Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Precious Holiday Gift Especially For You

My mind is trying to accept that it is already December.  Not only that, it is the last month of 2011.  The year will soon be gone, finished, over with forever.  We’ll refer to it as ‘Hey, remember what happened back in ’11?’  Coming soon is…ta! ta!…2012—the year of destined great changes that affect all.
Actually, from our own individual perspective, the primary thing that matters, isn't it, is how we and our loved ones are affected.  This is only natural.  And the very best part is, it is an infallible and immutable truth that we have the power to determine in advance how any situation will affect us.
We do not have the power to determine what happens to us.  Whatever happens to us is determined by karma.  However, thankfully, karma has no power over what happens in us.    This is determined wholly by us alone in the present moment.
The trouble is that most people fail to recognize that they actually possess this power, and when we do not actually exercise our God-given free will, our perception and experience is determined by whatever patterns and tendencies we habitually live by. 
In each new moment the universe presents us a completely clean slate to begin from.  If we chose to, and exercised appropriate will power, we could create a beautiful new reality right here and now.  Instead, we habitually bring the past over and superimpose it upon the present.  This way, we never consciously realize we could easily change something if we simply used our innate and inherent power to determine our own intention--something new, more expanded, and more pleasant than before--along with the will power necessary to implement it.
It is all so simple.  Yet, while knowing this and agreeing with it wholeheartedly, we rarely are conscious enough of what we are doing and thinking in the present moment to ever apply the principle in any practical way.
Yesterday on Facebook I posted, ‘Many people who come here think they already know that they create their own personal reality through the activity of their mind.  They have accepted as a fact that thoughts are creative energy.  Yet, few actually practice the principle in a practical way in their own daily life, and continue to deal with obstacles and problems that they create in their own mind, and then wonder why things are going so badly.
I have been formally or officially communicating principles of Truth since 1975, and I began my studies and practice in 1960.  Since then, I have seen and heard a lot.  I have had the good fortune to know firsthand how the sadhana of many different kinds of people was going.  I learned about people through what people openly and honestly shared with me over the years.  I thank God every day for the great fortune of coming across and getting to know so many great people.
One of the primary things I have learned about people is that all of us are much more alike than most of us would ever think we are.  Over the years I have had the opportunity to stay with many people of various types and lifestyles, including all areas of America and while leading weekend workshops in five other countries as well.
And I have seen beyond all doubt that we are all very much the same.  We might look different, we might dress differently, we might be of various colors and cultures, yet fundamentally all human individuals are basically the same inside.  Even the fact that we have such variant karmic conditions and situations to live in, such as one person is wealthy and famous, while another is a taxi driver, does not mean much at all in the grand scheme of things. 
Each person only experiences what in going on in his or her consciousness, which is determined by the thoughts the individual is focusing his or her attention on at the time.  There is no existing exception to this whatsoever.
If I could give each person who reads this a holiday gift—and I would dearly love to—I would give them the gift of knowing that they create their own personal reality, from one moment to the next, by their habitual thoughts and predominant mental attitude.  This is truly the Secret of the Ages.  There is no greater knowledge than this anywhere.
Many who see themselves as ‘spiritual people,’ which we discussed in depth in the previous (November) blog entry, look down on the teaching that thought is creative.  They say it is only an ego-trap to go around making any attempt to create a greater life or to transform our own state, which includes our vision and experience from moment to moment. 
Instead, they practice more advanced avenues of sadhana, such as focus on devotion to whatever they consider to be their higher Power, sacrifice, surrender, seva (selfless service), kirtan (chanting in Sanskrit), mantra-repetition, performing rituals, hatha yoga, meditation, showing up at spiritual gatherings (satsang),  and so on and on—whatever we do to try to get to wherever we think we’re going.
There is nothing whatsoever wrong with any of these practices.  They are all divine and have profoundly beneficial effects on those who practice them.  In fact I myself have practiced each of them at some point or another, many of them over long periods of time, otherwise I wouldn’t even know what I was talking about.  They are all very valuable practices, and they each serve a great function for anyone who openly and sincerely practices them. 
I will never put down another person’s practice or tradition.  All types are required, and each type serves its own function.  Different people are open to principles of Truth in different ways.  Many who have experienced many paths and methods have found our Course of Training, for example, to be perfect and ‘form-fitting’ for exactly what is needed in this present moment.  For other people, the lessons of the course would in no way be relevant or even sensible.  They would require a different type of path.
There is a path for everyone, and it is important that we find our own path and never try to do another’s path.  The Bhagavad Gita says, ‘It is better to do one’s own dharma imperfectly than to do another’s dharma perfectly.’  The paths of Gurdjieff and of Krishnamurti, for example, are completely divergent, yet at the end of each is the same goal or endgame.  Ramana Maharshi was very different from Ramakrishna, and neither of them were anything like the Buddha.  Yet they have all created or transmitted authentic paths for attaining knowledge of the Self, and even more so, the experience of the Self. 
A true teaching does not simply impart information.  A true teaching carries with it a certain energy or power or Shakti that enables the open and sincere student to actually experience the understanding inherent in the teaching in an experiential way, and not simply as theoretical knowledge.
