Saturday, May 2, 2015

Your Life Is What You Make It


Hello friends.  It is good to meet with you again this way, through this cyber/subtle connection that transcends time, because we can read this at any time on any day and here we still are.  The Energy behind the writing, unseen and unexpected, doesn’t fade with time, but remains forever available whenever we tune into it.

There were some questions in the last part of last month’s comments that were never responded to, and there are also other questions that have come in and have not yet been answered.  So I’m using them to stir the interest of the typist and get him started.

It seems that a lot of people are having a hard time.  This has actually been a long-running theme in most people’s lives.  This is easily observable by watching the media news outlets reporting all the worst things that are currently happening.  On a more individual basis, all I have to do is read our mail.  Thankfully, many people write to share how totally their lives have been transformed since beginning the lessons of the Course, which initiates an inner process for the reader that leads to greater freedom and understanding.

Even so, there are also reports of life’s hardships and difficulties.  I’ve been reading letters and then emails from participants of the Course for 40 years now, exacting in August.  (The original lessons of the Course were first mailed out in August, 1975.)  Nothing surprises me anymore.  Everything is a variation of similar themes in the lives of many others.  All these years of people opening up honestly with me regarding the details of their lives has enabled me to see the ‘human condition’ quite clearly.  No matter what we are going through, we are all pretty much all in the same boat.  The only real difference between us lies in the degree to which we are aware of the Truth.

Here is a question from the blog comments:  “In my current lesson it says ‘since we have perfected all the preceding exercises, lets simply focus on the eternal serenity of all things.’  I don't feel like I have perfected the preceding exercises.  And from your comment, I should read them more often, and go back and read more from the past?  My ego is attaching to feeling like I lost the skill in this work at some point, and I feel like a failure. . . that I won’t get to the place others are at.”

If you’ve known me very well or very long, you know I can have a deadpan sense of humor that is sometimes difficult to recognize as actual humor.  I can assure you, no one has perfected all the preceding exercises; everyone got out of them whatever they were open to, and according to their approach and commitment to the exercise, and determined primarily by what they are truly ready to receive.  However I am not oblivious to the fact that probably the majority of participants give relatively little attention to the exercises, much less perfect them. 

Most participants probably could not tell you, without looking, what their current exercise is.  It is also true that most participants would benefit greatly from rereading their current lessons, or even lessons received previously, more often than they do.  The secret to the vast power of the Course lies in your openness to repetition, which some people automatically resist. 

The Course is not about learning new information or new facts. The Course is about tuning into a certain level of Energy, and a certain state from which to approach and live life.  This transmission happens through repetition.  It doesn’t matter if you already ‘know’ the lesson.  What matters is that through willingly reading it once again we are uplifted and elevated.  You don’t have to take anyone’s word for this.  You can very easily prove it true for yourself.

You can’t be a ‘failure’ unless you just quit and refuse to grow.  As long as you simply keep going, you are a success.  And please, never think about ‘getting to the place others are at.’  What others?  What place?  How do you know ‘where they are at?’  What if you’re actually in first place?  In reality, there is no one to compare yourself to, and the tendency to compare is the ego at work.  Never bother with comparing yourself with another regarding anything.  It is total waste of time and energy

Another wrote simply:  “I don't know how else to say it.  If I can't find a way to solve my money samskaras and earn a living I fear one day it may cost me my life.  Please help me"

Kay initially responded to him, as she usually does to individual emails, and he explained more in his response to her:  More than anything I want to be a financial blessing rather than a burden to my aging parents and I hope to marry my girlfriend who has a wonderful 11 year old boy.  Elsewhere Ram has said that financial karma is among the easiest to change.  I very much hope this is true but so far that has not been my experience.  Work always seems to involve substantial anxiety, doubt, fear and turmoil.  I seem to have significant fear about serving in any capacity and my earnings have never yet been enough to meet even my most basic needs.  All this despite having high intelligence and excellent education through a master's degree.  Currently I have a sales position that is my first ever opportunity to earn a good living.  After two months I have yet to make a sale.  My parents are getting up in age and have always supported me, I am 45.  I need to change so that I will have somewhere to live for my lifetime.”

What is puzzling to me is this man has taken our Course for a long time.  He knows what to do, but for some reason he does not do it.  It’s like you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink.

One of the earliest sections of the Course is What You Think Is What You Get.  Thought is creative, and therefore our personal life cannot be different from what and how we think.  In our loved one’s letter, he expresses almost one negative comment after another.  I can understand this kind of thinking when one has never been exposed to the principles of Truth, but when one knows that what you think is what you get, and he only thinks of what is unpleasant and of what he doesn’t want, I feel a little sad.  All that is required to change everything is to apply the principle.

He has a Master’s degree, is 45 years old, and has depended on his aging parents to support him all his life.  Of course, the parents also did not understand the principles of Truth, or they would have never allowed him to reach this point of his life without having to take care of himself.  At some point, being a good parent is allowing our children to go through what they have to in order to learn how to take care of themselves and to live independently.

The dharma (righteous action) here is that as long as one is a student, he can accept support from his family to the degree that they are able to help, but after being a student one enters a phase of life known as ‘the householder’ dharma.  The dharma of a householder is to support oneself and if possible to support one’s elders and also his or her children for as long as they are students.  These dharmas are described and defined very clearly in the ancient Eastern scriptures.  They are not something I am just now making up.

It is true that financial karma is among the easiest to change.  Income is very amenable to consciousness of abundance.  If we think we do not have enough income to support ourselves, that generates a vibrational energy that repels abundance.  If we are conscious of abundance, however, and KNOW that we have and will receive everything that is needed, this opens up our capacity to generate financial growth.  Not only can we have what we need, but we can live in abundance, never even having to consider whether there is enough money or not.

