Archive for category Environment

God: a Symbol of our Collective Powerlessness (From my new book: The Liberation Way: At Home on Planet Earth


Men of Faith (I just couldn't resist this picture)

When our sense of ourselves is incomplete we want a god to be there for us. This want is personal and strong.
When we embrace a moral code that condemns the behaviors of others as wrong, evil, sinful, we want “our” god to bring justice to these people, societies, and even countries in this life or the next. We thirst for justice and we see our god as the ultimate deliverer of justice.
When we depend on god to do our violence, our retribution, we will do innumerable horrors in his name. Because our god is not real, we know that unless we act in his name, nothing will happen. Our blood needs will go unfulfilled. If we truly relied on our god, this would be the very god we would cease asserting our belief in. Acts of horror are always done in the name of our invalidated identity. The vacuum of inner powerlessness gets filled with belief, faith, and hunger. Violence ensues and for a moment we celebrate the blood-letting. Then the shadows of anger, rootlessness, confusion, and powerlessness fall again, so the search for the enemies arises again in our quenchless souls. We lack the inner conviction to trust our world, we invent a god to take care of those we love and to punish those we hate.

Where the decisive belief of the hunter was his alertness, his awakened nature to the world around him, we have turned that bedrock quality around and buried underneath our god. We don’t need to be alert. We don’t need to see. We can close our minds and leave it all to god. We make them the heavy, as we make ourselves light weights. We bury our lives in mindless television, hate and gossip mongering, in the cold, certain comfort of our brittle identities.
This is why most of us are wary of science. After all, the best science reflects the methods of the hunter. It keenly observes the universe and with its vast wealth of observations draws tentative conclusions about this miraculous universe. It is alive in its alertness. In its purest form, it is a true rebirth of the primordial hunter who watched the skies, smelled the seas, and knew every tree in his land. When we fail to explore the path of science, when we label it as “just another belief”, we posit a god to explain a complex universe and remain comfortable within our complacency.
Thus the desire for a god is wedded in profound unhappiness and a powerless submission to the interactive universe that we are a part. The need for a god is a reflection of our greater powerlessness. The power we lack is projected onto a projected and faith-based being.

Explore that powerlessness. If you find it in yourself, learn more about it. If we lack power at all, that lack can only be found in the personality we believe ourselves to be. Lack is a belief wedded to a projected persona. It is attached to the person we believe ourselves to be, but what we are not. That person is the other side of the god/me coin. He who observes is the hunter peeking through the all but opaque veils of the false-self.

For when we believe we lack power, we will, by necessity, project that lacked energy onto something external to ourselves. This explains why where lack is most acutely felt, there is the greatest propensity for self-righteous violence, as well as its opposite, the propensity for complete resignation; giving up. Resignation is a sign that we have both felt the anguish of close proximity to our Wound and we have our Fear-Selves have lost confidence in their personas. The collapse of the energetic Fear-Selves results in the creation of an exhausted, defeated Fear-Self. This weakened Fear-Self represents a step in the direction of liberation, but it is only a way-stop, alas it is a way stop that can last for generations. The resigned being manifests on both the individual and group levels.

The god belief systems, when they are personal and faith based must always result in a continuum of behaviors ranging from the ultra-violent to the pained acquiescence of utter resignation.
The pathway to resolving our struggle with powerlessness is found only in our personal and collective liberation.

How is that done? We take the first step in our liberation through seeing the process play out in our individual and group affiliated lives. We observe our propensity to be close our eyes to the truth that’s right in front of us. We observe how we rely on faith and second-hand knowledge passed down between people and generations without ever being held up to scrutiny. We observe our gullibility of collections of belief that people fear to questions because it’s in the bible or other “sacred” texts. We ask ourselves, as often as we can, “is this really true?”

When we move from faith to alert, open observation our hearts and minds open up to our very real lives. We are truly alive. If I am worried for the welfare of my children, then is it the most beneficial choice to place our need for safety and security in a belief that can never be tested or proven, or should we just work with our kids – open our hearts and minds to their concerns, not seek “final” answers, but just to engage in the process of connection. This is how we begin moving from the second-hand beliefs designed to keep us dead and obedient and migrate to living a vibrant, open, and creative life. We evolve from rigidity to flexibility. This is the yoga of the soul alive in this very moment.

