Thursday, July 14, 2016

Are You Open to Experience This?

I've been posting entries here since July of 2008.  I could squeeze a whole book, or a new course, from all that's been written here, both in the previous entries and in the comments following each entry.  Many might be surprised at what is available here if it were actually investigated, as it appears an unlikely source for transformative material.  Still, it is a truth that few things are as they appear to be, and appearances themselves are not reality.

Originally, eight years ago, this was begun as an introduction to our Course of Training, available through email, that is designed to enable each participant to create and live in a reality of his or her choice.  There are certain Principles of Truth that apply to all people, at all times, and in all places.

These Principles or Laws are immutable and infallible.  They work unfailingly whenever they are applied.  No one has to take anyone's word for this, or believe anything on faith.  The Truth is always easily proven in one's own life simply by applying the Principles to see what happens as a result.

In this current era of human's existence on Earth, the vast majority are ignorant of the Principles of Truth, and generally are not inclined to believe them or recognize them for what they are should they be encountered.  Instead, most have been conditioned by appearances and the words of others ever since drawing the first breath to induce life and animation in this physical form.  This is very similar to being hypnotized and taught to believe in a false reality.

The lessons of the Course of Training, Living in the Truth of the Present Moment, present the Principles necessary to 'wake up' from the hypnotic trance, or mental conditioning, and to manifest or generate a life corresponding to our innermost Nature, which is the most beneficent life available to us as an individual being functioning in the physical world. 

There is a lot available today on the Internet and in books and texts that in many cases date back centuries.  One might wonder, with all this available, why should one need to participate in a Course available through email?  Well, it is helpful if someone eliminates the superfluous and presents the essentials in an orderly way in ten pages every two weeks.  Especially if those essentials are immediately applicable in our own daily life, benefitting us as well as those with whom we come in contact.

If you have never visited here before, another aspect of this place is that we consider people's questions.  Questions and responses have always been an important part of communicating higher knowledge; Socrates is a well known historical figure who taught this way.  When one verbalizes a sincere question--even if one could answer the question if someone else were to ask it--it opens up an avenue of communication, as verbalizing the question enables one to actually hear the answer in a new way. The end result is a communication beyond words.

In a question that recently came in, someone asked, "Since you have been teaching for so many years, what changes about the questions people might have, and has your method of answering questions changed over time?  How do you understand spirituality more clearly now?"

This brought about some contemplation, and here is the response:  People have generally the same issues and questions; the difference is only a matter of degrees and combinations of traits and tendencies.  Most people are concerned with their own well-being and the well-being of loved ones.  This is only human.

In the beginning, I was tempted to help people solve their problems.  After a while I began to see that most people's problems existed primarily in the mind.  It would not even be a problem if we did not describe it as such, including describing what is going 'wrong,' as though that were an actual possibility.  Focusing on problems and what is 'wrong' (including dislikes, which are only egotistical contractions) is a weak form of using the mind. 

It is possible to use the mind in ways of seeing only the highest, seeing conditions and situations in positive, uplifting ways.  This is using the mind from a position of strength.  We cannot do this simply by deciding to, however.  We must actually be taught how to do this.  People tend to think they already 'know' this, but for the most part, we really don't.  There is always something new to learn, and a new and expanded level of understanding knowledge from the past.

So I suppose I gave an example of responding to a question, instead of only describing how I approach it.  Actually, I don't 'approach' it at all; it is simply what is happening.  As for how I more clearly understand spirituality, it's more 'normal' than it used to be.  It used to seem like something very special in a way that was different from the rest of life.  Now I see spirituality as simply a natural way of going through life.  If we see the play of Consciousness equally in all things, that's as spiritual as we can get, no matter what else is going on.

This question was in the comments following the previous entry, but was never responded to:  "My current lesson talks of having an inner knowing, without knowing how we know. I was new to spiritual work when I started the Course over four years ago, but 'knew' from the first lesson that this was something I would do for as long as possible.  However, I sometimes think that I'm not doing as well as I should be by now.  When, for example, my lesson says, 'I know you would not still be here if you were unable to meet in the space of the heart'. I don't know whether I am doing that. As I cannot tell, I worry that I'm not. I feel I am failing. Am I just over thinking something that cannot be understood by the mind?"

You are definitely 'doing as well as you should be.'  There is no one, certainly no divine Power, that expects anymore from us than what we are.  We are loved unconditionally by the Infinite regardless of what we do or don't do, or how much we have or have not developed spiritually.  There is no minimum score that we must reach in order to be okay.  We can simply relax and be as we are.

When it comes to our capacity to meet in the space of the heart, however, we have this capacity to the degree that we are open to further development, to a more expanded understanding, to a deeper and more refined inner experience.  Your question shows that you are open to development, and as long as that remains, there is nothing more you can do.   The process of participation in the Course allows all that needs to happen.  You do not have to wonder if everything is okay.

If you are not happy with your life, if you experience some degree of lack or limitation, if you are confused, if you suffer from negative emotions, then through applying the principles presented in the lessons in your own daily life, it is possible to create or attract the life you are happy with and that corresponds to your true inner Nature.

And, yes, you are over thinking something that cannot be understood by the mind.  The mind is good for many things.  In fact, the mind is creative, and what we think is what we get.  Still, in the Western world in particular, we tend to use the mind for what it was never intended, and we habitually overthink things that cannot be understood by the mind.  Some things can only be understood intuitively, as a flash of insight, perhaps without knowing how we know it.  True understanding lies in the heart, yet it takes a while to fully imbibe and assimilate what this means.

If you have questions or comments to be responded to, simply present them in the comments and I will respond to them as soon as possible.  The best way to get to the comments is to click on the title of the entry and scroll down.

For information about the Course of Training via email, and a complimentary lesson, please write us at:


Stephen Pappas said...

Thank you Ram!

As I was reading this entry, a feeling of expansion occurred.

It was as though I was ascending a summit beyond the cloud mists below. My heart definitely opened - expanded. A gentle sense of well being and being well taken care of ensued - easeful.

What I love about the course is finding these new moments - always. As you say the more one practices the more natural it becomes - is it because it's been imbibed?

Presently, I am on a flight to my Guru's ashram - what a great beginning to the feast I'm sure to experience - Already experiencing!

