Thursday, March 23, 2017

Recent Writings from D. R. Butler (Ram)

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

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 Gita.

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 transmission.

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 personally.

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 supremely free.

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 workable.

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 sincere advice.

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.


D. R. Butler said...

Please continue to check this "comments" section as we will be posting updates regarding the well-being of Ram D.R. Butler following his open-heart surgery on Thursday April 6 at 8:00 A.M. There will also be additional postings here of recent writings. With love, Kay

D. R. Butler said...

Once again I regretfully inform you that reports of my heart surgery today was FAKE NEWS.
I was being prepped for the surgery, and about a half hour before being taken to the OR the surgeon came in to check on me, asked me what meds I had taken the day before, and for some reason Kay told him I had taken Chinese herbs.

Of course, I have been taking Chinese herbs for about 35 years, and understand them about as well as anyone. The surgeon felt that the herbs could have a blood-thinning effect, and postponed the surgery for another week.

The herbs I took were Wild Chinese Ginseng, the highest quality Ginseng in the world, and Duanwood Reishi spore oil, the most potent immune system booster there is. I took them to boost my immune system to help me through the surgery, and neither are blood thinners.

This all leaves me rather out of sorts. I was psychically totally prepared for surgery today, and being back home after driving to the hospital at 5:15 this morning is disorienting. I had gotten ahead with my work on the Course, and am not quite sure what to do with myself. It feels very anti-climatic.

Thanks to all of you for your beautiful well wishes. I don't even know if I will announce the next time I go for the surgery, for twice already I have announced it, only to find it a dud. If I were one to be embarrassed, this would do it, but since only the ego is embarrassed, I will forego it.

Once again, thank you for your love, your support and encouragement.

Kay Butler said...

Did anyone else notice how much like the young Elvis Ram appears in the beardless photo of him from son Shane? photo circa 1978 find on D.R. Butler Ram page 4.5.17. The following was posted at 11:30 last night by Ram:
This is truly the last post. I have to wake up at an abominable hour, so I will be going to sleep very soon.

I have no idea when I might be back posting. This is an amazing gathering/interaction/ satsang/lovefest/happening we have created online, and I honor you for your part in helping to create it through your participation, and your willingness to openly interact.

Some relate more openly than others. Some have a lifelong tendency to hold back, to conceal, to maintain a distance, to remain 'private', and that is okay as long as we are happy with it. Spiritual growth and true freedom, however, are approached much more easily with a fearless openness.

I have no idea what to expect tomorrow or afterwards. It is like leaping into the abyss. I do not know where I will land. I only know that life will never quite be the same again.
I love that you are in my life. Our ongoing dialogue is a very special process to share. Most of us have never met physically, yet it is amazing how well we can get to know each other through openly relating online. We have access to cyber-intimacy, even though we are not fully cognizant of exactly what that means or how far it might be taken.

I will see you again in the next chapter, possibly fairly soon. I send my blessings and love to you.

Kay Butler said...

Some April 4 Facebook Memories:
The secret to success in relationships is to spend more time and energy trying to understand the other’s perspective than trying to convince the other that our perspective is right. The more often we see the other as ‘right,’ the happier we’ll be. (from 2011)

If a person reads our Facebook posts openly and with a willingness to see something 'new' it will be experienced that the writing is not about dispensing facts or information, but tuning into a certain energy and state. This is the underlying essence of our Course of Training via email. It is about tuning into a certain energy and state and through the continuity of the lessons our experience of that energy and state grows more vividly clear, and we develop the capacity to maintain this pristine experience for longer periods of time, until we finally live firmly established in our inner Truth--the unconditioned, unmodified, formless Awareness of Being. (from 2013)

When this cycle of karma is complete, the subtle body departs from the physical body, feeling as though the entire incarnation was but a dream. The time of physical departure is already set, no matter what we do or don’t do. Of course, we live according to dharma—making choices and decisions according to what is best for all involved; otherwise we experience suffering of some nature. Still, the physical phenomenon known as ‘death’ takes place when the cycle of karma is complete. There was nothing left undone; otherwise, we couldn’t have gotten away. And certainly no one has truly ever ‘died’ yet. (from 2015) [[very interesting that this posting from Ram was made on April 4, 2015...then, on April 4, 2016 he was rushed to the hospital for heart failure and was gone from his body off and on during that day...on April 4, 2017 he was preparing himself inwardly and outwardly for the scheduled open-heart surgery of April 6]]

