Friday, October 10, 2014

Do We Create Our Life Through the Mind’s Link to the Creative Principle, Or Do We Remain Content and Cheerful With What Comes Unsought?

This is one of the most common questions from people who have been on some form of ‘spiritual path’ for a while—long enough to imbibe enough knowledge to become totally confused.  Do we apply what we’ve learned in terms of creating our own personal life through the conscious control of Creative Thought; or do we follow the scriptural recommendation to remain content and cheerful with what comes unsought, whatever it is, whether we think we ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ it?
From the perspective of one who has been exposed to these principles, and at the time of this writing studied and practiced them for 53 years, I can tell you that it is very important to master both approaches. In fact, they are two sides of the same coin.  Everything is relative—remember ‘the theory of relativity’?  Everything must be understood in a certain context.
Depending on the context, we might have to activate will to think in a certain way in order to achieve the preferable conclusion.
Or it might be better to surrender totally and flow with whatever happens, however ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it might momentarily appear to be.
What if a flood or fire or tornado or hurricane were to suddenly take away your home and all your belongings?  More than one participant of the Course has experienced this, and we know that this is now happening all over the world.  People are having their lives wiped out without any warning, and not only losing belongings, but loved ones as well.  Most do not have the knowledge contained in our Course of Training to enable them to put things back together again.
So what would your approach be?  Would you use creative concentration and visualization to create your life to be as you desire it to be?  Or would you simply accept the reality of the current situation and flow with it by seeing the perfection and beauty in it?
Strangely, neither way is the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ approach.  There is this pulse of Creative Energy that resolves the whole world back into Itself, and the same Creative Energy created our world out of nothing from the beginning.  We can align ourselves with this energy either way: we can create the form from the formless, or we can dissolve the form into the formless.
Most ‘spiritual paths’, or other forms of self-development and inner awakening, focus on one way or the other—one way is meditation to enter the formless space of pure Consciousness and experience that formlessness.
Meanwhile the other side of this is the ray of Creation, going outward from the still, silent center.  We create our lives through whatever we think and believe in the moment.  Everything considered, I once again insist that both ways be mastered, even if in the beginning they seem like opposites to you.
The whole thing is the play of Consciousness; or God’s playground, or however you care to see it.  Understand both perspectives, both paths, which contain the flow of the Cosmos.  Ancient yogic texts, written in Sanskrit, refer to this cycle as ‘the in-breath and the out-breath of Brahman.’
This quote by the great Shri Ramana Maharshi, who has never been doubted by any credible source, put it this way:
“Whenever something has to be controlled, some obstacle to be removed or some change necessary, the use of shakti is required.  But in the supreme experience of Atman, meaning stetha prajna (the state of being established in wisdom), or the state that is beyond the gunas (the qualities of the mind), the only experience is that of non-duality.  In that state there is no other principle that remains arrayed against it.  For a jnani established in the Self there is nothing that remains in opposition to him.  It is not therefore necessary (for him) to conquer any external things because in that state there is no remnant of anything that is separate.  When the Self becomes all-pervasive, the physical world is totally absent.  Therefore, in spite of the shakti being in the Atman, it does not become necessary to use it.  If one is in a state in which opposition is felt, then to work on that opposition, Atma shakti (power of the Self) is required.”                                   ~Shri Ramana Maharshi
That says it as clearly as anything I could possibly say.  Become good friends with that single paragraph, in order to keep your mind clear.  We explore this principle more deeply in the Course via email.
In a thread on Facebook, where we enjoy many stimulating exchanges, I remarked that I had no idea how much I help people, and someone wrote that surely I was being facetious to say that.  I replied thusly:
I understand where you are coming from, but I assure you I am not being facetious.  It is brutal honesty.  From my perspective I have written a lot for a long time, as that is what I do, in the same way that Narayana drives a taxi in Manhattan, and sometimes I spoke in front of audiences; yet whatever anyone got out of anything is between them and their inner Wisdom, which might have been wakened by the words, but which existed within all the while.  As I’ve said from time to time, the fact that some people actually experience me as a ‘spiritual teacher’ only proves that the infinite power (Shakti) of the Guru and the Lineage is not only real but extremely powerful.
Some of you might remember our old friend Scott Marmorstein, who a few years ago, when he was 30, experienced 5 intense heart attacks consecutively, and he is still pumping.  In fact, he will soon be marrying his beloved, Sri Yogini Michelle Synnestvedt.  Scott has a sharp and inquisitive mind, and he recently contributed this question, regarding a dialogue on my Facebook page:
“You said, ‘You will always be tested.’  The intimation to me was that the ‘testing’ was sort of an eternal game.  And my basic question is: WHY?  To be evolved and to fall again and to be evolved again ad infinitum, why?  I get it’s a Game, but doesn’t the Game Player eventually figure out a new Game to play?  Isn’t this one sort of old-hat by now?  Or… does memory play a major role in all this?  I suspect it does.  And, moreover, we both know the question and answer are just part of the Game and ultimately ‘unimportant’ in terms of ‘answers’, because all answers come back to whatever is in front of us now, as the Truth of the present moment.  Basically, my question to your statement ‘You’ll always be tested’ is…’What’s the point?’”