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Greed


As Paul Krugman’s op-ed piece in today’s New York Times points out, Ireland had a true economic miracle, but over time this “miracle” gave way to a housing frenzy fed by the banks and speculative real estate developers. As the economy prospered they fed on this prosperity and worked together to create a massive housing bubble. When the bubble burst, the country was thrust into economic ruin and is now facing deep austerity prospects that will hurt everyone except the bankers who are international and comfortably insulated from assuming losses or any other form of responsibility for the social violence they have happily wrought. The situation in Ireland mirrors that of the United States and many other nations.

This is how it happens. In stable economies banks are rather boring players on the economic stage. They exist to keep people’s money relatively safe and to lend money in a regulated manner to create and maintain prosperity. The rules of lending need to be regulated to protect all the savers who place their hard-earned cash to the banks in trust. Savers tend not to want to have their money played by a group of gamblers who game the table and stack everything in favor of themselves.

Thus the clever bankers used the nation’s prosperity to express their repressed greed. But here’s the important part. As they made themselves grotesquely rich, they used a very small part of their money to buy their government. Politicians come cheap and they are more than happy to become whores for the super-rich friends. Thus the financial sectors own the governments of the United States and Ireland and most other places that experienced a big housing bubble from which they made their trillions. Greed and wealth made them extremely powerful.

Because they are, in essence, the government itself, they enforce the laws in ways that can only favor them and hurt everyone else. They create the policy that keeps them perfectly secure from criminal or civil prosecution, that maintains gratuitously low tax rates for the ultra wealthy and makes sure that what was the middle class pays for their continued fiscal vulgarities through painful austerity measures that affect the super-rich not in the slightest.

In this way they create a two class society. The middle class is hollowed out and transformed into the upper Lower Class and the wealthy become much richer, even as the local economies collapse into penury. The ultra-rich will scream that we cannot afford large deficits in order to leverage their impact on creating the austerity measures that enable them to get a lot richer even in times of economic crisis and decline.

Thus the bankers and their friends in the healthcare and military industrial complexes get to run the whole show. And then they speak speak as if we’re all in this together. We aren’t.

The truth is, they treat everyone but their class as ignorant rubes. They keep the rubes entertained by the idiotic television shows that are everywhere and through fear that unless we follow the orders they demand of us, that things could get so much worse.

It’s time to see reality. This is all part of waking up to what is real. It’s time to see these people (and they are discrete individuals with names and addresses) as the blood-sucking parasites they truly are. It’s time to express our need for basic justice. We must cease listening to any politician owned by this class. It’s time we take to the streets. It’s time that we refuse to swallow their ceaseless lies.

The point is not to spread the wealth. The point is to live a life that is just and fair. This class is truly a cancer on the world. The time has come to re-invent civilization as something that can exist in harmony with all of our fellow human beings and the animals and plants that make this world a wonder in a very cold universe. That time has come and that time is NOW!

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Liberation Without Anger Isn’t Liberation


Anger – Outrage

These get short shrift in today’s oh so sweet, everything is pink and beautiful age of religious pablum.

Sometimes the bullshit reaches such a pitch, that people who love the earth and resent the bullies and henchmen of the super-rich need to say enough.

But rage is not enough. There needs to action as well. There needs to be organization and focus.

Religion has played its historical hand in keeping the masses hypnotized and domesticated and turning them into compliant little puppies spouting gibberish and sweet nothings.

I don’t care if you call it Buddhism, Advaita, Zen, or Looney Tunes, if it acts to keep the good and essential from being expressed than it’s just crap.

You have no one to follow but your own conscience. Stand on your own two legs and just take the next step.

It serves the power hungry machine of corporatism that we stay quiet and well-behaved. They laugh at the naivete of those that think of themselves as “spiritual” when what poses for spiritual is just the total subjugation of the positive male warrior in our body’s pantheon of potential.

Negative male aggression is just ugly force in support of the ego, but positive male aggression is that of the compassionate warrior who is called to bring darkness to light. We all have it – it has absolutely nothing to do with our body. It is love itself, but outfitted for war.

