Sunday, December 14, 2008

Being in the Holiday Spirit

We're excited to announce that, by popular demand, we are now able to offer the lessons of the Course of Training to Spanish-speaking students. Our dear friend Marta, who has worked with us for many years in the past, has begun translations and the first lessons are available in Spanish beginning January 1, 2009. We are grateful to Marta and to all our friends in Spain, Mexico, and other countries, who have helped to get the word out to people. If you know of someone who might be interested in receiving translated lessons, or if you would like to send a gift subscription in English or Spanish, please contact us at drbutler.course@gmail.com. (for Spanish: drbutler.cursoesp@gmail.com).

It is significant that we can meet together this way and participate in a dialogue of such a high and profound nature. We have a divine place right here devoted to positive living, unconditional loving, and exploring the deeper realms of the inner Self. In each moment we have a clean slate. It is up to us from this moment onward.

Unless you are totally new here, you are aware that this blog serves as an introduction to the Course of Training, Living in the Truth of the Present Moment, available by email. For information about the course, write to the email address at the bottom of this post.

Many are currently enjoying the lessons of the course and have reported remarkable changes in their state and experience of life in a relatively short time. If you like the blog, you'll love the course, and hopefully that is intuitively obvious.

The Course of Training explores how the ancient principles of Truth can be practically applied to all the various aspects of daily life—career, work, relationships, dealings with other people of any nature. See the first July entry of this blog for a list of topics covered in the various sections of the course.

You can also receive the first month of the course free of cost, simply by writing to us and requesting it. The course consists of 2 lessons a month, and when you “try out” the first two lessons it will be obvious whether the principles explored there seem relevant to your life.

On the other hand, it takes the average person about two years or so before beginning to fully recognize and appreciate the course for what it actually is, but that is another story altogether. Let's simply say the course consists of more than mere words online or printed on paper, and thankfully every now and then someone above average comes along.

The principles of Truth are universal laws that apply equally to all times, places, and people. They were known and understood by enlightened beings long before any of the major religions of the modern world were even formed. Three centuries before the Christ taught his profound philosophy for better living, a great Master known as Vivekananda (in English “Vivekananda” translates as “the bliss of discrimination”) said: How can a person know anything until he first knows himself?

The principles of Truth are the basis of all religions and philosophies, yet in themselves they have not been twisted or distorted into any particular religious doctrine or sectarian dogma. They are free of any “ism” or “ology.” They are reduced to the utmost simplicity and clarity.

Anyone in the world can practice the principles of Truth in his or her own life simply by understanding how they function to determine our perception and experience of life.

We meet here on the blog as a way of sharing current times together, as a means for staying in touch, and as a "question and answer session" in the comments following each entry. We are entering the holiday season, with both Christmas and Hanukka coming up later this month, and for many people throughout the world this is a special time of the year.

If love, kindness, generosity, gentleness, cheerfulness, and greater awareness of our true nature are heightened during the seasonal celebrations, then they serve a great purpose.

Certainly the Christ, the great Jewish Master whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas, would exhort us to live in such ways, for he himself was an embodiment of love and compassion.

During my younger days I was driving late one night along the country roads between Jamestown, NY, and Erie, PA, and I passed a sign that said: Jesus came to save sinners.

Being raised as a Southern Baptist, I had heard such ideas all my life. Yet suddenly I understood a whole new meaning to the idea of saving sinners.

From a yogic point of view (yoga literally meaning “union”), there is no such thing as sin. The only true “sin” would be the consciousness of sin. When we see sin in others or ourselves, or consider others or ourselves as sinners—which includes all blame and making wrong—then we create sin in our life, as well as imposing our own “sinful” standards onto others in our world.

Actually, from a yogic point of view, the only possible practical meaning for “sins” would be the samskaras (conditioned tendencies) that are habitually destuctive, harmful, unkind, or imposing patterns of behavior. When we lose awareness of these little buggers, and they get out of control, they can cause all sorts of “hell” in our life that we could just as easily live without if we were free from them.

In the course we explore all aspects of breaking free from conditioning, yet I warn you in advance, it requires true discipline to actually see results in one's life.

Not the discipline to eat more healthily or to exercise more regularly, or even to practice hatha yoga or to actually sit for meditation. What is required is the discipline to live now the way we know is right to live.

It is not a discipline that takes "time" to master; it is a discipline that can be applied only in the present moment.

Do we live as we consciously choose, or are we controlled by subconscious tendencies (samskaras)?

Ah, that is the question. And the only time it can be asked or answered is right now.


What's more, we can only ask it of ourself, and we can only answer it for ourself. No one else's answer is relevant to us. Each person has his or her own inner work to do, whether he or she is currently conscious of it or not. There are definite reasons that we are alive in physical bodies on Earth. Are we aware of what these specific reasons are? Do we know what we are here for?

The Christ explained it clearly when he said: Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Where is this “kingdom of God” that we should seek first? The Master located it quite specifically when he said: The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! nor Lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Like people today, the people during the time of the Christ thought they were living in hard times. In fact, throughout history people have commonly thought that they lived during hard times. It is simply the way of the world. We didn't come to the land of karma to take a vacation or to be on a picnic.

We could live that way, but it would require full awareness and presence, and an exalted appreciation of each moment exactly as it is.

Once we want to change something, or think something should be changed, the ego is involved once again.

We are playing a virtual reality game of a human experience, but we've forgotten it is a game and were never taught the rules (laws, principles, regarding the true nature of something, or how something works.) Instead the ego interprets the input of the senses around the story it has created of its "own life." Then we have the ego thinking it is an entity unto itself.

In this way a false entity arises that we identify with as being who we are, yet in reality that entity exists only in imagination. Only when we are free from the influence of ego can we be free.

When the people during the time of the Christ said they were poor and hungry, he advised them: What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.

This was the most practical advice he could have given them. He was explaining how to direct creative energy, and this is the most proven method for improving, expanding, or refining one's lot in life on any level. There must first be a belief in the heart, in feeling, before the corresponding experience or condition can exist outwardly, objectively, in our personal life. Unfortunately, many of us are invested in believing in the very things that make us miserable. All this is explored in detail in the lessons of the Course of Training.

May you enjoy the happiest of holidays this year. I joyfully affirm the radiant health and exalted well-being of each person who reads this.

Our greatest responsibility in life is our own happiness, and that is also the greatest contribution we can offer to others, for happiness is contagious, and can be passed to others through a cheerful attitude and lighthearted approach to all relationships.

My love and good wishes go with you.

For more information about the Course of Training by D. R. Butler, write: drbutler.course@gmail.com

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome to the Course

This month ends another year on our calendar. We have one last month of 2008, and then it's on to 2009. Can we make the most of ending this year on a high note, before moving on to the next year of our life?

If you are a regular reader of the blog, and especially if you are taking the course Living in the Truth of the Present Moment through email, you know that I keep emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive outlook, a positive approach, positive responses to things, positive thoughts, and positive feelings--all of which are available only in the present moment.

In the course, we not only explain what needs to be done, but how to actually do it in our own life.

After discovering the principles of Truth as a teenager in Mississippi during the early sixties, and after sharing these same principles with others around the world since the beginning of my original course through mail in 1975, I have seen one thing very clearly: it is not enough to merely "know about" or to "agree with" the principles in theory.

The only thing that is actually relevant is: are we actually applying the principles of Truth in our life right now, as it manifests in this current moment?

Too many people know about, and even teach others about, the principles of Truth, yet few actually apply them in all situations and circumstances, and in all aspects of relationships, all the time. Yet this is the goal--consistency in practice. Mere theory or philosophy is not enough, no matter how brilliant we might be.

Okay, as is our custom, we will now present a few of the questions and answers from the "comments" following the last entry. I truly appreciate all of your contributions, and I feel that our dialogue has been excellent since beginning in July. There is a lot in the
"comments" following all the entries that each person on earth can relate to in some way or another if they contemplate how the principles apply to their own life.

If you are new here, I recommend reading all the previous entries as well as the "comments" following each entry, as there is a lot of great stuff to contemplate. The dialogue has been exquisite. The easiest way to read comments under each entry is to simply click on the title of the entry, and then all the comments that follow it will be presented in large type. Now on to some questions and answers:

Michael: What place do faith, hope, and love hold in sadhana? Do you see them as virtues to cultivate, as ongoing practices that gentle the mind and open the heart, and/or as processes that will eventually culminate as the last samskara is discharged?

DRB: This is one of the most challenging questions I have received yet, Michael. Leave it to you. I had to get out my dictionary.

Looking up "faith," my dictionary says: "1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. 2. Belief not based on logical proof or material evidence."

According to these two definitions of faith, I'd say it is definitely a virtue to cultivate this quality. First of all, it is most important to have faith in our own Self, in our own value and worthiness; secondly, we can develop faith in the source of our spiritual inspiration, and the great value of the principles of truth; third, we can have faith in the community of seekers that we are a part of, and give up any sense of being alone on the path, or of isolation from loved ones.

If I were to add another valuable use for faith, I'd say we need to develop faith in the goodness of our lives, and in the truth that only good will come to us and our loved ones, and that everything happens for the best.

Moving along to "hope," my dictionary says: "1. To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. 2. To expect or desire."

Well, hope doesn't look very hopeful for spiritual purposes, if we go by the dictionary definition. For spiritual growth and maturity we need to be free from wishes, expectations, and desires.

Many people unfortunately substitute "hope" for "faith," and "hope" that the best thing happens, uncertain of whether it will or not, instead of having a firm faith that everything happens for the best, with a firm certainty.

So, for the most part, we can learn to be free from hope and replace it with positive affirmation. Generally speaking, to "hope" something happens is to rest in the belief that it very well might not happen. Therefore, for practical purposes, "faith" is much superior to "hope."

