BRDNSKY and SpiritualisCircle of Light 

Your guide to improved life satisfaction

Your Guide

      People are in search of something.  They search outside of themselves for this elusive sense of being through books, classes, associations, and a host of other avenues.  Sometimes their thirst is slaked, other times their confusion only deepens.  Phillip's passion and purpose is to help those who want to grow, take control of their lives, and live with purpose.  There is a desire within us to understand the power within.  We take control of our lives by understanding ourselves.  With this insight, a new perspective is gained. From this we make informed choices based on our desires, and not another's need.  


     Here, are some insights Phillip has gained over the years and continues to discover more.  If you find value in them, fantastic. He has served you well.  If you would like to discover more, contact Phillip at and see what nuggets of gold lie within you.  

Red Flags

What is possibly the most difficult thing any of us has ever done? While many will sift through their list of accomplishments, they will most likely overlook this one action. This one action is one of the needs buried within that must be satisfied. Many may redirect their attention to the need to survive, but this is relatively easy in comparison. The birth and progress of civilization is based upon this difficult task. Being friendly is the first step and the easiest. The difficult part of being friendly is maintaining the relationship.

Friendships, lovers, marriages, siblings, partnerships, and the rests are all relationships. They require something from us. They require commitment. Some may say they require work, but what is really needed is commitment. Without commitment, we are like ships passing in the night. We greet each other, partake of each other’s company, and continue with our journey. We may cross paths frequently or infrequently. It doesn’t matter. If we continue to greet each other, partake of each other’s company, conversation, or feel, we remain ships passing in the night. We remain strangers. There is no intimacy. There is no commitment. There is no relationship. We are acquaintances.

Experiences, media, and societal conditioning direct our attention towards red flags, warnings of potentialities. These potentialities become barriers. To say they are generated through fear is shortsightedness. Barriers are for protection and danger appears to come from various directions. What many of us fail to understand about barriers is they not only keep harm from getting close, they also prevent what is within from reaching out.

Consider what may trigger these precursors. A word in their vocabulary. An action associated with a troubling event. An unexplainable impression. The list can be extensive. Everyone has compiled their own and have prioritized them differently. Thus, the only list we may address is our own. Psychics may look down their pathway hoping to glimpse a potential future. Although they may say they are looking down their path, they are more likely looking down the path of another, mistaking it as their own. They may see someone cautiously standing at their door, ready to bolt. This may cause the one gazing to turn away. Another may see fences. Barriers are generally indications for others to remain at a distance. When we are impressed with visions or feelings equivalent to these, they are often paired with memories. All of this is automatic, reflexive, or habitual. Our actions are the same, automatic, reflexive, and habitually we withdraw. What happens when we retreat?

Frequently, these flags appear before we become too involved and we’re able to depart with grace. As ships passing in the night, we tend not to alter our course to include another. Once we have altered course, it’s difficult to return to it. We may consider moving in a different direction, but this incurs its own difficulties. We may attempt to continue while remaining some distance apart; maintain a parallel course until another ship passes nearby. There may also be a lack of self-confidence, and we continue until we find the courage to disentangle ourselves. These options are usually the only ones we consider.

Why do we receive these red flags? We communicate on a variety of levels. The only ones many of us pay attention to are the obvious ones. When we speak, others hear and some listen. To hear is merely a response to stimuli. To listen is to seek comprehension. When listening, we pay attention to the intonations of the words spoken. We also listen to the words not spoken, which are sometimes louder. We communicate through our eyes. We watch, which is not the same as seeing. Seeing is a response to stimuli. To watch is to observe. We observe the actions of others, especially their lack of actions. We watch the language of the body, which does not always support the words spoken. We sense the emotions of others. This is not merely the writings of mystics. We perceive through certain neurons of the brain. We empathize with others. We speak through the resonance of the various fields generated by the body and mind. We reach out towards others expressing our desires, intent, and memories through waves and frequencies. We are beings of many facets perceiving the facets of others. What information might these red flags bring us?