D. R. Butler said...

In the surgery waiting room and just had a message that Ram is "doing on the heart/lung machine and stable...starting the by-pass." Parting was such sweet sorrow at 9 am. Thank you for your Healing Light...keep it coming. And thank you for being with us here at CMC in Scranton. Love, Kay

D. R. Butler said...

3:45 pm EST Wed.12th In case you are one of the few people who are unable to connect on Facebook, we want you to know that Ram is in the ICU and doing well after a very successful open-heart surgery. No transfusions necessary, no infections evident, and lung Xrays good. He has recognized me and smiled and is taking his time coming fully awake. At the moment he's asleep again and they will remove his breathing tube when he's fully awake. Having you all subtly (and cyberly) here with us these past weeks has meant the world to us, and your offerings of Healing Light and Love have made a major change in the Cosmos. Keep it up and so will we! Love, Kay

D. R. Butler said...

Ram had a good night and is now sitting in a chair watching tv. I also had a good night and just getting out of bed. Whew...what a relief to wake up and to know that he's recovering nicely. Nurses are wonderful! I've called them regularly all night for progress reports and it's always good. No cell service in that part of the hospital so haven't spoken with him this morning but will see him in about an hour. You are all so great and have been such a comfort and support to both of us. It is your Healing Love that has made all this possible. THANK YOU. Love, Kay

Kay Butler said...

Hello dear ones...well, I promised to keep you up-to-date and it seems I haven't been doing very well at it. This site had been pretty much inactive for the past months, and with the excitement of the past few weeks updating it my promise has slipped my mind. As you no doubt know by now, Ram is at home and recovering very nicely, with the help of visits from very sweet RNs, PTs, and OTs (which will probably end after our first post-surgery visit to the surgeon on Monday May 1st, as we expect he will be released from the need for home health care).

If you are one of those who don't visit Facebook, you'll enjoy this "memory" post from a year ago--April 29, 2016--when Ram was in a physical-rehab center after spending three weeks in the hospital for his first heart-related illness. I'll try to be more on-the-ball about keeping you updated with some of his recent Facebook posts. For now, enjoy the "memory" post that he offered today on his page (D.R. Butler Ram).

April 29 Memory (From 2016)
The Shower
It is sometime around 11 pm here in Scranton. In this facility, there are about 4 daytime nurses but only 1 nighttime nurse, although there is probably another one upstairs, which I have heard about but never seen, like some strange and forbidden place. The nurse on duty tonight is a quiet, unassuming, flowing young man of around 30 named Jade, whom I like very much. About an hour ago he came to my door and said, ‘You’re scheduled to have a shower today. Would you like to have a shower?’

Today is Friday, and I had been given my last shower on Monday, so something told me to go for it while I had the chance. ‘Sure, why not?’ I replied. He said, ‘Okay, I’ll send her up in a few minutes.’ ‘Her’ would be a nurse’s aide who, presumably, did such things as give people showers.

I had been lying in my bed in a state of near exhaustion, still subsisting on 2-3 hours of sleep at night, which was beginning to take its toll. The moaning woman across the hall was screaming, ‘Harry? Harry? I can’t get to sleep, Harry! Harry, I can’t sleep!’ She had been freaky when I first got here, but I was beginning to get somewhat used to her. I assumed that ‘Harry’ had escaped this earth plane many years ago.

Before long a small, uncertain woman appeared at my door. ‘Shower?’ she half-whispered. I already had misgivings. Yet I made my way into my wheelchair, and she wheeled me away to the shower room, where I was moved into a bottomless chair and was pushed into the shower, which was somewhat like a car wash for humans. It was cold and I hoped she would quickly apply some decently warm water. What followed was nightmarish.

She found some hot water all right, and proceeded to scald my back. ‘No! Too hot!’ I cried. She reached over and began to spray cold water on me. ‘No!’ I yelled. Then began this amazing process of her going back and forth between scalding water and then cold water. I watched for a while, unbelievingly. After a while I began to wonder if she thought the temperature would adjust itself or what? Finally, totally frustrated, I grabbed the handle from her and pushed it somewhere between the two extremes. ( be continued in the next comment)

Kay Butler said...

(continued from the previous comment)

The water became reasonably warm. ‘Okay?’ she asked. ‘Okay,’ I said.
She began to rub the washcloth up and down my back. Then, I was horrified when she began to spray the water on my longer-than-usual hair, and soon washed about half of my head. After a bit she rinsed my head and began to push me out.

‘Shouldn’t we wash under my arms?’ I asked. During my last shower, the aide had handed me a soapy washcloth and allowed me to wash myself for a while. I had expected the same on this night. ‘I already did that,’ she insisted. ‘You did?’ I asked, incredibly. I hadn’t seen a sign of soap or a washcloth. Without responding, she pushed me in front of a mirror.

Mercifully, she began to blow-dry my hair. The heat from the dryer was the most soothing thing I had experienced yet. I sat there as she grabbed a brush and began to tug at my strands. After a while, she seemed satisfied with her efforts to brush out my hair. She turned the dryer off and began to dress me in the clean clothes I’d brought along. After a bit, I began taking them from her and dressing myself.

Soon I was back in my room. The wailing woman was crying out, ‘Harry! I can’t sleep, Harry!’ I had an impulse to go to her doorway and say, ‘I can’t sleep either! Do you have any idea why that might be?’ I managed to restrain myself, having no idea what that kind of thing that might elicit from her.

After a bit Jade appeared at my doorway. ‘How’d it go?’ he asked pleasantly. ‘She didn’t seem to know what she was doing,’ I answered.‘ ‘No?’ he said in his usual manner. ‘No,’ I said. ‘Has she ever given anyone a shower before?’ Nonplussed, Jade said, ‘I doubt it. She’s on the night shift. The night shift doesn’t usually give showers. Need anything?’
‘I need a lot!’ I thought, but simply shook my head. Jade smiled amiably and continued his way down the hall.

‘Harry! I can’t sleep, Harry!’
I climbed into my bed to begin the long night ahead, wishing I could simply dream of my KayKay, who soothes and comforts me, and who takes good care of me, and who mercifully will visit me tomorrow. At least I had on clean clothes and felt somewhat refreshed from my shower.

D. R. Butler said...

Lesson 1 of the original correspondence course was mailed out from Forest Hills, NY, in August of 1975. The closest printer to where I lived was Vishnu Press, owned by a devotee of Sri Chinmoy, who had his center nearby, so I walked the first lesson there. Right out front of the printer I came upon Ram Dass, who was walking by with a couple of friends. I stopped to chat with him, and he asked me how was Baba, and I shared the latest with him before I took the lesson inside to be printed.

The most recent, and final, version of the Course was started in 2008. Some who have taken the old Course have remarked that, although they'd love to still be taking the Course, they just can't bring themselves to start all over with Lesson 1 again. Of course, I had no interest in starting over writing a course from the beginning again, so the new Lesson 1 takes up where the very last lesson of the last course left off. To me, it was just the next lesson. There are no 'beginning' or 'elementary' lessons in the current Course.

The lessons are written for people who have been doing sadhana for many years, and each lesson can be understood on whatever level the reader is on. No one has ever yet complained that the beginning lessons of the Course contain familiar or outdated material. In fact, Lesson 1 was recently rewritten, and is currently one of the newer lessons in the Course.

The Course originally got started when readers of a magazine article I had written titled, 'As You Think, So You Become,' wrote to me and encouraged me either to write a course or a book. Since I had myself taken a course starting when I was 15, I felt more comfortable with that medium, and so it began. Then I was at the ashram of my Guru in 1976 when I was called to go see him. As I approached him he said, 'Whoever told you to write a correspondence course?' I was very puzzled. Then he said, 'Who authorized you to write a course?' I was really very confused. I was wondering why he cared, and then even wondered what business of it was his? Then he said, 'You should stop writing your course immediately.'

I told him I would stop, and he looked pleased and sent me away. I was walking back to my room and hadn't even gotten around to wondering what I would do now, but instead was wondering why I had told him I would stop. It did not make sense that I would do that. The whole thing seemed crazy. At that point, there was still a lot I did not understand about the Guru. I sat in my room and pondered. Soon, someone came and said Baba wanted to see me again. So I went back to him, and this time he said, 'I've changed my mind. You should continue writing your course, but you should write more about me.'

This began 25 years of writing a course about the Guru and his teachings. Over that time I traveled around the world leading weekend workshops. Finally I received guidance that I was to begin a new course, focusing on the teachings, the principles of Truth, and not so much about the Guru.
Which leads us up to the present. As I started this, I was wondering what do you write to people who have been reading your writings for 8 years? Not only that, since many participants actually took the old course, what do you write to people who have read your writings for 30-40 years? This always seems like a problem for me. However, at some point I will sit here and the voice inside my head will start up and I will take dictation once again, and before long a brand new lesson will magically appear, and I will once more wonder where on earth it came from.

And this is me warming up to write once again.

D. R. Butler said...

The lazy, undisciplined mind generally seeks out -- through habit -- negative and limiting thoughts that lead to uneasy feelings, such as fear, worry, anxiety, and insecurity. It should be more obvious now than ever that an undisciplined mind leads to all life's troubles, difficulties, and conflicts. The lazy mind is complacent to live in the midst of negative emotions, seeing it as the natural way of the world, and assuming that suffering is simply the way this life goes.

We are in the physical body to experience a cycle of karma, as the soul makes its rounds through the journey of its own evolution, back to the pristine Self it always already was. Everything that happens to us, everyone we encounter, everything we see, occurs in order to teach us, guide us, purify us, inspire us, strengthen us -- in short, to give us whatever we need to see or experience in order to break free from whatever limits or holds us back.
Liberation occurs the moment we are aware of our true Nature; and, of course, disappears the moment we forget.

D. R. Butler said...

Some thoughts from D. R. Butler:
Let’s feel our own greatness, feel our own goodness, feel the perfection and purity of our own Being, feel the wonder and splendor of the life we all share in common. Our life can be a thing of joy, beauty, and perfection. If we experience it right now, it’s as good as experiencing it for an eternity. Live in a great feeling and you will love your life.

We have an idea of the 'norm,' or what a normal person would be like, which would probably be most people. Yet no one is quite like this. No one fits the 'norm.' Everyone, when you really get to know them, seems a little strange, to put it nicely. What does this mean? Is everyone secretly crazy? Is our shared 'norm' a myth? What do you make of this?

Everything you can dream of or imagine exists on the subtle plane. You can go soaring from galaxy to galaxy, from one dimension to another, or you might simply go fishing on the bank of a tranquil pond. A gentle breeze affectionately brushes your face to remind you that you are loved. Yet it is all the same. It is simply the variety of subtle experience.

No matter how well educated a person might be, there are certain universal truths that are beyond the scope of conventional knowledge. These principles take us into the very heart of what a few in all ages have known, and which all true Masters of all traditions have taught. I ask you to take no one’s word for anything, but rather to prove the truth for yourself through your own practical application of the principles which you recognize to be true.

D. R. Butler said...

Regarding Relationships
Q: There seems to be a focus in the lessons on relationships which is great. In the world we live in it seems to be front and center for most people. They also appear to be a lot of work and seem to bring a lot of difficulty in people's lives.
Why do you think we are so attracted to relationships? Is it karmic? Do we think the person is going to "complete" us?
I remember living alone for a long time. Life seemed so simple. But maybe I am not remembering the difficult times.
A: I think anyone involved in a relationship would have to laugh after reading your last paragraph. Yes, life does seem simple when we live alone, doesn't it?
Of course, many people who live alone wish they could find someone nice to live with. They meet someone interesting, start things going in one way or another, and see how wonderful is the bliss of another person. So they move in together.
Before too long, something quite different and unexpected happens. This other person who seemed so perfect in the beginning suddenly begins to display undesirable traits. In fact, they might even manifest in the very ways that we always most hated or feared. Suddenly life feels very complicated.
Yes, our Course of Training focuses a lot on relationships, because when it comes down to it, our interactions with others during the day is foremost on the list of most people's activities. Our life revolves largely around the other people in it. So the Course focuses a lot on living in harmony with each other.
Relationships are indeed karmically determined. It is our karma to come in contact with certain people and not other people. It is not determined by chance or coincidence nearly as much as we might sometimes think.
The Course focuses so much on relationships because, strange as it seems, relationships are our primary arena of sadhana or spiritual work and growth. A major aspect of life is getting relationships right--or at least being in harmony with all who are attracted into our lives for whatever reason.
Relationships are a lot of work and do sometimes cause a lot of difficulty. Still, when we live alone it is too easy to hide our ego from ourselves, and therefore more difficult to evolve. In relationship, ego and samskaras are exposed and have to be dealt with and come into harmony with. All this is explored in great detail in the lessons of the Course.
We might think another can complete us, yet whether we think that or not, we can only complete ourselves. Depending on another for completion is a frustrating proposition at best. We find our ultimate fulfillment within ourselves, yet relationships with other people are usually the path we have to travel to get there.
The primary things in relationships of any nature are respect and harmony. Be respectful of all others, even if they are unable to be respectful of you or themselves. Come into harmony with all others in your life, even when they cannot manage to come into harmony with you.
Respect and harmony in relationships are among the primary keys to enjoying a life of joy and contentment. Above all things, where others are concerned, be respectful and remain in harmony within yourself.