I Am the One Who. . .

"I am the one who chooses." "I am the one who forgives.”

“I am the one who’s grateful."

"I am the one who accepts."

"I am the one who suffers."

"I am the one who thinks."

"I am the one who feels."

"I am the one who’s resilient."

“I am the one who loves.”

"I am the one who’s aware."

Yet, when I try to find the part of me, the part (or parts) of my body, that has the power to do any of the above—I can’t.

In fact, nobody can or ever has.

That’s because I am not a body.

I am the one who knows; the one who experiences a body and all other things.

Who am I?

I am = God’s infinite Being,

I am = Awareness or Consciousness itself.

I am = me, you, us.

This holiday season, and beyond, let’s keep exploring who we are—the sacred answer to peace.

Love, Garret

Thoughts, Principles, and Other Objects

If you’re reading this post, odds are that you have a strong sense that digging into the past, the future, personal situations, relationships, possessions, environments, rituals, or techniques—the objective world—is a step away from Source. A step away from the true Self. A step away from answers. A step away from peace, happiness, and love. And that is wonderful.

But could you be overlooking a big piece to the puzzle?

Namely, that the cognitive approach of plunging into thoughts (feelings and mindset, too) as an alternative is also a step away from Source. That thoughts are also objects. Like other objects, thoughts appear and disappear; they have an objective or empirical quality to them; they are known.

Sure, you can claim (as I used to) that you’re talking about the principle of thought, not personal thought. But what’s the difference? Referring to thought as a principle is the very act of objectifying thought. And clearly, pointing toward objects is the opposite of pointing toward Source.

Why, you might ask, do I bring up this topic?

Simple. When I realized where my own confusion around this work was coming from (i.e., stepping away from who I am in an attempt to find who I am), my life and my work changed on a dime.

See if your experience matches mine.

The ego seeks answers in thoughts, principles, and other objects.

The true Self, on the other hand, does not wander.

Thank you for reading,
Garret

A Matter of Harmony

As you may know, the umbrella term we use for the so-called “physical substance” that is separate from mind is matter. Matter, supposedly, is what all things are made of. In fact, the belief that “I’m made of matter, and other people, objects, and animals are also made of matter,” is what’s used to explain the apparent separation between me and everything else that is “not me.”

But here’s the problem with this belief about separation (and matter): Although scientists keep trying, they’ve yet to find this physical substance called matter. Really. Go ahead and search “Does matter exist?” You’ll be amazed at what comes up.

So, then, rather than keep searching for it, perhaps (and as strange as this might sound) it's time for scientists and the rest of us to admit that matter doesn’t exist.

Perhaps, instead, we should consider viewing experience from this perspective: All things are an image of Consciousness occurring within Consciousness. Perhaps when this is realized, “not me” will permanently be replaced with “we are one.”

To illustrate, here’s a metaphor I learned from a wise teacher of the Consciousness-only model, Francis Lucille: Imagine you’re on a FaceTime call on your phone or computer with two of your friends. What you experience on the screen is three separate boxes with three separate faces. You see what is “me” and what is “not me.” You see lines of distinction. But take a closer look; even tap on the screen if you will. What are the boxes, faces, and lines of distinction actually made of?

The answer: The screen. All things are made of the screen. Or, to be more precise, all things are the screen. And the screen, of course, is a metaphor for the nature of all things: infinite Consciousness itself. Sadly, in favor of accepting separation as real or true, we’ve completely overlooked that, like a FaceTime call on your phone or computer, the separate characters you see exist in appearance only. Try again to find them. Like matter, they’re not actually there.

Brilliant scientists (physicists and neurologists, included) have researched, analyzed, and experimented. They’ve tried to substantiate the apparent separation between “me” and everything else. They’ve tried to clarify the distinction between a perceiving subject and perceived object. They’ve tried to prove duality. They’ve tried to find separate things made of matter.

All to no avail.

That’s why—among your family, community, organization, country, and world—it’s only through the mutual recognition that separation merely exists in appearance, that every “thing" is an image of Consciousness appearing within Consciousness, that peace, love, and harmony will be found.

Perhaps we are one, after all.

Garret

The Benefit of Insecurity

This week, a super-short post about our culture’s addiction to coping with insecurity. Here goes:

While you've been conditioned to believe that insecurity is bad and confidence is good, when you try to rid yourself of insecurity, what you're actually doing is fighting the most valuable intuitive sign. Insecurity means that you’re looking outward for answers. You’re falling for the ego’s ploy of connecting well-being to the objects, techniques, status, rewards, and relationships of the material world.

