Monday, November 1, 2010

An Overview of the 'Spiritual Path'

Someone wrote, “I’ve been on the spiritual path for over 20 years now, and I am at a point where I question exactly what a spiritual path is. It blends in with the rest of life so much that it’s hard to tell where regular life ends and spiritual life begins. Can you give some kind of overview of the spiritual path for people like me who’ve been doing it so long that they’ve forgotten what they’re doing?”

We begin this life conditioned by parents, peers, and society to see the world in certain ways and to have certain understandings regarding what’s going on, what’s out there, and what we’re supposed to do. What we’re taught to be our ‘reality’ depends largely on what culture we are born into and the times that we live in.

A 21st century American lives in an entirely different world than, say, a 17th century Japanese nobleman, or a 14th century Arabian peasant. The circumstances of our birth, including time, place, family, and close friends, are determined by karma. It does not matter whether we choose to believe in karma or not. It is true nonetheless. For more than half the earth’s population, it is a simple matter of fact.

We get caught up in a world of duality, and as we mature into adolescence and adulthood we become focused on the outer world and the ‘other’—or the realm of objective humanity. Since everyone else around us sees the same reality, we collectively agree that this is the way it is. Someone who challenges this, or says that the Truth is different from how we have always believed, is criticized, ridiculed, persecuted, and sometimes even crucified.

For this reason most true Knowers of the Truth keep it a secret among themselves. Attracting the attention of the masses only brings the madness of the world upon you—why bother? Most Masters or advanced Beings currently embodied on Earth are very difficult to find. In this current age they exist primarily in the ashrams of India and the lamaseries of Nepal and Tibet. Only occasionally does one venture to the West, and even then it is rare for anyone to hear about them or to know about their existence.

Even if one should come across such an advanced Being, chances are that we would not recognize him or her, as he or she would not fit our expectations of what such a one would be like. Instead, he or she might appear to be just like you or me, only he or she would be living in a God-absorbed or Self-enlightened state, yet who would know? It’s not the kind of thing that shows on the outside.

At some point we realize that there must be more to life than what we have previously understood. All the ordinary teachings and doctrines grow stale, and there is no life in them, nothing that will take us further if we wish to go beyond our present state. Ordinary religion does not satisfy, as it primarily points to the next life instead of working for spiritual advancement in this one. There are even those who feel that working for spiritual advancement in this lifetime is blasphemous.

There are many possibilities for getting from there to here, many viable paths available according to our individual type and needs, but skipping from there to here I will state that, based on 50 years of experience, study, and observation, the primary essence of ‘spiritual life’ is living in the Truth of the present moment.

There are many paths, many practices and methods, many seminars and retreats. There are all kinds of yoga and meditation teachers, all kinds of Buddhist teachers, teachers of advaita Vedanta, teachers of radical transformation, teachers who say ‘only this’ is real, and even teachers that teach that what is essential is beyond yoga or spirituality altogether.

Regardless of what one teaches, or what path one follows or promotes, eventually we reach the point where all that’s left is to live in the Truth of the Present Moment. What is the Truth of the present moment? It exists at the end of descriptions, for it does not exist in words. It exists at the end of time, for it does not exist in time. It is pure Awareness.

The Truth of the present moment is living while being conscious of Consciousness and aware of Awareness even amidst the dramas of daily life, while not getting caught up in them.

The ‘overview of spiritual life,’ is the journey from one who identifies himself as an individual in this world of time, space, and karmic circumstance, and who is identified with the body, mind, and emotions, to one who identifies himself as pure Consciousness, pure Awareness of Being, even while observing ordinary life go by, as the Witness of a movie. It is the karmic movie of life, and our true Identity is the Witness of that movie, which contains all the dramas.

The ego (ahamkara) and the mind (manas) are the 15th and 16th tattvas in the 36 tattvas of creation, going from the Universal to the individual. The 36 tattvas of Kashmir Shaivism offers the clearest delineation I’ve ever seen as to how the Universal becomes the individual. What we know as ‘sadhana,’ or what we refer to as a ‘spiritual path,’ takes place entirely on the 15th and 16th tattvas, which we experience as the purification of the ego and mind.

Once this purification takes place, awareness of the pure Self arises naturally and spontaneously. Only the conditioned ego and mind prevented us from experiencing it all along.The ‘Yoga Vasishtha’ states that being bound or deluded is nothing more than mental conditioning, and that once that conditioning is removed, the state of enlightenment or liberation already exists in its own right. This is our most natural state. Everything was leading up to this.

So many people worry about the direction the world is taking. This worry, of course, has gone on for many centuries. It is not a new worry. Throughout history people have been worried about the apparent bad state of the world. This is the illusion of maya at its best. Forget the world. When you leave the body you won’t care about it so much anyway. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it becomes totally irrelevant.

Eventually we come to a calm and peaceful state. It is also a state of madness. The true Self manifests as giddiness. The poet saint Rumi said, Let your LOVE be Disgraceful....Crazy...and WILD. If you're TOO Holy and careful...God will escape you!

It is definitely not good to be too holy. My Teacher once said, 'Please do not try to impress me with your spirituality.' Be real, be true to yourself, be sincere in all ways. Don't be pretentious; don't try to make a good impression; and never worry about what others think of you. Be free from these things if nothing else, otherwise objective humanity sucks you in and you start thinking that you're one of them.

Be true to your Self. You are your own God, and the divinity you have always searched for already lies within you. Contemplate this and understand what it means.

As is our tradition, let’s conclude this entry with something from the comments last month:

DRB said: Daniel, you seem to have one real question: 'Are the lessons further on in the course more advanced than the early lessons you are reading?'

You realize that all such terms like 'advanced' or 'elementary' are totally relative. 'Advanced' as compared to what? And if we get into comparing, what's that all about? Somehow the ego has gotten involved, because only the ego compares. To the Self everything is one and the same. Duality exists only from the ego's perspective.

From the perspective of the Self, there is only One.

So, about the course, the thing is, as you have apparently noticed, once you sincerely participate in the course, you begin to advance within yourself. I say 'sincerely' participate because there are definitely different levels of participation. Some people read stuff from many other sources as well, and they read a lesson and think, 'that's interesting,' and they perhaps never come back to it, imagining that they already 'know' the contents after one or two readings. Such people miss the point of participating in the course, and fail to value and appreciate what it actually is and how it actually contributes to one's life.

The course is not about words. Something 'more advanced' is happening.

When you begin to sincerely participate, and make the lessons a high priority in your life, you find that your understanding and vision of things is more expanded, more elevated, and much freer than before. So in truth something in yourself advances. This is the only reason we do sadhana, for that matter. We desire, on some level or another, to move from one state of Being to a greater, freer, more expanded state of Being.

So by time you get to the lessons you will receive in two years, you will be more advanced yourself. So of course the lessons will seem more advanced as well. You will be amazed at how somehow the lessons keep coming up with something completely new and unexpected. These surprises, or even, sometimes, shocks to the system, cause a transformation in our own Being and an upgrading of our level of understanding.

We would get nowhere if everything happened just as we expected it to. If you knew what was in the next lesson, what good would that lesson do you? It has to be a surprise. Something has to be different about it from all other lessons. And in that way something NEW happens, for only in the NEW do we discover 'advanced' aspects of the Truth.

Once we learn something ‘new,’ we can be assured that it will also be more ‘advanced.’ The two go together.

Every lesson of the course can be read on whatever level of understanding the reader already has. The more spiritual understanding you have, the more 'advanced' Lesson 1 or Lesson 2 will seem. In two years from now, go back and read a lesson you received two years earlier. You will be amazed at all the 'new' stuff in there that literally didn't seem to exist the first few times you read it.

This is because the more advanced we ourselves are, the more advanced the lesson seems to be. When we read a lesson our understanding of it corresponds to our own state. When our state changes, come back to the same lesson and you will see so many new things in the lesson you never noticed before.