Thank you Always, for your great work and selfless love.


Elias said...

My question is in regards to this quote:

In the beginning, I was tempted to help people solve their problems. After a while I began to see that most people's problems existed primarily in the mind. It would not even be a problem if we did not describe it as such, including describing what is going 'wrong,' as though that were an actual possibility. Focusing on problems and what is 'wrong' (including dislikes, which are only egotistical contractions) is a weak form of using the mind.

How can I best respond to a person that is describing a problem, disliking, or is seeing something as wrong, without sounding like I am correcting their view, or that I am giving advice? I can listen, and sometimes I may appear that I understand their view, but playing with their view does not feel sincere, I find making a lighthearted remark, showing the humor in things is easier in this case. And at times humor is not appropriate, so what would a proper response be for the latter.

Narayana Bury said...

Stephen Pappas, that was a great comment to Rams post! Thanks. Ram I have a similar question as Elias. I'm also bewildered when it comes to responding to someone close to me about something that is troubling them. I can certainly relate to there problem, because I am bugged by the same thing myself. So I can feel there pain. (But I can see how it is difficult, as it has been for me), for them to even hear advice when they are in the mist of what they hate. You can say 'Why hate anything' it's all Consciousness. But NOTHING helps, ESPECIALLY HUMOR. Sure, we got to have PRE-DETERMINED RESPONSES to the things that get under our skin, so we don't REACT. But sometimes when a person feels so stuck in there misery around a certain circumstance for SO LONG, no advice is welcome at all it seems, except maybe to just AGREE WITH THEM that it does suck and it is horrible what there going thru, reflecting there own feeling. Just some good old COMPASSION. It just seems when people are in circumstances that continue over and over that are difficult, and even seem to get worse,(and I've felt this in my life also) words don't help. Advice seems empty. When a person feels stuck in the same situation forever, and NOTHING CHANGES, I imagine it comes down to the advice I once heard the Guru say, "When a person complains about Life Circumstances over and over, you can be sure they are not making any effort in changing the direction of there Thinking". But It seems sometimes hard even when you are making that effort. ALL THINGS SHALL PASS. Good old George Harrison.

vickie said...

"to manifest or generate a life corresponding to our innermost Nature, which is the most beneficent life available to us as an individual being functioning in the physical world." Upon rereading your posting a few times, this is the line that stands out most for me. I have long struggled with the two approaches of either "being content with what comes unsought" or being more creative in what I attempt to manifest. This quote somehow pulls the two together for be content is to be my innermost Nature, and then to allow that to simply manifest fully feels naturally creative and in tune. As I have been struggling rather significantly with the current manifestations of my karmic movie, I particularly appreciate this sweet break here and the chance to rest in this quiet space. This chance to come back to my own heart is precious beyond measure and I thank you once again as I move on renewed.

Anonymous said...

Two questions: My husband believes that we are of God, but not God, because He created us, while He always existed. From my perspective and the teachings, I am told that we are Him in the fullness. How should I understand that?

He also says that God does not do anything here, that we are all doing all the things that are happening on the planet. My understanding of the malas--anava mala, mayiya mala, and karma mala (I am insignificant, I am different, and I am the doer of actions), the way the ego operates by thinking it is the doer of actions. I then ask myself, that would mean we do not have to take responsibility or be accountable for our actions? I feel, we should take accountability. Karma is the law of cause and effect, so I think that we are accountable, yet, I am told that God is the author and the player and the stage of this drama or dance? Anyway, I do not totally understand how this fits together. Please, explain this to me.

Adriana said...

Hi Kay and Ram!

I just wanted to drop by and express my hearts gratitude for your wisdom and kindness.

I've been finding on my own journey of love not only in the external mystical experiences I've had but inside this body, and in this life. It feels like a long journey but these are the ways the course has been helping me.

1. Simplicity - the ease and clarity with the examples you offer are in themselves transformational.

2. Love - through remembering to bring my mind back to a place of consciousness and love I am finding a practice that is taking my healing to another place. It's showing me how I can love even my own mind.

3. Possibility - oftentimes I'll find myself wanting to be "real" and so I don't actually honor or open the door to the level of happiness and freedom that my hard work in sadhana and the grace of God has given me in this life. I can focus on all the pain and addiction I fell like "I'm" healing for my ancestors and get lost missing out on the naturalness of expanse and beauty that my life and heart exudes as it is.

Thanks you for reminding me of the simplicity, possibility and love that continues to unfold inside and out!

With lots of love and gratitude today and always,


D. R. Butler said...

Stephen,thank you for your beautiful comment. we appreciate your appreciation.

Elias, when someone describes a problem to me, or tells me about their dislikes, or expresses whatever they think is going wrong, I listen, and sometimes I may appear that I understand their view, I often make a lighthearted remark, demonstrating seeing the humor in things. I would NEVER attempt to point out that I disagree, for it feels weird to me to convince someone that they are wrong about something. Of course, I am happy to share my perspective if I am asked for it, but it helps no one to impose it on them before it is asked for.

Mostly, we have to be compassionate enough to allow others to have their own perspective of things. It is only when someone opens enough to try participating in a regular practice, like our Course of Training via email, that they are initiating a willingness to explore a more expanded perspective. This willingness to grow and to develop is what opens a person up to a new way of seeing and experiencing things. Before this happens, it is more harmonious to simply be compassionate enough to allow the other person their own point of view.

D. R. Butler said...

Anonymous, it is interesting to see how your mind works. You will enjoy it yourself more and more and we go along. First of all, your husband's beliefs are very common; most people probably share some version of them.

Your questions exist primarily because you are confusing different levels of Being. On the level of individuals, we each create our own perception and experience through what and how we think. As we say in the Course, what we think is what we get. Due to the law of cause and effect, which is more profound than what people often grasp, we experience, as karma, the effects of our own thoughts, words, and actions. So we are always accountable and invariably experience the consequences that we ourselves have created.

On a more Cosmic level, however, all individuals are manifestations of a single Consciousness that is eternal and all-pervasive. This Consciousness is the Source of all our thoughts, words, and actions. So in this way, God does all things. Another way of understanding this is that all things, including the karmic movie of the individual, are included in the play of Consciousness.

