Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Self-Interview

        Q:  So we’re doing yet another interview.  Why?

A:  Mostly just curious about what kind of new questions you’ll come up with.

Q:  How is the Course coming along, and how are you doing in relationship to the Course these days?

A:  The unfoldment of the Course of Training via email has surpassed anything I might have thought or felt about it when we first got started.  Something very powerful comes through, and I am amazed at the impact it has on me, as it was quite unexpected.  Something in me asks, ‘Where did that come from?’  Of course, the question isn’t as mystifying as it was at the beginning.  I understand the process more now than in the beginning. 

The Course is a great divine Gift, and works according to grace, although this usually takes a long time to truly understand.  The true understanding comes when we actually experience the Truth of what is happening.

Miracles do happen.  Mostly it’s a matter of giving something the space to be and the possibility to happen.

Q:  What do you mean by ‘miracles?’

A:  The occurrence of something unexpectedly transformative.  Something extraordinary, beyond the scope of what most consider the ordinary, the ‘normal,’ and which is usually a limitation or an inhibition.  The world, and our life, is not exactly as it appears to be.  Something even more powerful is going on behind the scenes, and the best way to know what that is, is to understand that the physical realm is only a temporary reflection of the subtle world within. 

The inner, subjective realm is the source of Power, and the consciousness of inner power enables you to access and apply it for beneficial results, for others as well as yourself.  Just don’t identify with the power, or the ego will pull you and your new-found power into an exquisite melodrama.  This meets all the requirements for an egotistical melodrama:  happening in ‘time,’ described in words, involving other people, and usually regarding the past and sometimes the future, but rarely connected in any way to the present moment.

Once we recognize and experience the inner Reality on a consistent basis, we go beyond the temporary melodrama and whatever importance or significance we had assigned to it.  It was simply the recurrence of an old subconscious pattern.

Q:  Anything new and exciting happening in your life?

A:  Yes!  We've begun monthly online workshops.  This way we can meet in real time, with human voices and faces.  The next online workshop is December 16.  To learn more about these, and me in general, go here:

Q:  What do you think is the most important aspect of the spiritual path?

A:  Truly speaking, the spiritual path is a myth.  It is not something that actually exists, yet we create some image or feeling regarding it within ourselves.  Each individual has a whole different idea of what a ‘spiritual path’ is, and one person’s spiritual path might be another person’s hedonism.

In the context that the spiritual path is a process we are each on whether we are conscious of it or not, the most important aspect is to realize that the end goal will be to arrive at where we started from once we consciously defined ourselves to be on a ‘spiritual path.’ 

When we arrive where we started from, we realize that everything we sought was all within us all the time, from the very beginning of memory.  There has been no time that we have not been looked after, guided, and cared for.  That which we seek is playing the game of seeking, knowing that in the end It will only find Itself.

We had to go through the process of sadhana, or some level of spiritual practices, to realize that all along we were, deep inside, what we were always looking for, what we had been yearning for a long time, often wondering if it actually existed.

Q:  So people who practice their yoga and/or meditation, who believe in the underlying unity of all things, and who practice the principles that lead toward spiritual development and expansion, even perhaps the principles outlined in your own course, are never going to get anywhere except where they started off from?  What’s the payoff?  What the point in participating in such a process?  It seems from what you say that it all eventually leads nowhere.

A:  Your question indicates some inherent misunderstanding and perhaps even some mistrust.  The payoff is everything; it is the sense of having and doing and being the greatest you can attain in this lifetime.  It is also doing what you do as though the effects of what you do actually matter, while knowing within yourself that nothing matters at all.  Truly, if it is all the same, if only One exists, then what could matter?

We do what we do out of the pure joy of doing it.  We do what we love, and we love what we do—from one moment to the next.  In fact, love is our primary feeling, our primary inner sensation.  The more we understand the Truth of the Self, the Truth of Being, the more we live in love.  If love is absent, we are to some degree temporarily delusional.  Truth cannot be recognized or experienced when there is no love.

Of course, there is always love; it is never truly absent, for it holds the universe together.  What is lacking is our awareness of love, or we fail to focus our attention on love. 

Love never goes anywhere.  It is more who we truly are than any other identity, and than any way in which we can describe ourselves in words.  Descriptions are limiting, and have the power to create limitations where they never otherwise exist.

Love is misunderstood by most people.  We explore this quite extensively in the Course—all the varieties of love, and the true unconditional love.  The more aware we become, the more we realize the reality of Love as our own Self.  During the time we are unaware, and there is a knot in the heart, love seems long lost and impossible to regain or experience anew ever again. 

You can see that the realization of the reality of Love is quite a major occurrence.  In fact, compared to anything else, it is everything.

So the payoff is that we open the heart and live in love.  Nothing can improve or enhance this experience; nothing can add to it.  Living in love we see the entire world as a play of Consciousness, and our personal life as our own karmic movie.  When we can relax and enjoy the movie as it is, we are free.

Q:  Why did you decide to do a self-interview in December, the holiday month?

A:  You wanted to do it, so I agreed.

Q:  I’m fairly certain that it was your idea.

A:  Be clear about this, this is your thing.  I just agreed to answer your questions.

Q:  Okay, do you have anything to say about the upcoming holidays?

A:  Happy Holidays everyone!  Enjoy them to the fullest.

I feel that every day can be a holiday.  We can always celebrate the day, this day of our life, when we are actually alive.  What is greater than to honor our moment of actual existence?

Besides, I’ve spent time in India, and they have so many saints and gods that there is always something to celebrate.  I never knew a country could have so many holidays.  But I learned to revel in them, as they always served bandharas (big feasts) with really yummy food.

May this be the happiest holiday season of your life—to each blessed being who reads these humble words.

Q:  How did you end up in India?

A:  How could someone with my background not end up in India?  I was a teenage yogi.  The Eastern scriptures and texts were the only ones that made sense to me, and I had a double major in English Literature and Philosophy, so I had checked out quite a few ways of seeing and understanding things.  Of course I wanted to visit India, the land in which yoga was born.  I wanted to meet real Masters, to hang out with evolved Beings.

Q:  And did you?

A:  Oh yeah.  Did I ever.  I would not be the same today if I had never met them.

Q:  So is there something outside us, separate from us, that we must get from another?

A:  Absolutely not.  The greatest Teacher, the truest Guru, points us toward our own inner Self.  Even the Christ said, “The kingdom of God is within you.”  The greatest Teacher tells us to turn within, to love and worship our own inner Self. 

If a teacher tries to convince us to follow him, or to be devoted to him, then beware of such a one, for he is truly the ‘wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing.’  If he wants something from you, he has nothing authentic to offer you.  Only a Teacher who needs nothing whatsoever from you can give you anything of value.

This doesn’t mean it will be ‘free.’  To receive anything of true value, it must be paid for.  People don’t understand this, especially Westerners.  In India, you’d never even approach a great one without an offering.  To the Eastern mind, the offering makes it possible to receive blessings.  It is a universal law—when we give we open up to receive.  If we are too tight to give, we are also too tight to receive.

This principle is especially obvious during holidays such as Christmas, when people give freely, expecting nothing in return, and this giving makes them happy.  They feel good about themselves simply because they offered someone a gift.  A true joy arises from this.  During this season the principle at work becomes more evident than usual.  We simply need to learn that we don’t have to depend on a holiday to have the opportunity to give.  We can live this way, and it is a truly fulfilling way of life.
 Q:  Any final words to those who might read this?  Any principle in particular you wish to make a point of?

A:  The last subject was a good one—the one regarding offering.  Offering of ourselves, offering what we have, is a way of truly surrendering to the universal flow, for when we give we open up the gates to receive.

Be mindful of Service.  We come to this world to realize the Truth of the indwelling yet all-pervasive Self, and also to serve those around us, those whom we naturally come in contact with in the course of our life.  If we live for ourselves alone, we will never be fulfilled; we will remain disappointed and frustrated and perhaps even cranky. 

If we do what we can to add to the happiness of others, or to make their lives just a little bit easier or more rewarding, the subsequent joy we experience within ourselves might be surprising at first until we get used to it.  If we live a life of service, then we find that we always have everything we need.  It is a very mysterious principle, yet it is invariable and unfailing.

Don’t think of love as an occasional romantic occurrence.  See it as a way of life.

        Thank you for visiting with us here at the blog.  In the comments to follow we can meet, mingle, and blend.  Always love your own Self, and always see that same Self in all others.  In this way you live in the vision of the Truth.

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



Friday, November 16, 2012

Your Life Is What You Make It

Your life is what you make it, and you make your life with the thoughts you entertain in your conscious mentations from time to time. Thought is creative energy in motion, and concentrated emotional thought creates the conditions and situations in your life that correspond exactly to the nature of the thoughts that compelled them.

What we can conceive and believe, we can achieve. Or, more to the point, what you think is what you get.

This way of seeing and understanding life was drilled into my head from the age of 15, and it is as obviously true now as it was then, in 1960. Not only that, the same principle has been taught for a very long time: “As a man thinketh in his heart (emotionally), so shall he receive.”

The mind is the only creative power in the universe. It is the only power that we as an individual have, as expressed through free will, ifexercised. Unfortunately, most people are hypnotized by repetitive energetic thought patterns that cause our life to repeat itself over and over, and which we subconsciously bring from the past to the present and then carry over to the future.

The past would be harmless if we left it as it is, but we robotically insist on dragging our past into the present and then projecting it into the future. Then we wonder why we are faced with the same problems and obstacles over and over.

Know this with all your heart and soul: Only you create your own feelings and your own experience. No power outside you, and no other person, can cause you to feel or experience anything that you do not allow yourself. We are not affected by people or situations themselves, but by what we think about them. We are only affected by our own thoughts. There is no exception to this whatsoever, no matter who tries to tell you otherwise.

Your life is as you create it, and you create your life through what you think from time to time. Thought leads to a feeling corresponding to the thought, which lead to effects or consequences in our personal lives according to the nature of the thoughts that created them.

Many people have ‘known’ this for a long time. Still, only a few actually practice the principle on a consistent basis in their own life. This is why in our Course of Training via email we go beyond merely ‘knowing’ things, which is very mediocre, and work on actually applying the principles in our own lives, to live lives based on harmony and love.

I am going to change the nature of the blog a bit. I am going to post shorter entries, and post more often. So for now I will include a few responses to questions in last month’s comments, and I look forward to your participation in the comments. I will post the next entry again near the beginning of December.

Of course this means I’ll have to think of even more titles. If you think of any potential titles to future blog entries, please post them in the comments.

Okay, here are my responses to a few questions in recent comments, where there are many more wonderful exchanges:

Scott Schwenk wrote: Would you please describe your understanding of the differences between the tools of "Replacement" in the course and the tendency of spiritual bypassing? Thank you..."

DRB wrote: I have no idea what 'spiritual bypassing' is.

Scott Schwenk replied:
"Spiritual bypassing, a term first coined by psychologist John Wellwood in 1984, is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs. It is much more common than we might think and, in fact is so pervasive as to go largely unnoticed, except in its more obvious extremes."

And an example of when this tendency is pointed "outward" from the same author:

"Telling another to “lighten up” or be more positive can be shame-inducing, however nicely we might do it. What if they need to stay with their hate or despair or depressiveness for a while? How can we be sure that they’d be better off getting away from such states as soon as possible? Perhaps at such times we are — through our contact with their endarkened condition —starting to feel more in touch with such states in ourselves, and want the other to get away from their “darkness” so that we don’t have to feel our own."

Oh.....the man whom I'm quoting is author Robert Augustus Masters.

End Scott Schwenk message.

Okay, now I have something to work with. That point of view is pretty interesting, actually. I feel this is the way people are guided through the Course. We stay away from anything resembling guilt or shame, and emphasize breaking free from making wrong and being right, or telling another person how he or she could be better in some way if they would only change this particular thing that somehow we have some insight about.

It's true—how do we know the other person would be better off?

Our approach in the Course is to offer tools to change that which causes our pain or suffering. If something does no harm to others or ourselves, then it just is what it is. Any judgment would only come from our conditioned standards and ideals. Yet it is amazing how much guilt we feel from imagined wrong-doings that never really mattered to anyone in the least.

If, however, we are lacking in contentment, if we do not feel good about ourselves, then there are certain principles that can be learned and applied in real life that lead to major transformations.

It is important to realize that on the highest level we are totally pure and perfect exactly as we are. Nothing needs to be changed. Yet on the level of being an individual going through the karma of a lifetime, there are certain tried and true methods of attaining mastery and freedom during this embodiment.

Freedom from what? From that which causes our pain and our suffering, our sense of limitation and of not being enough. When these things fall away, through our work on ourselves, we attain a contentment and an exalted sense of well being like we've never before known—at least since we last forgot it.

Jessie asked: ‘Why is it, do you think, that so many people love the course and get so much out of it, while others, no matter how much it is recommend to them, seem to be unable to even consider taking it?’

That's an interesting question, Jessie, and one that's come up in different forms from time to time.

There are many sources for some degree of Truth these days. There are teachers for all levels and types of people. So many things can be immediately found on the Internet, and there is some great information available in books.

So the question then becomes, why should anyone think that something essential and valuable might be found in a course that comes by email every two weeks that can't be easily found in many other places?

I greatly honor those who are even open-minded enough to write and ask for the info and free lesson. At least they're willing to see if there is something there, perhaps something totally unexpected.

Most people who begin the course have some experience of it being unexpected and unanticipated, of it being a great surprise, for there is no way one can guess in advance what is coming once the course begins. The lessons take us into a different space than where we ordinarily live. One lesson lays the groundwork for the next lesson, and in this way the participant gradually understands what is written in a whole new way than was understood in the beginning. The same words and phrases start to take on a whole new level of meaning.

Yet how can anyone get any sense of this without even trying it? So, why are some not interested no matter how much they are encouraged to give it a shot? One aspect of this is karma. We are attracted to particular avenues of knowledge through karma alone. Of course, the true nature of karma is not commonly understood.

Another reason is that it takes a certain degree of commitment to participate in the course. Even though all we need to do is stay in touch with our current lesson, many people have a problem even making that much commitment.

Also, there is no way in the beginning to know where the course is actually coming from, for I assure you it does not come from me, your humble typist.

People learn about the course through word of mouth only, such as someone recommends it, or sends another the link to this blog, which kindles some inner interest in what the course has to offer. Or someone gives another the course for a while as a gift, so that they can see what is available, such as a Christmas present, for example. Many thankful people started out this way, through the grace of a friend or loved one.

Anyway, there are many reasons, most of which cannot really be understood with the mind. The mind is not our highest way of understanding things. Most of the truly great teachers are not well known in a public way. Our course is not the kind of thing that will ever be mentioned in the media, and I am very thankful for that, for in this area no news is usually good news. We'll leave that to such people as Deepak Chopra, who has a great knack for reaching a large audience and being somewhat honored and appreciated by the media. Mostly the media looks for what’s wrong, when it comes to things of this nature.

Most of the people who participate in our course are those who have spent many years on the spiritual path, and who have tried various paths and teachers long before they ended up here.

What is the main reason people give for ever quitting the course? Because they haven't been reading the lessons. Yep, it is true, if you don't read the lessons, you won't get much out of the course.

There are so many things that could be mentioned and explored, and yet at the end we still have nothing like a concrete answer. Maybe some others who participate in the course can answer this question better than I can. You see how I tend to ramble, and I can only hope that something I have said is relevant to your question.

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:



Monday, October 15, 2012

The Love Dream--Living in Love

            Recently on Facebook I asked my friends if any of them had ever had dreams about being with someone that they had never known or seen in waking life, but in the dream, in subtle life, they felt an intense love and closeness toward that person.  I was surprised at all the responses that reported that indeed they had, and many went on to describe their own dreams, which we could see based on everyone’s experiences, that the dreams were primarily composed of intense feelings of love and exaltation.

           This has been an ongoing phenomenon for me over many years, and they seem to happen more frequently as I get older (although in my dreams I’m not older: I’m ageless if anything, or as though I am the same age I always am.)  It’s not that it happens all the time—maybe an average of twice a month or so.  Yet when it happens it is very intense and leaves me with that same feeling throughout the following day, and often through many days following.

I wake up from them with that exalted love energy, and when I first wake up my feeling is something like, ‘oh no, not this world again.  I want to go back to the dream.  I want to spend more time with her.’  And it takes a little while to adjust levels and come ‘back to earth’ for life in this physical world (the remaining karma of this particular incarnation).

 Recently I had the latest.  In this one a very beautiful woman appeared before me and told me that she had 4 things of value that she wanted to show so that I would know who she is.  The first thing she showed me was from Sai Baba of Shirdi.  The next one was from Nisargadatta.  Then there was one from Muktananda.  And finally there was one from the Christ.

Although I have no memory of the exact objects she presented, they were glowing with light and contained an uplifting energy.  I experienced their power and I knew who she was.

           The next part of the dream I remember was her crawling into bed with me.  Touching her was ecstatic.  I moved as though perhaps we were having sex, but she smiled and said, ‘Not that, I’m just here for a cuddle.’

 I told her, ‘I was just being myself.’

She smiled brightly again.  ‘I understand totally.’  And somehow I knew that she indeed understood totally.  In fact, I’d never felt more understood.

 I chuckle now remembering saying in my dream, ‘I was only being myself.’  Kay laughed when she heard that part too.  Kay also understands me.

After that, the two of us were out on a grand adventure in some city or town I am not familiar with in waking life.  I cannot remember all that happened to us or all that we did; I only remember how incredible it felt to be with her, to feel her near me.

Then at some point I woke up, and it seemed an abrupt departure from the dream.  My initial feeling, as it has often been before, was, Oh no, I don’t want her to be gone.  I want to spend more time with her.  And then the feeling lingered for several days.

So when I asked my Facebook friends if anyone had similar dreams, or similar feelings during or following such dreams, I was surprised at how many had experienced it.  There were all sorts of ideas presented: I was meeting the feminine aspect of myself.  I was having a vision and experience of the divine Goddess in yet another form—if dream-life is actually a form.  Ultimately it all takes place in our own consciousness.  Anyway, if you have any similar dreams or experiences, feel free to share about them in the comments following this.

I would love to know what such dreams are truly all about.  Hopefully someday I will have all the answers to my own questions.  Whatever kind of experiences the dreams are, they happen often enough and are intense enough to be significant in some way, especially since so many others report similar experiences.
It seems, if this kind of love is available in a dream, and is real during the 'time' it happens, then it must be possible to live in love.  Why not go through all of life with this ecstatic feeling?  It would indeed be Living in Love.

There were some good exchanges following last month’s entry, and since they are worth reading, even worth reading again, I will share some enhanced responses to the questions in the comments:

Not taking anything personally is a great attainment.  Someone says, 'You are a foolish person,' and you can silently know within yourself, 'There goes a fellow who tells other people they are foolish.'  This helps a lot to attain humility.  I am not sure if in itself alone it will do the trick, although much depends on our readiness and willingness to live in a humble way.  

Perhaps it is most humbling to openly accept one's own divinity, without any further question. 'Ok, it's settled, I am an expression of divinity no matter what I think, say, feel, or do. Only I will experience the consequences of these things, and they will be like rain drops falling on a man swimming in the ocean, who will not care that it is raining.'

When people come to me regarding a loved one who is very sick or nearing death, I always direct the conversation to the subtle realms, where there is continuity beyond this temporary physical form.  When children die it is because that soul didn't have much karma to experience in this lifetime.  It has nothing to do with something 'bad' happening or something going 'wrong.'  It just means, 'Karma now over.'  Of course, the parents are devastated.  I cannot bear the thought of losing any of my children.  It is among the most horrible human experiences.

Even so, in reality, the soul of that child had very little karma to experience in this particular incarnation.  Knowing this does not reduce the grief, but it does give a way to deal with it.
 Responding to someone else: 'Who' is this person that you are describing to be yourself?  You are injecting an imaginary character whom you take to be yourself. There is no one to 'have' a mind; there is only the egotistical identification with thoughts. There is no one to have an ego; there is the ego which identifies with the body, mind, and emotions, and considers itself to be a particular person with a personal life.

'What role does the mind play in helping us realize our true Self?'

In short, we need the understanding that mind is creative in nature, and mind-in-motion, or thought, creates situations and conditions in accordance to its own nature. For example, thoughts of joy lead to joy, and thoughts of sadness lead to sadness. And so on.

Once we understand that the mind is creative, and that thoughts are actual psychic forces that affect us and have their effects in our life, then we understand the incredible importance of controlling what we think, so as to think only thoughts of a positive and constructive nature. This is the key to mastery of this physical world and the land of karma, but of course it takes more than merely understanding this with the mind; it takes actual practice and participation in our own life. This is why we have a Course via email: to aid in maintaining the process, understanding the process, and consciously participating in the process of transformation.

Ultimately, the Self exists in all Its fullness between each and every two thoughts, and behind all thoughts.  The Upanishads say that 'God is the Witness of the mind.  What we have always called God is the inner Awareness that knows what we think.  The contracted form of the Self is the mind, so thoughts are merely the bubbling up of Consciousness. It is when we are not thinking, and the mind is not in motion, that we experience the pure Awareness of the Self.

The mind can help in this process by thinking thoughts that lead toward the realization of the Self, and by ceasing to think thoughts that lead us into egotistical melodramas having to do with the objective world of other people, or objective humanity.

It takes no time to be realized. That which ever will be realized is already realized. That which is not already realized is only a figment of our imagination.

Someone asked why it feels so good to help others, and keeps up the yard of his elderly neighbors and notices that it feels as good to him as it does to them.

Kay and I would be overjoyed if some younger person came and cleaned up and shaped our yards. I can just imagine the joy and appreciation the elderly sisters must feel when you do that for them.

This is the great secret of the universe: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is the secret to contentment, and also has the added benefit of creating only pleasant karma from here on out. It's when we do unto others what we wouldn't want done to ourselves that we create unpleasant karma.

The primary principle here, though, is that it is better to give than to receive. Giving makes receiving possible.  Service is such an essential element in the enjoyment of life. For one thing, service is the soul of money. When we serve others, we are magically compensated in ways we might never have expected.

In this darkest of ages (Kali Yuga) there are corrupt means of acquiring money, and they are often powerful forces in this world. Although this may lead to riches and worldly power, it can never lead to contentment. Contentment comes only through service. Service is the key to contentment.

 Any truly content person will tell you that it is their service to others that brings them the most contentment; and that whatever financial rewards come their way as a result, while practically useful, are not the main thing.  And the Tao Te Ching says that contentment is the highest goal of life.

Whether things go the way we want them to in this life or not is much less releveant than most of us care to believe.  All that ultimately matters is our degree of contentment and fulfillment.  We experience this when we are truly ourselves, and this happens when we are living in the Truth of the Present Moment.

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


Monday, September 10, 2012

What in us is Eternally Changeless? Living Among the Constantly Changing

If you are reading this blog for the first time, I strongly recommend that you also read the previous (August) entry, if nothing else, although there are also many other worthwhile entries and exchanges in the comments that are all archived for anyone who cares to visit or revisit them.

Communications of a spiritual nature happen very differently today than in years past.   I recall the 70’s and 80’s very vividly, and remember how spiritual communication happened primarily through physical gatherings.  During those years we could never have imagined anything like the Internet.

The Internet and cyber-world exist today because it is attuned to the vibrational changes happening in, on, and around the planet Earth, as well as our whole solar system.  We are in the process of entering a new age.  If we could glimpse past this particular time and place and see how things are actually changing, it would be very obvious.

The world as we have known it is crumbling.  One day the postal service will be seen in the same way that we now see the pony express.  The world is changing faster than we realize.  From day to day we don’t realize how much a child grows or how much we age, yet over time the changes become quite obvious.

In the same way, from day to day we can’t see the changes our earth is going through, yet over time they will become quite obvious.  In just a year from now, look back and it will be very clear what is being referring to.

Have you noticed that time has speeded up?  Changes happen faster.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that we age faster, although in some cases this is possible.  In fact, depending on how we choose to live and think, youth can be extended even longer than before.

When time speeds up, space becomes more compressed.  The world is smaller now than it was a few years ago, especially in our consciousness of it.  In cyber-world we can be simultaneously in contact with people all over the world.  We can relate as though there is no distance at all, and we can exchange a lot of value in a relatively short amount of time.

One aspect of these changes is that we, the humanity of Earth, experience our vibrational level becoming finer and subtler, so that the actual experience of life happens faster, and feels fuller, although all that is actually changing is the vibrational level we live in.

It is always good to be versed in universal principles of Truth.  Even so, these days we need this understanding more than ever before in our lifetimes.  There are Beings that look over and guide the spiritual upliftment of the entire planet, while others work with certain individuals who are ready.  Some of these Beings are invisible and not currently in human form; others dwell in remote areas of the world and guide us telepathically.

