Nothing Is As It Seems by John Cali and Spirit

Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearances. ~ Jean de La Fontaine, French poet

Hobos2Hobos, United States Library of Congress

Years ago we wrote a post about a hobo in my western New York State hometown. For many years he lived in the woods by the railroad tracks, not far from town. Although people would pass by his little shack now and then, he never spoke to anyone.

We always thought he was just a sad, pitiful lost soul, with no family or support. He wanted nothing to do with people. To be honest, people in my small town—including me—judged him pretty harshly.

My spirit guides once talked about our “rush to judgement” of other people. Here’s part of what they said:

You judge and criticize and condemn others based solely on appearances. But nothing is as it seems.

Those appearances are always projections from within you to the outer world you see around you.

In fact, the world within you is the world around you. They are one and they are the same.

You cannot judge or criticize, or condemn another without judging, criticizing, and condemning yourself.

P.S. That “sad, pitiful lost soul” died one day years later. He was discovered by someone who happened to be taking a walk in the woods.

That’s when we found out he came from a powerful and wealthy family. But we did not know the pain and sadness he must surely have felt—nor could we have.

I often wonder, even today all these years later, if we would have judged him so harshly if we’d known more about him. I would hope we’d have been more compassionate.


This is a short, sobering video on how easily we judge others when we know nothing about them—except their external appearance.

Related links:
Judgement Day
There Are No Strangers
Cowboys, Essential Oils, and Assumptions
Beliefs and Relationships
Oneness and Illusion of Separation


Have you ever judged someone by external appearances when you first met him or her? What happened after you got to know that person? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.


What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.

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About John Cali

John Cali is a writer, blogger, and channel for a group of spirit guides. His next book is Conversations With Spirit: Real Answers to Life’s Pesky Questions, Book 1. John lives in northwestern Wyoming.Sign up for his newsletter here.

Personal readings with John and Spirit

29 Responses

  1. Martha

    For anyone who’s interested here is the link I ran across with all those great ABRAHAM quotes with a specific focus on health:

    These are offered by a wonderful woman I’ve just connected with named Alora Cheek.
    I love how desire toward a particular subject magnetizes more of it .
    The Universe really does deliver when we ASK!

    As Abraham would say,


    Okay…I’ll be quiet now.. 😉


    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, again, Martha. I’m sure those Abe quotes on health will interest many of the folks on this forum.

    • Margaret

      Thank you John, thank you Martha, thank you Alora. The Abraham quotes SO helpful. My husband is struggling with chronic pain and we have exhausted medical remedies. I think we are on the right track now.

      Martha, your enthusiasm is wonderfully uplifting.

      Happy creating 🙂

      Love Margaret x

      • John Cali

        Thanks very much, Margaret.

        I’ve got a few folks among my close family and friends dealing with chronic pain. So I can appreciate what you and your husband are going through.

        I’m reading a wonderful book right now by Dr. Joe Dispenza. It’s all about healing — or returning to wellness is the way I prefer to think of it. The title is You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter.

        If you haven’t seen it, you and your husband might find it helpful. There are some incredible true stories of healing from all kinds of illnesses and pain, even so-called “incurable” ones.

        Here’s where you can find it:

        I’ll add you and your husband to our prayer list. God bless you both!


        • Margaret

          Thank you John for your support and for directing us to ‘You are the Placebo’. We are looking forward to reading it and, amazingly, it should arrive in the post tomorrow!
          We already feel the support of your prayers. Your sympathetic and thoughtful reply has really given us a boost and if we had emotional barometer it would be showing high readings for joy and hope.
          Will let you know how we get on with the book.

          Bless you

          • John Cali

            You’re most welcome, Margaret — it’s my pleasure!

            Keep up those high readings. 🙂

            I’ll look forward to hearing how you and your husband get on with the book.

            Love to you both,

      • Martha

        Thank you, Margaret.
        Blessings to your husband. . . May he find relief from his pain now.. SO BE IT!

        As I walk through my own path of self healing, I am reminded that:

        All dis-ease has a root cause vibrational component.

        Wishing wellness, wholeness, happiness and harmonious vibrations to all!



        • John Cali

          Thanks very much, Martha.