My dictionary defines "love," as: "1. An intense affection for another person based on personal or familial ties. 2. An expression of one's affection."

I don't particularly like this definition of love, at least in terms of spiritual work. The dictionary definition seems to refer to the common melodramatic uses of love, which often result in attachment, obsession, possessiveness, jealousy, and all that gunk that the sooner we are free from the better.

From a spiritual perspective, love is the feeling that arises when we experience our oneness, or at-one-ment, with another. When you and I experience our oneness, love arises between us. If an entire group feels its oneness, as we used to experience at our weekend workshops, then a feeling of great love arises among the entire group. My teacher used to say that love is the secret sensation of the Self. That is certainly as good a definition as I have ever come upon.

Mely: Talking about love...
What does it mean to love? Where does love come from? Why is love related to the heart? Is love only in the heart?

DRB: As far as what does it mean to love, my answer is that it means to tune into the love that already exists deep in the heart center. As we will explore in the section of the course focusing on love, we do not use love as a verb. I have yet to witness anyone demonstrate what they do to "love" someone. All you can do is tune into your own inner love, which already exists in all its fullness.

Love does not go anywhere. We simply become unaware of the love already in the heart by focusing the mind on mundane matters that seem momentarily important yet only contract and limit our experience of the moment.

Where does love come from? Love does not come from anywhere. Love is already here. Love is already present even before our first thought arises. Everything comes from love. Everything starts with and ends in love. We live in an ocean of love, and asking where does it come from is like a fish asking where water comes from.

We have no better chance of intellectually understanding where love comes from than a fish has of understanding the source of water.

Why is love related to the heart, and is love just in the heart? We are not referring to the physical heart here, although there is a connection. In yogic terminology, we are referring to the heart chakra, the heart center, which is the center of love in the individual. When we fully feel our love, our heart swells with the sweetness of love. Love is not just in the heart. Love is all-pervasive and eternal. It's just that the individual experiences love in the area of the heart--corresponding to the heart chakra, which is the inner energy vortex where love is centered.

We will explore love in depth in the lessons, and there is much to understand about it. We are limited in how much we can discuss it in a blog, but we've made a good start.

Teri: I have just recently come across your writings for the first time, and for some reason your teachings, even the title of your course, remind me of Eckhart Tolle and his work. Would you say that your teachings are similar?

DRB: I had to laugh when I read that, Teri. I remember a few years ago, when Tolle's first book came out, so many people wrote me to say something like, "The fellow who wrote this book is obviously someone who has been taking your course and attending your workshops. Everything he says sounds like it came from you."

Amusingly enough, the first time I actually heard one of Tolle's talks, several years after first hearing of him, I truly did have to laugh, because it sounded like hearing myself talk with a British/German accent. He actually was speaking very similar ideas to what I had been writing in my course since 1975.

Anyway, obviously, I have a great appreciation for Tolle and the work he does. The amount of preparatory work he did in the broadcasts with Oprah has opened many to the idea of inner work who might have only recently glimpsed for the first time what is truly possible for us in this lifetime, and the incredible potential that lies ahead for those who are willing to seek the Truth wherever it leads them.

I am happy there are people like Tolle out there now still traveling and giving programs and meeting with people. I did those things from 1975-2000, and now I am happy to sit here and work with folks online and let people like him do the legwork, so to speak.

I am sure if the two of us were to ever meet, we would share a lot of laughter together.

There are definite similarities between our style and teachings, yet we also each have our specialties. He goes into some stuff that I don't get into, and I emphasize some things--such as the creative power of thought and the even greater power of focused attention--that he doesn't go into that I know of.

We had different teachers and different backgrounds, and so of course we would have different strengths. I appreciate his work, and I imagine if he ever were to actually read something I wrote, he'd appreciate mine as well.

At least he hasn't yet had anyone create an anti-Tolle site, or an ex-Tolle site, or a leaving-Tolle site. That's a pretty outstanding achievement for a modern-day spiritual teacher, during these days when anyone can gossip on the Internet about anything or anybody as though they know what they are talking about.

There are even sites where they lump all spiritual teachers together and spin all the negative stuff about all of them that they can come up with. Now that's wise use of someone's time and energy. That really helps us all; thank you very much for your great contribution.

Our Course of Training available through email is all-inclusive, and excludes no one's way of thinking. Anyone can practice any path or religion and live by the universal principles as taught in the lessons of the course. There is no conflict with anyone else. Not only that, no one can rationally argue against any of the principles explored, except by resorting to dogma and blind belief.

The principles as taught in the course are universal, and apply to all times, places, and all people living anywhere on the planet. The course is a handbook for living on the planet during this particular era.

Sara: I have a question about lesson 2 and readjusting our future karma. Say someone tries to drag me into an argument and in working on not reacting, I just watch the drama unfold. However, on the inside every trigger has been pulled and my ego is totally reacting (resentment, anger, etc). So on the outside I appear calm and observing, but sometimes what's going on inside is explosive. I understand that by not reacting and being dragged into someone else's drama, I can change my karma with them, but if the ego is still reacting inwardly against my best wishes, what happens then? How do I work with this?

DRB: Sara, that is a great question. There are just too many people out there who seem to want to drag us into fights and conflicts as soon as they can manage to do so. Egos thrive on doing this. This is particularly difficult to deal with when the person trying to draw us into conflict is our husband or wife or partner or friend or associate.

Most of us were raised by parents who fought through their whole relationship, and many were emotionally abused by parents who, in the name of doing what they thought was best for us, emotionally intimidated us with their anger, frustration, irritation, and downright oppression.

I know I learned at a very early age to keep quiet and out of the way as much as possible. As a child I lived in my own world. I tried to remain aloof and unaffected by my parents' fights, and that aloofness remained with me for many years.

Over time I trained myself not to care about things, especially regarding any hurt feelings or emotional pain I might have. As an adult, I had to deal with chronic depression for many years. I was also deeply reserved and inhibited. At parties, as a young man, I stayed in a corner and watched, with very little active participation with others. I was a loner in every sense of the word.

Fortunately I found a great teacher who worked with me on all these things, and brought me out of myself and finally into the freedom of spontaneous expression, where I could come from the heart without intellectual interference.

Anyway, you are doing very well if you can deal with the triggers of anger and resentment without exploding and being drawn into the argument or fight. People want us to bicker with them, they keep digging at us, doing their best to provoke us. This is a primary feature of the ego, and in most people today the ego has absolute power to control us in any way it is conditioned. The only way to avoid this is to stay away from people altogether. From this one can glimpse the features of monkhood. Of course, for most of us, this is neither practical nor good for our spiritual work, as it is through coming in harmony with others that we grow.

You can become free from being affected by other people in this way, but it requires a great deal of discipline that is usually developed over a period of time. It requires true discipline, not simply the discipline to practice yogic postures or to sit for meditation or to wake up early or eat healthily, or whatever your idea of discipline might be.

True discipline is living according to the principles of Truth in everyday life--from moment to moment--not just thinking about them or agreeing with them or believing in them, for these things in themselves result in no transformation whatsoever.

As I write, I realize the true answer to your question can only be answered through the lessons of the course, where we can progress from one level of understanding to the next, more expanded level of understanding. In this way we move up the ladder of the evolutionary process. We can learn to help, and we can begin helping ourselves simply by not getting in the way and stopping ourselves from learning and growing.

We have to learn to remain centered within, perhaps in the column of light that corresponds to the spine of the physical body. In this column of light there is power to act and create and the strength to remain unaffected by the outer world, including the words and actions of others. The inner column of light is indestructible; if an atomic bomb exploded next to us, the inner column of light would remain unaffected.

There is also the formless light. Being formless, it must logically be all-pervasive. It can't be formless and only take up a little bit of space, otherwise it would have form. When we learn to center our attention in the formless white light, or the golden light within our own being, then we are never dragged into the conflicts and negativities of others. They bounce off us like drops of water in the shower. Yet, like I say, it truly requires a great discipline.

As you progress through the lessons, you will understand more and more what I am speaking of. It will become more clear as you go from one lesson to the next, and you will grow stronger in your practical application of the principles.

Ari: It's been great reading everyone's contribution in these blogs. Sure beats what is being written on some sites on the Internet these days!!! Glad I can focus my good energy and continue to have great experiences with the very same practices others are now bashing.

I do have a question pertaining to our bodies and experiences with pain. With these lessons I have started to incorporate how I think with how I end up feeling with some old injuries I have. I experience some degree of pain in one part of my back and have for years. I am starting to change the way I view this part of my body. Before it was always "I have a bad back, this part of my back is stiff and hurts". Now I am visualizing my back feeling normal and speaking well of my back. Do you think I'm on the right track with that or should I just practice witness consciousness?

DRB: Ari, you already know how I feel about the "bashers" on the Internet. Don't even get me started. I know that everything is an expression of the one God, or the Infinite Omnipresence, but Internet sites bashing the spiritual work that others do are worse than mosquitoes, ticks, and skunks in the grand scheme of thing--just to mention a few of the things I can't grasp why the Infinite decided to manifest as.

I can only believe that their resistance must aid the growth of those who move forward toward the light. Since this current age, Kali Yuga, is the darkest and most spiritually ignorant time to live in, yet the very best time to do spritual work for accelerated advancement, I figure all the bashing sites are simply an aspect of Kali Yuga.

Seems like everyone would just pitch in and help everyone else, instead of having to make a point of being against something, or bothering to point out their opinions regarding flaws and imperfections in others, but that's just me. My teacher said, Anyone who says anything about another person is deluded. To me that is cutting through the BS and resolving everything back to the basic Truth of Being.