Assuming abundance turns on the faucet of supply, which is potentially unlimited, unless we limit it in our own consciousness of what is realistically available.  Our questioner said, “Work always seems to involve substantial anxiety, doubt, fear and turmoil.  I seem to have significant fear about serving in any capacity and my earnings have never yet been enough to meet even my most basic needs.  Currently I have a sales position that is my first ever opportunity to earn a good living.  After two months I have yet to make a sale.”

The anxiety, doubt, fear, and turmoil have to be replaced by supreme confidence, and the KNOWLEDGE that you are cared for in every possible way.  There is some reason deep-seated in your consciousness that prevents you from making a single sale.  Do you have confidence is what you are selling?  Is it a good deal for your customers or clients?  If the answers are ‘yes,’ then you can approach potential buyers with the knowledge that you can offer them something very helpful to them.  Is your answer is ‘no’ to those two questions, then you are in the wrong business, or at least trying to sell the wrong products—if you have no faith in them yourself.

The primary thing is to develop, through consistent practice, a positive attitude and an uplifting approach to your life.  You have thought negatively long enough.  It is easy, because it is your usual way to go, but you have to give it up and come up with a much more positive approach to your life.  This includes seeing yourself in a much more positive way—which is seeing yourself as you actually want to be.  You can ‘be’, ‘do’, and ‘have’ whatever you want.  It is all a matter of what and how you think. 

For proof, try believing something, and see if you can experience anything other than what you believe.  You will invariably experience whatever you believe, and this can never be successfully disproven. 

Finally, someone wrote this question:  “I have recently started the 4th year of the course.  I have begun to observe what happens over time, which is something I never would have considered at the beginning.  I have always heard the term, ‘expanded awareness’, but I never really got what that meant until seeing how my own inner consciousness has been definitely expanded in the past couple of years.  My question is, what makes this possible?  What is behind it all?  It is obvious that it is beyond the written words of the lessons.”

This question, in many variations, comes up from time to time, and each time I look to see how this needs to be answered at this time.  There is actually no sensible answer to this question.  What happens during the process of participating in the Course is something that the mind cannot fully comprehend.  The conscious mind only gets bits and pieces of what is actually going on.

The Course does not find its origin in the typist.  I am happy to type, for then I am the first one to see the new lesson, but the power of the lessons all participants experience comes from a Source far beyond anything we ordinarily think about, or consider as real.  If we ordinarily live on the 3rd of 7 levels of Awareness, the Course comes from the 7th level, filtering through the 5th and 6th levels of Awareness simply so that our conscious mind can somewhat grasp it. 

From our perspective, the 7th level is a space of no-thought but pure Consciousness.  It is what we refer to as The Truth of the Present Moment, since the present moment is the only ‘time’ anything can exist, even a memory or a plan.  We are guided from that level intuitively to the degree that we are open to receiving knowledge that we don’t know how we know it.

To fully intuit the answer to this question is to allow for the fact that life is much larger, broader, and richer than we ordinarily experience it to be.  Our ordinary experience comes mostly from social conditioning, and not from intuitive promptings.  We have been presented with a world, and brainwashed to the degree that we assume our perception and experience of this world is ultimate reality. 

Ultimate Reality, however, is far beyond our comprehension of this world, or this ‘life.’  Sooner or later we must allow that there are entire ‘sections’ of the experiential universe that have never even occurred to us.  The world, and this life, are far larger than we have the power to comprehend. 

So many energies are at work, and we go through life exchanging energies as an aspect of leading up to the perfect balance and the perfect harmony.  It is a splendorous game, but it helps immensely to know that it is a game and what the ‘rules’ of the game are.  This is conveyed quite clearly through the lessons of the Course, and much more that we have room to even hint at here.

Thank you for joining me here.  I have enjoyed sharing this ‘time’ and ‘space’ with you.  I will see you in the lessons, in the blog, and even on Facebook, for those of you who choose to join us there.  This is especially helpful if you wish to be in contact with other participants of the Course—who are your inner, subtle family—a family of total acceptance, compassion, and unconditional love. We are available online, including right here in the ‘comments’ that follow.  To easily get to the comments, click on the title of the blog entry, and then you can scroll down through all the comments.

You will be immediately sent information about the Course, and a complimentary Lesson 1, simply by writing us at:  drbutler.course@gmail.com

The lessons are also available in Spanish and French.

47 comments:

Avivit said...

I want to add this: In my lessons in the 6th year I am asked to review some sections from 2nd year and I am blown by the depth and beauty of them. Its as if I never read them before despite recognizing the teachings. I feel so fortunate to take part of this amazing course which never EVER ends to amaze me. Thank you typist for your services. I will remember you and be grateful forever...truly forever.

Avivit said...

What a great new Article! When you D.R. were answering that question about how does Expanded awareness actually happens as we keep reading and practicing the principles in the course I had to smile because it is magic. Yet it keeps expanding...I wonder if there will ever be an end to this expanding magic?

I also experienced compassion for the one who hasn't put all his chips on the teaching "What you think is what you get". For myself I know it is quite a learn PROCESS...as part of the expansion, it took time to realize how truly complete this teaching is and I really send blessing to the one so that you take a complete leap and practice practice practice this every moment until you realize it all starts with your own mind's creation and ends with it too.
Once a great Master asked a bunch of people in the room why would we ask for little if we know we are the Self and can have EVERYTHING!!!! I guess that as we grow and expand our understanding of who we are, we are that whole thing, we are the creator of the bank...now what would you Sir wish for yourself today?
My suggestion is: if you cannot believe big time...start little...intend everyday for smaller things and become stable in your realization that it definitely works! Love

EMERALD PHILOSOPHY said...

