The Unlikely Trio of Pierce Brosnan, Climate Change, and the Belief in Separation

This past Sunday, Pierce Brosnan gave a moving commencement address at my daughter Chelsea’s college graduation ceremony. He’s a tireless environmental activist. In the face of mounting climate change, he’s working hard to save the earth. He pointed out all the issues, including those people who must be opposed in order to turn climate change around.

But here’s the thing: A damaged environment is not the result of bad people. It’s the result of the near-universal conditioning that has us believe we truly are individual people; separate selves who lack. This belief has virtually all of us taking from the environment, and some fighting to protect the environment, to fill this sense of lack.

Climate change is but one of many effects of the belief in separation. The belief that the true Self shares the limits and fate of a human being.

This is why—even though I, too, crave to save the environment—more so than ever, I’m now committed to point my audience away from the scourge of this materialistic belief. No one has ever found a separate self, object, or world. Experience is screaming out that separation, materialism, does not exist. We are infinite and eternal and so is the environment.

In fact, many of those with whom I work have found selfless freedom, passion, and purpose by exploring the infinite and eternal nature of the true Self and by recognizing the indivisible nature of experience. To save humanity and the planet, then, we must first and foremost rid the world of the belief that we are anything but whole. Survival of the fittest—and the need to ruin or take—will then be seen for what it is: an unfounded theory whose days are short.

Not on a foundation of science, research, politics, or good versus bad will climate change be solved.

Rather, we must understand who we are. It’s simply impossible for who we are, the true Self, Consciousness, Love, or God, to do damage.

On Sunday, Pierce Brosnan, unknowingly, failed to provide a substantive solution. Like we all do from time to time, he fortified the belief in division. He mobilized an innocently ignorant mentality of “us versus them.”

We share a Being. We—and the environment—are this Being. And we know it deep inside.

On the foundation of this truth, and this truth alone, will we treat the environment as ourselves so the healing can begin.

Love,
Garret

It's Never Our Fault

Here’s an important reminder about the forgetting (and remembering) of true nature and the price we pay for this forgetting:

It’s never our fault.

In fact, the belief that we human beings are personally responsible for the forgetting of who or what we truly are—the belief that it’s our fault when we overlook that we’re merely images or activities of Consciousness; that it’s our fault that we suffer and then take out this suffering on each other (the price we pay)—is innocently ridiculous.

To illustrate, let’s say an actor named John gets so lost in the character he’s playing, named Jim, that he continues to live from perspective of Jim well after a performance. A friend even calls out to John with no response at all. Until, that is, the friend calls him Jim.

So, who was it that overlooked who he truly is? Was it John, or was it Jim?

It was John, of course.

And who or what is it that overlooks who or what we truly are? Is it Consciousness, or is it us?

It is Consciousness, of course. How can an image or activity—i.e., a human being or person—possibly overlook something?

It is Consciousness that creates the appearance of us human beings, and it is Consciousness that gets lost in its own creation.

It is Consciousness that veils its infinite and eternal nature, and then ignorantly overlooks or forgets that a veil is in place.

The bottom line is that for peace, love, and happiness the complete absence of blame is essential. The notion of personal responsibility and harmony cannot go hand in hand.

Rather than ramp up burden or pressure, then, let’s keep in mind:

It’s never, ever, our fault.

Thanks for reading,
Garret

Not Even This Post

Here’s a brief end-of-week reminder:

Never believe what someone else says. Not the words of famous people, gurus, or change agents. Not even this post.

Rather, check in with experience. Your own experience.

For example, just because Viktor Frankl claimed that we control our attitude no matter the circumstance, in your experience, is this 100 percent true? Just because Jesus advised us to treat others as we'd like to be treated, in your experience, are there such entities as others? Just because Syd Banks offered that a positive reality can be created by conjuring up positive thoughts, in your experience, does this actually work or is it even possible?