How we perceive others is determined by our own conditioning and our own vision. It has much more to say about us than it does about the others we think we speak of. We each use our energy either as we are conditioned or as we consciously choose, and the latter is definitely a great minority.

Regarding the pain, that's a hard one. I'm sure you've heard the story of the woman whose child died and she went to the Buddha and asked him to bring the child back to life. The Buddha told her to go around to all the homes and find a family that had never known death, and he would then be able to help her. After a while the woman came back with renewed understanding, for she could find no homes that had not known death.

It's kind of the same thing with pain. Everyone experiences pain. Dealing with pain would take a whole lesson in itself, if not a whole section of the course. I agree that you are doing the best thing by "seeing" and "feeling" that your body already exists in radiant health. As is explained in the lessons of the course, radiant health is the goal, not simply health.

Focusing on what you actually want is turning on the light; focusing on the pain, or on what you don't want, is like trying to push the darkness out of the room.

From my perspective, pain seems to be a certain aspect of the physical world. Even saints and sages and great beings of all traditions experience pain. The Christ was cruxified on a cross; imagine how that felt. Today there is the persecution of the "bashing sites" that you mentioned. All this persecution sends more pain out into the world. That is their contribution: more pain.

It is not really possible to live in a human body and not experience pain. It simply goes with life in this world. It's as though pain is one of the elements required to make up the physical world--or at least the polarity of pain and pleasure. Probably if we were above experiencing pleasure we would also be able to transcend pain, but that is a discussion far beyond the scope of the blog.

Rico posted a comment regarding Ari's question, and I fully agree with his approach. Rico said, "Since I first injured my back, pain has been a more or less constant companion. I have tried just about every treatment available short of surgery. I've tried visualizing a healthy pain-free back. All of these methods have offered some varying degree of relief, but it never goes away entirely and often when I am physically active the discomfort can be intense.

"After all this time I have finally come to realize that trying to avoid this discomfort or make it go away does no good. I have come to accept it and if not quite make friends with it, at least I don't have an active aversion to it anymore. I do all I can to take care of my back doing hatha yoga and Tai Chi stretching before any physical activity.

"To paraphrase the Buddha, pain is a part of life. Once I stopped trying to avoid it the impact pain had on my experience was greatly diminished."

Rico has sincerely practiced sadhana (spiritual work for greater freedom and expanded awareness) for many years now, and I find his advice to be very wise. We can't really win our war against pain. Better to understand and accept it for what it is, and then focus on something more positive that we actually do want instead (radiant health.)

There are many more comments and questions and answers worth going over, but this seems a good length for a blog entry. For those of you who write that you "can't get enough" this will give you something to focus on for a while. Participants in the course receive a new lesson today, and recently received the Thanksgiving Newsletter. That plus this is plenty to chew on for now.

If you do not take the course by email, and would like to receive a copy of the Thanksgiving Newsletter, simply write us and we will send it to you, free of charge and no questions asked.

If you happen to be among the "bashers" referred to above, who might be checking this out for whatever reason, I invite you to join us here for positive discussion and a positive focus instead. It is easy to get caught up in a wave of being against some teacher or organization, yet that path leads nowhere. To approach true freedom, we must aim for and consciously work toward something positive, some uplifting and expansive conclusion to things, maintaining the possibility of transformation.

There is no future in simply being against something. We serve no purpose through opposition, or through focusing on negavity, limitation, or imperfection of any nature.

Think of what you actually want, on what feels good to you; stop considering what you do not want, or on what feels bad to you. The principle is simple enough that a child can understand and practice it, yet for many of us the actual practice of it seems so elusive.

For now, let's work on what we can do. We can apply the principles of Truth in our own daily life, if we will. Do we have the will to actually do this? It is a question we must each answer for ourselves.

To receive the Thanksgiving Newsletter, or for information about D. R. Butler's Course of Training available through email, write: drbutler.course@gmail.com


Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Spiritual Perspective on Speaking Your Mind

How freely can we speak our minds?

Can we say whatever we want around our loved ones without worrying about their reactions, or do we have to walk on eggshells so that we don't disturb anyone's ego?

As is obvious to anyone, if our relationship is based around preserving each other's ego, then it is a very limited connection and probably will not be very fulfilling. We can't enjoy an open and harmonious relationship if we worry about the other's reaction every time we voice what we are truly feeling or observing. When this happens, couples tend to stop communicating altogether, and this marks the end of the enjoyment of the relationship, for open communication is essential.

All couples should establish the foundation of communication that either of them can freely say anything without the other reacting. Otherwise, if you can't speak your mind without the other coming down on you because of it, the relationship cannot grow.

Only the ego reacts. The inner Self simply observes the dialogue without taking anything personally, or feeling that anything has to be righted, corrected, or confronted.

I will be focusing more and more on the lessons of the Course of Training available through email, and working with those who are actively participating in the course. Of course, we will continue with new blog entries twice monthly as a means for staying current with each other, and as a great avenue for questions and answers. We have enjoyed an interesting discussion over the past couple of weeks, and I'm bringing up 3 exchanges in particular so that everyone can see and perhaps focus a little more deeply on what is being discussed, which I find very valuable and relevant.

I feel that the entries already posted in the blog are an excellent introduction to the Course of Training, and anyone who reads over the blog should have a fair idea of what is available through the course. I especially recommend the entry of November 1 for learning more about the course, as well as more specifically where we are coming from. Also, at the end of the very first entry in July, titled "Introduction," there is a list of topics that are among what we are exploring in the Course of Training.

While the group who began the new course in August/September will receive Lesson 6 sometime later tonight, work is also being done for the future. Speaking of the course in Lesson 17, it is written:

"This Course is for those who are open to the possibility that rapid spiritual growth is possible if we are willing to work toward it. It is for those people who simply want to come into harmony with the present moment and to be content in their own life as it is right now. It is for those who have experienced a fruitful spiritual path for many years and want to explore even deeper. It is also for all those who simply have some inkling that there is much more to life than what they have previously known, yet for whom the ideas and terminology of the lessons are new and unfamiliar.

"The Course is simultaneously for those who are absolute beginners on the spiritual path and for those who might have done sadhana (spiritual work) for many years. Most people who will appreciate the lessons are those who begin the Course having already attained some understanding of spiritual principles. I work primarily with those who have been around awhile, and few absolute beginners show up; but they are indeed welcome.

"Ultimately, the Course is for anyone who sincerely aspires to see and experience the simple Truth of the existing moment.

"We can learn what is new only when we maintain a state of inquiry. True self-inquiry is an exploration of what is true right now.


"I invite you to accompany me on this fascinating adventure, this exploration of the Truth of the present moment. As we proceed along this journey together, our experience of life can be transformed and our understanding deepened and refined. On one level, the Truth of the present moment is eternally changeless. On another level—the fun part—we have no idea what might happen next."

I truly recommend that all the comments under each entry are read, as I don't allow anything that doesn't contribute positively to our opening through dialogue. There are really great sharings of the course, as well as many thoughtful questions and answers regarding the day-by-day process of spiritual growth.

If you are new to these writings, please note that the person who posts under the name "DRB" is none other than myself, the writer of the blog and the Course of Training, D. R. Butler.

Now on to the questions:

Kristina: I have been working on myself for awhile and it seems that I am not what I thought I would be when I started the course many years ago. I am often confused and I certainly don't feel like I am beaming with the light of god. I often feel quite the contrary. I do accept myself a lot more and I am less scared to say what is really on my mind. This is what bothers me. I used to be a very timid and reserved kind of person (I didn't get into any trouble) and now it seems I speak up more and I have more personality and I care less what others think. This scares me because I think I am becoming some kind of monster. It just seems that before I was always safe and pleasing to everyone, while now I have become the opposite. I don't know if I am going in the right direction towards my Self or if I am just going around displaying my big fat ego and making a total fool of myself. It seems I am getting into more trouble these days. Things don't always seem harmonious. Sometimes I am afraid of what comes out of my mouth and after I think, I can't believe I just said that. I challenge what people say to me and I am more critical of things others say. Like I want to think for myself more than just listen to someone else's jibber jabber. It doesn't seem very positive to me. Obviously, I know that I am not an enlightened person which I aspire to, but am I on the right track?

DRB: Kristina, I relate totally to everything you are saying. I was just describing to someone not long ago about how I have changed over the past few years. One is that I speak my mind more without being afraid of what others are hearing. I also complain more, as I figure at this point it's better to just say something than to keep it bottled up where it will fester. If I have the freedom to complain without there being a reaction to my complaint, it only takes a moment to get it off my chest and then it's forgotten (if the other doesn't take it personally, that is; otherwise, it can initiate a whole chain of negative reactions). Repressing the feeling, however, builds up toxic energy that will lead to unpleasant consequences.

Kay and I have an agreement that either of us can say anything to the other without the other taking it personally or reacting to it, just so that we are both allowed complete freedom of expression. We both strongly recommend that all couples and partners adopt this principle in your own relationship. Neither partner should feel censored regarding what he or she is allowed to express to the other. Holding things in is bad for both physical and emotional health--which are obviously closely linked.

Kay has expressed to me that she thinks I've grown grumpier over the years, but that she's also noticed that I seem to be happiest when I'm simply allowed to be grumpy without anyone thinking anything of it or feeling that it needs to be addressed somehow.

There is certainly no reason to take another's grumpiness personally. After all, it is just as egotistical to take offense as it is to give offense.

The feeling I got from reading your question was that you are simply becoming more real, more spontaneous, and less of a people-pleaser, which are all big steps. It's a huge step to finally just stop caring about how others see or hear us, or what they think of us.

