Previous month:
March 2019
Next month:
May 2019

April 2019

There is no substitute for love.

Poverty is living without love in our hearts. No amount of money, fame, status, good looks or material possessions can lift us out of poverty if love is not flowing freely from within.

When our love is blocked by fears and rejected by other insane thoughts, we suffer greatly. We may then try to cover up the hole inside with distractions and addictions, but this only temporarily relieves the suffering while causing other problems and holding us back from our potential.

This is a story we know is true because it is so often repeated. The rich and famous show us plenty of examples—the addictions, the suicides, the personal failure and misery despite all the external success. Hard to believe, but these are impoverished souls who have forgotten about love. These are great teachers and we are finally learning the lesson of love.

While there is no substitute for love, there are countless words all describing it: presence, stillness, life energy, consciousness, salvation, spirit, faith, freedom, unconditional acceptance, joy, inspiration, God, truth, beauty—these words all describe the same thing (though it really isn’t a thing because it flows from a realm of spaciousness beyond form).

Love is what we are, but the world has conditioned our minds to block it. A daily spiritual practice undoes the damage and unblocks us—re-conditioning the mind to align with the thought system of love instead of fear. What we are doing here is nothing short of ending poverty from the inside out. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.   


I am never upset for the reason I think. (Eckhart Tolle)

We may get upset when something bad happens or when someone says or does something that offends us. In such cases, we may tell ourselves that, if this or that hadn’t happened, we would be happy. We may try to control events or we may hide away in isolation—always trying to fight against or to avoid that which we don’t like.   

In truth, there is only one reason we are ever upset: total identification with the mind and belief in its stories. This is the ego, and there is a severe price to be paid if we choose not to transcend ego. Each time the ego feels threatened, we are overtaken by a strong, negative force. This is what Eckhart Tolle calls the pain body—what might more commonly be called getting mad.   

We get mad, we vent, we act out, we say things we don’t mean. Everyone gets hurt and there’s really no point. Eventually, we apologize for going crazy and then we try to clean up the mess we made. But a few days pass and it happens all over again. We don’t know what came over us. Ego did.

On those few occasions when things go well, the ego gets a boost of pride and we can finally smile. But for every up, there is then a down—those days when getting out of bed seems like the biggest chore. All the while, there is this constant worry about the future and regret about the past. This is the normal state of human suffering—a state which is entirely avoidable forever if we only place our faith in love, in the present moment, in life itself, in the eternal oneness of consciousness.

The ego is mad, and you know it because it has always been wrong about everything. Have its strategies ever brought lasting happiness? What reason is there to believe that tomorrow will be any different? We continue not in ego, but in love, tomorrow and each day after that.


The problem is always lack of love

Yesterday we said that errors call for correction, not punishment, and that the correction is love. Today we consider what this looks like in practice.

Punishment is easy. It removes all responsibility from the so-called innocent, asks little of us, and allows us to remain detached. When the punishment invariably fails, it is never seen as our fault. Instead, we may rationalize that perhaps the punishment wasn’t severe enough and that more violence is justified next time.

But the loving response—the only true correction—asks more of us than this. We must go within to see beyond our differences, to realize that we are all brothers and sisters. In love, we may then respond to the need using any means necessary. We humble ourselves, we serve, we get our hands dirty, we do whatever it takes to address the unmet need at the core of the problem.     

At the core, we find that the problem is always lack of love. Sometimes there are external manifestations of this problem that must be undone first (i.e. breaking serious drug addiction, undoing destructive thought patterns, lifting each other out of poverty, breaking cycles of abuse). We can use any means necessary to tear down the walls blocking love, but the purpose of intervention must always be undoing the problem—not merely punishment.

If the problems of this world seem too large, too impossible to address, it is only because we have failed to love for so long—failed at each step of the way. We now realize that any lack of love is the tragedy. Lack of love in our hearts and actions is the only sin—the only error that we are now correcting. We continue tomorrow and each day after that. 373

Errors call for correction, not punishment

Today’s lesson is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood:

To error is to act without love. The correction to error is always perfect love.

Punishment teaches that violence is an option and that fear is real. There is no love in this message just as there is no such thing as “tuff love”. There is either love or absence of love.

Punishment, while still the most common response to error, is a tragic error in itself. So we correct those who would punish by extending perfect love.

We are here to remember what perfect love is and to learn how to extend it. To that end, we continue tomorrow and each day after that.


Abscondo Podcast #65: Religion vs. Spirituality

Religions, even multiple faiths and inspired teachings, all point to the same truth.

Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other Podcast Channels. 


Truth cannot be grasped, only pointed to.

I sometimes talk with my 9-year old daughter about spirituality, love and ego. During these talks, she easily gets it. Then some amount of time goes by and she may ask, “Hey Dad, explain ego to me again.”

Spiritual truth is such that it is not just learned once and then grasped. It isn’t like memorizing math formulas or historical facts. Facts can be easily understood, certain skills can be learned and then possessed—but the realm of love, consciousness, God, ultimate truth cannot be held onto. Just as soon as spiritual wisdom is accessed, it starts to slip away.

