, without facing the terrible truths that keep us shackled, without searching for the deeper meaning which we know this life definitely has, without attempting to free ourselves of cultural and social conditioning, without coming to the realization that the truth is an imperative part of ourselves which cannot be neglected or ignored for long, the further away we will stray from truth, and we will surely become confused and corrupt. God is truth, everything that is true comes from God, and it has to be faced no matter what it may be. God dwells within us, so truth is what gives us life, it is our very spirit. We cannot exist without truth, and that is why we are on a never-ending quest for wisdom, because we feel a spark of this divine truth within us, we know that life is permeated by this truth, this magic, and we want to find out more about what it means. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”, said Jesus. Truth and life were synonymous to Jesus, and it is obvious that we cannot have life in the Father, in God the creator of the universe, the Almighty Power which maintains all else alive, which allows everything else to be for eternity, as long as we keep focusing our lives around illusions and ignoring reality.

Truth cannot be escaped. It must be embraced and used as the main tool in our quest to uncover deeper truth. The ocean of truth is vast, beyond our wildest dreams and imagination, it is unfathomable by the human mind and unseen to the naked eye. It cannot be described or perceived by the senses. Truth is intuition, and it is the entire basis for faith. There can be no faith without it. There can be no real progress without it. If intuition is not followed it will not dim its voice, but your mind will gradually become damaged, like a defective receiver which cannot pick up a signal for which there is no external interference – the problem is actually internal. There is no problem with the heavenly signal, yet the mind can be degraded in a number of ways, many of which we as a species practice religiously in modern times.

In the age of information, we have more access to truth than ever before, but we also have more access to lies. And because we have been conditioned to ignore the truth and to chase only pleasure, most people love to focus on lies which seem exciting and interesting, instead of on truth which compels them to make a change in their own lives or in the world as a whole, or both. We are afraid of change, just like we are afraid of the unknown. This fear is irrational and it needs to go. We need to use our resources now more than ever before, in order to uncover the divine truth hidden within all that exists. An unconditional and passionate love of truth is the key to unifying all people and evolving as a whole collective consciousness as we move into future times.“The Infinite is the source of joy. There is no joy in the finite. Ask to know the Infinite.” ~ Chandogya Upanishad 7.23

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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Analyze Your Actions.

TheEye
Analyze your actions. If you do what you do in order to impress others, then you are doing it based on an inferiority complex. As Eckhart Tolle stated in The Power of Now, once we realize who we really are we come to see that we are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. The Spirit which dwells within us is the same, so in essence we are all the same, no matter how different we might appear. If you have a craft which you are dedicated to, you might notice that ideas are often blocked by wondering too much about what people will think about what you create, whether people will like it, or whether it’s not as good as some other similar works which have been released by others. Comparing ourselves to others is like comparing the fish to the monkey and saying it is stupid because it cannot climb a tree. Not only does this prevent production of whatever it is we want to work on, but it also further intensifies the inferiority complex we are already suffering from. Many of us want to impress others because we want to fit in, we want to be part of a group. We are not satisfied with who we are, we do not love ourselves, and for this reason we look for satisfaction in other people.

A lot of people are horrified by the prospect of ever being alone, not realizing that solitude can be one of the biggest blessings we can receive, as long as we can see it in such a way. We are all born alone and we will die alone. We cannot take anyone with us when we die. So why do we waste what little time we have on this planet attempting to fit in and to impress others? Have you ever thought that maybe you have something completely unique which only you can share with the world? How can you let this inner light shine if you are always afraid to be your true self and stand out? An inferiority complex is something that can greatly impact a person’s entire life and render them unable to do anything they wish to do. People spend decades stuck in shame because they fail to live up to the expectations of their peers or parents. And most recently, in the new technological world of social media, everyone is trying to impress everyone else. The problem is that we now have a platform where people can shock others and be seen without possessing any real talent whatsoever. There’s even been several incidents of people broadcasting violence and death on Facebook Live. We have become so deranged that people are willing to completely throw away their integrity and dignity in order to get their fifteen minutes of internet fame. Also, why is it that people love to stand out by doing things that are wrong? Why don’t we see more news about good deeds being done, why are we not so impressed by someone giving food to a homeless person? We want to stand out but only at certain things which society makes it cool to stand out at. When it comes to integrity, to truth, to true friendship, to saying what needs to be said even though it might offend others, none of us want to stand out. We are afraid of being ridiculed and even persecuted, and this fear is somewhat based on reality.