Like all that we experience, they are open to interpretation. Red flags are warning signs, but not of others. They are warnings to ourselves, about ourselves. They are whispers of those incomprehensible disturbances. They do not give us false information. We interpret the information incorrectly. We withdraw, not because of the experience, but because of the memory of an experience. We still prefer pleasure to pain and chose to avoid pain. In our avoidance, we have lost because we have not explored the pain. Pain, like fear, anger, and anxiety tell us something is wrong. Our red flags are potential opportunities to resolve issues or to allow them to dissolve us. Red flags provide clues to patterns. The patterns they reveal are our own, not those of others. They are subtle hints, breadcrumbs revealing a path of familiarity. Yes, we have traveled this path or one like it. Yes, we have an inkling of what to expect or we can be watchful for less traveled avenues. Perhaps we are interpreting the information incorrectly.

Are the warnings receive about the dangers of others? Could they be informing us of the menace we present to ourselves? Perhaps these red flags are not indications for caution but are defense mechanisms coming into play. A rapid retreat is a defensive move. Veering off in a different direction does not mean we are moving forward. Travelling with another while watching for opportunities of escape is not vindication. None of these actions provides safe passage. Sometimes the safest and more rewarding route is traveling through turbulent waters.

Relationships are challenging. We continuously encounter red flags. We must decide if our response is to pull away or continue our engagement. More often than not, the response is automatic, and we fail to determine if we have encountered a red flag or have misinterpreted signals. Before activating our defenses, we should ask if the danger perceived is a faulty defense mechanism or we may one day find ourselves alone.


Finding the Map

     All experiences are good. This doesn’t mean I enjoy watching others having theirs. By theirs, I mean their rough patches. A short time ago, a friend had to be rushed to the hospital for some poor choices. She had become overwhelmed by current circumstances. She was striking out on her own and learning about the inhabitants of the world – inhabitants who are not always nice. I could say she is young, but age has nothing to do with what happened. Experience does. While I consider my life relatively satisfying, it was not always the case. I too have experienced overwhelming circumstances and have done things not entirely beneficial, but I survived them, and I am confident she will too.

     On our journey, we come to cruxes, which amount to turning points in our lives. One such event occurred around 2000. The crux occurred during a team-building event sponsored by the company I worked for.

     While several events led to enlightening experiences, the event I want to talk about was called ‘The Wall.’ The Wall is a manufactured incline about the length of a gymnasium. For all intents and purposes, it was supposed to be a hill that morphed into a sheer cliff. Like all opportunities, there are the customary easy, difficult, and near impossible choices. Our choice of opportunities was where to climb. Our facilitator instructed us on the use of safety ropes. Immediately afterward, we were told to choose a portion of wall and begin climbing. The two extreme ends were narrow compared to the center. Of the three sections, this was the most crowded. Being a foolish person – always challenging myself – I selected the one I was the least prepared for. Of course, this was on the extreme end. The section chosen was more like an outcropping of fiberglass rock. Barely six feet into the climb, I was forced to make a hasty retreat, and failed. With arm muscles screaming in protest, the last few feet came rather suddenly. Immediately upon my failure, the facilitator rushed to my side, not to inquire about my wellbeing, but to send me to the other extreme.

     I stood at the foot of what is best described as a gentle hill – the kiddies’ end of the wall. Without preamble, I embarked upon the climb, which amounted to less than climbing stairs. At the top, I sat contemplating what had happened. A flaw in my decision process had been glaringly brought to my attention. The continuous struggles experienced were due to my self-deceiving choices. I was responsible for the torturous path being traveled. I had sabotaged the future. Upon departing from this weekend exercise, a conscious effort was made not to repeat those floundering mishaps. However, like anyone else who has become enlightened of their superb efforts of navigation, more challenges awaited.

     When we chose to alter the course of our lives, we must inevitably deal with the wake trailing behind us. Events are merely interactions of energy, and in our case, they are the interactions of our energy upon others. Those distant buoys of energy are part of us, in much the same way as the results of this article are a part of me. In the case of past events, the energy from our wakes will find us because it is part of us. Some events will bring beneficial consequences, while others…. well you know what I mean. As those other events find their way back, we must experience them, and change their frequency so they will return with beneficial events. It took me several years to work out those detrimental results. So, be prepared.

