Saturday, September 3, 2011

Living Without Electricity (Dancing in the Dark)

     The strangest and most unexpected thing has happened.  Kay and I have been without electricity for 6 days.  We have altered our entire daily and nightly routine to adapt to a world without electricity, much like the days of yore during previous incarnations.

      We have adapted quite well, and it took almost no time, once we fully realized that on an outer level we truly had no control of our environment.  We relied on the principles that have gotten us through all these years, and which we now share with you, and we have enjoyed a very happy time together.  Kay says it was an unbelievable fantasy of her innermost dreams, where life was set up so that she didn’t have to do anything.  Indeed, there was nothing for us to do, at least nothing that required electrical power.

      We could play, we could laugh, we could sit silently, we could simply be, but we could not do any of our usual work, which is highly dependent on electricity.  We often dance to our favorite music, joyously shared with you on Facebook, as a regular form of exercise, but the music these nights was silent, and we were dancing in the dark.

It has been very interesting to be unable to go through any semblance of ordinary routine.  We could not do our work.  We knew we had a week’s worth of correspondence and new inquiries about the course, but we could not get to it, much less respond to anyone.  Scott kept you informed on Facebook; my daughter Sara kept you informed on the blog. 

All these people who have written to ask why their current lesson has not arrived really should keep up with the current comments of the blog.  They exist primarily to keep everyone up-to-date with any current happenings that are helpful to be aware of.

Anyway, I have had a wonderful week of non-doership.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone that many days without writing.  Yet it was a great renewal and rejuvenation.  I have much gratitude for those few days of extreme simplicity.

Another aspect of the comments of the blog is that we enjoy great Q&A exchanges.  Being that I haven’t had a lot of time to write a completely new blog, as the Shakti would have it there were some very good exchanges in last month’s comments.  I am happy to share them with you here.  To expedite communication, I am including primarily the responses:

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.

"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.'

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 is privy 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.

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 refined vision. Then things are even 'seen' differently, usually in a more expanded way.
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.  That is dharma—doing whatever is necessary now for the good of all concerned.

How can we help the starving in Sudan and Ethiopia or Darfur? How would we 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.
 See everything as God's creation. He created pleasure and pain, light and dark, wealth and poverty--all the polarities or pairs of opposites. Each individual could not possibly ever experience anything other than his or her own karma, which is immutable law.

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.

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 an absorbing movie and forget all about the pain. 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.

Among the major practices of our course 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:)

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.

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.  It is the tip of the iceberg. 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 energetically. 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 sequence of time, 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.

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, continuously describes what is happening and takes its descriptions to be 'reality,' sees and experiences its own 'life' as a seeming sequence of events in linear 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.

Ego is not created by thought, as someone suggested. 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.  Love and honor your own eternal inner Self, for it is the Self of all.

For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email, including a free Lesson 1 write: