nav-left cat-right

God In Disguise

namaste1The greeting, “Namaste” has been translated as “I bow to the God within you.”

When you use this salutation, you are acknowledging that there is Divinity in another person.

In disguise.

The disguise is individuality. Individuality comes from being separate from others, and from being incomplete and unbalanced in traits–some in the foreground, others in the background.

Universal God, by contrast, is Being connected with everything, and is complete and balanced in a state of totality. Accordingly, that is what is disguised beneath someone’s individuality.

It’s easy to see another person as God in disguise when that person is beloved by you.

But then there’s the irritating store clerk.

And the coworker who antagonizes you.

And the slow poke driving in front of you.

When you feel irritated, antagonized, and frustrated, how can you deal with it?

A quick reminder to yourself can help: that person is God in disguise.

Try it next time.

Lifting the disguise changes the complexion of things. It reveals the true Identity, instead of the role being acted in this particular circumstance. And it allows you to sense a compassionate link with the other person, even under challenging conditions.

Answers From Silence says, “You must bless everyone.” And, “I used to ‘sense out’ people when I looked at them. Each person had a different mood and vibe. Now everybody looks and feels the same to me—wonderful.”

But what about people who do truly bad things? How can they be God in disguise?

It can be that the disguise believes in itself and forgets true Identity. And there are degrees of forgetting, even to extremes.

But at the base of all experiencing, pure consciousness is pure consciousness. After that come all of the other levels of consciousness. Even the most forgetful of those couldn’t exist without the foundation of pure consciousness.

mask4A more developed translation of “Namaste” is, “The God in me bows to the God in you.” Which is to say, God is in both places.

Yes, there is one more person who has forgotten true Identity, whose disguise you should lift in order to recognize God.



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.


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.


Why I Am “Never Better”

If someone asks, “How are you?”, I reply, “Never better.”

And sometimes they ask, “Why?”

Meaning, “What wonderful thing happened to cause you to feel so good?”

The answer might be a little surprising.

First of all, no particular wonderful thing happened that caused this.

And if there were, something wonderful could go away or else turn into something that is not wonderful. And that would invalidate “never better”.

Answers From Silence says, “Happiness always changes into something else.”

And, “Don’t ask me if I’m happy. Ask me if I’m indestructible.”

That doesn’t mean indestructible as if my body wouldn’t bleed if scratched, or indestructible as if I never catch a cold, or indestructible as if I have no emotional sensitivity.

It means that this identity has gone beyond cause and effect and has nothing to do with changing circumstances. Instead, it identifies with changelessness and is the same in all circumstances. Therefore, indestructible.

Second of all, this isn’t about feeling good.

Answers From Silence says, “I don’t have to feel happy to be happy.”

This is saying that there are two kinds of happiness: “feel happy” happiness, which is a byproduct of circumstances, and depends on cause and effect; and “be happy” happiness, which is a byproduct of the freedom from cause and effect, and depends on nothing.

Beyond cause and effect there is a beyond-happiness happiness.

And then there is no “why”.


Answers From Silence: An Interview

Answers From Silence was published in the Czech language by the Eugenika publishing house in the Slovak Republic last week (August 24, 2012). If you know someone would enjoy reading this translation, please find it at this link:

In connection with this release, the publisher asked me to answer some interview questions. Here is a selection of them:

EUGENIKA: According to your opinion, why don´t some people desire spiritual growth, enlightenment, wisdom, etc. at all?

JEFFREY CHAPPELL: Answers From Silence says, “Everyone is on their path of enlightenment, and everything that happens in a person’s life is their path of enlightenment. The only difference between some people and others is that they know this.”

If some people don’t desire enlightenment, they are at a stage in their growth of consciousness where it is their path of enlightenment to focus on other matters. But even if they don’t realize it, those people are also on their path of enlightenment.

E: Do you think that even people who have existential problems can attain a mystical level of understanding?

JC: Yes, this level of understanding is available at all levels of experience. Because spiritual growth is the reason for everything, existential problems would exist for the purpose of spiritual growth.

These questions share a theme. The theme is the obstacles to enlightenment. In Question 1, people aren’t interested in it. In Question 2, people can’t rise above existential problems to find it. But the only real obstacle to enlightenment is an unreadiness to give up the old identity, bound by time and space, for the new identity, which is eternal. People will find reasons not to yield to enlightenment even when they are on the brink of enlightenment.