D. R. Butler said...

Adriana, thank you for your beautiful comment. I wish that all your fellow Course participants, and anyone who is ever interested in trying the Course as an experiment to see what happens, could read it.

Vandita said...

As you said: "After a while I began to see that most people's problems existed primarily in the mind." and I would like to say that this has been my most important learning with your course, since as soon as I can fix the problem in my mind, there is no problem any more, anywhere.

But in order to be able to actually do that, reading the lessons of your course has been so essential, since they present this incredible logic and map out the way the mind functions and the way thought affects our reality. Without that, the true transformation that I have enjoyed would have been impossible!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ram.

Could you explain the difference between the mind and the heart? Is the distinction a matter of different levels of consciousness? This is a little puzzling for me because in Chinese the word for mind and heart are exactly the same. I think of the heart as having emotions and the mind as what tries to figure things out but it seems that both occupy the same space.


Leela said...

Dearest Ram,

I, like Elias, was very struck by the paragraph about problems only being in one's mind. I am particularly struck by the phrase, "focusing on problems and what is 'wrong' (includes dislikes, which are just egotistical contractions) is a weak form of using the mind." A "weak form of using the mind" really has my attention, will contemplate. Thank you.
This is the magic of this ongoing journey with you and the Course, the principles are presented continuously in new ways that take my understanding deeper and deeper. A fellow Course participant and I were talking yesterday about how thankful we are that you offer an ongoing Course, instead of a book. Like you have said before, a book we read and then put down. The Course of Training meets me, ever new, every couple weeks! When I revisit my current lesson, I always find new understandings with each read. Thank you for all that you and Kay offer to all of us!

Avivit said...

Dear D.R., you have often spoken of the importance of posing questions and my question is about that.
As long as I can remember, each time I intend to form a question, or purposely think about something...the mind goes blank. Silence. The experience is that wisdom comes to me...or questions come to me...not that I am involved in creating them. Sometimes but not very often, questions arise on their own.

I am certainly open to learning, most of the time, and attentive to what goes on in the mind or around me....this is how I notice and differ between what is now and mind stuff.
When I read about the importance of formulating questions, I ask myself if you could, after reading my experience about this, guide me, how would I approach this other than i've done until now?

Tom Mc said...

Hi D.R./Ram:
If there is anything I can 'do' to open more please let me know.
Any help or guidance is invited and appreciated as always.
Upon reflection, this comment IS my way of being open, LOL!

Thank you for all your offerings in such entertaining ways! The Course Lessons are transformative and have an energy FAR beyond the words and appearance!
Tom Mac

Vicki said...

Hi Ram, Kay and everyone. I've been studying the Pratyabhijna-hrydayam, ( "The Heart of Recognition) and have arrived at the 8th Sutra. At the same time, have just finished reading four lessons from Volume 4 that each include quotes from the Mahartha Manjari, by a yogi called Maheshvarananda,also about the Pratyabhijna. I ran off all the pages with quotes from Mahesvarananda, stapled them together and read them regularly. A few questions have popped up.

The first will likely make you laugh - why do the first two sets of quotes seem like easy reading, while the second two sets sound like complete gibberish? I like to read all four together, sometimes before meditation, and I'll tell you, they sure make meditation easy!

The second question is: Is Maheshvarananda talking about the scripture known as the Prayabhijna-hrydayam, or is he talking about a system? Not that it really matters, because the quotes seem like a commentary, either way.

The third question is....too difficult to even articulate, lol - so let's go to #4, which is ... will I ever understand the last two commentaries? Maybe when I reach Sutra #20??? And the 5th is , to whom or what does 'the agent' refer? Vol 4 -16 (pp6-7)

The best part of all this is that, having avoided this type of study for my first 39 years of sadhana, I'm happy to say that something in the way the lessons bring about transformation and change has brought me to a place where I am LOVIN' this study, I'm eating it up!!! so thank you for that.

D. R. Butler said...

Narayana, I have been communicating principles of Truth for over 40 years now to people who sincerely wished to learn about how to apply them in their own lives. This is never easy, even when they are very open to learning something new. As far as sharing anything with those who do not ask for it, and who have no openness to hearing what is new, it is just about impossible. For the most part, strangely enough, people do not wish to learn about the Truth of Being. Most are content to merely go through their life as it plays out. Very few wish to develop beyond where they are. Most do not even think of this as something to be done.

So, as I wrote earlier, we simply have to be compassionate enough to allow people to be where they are at, and where they are comfortable.

D. R. Butler said...

Someone asked about the difference between the mind and the heart, saying, 'I think of the heart as having emotions and the mind as what tries to figure things out but it seems that both occupy the same space.'

The heart is the center of feelings and the mind is the center of thinking. In the Course we distinguish between lower emotions such as anger, agitation, irritability, frustration, and other unpleasant feelings, and higher feelings such as love, joy, equanimity, and enthusiasm. These higher feelings are usually what we want to tune into when we think of being in touch with our heart.

The mind that tries to figure things out is useless for all practical purposes. We cannot really figure things out, and trying to do so is wasted time and effort. In the Course we open to intuitive insights, as things are either intuitively obvious or not worth thinking about. When we truly 'know' something, we probably do not know how we know. Intuitive knowledge arises from within, once we learn how to listen for it.

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita and Leela, thanks to both of you for your thoughtful comments.
As I said about Adriana's comment earlier, I wish more people could read them.

D. R. Butler said...

Avivit, I guess you either have a question or you don't.
Questions can be very helpful in understanding new stuff, because they open the mind up to hearing the answer in new ways. This happens even when we know we could answer the question ourselves if someone were to ask us.
Most people don't like to appear as though they don't know something, so they ignore the questions they might otherwise be able to formulate.

D. R. Butler said...

Vicki, Maheshvarananda is writing about the scripture known as the Mahartha Manjari.

Maybe someday the first two sets of quotes will sound like gibberish, while the second two sets of quotes will feel like easy reading. It never really matters which is which. Even when we think we don't understand, the deeper meanings often sink in anyway, while when we think we do understand, we really have no idea what it is actually talking about. So I never worry about which is which. Higher learning takes place on a different level than ordinary education. Being exposed over and over to ideas we don't understand leads to greater understanding. As does being open to newlyconsidering an idea that we might think we already understand.