          I agree — all dis-ease has a root vibrational cause. I’ve found Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, an invaluable and timeless resource for understanding illness.

          Love, John

          • Martha

            Yes, John.
            It’s amazing how Louise Hay was a prepaver for ABRAHAM. Talk about warming up the audience! She was waaaaay ahead of the curve out there on the leading edge.
            It makes perfect sense that many years later Esther and Jerry would join forces with her and allow the Abraham books to be published by Hay House.

          • John Cali

            Yes, I agree, Martha. The Hay House-Abraham Hicks partnership is, as the saying goes, a match made in heaven.

  2. Pat K

    I was considering putting this video up on my Facebook page. Then I got to thinking: How does that jibe with the principle of “giving attention to the unwanted”—which thereby adds energy to the unwanted and INCREASES it?

    What has Spirit communicated to you in a situation such as this?


    • John Cali

      Well, Pat, I don’t think we need to be concerned with “giving attention to the unwanted.” I certainly was obsessed with it for many years. So I have a bit of experience with it. 🙂

      I think the “secret” is to acknowledge there’s a lot of stuff out there that is unwanted. There’s nothing we can do about that. Nor should we care about it.

      But we are all powerful beings and creators. Part of our power is the freedom to focus on what we want. And to not focus on what we do not want.

      We are powerless to prevent others from choosing what they want — or to prevent them from focusing on stuff they consider unwanted. But it’s not our job to worry that something we say or do might possibly cause others to focus on what they do not want. We are not their saviors.

      So the answer, for me at least, is for us to focus on what we want. Then the example and energy we set will inspire others to do the same. Or it may not. The key is for us to remain in our centered powerful place of peace. Then we will inspire others to do the same.

  3. Margaret

    In one of my Saturday art classes in Chicago, when I was 15, was a girl who was a dwarf. Clumsy body, large head, I was surprised at the kids who sat up front with her and enjoyed her company. That was weird to me. 14 weeks later I’m walking down busy Michigan Avenue with her, laughing, talking. (Don’t remember how I became friends.) when I suddenly realized all these people passing us by were starring at her/ us; and it took me a couple of seconds to realize – oh yeah, she’s a dwarf. That’s when I realized I had ceased seeing her as a dwarf and only saw her as my friend.
    Who’s appearance I have trouble accepting on a daily bases is my own. I don’t like the over weight body, nor the aging face, I see in reflections. I have been working forever to get it not to bother me. No one else has a problem with my appearance. I know myself very well. I use it as a distraction & protection, etc. Its all a useful tool for my many aspects of myself. So the me that is typing is disappointed with my appearance and my apparently -no say – in the matter. It is a daily struggle to not pay attention to my judging self. I’m forever doing prayers, using soul healing angels, and my encodement techs to help me stop the judgments. I guess its still useful to parts of me to not give up the judgments yet. : / lol

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Margaret, for sharing yourself here. I know that took a lot of courage. I appreciate it. And I’m sure the others who read your message will too.

      Blessings, John

  4. Stephanie

    Perhaps the hobo person from New York was more FREE than those who observed him? In the little town where I now live is a homeless fellow who walks around town barefooted year round. I have given him food on a couple of occasions but have discovered from others that being homeless is his CHOICE. Townspeople have provided him shoes, food and shelter .. but he chooses only to accept the food. For whatever reason, he has chosen the life that seems to suit him the best. Perhaps he enjoys the freedom of his own choosing more than the pressures of society?

    • John Cali

      Thank you, Stephanie. That’s a great way to look at such situations. After all, none of us can truly know what’s in the heart of others. And homeless people, as you say, may well enjoy the freedom their situation provides them.

  5. Terri Powell

    Greetings John,

    I so enjoy watching the featured videos that come along with your messages. The video on the homeless was poignant and hits close to home. Pun not intended but realized I am poignant too. Somehow after watching that video I landed on a “Snake Bytes” video. Normally, snakes freak me out even though as a 12 year old I raised two iguanas. I watched the entire video and was amazed, I found appreciation for their beauty and temperament. I then watched another video by the same ‘gentle’ man, whose passion with snakes was evident, and I was intrigued watching.

