Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Misunderstood Relevance of the Subtle Realm Here and Now

Before we begin an exploration of the subtle world, a couple of other topics are worthy of being looked at.  A lot has been said in the yogic scriptures about kindness and patience.  Even Patanjali in his ‘Yoga Sutras’ mentions the importance of kindness and patience in attaining perfection in yoga.  (Understand, the Self is already pure and perfect as it is.  Perfection in yoga is like perfection in the football field or on the guitar or any number of other examples.)

When we look in our life and around the world, however, we see a great deficit in both kindness and patience.  Many people exhibit a great deal of both, yet many more spend too much time being unkind and (or) impatient, which drains them of any possibility for positive, uplifting energy.  Not only that, it creates unpleasant future karma that could have just as easily been avoided with a little kindness.

It seems like we’ve heard these things since childhood, having nothing to do with sadhana or spiritual progress:  Be kind; be patient.  I know I was taught these things at an early age.  Our parents taught them (but might not have been excellent examples), our churches taught them, our schools taught them, yet somehow the communication seems to have failed miserably.  People of all religions recognize in some form the Golden Rule of do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  This is not rocket science.

Participants of the Course of Training via email are advised to consider this blog and the comments following each monthly entry as a significant aspect of the course.  They have a different perspective of it than most others, as they are used to the language and terminology and certain ways of considering things.  Others might have different meanings for the same words or ideas.  While the lessons that arrive twice monthly are the core of the process we share together, the blog and Facebook keep us up to date with each other, while allowing participants to communicate among themselves.  This is an important part of the process.

You can be a good hermit only after doing extensive spiritual practices and having come a long way in inner development.  Otherwise you’ll just be another unhappy hermit.  For most of us, our relationships and encounters with one another are the crux of our sadhana.  Many are currently in the section of the course titled, ‘Inner Growth Through Relationships,’ and we explore relating to others, in any capacity, quite thoroughly. 

Being a hermit allows us to keep whatever samskaras (subconscious impressions or conditioning) we have that limits our experience, perception, and understanding of the Truth.  Only when we have to deal with other people do these samskaras come out and reveal themselves.  Ask any couple what happened soon after making the commitment, or after a short time of marriage, and find out what ordinarily, although not necessarily, happens. 

ALL automatic reactions, for example, are related to samskaras.  There is no exception to this.  A person free from samskaras has no automatic reactions; only conscious responses in the harmonious flow of the present moment.

Two of the primary samskaras are the tendencies to be unkind or impatient.  Those of you who don’t participate in the course can, of course, do what you want, but those of you who are enrolled in the course can add this exercise for this month: watch when you are automatically unkind, for no reason except that something triggered an old reaction.  Even a very simple person can be kind simply by determining to do so, with some persistent practice to do so even when it feels difficult or challenging to do so.

Remember, there is no one other than the Self to be unkind to, so we are basically being unkind to our Self and it will return to us through others or some other in particular as karma down the road.

Impatience is simply refusing to enjoy the moment.  When you’re driving 4 miles an hour in rush-hour traffic in NYC or LA, that’s the time to do sadhana.  Can you be happy then?  Can you enjoy life then?  Can you remain connected to your inner bliss while the cars slowly, endlessly, crawl ahead in front of you? 

It's easy to feel wonderful when we hear the birds chirping and the breeze softly offering the leaves a dance, which sounds so pleasant to us.  When there is no challenge, it's very easy to do sadhana.  This is because there is nothing to do.  Sadhana is best done when it is very difficult to do so. 

For at least a month, be kind and be patient.  What is there to lose?  Make it a conscious intent, and activate willpower to maintain your chosen inner state.

The title of this month’s entry is ‘The Misunderstood Relevance of the Subtle World Here and Now.’  I wrote a Facebook note not long ago about subtle life, the subtle body and subtle realm, and it stimulated several questions.  I have collected some of the relevant comments I made then and will expound on them just a little, as is my wont.  So, pretend that I am responding to others’ questions, as I am, only I am not including the questions:

Many of the ancient sages remarked that we should live with the awareness that death is following us around, peering over our shoulder.  Have you ever dreamed of a person whom you don't know in real life, even though it felt that you were very close in the dream?  I think I've had more dreams about such people than people I actually 'know' in this world.

Anyway, when we 'wake up' from sleep while dreaming of such a person, do we cry and get upset and sad because that person 'died' to our waking world and is no longer present?  Since they are physically absent, they appear to be unreal.   Do we mourn the fact that they are gone from our ‘world’ when we wake up from a dream and suddenly they’re gone?  Probably this would seem a little extreme, no matter how much we enjoyed the dream.  Even so, I have awakened from dreams and immediate felt like I missed the person or people in the dream, even though I never knew them physically in any way.

However, what if ultimately the dream world, the subtle realm, is actually more real than waking life, which is extremely temporary?  In fact, what if the ‘deep sleep’ state is the highest state of all, outside Turiya itself, which pervades and permeates all the other states simultaneously?

There is no 'death' where Consciousness is concerned.  It is not affected in the least when souls enter or exit bodies—it has gone on for eons.  We come into physical incarnation with the first inhalation, live through a cycle of karma, and then exit this body upon the final exhalation.  It is very common.  Worldwide, approximately 300,000 people ‘die’ each day.  Souls are constantly going back and forth from one realm to the next.

There is ultimately no such thing as 'death.' It is simply a transition to the next realm, which we have all experienced millions of times.

On the physical realm, where only the tip of the iceberg is seen, it seems like someone 'dies' and we miss their physical form, but if we open enough we will see that we are still in contact with them in subtle form.  My stepmother, for example, before she left her own body, told me a few years after my father’s death, “I dream of your father every single night of my life, all night long.”  

I've experienced the deaths of both my parents and several good friends, many of whom have shared the course with me.  My mother died in an auto accident at 43, when I was 21, and that was emotionally very hard for me.  We do have to go through these human emotions; we have no choice.  To suppress them is even worse.

Never suppress grief.  It will lead to much worse problems, including a relentless depression.  If we allow ourselves to feel the grief until it’s finished, we free ourselves from years of depression.  

If something happened to Kay or to one of my children, it would be very hard for me.  It doesn't feel like I could take the death of a child.  Yet I've experienced a lot I didn't previously think I could take, and I've only grown stronger from it.  I guess that's primarily why we experience what we do.  Not, of course, that I anticipate anything like that in my life.  I see my children growing more mature, stronger, healthier, wiser, and eventually fulfilled and content, if not already. 

We can be in contact in subtle form because, although ultimately we share one Consciousness, we do have different subtle forms just as we currently have different physical bodies.  Subtle life goes on a lot longer, and includes a lot of physical dreams (incarnations) each taking up, as far as spiritual growth is concerned, where the last left off.

Seeing a body where the life-force has departed makes it very obvious that the Being, the Identity, the Occupant of the body that we knew and loved is no longer present.  All that is left behind is the shell of the form they lived in and dragged around while they were here.  Freedom from this physical body is a feeling of unequalled exaltation, a freedom like no other we can experience in this world.  Don’t ever feel bad because someone has left this world.  Rejoice in their new freedom

As Kabir put it:  When I came into this world, I cried, yet those around me laughed.  When I left this world, I laughed, yet those around me cried.

The Misunderstood Relevance of the Subtle World Here and Now.  The subtle world exists right now, in a range of vibrational frequencies our physical senses can’t pick up.  It interpenetrates the physical world.  We are also in the subtle body right now; in fact, that is where thoughts and emotions take place, even though there are corresponding vibrations in the brain that scientists can now measure and isolate in one area or the other.  The brain, however, is not the origin of mental or emotional activity.  It only registers it.

Our time in the physical body is amazingly short.  Many insects live only 24 hours.  From another perspective, our own life-spans are just as quickly over.  We take our first inhalation when we enter the body, and before we know it, we exit on the wings of the final exhalation.

Develop some here/now awareness of the subtle body, as before you know it, you will find yourself focused on the subtle world again, and this physical world as we currently know it will gradually fade away into irrelevance, like a dream you vaguely recall.  Love remains; souls we love remain; but one day even our tombstones turn into dust, and no record or memory of us remains anywhere.

There is a great deal more to understand.   I highly recommend the lessons of the course, where we deeply explore such topics, along with many others.  Thank you for sharing this with me and for joining me here.  Lots of love to each of you.

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

Spanish: drbutler.cursoesp@gmail.com
French: drbutler.course@gmail.com

116 comments:

Kabir said...