In other words, if and when you feel insecure—you’re meant to.

Insecurity is a reminder to turn back toward Source. To turn toward the true Self. To not further seek in the material world, but to allow the feeling to come to you. Insecurity is a sign to turn inward.

Thank you for reading, Garret

Who Knows?

Toward the end of a recent event, I was asked this pertinent question:

“If there’s one message to take from today, Garret, what would it be?”

My answer:

“To understand that your body-mind doesn’t know, it is known. To realize that you don’t have experiences, you are experienced. To ask yourself, what part of the body-mind possesses the power to perceive or observe? And then to courageously admit that this body part doesn’t exist.”

Now if, to you, my answer above seems strange. Or if you’re convinced that the personal you (a body-mind) can in fact know or experience itself and a world, then right here and now let’s search for the part of you that actually does this.

Is it your brain?

Well, I get that this is what you’ve been taught, but how can a brain be aware? Even neurologists have yet to find the neural pathways that would make a brain conscious.

How about your heart? Your eyes?

How about your elbow, ears, wrist, or foot?

You get the idea.

Perhaps it’s time to consider that a body-mind isn’t the one that knows or experiences. It’s just a belief that it is. And, again, it was this precise realization that was not only paramount for the audience at the recent event, but for me several years ago as well.

Why was it paramount for me?

Because (and read this slowly) I knew that I was the knower. Yet, since it was not my body-mind who knew—then my body-mind, Garret, could not be the true me.

In other words, it’s not Garret who knows a self (Garret) and a world. Rather, it’s some other me. A true or essential Self that I longed to uncover. And this realization set me on a path of self-exploration—the pathless path of folding inward—that becomes profounder each day.

So, I ask you:

If who you truly are is of interest to you, why not join me on this inward journey back home to peace, passion, freedom, and love?

And then maybe, just maybe, we’ll be in a position to rally the world.

Garret

A Master of Deceit

It’s essential to know that a so-called separate self or ego (a human being who deems himself or herself to be an actual separate entity and not an activity of Consciousness), will do anything to maintain its own “existence.” This includes one in a position of authority or expertise. It will claim, for example, that the separate self is:

Resilient Wise Loving

It will suggest that it owns the power to:

Think Feel Perceive

It will insist that a relationship with other separate selves, or separate objects or methods, are necessary for:

Well-being Clarity Growth

It will validate separateness through concepts such as:

Separate realities Levels of Consciousness States of mind

It will promote the following delusions as positive:

Diversity Agreeing to disagree Borders

It will tout self-defense strategies, coping methods, or distractions along the lines of:

Positive thinking Narrowing focus or visualization Everything happens for a reason

It will trick you into these types of behaviors/attitudes as a personal path to peace:

Gratitude Forgiveness Acceptance

It will aggrandize itself by taking advantage of the culturally conditioned concepts of:

Fear Desire Lack

It will insist that the objective world is a place to look for:

Passion Beauty Love

It will twist spiritual words and mantras like those listed below to daze, confuse, and maintain the illusion of separateness:

Good deeds bring blessings Listen to your soul Pray to a God

Lastly, as I said earlier, to stay relevant or necessary, the separate self or ego will do anything it can to reaffirm the belief that who you truly are is an isolated individual. It will promote:

Self-belief Confidence Personal responsibility

So, then, rather than follow the beliefs of one who deems himself or herself separate, I encourage you to go with your experience. And only your experience.

Has a separate self, separate object, separate world, separate universe, or separate God ever been found?

What do you say?

Can you can find any of those without, or outside of, YOU?

So, is separation even a thing?

From the perspective of “no separation,” is it possible to resist, seek, cope, and thus suffer?

From the perspective of “no separation,” would we not live in Peace?

From the perspective of "no separation,” is there anything to fix? Anyone to hurt?

Experience transcends belief.

Look to experience, not the beliefs—the deceit—of the separate self or ego.

Answers found there.

Garret

The Journey Home

When it comes to true nature, here’s a common question (I was asked the following forms of this question in each of three presentations this past week):

  • Why do we tend to overlook that we are infinite Consciousness itself rather than merely a reflection within infinite Consciousness?
  • Why do we forget that we are a single Being and, instead, focus on the appearance that we are 7.5 billion personal or separate selves?
  • Why do we live in a culture virtually consumed—hoodwinked—by the belief in separation, duality, or materialism?

