Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Evolution of Wisdom

I invite you to join me in a journey of investigation and inquiry into the nature of the Truth of Being. This Truth—our own inner Being, the inner Self—is who we truly are. The Truth includes the highest and best of us, the great qualities of love, compassion, bliss, and wisdom. It is also pure Consciousness, pure Awareness, the sense of I am, I exist, and I am here—right now. It is our innermost “I”—that which we refer to ourselves as being. It is that in us that knows we are here, that we are present.

The essence of our own Presence is love. Words are truly inadequate to speak of love, for it is all-feeling and no-mind. Even so, we can use words in ways that will allow us to experience, to ever-increasing degrees, the Truth of our own Self. We can utilize words to allude to the Self, and in doing so we experience the Self more and more.

Because words can only point the way to the experience, consistent repetition is necessary. In reading various ways of directing the attention to the same Truth, the mind might sometimes protest, I’m reading the same ideas over and over—as though it might be better if we went on to something different or more “advanced.” It is the ego thinking it “already knows” something, and that it has a better idea of what to do next.

The evolution of wisdom is not a matter of educating the mind. The mind has already been educated far too well. Many things we think we know actually prevent us from seeing and experiencing the Truth as it is. There is this term from Kashmir Shaivism: limited knowledge. We have “knowledge” that limits our potential to see and experience what is actually real, right now. For example, if we know that our back will hurt if we lift something, then chances are we will be unable to lift anything without pain. If we know with all certainty that all will be well, then the chances are better than ever that it will be.

Certain words and phrases resonate with the heart and awaken dormant wisdom. Inner growth is not nearly as much an intellectual process as many of us make it out to be. Wisdom arises from within, in the form of intuitive insights and promptings at the exact time they are needed.

With ordinary knowledge we can go around “knowing” things, and can impressively present facts to others, but wisdom isn’t like that. It arises at the most unexpected times, as a silent prompting from within (more a feeling than words) to pursue a certain course of action, or as an insight or realization. Or perhaps a certain light is cast on some personal situation or relationship, and we suddenly understand what’s going on from a more expanded perspective.

The evolution of wisdom, in part, is a deeper and clearer understanding of what we already know. Yet it is also the process of opening up to new ways of seeing and understanding the world, life, ourselves, and others—ways that we have been previously oblivious to.

Wisdom includes the capacity for the truth about anything to arise at the very moment we need to be aware of it. A wise person doesn’t go around filled with facts and knowledge of details; it’s not that if we walk up to him, he will know what’s in our pockets or our purse. Our fascination with details often gets in the way of true understanding. We have no idea how often we get lost in extraneous details and, in doing so, lose the true essence of the moment. Sometimes hard and cold facts can cause us to lose touch with the preciousness of something dear to us. Most of us experience this to some degree, whether we are consciously aware of it or not.

Wisdom is being open to what is new right now, as well as being flexible in how we see things. Ordinary knowledge is of the past; it is old. True wisdom is an awareness of the Truth of the present moment, which is always new. A true state of inquiry—what nowand what now—accelerates growth on the spiritual path. The Truth is ever new, and the most genuine experience of life is the open exploration into each new now.

Another significant aspect of wisdom is a compassionate attitude toward life and all beings. Compassion includes an awareness of the poignancy of life’s situations. When we know people very well—relatives, friends, parents, children—it’s very easy to see the poignancy of their lives. When we relate to others with an awareness of their pains, fears, and needs, and stop obsessing on our own, we relate to them with compassion.

Compassion is an essential aspect of wisdom. Without genuine compassion, wisdom does not exist.

If our partner or good friend says or does something we don’t like, or that we have a tendency to react to, we can remember to immediately be aware of the poignancy of his or her life. Isn’t there something in her life, something that has nothing to do with us, that led up to her saying or doing that? There is no reason to have a negative reaction, to disapprove, to be disappointed, or to make wrong.

If we relate compassionately to those we love, we will enjoy richly rewarding relationships. If we relate defensively, or competitively, or from I’ll show her who’s right, we will poison the relationship. In relationships, first comes compassion and respect. Without compassion and a genuine mutual respect, the relationship will manifest as one conflict after another.