A great teacher once said, "If people think better of you, it will not help you; if people think worse of you, it will not hurt you"

I can certainly attest to this in my own life. I have had large groups of people at a time relating to me with great love and respect, and it didn't do anything for me, it didn't enhance my own experience. I still had to maintain my own state. And I have had people say and write the worst things about me imaginable, and spread the most ignorant rumors, and it didn't hurt me at all. I still had to maintain my own state.

You said, "I do accept myself a lot more and I am a lot less scared to say what is really on my mind."

This is a good sign, Kristina, and a big step to take. I'd say keep heading in the direction you're going. You have a good heart, and one day you will attain all your dreams.

Mary: Thank you to Kristina for her honest share - I feel like I'm in the same club - letting my "inner monster" out after 54 years - but I also feel my inner affectionate, tender self coming out as well. I think I have to be able to feel my pain to feel my joy - and go through it cleanly (or let it go through me, rather) without letting the ego do its "misery" thing. I find that really tricky. My question is, do you agree, and how does that fit in with refusing to consider what is unpleasant? I know you said not to complicate things, and I don't want to either, but sometimes clarification helps to cut off my ego from protesting with "yes, but" stuff. Thank you so very much

DRB: There is a truth to the fact that as we break free from our tendencies to be inhibited and reserved, and allow ourselves to freely express those things that are not so people-pleasing, our "more affectionate and tender side" comes out as well.

When we are enslaved by inhibition, we prevent the expression of the best of ourselves as well as what we fear might be the worst of ourselves. This is why ultimately we have to be free from inhibition. Only then can we be truly spontaneous.

Later in the course, we will explore the "Seven Deadly Samskaras," and we will examine how inhibition is a limitation we must break free from. Otherwise the highest cannot freely express through us, which only happens spontaneously. The Creative Power of the universe doesn't have to plan things out in advance.

I loved when you said: "I have to be able to feel my pain to feel my joy - and go through it cleanly (or let it go through me, rather) without letting the ego do its 'misery' thing."

It is a great attainment to go through pain cleanly without getting into the negative emotion of misery, or without using the pain as a justification for allowing ourselves to be miserable, or to make a martyr of ourselves ("Oh, my life is so hard. So many bad things happen to me.")

Pain in itself is not an egotistical melodrama. Misery is. Misery comes up when we create a mournful story to go along with our pain.

Much better to, as you said, go through the pain cleanly and be done with it without making a big deal of it.

When we discipline ourselves enough to think only of what is pleasant, which is true discipline, then even our pain will never lead to misery. If we continue considering what is unpleasant, then we can experience misery even when there is no real or valid pain. In this way misery itself is an egotistical melodrama.

Ari: It was very liberating to read what you and Kristina wrote about expressing yourself freely and not worrying so much about how others view us. When I was young I was very outgoing and always spoke my mind (I'm talking grade school here). Then I suffered some trauma in my life and went into a shell for a long time. Through it I found yoga and a spiritual practice. I feel I have come full circle again but have not had the courage to really start speaking my mind until recently. With it I started to have doubts because it felt like such a big change. I felt at times it was "unyogi" like. So it was reassuring for me to read your posts on this subject.

My only added comment on it is how do you know when you're just being an ass or speaking your mind? I remember reading a quote from my spiritual master on the subject. She said why would you spend all this time doing meditation if you're going to be mean to the first person that you come across? I think if you are coming from the heart you will be coming from a good place and wont have to worry if people are approving of you.

DRB: Ari, you answered your own question: "I think if you are coming from the heart, you will be coming from a good place and won't have to worry if people are approving of you."

This is so true, and the very best answer to the question you presented. Simply come from the heart--from a place of love, kindness, and respect--and whatever comes out is what is best for everyone involved.

It's more a matter of vibrations than semantics. In other words, it's not so much what is said as what is felt as the words are spoken. Someone teases us playfully, but the ego is quick to take offense at the imagined slight, interpreting the words as a serious insult. Many of us have a hard time with imagined slights.

Your spiritual master is obviously very wise when she said: "Why would you spend all this time doing meditation if you're going to be mean to the first person that you come across?"

Too many of us practice our practices, meditate, repeat homilies and platitudes about what is good and best and right, and then we act like an absolute jerk the first time someone says something we don't like.

Kristina's post seemed to strike a nerve with several people. A lot of people think it's "unyogi like" to speak their mind--but the yogic Masters I have worked with didn't seem to subscribe to that particular point of view. They spoke their minds to me several times, pulling no punches, and it was always very good for my ego.

You can speak your mind and still come from the heart, still come from a place of love and respect. Sometimes fierceness is required in certain situations.

I am reminded of a story I once heard about Swami Satchitananda, one of the yoga teachers I met and studied with for a while in the early 70's. He was traveling on a crowded train in India with an older swami. The older swami had to leave his chair for a moment and asked Swami Satchitananda to please save his chair for him. Soon after he left a burly man came and sat down testily on the seat. Swami Satchitananda sweetly explained to him that the seat was saved for an elderly swami who would be right back. The burly man refused to budge.

Suddenly, Swami Satchitananda turned to the man and roared like a lion. You could hear his roar throughout the crowded coach. The burly man took one hasty look at the apparently mad yogi, and then quickly retreated from the chair. Soon the elderly swami returned to his seat without further incident.

Sometimes we have to roar like a lion. Sometimes, when faced with extreme negativity, stupidity, or rigidity, what is most appropriate is not always the nicest or most people-pleasing thing to do. Sometimes intensity is called for to serve a noble purpose.

Look at Arjuna, in the Bhagavad Gita; he had to go to war with cousins, uncles, gurus, and sages on the other side. When Arjuna doubted that war was the best option, Krishna reminded him, "It is the duty (dharma) of a warrior to fight for a noble cause."

Sometimes we have to fight for a noble cause--and such noble causes may be big things or seemingly smaller things. Yogis aren't always sweet people. My own Master once said, "I am not the kind of swami that turns the other cheek."

I enjoyed all the comments from last time, and I look forward to seeing what all of you come up with this time.

For more information about D. R. Butler's new Course of Training available through email, write: drbutler.course@gmail.com

Saturday, November 1, 2008

See Your Course New

Wow, today is November 1, 2008. I feel like I am living in a science fiction movie, like I am living in the future. Everything amazes me these days. Just that we can communicate together on this level in this blog amazes and awes me.

One of the primary aspects of the blog, and the Course of Training available by email, is the section at the end of each blog entry containing "comments" from readers. There have been very good questions and answers there in the comments section.

Once again we will present a couple of questions and answers that have not been published yet, and then we will also include 3 of the exchanges from the comments following the previous entry. I suggest strongly you read all of the comments posted under each entry, if you have not already, as some incredible stuff has been shared. So here we go:

Kevin: I met you a few years ago when you were leading some programs in Santa Monica. I was always impressed with how evenly you answered questions. No matter what anyone asked, or how unexpected their questions might have been, you always came from the same steady place and seemed to give the perfect answer to every single question.

I wanted to get my own "perfect answer" so I raised my hand and when the microphone came I said, "No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to meditate. I can't even make my mind still enough to sit for meditation." And your answer totally caught me offguard, as you said, "Do you take my course?"

I confessed that I didn't take it, and you said, "Take the course."

Well, I figured I could recognize a sales pitch as well as the next guy, and I thought, Boy, he'll say anything to get people to take his course.

Of course, I didn't take your course, as I was much too stubborn and proud for that. What could you possibly know that I needed enough to pay money for? I enjoyed your program very much, but did not see how a course by mail could create or even sustain the experience of the program with you.

To make this short, years passed. I forgot all about the program and I never thought about the course again. Then about a month ago, a friend told me that you had started a new course that was available by email. He said everything had changed for him since beginning it. I finally agreed to commit to three months of your online course, mostly to pacify my friend.

As I started reading Lesson 1, I would read a paragraph or two, and suddenly I would fall into meditation. Then I would start reading again, and I kept falling into meditation. I figured I just wasn't used to the way you wrote, so I didn't think too much about it. Then Lesson 2 arrived, and by now I was looking forward to something new. I read the first three or four paragraphs, and then started falling into meditation again. Before I had read half the lesson I had experienced several pauses for meditation.

Finally I remembered what you had said to me at the program in Santa Monica: that since I had a hard time meditating, I should simply take your course. It never sank in at the time that you were only stating a simple truth, that there was no sales pitch at all. In fact, now I know you are quite detached from whether others take your course or not, and that you simply love your work. At least that's what my friend told me, and this time I trust her to know what she's talking about.

Tell me, though, how does meditation happen through reading the lessons? Can you explain that one?

DRB: The most honest answer that initially comes up is, I don't know.

I do know that I have gotten similar feedback from many people over the years, so I understand that it is something that happens. I can report that when I sit to write the lessons, I go into a state of meditation as I write, so it is sensible that certain others who are sensitive and receptive enough might be pulled into meditation as well.

The main thing that happens through the Course of Training is that there is a transmission of energies through the lessons. I can't intellectually explain it where it conveniently fits into everyone's mindset, for there are some who will accept no explanation whatsoever, and who are not impacted in the least by the readings. I do have full faith that each individual gets exactly what he or she needs at the moment. Anyone can prove this true simply by experimenting with an open mind.

That much should be obvious even in the blog.

Cheryl: Since you started making your writings available again in July I have been keeping up with everything--the lessons, the blog, the comments, and everything else you send--and since I have started the course anew it feels like my life has sped up big time. Everything is just happening faster now. Things even get done faster, and with less effort it seems. Somehow I actually seem to have more energy.

It occurred to me, like William mentioned in his comment last time, that you are putting out an awful lot, with a new lesson and blog entry every two weeks, not to mention answers to questions in the comments. Is there any connection between that and the fact that life seems to have sped up for myself as well as for some friends of mine who also take the course? We all feel like everything is going much faster since beginning the course. Can you write a little about what is going on?