If someone in the highest state were to read the lessons, he or she would simply see them as expressions of the way it is. The course is a new or 'modern' presentation of something extremely 'Ancient.' But, of course, we can only discuss such things when we get to 'more advanced' lessons.

For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email, write:

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traceymlln said...

so my question is : one arrives at the purification of the mind and ego, the 15th and 16th tattwas, by effort .... and then thereafter one spontaniously advances?

i have some trouble with the idea of 'learning' what is naturally going to appear quite mysteriously in the next step on 'the way' ..

as the I disappears and is forgotten in moments of bliss, so it resurfaces a little further on as a mechanism of dull acceptance, and yet that acceptance, is vital to advancing the understanding of this mystery we have called 'life' ..

I appreciate this opportunity to bring these thoughts into some kind of focus, it helps me move on.

D. R. Butler said...

Tracey, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I appreciate how you've openly shared yourself.

The only way to clarify your understanding and fill in the missing blanks is through taking the course available via email.

Your post reveals that you have a little understanding, and it's been well said that 'a little understanding can be a dangerous thing.'

There is much more to be understood, but too much to be able to fully answer right here. For this reason, I wrote the course, through which anyone can receive full understanding.

Harshada said...

The part where you say that most of the true masters are in the monestaries of tibet and ashrams of India. I don't know about that one Ram...

Maybe you should come with me to India this year! There are masters there, I'm sure there are so many about whom I have no knowledge.

But there are also a lot of people here who are coming into their mastery in amazing ways. Even among my students (and I'm sure among yours) there are people who are more and more "crossing over". Of course, there is not the same cultural context that they would have in an ashram. They seem to be coming into their own on a "dimmer switch" rather than a lightning bolt.

And they do have a very rich tapestry of karma to shine their light on.

I just don't want people to feel (like I did when I was young) that being Asian somehow gives you a leg-up in sadhana. If anything going to India so much and having a number of Indian students, it's the opposite. Their cultural context has often times neutralized the sadhana experience.

sorry for picking a bone- I do so with all due respect and love. Would love to hear what you think about this.

Chris said...

D.R. This was a wonderful blog post, thank you for it. In the beginning of the post you made one curious statement that I didn't understand.

When talking about how the details of our lives are determined by Karma, you stated: "For more than half the earth’s population, it is a simple matter of fact."

What is the alternative enjoyed by the other half of the earth's population?

Deb said...

I read the lesson daily and am often surprised by an insight that can come on the last day of the two weeks of reading. The first time this happened, years ago, I actually thought that the words on the paper changed somehow. But that kind of divine magic doesn't compare to the changes within from repeat readings. For me, I've found that it is important to read the lessons with my heart and not just my mind. In other words, I focus my attention on my heart, the pulsations there, while reading. Then as I go about my day, situations come up that remind me to practice what I just read. At those moments it becomes a question of whether my ego is in control, or my soul. Like the original question posted in the blog entry, I've been on the path about the same length of time, and this course has always served to keep me moving and evolving. Thanks Ram.

rico said...

I love the line in the original question "...people like me who’ve been doing it so long that they’ve forgotten what they’re doing?".

Seems like it's best to forget that we do anything

D. R. Butler said...

Deb, as for finding something new at the end of the two weeks of reading, that's why the lessons are designed to be read over and over for two weeks. If read openly you will get new insights with each new reading for the entire two weeks!

Chris, what do the other half believe, those that don't believe in karma? All sorts of things. Start off with the Christians. Do you think they believe in karma? Yet I won't even begin to tell you what they believe instead.

Harshada, there's a lot that could be said about your questions. I know what you mean about feeling that being Asian gives you a leg up on sadhana. However, I have also taught meditation in India, from peasants in small villages, to upper urban types in Mumbai (then Bombay), and I know that most Indians don't know any more about spirituality than most Westerners.

The man who wrote the correspondence course I took from age 15 to 29 did it both ways. His father was a wealthy British nobleman, while his mother was an Indian woman his father met on his travels.

Perhaps it was confusing when I wrote 'Masters or advanced Beings' together like that. There are all degrees of 'Advanced Beings' before we actually attain Mastery.

As far as 'advanced Beings,' I am sure, like you said, we both have students who already would fit into this category.

When I speak of Masters, however, I am not merely talking about those who have realized the Self. Take my teacher's Master--the teacher mentioned above whom I never met in person. (The whole story is in the lessons of the course.)

My teacher and his Master were standing on the roof of one of the buildings of the lamasery in Tibet--which is still very active and which could never possibly be found by the Chinese; in fact it might be considered the epicenter of spirituality on Earth--and his Master was instructing him in the laws of manifestation; how what you see in your mind becomes the reality.

Then, in mid-sentence, the Master suddenly disappeared from where he was standing and instantaneously reappeared on the roof of the next building, from which he completed his sentence. He did this to demonstrate to my teacher the absoluteness of the principle--that what you think is what you get.

This is a true Master. Not simply that he could hop from building to building, but because of everything else he would have to have developed in order to possess that ability. There are not many like this around.

The few that live are primarily in the ashrams of India or the lamaseries of Nepal and Tibet. The few who venture to the West are rarely recognized or seen as who and what they are. They come here to teach or to impact the lives of a certain group of people.

However, if we were ever to meet one, we would have to be extremely perceptive to realize his or her true state.

Usually such Beings work quietly with small groups, and do not attract a following or a reputation. Those who attract large followings while in the body are usually developed only to a certain degree, although they have managed to attain a certain charisma.

Anyway, I will rest my case here, and we can each have our own understanding about it. Let's say a Master lives in an incredible degree of Light, and that he or she has the ability or power to transmit that Light to others. The only reason the Master has taken birth is to spread the Light, and to firmly implant the Light in a certain group of individuals who will in turn be those who spread the Light to others. In this way, the Earth grows brighter.

Volker said...

I have the impression this is one of the most advanced blog entries you've ever written.

: )

I Love Lesson 1, I should read it again.

From my perspective is one of the most advanced lessons, if we were to master what it is said there we would reach the sky.

Oh... a friend has arrived, let me live this moment in full.

: )



Sea Goddess Treasures said...

One way I have learned to intuit a true master is whether that person sees the highest and best within others. There are many secret masters among us.

Anonymous said...

Nov 1, 2010

Dear Ram,

You replied to Daniel, “When you begin to sincerely participate, and make the lessons a high priority in your life, you find that your understanding and vision of things is more expanded, more elevated, and much freer than before. So in truth something in yourself advances.”

It’s true! Sincere effort works. I am starting year two of the course and can hardly wait. I am continuing because the course supports the earnest sadhana I began nearly 30 years ago. I participate in a few practices like meditation and contemplation and applying the teachings in daily life. You also said, “This is the only reason we do sadhana, for that matter. We desire, on some level or another, to move from one state of Being to a greater, freer, more expanded state of Being.”

Yee ha to that! Despite myself I’m driven to keep growing and the lessons are the daily water that nourish the inner fruit of tranquility, beauty and balance. Daily life really shakes up the ego and mind but journaling helps me see the difference in my state. Another key for me is having one or two sadhana buddies to share with, along with my sincere effort which includes when necessary sincere ‘confessions’ to God within. Occasionally I miss a day or two and the fruit wilts but reading the lesson again revives it.

By the way, thank you for the injections of textual philosophy – never dry, it deepens my understanding of the process.

I’m a newcomer to the blog and see it’s full of great stuff like the totally outrageous Rumi quote (jeez, did he really say “disgraceful”?!). And I relate to the advanced/elementary thing – only ego likes to compare. The other day after a tiff with my sister I took refuge in meditation. Before starting I set my intention -- to laugh about it all. Within a few minutes of meditation, the tiffy scene appeared again in my inner vision. I started to laugh out loud, it was really that funny. Wouldn’t you know it, ego tried (really tried) to crush the joy. I chose the laughter.