Well, it turns out there’s a simple explanation for all versions of this inquiry. An explanation that revolves around the journey of self-exploration or discovery—“I am not this; I am that”—which, to varying degrees, everyone travels.

Here’s how this journey tends to play out:

A baby is born and, to it, Consciousness (the baby’s true nature) is merged with experience. A newborn has no understanding of separateness. It doesn’t know itself as distinct from its mother, its cradle, or the room in which it sleeps.

However, because the baby’s experience is known from the perspective of a body (not, of course, from the perspective of its mother, a cradle, or a room), as the baby grows, it is perfectly normal—and necessary—for it to connect its identity to the body from which it formulates experience. Heck, this body is even given a personal name. And it lives in a culture that promotes the belief that the body is, in fact, who the baby truly is.

As a result, at this stage of the journey—the “I am not my mother’s body; I am my body” stage—a separate self, or the concept of being an individual, is solidified. And in spite of the universal inkling (which I know you’ve experienced) that there’s more to me than this body, 99 percent of “individuals” pull the emergency brake on the journey precisely at this stage. This is why we live in a world that views separation as a fact, not merely a temporary reflection or appearance.

And who can blame us for halting this journey?

Those who express an interest in exploring or questioning the existence of this separate self, who express a knowing that “I am greater than this finite body,” who express an interest in continuing the journey of self-discovery are almost always labeled as crazy, freakish, woo-woo, eccentric, or just plain-old weird. (Being a rugged athlete was my cover for years.)

What’s more, virtually all experts in self-help, religion, spirituality, and psychology cater to the idea of relieving the burden of the self. They promote self-belief, nurturing a soul, communication between selves, and numerous tools, relationships, practices, mantras, and techniques designed to fortify what one can never be—a secure separate entity.

Go back to the three versions of the inquiry mentioned at the outset of this article. Do you know the answer now?

Yes or no, here’s my take:

We live in a culture that has cut short the natural journey back to Source.

In fact, my life’s work is about encouraging you to keep going on the journey that takes you away from the idea that you share a body with another such as your mother or an object such as a cradle, to the idea that you are a separate/finite body and, then, with a little bit of courage, back to who you truly are: Consciousness itself. My role is to remind you to not settle. To not allow our culture—this mass of hardened separate selves—to convince you that it’s the only game in town.

Simply ask yourself:

Who or what am I?

Can you find a self or an “I” that is separate?

Has a separate object or world ever been experienced?

When I lose my sense of self, my body, what remains?

Between thoughts, in deep sleep, and upon death, where do I go?

No matter what a world of separate selves or egos claims, let’s kickstart the journey back home.

I am not you.

I am me.

I am not me.

I am infinite and eternal: Consciousness.

Thank you for reading,
Garret

 

 

Think You Can Choose? Then Choose This

As most of you know, I’ve written extensively on the subject of free will versus the will of Consciousness or God’s will. And I sometimes speak about the illusory notion of personal responsibility or choice. In this post, however, I’m going to backtrack a bit and make a suggestion—a concession—from the perspective of the one who thinks he or she owns the power of choice.

That is, if you’re stuck in a personal perspective and, thus, you’re stuck between choices or paths, I’m going to ask you to do this:

Choose the path that best expresses what you hold dear.

Choose the path that best expresses true nature.

Regardless of your finances, popularity, compulsions, security, or any personal justification or motive, choose the path that best expresses equality, freedom, compassion, and peace.

Same goes for my colleagues. If you’re a teacher, coach, parent, partner, or friend whose teaching and/or life is based on pointing away from what’s personal, don’t quibble or jump into the free-will debate with the one who’s stuck in a personal perspective (and, again, from a personal perspective, the power of choice will always appear genuine). Instead, simply offer something along the lines of:

“Which of the choices that you’re considering best reflects who you truly are?”

If someone is stuck between job offers, for instance, which job will allow him or her to simply be him or her?

The answer is clear.

Think you can choose? Fair enough. Just mirror true nature. What you’ll find is there wasn’t actually a choice to begin with. When you look away from the personal—i.e., toward love—the ever-present will of Consciousness or God is easily revealed.

Thank you for reading,
Garret

Your Experience and Mine

When you consider the nature of all things—who you are, what objects are made of, where suffering comes from, how to live or be your best—here are two essential inquiries: What is your experience telling you?

And

Where is your experience taking you?