DRB: I am including this question in the blog because several people have expressed the same thing in various ways.

Once again, all I know for certain is that my life has sped up too. Before July, I never would have dreamed of doing all the stuff I'm doing now, interacting with so many people, or even spending time in a world where such interactivity is possible. Since the first entry of the blog was published and Lesson 1 was sent out, it seems like I am living on an entirely different energy level. Kay has had the same experience, and all our children have noticed this about us--that we are faster, more efficient somehow, more focused on whatever is happening.

In my experience over the years, I have found it best to not try to explain certain things too much, or to cling to grasping things with the mind. Some things cannot be grasped by the mind, because they are processes taking place on higher and more refined levels than mental activity.

Certain things can only be experienced; they cannot be explained or understood by the mind.

In the same way, there are certain things that you cannot know--you can only be.


Observe your experience as you progress through the course. Yet do not think everything has to be explained, or even that everything can be intellectually undestood, because the mind only goes so far. There is a great deal that exists beyond the mind, and the first step to discovering what is actually present is to grasp the fact that a lot is beyond the realm of mental activity.

Sometimes things might seem to speed up. Sometimes things might seem to get very intense. Other times you might go so deeply into a state of living bliss that your mind can hardly comprehend why or how you are feeling so wonderful without any apparent reason or cause whatsoever. Simply observe what happens, see what is intuitively obvious, and don't expect or demand too many explanations for the inexplicable.

I mentioned in the last entry that I am deliberately writing more than the mind can keep up with. Anyone who has read everything I have published since July has had to imbibe a lot of stuff very fast, and it's almost impossible to keep up with or assimilate at a reasonable pace.

This has two primary consequences: one, we are forced to assimilate ideas at an unreasonable pace, which is good for us as well as expanding and quickening to the mind; and two, we are gradually and gently forced to go beyond the mind altogether. There is much more to discover about life and the inner Self once we enjoy the extraordinary realization that all mental activity, and all our egotistical melodramas, take place within a very small, narrow, and limited world.

The lessons of the course aren't about what's in the mind; they are about that which is beyond the mind--which is a lot.

Also, please consider that I might not always remain this prolific. There is no guarantee that there will even be another entry past this one. Right now I am enjoying writing a lot, and the planets are aligned just right to give me the capacity to communicate on a very subtle level; yet later on, who knows what might happen? Ram Dass had a stroke in his sixties, although thanks to God he is still going strong. Still, he has slowed down, and while the quality remains ever-pristine, he is no longer quite as prolific as he had previously been. Anyway, we'll see how far I can go before these batteries wear out, and then we can spend the rest of our lives assimilating all that was written.

Hopefully you know I tend to be very tongue-in-cheek, and you will never take me too seriously.

Chris: In Lesson 4 you write, “Each of us lives in a world of our own making. In reality, we create everything from scratch every moment.”

After having practiced consciousness and spirituality all of my adult life, I often wonder, is it ever truly possible to understand someone else? What I think I understand of them becomes part of my own personal reality, how can I ever know if it is synch with the other person’s reality? This trail of questions often leads to a deep, aching loneliness.

Could this be my mind trapped in an incomplete understanding and the ego grasping it as its own?

DRB: As always, Chris' posts have a way of being very in-pulling. When I read what he writes I feel very deeply pulled inside. He is a deep thinker who is sincere in his contemplations.

Chris, responding to your contemplation, I'll simply share an experience I had once. There were a group of us in a totally dark room, all sitting on the floor--although we could no longer see each other--and we all had on headphones that were connected to the microphone in the center of the room. There was no sight, and the only sound was what came over the headphones, which was exactly the same for each of us since the one microphone was the only source of sound. If one of us spoke, we would all simultaneously hear the same voice in the exact same way. Even the speaker would hear his or her voice as though someone else had said it, or as though everyone else were hearing it.

After a while we all began to feel strangely like we were floating giddily in space, bodiless, and there was one single voice that had many different sounds and melodies, and sometimes there would be a crescendo of laughter that would cascade through the earphones and throughout our one Being with such electric jolts of bliss that it began to seem absurd that we had ever thought there was any difference between us in the first place.

Is it truly possible to understand someone else? Here is another question: Is it truly possible to understand ourselves? The average person in today's world has very little understanding of who he is, much less who anyone else is.

Many years ago it was written: "Know thyself." Yet we have not advanced very far since then in that particular area, even though we've made brilliant technological advances in the outer world, which enables us to communicate in this real time way around the planet, among other things. The wise King Soloman himself said, "Wisdom is the principle thing, and with all thy getting, get understanding." This is the primary reason for being, if indeed there is anything like a "reason" required in order to be.

With such little understanding of ourselves, what chance do we have of really understanding another? As far as that goes, what is the actual difference between us and another in the first place?

Going back to the experience I described in my previous comment, as we were in the darkness and had only the sound from the microphone coming into our heads, we lost all sense of separateness and difference. There was just one Being with all these various voices. Is this not who we truly are anyway, in reality?

This body comes and goes; it does not last forever. It is here for a cycle of karma, which will be explained thoroughly in the lessons of the course so that we can enjoy complete understanding. Once we depart the physical body on the wings of the final exhalation, we realize very vividly and lucidly that we are indeed not the body, and that something very real and very present continues long after this body has returned to the elements of the earth from which it came.

If we are not the body, or the mind, or the emotions, or the various psychic phenomena--both noticed and unnoticed, depending on our development in awareness--then what is the real difference between us anyway? If there is only one Consciousness, one Self, one Being peering from all these pairs of eyes, then aren't we only seeing our own Self in everyone?

It is when we grasp the true magnitude of our aloneness, and the true glory and resplendence of our own eternal Self, that we go beyond the "deep, aching loneliness."

That loneliness comes from the delusion that there is another to be united with. It is what the poet saints of India refer to as "the pain of separation." As long as there is a sense of separation, there is pain and loneliness.

Once we get it that no one else is ever there, or anywhere; that there are only reflections of our own Self in all these bodies, we suddenly grasp the great Aloneness that pervades and permeates the entire cosmos. It is a sense of eternal completeness and an ultimate contentment. It is the great wholeness of Being.

Then a deep joy radiates upward and outward from within, and light pours from us into the universe around us. In this state we live fearlessly, and our very presence brings light and comfort to others.

The understanding of our own Self is the greatest contribution we can make to the world, to humanity at large, because there is only One of us that needs to be understood, only One that needs to be realized, and we can do this at any moment once we are conscious of the Truth of our own Being.

Finally it is clear that there is no difference between knowing ourselves and knowing another. To know one's own Self is to know everyone simultaneously.

William: I feel like I am in one of the workshops of old, except that it is happening online very fast, and on the inside at the same time, and it's requiring me to make some subtle adjustments inside somewhere to keep up with what is happening.

Last night a question came up for me, so I decided to write DR and see what he had to say about it if anything. To my surprise, I received an answer about fifteen minutes later, and he mentioned to me that he was just hanging out online with students of the course. At first I wished I could be one of them, and then I realized that I was one of them, that he had answered my question as immediately as if I had been sitting with him, and exactly in the way I needed at the time, which DR has some natural knack for doing.

So I am taking him up on his offer to join him during the day Sunday if we liked, and I have a question. I admit, this one is the businessman in me coming out, but I have to ask just to hear what is the reply, so that I don't have to worry about it anymore.

DR, you seem to be giving out a great deal right now. I have received all 4 lessons so far and read all the blog entries and comments and everything else you've been involved in, not to mention immediately answering my question by email last night. Really, who would have thought that you'd be sitting around on a Saturday night online with students of the course?

Anyway, my question is, you are giving so much for free here on the blog. Aren't you afraid that, by giving so much away for free, many people who would otherwise take your course won't be taking it, since you are giving most people as much as they can keep up with in the blog alone? Does my question make sense?

I know that you still have children in school and that you must generate an income to live in this world, just as we all do, especially in today's craziness. Thanks for your comments on living in the world in the recent entry, btw. Anyway, I just wonder if there is anything to my concern that you are giving away too much for free? Can you address this for me?

DRB: Am I giving away too much for free? What a fascinating question.

I thank you for your concern, William. You have a generous heart, and I appreciate where you are coming from.

Many of you probably know that I came in touch with yoga and meditation at the age of 15, when I lived in Mississippi, and moved to Greenwich Village in Manhattan at age 22, and over the next few years came across many different spiritual paths and traditions and teachers. I chanted with the Buddhists, danced with the Sufis, meditated with the yogis, worked on myself in Gurdjieff groups, went to see Krishnamurti, Yogi Bhajan, Dr Ramurti Mishra, Swami Satchitananda, the Sufi Master whose name escapes me, Yogi Rama, Ram Dass, Guru Bawa, and a hoard of others that I just can't think of right now. All these great teachers, excepting Ram Dass, thank God, have left their bodies now. Yet, in their time, they each contributed in major ways to the growth of those who crossed their paths.

And who has come to take their places? No one can step forth today, or before you know it there will be a site on the Internet condemning them. Makes you wonder what that crucifixion stuff was really all about, and if anyone would actually do anything any differently today.

Of these that come to mind, excepting Ram Dass who thankfully remains among us--I remember Guru Bawa most vividly. He was a little old man who had appeared out of the jungles in Ceylon somewhere, and he was recognized by many as an enlightened being, a God-realized one--one who sees God and only God in everything everywhere he looks.

Speaking of Indian poet saints, one was named Tukaram Maharaj. Tukaram said: O Lord, this is how I worship You: You are everywhere. You are in every direction. Wherever I turn, You are there. Wherever I go, You are there also. There is not a place, there is not a thing, there is not a person in whom You do not exist.