    Isn’t it wonderful that such a mind opening topic can lead to such satisfying, proving results of opening up ourselves to the areas we have closed down. After watching the children all want to be part of holding that beautiful, big snake with light colors, I found myself also willing to hold it. While others may want me to use that ‘wanted’ word, I can say I shifted to ‘willing’ which I’ve never been in before. Less judgment. Phobia really diluted after watching the appreciation the owner had for his precious flock. And I watched a second video on the scaleless snake which so good.

    Great pick John.
    Thanks for being an inspiration again.
    Hugs, Terri

    • John Cali

      Hi Terri,

      Thanks very much for your comments.

      I too found the homeless video poignant. It’s interesting that led you to the snake videos. I also used to get freaked out by snakes. But now I appreciate their beauty, and their place in this wonderful world of ours. They are, as my spirit guides say, also part of all that is — God.

      That’s very interesting those children wanted to hold that snake. I remember reading about a snake in an animal communication book — I think, but am not certain, it was in a wonderful book, Heart To Heart, by Pea Horsley. In it she talks about communicating with a normally deadly snake (I think it was a cobra) — and the cobra had such a sweet, loving presence. Amazing!

      Thanks very much for your kind words, Terri.


  6. Pat K


    Your story really spoke to me. One of the places that I lived when I was preteen was in a rural area of New Jersey. Our home was at the top of what is called a “mountain” in New Jersey—(less than a foothill to you, I am sure).

    Across the road was a wooded area, and it went all the way down to the bottom of the “mountain,” to what the locals called “The old New Your to Philadelphia Stagecoach Trail.”

    There was a path from the top of the mountain to the bottom, that intersected with the old stagecoach trail. Right at that intersection there was a small tarpaper shack, in which lived two brothers. The locals called them the Coddington Brothers—hermits–and we children were to stay away from them. Only in the summer did we see them, when they peddled strawberries from their little garden.

    One day, consumed by curiosity and an equal amount of utter lack of good judgement, I ascertained that they were not in their shack, and I sneaked in.

    I saw a pile of personal letters in their living area, and sure they would provide clues to the mystery of their lives, I stole a bunch of the letters and took them up on the mountainside to read them, and then buried them there under the leaves.

    The letters revealed that they had been prominent lawyers in the area. Something had gone bad and they were disgraced and no longer practiced law. They had children who were grown, and it was they who had written the letters.

    Later, State Police came to the house asking my mother if she knew anything about anyone breaking into the Coddington’s home, and of course she didn’t. But later, she questioned me, and I told her the truth. She was so shocked!

    But the thing was—like you, until I experienced my mother’s reaction to my behavior, I did not think of the Coddingtons in the same way that I thought about other people. I NEVER would have done that to a “normal” neighbor. I thought they were “less-than” I and others like “us.”

    When I read the letters, at the ripe old age of 11 (?) I realized that adults around me “didn’t know everything” and could be wrong about people. And if I wasn’t careful, I would end up with the same erroneous opinions as they had.

    Of course, there have been many other lapses into the opinions of others, but that one was the most painful…

    Thanks for letting me write about this!

    • John Cali

      Thanks so much, Pat, for sharing this warm, wonderful story. I’m sure it will be deeply inspiring to those who read it here. It certainly was inspiring to me!