I am happy that you are appreciating a new level of study.

Colette DeVore said...

I really love the exercise in my current lesson where I am to bestow blessings on others,. It makes me feel blessed and diminishes any feeking of seperateness that I might have. Thank you for that.

Avivit said...

Today i have a question. In my current lesson vol4 lesson 30 you write:
Interestingly, the resistance of the majority to that (humanity's evolution) developement makes the developement possible for the few who make the effort to reach for the highest.

Is this because of a counter resistance principle which will be a kind of springboard against one can jump of kind of thing? A resistance neefed to create a breakthrough?
It sounds as if it is mutually dependent.

Eddie Bryan said...

A woman came by and thanked me today for my uplifting spirit. I thanked her in return for hers and I offered to her about the need for others to be uplifting, how one or two folks being down and negative can bring many down.
Thank you for the course. It has been so helpful all these years and if it does not embarrass, thank you for offering it to me free all these years, since 2011 when I became a homeless person. It is a wonderful Grace. It is divine service. Thank you, again.

Michael Vetrano said...

What is the best way to cultivate compassion?

Sharon from Exeter, UK said...

I am finding from lesson 40 that I am really living the experience of us all being part of the same life force. This finding has led me to experience people I find less easy in a different way, far more harmoniously, just being as they are. I find that I can feel compassion for anyone, coming back to the heart, to love has taken on a larger dimension. Has anyone else found this?

Mariaduc said...

O Ram...
Thank you soo much for taking the time to answer our questions, doubts and wonderings ;)
All your words have such power to uplift me, such clarity and wisdom I don't get but receive :) in a deep and mysterious way.

I enjoy the wisdom of all your fans and would love everyone I love to be receptive to such gifts, but then again, the WAY is perfect and all is well in all of creation :)


Sharon from Exeter, UK said...

Michael, I have found applying the principles of the course and the practices suggested with each lesson have caused monumental shifts. For me, they come in increments, I plateau, then plateau again. Lesson 40 has causes another breakthrough that builds on existing compassion. The understanding of the gunas, lower emotions such as agitation, focus on the present moment all combine, the focus on the heart,breathing, light of the heart all taught by Ram. Lesson 40 for me has taken this to a whole new level, even with people who I find less easy who have not been kind to me in the past.

D. R. Butler said...

Avivit, in a sense, progress in all things depends upon resistance to that progress. Without resistance, there would be no impetus to progress. When it comes to knowing the Truth of things, our 'knowing' becomes stronger as people tell us we are wrong and that the Truth isn't true. It is a subtle process that is explored thoroughly in the lessons of the Course.

Tom Mac said...

I sometimes experience feelings of (what appear to be) missed opportunities OR decisions resulting in hardship. The "if onlys"

I have received a great deal both subtly and physically - and am grateful and appreciative. I replace the thoughts and (increasingly) refocus on the present moment, yet they bubble up again at a later date. I prefer contentment. I am surprised old desires, guilt, if onlys etc still rise up on occasion.

What's that all about?
Is it a process when approaching the older years?
How does one best deal with this?
I no longer wish to carry such baggage.

Admittedly, it is good practice applying the principles of the Course Lessons!


KJ Shapiro said...

Hello all, I have been taking the lessons of the Course and it is a continual source of strength, comfort, upliftment, and joy. They also regularly shake up and rock my world view, self view, and life. It's all Good, but/and I do find that certain lessons have me feeling a soothing sense of comfort and safety while others seem more challenging, to be breaking down obstacles in me (and I might feel resistant when I read these lessons).

I loved Sharon from Exeter's comments, Sharon, you have inspired me to go back to lesson 40 for a re-read, and let me just say Keep Going because if you are getting this much from it in year 1 or 2 you will be amazed as the process unfolds!

There is so much I have gained from the course, but perhaps these are the things that stand out most: A feeling of being protected and cared for by the Higher Truth, access to more love in my heart, a stronger mind and increasing trust in the inner voice. All of these lead to my feeling ever more like my own best friend and enjoying being alone because it is never truly alone.

I love this quote from the blog entry" "It is possible to use the mind in ways of seeing only the highest, seeing conditions and situations in positive, uplifting ways. This is using the mind from a position of strength."

Blessings, KJ

Tom Mac said...

How can I become aware of the invisible beings?

FB said...

In a fairly recent lesson I got D. R. gave a quote his first Teacher had given him in a lesson he received when a young teen. In it the Teacher encouraged to just try the principle of creative thought and note the results for "30, 60, or 90 days". Sounded fun; a project, so I did.
1st day my intention was "I have a healthy body", day 2 the intention became "I am supremely healthy in ALL ways", day 3 it became "WE are supremely healthy in all ways." Ah, that was it!
So, in 5 days will be the 90 day mark.Immediately though I noticed notable results. Some things are: my adult daughter began a program that significantly transformed her own physical and mental well-being from poor and hopeless to improvement, joy, and hope! And I didn't even tell her of my project, just hold her in my heart! I saw less dramatic but significant overall well-being benefits in my other family members too. New friends entered into my life. I resumed regular stretching routine.Dietary habits improved. I am more consistent and enhanced in calmness, enthusiasm, compassion, self-control, self-respect, self-discipline, cheerfulness, light-heartedness, openness, zest for life, and even-mindedness; I notice everyone is!!
I read my lessons (my best friend) with greater attention and depth!
And gratitude has increased! My mind and heart contemplate how everything in my life, be it food, shelter, roads, government departments, all services, practical and aesthetic items, essential and nonessential, natural or man-made, the Course lessons, all come from the works of others!
Anyway, that's just some of the notes' of the project results!! Despite some uncomfortable challenges, 'grist for the mill', right?
Thank you for the opportunity to share!

Eric said...

I am now at lesson 19 and you have written about seeing “the light”. I have endeavored to read each lesson daily, and apply the exercises. I am very fortunate to already be in such a happy and fulfilling place in my life. My primary desire is to “know God”, and I believe that the lessons are helping my awareness and helping me reach this goal.

I have been pondering how I could be so blessed as to see the light that you describe.

