Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Self-Interview from Facebook

Little Ado About Much
Curious Person (CP): So, exactly what is it that you do?
This One (TO): For the last 42 years I've written this course on living in the most fulfilling way, based on my studies, observations, and personal experience. It is centered around living in the Truth of the Present Moment.
CP: Living in the present moment? When else can we live? We can't live in the past or the future, except then and there.
TO: Well, mentally and consciously, we are not always present. If we are lost in some thought-dream, we're certainly not in the 'Truth' of the Present Moment. The Truth is not contained in thoughts or emotions or memories. It exists only in Awareness.
CP: Anyone can talk mumbo-jumbo. What does all that have to do with real life? I like to live in practical realities.
TO: If you live your whole life in your head, which you call practical reality, and never touch the Truth of the Present Moment, which is the only time your life actually exists, then it will be one long waking dream from which you never awoke.
CP: Be that as it may. I'm sure it must mean something to someone. What do you do when not writing your course?
TO: Well, I have an active Facebook life.
CP: Oh yeah? Do you post pictures of what you had for lunch? Do you ask for prayers for your sick old aunt? Do you ask for recommendations for Netflix? Do you post pictures of yourself in yogic postures?
TO: Actually I enjoy dialogues with participants of the Course. And I invite all others who are interested to join in the dialogue. It's open to everyone around the world, or at least to whoever is attracted to it. I don't believe that anyone really comes upon it by chance or coincidence.
CP: You dialogue with them? You shoot the breeze?
TO: We discuss topics that we feel are relevant in enjoying a fulfilling life. I invite people to ask questions regarding whatever is up for them. I know, it sounds presumptuous, but my Guru told me to answer people's questions. When the Guru tells you to do something, then the Shakti, the Creative Energy of the Universe, is behind it.
CP: Sounds like you think pretty highly of yourself.
TO: Well, that's something else the Guru told me to do. Before I met him, I tended to think lowly of myself. So it's a pretty big and meaningful transformation. How we feel about ourselves determines how our whole life goes. My life has gone much better since I changed the way I see myself.
CP: So you tell people to think more highly of themselves? And what if that in turn only gives them a big ego?
TO: Most people already have a big ego, only the main function of the ego is that it causes us to think lowly of ourselves and to doubt ourselves. It's mostly a myth that the ego causes us to think highly of ourselves. Thinking highly of ourselves actually goes along with breaking free from the ego. It is a very meaningful process.
CP: I guess I'll just have to think about all this. Although, knowing me, I'll probably forget all about it any second now.

TO: Probably so. At any rate, if anyone reading this has any further questions, today is a good day to post them in the thread below, and I'll be around to respond. Curious Person has warmed me up to the task.

[for some comments and questions that followed this post, please click on the entry title above and scroll down to "comments" below]

8 comments:

D. R. Butler said...

Q: I have puzzled over the self that I am for ages. I can absolutely know that my self is not this body but I continue to let that realization fade. I feel like the self is the edge I use to interact with the world. Does it fade because I'm confused?

A: The lessons of our Course clearly explore all this in ways not really possible on Facebook. There are lots of reasons realizations fade. So many things pull us back into the ordinary world--the samskaras that keep us bound to all the forms and dramas of personal life, the vasanas that fix the mind in certain repeated directions, endless patterns of thought, and even maya itself, which makes us believe in the split between Subject and object, just to name a few things that pull us back into our ordinarily limited vision and experience.

We do what in Sanskrit is called 'sadhana,' which are practices that contribute to spiritual development and greater awareness, and which, on the highest level, is a way of approaching all of life, to develop the consistency and stability to maintain the highest, or most expanded, perception and experience.

D. R. Butler said...

Q: I continue to berate myself lately in a subconscious form for being depressed over this additional cancer surgery and tests for blood cancer. My ego thinks I can't feel human and suppose to be perfectly brave within the eye of the storm.

A: The highest approach you can take is to consider that you are Universal Consciousness experiencing what it is like to have the physical challenges you are presently going through. You need to stop taking it so personally. Don't be so personally identified with the karma of the body. The ego does not really have enough to hold on to right now to make it worthwhile, I'd consider letting it go. Nothing really makes a difference right now except your experience in the present moment.
Make it a joyful, loving experience.
Make the rest of your life a thing of joy and beauty forever.

Q: Thank you for this wisdom Dearest Ram. I have been taking this way to personally.
Now I can practice Awareness without attachment.

D. R. Butler said...

Q: Ram, in my current lesson you describe the ego-created melodramas in detail. I've realized that I very rarely react emotionally to things, and these melodramas just vanished pretty much. But, my mind constantly reacts to things. What is interesting is that even as I am reacting there's a part of me that sees that reaction as fake, futile, untrue. Example: I'm supposed to leave work at 5. At 450pm I'm told we're staying until 8pm, say. My mind reacts Why! Aw come on! Noooo! But within I really don't care, I'm OK, it's work, no prob... I wonder about this disconnect. These reactions last for seconds. Meanwhile I experience detachment, contentment... but my mind reacts on its usual triggers, without involving me it seems. Hope I explain this well. Q: Is it reasonable to expect that these reactions will cease? is tranquility inside enough or just a good step in the right direction? Thank you!

A: That is a very thoughtful question. There are a lot of elements to your question, and I'll comment on a couple of them. When you say 'my mind reacts on its usual triggers, without involving me,' you need to look at 'who' you are referring to as 'me.'

You are referring to the fact that you are centered in the Witness and are only observing the activity of the mind, which is a very good state. In the Bhagavad Gita, God is said to be 'the Witness of the mind.' Your use of the word 'me' is only the ego trying to take credit for being there.

When you see your reaction as 'fake, futile, untrue,' you are simply seeing it as it is. However when you say, 'I wonder about this disconnect,' the only 'disconnect' you might want to look at is the one between your mind and emotions. You can 'not care' even about emotional reactions, and it is hard to believe that 'Why! Aw come on! Noooo!' has no emotional charge to it. You are probably having mental and emotional reactions, and feeling detached and basically unaffected by them, which is a very good state to be in.

Q: This is so helpful, Ram. Thank you. In your response I can see my words in a new light. I see what you meant in a lesson of the ego taking credit. And yes, "having mental and emotional reactions, and feeling detached and basically unaffected by them" is the way it feels for me at this point. I also see you're right, there is some emotional response in those mental responses, but sometimes it's so fleeting that I feel it never happened. But that sounds very good!

D. R. Butler said...

Please stay tuned as we post new writings from D. R. Butler Ram here in the comments section

D. R. Butler said...

Q: Since we create our reality, where does intuition come in? If I know something I shouldn't be able to know, am I tuning in to a frequency or a co created field or am I just creating this?

A: Intuition comes in to enable us to know what to create. The least expanded level is the physical, and our physical experience is largely determined by the emotional level. The next level is the mental level, and it is true that what we think determines our feeling. Then there is the level of will, and will determines what to think. The sixth level is intuition, which is our personal link to Omniscience, and guides how to apply will. The 7th level is Omniscience itself, which is also Consciousness, or Spirit, which emanates the Whole Thing, on all levels of Its Being.

D. R. Butler said...

INNER GUIDANCE
Recently a couple of people have described their karmic situation to me and asked me what should they do.
I am happy to help clarify whatever aspects of the Truth can be helpful to your knowing what to do. However, I will never tell you what to do. If I came to where you live for a visit, and we're driving along and come to a fork in the road, will you ask me which direction we should turn?

In your life, you are the driver of your own car, and you are the most familiar with where you are and where you're going. Going along your own karmic path, your own intuition--arising from within you--knows more about where you need to go than any other person possibly could.

It takes trial and error to discern which is your true inner voice, among all the voices coming up claiming to be the true inner voice, but once you pin it down and know how to recognize it, you have ongoing inner guidance for the rest of your life. The true inner guidance is infallible and will never mislead you.

Do not seek outside yourself for advice on what you should do, UNLESS you are asking an expert or authority in a specific field that they know more about than you do--for example, asking for directions if you are in someone's else's town. Regarding certain practical matters, there is no way you could possibly know the truth, and your intuition might simply direct you to the right person to get the best answer.

Regarding your own life, however, no one knows more about it than you. You might not consciously know certain things, but intuitively you can certainly know whatever you need to know at the time you need to know it. Seek your guidance from inner Intelligence, which is connected to Omniscience, and which invariably knows far better what is best for you than anyone in the world of objective humanity.