This is the stuff of perception beyond physical form—a knowing that flows from an invisible realm that cannot be possessed by the mind or by the senses. To access the realm of spiritual wisdom, some amount of daily repetition is required. Spiritual teachings are merely words—and the words are not the truth. Spiritual words are just the sounds we make to teach our minds to see beyond the stuff of this world. Words cannot be truth; rather, they can only point to the truth.

Meditation is another language—a language of silence and no thought—which also unblocks the mind so that the realm of perfect truth can be accessed. For meditation to be effective, we must go there daily to remember.

Religious fundamentalists often get so caught-up in their particular words and rituals that they forget to meditate on the silent, still inner-truths that the words point to. But the spiritually awakened among us, on the other hand, are comfortable using words and practices from multiple faiths and traditions. We know that the power is not in the form. The form of our spiritual practice either helps us point to the truth or fails to do so. Either way, there’s nothing to get worked up about or to argue about.

All spiritual teachings require a quiet, inner interpretation. By using various words and rituals to go within and beyond, we access the infinite intelligence that flows from the unmanifested. There is no one right way. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.


True confidence is absense of fear in all situations.

Self-confidence is all about believing we are better than others in some way. One person has a better body, another is a star at some sport, gifted in musical abilities, more educated or has more money than most people. So we cling to our strengths as our identity.

Whatever the particular strength, we then convince ourselves that this is the area of life that matters—this is what we are interested in and, of course, this particular thing is superior to all other traits or interests. Others simply don’t get it!

So the hot girl in the room—while she may only be 19 years old, has little life experience, no money of her own, no accomplishments or even personal freedom—quietly convinces herself that she is superior than the 50 year old woman who has raised 3 kids, accomplished so much, lost so much, been through it all (even being the hot 19 year old once upon a time). How silly, fragile and temporary is the young girl’s sense of self-confidence.

Similarly, the guy with the biggest muscles in town may have a lot of self-confidence from that, but if he finds himself in the company of a group of intellectuals, he may feel stupid and it may erode very quickly. So he keeps to the familiar—tragically limiting his potential.

Total confidence involves no concept of “self”. “Self” is of the ego—based in physical form. It is derived from differences—from the external. It is an illusion that inevitably crumbles and leads to suffering.

True confidence is the absence of fear in all situations. Spiritual or religious people call it faith. I would add that it is the ability to move through the world without letting the external touch you. Confidence is becoming aware that you are eternal consciousness and not physical form. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.


War is the conflict of illusion

Follow any illusion to its extreme and the result can only be war. War is, of course, destruction.  Illusion will always be challenged with a different illusion—leading to a futile battle about which is right. When the war is over, the answer will always be neither.

Peace can only be found in truth. Here there can be no conflict because there is nothing that needs defense. Only that which is beyond debate is true. Love—our core need for love within—is beyond debate. Consciousness is beyond debate. We are alive. We observe. I am. In truth, we are all the same in oneness.

When we lay aside all illusion, we extend peace. We become love. How do we know what is illusion and what is real? Anything we feel compelled to debate or defend—that’s illusion. We let this stuff go to dwell in truth.

We continue tomorrow and each day after that.


Relationship honesty


And if your truth is loving—expressed in a sensitive way with compassion and understanding—your relationships will live forever.

This requires a daily practice to undo the violent communication patterns which are so normal in this world.

One day not too long ago, there was a man who believed that, by protecting his wife from his truths, he was protecting her from pain. But, time and time again, the truth would surface (as it always does) and rip away all trust between them. Their pain—the undoing of their perfect love—was excruciating.

Through this experience, the wife learned that her husband’s truths were terrible. More and more, she resisted his truths and became convinced that he was an evil person. They had become strangers—sinking ever more deeply into untruth and painful isolation.

If he had found a way to speak with her truthfully and with compassion from the very beginning, and if she had found a way to open her heart and mind in return, theirs would have been a relationship so blissful as to transcend the suffering of this world.

But errors can be corrected. These are mistakes we shall no longer repeat. The lessons have been learned and the relationships of this world are being quietly transformed. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

Actions never bring the intended results.

Imagine you are looking at a pendulum in its natural, resting position—hanging straight down in accordance with the force of gravity. Let’s say you decide that it should be moved to the right, so you pull it. Now what happens when you let go? It swings directly to the opposite direction, goes back and forth for a while, then ultimately settles right back into its natural position.

The same is true in everything we do. Our attempts to change people, or to change the world, will only bring about wild swings and meaningless dramas until everything ultimately settles right back to the natural position.

When governments pass laws to change our behavior, the people rebel by doing the opposite. The same is true when we try to change our partners, our friends, or children.

Wars are won and wars are lost—but, given enough time, everything always returns to its natural resting position. Even well-intentioned attempts to control nature bring chaos and destruction—but, given enough time, nature will effortlessly establish an equilibrium (whether humans ultimately remain to witness this or not).

Splash the water, create the waves, then watch the waves settle.

The Tao Te Ching teaches us not only about God—the unmanifested from which all things are born and to which all things return—it also teaches us about harmony and balance. Wisdom means letting things be, accepting what is, because we know that it is not possible for us to change anything anyway.

We may seem to have the power to move the pendulum to one side, but it will only stay there if we continue holding it. At some point, we must let go. When we do, the universe reminds us that we possess no true power outside of nature’s perfect balance. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.