It's great to hear you explain this life from the other side: subtle beings have a physical dream. It's difficult to consider that there could be a world more permanent or real than this one, while you're focused on it. Every detail seems such a big deal. But in a "dream," colors are more vivid, details clearer, and there is a much wider range of feelings available. And you can fly...

Narayana said...

The FEELING of being kind and patient is Heart Warming. The moments I remember this in tense situations are the MEANING OF LIFE ITSELF. Those times that I have forgotten it's I myself in the other person proved exhausting when I lost all patience and kindness. This forgetfullness of the Self in interactions with others sure reveals the work left to do on myself. It can happen so suddenly out of nowhere{GOTCHA}. When it happens I have to get SILENT and forget the drama that's suckering me in again. Silence can be so kind to all involved and a distroyer of ego allowing patience to expand. It FEELS GOOD KNOWING behind it all that subtlety of expanding we can all move into at the flip of a thought.

Melissa Abbott said...

loved the part about how they laugh and we cry when we enter this world and they cry and we laugh when we leave!! This part of the subtle world is indeed very misunderstood!

rico said...

After reading the new blog posting this question arose in response to, "Develop some here/now awareness of the subtle body"; How?

Yes its covered or will be covered in the Lessons. But for those of us who haven't got that far yet, what can be done Here, Now?

mohan said...

‘ And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,Your young men shall see visions,Your old men shall dream dreams.
Acts 2:16-18

Perhaps I am getting old, but I'm more conscious now than ever of the dream state. At times, I feel I am almost completely PRESENT in the dream state. It is exciting and scary at the same time. Although I'm neither excited or scared while dreaming. I recognize now that sadhana is something I am pursuing both on this plane and the subtle plane.

I'm familiar with the practice of looking at your hands in dreams and even occasionally do it while awake so it won't be so weird in a dream. Do you have any other suggestions?

love
mohan

the cats mother said...

I suppose that is why only when we still the mind can we experience our true nature, if the mind only registers our thoughts and is not the source, then only when the mind is quiet can we experience the source. lots there to contemplate, as always thanks Ram x

Michael C said...

Great blog entry. And I am finding that just reading the Course is opening me up more and more and more to the 'goings on' in the subtle body. Like you said by reading and rereading the Course we are utilizing our subconscious to work for us instead of against us. Thanks again for laying all this out for us to swing around on.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

ok one of the ways that helps me process is to resay what i think i heard....so please let me know where i need to correct my understandings.Mental and emotional activities originate in the subtle body, so the subtle realms are present in each moment. So this whole organic process continues mostly without our awareness. When we become aware we are more in touch with what is real. With this awareness comes the opportunity to become or monitor emotions and thoughts? Thus making choices to be kind and patient or cheerful more accessible? And then really being able to experience love, God, continuously.? thank you

Asia0912 said...

I so appreciate what you said about the importance of not suppressing grief. I have unresolved grief that is decades old, literally, and it's still there. My question is: what do I do about it now? How do people grieve?

Leela said...

For me, my two year old son is a constant thermostat of both my patience and my kindness. He is a constant reflection of what i offer him and for that I am forever thankful for his presence in my life. He gives me moment to moment feedback that shows me i am not always my ideal. I can't tell you the way my heart swells when I see him offer independent kindness to another or myself. There is no explaining that feeling! It's the best and I can't help but feel that I am more often than not giving my best to him! That is my hearts wish, to give him the best of everything! thankyou Ram for teaching me how to do that!

Colette said...

Sense the dream world is the subtle world I know I must be doing stuff there, but I go so deep in myself I don't remember dreaming. When I was younger I could hold my place in my dream and come back to it, now I don't even seem to remember my dreams. I do go to bed with the intention to look for my hands in my dreams, but so far I have not been very successful. I guess this is where I can apply patience. Kindness comes to me more easily but patience will be a challenge. Thank you for adding this to my lesson. Lots of love to all, Karuna

Kabir said...

I would like to be more aware of subtle beings. They usually feel like thoughts, an inner voice, very familiar, very friendly. But it's hard to distinguish inner personalities while in the waking state. When the subtle vision is developed, does one see beings that look like us, or beings of light, or darkness, or all of the above?

Ghayas said...

Kindness....It took me (maybe still taking) a while before understanding truly the difference between being kind (genuinely) and being Mr Nice Guy, so...So nothing at all: I just need to practice being kind, that is, truthful, not taking things personally, taking it easy with myself and people, right ?
Kindly yours, Ghayas

Anonymous said...

isn't there some samskara being purified in being an unhappy hermit?

Bindu said...

Asia 1902 I too have been struggling with the challenge of how best to be with the experience of grief. I’m not sure if you saw the following post from D.R. written on June 4, 2011. “ If there is grief, allow yourself to get totally into it. Don't try to push it away, or think that you can get out of experiencing it. Everyone experiences grief. Be totally immersed in in, until your sadness begins to dissipate and you are feeling better. A good cry can be very purifying to the soul. Of course the sadness will come up again, but just get into it again until that round is finished and so on. Going through grief is a process, and it does not take just a few minutes or getting free from sadness for a while. Grief is very transforming and very purifying. It obviously exists for a reason having to do with our inner growth. It's not something bad happening or something going wrong. It is your own karma impacting you to such a degree that your reward will be great freedom and bliss.” This post, the Lessons, as well as comments from Anasuya and Lotus have soothed and guided me. As the process has progressed I have experienced that allowing myself to grieve and accepting myself with “kindness and patience” is the most loving thing I can do. Sending you much love and light Bindu

Catherine said...

Hi Rico and anyone else who is wondering how to develop a here/now awareness of the subtle body - in Lesson 12, Ram gave us a great exercise for breathing that he said creates awareness of the link of the subtle body to the physical body. He said that the breath is the link. So I am thinking focusing on the breath in any way that feels right for us might be one way, including just watching the breath coming in and going out or maintaining an awareness of our breath. Hope that is of some help until he is able to respond to your question. I know in hatha yoga classes when the instructor says, "Don't forget to breathe", everyone always breaks down and laughs because none of us are breathing! Thanks to everyone for your great comments. The blog and comments are a great addition to the monthly lessons for me, always.

D. R. Butler said...

There have been some excellent comments in the blog so far this month, and some great questions. I'd love to be able to sink my teeth into them right now, but it might be after the weekend before I can really get in here on a regular basis again. Saturday is Tiffany's wedding, and there are close friends and family about, and neither Kay or I have time to really keep up with course-related stuff right now. We can, of course, always make sure you receive all lessons on time. After the weekend the people around us will return to their usual karma and Kay and I can return to fulltime course work, which for me includes answering all questions in the blog. So, kindness and patience. Please be kind in all your dealings with others, and please be patient with me answering the questions. I promise I will catch up, and that all answers will appear at the perfect time. Love to all.

Asia0912 said...

Bindu: thank you so much! I had not seen D.R.'s June 4 post, and it's wonderful! I am somewhat new to the Lessons and am finding them very helpful as well. Love and light to you, too.

Naganath said...

Being in a physical (geographical) place of high energy I find it very difficult to sleep this week. I do dream, though. Contemplating deep sleep as the highest state is refreshing. Death as a joyful experience and grief as purifying also refreshing. If sleep is the greatest state in that it is the most expanded state, The Void, then it must follow that we are already dead. The highest state is beyond time and space; the first breath AND the last exhalation have already occurred in this life and all others. Perfection exists only now. I am so sleepy... Love, Naganath.

Lotus said...

Asia0912,

I have found grief to be a very complex process involving sadness, fear, guilt, anger, anxiety, and fatigue. It is my belief that suppressing these emotions for a long period of time can cause depression and a myriad of other physical problems. It is very important to process the grief, release it, and allow it to transform you. To do that the emotions must be experienced. Releasing them involves acknowleding them, feeling them, tears, and talking. It would be very helpful for you to engage an experienced grief counselor to facilitate and help you with this process. I think it would be quite difficult to do on your own. Nonetheless, I encourage you to move deeply into the process and free yourself from the bondage of your suppressed grief. You will be amazed at how much lighter you will feel.

I am sending lots of love and courage your way as you move forward.

Love,
Lotus

Devorah said...

My husband and I just "lost" our dear friend Ben last Saturday. And while we both have had waves of grief welling up, we both could feel him and sense his jubilant freedom and exhaltation you speak about.

Anonymous said...

