Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Self-Interview--Where to from here?


Q:  Another self-interview?

A:  Feedback from readers indicate the previous self-interviews to be their very favorite blog entries. 

Q:  Why do you think that is?

A:  Probably because it’s faster moving and shorter.  The world is different now, you know, than when I was a younger man.

Q:  What way is that?

A:  When I first became a ‘writer,’ which was my goal since I was about 14, the world was patient enough to read a whole article, a whole short story, and any good novel they could find. 

These days everything is much faster.  Young adults today were brought up with fast-moving video and computer games, not to mention the Internet—things that didn’t exist in anyone’s imagination when I was younger.  My older son, Jnani, who’s now a film editor in LA, is almost ready for his Saturn return, yet I remember him playing very intricate video and computer games from a very early age.  As a child, he could grasp things regarding the computer and Internet that my mind was just too slow to deal with. 

Most of what I’ve learned about computers and the Internet, I learned from Jnani and my other two children, Shane and Sara.  Without them I’d probably still be illiterate.  They seem very naturally to know, whereas it seems very unnatural to me to know.

So now the Internet is rapidly becoming the primary media and our primary means of staying in contact with each other.  Things are visual, short, and move very fast.  It’s as though Twitter has influenced the way we communicate.  Today people are easily discouraged by a body of words, as though it is a precarious mountain to be climbed.  A quick visual is much more preferable.  If we have to put too many ideas together, through words, there is too much concentration and focus involved to bother.  Shorter is sweeter. 

We might not have the memory we once did, still we can remember a phrase easier than a paragraph.

Q:  So where do we go from here?  Is the blog still a viable option for reaching people?

A:  The idea of ‘reaching people’ is very strange.  I have no desire to reach anyone.  I am content living in my village of 90.  I don’t have something I’m trying to sell people or to convince people of.  I am already happy with the way everyone is.  I already approve of you.  There is nothing you have to win over.  If you are happy with the way you are, then this is the best form of worship.  The only reason you might need to change anything is because you are to some degree unhappy, discontent, and unfulfilled.  You never have to change for anyone else, but if changing something can enable you to be happier and freer, then you have to go for it.

Q:  What do you think the blog really offers, realistically speaking?

A:  It is important to offer a connection to the Truth of Being available to everyone in the world, at no cost.  The blog has been here since 2008 pointing everyone who comes here in the direction of their own inner Truth.

‘Blog’ is a major misnomer, but we use it for lack of a better word.  This is actually nothing like a real blog.  It is more accurate to say that it comes in the disguise of a blog, in the form or appearance of a blog, still it is offered freely for anyone who is open to receive.

The best part is the community that has formed in the comments following each monthly entry, with participants of the Course from all over the world getting to know each other.  There are a lot of great exchanges.  Working as a group has a certain dynamic that cannot be duplicated by going through the process all on our own.

Many understandings, insights, and realizations occur through interacting with others who share the same values and aspirations.  We get opportunities to clean up any subtle misunderstandings we might have regarding a particular subject or situation, perhaps something we truly need to understand very much.  Working with others offers this advantage of feedback and considering other perspectives.

Q:  So exactly where does the course fit in?

A:  The Course is transformative and actually allows us to experience life in a new way.  The blog can give us glimpses of that state and show us new ways of seeing things, yet the transformative process that happens through the consistency and continuity of the lessons of the Course, where each lesson lays the foundation for the next, it’s like taking another step upward with each step. 

Then there are exercises at the end of each and every lesson that develop certain innate abilities and powers.  What is meant by ‘powers’?  Well, the capacity to concentrate and focus the mind is a tremendous power.  It is one that we ordinarily attribute to ourselves, but in reality we are not even close.  We can’t just decide to be more concentrated and focused, and then expect it to happen overnight without anything from us.

Q:  So you say the course is transformative, but lots of people say things like that.  Why are you so sure that yours is the real deal?

A:  I am so sure because of what I have and am still receiving from my own very powerful teachers.  I have passed on what I have been given.  Besides, I'm not really making a claim that should be accepted on faith.  That would be absurd.  I invite everyone to try it and experience it for themselves, and then there would be no doubt.  Doubt closes the heart.  Try it and see for yourself whether anything happens or not.

Q:  Just off the top of your head, what are the primary principles taught in the Course?

A:  Love your Self.  The divine Consciousness that permeates and pervades the entire Universe dwells within you as your own Awareness of Being.  Know who you truly are, and always honor and respect yourself.  If you cannot honor and respect yourself, then you have a case of mistaken identity.

In fact, honor and respect everything you do. 

Doing something without honoring and respecting what you are doing is wasted energy.  Soon we are depleted and drained, and we wonder why we are so tired and why it seems more and more difficult to do the simplest things.  This is because we generally do not respect ourselves or what we do, and life has become stagnant instead of dynamic and thriving.

See and honor the divine Self within you, which perceives and experiences the world through a particular individual perspective.  You are not so much an entity as you are a particular individual perspective.  What you ordinarily think of as yourself is only a collection of certain energetic patterns.  Your true Being is Universal, manifesting as all individuals at once.

Never see yourself as low, tainted, unworthy, impure, or imperfect.  Seeing ourselves in such ways is the result of wrong understanding.  You are the Universal Self and we share an inner Being that exists everywhere at once.  Each of us experiences it as our own Awareness of Being.  Through your own Awareness you have a direct experience of the Truth.

The only existing time is this present moment, and we see and experience the world according to the thoughts we think.  Thought is creative, therefore only think of what is pleasant, and refuse to consider what is unpleasant.  This one simple principle will make a huge difference in anyone’s life.

We need to make a commitment, not to any teacher or group or philosophy, but committed to yourself and your own process of self-development.  When you are committed to your own inevitable process, this releases an inner energy that might take you places you’d have never dreamed.

We invest in our own commitment, and this way it is possible to grow, to see something completely new.  The only way any such thing as ‘spiritual progress,’ or ‘self-development,’ or ‘inner growth’ can possibly take place, is when we see or experience something NEW, something not seen or experienced before.  This causes an expansion and deepening in our Being.  This expansion and deepening are the fruits of our sadhana.

Q:  So where does the course come in, practically speaking?

A:  Participating in the Course is an outer form of our inner commitment.  The participants of the Course have to do their work in applying the principles of Truth in practical ways in their everyday life.  They have to be willing to read the current lesson once again, hopefully 3 times during the 2 weeks at a minimum, and referring to it as often as possible, hopefully a few times a day.  Each reading brings us back to the state of Being in the present moment, and tunes us back into the transformative energy.

This is a great discipline.  I truly honor those who are willing to surrender to this process.  It is not always easy to read 10 pages about spiritual principles, and it can be especially difficult to make the effort to read it even again, after you have become consciously familiar with the contents. 

This requires a great discipline and a respectable degree of will power, and I honor you greatly if you are sharing this powerful process.  Of course, anyone still reading this right now is sharing the process to some degree.  Otherwise, you would have thought this was ‘too long’ or ‘too boring’ and stopped reading long ago.

Q:  Do you have any kind of vision regarding how the future will unfold from here regarding your own work?

A:  For one thing, we finally have offered real-time online programs, Workshops, Immersions, and so forth.  We are making available both video and audio versions of talks that have been given, and answers to many common questions that have come up. 

To check what is available, go to http://stayinginthepresent.com

People seem to greatly enjoy and value the visual contact and the immediacy of the interaction available through the real-time videos.  So whatever is to come will be an expansion of what we have previously made available, as we learn ourselves more about how to do it and create even greater products to help others help themselves.  We will see what unfolds.  Right now we’re just watching to see what happens next.  It has all been a great surprise so far.  Why should it change now?

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

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

38 comments:

kirsty said...

Gentle encouragement and support, once again.

I can hear your wife Kay's sweet voice, asking the questions.Having taken the recent Immersion Course and having not surfaced yet, the to-be-available DVDs are going to be SO welcome.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, dear Ram. What a joy--what a great way to start my day, reading this. Like a breeze blowing through, old thought patterns just blow away while I'm reading this.. Someone once said, If your life is transformed by coming in contact with a Teacher, then that Teacher is True. That's what I've experienced with the Course. It's a vehicle for the Truth and my life is constantly being transformed. I send lots of love and gratitude to you and all who read this.

Im jean and I'm signing in as anonymous til I figure out how to do the URL thing. And what is an HTML?

D. R. Butler said...

Jean, it is very simple. Forget the URL, just write your name Jean in that spot and post. It will come out with your name on it. It's just as easy as clicking on anonymous.

FB said...

The course IS "transformative" and DOES allow us "to experience life in new ways". Positive, cheerful, fulfilling, meaningful, loving, intelligent ways, to name a few. Love it. And love the 'blog' :)
Menaki

James said...

It is great to have some fresh blog energy. I enjoyed the daily dose of fresh energy that we had during the extended series. A lot got stirred up for me. My dreams tell me I believe that I am getting a bad deal. So I have anger about that. When I hold my life up to the light of day that belief does not hold water. It is a great deal to have the course in training and all the other great gifts I have in my life.

Colette DeVore said...

What I love about the course personally is it is guiding me to see the divine as it lives inside of me just as I am

D. R. Butler said...

It is a great opportunity for greater growth when participants of the Course get to meet together, and it is very important that they are able to communicate with each other, to discuss the ideas and principles openly. To share that communication publicly, or at least here with 'us,' as none of 'them' are here, we all learn from the exchange.

It is important to be able to work alone, and it is equally important to be able to work together. In case a force of us were ever needed in a matter of importance, we should be able to assemble and operate together as a 'well-oiled machine,' except a machine of great collective Intelligence and Awareness of the Truth of Being.

There is a community of people here, although this is not always apparent to newcomers. For one thing, many people who interact here regularly have been busy, along with Kay and myself, in the 3-Week In-Depth Immersion in Inner Growth Through Relationships, and we have been quite focused on that for a while.

I imagine more interaction will occur here more regularly now than in the last month or so.

As I said in the entry, 'blog' is a great misnomer. This appears or occurs or manifests as a 'blog' in the context of today's world, yet what is happening is inwardly connected to something very ancient, something not easily included in the word 'blog' for most people.

We meet here for a special purpose. That purpose is inwardly the same for each of us, yet outwardly it can manifest differently. There is great diversity in God's Kingdom.

Here all are included and none are excluded. It is simply an extended connection to the Truth of the Present Moment, which is how it currently exists in modern language and understanding.

I invite you to learn to understand and appreciate the Source of what appears here. Everything is not as it seems.

Volker said...

May be one day we will witness an interview with Oprah Winfrey... But hey, having more people reading the course would have any impact if they are starting in their "journey"?

Osho used to say that ancient Masters were able to convey deep stuff in their teachings because they were very few students around them, authentic seekers. Now a days it is difficult to be a Master because you have to speak to the masses who have different backgrounds and needs.

Reaching out to more people, would that bring about a watering down of the teachings in the "blog" or course?

D. R. Butler said...

Volker, I thought I was very clear in the entry that I didn't care much for the idea of 'reaching' people. True teachers don't seek out more students. Instead, true students seek out a true teacher.

The only way I might actually care to 'reach someone' is that I know there are many people out there who would enjoy and benefit from the Course as much as the ones already participating. To offer the principles of Truth in ways that they can be understood and applied in the modern world is a great thing. It would be very good if more people, from their own openness, discovered them, but I am not going to send out anyone searching for those people, and I certainly have no desire to 'convince' anyone of anything. If a person is happy with himself as he is, then I am happy for him.

It is no more difficult to be a Master these days than it ever was. And it is true that they have relatively few students around them. An authentic Master does not directly communicate with the masses. They do not even reveal themselves to the profane world. The personalities with big followings that we hear a lot about are not necessarily true Masters. A true Master does not make much of a public scene, and very few people ever even hear of one.

The principles of Truth offered in the Course of Training via email will never be 'watered down,' unless hundreds of years down the road someone edits the lessons according to their own understanding, or intentionally aiming them for the masses. Then the watered down teachings might become the dogma for a religion. It wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened.

For now, there is nothing anywhere similar to the Course of Training. Of course, there is no way to understand what this actually means without actually participating to see what happens as a result.

kirsty said...

It would seem that Masters and Saints walk among us, hardly noticed, probably not wanting to be noticed and maybe they don't even know they are special? I know one very special person who genuinely thought, for years, that everyone could sit down and turn off their thoughts at will...as he does!

Just passing one of these people in a crowd can be affecting, it would seem. A sudden glow. A feeling of light-heartedness and well-being out of the blue.

There are among us, simple souls who benefit us all anonymously...it seems to me.

Oddly, this poem of mine won a prize and has been a favorite of many...why?

could be
that she is a saint
this woman
who washes dishes
all and every day

Jane said...

Thanks to the In-Depth Immersion and related workshop, I'm more deeply experiencing the teachings. The paragraph (in the blog entry) which grabbed my attention starts out "Doing something without honoring and respecting what you are doing is wasted energy." For so long, I've been complaining about lack of energy investigating whether it is physical, psychological, spiritual, (all of the above), what to do about it...etc, etc. What I realized reading the blog is that my constant stream of ego driven self-abnegation (which seems to be persist albeit at more subtle levels than previously) is at least part (if not all) of the problem. Before the Immersion (despite the lessons, etc.) I was feeling hopeless about ever being free from the perspective of anava mala but Ram's discussion about it during one of the real-time chats made me realize how I need to apply my will to practising loving, honoring, and respecting myself - it is not going to happen if I just haphazardly think about it from time to time as a nice principle.

Another sentence which stood our for me is: "What you ordinarily think of as yourself is only a collection of certain energetic patterns. Your true Being is Universal, manifesting as all individuals at once." Just before I read this blog entry (for the first time), I had the sensation of being a collection of energetic patterns - not 'Jane' - just vibrations but I could never have expressed it until I read the blog.

Needless to say, I also feel I'm absorbing more from the lessons and am feeling stronger about practising the principles and the exercises. So challenging and so rewarding. Much love and gratitude....I feel amazed at all there is to receive and give if I just stay tuned to the present moment.

Ralph said...

First of all Thank you Ram and Kay for your service to anyone who's willing to listen to what you have to say in the Lessons, the Blog and Immersion course. I have benefited greatly from all of them and my cup is over running with Gratitude.
Two years ago I went thru a tough time and took up smoking again, thinking I would give it up quickly again and that lasted for two years. Two weeks ago I gave up smoking again and have no desire to start again, it was actually easy, except for some withdraw. I just used my will to follow thru with my intention just the way Ram has described in the course. Early on in the Immersion there was a video where I had sent in a question regarding how I can get into a great state in the morning and by evening I was in not such a good state when I returned home. Well as it turns out I had a doctors appt. two weeks ago and I asked him as I have before could he test my thyroid and test both t-3 and t-4 which gives a better picture of how the thyroid is working and he would never do it saying it wasen't necessary . Well this time for some reason he said yes. Sure enough my thyroid was low. I also ask to check for low T. Sure enough it was low as well. My energy has returned greatly even before doing anything about the low T. It seems to me since the the immersion on relationships all my relationships have changed in a good way, and its because I have changed my own approach to relationships . I am now allowing everyone to be who they are with out criticism and that goes for myself as well. So where do we go from here, as Ram has said, " come back to the heart, come back to your love, come back to the present moment". Blessings, Ralph

Anonymous said...

You say, "What You Think Is What You Get." I have been thinking very poorly and it looks like I am getting and about to get some pretty undesirable stuff. Help!! Please tell me if I can turn this around. Thank you very much

D. R. Butler said...

I can see why this last comment was anonymous. I am not sure if someone is putting me on, or if it is a perfectly sincere request. I will respond as though it is the latter.

It is good that you are starting off by seeing the truth of what you think is what you get. Knowing this, you can create anything you can focus on with concentration and feeling.

Of course the situation can be turned around. Yet it's mostly a matter of turning your mind around. I highly recommend the lessons of the Course of Training via email, where your question is answered fully in detail. There is an entire 'section' of lessons dedicated to What You Think Is What You Get.

Concisely, though, think only of what you actually want and never consider thinking of what you don't want. Whatever we predominantly think about will eventually manifest in our personal life, so be sure to think only of what is pleasant and never of what is unpleasant.

That's it in a nutshell, but one cannot change oneself simply by
'knowing about' the principle. It takes actual practice. The lessons of the Coursr are an excellent guide to learning to actually practice the principles of Truth.

Brent Flickinger said...

The course is definitely transformative if I read it regularly and focus on the homework. In fact, if I don't read it regularly, I sometimes feel a bit lost, ungrounded.

One way of knowing it's for real is how the teachings are alive for me all the time. I'll read something and think, "Yes, I know that. I've been practicing that." Next thing I know, some situation pops up to REALLY put the issue in my face. I find myself reacting by wanting to yell at D.R., "It's all your fault and these lessons that are bringing all these uncomfortable challenges into my life!!!" And then I focus on the gratitude I feel for the great gift of the teaching that helps me confront my limitations so directly. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Oh, Divine Energy.

Another thing I often do is write down one or two of the main teachings that hit me each lesson. I'll share some later. The major one that practicing the others has led up to now is "Be in harmony with everything just as it is." When I notice my tendency to judge things, to feel sad about how "the world" is I use my will power to focus on the intention of coming into harmony with whatever is going on. I'm so pleased with how much more centered I've become, how much easier it's become to simply turn inside and notice the unshakeable gound of my own being.

With gratitude I offer these words and I choose to continue this amazing journey to joy and love.

Vandita said...

I feel extremely curious about this.

For a long time I thought that enlightenment had to do with getting rid of samskaras so that the mind could reflect the light of the Self. But lately I have come to know that one can be enlightened but still have a few samskaras --or a lot of them.

If an enlightened person lost his or her sense of ‘me’, what is it in him or her that responds to the trigger and runs the ride of the reaction?

Is it that one is awake some times, but not at other times, until the ‘state’ is somehow stabilized?

What are the different stages of enlightenment? What is the difference between them, and how does one go from one to the next? How does this happen?

I feel so curious because a friend was just telling me about a person who is fully enlightened and merged with the Absolute, but still working on conditioning. This is so difficult for me to understand.

Thank you for your answer, so much.

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, are you certain your friend is fully capable of recognizing an enlightened being? Certainly not many people have this talent for knowing who is merged with the Absolute and who isn't.

You bring up some points that aren't in accordance with my own way of seeing things, as we are using certain terminology to have different meanings.

In my understanding, when you're free of samskaras, you're free. These deeply ingrained subconscious impressions are very powerful, even in intelligent and educated people. Simply speaking, samskaras include attachments and aversions, identifications and compulsions, and addiction and inhibition. Of course, when we really look into these, as we do in the lessons of the Course, we see that these six simple categories cover a lot of territory, as we can make long lists of the ways we are involved in each category, which requires acute and honest self-observation.

An enlightened Being is free from samskaras and ego. He or she is no longer controlled by thoughts or habitual subconscious tendencies. One who is Awake sometimes but not Awake other times is not enlightened. We are all Awake sometimes and not other times. Some, through practice and the development of will, become more proficient and consistent about being Awake than others who never bother to practice or to even be aware of the process.

This is basically the answer to your question about different stages of enlightenment. Enlightenment is not like becoming a super hero and suddenly having powers. Enlightenment is being firmly established in the Awareness of the Truth of Being. If the experience is inconsistent, then it is just another person doing sadhana, not an enlightened being. So the stages are simply resting in the state of enlightenment more often, and for longer periods of time. A higher 'stage' is simply a greater degree of consistency.

Anonymous said...

I get that life can be a struggle, there can be tests, challenges, irrationalities and a lot to bash our standards and ideals, but do we accept that we will continue on for our whole lives doing that? Or do we stop and see if there is something else that, while it does not make us deliriously happy, doesn't make us miserable? I've been working at the same career for 26 years and while I'm told I'm very talented, I am still not successful.

D. R. Butler said...

I do not think that you get it that certain things that come up can challenge your standards and ideals. Otherwise, you'd have no basis for declaring yourself 'unsuccessful'. Isn't, after all, that whole concept based on standards and ideals?

What is success? To me, success is being happy and content. Success is loving what you do. Success is thinking well of yourself and others.

As far as being successful in my work or not, who knows? Far too many still know nothing of the available and power of the lessons. And of those who participate in the lessons of the Course of Training via email, far too many are too lazy or unwilling to refer to their current lesson often enough, which is the physical form of the transformative process for participants of the Course.

And then, how many actually apply the principles presented in the Course in their own lives in practical ways? For too many it is still far too easy to trigger a negative emotional reaction. Too many continue to allow the most limiting thoughts to linger in their minds, producing limiting conditions and situations in their personal lives.

Some people are simply not open to anything save their own rigidly narrow view of things. This is truly sad. Life is hard enough as it is; not understanding how it works makes it feel so much harder.

So, what determines success? 'Making it big' is temporary and often a rocky road. Many who had 'made it big' have had tragid endings.

I'll stick with being content and fulfilled, with being really happy with the way things are and with the simplicity of this present moment.

Try it. Prove the Truth for yourself.

Kirsty said...

From time to time I blurt out stuff, seemingly thoughtlessly, that I regret later. How does one separate lack of inhibition from from an expounding ego? Or does it matter?

Kay Butler said...

This question came in from a participant of the course who has been 'homeless' for some time. He attends his local meditation center and finds the clash of personalities to be difficult to understand: "You have written that the mind creates these melodramas and then they are projected out. Does the mind project the melodramas. How does this projecting work? I suppose I just want to know who to blame, the mind or the ego or the very nature of both. How do we ever get free of what is projected out onto the screen of consciousness which must be the objective world...It's hard to get some people to buy into that [that the mind creates and projects melodramas], but it's not my job to make them. Still, it's been quite a problem encountering people who simply refuse to see things any way but the traditional way."

D. R. Butler said...

"I just want to know who to blame..."

You don't blame anything. Go beyond blame altogether. Never blame another, and never accept blame from another. What good would it do, practically speaking, to know whether to 'blame' the mind or the ego. They work as a tandem. The two of them together create what we call 'egotistical melodramas.'

"How do we ever get free of what is projected out onto the screen of consciousness which must be the objective world?"

We get free from it by turning our attention to the Subjective realm within, understanding that the outer objective world is only a reflection of the inner world.

"it's been quite a problem encountering people who simply refuse to see things any way but the traditional way."

Like it or not, these people make up the large majority of people we come in contact with in this world. Most people do not understand that the mind creates the reality they see and experience. There is no way we can make them see this.

It is hard enough teaching principles of Truth to people who sincerely wish to understand the Truth. It is impossible to share the Truth with those who have no interest in understanding it.



D. R. Butler said...

Kirsty, I just saw your question up there. You know, at this point in life, I'd say go ahead and blurt out stuff. With a younger person I might answer a bit differently, but I think after a certain age we've earned the right to blurt out stuff. Don't bother to regret it. We've already regretted enough stuff, and now we should allow ourselves the freedom to simply be as we are, and to feel good about it.

Jim said...

Some fine discussion in the recent comments that I find personally relevant. I take special note of what was said about success. My daily routine currently entails fulfilling and satisfying work which is not at this moment yielding any financial return but my default mood has received a giant upgrade. Now I know what people mean when they say "I can't imagine doing anything else" regarding their work. I'm reminded of the national policy of Bhutan, which places primary importance on "gross national happiness." Granted, this is contingent on basic needs being met, which thankfully is in place in the here and now.

kirsty said...

You don't need to post this, Ram, but I loved your answer because I feel this way but wasn't sure.I think you have me pretty well straightened out for a while..

I feel so much more connected nowadays and wander around feeling and whispering " I am Love and radiate Love to all around me". It makes for a fine glowing sensation.

Be well, be happy and have fun.

Purnima Orlandi said...

Thank you for this blog entry and everyone's comments. I can relate with so many out there and can honestly say that many of the challenges we encounter come from our own ways of thinking. Sometimes people think too much. The energy invested in thinking perpetuates the situation.
Yesterday I told myself, relax, let go, what will be will be. Then later I came across a saints words "Enjoy the moment, laugh a lot".
WOW that was great! How often we take everything so seriously and forget to laugh? I love to listen to my kids laughter and love to laugh myself as often as I can.
It's an interesting creation the world and all we can do is enjoy it. Even through the parts of sorrow, live through them from your heart knowing the truth, living in the present moment. Since thought is creative, think good thoughts as D.R. Butler reminds us each and every day in the lessons, blog, courses and immersions.
I'm so grateful for the support I get from the living energy transmitted through the course of training! It's amazing because it has transformed my life and enhanced all of my relationships too. Thank you D. R. Butler for all that you do!!!!

Colette DeVore said...

I just want to thank all the seekers who come here, and especially the ones who participate in the course for the obvious 'stand' you are both for humanity at large and for yourselves as individuals. Thank you for lightning the load for all of us.

James Donohue said...

Thanks to all for your great shares. My current lesson asks me to pretend enlightenment. I find it a true reach to be there. I come across descriptions of enlightened ones here and there. Subjective realm etc. It feels like I will realize that. I will.

