Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Being D. R. Butler

Well, I’m definitely no John Malkovich; still, this month I’m going to be totally self-indulgent.  Last month I started talking about some principles of Kashmir Shaivism in the first paragraph—a very impersonal approach, and usually more appropriate.  This month I will write a little about myself—rare insights into the inner workings of D. R. Butler’s mind.

Sometimes when I begin writing, my mind thinks,
What’s the point?  Not many are actually going to read this anyway.  No one cares that much about it, why bother to keep writing?  You’re getting old; slow down and take it easy.  You’ve written enough for one lifetime.  If you haven’t made your point by now, just let it go.

I know it is only my mind talking to me, running some old trips, tapes, and stories the mind likes to ruminate over, and yet I also know that on one level it’s all true.  No matter how inspired the writings, only a few will read them, and fewer still will really care what they say enough to actually apply them in their own lives.

I also know, of course, that there are people who, mysteriously and inexplicably, many even after years of reading my writings, will still read whatever it is that I write next.  They have proven the principles true in their own lives through applying them in practical ways.  So please don’t feel you must comment to comfort me, to reassure me that you actually do read the writings and find them helpful in your life.  From your feedback in various forms and places, I do know you are actually out there.  Otherwise I really wouldn’t bother.  I would just keep a journal.

Still, from my point of view, all that I am and all that I have to offer is only a small drop in an endless ocean.  Even so, the drop must have some meaningful purpose, otherwise it wouldn’t exist.  This goes for each of us—all us drops in the ocean of Consciousness.

I had an early begin­ning.  At 16, in high school in Vicksburg, MS, I wrote my first ‘course.’  It was available to anyone at my school who wished to learn how to think more positively and better their lives as a result.  I think I charged 50 cents a month to pay for mimeographing costs.  A surprising number of classmates and others started taking the ‘course,’ and years later one of them wrote to me to say that he still reads those lessons and finds them ever-inspiring.

So it was always in my blood, so to speak, or my destiny—however one wishes to look at it, even since I first began the study and practice of yoga, meditation, and the principles of creative thought, and at 15 began a correspondence course on the Truth of Being, written by a Master Teacher (Teacher of Teachers) who had lived for 17 years in the lamaseries of Tibet and Nepal.

He was born in India and educated in England, entering Oxford University at the age of 15.  He was eventually sent to America by his Master in the lamasery in Tibet to first help the people gain the knowledge necessary to raise themselves out of the depression at that time, and also to teach the Truth of Being to whomever was ready and open for the highest teachings.

I supported myself during my 20’s through free-lance writing—primarily short stories and motivational and inspirational non-fiction.  There were a lot of magazines around then that don’t exist today.  One of those articles, titled ‘As You Think, So Shall You Be,’ gathered a lot of attention, and many people wrote to me through the magazine to find out if I had books or a course.

These people, in fact, encouraged me to begin writing a course further exploring the principles presented in my article.  And so the very first lesson of the original Course was printed and mailed out to the original students on August 1, 1975.  That was 38 years ago, at the time this is being written.

Interestingly, as I took the very first Lesson 1 to the printer, Vishnu Press, I ran across Ram Dass and a couple of fellows with him.  We had spent time together several times before that, yet it felt very auspicious to meet him right outside the printer, the very first lesson in my hands as we talked.

Since then I studied a lot, contemplated a lot, experienced many well-known teachers, spent over 20 years in the ashram of a powerful Yogic Master, and have in these years gone through an entire evolution of spiritual understanding.  Now I write about things from my current perspective, which is so different now than it was just 10 years ago.  As for 20 years ago, forget about it.  I was like a spiritual dunce, relatively speaking.  Even so, people read the writings and found them helpful, proving beyond a doubt that I was only the typist and that something far deeper than what I think of as ‘myself’ was behind the content and transmission the lessons provided.

I have observed and experienced all aspects of spiritual training and have presented in the current Course of Training what is most essential to enjoy life and, if desired, to go all the way on the spiritual path.  Or, if you don’t care to go anywhere, then you can learn to be content and fulfilled in this present moment, the only existing moment there is.  This, after all, is the highest goal, for ultimately there is nowhere to go, and contentment is the highest state.

As is written in the Vishwasara Tantra: 
“What is here is also there.  What is not here is nowhere.”

Such an expanded teaching in such a pithy statement.  Yet, if we understand ourselves and the process of our own life, we also understand everyone else and the process of everyone’s life.  When we understand ‘here,’ we also understand ‘there.’  Ultimately there is no difference; it is only a polarity, a point of reference in the physical world.