After reading the blog the following portion really took hold of me: "...watch when you are automatically unkind, for no reason except that something triggered an old reaction." I had an immediate reaction to anyone whom I thought was being "unkind". My reaction was to be "unkind" to them. With this message I realized that I carry "unkindness" around with me and it lashes out if I find any excuse. I do not want that inside of me and I believe the course is a process that is aiding me in becoming free from that and giving me the ability to choose kindness and patience instead. Thank you so much D.R.

Scott Marmorstein said...

To be kind and patient is especially useful when you are feeling bogged down and overwhelmed with information.

The information can be something you like and prefer or something mysterious or something you don't like and don't prefer. The spiritual practice of implementing kindness towards your self and others as well as exercising patience when wanting to know more, feeling like you know too much, and also recognizing that you'll never know or experience nearly enough, is more than most people can take in all at once.

Thank you so much for this beautiful blog post. It speaks on many levels, and I consider it to have the same strength and potency as your last blog, which are both equal in my opinion to the actual lessons of the Course via email.

Leela said...

I love this Idea of allowing the process of grief to change you or "transform you", as Lotus put it. My auto reaction to grieving is resistance and avoidance, but what if instead i looked forward to the gifts that transformational process have to offer? This feels like such a new and great relationship to have with grief!Thankyou all!!! lovin' it! xo

Jim said...

Crying

Crying only a little bit
is no use. You must cry
until your pillow is soaked!
Then you can get up and laugh.
Then you can jump in the shower
and splash-splash-splash!
Then you can throw open your window
and, "Ha ha! ha ha!"
And if people say, "Hey
what's going on up there?"
"Ha ha!" sing back, "Happiness
was hiding in the last tear!
I wept it! Ha ha!"

-- Galway Kinnell

Chimene said...

thank you Bindu, the post you copied was exactly what I needed to read today -

James said...

Grief, sadness, depression? Over the years I have had an underlying feeling of tears that seldom make it to the surface. I usually choose to try and uplift myself. One therapist told me in his opinion in the instance of an emotional rut upliftment is good or go deeper into the mud. Griefing process? How do I grab the tail of the healing here? Feel my feelings. See where that take me ...

Anonymous said...

How could I have fallen so far. There have been a number of times that I stayed in very expanded states for long periods but it seems long ago. I am feeling very low. I have not experienced the bliss in an ongoing way in sometime. I think I have fallen from grace repeatedly. How do I get back?

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

i wnat to thank everyone who has posted. somehow a lightbulb went off in my heart. i am impatient with myself. with my physical illnesses and pain, With "fixing" things. undrstanding the why of my karma. It just is. I have been able to settle into my breath. Grieve when needed, be aware of automatic head chatter.(thank heavens Ram didnt post half the stuff i already sent) I am far more compassionate with others than myself sometimes. I am learning and letting love in. thank you to this community.

Kabir said...

@ Anomymous:  i was deeply moved by your post.  Many of us who read this blog often experience this "dark night" in which the mind is purified. Be glad: you are in good company. In a recent lesson D. R. quoted Ram Dass: "how soon before I let this sickness be the step that takes me to God?"  God is so close. Hang in there, dear friend, just around the corner a bliss you never dreamed of is walking toward you. By the time you read this you will probably already be soaking in it. Do you take the Course?  There is a wealth of support that will rekindle your enthusiasm.

Volker said...

I think it would be a great help if you can combine your grief with Love. It is ok to giref, but don´t stop loving, send your love, love for the sake of enjoying loving that person that you miss, and intensify your love.

Love will add a certain quality to your grief. I guess it will make it more intense, but at the same time will give you the strenght to let go. Because when you truly love you let go.

I know, I should say this words to my self, because I have unresolved personal grievances myself... But then again, as I observe, Love has been a great healer in the process of solving the situation.

Thank you to all of you for your input, I love your insights and your reminders... I haven`t even tried the "seeing my hand in the dream" exercise. I barely remember my dreams next day. I will start to keep a Journal on my bedside table to explore more the subtle realm.

Love

Volker

Avivit said...

I really need help understanding as this issue comes once a while
up in my mind and life and I am not certain what is if there is a definitive answer

First something D.R. wrote on facebook 2 days ago as it relates to my question:

"The only thing worth seeing more clearly is the Truth of the present moment. The only other option is endless mental chatter. We use words to create problems, and then we use words to try to solve them. Without the words, there would be no problem. There is never a time that the highest experience is unavailable. That experience is actually all there is. Everything else is the play of Consciousness."

I understand that the layer which includes all layers is, everything is the play of consciousness.

In a layer of the play, certain people with poverty consciuosness are hungry and thirsty NOW, like those in Sudan, Ethiopia etc.

Some people I speak with say that they don't necessarily see the importance in helping those in need at all because in the end
its all the play of consciousness.

I on the other hand, despite knowing it, find it important to give a hand and act as I can to support a dog in need or those in Darfur....

Bade Baba and such beings did feed others...so how does one relate to the present moment knowing there are layers

of reality which all sum up to everything is the play of consciousness. Are both decisions fine? or is it that because I feel the urge to help, I am the one to help....and the one who doesn't.....simply does not help now?

ps: My heart is throbing and almost aching as I write this....

With love and respect.

I really hope to be guided with this by you,

D. R. Butler said...

I am gradually catching up with everything after all the family karma that took up a few days.

I am finishing the newest (for me) lesson that goes out on the 15th, and it feels unusually powerful.

My next project is to come here and catch up on all the questions I haven't yet gotten to.

Thank you for your patience and kindness.

Love.

rico said...

Avivit, if you feel moved to help however you can then of course it's fine to help. What someone else says or does is not your concern. Yes, everything is the play of consciousness and is perfect in this present moment but don't forget that perfection also includes your compassion and inclination to help. One thing to keep in mind; Baba once told us that if we want to give we must first have some "money in the bank" before we can "lend" it to another. I always took this to mean our "energy" bank as well as our monetary bank.

D. R. Butler said...

Okay, I'm going to gradually catch up with all questions. Starting from the top, Rico, how to develop here/now awareness of the subtle body? You are right, this is explored extensively in the lessons of the Course of Training.

What to do here and now? Be aware that awareness is subtle only and has nothing to do with the physical body. Understand that all mental and emotional activity are taking place in the subtle body. In fact, the feeling of 'touch' we experience is because the nervous system reports it to the subtle body. The physical body is good for absolutely nothing other than experiencing our karma and realizing the Truth of the eternal Self that we all share in common.

Mohan, the above applies to your comment also. Lynne, your understanding is very clear.

Asia, how do you grieve? Be alone where you can be comfortable and hold a pillow in your arms. Allow yourself to get into experiencing the grief, whatever that means to you, along with whatever sadness might go with it. Hold the pillow as though the pillow is the one you grieve. Hold that one with great love and forgiveness. Express your own forgiveness if that is relevant. Experience your feelings until you get to the point where you can truly let the other go and you are both free to be as you are. In truth, you are both eternally the same and could never possibly be separate.

Okay, more later.

D. R. Butler said...

"How could I have fallen so far. There have been a number of times that I stayed in very expanded states for long periods but it seems long ago. I am feeling very low. I have not experienced the bliss in an ongoing way in sometime. I think I have fallen from grace repeatedly. How do I get back?"

Ah, truly the most poignant feeling of all. 'I've lost my way. How do I get back?' 'I was lost but now I'm found.'

Does anyone offhand know the words to 'Amazing Grace'? We 'get back' to the present, to our heart, and to our love through amazing Grace.

Since you posted under 'Anonymous,' I have no idea whether you take the lessons via email or not. In the process of moving from lesson to lesson, the most amazing and unexpected transformation begins to take place.

Why? Because of some new facts? Because perhaps you'll get some astonishing and life-transforming information that no one else on the Internet has access to? I don't think so.

In being committed to the process of the Course, grace happens. I don't know why. I am positive that it has something to do with teachers I have studied with, and that something is passed on that was once passed to me.

My, how I digress. Go back to your message, which is quoted above, and notice how often you use the word 'I.' Are there any sentences without it?

Either way, contemplate 'who' is this 'I' that you keep referring to? 'Who' is the 'I' that is defining itself as manifesting in a low state?

Pure Consciousness exists fully, in all its glory, right NOW. There is no other 'time' it can manifest or even know Itself. It is the only Awareness there is. We all share the same Awareness.

Only the mind, ego, conditioning, and karma make us appear different as individuals, in the objective world around us. Yet we share the same changeless Consciousness eternally.