When we met happily next morning she made an astute comment: “We’ve grown up”. We’re both around 60 so you’d hope….still, without all the supports for our sadhana we could be 90 before we mature. And that’s why we subscribe to the lessons.

ER said...

Try a different button then? Studying with DR I feel like a kangaroo: one minute I am standing by the roadside bemused the next I have leaped over the lorry to the other side of the highway. Lesson 14 focused me on surrender... forgetful that I am! So my car died before kids' holidays, a unique opportunity to practice total surrender. Onto lesson 15: if the divine holds the celestial bodies in place do I doubt s/he can hold me and those around? (Haven't seen so many buses with broken ticket machines in my life:) When something is broken do you fix it or replace it? I don't know it is not a decision I ever need to make. Breathe in, breathe out, watch the ripples...simple yes.

Frank said...

These questions are a little personal, so answer them as you wish. Among all people, who do you think understands you best? Among all people, who do you think understands you least? Do you really not care how other people see you or what they think about you? I don't know if I ever actually knew anyone who had reached that point, so I just wondered if you actually have reached that point of not caring?

D. R. Butler said...

Interesting questions, Frank. Leave it to you.

Among all people, who underestands me most? I'd say that those who participate in the course via email are the ones who understand me most, for I reveal the most about myself in the lessons. Only someone actively participating in that process could know me as I truly am.

Who understands me the least? Probably those who know me only through what they've read about me elsewhere--especially things written in the long-ago past. These people only know a figment of their own imagination, having nothing to do with me.

Do I really not care how others see me? I wouldn't say that I 'don't care' about anything, because it's not like that. I don't spend any time or energy 'not caring' about anything.

Someone just wrote me a private message objecting to something I had said in a thread on my Facebook page. I've written a lot, both there and here--not to mention the lessons--and to pick out one small thing in a long thread to not like, and to write to me and speak to me in a nasty, insulting way, was just very weird.

I can't say I didn't care about it. It reminded me of why I spent 6 years in seclusion. I could see that if I make myself as available to others as I am now, I just can't please everyone. There's always going to be someone to pick out something he didn't like.

So? This reminds me of a Facebook post I wrote just today, and perhaps I will put it here as well, since it fits in perfectly:

If someone praises you, you can behave outwardly appropriate, but inwardly your attitude is 'so?' If someone blames you or insults you, your inner attitude is 'so?' It is the same either way.

(continued in next comment)

D. R. Butler said...

I once heard a story I always loved. A student went to his Guru and asked him how could he see the Self in everything. The Guru told him to go to the cemetary where all his ancestors were buried, and to praise them all night long. The student did this and reported to the Guru the next day. "You praised them all night?" the Guru said. "Oh yes," said the student, "I told them all the very best things about themselves." "What did they say?" the Guru asked. "Nothing," the student replied. "None of them said anything."

The next night the Guru gave a different assignment. He told the student to go to the cemetary and insult his ancestors all night long with the foulest language he could come up with. The student did this and reported to the Guru the next day. "You verbally abused each of them thoroughly?" the Guru questioned. "Oh yes," the student said, "I told each one the worst things about themselves." "And what did they say," the Guru questioned. "Nothing," the student said. "None of them said anything. They were the same as the night before."

"That is how you should be," the Guru concluded. "Whether you are praised or insulted, remain the same either way, just like your ancestors did. When you attain this even-mindedness, you will be able to see the Self in everything."

This story was important in my sadhana. I've practiced the principle of the story for many years. I've had lots of practice hearing both good things and bad things about myself. I can truthfully say that I have gotten to the point where it's all the same. Inwardly, it is always 'so?'

If I hadn't reached this point, as you put it, I wouldn't even attempt to do what I'm doing or to be available to people if they have questions or wish me to clarify something. Other than attending to family dharma, that's basically what I'm here for.

Scott Marmorstein said...


The fundamental breakdown of all communication sometimes boils down to, believe it or not, someone's interpretation of the words being used. And it causes stress, because programming is programming and people operate on programming. Programming of language, of behavior, of action, of reaction.

The moment you put yourself out there to help connect people, is the same moment you also open the door to those who wish for nothing more than to tare you down and make their ego right.

However, there are others who simply want clarification. I know, because I'm one of those people that only wishes for clarity in an otherwise monumentally challenging arena: the mind/body/soul/subtle/spiritual realm of contemplation and discussion.

Maybe the inner position is 'so' when someone does something nice or something not nice to you, but is that where the word 'so' also turns into same? As in "Praise and blame, they are the same,"?

Is it simply a matter of inner attitude which causes the infinite chocolate pudding of existence to be chocolate pudding (meaning homogeneous unmodified consciousness)? Quite frankly, I prefer diversity and multiplicity, karma and randomness to my Universe. The 'secret' AND the 'unknown' the Great Paradox, the wild and wacky weirdness that is Shakti's Play (Chitishaktivilas). But that's just me. And maybe that just real clarity to be found anyway.

D. R. Butler said...

Love. Can we go a day of nothing but Love? See the Beloved in every pair of eyes you see. See Love pouring down from the sky. See Love permeating the air we breathe. See Love in ourselves, in our own inner Awareness. Love within; Love without. Go this one day seeing nothing but Love.

Anonymous said...

before you can see love, see that it springs from the well within, you have to be available to receiving love ......

that is the part that the ego conditioning doesn't surrender to, easily ....

rico said...

Who said we can't have chocolate pudding and a great movie at the same time?

Taylor said...

Thank you Anonymous. Very nice addendum to DR's love post. I appreciate it.

Colette said...

I have found that imbibing and praising other peoples virtues is a powerful tool for growing your own. I came to this from my teacher's admonishment of not imbibing other peoples' sin. Whatever I focus on is what grows. If I focus on love, love grows. I feel so blessed to be the jiva that I am. I love to love. It is as natural as breathing in and breathing out. Love to all Karuna-Colette

Taylor said...

I love this part of your November post. Whew! What a relief.
"So many people worry about the direction the world is taking. This worry, of course, has gone on for many centuries. It is not a new worry. Throughout history people have been worried about the apparent bad state of the world. This is the illusion of maya at its best. Forget the world. When you leave the body you won’t care about it so much anyway. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it becomes totally irrelevant."
Thanks for this message. It's very helpful when so many are dwelling on the "bad" state of affairs of the USA and many other places.

D. R. Butler said...

Things are much better in the USA than in most other places. People should thank their good karma for being in the USA.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

I also found much comfort and relief in D.R.'s words to "forget the world". Somehow it makes it a lot easier to actually live in the world.

My heart is generally optimistic, but my mind has had a tendency to get caught up in "others" negativity, pessimism and cynicism. D.R.'s post helped me relax and go within. If I can just stay centered in that inner light and peace....

Also (as so many of us have experienced) opened my lesson 19 on Monday and read EXACTLY what I really needed at that moment:

....For example, it can be very difficult to watch a family member or close friend or relative go through a hard time, and yet if we are personally pulled into that experience of difficulty, we become part of
the problem, rather than a contributor to the uplifting and transforming energies that actually have the power to heal and rejuvenate.

Such a blessing. Love, Karen Jo

D. R. Butler said...

Karen Jo, that is a very beautiful sharing. When I read, 'my mind has had a tendency to get caught up in "others" negativity, pessimism and cynicism' my first thought was, oh dear, here is a person who very badly needs the course.

Of course, I knew you took the course, and I was very happy to see that Lesson 19 is exactly what you need at this time. Our current lesson does tend to correspond to what we are going through, or having to deal with, at the time.

Deb said...