I invite you to accept no dogma, to believe nothing simply because you read it here, and to accept nothing on blind faith. In the Truth of the present moment, there can be no dogma or beliefs. In this realm of pure vision, mere opinion is folly. Most of our opinions are but the conditioning of the mind. The day might come when we find it peculiar that people actually believe in opinions—their own or others’—confusing their opinions with knowledge.

I knew someone who was infatuated with his own opinions, and when in public he would tend to speak to whoever he was with more loudly than necessary, so that the people around him would be impressed with his cleverness. In truth, he mostly embarrassed the one he was with and impressed no one. This is a good example of thinking one thing is happening while the truth is quite another matter.

Opinions are among our chief obstacles in the evolution of wisdom. Wisdom has nothing to do with having opinions about something, or thinking anything about anything. Wisdom is an awareness of what is. The ego and mind can describe what is, and however it is described is what will appear as real to the individual.

To perceive and experience the Truth of what exists right now, we need to see things as they are, and not as we think things are or as they appear to be—both of which result from how the world has been described to us all our lives. Our own thoughts, as well as appearances, can be deceiving.

Right now is the only Truth there is. If our most basic understanding is of the reality of the existing moment—and we are not merely following the incessant activity of the mind—then we have a foundation of Truth that will underlie all other understanding. The awareness of the present moment is the basis as well as the pinnacle of wisdom.

The Truth is the most obvious thing there is—it is right in front of us everywhere we go. It also exists within us all the time. When the mind is clear, the Truth is intuitively obvious—we don’t even need to think about it. The Truth cannot be captured in thoughts or words. On the contrary, unnecessary thinking colors our vision. Our own thoughts and beliefs superimpose themselves upon our perception and experience, and the Truth of the existing moment is obscured.

The Truth does not exist in the past or the future. The Truth does not exist in other people, although we can see the “windows of the soul” in their eyes. The Truth does not exist in words or in our descriptions of present or past situations, or in the ways we hold others accountable for our own feelings. The Truth does not exist in the objective world or in objective humanity. The Truth is not outside our own Awareness.

The Truth does not exist in memories, or in blame, or in self-righteousness, or in describing others or the world around us negatively, or in any particular feeling or thought. The Truth does not exist in all the things we think happened badly in the past—after all, if we could tell God what He (She, It) should have done instead, His (Her, Its) whole Creation would have certainly been better off than the way it actually happened—and the Truth certainly does not exist in our worries and concerns of the future. Neither does it exist in our constant oneupmanship, or in all our making wrong and being right, or in all our grievances that we blame outside ourself.

The Truth exists in the heart right now, in that state of unconditional love and compassion for others as well as for ourselves.

Can we truly forgive? The answer to this lies deep in the soul. Can we forgive all others for their trespasses, can we forgive everything that’s ever happened? Can we forgive ourselves? We have been perfectly imperfect for years, we have made mistakes, we feel remorse for our previous stupidity and lack of sensitivity, yet can we forgive ourselves and know that we are yet whole and pure as we are right now? Full forgiveness for everyone and everything must exist before we enjoy the sweetness of the experience of universal Being.

As long as something remains unforgiven, then it lies out there, something separate and “other than” the harmonious whole of the cosmos. By allowing anything to remain unforgiven, and therefore separate from ourselves and our own inner harmony, we perpetuate our own duality and delusion. Only then is the true experience of Oneness possible. Practice forgiveness and heal yourself.

Gaze deeply within yourself and experience your own Truth. It is the Truth of Being. The Truth is unconditional love and compassion, and it is the play of the divine lightheartedness. Be cheerful and see in everything and everyone that eternal essence of Being that permeates the cosmos.

As we evolve in wisdom, we live more and more in our own eternal and indivisible Truth. It is our own inner Self, our own Awareness of Being. Be still and know your own inner Truth. Be established here, and live now in the awareness of the Truth.

For information about D. R. Butler’s new Course of Training write: drbutler.course@gmail.com


Anonymous said...

"Making wrong and being right", what a fascinating concept. This seems to go to the heart of separation from the Truth. If the object of the Game is to be aware of the present moment, thinking that someone else is wrong and I am right can only serve to dredge up the past. Was it Shakespeare who said, "Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so"?
Who would have thought that the road to compassion passes through the junction of forgiveness and awareness of the present moment.