The only thing we lack is the awareness of the Truth of the Present Moment. Yes it is always totally obvious and right in front of us. It is not concealed. It is a matter of developing a more expanded vision. Then things are even 'seen' differently, usually in a more expanded way.

mohan said...

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
was blind but now I see...

When we've been there
ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun
we've no less days to sing God's praise
then when we first begun

love
mohan

D. R. Butler said...

Avivit, the dharma is to do whatever we can to relieve suffering when we find it. When the kid is drowning in the pond, we don't just say, 'Tough karma, kid. That's the way the puck skids.' No, we jump in and save him from drowning.

How can we help the starving in Sudan and Ethiopia or Darfur? How would I share some food with them? We see and hear about them through the media, yet, practically speaking, what can we do?

It is essential to remember that regardless of how things appear on the outside, every individual in this world is only experiencing his or her own karma and nothing else. We serve no good purpose by trying to prevent another person from experiencing his own karma, which balances and harmonizes processes happening deep within. We can't know from external appearances what is truly going on.

It is important to see everything as God's creation. He created pleasure and pain, light and dark, wealth and poverty--all the polarities. Each individual could not possibly ever experience anything other than his or her own karma, which is immutable law.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

Ram,in your response to
rico you say that "in fact, the feeling of 'touch' we experience is because the nervous system reports it to the subtle body. The physical body is good for absolutely nothing other than experiencing our karma and realizing the Truth of the eternal Self that we all share in common" When you have time could you please expand on touch or sensation, specifically what the body experiences as pain. Somehow i feel i am on the verge of some great understanding regarding this. not just from this quote but also from what you said about how Conciousness exists fully NOW, and only the mind and ego and karma make us appear different. I am so wrapped up in the physical world of pain and this body right now and yet i feel i could be on the edge of some wonderful freedom with the practice of some right action or understanding. Sometimes when i get to sleep i am dreaming i am free of pain and then it wakes me up. recently there has been much power in your words. I re read the lesson from the course and see more deeply each time. molecules of truth dance within it. If you could just please comment more on living with this physical body. all my love, lynne

Angelie said...

I am on Lesson 40 and am having trouble fully embracing the message because of a reoccurring experience in my personal life.

Lesson 40 says, “Refuse to see anything wrong with anything or anyone.” I really want to do this, but I have a big challenge with my boyfriend who periodically goes sort of anger or jealous binges. The most recent has been going on for three days. One day he thinks I’m lying about something and tells me he hates it when I lie (which is not my habit with him and which I wasn't doing). Later, he calms down a bit, and then is suddenly upset again because he’s certain I am attracted to someone else (which I’m not, though if he continues it could happen). Iknow these are his samskaras, and I know that he has experienced a lot of trauma from his childhood involving abuse and abandonment. And I'm sure I contribute this way, but I don't know how. Still, it is very hard for me not to react, and harder yet not to see something as very wrong. It is possible my reactions fuel the anger and make it last much longer. I don’t know what to do when he does this.

I do feel lighter when I read the lesson—good even, yet it is still hard not to see this situation as very wrong.

Any thoughts?

D. R. Butler said...

Thank you Mohan. Great inspired words.

Lynne, you are a wonderfully enthusiastic new participant. I love having you around.

Your questions will primarily be answered through the process of the course. For now I will do what I can to shed some light.

This physical body is a cycle of karma we have agreed to go through and experience. I have never come across a physical body yet that did not carry its share of pain, and when you consider entire lifetimes, that's a lot of pain indeed. The physical world is made of polarities, and one of them is pain and pleasure, whether we like it or not. As long as we are in a physical body, we will experience pain to some degree.

I have experienced chronice pain in my upper back and neck for about 40 years, and lately it's been even worse in my hips. I had epidurals last fall, and for about 8 months I've walked relatively pain free, but they seem to be wearing off. I would do anything in the world to be free of pain, but I've tried everything, both natural and unnatural.

As you say, when we sleep, we don't experience pain in our dreams, so the subtle body is ultimately pain-free. In fact, as was pointed out in an early lesson, if we're in physical or emotional pain, or in the middle of a severe egotistical melodrama, we can go to a good and absorbing movie and forget all about it. Why is it that I can have pain on the way to the theater and pain when I come out, but there's no pain while I'm absorbed in the movie?

So it's primarily a matter of attention. If we focus our attention on our pain we will really suffer. If we focus our attention on getting rid of the pain it is like trying to get rid of the darkness. The only way to eliminate darkness is to turn on the light.

So one of my major practices is focusing on the subtle body that is even now free from pain. The pain is physical karma only. Sometimes we need the karma of physical pain or illness simply to keep us in the body. When we wake up from the dream of this incarnation and find ourselves back in subtle form only, we will discover to our great delight that we are once again pain-free. Of course, if we create it again with an undisciplined mind, then what can we do?

Focus on the inner bliss that is eternally present, focus on the exalted sense of well being that swells up from deep within, and that can be the 'light' that rids us of the 'darkness' of pain.

If I discover a better way, I'll be the first to let you know:)

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

Ram, I want to thank you from the depths of my heart and being for being so encouraging and welcoming to me and all my posts. Your response and suggestions to my questions regarding the subtle body and pain were so obvious once i read them and yet as soon as i looked away it was like playing "where's waldo" and i had to read it again :)
practicing focus. of course. I am going to do it like taking my other medicines, with as much love and faith and time spent. I have degenerative joints and bones and can set off metal detectors miles around. :) more surgery is planned this month. i will let you all know when and will ask for extra prayers if that's ok.
There is a wonderful Hafiz poem that begins "This place where you are right now God circled on a map for you"
Thank you Ram, and this community for all being here on the map with me. all my love, lynnne

eddie89 said...

Greatly appreciated your comments on death, Ram.
My mother died 4 years ago and I often worry or distort the whole thing.
Thanks for putting the facts about death the way you did. It eases my mind and let's me let go.

D. R. Butler said...

Something I posted on a Facebook thread:

I agree that humor is the best approach to smooth out a bicker.

The thing about schitzophrenics is interesting. A person's spiritual state does not necessarily correspond to his psychological state. A person could be firmly established in Witness-consciousness while experiencing the karma of schitzophrenia. Such a one would observe both personalities in action, or however many there are--most of us have a few--while remaining inwardly unaffected by it all.

It always comes down to Shiva watching the play of Shakti no matter how many egotistical melodramas we've got going.

D. R. Butler said...

I think once I answer Angelie's question, I will be (temporarily) caught up with the questions. If I missed any, let me know, or ask the question in a different way so that it is more clear.

Angelie, jealousy is the most irrational of all emotions. Therefore it is hard to rationally work things out with a person who is in the throes of jealousy, for there is no rationality there to relate to. It can be spooky if you're not firmly established in your own state.

I knew a couple where the wife said to the man, 'I saw you looking at that woman,' and the man would say, 'What woman?' literally not knowing what she was talking about.

Jealousy, like most negative emotions, projects its own 'proof.' It's very difficult to convince someone of the truth when he insists that his own projections and presumptions are true.

It takes a lot of patience and compassion. If you react to it, yes, your reactions are definitely adding fuel to it. Someone that jealous is not sure of his own masculinity, and fears the masculinity of other men. (And of course the same principle is true with women; they doubt their own femininity in comparison to that of some other woman or women in general.)

Realize that his pain is real, even if he is momentarily deluded. Be compassionate, comforting. and soothing. Let him feel your love.

Don't get defensive; that only fuels his jealousy, thinking your defensiveness proves it. Be firm in holding your own ground, but do it in a gentle way. Help him to realize that it is a habitual pattern (samskara) that he is prey to that causes both of you unnecessary pain.

rico said...

So many reasons to be grateful,
it seems like the more grateful I am
the more I have to be grateful for!

Vandita said...

Ram!!! How wonderful you are!!!! You have so much work in answering so many questions! If you can, will you please catch up on my question at the end of the previous entry? Would you like for me to write it here again? :):):) Thank you SO VERY MUCH!!! Love!!!!

Colette said...

I love shares that happened here. It makes me realize how connected and similar we all are. I wonder what we're doing together on the subtle level. I'm sure it's something.

"We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history" Sonia Johnson

I feel like the people who contribute to the blog and especially the ones who take the course are souls who could change the course of history and probably are changing it.

Much Love to All, Karuna

Michael said...

Inspired one of the Lessons in the section, "Attention, Conscious Intent, and Will," I set a goal a year and a half ago to eliminate reactivity from my marriage. Twelve months later I noticed amazing progress. It was so much easier to see God playing in the form of my wife. There was in me no one important left to be offended or lay blame. What blessed freedom!  