So I went to see Guru Bawa in the basement of this church in New York City. I took my place in the audience near the front, and since the program had not yet begun, I went to find the restroom.

I went down a hallway and opened a door that I thought led to the men's room. When I opened it, Guru Bawa was sitting quietly in a chair all by himself. I remember him like the sun itself, for he literally lit up when he saw me. He was a tiny brown man, dressed totally in white, bald but with a full glorious white beard, and he had these penetrating, sparkling, twinkling eyes that seemed somehow to be dancing with my own eyes. He looked absolutely delighted to see me. Then he humbly bowed down to me.

I had never been bowed to before. It was a humbling experience. And it was the last thing in the world I expected him to do. It just blew my mind more than anything else, and I suppose at the time that's probably exactly what I needed more than anything else.

I simply pardoned myself and backed out, but I knew inside that it had been well worth it to go to that church in New York City that evening, and to meet Guru Bawa in person. If someone could see God in me, I thought at the time, then he was indeed a God-realized being, for anyone less would not be up to the task.

Anyway, should I charge anyone money to quote Tukaram Maharaj or to tell them about the teachers I met along the way who added to my development? To me, it is only dharma, right action, to share my understanding freely with anyone who is open enough to receive it.

William touched on an excellent point when he said: "Aren't you afraid that, by giving so much away for free, many people who would otherwise take your course won't be taking it, since you are giving most people as much as they can keep up with in the blog alone?"

The truth is, it is more than most people can keep up with. I have unloaded a lot on you guys in the last 3 months. I went for 6 years in virtual seclusion without talking to any of you, remember. I have a lot stored up. Get ready. Brace yourself.

If you really want to do the work, you will keep up. If you don't, you won't. It's as simple as that.

The really bizarre part about all this, from my point of view, is that only a handful of you will actually read all this. I remember once when I was with a genuine yogic Master, who must remain unnamed for now, and a man came to him and said, "My father says I am going against our faith by coming to see you, he insults you to my face, and I don't know how to deal with him."

The wise Master laughed and said, "Among a thousand people, only one will wish to know God. Your father is not that one."

So the weird thing to me is the number of people who might hear about this blog but never even take the time to read it. Or those who will skim over it without thinking it really has anything to do with their own life. Or those who think, how did one guy put it, that it is all "new-age mumbo-jumbo," which is not exactly an enlightened point of view, yet it is real out there nonetheless. Do my own children read my blog? I don't know. I guess I'll find out now. Anyway I write all this knowing that only a few of you will truly hear in your heart what I am communicating.

I used to travel around the world giving workshops, and I would always wonder where all the people came from. If there was a hall for 500 people, 500 people showed up. If the hall would hold 200, then 200 would show up. Where did they all come from? No matter what city I was in, people would come from many different states, even different countries, to take the workshop. What attracted those people to those particular workshops at those particular times? That is the question. And what is the difference between those people and those who don't have the time to read the blog at all even though they know of its existence?

What makes a person ready to do the work required to know his own inner Self? When is a person ready to begin this? These are questions we each must answer at our own time.

I have seen over the years that certain people are attracted to this particular work. There are people taking the course now who originally started taking my course by mail back in the 70's, and I went for years without having anything to do with them, and they are still here. Where do they come from? God only knows.

Still, the people who are ready, willing, and able to do the work of the present moment will be attracted to the course in a most natural way. Some mystical energy pulls us all together to do the work of the Self so that we can come to know and experience the same Self.

There will be lots of people who read the blog who don't take the course. I welcome them with love. Everything here is offered freely and humbly. Hopefully there is something positive for you, something that will make a true contribution to your life.

There will be people who take the course who will say they don't have time to keep up with the blog. They only miss out on a certain aspect of the course.

Then there are those who are naturally attracted to the course, and these are the perfect people at the perfect time, just like everyone showed up at all the right times and places for all the workshops during the 25 years I actively led them.

What is my particular area of expertise at this point in my life? How, after all my study, training, and practice, can I function in a person's life that offers a unique impact?

The primary answer that comes up for me, in answering my own life's quest, from my own observation of many years, and after receiving much feedback from others around the world, is that I apparently function in the realm of transformation. I can work with a person in a way that helps guide him in his own personal transformation from one point of understanding and experience, to an entirely new, more expanded and elevated point of understanding and experience.

This is something that can only be done through the ongoing process of the Course of Training available through email.

I can share information, experiences, and positive energy in the blog as I am now, but the course must be taken for a person to be individually guided from one level of awareness and functionality to the next. Such a transformation requires an exchange of energy, and is not available for free. This is not my personal policy; it is simply the way the universe works.

If you look at any of the authentic spiritual paths and traditions, there have always been two levels of teaching available. One is the general teachings that are freely available for everyone, for the upliftment and enrichment of humanity at large. The other level of teachings are available only after an inner commitment has been made. The commitment is not to the teacher, but to being consistent and persistent in one's own path, and to not lollygag around, or be too lazy for too long, or to let the ego get away with too much, or to let the mind get too entangled, or to let the emotions get too negative, or to allow one's own state to be too contracted -- before coming back to the Truth of the present moment, back to the heart, and back to our love.

And here we are.

As I am writing, the Beatles are gently singing in the background, "All you need is love." And what was it that they said at the end of Abbey Road: that in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.

How very true.

Brad: Your gift in writing has a way of working on the subtler levels of consciousness. As I read the new lesson, I find myself in different places as if I am standing there dealing with a reality in my mind, in a different place, time, situation, or aspects of dealing with what comes at me. Almost like parallel universes existing right here and right now. Not as if I took a trip somewhere, it was here and now. That is why the reading of the lesson is so healing. Now, if you understand what I just wrote, you can shed some light on it.

DRB: I appreciate your share very much, Brad. So you want me to shed some light on what you just said? Well, to begin with, you already said it very well, and your share sheds its own light.

The process of writing and reading takes place on various levels simultaneously. There is the mental level that we all know and love, where everything is translated into words and ideas, yet there are also deeper levels of being that are touched, nudged, awakened, nurtured, empowered, and eventually brought out into physical expression and eventual manifestation through the process of our Course of Training.

Many people can read an entry on the blog, or their current lesson, and have a perfectly enjoyable and uplifting experience, and then afterwards are not able to repeat a single word they read. It's almost as though they couldn't tell you what they just read, they only know that something within them was transformed during the process of reading.

It reminds me of a talk I was giving many years ago. In the back of the hall sat two women--one who had never heard me talk before, and another who had heard me speak many times. The woman who had never heard me before kept asking, "What is he saying? What is he saying?" And the woman who had heard me speak many times kept replying, "It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter."

This is somewhat how the course works. It is not about learning new information. All the information we could possibly need or use is already available on the Internet. As Rico pointed out in his comment following the previous entry, we can simply google whatever we choose if we only want information about it. Thankfully, there is something greater than the information itself.

The course is about expanding from one level of being to another, newer, more aware, and freer level of being. This process requires work on many levels of being simultaneously, and takes place naturally and spontaneously through participating in all the various forms the course takes.

This is one reason that rereading the lessons are so important. It is not merely assimilating knowledge. There is an inner transformation that takes place each time we refer to our current lesson. This is why a single reading can be interesting and momentarily uplifting, but will in itself produce no true transformation. For that, the acceptance of repetition as a method is required, as well as a commitment to consistency and persistence on the path that lies ahead right now.

You get a good idea of how the process works by simply reading the blog--especially in the inner workings and subtle rearrangements that take place during the process of exchanging questions and answers. The questions themselves bring out answers that were not consciously known to the one supplying the answer.

Now if any of us can understand that, it might shed lots of light for all.

Enjoy the blog as well as the new lesson you received today (except for those of you who have recently received Lesson 1; you will receive Lesson 2 on the 15th, which is also when I will post the next entry.) Meanwhile, be sure and check the new comments. If they are anything like last time, we're in for another subtle yet powerful workshop for the soul.

For more information regarding the Course of Training by
D. R. Butler, offered by email, please write: drbutler.course@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now is Time for a New Awakening

I was just out in the field on the hill behind our home here in the
"Endless Mountain Region" of NE PA, and the full moon was so bright that we could walk about in the field, and see all the way across it as though it was daylight. In fact, the light reflected from the moon at this particular time was so bright that it seemed to enter into the very top of my head, filling first my head and then my heart and finally my entire body with this blissful, radiant light. There was a distinct feeling that I was being uplifted and elevated in some new way, although my mind doesn't have any idea yet exactly what that might mean. I just thought I would come inside and share it with you in real time on the blog. To tell the truth, I am still simply flabbergasted that we can actually meet this way in real time.

This blog serves as a space that anyone in the world can visit online to tune into positive energy. In fact, anyone can not only read everything that's been written to this point, but they can also post their comments unedited in the "comments" section below each entry of the blog. I only ask that they not be negative in nature, and that the writer is at least willing to come back into the present moment and to the heart if the comment persists in exclusively discussing the past. I do my best to learn from the past, but I am not interested in rehashing it with anyone. The past is dead. Life exists only in the present moment.

The blog also serves as the introduction to my online Course of Training. The lessons of the course are for people who wish to investigate the Truth more deeply than we can do in a blog. They are also for those who are truly sincere about doing the work of the present moment, and who are willing to do the work necessary to come back into conscious alignment with and attunement to the universal Consciousness we know by many names and terms, including our own inner Self.

New readers to the blog might want to check the original entry, now at the bottom of the blog, which is currently titled "Introduction." At the end of that entry can be found a list of subjects and topics that will be covered in the lessons of the course that is available through email.

Those taking the course are to consider the ongoing blog to be a part of the course itself. In the "comments" area following each entry of the blog we can participate in an ongoing interaction, with people's experiences of the course or blog, and with questions and answers.

