Friday, September 13, 2013

Your Life Is What You Make It


After resigning my ‘official position’ in 2002, after 20 years of living in a yoga ashram and being a ‘spiritual teacher’,  I figured that phase of my life was over. 
 I spent the next six years as a recluse, here with my wife Kay in this village of 90.  We spent time with our children, but that was about it.  I had lived among so many people for so long, and I craved privacy.  One of the many things I love about Kay is that we are happy being alone together, and it’s not like ‘someone else’ is present.
I honestly had no idea what I would do in my life now that I had grown up.  I first thought of a book, which would in itself be a fine form of communication, but in my heart I knew it wasn’t really me.  My own experience had been progressing through the process of a Course, growing from one lesson to another, understanding one principle just so it will be possible to understand the next, slightly subtler principle.  My personal experience of this reveals that it is a very powerful practice, especially with the repetition that enables us to receive all that is actually being given.
I had experienced for myself that I could read the greatest book in the world, yet a few months later it was all but forgotten.  In the Course, no matter what we forget, there is always the next lesson to remind us.  Those of us who participate in the Course, have each experienced by now, that there is an inexplicable power in simply referring to our current lesson, or we wouldn’t still be here, .
It was made known to me in 2008 that it was time to write a new course, an entirely different course, starting from where I was now—with updated and a more refined understanding.  Now I could even more directly explore the principles of Truth I had studied, practiced, and been trained in since I was a teenager in Mississippi in the early 60’s.
Of course, my conscious mind was not certain even a single person would wish to take this new course.  I wasn’t sure myself what was going to come through; how could anyone else know?  Did I even still have anything worthwhile to say; it felt that I had already said everything.  Besides, it seemed that by now everything was already available on the Internet.  What could I possibly offer in addition to all that was already available?
I put my faith in my Teachers, each of whom had passed on something of great value to me.  My first Teacher trained me thoroughly in the Truth of Being—how the universe works, how the Universal becomes the individual, and what is the purpose of the individual, and how it finds its way back to the Universal.  This is the true game of life.
I wrote the first blog entry in July, 2008, introducing the Course and the underlying principles of Truth—it is still worthy of a new reading—and Kay and I contacted all the people we were able to and let them know that a new course was beginning.  I was surprised how enthusiastically so many of them were ready and even eager to start the new course—and already had the understanding that the new Lesson 1 was simply their next lesson, continuing from where the last one left off.
Since then, the Course has grown through word-of-mouth.  Sometimes the people you think might have the most interest in knowing about the Course have no interest whatsoever, while someone you would think would have no interest at all suddenly wants to know more, wants to get that first Lesson asap.
No one knows until they read Lesson 1 along with the intro material whether they want to try the Course or not, because many people are surprised at how the first lesson affects them, or by what their experience of the lesson is.  Something happens that can’t quite happen unless one actually reads a lesson for himself.  It certainly cannot be described in words.
We are not a path of monks or ascetics.  Some of us are to some degree on the path of the yogi, but others not necessarily so.  We are ‘householders’, people living in the world, learning to see the divine in the world as well as ourselves.

Know that the only 'sin' is the consciousness of sin.  There is no cosmic list of do's and don'ts, or shoulds and shouldn'ts.  No one should should on themselves.  Whatever we are, whatever we do, is God in this form being or doing that.  There is no separation between us and the Divine

There is of course dharma and adharma.  It is not nearly the same as 'morals,' which have their origin in orthodox religion.  Simply speaking, dharma is doing that which benefits everyone involved.  Adharma is anything that hurts another on any level, or takes advantage of them, or in any way causes harm to others.
We are God in Human Form.  There is a section of the Course that explores this essential Truth quite extensively, so that it becomes consistently our own experience.  Whatever we do or experience, we are God doing or experiencing that.  As the Bhagavad Gita says, "All actions are His."  Nothing is in and of itself either spiritual or unspiritual.  It is All the Same, all Equal.  The 'spirituality' exists only in the consciousness we bring to it.
My digestive system could never deal with a hotdog, but some people eat hotdogs, and when they do they are ultimately God eating a hotdog.  If someone has a glass of wine, it is God enjoying a glass of wine.  The one that feels like the middle-man, the person between God and the action, is the ego.  There is nothing between God and the action doing the action.  It is only God in the form of that action.
We explore this deeply in the lessons of the Course.  The point of this month's blog entry is to let you know clearly that there are no good or bad actions.  Love exists, and if we are attuned to that love in our own heart right now, everything we do or say is equally spiritual—which ultimately means 'natural.'  So don't judge yourself, ever.
Remember that guilt is the worst thing.  Guilt is worse than whatever we are feeling guilty about.  What affects us inwardly is all that is relevant  So think the highest of yourself, and let the actions of the body simply be the actions of the body. Then it is easy to live in perfect dharma.  (Dharma can be translated simply as 'right action.)
The process of Self-development takes place totally in what we call the Now.  No one ever has or ever will improve in the future.  In fact, in Reality, there is no such thing as self-improvement at all, but rather an unfoldment of what is always already here. It is possible, through the use and direction of Creative thought, to fulfill any reasonable desire.  When we attain True Understanding, however, we then no longer have desires, for we are then constantly fulfilled to the highest possible degree.
This may sound incredible, but it is the state to which this process called ‘Life’ naturally leads.  Meanwhile, all your dreams can come true, if you choose.
We express physically as who and what we think we are.  We do what we think we do, and have what we think we have.  If we need more of anything, all we need to do is picture what we want in our minds, like a small child does in imagination, with the feeling that we already have it.  This mental creation attracts the object, condition, or experience like a magnet, causing our visualization to manifest physically.  Just remember that the 'feeling' is essential.
If we desire better finances, or improved health, or harmonious relationships, or to achieve success or development in some area—even Spiritual Realization, which is true Freedom—we must ‘imagine’ that we already have it, making a game of it the way a child would, instead of being  solemn and serious like boring grownups.  This creation of mental pictures is ‘fun.’ When we actually 'see' our own creation, we ‘enjoy’ it.  It makes us ‘feel good.’ 
It must have this kind of positive effect on us in order to affect us emotionally, and we must be affected emotionally in an uplifting way before our desired visualizations can become physical realities.
Our intellectual mind has the tendency to recognize what it thinks it already ‘knows,’ simply through familiarity with the ideas, and to reject hearing the same knowledge as something new.  Actually, though, we are not attempting to educate the intellectual mind, but rather to radically change subconscious impressions, causing the Universe to be viewed and Life to be experienced in a totally new way than what we’ve previously considered.
The subconscious mind is impressed in two ways:  through constant repetition, and through highly charged emotional events.  As we go into deeper secrets, the highly charged emotional events necessary to growth and improvement will occur naturally and spontaneously.  It may take a while for you to understand the significance of certain events in your life, but you will soon see that everything that happens to you is deeply meaningful and a significant piece of the puzzle. 
In the Course, certain ideas are repeated over and over in many different ways, approaching the principles from all possible angles.  As this knowledge begins to become a part of you, and as you begin to notice positive changes and results, you will greatly appreciate this method.  Meanwhile, it will be good to read and reread all lessons as often as possible, before the next new lesson arrives, for new insights and greater understanding will follow each reading.
Reading the lessons actually changes the way you feel and how you view the world.  It changes the state of consciousness which you live in daily.  It is not a matter of memorizing material, or even of believing what has been written.  By simply reading each lesson three or four times during the two weeks until the next lesson arrives, you will be amazed at the results.  Don’t take my word for this, but prove it to yourself.  The Truth is always easy to prove.  There is nothing to 'believe.'

We live in several worlds simultaneously.  Of these, our intellectual conscious mind and our five physical senses perceive and apprehend what we call the ‘physical world’.  The physical world is the realm of action and reaction, or cause and effect.  That is, here we reap the fruits of our actions.
The Universe is always in perfect balance, and therefore there is a corresponding reaction to every action.  In Sanskrit this is known as karma.  We use some Sanskrit terms occasionally, because they represent important Cosmic processes for which there are no English equivalents.  Each person is already fully involved with his karma—and only his karma.  There is nothing else on the physical plane to be involved with.
For information about the Course and a free lesson, write: drbutler.course@gmail.com
The lessons are also available in Spanish and French.