Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Preciousness of Each Moment

March was the first time in a long time that there was no blog entry.  A lot has been going on in my karmic movie, or my personal life, whichever terms you prefer.  A lot of different words and ways of saying things designate the same basic thing in essence.  People even have arguments saying the same basic thing in different ways.  Thing is, most people would rather win the argument than know the truth.
If this is your first time here, welcome.  This is not a ‘blog’ in the traditional sense, but rather an exploration of various principles of the Truth of Being.  The ‘Truth of Being’ is not just a ‘new-age’ thing to say that I picked up a few weeks ago.  I was first introduced to the principles in 1960 at the tender age of 15.  It was also during this time that I began my own discovery of living in the Truth of the Present Moment, which presently has become simply a natural way of being.
What takes us out of the Truth of the Present Moment?  Words.  Thoughts.  Automatic reactions.  Expressing negative emotions.  Living in our own egotistical melodramas.
Let’s begin with words.  Words are immensely more powerful than many of us are aware of.  A certain word or phrase can make us react in some way that we know is not the Truth of us.  After our reaction, we might feel foolish that we reacted to someone’s words.  The Sanskrit term for the power of words is matrika Shakti.  My Guru said, “Do not let the matrika make you dance.”
A group of words leads to a thought.  Rather, the group of words with a coherent meaning is the thought.  A thought is nothing more than a certain group of words that we have given meaning to.
On one level, our thoughts are generally insignificant.  They are not nearly as interesting as we make them out to be.  Also, most of them are, at best, some variation of some aspect of truth, or something relatively true for now.  Most thoughts are just mental clutter.  The space that exists between any two thoughts, or any two words, is very blissful and freeing.  However, it is a great process to gain the simple ability to maintain the gaze between two thoughts.
Most people cannot even conceive of a silent, still space between thoughts, between words.  They might even consider such a space as boring.  Thoughts lead to activity and stimulation, which many people are unknowingly addicted to.  Many people are only comfortable with plenty of activity and stimulation.  This leads to egotistical melodramas, and we get lost in them and lose all touch with the Truth of the Present Moment.
Egotistical melodramas is one of the key terms in our Course of Training regarding Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.  In short time we begin to recognize egotistical melodramas for what they are; not merely in retrospect, but as we are in the midst of them.  We learn to catch them ‘red-handed.’
We must develop the capacity to see what limits us and keeps us in some degree of ignorance, for only after we are able to see what holds us down are we finally able to recognize the very best of ourselves.  Truly, most all people are much greater, in essence, than they conceive themselves to be.  They limit themselves to constrictive or contracting concepts.  This is why we must learn to go beyond all concepts, and open up to the willingness to see something new—the Truth of our own Being, the Truth of the Self.
Briefly, an egotistical melodrama requires words and thoughts (to describe the situation and what is going on—which we take to be ‘reality)’.  The egotistical melodrama usually requires other people—often includes conflict, or an expression of negative emotions, and they take place in ‘time.’  In the present moment, they don’t even exist.  They exists in thoughts, and thoughts require time. 
The present moment is absolutely silent and absolutely still.
The present moment is the space between words or thoughts.  If we could rest in that state, we would live in absolute contentment.  Truly, contentment is the highest aspiration.  Once we are content, we have attained all we can attain while dwelling in this physical body.
Due to a rigid conditioning from the past, we cannot be content simply by deciding to be.  We can decide to remain content forevermore, and yet the next time someone says something we don’t like, we are caught up in an emotional reaction.  So a comprehensive and coherent ‘training’ is, if not required, at least highly recommended.  On our own, our head is spinning its tires to get free from snow, ice, sleet, sand, and mud of the mind.  We need something that helps us see what direction we’re going in and what is the next step.
At least this was my own experience with my own Teachers.  Simply through being in subtle relationship with them, my state would expand to a much greater degree, leading to a greater transformation, than anything I could have possibly done on my own, depending entirely on my own feeble efforts. 
Anyway, we each do what we can do, right?  I sit here and write having no idea of where this sentence will go, much less what will be written in the next sentence.  In a sense I am taking dictation, having no idea what I will write next.  I am simply the typist.  All my writings are much more amazing to me than to you, the reader, for you might think you know where these words come from, while for me it is a great mystery.
Some questions have recently come in.  I will respond to them here:
Someone wrote, "I don't feel I value or appreciate the preciousness of each moment.
“Here is my question:
“What is it about being in THIS BODY that is so precious?  I want to fully appreciate the preciousness of each moment and am open to fuller understanding."
Being in this body is so precious because it carries a precious cargo.  It is our dharma to protect the precious cargo at any cost.  What if you could actually experience that nothing is inside this body other than God or Consciousness?  What if you were truly aware that you are carrying around the Lord everywhere you go?
If you felt alone with God, would you experience the preciousness of the moment? Well, in truth, you are alone with God right now.  God is peering through your eyes, hearing through your ears, and so on through all the senses.  There is no one in this body but God.  There is no middle-man.
When you fully understand this, you live in the consciousness of the preciousness of life.  You see that each moment is to be cherished and celebrated, because it is a distinctive part of the life you are living here on the planet Earth.  Why not cherish and celebrate each moment of life?  Is something ‘else’ going to happen?
This is how you experience the preciousness of the present moment.
Another wrote:  I have a strong sense of late that I did not give earlier lessons the required attention throughout the back half of volume one, in particular the section on ‘attention, conscious intent & will’
“I feel that ongoing events in my personal life are the result of a strong sense of self-doubt along with lack of clarity & there are earlier lessons that would assist me in breaking free from the corresponding samskara – which has undoubtedly led me to a current life situation that is rather unpleasant.
“Perhaps the best approach would be to discontinue where I am currently at with the lessons, to enable me to return to volume 1 for the coming period?
Your advice would be appreciated.”
No!  Do not do that.  One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they should suspend their current lessons in order to ‘catch up’ with all the earlier lessons they did not give their full attention to.  Sooner or later we realize that the Course is not merely about the words in lessons, although reading them nurtures us inwardly.  Myself, I would never gullibly accept the truth of that simply because someone else said it.  I would have to prove it true for myself, by actually applying the principles of Truth in practical ways in my own life.
Listen, only a very few ever gave the earlier lessons their full attention.  Only a very few fully saw the great value in the section on ‘Attention, Conscious Intent & Will.’  It is a section of the Course designed to help us master our personal life in order to be free to explore other, subtler areas later in the Course.  By ‘personal life’ I mean anything perceived or experienced in regards to the karma of the individual being.
Any major principle that was explored earlier that you feel you did not give enough attention to, will come back to you in other lessons.  Nothing in the Course that is essential to understand will be mentioned only once.  The only way we can fully experience or imbibe major principles of Truth is through repetition.
The Energy (Shakti) of the Course is a process far beyond reading words either printed out (preferable) or online.  The primary practice of the Course is to focus on your current lesson as much as possible, for in your current lesson you will get the answers you need.
It takes the average participant of the Course approximately 2 years to fully understand and appreciate what the Course actually is.  Hopefully you will be above average.  
The Course is by no means merely about reading words; it is tuning in to a certain Energy or State that will help you move in the right direction, and know what the next step will be, and what the end-goal might be.  These answers will come to you from within yourself, which we ordinarily think of as ‘intuition.’  Nothing comes to us from outside our own Self.  The greatest truths arise from inside us, perhaps stimulated by what a Teacher says or does, yet we know we already knew it, we just never thought of the words for it. 
Because of the time it takes for most people to see and experience what the Course in truth actually is, and the opportunities available through participating in the process of the Course, everything in the first two years is primarily designed to get one’s personal life cleaned up and running in a competent, orderly fashion.  Those who think they can succeed on the ‘spiritual path’ without first mastering physical life have deluded themselves once again.
Depending on your love of reading, you can continue referring to your current lesson whenever possible, and in addition you can take time to gradually read the past lessons that you feel you didn’t imbibe at the time.  Remember, just reading the words of the lesson expands and transforms our understanding and experience.  By referring to the current lesson daily—perhaps supplemented with some reviewing of ‘older’ lessons—gradually trains and disciplines the mind. 
When you reread earlier lessons you find that you see meanings you never saw before, and new insights arise—because of the change in your state since originally reading it.  You will see things now that you were unable to recognize or take in during your previous reading(s).
If you stop the Course, thinking you can ‘catch up,’ you block the flow of spiritual energy required for inner development.  There is in reality nothing to catch up to. The Course is about living in the Truth of the Present Moment.  If you understand your current lesson, you understand all you need to know for now.  To get your life in order, and in harmony, you simply need to actually apply the principles in the lessons in all areas of your daily life.  Look at what you have been thinking that allows you to think of your life in the way you described.
One final exchange:  Someone wrote:  “What are the primary things that you feel are necessary for inner development?  I believe I might better focus my mind if I had some perspective or overview of what is happening and what we are here for if I had specific suggestions to follow.”
You know, I have been writing lessons for 39 years, culminating in this current Course of Training which explores all aspects of the Truth of Being—or the reality of the one Self simultaneously expressing as everyone.
From the title of the Course and the blog, you might guess that I feel it is essential to live established in the present moment.  Why?  Because the present moment is the only ‘time’ it is possible to experience higher feelings, such as love, compassion, and kindness.  If you get lost in time, you are once again lost in the negative emotions of egotistical melodramas, which take up the time of your life if you let them.
It is important to love your Self, and to see and love that same Self in all others in your karmic sphere, which pretty much includes everyone you have any relationship or contact with—otherwise, they would never come into your life.  First class spiritual growth is available through the awareness that the highest sadhana is to be in harmony regarding all other people, including their words and actions.  To live in harmony with everyone all the time—regardless of what they do or say—leads to a great inner state.
Above all things, love and respect yourself.  If you want something from another, be the one to give it, for only in this way will you be fulfilled.  Understand that you alone are the Source of your perception and experience.  When we understand the Truth, we realize that nothing outside us has any power over us whatsoever.  It seemed to have power over us before, but that’s only because we allowed it to.  Understand that you are first Cause of everything you see and experience.
Think positively and creatively.  Never think badly of yourself, or look down upon yourself.  Always remember that only the Divine dwells within and animates this body and mind.  Respect your Self.  Only in this way can you generate or experience true respect.  Never expect others to respect you—it is of no concern of yours how they see you.  Respect yourself and you will be happy and free. 
You have to think highly of yourself in spite of what others say; you can never think highly of yourself because of what others say. 
You live in your own creation.  This is the Truth.
For information regarding the Course of Training, and the first two lessons, or essentially the first month of the Course, write: drbutler.course@gmail.com
The Course is also available in Spanish and French.