So I write.  In a sense, I take dictation from some undefined yet vividly clear and anciently familiar inner voice that seems to come through my heart instead of my head.  The writings are the updated principles of Truth, as relevant and applicable to today’s modern world.  The teachings themselves are not ‘updated,’ of course, for they remain eternally the same. That is why they are ‘Universal’—because they apply to all people at all times in all places.  Only the presentation and approach is ‘updated’ for today’s world and the current understanding of contemporary people.

As people go through the lessons of our Course of Training, available through email, they begin to understand the Source of the principles and the spiritual energy inherent in the transmission that occurs when one begins the Course.  I recognize that it comes from a space far beyond the individual mind, no matter how astute one’s mind might be.

If you come here to our ‘blog’ on a regular or semi-regular basis, you know I like to include some of the exchanges from previous months’ comments that other readers can obviously relate to.

Someone wrote, "Sometimes it seems the longer I take the Course, the more I see the ego in action."

Of course it would work this way.  At the beginning, the ego is so large that it controls everything.  It's kind of like not seeing the forest for the trees.

As we do the actual work of personal development, the ego grows smaller, and soon it gets small enough that we can actually see it for the first time.

Of course, what happens then is that we freak out because upon seeing our ego for the first time it appears to be so huge. We do not realize it simply got small enough that we could finally see it.

Then the real work begins.

Another wrote, “I believe I am starting to understand what equanimity is.  I observed a situation that only three days ago caused so much pain, so much distress, and my body looks for the feeling (the body has got a memory), it looks for the usual feeling reaction, but it just cannot find it!  So, it amazes me that there is just no reaction!  I flip out to not feel any intense feeling, to not be able to get into the usual mental description and entanglement about the situation.  So, equanimity means seeing everything like this, like an observer.  Not taking it into a personal level.  This is really cool.”

I love your description of your experience of equanimity.  It is a state that is very challenging to put into words, as there are no verbal concepts that truly capture it.  Yet your experience described it beautifully.

It can be a bit unnerving when we begin feeling equanimity clearly for the first time.  The ego aspect of us feels most comfortable either liking something and feeling good about it, or disliking something and feeling bad about it.  It is a bit disorienting when we truly do not care one way or another, when we start to perceive the true equality of all things.

So the ego will resist the state of equanimity, because it kind of robs the ego of some of its primary activities—like habitually reacting to the same thing over and over, worrying about things, disliking things, and so forth.  True equanimity kind of takes those things out of range.

The ego might jump on the ‘idea’ of equanimity, of course, and even appropriate it to itself, feeling itself to be fully permeated with nothing but equanimity.  Of course the first words or actions that someone does or says that the ego doesn't like, equanimity suddenly vanishes and automatic and predictable reactions take its place.

Not only might it take a while to experience a true state of equanimity, it is also hard to remember it when things come up that trigger habitual negative emotions.  In addition to this, it takes a while to get used to the experience of equanimity, as we are usually so accustomed to either like or dislike something, to feel good about it or to feel bad about it.  Feeling nothing about it is disconcerting until we get used to it through maintaining the experience.

Someone wrote, “
It might just be me and the way I see things, but it seems that fewer comments and questions are coming into the blog, as though there has been some strange cosmic slow-down of the dialogue, as you like to call it. Is this just my imagination, and if not, why do you think it is happening, or not happening, this way?”

Be assured that it is not only your imagination, although I agree that it is often more difficult than most people think to distinguish reality from imagination—especially during this time.  Many of us would not believe what most people are imagining these days, or the extent to which they live by their imaginings.

Astrologically—the influence of the planets, moon, and sun upon human individuals—the planet Earth as a whole, including the herd of humanity upon it, is going through an extremely intense time.

Around the end of 2012, a lot of hoopla was made about the changes that would be coming to earth and life on it. These changes are starting to actually manifest more and more, and April, May, and on into June will be a very intense period of time for the world in general, as well as individuals.

One of the effects of this will be that people will have a harder time than usual focusing on spiritual matters or the process of self-development—I can talk about the same unfoldment without using the word 'spiritual'.  ‘Spiritual’ has become an in-word that has many meanings to many different people.  People in general, for example, will during this time find it harder to make it to the blog, to read the other comments, or to actually participate in interaction and exchange in dialogue.

People who participate in our Course of Training might find it more challenging than usual to read their current lesson or to tune into it on an ongoing basis.  In general, people might feel less likely to begin or continue such a Course as ours—as it goes straight into the Truth of the Present Moment—and during this time most people will not be inclined to go there.  They will be too entranced by the melodramas going on around them and within their own thoughts and emotions.