The people who have tried to preach truth to the masses never got the respect and attention they deserved during their time on Earth. Still, they understood that the truth is more important than any individual life, including their own, and they were prepared to put themselves aside and to immerse themselves in this truth and its meaning. The truth became a part of them until the point when they could no longer help but to live and teach the truth. People are often bothered by truth since it goes against their vices, against their various ways of cheating and scamming, against their vulgar forms of entertainment, of to themselves, of keeping themselves distracted. What is essential is that if someone attempts to teach the truth, he or she should not only speak it, but should live it as well. They must lead by example so that they will not be labelled as hypocrites. Such a person has a greater chance of influencing others than someone who talks and talks but shows no positive results, no positive changes. Always be humble, and don’t exclude yourself from your teachings. Don’t pretend to be superior to anyone because you are now living in a healthier or more spiritual way. This only shows that you have yet to transcend your ego. Listen attentively to everyone you meet, don’t discard anyone as inferior. Everyone has something to teach us, and even an immature statement might make us reflect on why such a person thinks the way they do and might help us to understand and relate to them better.

We can learn from all situations in life, and we must strive to do so. We must have an open mind and heart and be willing to humble ourselves. We must be bold and exercise our willpower as we put our actions in God’s hands. We need to be courageous and speak the truth no matter what the consequences might be. We need to trust that whatever the outcome is, it will be for the better. We need not worry about whether people will like what we do, or whether they will accept us. If we do what we do with the right intention and we trust in the outcome, then whatever happens will be meant to happen. If we lose friends because of staying true then so be it. Remember Buddha’s words, “It is better to be alone that with those who hinder your progress.” Focus on progress, true progress, not materialistic and selfish progress which gives a false illusion of being better off than others, a false illusion of security. Instead, seek to progress in the way you interact with your family and friends, seek to progress in how honest and true you are to yourself, seek to progress in any art or passion you might have, pursue progress in attaining control over your mind and your emotions, progress in becoming happier and more fulfilled, in realizing that you are a manifestation of the Divine Spirit, and that you are not inferior to anyone, no matter what you may have done in the past or what situation you may find yourself in now. All that happens on Earth is a learning lesson which is meant to guide us closer to the truth. In this way, nothing is truly good or bad, and everything is necessary.

Our paths can be straightened out no matter how far along in our journey we are. God creates order out of chaos and opens doors where there were none before. All we need to do is analyze our actions, make the necessary changes, and then trust. Then we can be ourselves without fear, then we can serve the purpose we were meant to, to be a light and a reminder of our true spiritual heritage to all people we may encounter in our lives, whether by speech or by silent example. We are influencing people at all times, even in memory, even by actions which we performed many years ago. Don’t put yourself down because of past mistakes, this will only drain your energy, your will, the power which you absolutely need in order to make the necessary changes now. Instead of beating yourself up, accept that what is done is done, and the only thing left to focus on now is the present, living righteously in the present moment, during every present moment of our lives. If we remain conscious and aware at all times of the spirit we are, we will always realize how silly and pointless it is to try to impress others. We will lose the fear of speaking out, and we will become sincerely inspired speakers spreading God’s words and the divine way to the world. Amen.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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Beyond the Veil of Maya: Reuniting with the Source.

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Life will never cease to present us with experiences which challenge our entire conception of being, with tests which we must accomplish, with goals which are to be achieved, and with challenges to overcome. Such is the nature of life, and the person who cannot accept this and make the best of it is doomed to a life of misery. I thank God I no longer feel the resentment I felt when I believed that all was mine, when I boasted and bragged in a vain attempt to uplift my own broken ego. I am thankful that now I feel somewhat at peace without believing that everything is all sunshine and roses, so to speak. The dual nature of the very dimension in which we live in is the cause of life’s misfortunes, as well as the cause of life’s greatest blessings. Nowadays, many modern-day spiritual seekers equate maya, or illusion, one of the main concepts in the Hindu philosophical system, with negativity and all that is evil and deceitful. This is not the case however. Even the good which comes about is simply the effect of another cause, the effect of our karma. The law of cause and effect is in itself dual in nature, and our very nature as humans, not to mention that of everything else on the planet we are all so familiar with, is also dual.