D.R., in my current lesson you say...It is possible to go through life seeing God in everything. Do
not think this is impossible. Once we get the hang of it, it’s the
most natural thing in the world... My question is, what exactly do you see? I have heard this so many times, but no one states what we are to actually see. I have that understanding, and I remind myself often that this too is God. I occasionally feel a softening around my heart and have felt love even for my enemies, but I'm still very unclear on what I am supposed to be seeing.

Karen Jo said...

Thank you, Ram. I DO need the course, of course...

It found me again after all these years (I took the snail mail earlier version) and is making all the difference.

Love to you and all in this wonderful community.

Anonymous said...

I like the paragraph thats starts with," Its definitely not good to be to holy". Being holy is just another ploy of the ego which can be hard to detect if we don't have anyone to point it out to us. As always thank you Ram for providing the key that unlocks the shackles that bind us. Taking the course for two years has really helped me to make these invisible forces more visible and for me this is the true awaking. Love and Blessings to all.

Scott Marmorstein said...


You ask what you see when you see God in all things? You see God AS all things. Meaning, God literally is and looks just like the coffee cup, the wall, the computer, your friend, your dog, etc. That is how God (Universe etc.) has chosen to manifest out of infinite possibility.

There are 2 classical views. 1. That it's all ridichulous to experience "self" and "other" as there is truly only One.

2. It's redichulous NOT to experience the infinite manifestations of God in all these forms.

Oh, there's a 3rd viewpoint also... It's all perfect as it is.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Thanks Ram for re-posting the story about the guru and his disciple going to the cremation ground-I love "hearing" it again. :)
You clarified something in your response to Frank that was of great value and please correct me if I am not understanding you clearly.
We have these bodies that are effected by the gunas (the threads of the matrix of nature) The gunas play on us. Someone says something pleasing and that energy plays on the body/mind. Some one says something offensive and that also plays on the body/mind. So it is not that we walk around like robots that are devoid of emotion and feelings, it is that these emotions and feelings move through the body, some pleasant and some unpleasant, and how we respond to these from connection in Consciousness, or Awareness is -"So?"
My inner response is less of " So? " and more of a "wow". The " WOW" in response to polarity is my sense of wonder. It is a wow from the experience that you never know how this wild play is going to unfold..and how cool that is! Even in the experience of pain, there is still a "wow" check it this out.
I am aware of how certain words are translated inside me from my conditioning and culture, and I am noticing how the "so?" can be felt inside as a, "ok So?...what now?" or a "So?" of disinterest or even disconnection.
I am in the process of connecting MORE to this play of the Divine and It's expression of Itself as the universe as a "wow!", which at this time feels more like a deeper engagement in the Self. :)

Sea Goddess Treasures said...

There seems to be a place you get to after all the hills and dales of considering the nature of the inner self and seeing god in others as well as your own self. It's a tuning into the love and shakti feeling within yourself and hanging out with it a bunch. After a while, you get that this is your true self and it is also the true self of all others and no matter what place they are in their own self realization, ultimately everyone is already enlightened and a master, it is just whether they are hanging out with the energy of it or not. Having said this, it is real easy for the ego to altruistically say, hey, I have had these groovy experiences and now I want to help others have groovy experiences because it is the right thing to do. It is only really the right thing to do if you have really established yourself in the strength of your own inner pillar of awareness so that is so strong that you are immoveable, sustainable, and resonating in consciousness bliss absolute to a degree that others feel it. They make you the master by feeling your awareness. There doesn't seem to be any understanding of this...its not an engineering problem that thinking thinking thinking can solve. It's living in this resonating energy of love. Just like Ram says...and whoever anonomous is, who said:

"before you can see love, see that it springs from the well within, you have to be available to receiving love
that is the part that the ego conditioning doesn't surrender to, easily ...."

you must be one of those secret swamis amongest us.... Love Love love to everyone :) Thank-you for the threads, very uplifting

D. R. Butler said...

Deb, if you see God in everything, what do you see? Great question.

Scott gave you an excellent answer. However, as Scott is a participant in our Course of Training, as you are, he will surely be as interested in my answer as you are.

The ancient scriptures give many descriptions of God. Summing them up, they say God is nameless, formless, infinite, and eternal. God is the Creator of the play of time and space yet He exists beyond the confines of time and space. He is also beyond the play of words (matrika.)

So, what do we see when we see this? We say, 'See the world as God,' and yet if God is nameless and formless, and exists beyond the play of words, there's not a heck of a lot we can say about Him (She/It). How do you describe the indescribable?

So I will also give 2 answers. One is that it is primarily an attitude and feeling toward which we approach things. Say, for example, you are going to the hospital for a procedure. How do we see this as God? Scott should know this one, as he had several heart attacks as his 'procedure.' Hopefully most of our procedures will not be this severe.

The only way to see it as God or as the play of Consciousness, is to have a certain attitude toward it. We become the audience of the movie, the Witness, and sit back with our popcorn to enjoy the drama. We see ourselves being wheeled in the gurney down the corridors of the hospital, yet we do not identify with that person. We are the audience of the movie.

No matter what happens through the whole experience, it is simply the plot of the movie. We watch what happens, interested yet detached, chomping on our popcorn. Soon we are leaving the hospital and on our way home, better than ever.

That is the process of seeing everything as the play of God. It is all His leela, His play. It is the dance of the Shakti. Who knows where Shakti's dance will take us next?

That is one way of seeing God in everything: we simply have the understanding that all that happens is God's play and nothing else.

The second approach of seeing God in everything is simply seeing through this world and seeing the Light of God everywhere.

When I first met the physical Guru, in 1974, one of the several things that happened that day was that I suddenly saw through the world.

Everything became very diaphanous. It was almost like everything in the room disappeared, but there was a misty sheathe where the forms of the other people were, the form of the room, and so forth. Yet I could see through it and into this homogenous Light on the other side of the appearance.

It was clear that the people and the room were necessary for the performance that took place in the appearance. It's not like I was oblivious to anything that was happening. Yet my focus was on the Light beyond everything. It was the Light that made the movie, the appearance, the performance, possible. Without the Light, there would be nothing.

Ever since that day, I have had the capacity to see though things, as though the world were diaphanous, and to focus on the formless Light beyond. For me, this is seeing God in everything. So this is another approach you can experiment with, to see if you can see the world as diaphanous and then look through the world and into the Light.

You do have this capacity, whether you know it or not. The world is quite diaphanous, there is no doubt about it. And beyond it lies a wondrous Light, greater than any physical light we have ever seen. These things do exist. It is a matter of our developing the awareness to perceive them and to live in the awarenness of them.

D. R. Butler said...

Michelle, you are a great teacher in your own right, and you have really good understanding. Yet, since like Scott and Deb you participate in our Course of Training, you have given permission for me to relate to you in whatever way enables you to more quickly become firmly established in the Truth of the Present Moment.

I forget the exact details, but once someone complained that I was being too harsh with a particular poster, and I responded that this particular poster was a participant in the Course of Training and therefore he understood every interaction with me to be an aspect of the course. He later shared himself that what I had written to him had led to a major transformation for him. So to understand the course and me in the right way, it is important to consider every interaction with me as part of the course.

Don't know what that was all about. One of those fwiw things I guess. I am mostly asking about your 'wow' as opposed to the 'so?'

I think in most cases this is wonderful. Go for it.

I am curious though. Maybe we can all learn something. To slightly paraphrase what was written to me, if a guy came up to you and said, 'Hey b*tch, let me know when you're through talking out of both ends of your a**,' would you actually greet that with 'wow!'

The more I think about it, the more I see how great a 'wow' response might be. I just wanted to check and make sure this would actually be your response to all insults.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Hi Ram,
Thanks for your response, and yes, my response to that comment someone made to you as an example is "wow"...or whoa :).
(Kinda like keanu reeves would respond in "the Matrix" :) )
I guess it comes from a place of affirming the sometimes bizarre nature of how things unfold.

