The Hunger for Reality:
Our Search for Essence
by Richard Harvey
We have a great hunger. I don't mean obvious hunger—hunger for love,
food, nourishment, a warm bed, a partner, a creative happy life. All
these are valid hungers, and it is hard to be a human being without
experiencing them. But, the hunger to which I am referring is not only
greater, but also deeper than any of these. It is the hunger for what
is real, for what is true—a hunger for the essence of life.
When you think about it, reality is the only feasible foundation for
your life; it underpins absolutely everything. Take the hungers
above—just a cursory list—you could have any one of them, but if it is
not real, then what good is it?
Real or Not?
Take love. You meet someone who you like. You stay together for a while
and the relationship deepens into love. But, a little way down the
line, you or your partner becomes attracted to someone else. What has
happened to the love? Is it real? Was it ever real? When you are
cheated on, betrayed, or jilted, was the love real or not?
Then take food and nourishment. The reality of this today is surely
without doubt. Only the most credulous of us are ignorant of real,
organic, unprocessed, natural foods and their superiority in all ways
over junk food, confectionery, candy, and convenience foods. Real
nourishment is healthy, tastes good, and strengthens our immune system.
The Inner Experience of
"Real" is what we want and what we need; instinctively and intuitively
we know it. Now, would it surprise you if I said that reality as you
experience it (mainly outer reality) relies on your inner experience of
reality? When you are real within, the rest will follow. Stay with me
if you are not sure.
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new book is titled, Your Essential Self. How
exactly would you define
the "Essential Self?"
It is your essence, the
essential part of you, the part of yourself that you cannot do without.
The essence is extremely sensitive, strong, full of soul and spirit.
When we are growing up and undergoing the ordeal of learning to live in
the world, the precious essence is assaulted because the world is too
brash, too material, you could say not spiritual enough, not loving
enough, too insensitive. So little by little we learn to hide our
essence as a way of preserving ourself; it is a survival strategy. We
intuit that we can only get through this if we conceal our real self.
This real self is hidden and protected by multiple defenses, which may
even include our forgetfulness. In a way, we cannot even be trusted
with our own essence since we might betray ourself. The essence is
hidden perhaps in a fortress surrounded by a moat, concealed with
briars, the route made impassable, and over the years the concealment
grows and eventually we may forget altogether that it is there inside
us, preserved intact because it is hidden so well. I call this, "the
Promise." It is the promise to ourself that we will not reveal our
essence because it is too risky, too dangerous to our well-being and
Now the reality of this, the evidence of
this, appears in our adult lives. For example, we become frustrated in
love relationships because we want our partner to know us and love us,
but at the same time we want to hold something of ourselves back,
because we don't want to be known. It is a conflict, an inner one. We
long for intimacy, to be known, just as much as we resist it! You could
say that romance today is the story of this inner conflict played out
in the outer world. And, of course, it is disastrous. Relationships,
marriage, and love partnerships are not successful on the whole,
because they don't really live up to our expectations if we are honest
Through inner work, work on the soul, we
can free ourselves of these limiting inner dynamics. We can expand our
conscious awareness and in time liberate ourselves completely from
self-limiting beliefs and behavior patterns that prevent us living our
full potential. Eventually, we may realize both our full humanity and
do you feel it is necessary and important for us as human beings to
reach the spiritual attainment provided by our Essential Self?
is at the very heart of the
human condition. It is rather like a battery-powered flashlight; when
the batteries are filled with energy, the flashlight illuminates. A
human being filled with spirit is alive, vibrant, and illuminating. In
today's world this light has dimmed. The appearance of things rather
than the inner substance is on the rise. We have become infantilized in
many ways by the media, commercialization, politics and politicians,
the cult of celebrity—the adoration of gods and goddesses who have
fallen from the sky—and the ubiquitous Internet.
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Traveling Deeper with the Wheel of the Year
by Jane Meredith
We are all familiar with the Wheel of the Year and its
celebrations. But what if we take a deeper look at the Wheel and the
lessons it offers, seeing not just eight festivals of celebration, but
a parallel of the waxing and waning of our lives? Jane Meredith, author
of Rituals of Celebration, discusses what happens
when we venture into the lessons of the Wheel of the Year and embrace
the importance of loss as much as we do the importance of success.
A Deck in Each Hand: Reading with the Lenormand
by Patrick Dunn
The Lenormand, a simple, 36-card deck, is gaining
popularity across the world. What are these cards, and from where did
they come? Patrick Dunn, author of Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot,
explains the cards and their inherent power—especially when they are
teamed up with the Tarot.
Wisdom: Essays on Western Magic
by Donald Tyson
Throughout history, Western magic has been viewed with
extreme ambivalence: at the same time accepted and dismissed, even by
those who practiced it. Why is this? Could it have something to do with
the very essence of magic itself? Donald Tyson, occultist and author of
Serpent of Wisdom, explains why his new book
thoroughly illuminates magic, its history, and its practice.
My First Haunted House
by Debra Robinson
A deep sense that life was definitely about more than just her led psychic Debra Robinson down
some strange paths in her lifetime, including an incredibly haunted
house. Here the Haunted Life author recounts her first