We need only study the basic qualities of the atom, the very essence of everything physical. Maya is the illusion of duality, the illusion of good and evil. It is interesting to ponder whether the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that got Adam and Eve expelled from Eden might really be a representation of the knowledge, or consciousness rather, of duality which we now experience. Perhaps, prior to consuming the fruit of the forbidden tree, Adam and Eve were not ashamed of their naked genitals because physical sex as we now know it was not needed. When God kicked both Adam and Eve out of Paradise he cursed woman with the prophecy that she would bear children in extreme pain for eternity, which could mean that the need for survival, or the animal instinct of attraction and sex, began at that point. This might then also signify the beginning of the birth/death cycle as we know it. Perhaps Adam and Eve were not incarnated human beings like you and I, but rather the complete state of the primeval soul, with both its masculine and feminine qualities connected a whole, in oneness. More on this can be studied in Hermeticism, as one of the seven Hermetic principle is one of gender. Physically, we are either born male or female, and when these dual forces are connected in intercourse a new soul, a new field of spiritual consciousness, is summoned into a new human life, to balance and unite never-ending dual forces which strike a blow at every corer and which must be endured and overcome for a lifetime.

 We are filled with joy when a new life is received by its loving and excited family, and yet we mourn when our loved ones die and return to that place of infinite life, to the life source from which they originally came. We surely know that death must come, and that it is as natural as life. This life, along with the death that comes to us all at the end of it, is an illusion. It is an illusion in the sense that we are not confined to this physical reality, and in fact physical reality is subject to change with enough spiritual power which is derived from continuous contemplation and mindful meditation on the oneness of all things. None of this is intended to give one an impression that this life should be discarded and treated as a mere game, as a distraction before the real reality which is yet to come. This is not what is meant. On the contrary, this life was given to us so that we may reconnect with the Divine consciousness which was inherent to us before the curse of Eden. When we practice living in oneness with ourselves and the world around us, the positive side of life will begin to stand out to us because we will have begun developing a true sense of joy, of a joy that transcends both pleasure and pain.

This joy is omnipresent and is not confined to the laws of time and space since it is the joy of connection with the Divine Spirit, the source from which all laws come into existence. This joy, like nothing else, allows one to live happily in this life without anxious or desperate expectation of the next life or dimension he might reach, or of the next moment or day, month or year. During this life, we must not dismay at the troubles which confront us. It is essential to our will that we actually practice putting into practice what we know to be the right thing. How can we know what is the right thing? We all have been blessed with intuition, just as we all have instincts, animalistic instincts to be more specific. We all are born under the veil of illusion. If we allow life’s circumstances, whatever they may be, to make us forget our Divine spiritual nature then we will base our lives on ideas of separation. We will see the world as a battlefield and we will feel the need to strategize at all times, to formulate schemes to get ahead of the rest of them, of the apparent competition. We might be highly motivated and might be achieving things and acquiring tons of possessions, and we could be doing it in an honest way. Even then, the root of this desire to achieve and to accumulate might be the cause of a deeper desire to become better than the neighbors and just about everyone else in the world for that matter. When we have billions of people in the world who are approaching their every situation with this kind of mentality, then we only need a system which pushes further (organized) division upon the masses in order to ignite the flame of hatred and violence which is much needed in the plans of the orchestrators of such disasters as the biggest and bloodiest wars of human history. Unfortunately, we do have such a system in place, globally.

I hope we can all take a moment to realize that separation and division leads to conflict and bloodshed, to hatred which spans out over continents and centuries. This is why it is imperative that we all unite, regardless of differences. Although this world is dual in its nature, it was given to us so that we may exercise our perception of the oneness within ourselves as well as everything which surrounds us. When we practice this on a regular basis we become more peaceful, we become less concerned with proving to everyone that we are right, we become less attached to possessions and to positions, to titles and to monetary gain. When we see that even nature and the animals are all part of this oneness, we understand that there is a much deeper purpose and meaning to just about everything. When we start to appreciate the connections and the synchronicity which weaves everything together in the wonderful web of life we begin to see magical things happening, even if they are simple things. Perhaps these things have been happening all along and yet we have failed to notice, since we have been so caught up in the duality of things, in enjoying physical pleasure and avoiding all pain. We are unconsciously attached to both. They make up our daily preoccupations. Christ has advised us to worry about the present moment only.

Pain is often needed in order for purpose to flourish. Too many us of today are afraid of positive pain, and for this reason we give up on having a purpose. We find it much more comfortable to conform and to settle for things and situations that we know we are meant to rise above. Little do we know that by robbing ourselves of our purpose we rob ourselves of our joy, that unconditional joy which is an essential part of who we really are. When we ignore this joy, everything becomes monotonous, and not seeing the deeper purpose, the joy of the oneness behind all forms, we turn to petty physical pleasures for satisfaction, yet we never do find it. Similarly, every little thing which we do not like becomes a tragedy which we cannot bear.

There is no greater evidence for the oneness of everything than can be found in spiritual religion. People who claim a religious label yet do not follow their own faith in reality, and yet judge others who identify as followers of a different faith, claiming to know the ultimate truth. The esoteric wisdom of every religion points to the same thing, and ignorant fools are the ones who fight and kill in God’s name, no matter how they may call God or what religion they may claim. In truth, we are all partly fools and partly geniuses. We all possess God’s divine wisdom, but we are all susceptible to the bonds of material servitude, which will take hold of us if we are attracted to the illusions of pleasure, or if we run with passion from the jaws of pain. We must stand strong and endure whatever may come, and we must acknowledge that in this world, just as no man is purely good or purely bad, the same is true of every situation. The worst possible tragedy can not be seen as bad or unfortunate in the sense that one can always learn a lesson. When one learns a powerful lesson and it is internalized it has the power to transform one’s life forever. Such is the nature of life. Everything, pleasure and pain, comes and goes in cycles, and it is all meant to teach us something if we only open up to the teaching and we stop becoming attached to our emotions or our sense of entitlement. Jesus taught us not to make treasures on this earth, Buddha taught non-attachment to anything and that life is suffering, yet one must rise above it. The Tao is the Way past the duality represented in the yin and yang symbol, which also has a dot of the opposite color in both the black and white side, representing the good and bad which is apparently inherent in everything. The Vedanta teaches us that everything is duality, yet the Atman or the spirit, the spark of God within us is the oneness which encompasses the whole of life, the bright light that can help us break the perception of illusion which surrounds us. The Kabbalah teaches that God became divided from this world through an ignorance of His power, and that our physical plane is a manifestation of infinite desire. All useless and torturous desire can cease if we can only find our connection to our true desire, to the only true desire of all creation: to reunite with the Divine Source, the become one and to break free of the chains of duality which seem so real. After all, the very word ‘religion’ comes from the Latin ‘re-ligare’, to reunite.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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Man’s Search for Meaning: The Space Between Stimulus and Response.

VIKTOR FRANKL (1905-1997)

One of the greatest victories we can achieve in life is the mental, emotional and spiritual victory over inevitable circumstances and the struggles they create. If someone like ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ author Viktor Frankl, who endured and overcame extreme tragedy and horror in his life, having lost most of his family in various concentration camps during World War II, can see the opportunity for growth that is dormant within pain and adversity, then none of us can really believe that we have any excuse to simply give up and allow life’s circumstances to get the best of us and bring us down. What I can understand to be the meaning of Frankl’s wonderful quote is that, between any given situation we face and our reaction to it, there is what he calls a ‘space’, a moment of introspection. When we enter this sacred space, it may feel as if time has stopped, as if we are suddenly struck by pure timeless realization. We are saved by a mere moment of contemplation, of profound meditation. Many of us have no idea what this space really means, but when one’s life is turned upside down and one is suddenly in a life or death situation from which there is no escape, cultivating this sacred space becomes essential, not only for survival, but for sanity’s sake as well. What this space signifies is nothing but the magical science of intuition. Through the wisdom of a second of silence we find that we are freed from unconscious bondage; we are no longer compelled to react based on raw animal instinct or habitual behavior patterns we have developed over time. Emotion is no longer our master, and we are now free to examine a situation with the light of pure consciousness, with the infallible wisdom of the spirit.