Dear Typist,

Thank you for this blog!

(the anonymous commentor from last blog who was too lazy to sign up & liked being incógnito!)

: )

Anonymous said...

D.R. can you explain why someone who is aware of your course, even aware of what it might offer, doesn't jump at the chance to participate? It can't be the cost since it's cheaper than the cost of a couple pizzas a month. I can't imagine someone is so busy that they can't find 10 or 15 minutes a day to read it. This is one of life's great mysteries for me, knowing what the course has to offer.

joani nunez said...

well shoot. i was enjoying that compliment about having "perfected all the preceding exercises" and then totally deflated when you said your were kidding ;)

okay, all joking aside.... i don't know if anyone else does this, but it's one of my favorite things to do when i start a new lesson - i immediately turn to the last page and read the exercise first, before reading anything else.

i write it in my journal and then on an index card that goes in my wallet, and sometimes even a short prompt on the back of my hand.... then of course i go back and read from the beginning. kind of a quirky approach, but it works really well for me and keeps each lesson in the foreground of my day :)

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

There is so much to savor in this entry and I look forward to re-reading it.

Like Avivit above, I am on the sixth year of the course and reading my lesson is one of the most delightful, important, meaningful, precious things that I do in my day and my life. I am a householder right now and good knows without the course I might get lost in the flutter of many tasks-- the Course continually reminds me of the Highest ways to approach these daily responsibilities. And it also gives me a tangible way to easily slide into a meditative state... I pick up my lesson and before I know it I am feeling tuned into my higher feelings of contentment and gratitude and joy.

Love KJ

Anonymous said...

Dear All...
I have on my monitor a quote that I once got at an an Ayruvedic restaurant in NYC. It was sort of like their version of a fortune cookie:
<>
That quote seems especially relevant here in light of Ram's (D.R.'s) May 2015 blog entry. I cannot count the number of times that I have even railed AGAINST the inherent wisdom of that when things seemed really bad or because I had done something apparently stupid or "not good enough" and then had to suffer the (karmic) consequences.
Nevertheless, I do believe it to be true, and always come back to it after the dust settles, and leave it taped on to my monitor.
I am very grateful that I seem to have been blessed with what I suppose you could call "adequacy consciousness" if not abundancy consciousness. But at the same time I don't blame those who worry about their financial futures as the reality of homelessness is all around us.
Ram seems to say that those who are AWARE OF the principle that what-you-think-is-what-you-get should be better able to employ them effectively. I guess I am not so sure of that. from my experience, while some have the strength to manifest their creativity or artistry into beautiful works of art, and have no problem believing in their ability to do so, changing that part of their identity from "starving artist" to financially successful one is another skill-set entirely.
This applies to all fields of endeavor but art or music are prime examples. What separated the starving street musician who knows he is talented enough to perform in public from the entrepreneurial one who is into self-marketing, at least in part because of the size of his ego? I have seen gifted people who are able to manifest their dreams into brilliant prototypes (think Tesla) while others make a fortune off nothing more than modern-day snake-oil because they are willing to believe more in power of the scams than in the product.
So my question becomes, how does one change a BELIEF that precedes their thought process and undermines it even after employing the priniciples you speak of in other areas of their lives? Although compassionate, I felt a subtle level of blame in the sense of "He should have known better by now" in what D.R. said. So I come back to that quote on my monitor:
<>

Love to you All,
HariLarry <---- (I'm signing as anonymous for technical reasons but many of you know me by that name)

Tom Mac said...

What a fascinating process! When I read the Blog or Lessons, my experience shifts into a sweet awareness. As time goes by a process takes place - and I am conscious that the writings were the catalyst. I am also increasing aware on deeper and deeper levels that the power is within my own self, that I am being empowered and freed from past conditioning. I get that my own state is my responsibility not what appears to be 'going on outside'.
Thank you!
Tom Mac
(and today is a special day, someone's Birthday that we are both very close to. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)

Pama said...

Thank You, D.R., for this most recent entry which so greatly enhances the Course for me, and hopefully, entices others to join the magical adventure being here offered.

A little housekeeping/discipline tip I'd like to offer that probably comes from the realms of something like time management/pacing is that with each new printed lesson I write the numbers of the days (1-15 or 16-31) on page one. When the lesson is re/read I cross off that day, remembering never to criticize if I miss a day/s. In 6.5 years of the Course the power of repetition has become too evident to think of passing up.

Another little tip: I noticed very early on that I was unable to remember the lesson exercise even though I had just read it. It has now been my long practice to keep the current lesson exercise written on a card placed on the side table by the chair where I "hang out". Keeping the last two or three exercises running visible allows me to see the integration of the process as it manifests in this life. Love to All.

Colette DeVore said...

I second what Avit has shared. I feel somehow larger, not so cramped inside my own awareness. I did not even realize that it was so contracted before. Events still happen yet somehow my relationship to them is much more lighthearted. It is so interesting to observe this. I have also begun the sixth year of the course.

Naganath said...

The lessons are deeper and more meaningful to the extent that my heart is open and the mind is peaceful. Sometimes (in the present moment) there is extraordinary experience of deep meaning beyond the words that can only be experienced soulfully. There is so much gratitude I feel for the Course in this life. Especially for all the others who participate and the Typist who presents the Course in this Present.
Love, Naganath.

Taylor said...

I'm one of the fortunate ones and am not having a hard time in my life situation. I attribute this to the fact that I don't mind repetition and I have been re-reading my current lesson everyday for the past 6 years. If you're open enough to feel the energy as you read the lesson, it's well worth the effort!

tmc said...

I wrote a beautiful comment in the moment and it dropped into the nothingness that always is and I was asked to sign into google to make a comment, lol! So the light became Terry and sends love to the typist and Kay!

