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


Barbara said...

In re-reading Lesson 3 this morning I was deeply humbled. I saw that I have spent much of my adult life perfecting "projecting" myself into the lives of others. I was a business consultant and coach and prided myself in being able to say what they were feeling or thinking. I am left now sufficiently confused and stripped of a way of interacting with the world around me. This reveals to me yet again, how I do not yet know how to live from the inside out. And I am grateful though for being able to have caught this aspect of my "mind and ego" thanks to re-reading the lesson.

This brings home more deeply your guidance about repetition. My mind and ego are endlessly repeating negative things, and then they talk me out of endlessly reading and re-reading positive things! Amazing is it not? Love Barbara

rico said...

I just finished reading Lesson 4 and it got me thinking about thinking. Who is it that thinks anyway? Where do the thoughts originate?
It seems to me that thought can arise under a number of conditions. A situation can occur that triggers a train of thought usually as a response/reaction according to my memories of past experiences or conditioning. When I am alone some sensory stimuli can trigger a memory and a cascade of related thoughts. Or perhaps I read something (a Lesson) and the words stimulate thinking about the words. Often times when the mind is quiet and I am with other people I find thoughts arising that are shared simultaneously by the one(s) I am with. Whose thoughts are those? Are they "my" thoughts or did they originate in another?
It is confusing to try to use the mind (manas) to examine it's own processes. I hope what I'm saying is not too obscure. Given this confusion, it seems to me the most effective course of action is not to be concerned with how or why thoughts arise (what I think about) but rather to be vigilant about what thoughts I welcome into my awareness and allow to hang out in my head. If I ignore any thought, no matter how persistent, it will leave like an unwelcome house guest.

Mely said...

I just love how you put in words your love, your humility, and your wisdom.
I remember you said, I think it was in lesson 1, that by re-reading and repetition we can get to achieve our own wisdom, the wisdom of the truth of the present moment.
How can Mely knows that she is getting there? How can Mely integrates this wonderful Truth to her heart?
Not just by repeating other´s person words, but to live, in an all-level way Mely´s truth...
Thank you in advanced for your answer.
Love and gratitude: Mely

Bindu said...

Dear Folks,
With the most profound gratitude I give thanks for these lessons. Early in my thirties I first encountered these teachings which precipitated a most miraculous change in my perceptions. Through the years I clung to those early principles, endeavoring to make them a foundation for living. It wasn’t until I began reading the new lessons I realized how deeply I had been effected and how subtly I had drifted from the practices.
A few months before the new lessons appeared I was faced with a loss that seemed so great I could not find a way to connect with my lighthearted self. I despaired. I described myself, to myself, as ragged deep inside. My connection to completeness seemed shattered and I began to doubt I could ever find it again. The new lessons feel like I have been thrown a life-line. Just as I was going down for the third time DR showed up with the perfect reminder. After re-reading and re-reading the first two lessons I was like my dog, coming out of the water, shaking my head, and going whew what was that?
The circumstances have not changed, but my experience is totally different. The practice of re-describing my reality in a way that feels good is so simple.Loss has become change, and change has become opportunity. Just a small step outside of the prevailing consciousness. How could I forget? Anyway I’m really glad I am not being trained to be “ normal” as being extra-normal sure feels good. Thank you DR and thanks to everyone who has written to this blog. I read your words and savor the connection . With Great Love and Great Respect.

chris said...

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?

Melissa Abbott said...

D.R., I have to tell you that Lesson 4 is really yummy. It's like flying to Paris and eating the most delicious meal ever with the best wine ever and flying thru the City of Light in a taxi cab in the observing but not being part of the magnificent architecture. It is like flying in a Marc Chagall painting! How freeing is it to realize, wow, I totally Am not the person I was in the 70's, 80's,& 90's. I wouldn't want to go back there anyway. That person no longer exists. What a revolutionary thought. I'ts radical! It's like breaking through to another part of myself. The part in the lesson about "if I knew then what I knew now"is something I often think about and who hasn't when you seem to spiral around within certain situations again and again. How many of us observe some people who never seem to really change. They live in same types of apartments, have the same girlfriends/husbands/friends, drive the same cars, and hang out in similar places. It's certainly revolutionary (at least for me) to relize that I don't have to be like that person. Even if I appear outwardly to be that person.... Even if I live in my same hometown and my best friends are people I have known my entire life...I am not the person I was 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years ago... It's so great to be free from what you called "the glamorization"....oh yes, those good old days...which really weren't all that good... cigarette smoke, dog poop on the streets, no self confidence, confused, and all those things I never want to be again....