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, yes, please post your question again under the current entry. I will try to get to it tomorrow.

Vandita said...

Dear D. R., I have one more question :)

In the process of breaking free from samskaras, that 'liberation' may take place in different ways. When I realize that I have a repetitive reaction (A), I can decide in advance how I want to feel and react instead of (A), and work on that.

But also, when because of grace, or because of a good alternative session, or because of life, I suddenly become aware of a samskara that has been with me for years, that I was not aware it was with me, and in this this huge moment of Consciousness I have this amazing realization about the reasons and the consequences of such a samskara, does this also fully expel the samskara from me?

I feel the freedom, I know I am a different person now, but do I have to work on a new attitude that I want to have that will take the place of the already burnt samskara? Or can I just rest in this nice feeling of freedom, of the new me, knowing that love or that something great is going to take place now instead of (A)?

Thank so much for your answer!

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, your question is so beautiful, it's hard to believe that English is not your primary language. You are getting very good. I was in bliss simply reading your question.

The question is too much in the mind. You're still thinking in terms of 'this' or 'that,' and you're getting caught up in apparent linear sequences of things as reality. Simply put, you are creating problems with your descriptions of things, and then trying to solve the problems with the mind, which created the problems in the first place. It is such a game the mind plays, and it is amazing that we still fall for it.

Just be happy. I pronounce you free of samskaras. There's nothing you need to do except relax and enjoy yourself.

Your primary samskara has been your identification with and feelings of obligation toward your family of origin. I sent you an email today dealing with that one, after contemplating your personal question for a while

Live freely in the present moment. I feel your freedom. You have so much love. Simply live to share your love and it will be more than enough. That's all you need to do. Whatever else happens is simply destiny and has nothing whatsoever to do with you.

Karen Harvey said...

Is it karmically possible to enjoy a particular samskara, instead of trying to avoid it or get rid of it? (my question comes from my sense that the only way to be free of a samskara is to not keep feeding it- or by forcing yourself to practice a different approach, like training.)
So can you enjoy yourself in the midst of it or is it only going to cause grief / emotional distress if it's a samskara, until you are free of it?

"I would do anything in the world to be free of pain, but I've tried everything, both natural and unnatural.
As you say, when we sleep, we don't experience pain in our dreams, so the subtle body is ultimately pain-free."
- I feel like I'm in the opposite state, pain free in my body but pain arises in my emotional body /subtle body chronically :p usually whenever I'm not absorbed in something creative or in contact with other people.

Renee said...

Dear Anonymous,

I wanted to add to what Ram said to you, about falling from grace and feeling low. I have recently had the same experience. (It's not new for me.) But, having taken the course for a while, I had the odd sensation of not just experiencing the feelings of low-ness or unworthiness, but also of seeing myself thinking the thoughts and feeling the feelings while at the same time, wondering why they were there and why I was paying any attention to them at all.

I thought the solution was complicated. Therapy, maybe antidepressants, maybe even I was unfixable and would be miserable for the rest of my life. (I live with a very dramatic ego-mind and lots of wonderful, blatant samskaras which give me so much wonderful material to work with).

I confessed this all to a friend, and he cut through all of it. It's not hard at all. He asked me, "where has your thinking gotten you?" Well, no where I would want to be. So he told me, "Ask yourself, with each thought, each impulse to action: is this God/Guru/Self? Or is this you? If it's God talking, God's will, go for it. If it's something you thought up, just ignore it and wait in stillness to see what comes next. If the next thought is not God, keep waiting." Voila! Awareness of Being is waiting there for you. You just have to clear away all the nonsense mind-clutter and there it is! It is there right now.

Anyway, it helped me tremendously, and I hope perhaps you may find some relief from your low feelings this way, too.

Love and light to you in all things and always. Please tell us if things are getting better for you!

Renee

Scott Marmorstein said...

Karen, you have a most interesting question. I know you have asked D.R. about this, but I feel compelled to give some explanation, if not 'answer' to the question. You state:

"- I feel like I'm in the opposite state, pain free in my body but pain arises in my emotional body /subtle body chronically :p usually whenever I'm not absorbed in something creative or in contact with other people."

Your essential question is in wondering if you can't simply enjoy it as it is. Being in pain in the 'subtle body' as you put it is more of an idea than you might believe. Perhaps the pain you have is in the memory of the subtle body and not in the subtle (Subjective) experience of "I" at all. It may well up in the emotional body, which are just vibrations moving through the physical body after all. If you think enjoying the experience of pain in the memory of the sublet will erase the pain, you could easily think again. Instead, it is in forfeiting the belief in this pain to begin with which may set you on the course to discovering from where and what it ultimately arises from. My sense (psychically speaking) is that it stems from an overarching sense of sadness and confusion, which might be more global instead of local in your case. I could be way off and that's fine if I am, but I don't tend to just say these things to people.

In any case I see samskaras as illusions of chains which are tugged on by the subtle spirits of those we have come in contact with throughout our time, and even through family lineages. It's something to deeply contemplate for sure.

Colette said...

Vandita, Your share so touched my heart, the striving for the perfection of the already perfect a theme that is so close to my own that I laughed and Rams tender answer that made me laugh again because it could have been meant for me as well. Blessings on your life dear sister, Karuna

Kabir said...

I got such a blissful feeling while reading your words: "I pronounce you free from samskaras." You are hereby officially entitled to enjoy a samskara-free life — starting now. Yayyy! Lately it seems there's more and more love displacing everything else.

Karen Harvey said...

Scott, thanks for being compelled to respond. I'm a bit confused reading your comment so I'll do my best to speak to what you said.

My question was more to the guru principal than D.R., I stopped asking him direct questions a while back. :p Funny enough, the morning after I wrote this question the first thing I saw in the subway was a brand new ad that said "enjoy with absolute responsibility" and it had a picture of a beautiful woman riding a dragon in what looked like the garden of eden, with apples hanging on apple trees ect. So that satisfied my first question. There seems to be quite a power that comes when I post questions on this blog... more so than in other places.

As to the second part, I can best think about what you are saying by relating it to what I do, which is physical body training. Many people have back pain, and it's true that it is just an idea in their mind. If they focus on it they experience the pain, if not then there is no experience of pain. I think this is also what you are saying about the subtle realm? I do understand that there is no pain in the realm of the simple "I" as you say, or in our deepest self. So one approach would be to not focus on the back pain, or the emotional pain. Yet my clients that no longer have actual back pain (through a gradual process of training) have a much easier time not focusing on their back than (most) people who still live with back pain. Maybe D.R. is the one exception? If a client came to me with back pain, the first approaches I would take would be to look for physical weaknesses or imbalances since it's a physical symptom. Perhaps certain muscles are too tight, and other spinal stabilizing muscles are too weak ect. then exercises are prescribed accordingly with typically great results, especially in the long run.

So with the subtle body I would imagine a similar training process would need to take place? Where different aspects of subtle "anatomy" get looked at and dealt with? Am I right? I think that's your area of expertise if i'm not mistaken?

What you said about the overarching sense of sadness and confusion as a global phenomenon resonates, I have been wondering if I was picking up on my roommates stress and sadness. Yet anyway the experience is within me, and it seems to be (up until now) chronic and not necessarily related to anything in particular. It seems to come and go like storms.

Narayana said...

HEY RAM, The other day in the taxi I picked up a young guy who was telling me he was joining the marines. He mentioned he liked the disapline of it. I mentioned that I take a course on living in the moment which is a great disapline. He agreed, so I told him to look into it. He asked me who wrote it, when I said D.R. Butler he said "I know him, I wrote down a quote of his I saw on tweeter." Your tweeting is working.

Anusuya said...

Have been consciously exercising patience since the August blog. Was at the farmstand yesterday and of course everyone had tons of stuff...vegies, pies, lunch sandwiches, etc. I had a bag of summer squash, and Pat had already deserted me because the noise level was uncomfortable for him. When I got up to the register the woman gave me a funny little smile like I must be insane to stand all that time for three squash. I told her I was practicing patience and was well aware I could easily have put the bag down and left in a fit of impatience. Then she really smiled. It made me think about how often I see the small things like a genuine smile make a huge difference in how someone's day goes too. We may think we have not got much to offer, but we can offer our inner state.

eddie89 said...

Can it in anyway be said that an enlightened one thinks?

rico said...

Eddie, a certain Master who was widely recognized to be "enlightened" was asked a similar question. His response was, "I think when it suits me".