Ghayas said...

Thank You for this blog entry, dear Ram. It is freeing to be reminded of my power to create my life experience with my own thinking. And it is reassuring to be reminded of the existence of this Ultimate Reality beyond the ordinary levels of existence. I feel the longing to be more in contact with it. For now, I'm in contact with you and you're reminding me of it. So it's a good start. Only what is best will surely follow. Love and best wishes to you. Ghayas

Brandon said...

Going on year two of the course, it seems like only yesterday that I was pulled to it, but resisted for some unknown reason. Thankfully, I jumped in and am grateful to the "typist". One of my favorite things has always been a typewriter, the louder the sound, the more passionate I become.

This typist cannot put into words the profound impact the course continues to have. It is something I absolutely would not live without, since every lesson, blog, and post seems to be innately relevant to what is transpiring in my life and allows me to transmute old energies into something substantially meaningful.

Much love Ram.

D. R. Butler said...

The first 'Anonymous' above says, "D.R. can you explain why someone who is aware of your course, even aware of what it might offer, doesn't jump at the chance to participate? It can't be the cost since it's cheaper than the cost of a couple pizzas a month. I can't imagine someone is so busy that they can't find 10 or 15 minutes a day to read it. This is one of life's great mysteries for me, knowing what the course has to offer."

My response to this is, I don't know. I know that many more people would enjoy and benefit from participating in the Course, but I imagine for the large part they don't have the karma to ever hear about the Course. When someone is ready for the Course, usually he or she magically learns about it somehow, gives it a trial, and then inexplicably remains a participant for life.

I would love for more people to learn of the Course. It won't be such a big deal for me, but I have the knowledge, from many years of feedback, that most people who give the Course a trial end up benefitting greatly from it. It changes people's lives. I know that anyone who participates in the Course is taken care of for the rest of his or her life.

Ultimately, though, regarding why someone wouldn't start the Course, even knowing about it, is a great mystery to me. Seems some just aren't ready.

D. R. Butler said...

The second 'Anonymous,' who later signs off as HariLarry, writes a rather long comment vaguely disagreeing with something, saying, "Ram seems to say that those who are AWARE OF the principle that what-you-think-is-what-you-get should be better able to employ them effectively. I guess I am not so sure of that.

"So my question becomes, how does one change a BELIEF that precedes their thought process and undermines it even after employing the principles you speak of in other areas of their lives? Although compassionate, I felt a subtle level of blame in the sense of "He should have known better by now" in what D.R. said. So I come back to that quote on my monitor:

The quote on his monitor, mentioned at the beginning and end, never appeared, so I have no idea what it is.

I would love to know whether HariLarry actually participates in the Course, or is merely questioning what is written in this blog entry.

How one changes the belief that undermines it is through participating in the Course. The lessons root out all previous brainwashing and programming and give us a completely new and expanded perspective to consider. If the Course were not transformative in this way, it would have no value, and there would be no reason to be involved with it. But too many have spoken of the transformation for me to doubt it.

Someone who has participated in the Course as long as the one I was speaking to understands that if I question why he does not apply the principles in such matters, I am offering help to rescue him from the ego that limits him and prevents him from understanding or applying the principles of Truth.

There is no blame. Very early in the Course we explore giving up blame entirely--either blaming someone else for something, or accepting blame from another. One of the first things is that one must be free from all aspects of blame, which otherwise keeps him under the control of the ego.

HariLarry, I appreciate your questioning. I can understand completely why such a question might come up. All the best to you.

Avivit said...

I wonder regarding what 2nd anonymous HarryLarri says: about that you are not sure of what Ram says regarding those who are conscious of the principle "What you think is what you get"....
It is my own experience in life that for one to master something one has to practice...practice and more practice. I have no doubt that when its not working for someone...its either because he/she do not practice enough or even below this is what I call "a lazer cutter", a deep undermining belief that one is not worthy to recieve and experience the best or whatever one intends to. When D.R. says that participating in the course will change that I agree a million percent. Yet if one/you come to a training room and use some weights every now and then and do not commit to a regular practice, how would one/you be able to strengthen ones muscles? Just wishing isn't enough....one/you have to believe you CAN. If you do not believe in it....why would you get the benefit of it? There is no one out there who would say lets do him a favor. Yes I believe in Grace...yet one has to allow it. You want to get out of the sinking sand? you'll have to ask for help and give a hand big time! Now sinking sand is a very good option because you have only 2 options...yes or no, which makes it easy to decide. And...its only one who is out of that same mess who can pull you out. I really believe that if it doesn't happen again and again, it's because you very probably don't want it enough. When one is about to drown and one chooses to LIVE...one gives everything...that's my experience of it.

To another subject. Similar to Pama....I write on each new lesson the date I begin reading and I draw a line after each time I finish the whole 10 pages...so I keep track of how many times have I repeated reading the lesson. I also started to underline some sentences which especialy jump out for me. I notice that often, every sentence is just so potent and filled with teachings to consider and contemplate, that it is important for me to underline the extra extra important, those I do not want to miss in a sea of amazing teachings. Often I'll also write on a piece of paper something I want it to become my second skin and after a few days looking at it again and again it sinks in....osmosis.

About the excersizes at the end of each lesson...I too tend to forget soon enough and need to write it on a piece of paper.

And last, I've been reading the typist's lessons for about 10 years, 6 in this version and 4 in the older publication and never ever have I thoughts that it repeats itself....it is ever new, enticing, alluring, a magical force which literally got hold of my balls and its sooooo good! :)

Avivit said...

For some reason, in this last week of may I keep writing and writing....so here I come again with a question that comes up while reading my current lesson for which I probably need clarity:

When I am the Seer & I am aware of the formless presence, it still feels like duality.....I the seer and that which is experienced...is it duality? why is that?
I am aware that I am aware plus what seems to occur.

