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Oneness—And Beyond Oneness, sometimes expressed as “I am one with everything”, is often spoken of...
Author Jeffrey Chappell I... On July 22, 2014, I was interviewed by Grace Cavalieri at the Library of...
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Jeffrey Chappell interviewed on Contact Talk Radio...

0031(3)I was interviewed on internet radio about “Answers From Silence”, my bestselling book about spirituality, on Monday, July 7, 2014. My host was Reverend Patricia Brooks and we had an hour of enlightening conversation on her show “Spiritual Lens”. The topic was “Why On Our Quest For Spiritual Truth We Have Got It All Backwards!” You can hear the interview at iTunes by clicking on “View in iTunes” next to the 7/7/14 broadcast date.

Thanks!

—JC

Jeffrey Chappell interviewed on Transformational T...

KristiBorst-HostI was invited to talk on internet radio about “Answers From Silence”, my book about spirituality, on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. I joined host Kristi Borst for nearly an hour of enlightening conversation. Here is the replay of the interview.

Please also check out Kristi’s website for more details about her work as an intuitive energy healer, artist, and radio host.

JC

Spiritual Success

junkmailI have ended up on several New Age email lists.

They send announcements telling me that there is something that I don’t have that I need to get.

I need to rewire my brain to overcome my blocks to success. I need to attend this seminar that will bring me the abundance that I was meant to have. I need to change my life by using this superior strategy for manifesting everything I dreamed of.

Spirituality is going to do this for me. My wishes will come true.

Yet something seems askew.

First, training oneself to think differently is not transcendental. It is what I would call re-arranging the furniture of your mind.

There can be benefits to it. But the “thoughts are things” angle is not fundamental enough. Even the mind is not fundamental enough.

There is something more primary than thoughts and more primary than the mind: pure consciousness itself. Before there was the painting, there was the canvas.

Dwelling there would be the best strategy.

Second, the premise that the purpose and the result of spirituality are to be able to score higher on worldly success is perhaps misdirected.

Worldly success is great. I am not disagreeing with that. If you arrive at it, you have my sincere congratulations.

It’s just that spiritual success can be measured differently. It is not about coming out on top, or doing things better and getting ahead, or positioning yourself for a bigger payoff from God.

It’s more about what God wants from you, and about you delivering that.

“Wants” is an interesting word. It can mean that there is a lack of something.

How could God lack anything?

If God is the awareness in everything of everything, as Answers From Silence says, then the lack would be in your awareness.

wave2What your awareness lacks is boundlessness and timelessness. It lacks the knowledge of yourself not as an individual in the cosmos but instead as the cosmos in an individual.

The drop of your tiny, limited, individual awareness needs to be taken back into the ocean of boundless awareness. There, it will be buoyed by the totality.

Then God’s wish will have come true.

—JC

The Tyranny Of Thought

stream2If you are seeker on a spiritual path, thoughts might seem to stand in the way of your evolution.

Thoughts run on completely spontaneously and effortlessly. They seem uninvited and unstoppable, an endless automatic stream of words with a mind of their own. Your mind.

Some people call this the tyranny of thought.

Why can’t you stop thinking? Worse yet (and here is the problem for spiritual seekers)—since you can’t, how will you ever quiet the mind sufficiently to contact and commune with your own pure consciousness, and to raise yourself to a higher level of spiritual being, and to dwell there without distraction and interference?

The way that you will do this is to know that you are not your thoughts. You were here before they were. Being precedes thought.

When you don’t identify with your thoughts, there can be no tyranny.

And in fact, it is possible to stop thinking. But you don’t do it by thinking about stopping thoughts. Instead, you drop your attention into pure consciousness.

boats2If thoughts persist, then you just let them happen as you withdraw from them. They recede into the background, like boats on the surface of a lake that you are diving into.

They may never get totally extinguished. Answers From Silence says, “It’s not that you make everything stop. It’s that you let everything go….everything keeps going. But YOU stop.”

Then you can be, without thoughts.

—JC

The Obstacles To Enlightenment

“I’m not yet adequately evolved spiritually to become enlightened.”

“I don’t want to give up the things that enlightenment requires me to give up.”

“My ego is a powerful adversary that I have to conquer in a titanic inner battle before I can reach enlightenment.”

“Enlightenment is for famous saints, not for an everyday person like me.”

“The collective consciousness of the people on this planet is too violent and materialistic to allow me to rise above it and become enlightened.”

“I need to work out all of my psychological problems first, and then I will be clear enough for enlightenment to happen.”

“After I’m enlightened, all of the people and things that I love are going to seem different to me. I feel sad about losing them.”

“In order to experience the pure consciousness of enlightenment I must stop thoughts from happening, but I can’t overcome the tyrrany of thought.”

“Enlightenment happens so rarely. It could never happen to me in this lifetime.”

“I’m starting to raise a family and build a career. All of those responsibilities will sidetrack me from becoming enlightened.”

People can find even more obstacles to add to the list.

All of these obstacles are perceived as being sufficient to defeat enlightenment.

All of them are invalid.

There are no obstacles to enlightenment.

That is because there are no obstacles to something that is ultimately inevitable.

In that case, the question is: why can’t you just stop waiting and hoping and striving, and say to enlightenment, “Take me, I’m yours,” and have it happen?