The only idea that I have come up with is to imagine the feeling of what it would be to experience seeing the light. I believe that the vision of light is not necessarily by use of my eyes, but I believe that there are other ways of “seeing”, although I don’t know what they are or how they work. I have been contemplating what it would feel like to see the light. I have imagined that it must also be like the feeling of “knowing God”. When I try to imagine that feeling, I feel inadequate.

Tonight, as I imagined the combination of feelings of "seeing the Christmas tree in the house when I was 5 or 6” , plus the feeling of “first time falling in love”, plus the feeling of “seeing our children for the first time”, I suddenly had an overwhelming feeling of joy. I think that this overwhelming joyous feeling would be what it would be like to see the light. My question to you is “Is there anything more that I can do to experience seeing the light?”

FB said...

Eric, I also ponder just what 'seeing the light' is.
This morning in meditation my awareness merged into a 'state' that had no words, no thoughts, no images, just silence and blank space that was not dark, but rather luminous, and limitless. Something in me felt, "this is the light! this is Pure Consciousness". It was restful, rest, a sense of total well-being, love, even minded joy (no opposites). I felt "I want to stay here forever".
While I want D.R.'s, our teacher's explanation and comment to/for you, in the spirit of 'group exploration', maybe 'the light' is more something one feels and not just something one it D. R.?
PS Also the understanding came deeper (to an experience, not just a concept), that this state can be reached by the love and appreciation one feels for a flower, an animal, a human, a nail file, a body of water, a forest, mountain, spoon, food, music, on and on; so it can come through ANYTHING! Challenges too. So have fun!

Leela said...


Your comment really inspired me! Thank you! I Love the part about the "I" changing to "WE," in your affirmation! SO very Beuatiful!
I am intending to experiment with this, too.
Thank you SO much!

Al M said...

FB, thanks very much for your sharing of your affirmation. I like it very much, and will work with it myself. That would be a great experiment. I like how you included WE in your affirmation after 3 days too, and that your daughter seems to have benefitted without you telling her! Fantastic.

Michael Vetrano said...

Thanks, Sharon. I have a choice as to who I'm going to be - the ego, or compassion. I make the choice anew each moment. The universe challenges my intention by bringing to light all the forms of ego I haven't seen clearly our made peace with. I'm glad to have many opportunities to activate and exercise this capacity.

D. R. Butler said...

Tom Mac, when it comes to 'if onlys,' realize that your life has worked out in the best way possible. You are experiencing exactly what you need for the optimum spiritual growth and realizations.

Focusing on 'if onlys' might lead to opportunities in the next incarnation...if that is what you really want.

As for being aware of the invisible beings, simply be aware of them.

Who knows, they might decide to reveal themselves to you.

For now it is enough that they watch over you and guide you from within.

D. R. Butler said...

KJ Shapiro, I loved your beautiful comment. I wish everyone could read it.

You are going through a time of great change, which in turn will lead to great growth. Your children will be entering new schools and making new friends, and these might present new challenges. You can see why both kinds of lessons are necessary to deal with the vicissitudes of real life. Both the ones that give 'a soothing sense of comfort and safety,' and the ones that 'seem more challenging, to be breaking down obstacles in me' have their own very helpful functions.

D. R. Butler said...

Menaki (FB), thanks for your uplifting share. I love this very practical way that you apply the principles in your own life.

D. R. Butler said...

Eric, your question is very beautiful and also very profound. It is an advanced question for someone on Lesson 19, which only shows that it matters not how advanced is the lesson; what truly matters is how advanced is the reader.

You are right in that the light referred to in the lesson cannot be seen by the eyes. It can be seen when you realize the Seer and the seen are the same.

You are also correct in that seeing the light is the same as knowing God.

In later lessons we explore how Light, or pure Awareness, is actually an essential aspect of our own inner Self. As we understand and experience this in our own life, and not merely philosophically, We experience that the only way to truly be aware of light is to know that the inner Light IS our Awareness. They are the same.

D. R. Butler said...

Eric, I loved the last paragraph of your comment so much that I am reposting it here: 'Tonight, as I imagined the combination of feelings of "seeing the Christmas tree in the house when I was 5 or 6” , plus the feeling of “first time falling in love”, plus the feeling of “seeing our children for the first time”, I suddenly had an overwhelming feeling of joy. I think that this overwhelming joyous feeling would be what it would be like to see the light. My question to you is “Is there anything more that I can do to experience seeing the light?”'

What fantastic ways of establishing joy in the heart! Yes, this is very much like seeing the Light, as well as experiencing pure Love. You are closer than you think.

The most you could do is simply asking that question, as that simple act will lead to more expanded answers. You are definitely on the right track. Just keep doing what you are doing.

D. R. Butler said...

FB, what a great response to Eric's comment.

Your understanding is correct.

Lisa said...

Hi, Ram,I've been told that I "should" not see life through my personality(ego?) but through the bigger picture of my Soul giving me Karmic Lessons for each incarnation. I've been told that I get attached to desired positive outcomes-worrying 80% of the time, intending 20%- and this causes my suffering.(there is no "bad" experience, etc.. because it's not really happening to "Lisa")My limited understanding of all of this is that this(life as I am experiencing it) is a play, I am the actor the soul is the producer/director and that it is not real. Why do we come back repeatedly to work through our wounds only to get to the understanding that our perspectives and personalities aren't even real?
Am I really missing the whole point of all your wisdom?
Should I put my head in a bucket of water now? What's really the end game here?

D. R. Butler said...

Lisa, you are not missing the point, but you have brought a bunch of things together that do not naturally go together. Ultimately, of course, everything is connected to everything else, but there are different realms and levels of Being and even different levels of understanding. This year we understand the things we know a whole lot more than we used to, even though we 'knew' it then. As we explore in the lessons, wisdom evolves, and understanding expands as we go along.

I like the idea of 'the bigger picture of my Soul giving me karmic Lessons for each incarnation.' That is a very mature approach. Everyone is attached to desired positive outcomes. Most people have the 'worry habit' to some degree. 'It's not really happening to Lisa' is true, but it's also true that nothing is actually happening at all. It is all just a play, and when seen correctly it is all very humorous, very amusing.

You are the actor, the soul is the producer/director, but what you have left out is that you are also the writer. You decide how the play will go, and you decide how to respond to challenges and obstacles. Mostly, you simply learn how to flow with change and remain in harmony at all times.