Find that positive male aggressive energy and see what happens next.

Liberation was never designed for the feint of heart. No – it’s for those with heart for the long war – the long struggle.

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Suffering is Our Choice


Yesterday’s post dealt with suffering as a personal choice. But suffering is also a choice made by a person on the level of the group. When we understand how suffering works on a group level, the pathway to planetary salvation is at hand.

We saw in yesterday’s post that suffering is a consequence of a belief in something that is not real. A belief is created by the false self to give it the substance it believes it lacks. It is a conceptual construct that belief appears to make real.

We need to understand why people are driven to believe anything.

If you have fully absorbed the content of yesterday’s post, you will will see that we and our family of origin work to create the false me. This is me as belief. While I described the process in very broad strokes yesterday, the process is really rather complex. The more clearly it is seen the better we can see the falseness of the underlying belief. This is why I strongly recommend readingLiberation from the Lie. It is the manual for understanding the insubstantial nature of the false self.

When our connection with Life is severed as a direct consequence of profound invalidation when we are most vulnerable (in the first year of life), the psychological self becomes our personal identity. In effect, the psychological self substitutes for life. What was immediate and real, becomes a story of which the psychological self is the primary character. The main character is the deficient self whose core thought is the belief in its own inadequacy. This is the cross we bear in this life – if we don’t wake up to its illusory and false nature. This is the only purpose for philosophy.

The psychological self is a belief. It is just a thought cluster. Because it is so deeply habitual, it becomes second nature. But this psychological self cannot be found. No matter how hard we look, no matter how long we have searched, we will never find this false me. It is, I repeat, only a belief.

The psychological self is a belief system and a big part of this system is attachments to external belief structures. These structures are like clothing. The psychological self assumes many outfits. Each outfit is a belief system.

Here is a very partial list of belief systems:

  • Gender
  • Country
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Class
  • Race

Thus:

  • The body may have the attributes of a male or female (or any combination), but the essential self has nothing to do with gender.
  • The body may have been in born in this or that country, but the essential self has nothing do with country.
  • The body may have been raised in this or that religion, but the essential self has nothing to do with religion.
  • The body may believe it is young or old, but the essential self has nothing to do with age.
  • The mind may believe that it is middle class or lower class or upper class, but the essential self has nothing to do with class.
  • The body may have the attributes of this or that race, but the essential self has nothing to do with race.

We will never wake up to our essential selves as long as BELIEVE that we are anything but the spontaneous expression life in this very moment – free of ALL belief.

Think of all of these beliefs as costumes, outfits, that the false psychological self is driven to put on to give it the substance it lacks.

Is it not remarkable to consider that gender, country, religion, age, class, and race are all just beliefs? Each is a powerful sleeping pill.

But here is the most important part of this post.

That which we are most attached, that which keeps us most deeply asleep is that which we are not aware of.

This is the part of the false self that is most resistant to our investigation. This is the condition that appears to give our belief-based self strength and substance. It comes in four flavors and as you read these flavors please visualize them not in their conceptual quality, but in their living quality – how they arise in this very moment to give your strength and substance.

Here is the list – we tend to one of these primary attachments.

Any variant of – I need to understand, get it, be right, in control, etc.
Any variant of – I am my body, my happiness and unhappiness resides in my body
Any variant of – I am nothing without someone else, I am incomplete, my well-being is expressed in my personal relationships, I am not safe in this world on my own, and
Any variant of – My identity is in how I express force, to get things to go “my” way I rely on the intimidation and the threat of force, (this is a variant of the body attachment).

If you are very sensitive or if you regularly meditate, you should be able to see these very subtle attachments are operating all the time depending on your type. They are like an undercurrent and they are the last refuge of the self.

Becoming free of the final refuge requires us to just see this mostly unseen persona in action (not necessarily as concept). Seeing it time and again is the quickest pathway to freedom and liberation.

People are killing the planet in the name of their phony gods, their gender prerogatives (men being men), the insane demands of their ugly patriotism, their greed (economic desperation), and their class excesses. If we are to truly save the planet and ourselves, we need to wake to all that is false – we must find the truth that shines brilliantly in every moment.