It’s because of the mistakes that are being made. The mistakes are:

—believing that you desire enlightenment, and

—believing that you have an individual existence, like a branch believing that it is separate from the tree.

Enlightenment corrects these mistakes.

Answers From Silence says, “You might think that you desire enlightenment. Actually, enlightenment desires you. When you are pushing toward it, you are misperceiving. It is actually pulling you.”

And when you are enlightened, you won’t be enlightened individually. You will be enlightenment, enlightenment will be you, and there will be nothing there but enlightenment.

Beyond that, you may subsequently come to recognize that you were never there at all but instead that divinity was projecting you the whole time. “You” were the offshoot.

And the obstacles to enlightenment were never there either.

—JC

Your Spiritual Path—And Beyond

There are many spiritual paths. A very small list would include:

yoga
wicca
t’ai chi
religion
kaballah
astrology
divination
meditation
channeling
shamanism

Every spiritual path is a means for the development of consciousness and the growth of knowledge and experience. A spiritual path that works for you will be one that picks you up from where you are and carries you to the next level of your evolution toward enlightenment.

At this website I have written even more about paths.

And Answers From Silence says that “everything that happens in a person’s life is their path of enlightenment.”

This seems to be acknowledging the existence of spiritual paths and validating their value and necessity. And I fully support the beneficial results that you get from them.

And yet there is another aspect to the topic.

A path is something that you follow. It requires activity, and the activity unfolds in time.

Enlightenment requires no activity, and it is timeless.

A path leads away from your door. You must go out and track it and see where it leads you.

The enlightened experience is that enlightenment is everywhere. Therefore, enlightenment leads nowhere else. There is no place “to” or “from” it. There is only “in” it.

Seeking advice, my student Gideon asked me, “What path do you suggest that I follow?”

To which I answered, “You don’t need to follow a path. You need to sit still.”

They say that every drop eventually returns to the ocean.

Sit silently. The ocean will come to the drop.

—JC

Meditation Techniques—And Beyond

There are many techniques for meditation. A very small list would include:

Making yourself relax.
Telling yourself to feel peaceful, joyful, or some other positive thing.
Tracking your breathing, perhaps slowing it down and making it very regular.
Concentrating your attention on one point—staring at a candle flame, for example.

And there is something else that you could do.

Nothing.

There is a remarkable result from this.

When you do nothing, there remains only being.

There is no technique for being. You know this, because you exist without trying and without calculation. You are just here.

When you drop into pure being, then these things can begin to happen automatically:

You relax.

You feel peaceful, joyful, and positive.

Your breathing becomes more regular.

Your ability to concentrate becomes stronger.

These are the effortless, automatic by-products of pure being. But they have been turned into meditation techniques in an attempt to reach the cause by imitating the effects. And yes, even though that’s kind of doing things backwards, apparently you can benefit from these techniques, and I support any results that you get from them.

Here, try this non-technique: Stop.

Stop.

Just—stop.

Stop doing anything.

No, I’m not saying that you should hold your breath. I am just saying that you should interrupt your activity, and do nothing, and simply be.

And here is a footnote: There is an important distinction here. It’s not that you make other things stop. Only you stop. Everything else keeps going.

And here is a common issue: The “everything else” that keeps going might even include your thoughts. And one of those thoughts might be that you haven’t stopped if they haven’t stopped. But there’s a solution.

Answers From Silence says, “You are not your thoughts. You were here before they were.”

Because of this, you can stop while they keep going. When this happens, you separate your identity from them. They become part of the scenery.

They may even fade into silence. Or not.

Either way, welcome to pure being.

—JC

Misconceptions of Enlightenment

Take an inventory of your concepts about what an enlightened person is like.

You may find that you expect that, upon enlightenment, such a person:

gives up sex
gains superpowers
is invulnerable to disease
never gets angry any more
won’t experience physical death
never encounters any misfortune
becomes clairvoyant and omniscient
undergoes a personality transformation
is constantly in some kind of lofty trance
starts seeing angels, God, and the future
goes around blessing everyone they meet
takes on solving all of the problems of the world
senses colors as more beautiful, flavors as more tasty

It’s hard to understand where these concepts came from, or why they are so ubiquitous and automatic in our consciousness. They seem to be the archetypal features of mythical superheroes, with perhaps a few odd leftovers from a Puritanical heritage.

But the list may not necessarily be accurate.

For one thing, any concept of enlightenment that you have will be incomplete. Enlightenment is not a concept. It is something lived. It is Life, living you and living through you. That might be all that you can accurately say about it.

For another, enlightenment isn’t about how you behave or about what your circumstances are.

But the biggest problem with the list is that it reinforces the main misconception about enlightenment: that it is beyond your reach.

Answers From Silence says, “It isn’t something that comes only to legendary historical figures. Your enlightenment is inevitable, and it could even happen in this lifetime.”

And, “I thought that this would make me into something else, and I didn’t know what. But I still get to be a human being. Maybe it is for real now, for the first time, and in the best sense of being human.”

Enlightened people may simply continue to live their everyday lives in society, quietly going about their business, which is probably the same business they were going about before enlightenment. It’s just that now they know who they truly are.

So when your enlightenment comes, don’t expect to give up anything or to gain anything.

Other than everything.

–JC