During the planetary transits of the next couple of months, simply do the best you can, focus the best you can on referring to your current lesson, and don't be hard on yourself—don't get judgmental, regarding others or yourself.  Be calm, cool, and poised, no matter how challenged you feel by external forces.  This pressure will soon pass.

The development of equanimity is a very high priority.  Remain in that state of equanimity for as long as possible each time you remember it, and you will develop that particular inner 'muscle'.  We cannot do it without actually practicing, anymore than we can master anything with the physical body without training and preparation.

As we approach the summer months, the intensity of current influences will begin to let up.  Life will feel easier and more pleasant for a change.  The desire for spiritual growth and for interaction with other seekers of Truth will return, perhaps even greater than before.

The best we can do for now is to remember our ultimate aim, our highest priorities, and activate enough will power to tune into those things that deep down mean the most to us.  It is very important that we keep marching toward the Truth, no matter what obstacles or discouragements are tossed in our path.  This often includes the words of other people.

It would be great if all other people were supportive and encouraging, but we are more likely to find the opposite.  The mass of people tend to have a down-pulling effect on other people.  This is why it is important not to allow another’s words to affect you in a negative way.  Listen to your heart always.  Love is where the heart is, and love is the key to the conscious experience and appreciation of divinity.

Of course, that divinity exists whether we experience or appreciate it or not.  It depends on whether we wish to live in the Truth of the Present Moment.  If it is true, why not be aware of it?

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



Volker said...

What a beautiful blog entry!

Melissa Abbott said...

For me, the changing and difficult circumstances are all around and challenging but I have this inner feeling, if I don't know it now, I will never know it" and the "it" here, is the inner self. The pillar of ones inner heart has a certain grace that sustains and uplifts in spite of the universe whirling by us in such a blur and time being so speeded up that we feel overwhelmed at not being able to "get to everything." There really isn't any need for excuses, it just is a fact, crazy town has arrived. All this work, inner light we carry, years of self revelation, meditation, and discipleship is having its day to reveal on the inside. It is a personal experience but a universal experience, sort of like personal yoga and universal yoga. They are one in the same but if you aren't having the personal inner connection, then you can talk about the universal thing all day long but it's just not the same as sipping from your own well. If, indeed, the energy of our times drives us inward to connect solidly to our inner selves or own inner yoga then this is a great redeemer of sorts. An opportunity has arrived and it could be ignored by many but grasped at by a few.

Vandita said...

This is one of the blog entries that I loved the most. Thank you so much :):)!

Bindu said...

I am one of the people who have read D.R.’s writings for rmany years. As I look back over those years, I am amazed at how the teachings have infuenced my life and affairs. Sometimes I try to imagine who I would be if I had not “stumbled upon his course in 1977. The principles he articulates have guided and comforted me through the "best of times and the worst of times."
I am not writing this to comfort you dear D.R. I am writing this because I am filled with gratitude that you have continued to write dispite your mind’s trickery. Your perserverance is an inspiration. So many times I have had the same thoughts. "Why do I bother? Why not just forget this whole thing? "The truth is I find life is dull and without juice when I am not “connected” .
At the end of each Lesson there is a suggestion for a particular practice, and what a what a supreme delight it is to experiment. Sometimes I fel like a mad scientist. Instead of test tubes and burners I use ideas and focus to investigate this apparent reality, and beyond.
So yes, D.R. you keep writing and I will keep reading. One might say it is a a perfect match.
Love Bindu

Terry McEldowney said...

Loved the perspective of being one of the "you's"...there probably are an infinite number of versions of each of us in the ethers...but I do love this version of D.R. Butler!

Debbra said...

Thank you Ram for another great post. Am appreciating more and more the inclusion of comments from the previous month's blog, and your responses to them. It creates a seamless flow from one month to the next, and important points can continue to be contemplated and discussed.

And want to say again how helpful it is to be reminded of the intensity of these times we are moving through. Seems the subsequent trials, at least in my world, are providing much grist for the mill, lots of opportunity to practice, so for that I can only be grateful. Love to you and Kay, and everyone.

Naganath said...

It is becoming apparent to me that one day we will see the world as it is now as a bunch of silliness. When mankind lives in a state of love all about taking care of one another and working toward the common purpose of contentment for all beings without the "need" for greed and self-serving existence the perspective of One will view this past way of living as somewhat comical. Let Love Rule. (Is that a song by Lenny Kravitz?)

Carly said...

I don't usually leave a comment but I want you to know I do read the blog's and I always enjoy your writing. Thank you

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

I really enjoyed this entry, D.R.! Light-hearted, self-revealing, uplifting, and comforting.....loved hearing about you at age 15 cranking out your first lessons for your classmates.

You know (from your various forums) I am one who is very glad you continue to write (and I know you don't need our reassurance or comfort but I think it also feels great to share our gratitude to you)-- you could say it all a thousand times-- the experience of being connected Within and to the Highest each time I read your words is so precious.

So, Thank you. Thank you for keeping on.

Love Karen Jo

Al M said...

I still do read your blog, and find the insights fascinating. Worldly knowledge is bondage, and how many places can you find that don't try to fill your head with more of that!

Thanks ever so much

Leigh Ellis said...

I, too, am one who rarely comments, but I do want you to know that I am very glad that you have continued to write and share with all of us your extraordinary knowledge and capacity for love and am very grateful that you have decided not to take it easy! In this life I am one who spends quite a bit of my time alone, but Because of the course I never feel lonely. I experience the course as a lively, loving companion that is always there, comforting, explaining, giving and loving. It is such an extraordinary thing, this course that we all share.

Vickie said...

writing for the love of it, reading for the love of it, for remembrance of the One, with a thankful heart. Narada? Vishnu.

Sandra said...

I enjoy the course very much. When I read a lesson, it is like a small glimmer of understanding and recognition takes place, then by rereading, more is understood, still feel like I don't understand and apply all that I read but I will keep trying. There is always something I smile at from reading D.R.'s writing every month on the blog.

Debra said...

I am not so interested in material things. and I am finding as time goes by less interested in social mores and what is "expected" . There only a few things that really have deep meaning for me, the course of study Living in the Truth of the Present Moment" being one of them. On one way I feel as if nothing really matters, but as long as something does, this course does, the blog does and the people who follow it.

Ralph said...

I admit that I don't read the blog or comment often but I am committed to reading the lessons and practicing the principals in day to day life. During this time its much more tempting after a days work to just go to bed and sleep.
I always love reading about Rams spiritual journey, seems everything has fallen into place, like it was supposed to, and I'm glad I can be apart of your journey like all who have been in contact with your writings.
This very morning I was contemplating what part imagination plays in my life and how reality can be so different from what I imagine. I was surprised to see that you had mentioned Imagination in this blog, I believe that after taking your course for so long that we can begin to tap into that cosmic consciousness as you have for so long, although I'm not pretending to be as proficient as Ram. I do recognize that certain insights surface and they correspond to the course very often. I an so grateful our paths have crossed because my life is much fuller and meaningful now.

ari said...

In the past I've never had much interest in astrology, seeing those that practise it being somewhat like charlatens.

But it's something I've been more interseted in the recent years and am curious about.

Where do you get such information as "the coming months will be more intense"? Is it an inner feeling or do you have a go to person for that?

I know you've mentioned someone who was very close to you in the past as doing that kind of work and I have considered using her.

Dave Silverstein said...

As long as you have something to write, I will certainly be one of the rare fortunate 'souls' to partake in this wonderful Course of Training. What a gift it is to know 'D.R. Butler' a bit better, and as that happens, we all get to know our own true Self, even more....

Whatever 'power' comes through your written word through the lessons,reaches my 'heart' and transforms my life into one of great happiness and love...I am so grateful.

lemonT said...

Thank you, Ram, I love this post. I don't always remember to come here and read and comment, but I do read and reread my lessons. In fact, if I feel myself getting "off track," so to speak, I usually haven't read the lesson that day! One thing that really "landed" for me from this post was "The mass of people tend to have a down-pulling effect on other people." And I see this in myself, the more I get caught up in social media or news (the "Daily Bad Karma Report," as you have called it in the past, one of my favorite expressions!), the more it pulls down my inner state. Makes me wonder if the polarizing extremes we see in our current politics and religion are at least in some measure influenced by the ease of mass thinking via mass communication. We end up listening to hyperbole instead of listening to the voice within.

On another note, I sure wish I'd had a classmate like you when I was 15! Ah well, glad to have you now!

Vicki said...

Ram, this blog was beautiful to read, and at the end, just after the first review from last month, concerning the ego, I began to cry. I was strongly affected by your comment last month about intensity and eclipses, and have been watching that a lot since the reading of it. At first I thought, what intensity, and then, looking more closely, I saw how my physical pain, especially neck pain, had become almost unbearable, and my attitude had become more whiney, and miserable, and grumpy each day, until I brought myself back to the heart, and smiled, over and over, but it was a struggle. You also said it would prove more difficult even to bring myself to read the lessons, so I have worked harder to not let that happen. I am so grateful to have physical therapists of varying sorts that seem attuned to the teachings. Yesterday I had the exact conversation with my accupuncturist, that you review in the blog, about the ego being so noticable. I told him I felt stuck, and he said - are you sure you're stuck? couldn't it just be that you are moving forward through this intense stuff and it just feels stuck? I cried then, too. I had made an intention to change my reactions of anger and impatience to responses of feeling gratitude for all the things that show me where I am, what I need to do, and where I want to go. So the blog, and that first review, brought me again to the awareness of that place of awe and gratitude, which I am relaxing toward and into, and reminded me again of how much I really have to be grateful for, because the support in my life, no matter what I experience on the outside, is overwhelmingly evident when I take the time to look around me.

Michael said...

Thank you DR for carrying on the work of your teachers. Ican't imagine my life without the course. Lately I've been contemplating what it would feel like to be free- kind of like Iron Man without the suit. Many iron suits: one Occupant - the same age, sex, bliss in all. When I glimpse this state, I feel a remarkable love and kinship with everyone.

Jodie said...

This blog was very interesting to read. And I wonder why you really keep doing what you do, why you keep writing? You've been writing for over 40 years and it seems you've written about everything anyone could imagine wanting to read about. Where does the motivation to keep writing come from?

D. R. Butler said...

Jodie, that is an interesting question. I might could answer it if I knew of any motivation, but as far as I can tell, the writing just happens on its own accord. Why do people like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, or Mick Jagger keep playing their music for live audiences? They have nothing more to gain. There is no reason for them to do it except that they enjoy it, or it just happens because of who they are and what they do.

Writing is the only thing that ever made sense to me. I've been doing it since I was 14, when I wrote a 'serial' for my 8th grade English class, and my teacher read the most recent installment each Friday afternoon. It was something my classmates actually looked forward to, and that made an impression on me.

Faulker, a fellow Mississippi native, once said he writes to find out what he thinks. When I write, I actually look forward to seeing what will come out next, for I have no idea. It is always an adventure.

Another story about Faulker is that when he received mail, he would open the envelope and shake it upside down. If a check fell out, he would read what was written in the letter.

Practical fellow, that Faulkner.

I no longer have goals or ambitions regarding writing. There is really nothing more to 'accomplish,' as far as that goes. I have indeed written enough. Yet something very strong and solid from within still feels to express to whomever wishes to read. When I write I experience being uplifted and elevated. If I can pass that experience on to another, it is worth it.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Don't stop the flow of the writing. Please please please keep typing. There is such energy in the words you write. I was feeling resistance to reading my current lesson and my eyes fell on one word, " Bhakti." That one word carried me like raft for the next few days-- when through out the day the word would come to my mind,my thoughts would clear and my heart would fill. When I got around to reading my lesson, there was not one word I hadn't read before-- but there was a whole new level of awareness, comprehension and application. Powerful, loving, healing--coming from a place beyond time, beyond space. Like Bindu, I wonder where I would be had our paths not crossed in India so long ago. But I don't even have to wonder 'what if,' because what is so is that through these Lessons I KNOW with every cell of my being that I am guided and protected. I watch with love the flurries of thought in my mind, like I'd watch puppies playing. Less and less I take my thoughts seriously. Thanks, dear friend, dear brother Ram. And please don't stop. Love always, jean

Divya said...

These writings became a companion to me as I lived offshore for many years. I looked forward to them then and I do the same NOW. They give me comfort. I had to turn off the tv and just order Netflicks. I feel more in control when I just turn on the tv for only a few hours to watch comething with no commercials etc..I have the lessons beside my bed and read them each day. Thank you for this great gift I love how you include us in your life by sharing stories about yourself. It really helps me in how I see myself in the world. <3

Jacob Birdsong said...

Hi Ram,

I have a question regarding my current lesson. In lesson 35 (year 1) you write:

"Suffering might go on in this world, but it is not necessarily experienced by any particular individual."

I'm trying to hear the underlying point you're making. Are you saying that while worldly suffering occurs (i.e. poor living conditions, limited food, etc.), the actual impact may or may not be experienced as "suffering" depending upon living conditions and food availability one has grown accustomed to? (Just want to be clear in my understanding.)

This makes sense to me. My father, for instance, thinks I live a rather boring life much of the time. I read my lessons, chant, meditate, hang out with friends, play guitar, and that's how I spend my time. To me, it's very enjoyable and I consider myself very fortunate and blessed to spend my time the way I do.