Kyle said...

I have a question, why would you say to a 'younger person' that he should not 'blurt things out'?

D. R. Butler said...

James, your current lesson does not ask you to pretend enlightenment. It asks you to experiment with living as though you are already enlightened. There is a vast difference between that and mere pretense.

D. R. Butler said...

Kyle, a younger person will do well to develop discrimination--like knowing when to say what, and when not to say anything. There is a certain brashness that comes with youth--and strong tendencies to think your opinions and perspectives are right and true. Such a person is likely to blurt out any old samskara (subconscious tendency) without having any rational decision in the matter, and which might be regretted later.

Older people who have been doing sadhana (spiritual practices) for a long time have had time to develop finer discrimination, and have learned much from trial and error about what can be appropriately blurted out and what can't. In spiritual maturity as well as everything else, there is a lot to be said for experience.

Tara said...

Morning All...blessings on this day..had a rough week..how lovely to rest with all of you here and in our Lessons! Looking out the kitchen window into the snow there is a grouping of tiny snowdrop flowers giving each other courage and warmth to withstand the cold..seems like all of us here!
Kirsty your poem is tender, i do all our dishes by hand since we don't have a dishwasher and it sure is a big job that seems small still it is a lovely place to dream amidst the bubbles, thanks for see me there. And...Jane what a beautiful sharing!

Kyle said...

'there is a lot you can do, considering you are not the doer.'

would you care to elaborate, please?

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

HI Ram,
in one of my lessons you wrote:
"Everything that provokes anger or any other negative emotion in us has the function of helping us to reach the point where that emotion no longer has the power to affect us. When we reach this point, we have broken free from an extremely powerful samskara."
Would you clarify this for me? As I understand emotions like anger ect is that they are very different from moods.
Emotions are very quick to rise and subside, in Sanskrit they are called Rasa- the 'flavors' of life in their purest and most distilled form.
If however the mind gets involved with the initial emotion and creates a drama or story about it...then the flash can turn into a mood and moods don't dissipate quickly, they can linger for hours days or weeks.
So is it the emotion you are talking about being free from, or the mood? If it's the emotion, then I am doomed to fail, and on some level don't know if I would want to "succeed" in being free from emotions.

thanks
xo

D. R. Butler said...

Very good question, Michelle, and I know that you know your stuff.

Let's clarify a couple of points. I'm not asking anyone to be free from emotions. However, breaking free from 'negative' emotions, and especially from 'expressing' them, which creates horrendous karma, is a very important step in sadhana.

You know in the lessons of the Course we recommend replacing negative emotions like anger, resentment, fear, worry, and agitation with the higher feelings, such as love, joy, cheerfulness, compassion, lightheartedness, and so forth. This of course takes will and focus on attention, which is explained in the lessons.

What you're calling a 'mood' is what I call an egotistical melodrama. In reality, true 'moods' are not different from the gunas. We may be influenced by the moods of tamas, rajas, and sattva, but these are very different from negative emotions.

When we have such incredible power in the present moment IF we are conscious of it and IF we apply it, that there is nothing that should linger for weeks or months. If there is, we're simply caught in a negative emotion and won't let go--or bother to replace it with something more positive and enjoyable, which is possible in any present moment.

Colette DeVore said...

My dear ones, my heart is full from the contemplation of this month's lesson. I have had this contemplation before and I'm sure I will have it again. It is so important to focus on what is true and good in everyone, including ourselves. As one of my teachers once said, "do not imbibe the sin of others", truly there are no others, there are only the ways we describe others and ourselves. I am sure that in the others world, especially if I'm negatively focused, they are an entirely different character than they are in my world. I am choosing, more and more to see the best in myself, and the apparent other. I also recognize, and appreciate, the role that my so-called villains play in my life. They definitely show me where I can still be hooked. A sense of humor, goes a long way in helping to free yourself of your pesky little habits LOL. I am so grateful to the world, my teachers, and of course all my fellow travelers for the diligence with which you apply yourselves to the Truth of the Present Moment. May we all recognize the perfection of who we are in the present moment and totally delight in ourselves. Love, Karuna

Jim said...

Timely words for responding to my world, Colette Karuna. Gratitude.

Colette DeVore said...

Jim , I am very glad that I could be of service to a fellow traveler in whatever way I was.