Anonymous said...

as the veil forever thinner becomes, thinner than a supplicant prayer flag on the hillside of eternity, thinner than a dragonfly's wing ....... who sees god, but god ... seeing.

that being established in the pillar of awareness, no longer fooled by the illusion .... knows itSelf to be the creator of All and endowed with the infinite source love, is forever wondered by the beauty and genius of form, formless and the energy that flows between.

om om to all that Is.

rico said...

Deb, your question has given rise to a day long contemplation. For what it's worth, from my perspective visually seeing has little to do with it. It's more a matter of not naming. Not pinning a label on whatever crosses my perception. Letting whatever I experience just be what it is without thinking about it. When there is no judgment no aversion all experience simply is what it is, a manifestation of Divine Shakti. When the categorizing mind is taken out of the picture the picture becomes much clearer and things that would other wise go unnoticed become apparent. The seer and the seen become the same.

Kay Butler said...

D.R. says in the entry: “So by time you get to the lessons you will receive in two years, you will be more advanced yourself. So of course the lessons will seem more advanced as well. You will be amazed at how somehow the lessons keep coming up with something completely new and unexpected.”

And I wondered, "and is it also true that if I go back and read Lesson 1 again tonight, that I’ll experience it as ‘advanced’ as my current lesson?"

So I opened Lesson 1 and by the end of the first page I was into it as a totally new lesson. It’s not that I didn’t ‘remember’ it; I’d probably read it at least ten times during the two weeks it was my current lesson. It was that I was enjoying that expansive feeling that I get when I’m reading my new lesson for the first time; that feeling, whatever you want to call it, that, let’s all admit, is what keeps us coming back month after month, year after year. This is the hardest thing to communicate about the lessons. It has to do with that feeling we get when we read them, when we just tune into them for a few moments.

Of course, I usually have to put in my own self-effort and read the lesson a few more times before it begins to work its truest magic in me again, and every sentence stands out like a sutra from the scriptures or a line of exquisite poetry, written just for me, in my life just as it is today.

When I don’t get that exquisite, expanded, elevated experience, I know it’s because I’ve not yet opened up enough to the deepest levels of the lesson, while simulataneously on some level there’s the thought that I already 'know' what’s in the current lesson, so why bother to read it again? After all I've got plenty to do.

This month I’m entering into my thirty-fifth year of reading the lessons of the course, in its various forms, having received the original Lesson 1 in November 1976. Since I began writing this comment I’ve realized that the best celebration of my gratitude is to start a review of all the lessons received over the past two years, beginning with Lesson One. I’ll read them at my leisure and savor each one, along with staying in close touch with my current lesson.

D. R. Butler said...

A great message from Kay. There is so much in each lesson. Even the two weeks allotted to reading it is not quite enough. Actually, we get the most out of the 'older' lessons when we go back and read them after a while. After two years, for example, is a perfect time to go back and start reading the earlier lessons at your own pace, at your own leisure, as Kay said.

The lessons are not written in such a way that they contain facts to remember or to be memorized. Instead, each lesson offers a certain approach, and the next lesson expands that approach and so on. They are not like chapters of a book. Our current lesson is understood in the highest way only because of the foundation created from reading and understanding the lessons leading up to it.

The course is a process of Self-discovery, and it is very enjoyable to share together.

James said...

Do you consider the students of the course to be in any way "more special" than everyone else?

D. R. Butler said...

Well, yes and no. They are 'more special' to me, because they share with me the course that I've spent my adult life writing, and it is a very personal and intimate experience to share with anyone. In time I become totally revealed to them and they become totally revealed to me, so in this way they are very special to me.

In reality, objectively speaking, everyone is equally special. Everyone has the same divine gift within them, all we have to do is to allow it to gradually blossom like a flower. Everyone eventually experiences that blossoming.

These days I prefer to refer to those that take the course as 'participants' rather than 'students.' I prefer to not have students, or to be considered anyone's teacher. Those of us who take the course simply participate in this beautiful adventure together.

I don't consider myself to teach anyone anything. After 65 years, however, I recognize that something quite extraordinary comes through. Most responses I get from people are not actually intended for me, but for that which comes through.

What comes through is quite powerful. It is everyone's teacher. We all learn from it. There is no one on this earth that could not learn from it. But it is not everyone's karma.

Hopefully people see me as I am: quite an ordinary man in all ways. Yet something comes with me, something not of the body or mind or personality, and it is transmitted to those who have contact with me. I write the course as an offering to make it available to everyone. Yet you know yourself how few people are truly interested.

Those who take the course are special to me because they are truly interested in that which is available. Although it is incomprehensible, although it is beyond everything we know in an ordinary sense, ultimately it is the Light of the world.

JP said...

Fantastic blog action - mind blowing like the lessons. Hanging out with the groovy energy behind the diaphanous veil. Meanwhile, science is busy working on some cool descriptions of the veil. Physicists are hurling gold atoms at each other near the speed of light and looking for "the God Particle" in the ensuing car wreck. Others say all matter is composed of vibrating strings of energy or that reality is really a hologram projected from the edges of space (whoa, Neo).

er said...

Immense thanks to everyone in this. The comments are awe inspiring. I remember DR at some point you write to the effect that you think the "anonymous" is the voice of the one Self. At the time I had seen the funny side of the "diamond" that is your input(yes i am stealing Scott's analogy). Now I see the point...

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Kay, you SO ROCK girlfriend!
I have spent years "going back" to old lessons in fact that kept me going during the period of "pause". One of my deepest delights is closing my eyes and asking the Goddess for exactly what I need and then blindly reaching for my shelf of lessons and never know what I will receive, and as you said so beautifully we always get what we need because there is a timelessness in the TRUTH!
Thanks Ram for your response to "specialness". I feel sweetly connected to everyone who participates in this amazing cyber kula- we are so blessed!

Evie Sharma said...

I am so grateful for each current lesson. It indeed comes just at the right time each time it comes. The one I am just with is Lesson 5 and the other day I was actually able to watch as my conditioning just seemed to act by itself - I was so stunned to be able to watch this! I had a strong sense that this was really not me, and even though I had read about this before, the actual experience of it was just incredible. This came at just the right time for me and has helped me to understand my relation to others on a new level.

Thank you for being there for me on my path in the form of the lessons and your blog and facebook presence. Thank you so much.

Naganath said...

I have been inexplicably giddy for the last two days. Feelings like when I was (am) a child. Most things are humorous. Is giddiness a reflection of love? Or, how is love giddy? (My mind keeps wanting to attribute this giddy-up feeling to something outside myself.)

Exceptionally Yours,


D. R. Butler said...

Giddiness is the state of the Self.

Susan C. said...

There are times when I am steeped in sadhana. The days are filled by reading my whole lesson everyday, chanting, meditating, doing hatha yoga, reading/studying books by my teachers and really enjoying all those practices. During these times I feel content and connected with my life's purpose. Then....I wake up one morning and I don't want to have anything to do with any of it! It's like someone flipped a switch and I am in the midst of what I like to call a "doubt storm". I was wondering if other people go through anything similar. I would love to hear your thoughts.

D. R. Butler said...

Susan, I think everyone goes through their 'off' days, and there will probably be more than a few who will be happy to see that you (and others) feel the same way at times. Kay and I are often immersed in our work with the course, and then some days we simply 'take off' and spend the day outside or go to a movie or something unrelated to our work. This helps us to approach it in a refreshed way the next day.

I've noticed that often it is that those who go through a 'doubt storm,' as you put it, are those who are most strict about their practices and push themselves to fill their days with whatever they think is 'spirituality.' I always referred to this as 'boot-camp sadhana,' and it is not recommended. Strangely, we tend to progress more quickly when we take a more casual approach to our sadhana and not take it too seriously.

It's not that God will be angry with us if we don't spend the day meditating and chanting. It's more likely that He gets bored with us if we do.

Make sadhana fun. Doing so goes a long way toward making life more fun.