We don't come back to work on our 'wounds.' We come back to experience the karma that we ourselves have created. In this way everything is eventually balanced and harmonized. You don't have to be concerned with what isn't real. If it isn't real, it isn't worth thinking about.

D. R. Butler said...

I just came upon a question that was asked by BreathWorks on 2/19/2016. You see, it is never too late for an answer to come!

"For a great many years I have been quietly contemplating something, and I wonder what would emerge from the Stream of Intelligence that authors the Course here about the matter -- what is the Unique Self/Selves that seem to exist within Infinite Omnipresence? It feels quite true at a deeper level than thought that there is a discreet self that operates as Attention/Awareness, and doesn't seem to become reduced or diminished as prior conditioning is seen-through and released. Is it only some form of unresolved conditioning that gives an appearance of a Unique Self, or is there indeed a Unique Self/Selves with or without conditioning?"

I love the idea of quietly contemplating something. That seems the only way that true contemplation is possible.

You know I often resort to Yogic, or Sanskrit, terminology to properly explore many subjects, as English and other modern languages are not equipped to process certain ideas that enable greater understanding. So there is what the Yogis call the Atman. My online dictionary defines this thusly:
noun, Hinduism.
1. the principle of life.
2. the inner Self, known after enlightenment to be identical with Brahman.
3. (initial capital letter) the World Soul, from which all individual souls derive, and to which they return as the supreme goal of existence.

Then there is the jiva:
1. Hinduism. the individual soul, regarded as a particular manifestation of Atman.
2. Jainism. a.the individual soul or life monad, compared to a transparent crystal stained by karmic matter with colors, or lesyas, of varying hues.
Also called jivatma

You know I like the analogy of the ocean and the waves. The Atman, or inner Self, or pure Consciousness, is like the depths of the ocean. The jiva, or individualized aspect of the Universal, is like a wave on the surface of the ocean. It rises up from the ocean, and then it is resolved back into the ocean, yet all the time it remains an integral part of the ocean, and it is never separate from the ocean.

We are both the Atman and the jiva, the Universal and the individual. This is what makes the game of life possible. We are simultaneously both of them. Yet there is never a true separation. The Oneness is eternal.

In our Course, as you know, we refer to the Atman or Self as the unconditioned, unmodified, formless Awareness of Being.

Shirley Buchanan said...

Dearest Ram and Kay,
After living in the same home for 48 years, I am moving to AZ to live in a guest house on my daughter's property. Everything is going perfectly (although quite definitely NOT ideally). The house sold very quickly in a community where that is just not happening.

So here I am, at the age of 85, sifting, donating, dumping, packing and staring down nostalgia at every turn. It's long been my belief that everything has a "shelf life", and that someday, things I have treasured are going to wind up in a donation box or a dumpster, and after I've moved on the the next plane of existence, I don't want my children to be making decisions on what to keep based on what they think I treasured.

It's interesting to see how many things I've crossed off my ever-growing to-do list thinking they were done, only to find that there was a glitch, a misunderstanding or miscommunication and therefore needs to be done again.

In Volume 4, lesson 21, Ram writes, ". . . . we might not feel like driving the thirty miles to Scranton to do some grocery shopping at Wegmans. Yet we need certain foods, so we somehow have to 'force' ourselves to go, resisting all along.

"The much greater option is to simply merge into going grocery shopping, where you feel no difference between it and yourself, and let your body go through its necessary actions to get things done, and suddenly we are back home with all our needed grocery items, which all happened as though it was effortless land timeless. This is the supreme advantage of merging instead of resisting."

Cannot tell you how many times I've "made the trip to Scranton" during this move. In fact, I'm kinda surprised that I've never run into you there.

Your lessons have been my salvation for many, many years. Each one seems richer and fuller than the one before, in part, I know, because I have always read each lesson many, many times. The cumulative effect is totally transforming. I sometimes refer to the process as a "spiritual I.V. drip".

Thanks for continuing to do what you do, which helps me to continue to what I do!

Love, hugs, blessings, GRATITUDE!

D. R. Butler said...

Here is another comment that was missed when it came to us in August, 2015. It's from Julie, and she said: "In your blog you said 'I know that anyone who participates in the Course is taken care of for the rest of his or her life.' What a beautiful and comforting statement. Could you elaborate more on this?"

Sharon from Exeter, UK said...

K J Shapiro, Thank you for your encouragement and blessings. It is good to receive this support from someone who is further on in the course. Thank you so much, blessings, Sharon, Exeter, UK

Sharon from Exeter, UK said...

Julie, it would be lovely if you would elaborate on this point if you have time. I would be so interested to hear what you have to say. Namaste, Sharon

D. R. Butler said...

Shirley Buchanan, you are my hero. Anyone who is 85 who still enjoys and appreciates the lessons as you do, and who can express yourself so clearly, with a sharp and insightful mind, is an inspiration to those of us who feel we are getting on up there in years but have not nearly approached your age yet. You can even negotiate posting a comment here, which many apparently have difficulty doing for some reason. I'd love to know your secret. Probably it is the Course. Oh, well, like you, we'll just keep reading our lessons.

D. R. Butler said...

Julie said: "In your blog you said 'I know that anyone who participates in the Course is taken care of for the rest of his or her life.' What a beautiful and comforting statement. Could you elaborate more on this?"

Julie, the Course contains everything one could possibly need to know to lead a powerful and successful life, impacting others in a positive and inspiring way. The lessons contain 'The Secret of the Ages,' and the truths that all the great Masters and Saints have taught over the centuries. Once a person begins the Course, he or she is immediately given the most powerful Knowledge a person could need to make it in this world. What's more, he or she receives the blessings and Shakti (spiritual Energy) from several different lineages and traditions.

This year marks 51 years since I first came in contact with the Truth of Being, and began studying with what would be many great Teachers of Truth, as well as studying and practicing various forms of yoga and meditation, as well as the teachings of applying Creative Energy for practical results in one's own life. Everything of value that I have gained in all those years are packed into the Course and made useful for anyone who will apply it in their own life.

So, yes, I feel that once someone begins the Course, he or she is in good hands from that point on, and there is no longer any reason to be concerned about them.

Sharon from Exeter, UK said...

