Archive for March, 2017

sunraysOur journey to spiritual and social evolution begins with your minds aperture. Living with an “open mind” is an important facet to personal and spiritual evolution. The ability to be open to new ideas is really the key to self-discovery and being able to connect to the healing, holistic energies that surround us. We need to be open to innovative ideas and we need to be open to re-analyzing our old belief systems. A belief system is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing natural philosophy, religion, politics and even relationships. Really you can have a belief in anything. For most of us, a belief system is based on religious beliefs or blind faith. As you will learn, most of what we discuss and experience in this blog revolves around the laws and theories of science, thus requiring very little blind faith.  The knowledge and wisdom learned from The Responsive Universe will be gilded from your own experiences. The truth in such knowledge will come to fruition through actions and living by example. In order to evolve as humans on a social and spiritual level we need to analyze old belief systems we used to call our own. We need to discard the archaic and unnecessary and connect to a belief system that incorporates all possibilities within this grand Universe. When we expand our minds aperture to the infinite possibilities that exist within this Responsive Universe, anything is achievable.


Do you believe that? That anything is achievable?


I have learned through experience that the aperture of your open mind will determine what is possible and impossible. The truth it seems is in the experience; our insight and knowledge is dependent on our link to our True Nature. Any genuine want or desire that is created in the mind is a dynamism that exists within reality – you are connected to this energy whether it is born from the mind or your surroundings – quantum physics has many great studies on how energy connects and manifests our actions, reactions, thoughts, dreams and yes fears. Energy is measured by how mindful you are. Imagine the person that drives home one evening with their mind preoccupied about fear of the future, fantasy and past, not even noticing a beautiful sunset exploding to the west, signifying the finale of another day; and then there is the person who is mindful and connected to the present who sees the sunset as a union to something sublime; even a sign or milestone that he or she is evolving in the right direction; perhaps synchronicity – that perhaps we do live in a Responsive Universe. Please understand that anything is achievable when your focus and intent is genuine. Be mindful of this…

The purpose of this blog and really our purpose in life is to achieve a “personal” level of enlightenment. Enlightenment is living a life of bliss, free of ego and suffering. We need to be careful here and not consider enlightenment the same as perfection. Perfection is a difficult if not impossible benchmark to reach therefore in the genuine pursuit of enlightenment our primary focus is continued improvement or evolution in a positive direction. I use the word “personal” because though the definition of enlightenment may have a common domination, the true essence of enlightenment will be different for every individual. Much like our finger prints which are unique to us as individuals; our own personal search for enlightenment is also unique and needs to fit our very own needs and desires. Like a handprint in the wet sand near the shore, you’re hand needs to fit the mold – thus being the perfect, aesthetic match. The first problem that arises is that enlightenment is not found in the “material world” we were born into. In order to reach true illumination we need to strip off the chains that shackle us to this ordinary world. We need to walk uphill even though most around you are walking down hill. It is ironic but true; in most cases the more difficult path in life tends to be the more fruitful. There are few shortcuts in life and choosing the easy path through conflict, challenges and changes tends to lead only to mediocrity and suffering. The evolutionary goal is to walk toward the sun – toward the healing light – toward enlightenment. Enlightenment is a blessed state in which the individual transcends most desire and suffering and attains Nirvana. Nirvana is an enlightened state of being, void of suffering. As you will begin to see, the concept of suffering is the mainstay of this problematic “material world” we all live in.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs describes an imaginary pyramid that begins with physiological needs at its base and aesthetic principles of self-directed growth at its apex. After the satiation of water, food and warmth humans seek love and safety needs. These requirements are born from a more primitive human existence dating back millions of years. It was not until more recently – the last 3,000-5,000 years that humans have began searching for self-actualization. This is where the genesis of modern religion began to root itself in humanity. Self- actualization is really just another word for enlightenment.  This higher level of reasoning and understanding is really the last evolutionary step in human perception and consciousness. We are just now entering this new realm of reason which includes asking the most pressing questions in life: Why do we suffer? What is God and how does the Universe function? What is the meaning of life? …And how am I connected to all this? These questions take us away from the dogmatic, close minded view of what religion has presented the last couple millennia and urges us to take a more dynamic approach. Deep down there is this almost primal hunger to know and understand and through awareness and understanding we become more self-evolved. Religion was created by man in an attempt to feed this hunger to know and understand yet for many it is not enough. Our appetite is voracious and for some of us, there is this peculiar feeling that the concept of God as it relates to the Universe is much more complex and magnificent. Somehow the concept of enlightenment figures into this puzzle that also includes feelings of bliss, love and healing energy. You might be asking, “How do I fit into this Responsive Universe? “Where do these feelings of bliss and positive energy come from”? Why do negative emotions like fear, anger and jealousy root themselves in our lives? This rift in emotions is explained by the two worlds we discussed earlier: the “material world” and our “true reality” governed by Mandalas. More to come in my next Blog post.

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own journey in Self-Discovery.