What we find is that this serene space, this intuition that we speak of, allows us to analyze any situation objectively from within the deepest and wisest part of our spirit, that part which is beyond all duality and contradiction and which is connected with God, with the oneness of it all, putting aside even the strongest of emotions and the subtlest yet most sinister sense of entitlement in order to perceive something as it truly is, to perceive it in all honesty and with painfully perfect purity. Purity is painful to those accustomed to the pursuit of pleasure, and at times our intuition will go against what our illusory self wants. It is imperative that we follow our deepest and noblest realizations, which will allow us to remain unshaken through the storms of life. Only then will we be prepared to react appropriately to any unpleasant situation which may arise, or to any confrontation against righteousness. We are not speaking of any superhuman ability,  but rather of the deepest part of our being as human beings. We can all learn to carefully control our reactions to external events, and in fact, our overall life satisfaction throughout our journey’s different stages and in general will depend a great deal upon this sole factor. Whether we are able to react calmly and sincerely to the obstacles of life, or whether we will be overcome and mercilessly consumed alive by emotions as destructive as lust and greed, being dragged around by our necks from here to there as unconscious slaves of our own uncontrolled passions.

We have all been guilty of trying to use our circumstances as excuses for why we have not gotten ahead in life and why we never will. We attempt to justify and normalize why we should and always will conform with living mediocre lives far from the true and meaningful works of art we know we were meant to mold our lives into. So many of us want to improve ourselves and the world as a whole, but a profound inability to take control of our own thoughts and actions unfortunately means that we probably will never give life to the creative projects floating around in our unique brains. The pressures of society make us feel that it we fail we will not only be forever labeled and rejected as failures, but that we will never be able to reintegrate into a mediocre life if we ever choose to return to it, having failed in the pursuit of the extraordinary life we always dreamed of. Mediocrity becomes  so comfortable because it allows us to go on reacting to things as we please, as we always have, without analyzing and correcting our own behavior, without taking responsibility for improving our lives. The real reason why we fail to get ahead, however, is because we are afraid of pain, we are terrified of struggle, and we lack purpose. The main point in Viktor Frankl’s life-changing book is this: We all need a purpose in order to move forward. Purpose can inspire one to persevere through pain of the worst kind, and even through persecution. 

Fear destroys ideas before they are even manifested outside of the thought realm. Too many people see adversity as something to be avoided at all costs, and they fear situations which will remind them of their weakness. They want to stay in mediocre situations that will not demand change of them. We all want to be heroes, but we often fail to see that usually the very same people who have been through and have eventually overcome nightmarish situations are the very same people who have also become some of the most successful and admirable people we know of, people who have made history and who have inspired millions simply by example. Viktor Frankl is someone who I personally admire very much and who I believe we can all learn much from. Again, Frankl lost pretty much his whole family who were executed in concentration camps by the Nazis. Viktor explains in his masterpiece book how he would often notice that whether or not a prisoner had hope of surviving the war or not greatly influenced how long they were able to endure cruel treatment and even live through disease.

We all need motivation in order to survive. We all have goals we want to achieve, projects we want to undertake. After some time living life it becomes clear that we will never be able to achieve these goals if we cannot stand adversity, if we break down in the face of the most insignificant inconvenience. In order to succeed we need to have a purpose. Once we have a purpose of which we are certain then it becomes much easier to avoid the distractions and to get right down to business. Acknowledging our obstacles, we accept what is. Only then can we plan out how we will overcome the obstacles. This gives us purpose, meaning. We can only find purpose if we stop following our own habitual ideas and take a moment to analyze each and every one of them, from the perspective of the spirit, from the serene space we are talking about.