     The lesson being shared is, no matter when we decide to make changes in our lives, the effects of previous steps will take some time to return. While today, life is very satisfying, it did not happen overnight – not even within a year. Perhaps there are still bits of the previous wake that have yet to return. When they do, I shall absorb them, re-shape them, and release them into the stream. When you make changes in the course of your life, don’t give up. Another insight gained is someone is always waiting to support us. We are not alone. Do not isolate yourself. Surround yourself with good deeds, good people, and ride the leading edge of turbulence. When you come out on the other side, look back and say, ‘that wasn’t so hard after all, maybe even a little fun.’ Smile, and plan your next adventure.

Becoming The All

One of the main points to meditation is the alignment of the different aspects that compose our identity.[1] We call this path the path of becoming. We are on a continual journey of evolution. We are becoming something else. What are we becoming? This is a simple question, which has a simple answer. We like to think we are becoming like Christ, Buddha, or some other religious icon. We like to think we are learning to be like them. Fundamental to what they taught is to simply be. Many make this journey one of intense devotion to something other than being.

What is understandable to the mind depends upon what it has been exposed to. Obviously, one cannot understand calculus unless one has a grasp of algebra, and one cannot understand algebra, unless one understands the fundamentals of math. When we begin delving into the mysteries of mind, we cannot begin to understand what is revealed until we have a firm grasp of self. All revolves around the perception of the environment, the Divine, and the self. Namely all revolves around you.

When considering the environment of mind, we must go beyond the obvious. Medical science views the mind as being the result of a series of chemical processes. This is a very shortsighted view of such a complex system. In the early 1900s Duncan MacDougall reasoned that if a soul existed it must exert some physical evidence. For instance, weight. If mind or soul exists within the body, there must be proof. His experiments revealed 0.75 ounces left the body at death. [2] Unfortunately, this experiment did not meet the standards of science.

Reincarnation insinuates that the mind or soul – migrates from body to body. Consequently, the mind would have to exist in an environment different from what we are accustomed. David Bohm has a suggestion.

For Bohm, two universes exist, one that is external, and one considered internal.[3] He takes the accepted view of the universe being composed of matter and inverts it. We are aware that the natural state of the universe is flux. Everything that is measurable is continually evolving or dissolving. Suppose the ever-changing nature of the universe is the universe? This would mean that radiations such as ultraviolet and electromagnetic were the real planets and solar systems and what we call planets are pools or eddies of energy caught in sluggish systems. Wow imagine what that means. Creation is top down and down top. The environment of the mind is composed of these energies we call radiation and of what we refer to as cells.

Consider this. If we look to the river of Jordan being a representation of the flow of life and spirit, the river’s origin would be in the spirit realm and flows downward into the physical realm.[4] Physical reality would be the mouth of this trans-dimensional flow. In string theory, matter determines how space-time curves and space-time determines how matter travels.[5] The Divine operates on similar parameters as the mind. The difference being we are the vehicle of the Divine. The Divine moves us about in order to experience life.

Before the materialism of science took hold, which began with Descartes, there was no separation of humanity and nature. There idea was of a subtle substance within the body. During the Ancient period, the idea of anima or the breath of life was not contested. At this time, spirit was another word for breath and that was the animating force. After Christianity began setting up shop, the idea of an all-pervading breath of life became lost.

With the incursion of meditation into Western Culture, we have learned that everything has its origin in mind. Before something can be created, it must first have been a thought. Thoughts are what we create. Thoughts come into being because of desire. In most instances, desire is an illusion created by mind.

The most important stage of becoming lays in self-examination. We must understand who we are. For us and to do that, we must understand the ‘I,’ which is often our internal self-image. More precisely, our self-image is our mental counterpart.[6] We refer to this as the self. Understanding the role of self is what connects psychology to the occult.[7]

As children, we develop an internal self through our internal dialogue. How often have we heard others talking to themselves? This is a habit carried over from childhood. As adults, this internal companion takes on a larger role, becoming our mental counterpart. Our mental counterpart can be our inner critic or our inner coach.

Desires are often rooted in the body, which are imposed upon the mind. Thus, those who come out of the world can no longer be detained because they have overcome their desires.[8] This can occur when the mind awakens. Through our awakening, we discover our inter-connectedness with each other, nature, and the Divine.

