It’s been a while since we’ve added a new article to this site. Today, by popular request, we’re going to be sharing some of the recent Facebook writings of D. R. Butler [to take part in the dialogue on his Facebook page, go to D.R. Butler (Ram)—no space between the D. and the R.—and make a “friend request”].
For more than forty years, D. R. Butler
has been the author of the Course of Training Living in the Truth of
the Present Moment, now available via email. For more information about the Course and a
complementary Lesson 1, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are also invited to check out the archived articles available elsewhere on this page, which
date back to July 2008 and which give a good overview of the writings of this
prolific, humorous, and very insightful writer.
If you wish to post a question or a comment regarding this current article,
please do so on the most recent thread of the Facebook page, as the “Comments” section that follows the
first posting below will be dedicated solely to additional posts by the author as
they become available from Facebook throughout the month.
To access the “Comments” section in an easily readable form, simply click
on the article title, “Recent Writings from D. R. Butler,” and then scroll to
the end of the article.
The first entry is entitled “Who Is a True Teacher?”: The popularity of the Internet has led to a proliferation of spiritual
teachers, each with his or her own little niche or specialty. We can’t keep up with all of them; we can’t
practice/follow/read/hear all of them. How
do we know what is best for us? How to
trust a teacher? Which one to listen to?
I was fortunate enough at the age of fifteen to come in contact with a Teacher who
had spent seventeen years in lamaseries of Nepal and Tibet before being instructed to return to the West to help individuals to rise out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, through the end of his life in 1961. He gave talks over the radio and wrote a correspondence
course that transmitted a clarity of understanding and a palpable experience of
the Truth of Being. He had left his body
the year before I discovered his course, so I never had actual physical contact
with him, except through his wife, years after his passing. I was saved from being attached to his physical
form, for the training I received from him took place subtly. Dreams of him took place on a regular basis
for many years. I can still vividly
recall certain discussions we had in those dreams, mostly in the form of him responding
to my questions.
In one of them, he showed me with one glance how the entire Cosmos is put
together and how everything works. It
was something that took no time, but was an instantaneous revelation, as when
Krishna first revealed his true form to Arjuna in the Indian epic saga Bhagavad
If I were to attempt to tell you who he was, or what tradition or lineage he
actually represented, you would probably think I was about two french-fries
short of a happy meal. He wasn’t
publicly known. He was careful not to
be. He was cleverly disguised, as many
of the Great Ones are. He emphasized
often that the value lies in the teachings themselves, never in the teacher. Teachers will come and go; teachings of Truth
always remain the same.
The well-known and popular teachers that we all know about and discuss on the
Internet might never approach the attainment or development of someone whom
very few have even heard of, other than the small band who somehow come in
contact with him or her and experience what comes through as a subtle
Such beings avoid becoming ‘public’ at all costs, for they know that public
knowledge of them can only bring trouble. To
a true Teacher, public recognition is the worst thing, and he or she will deliberately
remain known to only a relative few. It
is the way of the world to take down a saint, to put him in his place, to prove
he was never so great in the first place.
Once upon a time there were crucifixions; now there are Internet sites
that will happily give us all the dirt they can find or imagine.
Do not assume a teacher can transmit to you something of value simply because
he or she is popular or well-known, or might have large followings and
circus-like scenes wherever they go. Having
followed the spiritual scene since the early sixties, I can assure you that the
great majority of such teachers come and go.
Don’t get attached to bodies, forms, or personalities, for none of these
are the source of your true inner connection to your own Being.
Never listen to someone who tries to convince you of something or to win you over,
or who acts and speaks so that you will think well of him. A true teacher is detached from the fruits of
his work, and whether someone gains anything from him or not will be according
to their own destiny, their own karma. He
has no interest in how another sees him or whether he is liked or appreciated
or approved of. If others are attracted
to him, it is because of what comes through him; he does not take it
As the Christ put it, “It is not I that do the works, but the Father within,
that same Father that is within you.”