Fully understanding the answer to this question requires a subtle Intellect, which is different from the mind.  What first comes up for me is when the Guru was asked by a reporter, “Why did God become all this?  Why is He doing all this?”  And the Guru replied that if a reporter could ask God those same questions, God would say something like, What are you talking about? I never became anything.  I never did anything.  I have always remained as I am—this silence, this stillness.
So there is this Play, created by the tandem of mind and ego, that seems to exist as a linear sequence of events in time and space.  Yet, from a subtler perspective, it is more like a waking dream.  The Yoga Vasishta says that this waking life is only the dream of the jiva (the individualized aspect of the Universal.)
The ‘tests’ you inquire about are only a part of the Game, as you suggested.  There is no external power ‘testing’ us, especially in a way that we can ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ the test.  You know that in July this year, the day before my birthday, a huge tree was blown over and smashed into the master bedroom of our home.  This was obviously a test:  Can we live in half a house (which at this writing we still are), while remaining in harmony, with equanimity, regarding all that has to be done?
There has been an ongoing cacophony, and a lot of racket, many of the days since then.  Still I write, and Kay still keeps the Course going.  That is a simple example of a test.  The ‘tests’ show us where we are in our development, and what we need to do next, what needs to be developed or strengthened.
As far as why not come up with a different Game after all this while, it is a mass delusion that presumes all this time has passed and all this stuff has happened.  In reality, the Game exists only now; it just got started.
Devorah Feinbloom, healer, nutritionist, and chiropractor north of Boston, writes:
My current lesson says, “As far as knowing our ‘needs’, I for one would prefer to be free of need itself.  It would be freer and more expanding to let go of need than it would be to have it fulfilled. A need implies that we are not whole and complete as we are, and we ‘need’ something to be more whole and complete.  That is the way the ego thinks, as the ego likes to maintain an ongoing melodrama wrapped around needing ‘more.’
“Give up needs altogether. Once this truly occurs, when we are free of need, we discover naturally and automatically that we are already supplied with all we need, without even having to think of what we need.
“Go through life knowing that all your needs are already fulfilled, and will continue to be even moreso in the future.  Feel gratitude that all your needs are met without you even having to inform any Higher Power of your needs, since It knows what you truly need even before you do.”
She goes on...I understand and continue to expand and live more with the knowing that God provides all my needs and I don’t have to worry, don’t need to think about it or remind God, since God knows what I need and I will be taken care of.  But every time I read this part of the lesson my mind wrestles with these lines.  Is this referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs--like food, water, excretion, sex--or are you referring to non-essentials?  If your car is totaled and you still have to get to your job, you need to find a way to get to work. You can still have gratitude and know that all your needs will be taken care of and still need to find a way to get to work?  Am I lost in semantics here?
Sometimes I think that we have to have needs to create a relationship with the divine - divine as Father who answers prayers.  Are you saying prayer has no value but rather we should just KNOW that our needs will be met?  In the Jewish tradition we were taught to pray for all our needs, even if it is a shoelace.  Interested in your perspective.
That’s the conclusion of Devorah’s question.  The quotation marks above note the excerpt from her current lesson of the Course.
The Christ said, “It is not ‘I’ that doeth the works, but the Father within me…the same Father that is within you.”
Since there is no differentiation in Nature, the only true form of prayer is affirmation.  There is no need to ask or beg or supplicate.  And if you have to get to your job, your car, in today’s world, would be one of the ‘essentials’.  If you become conscious of a ‘need’, immediately, without hesitation, KNOW that your need is already fulfilled, and never doubt it.  You will prove the results to yourself.  There is no reason to take anyone’s word for anything.
Going from my own experience, I could never have created the details of my life.  In the same way, I could never have even dreamed to pray for, or ask for, all that I have been given.  Physically, I have to make my way through this world just like everyone else.  Inwardly, however, I have been bestowed with many treasures I could never have imagined to ask for or pray for.  On the inside I have been given many riches, including knowledge of the seven radiant jewels the yogis call chakras, which are much more precious than any physical jewels.
I can only rest in gratitude.  Gratitude is the answer to everything.  If you want to pray, pray for gratitude for all that you have been given.  Gratitude attracts even more of what we are grateful for.  Focusing on complaints, on what is wrong, on what is not enough, attracts even more of what we feel those things about.  If you learn only one thing from reading this, understand that gratitude is the most important thing.
Thank you for taking the time and the mental focus to read and share this.  If you wish to know more about the Course by email, “Living in the Truth of the Present Moment,” and to receive a complimentary lesson, write to:
The Course is also available in Spanish and French.


Mayuri said...