To be clear, what the above references are missing, what we overlook when we follow these types of teachings or words, is the context in which they were said. Perhaps Frankl, for example, was pointing to the illusory nature of circumstance, and "control" was an added concession based on the current understanding (way of thinking or perspective) of his audience.

We'll never know. And, again, that is why we mustn't blindly adopt or believe what someone else says.

Is the credo you live by, share, or teach built on belief? Or are you living an authentic life with experience as the foundation?

Based on experience, it's worth a look.

Have a great weekend,
Garret

The Difference

Typically, when a performer, team, or organization is considering hiring me for a speaking engagement, to conduct a daylong workshop, or as a consultant, I’m asked some variety of the following question:

“In a sea of self-help experts, motivational gurus, psychologists, and so-called mind coaches, what, Garret, is different about your approach?”

My stock answer (which provokes disinterest about ninety-five percent of the time and curiosity about five percent of the time):

“My approach does not overlay another idea, theory, pep talk, or strategy on top of the personal self or body-mind we’ve been conditioned to be. Rather, my approach—self-inquiry—is the process of questioning the very nature of this personal self.”

In other words, experience tells me that the belief in a personal self is the foundation of all forms of suffering, tension, or turmoil. And while we might find a fleeting good feeling in taking the self through a series of excursions, practices, states of mind, relationships, or techniques, to find lasting peace we must first uproot this belief. We must be utterly certain that who we truly are is not the needy, lacking, and isolated product—a personal self—of our conditioning. We must come to understand that the power to experience, know, and even think does not reside within the body.

To be super clear, I’m not suggesting that self-inquiry is right for everyone. Most of us remain wooed by and dependent on the thrills, chills, and grandeur of the material world. Most of us glorify the body-mind or being human. Thus, we must exhaust all materialistic—including spiritually materialistic—alternatives before we’re prepared for the eradication of seeking in that world, or before we realize that we cannot find who we are by stepping away from who we are. In fact, most of us are simply not satisfied by the basic, standard, or, dare I say, neutral promise of self-inquiry.

But for those called to hold still, for those ready to allow the mind to fold inward, the pathless path is both familiar and fascinating. To them, this approach is the only game in town.

What’s different about self-inquiry?

In one manner or another, it asks the personal self to not satisfy its cravings, and, instead, to take a genuine look at the one who craves.

After all, before we ask others to think, behave, believe, or live in this way or that, shouldn’t they first understand who or what they truly are?

Shouldn’t you?

Thanks for reading,
Garret

Always Consciousness, Never You

Here’s a brief reminder about the process of self-exploration, self-discovery, understanding who you truly are, surrender, or returning home to Source:

It’s not up to you.

In other words, you’re not capable of veiling the infiniteness from which you spring. You’re not capable of overlooking that you’re merely an image or agency of Consciousness (or God). And you’re not capable of ending the search for wholeness, security, or love in the material world and turning back inward.

Only Consciousness is capable.

Yes, I know. You, like all human beings, yearn to be personally responsible and in control. You’ve been taught that being in the driver’s seat is essential. Thus, you believe that it’s you who’s in charge of thoughts, attitudes, and actions. Including the forgetting and remembering of who you truly are.

But check in with your actual experience:

  • Why would you choose to overlook your very essence?

  • Why would you choose to feel separate?

  • What part of you provides the power of forgetting, remembering, choosing, or being in control—where in the body is that found?

You’ll search for the answers forever.

Again, you are the agency through which Consciousness knows manifestation, the agency through which Consciousness becomes caught up in manifestation, and the agency through which Consciousness wakes up to its own creation.

The prodigal son did not wander, or seek, of his own volition. And he did not do an about-face and head for home of his own volition. He was not personally responsible. 

Veiling and unveiling; forgetting and remembering; the appearance of duality and the dissolution of this appearance. These are natural properties of Consciousness.

Always Consciousness, never you.