No matter how ‘advanced’ we become in our sadhana, it still remains a Truth that what we think is what we get.  What good does it do to meditate 20 years if we’re still going to think about what we don’t want, hardly ever focusing on what is actually preferred.  If we’re going to indulge in unpleasant feelings when they could be replaced naturally and easily simply by changing the focus of our attention, what is the point of spiritual practices? 
It is the ‘elementary, basic’ principle that everyone seems to know but few actually practice in practical ways in everyday, daily life.
Once again, my gift to you this holiday season is the reminder of what you already know, although the significance of your knowledge is much more profound that you might ordinarily think:  Thought is creative energy in motion, a cause of an eventual effect corresponding to the nature of the thought that caused it. 
This is the way the world works.  The great text, the ‘Yoga Vasishtha,’ which explains everything about how the universe works and how the Universal becomes the individual, is basically transmitting this simple Knowledge over and over in many different ways—which is the only way it can truly be communicated or learned.
The Truth cannot be imbibed merely by agreeing with it.  Sadhana is becoming so attuned to and aligned with the Truth that we finally realize that we ARE the Truth.
We are what we think,
having become what we thought.
Like the wheel following the cart pulling ox,
Sorrow follows an evil thought.
And joy follows a pure thought,
like a shadow faithfully tailing a man.
We are what we think, having become what we thought.
~~The Dhammapada (believed to have been written by the Buddha)
We have space for a couple of exchanges from last month’s comments.  I truly recommend reading through them.  The heart of the blog is the comments, not the entries.  I look forward to the comments that will come in this month as well, and to interacting with you.  Now I’ll post my responses to a couple of recent questions relevant to this blog entry.
Chris, there is no directive in the course to use creative power to change anything about your life, especially if it is perfect as it is and you have no desire to change anything.
That principle is only for people who are displeased with some aspect of how their life is currently manifesting, and who need to know the principle for the transformation of some condition or situation to something that is more helpful and dharmic—or what is for the good of all, which is in truth the primary aspect of dharma.
If you see everything as perfect all the time, then you can think whatever you want all you like. Or you might not think at all, who knows?
Of course all feelings serve various functions and purposes. This is explored with great clarity in the lessons of the course. Fear has a purpose, anger has a purpose. However, some people have the misfortune of fear and/or anger imposing themselves upon them unnaturally, and experiencing fear and anger when it is totally unnecessary and serves no purpose other than to bring them down to a more fearful and contracted state.
The principle deals with the unwanted and unnecessary fear and anger, not the useful and necessary kind.
When reading the lessons, it is important to read everything in the context in which it is presented, as well as seeing each statement or contemplation from the highest or most expanded perspective possible. Perspective is everything when it comes to how we see what.
Chris was not satisfied.  He wrote back to say, , 'My whole personal beef with the whole "creating your own reality" thing is that it could be used as an ego trip.'
Neither of us knew at the time was that this would be the inspiration for the current blog entry.  I responded:
I truly understand your 'conflict' with the 'creating your own reality' thing. It sounds like a lot of other things that have left a bad impression on some, like 'The Secret,' for example, which many people liked a great deal, but which many didn't, for the same reasons you bring up yourself--that it wasn't really the highest approach to spiritual development.
Here is the reason I present the principle in the early part of the course: We use this Creative Power all the time anyway, only we do it subconsciously, according to conditioned patterns—which are primarily and persistently thinking about and creating the very things we do not want and which do not serve us or anyone around us in any positive way.
Since we use this power anyway to create all our troubles and obstacles in life, why not be conscious of it and its true potential? Truly, most people are totally unconscious of the principle, even though they unknowingly use it to create their own personal life, including all that is difficult about it.
If you create your reality through what you predominantly think, don't you want to know about it?  Don’t you prefer to actually know what you are doing?
The first year or two of the course, while presenting the highest principles of the Truth of Being right from the beginning, also focus on helping us to get our physical lives in order, so that we can enjoy harmony and prosperity in daily life.  Only then are we truly ready, open, and receptive to delve into deeper principles.  
We can't be committed to our own spiritual path if we are constantly distracted by egotistical melodramas in the mind, which result in a disorderly and largely dysfunctional life.
As mentioned, everything is revealed from the beginning. Nothing is held back for later. It's just that, two years after first reading Lesson 1, you go back and read it anew and you are amazed at all that is in there that you didn't even notice the first time through. This is because your awareness is now awakened and expanded to such a degree that you can literally see things that you once just couldn't bring into your consciousness.  A greater clarity arises—which we know as ‘The Evolution of Wisdom,' which is an early section of the course that explores much that must be understood before true progress is possible.
Basically, it is that everything we know and understand can be known and understood on a more expanded level. That is why the course is not about ‘presenting new information.’  There is no new information available anywhere, unless you are interested in scholarly pursuits. 
The course is about the generation and reception of an elevating energy that expands our perspective from the inside, and presents us with an entirely new vision and experience of life.  Of course, this can neither be truly comprehended or accepted without the actual experience of the course.  This is why Lesson 1 is freely available to anyone who requests it.
Enjoy your holidays.

 For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email—along with a free Lesson 1 so that you can experience what happens for yourself—write: drbutler.course@gmail.com
French: drbutler.course@gmail.com