My Problem with God

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 285th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

I’m one of those people who will tell you they’re spiritual but not religious. This is because I have a problem with the way religious leaders portray and profit from God.

My problem is not with the idea of a creator or other states of consciousness we possibly depart into after death. My problem is that religious leaders use God to control people. They tell people our creator is a man in the sky who judges sinners, but despite his disdain for those who sin, he’s allowed countless corrupt leaders to speak for him. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

My problem with God is a problem with man, because man has muddied what God and spirituality used to represent. Don’t get me wrong; there have always been well-meaning people who try to show the way and don’t stray from their path the moment they’re tempted. But there are also a lot of scammers, snake-oil salesmen, and just plain selfish people. They manipulate the masses into supporting them by appearing enlightened or close to God. Continue reading

Spirituality, Addiction, and the Power of Choice

Spirituality, Addiction, and the Power of Choice

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 250th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given below (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

$11.11 monthly subscription via credit, debit, or PayPal.

We find freedom through our choices in each moment. No matter how spiritual we try to be, we’ll fail if our choices are misaligned with the path we’ve chosen.

I’m not saying we should aim for perfection, because we’re human and we all make mistakes. If we have a goal for life, however, we should take steps to achieve it and make sure we don’t sabotage ourselves along the way.

Continue reading

I Stand for Love

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

People who create things for a living often have something to represent; whether it’s a belief system, a new way of thinking, or something else they believe can change the world.

I listen to a lot of reggae music, for example, much of which is made by Rastafarians with a message to share. Sometimes the message is about Rastafarian philosophy, and sometimes it’s about freedom or rebellion against corruption. These musicians have something to say and a great outlet to get their message out.

This is one of many examples of creative minds on a mission to share their truth.

For many, a life of creative work and a message to share go together. Without a message, their work is missing something. These creative minds inspire me the most, because my work also relies on having something meaningful to share with you. Continue reading

Franklin Merrell-Wolff Describes Enlightenment – Part 2/2


Franklin Merrell-Wolff

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

(Continued from part 1. Read full post here.)

If you wonder what it was like to feel the ambrosia (spiritual bliss) and experience the Current, here is Franklin’s description:

“I felt the Ambrosia-like quality in the breath with the purifying benediction that it casts over the whole personality, even including the physical body.

“I found myself above the universe, not in the sense of being above space, time, and causality, My karma seemed to drop away from me as an individual responsibility. I felt intangibly, yet wonderfully, free.

“I sustained this universe and was not bound by it. Desires and ambitions grew perceptibly more and more shadowy. All worldly honors were without power to exalt me.” (1)

Continue reading

Franklin Merrell-Wolff Describes Enlightenment – Part 1/2

The Teachers Speak (KEEP)

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

Wouldn’t it be great to have a description of one of the stages of enlightenment from someone who experienced it? I’m not referring to a guru, but to an active student on the path who discovered what he called the ‘Current’ and shared his experiences with the world.


Franklin Merrell-Wolff

This person is Franklin Merrell-Wolff. I might devote the next few articles in this series to dissecting and discussing his writings, because in them are embedded interesting experiences and mind-opening wisdom.

First, we’ll learn about a powerful experience that resulted in a deeper understanding of the fact that even though the mind creates reality, you experience enlightenment and oneness with the Source in a place beyond the stream of thought.

Despite this, Franklin was at peace with the mind during the experience we’ll learn about; he was aware of it but he didn’t engage it. This shows that despite the advice from many to get out of the mind and transcend the ego, they both accompany us into initial stages of enlightenment in a way that we are only loosely aware.

In the first passage, Franklin describes some of the circumstances preceding his experience. Continue reading

Cannabliss: The Spiritual Benefits of Marijuana

The Cannabis Writings PhotoBy Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

This is a part of The Cannabis Writings, a series of articles on the Culture of Awareness.

Cannabis can be used medicinally, recreationally or spiritually. Either way, the user will get something positive out of it as long as they don’t overindulge.

Recreational use can (but doesn’t always) cause overindulgence, and many spiritual users only use small amounts for the enhanced meditative effects. They don’t want to get intoxicated by using a crazy amount or doing it continuously, and a humble dosage is all they need for a good meditation.

There’s nothing wrong with recreational use, especially if you work hard and it helps you enjoy your work or unwind at the end of the day. However, to get the most out of the plant, one only needs a small amount and the willingness to let natural meditation take care of the rest.

Meditation can be powerful on its own, but if even a micro dose of cannabis is introduced, it’s taken to a whole new level.

This can be said about anything when paired with cannabis. It makes art, music and creativity better; it makes a sunny day better; it makes exercise better; it basically improves whatever one’s doing when they use it. This includes meditation.

Plenty of spiritual writers have shed light on the benefits of cannabis, but we tend to discuss it in a vague way that shows support but doesn’t explain how it helps people spiritually.

What about it makes it so powerful and helpful?


You’d have to experience it yourself to know what it’s like, and the simplest explanation I can give is that it provides a higher state of consciousness, known by some as the essence of God, in plant form.

It’s a gift from our creator meant to be used spiritually, ceremonially, medicinally, recreationally or however it best serves us, and the fact that it enhances everything means that it enhances who we are on a soul level.

Everything seems better with cannabis because it puts you in a temporary higher state of consciousness where your connection with the Most High is pure and you can pick up on guidance and enhance your creativity.

To state that it’s the plant form of a higher vibration is, in my opinion, the best way to describe its spiritual value. Yet, this too is a vague description that doesn’t do justice.

In my opinion, the reason some become paranoid when they use it (beyond the fact that it’s illegal and taboo, which can cause anxiety), is because in enhancing and expanding their consciousness, it makes them aware of their fear, anxiety and nervousness.

When it makes people giggly, it illuminates the inner child, who’s dying to be free; to laugh and play as joyfully as it once did.

“When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.”- Bob Marley

It temporarily brings aspects of the subconscious mind into the conscious, and whatever we’ve suppressed (including the inner child) will come pouring out during such a powerful experience. The giggle eventually goes away for most longtime users, because they slowly learn to integrate the inner child back into their life.

It no longer needs to show itself in big ways during the few precious moments it has during an experience with cannabis, and it becomes a regular aspect of life just like the ‘adult’ self.

Credit: Alex Grey

Beyond the personal experience necessary if you want to really understand what cannabis does for the mind, body and spirit, some in the spiritual community have shed light on specific benefits that most of us can generally understand.

We’ll look at some of those benefits here, and I should stress that this information doesn’t have to be accepted as fact or taken as a guide to spiritual cannabis use.

If anything written here doesn’t resonate, you don’t have to accept it just because I or anyone else supports it. Go with what you know and feel is right, but try to be open to this information because it could contain some truth. You’ll never know if you don’t give it a chance.

According to writer ‘Abhishek’, the cannabis high operates on a higher vibration mostly unknown and unexplored in modern society, making it different from synthetic drugs that, in my opinion, lower your consciousness.

It can also help cosmic energy flow freely throughout the seven chakras because of its higher vibration, which is imparts onto the user. The seamless energy flow results from the chakras’ increased ability to absorb subatomic particles.

It can help the 7 endocrine glands function properly, but only if it’s used in moderation. I’d imagine using it too heavily can inhibit their proper functioning, and anything that becomes an obsessive habit will begin to have a negative effect.

Cannabis is no exception, which is one reason moderation is encouraged.

It’s important to be in the right spirit and the right frame of mind when using it; otherwise you might not get everything out of it you seek and longtime users may be driven to use more to find what they’re looking for, which doesn’t work.

If you use it specifically for spirituality, it’s best to be clear on your intention before, during and after.

It can also enhance psychic powers due to the free flow of energy through the chakras, which can help us understand the purpose of existence and reclaim our seemingly lost connection with God.

I’m sure some people would laugh at the idea of having psychic powers because it sounds like something out of a children’s cartoon, but as we expand our consciousness, we’ll be amazed at the kinds of things we can achieve.

“It is important to consume marijuana in limited quantities with the right spirit. Focusing on your thoughts and your heart will certainly serve to change the way you think and understand certain fundamental aspects of life.” – Abhishek at


While some people consider meditation to be more powerful and more worthy of pursuit than cannabis, the latter enhances meditation and helps the free-flowing cosmic energy dance throughout the seven chakras and express itself constantly in our lives.

Spiritual users would be best to focus on the plant’s meditative aspects, but no matter how you use it, don’t forget what it can do for you.

Remember that we have a valuable opportunity to clear the mind and meditate in every moment, and try not to rely on anything external for what can only be found within.

There are decades-long recreational users who never discover its spiritual value because they never use it for this purpose, so try to look at the plant in a new way and see if you don’t get something enormously positive out of it.

(Sources embedded in article.)

Courage Comes from Love


By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

In my eyes, to be courageous is to be willing to do what we know is right for us and the planet even if it scares us. We can achieve anything if we have courage and we can persevere, but it’s easier to be afraid of challenges and new experiences than it is to confront them.

A lot of people prefer to avoid the challenges life puts on their path, but they don’t understand that those challenges exist for a reason.

The purpose of life (beyond trying to make the world a better place) is to learn and grow until we eventually reunite with the Source, and we won’t make any progress if we avoid challenging ourselves and learning new things.

In order to overcome a challenge, we have to find the courage to confront it (and keep going once we do) no matter how much we’d rather stick with what’s comfortable. For example; we’ll be tempted to give up on our life purpose a lot because it isn’t always comfortable or enjoyable, but if it means enough to us, we’ll never stray too far from it. Continue reading