Thanks for reading,
Garret






Absent of the Personal, Love Abounds

As some of you know, my father passed away three months ago. As only a few of you know, my father and I had, to say the least, a tumultuous relationship. In fact, it was the fallout from this relationship that initiated my journey of self-discovery many years ago. Upon his passing, however, this journey has taken an unexpected and profound turn that I’m ready to share with you today.

Truth is: In the waning months of my father’s life, I became increasingly worried that we wouldn’t clear up the misgivings between us. Even worse, I was terrified that I would live with resentment toward him the rest of my life. And during my visits to Florida to see him or take him to treatment over the past year, these fears were confirmed—he expressed no willingness for compassionate closure and no desire to make amends. It seemed that he just couldn’t face it. And although I kept it to myself, my concern and resentment were building and building right up until the day he died. 

But here’s the unexpected and profound turn I referenced earlier: Now that his body is gone, I’m experiencing no resentment at all. Any sense of blame has vanished. On the contrary, without trying to forgive or let go, my love for my father has never been more present and powerful. It’s virtually impossible to conjure up a memory with pain.

So, what’s this all about? Simple actually: Absent of the personal, love automatically abounds. It is the body-mind that veils who we truly are, love (Consciousness or God’s infinite Being) itself. In other words, love’s not found in a person. My father’s body has gone, and now, the love underneath—a love that’s always billowing beneath the surface—is all that remains.

To be clear, I don’t mean to imply that to know love, the death of the human body is required. Even through heartache, my father and I shared many loving moments where we lost ourselves in sport, in long drives to my games or tournaments, or in talks about our mutual interest in coaching (incidentally, he was one heck of a hockey coach).

What is required to know love, however, is the felt experience that we are not the body-mind. Again, love is the mutual recognition of the Being we share. When a sense of self, or the body-mind, dissolves or passes on, this shared Being is revealed.

Sadly, my father didn’t quite see this. As body-minds are wont to do, he searched for a good feeling—for love—in activities, in environments, and in others. Particularly in me, his oldest child. It was this very seeking that obscured his love. And to be fair, it was resistance to his seeking that obscured mine. 

But no more.

My father and I were love. My father and I are love. And now, effortlessly, this love is building and building with each passing day.

Thank you for reading these words. It means a lot to me.

Love,
Garret

The Foundation

Are you living a life whose foundation is belief?

Is your life built upon the belief that you’re, say . . . an American?

Or a member of a specific religion or community?

How about a race, gender, or orientation?

Or that you’re a liberal or conservative?

An introvert?

A people person?

A competitor?

An environmentalist?

Or the primary belief that you were born and are going to die—that who you truly are is the body and mind?

If so, I’d like to propose another option.

But first, to be clear, I’m not suggesting that there’s anything wrong with the above. It’s just that most of us, without realizing it, are living a life built upon what our conditioning has told us is true. Most of us are living a life built upon labels void of actual experience. Most of us are living a life built upon belief. And that you might want to reconsider.

Why?

Because beliefs change. They’re transient. They come, they go. They can only persist (for a while) via the grind of discipline, tension, or will. Which, sadly, we’re taught is good for us.

But what about a life built upon the only thing that doesn't change?

What about a life built upon the only thing you can say for sure is true?

What about a life built upon your very essence?

In other words, what about living a life with Consciousness (or Awareness) as the foundation?

You’ve never experienced an absence of Consciousness. You’ve never been separated from Consciousness. Consciousness has never come, never gone. Consciousness is ever-present and precious.

Therefore, rather than a belief, eternal Consciousness—and not the transient body and mind—must be who or what you truly are. 

In fact, with Consciousness as the foundation, go ahead and conceptualize, rationalize, even believe.

With Consciousness as the foundation, you’re on the solid ground.

With Consciousness as the foundation, you’ll live a life in the material world but not of it. 

A life of peace.

A life of happiness.

A life of freedom.

A genuine life of love.

