Parengarenga Harbour Entrance, and Kokota (The Sandspit), Far North, Northland - aerial


Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

 Albert Einstein

Here in New Zealand they call this the winterless north. The last two winters defied such a claim. People living inland experienced hard frosts. Friends in Takahue Valley watched with growing dismay as three consecutive nights of frosts last winter brought their banana palms to the ground (they’ve since regrown and are laden with new bunches of ripening bananas so all is not lost, but our friends have had no fruit from them for a year.) In our nearly six years at the coast we’ve never experienced a frost. Our coldest recorded temperature was 4 degrees Celsius.

Yesterday morning, we were hammered with heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning. It was cold and damp. The wood stove brought warmth to the lounge and kitchen. The rest of the house was, frankly, uncomfortable. That’s just how it is with these old un-insulated villas.

Yesterday afternoon the storm cleared and the temperature rose with the advent of a warm, gentle, life-giving sun. It was shorts and T shirt weather; the kind of day that justifies the moniker ‘Winterless North.’ It was magic.

The owners of this house we’re living in have been working in the Middle East all the time we’ve been here. We’ve encouraged them to stay away as long as they like. We love their house and garden and treat it as our own. But it looks as if they’ll finally return here next year. So, we’re in a protracted process of cleaning out that which is no longer needed. We’re making space for the next step in our lives. Parts of what I am addressing are the piles of papers covered with ‘important’ scribblings that I’ve not yet input into the computer. I found some such words this morning I’d like to share with you now.

You could say I march to a different drummer today than I did earlier in my life. A drummer tapping with a soft thrumming in my heart and in the hearts of all people. A drummer rhythmically asking us to awaken from the dream, from the illusion we call reality. A drummer encouraging us to shift from hatred to love, from separation to unity, from falsehood to truth. A drummer urging us to move beyond the paradigm of competition (in our schools, sports, politics and the workplace) to a world of cooperation between all peoples and all nations.

I encourage you to take time to hear the drummer drumming, to hear the caller calling. Stop giving attention to the insistent staccato of the illusory man-made world. Tune in to the gentle rhythms of the natural world. Allow these rhythms to serve as subtle bridges to the world of Reality, to the Absolute. Get out from within the walls of your ‘built’ environment and the noise of the flickering tube. Allow nature to guide you to the threshold of your inner heart.

What will you find there? You are an infinite being, as is everyone else and we all willingly participate in the illusion. You are a being of infinite power and love, of infinite potential. You can’t make mistakes, only temporary diversions from the path of truth. This illusory world has been constructed for your enjoyment. Do what you are inspired to do and enjoy every step along the way. Take a chance. Walk on the wild side. Anything is possible. Even if the world we share is an illusion, as Einstein so eloquently stated, it can still be a great adventure. Go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I wish you peace, prosperity and joy. May you live always in the awareness of the inexpressible Presence that you are.



Possibly related posts:

The Call to Awaken

Three Short Steps to Enlightenment



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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

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I’ve come to realise that any action without love is meaningless, empty and ultimately unfulfilling.


Love greases the wheels. It’s the lubricant that makes our actions flow. Ultimately we come to realise that it’s the power and presence behind (or within) what we call reality, but which isn’t real. Only love, and I’m not talking about romantic love here, is real.


Only love is real.


John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

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When we wake up; when we gain the realization of Reality; when we experience the Absolute we experience the Stillness, we experience ourselves, we know who we are. In the Stillness there is no limitation, there is no space or time, no thought and no mind, nothing ever existed; there are no problems, no distinctions between you and me or us and them; there is only unity.


This experience of Reality may be gifted to you, as it was to me, or it may be something you find through true meditation, through the deliberate creation of stillness. When you accept everything as it is; when you neither accept nor reject anything that occurs; when you make no distinctions even though the mind continues to make distinctions; when you assume no relationship to what you are experiencing, there is a great and profound liberation; there is an understanding of the Absolute.


Absolute is not spelled with a capital for nothing. It is unlimited. It is immense. It is unimaginable. It is unknowable. Yet when it is experienced there is a profound feeling of peace.


So this waking up is important. Finding out who we are is one of the great reasons for being here. But, there is more to the equation of being fully human. Life is not just Stillness. There is also volition, there is activity. The art of living is bringing the awareness of Stillness, of the Absolute, of who we are, into our lives.


How do we bring this experience of reality into our lives? How do we bring the awareness of unlimitedness, of the realization that there are no distinctions, into this world of distinctions, into this world of light and dark, of hot and cold, of you and me?


This truly is the art of living, of being fully human.


Suggested reading:


The Yoga of the Christ, Murdo MacDonald-Bayne

The Challenge of Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen

The Divine Possibilities in Man, Gopi Krishna