When I was in the field on the back hill a few minutes earlier, I had the awareness that it was a very special and powerful time, and suddenly it seemed as though this incredible light and energy was entering into me from above. As my being filled with this new experience of light and energy, there was such a strong awareness of this being the time for a new awakening.

For some people, obviously, it is the initial awakening needed to begin conscious work on the spiritual path. For others, who might have practiced their own path faithfully for many years, it is a time of "new" awakening of something not previously awakened--an awakening to something absolutely "new" regardless of what level of understanding we might have previously attained.

People who read this who feel that they "already know" the principles discussed, and that there is nothing new to understand, and no new level on which to understand one's knowledge--which is the development of true wisdom--will miss out on the opportunity to create a new possibility.

No matter how far we have come, no matter what we have already attained, there is still more to learn, more to understand, and higher levels on which to understand what we already know. Some of us are too proud of our education, or of our position in worldly life, or of all that we have already accomplished through years of study and practice, to be open for the next new step. Fortunately for them, they have forever to decide to open up for the next new step. No one is pushing them or waiting for them. Universal Consciousness has infinite patience as well as infinite compassion. So everyone can take all the time in the world to participate in their own spiritual awakening.

For those of us who feel that there is still more to learn, more to understand, and more wisdom to be uncovered, then we will continue on with the course. In the "comments" from the previous entry there were some great questions and answers, and I will use some of them in the remainder of this entry. There will also be new questions and answers not yet published, as well as possible expansions upon the original answers.

So now the questions and answers:

Megan: I have recently reread the original entry of the blog from July, now titled "Introduction," and I am drawn to this particular paragraph that fascinated me the first time I read it. In that entry you wrote:

The sparkling inner feeling is palpable—others can easily sense it. It is contagious--others will feel good by simply being around us, without having any idea why. If we maintain this great feeling within ourselves, others will pick up on it and begin to experience the same feeling within themselves. Spend some time with a cheerful person, and see how much better you feel afterwards. Then spend some time with a depressed or angry person, and see how much worse you feel. There is a definite, distinguishable difference.

I know that there is truth to what you write, and I would love to know more about it. I know that I feel better after being with someone who feels good, and that I feel worse after being with someone who feels bad, but I never made the connection that it is a very real vibrational energy that we are affected by. At least this is what I understand after reading and rereading the first 3 lessons of the course. Can you talk more about it in the blog so that everyone can see your answer? I have special reasons for this, as I have some friends that I have not been able to talk into taking the course with me yet, so maybe the next time they read the blog I can trick them into reading about the impact of feelings on others.

DRB: That is very funny, Megan. At least you are honest regarding your motives. And it is great to wish that others were aware of the impact of their feelings on others. However, it is even greater to make sure that we ourselves are aware of the impact our feelings have on others. Your own practice of the principle will prove to be infinitely more important than whether your friends realize the impact of their feelings on others or not.

One of the main things that happens to people when they begin work for conscious development is that they start wishing 'other people' understood and practiced the principles, yet they are not willing to actually apply the teachings themselves. Instead they are filled with blame, constantly making their loved ones wrong about the simplest things, being hostile and defensive while having no conscious awareness of it whatsoever. Some people are almost constantly disrespectful to others, and especially to the very ones they claim to love most, yet they are quick to blame everyone else for the lack of respect they are shown themselves.

Rightfully speaking, we are not the recipient of respect; we are the source of respect.

Oh, the mind and ego play amazing games. We spend most of the first year of the course focusing on the many games of the mind and ego, and how the tandem of mind and ego describes the world as we believe it to be, and then identifies with its own creation as a reality. Most people do not realize that they live in their own mental creations. Most folks actually take their thoughts very seriously, and would hardly even be willing to consider that some of their most cherished beliefs and opinions are completely erroneous.

Personally, I can't take the mind seriously anymore. Either mine or another's. No matter how wonderful or advanced or clever of a thought we manage to come up with, it's still just another thought. And no matter how terrible or negative or contracting of a thought we manage to come up with, it is still just another thought.

We need to turn deeper and identify with the Witness of the mind, the Observer of mental activity, and to stop allowing extraneous and superflueous mental and emotional activity, whether ours or another's, make us automatically act and react without even consciously realizing what we are doing. In our present condition, we are mostly puppets to external influences, for the most part unconscious of what we are actually doing, thinking, or feeling.

Anyway, back to the question, feelings are contagious, and what we are feeling at any given time radiates outward from us as a vibrational energy that is felt by others as vividly as if it were their own feeling. With this being the case, it is only a matter of common sense and good taste to live with a pleasant and positive feeling. Going through life with a negative feeling is about the most adharmic (against righteousness) way we can live. It is like dumping toxic wastes into the world around us, except it is toxic emotional energy, which actually does exist and which really does affect other people.

One of my favorite television programs is The Dog Whisperer, which is shown on the National Geographic Channel. The show is based around the abilities of a man named Cesar Milan, who came from Mexico and began walking dogs in LA to support himself, and who has since become a great dog therapist and functions somewhat as a "guru" for dogs everywhere.

One of the main reasons I love his show, is because he presents such a positive energy, and he teaches the same principles, to a large extent, that we discuss here. He teaches in ways that apply to dogs, but also to the people who go along with those dogs. For example, he talks about how a dog primarily perceives us as energy, as our predominant feeling at the time, not by the outer show we present. The same principle is every bit as true regarding people. I have a great appreciation for the amazing work Cesar does and the amount of positive energy he brings into the world. Interestingly, the first dog I ever owned as a child was named "Cesar" as well, so perhaps there is some psychic connection--who knows about these things?

Anyway, when Cesar first came from Mexico to America, he made an interesting discovery, which is that most American dogs are unhappy. Most American dogs are unhappy because their people do not understand how to properly relate to them, communicate with them, or be with them, and so on. Some dogs are unhappy simply because they don't get enough exercise, just like a lot of people.

Then Cesar made another fascinating discovery: he saw that if he put a depressed and neurotic American dog with a naturally happy and playful Mexican dog, the American dog quickly became happy and playful as well. The American dog could actually change his feeling simply by being in the presence of the happy and balanced Mexican dog.

The same happens with people all the time. We emit vibrations with our feelings, and dogs and cats and horses and other people pick up on them far more than most of us would ever imagine. We can't hide our feelings, no matter how constrained we make ourselves appear on the outside. Feelings are felt by others as much as they are felt by us. They are simple manifestations of nervous energy, and it is this nervous energy that we go around exchanging with each other in the encounters and interactions of the day.

Cultivate a great inner feeling by focusing only on great thoughts. Then you will make the absolutely best contribution you can ever hope to make in the lives of the other people in your life.

Liz: I would like to ask you something that is very near and dear to my heart. My spiritual path is very important to me. Throughout the years of my life, I only found one way, one path, that really works for me. Yet, I have some friends and family who are very negative about my spiritual path, and seem to want to make it sound like something terrible and ugly.

What do you do when some of the people you love most turn against the spiritual path that means so very much to you? I just need some guidance, some way of understanding this so that I can deal with it. As it is, I feel like it's a constant negative onslaught when I am around them.

DRB: Well, Liz, as the saying goes, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

Anyone who puts down another's spiritual path is, in my way of thinking, the lowest kind of person. They commit the most adharmic act of all by undermining another's connection to the inner Self of all.

There will always be people who put down the great teachers, spiritual guides, and paths. It is simply the way of the world. I wrote about this in the very early lessons of the original course back in 1975. There are always those who will be quick to criticize, persecute, and cruxify those who dare to teach the Truth.

It goes back to the "pearls before swine" quote in the Bible. We really have to be careful what level of teachings we present in a public way. If we reveal too much spiritual light and wisdom, those lower on the evolutionary chain will tend to attack us and do their best to discredit us and bring us down to their own level. It is the "misery loves company" phenomenon in action. Unhappy people are almost personally offended by those who are happy, especially if they dare to be happy in the presence of one who is celebrating and honoring his own unhappiness.

Such persecution has been going on for centuries. It's certainly not going to stop now as we enter further into Kali Yuga--the cycle when most people are spiritually ignorant, but which is the very best time to do spiritual work. Something about all the spiritually ignorant people enables the ones who do genuine spiritual work (sadhana) to actually practice the teachings of their path.

It is a strange paradox, yet it is true. Even if you are working on developing and strengthening the physical body, you cannot grow without resistance. In a similar way, when we come across those who resist our path, who criticize and put down the teachings of Truth--which all great spiritual teachers have taught in their own ways--it actually creates greater opportunities for us to practice the teachings of our own path in ways that help us grow stronger in being established in our highest and deepest Self. Strangely the outer resistance makes inner growth possible. Be sure to make use of the opportunity whenever it presents itself.

When others speak badly of your spiritual path, just remind yourself, Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing. Have compassion for them. Always have compassion for ignorance. It is amazing to see how ignorant some otherwise intelligent and educated people can be. Yet, their belittling your path is something you can use for your own work and greater growth. Use that energy from them to activate your own heart energy, and simply experience your own unconditional love.

Go beyond the petty opinions of others; don't let their negativity get you down. Most people have no idea whatsoever what they are talking about, and fewer still have the capacity to think for themselves. The older you get, you more you discover just how true this is. It is absolutely amazing.

Above all things, remain true to your own heart. Follow your own path in spite of external opposition from others. If they are truly your friends and family, and you remain steadfastly attuned to your own inner heart, if they have any sense at all, they might eventually learn something great from you.

Hopefully you will be the light in their lives, instead of allowing them to be the darkness in yours.