Thank you for reading,
Garret





Perception, Projection, and Reality

A separate self, a human being, will experience a world in two varying ways. He or she will experience:

A world made of matter.

Or

A world made of mind. 

In other words, there’s perception (sometimes termed materialism or outside-in), or there’s projection (sometimes termed idealism or inside-out). 

And while from the perspective of a human being, perception and projection are the only two options, in this article, I’m going to recommend that it makes little sense to rank one over the other, share one as truth and the other as mistruth, or try to live a life based on either.

Why?

Because a human being, as you’ve experienced, lives in a natural state of flux.

For instance, we often suggest that others can bring us love, but suffering, “no—that’s from the inside.” Or we might propose that what we see and feel are figments of our own thinking, but we still seek to mold ourselves, others, objects, states of mind, and circumstances in a quest to improve our feelings. Or one minute a rainy day brings gloom, the next minute we can’t wait to take a walk in the rain.

So why this apparent inconsistency?

Simple. We overlook that both perception and projection are cut from the same cloth. They both take place within us. And, thus, we’ve become super interested in perception or projection, rather than this space in which they appear. In short, we tend to explore the glittering objects of experience, not the basic nature of experience. We tend to explore how the world operates, not what the world is. We tend to explore how we work—how the mind works, how observation works, how thought works—not who the heck we are.

And what might we find if we were to explore the fundamental nature of experience, the world, and ourselves?

That mind and matter are not separate realities. They are not two. In fact, we just might find that mind and matter can only come into existence when the reality of experience—that mind and matter are co-created images or illusions that appear in us (Consciousness), are made of us (Consciousness), and are known by us (Consciousness)—is ignored.  

The bottom line is that a human being has no actual power to perceive or project. And matter has no actual power to be perceived or projected. 

Mind and matter are nothing more than illusory modulations of Consciousness. From the perspective of Consciousness, there’s no such experience as matter influencing mind or mind projecting matter; there’s no such experience as cause-and-effect. From the perspective of Consciousness, there’s only Consciousness. 

This is why, rather than an outside-in model, an inside-out model, or any materialistic model or paradigm, it’s becoming more obvious to me each day that a Consciousness-only model is worth our consideration.

This is why a Consciousness-only model—a model that suggests that we (mind) and the world (matter) are not separate but one and the same—is the bulwark of Peace.

Thanks for reading,
Garret

 

 

What It Takes

These days, I often hear some version of the following statement:

“But Garret, it will take years to understand who I truly am; years to grasp the intimacy of all experience; years to be able to clearly explain true nature, Consciousness, or non-duality to my clients, audiences, or even my family. I have to teach, coach, be a friend, or parent. I have to make a living. I have to live my life!”

Fair enough. It could indeed take years.

So here’s an idea: Right here and now, share from where you are. Share what you know.

There’s just one caveat . . .

Make sure that what you share points to the Knower, not the known. To Source, rather than away from Source. Inward toward what’s aware of the material world, as opposed to outward toward the material world itself.

For instance: Suggesting that someone visualize success, the flight of a golf ball, or a million dollars in the bank is not the same as suggesting that someone visualize who they were prior to the intrusion of the programmed beliefs of our culture. Suggesting that someone explore thoughts and feelings is not the same as suggesting that someone explore the eternal space in which thoughts and feelings appear. Suggesting that someone look within the body and mind for answers is not the same as suggesting that someone look within the Self.

It’s simple.

For a life of service, all it takes is love, support, and a resolute point inward.

And you have what it takes.

Because you, my friend, are what it takes.

Thanks for reading,
Garret

The Belief That Spawns All Belief

Thoughts happen within you. 

No doubt.

You experience a world.

No doubt.

But here’s the thing:

Has a thought ever been discovered inside a body?

Not as of yet.

Has the mechanism or pathway through which a body experiences a world ever been found?

Not as of yet.

