Friday, April 1, 2011

Subtle Relationships in a Subtle World

The other night Kay and I were sitting in our den where we enjoy our nightly ‘satsang,’ and devote our energy and attention to something of an uplifting nature. We might read aloud from a book or a lesson; we might listen to one of the great communicators of Truth available on video or vocal recordings. We might discuss something that seems relevant to sadhana at the time. We might play music and dance and stretch in that disco-yogic way of ours, dancing like no one is watching, dancing like we wouldn’t care even if they were.

Usually, following our ‘satsang’ time, we have a time of restful recreation, which is rejuvenating, before time for bed. We might watch a movie or one of the better TV shows (‘better,’ I suppose, being totally subjective.) We live like most other people in our age range, although there might be some things that they do that we don’t, and there might be some things that we do that they don’t. After Kay goes to bed, I often stay up and participate for a while in dialogue in the comments of the blog or on Facebook.

The other night Kay said, ‘During our satsangs, it feels like there are many others here with us.’

When she said that, I too became aware of them. Suddenly I felt as though I was in one of my dreams. I have frequent dreams of being with or around large crowds of people. Sometimes it seems we are working together for some common purpose that I can’t quite consciously grasp. Sometimes we are in huge halls of an extremely large ashram or temple. Other times the location is very other-worldly.

Last night we were scattered about an exquisite palace. The entire place was extraordinarily beautiful and glowing. In my dream I looked into what was perhaps the most beautiful room I had ever seen. I thought, Wow, even though this is only a dream, the details of the room are so vividly clear. I was deliberately focusing on the details of the room, amazed that they were so clear even in a dream. I could not identify any objects; there were designs and brilliant colors that did not correlate to the objects of waking life. I do not always remember that I am dreaming at the time of the dream, but this night it was quite vivid.

Anyway, when Kay said it felt like many others were present, I had the familiar sensation that I experience around the huge crowds in my dreams. There was a sense of Wow, we’re all here together after all, as though my affirmation was already true.

Many years ago I was at a meditation gathering in Tucson. During one of the chants, I sensed very vividly the presence of Native Americans in subtle form. During a break I went to a host of the gathering, who himself was Native American, and told him of my experience.

He responded with a smile, “They’re here for the programs a lot. They come down from the mountain that overlooks the city. Many of the local Native Americans believe that when they leave the body they go to live with their ancestors on the mountain. They seem to particularly like the chanting.”

Subtle beings are all around us. Many more souls are in subtle form than in physical form. Yet, even now we are also in subtle form. The subtle body doesn’t go away when we take birth in a physical body.  It is the subtle body that animates and enlivens the physical body.  The physical body is like a spacesuit that enables us to live on the planet Earth for a little while.

After my father’s funeral in Albuquerque in the early 90’s, I sat in a chair near his grave. I was very aware that it was easy to communicate with him, even more so than it had been physically. I sensed his confusion and started explaining to him, in terms he could understand, what the process of exiting the body and returning to subtle reality was all about, so that he might more easily and harmoniously flow with what was happening.

As I was ‘talking’ I began to sense other subtle bodies from around the cemetery gathering, as they were also interested in the same topic. So we had a little subtle workshop for the confused souls still hanging around their bodies not knowing what to do next. It was a deep and moving experience for me.

Last month I wrote this in the comments: Today I was going through the mail—both online as well as the traditional mail that arrives in paper or manila envelopes, and such a feeling of gratitude welled up inside me as I read the messages from participants of the course. And I want to thank those of you who participate in that process and who support the course and make it possible. I can't even express how much you mean in my life. I truly want you to know how much gratitude Kay and I both have that you participate in this process with us and help support this work.

A large part of most days we spend on the computer; Kay keeping up with participants, practicalities, and 'business' stuff, and me writing one thing or another. For example, now, there is this.

In a certain sense this means we stay in almost constant contact with you in a subtle yet very powerful way. You can be subtly in contact with us simply by tuning in to the space the lessons come from, the space of the present moment, the space of the heart, the space of love.

Our subtle relationships are much deeper and longer lasting than whatever physical karma we might share—which for most of us is simply sharing the course and perhaps meeting online like this. It might seem like a simple process physically, but in subtle reality it is huge, powerful, and significant.