Anonymous said...

Starting the lessons again after such a long period of time has made me aware of a blind spot in my awareness of the moment. It seems I've conveniently skipped over applying the principles (of what I thought I knew) to running my business. Complaining about my suppliers often getting orders wrong has apparently only helped to perpetuate the occurrence. I could list more lapses but I don't want to bore you.
I recently took a survey given to "successful" business people and was surprised by some of my answers. In particular a question asked "Do you like what you do?". I found my self answering no. If I'm so good at being here now why is it that I don't like how I earn a living?

gita said...

thank you

D. R. Butler said...

"If I'm so good at being here now why is it that I don't like how I earn a living?"

This is a good question. If we are really good at being here now, there is nothing to dislike. In order to dislike something, we have to first think something of it, and then have some feeling about it, before we even get the notion that we dislike it. We set it in motion in time. Once our attention has been drawn back into time, we are no longer truly here now. We are once again, as it says in the old Pink Floyd song, "Lost in thought and lost in time."

Dislikes are related to our failure to apprehend the Oneness of the present moment, the unity of all things in existence. If we dislike something, we put it outside the harmony of the whole, outside the natural order of things, instead of including it as an equal and integral part of the whole. As a rule, we create and sustain that which we dislike through the very process of disliking it. And a very real sense, you might say the disliked is our own creation altogether.

Obviously life is most enjoyable and fulfilling when we like how we earn a living. It is very important, actually, to love what we do. In fact, if we could love what we do during each new moment, and throughout each new day, we would love our life as it is so much. It is a simple matter of loving what we do. But how many will bother to actually do this?

If possible, love what you do. Whatever you do, your karma has put you there for now. It is a given. So begin by loving what you do now. Once you master this, you will attract and create a lifestyle in which you truly do love what you do for a living. You will know this is the case when you feel the inevitable contentment that follows.

Anonymous said...

I am very excited about your new course as I have read some of your previous writings and found them amazing. I always describe it as being on one side of a curtain from the truth and then every once in a while getting a glimpse on the other side. It's sort of overwhelming and at the same time so starkly true that you have to stop and let it sink in!

Julieta said...

Thank you for opening my herat again. It has been closed for so long... Your words have always worked in amazingly mysterious ways through my soul.

It's a gift to have you back.

Susan said...

I just wanted to let you know that I've been reading the new lesson, and I am SO grateful that you're writing again! I feel as though I've reconnected with an old friend, and it really feels so good to have this constant reinforcement of my most dearly held principles available again. I had no trouble at all downloading or printing the lesson. In fact, I printed two copies - one to carry around with me and read every day, and one to save in a file so that after a year I'll have them bound into a book like I did with my previous lessons. I can't tell you how precious these lessons are to me.

So I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate that you're writing and making these lessons available again. It feels good to read the lesson every day, and reading it really supports my efforts to be the person I want to be and to keep myself focused on something much greater than the dramas of everyday life (which, of course, have their own charm sometimes - LOL!). Anyhow, thanks again, and KEEP WRITING!!!!!!

Sara said...

I was just saying to another one of your 'graduates' from the old
days how I missed your course and would welcome doing it all over again. We were
investigating who might have old copies!!! Then, this invitation showed up in
my email box. (we did find the original issues) How wonderful to have your
fresh view now!

I'm glad you're back! Send it on to me YYYYYYYYIIIIIIIIIPPPPPEEEE!
It will be good to see you again when the time comes....surely you will take
this most excellent course on the road!

Sara said...

Thank you for the first lesson. I prepared to read it as I usually do and with great anticipation took up my position and started to read. It was like slipping into a warm pool of water and reuniting with a place long lost and longed
for. As my eyes moved across the lines I could feel my whole being becoming recalibrated to the Truth. I could see how far from the mark I had strayed...it was a bit uncomfortable and welcomed at the same time. As each page gave way to the next, an inner joy moved within me and my heart rejoiced. The lessons you share are timeless and the Self in me recognized the Truth and was so very pleased.

By the end of the lesson I felt plugged in again. In the meditation that followed I kept hearing a soft clicking type sound and realized it was all the folks who were plugging in through your course. Being reunited with you
and the larger sangam has moved me to a place I know I belong.