Oh, and the part in lesson 4 about "how great it is to understand the other"... delightfully delectible...scrumpcious....sheer beauty...what a lovely contemplation. It's like a understanding that each persons validity really lets all the ego blab blab blab about being right and rightous go OFF THE HOOK. Unplugged, disconnected from egoville...a very spacious and peaceful place...
One of the biggest hurdles I have endured in this lifetime has been allowing others to determine how I feel about things. If I can remember to twist it around to really get on a core level...yeah everyone has thier own truth and it is all valid...but if I am a radical, revolutionary sort..I can tune into the place of knowing, I am not that person, that person doesn't exist...its only an obstacle from keeping me connected to the blissfull energy of being that is always present. I knew this part, I feel this often...but the obstacles have a way of creeping up and throwing a net over you....

Yeah Rico, I am digging on your observations about the idea of exactly "who" is thinking these thoughts?... and do I need to worry about it or not...very cool...

Bindu, If there is anyone here who doesn't feel the way you feel then they are really kidding themselves. What you said rang such a bell of truth. Wonderful

Thanks again to all, Luv, Melissa

D. R. Butler said...

I was just having a discussion online with someone who takes the course. It is still a little "science fiction"-like for me to realize that we are engaging in an online discussion together in real time that anyone in the world can tune into. At least, for anyone reading this Saturday night as I write and post, it is indeed real time.

If the person referred to above gives her permission to me, I will share our exchange with you. I found it quite delightful.

Kay is in Manhattan tonight at a special gathering, so I am spending some time with the late-night online crew. I have enjoyed the comments that have come in since I last posted late Wednesday night.

Rico, I thought about your ponderings of where thoughts originate from, but nothing came up. I watched and watched but there was endless space. Finally something did come up: that if I simply observe the mind, there is no mental activity. It is only when we become unaware of observing that we go back to mechanically thinking, and then the next thought arises.

It's not exactly that the thought comes from anywhere or goes anywhere. It's just kind of all there is for the time being. And then when it isn't, there is just this.

It was great to hear from Bindu. I remember meeting her many years ago at a workshop in Syracuse, which is strangely only a couple of hours away from where I am now. She stood out to me as someone who laughed at just the times I thought things were most funny. She has endured some hard times over the last few years, but now you can tell there's more of a feeling of "coming home."

I can't comment on everyone's comment, because then there would be no one whose ego would be jealous that their comment wasn't commented upon.

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.

It's fun meeting here with you guys like this. I'll be back soon. Thanks for all your contributions, in all your various ways.

rico said...

DR while I agree (not that my agreeing makes any difference) that when we become unaware of observing we go back to mechanically thinking, it is possible to be focused on the witness and still have thoughts. If we must first think something before it becomes a reality on the physical plane then it is incumbent upon an awakened individual to consistently be aware of what thoughts are entertained in one's awareness. It is also possible to consciously direct thought towards an end we might find beneficial. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of the game since you've said you will address these issues in upcoming lessons. Perhaps you have taught me too well.
I guess it may be beyond the abilities of the limited mind (manas) to comprehend the source of thought. Since we all share the same Consciousness perhaps we all share the same collective sub-consciousness. I have long been intrigued by stories I've heard of enlightened Masters commenting, out of the blue, that some distant devotee was thinking about them at that moment. If such a Master's mind is normally quiet perhaps the devotee's devotion appears in the Master's awareness as a thought about that devotee.
Your story in response to Chris goes a long way towards implying an explanation.

D. R. Butler said...

With Kay in Manhattan for another day at her special event, I will spend my own retreat online with anyone who cares to join in. Throughout the day today (Sunday) I will check in and see if anyone wants to participate in questions, sharings, discussion, or whatever is possible here in our space online. Students of the course can consult with me privately through email if you prefer, and also, along with anyone else who cares to join in, we can meet here in the comments section where everyone can share our interactions. So, like I say, I will be back from time to time during the day and evening until Kay gets safely home tonight. Enjoy a wonderful day whether you care to actively participate or not.

D. R. Butler said...

Once again I'm drawn to the post from Chris: "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?"