This means that we need to remove all of the false garments that keep us safe in our individual and collective delusions – it means to open ourselves to the vivid reality of life in this very moment. We are none of our attachments. We are life expressing itself in this very moment. We are what cannot be denied, chosen or rejected. We are that.

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Fear. Hate, Division, and Ignorance – Yeah, We’re Talking about Republicans and the Tea Party


Buddha said that the difference between the awakened and unawakened is ignorance. Buddha was right.

Right now, America is in a love affair with ignorance. It’s not a beautiful thing.

The Republicans rail against the new healthcare law, which they disdainfully call Obamacare. They say, “get the government off our backs.”

Yet they just love Medicare, an entirely government run program providing health care for the elderly.

Do you want to know the difference between the new Healthcare law and Medicare? Medicare, unlike the new law, is a lot more radical. It’s a single payer system and the single payer is the government. The only problem with the new law is that it is a Republican program. It keeps the power in the hands in the private sector and they couldn’t care less about our health. They care only about one thing and that’s their bottom line. They have shareholders they are legally bound to serve. As a result the new law if full of loop holes that work against the needs nearly all of us.

What Obama should have worked for was a single payer option that would allow people to choose between the government program and the private programs. After all, the Republicans can’t stop extolling the virtues of a free market and this would provide a free market choice for all of us. But they knew that the private sector could not compete against a government program. Thus the well-being of massive corporations won out against the well-being of people. And that is the true mission of the Republican party and their millions of flunkies – known as ordinary Americans who refuse to think, refuse to explore, and refuse to open themselves up to truth.

They are ignorant. They are slaves of their hackneyed beliefs. They love a hateful and wrathful god. In effect, they love to hate. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman are their haters in chief. They lie, distort, and demean virtually everything that is good and decent in our world.

For the Republicans, this new Republican program isn’t greedy enough. They don’t want to force private health insurers to provide for pre-existing conditions or healthcare for chronically ill children. They would prefer if these non-rich people people would just die and stop bothering their corporate overlords.

When it’s all said and done, the Republicans really stand for the glorification of their ultra-rich masters and the exploitation of everyone and everything else. It’s not beautiful. It’s really very ugly.

The Republicans say that only the private sector can save our sick economy. Yet it was this same private sector that is the root cause of our economic decline, as well as the millions and millions of foreclosures based, initially, on their legions of snake-oil salesman and then on the assault of millions of vulnerable customers who they breezily and illegally drove from their homes – the very symbol of the American Dream.

They are thugs and criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

They claim that they are for the ordinary, hard-working Americans. Then how could we ever explain that their financial supporters are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, like the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? How could you explain that they insist to keep their financial supporters a secret? They must remain a secret, otherwise, you would realize the truth – the truth that you are being used and exploited – that you are dupes of the wealthy – you will realize that your ignorance makes their power possible. The more compliant you are, the more exploited you will be.

The Republicans deny global climate change. This is just a small part of their universal contempt for science in general. For they also reject the whole field of modern biology, which is based on evolution. Sarah Palin and many others claim they are not monkeys. I agree they are not monkeys – they are something infinitely worse; they are ignorant, ambitious entertainers who express their hatred through their all but limitless personal ambitions. And what is their ambition based on? It’s based on nurturing hate and division. They deny their deep-seated racism, but they have much more in common with their Nazi – Black and Brown shirted predecessors than they would ever admit.

There are 20 Republicans currently running for the Senate. Not one of them links the actions of people with global climate change. This is earth-killing ignorance of the first order. We are called to reject this agonizing ignorance and celebrate the truth.

Income inequality is more extreme in the US than any other time in our history. The top 2% of Americans own and control about half of the capital in this country. The mission of the Republicans is to make this group even richer. For they are nothing but whores and the super-rich are their Johns. Those that support these enemies of everyone and everything (except the super-rich) are in love with their own rapists. This is the social Fear-Self in action on a massive scale (see Liberation from the Lie to learn much more about Fear-Selves). They express their shared self-invalidation through supporting groups and policies that assure their continued debasement.