D.R. I just wanted to say that your comment to me about yes, we will probably keep meeting together in the future but what really matters is that we are meeting together now - This statement has gone deep into my fabric and is working it's magic. I feel it awaken me when I slip out of the present moment and get caught up in the mind. Your comment is alive inside me reminding me to be present NOW. What is to come, let it come, what is past - it is past. NOW is all that really matters. Taking this into my being as a treasured gift, and cherishing this gift, has awakened a keener sense of now. Don't hold back, don't wait. It's all here right now. did I say now yet? : )
Thank you for the living chit shakti that scintillates here in this blog. Who knew the internet could bear such treasures. What grace reaches out to us all and finds us where ever we are <3 …. Please keep chatting with us in that rocking chair on your porch. I so love visiting with you and all who come to gather together here now. <3

Tom Mac said...

Thank you!
simplicity is a great gift
what I can embrace in my heart beyond words.
what resonates and rises from my core:

Avivit said...

OH Man....this has been just such an amazing was definitely an answer to my question posted on the last article comment secion indeed. Wooooo...

Thank you D.R., Thank you Voice in the head.....much Love to you all

Divya said...

As always this is perfect for me right now. In a recent job situation where I wasn't paid what I was promised, I have been through all the possibilities of what to do. Realizing that either way I go is fine is where I had come to about it. Knowing that all I need is provided for me. I feel that happening more and more in my life. I realized through all of this that I am needing to head in another direction and I am proceeding in the way I intuitively feel is the direction to head. To me, this was just another 'sign' that this current job was not the way. So I am tweaking it a little and moving on.

I decided not to get angry, write letters, or to waste my energy on this a minute longer. I am not going to let this 'spoil' what I have attained. In letting it go I let myself go. I am free to move on.

Love the quote from Ramana Maharshi Looking at this from a place of non duality, and moving through the opposition I feel inside, to doing what I haven't done before, trusting that it is the way. I do feel so much gratitude for my life and for this course.

FB said...

How wonderful are the insights this blog brings! I cannot write them all (fortunately for readers...ha, ha). Some words and phrases that come into deeper, clearer understanding are,"be appropriate", "everything is Consciousness", "action and inaction are One", "the space between thoughts', and "stillness and silence while living appropriately in the world" give the encouraging and supportive key-"gratitude". So grateful for the course,the associated FB entries, this blog, and all participants!

Jake Birdsong said...

Thank you, Ram. What an abundance to take in. Thank you for this Understanding. Love to you, Jake.

Anonymous said...

When I read "We create our lives through whatever we think and believe in the moment." my mind tells me we just react to whatever appears in the mind. The true creator is the one who makes thoughts appear in my mind.

So I am not creating anything. Therefore I cannot claim credit for any good I have done. Nor can I blame myself for any bad things that happened because of my actions.

Even if you insist that I have a choice between the options life presents me, I'd argue my preferences are the result of lessons learned in previous experiences, which are beyond my control.

If there is any good I can do it is living consciously, so that I have experiences and I can learn lessons from these experiences, which then enable me to have better preferences.

Debbra said...

Hello Ram and everyone. After printing it out (as I usually do), I just finished reading this new bog entry. They are always wonderful and power-packed, but this one feels remarkably different to me. You mentioned on FB that this entry was delayed a bit, but even so, has arrived perfectly on time, in its fullness. Could feel myself soaking it in like a sponge as I read, and had to smile broadly at your words to Scott,

"As far as why not coming up with a different Game after all this while, it is a mass delusion that presumes all this time has passed and all this stuff has happened. In reality, the Game exists only now; it just got started."

Wow, that really hit the bulls eye.. filled me with bliss of recognition. Thank you, and love to all!!

Vandita said...

I loved this entry so much! Thank you :)

taylor said...

I can only rest in gratitude that I have this blog and course for guidance. Thank you for writing about using creative energy or flowing with what is. It is something that I often contemplate and now I know that context matters and that I can do both and it is not an either/or decision.

Jana said...

Thank you for the new blog entry, D.R. As usual, it opens up so much fertile ground for deep contemplation. I will probably be reading it many more times, to fully imbibe and understand all that is presented here.

BreathWorks said...

seems like until we "enter the formless space of pure Consciousness and experience that formlessness" in such a way as to let go of wanting, any creating is likely to feed that which believes it needs some circumstance to be a particular way in order to be content. Kinda hits me like a koan. It can't be "figured" out. Just lived.

Reminds me of a conversation with a monk in the snack bar of a particular monastery about Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism. To my recollection, he summed it up for me like this....'You have to get what you're not before you can get that you're everything.'

Scott Marmorstein said...

"The Game just began." Great reminder. Thanks, DR

darren chase said...

I remember first being introduced to a place beyond "like and dislike." It was John Cage who made me think about it and he blew my mind. He's a classical composer who wrote some pretty far out music. When he was asked what music he personally preferred he said something like 'I have no use for likes or dislikes.'

I remember thinking "how can an artist eschew like and dislike? That's ridiculous." I thought that art was about doing something that you liked and hoping that other people liked it. In fact I thought it was about making something that people liked more than other things.

I figured Cage was probably just too afraid to say what he really liked or maybe he just didn't care. Or, I thought, maybe he was protecting himself from being criticized by others...I just couldn't figure it out. But after many years (that was 1991 and I was in the 11th grade) I am beginning to understand what this Guru was talking about.

He and his boyfriend Merce Cunningham, a dancer, became well known for their style of composition called "chance determination." In this style, the composer and the choreographer would set some perimeters and basically allow art to happen within them. For instance in a piece called Music of Changes, the music was determined by the I Ching.

Cage and Cunningham ended up finding more and more ways to allow chance and nature to determine more and more of their work, especially in the later years. You would see these beautiful dancers following a series of positions determined by chance, dancing to music determined by chance. There would be these incredible moments when music and dance would meld and other equally incredible moments when they would not. I can say that I really loved it.

And it kinda annoyed me at some point too because I really loved when John Cage would like actually write music. Before he started to do things like drink tomato juice and record the sounds his stomach made, he would write songs. And they were really good. I really "liked" his early music a lot and although the later works could have moments of transcendent beauty, I enjoyed his "composed" songs and sort of missed them.

Here's one of his earlier ones that he "wrote.":

And here's a later one that was "chance determined":

Well, I surely don't know what all that means but I had a lot of fun writing it.

By the way I met a lesser known artist from that time who remarked (without sarcasm or bitterness, if i can trust my memory of her comment),

"Those two were always talking about the evanescence of art and 'being in the moment' but they were recording everything! We were all busy being in the moment. Now who do you remember?"

Sarah said...

Without "thinking about it" I am writing my first response in reading this blog. Thru the past year my "needs" and "wants" have seemed to merge. When I want something, it appears. When I need something, it appears. If it is selfish in a manner of speaking, it seems to drag additional Karma along with it. Noticing this, ,my daily load in life has become very free and light as I have let go of feeling there is any time of lack. Everything in my life feels incredibly abundant when I just tune into it. This is putting it in a real nutshell. And none of this would be possible without my involvement in the Lessons and the blog...for whatever reason.

In the individual manifestation of my life, I have learned to just flow with things yet this is in direct conjunction to noticing how my thoughts created it in the first place...and being able to watch this in everyone around me.. What an amazing Play... Thank you Ram.


Sarah said...

I need to add that expressing gratitude and joy on a constant basis only sweetens this whole process..Thank you again Love, Sarah

rico said...

Anonymous, while it is true that we have no control over the thoughts that can randomly appear in the mind, we can develop the ability to choose which thoughts to entertain. By choosing which thoughts to invite in "for milk and cookies", we affect our experience both in the present and also in the future if we allow those thoughts to hang around long enough. In this way we create our own reality, our experience of the world.

Of course you’re right that our choices can be influenced by past experience but when we develop the discipline to not entertain the thoughts that cause us grief our experience of life becomes much more enjoyable. Whatever our preferences, suffering is a red flag that the thoughts we’re entertaining might worthy of eviction. To me this seems to be the essence of living consciously.

Dave Silverstein said...

D.R., this blog is really amazing.....I keep reading it over and over and find other tasty morsals to chew on...

.Actually, everything that is currently in our karmic sphere was created by us and through us in subtle form first. So, I guess the question could be do we create our lives consciously....instead of experiencing everything as just being thrown at us..

How do we know when something comes to us unsought? We still had to create it all on one level, right?....Gosh, this is getting more and more subtle for me. I feel the energy in your writing and in the experience. I'm just having trouble expressing it through these words.

I better read it several more times! Thank you for a most contemplative, uplifting blog...I really love it very much.

D. R. Butler said...

Rico has studied with me for over 35 years and has excellent understanding. Anything he writes can be considered as coming from me. He's a man of few words, but they are always on the mark.

D. R. Butler said...

Dave Silverstein, your contemplation will bear much fruit.

D. R. Butler said...

Which font do you prefer, and is easier for you to read? The font in this October post, or the one in the July entry?

I enlist your help in making the blog as easily readable as possible.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the July font. The new one is harder to read and the close line spacing compounds it. I noticed this when I first read it and am glad you are questioning it.
(reminds me of the old days when contemplating Palatino 12.3 for a font, LOL. btw I print my Lessons on blue paper which adds to the experience for me) :)

vickie said...

D.R.My current lesson urges me to maintain my highest state regardless of whatever challenge may arise. It's been fruitful to contemplate "highest state" as that implies a judgement of high and low and thus duality, and "maintain" implies I can actually "do" it. In moving through that, I've become aware of a sense that I can't actually maintain such a state but rather, it in truth maintains me. I may appear to fail again and again, slipping into reactivity, yet something else just waits, sustaining me until I'm finished, ready to welcome me when my pride is beaten once again and I let go of trying so hard. So--is it just about awareness and identification? Identify with the one that waits for me, and bring my awareness back to it again and again even as old tendencies arise and play out? And since you asked--I vote for the July font:-) thanks for being here--

Achla said...

I like the July font..the font is gentler, leaves space between the letters for each one to rest in, and not obtrusive. Thank you for your October blog! It leaves me feeling needy and greedy for the inner riches! I want them, I want the inner part of my Being.

Mark said...

Dear D.R., thank you for your wonderful post this month. Much to contemplate in it, that is for sure. Rather like an extra lesson!

I noticed your font change, and was thinking of commenting, but since you have asked, I will comment. I like the look of the font, but it seems like there is less "space" around it, at least the way it is rendered in my browser, so in that sense, I found it a bit harder to read. I prefer the look of the July entry from a font perspective!

taylor said...

I prefer the font in the July post because there is more space between the sentences.

FB said...

My vote is for the font in this blog.

D. R. Butler said...

Wow, I'm impressed by how many are actually paying attention to what is happening.

Thanks for your feedback regarding the font. This new font was tried because the letters would be a bit larger, and I wondered if that would help make it easier to read.

After seeing it, though, many unexpected problems have come up. It's almost like there's not quite enough room on the page for this font, so it all got crunched.

Right now, I will go see if I can 'edit' the font to the previous one. If I can't, I'll definitely go back to the July font in the next entry.

D. R. Butler said...

Wow, I'm impressed by how many are actually paying attention to what is happening.

Thanks for your feedback regarding the font. This new font was tried because the letters would be a bit larger, and I wondered if that would help make it easier to read.

After seeing it, though, many unexpected problems have come up. It's almost like there's not quite enough room on the page for this font, so it all got crunched.

Right now, I will go see if I can 'edit' the font to the previous one. If I can't, I'll definitely go back to the July font in the next entry.

course participant said...

I too prefer the July font. While the new font is larger, bolder, and easier to see, it is harder to read, and rather distracting.

Anonymous said...

For my self.......the July font feels much softer and gentler on the eyes and the current font feels a bit harsh...but it wont stop me from reading which ever you choose to use.
Is this a test?? Hee Hee

Anonymous said...

Just another thought...I am one of some who use the cell phone as a computer....small screen so if the font size of one letter takes up the entire screen.....I will just go with the flow. This shows me an example of how many different perspectives we can all be coming from. A good reminder lesson. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Third times a charm!? I meant to say I would go with the flow until the font size of one letter takes up the entire screen....Im not sure I could read and imbibe any of it.......That might be an interesting experience on some level though! Im really looking forward to when the lessons touch on the Matrika Shakti....I feel like I didnt get it first time around and hope to get insight next time...the power in the letters
and words.....and relativity!!!??? We can have the experience of it now and then and it is so amazing when we do
Love and gratitude!

Anonymous said...

These posts have really gotten my mind going in many the cookies and cream type... and in physics isnt current understanding of matter and energy that sometimes its a particle or a wave and how everything is vibrating dances of energy creating all these forms...with consciousness thrown into the when a pebble is thrown into a lake you see the movement and when the little ripples of form use up the energy the stillness again appears..and the form disappears..
My question to you Ram...what is happening that we are paying attention to? Is this a new game? Are there ad infinitim games to play and we all play a part in these games/play of form? What causes the game to end? This so amazing!

Anonymous said...

Hello All.. or more precisely Hello One,

I would like to share with the group my experience of current karma, with the intent that your perspectives will support me in dissolving a samskara that I am becoming more & more aware of...

Professionally, my role is that of Area Manager to various retail stores. Having 'fallen' into business in my late teens I have spent that last 10-15 years climbing the corporate ladder so to speak (and always wishing I could somehow get off the ladder). Internally I have always known this is not the path for me, yet the practicalities of life have kept my attention focused on doing the best I can to get through, hoping that soon enough I will receive insight into what it is I am truly passionate about. This underlying pattern of knowing this is not truly 'me' but not yet knowing where to direct my attention has formed a dark & powerful samskara over time. My focus is now on releasing the powerful pattern with the belief that the insight I've always hoped for will manifest naturally & spontaneously. My question therefore, is has anyone else experienced a similar situation & do you have any advice that could bring a new awareness to this situation?

Jim said...

Anonymous, what stood out for me in your share were the words "hoping that soon enough I will receive insight into what it is I am truly passionate about."

I have followed a similar line for much of my adult life and have come to believe that the beacon call of our age to "follow your passion" can become a trap to remain forever unsatisfied with the here and now of one's life.

This though, is only a certain point of view, and for sure, it is just as likely that you will receive clarity at some point, where your hopes and opportunities converge.

To best facilitate that happening, I'd recommend getting solid in the tools of the Course, specifically the lessons on attention, conscious intent, and will. It is important to develop focus and clarity of intent. I have found that ambiguity of mind and intent will be mirrored by the world with equal amounts of ambiguity. And few things have cause me more trouble than unfocused ambition.

I think you are on the right track when you say you have kept your attention focused on doing the best you can in your current work. In this way you are dealing with what's here and now in a dharmic way. And it is a great way to hone the tools needed to cease the opportunities that will present themselves.

rico said...

There are so many anonymous' that it's hard to keep track. This is related to the job issue anonymous. While the particulars of your situation are different the outlines and contours of this terrain sound quite familiar to me. I too sort of fell into a career (a family business) and stuck with it because of my responsibilities to support my wife and young daughter. I too wanted out on many occasions and never felt my line of work suited my temperament. In fact I once got an astrology reading from Kanti when she told me my stars "screamed" that I should be in a job that was more creative.
It wasn't for lack of trying but the only job that worked out financially for me was working in the family business.

So I basically had 2 choices I could continue to hate my job (entertain thoughts of extreme dissatisfaction) or I could ignore those thought and replace them with more positive ones. They say you can either do what you love or (learn) to love what you do. After some years of persistence, putting the principles of the Course into practice I grew to enjoy my job more and more to the point where I sort of liked it. While the job was never one I would have chosen it was the perfect one for me to come into harmony with less than (what I considered) ideal circumstances in my life.

All that said I'm not suggesting that your path is the same as mine but you'll enjoy your life much more if you can ignore those thoughts that create "a dark & powerful samskara". It's probably more likely that the samskara was there all along and your job is an opportunity to get free from it. Perhaps once you come into harmony with your current situation something more suitable will turn up. It's not easy and requires persistence and perseverance but the rewards are extraordinary.

One more thing I'll mention in passing, sticking with the job I once hated has allowed me to retire early and now I can do whatever I fancy.

D. R. Butler said...

Jim, I liked your comment a lot. Thanks for your contribution.

Pam/Charumati, there are so many who use 'anonymous,' yet you sign your name after your posts. Why not use your name instead of being another anonymous? Just click where it says 'Name/URL' and write in your name.

Menaki said...

My current lesson, V 2 L 18, encourages reviewing the April 1, 2011 blog entry, "Subtle Relationships in a Subtle World", where Ram shares his often dreaming of the subtle presence of all participants of the course, and others.

Recently (after contemplating that blog entry and the current lesson), I had a dream where each had a phone "on hold" off the hook, connecting us all, ready at any time for our calls, keeping us connected.

I woke up remembering that dream, the April 1, 2011 blog entry, the current lesson, that we are all One, everyone and every thing, and the smile it brings only gets deeper!
Loneliness and lack just a fading memory...Menaki
PS So grateful! Thank you with all my Heart.

Brent F said...

Ram, I have a question about something you said in my current lesson. Someone asked if we are free of samskaras when we leave this body. You noted that a samskara remains with the subtle body. What I didn't understand was your distinction betweem anger--a samskara--and "desires and passions" which "remain behind at the time of physical departure." How is a passion or desire different than a samskara like anger?

Jessica said...

I love what Rico said in reply the the anonymous comment about not loving the job. It has been my experience and learning this year that when I finally gave up all the doing (and that doing was who I was identified with) and focused totally on who I was being that my inner and outer experience shifted totally.

So often I have seen that we think we need an outer change in our life to become fulfilled and content but when shifting the intention actually very little of the external circumstances have to change.

Of course the paradox is that when I do that so much changes!

J in the UK said...

I too would appreciate clarification of exactly which emotions or tendencies are "passions and desires" and are left behind, and which are taken with us. 1) When we leave this body, do we continue to experience emotions, eg anger and fear, while we are between incarnations, or do we only become aware of them again when we are next in physical form? 2) Do we progress with our sadhana between incarnations? 3) In a previous lesson you spoke of Kay feeling the ahamkara of her mother lingering near after she transitioned. This worries me, as I would not want the very negative energies of my, now elderly, parents anywhere near me when they transition. I have not seen them for many years - I had to remove myself from their lives for my self-preservation - and they do not live near me. I don't wish to focus on what I don't want, as I have more than enough fear and worry in my life already, but it would help to know what, if anything, I can do to encourage their ahamkaras to linger somewhere away from me!

J in the UK said...

Another wonderful blog. 'The Game exists only now. It just got started'. That was illuminating for me. And a timely reminder that Gratitude is the most important thing. Focusing on gratitude really helps when I am feeling very deprived and afraid. I truly recommend it.

FB said...

wrote this in my computer journal and the notion to copy, paste, and send it to you arises.
I am smiling and want to share the glow!And so you know how valuable the course is.

November 6
My current lesson (V 2 L 19) has me realizing just how attached and based in perceiving ‘oppressor/oppressed’ or ‘villain/victim’ my ego is. This way of perceiving and conceptualizing entirely dominates how I understand and relate to life. Although I have made a small and comfortable, cautious dent in changing this, I realize how deeply entrenched in this perception that I am. I deeply base identity and choices on this basis, I let it dominate my outlook my choices, and wonder, "can I drop this?"

Yet I am eager and enthusiastic to change this endless cycle, this addiction and habit of 'pleasure/pain', 'good/bad', 'win/lose' to equanimity; how refreshing, rejuvenating, inviting, restful, and wondrous this realm feels as I approach it. Thanks Ram and Kay!


Sun said...

I am the light of the world, and so are you, because we are one.

Barbara said...

I'd like to ask three related questions:
1) what happens to the soul after the person commits suicide?
2) if a friend is contemplating suicide, what is the best thing to say to that person?
3) why are so many people committing suicide right now?

Toni Manos said...

Thankyou DR and Kay for my 1st anniversary lesson # 24.

I read every morning and then journal about what I read and then apply it to my moment to moment daily life. It is such fun to wvolve and feel good and help others to feel good!!

Today I celebrated my 1st "birthday" with all the ways I have changed in this year of lessons.
Like others I have read the articles and books... attended retreats and conferences but when they are over I slowly "bunjied" back to my habitual ways.

This daily, bi-monthly reminder has been the answer to a prayer I was not aware I was praying for. I occasionally even send short quotes via text to my peeps as they remind me of what is real in the moment since what is real for them is what is real for me.

My friend (who turned me on to your lessons) and I have great fun talking about your lessons and our lives and we laugh and say "what would DR think?" as we both watch and enjoy each others' lives evolve.

Thanks for it all... and happy Fall to you and Kay and everybody and everything...

Tom Mac said...

Yes, it is as it is. That it is all for the highest and all That.
And there is the subtle. And the inner stillness. And Love. And we are all One....
But I miss the connection on this physical realm. Isn't this a strange poignancy?
Tom Mac _/\_

D. R. Butler said...

I am just completing the newest lesson, and then I will respond to the questions that have been recently posted here. Thank you for your participation and also for your patience.

Tom Mac said...

"two sides of the same coin"
The seeming paradoxes. The sense of duality, right/wrong, good/bad or of 'spiritual' and 'worldly'.

As I contemplate... much has risen up. I recall my Teacher joking and laughing after we completed a month-long course.... and then attended a singles dance. Joking about our closets full of special 'spiritual' clothes.
The outer appearance, concepts may serve their purpose at various times, or as part of the game.... but to go beyond them and be true to our nature and embrace it all as Consciousness is so light and freeing. Clinging to concepts of the mind and conditioning is such a weight!

I am very excited as I await the new Lesson! Each Lesson marks ever significant milestones. Like a kid at Christmas I yearn to unwrap the present, (LOL!). This year the snow definitely arrived in time!
Thank you _/\_
Tom Mac

Mark said...

People that commit suicide are very brave in my opinion. A lot of people contemplate the idea when things get seemingly tough in their lives, but to actually go through with the act takes a lot of courage. Still I feel it is better to honor life, and the fact that one is here, for as long as the body remains here naturally.

I doubt there is any judgement on the other side of the veil, though, so the life here ended by suicide will be much like any other death. The soul will become aware of the subtle realm, and the seemingly intense reality of existence here will seem like a dream. And they will be loved unconditionally by their soul group in the subtle reality.

Suicide does have an interesting side effect, in that it tends to increase compassion for others here on earth. The more that do it (well, unless they are suicide bombers!), the more love and compassion grows here on earth, which is actually helping to increase the vibrations of light here.

You never really know what sort of karma someone has, and perhaps it may be in their karma to be driven to suicide.

These are just my views. I'm curious what Ram will say to this question. I feel the best thing you can do with a person wanting to commit suicide is to be with them, listen to them with compassion. It probably isn't helpful to try to talk them out of it, but it can be helpful to try to encourage them to live another day, remind them of positive things in life, like the beauty of nature. They may not seem to hear you, but I believe it will register in their being somewhere. If you help them make it to tomorrow, then you have done them a great service. Often the deep depression will lift after enough "tomorrows" have gone by. If you think they are very serious, you can call the police, (or a suicide hotline), and they should come and bring them into a psychiatry ward where they will get professional help. I do have some experience with these wards though, and I will say that they are not always helpful for everyone, in the end.

By the way, I actually believe these ideas of suicide causing immense soul damage, or putting the soul in hell for eternity were created by the Romans. They increased taxes to such a high level that citizens there felt the only way out was suicide. To prevent mass suicide, they invented these stories to convince people to change their mind so they could continue to collect taxes from their citizens.

I suppose, in some cases, if the person commits suicide, instead of fully going through their karma, they may end up getting attracted to similar circumstances in their next life, and have to go through similar pain again - until they can come into harmony with it. But, again, who knows how all the mysteries of karma work?

Anonymous said...

I think that we should not judge people who commit suicide or who engage in euthenasia. Surely, it is motive that counts. If someone just wants to exit a situation that is bad, perhpas that is karma. If they want to do it because they are angry with another person and want that person to suffer profoundly, then I feel that may have negative karmic consequences unless they are totally destroyed by whatever is bothering them. I think it is only a callous society that would consider someone a coward because they exit an awful situation or to prevent themselves doing bad things. If I was under Hitler control, I hope I would kill myself rather than do such awful things. Anon

Divya said...