  7. Martha


    This touches me deeply.
    As someone who has not had a permanent home since 2004 but instead a series of temporary dwellings and has travelled and slept in my van when I did not have a place of my own, I have, without declaring the title, in fact, experienced homelessness.
    Living on edge as I do ( though I’d like that to change very soon! SO BE IT) I am sensitive to this subject.
    My life has been very difficult the last few years, the past year especially with the quite serious health challenges I’ve had. I was blessed to have kind hearted friends take me in after I was discharged from the hospital who nurtured me, took care of me and loved me in so many wonderful joyous ways – and this was a friend I hadn’t seen in over 10 years. She doesn’t have a penny to her name and yet she and her mother gave me everything they had..heart, body and soul. She picked me up bynthe scruff of the neck and said, “You’re coming home with us! ” And it was one of the happiest weeks of my life. Because they loved me, no matter what.
    Your story of the hobo in your hometown struck a chord in me. How many souls seek refuge from a life they were born into that felt all wrong? For him, who knows his story, but that humble shelter may to him have been a sanctuary representing freedom from the dynasty he fled from. We’ll never know. But this is a poignant topic.
    I myself have many rich friends and yet not one of them has offered to help me or take me in until I can regain my health fully to be able to rebuild my life and show up for it 100%.I often think about this and how wide the divide really is between my situation and them living obliviously their comfortable lives. Even when I have told them just a little of my health or financial struggles and exhorbitant medical and dental bills it is as if I hadn’t said it. And lf course I have my own sense of shame about it which makes asking for help close to impossible although I am getting better at it in other ways.
    Apparently we live on different planets.
    I have always said that if I were extremely wealthy and I mean mega millions wealthy, the most fun part for me would be helping people. Sitting down and writing out a check for $50k. or a $100k to someone I cared about who I know would be liberated from their current hardship would give me tremendous joy! And yet the richest people I know are actually the stingiest! But then I know there are wealthy people who are extremely kind and generous who do good things all the time with their money and seek to make a difference.
    I shared with you my vision for a house of healing a few months ago because I am sensitive to the limitations of a society that looks callously upon those who are foundering or have fallen through the cracks. We judge those people and sidestep them or deny that they need our help when what they need is to be seen, heard, valued, recognized cared for, honored, respected nourished and loved.

    I wonder, had anyone been willing to befriend that man in your town and tried to help him if he would have been able to accept it? Or if he had made a decision to live a quiet life of desperation, or….if that’s what his soul signed on to do even before incarnating?
    One thing’s for sure…there’s no OUT THERE. There’s only IN HERE.
    When I judge my rich friends for not being more generous or for not helping me, I really am projecting my relationship with my self.
    How do I withold from myself? How am I not helping ME?
    The world reflects back to us our beliefs about ourselves.
    And yes — you and Spirit are right about us humans being harsh judges.

    We are all ONE.

    We should be rushing to LOVE one another instead of rushing to judge.

    Well, I think I’ll start with me.
    I’m doing a pretty good job of loving myself one day and sometimes one moment at a time.



    • John Cali

      Thanks so much, Martha, for sharing your personal story. I’m sure others reading it here will as deeply touched as I am.

      There was a short time in my life, many years ago, when I was without a permanent home—or as “permanent” as anything can be in this lifetime. I was never “on the street.” But the feeling of being without a physical home of my own was new and upsetting to me. Of course, everyone here knows our real home is within each of us.

      You certainly are blessed to have such loving friends. They demonstrate that, despite the state of our world today, there is far more love and compassion out there than there is hatred and cruelty.

      You’re quite possibly right about that hobo in my hometown—he may well have wanted the freedom his lifestyle provided him, as opposed to a possibly repressive home environment. I now know we cannot judge him. But we certainly did back then!

      And, as you said, perhaps this was part of his soul’s plan for this incarnation.

      As you also said, there are stingy and generous people among the super-wealthy—just as there are among folks not so wealthy.

      I also personally know quite a few very wealthy people, some in my close family, who are extremely kind, loving, and generous with their time and money. There are so many good, compassionate people on this planet! They just rarely make it into the news headlines.

      Thank you very much, Martha, for sharing—and for your warm, wonderful wisdom and compassion, for yourself and for others.

      God bless you, my dear!

      Love, John

      • Martha

        Hi John,
        Thank you so much for your thoughtful loving response to what I shared. I can feel the Universe reaching out to support me as I continue to ask for clarity in this process I’m in of learning to love myself.
        You know, I get alot of things landing in my inbox. But I want you to know that whenever I see a message from John Cali and Spirit, ( which thankfully is often! ) I feel very happy! I can trust it to be a loving package of goodness that is wise, thoughtful and kind. Your messages are sweet respite that I always look forward to. A safe, harmonious haven in a world of delusion and chaos!