Rosemary: I was just thinking - it might be interesting and very timely if you would consider posting some detailed comments for us regarding the crashing stock market and failing economy in this country. I did see you mentioned it being a karmic situation, but I think a lot of us would love to read in more detail any thoughts you might have (as you always seem to pin things down to the most important cause) about this - such as when you see the financial crisis and stock market problems easing up, etc. This situation is probably impacting a lot of us very very personally. I know I have been having a hard time dealing with it emotionally, as everything I have is in the Market. And I'll bet I'm not the only blogger here thinking this way. Your insights are always so to the point and filled with great wisdom and truth. I'd love to hear your take on this situation.
Love, Rosemary

DRB: I recommend very strongly that you follow the "news" as covered by the media as an interesting movie, without getting personally involved in the constant fluctuations. The outer world will never appear perfectly balanced and harmonious; we can only find these qualities on the inside. The outer world can never present us with stillness and stability; these qualities have to be found on the inside. The outer world will never give us reasons to feel safe and secure; we can only find these reasons on the inside.

Even if all your funds are in the stock market, simply sit back and relax for the wild ride. It will go up and down forever. Do not allow the outer fluctuations of the world to affect your inner state. Remain still and steady on the inside--steadfastly focused in the eye of the hurricane, watching turmoil and disruption around you in the world and in others, yet remaining unaffected and in a state of supreme equanimity. We might not be able to accomplish this simply by deciding to do so, but we can certainly work in this direction.

Simply know that you are cared for. Thank your infinite Father every day for his (Its) care and guidance of you and yours. Join with all of us as a community every day at sunset wherever you are, and feel gratitude for all God's care and guidance in all our ways. A heartfelt gratitude for all the goodness in life is all that is required to join with the rest of us, and in mass affirmation there is great power.

In the lessons of the course we will discuss fully how to develop and maintain a prosperity consciousness regardless of what is going on outside. We will discover sooner or later that once we are conscious of prosperity, we could not experience any other condition.

First causes lies in consciousness. What we think is what we get.

Be still and know that "I" (the inner "I" within each of us) AM the Light (that guides and cares for us in all our ways.) Become good friends with your own resplendent eternal Self, and the jugglings of the media, which exists primarily to attract your commercial compliance to those who pay huge amounts of money for their advertisements, will never disturb your state again.

Stay awake, alert, and vigilant. There is more going on than what appears to be, and very little is in truth exactly as it appears. We will learn much more about the true nature of this world and how to constructively live in it as we go through the lessons.

Nancy: My husband and I are reading Lesson 3 together now—he sometimes reads aloud to me and we also each refer to our current lesson regularly, if only for a paragraph, or however long it takes to tune in to the greater reality—and we both make a real attempt to keep up with what’s going on in the blog community (of which you told us somewhere recently that the blog and the lessons are both part of a greater whole, and that it is part of the Course to keep up with the blog).

Anyway, here’s my question:
In lesson 2 was it? You said the husband and wife could say to each other…. “Come back to the moment; come back to our love,” and when I extended that invitation, during a moment of some ruffled feathers, the “other” said “That’s an insult! Don’t you get how you have to be seeing me in a limited way to even say that? It’s disrespectful to assume that I am not in the moment…” and stuff to that effect.

It seemed like such a wonderful pact to make with ourselves and with each other—“Let’s not just take the Course this time; let’s really do the Course; let’s really live it”—and I’m having the time of my life with him doing just that—returning again and again to the Truth of the present moment inside myself.

However, and it’s a big however, isn’t it okay to live it on that level too, the level where we’re husband and wife and doing our Course together and this is what it says in the Course so it’s not only acceptable but preferable if we celebrate every attempt to put it into practice on any level, even the “couples” level…?

If you can hear my question in that, I’d appreciate (and I’m sure other couples taking the Course together would appreciate) understanding why my sweet and loving (as sweet and loving as I could possibly make it in that moment when we had been less than sweet and loving) request to come back to the heart, back to our love, did not seem to work for us the way you suggeted it might.

I was making, I felt, a real effort to be together with him in that space again—sweet and loving and sincere request to “come back to the present moment, come back to me, come back to our love” said with as much warmth as I could muster—what’s a girl to do to get her hubby back during those times when he seems to have forgotten the agreement to respond to that request to come back to the Self, share the moment and heal whatever rift is there by forgiving and forgetting everything all the time.

Again, I absolutely love the Course and everything about it and I’m basking in gratitude this moment. Thank you Father, for hearing me…

DRB: A few days after receiving this question from Nancy, when I had not yet responded, she wrote to confess that the very next time her husband said to her, "Come back to the moment, come back to the heart," she retorted nastily, "That's easy for you to say."

She wrote: "My husband only smiled, and suddenly I knew I had been caught, and that I had sprung my own trap. I had made a big deal of writing you that question about his lack of a positive response, and then the very next time I had an opportunity to respond in the way that I had hoped he would respond, I myself reacted like a jerk."

First I want to say that Nancy and her husband are excellent examples of a couple doing sadhana together, doing the work of the present moment together. Nothing is as rich for spiritual work and growth of the soul than a day-to-day real-life relationship. For years both of them have shared from time to time how the ancient principles discussed in the course have such practical applications in their own marriage. I wish more couples would read the course together, and discuss the principles together, and apply them in a real way in the dynamics of their own relationship.

If you are in relationship with someone, I strongly recommend incorporating the study and practice of the principles as a vital aspect of the relationship, to whatever degree is practical in your own situation.

Maintaining the harmony, peace, love, and respect of the relationship is as great a sadhana, as great a spiritual path, as there is. In a relationship, there are never-ending opportunities to come back to the present, come back to the heart, come back to your love.

The egos involved constantly bump against each other, react to each other, blame each other, and on and on. It takes constant work to make a relationship work and to keep it alive in the present moment. It is a great path, a great spiritual discipline, simply to go beyond the ego enough to make the relationship work.

One thing Nancy made a point of mentioning several different times in her original question, was how "sweet" and "nice" and "loving" and "sincere" and filled with "warmth" her request to return to the moment was. In fact, she mentioned how "sweet and loving" she was three different times.

This sent up a red flag for me. If she was so sweet and loving and filled with warmth, why was she making such a point about it? Who was she trying to convince, anyway?

It is very easily possible to be sweet and loving and sincere and nice and filled with warmth, and still quite anchored in one's own ego. In fact, it is very common for people to be outwardly "sweet and loving" while inwardly being very manipulative and controlling.

Kay and I were having our own conversation last night, and I mentioned to her--for some reason, I actually can't remember the context--that being hostile and being reactive are two different things. Being one does not necessarily mean that we will be the other as well.

We can be egotistical and reactive, and yet outwardly maintain a "sweet and loving" front. We can also be hostile while outwardly appearing "sweet and loving." By now I must have mentioned the term even more than Nancy.

We can be reactive and hostile at the same time, and they often do go together; yet we can also be one or the other while outwardly apearing "sweet and loving." We can be subtly manipulative and controlling, while wearing a very pleasant outer facade.

We can also be very loving and compassionate while outwardly appearing grumpy or stern or anything else. "Tough love" is not only very real but is absolutely essential on the spiritual path, and we cannot make real progress without it. We cannot grow spiritually if everyone is outwardly sweet and nice to us. We need to learn to understand things in the right way, especially where work on the ego is concerned.

Outward appearances cannot be trusted when it comes to what anyone is actually thinking or feeling, and we especially cannot tell what kind of state another person is in simply by how he outwardly appears or acts at any particular moment. We will gradually learn how to see through appearances.

This is one reason that we need to learn to relate through subtle identities instead of egos based on identification with the physical body. We will learn about this in the lessons of the course. There will also be a whole section of the course devoted to exploring the dynamics of relationships.

Anyway, based on the follow-up communication from Nancy after writing her question, you can see what a queasy foundation many of us have. We think we have a firm footing in something significant, and then the next day we are thrown totally off balance. She wrote a whole letter asking why her husband didn't respond positively when she "sweetly and lovingly" asked him to return to the present and the heart, and then the very next time he reminded her of the same exact thing, she disrespectfully replied, "That's easy for you to say."

This story just says it all. It's so rich we could all contemplate it for days and get more and more insights each time we think of it.

Anyway, her husband responded to her "sweet and loving" suggestion by saying, to quote Nancy, “That’s an insult! Don’t you get how you have to be seeing me in a limited way to even say that? It’s disrespectful to assume that I am not in the moment…”

What if...just for the sake of exploring potential alternate realities...he was being totally truthful and honest in his response? What if, just to consider another possibility, he was the one in the moment and in the heart, and Nancy was the one in some egotistical melodrama based around making him wrong?

Remember, there are an infinite number of ways to describe any situation, and however we describe the situation to ourselves will determine our perception and experience of it. In this way we create our own life as we move through from one moment to the next. What we think is what we get.

Let's conclude with the simple reminder to always see the highest in each other, regardless of what might momentarily be happening on a physical, emotional, mental, or melodramatic level. All levels are true simultaneously, and we don't have to concern ourselves with figuring out which is more real than another. They are all relatively real.

Our experience is determined by how we focus our attention, not by anything or anyone external to us.

See your partner as you want him to be, see the highest in him, feel your gratitude for being allowed to share life with someone so wonderful, and you might be amazed at how quickly and completely he improves for the better.

This concludes our discussion for today. Those who take the course are also getting a new lesson today. Please enjoy it; it is offered with great love and humility.

I will see you here again in two weeks, and in the meantime please keep up with the "comments" sure to follow this current entry, as we are certain to come upon many more great questions and answers. Enjoy the next two weeks to the fullest you are able, and others will appreciate the pleasant energies you add to their lives by doing so.

For more information about D. R. Butler's new Course of Training offered by email, please write: drbutler.course@gmail.com