Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Some Thoughts from July 2017

My writings in the Course of Training via email and Facebook present the Truth of the Present Moment as I have come to understand it after 50 years of seeking, studying, training, being whipped into shape by various teachers in various ways, having my ego obliterated over and again by the Guru until I couldn’t be anyone other than who I am, and the experience gained as a teacher, writer, speaker, answerer of innumerable questions, and leader of many classes, workshops, and retreats over the 35 years I functioned in such a role.

The Truth is the one Principle that never changes in a universe where everything else on every level of being constantly changes. The body changes, thoughts change, emotions change, the world around us changes, ‘others’ change, but the Truth of divine Awareness within never varies in the least. It is eternal, all-pervasive, and all-inclusive. Nothing exists outside it. It includes the entire Cosmos of the waking world, the innumerable realms of the dream world, the vast world of deep sleep, and the Turiya state that simultaneously permeates the other three. It is the only Truth there ever is, ever has been, and ever will be. It is without beginning or end. It is an unmodified, undifferentiated, unconditioned, formless Awareness of Being.

My philosophy is to be real, be sincere, be who you truly are, live according to your own heart and your own nature, feel good about yourself as God made you, even manifests as you, just as you are. Drop all pretension. Give up your fake veneer and your hypocrisy even when you think you’re being genuine. Stop playing your phony games that you’ve been playing so long you don’t even remember that they are phony games.

Give up the endless desires to impress anyone or to improve anyone. Please, please stop explaining yourself. There’s nothing worse than someone insisting on explaining something to you and thinking that you’ll understand something about them better after they complete their explanation. We all already get it. Get over yourself.

Rip off your mask of propriety and hurl it into the ethers. Forget everything you’ve ever been taught you should or shouldn’t do. Free yourself from the shackles of conformity. Stop worrying about being good enough for anyone else. You already are all there is. All you lack is this understanding.

Whatever you do, at least don’t feel guilty about it, because the guilt you feel is much worse than whatever you did to feel guilty about. In fact, the secret to truly enjoying a fulfilling life is simply to love every single thing you do during every single moment. Of course, you have to greatly value your own life in order to do this, but then that’s the point, isn’t it?

You are already divine; there’s nothing to become. Don’t do anything to seek the good opinion of others, to make others like you, or to attract others to you. Otherwise you will only lose yourself and fade into oblivion in the objective world of humanity, thinking you exist yet being only a floating reflection of how others see you. This greatly reduces you and in fact dissipates whatever Shakti, whatever inner power you might have gained, by caring how you are perceived by others. Love them, honor them for who and what they are, for whatever function or role they play in your life, and remain in harmony with whatever arises from one moment to the next.

No one needs to see you except yourself. Others need only to see their own Self. No one will ever understand you except yourself. Others have to understand their own Self. When we all do this, when we really get it that we’re the only One here, and that everyone around us is an individualized aspect of the same One, we’ll realize that deep within we share the same Self.

Spirituality is a matter of realization or recognition of the already-existing Truth. Many have the delusion that it’s about becoming something or attaining something we don't already have.

 The Self is already attained. The only reason we do sadhana (spiritual practices) is to purify the mind and ego. Once they are clear and no longer prone to projection, delusion, and false identification, the Truth reveals itself within us naturally and spontaneously.

In a lesson of our Course there is a quote from Ramana Maharshi, the great Indian saint and sage. Let’s end with his words for now, for to me they perfectly sum up everything:
"There is no greater mystery than this: Being Reality ourselves, we seek to gain Reality. We think that there is something hiding Reality and that it must be destroyed before the Truth is gained...A day will dawn when you will laugh at your past efforts. What you realize on the day you laugh is also here and now."

12 comments:

D. R. Butler said...

Today be loving, laughing, lighthearted, and a little bit looney. Remember only the ego is serious, so be careful about what you take seriously. Lightheartedness will take you far; seriousness will take you nowhere and will only trouble you. See the humor in things; it is always present whether we see it or not. You might be amazed at the difference this makes in your life.

