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