In deeper stages of meditation for example, it is as one...I see and there is no sense of being the seer...there is what there is yet it doesn't feel like I Avivit am aware of whatever I am aware of....it is just what it is, all one soup.
I hope D.R. that my question is clear. Can you please explain?

Christine S. Boyd said...

One of the main ways the Course supports me to live my best life is taking responsibility for my feelings. If I feel like a victim I soon recognize what I’m doing to myself to feel bad. I shift it because I prefer feeling good. I no longer get upset with myself for forgetting either, thanks to a few years in the Course. That's true awesomeness and I celebrate each time it occurs! I was rebellious growing up and it's so amazing to find I was right to rebel. However, a rebel without knowledge is no further ahead in the happiness and prosperity game. I didn't know what the alternative was until my 30's when I was introduced to the Course. It took me a LOT of repetition, so I’m glad to hear here that repetition is actually the key. One of the first changes in me was actively choosing the virtues, like kindness, speaking the truth, and finding any little thing to be grateful for. Gratitude, that’s got to be THE key in my life that drew abundance or I should say, allowed the flow of abundance. I am convinced it’s all around, just waiting for us to open ourselves attitudinally to the supreme flow. Thanking God every night for everything I can think of is how I remember it starting. At some point early on someone to whom I owed a financial debt called me up and forgave me the debt. BUT they required of me that I put the equal monthly sum of money into a savings account. Talk about brilliant! If we expect grace but there’s no self effort, we’re fooling ourselves. It takes the two wings of the bird to fly. With love, Christine

Kay Butler said...

Hello to all...this question came in from a student who prefers to remain anonymous for now.

"I have a query, about your thoughts on what madness is. This has been an on going quest since childhood. My mother suffered greatly with paranoid schizophrenia. And just recently a colleague's nineteen old year son took his own life. He had a history of mental illness.

"In a spiritual sense, I would really like to hear some words from you on the subject."

Comments from anyone, and certainly from Ram, are welcome, as this participant has only recently begun studying the lessons. With love, Kay

Christine S. Boyd said...

Mental illness affects so many people and their families in deep and heartbreaking ways. Like physical illness and any other apparent misfortunes, it is the karma of a person to experience. I understand it as an inability of the person to consciously connect with their Source or inner Self, that spiritual centre that is in all. A mentally well person, even without knowing about meditation or other spiritual practices that turn the attention inward, still touches that centre amidst daily life: holding a baby, being with their loved one, doing a great job, watching a sunset, or skiing down a mountain. He may not know it is his own spiritual centre he has connected with, still, in those moments, he experiences the peace and bliss that are its qualities and his own true nature. These moments nourish him and often lead him to seek out "spiritual" practices. On the other hand, when one has no such ability to concentrate her attention and cannot find joy in simple things due to a mind that is chronically restless or mistrustful, her only peace might be found in sleep or through medications. This is where our own practice of compassion is so important. We and the person with mental illness have no way of knowing why this burden is, we can only make the best of it by coming into harmony with it. We can reassure her and show our love through our actions. One friend nursed his wife through 8 years of Alzheimers. I was touched to see how he could bring about laughter by leading her mind to past moments through music, stories and privately shared moments. He loved her, found her beautiful until the end, and made her burden as light as possible. It was not at all easy for either of them and although she left her body this year, he now has a long recovery ahead. He doesn't have an interest in spirituality or meditation and I'm not sure how he will come into harmony, but I believe he will find a way. I think it is a much shorter and more peaceful road when we have these practices and this type of support.

D. R. Butler said...

Christine Boyd, I fully appreciate the comment you just wrote. It gives a great perspective of approaching mental illness.

D. R. Butler said...

Taking on the question posted by Kay from a relatively new anonymous. I appreciate that you are open enough to post a question here even though you are new to the Course.

I am not quite sure what to say about madness. Often I feel like a madman. The famous artist, Salvador Dali, once said, 'The only difference between me and a madman, is that I'm not mad.' I'm not so positive regarding myself. I could easily be a madman and not even notice. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

My mother, while being a great mother, was clinically depressed, although I don't know if the term was in use at that time. There were not any decent antidepressants at that time. Some people have an imbalance of chemistry in the brain, and present-day antidepressants are able to restore the chemical balance.

You say you want to hear some words in a spiritual sense. Well, paranoid schizophrenia is largely because of a lack of alignment between manas (conscious mind) and ahamkara (ego). If these two are not properly connected and balanced, then some form of mental illness is the physical manifestation.

The most important thing to understand is that each incarnation is only one of many that take place one after another, with perhaps some rest between, whereas a very worldly person, attached and addicted to the things of this world, will reincarnate rather quickly due to his or her desire to return to this world.

A incarnation dealing with any kind of mental illness is only working out a certain karma a person needs to finish with. There will be many more incarnations for this soul that will be completely free of any sign of mental illness. It is only a certain kind of karma, which will expel itself very soon, allowing the incarnated being to experience a much greater incarnation next time.

D. R. Butler said...

Avivit has the question prior to those. She asked, "When I am the Seer & I am aware of the formless presence, it still feels like duality.....I the seer and that which is experienced...is it duality? why is that?
I am aware that I am aware plus what seems to occur.

"In deeper stages of meditation for example, it is as one...I see and there is no sense of being the seer...there is what there is yet it doesn't feel like I Avivit am aware of whatever I am aware of....it is just what it is, all one soup.
I hope D.R. that my question is clear. Can you please explain?"

Avivit, you strike me as being too engrossed in your mind. Your 'question' is very mental. It is, as you said, all one soup. There is a subjective viewpoint and an objective viewpoint. They are both valid for what they are. There is Awareness, and the object of Awareness. Both are equally valid in this world.