Karen Jo said...

I love this new idea of acting in such a way (naturally? lightheartedly?) that God isn't bored with us. It makes me feel spontaneous, expansive, and free just to contemplate it. Who knows what will come next?

rico said...

Karen Jo,

Perhaps a little looniness ;0)

Taylor said...

From my current lesson: When we develop the will to direct attention according to our highest discrimination and dharma, we will become conscious of certain powers that have been innate and inherent within us all along.
Any hints as to what these powers are all about? I am very curious.
I've been practicing directing my attention daily and find that I really like it.

Naganath said...

Had a dream last night where in part of it I was at a place with a lot of people and ran into an ex-spouse. She was suprised to see me as she thought I was at the ashram. It hit me that I was scheduled to go to the ashram but could not figure out when it was I was to be there, and then I got the feeling as if I were already at the ashram. In the dream, I was thinking "Wow, if I can have the feeling of being at the ashram by jus thinking about it maybe I can have this feeling all the time." How is it possible to live with the constant feeling of being at the ashram with all the "distractions" of being "in the world"?

Anonymous said...

hey everyone
well after reading kay’s post (and being amazed that this has been going on for 35 years) I decided to go back and reread lesson #1. And OMG- where did all this come from. I try to read at least 5 pages in the morning before i start the day. I remember thinking after the first reading - ho hum, so ham. But now after rereading the lesson I’m thinking i dont need another lesson. I can keep reading this one and be very happy with everything that’s in there.
It’s amazing how the lessons change over time;)

speaking of music here’s 2 quotes from Son Volt’s “trace”
When you find what matter is what you feel, it arrives and disappears-
If living right is easy -what goes wrong your’re causing it

D. R. Butler said...

Naganath, after living in the ashram for 20 years, I used to wonder how it was possible to live in the world without all the distractions of being in the ashram.

People who never lived there fulltime sometimes have a strange idea of what it is like. It's certainly not being closeted from the world. It's much more intense than being in the world. Everything moves much faster.

After my 20 years of living there, I don't find being in the world a distraction at all. It's more like being on vacation. All that's really necessary is seeing the play of Consciousness in everything. If everything is experienced as the play of Consciousness, then being in the ashram and being in the world is the same and equal in every way.

Nag said...

I understand, and at one point in my life lived in the ashram full time. Now my experience of being there is full of love, bliss, and, yes, sometimes burning. But I feel so charged by the Shakti (and being in the fire as it were) in that environment that I would prefer to feel the Shakti all the time (like I presume you do). I find the ability to focus on the practices and devotion at the ashram without all the "distractions" of my normal daily life certainly help put me in a more elevated state and state of being. Yes, I know it is all Perfect as it is being "in the world" and that all I really need to do is see the play of consciousness in everything, but I don't, damn it. It seems easier to experience the play of consciousness when I am experiencing the Love of the Shakti, and being in the ashram environment sets me on fire (so to speak). Any suggestions? (And don't say go live at the ashram).

D. R. Butler said...

'I would prefer to feel the Shakti all the time (like I presume you do).'

What else is there to feel? We couldn't experience a single thought, feeling, or physical sensation if not for the Shakti. It is the basis behind everything in this world.

Of course you can focus on the practices and devotion more in the ashram than anywhere else. That's what it's there for. Lots of people feel more worshipful in church than they do anywhere else, but they wouldn't want to live there.

I have a great deal of respect for the ashram and for my time spent there, but one of the main things I learned while living there is that this dichotomy between worldly and spiritual just doesn't exist. There's nothing more spiritual than anything else. Simply do what you do with great love and respect.

Brushing your hair with love and respect is more spiritual than sitting for meditation and thinking about all the other things you'd rather be doing. On the other hand, you can be in a state of meditation as you carry out the mundane affairs of daily life.

It's not a matter of where you are or what your mind or body is doing. It's wholly a matter of how you focus your attention.

Naganath said...

Yes, I know, but:

when I am with a group of devotees with (mostly) a common purpose and I feel the wonderful fire of the Love/Shakti, I just want to be in that Love all the time. I know it is a desire, but I also know it is totally reaffirming of the purpose of my existence in this world and an experience of the Great Heart we all share as One. And I Love It. Don't want it to fade. Want to bath in That Love Forever. Love you, and me,... and we are all together. Koo Koo Ka Choo.

D. R. Butler said...

I understand totally. It's a great thing when we are all together together with love in our hearts.

When we perfect it, we'll see there is only one Heart.

The story of my life as a 'teacher' -- hearing, 'Yes I know, but...'

I'm glad you've gone back to Naganath. 'Nag' reminded me too much of my wife's evil twin.

JP said...

I find it easier to want love surrounded by love. I find it easier to want what's good for me when my options are limited to what's good for me. Time at the ashram improved the quality and clarity of want, of desire. Outside the ashram I become full of various desires, including the desire to be distracted.

So it seems what separates the men from the boys is their ability to command their want ;-)

Questions that come to mind when trying to live the course always seem to get this answer: you don't want it bad enough. But one question won't go away: how do you want IT more?

JP said...

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master. That whining is the connection. There are love dogs no one knows the names of. Give your life to be one of them.

NAGANATH said...

FOMCL and now ROFL!

Jane said...

Naganath and Ram - Thank you for your dialog. It reminded me of a conversation I overheard at the ashram. A couple was telling the Guru that sadly they needed to leave the following day. The Guru replied - "That's why I never leave." At first, I thought - 'Impossible, of course the Guru needs to leave, travel, etc.' but then the inner light turned on and I realized that the message (for me) was that I never have to leave the ashram if I can maintain the awareness that it is not just a physical location. The Course is helping me to reconnect with, and practice this awareness on a daily basis. Then I can experience that we are always together in the subtle realms; there really isn't any separation anywhere...With love to all, Jane

Manohari said...

Jane, I love what you just said. I also lived in the ashram for 8 years and had more distraction than I've ever had living on the "outside".
This is also my current experience - reminding myself Darshan can happen anywhere, anytime. I was missing the ashram yesterday and the Temple. I was on my walk so I remembered the current lesson of it is all in the present, the now. So I mentally pictured myself entering the temple, the cool marble...and had instant darshan. Realizing that what I am missing is the experience of my on Inner Self. There is no where to "go" for that but within.
Part of my sadhana living "in the world" is to remember - what I am seeking is within myself.

Renee said...

Hi all! Another beautiful day to experience Everything!

Last night, I was at a house warming party. Two different people said basically, "You've changed recently. In the last six months or so, you've opened up or blossomed or something. What changed?"

I notice it too, and I've been saying that six months ago, my youngest was finally approaching age 2, and thus was starting to become enough more independent that my life has become more managable.

However, last night as I picked up my lesson, I realized that I just finished the first six months of the course. Coincidence? I think not! I think that is actually what they are seeing.

Good thing too! The shakti here is very unpredictable with three kids under age 6. On Friday, there were nine tantrums. On Saturday, there was only one. It's like storms of emotional energy roll through the house.

Today, because the two year old got up way too early, the forecast is for partly crabby with a chance of tantrums at naptime. :)

Thank you Ram and Kay for all you do. Thank you everyone for writing here and on FB!

Love to all,

Kathryn McC said...

There is a discussion on facebook going on about certain things being more divine, more special and all this being conditioning. This reminded me of a certain "banter" that my son and I do. It is the dirt banter. (Yes, we have others; he's 13.)
It is based on the understanding that basically every thing on the planet is from the planet, (thank you Mother Earth!), everything! food, bodies, metal, oil, diamonds, glass, you name it, it's all Dirt!
So the banter can go something like this: I prefer this brand of dirt over that brand of dirt.

This dirt is performing a more important function than that dirt.

My dirt is prettier than your dirt. and so on.

This sounds ridiculous and makes us laugh,
so at least on that level, I hope it pertains.