So, then, rather than analyze thought; rather than search for the personal power to experience; rather than adhere to the belief that thoughts happen within a body or that a body is aware; rather than follow belief after belief—all of which stem from the primary belief that who you are shares the limits and destiny of the body—here’s an idea:

Hold still and explore this self that you’ve been conditioned to be.

Who is this YOU in which thoughts appear?

Who is this YOU that experiences?

The first step on the pathless path home is the realization that this YOU is not the body.

Without this recognition, there’s only belief. 

And Peace, Love, Freedom, and Happiness—the true Self—are found in the absence of belief. 

Garret

 

 

What We Know, Truly

What, other than the fact that you’ve never experienced an absence of Awareness, do you know to be true?

For example:

If you wake up and the grass is wet, do you know that it rained?
Do you know, for sure, that you control your thinking, attitude, and actions?
That hard work is the key to success?
That a growth mindset is better than a fixed mindset?
That a focus on process is better than a focus on outcome?
That struggle builds character?
That positivity is better than negativity?
That you are a specific religion or nationality?
That borders are real.
That human beings have the power to think, feel, or know?
That matter exists independent from mind?
That you can have a cluttered mind?
That you were born?
That you die?
That you grow old?
That you are a woman or man?
That you work outside-in?
That you work inside-out?
That your feelings come from your thinking?

The answer: Well, have you actually experienced any of the above?

Or do they represent layers upon layers of opinion? Layers upon layers of ego? Layers upon layers of dogma? Layers upon layers of belief?

All taking you further away from Truth.

All taking you further away from the essence of experience.

All taking you further away from the only “thing” that you can ever be:

The true you—Awareness itself.

Garret

The True Meaning of Stillpower

Note: This week, a second article (relevant to those interested in both the original work of Syd Banks and Non-duality) can be found on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/garret.kramer.1.  G

 —

What seems like a lifetime ago, my first book, Stillpower, was published. Actually, and it seems funny to say, I wrote much of the book under the working title: Why the Grind?

But even funnier, or not, it wasn’t till about five years ago that the true meaning behind both titles became glaringly obvious.

That is, as a former grind-it-out type of athlete, person, and thus sufferer, I long ago intuited that there had to be a better way. In the recesses of my mind, I knew that effort should be essentially effortless. That passion and toil were antonyms. I knew that the only place “the grind” ultimately takes you is to the emergency room, if not to a counselor’s couch.

I also knew that stillpower trumped willpower. So, I wrote an entire book encouraging this understanding. And because at the time this understanding was relatively new to the world of performance, the book helped my career tremendously.

The book, however, missed the mark tremendously.

And here’s why:

It’s not work, effort, thorough exploration, or detailed study that’s ever an actual problem. Rather, it’s the perspective from which you work, bring effort, explore, or study. Are you seeking externally, in the material world, or looking within? Are you grasping for objects or exploring the Self? Are you straying from Source or staying with Source?

In short, seeking externally will always feel like a grind because when we look for who we are in who we are not (thoughts, feelings, the body, relationships, money, gurus, championships, status, practices, activities, substances), we’ll always suffer. Thus, we’ll need to summon willpower or grind to carry us through.

On the other hand, looking toward Source (Consciousness, Awareness, God’s infinite Being, or Love) will always feel calm and quiet, simple yet energetic, because there’s no actual step from who we are to who we are. Thus, looking to Source requires no force or exertion.

The bottom line is that exploring Source or Consciousness—i.e., self-inquiry, surrender, or the folding of the mind into the heart—does require time; it does require effort. In order to know who you are, you must hang out with who you are. But it won’t take a toll (when that happens, you’re again seeking in the material world). Self-inquiry spawns effortless effort, or stillpower, indeed.

“Stillpower” was the right word. I was on the right track. Yet, stillpower bordered on becoming a method rather than the cessation of methods; it bordered on becoming an object rather than the intuitive effect of inward exploration. 

Speaking of inward exploration, The Path of No Resistance  . . who knew?

Garret