We could actually take this contemplation and work with it for the next month or so. Or forever.

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.

Due to these technological advances, I can write something here and Vandita in Spain and Pablo in Mexico and Rico in Massachusetts and Melody in Seattle and Ann in North Carolina and Jnani in LA can all read it at the same time, were they all to happen to tune in right this moment. It is quite different from the days of printed lessons sent by mail, or from the required two weeks for someone to send a question and receive an answer, whereas now it can happen in moments.

The wise King Soloman said, "Man, know thyself, and with all thy getting, get understanding." This is the principle thing, 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, that something indeed 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.

Bindu said...

Dear DR
Thanks for your comment. It does feel like “coming home”. Home to the Self I really love. The world is sparkling again. Shiny! Open! And most of all deliciously absurd!
I am sitting in my room. Looking out across marsh to the water, which is alive with silver and gold, and I am filled with wonder and gratitude for all I have been given.
When I was young my mother always used to say to me, "You lead a charmed life." The good news is I believed her.

William said...

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?
Thanking you in advance.

D. R. Butler said...

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 Gurjieff groups, went to see Krishnamurti, Yogi Bhajan, Dr 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 paths with them.

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--whose live webcasts I still frequent--I remember Guru Bawa most vividly. He was a little old man who had appeared out of the jungles in Indonesia 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 name 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 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 will 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. Do my own children read it? 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 150, then 150 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 the 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 that person in his or her 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.

My love to each of you.

chris said...

Thanks, D.R. I filled up with light and peace when I read your responses to my question. I know that much more than words were communicated to me and I feel truly blessed because of you, the lessons, this blog, and all the wonderful souls participating in it.

much love,

jimi said...

Well, I just got through reading all 14 "comments" and I must say that I haven't had a hit like this in some time. You know, the kind of hit where tears just start streaming down your cheeks & you don't even know why. The kind where gratitude just wells up & is a palpable feeling in the heart. It's absolutely true that one's inner state can be felt by others, even thousands of miles away. I felt the love pouring out of DR's heart like I've never felt it before and I've read a lot of his lessons & taken a lot of his workshops. I swear the dude was in "the zone"!!!

Gracias a Dios,

jimi said...

In the comments DR wrote:
"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."

This just blew me away. I used to read all the Carlos Casteneda books (over & over). Maybe 30 or so years ago I remember reading a conversation Carlos had w/his teacher Don Juan. In it Don Juan told Carlos that the path of a "warrior of total freedom" was a path of utter aloneness. I completely did not understand at all what the heck he meant... but ironically I never forgot what he said. Today, after 30 years, I finally got it ! Thanks, DR!


Anonymous said...

I watched Ophra the other night (my wife makes me). Their was a story about a brain scientist who ended up with a massive stroke. She was quite young and healthy. Her journey to recovery took 8 years and was very revealing. It in a way correlates or even verifies the path we are on in trying to know our self on the spiritual path.

She was unable in the beginning to understand what people were saying or to speak herself. She completely lost her identity. In a way she was starting from scratch. What she noticed as she started to recover was she had lost all her emotional baggage and was completely present. She said it felt incredible to always be present without any interference. As time went on her mind started to become engaged in the outside world and interfered with her experience of the present.
Before being able to communicate again she also could not see. She said she felt people's "energy". those with good energy brought her "out". those with bad energy made her contracted and unwilling to come out. They inhibited her healing.
She has made a complete recovery. I thought it was fascinating.

Lucy said...

I love Lesson 4 a lot. In it you say, "As nice as it is to be understood by another, it is even greater to be the one to understand the other."

What you say seems so obvious. It is, as you have often said, "so simple a child can understand it."

Since it is so obvious, so simple, why is it so hard to practice? I can read that sentence from the lesson, and agree totally with it with all my heart, and then the next thing I know I'm demanding that my huband understand something about me, and refusing to understand what he needs to be understood about him. Why is this tendency so powerful even when it is so obviously not the way to go through life?

D. R. Butler said...

Lucy, it is the usual culprit, the ego, that wants to be understood by others, yet doesn't care to bother to be the one to understand others.

If we would, we could always recognize ego this easily: it is that in us that wants to explain itself so badly so that it will be understood; yet it is not interested in anyone else's explanations of what they wish to be understood.