Works Cited:

[1] (Bailey, 1978)

[2] (MacDougal, 1907)

[3] (Combs & Holland, 1996)

[4] (Gaffney, 2004) Gaffney places the earth plane somewhere between the bottom and probably the middle of the spiritual flow. This causes one to wonder what lies at the bottom. Obviously, something denser than the Earth. A black hole, perhaps?

[5] (Bousso & Polchinski, 2004). One may also assume that the body determines how the bioelectric field (aura) is shaped and the bioelectrical field determines how the body is composed. The major organs of the body generate specific electromagnetic fields and the field generated by the brain is considered the source of the mind. Scientifically speaking, that is.

[6] (Steiner, 1972)

[7] Occult means secret knowledge.

[8] (The Gospel of Philip, 1984). In this passage, Christ is explaining that the polarizations of the flesh, which are felt through desire, are crippling to one’s spiritual nature. However, to acknowledge the needs of the body and to fulfill those needs is equivalent to living in moderation.


Ultimate Reality

   Many authors have written of the three gunas, which are tendencies. While reading Archie Bahm’s The World’s Living Religions, something caught my attention. “Ultimate reality, whether as pure Brahman or pure souls, remains perfectly still, undisturbed, changeless, without motion (p78; par. 2).” Ultimate reality is the perfect balance so many strive to achieve. They fail to realize that perfection is changeless and without motion. The only way ultimate reality can be achieved is, “When latent, the forces of these three tendencies [gunas] remain in equilibrium so that no one dominates the other (p. 77; par. 1).”[1] In other words, when perfect balance has been achieved the ultimate reality exists.


Consider the ramifications of such a feat. Imagine if anyone can, perfect equilibrium. Its description is so sublime it’s frightening. At least, it is to me. Imagine, if anyone can an empty void. Imagine, if anyone can, a place where enemies do not exist. That may be enticing, but imagine, if anyone can, a place where loved ones cannot be. Imagine, if anyone can, a place where no light exists. Imagine, if anyone can, that we have no form. Imagine, if anyone can, a place where we do not exist. Only one word can describe such a place. That word is nothing. Only one flaw exists in this concept. It is an aberration of nature. It is the illusion of illusions.

   What are the three gunas? They are the rojas, sattwa, and the tamas gunas.[2] They are more easily recognized as the three illusions or tendencies of desire, tranquility, and fatigue. They are not harmful and are only labels with which to teach. They may also be responsible for suffering and the end to suffering. For instance, much of our suffering resides in our desires. One author describes suffering as being tied to lust, hatred, and ignorance.[3]

   Consider love. Many people, this very moment are searching for love. They don’t know what it is. They cannot describe it. They only know that they are supposed to have it or have experienced it. We’ll get into why in a moment. For now, let us say they are lusting after it. They have a very strong desire for love. People have done many things in pursuit of love, even killed others in an effort to possess it. When they believe they’ve found it, they tell themselves they are happy. Then the person they love no longer loves them, or the person they thought they loved isn’t the one. We are taught to cling to the fallacy of for every person there is the one, their other half, their soul mate, and until they find that person, they are incomplete. Theoretically, half of the people in the world are looking for their other halves. A portion of those halves may also believe that another possesses their half. Therefore, since it is their soul mate, they feel they have the right to take them away from their false lover, whatever the cost. Ridiculous, people don’t think like that, but they do. In 2010, 53 percent of those killed in the United States were at the hands of someone they knew. Furthermore, 37.5 percent were women who died at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends.[4] With regard to hatred, March of 2018 witnessed the development of the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom within the civil rights office. According to NPR, the policy this supports allows employers to allow workers to refuse services, including medical services, if it violates the person’s religious or moral rights.[5] This deals specifically with homosexuals and transgenders. Imagine the potential suffering attached to such a purpose, which obviously is fed by ignorance. If any would properly investigate this issue, they would find such people are part of Nature’s Divine Harmony. However, this only address’s one of the gunas directly. There are tranquility and fatigue left.

   Tranquility or peace is something many crave. They are often taught that meditation brings this to them. Due to this belief, they become trapped in an illusion. Meditation does not bring tranquility. Meditation may be a pathway towards tranquility, but it does not bring or even cause one to feel tranquil. Such a sensation is a by-product of the practice, but not its purpose. Just as meditation is not a means for enlightenment. It can lead one towards enlightenment. Meditation is about awareness and awareness disperses fear. To become tranquil is to become undisturbed. Meditation often disturbs.