Tyler Nouwens said...

I had that same feeling and question lingering in the back of my mind for many years, actually until very recently. My guru used to tell us to meditate on your Self, love your Self, God dwells within you as you. The question you ask is a riddle. Duality may be the correct label, but that does not solve the riddle. It still leaves you with a problem of feeling separate. It still leaves you seeking realization. I don't know if someone else's solution to the riddle will give you the realization you are seeking. I think if you can resolve it within yourself you will be very pleased. I think it is a very good question. I think it is they key to self realization. I hope this is helpful. Blessings on your search.

D. R. Butler said...

Tyler Nouwens, from your comments, I have no idea whose 'feeling and question' you are responding to. I wish I knew which question you are referring to so I would know what the riddle is. Do you meditate on your Self, love your Self, and recognize the truth that God dwells within you as you? If so, such concepts such as 'separate' and 'realization' are no longer part of the equation.

You mention duality as a correct label, but state that it does not solve the riddle. Perhaps the solution to the riddle is the elimination of duality.

Why are we left with a problem of feeling separate? No one feels separate except the ahamkara (ego).

Why are we left seeking realization? What if, perchance, we are not seeking realization? There may be no seeking at all. What if, instead of being seekers, we become finders.

Since you say it is a very good question and possibly the key to Self-realization, I would love to know which question you are referring to.

FB said...

I want to post a personal insight, a growth spurt. Prior inhibiting thoughts prevailed, so being pleased (ecstatic) with the newly found freedom 3 years, 3 months of the Course gives me, here goes...."Describing ‘being present’ is elusive for me. The words to define what it is not come easier for me. It is not being lost in thoughts of emotions, melodramas, samskaras, delusions….rather, it is awareness, a sense of being awake and aware….devoid of those things it is not.
Pure awareness? Pure Consciousness? Truth? This is what ‘being present’ means to me. And it seems this is what the whole course is. So why am I contemplating and writing this? I just went in a circle. Yet I thoroughly enjoyed it. The sense of wakefulness, alertness, aliveness, rejuvenation, employing divine or dharmic intellect is nectar.
Without being able to capture it in words, yet allude to it, I get it. Get it without direct word descriptions. Interesting.
Contemplating just what ‘being present’ is and means to me is fun and enlivening, it makes me be present! Ah ha, a clue! It feels good, and ‘right’. Another clue as to what ‘being present’ is.
I guess I’m entertaining myself yet also nourishing and strengthening awareness of the Self.
In looking at what prompts me to ‘share’ this (expose myself), asking myself what am I seeking? Approval from others? From myself? In all honesty I AM pleased. Why?
One reason (justification?) is that having a degenerating cerebellum that affects all brain, balance, and movement of the voluntary muscles, this activity verifies that ‘it isn’t over”! Zeal! It feels great!"
Menaki

Anonymous A said...

I also have been dealing with mental illness, and a certain frustration with the way our medical system seems to deal with it. A couple years ago my wife started acting strange. After a year and a half, her diagnosis has become scitzo affective disorder, which is sort of a cross between bipolar and scitzophrenia. She is lost in a pit of despair, and is currently very hopeless. She has been going to see her doctor, and they have been trying different medications. But so far the side effects of the medications seem worse than any help they are providing. It is a big challenge for her, and a big challenge for me to come into harmony with this. We were so close, and did everything together for years, and now we have grown distant, which is a painful loss for me. In her new state, she is not able to handle my (or anyones) company for long. I continually pray for her to find her way. It does seem like the state she is in is very full of thought. She is unable to still her mind, and sometimes thinks horrible things about herself, even though they are not true. And she is unable to stop such thoughts. At other times in the illness she is filled with euphoria, and a sense of deep spiritual connection. I suppose now she is experiencing the opposite, dysphoria. And with all that there is the continual audio and sometimes visual hallucinations. It seems like the best I can do is to be as supportive, and compassionate as I can, and continutally work on coming into harmony with this situation in my life. I find myself wanting to get sad or depressed when I think about it, but that just makes me feel miserable, and doesn't help anything.

I do take the course, and find it helpful. How do you help someone realign the ahamkara and the manas?

D. R. Butler said...

Menaki, the most important thing in life is to be pleased with yourself. There is nothing greater.

D. R. Butler said...

Anonymous A, I have full compassion and empathy for your situation. I have experienced the same situation with someone very close to me. The best you can do is 'It seems like the best I can do is to be as supportive, and compassionate as I can, and continually work on coming into harmony with this situation in my life.'

If you can maintain this it will be a great experience for everyone involved. There is really nothing more that you can do.

I empathize with you completely. There is nothing we can do to help another realign manas with ahamkara. It is a karmic condition that must be dealt with, with as much compassion as we can muster. No matter how much we sincerely wish to help, there is not really a lot more than we can do other than being in harmony with the situation and being as helpful as possible when help is needed.

Anusuya said...

I use a mindfulness bell app on my phone. Whenever a new lesson arrives I copy the exercise into a file on my phone for reference. The mindfulness bell rings every hour or so from morning till night and serves as a reminder about my exercise. Sometimes (like this lesson) it is easy to remember from the start, but most of the time it takes me a day or two checking in before I fully recall the exercise without having to refresh my memory. Even working with it regularly, I still often feel I could do it more fully. Guess that is the anava mala at work. “Never enough.” It’s an interesting gauge to see where it’s easy, and where it’s harder and we have more work to do.

Anonymous A said...

Thanks for your kind words. Reading them has helped give me a sense of lightheartedness. I also started to think of Bryon Katie's famous teaching, Love What Is. And then I found lines in my current lesson that describe the idea that happiness is a choice, regardless of what is going on outside.