Those who participate in our Course of Training through email know and have experienced that participation in the Course helps greatly to tune into the true Inner Voice, for Inner Guidance.

D. R. Butler said...

I began studying and practicing yoga, meditation, and learning of the creative power of mind at the age of 15 in 1960. In the years since then I have spent time with and studied with many teachers from many paths and traditions. My first teacher, a man who had lived 17 years in a lamasery in the Himalayas of Tibet, wrote a correspondence course, which I began at 15, a year after he had left his physical body.

I never met him physically, although I have had many dreams and meditation experiences with him. They always have the same lighthearted, uplifting feeling. He wrote his course in his late 80’s, during the 50's, summing up all he had learned during his extraordinary lifetime. I took his course for 15 years and it played a major role in my own training and development. Sometimes even now I feel he speaks through me in the lessons of our course, Living in the Truth of the Present Moment, available via email (please inquire at drbutler.course@gmail.com

When it was time to begin the current course and blog in 2008, I wanted to sum up what I felt, after over 50 years of study and practice, was the absolute essence of the spiritual path. So the course was titled, 'Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.' I can think of nothing else that quite captures the absolute essence of what the spiritual path is all about.

‘Living in the Truth of the Present Moment’ is the essence of the spiritual path because, when you come right down to it, it’s the most we can do. I know many people who practice various paths and believe and agree with spiritual principles, yet they are rarely consciously present in the existing moment. Instead, their minds wander through the past, future, and fantasy-worlds, and while this is the case, they literally do not know what they are doing or what is actually going on around them.

This requires a conscious presence which can’t be merely agreed with or believed in. It is the work of the present moment, of maintaining awareness of the existing moment, which is the only time we are actually alive, or actually here for that matter. The past exists in memory (in Sanskrit, chitta) and only influences the present to the degree that we allow it to through our own attention. The future does not yet exist; it is the ‘now’ we are currently living into. We can live into any future we like, but if we only repeat past patterns and habits we will only create new versions of the past, over and over again.

Make extra efforts this month to maintain an awareness of the present moment. We can never, no matter what we do, get out of the present moment. We will always be here and it will always be now. ‘There’ and ‘then’ are points of reference only. The only time we are alive is right now. The only time we can live life to the fullest is right now.
What’s more, the higher, more refined feelings—love, compassion, cheerfulness, lightheartedness, joy, peace, contentment, fulfillment—are only available now, in this very moment.

Unfortunately, many of us habitually focus attention on ‘past’ feelings, which are generally negative emotions—fear, worry, anger, jealousy, envy, the sense of unworthiness, resentment, blame, and any other unpleasant feeling you can think of. These all have their origin in the past, and do not exist in the present unless we ourselves bring them into the existing moment by focusing our attention on them, which many of us do habitually.

Living in the Truth of the Present Moment affords the opportunity for a new life, a clean slate, and the availability of all the greater feelings and experiences accessible while in human form. In the Present Moment there are no limitations. In the past or future there is no freedom. Therefore, above all else, live in the Truth of the Present Moment.

D. R. Butler said...

From July 2013:
In addition to maintaining the awareness of Oneness, let’s approach what a ‘spiritual life’ would be from two simple yet distinct perspectives. One is how we ‘see’ things—our vision of the world, our perception of others, and ourselves. The other is how we ‘experience’ things—how we experience the world, others, and ourselves.

That is the most simple and concise way of living a spiritual life. From this springs everything else. Consciously living a spiritual life expands our vision and perspective of things, transforms how we ‘see’ things, and also allows us to experience the world, others, and ourselves is a much lighter and more refined way than we did before when we lived as an ordinary person. Living as an ordinary person and appearing to be an ordinary person are two very different things

Of course, one deeply dedicated to the spiritual path in the ways we have clarified will appear to others as a completely ordinary person. As we become more ‘spiritually developed,’ nothing particularly of our outer persona and presentation changes at all. Even those who know us best cannot comprehend the difference that we inwardly see and experience, and there is no way we can ‘explain’ it to them. Explaining ourselves dissipates our power in any case, but that is a subject for another day.