During the practice of meditation, we discover something of ourselves. We cannot silence the mind, as its nature is to generate thought. At best, we become aware of thought. As awareness occurs, the direction of mind turns upon itself. As we discover self, we find that disturbance is part of the process of the nature of mind. We discover the illusion of tranquility and enlightenment.

   Fatigue equates with disinterest. When we become disinterested in anything, it is because we have become interested in something else. Through our disinterest, we may fail in completing a task, a thought, or even an experience. Consider this. Many of us move through life as though on a cruise setting, in much the same fashion as travelling along the highway. We make minor adjustments. We move through the motions and routines because we have become disinterested in life. We have surrendered power to another. People such as these have chosen to avoid responsibility. An entire religious movement has been couched upon the concept of passing the buck. It thrives and even exploits the suffering of its supporters, encouraging disinterest. No wonder it has been referred to as the lazy man’s religion.[6]

   As any can see, the gunas may be portrayed as our enemy, but they are not. They are descriptors of the conditions of the life experience. The gunas are neither harmful nor helpful. They simply are because they are insinuated into the fabric of nature. Nature is dynamic. Therefore, they can never be equal. There may be one instance where the gunas and all else are equal. This brief moment in time can only exist in the space between thoughts. Only here, can there be no tranquility. Only here can there be no desire. Only here can there be no fatigue. Only between thoughts can such a thing exist, because there is nothing to compare. The same can be said of the Gnostic Aeon or Absolute. If God is unchanging, then God can only exist between thoughts.

   The nature of life is change. Change is not necessarily progress. The only place where change cannot occur is where life may not exist. The only place where the ultimate, changeless reality may exist is a place where there is no comparison. The perfected reality can only exist between thoughts. Between thoughts, there is no death, just as there is no life. For those seeking to depart the continuation of rebirth, they must find a way to remain here. Ironically, those who possess the skill to reach such a place are the same beings that have chosen to return to teach us. They are called bodhisattvas.

   Perhaps Vedantism would be a more precise path. This path leads us towards indistinctness. To be distinct or noticeable is a form of separation. When one becomes indistinct, they have reached a state of unity. Perfection, in this instance is a form of distinction, for it is an achievement, or an end. Since all things truly cannot end, reaching a state of perfection is an illusion or a guna. When we become indistinct, we have unified with nature, for others, they have joined with the Universe, the Absolute, or Infinite Intelligence. As we see a balance as being a deception, we also see a motionless reality as a deception. For when we look to nature, all is in motion, and flux is the natural state of all.

[1] (Bahm, 1964)

[2] (Bahm, 1964)

[3] (Leifer, 1998)

[4] (Justice, 2011)

[5] (Kodjak, 2018)

[6] (Bahm, 1964)


Bahm, A. (1964). The World's Living Religions: A searching comparison of the faiths of East and West. Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Souther Illinois University Press.

Justice, U. D. (2011). Expanded Homicide Data. Feder Bureau of Investigation. United States.

Kodjak, A. (2018, March 20). Civil Right Chief at HHS Defends the Right to Refuse Care on Religious Grounds. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from NPR:

Leifer, R. M. (1998). Buddhism and psychotherapy. In A. Rappaport, Buddhism in American. Boston, MA: Tuttle Publishing.


BRDNSKY Guide...

The real difference between seeing a psychologist, a minster, a psychic, and a life coach is that “…the coach is someone whose job is to be on your side of the fence. They’re there trying to help you achieve your maximum potential and help you figure out how to get there along the way."

                                                       NPR's Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan - Sept. 27, 2011

The benefits of mindfulness meditation: Changes in emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress.

Psychological interventions based on mindfulness skills are an ever popular means of treating various psychological disorders. 

- Istvan Schreiner & James P. Malcolm (2008)  Behavior Change 25 (3) 156-168

What are you really looking for?

A while ago, I received a call from a referral partner.   The client was frantic. Know what she needed?  She was wanting a spiritual reading to find out what to do.  As we talked, she talked about not being able to find work.  She told me she didn't need to find a job. She could create a job!  She didn't need the reading.  What she needed was locked inside.  With some guidance, she found her answer was within. She didn't need psychic, she needed a coach. 