Avivit said...

Thanks D.R. for your reply "
Avivit, you strike me as being too engrossed in your mind. Your 'question' is very mental. It is, as you said, all one soup. There is a subjective viewpoint and an objective viewpoint. They are both valid for what they are. There is Awareness, and the object of Awareness. Both are equally valid in this world."

I can see I was mentalizing! I can also sense clearly now that i do not need to worry about either or....only observe & recognize.

Steu Mann said...

I can relate to the content of your new post about the doubt and fear and what that brings. More so, in the last 12 months, I have been taken the lessons to a deeper level of my heart. Amazing results, not so much in the physical world, but in the world of me comprehending and experiencing more of me ... just a choice of where I am gonna put my focus. Sounds so easy, but what a rugged trail it has been to get to this lovely temple. The good news, no one can take the trail or the results from me ... not a badge of courage for show and tell or that is gonna wear out or fade in the weather ... it is my life ... moment by moment. There lives some potent power in this renewed living arrangement I am constantly creating with myself .... a very juicy concert. Rilke, in his poem of the Sunny Hill, said it best ... taking me far beyond what the eyes can see. In honor and respect DR and Kay, thanks so much for the lessons every month. Sending love and blessings to you and yours, Steu

Tom Mac said...

My Dear Ram and Kay
In my most recent Lessons you write about contentment and serenity.
And so I am content and serene.
How sweet
Thank you <3
Tom Mac

Margaret said...

Hello,

I am nearing the 4th year of the course and can earnestly say I feel more content & at ease than I ever have. It has been a wonderful experience...

My question relates to working in a corporate / professional environment. I struggle at times to truly practise the lessons in the workplace. Seeing perfection in things goes against the grain of the very nature of my work. I am in a senior position where my role, essentially is to find flaws in the performance of people and negate them for the betterment of the business results. For me to let go & see perfection, I fear I would be out of work. It feels I am torn between practising my lessons out of fear it will leave me without work, or in a lesser paying job which would be unsuitable for my circumstances...
I will be eternally grateful for your insights..

Bob Sonnenberg said...

There was a time when I was in the same situation as the person with the money/job issues. Looking back now it is like a different lifetime. It all seem to switch when I got married and soon before that met the Guru and spent time in her ashram. I think the abundant energy and abundant everything else there may have had a life changing effect on my attitudes on these issues.
I was in my early 40s then. In recent years I have felt the abundance and actually had it.
I will be 63 this July. I know a bit about Kay and your dharma. The dharma of the age from 60 onward.I had my own expectations of what mine would be. The dharma of the last 20 years is changing. Is struggle a sign that you are going in the wrong direction? That has been my approach. From my early days in TM I have thought that life should not be a struggle.
I think basically that the "cure" is to get into harmony with whats going on.
Comments.

rico said...

Margaret, it sounds like you aren't seeing the perfection in your position at work. If your work requires you to evaluate employees against a prescribed standard then doing that is quite perfect. You're following the dharma of your job. There are lots of things in life that when measured/evaluated from a relative perspective don't measure up. The perfection mentioned in the Course is what you might call Big Picture perfection. From the perspective of one's "spiritual" development, in order to come into harmony with everything we encounter we have to see whatever we encounter as perfect. And there are times when that includes working to change/improve the way things appear.
There are many things in this world that could be better in a relative sense. If you were walking down the street and heard the cries of a child who was drowning would you just walk on by thinking, it's all perfect? Or would you rush in to help?
Of course our choices in life are not as clear cut as saving a drowning child. That's when we need to follow what we feel is the best course of action. We might not always make the "right" choice but in time we can learn from our missteps which feelings we should follow and which we should ignore.

Sunila said...

Hello Ram...Thank you for accepting me as part of "Living in the Truth of Present Moment" sangam. It is an honor and blessing to be a part of this group. I received my first lesson in mid April and second one on May first. I had a whole month to devote to lesson 2 as I don't get my next lesson till June first which is tomorrow. I have read this lesson everyday and have enjoyed it whole heartedly. The teachings of the lesson have been known before as I have read and reread many times Eckhart Tolle's book "The Power of Now." The subject was familiar. But no reading has ever touched my heart and soul as reading lessons one and two. Everything was mysteriously so new. I feel happy and expanded. A new energy fills my whole being. I feel happy and expanded. Being on the spiritual path for 30 years now seems like ground was being prepared for the seed of the blessings of these teachings to be sown.

For some time I was feeling that I was coming to the dead end in my Sadhana. I felt Iost and unhappy and felt I needed direction. These lessons have given the direction to my life. Every time I read them I see myself in them, like they were written for me. The melodramas of the mind, ego identifying with it, mind defending itself endlessly, loosing touch with the heart, forgetting love, describing things in negative ways and constantly blaming others. The big one, persistent habit of projecting unattractive or undesirable traits on to others. They all apply to my mind. In fact I shared with my friend not too long ago that it seems like I am always defending myself inwardly. Now I know why.

We don't like our husband the way he is? What do we have to change in ourselves in order to be in harmony with how he is. He is my Karma the way he is. How beautiful. I am in such awe. You don't know how much this understanding has changed my behavior towards him. All my life I thought the problem was with him or others. Now the ball is in my court and I have to learn how to play it right. I am trying. Keep on sending the blessings as I know I need them a lot. I feel now that I have the direction, someone is there to lead me, with that my mind is at ease. I am in fact relieved that I don't have to change anybody else but myself.

Since last six weeks I have not had many negative thoughts and have tried not to be a middle person between God and somebody else. As much as I love the lessons they are very challenging. My only question at this time is how to occupy the mind when I am in the present moment. Love and contentment stays for a while and then follow the thoughts.