D. R. Butler said...

The first few months of the lessons of the Course of Training via email, Living in the Truth of the Present Moment, focuses on truly understanding and living by this priceless principle that is 'known,' but misunderstood and taken for granted by so many. It is truly the most basic thing we have to learn. It is the Secret of the Ages, and yet it is so simple a child can understand it. Some people think this is a basic, elementary teaching for beginners, while others have learned that it is the most essential principle of all, and that this is the pinnacle of the understanding of the Truth:

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought:
It is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts.
One that speaks or acts with a pure thought,
happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him."
~The Dammapada

D. R. Butler said...

We want to be able to live in this world of form without being stuck in form, attached to form, adverse to form, entranced by form—in short, to live in the world of form while inwardly experiencing the eternal formlessness of the inner Being. In this way life is truly joyful.

D. R. Butler said...

July 20, 2017: Today is Kay's birthday and our 14th anniversary. Although to most people today seems like an ordinary Thursday, it's a pretty special day around here. I want to salute a wonderful partner, friend, and wife, who shares life with me and sometimes rescues me from it. Kay, you have saved my life more than a few times, and I am certain you will rescue me many times going forward. I honestly do not know what my life would be like if you had not been here. I love you forever.

D. R. Butler said...

July 19 Memories:

Do you know how many will wake up today thinking it's just another day that will never make it back home alive? I dreamed last night of a Being in another dimension. He didn't have physical form, yet his Essence was powerful. He said, 'You can't be fully realized until you recognize that Death is right behind you, waiting to pounce at any moment.' Let us live each day and each moment to the fullest, while we can.
(From 2011)

D. R. Butler said...

What Is the Difference Between Ordinary and Enlightened?
This question has come up for me recently, probably because I’ve been feeling absolutely ordinary. Yet I also know that the last 50 or so years of my life, I have studied and trained and practiced the principles that supposedly lead from ordinary to enlightened. If the end result of being enlightened is to arrive at being absolutely ordinary, what does this say about the whole idea of ‘spiritual growth’? Is there such a thing?

Something on the inside changes—an expansion of awareness—yet nothing on the outside changes, where other people will readily notice. Personality traits remain basically the same, and we tend to have the same general preferences. Yet, we remain quite ordinary. Enlightenment is not becoming a ‘Super Hero.’

I stumbled across yoga and meditation and the power of thought at the age of 15, in 1960, in Vicksburg, MS, of all places. I did not meet anyone else who also studied or practiced such things until I moved to Manhattan in 1968. There, various teachers and groups were available, and I entered a long period of spiritual promiscuity, going to as many gatherings and classes as possible, going to the talks of all the well known teachers and yogis, trying to assimilate everything anyone had to offer.
(to be continued next comment)

D. R. Butler said...

(continued from previous comment)
Right from the beginning the goal was enlightenment, liberation, Mastery. We could go through a process that would transform us from being an ordinary person to being a person of the miraculous. We would go through a process from being ordinary to being a Master, a Siddha, a Perfected Being, one with universal Consciousness, free from all ego and samskaras—except that which is necessary to keep him or her in the body. When we completely run out of karma, we leave the body. The body is basically a cycle of karma.

What will be the difference when we get there to that point of perfection? Supposedly there will be a great ‘improvement’ over how we are now. We will become better if we practice diligently. Some have the mistaken idea that if they ‘try hard,’ success will be won. However, nothing of value is ever gained from the illusion of ‘trying hard.’ Intention plus attention plus will power might accomplish something of value, but there will be no ‘trying hard.’

Anyway, finally, after all these years, I have come to see myself as completely ordinary in all ways. At first there was disillusionment, as I had previously bought into the idea that I had actually become something and that now it was lost. Following this was a great sense of relief, a lightness, a sense of freedom unlike any other. If enlightenment was anything, it was nothing. There was nothing to attain except just this.