AND...how amazed and delighted I was to read the words that seem to be written just for me. Perfect for my current experience and so VERY timely. You haven't lost your touch in any way. How can I express my deep gratitude to you for once again taking up the pen and sharing the wisdom of the ages? Well Done, Excellent, Perfecto! Muchas Gracias Maestro Manifico.

With deepest love and respect,

Peter said...

Great to hear from you again after all these years. Just like you said in the Lessons, we all feel very close to each other. I am happily starting the new course. Also I am spreading the word and it is spreading like wild fire in this neck of the woods. The fellowship I craved with like-minded people without any dogma is now here before me, and I am very grateful.

David said...

I received the first lesson of the course minutes after enrolling. This email course is amazing. I honestly had no inkling of how "immediate" it was going to be.

As I read Lesson 1, I felt a great relief in my body, like I relaxed on all levels of my being for the first time in a very long time. Even though I took your original course for 10 years, I was amazed at how out of touch with the immediate Truth I had become over the last few years. I have even reread all the old lessons, but nothing prepared me for the experience of reading the first lesson of the new course.

Now I understand why the course is back in our lives. In one reading it is as though I have been awoken from a deep slumber. Thank you from the bottom (and top) of my heart.

Anonymous said...

This posting has helped to crystallize a vague sense of apprehension I would feel when starting a new project even if the project was something I had completed successfully many times before. I have realized that I was apprehensive about things not going according to plan. I was MAKING, things not going according to plan, WRONG. My expectation that things had to go RIGHT was causing me some distress even though dealing with hiccups is common for any project and never has any lasting effects.
It's interesting how developing the ability to be in the moment and watch how I respond to things opens the door to insights not available when I'm caught up in the drama of living.

Marian said...

Your blogs are so beautiful! They brought tears to my eyes and infinite remembrance of what is already in the heart and that is the great Self! I am reminded too of our Guru when reading your profound words and I thank you for that! I look forward to reading more.

Marian said...

Your words are profound and intimiately beautiful as they provide a vehicle to the soul's remembrance of what we are. I am grateful to read your words once again after all these years. I've missed reading your words. They elicit tears and love!

Judith said...

I am sending a check as the loot for the first year of the course. My personal take on this adventure is that it will be more like an ongoing "Family Reunion." May the circle only get bigger!

Peter said...

One of the reasons I connected with you so much, is that you are not the "perfect, little, proper yogic type" (not that this is a bad thing.) But you always seemed so regular, your own man, no airs about you, just someone doing the practices.

I'm still and always will be a little rough around the edges and considered a little different. But because of the teachings I "fit" with myself today. Since I was 15 one form of meditation was riding the big Harley choppers occasionally up to 140 mph. It is my creative expression. You will get a kick out of the picture of me on my Harley that I will send to you.

There are many, many of us that are glad that you are writing again.

chris said...

I'm enjoying immensely the new manifestation of the course. I especially appreciate how it is not tied to any particular religion, denomination, or organization. It's so freeing to view the truth for its own sake as it is this very moment.
I have the good fortune of having two close friends also taking the course. We've set up an accountability group of sorts where we contact each other by cell phone several times a week and exchange shares about what we're focusing on in the lesson and encourage each other. This is really making a difference for me. If anyone else is doing something similar, perhaps you can share how you are doing it.

Nancy said...

I cannot believe the effect that the first few readings of Lesson 1 have had on me. I remembered the power of repetition in the previous course, but I forgot the actual experience of seeing the Truth of the Self spelled out for you, right in front of you so blatantly that even a dimwit would have to see it. I feel like someone else who mentioned that it is like waking up from a deep sleep, and I did not even realize I had fallen asleep. Suddenly everything in life feels alive and adventurous again, and I can hardly wait to see what Lesson 2 brings. I cannot imagine, yet I am sure I will be surprised and awed as always. Thank you for coming back.

Mangala said...

Thank you for writing the new course and making the perspective of the present moment available again. Life seems so much brighter with your words it it.

Ekatman said...

Isn´t it amazing??

We have the truth just before our eyes ALL THE TIME and we don´t see it.

This is just awesome.

I think it contains a clue for liberation.

Even as I type and as you read this lines, the truth is ALL THERE IS.