I have been reading your blog also and there was some mention of your leaving this body. I am sorry, you cannot leave this body till you teach me how to Love myself. I have waited too long for this guidance. Either you give it to me quickly with your blessings or you stay on the earth. The ball is in your court.
With lots of Love and blessings of good health, Sunila

Jake Birdsong said...

Dear,

It is my understanding (from the lessons) that when we die, there's not much difference in our experience from when we were in a body. In other words, if we dwelled primarily in a contracted, limited state while embodied, and particularly at the time of the final exhalation, then from the "time" we exit the body until the next incarnation, we dwell in very similar or perhaps more intense realms that match our state while we were in the body. If we spent our time feeling bad about ourselves or angry much of our lives, etc., then our subtle experience will be similar after we pass until we reincarnate. Could you please help me clarify my understanding if any of the above is inaccurate or could be more precise?

Presuming that the above is how it works, how does one maintain a relationship with a loved one who passes who primarily remained in a negative realm while embodied? I don't presume to know another's experience or true state. But for the sake of understanding, let's say that a loved one who passed did dwell in a more contracted state while embodied then we ourselves choose to. While both individuals are in a body, it's possible to still maintain a relationship (although our ways of relating may be limited because of the differences between our states) because we're in a body. I can physically go see the person and spend time with them. I may not be able to share certain aspects of myself with this person, but I still love them and have a relationship with them which is seemingly made possible by the fact that we can physically spend time with each other.

When they pass, and they drop their body, is it possible to still maintain a subtle relationship given that they are presumably still dwelling in the same lower realms they were while in the body, which we ourselves may choose not to visit? Now that we don't have a body to at least visit them in person, is it truly possible to have any connection with that individual whatsoever if their focus and state is "out of range" so to speak from our own?

Thank you for helping me better understand the dying process and subtle relationships.

Much love to you,
Jake

Menaki said...

So many opportunities (challenges) to apply the teachings of the Course occur daily! Before the Course life was more frustrating, boring, and even some days I'd feel "wonder when I'll get out?" Hide it as I may, some days I'd be looking forward to transition. Yet not wanting to expose family, friends, anyone, or me to that energy! Yikes!

Now, and for some time now, I relish existence in this life, exactly as it is! And this new awakening and enthusiasm is not only unsought but surprisingly grows and grows! Thanks!

Know the title of that book, "I Have Become Alive"? Well, I have become alive, and love it. Challenges still can bring tears and discomfort, but the Course teaches me how to handle them. I am able to calm and not get entangled in over-joy too! Love, Menaki

Ann said...

I am starting off with my question because it is actually clearer to me than are the circumstances that prompt it. How can you tell if/when you are really in harmony with a situation and are observing from the heart, or if you need to develop greater compassion in order to get to that point? Now here's a little background for the question. I'm definitely looking at the backside of life as I'll be 80 next year. Gratefully I have taken the lessons for nearly 38 of those years. Presently my husband has end stage heart disease, dementia, and severe balance issues. The phrase "borrowed time" was initiated by the doctors three years ago so I have been watching his decline for quite awhile. My daughter's 21 year old son was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic four years ago with addiction a complicating factor.Continuing therapies, hospital commitments, jail time have all been ineffective and because of his violent actions several law suits are pending. Truly my grandson is a danger to everyone, and especially to my daughter as he continually threatens to take her life. Both of these issues generate some really strong feelings for .me. They have, they should, they do. Yet often these same feelings seem to be in neutral.....even absent. Then I begin to ask, Where is my compassion? Do I have any or have I been kidding myself? And all of this brings me back to the above question. Always with love, Ann

Bob Sonnenberg said...

Sounds like you are on the battlefield. Like Kurukshetra (The fields belonging to the Kurus) in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna's advice to Arjuna might help. Arjuna was overwhelmed with compassion for those arrayed against him in battle. In the story the 'enemies' were his relatives. Established in yoga perform actions was his advice. He had a duty to perform and that was his dharma, the dharma of a warrior. To defend dharma by violent action if necessary. As hard as that is that is the way. We have faced a violent out of control son and that is what we had to do. Kick him out and call the police is what we finally had to do. After a stolen car, stolen money and a fire that he set. Hard choices to be sure

D. R. Butler said...

As I did for this blog, I am responding to the unanswered questions above in the new blog, to be posted on July 1. If you have a question you would like to be included in the July blog entry, please write it as clearly and concisely as possible in the remaining comments here for the remainder of June.

Your participation in the comments of the blog is much appreciated. If you know of anyone who might appreciate this site, please share the link with them.

Margaret Peloquin said...

I am noticing that I'm reading the Lessons more frequently now that I have copies scattered throughout the house! I always thought it would be wasteful to print extra copies but I'm experiencing the convenience as well as the value of repetition so much more these days. (It's like I've been wasting the Shakti in the Lessons by not making several copies.). I know it's all been perfect as it is now. Great revelations though.

As I continue reading about the radiant Light I realized that my Polarity training taught me that concept and I've been doing it for myself as well as for others during healing treatments.. It's such a powerful tool for optimal health.

I've incorporated it into my yoga classes as well either during the opening or closing meditations. drawing this Light in through the chakras and out into the energy fields. Very cool. I know I get blasted. I hope others feel its power.....but then, I am working on not being affected by what others think!

D. R. Butler said...

The July '15 blog entry is near completion, to be published on the 1st of July.
If you have a sincere question you have not put into words, please make the effort to verbalize the question. Verbalizing the question actually opens up a field of understanding that did not exist until the question came into being. A sincere question brings out a response that everyone can relate to, and actually elevates your own level of Being, even though you could have answered the question perfectly if someone had presented it to you.