 If you aren't sure what is needed to get you moving, read Predicting Tomorrow's Psychology.  This was originally written for my final class in the BA program for psychology.  


We don't always need a spiritual or psychic reading, nor do we need therapy for all problems.  What we need are solutions.

Get your Brdnsky Guide.

The idea of coaching others has been around for a long time.  I received training in 1996 through Indiana University South Bend.  Certification through Coach Training Alliance came later

Did You Know?

Producing value is tied to honesty and integrity.  Thus, producing value is easier than creating value.



Hamilton, Mark; Alexander, Tracy; Savage, Eric & Wallace, Frank R. (2007). The Nouveau Tech Package of Inside Secrets. Neo-Tech Books

Want to know more?

The key to managing conflict is not to hide from it.  The first step is to acknowledge its existence.  Then, talk about it.

A mindful meditation: Mind over matter: Jon Kabat-Zinn.

When observed, mind is either contemplating the past or pondering the future. This contributes to a lack of awareness, limiting our perspective of self and our relationship to the environment. Such a state is akin to dreams.

Diehl, Katherine E. (1995). Body Mind Spirit Magazine, 14 (1) 42.

Experiencing Difficulties?

Some of the issues people experience may be due to unfinished business, meaning they can be traced to past relational conflicts.  Other problems may be a person's inability to reconcile events with expectations.  Exploring this possibility is important, because they can be resolved today.


From Barbara Okun & Ricki Kantrowitz - Effective Helping: Interviewing and Counseling Techniques

Research Note Between Religion and Spirituality

Spirituality is described as an exercise on personal freedom, personal experience, personal well-being and meaning to life in general. All of this takes place outside the realm of traditional religious practice, which is rooted in obedience to moral rules established by religious institutions.

F. Garelli (2007). Review of Religious Research, 48 (3) 318-326

The Relationship Between General Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Stress Levels, and Stress Reactivity

Emotional intelligence plays a more significant role in coping with stress than general intelligence.
Yogesh Singh & Ratna Sharma

The development of an internet-based support and coaching model

Many young adults have been sheltered from the adversities of life by their parents and find the transition difficult.  These people have a tendency to remain in their teenage mentality as long as possible.


Online sessions demonstrated improvement in self-esteem levels and a sense of coherence in those diagnosed with ADHD.


Wentz, Elisabet; Nydén, A.; Krevers, B.; European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012 Nov; 21 (11): 611-22

The desire for attention is natural.  However, we are often afraid to speak up. 

 Brenda Davies.  The 7 Healing Chakras

What Our Habits Say about Us

When we become sad, angry, or melancholy, our mind is telling us something is amiss.  The body does the same thing when it becomes ill.  The mind follows the patterns that have been laid down.  These patterns may include misusing food, alcohol, and drugs as coping strategies, or any number of unhealthy behaviors that perpetuate life dissatisfaction.  When we become aware of poor habits, we have an opportunity initiate life changes.  We can exchange dissatisfying habits for those that bring life satisfaction.

What We Do to Ourselves

What some do to themselves

In social environments, people often compare themselves to others.  During these instances, the inner critic may point out their inadequacies.  The reason why is because they set their standards just out of reach.  Periodically, people meet these standards, but the inner critic directs them towards those instances when they were not met.


Matthew McKay & Patrick Fanning.  Self Esteem

Individual-context interaction as a guide in the treatment of personality disorders

The relationship between personality and social context is dynamic. Half of an individual's personality is a result of genetic dispositions and circumstances determine the balance.


Hummelen JW; Rokx TA, Bulletin Of The Menninger Clinic [Bull Menninger Clin], ISSN: 0025-9284, 2007 Winter; Vol. 71 (1), pp. 42-55;

Perfection is the acceptance of imperfection.  For it is through imperfection that God is discovered.

Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Thinking is creating.  Problem solving is creative thinking.

Inspired by Abraham Maslow's Motivation and Personality

We are naturally Goal oriented, or purpose driven.  Without goals we have difficulty moving forward in life.  One might say that without goals, no matter how small they may be, we are lost.

Anthony M. Grant. An Integrated Model of Goal-Focused Coaching