To him, a life at 25 that doesn't include wild trips and partying is a life that has been missed. He feels sorry for me when all the while I'm having the time of my life!

Is this what you're talking about?

Much love to you,

Alyson Steel said...

Another "perfect" post - exactly what I needed to hear. Love you. :)

Tara said...

Greetings All...Bindu thanks for your comment,you soothed something inside of me, thanks for Being and glad we still are reading our Lessons after all these years. And,Ram I so enjoyed reading your answer to Jodie! I have read much of what you have written and there was something so sweet in that answer, thanks for that. Happy trails to All...

maxim said...

Dear Ram, as others have posted the lessons and blog posts add something significant, beyond words to my life. They have been a reliable and trustworthy companion for many, many years. They nurture my soul and spirit and provide inspiration . My only wish is to remember and fully integrate all that you say as it all seems very keep on writing please. The several years that I went without them felt like something important was missing. With gratitude...colette

D. R. Butler said...

Jake, you remind me of the story of the young man who went to the Guru and said that his father was completely against his spiritual practices, and that he didn't like the Guru at all.

The Guru responded, 'In a thousand people, only one wishes to know God. Your father is not that one.'

It is very strange to people that we do not wish to live in the world they live in, that we have a totally different lifestyle and set of values than they do.

At first, of course, we feel like we're the odd guy out, that we're the weird one. Later on we realize that our priorities are different from theirs in a very good way, and that we have to be true to ourselves above all else.

I know it is weird at first what I said about suffering. We see on TV and other media photos and videos of people who obviously appear from our perspective to be suffering; yet to them it's just their life, and a difficult life feels quite natural when that's all you know.

Everyone is suffering. So are we. It is an aspect of living in this world. We live the life we live, practice our own principles, practice yoga or meditation or read the lessons of the Course for two primary reasons: to put an end to suffering and ignorance.

This happens through realizing and experiencing the Truth of the Self.

James Donohue said...

Great 'blog' and comments. Thanks to all who contribute. I remember a teacher who after teaching a lot would state 'what more can I say'. I am very glad it keeps on being said. I love it to death. Thanks.

D. R. Butler said...

From my Facebook page:

Am I lacking in gratitude?
There are many things in life I am truly grateful for.
Yet, how many daily wonders do I still take for granted, or do not even notice?

Am I lacking in humility?
In my heart I know in the enormity of ths universe I am as insignificant as a blade of grass, and that the time of this human existence is so ephemeral.
Yet, how often do I still get lost in the sense of self-importance, or assume I am somehow 'higher' than anyone else?

Am I lacking in compassion?
I hear many stories of pain and suffering, and it is easy to feel compassion in such cases.
Yet how many times have I been offended by some imagined slight, or do I feel another is obnoxious or stupid? Where is my compassion then?

Where are all those people I thought were my friends?
Who are all these people who are currently my friends?

How many of my FB friends actually read this?
How many fairly regularly read everything I post?
How many see this post but completely ignore it?
How many FB friends ignore everything I write?
How many never even saw this, and wouldn't be interested even if they did?
How many FB friends never see anything I write?

D. R. Butler said...

Where do questions come from?
Where do answers come from?
Who can ask the right question?
Who can give the right answer?

Nikki A. said...

I love any discussion about equanimity. Thank you.
"The ego aspect of us feels most comfortable either liking something and feeling good about it, or disliking something and feeling bad about it. It is a bit disorienting when we truly do not care one way or another, when we start to perceive the true equality of all things."
This is such a profound teaching. thank you..
It is disorienting...especially when the world around us is highly reactive...It is not easy...but these conversations are beyond helpful to stay focused on the truth..

Ghayas said...

Questions come from sincere longing, therefore the space of the heart.
Answers come from sincere compassion, therefore the space of the heart.
SIncere seekers, when earnest, can ask the right question.
The Benevolent Master/Teacher/sincere associates to the Teacher can give the right answer.

Mandala Healing Art said...

I am so grateful to have been guided to the Blog, your Facebook page, and the Lessons for the past couple of years... a very, very re-freshing post during such a period of intense energy from the Cosmos. I read and re-read daily and new insights are reveled each and every time... it's like reading my Heart and sharing it simultaneously...Thank you for your dedication Ram.


Vandita said...

In my current lesson you say:

"There is a way in which we can defocus the eyes and engage the inner vision to literally see through this world of solid form. Some people have a subconscious resistance to this because they are attached to form and it seems scary to give it up. If we are willing to defocus on the form, we can see the same vibratory activity as images dancing on a screen of time and space, and behind the images radiates the eternally changeless Light that illumines all the worlds. This is not a fantasy but a fact."

You have mentioned this before and I wonder how to actually do it. Would you please explain it further?

Thank you very much.

kirsty said...

Vandita has asked the very question I have been pondering and I do hope an answer is brewing. Squinting doesn't work. Maybe focusing halfway between the eye and the object? I jest, of course, but would love a push to attain and maintain this viewpoint.

And, here's hoping that D.R. keeps writing for a long time...each rephrasing of basic truths leads to the deeper understanding of his readers.

Christine S. Boyd said...

It's so helpful to remember there are influences that bring on these intense periods of time. In reflecting on emotions and feelings during april and may, I wonder, "why does it feel so intense when everything's going really very well?" This brings light to the question. Thanks for your encouragement and for the tools. One of the most helpful is having these interactive forums where we can leave a comment and read what's happening for other people.

jim said...

Wow, I didn't know you wrote a course in high school. I'm even more amazed that kids (in Mississippi no less) paid money to take it. I'm just a little younger than you & back in those days 50 cents was actually a lot to me. At my high school I can't even imagine one subscriber. Back then my idea of spirituality was saying the Hail Mary.

Vandita said...

I have one more question about something on another lesson (the translated one this month). You say:

"The focus of love for now (and perhaps forever) is the inner Self, which we refer to as ‘I’. Of course, since everyone experiences the same ‘I’, the same One, living in the Truth means seeing the same One in everyone equally."

Is this the same as loving Love? Or as focusing on love itself as it arises, not projecting it on to 'another' and bringing it back to oneself, kind of feeding it back?

I get a bit confused because loving the I does not let me understand the 'direction' towards which you suggest love should projected, since I is such an abstract thing, not possible to locate it at a certain space.

Thank you so much again for your answer, & love :)

Vandita said...


I spent a lot of time the other day while being in a train trying to do it. I could see a kind of a fog in between the objects and myself, but I believe that is not what D. R. is talking about. I think everyone on the train was looking at my funny faces as I was trying to get this!

Purnima Orlandi said...

Thank you Ram for writing and inspiring me to be present and open hearted. Contentment is the highest goal!
I would not have understood that 20 years ago when I received your first lesson. It completely changed my life and I'm so grateful. As a young girl I to loved to write. I had long discussion with myself about the existence of God and was a scientific
Today, my heart is open and I love the Self in all. What a transformation!
To have had that experience, is incredible. I know little about astrology, but I do see how the past month and this month has been challenging for many. The course keeps me connected to my higher self. What I find hard is to share this with my children and husband. I wish you could write a book or course for young people, like you did in 8th grade. :)

Naganath said...

Making the effort to read this blog is rewarding: the intensity of feeling the sadness of the world recently and reading the lessons reminds me to be grateful for this experience. Whatever "I am going through" ultimately unveils the Love--and that is all that matters. Sufferring is another oppotunity to be the Light, which isn't easy. Grateful In Love,

kirsty said... make me laugh. Possibly if one focuses on a point in the air, halfway between the eye and the subject being viewed, one ceases to concentrate on that, backing off, and maybe finding a disconnection which might make it easier to focus on the inner feelings of contentment and love? Then hold tight to these while the outer world fades a little? I dunno and I haven't expressed this very well.

Al M said...

It helps if you can remain totally present with what you see, and do not slap a label of any kind. Just perceive the light. It is hard to do, we are so used to looking at a door, for instance, and saying, oh, I know what that is, it is a door, and we stop really perceiving it. The mind can not really understand why we would need to, it wants to move on to the next thing. But with practice, you can get better at it, and you will eventually just see light, and not objects, unless you need to see the object. I'm not sure if this is what Ram had in mind, but it is probably a start.

Anonymous said...

I am going through an extremely difficult time on multiple levels. Where should I turn to for help or solace? To whom should I pray? I really need some help please.

Leela Jasmine said...

I Love this months Blog entry, thank you once again! You give so much, and allow so much to be given through you! Thank you!

I wanted to ask about the current astrological aspects and my intense feeling to be quiet and in-drawn. I dont feel like I am struggling to tune in, but rather really drawn in. I know you arent an astrologer but wanted to know if this was related or if others had mentioned such things.

One of the last comments about really 'looking' at things reminded me of the story you tell about one of your sons and how he told someone that he really just liked to look at things. This has come up recently with a neighbor that was interested in learning to draw. In giving him pointers, I was reminded again about how meditative drawing is, because you have to be totally Present to the form you are trying to recreate on paper. You have really look and side step what your mind 'thinks' something looks like. Beautiful, huh!