Subtle reality is not limited to time or space. Therefore it doesn't matter where you are or when you read this. Subtly it remains the same in all times and places, simply because it is beyond time and space. When we tune into this together, we meet in the space of the heart, the subtle heart where higher feelings originate, even though we might be in a different time or place physically.  It is the inner experience that counts, and that goes with us when we exit the physical body on the wings of the final exhalation.

Perhaps I will explore this more in the April blog entry. For now, I just wanted to say thanks for your love and support on all levels. If not for you, I would be living a completely different life. I like this one. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Scott Marmorstein, who has done his part in helping to cleanse and purify our subtle bodies and chakras, immediately responded: “I would love to read your take on the subtle reality of relationship in your next blog. I am sure it would be of great benefit to everyone who reads it. It is something that is not only 'interesting' but also profoundly valuable.

“I wonder how many people understand the awesome nature of the subtle body and subtle realms and how it threads everyone to the greater Self.

“So many people think they know or have an idea what it is you offer here, but I assure you they only know a tenth of the power involved in the Course and what is really coming through.”

I always enjoy Scott’s input as he is very attuned to the subtle world, and it also amuses me that Scott is always the first to want to hear more about subtle reality, even though he might be one who experiences it the most. See Scott’s site at

The subtle body animates and enlivens the physical body, and ‘feels’ all the things that we ordinarily attribute to the physical body. Our subtle reality is much more who we are than this temporary physical manifestation. In subtle life, a hundred years or so is like nothing, being that the subtle world is free of time and space—which exist as vital aspects of the physical world.  In the physical world we live in a relative reality, and we need time and space for things to have any relativity.  Otherwise there would be only formless reality, yet the physical world is anything but formless.

The subtle body goes through no ‘aging process.’ This thing about ‘growing old’ is a physical phenomenon only. Do you have dreams where you are ‘younger’ than you presently are physically? Probably so. Do you ever have a dream where you are 'older' than you are physically? I bet not. When we ‘wake up’ from this physical dream, this current cycle of karma, we will be the same age that we always are.

I was going to explore subtle relationships with you, and then all that came out. Obviously, most people who read this share subtle relationships, or there would be no reason to meet here and read this. Through the course, we relate on a subtle level. Everything that happens through the course, and its adjuncts, this blog and my Facebook page, takes place on a subtle level. Transformation must first take place subtly before there can be any form of physical transformation.

Some of us knew each other physically in the past, sharing carbon footprints together, and now we relate subtly, manifested in the lessons of the course and online. Most of us have never met physically, and the entire relationship is of a subtle nature. Such was the same as my relationship with my first primary teacher, who left behind an amazing correspondence course, but who had left his body a year before I came across his course. Yet I have enjoyed many dreams and subtle experiences with him.

This physical life is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything actually going on in any given moment. The subtle world is much larger, much more diverse, and lasts a great deal longer than anything of the physical world. All kinds of stuff are happening right now, in this very moment, yet our ordinary conscious awareness has access to only a small portion of it.

Consciousness remains even when all traces of our carbon footprint are gone, when even our tombstone has returned to dust, when there is no longer any memory of us in any living person. This is why our true focus in life is, or should be, awareness of our true and eternally changeless nature. This is the great central reality that gives meaning to everything else, and around which all else revolves. Without it there would be absolutely nothing, for it has become everything.

Swami Ram Tirtha was a great Indian saint who took Mahasamadhi at the age of 33. Right before he left his body, he wrote a note in his room before he went out for his final bath in the Ganges. In his note he wrote:

Oh Death, take away this body if you please, I care not. I have enough bodies to use. I can wear those silver threads, the beams of the Moon and I live. I can roam as a divine minstrel putting on the guise of hilly streams and mountain brooks. I can dance in the waves of the sea. I am the breeze that proudly walks and I am the wind inebriated. All these shapes of mine are wandering shapes of change. I came down from yonder hills, raised the dead, awakened the sleeping, unveiled the fair faces of some and wiped away the tears of a few weeping ones. The bulbul and the rose both I saw and I comforted them. I touched this, I touched that, I doff my hat and off I am. Here I go, there I go, and none can find me.

There is much more to understand about all of this. If you take the course, you already know that it will be explored much more deeply in your lessons. If you have specific questions, please write them in the comments that follow this entry.

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