Trouble is, most people are not comfortable with recognizing their ego this close-up and personal. Most people are willing to admit that they could probably use some ego work, yet few want to see how it actually manifests in their moment-to-moment life.

That is one of the unique features of the course. You have to be willing to work on ego in order to participate in the course. Otherwise active participation is not possible.

The ego itself would much rather leave things as they are, without upsetting the apple cart, without challenging its view of the world, no matter how limited, contracted, or rigid it might be.

Spiritual work is twofold. One is the recognition of the truth of the divinity of our own nature. The second is doing the necessary work to eliminate that which prevents our vision and experience of the truth in the first place--the ego, samskaras, vasanas, etc, all of which are explored in detail in the lessons.

You're on the right track, Lucy. Simply keep doing your best to understand the other, without demanding that the other understand anything about you at all, and you will be amazed how much more harmonious and flowing your relationship will be.

Thank you for your question.

Karen said...

Could you put some examples in the lessons of how to change negative thoughts of situations to positive thoughts? I find that when I experience a situation that most people would consider negative, I'm not sure how to change my thoughts around to look at it in a positive way.

For example, I was recently robbed. I guess I could say that I was lucky that I wasn't injured or killed during the robbery or that I was fortunate that more of my possessions weren't taken, but those thoughts seem to get overshadowed by feelings of negativity about the experience. There just doesn't seem to be much good about it to focus on.

Also - about the gratitude exercise in lesson 4 - I know in my mind that I have a lot to be grateful for - probably a lot more than most of the people in the world - however, when I try to do the exercise, I don't seem to be able to conjure up any feeling of gratitude or feeling of being cared for and guided by God. I actually have to force myself to do the exercise. I think that deep down I really don't believe that I am cared for and guided by God - I'm not sure how to convince myself otherwise.

Anyway, I really miss the workshops - it would be nice if we could have them again.

D. R. Butler said...

Karen, I appreciate your question. I assure you that there will be many examples in the lessons of exactly how to replace negative energy in any form with positive energy. This is one of the major aspects of the training that occurs during the process of the course. Most people already know to think positively instead of negatively, but only a few know how to actually replace the negative with the positive--which is similar to replacing the darkness with the light.

You cannot push the darkness out of the room no matter how hard you try. All you can do is to turn on the light. In the same way, you cannot push negativity out of your life. You can only generate positive energy. In the course you will be taught how to do this.

As for your robbery, well, that's a tough one to deal with. Do be thankful that you were not harmed, and know that it could have very easily been worse.

I remember once Ram Dass was sharing a story back in the 70s. He was living in his trailer, and he came home one day to find that his stereo system, including his nice speakers and all his records, had been stolen.

He said, "The only thought that came up for me was: 'Thank God someone finally took them.'"

I always thought this story nicely illustrated the perfect attitude to approach robbery or loss with. Whatever has been taken or lost can be replaced with something new and even better.

The other story that comes up is from a woman who was reading a lesson from the old printed course while on a train in India. As she read on the bumpy train, suddenly a man rushed up, took her purse that was lying in her lap, and ran and jumped off the train.

The purse had her passport, all her money, and all forms of identification, including credit cards. Now everything was in the hands of some unnamed man who had jumped off the train somewhere in the Indian countryside.

The woman was stunned. Finally, since all she had left was the lesson still in her hand, she sat down and went back to her lesson. The very next sentence said: "What would it take for you to be pulled out of your center in the present moment? Will someone have to rush in and take all your money and valuables? Would this throw you out of your centered state?"

Amazing how often our conscious study corresponds to real life.

Anyway, Karen says, "I don't seem to be able to conjure up any feeling of gratitude or feeling of being cared for and guided by God."

Let me ask you this: How do you think you have made it through life to this point? Do you think it is because of your own efforts, or because of some good luck? Let me tell you the truth: you have made it through everything so far in spite of yourself, not because of anything you have done or achieved. The inner Spirit has guided you all along, whether you give it credit or not, and whether you feel gratitude or not.

Know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free.

Most people who have a hard time accepting that God cares for and guides them are people who have a general sense of unworthiness. They do not feel that they are worthy of God's care and guidance.

I assure you that we are each children of the same God, and that He (She, It) watches our every thought and feeling from within. This is why the Christ said that the heavenly Father knows our desires before we even tell Him of them. He already knows because He (She, It) sees our thoughts and feelings. God is our own inner Witness, the Knower of all that we know and the Seer of all that we see.