D. R. Butler said...

If we were on Facebook, I'd 'like' the previous comment.

D. R. Butler said...

Speaking of Facebook, someone steered me to a dialogue taking place on a certain Swami's page. The Swami was saying he was 'embarrassed' by his own lineage, and there was some discussion of the 'politics' and 'back-stabbing' within lineages, and even lineages against lineages. (If you are uncertain what is meant by 'lineages,' think of it as the Yankees being one lineage and the Red Sox another.)

The voice of reason always tells me to stay out of such discussions, yet something plunges in anyway. I am sharing my comment there with you:

The transmission of spiritual energies leading to inner transformation occurs on a level transcending human individuals. Human individuals, on the other hand, always behave according to their own nature, and enact their own karmic play. To fully receive and understand teachings and transmissions, we must see that they do not come from individuals. Then individuals are free to act as individuals must, without being held to conditioned standards of spirituality. Then one needs not be embarrassed by one's lineage, recognizing the true lineage to be none other than Supreme Consciousness.

Anonymous said...

Going back a few weeks to where you said that those who attract large followings while in the body are usually developed only to a certain degree...left me confused...are you putting Baba and Gurumayi in this category?

D. R. Butler said...

I'm not putting anyone in any category. I wrote what I wrote in a certain context. It would be difficult to explain any meaning outside that particular context.

Do those you mention have large followings? Such things are quite relative. I am sure there have been highly developed beings who had the destiny to have large followings. Still, even Jesus and Buddha had relatively small followings while alive in the body. Only afterwards, following their physical lifetimes, did they attract worldwide followings.

Discussions such as this usually lead to nothing of great value. I prefer my previous posting regarding the one true lineage. The ultimate Teacher or Guru is supreme Consciousness itself. Bodies and personalities come and go.

CDM said...

Just reading Lesson 28. We are so fortunate to be part of Ram's following--large or small, to be recipients of the spirit and energy of the true lineage that flows so clearly through Ram as he writes the course. We are truly blessed. Thank you, Ram.

Ellen wood said...

What does it mean that bhagawan nityananda said everything happens automatically ? Also , as far as the possibility of living in this state permanently - is there a part of this that for the individual that is really not possible to answer - that is - is there anything really left up to destiny or does one really create ones own destiny . Grace is somewhat of a mystery . .... And it is possible for humans to live in this state as it seems and also for humans to experience this state ... We have seen and experienced this

Ghayas said...

Dearest Ram,
Ok, this is a tough one for me. I have this masochistic tendancy of keeping the company of people with whom I feel horrible afterwards. I am speaking about a very specific, eighteen year old "friendship" with a person who is particularly inhibiting, overwhelming, self-righteous, castrating, peremptory but that I still have a lot of affection for. I feel totally intimidated, impressed by this person to whom I give quite blindly credit when it comes especially to intellectual and artistical opinions. Quite paradoxically, while not feeling at all inspired and encouraged by this person to express myself fully, I kind of idealise and overvalue her judgement, since she is a very good friend, and seek her approval which manifests very rarely, as if its rarety gives it much more value than any other point of view. It is a vicious circle. Now, my understanding is that if I feel that much defensive, vulnerable and affected by such a judgemental and severe person it is because she is mirroring an inner judge and inhibiting force, and that stoping seeing the outer person won't resolve the problem. So for almost the last two decades I have kept puting up with his curt speech, not renouncing to the outer company in the name of working on my "inner judge", forcing myself to show the "humility" to learn something from his "knowledgeable advices" in regards to creative writing. I can't take it anymore ! I think we have here a big time unworthiness issue. I want to free mysef from this pattern. So here are my two questions: 1) Why do I value so much the opinion of this 'friend' when it makes me feel so bad, so low, so little?
2)Is avoiding her company the solution ? Or is the problem, not the outer person, but the inner samsakara of unworthiness and self-judgement ? If yes, what can I do to obliterate it ???
Thank you in advance.
Love, Ghayas

Scott Marmorstein said...


"You are the company you keep. So keep good company." This says it all.

Within each of us is the negative and the positive energies, the polarities. Where we place our focus specifically is where the energy seems to increase. So, place your focus on the good. It is a discipline, and it is very challenging to do. There may be samskaras in you that wish to hurt you and keep you low, keep you down. In fact...there are. No question. There is also the Self, which is only uplifted. Place your focus there.

Your admiration for this "friend" is your deception, and if not kept in check it will bring you down further. Swami Muktananda said, "Why focus on the faults of others? Why compare yourself to others? Focus only on your own Self. Focus only on your own good qualities and leave other people alone." This didn't mean don't hang out with people. It was about keeping good company. It is a discipline to do so, as I said. Contemplate this. When you consciously choose good company and cut ties with negative company, (as I myself have learned to do) a whole new world of loved ones opens up before you. Do not for a moment think that you will reach a greater level of spirituality by hanging out with negative people because you will somehow 'overcome' your samskaras based on vimarsha shakit! That is the dark side of the ego! Drop it. Move on, just keep on moving. Likewise, do not analyze the samskaras inside you either, they aren't really yours. Focus on the Self. Focus on your Heart. You are Love, Ghayas.

Ghayas said...

Thank You very much Scott for your supportive post. Love, Ghayas

Colette said...

While reading my current lesson it came up for me that one of the reason it is can be hard to recognize Your habitual thinking that is keeping you stuck is because it is so habitual that you no longer see it. You go to sleep with the familiarity and keep projecting it forward as life if you don't bring yourself back to whats new in this moment. This made me laugh. Much Love and Many Blessings to All, Karuna

Jan said...

In the blog you wrote something like "Forget the world. Don't worry about the world". But it just another sadhana to be active socially and politically, to be an activist. You can do that work and not worry. When I ran for office I would chant Hanuman's name. I often felt like I was running around with my tail on fire and carrying the mountaintop with the white flowers to revive the troops. I mean, you have to do something everyday.

I am a social worker and have seen a lot of hard stuff. Now I am managing my son's music career and get to listen to tons of live music. I get to help my son shine too. Backstage at times I talk to musicians about my political/social work stuff and they invariably say they feel like they are not doing anything very important. I point out the res t of the world would be one sorry place without music.

Anyway, being concerned, attentive, and active in the world is ok. It doesn't have to tear you away from That. It is That. The suffering is That. The passion is That. I actually lose my equipoise if I don't try to share my gifts, especially with kids that need help. That's just me. My son gets hinkey if he doesn't play music. I'll bet you would feel a tad catwompus if you couldn't share this stuff with us. And I bet you already know this.

Chris said...

HI Jan, I also didn't fully jive with "Forget the world. Don't worry about the world."

It feels to me that when looking at one's relationship with this approach, it's all about our own personal Dharma. For some, their highest dharma is to complete their sadhana and not get wrapped up in the wrinkles of the world. However, for others of us, there is a strong calling to be involved in the world as a form of service. I, for example, am guided by the Shakti to learn more about aspects of the world and society to play my part. This is not to say that I cannot see it as Divine Consciousness, for it is. Rather, even in seeing the Supreme Consciousness I can be conscious of the variety of manifestations, which show up as diversity amidst the unity. Within this diversity, there are distinctions of energy that do matter for myself and for the world, and based upon these I offer myself and my gifts to Life.
Not as one who ignores the world, but as one who listens deeply to the world and acts upon the guidance that arises.

Sometimes it feels like Ram is writing something that is general and for everyone, and at other times it feels like certain things are for certain people and not for myself. I don't know if he sees it this way, but that's what works for me. How could any one form of teaching be right for every single person at every single point in their lives? We sometimes need to be pointed this way and at other times we need to be pointed in a different orientation.

D. R. Butler said...

It's good to keep things in context. No one who's taken the course for very long would agree that I teach to ignore the world. In fact, it would be closer to say that the primary teaching is to see God in the world, or the world as the manisfestation of Consciousness.