None of us are perfect, and all of us know it. Yet, so many of us want to pretend that we are, even knowing that everyone else also knows we’re not. We want to keep up appearances so we never let anyone know about our creative projects, about the innovative experiences we are looking to have and create in this world. We have all become so consumed by the wanting to belong to the crowd that we ignore original ideas too often simply because they fall outside the box of social norms. Many of us know there are problems in our lives. Sometimes these problems might be dangerous and life-threatening, and imposed upon us by external forces such as in the case of Viktor Frankl and all people who were persecuted, imprisoned and murdered by Nazis and many other oppressive and corrupt groups of people throughout history. Other times our problems are not so life-threatening. In fact, since we lack wisdom due to never getting into that space of wisdom and intuition, we probably cannot even perceive that there is a problem at all, or we might know that there is a problem, but being so advanced in ignorance at this point, we succeed in completely banishing the troubling thought from our minds – for a while. Because of this reason, because the problems maybe appear minor, we choose to ignore them completely, since it is often much more comfortable to simply ignore problems than to work on them. After all, we have never had a glimpse of what our life could be like if we resolved our problems. 

We know that if we were to fix this specific problem our life would be better in this specific way. Yet we are comfortable with our dysfunction now that it has become a mental habit. We accept that we are mediocre, that life just sucks and there is not much magic to it, so we sit around and do nothing productive day in and day out, slowly adopting a cynical attitude towards life and the world, complaining that everything is a problem and nothing goes our way. Well, guess what? Your problems are the way you can get things to go your way if you simply choose to stop ignoring them. How do we learn math or science or any other subject in school? We are presented with problems which we must solve day after day until we become accustomed to solving such problems. We come to know that if we want to find the answer, a problem must first be solved. In life however, we refuse to see problems as growth opportunities, as obstacles we must rise above in order to strengthen our character – we fail to see that problem-solving gives life its meaning.

What we all need to do is to realize that we have within ourselves immense power, such as the power to survive a holocaust, to keep on living with purpose even after facing the death of all those we love, to forgive the killer of our child, like the video I saw the other day where a grieving mother hugs and forgives her child’s murderer in court. I personally don’t know if I would be able to do either of these things I have mentioned were I to act in the manner I have in the past, or were I to give in to my own habits and tendencies. The problem is not that human beings cannot do these things, they clearly can. The problem is that too many of us believe we can’t, and so we never try to become such people. As a limited human brain, I cannot do these things, but if I practice tuning into that space of intuition, then every step will become clear and I will overcome in the end. You see, these people like Viktor Frankl, or like the mother who forgave her son’s killer, have made an inner decision. Their determination didn’t overcome adversity and hatred because they were born different from us ordinary people, or because they have a purer spirit than ours. We are all children of God, whose infinite power dwells within us all as one pure and universal spirit. Our spirit cannot become more pure or impure. All that can change is the amount of negative and positive habits in our brains, which are the physical instruments which allow us to perceive reality, both physical and spiritual. 

This invincible and godly spirit is capable of rising above emotion, above thought, above comprehensible human logic, and it can make miracles happen. When we become painfully aware of this to the point that we cannot help but live in the holy manner the spirit requires of us, then we will be able to live not only with purpose, but with The Purpose. The highest and only Purpose, after all, is the divine will. Man makes his decisions freely, but all is directed to balance out in the end, all flows and transforms and God’s will is always achieved. Obstacles are God’s will and mercy. They are the consequences of our own evil actions, not as individuals but as humanity, for we are all surely one spirit, and God has embedded into these obstacles the opportunity for us to learn and thrive from them, to derive purpose in correcting these mistakes and finding unity behind duality, finding peace beyond the never-ending conflict on earth which we are all susceptible to, finding the space in which we can be with our spirit amidst all the trials and tribulations. 

Create a space. Meditate. Analyze your actions, evaluate your values. Correct your ways and see if your friends follow. If they don’t follow your path, then at least make sure they don’t try to lead you astray from it and if they do then stand firm in the spirit. Our culture has become one of mindless, unproductive desires being acted out in every selfish way imaginable with no regard for anyone else or for the environment which is being affected. We need to realize the importance of living with purpose again, of doing things with meaning. We need to take a moment to reflect on our thoughts and our emotions and to make sure we do not react by escaping from those we find unpleasant, but by facing them, by identifying the problem and by creating a solution. While creating said solution, we must stay present in the moment, and we must not make the process of creating a solution a burden. We must come to love the struggle, the urge to keep on improving; we must finally realize that life’s obstacles are its biggest blessings, since duality is only an illusion, and in the end, all is one, both the good and the bad. Once we realize this it will mean we have finally come to value purpose and meaning in the way we always should have.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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GOD IS WITHIN YOU AND WITHOUT YOU.