A true Teacher won't go around being your best buddy. If she is true, she will never appease the
ego; she will always keep the ego a little bit uncomfortable. Otherwise she is not fully functioning as a Teacher; she is only a friend. A friend
is nice; a true Teacher is rare.
Especially don’t pay attention to teachers who 'explain themselves' regarding
anything. The Shakti (spiritual Energy)
doesn’t explain Itself; to do so would be contrary to Its nature. It doesn’t need to cause you to think in any
particular way. How you think is up to
you. A true Teacher will never present a
dogmatic system of beliefs. Rather, she
will free you of the limiting beliefs that already hold you down. Specifically, he or she will free you from
the shackles of the mind and ego, and teach you to think for yourself.
The saint can’t help having a human, personal life as long as he or she is
incarnated in a physical body. She won’t
have a halo, she won’t walk on water, she’ll only shatter your concepts about
who you think you are. She might
lovingly and compassionately smash your ego into pieces. In the end, she simply reveals the Truth of
Being and leaves us established in our own Self, supremely independent and
The primary thing regarding a spiritual teacher is your actual inner experience
of contact with him or her. Your own
heartfelt experience, and nothing else, tells you whether there is something to
be gained or not. Your mind might think
he is ‘off his rocker’. It doesn’t
matter; go by your own inner feeling always.
The greatest Teachers come from the heart, not the head. The Teacher’s words might not make any sense
at first, yet you experience a profound opening in your heart. You experience something inside yourself—a
light, an insight, an exaltation, some sense of new possibility, of pending new
life. Yet you might not even remember
what was verbally communicated. It is
not something that happens physically or mentally. It is a subtle communication, a subtle
transmission that transforms us on a very deep level of our Being.
A true Teacher passes on to us a spiritual Energy that gives a palpable ‘boost’
to our inner work (our sadhana) and to our inner state. If there are only ideas and words to be
learned, and especially if they are simply ‘beliefs’, there is nothing of value
to be gained.
Never accept another’s words without proving them true in your own life. Truth is always provable and practically
I love this quote from my first Teacher:
"He, or she, is great who
feeds other minds. He is great who
inspires others to think for themselves.
He is great who tells you the things you already know, but which you did
not know you knew until he told you. He,
or she, is great who disturbs you, irritates you, even affronts you, so that
you are shaken out of your habitual ways and pulled out of your mental ruts,
lifted up above the commonplace. He may
be a teacher, or a speaker, or a writer, a clergyman, or a scientist; or he may
be a close friend. It makes no
difference who or what he is, or may be, but it does make a great difference
what he means, and can do, to you.
"The writer, for instance, is great whom you alternately hate and love—whom
you cannot easily forget. In his
private, personal life he may be proud, arrogant, crude, coarse, irritable,
absurd, or even immoral...I grant all that...and yet be great. He is not great because of these
reprehensible qualities, but in spite of them.
The apparent inconsistencies and inequalities of his nature may
contribute in great measure to his power, just as the rocks, boulders, chasms,
woods, mountains and valleys make up the grandeur and majesty of the Yosemite,
or Yellowstone Park."
A true Teacher, even though our ego may react from time to time, ultimately
helps us to feel good about ourselves and to see ourselves in the highest way. Someone who ultimately makes you feel even
worse about yourself can never be considered a true Teacher.
Ultimately no one can tell you who your Teacher is—any more than someone can
tell you who to fall in love with. At
some point it becomes obvious. Since
recognizing a Teacher is like falling in love, here’s a tip: Fall in love with your Self and be your own
Teacher. This is my truest and most
In the end, of course, we will each live in love with our Self and be our own
Teacher, for there could be no other conclusion; it is a simple recognition of
the way it always is. The Truth always
exists within and never without. Look
within and you will know the Truth without any doubt. Look outside and you are lost, and doubt will
haunt you at every turn. Remember love. Love is always the best bet in any case.