K J Shapiro and all

I was really interested in your comment about feeling protected. I do not feel like this all of the time but I am feeling it very profoundly some of the time. It is encouraging that as I progress in the course, I am likely to experience this feeling more as you have. Thanks again,in fact, every comment has inspired me, together with Ram's responses. Sharon

D. R. Butler said...

Sharon from Exeter, UK, it is great that we can receive encouragement from those who have gone before us. And yes, you will feel more and more protected all the time.

But let me ask you this. If you feel protected some of the time, why do you think you cannot feel protected all of the time? Do you think the Universal Force is going to be 'on duty' protecting us at some times but will take some time off and cease the protection the other times we need it? This magnificent Force is undeviating, unfluctuating, and eternally the Same. So the protection is always with us, whether we consciously recognize or appreciate it or not.

How do you think we have all made it through so far? And truly, we are protected in spite of ourselves. When I think of all the calamities that could have befallen me, but somehow didn't, I am truly grateful for all the divine protection I have. We all share the same divine Protection; the only difference is the degree to which we tune in to it.

Jean-Bernard said...

Shirley, I love your comment. So beautiful and insightful. Such a great lesson to be remembered and worked on: the trip to Scranton without attachment. Many thanks.

Tom Mac said...

Some individuals consciously doing sadhana have more challenging lives. Generally,is there a relationship between the intensity of challenges and spiritual progress?

Vandita - Itziar said...

Dear D. R., I am posting a beautiful question from one of the Spanish Students of your Course and I am translating it for you.

"Good afternoon,
I would like to ask you a question.
I have been taking your course for 5 years now, thanks to Marta Martin (Vandita) and I am now on Volume 3 Lesson 18th.

I am soon becoming a mom of a 4 years old kid that I adopted.

I have thinking about the role of being a mom and I believe I am clear on how I will play it out. I would love to walk through life with him, guide him, help him and of course love him from now on, in this great adventure of motherhood.

I would not like to feel that he is my posession, but as someone that I am walking together with through life, offering him full unconditional love.

I would like to ask you how to do sadhana as a mother, without getting lost in stress and nervousness, and how can I stay aware of the Inner Self?

How could I approach this as a sadhana?"


D. R. Butler said...

This is a comment that was left by Avivit 4 days ago, but it was under an older entry here. This might be why some of your comments never show up. If it is not posted under the current entry, it can easily get left behind. Make sure your comments only follow the current entry.

"In Verse 116 of the Guru Gita we sing: Oh Parvata, know that the nature of Brahman is beyond perception, beyond understanding, without name and form (and without sound and other attributes perceptible by the senses). In my experience, I see either a golden, white or at times an orange kind of Light when I go inside. It surely is without name and for, nor sound or such. Now this verse makes me wonder what is meant by 'the nature of Brahman is beyond perception?'"

D. R. Butler said...

Tom Mac, in a sense, the more we have attained, the more is expected of us. So it is true that people involved in the work of spiritual development can experience challenging lives. It is only fair, as such people have a greater degree of capability, and can more easily handle such challenges.

Of course, there are also those people who are not very spiritually inclined who experience incredible hardships in life, such as losing their home and loved ones in earthquakes, fires, floods, and all the other natural disasters that have long been prophesized for this time. These are people who must experience difficult karma before they reach the point of conscious spiritual development.

D. R. Butler said...

Thank you, Vandita, for translating Itziar's question, and for relaying the response to her. And, in fact, for helping to make the lessons of our Course available to Spanish-speaking participants everywhere.

Itziar, I love your attitude towards motherhood. It sounds like your heart is in a very pure place. You stay aware of the inner Self as a mother simply by applying the principles you have studied and practiced through our Course for the past 5 years or so. Remember that your words to him are powerful, and that they affect the rest of his life. Even more so, your example of how to be and how to live life is even more impactful than the words you speak. He will subconsciously pick up on your feelings and your communication with others in his environment, and these will lay the framework for his own feelings and ways of communicating.

D. R. Butler said...

Avivit, I appreciate your contemplation. It is very expanding to consider the true nature of the nameless and formless, and to dive into the golden white light that radiates from within our own Being.

The nature of Brahman is explored in a later section of the Course titled 'The Peace That Passes All Understanding.' When we go beyond words and forms, we come to a place of absolute peace and contentment. This is the purest nature of the Self.

FB said...

In our exercise this time, V 3, L 14, you suggest we ask ourselves, "Where does the resistance to seeing the Divine in ourselves or worshipping ourselves come from"?
Each time I've read this I feel myself trying to get an answer that feels like it is coming from a sincere place within me. Today as I read the responses, "lack of faith, trust, and the courage to deeply, undoubtedly feel and 'know' them", came up and feel honest to me.
Am I on the right track?

D. R. Butler said...

FB (Menaki), you are definitely on the right track.

Resistance definitely comes from a lack of faith. It is challenging to genuinely accept that our own Being, our own Self, is the divine Being that creates and maintains the cosmos. We wonder, 'How could I do all that? I don't even understand it.' Of course, our individual conscious mind cannot know how to create and maintain a cosmos, but the Divine Intelligence within us, that breathes, circulates blood, pumps a heart, designs a brain, and all the other things that we have no idea how they happen, thankfully does not to be comprehended by the very limited individual conscious mind.

Trust is definitely an issue. We have to trust our own understanding and our own experiences, and we have to allow the greatest and the highest to happen, to be, without resistance or interference from us. Trust is integrally related to faith.

"The courage to deeply, undoubtedly feel and 'know' them" is definitely essential. We have to ultimately KNOW our innate divinity with the same ultimate confidence that we know our name or that we know the floor or ground will support us if we walk. In the Shiva Sutras it is said, "The experience of the divine Self comes with a firm conviction."

FB said...

As I read this exchange (on 4th read now) I am filled with a sacred delight and anticipation of the Miraculous Unknown as it playfully, even mischievously, reveals Itself to me. Somehow my trust has deepened, more so I feel trust to know that It will patiently and exactly align Itself to my unique capacity, (we each have our unique capacities or paces, as the Course teaches). Thank you Ram.

Vandita said...

Thanks so much for your response to Itziar and your thank you note to me. Also, thank you for both the responses to Tom and to Menaki, I found them both to be so powerful, and, as always, something I needed to read right now.