Taylor said...

D.R.,
Love the Gurdjieff quote in my current lesson regarding knowledge depends on level of being - degree of awareness of Being. It's definitely the best place to place my awareness - on my own Awareness!

Scott Marmorstein said...

Karen,

Yes these are things I deal with, re: subtle anatomy. The subtle body doesn't experience pain. Yet as you mentioned, the storms of various feelings move through the subtle body, only affecting the physical body with odd sensations and the occasional laughter or crying bout.

Deep subject.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

just wanted to update you on some progress.... tying all of this together, kindness, patience, cheerfulness, awareness of the subtle realm. you have all helped me with your posts and encouragments. Focusing my attention on the inner light and bliss is very powerful. it changes everything not only the sensations of physical pain...ahhh if only i could sustain it. just being aware there is a subtle realm that is informing this body. holy cow. that all by itself is a practice. Scott, i appreciate how you continually steer away from the mind chatter (unless i am misreading you) I feel like i need a whip and a chair to tame this mind of mine :) just like a circus! i am a three ring circus! Ram, everyone thank you for being here and listening. much love , lynne

Michael said...

Inhaling light into the heart and allowing it to rise and resonate in the head — wow, what a powerful, healing exercise! It feels like love displacing pride. There is so much more space, freedom, trust, energy and time to spare. Doing it as often as possible, and maintaining that awareness of love and approval for as long as I can. What a difference — settling into a new Home! Thank you so much for passing on this Wisdom!

eddie89 said...

I see a lot of self consciousness about, especially where people are helping other people. Self-consciousness is a psychic weakness isn't it? It does seem to get in the way of true friendship.
I don't know exactly how this relates to the current post but it was something that occurred to me and seeing this as satsang, the company of the truth and the natural place to go, satsang, when times are hard, I thought I would offer it.
Self-consciousness is, if you think about it, one of the most awful thing, robbing us of our spontaneity and experience of the moment. How can we avoid it? Just through these practices?
Maybe needing to avoid it is a subterfuge for the problem itself, I don't know.

Melissa Abbott said...

After reading Narayana's post about the marine, have a questions: D.R. , I notice that some Tweeters on Twitter, Twit some of your quotes from current lessons. I am wondering if you have a twitter account and if you have thought of tweeting some of best stuff?

D. R. Butler said...

Melissa, I've wondered about that. I thought it was a miracle that I actually got on Facebook. I was never the social butterfly, if you recall. But if it would get word out about the possibilities inherent in the blog, it could be worth it. Anyone know about such things?

I know Scott tweets, and I've asked him before, but I forgot what he said. What do you think now, Scott? Should I tweet?

Anyone else? To Tweet or not to Tweet?

D. R. Butler said...

Just posted this on Facebook and felt to share an expanded version of it here:

I used to notice it now and then, but at this point in my life, after 66 years of stuff, I see that the harmonious flow exists unceasingly right now, in this moment, and always will. In fact, that which exists now forever is our own Awareness of Being, which we each share simultaneously. The 'Shakti' is the 'power' of the eternal Self. Both compose the inner Self. There is the silent, still Witness of it all, eternally changeless; and there is the delightful dance of Shakti manifesting as this world and as our life and as the power behind all movement and motion, even the apparent sequence of linear time.

We've always heard, 'Disciple, Know Thyself.' Well, the above is who we ultimately get to know, our true Identity, and who we will remain forevermore.

Anonymous said...

My favorite D.R. quote is: "Shakti is doing her divine dance and Shiva is watching with great delight. Nothing else ever happens."

D. R. Butler said...

Eddie, self-consciousness is simply focusing our awareness on the 'other.' We are being the seen instead of remembering we are actually the Seer of all that is seen. When we become established in being the Seer and know without a doubt we could not possibly be the seen, self-consciousness dissolves like a wispy cloud.

Michael said...

You should tweet. If you tweet, many will follow. It will be a tweet for all. (you asked for it!)

Scott Marmorstein said...

Yes, to tweet is a good thing. You only get to write 120 characters on a tweet so you have to be creative. There are some good Twitter programs that will auto shorten your website links for you.

Good idea. :)

Anonymous said...

That is a very good reminder Ram. Today I ran into one of my old bosses. All I could think about is my hair wasn't done and I wasn't wearing any makeup. After reading your comment on being the Seer and not the Seen I realize how ridiculous my thinking was. The important thing was seeing my boss and enjoying the conversation.

Mayuri said...

This is such a wonderful community. I deeply appreciate the heartfelt comments, questions and shares. Sure beats the evening news!
The comments about grief bring to mind a poem I wrote and would like to share :

When the winds of grief blow cold
And sadness clouds the sun
Remember so many love you
And love is never done
Like the strands of the spider's web
Fragile one by one
When drawn together in this web
We are ever strong
Know that you are held so close
In the hearts of family and friends
Our sympathy is with you
In time our hearts do mend.

We all experience grief as we walk this earth walk- and pain as well. I love the comments about changing one's focus from the pain to something else- something we enjoy.
There is a great quote about that - something to the effect - where ever you find joy, focus on that and the highest love will manifest...

With love and blessings,
Mayuri (Laurie Lincoln)

Taylor said...

I want to express my gratitude for the "Incrediible Power of Feelings" principles and practices that I have been learning and practicing. As a result, I was able to understand some reactivity that came up at work this past week and was able to help defuse the situation and restore our mostly harmonious environment.
Harmony is great.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

Ram i personally dont tweet but MANY folks do and i think it would be another powerful path of communication for you. I am also in the camp that thinks a couple of you tube videos would bring a great number of people to the FB site. please cocnsider You Tube and twitter

Vandita said...

Colette, thank YOU so much. "The striving for the perfection of the already perfect" has also touched me so deeply! Really! Thank you dear one :)

Mayuri said...

To tweet or not to tweet... tweet away! It's yet another avenue to share this great light. Shine on!

D. R. Butler said...

This is a response to a couple of questions I was asked on Facebook that are related to our contemplation of subtle life this month. As always, when I transfer such things, this is a more expanded version:

Oh, indeed, distance and space mean nothing in the subtle world. The only 'place' is wherever we 'think' we are. Subtle relationships are always more intense than physical relationships, even when we are very close physically. The physical relationship is simply an aspect of the subtle relationship manifested in physical form. The subtle relationship is much greater and deeper and longer lasting.

99.8% of relationships in my life right now are subtle relationships only. Physically, I see very few these days. For now, I prefer to keep it that way.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife said to him, 'Come to the party with me, Scott. I want you to meet some people.'

Fitzgerald responded, 'But dear, I already know some people.'

All relationships are karmic. You know when the relationship karma is over when it quits, stops, goes away, or you are able to simply walk away from it. It loses a certain charge and becomes more neutral. As long as you cannot get away from the relationship, you can be sure that you still have karma there. If you don't have karma there, you can lie down in their pathway and they still won't notice you.

One major thing about karma--we're not in charge. It's already the backdrop of the play of our life. The only thing we are 'in charge of' is how we choose to see and experience karma as it is in this present moment.

Our current thoughts, actions, reactions, words, motives, and attitudes determine what we, as an individual in an apparent linear time sequence, will experience as 'future karma', which will manifest when it has become 'now.'

If you slap someone and they slap you back, that is 'instant karma.'

There is no need for pushing or pulling where karma is concerned. We simply relax into an already existing flow. Maintain that light balance and harmony with your own love. Maintain your awareness of your own heart and your own inner love.

Our sadhana, our reason for being here, is simply to finally be in harmony with that which is, or the way it is. When we let go of our own agenda, we experience a supreme contentment and fulfillment, and that's what it all has led up to. And when we reach that state we will realize that we have been here all along.

mohan said...

regarding the Tweeting question; I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but lately I'm feeling a bit oppressed by information overload. I'm reading the lessons of course, this blog, the Bible and other scriptures, other books, and of course there's email and facebook, ect.... Now Twitter. My humble suggestion D.R. is if all this communication doesn't cut into your own equanimity and the silence of the soul, then go ahead. As for me, I'm paying close attention to the still, small voice as to when enough is enough.

love mohan

D. R. Butler said...

Once one tweets, how does one get 'followers?' I never thought I'd want to have followers, but I think that's how tweeting works. How does one get started and grow from there.

Mohan, as for as information overload, if I tweet, no one is expected or required to keep up with it. It would primarily be to spread word of the course.

I presume links to the blog can be included in tweets?