The most enlightened Beings who live in the highest state consistently are often hardly known at all.  Most people, even in the 'spiritual scene,' have never heard of them, as they do not attract attention to themselves.  They deliberately remain unknown.  There is nothing to be gained through their interaction with the profane world, and much could be lost.

Teachers are needed for all levels.  Beginners need teachers to teach them the basics, and advanced seekers need a teacher to show him or her what they haven't already seen about themselves, and what is the next step to take.  Many teachers can share knowledge, but only a few can actually transform our state, our experience, and our vision.  These usually come from an authentic lineage, for the Shakti (spiritual power) is in the lineage, not the individual.

In our dreams at night we get glimpses of life in the subtle world.  It is much more varied and diversified than physical plane experiences.  In the subtle world you can flow from universe to universe; the physical world is limited by space and time.  It is challenging to put into words an experience that the mind will have trouble understanding anyway, no matter how clearly presented.

Someone asked, ‘Am I there?' and 'am I getting there?'  Who is this being that you are assigning the 'I' to?  When you ask, 'Am I there?  How will I know?' it is as though the ego hopes to one day be enlightened.  What else would care whether you are 'there' or not?

That which is not enlightened will never be enlightened.  That which will ever be enlightened is already enlightened.  Enlightenment is not something you can comprehend with the mind, because such a state goes beyond the mind.  You also cannot get there through stressful struggle, because where you are going is where you started out from.

Someone else asked, 'Is the state of ananda (bliss) something we are aware of through the physical sensations?’

Physical sensations alone are too dense to experience bliss or ananda.  Bliss is not an emotion, and has no polar opposite.  It is part of our Being and is never absent.  The only thing that might be absent is our awareness of it.  It can be experienced during any physical or emotional state.  It is best experienced as an exalted state of well-being.

It doesn't require any effort to experience bliss.  Your true and eternal nature is already blissful, so it's only a matter of tuning into what is always already true.  You are simply a bit caught in the mind, which is pretty much like everyone else.  If you could truly get into the space between thoughts, wherein you experience the Universal instead of the individual, you would discover that bliss is already present.  As long as you are trying to attain something that you don't already have, that very effort will be your primary obstacle.

As a participant of the course, you will find that you naturally experience bliss in your life more and more, without even knowing why.  It happens not through effort, but through opening and letting go.

We use 'course' for lack of a better word.  It is also a 'training' regarding the principles that govern the universe, including individual karma, and a 'process' that leads to transformation and expansion.  The experience of the course is different for each person who participates, for each makes of it what they will, what they want, and what they need.

Someone else said, 'Please offer the complete course for free.  Truth is free.'

I responded:  I know what you mean about how the course should be free.  The Truth, after all, IS free.

Yesterday I had surgery to repair 2 hernias, and today my abdomen hurts to move, to get up or down, to sit, to change positions while lying, to blow my nose, and to clear my throat.  Even so, I stubbornly continue to clear my throat.

It is difficult walking from room to room.  And the pain just sits there like a hideous blob in my abdomen.  Now, why is it that I have to pay for all this?  Why is it not free!  Hell, they should pay 'me' for having to endure it.

But the nice community hospital provides a great service.  Should they perform surgery for free, and then go off to their day jobs?  The surgeon has spent many years in school and learning through internship, and many other years serving others with his skill.  Why is it that he should offer his services for free?  I guess he'd also have to get himself a day job.

The Truth is the most valuable thing there is.  Nothing else compares to it.  Sure, It IS Free.  Yet, for us to open and expand enough to see and experience the Truth within ourselves, AS us, it is necessary to go through a certain process.  And just like the surgeon is essential for surgery, it is helpful to have a guide through the process.

For many years I was keyed on doing my spiritual training by my own terms.  I didn’t want a ‘guru’ or anyone telling me anything.  I read books, listened to tapes, and in Manhattan  I had access to all the different teachers that came through.  I could pick and choose whatever I believed to be helpful and ignore the rest.  Then at the age of 29 a teacher came along who actually blew away my perspective of reality; with his help, I began to experience and live in a world that I had not previously known to exist as anything other than perhaps a fond fantasy. 