About the Book:

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter



Thanks for visiting the Responsive Universe! It is truly my hope that after reading this blog or even my book, the Responsive Universe some of your views and perspectives in life have changed for the better. Hopefully you have found new empowerment and now see the world as a beautiful place with plenty of space and synchronicity. It is not my focus to create any upheaval in your belief systems or to claim one system of thought as wrong or right. My focus is to combine the wisdom of other authors and philosophers like myself and humbly put into words a more palatable vision of this Responsive Universe we live in. I do want to ask tough questions about god and religion but I leave the answers up to you. Each of us has our own path to walk on this adventure in life and only you can answer life’s most intriguing questions. My focus is to propose a fresh viewpoint and hopefully create an environment that may produce small, subtle shifts in perspective. Eventually, when you make space within the mind, clarity will arise within that space and your inner voice will speak wisdom. It is from that wisdom that your answers will materialize. Please remember everything you need in life to find bliss, happiness and healing energy is already found within your True Nature; it is already found in you!

The fact that you have made the effort to visit my Responsive Universe domains (whether you bought my book or not) proves that the premise of the Responsive Universe may have opened new doors to your thinking and perception. It has created some interest… Maybe you have found the meditations and daily life practices to be beneficial. Maybe you like my Photos. Maybe you have made small shifts in your perception of life that has moved the pendulum of thought away from fear and fantasy, past and future; to a more mindful existence in the present. Being mindful of the present and finding clarity in the space you created is the evolutionary goal. You should be congratulating yourself because this thing call self-evolution is not an easy path. As you may have found, it is a continuous uphill battle. Yet, the enduring benefits of living in a Responsive Universe are innumerable. As days turn into months and months turn into years, a new person will emerge from that hollow shell of ego and false-self – a self-actualized you! Yet, if you found yourself on my Blog, Facebook or Twitter page and are still hungry for more; please join me as we enter the literary world of the Illumination of the Nine Mandalas.

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own journey in Self-Discovery.

About the Book:

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

We normally focus on meditation, mindfulness and self-discovery here on the Responsive Universe Network. But lets face it, sometimes life has an uncanny precision at dragging us away from the center of our energy and True Nature. Tax season can be one of those culprits and yes, here in the United States, filing those dreaded returns is right around the corner. Writer and guest blogger, Julie Morris give us some tips to being more mindful this tax season:

Extensions are commonly misunderstood by American taxpayers. Should you file one? Not if you can help it—in most cases, the average taxpayer has plenty of time to file by the deadline (this year, you get an extra three days with an April 18 deadline). However, some taxpayers need an extension. Maybe they have to hunt down missing documents, there was an unexpected event such as a death in the family, or they’re new to paying US taxes and fell behind on getting professional help.


All extensions must be filed before the April 18 deadline. Otherwise, you’ll likely get slapped with a late payment and/or filing fee. Extensions can be a great help in buying time, but you still need to abide by deadlines. If you do file for and get an extension, you’ll have until October 17, 2017, to file your 2016-year taxes. Also remember that extensions are just that: They simply extend the amount of time you have to file your taxes—you don’t get more time to actually pay those taxes.

If you think you’ll owe money, you still need to estimate how much that will be, and either pay in full by April 18 or set up a payment arrangement with the IRS. A CPA can help estimate taxes due, and also aid in scheduling estimated quarterly tax payments going forward, if applicable. If you’re a small business owner or contractor, paying quarterly taxes is often a great way to plan ahead, not get an IRS penalty, and avoid owing a large sum (or getting a huge sum back) next April.

How Can I File an Extension?

Think an extension is for you? There are a few ways to file one. The easiest for many is e-filing federal tax extensions with an online program or with W2 or 1099 software. You can e-file an extension request, make an estimated tax payment, and access both hard and soft copies of all your documents. E-filers will get a notification if and when the extension is accepted.

Alternatively, you can print and mail your extension request to the IRS with Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return. It’s an incredibly short, easy form to complete, and all instructions are included. Make sure to make a copy and preferably scan this form just in case of any troubles. Just like e-filing, you’ll also want to estimate any taxes owed and postmark payment by April 18.

What About State Taxes?

Similar to how you file federal and state taxes separately, the same goes for extension requests. Some taxpayers are able to file state taxes by the April 18 deadline, but need an extension for federal—and vice versa. If you’d like to file a state extension, the regulations vary from state to state. You’ll have different deadlines and mailing addresses, so check your state’s tax site for information. However, it’s safe to assume that you’ll need to also file your state extension request no later than April 18.

If you’ll be making any payments by credit card, you can do so via the IRS’s preferred Electronic Payment Methods. You can also pay by check or phone, but paying via credit card is much easier to track, and you’ll get automated updates from the IRS. Keep in mind that estimating your taxes owed isn’t so much an “estimation” as a mathematical equation that you need to get very close to correct. If you underpay, you’ll owe interest on the unpaid amount if it’s not received by April 18. If you underestimate by over 10 percent, you’ll also get a 0.5% penalty applied every month until the balance is paid.

Extensions and estimating payments are within the scope of a CPA. It’s just another reason to get this tax professional on your side before tax season really takes off.

Author: Julie Morris


Image source: Pixabay


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