D. R. Butler said...

Once one tweets, how does one get 'followers?' I never thought I'd want to have followers, but I think that's how tweeting works. How does one get started and grow from there.

Mohan, as for as information overload, if I tweet, no one is expected or required to keep up with it. It would primarily be to spread word of the course.

I presume links to the blog can be included in tweets?

Narayana said...

What a statement, "One major thing about karma, we're not in charge. It's already the backdrop of the play of life. The only thing we are "in charge of" is how we choose to see and experience karma as it is in the present moment." It's like the stage is set and we decide the role we play as we walk on it. What freedom when we do it. Especially lighthearted with depth.

D. R. Butler said...

I just posted this as a comment in a thread on Facebook. It's another 'verbal outburst,' again a bit of an enhanced version, that deserves to be included here in our 'post hall of fame.'

Ego is described specifically in the ancient scriptures. In the 36 tattvas or levels of creation in Kashmir Shaivism, the ego is the 'ahamkara,' the 15th of 36 tattvas or levels of creation. The 16th tattva is manas, the conscious mind, therefore ego is greatly identified with the conscious mind, thinking it's the thinker.

In short, the ego sees itself as separate and different from the whole, describes itself and others,continously describes what is happenening and takes its descriptions to be 'reality,' sees and experiences its own 'life' as a seeming sequence of events in lineage time, and gets so caught in its own self-created egotistical melodramas that it forgets its true nature, the Self, pure Consciousness.

All of 'sadhana' is to purify the ego and mind so that the ego (ahamkara), which can NEVER be eliminated or removed, can focus upward and identify with the highest, 'I am Consciousness, I am the Self, I am the Light, I am God.' The ego is neither bad nor good. It simply is what it is.

The battleground or playing field of sadhana takes place in the realm of the ego and mind, which go through a purification process until we fully and consistently live in the Truth of the present moment.

Melissa Abbott said...

Your Last post D.R. is so great ~ the part about how you can "never get rid of the ego" is actually very enlightening. There is a lot of mis conception about this. Everyone thinks they are trying to "get rid" of the ego. So really it is the process of Sadhana to get the ego to identify itself with the highest states. Thank-you for this post :)

Melissa Abbott said...

I signed up for a twitter account a couple of years ago just for fun and at first, I really didn't get it. Slowly, I found people who I wanted to "follow". People like John Friend @anusarafriend, Waylon Lewis @elephantjournal, and Baba Rampuri @babarampuri . Now I have lots of followers and I follow lots of people. People just plain find me now. Basically it is just a little sound bite of the day. I love it when John Friend tweets, "Nautilus shells grow with logarithmic spiral shape, but the angle is not that of the Golden Spiral" like he did yesterday or when he mentioned that he went to the Delphi Oracle in Greece and said a prayer for everyone in July. Baba Rampuri's tweets are amazing, such deep contemplations. A few hours ago he tweeted "but I would enter his doorways"....so cool. I have a dream wish list and having D.R. Butler tweet his latest and greatest blurbs connecting to his blog would be so fantastic! I am praying for the day :) BTW , iMy handle is @melissaabbott

Scott Marmorstein said...

Ram, I know a lot of people that aren't really interested in being patient. Actually I just wrote a note on Facebook which could easily allude to this. When we're not feeling well we have a tendency to rush around 'fixing' it via one addiction or another. It doesn't bespeak much patience.

Kindness...for me, there is genuine kindness expressed by others and there is also the false kind which you sometimes get in the presence of strangers, or people who profess to like you but you know they really don't.

Could you speak to these kinds of things? Patience, what is it really, and why should we bother? Also, kindness...the real and the fake...what's up with that? We're so clever in this world!

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

i am sometimes in awe of the tenacity of the ego. how clever, deceptive, cajoling and seemingly innocent it is in trying to preserve it's status in my life. I thank God for Ram's course, and all the teachings i have available in order to be aware of this and be able to put things back into perspective and harmony. I love our true identity. i spent most of my life with a mistaken identity. the more i focus on the subtle realm the the less strength that ego has in describing my life experience. (not as articulate as i would like)just wanted to let you guys know of the slow and unsteady progress..... :)

Renee said...

About self-consciousness: Eddie, I appreciated your post. And Anonymous, I loved your story about meeting your boss! I like working with self-consciousness because it doesn't seem to hijack my brain like irritation or anger or other more powerful samskaras. I can see it in the middle and laugh at myself. I have the privilege of raising three little kids right now, and for such a long time, they are utterly without self-consciousness. The freedom they enjoy as a result is such a powerful testimony to living in the present moment! The Course has helped me so much to see how I’m getting in my own way and limiting my own free experience of this life right now, whatever “right now” looks like.

That said, I experience a fair bit of self-consciousness writing here on the blog. I don’t want to come across like I know more than I do, or take up too much space with my ramblings. I find I’m often seeking approval and afraid of being corrected. So, (with an air of detachment), I thought I ought to stick my neck out and write something!

Much love,
Renée

Naganath said...

Just wanted to let everybody else know that I do not have an ego. I have so purified myself that my ego no longer exists in any realm. By focusing on its essence I was able to eliminate it entirely. Nothing left. No ME. No Self. Only bliss and love. Now I do not know what to do with myself because I am unable to function in any normal manner. I simply am and am not. There is no thing to find nothing to allude to; lost in awareness my home is my existence. No other, no beginning, no end. Voidoid. Just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I'll come running because you are my Friend.
--Anonymous.

Colette said...

Naganath, Thanks for the laughter I laugh so hard I almost disappeared. Lots of love to all, Karuna

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Renee-

I have missed seeing your writings in the blog, so was glad to read this! As a parent of two children who are currently school-age, I love reading your down-to-earth posts that involve your role in your family.
I sometimes feel self-conscious posting here, too. But it does feel good to take the risk.

Blessings to all, KJ

D. R. Butler said...

Nice, Naganath:)

Two posts mentioning self-consciousness about posting. The courage to actually share of ourselves openly with others, in the form of sharing in the comments, breaks through huge samskaras of inhibitions and reservations that have always held us back and limited us somewhat. When someone makes their first ever post in a group like this, it is like a spiritual breakthrough.

Self-consciousness is ego. It is 'me' consciousness. It is being the seen, the known.

Being centered in the Self, on the other hand, is beyond ego. It is 'I' consciousness. It is being the Seer, the Knower.

Anyone who suffers from self-consciousness needs to work on being the Seer and never the seen; and being the Knower and never the known.

D. R. Butler said...

Scott, excellent questions as always. People who answer other people's questions always ask the best questions.

Patience is simply being content in the present moment. There are no thoughts of what is to follow. When we get fixated on a future expectation, and forget to enjoy the moment, we get 'impatient.'

Or, such as in driving in rush hour traffic, going 4 mph, we have the choice of remaining content and enjoying ourselves--hopefully we have either good music or good company--or driving ourselves crazy with our own impatience and eagerness to be somewhere other than where we are.

Kindness is simply seeing ourselves in others, seeing them to be basically the same as us on the inside. When we see another as the same as ourself, we want to help care for that other to the same degree that we wish to help care for ourself. This is kindness.

Being lost in duality, seeing only the 'other,' and being more concerned with our own benefit than with theirs, leads to unkindness.

Anyone who naturally and spontaneously lives in the Truth of the Present Moment is naturally kind and patient without even thinking about it.

D. R. Butler said...

Here are a couple of other Facebook comments that are on another's page:

Once again I say do not trust anyone who claims to be awake. In fact, do not trust anyone who claims to be anything. I have been in the company of yogic Masters. I have heard none of them claim to be anything at all.

Only ego can make this claim, or any other claim. The awake one doesn't define or describe himself (or herself) in any way. He has gone beyond any real interest in words and ideas, although he might discuss things very intelligently should he be inclined to.

The only thing you can trust regarding another's state is what your heart tells you, what you yourself experience, in your contact with them. If you truly should come across an awake one, and they are very rare, you will experience something beyond the boundaries of ordinary experience. That is the only way you can know a real one should you ever come across one. Their words and actions are relatively meaningless compared to the actual experience of being in contact with such a one.

D. R. Butler said...

Here is the second one, and now there is also a third one for the following post:

The Piscean Age ended and gave birth to the Aquarian Age beginning with the souls born around 1945 and later. It will keep growing in depth and intensity, particularly in terms of how it impacts societies on Earth, and individuals too, until at least around 2050, and even especially on until around 2150. Like all great prophesies, this one is based around advanced astrological systems that have so far always been right.