I am re-reading this today the day after Thanksgiving to say that yes, my needs are being fulfilled. I really have no idea where I am being led at times. I do know that if I 'listen,' I do know the next step.

I have been carrying around the quote from Shri Ramana and reading it from time to time thinking I will understand it someday!I have been praying for the removal of the obstacles that I have in my life. I think I am getting that there are no obstacles when I have the understanding of nonduality. All is One. I feel as though I have been fighting against something that isn't actually there. I am not getting the end of the quote from this new perspective where it says that 'If one is in the state in which opposition is felt, then to work on that opposition is required. Could you explain this to me Ram from your perspective?

I appreciated the entry by Rico on the job situation where he added 'Do what you love or learn to love what you do.' I am feeling that in my current job and at the same time following my intuitions on new directions.

Ness said...


In my current lesson it states:

The truth is, we won’t be any better off if others think well of us,
and we won’t be any worse off if others think badly of us. Take it from
me, as I have experienced both. Neither of them has any meaning
whatsoever unless our own ego, wanting to satisfy its addiction to selfpity
or anger or hurt feelings, assigns meaning to it.

I am struggling to absorb this in its entirety. My current perspective, as contemplation has revealed, is split on this. On the one hand, it seems my mind totally agrees with this in terms of my personal life, however cannot accept this to be true in the context of work life. If someones boss, for example, thinks they are useless and need to be moved on then that has a very real affect on someones life.... doesnt it? I seem to be stumped on this, any support digesting this truth is much appreciated it

Mark said...

Ness, while having your boss hate you may indeed have an effect on the circumstances of your life, i.e. your life situation. There is a very big difference between your life situation and life, the aliveness that exists in every moment. The truth of who you are, that in you which is one with all of creation, which is one with your awareness of being, is not affected one way or another regardless of what anyone thinks. If you are identified more with your life situation, then praise/blame will certainly affect you. But if you are identified with the real truth of who you are (in between thoughts), that aspect of you will not change in the slightest. Words are never quite right, they just try to point you the right way, but it is easy to miss the point, until you have more of an experience of what they are pointing to. You will have more and more glimpses of that experience in time, as you go through the course. There is no doubt.

Avivit said...

I love the font of the October post! totaly....its big and clear and has such a nice wide feeling to it.

James Donohue said...

I am surrounding myself in a golden bubble of gratitude. Just bouncing along. I love when it gets simple.

Tom Mac said...

Well, here is an 'inappropriate' comment but it has been sitting with me for quite a while so I am going to share it....

I miss you

J in the UK said...

Tom Mac, I, too, miss being able to read the more frequently posted Blog comments. I'm not on Facebook, so "only" have the Course and blog (though I realise how privileged that is). From my human perspective I am very isolated and alone, (housebound), and loved being able to tune in to the blog and other Course participants on a daily basis when comments were posted more frequently. I, too, felt it inappropriate to say this, as D R gives us so much, but you are not alone in missing him. Thank you for being brave enough to say so. I wasn't, until you did!
D R, hugely grateful for all you do that I have access to.
Proving I am not a robot is trouble-free when it is numbers, but today it has reverted to letters, which is often difficult or even impossible to make out, and on occasion has prevented me from submitting my post. Just to let you know. I don't know whether you have any control over this.

D. R. Butler said...

J in the UK, send me a private message or email letting me know what name you take the Course under. I might have an idea regarding you.

Some of the above questions will end up in a lesson or blog, but I'll eventually answer everything here. There are some good questions. Right now I am finishing the lesson that was supposed to go out to the group waiting for it. I don't know if there is just more to do, or if I'm just doing things more slowly.

D. R. Butler said...

I have been putting a lot of time and energy in the lessons of the Course, so what I have decided is that I will post a new blog entry on January 1, 2015, and in that entry I will include responses to all the questions in the last part of the comments that I have never gotten to. Also, refer to my last sentence is my previous comment. Still, I promise a full and satisfying blog entry for you to start off the New Year. Thanks for your presence here, and for your contributions in our ongoing dialogue.

Vicki H. said...

Thank you for all the blog postings of 2014. I enjoyed rereading this one, yesterday and today, and found it was brand new, even though I'd read it before. I found that there is a lot to contemplate - about the Game, the tests, the Shakti, and gratitude. I'm also contemplating a good Intention for me to follow in 2015. Your final principle gave me some help with that - Work on increasing GRATITUDE.

FB said...

Just reading a lesson...and feel like sharing how great it feels....
. Contentment, enjoyment, cheerfulness, and serenity.
Also from V 2 L 29, on page 7: “For inner transformation, focused concentration with ever increased frequency, duration, and intensity is required. The effort, however, is gentle, not forced or agitated, it is simply being focused, which requires a calm energy, and no sign of struggle”.

Thank you! Sincerely, thank you. Nothing means more.