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Everything in existence emanates from God, and his Power is present in all things. Manly P. Hall was a Canadian author and mystic who greatly influenced my early interest in spiritual matters, and who was very aware of the fact earlier stated. He ceaselessly researched pretty much everything that falls within the bounds of spirituality and mysticism. What he found is that all spirituality and religion shares a common thread, that everything divine must come from the divine, it cannot be otherwise. In other words, all people who try to find God are able to find God, regardless of religion or creed.

All throughout the ages people have attempted to get to the source of our deep longing for God, for something much bigger than ourselves. From the earliest mystery schools to the rituals of the ancient native American tribes, to Abrahamic religions and Eastern philosophy, everyone has a theory on God, and a belief in God, or sometimes various beliefs even within one culture. Not many of us realize that Christianity itself is divided into thousands of denominations, each with their own interpretation of the Bible. Many of their interpretations are completely baseless as well since every day fewer and fewer Christians even know what is in the Bible. How can they claim the ultimate truth of something they themselves don’t even study in depth, if at all? We must all become familiar with the beliefs of our families and our communities, and then we most definitely must become familiar with the beliefs and customs of cultures other than our own. Why must we do this? Well, we must do this in order to break the fictional walls of illusion which we have placed between ourselves and others.

Because of religious affiliation, because of superficial association with a simple and worthless label we come to see ourselves as separate from others, divided by culture, by status and class, by religion and belief, by race and attitude towards life and the world. Do we not see that when we do this we are essentially going against the godly nature which is within us and which is a direct reflection of the Divine Spirit, God, or however you may wish to call the supreme deity of the universe who brought everything to be? After all God is just another label or word. Someone who believes in ‘God’ might get offended if someone describes ‘God’ as ‘an Eternal Energy’ within us all. They might call this self-glorification or pantheism, but do Christians not also believe that the Spirit of Christ dwells within us? Does the Bible not also state that we were created in God’s image? Could it be physical or rather spiritual image, or both?

I’m glad that we are slowly but surely waking up, or at least many people in the world are every day, to the fact that none of us are superior or inferior to others, and that all those who seek God shall indeed find God, that indisputable, ineffable power which cannot be done justice if expressed in words or mere human ideas. God is all goodness, all dignity, all integrity, all mutual respect there can ever be. Anyone who denounces God yet imagines God as something different from this is not denouncing God but themselves.  God is the union between people and nations, not the division of countries, not the struggle over land and power at the expense of life. We are no one to take life from anyone. Life arises from God’s direct power. Miraculously, life cannot help but happen. It is divinely and infinitely inspired to grow, to expand, just as the universe is in a constant state of expansion, and just as all living things are in a constant state of vibration and transformation.

You need not look farther than your breath or your heartbeat. Why do you think we love music so much and are captivated and compelled to move by a mesmerizing drum sequence? The beat of life is alive within us, and once it stops beating in our bodies, our bodies cease to live. Our bodies then rot and go back to Earth which keeps on growing and expanding from their remains. Our deceased bodies even provide nourishment for worms and other creatures. The cycle of life is alive through God’s power, and even as much as we may try to corrupt the world, everything is always rearranged and balanced in such a way that we can always find an opportunity in any obstacle. We may choose to ignore this, nevertheless it is true. 

We must all snap out of the illusion which the system has created. A people divided can never change its circumstances and it can never realized it is being controlled. The system which wants to prevent the world from finding such a unifying truth as God, as the holiness within ourselves, has been hard at work from the dawn of humanity in order to control the minds of free thinkers. We must all move past thinking, in fact, and we must use our simply and divine intuition to realize that we are all one. That truth becomes crystal clear with just one second of honest introspection in which we realize that we have been defending a damaged and corrupted ego all along, a false personality within ourselves. Once this becomes clear we can live out of a place of love for all that exists, realizing that we are divine and unique extensions of God’s ever-creating power. Stop complaining for your circumstances and feeling entitled to eternal bliss and begin sharing that bliss everywhere you go and to everyone you meet. What goes around comes around, and that which you give you shall receive.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

~ Matthew 22:35-40

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“Try to realize it’s all within yourself, no-one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you.”

“When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.”

~ George Harrison, ‘Within You, Without You’ by the Beatles.

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