E: You are a musician. How is this fact—and music as such—connected to your sensitivity toward the spiritual dimension of life?

JC: I am not sure that being a musician automatically makes a person more spiritual. But it is true that music is an invisible force. It is the sound of feelings. It puts the soul in order. And it reflects the state of mind of the musician. Because of these intangible but real attributes, you can say that music is very spiritual.

E: Can you imagine being a homeless person, instead of a well-received musician, and still think the way you do? Or, if you would lose everything right now and become homeless, would that influence your beliefs and enlightened attitudes?

JC: Enlightenment isn’t a way of thinking, or beliefs, or attitudes. It is knowledge of who you are. This identity is invulnerable to circumstances. If I lost everything right now and became homeless, it wouldn’t change my changeless identity. Only the circumstances would change.

E: What do you think about entheogens (special chemicals altering consciousness)?

JC: Many states of consciousness are possible. An altered state induced by an entheogen would be one possible state of consciousness. But beyond all states of consciousness there is the unaltered state of consciousness, which is pure consciousness. This is the parent of all the other states of consciousness. It is changeless while they are temporary. The ultimate would be to experience this.

E: What do you think about the origin of life and the universe, even the origin of the Creator/Creative force itself? Do you think we might get to know this “secret of creation” in the afterlife perhaps?

JC: What you know depends on your state of consciousness. Through interaction with your own Enlightened Self, your consciousness can grow into cosmic awareness. Then you can get to know life, the universe, and the Creator/Creative force from that viewpoint.

E: An enlightened person accepts everything and craves nothing. But what if someone wishes to be enlightened and at the same time still has some concrete, human desire which is still not being fulfilled, and he/she just can’t stop desiring it (e.g., desire for a beautiful love relationship, or whatever)?

JC: Each desire you fulfill clears the way for your next desire. The final desire is for enlightenment. Therefore, ultimately every desire leads you to the desire for enlightenment. Because of that, there is no conflict between the desire for a beautiful love relationship and the desire for enlightenment. To believe that finding enlightenment requires renouncing earthly love is a mistake.

E: What do you think is the best contribution to the world these days?

JC: The best contribution these days is to accelerate the growth of your own consciousness and to teach others what you know.


This Will Change Your Life

“This will change your life.” It’s a phrase that you hear in advertising all of the time. The question for me is, why is this supposed to appeal to people? Don’t you like your life the way it is?

Apparently not. The advertiser’s assumption is that you are dissatisfied for some reason. You feel stuck, overlooked, disadvantaged. You need a change. Their product will be that change.

The customer’s assumption is that this change will mean catapulting into an arena of living that was previously inaccessible, with a big boost in positive benefits.

I’m open to that possibility. It can happen.

And it sounds like some people’s idea of enlightenment.

People want to know: Are you suddenly luckier, richer, more successful?

And things like: Do you see colors better? Can you control traffic lights? Do you know who is on the other side of the door knocking before you open it?

Answers to these kinds of questions appear at this website in the articles “Ask Your Enlightened Self” and “The Mr. Enlightenment Interview”. Chapter 7 of Answers From Silence also has a lot of “that was then, this is now” information in it.

But positive benefits, sensory enhancements, and psychic abilities are not the essence of the matter. The essence of the matter is identity. Answers From Silence says, “Enlightenment is the shift of identity from that which is bound by time and space to that which is eternal.”

And, “Everyone is on their path of enlightenment, and everything that happens in a person’s life is their path of enlightenment.”

This will change your life because you are getting closer to enlightenment every second. Your life just changed. And there, it just changed again. And there, it just changed again.

In the time it took you to read this, you approached enlightenment just that much closer.

And when enlightenment happens, the biggest change of all to your life takes place: it isn’t your life any more. Instead, universal consciousness lives through you. And then the phrase, “This will change your life” ceases to be applicable.

When your sense of who you are changes, your sense of ownership changes along with that—the new you is the new owner. If the new you is eternal, unbounded, and all-inclusive, then ownership of just one single life completely fades away like the light of a torch next to the sun.