They wrap themselves in the tawdry costumes of god and country and besmirch both. This is a white, Christian country. We are open to Blacks and Hispanics as long as they don’t challenge that fundamental truth. They love to draw the line between us (Christains, the ignorant, the phony patriots) and them (Muslims, progressives, those concerned with the well-being of our communities and the earth itself). They love to mock those who love what is true. They love to demean and disparage. They are smug in their self-confidence and certain in their underlying self-hatred.

They love power more than anything else. For they know, down deep, that they lack the power the believe they need to build their edifice of hate and division. In seeking all of the power, they are driven to deprive every one and everything else of the power they might already possess. Thus this is truly a conflict and we need to stand up to the challenge.

We do that by being open and embracing of the truth that is everywhere and in everything. Where there is division, we must seek to bring connection. Where there is hate, we must dedicate ourselves to connection. Where there is ignorance founded on division, we must commit ourselves to connection. But getting to connection may require us to make the division between them and us even wider. Just as Krishna advises Arjuna to accept his responsibility as a killing warrior and the battlefield of life, we must now assume the weapons of conflict and dedicate ourselves to victory.

It’s all part of the cyclical nature of existence. We are living in the darkest of times. We bring the light by embracing that same light. Let the progression to light happen through our collective energies and bring all that is false to the light of what is true.

,

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Fear. Hate, Division, and Ignorance – Yeah, We're Talking about Republicans and the Tea Party


Buddha said that the difference between the awakened and unawakened is ignorance. Buddha was right.

Right now, America is in a love affair with ignorance. It’s not a beautiful thing.

The Republicans rail against the new healthcare law, which they disdainfully call Obamacare. They say, “get the government off our backs.”

Yet they just love Medicare, an entirely government run program providing health care for the elderly.

Do you want to know the difference between the new Healthcare law and Medicare? Medicare, unlike the new law, is a lot more radical. It’s a single payer system and the single payer is the government. The only problem with the new law is that it is a Republican program. It keeps the power in the hands in the private sector and they couldn’t care less about our health. They care only about one thing and that’s their bottom line. They have shareholders they are legally bound to serve. As a result the new law if full of loop holes that work against the needs nearly all of us.

What Obama should have worked for was a single payer option that would allow people to choose between the government program and the private programs. After all, the Republicans can’t stop extolling the virtues of a free market and this would provide a free market choice for all of us. But they knew that the private sector could not compete against a government program. Thus the well-being of massive corporations won out against the well-being of people. And that is the true mission of the Republican party and their millions of flunkies – known as ordinary Americans who refuse to think, refuse to explore, and refuse to open themselves up to truth.

They are ignorant. They are slaves of their hackneyed beliefs. They love a hateful and wrathful god. In effect, they love to hate. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman are their haters in chief. They lie, distort, and demean virtually everything that is good and decent in our world.

For the Republicans, this new Republican program isn’t greedy enough. They don’t want to force private health insurers to provide for pre-existing conditions or healthcare for chronically ill children. They would prefer if these non-rich people people would just die and stop bothering their corporate overlords.

When it’s all said and done, the Republicans really stand for the glorification of their ultra-rich masters and the exploitation of everyone and everything else. It’s not beautiful. It’s really very ugly.

The Republicans say that only the private sector can save our sick economy. Yet it was this same private sector that is the root cause of our economic decline, as well as the millions and millions of foreclosures based, initially, on their legions of snake-oil salesman and then on the assault of millions of vulnerable customers who they breezily and illegally drove from their homes – the very symbol of the American Dream.

They are thugs and criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

They claim that they are for the ordinary, hard-working Americans. Then how could we ever explain that their financial supporters are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, like the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? How could you explain that they insist to keep their financial supporters a secret? They must remain a secret, otherwise, you would realize the truth – the truth that you are being used and exploited – that you are dupes of the wealthy – you will realize that your ignorance makes their power possible. The more compliant you are, the more exploited you will be.

The Republicans deny global climate change. This is just a small part of their universal contempt for science in general. For they also reject the whole field of modern biology, which is based on evolution. Sarah Palin and many others claim they are not monkeys. I agree they are not monkeys – they are something infinitely worse; they are ignorant, ambitious entertainers who express their hatred through their all but limitless personal ambitions. And what is their ambition based on? It’s based on nurturing hate and division. They deny their deep-seated racism, but they have much more in common with their Nazi – Black and Brown shirted predecessors than they would ever admit.