Not your parent’s experience. Not your teacher’s. Not your coach’s. Not your therapist’s. Not an expert’s. Not a politician’s. Not your partner’s.

Yours. Only yours.

Because, without even realizing it, you (like the overwhelming majority) have spent much of your life overlooking what your experience actually means. You’ve pretty much lived from the presumption that you are a separate or personal self who lives in a separate world of separate selves and separate objects. You’ve bought into the culturally conditioned belief that separation or duality is real. And while this may seem insignificant, I promise it is not.

But, please, don’t take my word for it. Rather, simply check out whether, in your experience, the following scenarios make sense.

Oh, and a quick warning: Because of the aforementioned conditioning and belief, at first glance, these questions might seem complicated or odd. If possible, read slowly.

Here goes.

Have you ever had a thought or a feeling—be it a so-called “joyful” or “anxious” thought or feeling—apart from yourself?

As I said, odd question. But your experience says no, right? No one can have a thought or feeling separate from himself or herself.

So, then, why have you accepted the belief that there is this thing called you, this personal self, and that there are these things called personal thoughts and feelings? Experience says that a thought and feeling appear at the same time that you appear, and a thought and feeling disappear at the same time that you disappear. Again, the world has conditioned you to believe that you are separate from your thoughts and feelings; to believe that you have thoughts and feelings and, thus, the good ones need to be held onto and the bad ones need to be managed or tossed. But, dollars to donuts, your experience is telling you that with each thought and feeling a new you appears. It’s telling you that you are a thought; you are a feeling.

Here’s another ‘“odd” example: Have you ever observed another person, an object, a world, or even a God apart from yourself?

Like in the first example, most will insist that there is you and there is everything else that is not you. But can what is supposedly not you appear without you? Has that ever happened even once?

Your experience says no, right? Another person, an object, a world, or a God cannot exist without an observer.

So, then, why have you accepted the belief that there is the thing called “you,” this personal self, and there are these things called others, objects, a world, or God, when you’ve never experienced anything of the sort? In fact, your experience is telling you that separation is an illusion. That subject and object are one. Your beliefs are telling you that separation exists and, thus, it creates insecurity, isolation, lack, judgment, prejudice, unkindness, and all sorts of problems that need to be solved. But without separation can you name a problem? I guarantee your experience says no.

Now, if you’re still not sure that your experience is telling you that there’s no such thing as separation or duality, even while your beliefs are telling you otherwise—no worries at all.

However, rather than trying to strategically distract or rid yourself from the illusion of separation, rather than seeking connection with what can never be separate, let’s keep going straight to the heart of this illusion. In fact, as a teacher, my only role is to point you, over and over again, back to your actual experience.

Why?

Because that’s the direct route to self-discovery.

Because you cannot understand what you’re deliberately trying to escape from.

Because you cannot repair the illusion of separation by going further into the illusion of separation (the objective world and its relationships, strategies, vices, gurus, and cravings).

Because no one has ever had more than one experience at a time.

Sure, if separation were actual, you’d need to escape; you’d need a cure. But can you actually reach out and touch this belief called separation or is that merely how things appear? Indeed, trying to cure separation, while overlooking the singularity of experience, only fortifies something for which there’s no concrete evidence.

And—in my experience—that, and only that, is what leads to suffering.

And—in my experience—only the realization that “we are what we seek” or “we, and all things, are one” can end suffering and heal the objective world.

How about your experience?

Is it telling you that those you disagree with, or even disdain, exist apart from you or they are the same as you?

Is it taking you away from the one Being we share or toward it?

Your experience and mine: The only true teacher.

Inward and up,
Garret

The Fact of the Matter

A common definition of matter is: “A physical substance distinct from mind.” And, thus, here’s my first question for you today: Has anyone ever found a physical substance, or object, distinct from mind?

Assuming your answer is no (I mean, you’ve never experienced an object separate from yourself, have you?), here’s my second question: Why is the realization that matter can’t exist separate from mind so important?

To answer, let’s go back to the definition of matter. Truth is, our culture is practically built on the false presumption or belief that matter is real (hence this head-scratching definition). Absent of the senses, or independently, matter has never been captured.

And this is so important. Nothing exists separate from you. Matter requires mind. Mind requires matter. They are non-dual. They are not two. This means that a circumstance—a conglomeration of interacting objects—has no actual power over you because without you it isn’t even a thing. This is why those who understand that mind and matter are joined at the hip epitomize resilience, and those who don’t inevitably play victim.