The quoted line, 'forget the world,' comes from this paragraph: 'So many people worry about the direction the world is taking. This worry, of course, has gone on for many centuries. It is not a new worry. Throughout history people have been worried about the apparent bad state of the world. This is the illusion of maya at its best. Forget the world. When you leave the body you won’t care about it so much anyway. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it becomes totally irrelevant.'

Reminding people not to worry about the condition of the world is not exactly the same as telling them to 'forget the world' as though it's irrelevant to their lives. In fact, the world we live in is a large part of our karma. Even so, each individual lives in his own world, depending on how he or she thinks.

A lot of people's work is very involved in the world. Politicians, for example, have to deal with the world every day. Even so, they don't have to worry about it or get personally involved in it. They'll be far more effective if they don't.

Be careful about narrowing down the teachings to a phrase or two, when all you can come up with is a small tip of the iceberg. We don't have a course about 'forgetting the world.' Our course is about 'Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.' This includes seeing the world as it is.

rico said...

It's interesting the words, phrases, sentences we notice in a Lesson or an online posting. Some things slide on by, others get caught on something and stay behind until that something is resolved, polished away.

Naganath said...

Just a thought:
If everything is Consciousness and therefore Love and Divine Light, then all sense of separation and sense of self is divine play because we actually exist in an Ocean of Love. Every particle of matter is Consciousness and the only difference between particles is merely an appearance of difference; in Reality, That is One. The air outside our bodies and all the objects in our sphere of perception manifest as loving illusion and appear to have different characteristics. By delving our Awareness into the Subtlest of Realms we are Love. That is why I meditate.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I am so grateful for our satsang here. Blessings and love to you all.

Bindu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taylor said...

Let's send a garland of "thank you's" to Ram & Kay for this life-transforming Course. Thank you! I'm grateful for your gift, Ram.

Bindu said...

Deleted my earlier post coz after posting and seeing it, I thought it was too long!

Realised that DR has fully spoken to the 'don't worry about the world/forget about the world' topic, and nothing I can probably 'add' to this discussion. Well, maybe just that Baba Muktananda spoke of, and I paraphrase: 'spiritual awakening enables one to be a better baker, doctor, writer, mother, ... '[and so forth]. So as I understand it, forgetting about 'the world' and it's worries can, paradoxically?, enable us to function and carry out our dharmas that much MORE effectively, and with greater respect, awareness and love in each moment ... Whether that dharma be eg. looking after a pet or a child; saving someone's life in surgery; leading a government; teaching young people; sweeping the street; or meditating in a sacred ashram or holy place. xx

Scott Marmorstein said...

Here's my garland...THANK YOU!
Ram, and Kay are Shiva and Shakti, Lakshmi and Vishnu, Bramha and Saraswati!

The course offered through Ram's brilliant channel is truly an oasis in the desert for parched souls. Thank you Kay for all your amazing work to distribute the prasad of this course to us all.

My undying gratitude and love to you both!

Aditya said...

Grateful in the present moment for the present moment: that is my truth of the present moment.

Be well, Ram and all.

Bob Dahl said...

THANK YOU ALL. Many, many, many thanks to Ram and Kay and all the people who post on this blog. Without a doubt you have improved my life and helped with my "spiritual progress".

I'll end with a quote from Eckhart von Hochheim, commonly known as Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1327) German theologian, philosopher and mystic.

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice."

Peace & Love,


Kris said...

What pleases the self? When I say that I mean something I can not explain easily. It could be an experience through a sense pleasure, it could be a breakthrough in meditation or something entirely different. One could certanly say from the right understanding that all experience pleases the Self. Yet, I've experienced moments that felt profoundly pleasing that surprised me as the relationship to the experience and the depth of deep satisfaction seemed incongruous. What is your perspective on this Ram, anyone?

D. R. Butler said...

What most pleases the Self is when we are most pleased.

The Self is most pleased with us when we are most pleased with ourselves.

No matter how often we read or hear the same Truth, it is challenging to fully realize that the inner Self of all is no different from our own Awareness of Being. The Self experiences what we experience. Therefore, the Self is most pleased when we ourselves are most pleased.

Sukala said...

PS to Nov 27...
In my experience, fun leads to growth in cats and people. I’ve been reading in the course how life is a dream. This is addressed in the Yoga Vasishta and has been mighty hard for me to get. Last week at work a wonderful phenomenon occurred. While talking to my clients and co-workers, I perceived (saw, felt) them and me as being in a dream together. It was pretty much an out-of-body-with-feet-safely-on-the-ground feeling; blissful, present, harmonious, timeless and with the sense of detachment. It reminds me in this moment of an earlier lesson about the space between thoughts…that’s what it was! In his comment Ram calls it (Nov 6) “seeing through this world…God everywhere” and it created the freedom to be in the Truth of the moment.

rico said...

Perfectly beautiful, Sukala

Melissa Abbott said...

You really have to ask yourself, "Do I really want to become established in he self"? Sometimes there is a part of oneself that resists and creates all kinds of actions and situations (which seem to be mostly habitual) that keep the self from being super comfortable in the self.....

Sylvia in Colorado said...

Thank you, Kay, for letting us know that our Dear Ram is having surgery today! What a shock to read this new information today with the new lesson. Many blessings to you through and after the surgery. May the vast love from so many friends/family, plus everyone in the course, surround you both and give you exceptional strength.

Will all healers, teachers and true Gurus reading this please send the intention of healing energies to Ram's great heart. We all send our prayers and our love for a speedy recovery.

Ekatman said...

I Love you RAM

It is a very sweet love that has developed in my heart for you, is it the love towards an uncle?

May be,

But is very sweet to have tears in my eyes wishing to be in the waiting room at the hospital while praying for your recovery!

Thank you for the course!

Thank you for being such a light among us!

Recover well and have a delicious meal.

Thank you again!

Your friend!


D. R. Butler said...

Just arrived back home after spending the day in Mercy Hospital in Scranton with Ram. The first thing one sees when driving down the street toward the hospital is a huge white cross above the center of the street with the word "Mercy" above it (attached to a covered walkway that goes from the parking ramp to the hospital). Seemed such a fitting welcome as we drove in this morning-- a little apprehensive, like driving into the Unknown, and there it was, the Known. Everywhere you look inside the hospital there's another Madonna or another Cross or Crucifix...very comforting. I stood before a large sign in the waiting room as Ram's procedure was going on nearby, reading the hospital's Mission Statement...the first point reads, "This facility is dedicated to compassion." The procedure went well and one stent was implanted (the other will be done next week). With not much to do all afternoon and evening, we napped and read aloud from Baba Ram Puri's book. By the time I left tonight Ram was breathing much easier and looking shining and beautiful. He asked me to send his love and gratitude to everyone. Thank you all for being here with us. Love, Kay

Kris said...

Wow, sweet Kay, thank you. Spent the day on an airplane given the same book another read, too. Healing power from the saints. Love to you both. Speedy recovery for the shining man.

Taylor said...

Kay, thank you for the update. Glad to hear that it all went smoothly.

Anonymous said...

glad your breathing easier-
best wishes

rico said...

It's great to hear that the fix to your "space suit's" plumbing was a success.

Anonymous said...

hey kay - glad to see DR is doing better - I'm sure he knows that we're all thinking and praying for him- but tell him anyways -
chet ps can you keep us posted here because I'm not on facebook thanks

Kay Butler said...

Hi many prayers, blessings, Gitas, and loving messages to help speed Ram's recovery!! THANKS AND LOVE to all who are keeping Ram in your heart and in your thoughts. He's back home now and will have a second procedure on Tuesday Dec. 7. He's doing very well and I'm sure you'll hear from him soon. Keep your eye on his Facebook page and on this page for updates. Thank you, again, for all your loving thoughts. Love, Kay