There are 20 Republicans currently running for the Senate. Not one of them links the actions of people with global climate change. This is earth-killing ignorance of the first order. We are called to reject this agonizing ignorance and celebrate the truth.

Income inequality is more extreme in the US than any other time in our history. The top 2% of Americans own and control about half of the capital in this country. The mission of the Republicans is to make this group even richer. For they are nothing but whores and the super-rich are their Johns. Those that support these enemies of everyone and everything (except the super-rich) are in love with their own rapists. This is the social Fear-Self in action on a massive scale (see Liberation from the Lie to learn much more about Fear-Selves). They express their shared self-invalidation through supporting groups and policies that assure their continued debasement.

They wrap themselves in the tawdry costumes of god and country and besmirch both. This is a white, Christian country. We are open to Blacks and Hispanics as long as they don’t challenge that fundamental truth. They love to draw the line between us (Christains, the ignorant, the phony patriots) and them (Muslims, progressives, those concerned with the well-being of our communities and the earth itself). They love to mock those who love what is true. They love to demean and disparage. They are smug in their self-confidence and certain in their underlying self-hatred.

They love power more than anything else. For they know, down deep, that they lack the power the believe they need to build their edifice of hate and division. In seeking all of the power, they are driven to deprive every one and everything else of the power they might already possess. Thus this is truly a conflict and we need to stand up to the challenge.

We do that by being open and embracing of the truth that is everywhere and in everything. Where there is division, we must seek to bring connection. Where there is hate, we must dedicate ourselves to connection. Where there is ignorance founded on division, we must commit ourselves to connection. But getting to connection may require us to make the division between them and us even wider. Just as Krishna advises Arjuna to accept his responsibility as a killing warrior and the battlefield of life, we must now assume the weapons of conflict and dedicate ourselves to victory.

It’s all part of the cyclical nature of existence. We are living in the darkest of times. We bring the light by embracing that same light. Let the progression to light happen through our collective energies and bring all that is false to the light of what is true.

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5 Comments

Is Life a Burden?


Sisyphus

It seems that right now everything just … sucks.

Morons and fascist wannabes have taken over the airways. The planet’s whole ecosystems are in chaos and decline. Extinction is the main theme of the natural world. I read today that about 20% of the world’s plants are facing extinction and I also read that about 80% of the world’s drinking water is under threat of contamination.

And no matter how crappy things appear to be, we seem to know in our hearts that they will probably get worse.

How do we deal with all of this “bad” news?

I will speak only from my own perspective.

The persona who takes on these problems as his own lives as a “fear-self” who has created a compelling story that these stories are his to bear. He can use his visibly passionate caring as a way to separate himself from the ignorant rabble. Or his fear-self can use all of this information to allow himself to identity as a single suffering victim among the billions of other victims. The moment we assume that an object is what we are, our reservoir of fear can use this object to create a persona to compensate for the fear that is inwardly denied. Or, he can assume ownership of the object and take it on as “his” burden. This is what most of do.

The “fear-self” that labels this information as “bad” has passed judgment on systems and processes that, in truth, he cannot understand. If nothing else, natural history shows us just how incredibly resilient the earth is. No matter how pervasive the loss of habitat and the extinction of so many species, the earth will always bounce back with or without human beings.

Thus as much as I find the news painful and frustrating, I also realize that the ever-bright “I am” transcends the spectacle and possesses the tranquility to deal with problems as best as his body/mind can do in the moment they arise. I know that “I am” is neither the source of these problems or their solution. Rather, the light of “I am” allows the seeing to happen just as it does. The seeing pierces my heart and engages the body/mind in the challenges of the time with compassion and focus, but it does not define the “I am”.

In this way, life can never be a burden. Rather, it is light filled with feeling and fleeting knowing.

Instead of being a burden, the “information” received by this body is the very invisible blood that connects us all with everything. It is the unavoidable profound connections that bind us together in this time and place. All of the light manifests inside each and all of us.

Where is the burden of life? It cannot be found.

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