Gratitude is a spiritual quality, and through developing the spirit of gratitude we develop and expand our inner state and the space that we live from.

The more we are aware of our eternal oneness (at-one-ment) with God--the inner Consciousness of all, and our own formless Awareness of Being--the more worthy we will feel; and the more worthy we feel, the easier and more natural it will be to experience true gratitude.

All this will be explained more fully in the lessons. We have much to look forward to.

I hope everyone is enjoying a happy Sunday. It is beautiful outside. It's so bright I have to wear shades.

Rico said...

I was just reading the most recent blog comments and came across a word, vasana, whose meaning I had forgotten. So I did what I usually do when I need to know something, I googled it. I was amazed by the sheer number of sites that came up. Not to mention that the ones I checked out had material that was dead on. You mentioned in previous comments that there are only a few that are truly committed to Self discovery and from personal experience I know this to be true. But, given how many people there are in the world these days, there appear to be many more devoted to the path than I might have imagined!

D. R. Butler said...

Rico, that is a great idea. Probably many other people will like the idea of googling the terms they don't understand, to see how they are commonly used.

I remember when I first started quoting from the texts of Kashmir Shaivism in the lessons, I googled it to see what was online in case anyone else was interested in looking it up.

I was amazed at how much information there was available online about Kashmir Shaivism. And I have since found that to be true regarding many other terms that we use in the course.

I encourage people to at least be interactive enough online that they can look up such things. The Internet, and cyberworld, are very real in the current lives of most people. As someone mentioned in an email to me recently, and which I have noticed myself, the children being born today seem to already subconsciously know how to competently function in that world. How many parents, like myself, have watched in wonder and awe how our children seem to naturally know so much more about computers and the Internet and cyberworld than we parents do? They were born into it, while many in my generation are still adjusting to it.

Anyway, be functional enough online that you can read the blog and look up (google or the search engine of your choice) the terms you are not already familiar with. In fact, many of the terms used in the lessons should be looked up anew even if you feel you are already familiar with them, for there is still much to be learned and understood.

Thanks for another great contribution, Rico.

Brad said...

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.

D. R. Butler said...

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 like 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 saying, "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 said, we can simply google it if we only want the information.

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, which takes place when 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 the 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.

You get a good idea of how the process works by simply reading the blog--especially in the inner workings and 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 either of us can understand that, it should shed lots of light for all.

D. R. Butler said...

As I am spending the afternoon "hanging out with people online," Kay has been on her own computer responding to some of the emails that have recently come in.

I just read her response to an email that came here, and I feel to share it with the rest of the community, in case anyone else has similar thoughts (vrittis).

Someone wrote: "I agreed with what DRB said about bringing positive energy into negative interaction, and I agree with the suggestion to offer compassion to someone who seems to be caught in a cycle of negative thinking and speaking. But to suggest as he did that 'Most people have no idea whatsoever what they are talking about, and fewer still have the capacity to think for themselves... Always have compassion for ignorance. It is amazing to see how ignorant some otherwise intelligent and educated people can be...' seems incredibly judgmental and, well, if DRB believes he knows more about the inner condition of most people than they know about themselves, well, honestly it sounds vain to me. It may even be a projection of his thoughts about himself.

"Like The Course in Miracles says: 'Nothing real can be truly threatened.
'And nothing unreal truly exists, so why feed it more energy? Let it go.'

The next "comment" will be Kay's response to this email.

Kay said...

I have been away from my computer for a few days and am just catching up with the mail. Your email contains some interesting perspectives. I agree with most of what you say, except that I can shed some light on what you said about "negativity" in DRB's response to a comment on the blog.

I've been his student and co-sevite on the Course for 33 years and his wife for 5 years and I've yet to ever hear him criticize or judge another. When he refers to "ignorance," (his words quoted in your message: "Most people have no idea whatsoever what they are talking about, and fewer still have the capacity to think for themselves... Always have compassion for ignorance. It is amazing to see how ignorant some otherwise intelligent and educated people can be..."

When DRB refers to ignorance, he doesn't mean stupidity. He means that ego-oriented mind we all have, the one that gets us into so much trouble, the one that gathers so much 'knowledge' but still can't settle down enough to experience the Truth of the present moment.