        Everything right now seems to be dovetailing synchronistically. The way the Truth is weaving into my Spirit as I draw meaningful threads together.
        Right now while in a lovely cottage by the sea in Rhode Island, I am taking a bath in ABRAHAM. YES — I am having a wall to wall day and night ABEFEST watching and listening to ABRAHAM You Tubes. This immersion intensive is helping me so much!
        I am remembering how important it is to tend to my vibration. Especially because of the deep rutted grooves of negativity from my past, childhood etc that have been my all too familiar point of attraction.
        THE POWER OF NOW is that I can start from where I AM NOW to look for and find things to feel good about. I am doing this as an act of will and it is a discipline to keep my mind on a positive track because that has NOT been my habit! But as ABRAHAM says, ” The Better it Gets, the Better it Gets”! In very short order too with just a little effort on my part looking for things to feel good about in my environment.

        Recently I ran across some pretty great ABRAHAM quotes that are helping me understand why cleaning up my vibration and getting into the Vortex ( HAPPY!) is THE ONLY WAY TO RADIANT HEALTH AND WELL BEING. Inside out, not outside in.
        Here are a few of my favorites:

        “Illness or pain is just an extension of negative emotion. When you are no longer feeling any resistance to it, it’s a non-issue.”

        “If you’re using the word healing…you can’t use the word healing without activating illness at the same time. So just the word itself messes up the vibration at the beginning. Where wellness can…wellness is pure and doesn’t necessarily activate the illness that you’re trying to overcome.”

        “Unless you do something about your vibrational countenance, nothing can change. Nothing long term will change, that’s certain… Haven’t you noticed that a new disease pops up, and humanity finds the cure, only to find another disease popping up? Don’t you think it’s interesting that you don’t get to the end of those diseases? The reason you don’t, is because you have not yet come to the end of pushing against things.”

        “Is Abraham saying that you could reach what you consider to be a prime human physical condition and that you could maintain it for as long as you remain physically focused in this body? The answer is, absolutely yes. And it doesn’t mean reach your prime and then jump off a cliff the same day, either. It means, reach your prime and bask in the deliciousness of that. Now, why is other than that the more consistent experience? Because most everybody is looking around and vibrating in response to what they are seeing. So, what is the solution? Look around less. Imagine more. Look around less. Imagine more. Until your imagery is the most familiar vibration that you have. ”

        If nothing is as it seems, then it would follow that SOMETHING IS AS IT IS!!


        Whenever I am out of tune with that, I do not feel good. When I don’t feel good I tend to judge: myself and others. I tend to base how I feel on what I am seeing instead lf what I WISH to see. This is the trap of ao called ” reality” and where the Imagination is key.
        I love how Abraham says,

        At the time years ago when I heard this, I thought it a clever turn of phrase.
        Only now am I getting how truly key this statement is to my own well being!


        So bottom line:

        Every soul who comes here has free will to make choices. I cannot possibly understand what would motivate anyone to be, do, have or choose anything. Even if it’s seems to be tragic or terrible by society’s standards. It’s really none of my beeswax!
        My only job ( and that is ENOUGH! ) is to tend to my own vibration as I make my way along tue leading edge of Deliberate Creation. I’m in school here, and all appearances to the contrary due to a lack of understanding, I think I’m doing a pretty good job of connecting up the dots and if living a little too long in the discomfort of the contrast is what it has taken for me to awaken to my own creative power, ( ” THE SAME ENERGY THAT CREATES WORLDS) then SO BE IT!

        The way ABRAHAM tells it, I’ve got a veritable fortune of miracles and wonders waiting for me in Vibrational Escrow from all the asking I’ve been doing while in the contrast. And I am really looking forward to lining up with pure positive energy as I stay more amd more in The Vortex so that Source can deliver them to me!

        SO BE IT!

        Thank you John, for all you give and for sparking these wonderful exchanges!



        • John Cali

          Thanks very much, Martha, for your kind words. I’m delighted you enjoy getting our messages.

          Like you, I love Abraham, and have for many years. They’ve had a huge positive effect on my life. I’ve printed out your lovely letter and will read the Abraham quotes after I finish work today, and can fully enjoy them.

          Take good care of yourself, my dear. You’re a bright shining light to so many — always remember that!


          • Martha

            Thanks, John!

            Sorry about the typos!
            ( Missed a few keys there in my enthusiasm)

            ” ENTHUSIASM….from the Latin, ” in Theos ” meaning IN GOD ! ”


          • John Cali

            You’re most welcome, Martha!

            We all make typos now and then, especially when excited. 🙂

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