I am Forever grateful that you started writing and still do! I could just Kiss that teacher that read your weekly 'serial' to the class! Teachers like that, are the best! All my Love, Always, Leela

Vandita said...

Kirsty, you expressed it perfectly. Thank you. Al, thank you so much.

Steu Mann said...

Today was the last in a string of events where I finally was able to remember that I needed to shake myself awake to think, "I need some Truth." Ram, your blog is a rescusitator ... thanks for sharing your journey with me. Your blog was the first place I turned upon awakening. Funny, my lesson - I guess since I have read it so much in the last two weeks - wasn't providing the "pulse" that your blog did ..... ahhh, I needed this. You rock my world. blessings, Steu

rico said...

Anonymous, I don't know if your take D.R.'s course or not. If you don't this might be a good time to give it a try. The initial lesson is free. If you do take the course then this is the time to refer to it more often to help you tune into that space where solace originates. I went through a really rough patch when I began D.R.'s course many years ago and it not only helped me get through it, applying the principles in the course was instrumental in changing the way I approached life. When my approach changed so did the tough times.

D. R. Butler said...

Nikki A., it is very good that you are aware that the world around us is very reactive. Knowing this, you are less likely to take it personally or to be defensive or hurt. You simply observe it as a part of this reactive world. The objective is reactive and constantly changing. The Subjective is eternally changeless.

Vandita, I cannot explain how to see the world as diaphanous. In later lessons we experience a series of developments that enables this experience, but it is important to regularly practice the principles in your current lesson as well as the exercise at the end of each lesson. This actually enables us to develop abilities we do not currently have, or rather, have not yet activated.

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, love is not to be 'directed' in any direction. Love is the inner sensation of the Self. The sun does not bother to 'direct' its heat or light--it simply happens because that is its nature.

Love is all-pervasive. It is not something we send back and forth, like an email. All we need to do is consciously tune into the inner love which is already present.

In the lessons we go through a process that enables us to actually do this. If we love the inner Self with all our heart, this is the ultimate we can experience in life. Nothing can add to or enhance our own inner love. It is mostly a matter of becoming 'conscious' of what already exists within us.

D. R. Butler said...

I realize I have fallen a bit behind with responding to questions. I caught up a little tonight, and I will continue to chip away.

I have not been in the mood to be on the computer much lately. Yet I will get all the questions answered. Thanks for submitting them and for participating here.

Marga said...

Sending in my appreciation for this blogpost, D.R. Your writings always illuminate. And the ensuing conversation stimulates my reflection.

I'm personally noticing that the deeper the movement into the truth of the present moment, the deeper the movement into all of my humanness. It's in the humanness that equanimity becomes a most valuable 'attainment'.

I'm also noticing that with the eclipses and intense planetary weather, I'm in trouble when my center of balance comes from my mind. Much better that center of balance come from my heart. Even better it come from deep in the core of my body.

To me, the intense planetary weather is providing a much needed opportunity to discard some old habits that have been hanging out, causing suffering. I get to see these habits clearly and make different choices, under this kind of intensity. Such a huge opportunity.

With deep gratitude for your writing...

D. R. Butler said...

Marga, it is always great to hear your somewhat cosmic perspective. You are very attuned to the 'planetary weather,' and that last paragraph you wrote is a great teaching for everyone.

I love what you say about humanness. A basic concept beginners on the spiritual path have is that they will somehow go beyond their humaness, yet the truth is that they will learn to see divinity in their humanness. If, as the scriptures say, this is all a divine play, then humanness, being such a big part of the play, must certainly be included as an aspect of divinity itself.

Tony (Aditya) said...

My mama didn't raise no fools, so if Ram says " I cannot explain how to see the world as diaphanous" I'm sure not going to try!
That said: after many years of sadhana, I heard a great guru giving meditation instructions say: "You can see the light anytime you like." Of course, I never had, so taking that as a statement of fact was a no-go. But a bit later, as I contemplated this, I thought" "I will take this as a boon -- a gift from the Guru" and instantly, all the objects around me became -- diaphanous? They appeared to be filled with and radiating the most exquisite light covered by only a mere film of form. And it seemed I was seeing this with my heart, not just my eyes.

Such experiences in my life have always been fundamentally a gift of grace, rather than the result of anything I did or do. And since we all are living in an ocean of grace, right here and now, when the time is right, the experience manifests. And who decides when the time is right?

Christine S. Boyd said...

Sometimes it's comforting to just come to the blog and read your words and people's comments. The simple truth feels good and inspires.
With love,