A 'stupid' person would be one with a low IQ, one who might be unable to experience some forms of knowledge but might actually be simplistic enough to experience Truth if it were presented simply. An 'ignorant' person, in the way DRB uses the word, would be all of us (at some times) who have so much 'knowledge' but sometimes refuse to stop thinking negatively long enough to actually experience the Truth of the present moment.

I know I sometimes fit into that category, when I allow the ego to take charge of the mind. Anyway, I just wanted to share with you that DRB's answer was never meant to be negative or blaming--he just doesn't do negativity or blame--but is the way he refers to ignorance itself, as not 'lack of knowledge or ability,' but refusal to put into practice what many of us have studied for so many years.

We're both happy that you are tuning in with the blog and staying attuned to your current lesson. As our understanding and communication grows in this adventure together, we can all learn from each other. Please feel free to give feedback at any time. It's much appreciated.

Warm regards,

chris said...

'Most people have no idea whatsoever what they are talking about, and fewer still have the capacity to think for themselves... Always have compassion for ignorance. It is amazing to see how ignorant some otherwise intelligent and educated people can be...'

This doesn't sound arrogant to me at all. I know it is true first, because I see it so often displayed in my own behavior. How often during the day am I really, consciously present in the present moment? How many times does my mouth open to speak before my brain is fully engaged?

Secondly, I just look at the world. Some of the most intelligent people in the world make weapons systems and drive the dogs of war. How, after all the intellectual advances throughout the history of man with all the holy men and women that have come and gone is there still so much hate and violence? Why are the Gandhis and the Dr. Kings of the world still being gunned down? It is not arrogance but honesty that informs us that there are a whole lot of intelligent but ignorant people out there. I thank God that he has placed me where I am, doing the things I am doing, this course and blog included so that I can work hard to rise above the blinding ignorance of my own making. Compassion for myself and my own ignorance walks hand-in-hand with the development of compassion for others around me.

I thank whoever wrote that question in for asking it, however, as I also thank D.R. and Kay for posting it. It's important to me to know that questions of a disagreeing nature will be treated with the same love and respect as those of glowing praise.

love, chris

Mely said...

My heart is going to explode! and it is because of true love and gratitude. I´ve been reading the blog all day long, and, just a few seconds ago I realized that this is it... this is the time of my life, only now. What a great feeling!

A year ago something happended to me, a big opportunity of transformation. I prayed to God everyday and I asked him to please please put someone in my way that can help me understand the past events in my life. And God, as always talks to me in mysterious ways, and now I am ready to listen to him.

With all your positive energy, I am full of hope, I feel that I am not alone, I feel in my heart that God is sending me his music by reading your words in the blog and lessons.

The thing is that the past year was full of chaos (and I think this is only a belief, my own perception), I was on drugs, for several years, but one of my last experiences with acid was truly without words.

I felt that something from the sky appeared to me, talked to me. It was like a source of pure energy that penetrated my entire body, all my cells were full of light and energy.

After years of trying to get out of this horrible life, this was it... no more drugs, no more violence to my body, no smoking... And it was so easy to live this kind of life in the past (should I call it life?)

The thing is that after this bizarre episode I felt something that I can not put in words. I felt in my heart all the love of God. I started to meditate everyday twice a day, practicing hatha yoga, sometimes I think I´m a little crazy, you know? But I know in my heart that something happened inside me that I cannot explain.

I think that I am trying so hard when the thing is very simple. Sometimes I feel so good, and sometimes I feel awful, like I were lost and nobody listens to me.

I just want to be with God in every step I take. Because I know I´ve been there... How can I come back?

Sometimes I feel that something out there is waiting for me, but why out there? Can I find it inside me?

I am a little confused. I just need to calm the water, so I can see the bottom. Can you help me?

Thank you very much for your time, for your energy, and for your love.


D. R. Butler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D. R. Butler said...

Thank you, Mely, for your beautiful sharing. I know English is your second language, yet you express yourself very beautifully.

I have been contemplating Mely's letter for over a week now. I hear very clearly where she is coming from and what her question is, yet putting the true answer in actual words can often be very challenging.

In her own beautiful way, Mely shares the same feeling Chris referred to when he spoke of the "aching loneliness" in the heart. It is the pain of separation, which is examined in the lessons. Mely expresses very openly that feeling we all feel sometimes, when it seems like we are alone and should be with something or someone so we can finally be "together again." Only then when we finally feel whole and complete.

