I wrote this for the August 2020 Beaverton Resource Guide
I am a spiritual being having a material experience
I am a spiritual being having a material experience.
I don’t think I have believed that as much as I do now.
In this time of collective high anxiety, we may find the need to practice this belief to calm the raging mind. We are an eternal consciousness choosing to have this experience. Forces of deception cause us to forget who we are. Consciousness is stronger than those forces.
We have bodies but we are not our bodies. We have thoughts but we are not our thoughts. We have feelings but we are not our feelings. We have a deep center of peace that no harm can touch.
This experience will end. It will pass. When the time comes to let it go, we will let it go. We will return to eternal consciousness where we really always are.
This truth is as close as our breath. As we spend time meditating, perhaps by watching our breath, we can create distance from this material experience and we can realize who we are. This gives us the freedom to participate in this experience without identifying with it. We can engage it without being trapped by it because we are spiritual beings having a material experience.
Peace. Peace. Peace. Nothing but peace.
John Shuck is a Presbyterian (U.S.A.) minister. His website is http://www.johnshuck.com
Johann Hari suffered from depression since he was a child and took anti-depressants as a teenager because he was told that depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. He went on a quest to see if this is really the case. In his book, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions, he discusses that journey. He interviewed many social scientists who are uncovering evidence that depression and anxiety are largely caused by key problems with the way we live today not brain chemistry.
Johann Hari is a New York Times best-selling author. His book, Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, has been translated into 15 languages and is currently being adapted into a major Hollywood film, and into a non-fiction documentary series.
He is one of the most-viewed TED talkers of all time: his talk, ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong’, has (along with the animation based on it) been viewed more than 20 million times.
He has written over the past seven years for some of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Spectator, Le Monde Diplomatique, the Melbourne Age, and Politico. He has also appeared on leading TV shows, including HBO’s Realtime With Bill Maher.
He was twice named ‘National Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ by Amnesty International. He has also been named ‘Cultural Commentator of the Year’ and ‘Environmental Commentator of the Year’ at the Comment Awards.
Ira Israel is a licensed professional clinical counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He has graduate degrees in philosophy, religious studies, and psychology. He has a private practice in Santa Monica, California as well as on-line coaching. He leads workshops at the Esalen Institute and throughout the United States. He has 28 years of experience working in various capacities with award-winning filmmakers, musicians, artists, and writers. His website is www.iraisrael.com.
We discuss his book, How to Survive Your Childhood Now that You’re An Adult: A Path to Authenticity and Awakening and an article, “How The Internet Engendered The Fall of Consumer-Based Capitalism and the Rebirth of Democracy: A Brief History of the Future,” He writes: “My mission is to inspire you to be your best self and live an extraordinary and satisfying life full of supportive relationships, intimacy, love, creative expression, authentic communications, a thriving career, mental and emotional wellness, and a healthy balance of work and pleasure.”