My eyes were opened to something that I could not have come upon through my own efforts.  That’s what really blew my mind.  Yet we mostly live with infinite Mind contracted into the form of whatever the current melodrama might be.  The mind literally becomes what we think.  In reality there is no difference between the mind and the thought.  The thought is simply the current form or shape the mind has taken.

I've spent—as of this writing—the last 52 years learning, training, preparing, practicing, and communicating principles of Truth that anyone can embrace in his or her life for surprisingly effective results, especially greater freedom.  My Teacher told me to pass it on to others.  So this is what I ‘do’—I pass on to others what was passed down to me.  And it wasn’t available for free.  I paid dearly.  Still, this ‘payment’ initiates a process that continues until it is finished.

Few people can even imagine, in the beginning, what a ‘free mind’ actually is, and what it means in real life.  So our Course is simply a guide through the process from here to there and back again.  Why should this be free?   Should I, too, get a day job, and write the lessons by the midnight oil?

How would Kay and I live?  How would we help get my daughter Sara through college?  Can't you see the way life has to work in order for the most people to experience the most benefit?  In Sanskrit this is known as 'dharma'—doing what is simultaneously best for everyone concerned.

The Truth IS free.  But to get from where we are to the full recognition and experience of the Truth requires not only that we go through a purification process, but also that we give something of value in exchange.

Truth is free.  Yet a certain subtle transmission of energy cannot happen, cannot be sent or received, unless it is 'paid for.'  And it’s not that it’s held back.  It is just the way the universe works.  It maintains a certain energetic balance.  

Some people are, due to their upbringing, subconsciously stingy, although they would never ‘think’ of themselves that way.  They want to keep what they have.  As someone remarked recently, you can participate in the course for the price of a pizza each month, and yet people don’t want to part with the little bit of money suggested as an exchange for active participation.   We have to reach a point where we truly want it and are truly committed before we will understand the value of exchanging a little bit of money for spiritual wealth.  In fact, many participants, after a while, contribute more than the suggested amount, and they receive a great deal out of the course.

The course is not for everyone.  A certain kind of person finds it the most meaningful thing in life, feels renewed and rejuvenated by it, while others find it totally irrelevant.  Truly, all in all, very few will ever even hear of it.  You who read this are among the few who have.

Someone commented, 'I feel a sense of relief knowing I will continue to make human mistakes, but now and in the end I have a divine nature.'

That is a real biggie, a Maha understanding; most people tend to think that spiritual progress is becoming a greater person than we are now.  That might also be true, but it is not the essential understanding.  That would be firmly established in knowing we already are of a divine nature, regardless of what the body, mind, or emotions are doing.  They are only the play, the drama of this world.  These are not things most people easily understand.

If there were such a thing as 'sins,' self-judgment would be right at the top, along with passing judgment on others.  Ultimately, no matter how long it takes, or how many lifetimes, we must be firmly established in the understanding that everything is perfect and purely divine exactly as it is.  This is the ultimate realization.

Finally, someone wrote, 'To look myself in the mirror and say, "I love you". To say, "I forgive you". To say, "I accept you exactly as you are".  That is not an easy thing to do for me.... It should be the most natural!'

When these things are hard to say to ourselves, we are thinking of ourselves as ego, mind, and body.  Ego, mind, and body have disappointed us again and again.

When we realize we are not limited to ego, body, and mind, and that our true and eternal essence is very beautiful, supremely pure, and totally perfect, then love arises spontaneously.  This inner Light, which was never born and can never die, is our true Identity.  Once we realize who we truly are, it is most natural and effortless to love the eternally changeless Self within.

You can't 'wonder about' anything in the space between thoughts.  That space is Infinite, and never wonders about anything.  The space between thoughts is non-thinking.  You can't be in the space between thoughts and ask yourself if you have attained the highest state.  The space between thoughts is wordless.  It does not care about attainment, but sees it only as a notion of the mind.  It is already all there is and all there will ever be, the Seer of all that is seen and the Knower of all that is known, so It already knows there is nothing to become.  
The play of the mind is the play of Consciousness.  Pure Consciousness, or pure Awareness, is experienced in the space between any two thoughts.

Thank you for joining me here.  I look forward to this month’s comments.

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