Mely says, "Sometimes I feel that something out there is waiting for me, but why out there? Can I find it inside me?"

Yes, it feels very much that the something we need is "out there," and yes, you can find it inside yourself once you know how to look within in the right way. Not that there is a wrong way of looking within. We are encouraged to look within no matter what the means, or the results, as anything we see about ourselves on any level is helpful.

Ultimately, in fact, we can only find the Truth within, in our own Self, as our own Awareness of Being.

Even when we see all those things we hate to see about ourselves--even sometimes hating them so much as to be in total denial regarding their existence and manifestation--it is very helpful. All these things have to be seen before we can finally be free from them.

It is important to remember, when we see the ego in action, or the manifestation of our samskaras--which are discussed in depth in the course--that this is notultimately who we are. These egotistical melodramas and traits will fall away naturally as we do the work of the present moment.

This entire process is fully examined in the lessons of the Course of Training. If you like the blog, you'll love the lessons.

We can only find what we are looking for inside ourselves. There is the story of the musk deer, searching throughout the forest for the source of the exquisite smell of musk that is actually being emitted from his own navel. He never stops to smell his own smell. Instead, he searches frantically here and there for it, thinking that it must be "out there" somewhere, it must be coming from another, and that the other must be found and reunited with.

In truth, we only need to reunite with our own inner Self, which is all-pervasive and eternal. The Truth of the present moment is the Truth of the Self.

Mely said, "The thing is that the past year was full of chaos (and I think this is only a belief, my own perception), I was on drugs, for several years, but one of my last experiences with acid was truly without words."

First, I want to comment, and emphasize, her admission: "I think this is only a belief, my own perception."

Yes, Mely, it is always your own belief, your own perception. That is as surely the source of your own experience as the musk deer's navel is the source of the exquisite musk odor.

There are many people in today's society who have been on drugs for many years, to one degree or another. I have found it a rare exception to come across a person who has had no experience with drugs in today's world.

I remember when I was in India for the first time in 1977. I was staying in an ashram that I have a lot of love for even today. For those to whom "ashram" is a new word, an ashram is a place that is dedicated to the practices of yoga, and those who live there or visit there are expected to fall into the routine and schedule of the ashram, which is a kind of discipline in itself. People visit an ashram when they care to do focused sadhana over an uninterrupted period of time, and intense work on themselves, almost always involving some degree of work on the ego.

Anyway, I was sick at my stomach, which was, I soon learned, about the most common thing Westerners could expect in India at that time, and so I went to the ashram clinic.

There was an Indian woman doctor presiding over the clinic, and she also happened to be a swami--which is when you devote your life fulltime to your spiritual work as well as to the spiritual upliftment and advancement of others. The Indian doctor swami, dressed in orange as swamis traditionally do, was giving the guy ahead of me his medicines. "Ah, drugs," I thought to myself. "I want drugs." I was really sick. I wanted any help I could get.

The guy in front of me, another American, however, didn't want to have anything to do with the medicine. "I don't want drugs," he said emphatically, a little defensively and even self-righteously, I thought. "I do everything the most natural way. Don't you have some herbs I could take instead?"

The Indian woman doctor swami looked in the guys eyes and simply said, without blinking, and with great conviction, "The Shakti (spiritual energy) is in the medicine, too." She was referring to the teaching that the Shakti, being God's own dynamic power, and the single source of all other powers, including all motion and movement of any nature on any level of existence, is all-pervasive, permeating all levels of existence at one and the same time--therefore logically including the medicine.

Anyway, in my humble opinion, too many people have too much guilt and shame about their past experiences and experiments with drugs. And I am not advocating drugs in any way, let's be absolutely clear about that. As a great teacher once said, "If drugs were good for your sadhana, I would tell you." However, whatever purpose any forms of drugs served in the past was karma, and there is certainly no reason to feel guilt or shame regarding past karmic experiences.

Guilt and shame are among the very worst things that people do to themselves, among the very worst feelings they impose upon themselves.

I remember the first time I took acid in Greenwich Village in 1969. I was working as an editor for a magazine, and a guy I worked with was 4 years older than I was and had had also moved to New York from the South, from Kentucky, and he recognized what I, a lifelong Mississippian, was dealing with in adjusting to life in the big city. So, out of sympathy for me, I suppose, he gave me acid (lsd).