There will be tensions with the Mid-East that might get worse before it gets better, even though now is a time for revolution in that region. There is the possibility of a charismatic character from that area causing greater trouble than anyone yet, and it could depend on the combined efforts of the USA and Russia to finally overcome the threat, somewhere in the vicinity of 2050. Around 2145 a whole new age will be ushered in, which will be much more based around universal love among all countries, cultures, and races.

All this is according to sources that were around long before the Internet, and you can't exactly google them. The current time is a time of great upheaval (which is now fairly obvious, with a hurricane headed toward Manhattan.)

Those firmly established in the principles of Truth are best prepared to make it through the next 35 years or so. Those primarily focused on the outer world and the identification with the physical body will have the hardest time in the years ahead.

Participants in the Course of Training via email are being prepared for anything and everything. It's bad out there now, but it will get worse before it gets better. Be prepared.

D. R. Butler said...

Here is the 3rd (enhanced) comment from Facebook, which also is somewhere other than my own page:

Ego is not created by thought. It is a sense of duality and separateness that exists even before the first thought arises. Impure or conditioned ego identifies with the thoughts of the mind, the feelings of the emotions, and the actions of the body, and believes itself to be the thinker, the feeler, and the doer of bad and good actions.

Pure ego is breaking the identification with the train of continuous thoughts arising in the undisciplined conscious mind, and instead identifying with the highest Self: 'I am the Self, I am Consciousness, I am God.'

With impure ego you have a mistaken identity. With pure ego you recognize Who you truly Are.

D. R. Butler said...

This is a comment on my own Facebook page that I feel should be shared and saved here as well:

Matrika shakti (the misunderstood power of words) definitely manifests when words are only thought. I should have made that clear. Unspoken words are every bit as powerful as spoken words, but in a different way. Unspoken words gather more power, more Shakti, or spiritual energy, therefore we should be careful to not be too revealing, or it can dissipate our power or energy. It has been said, 'Remain thyself unknown to all those save thyself.'

The primary way that spoken words are different in manifestation than silent words is that spoken words invariably affect others, have some impact on others. So a great dharma is required here, knowing what to say and what not to; is it more compassionate to say something or more compassionate not to? This is a fine line sometimes.

Where dharma is concerned, however, it is important that we monitor our spoken words and make sure that they are always compassionate. It is very important that we know the impact of our words on others. Only an ignorant person says something thinking that there are no consequences or that it affects nothing whatsoever. Words are extremely powerful. Few people, even those sincerely on the spiritual path, recognize and appreciate the true power of words.

John and Trice said...

I just wanted to say "thank you" for the exercise in our current lesson. Trice and I have been having lots of fun seeing the "adorable" in each other. What can I say - we are both just so damn adorable. Thanks.

Asia0912 said...

Thank you to everyone who has responded to my question about grieving. I am floored by your generosity.

I found a grief counselor through Hospice. I love the poem Crying and printed it out. Here's another poem that I really like:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Anusuya said...

Thank you for addressing the difference between the matrika shakti or words which we carry inside in the form of thoughts, as ooposed to those we speak which also have the power to affect those who hear them. Appreciate that you posted it here. The volume of posts from various people on my FB page means there are times I miss them. Although I look at your FB page...I missed this entirely. Perhaps it will help me discern between when to speak and when to be silent. I tend to have issues with the when to stay silent aspect...like whatever opinion I hold is somehow valuable, when in fact it is not anything more than ego.

Colette said...

I am on the lesson where you practice being light hearted and cheerful for two weeks. I have actually been practicing this for quite a while. It has a very powerful effect on my relationships with the apparent other. If I maintain my state when others are getting upset they seem to slide out of it very quickly, just like children. I find myself becoming more and more childlike, and this reminds me of the part of the Bible that says you must become again as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. I am not sure I have the quote right but I know I have the essence. I am becoming quite foolish and loving it. Thank you Ram for all the blessings the course brings. Karuna

jimi said...

rico said...
So many reasons to be grateful,
it seems like the more grateful I am
the more I have to be grateful for!

I LOVE that! And it has actually been my experience lately. I'm really grateful you posted it. Reminds me of the old Cream song that went something like: "I'm so glad, I'm so glad I'm glad I'm glad."

jimi said...

Ram said: Live freely in the present moment. I feel your freedom. You have so much love. Simply live to share your love and it will be more than enough. That's all you need to do. Whatever else happens is simply destiny and has nothing whatsoever to do with you.

This is such a beautiful & compassionate response.
I recently made a new friend who actually lives her life that way & it's amazing to see the positive effect she has on everyone around her, including me of course...big time!

Sara Butler said...

Hello everyone,

My dad would like me to inform all of you that all his Course actions have been halted due to Hurricane Irene. He has no power at his house what so ever and is busy enjoying the simpleness of life. Just last night I gave him and Kay a call and they told me how they were sitting out on the back porch, watching it get dark and listening to the nature. Beautiful. Electricity and technology have given us so much, but I'm taking the time to enjoy the blessing of distruction that was Irene, not the curse. Hope you all got through her safely!

Lots of love,

Sara Shubhada Butler

Vandita said...

Beautiful Sara, I loved to read your words!!!

Naganath said...

Spoken like a true Shaivite, Sara. "Taking the time to enjoy the blessing of destruction..." Long live Shiva!

Love, Naganath.

Karen Blum said...

Indeed, there were many blessings in the destruction that was Irene. In my own family, a wedding planned for 2 years was on the 27th (same day Irene hit the area). Family and friends joined together and made the entire event (from getting to the church to getting home from the reception) one of the best parties any of us can remember! We had a great opportunity to choose joy and closeness rather than anything that might be construed as negative (aka:"everything is ruined now") We made the right choice, we felt it. Together we created a great experience!

Sara Butler said...

Hey everyone,
My dad and Kay have now not had any power for 5 days. My dad wanted me to inform any of you that are taking the course that the lesson that was supposed to reach you tomorrow has been delayed until they get the power to send it out. Also they want everyone to know that they have been having the time of their life with the power gone, truely enjoying something that was once the norm, but in our day and age seems almost unthinkable. Any situation can be blissful if you choose to see it in its true positive form. Hope you all are enjoying the last few days of summer.

Lots of love,

-Sara Shubhada Butler

Melissa Abbott said...

Thank-you Sara Shubhada ~~for letting us know how things are going with the power outage in your Dad's area. Presently, finding him on the inner realms has been a good exercise. Melissa

Naganath said...

The last several days have been expansive, mellow and powerful. I am reminded of the days when the Guru would be in silence and how powerful the Shakti was at such times. There seems to be an increase in expansiveness. Anyone else experiencing anything similar? Or is it just me?

Renee said...

Anusuya, I have the same problem. I received this as part of my Lesson today, and love it so much. If I'm free of the past, I'm unlikely to be oversharing. :)

"Freedom includes freedom from the past as well as the future. We
can allow ourselves to freefall into the present moment, without having to hold anything together or control anything or hold onto any position or stance. In other words, we can relax and let go of all the stress and tension we create for ourselves trying to control our life and protect our
interests."

That said, I still have to convince three unwilling children that we really, really have to go to the store today. :)

Thank You! said...

From Lesson 2:
"As long as we are fighting something, resisting it, stressed out by it, or trying to ‘fix’ it or change it in any way, we are only adding more creative energy to it being the way we do not actually want. Ironically, we perpetuate it by trying to get rid of it: What you resist, persists."
The stressed out part I understand. What to do instead of trying to fix or change it? Take action in another direction? How is that different from fixing it?
Thank you!!!

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

to "thank you" 'What to do instead of trying to fix or change it? Take action in another direction? How is that different from fixing it?'
acceptance,. come into harmony with whatever feels like it needs to be different. there is nothing to fix. everything is exactly as it is supposed to be. i am experiencing this right now in many areas of my life. i change my attitude about about how 'i' think things or people should be. how do i want to respond to supposedly horrid things happening my own world , in the world around me. do i want some things to be different tham they currently are? to be truthful yes, can i Make it so? can i force it? i have been a bulldozer most of my life fixing and getting things "done" and it it is me that gets flattented in in the end if i don;t let things be. the lessons continue to emphasize coming into harmony with what is. to not make people place and things "wrong." to not try to fix anything but my own response and understanding. i find i i am much happier and in tune with the flow of life.
The beatles": when i find myself in times of trouble mother mary comes to me speaking words of wisom, Let it be."
i'm jewish but i get iT :)
Thank you , "thank you" for giving me the opportunity to again clarify for my self what works.