The fact of the matter is that matter can’t be found—separate from the senses, experience, or Consciousness, that is. In other words, substances or objects aren’t physical at all. They appear within Consciousness and are made of it.

Oh, and that brings us to the final reason that grasping the non-dual nature of experience is so important: It points us straight to what all things, including us, truly are: Consciousness itself. And while this realization won’t stop us from experiencing what appear to be objects and circumstances made of matter, it will change how we relate to our experiences. It will provide perspective.

Inward and up,
Garret

Intimacy’s Vital Ingredient

In this post, I’m going to talk about the most vital ingredient when it comes to the intimate bond with a life partner. Although, to be clear, the same ingredient is key to any bond—be it one between friends, parents and children, siblings, colleagues, teammates, even a bond with a pet, sport, hobby, music, art, or career. It’s just that when it comes to intimacy, this vital ingredient becomes glaringly obvious. Believe it or not, the most vital ingredient to an intimate relationship is to NOT seek intimacy in another. In fact, looking to a life partner to satisfy any “fundamental” need—e.g., happiness, peace, passion, or love—is pretty much a recipe for trouble.

Surprised? I don’t blame you. Upon making this suggestion to most audiences, I’m met with some version of, “I thought that’s what a life partner is for?” And I get that. But this is precisely the reason that so many relationships turn rocky.

Rather, before we turn outward, let’s know ourselves. Partners who understand that the true Self does not lack, that it is whole and complete, will rarely look to another for fulfillment. To them, a bond is a means of expression, not a means to seek. Intimacy, therefore, is the mutual expression of who we are—Happiness, Peace, Passion, Love—or true nature itself.

Indeed, placing a burden that can never be satisfied, the burden of intimacy, on another is the most common and damaging mistake a partner can make. That’s why, first, it’s vital to know where intimacy is found. Not outside in the objective experience of a relationship, but inside, in the shared journey back to true nature or Source.

Intimacy is what inevitably results when we stop asking another to fill a hole that doesn’t exist. From the perspective of the true Self, every experience is closer than close can be.

Inward and up,
Garret

 

Spinning Our Wheels in Protest

Here’s a question sure to surprise, frustrate, perhaps anger, and challenge the belief system of many: When, in the history of human beings, has a protest paved the way for peace, love, or lasting transformation?

I know it’s tempting. But please don’t list law changes, temporary feelings of relief, or your personal perceptions of justice.

I want to know when, in your actual experience, resistance to a current situation, fighting for what a person or group thinks is right, standing up for a concept, or protesting what is, has led to a long-term or productive change?

In other words, considering the scores of activists and demonstrations that have taken place over the years, have incidents of discrimination decreased? How about abuse? Terror? Famine? War?

Now, if in your experience, playing the part of protestor or activist has paved the way for peace, love, or true change, then by all means protest away.

But, seriously, I’m asking you to put the ego aside and take a good, long look. Is it your experience that resistance is productive in the long term, or is it a belief, a presumption that won’t let go? Fact is, there’s no proof whatsoever that protests have led to the peace, love, and unity that, deep down, everyone seeks.

To be clear, I am not a pacifist. From my personal perspective, prejudice, abuse, hunger, and war are not even close to acceptable. But in this post, my purpose is simply to prod all of us to look past our personal conditioning to what we know to be true. And then, perhaps, we’ll be in a position to prompt some lasting harmony out there.

So, here’s what we know:

When we head out into the objective world as Peace and Love—which, by nature, are void of personal beliefs, opinions, judgments, and prejudices—we help. When we head out into the world as a separate self or ego—which, by nature, possess all sorts of personal beliefs, opinions, judgments, and prejudices—we hurt.

And this knowing, this experience, is beyond reproach.

Peace begets Peace. Love begets Love. Protests? Resistance? Fighting for your personal perception of what’s right or wrong? You know the deal. More protests. More resistance. More fighting. More separation. We reap what we sow.

We can protest till we’re blue in the face. It has never worked, and it will never work.

Or:

We can know ourselves.

Know that we’re all images or agencies of the infinite Being we call Consciousness or God. Know that nothing occurs outside of, or separate from, this infinite Being. Know that everything is made of this Being, thus lines of distinction do not exist.

And what will ultimately occur from this knowing?

We’ll stop ranting. Stop spinning our wheels in protest because, from this knowing, there’s nothing or no one to resist. There is only Peace, only Love, only One.

From this knowing, we'll be ready to serve.

Thank you for reading,
Garret