What happened for me, was that I had a very intense reawakening of all the teachings I had studied as a teen in the realm of yoga, meditation, and creative thought. When I was in college I became a little disillusioned, because in my Oriental Philosophy class I came across professors who knew the teachings and administered the tests, and student who could pass those test with high grades, yet none of them actually practiced the teachings in their own lives. They only "knew about" them in an intellectual and academic way.

Anyway, in my acid experience, I had the vivid realization that all my previous experiences and insights and realizations in the realm of spirituality were actually true. It all became intuitively obvious.

Ever since then, in fact, it has been clear to me that everything is either intuitively obvious or not worth thinking about.

But that's a whole other story.

Hope something in here helps, Mely.

D. R. Butler said...

In my meditation I have felt very strongly guided to make this post:

There are two loved ones, Pat and Anasuya, who live in Massachusetts, who have gone through a very difficult time the last few years. There is a serious family illness involved, and when you make up a list of people who don't deserve such things, these guys would be high on that list.

I first met them at workshops in Erie, PA, back in the 70s, and then they moved to MA and attended every workshop we ever gave in the beautiful Cape Ann area, north of Boston, which was an annual event for many years, and later in Boston proper, which also continued annually for many years. Both Pat and Anasuya always added so much simply by being there, with their gentle hearts touching all who were present.

I would like to send them some special healing energy over the next 3 evenings -- October 31 (Halloween), November 1 (the day new lessons are sent out and a new blog entry is posted), and November 2, the Sunday in which, during the afternoon, I will be hanging out with students of the course online.

What I would like is for all of us to think of them, and send healing energies their way, as we do our group gratitude at sunset each day, wherever we might be.

I know that many people who take the course are very connected to healing energies, and I would love for these people who work with healing to please send Pat and Anasuya healing energies over the next 3 days in particular. It certainly doesn't have to be limited to sunsets. I simply wish everyone to direct healing energies in their direction, through the creative power of focused thought, as there is great power in group affirmative prayer, and I wish that power to be available for them to tune into.

Pat and Anasuya, we appreciate everything you have contributed in all your various ways over the years, and we know you guys will pull through this challenge of a lifetime in ways that will lead to a great discharge of karma, and the consequent spiritual development that naturally follows as a result. You guys have been through a lot, but you have earned much spiritual merit, and such merit never goes to waste.

All my love and best wishes go out to you, and I will join the others in directing focused healing energies over the next 3 days, especially at sunset. I know you will tune in and open up to the benefits of our prayers and focused affirmation.

Speaking of tuning in, I will probably spend late Saturday night and some of Sunday afternoon hanging out online with whoever cares to drop by once again, as I have done the last two weekends. We don't have a message board or chat room as such at this point--and by time we need such things I am sure the right people and means will suddenly be available--but the comments area of the blog works just fine for now.

Saturday is a special day. Besides being the 1st of the new month, it is also the day all students of the course get a new lesson--except those who have recently enrolled and received Lesson 1; they will receive Lesson 2 on November 15. Saturday is also the day a new blog entry is posted, and so Saturday night and Sunday afternoon will be our first real-time gathering in the new comments section underneath the fresh entry.

See you then.

Everyone enjoy a great Friday, and a fantastic Halloween.

Rosemary said...

In Lesson 2, DRB states: "One aspect of the lessons is the occasional use of the Sanskrit language. Sanskrit is the language most conducive to the communication of Truth."

I couldn't help but remember a fascinating story I heard about the use of the Sanskrit language a few years ago. I would love to share it with all of you.

When I stayed at an Indian ashram in Texas, the devotees at that ashram told an amazing story - they said that their guru had told them that if people living on this planet had the capability of traveling to other planets in our universe that were civilized, the cosmic travelers would find that Sanskrit was always the first original language on every civilized planet - that the Lord always draws down the Sanskrit language whenever a civilization is started. They stated that the language of Sanskrit is a descension from Heaven, and was not created by man.

That is probably why when one speaks, thinks, chants or sings in Sanskrit, one can experience a great divine power from the sounds and words, even if the actual meanings of words are not undestood in English.

mangala said...

Thank you so much for doing this healing for Pat and Anusuya,they mean so much to so many of us