Olga said...

Lesson 31 page 5. Last full paragraph..."Ultimately we will see that no one actually does anything. Everything simply happens. Yet, from a more expanded perspective, nothing happens at all. Contemplate the reality that nothing ever happens. We wake up and it was all a dream. The dream might or might not end when we wake up, so if it continues we can then watch the dream, detached, taking nothing personally, amused, with noting invested, and nothing to gain or lose."

Would you please tell me what you mean by "The dream might or might not end when we wake up"?

Thank you.

Love Olga

Response to Toni said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Toni said...

Response from Living in the Truth to Toni...for a response to your question, please contact us at

FB said...

An interesting experience occurred for me in meditation this morning; my question is "will you please comment; further my understanding of it"?
I have been reading BKS Iyengar's book, Light On Life, where he integrates hatha yoga with the principles of Truth our Course explains, and coupled with (and enjoying) simple yet powerful stretches for nearly 2 months now, no doubt have something to do with this experience...
So, anyway, my posture and breathing more alert and poised yet not straining, mind followed, I guess 'spirit' was 'just waiting for this moment to be free', the three (mind, body, soul) seemed to unite! The entire being relaxed and felt, "I believe this is what is meant by letting the mind REST in the Heart"! About 20 minutes there, my understanding of 'unity' now has a whole new dimension.
Will you please elaborate on unity of mind, body, and spirit? Or am I just lost in thought?

D. R. Butler said...

Olga, if we wake up from a dream, we find ourselves in another dream. The Yoga Vasishtha says that the life of the individual is the dream of the jiva--the soul. When we 'wake up' from this lifetime, we experience that it was only another dream, and that none of it actually happened. Admittedly, this is not the easiest thing to understand. If the idea brings about a feeling of great relief, or helps you to feel better, then the understanding is true. If it brings about a resistance or a disappointment, then it was not actually understood.

Tom Mc said...

Dear D.R.

In a recent Lesson you write
"See what is"
SEEMS like a simple enough statement.

I realize "what is" can truly only be in the present moment. However I am asking for further understanding (as I don't feel I totally get this)

For instance, is detaching and identifying being the witness the same as "seeing what is"?

Or are you perhaps referring to a different perspective/state/realm?

Thank you and Kay's offering of this transformative and Grace filled Course!

Love and Blessings to you both!!
Tom Mac

D. R. Butler said...

Tom Mc, I can't say that I actually understand your questions.

To see what is, as you say, is simple enough. It is simply seeing what actually is, instead of what we 'think' is, or what 'appears' to be. We usually tend to see appearances only, or we see what we think. It can be challenging to see what actually IS.

Julie Potter said...

Dear Ram, I couldn't figure out how to post a comment, so I am sending you an email.
I just started Volume 2, and am amazed and grateful that your ideas work. Recently I was going on a trip, and was filled with doubts and anxieties, and many samskaras too numerous to mention. Anyway, I was sure I would have a sleepless night (I've been here before) but tried the intention anyway: return to the present moment, my heart and my love - and it worked!!! Fast!!!!

My trip was to Bhaktifest in California, and I was staying in a dorm room. One morning I awoke with more samskaras - feeling blue.... how much longer will I be at this festival?....When will it end?....I don't want to get out of bed.....I want to leave but am trapped here....

So I repeated the 3 intentions, and was just getting ready to think of some positive thoughts, but did not get a chance to. The positive thoughts arose spontaneously. When I sat up in bed, I looked around the dorm room at all the sleeping women. It was just before dawn, and automatically and out of the blue, I was filled with love for everyone, and appreciated this silent moment before dawn.

The amazing thing to me was that this time the intention itself was enough, and pleasant uplifting thoughts simply kicked in. Thank you very much. I also started re-reading Volume One Lessons 1 and 2, and voile, there was this same information. Ok, tomorrow may be different, but I will be ready. Thanks for everything. Julie Potter

Tom Mc said...

Dear D.R.
Thank you for your quick reply.
"To see what IS"
Beyond appearances and thoughts.

Quite a contemplation! My mind says "but there are so many levels beyond appearance!" Lol!

Fortunately, on the desk in front of me, is a Lesson I am studying:
"We live and move and have our being in an ocean of Love"
Love, Tom Mac

D. R. Butler said...

Julie Potter, I am very happy that applying the principles actually work for you. Thankfully, many of us have enjoyed the same experience. It is amazing when we first start to try them out to prove them true for ourselves, that they actually work. It's like, 'Thank God, now life can start to be really fun.'

I'm glad you experienced Bhaktifest. Did you come to enjoy it. There are a lot of great people who go there. Did you come in contact with Kasey Luber? She does a lot of video work at Bhaktifest.

It is truly amazing when we go back to earlier lessons and discover key points that somehow did not even register at the time we first read it. This is an aspect of the truth that it never depends on how 'high' or 'advanced' the lesson is; it only matters how 'high' or 'advanced' the reader is.

D. R. Butler said...

Tom Mc, there is only one level beyond appearance.
If there were more than one, it could only 'appear' to be so.

Julie Potter said...

Thank you, Ram, for your reply. I didn't expect a reply. So thanks again. In reply to your question, yes, I Ioved Bhaktifest: a light filled, joyous, heart opening event, with non-stop kirtan, amiable fellow travelers, and inspiring workshops (along with a couple samskaric anxieties that melted away with intention). It reminded me in many ways of being at the ashram. I did not run across Kasey Luber.

FB said...

Ram, I had an experience recently (in meditation) that 'mind, body, and spirit' were 'united', yet I didn't feel I knew what this meant. Probably the mind, the ego, wanting an explanation. Anyway, today I saw this quote on facebook, and I felt, "Oh.h.h. now I'm starting to get it". Just felt like sharing this because I couldn't even formulate a clear question to you, (still not there yet).
The quote:
We are made of body and mind. Our body can radiate the energy of peace and compassion. Our mind also has energy. The energy of the mind can be powerful. If the energy of the mind is filled with fear and anger, it can be very destructive. But if we sit mindfully, if we walk mindfully and reverently on the earth, we will generate the energies of mindfulness, of peace, and of compassion in both body and mind. This kind of energy can heal and transform.
- Thich Nhat Hanh