Perhaps enlightenment is a more expanded way of seeing and understanding things. This is a simple way of glimpsing enlightenment. I say glimpsing, because we really can’t comprehend it with the mind, which is a contraction of pure Consciousness. In addition, enlightenment includes freedom from the mind, and how is the mind going to grasp that?
(to be continued next comment)

D. R. Butler said...

(continued from previous comment)
This pure Consciousness has taken all these forms that appear in the physical, emotional, or mental universe. It manifests as the cosmos, which includes all universes, all worlds, all realms, and all levels of existence. It includes all of life, all of death, and it also exists beyond the polarity of life and death, as well as all polarities. Light and dark, wrong and right, good and bad, pleasure and pain, spiritual and mundane, are all included equally within it. It is the Absolute. We experience it within ourselves as our own Awareness of Being.

Someone replied that this was only a subjective belief. This gave me cause for contemplation. Is the above paragraph only a subjective belief? To me it is intuitively obvious and is supported by the authority of respected ancient scriptures. In short, it is simply the way I see the world. Remember, I began reading and studying such things when I was 15, so it feels very natural now to see the world this way.

To myself I seem like a totally ordinary guy, and yet the experience of light and love is always present to some degree. Just going by this, the line between ordinary and enlightened is quite thin and possibly irrelevant.

I used to think of enlightenment, or the endgame of the spiritual path, as some kind of consistently exalted state, with light and love gushing, bliss pervading each and every moment. I got to the point where I could experience all that, but then something would come up that would capture my attention all over again, and the love, light, and bliss would be forgotten.
(to be continued next comment)

D. R. Butler said...

(continued from previous comment)
So I realized I had to work on consistency, and that consistency is necessarily a primary aspect of enlightenment. We can’t be immersed in God in one moment, and then take someone’s words personally and react defensively in the next moment. Enlightenment is being consistently in harmony with whatever is.

It is impossible to disturb or distract the equanimity of the enlightened, for enlightened remains always the same.

Is ‘enlightenment’ simply being our ordinary selves in our ordinary lives, having attained nothing that was not always already present in the first place? Is it like the T. S. Eliot poem about arriving at the place we first began, but understanding it for the first time?

The difference between ordinary and enlightened is that the ordinary wants more and experiences restlessness and frustration, while the enlightened is content to be ordinary, content with ordinary life, needing nothing to be whole and complete, and having no need to be better or to seek improvement.

Being ‘spiritual’ is not going beyond the physical world, transcending it somehow. If we were supposed to do that, we wouldn’t have been given a physical body in the first place. True spirituality is seeing God, or the play of Consciousness, in and as the physical world, in and as all these other beings, and in and as us. It is not changing anything. Things constantly change all on their own without any help from us.

This is a very large subject. To fully explore it would be to participate in the Course of Training via email, yet here and now we can look at it and contemplate it and realize the Truth for ourselves.
(to be continued next comment)

D. R. Butler said...

(continued from previous comment)
Some people might question participating in a course written by a totally ordinary person. This is when we realize that the course has nothing to do with the one typing it. If teachings of Truth or transmissions of energy flow through an individual being, they have nothing to do with the person functioning as the teacher.

An ordinary person has firm conviction in his or her personality and personal life. Enlightenment is realizing they are not who we are and actually have nothing to do with us. It is witnessing with a lighthearted state, witnessing the play of this world with full compassion for the pain and suffering that exist in this world. There is unconditioned love, and the total absence of being judgmental regarding others.

Soon the things you question will become obvious. The Upanishads, one of the great texts of the East, say that God is the Witness of the mind. God also witnesses everything without judgment, for He knows Himself as pure Consciousness, and knows that this entire universe is a play of Consciousness. Einstein said, "The highest form of intelligence is observing without evaluation."

Each individual experiences their just and rightful karma. You might not be able to see in this particular incarnation why something is so, but if you saw their last three incarnations it would be obvious why they are going through whatever they are experiencing. God, pure Consciousness, sees everything as an extension of Itself.
(to be continued next comment)

D. R. Butler said...

(continued from previous comment)
Fearlessness is an attribute of the enlightened. As long as there is fear, we are limited to individual ego. Fear, according to the Upanishads, arises when we see ‘another’. When we experience the Oneness and Unity of all, there is no fear, there is only contentment. Constant contentment is enlightenment.

There might be harder days ahead, yet there will also be days so glorious you might never have thought you could experience something so grand, or that you were worthy enough, which is where many people have a problem, thinking of themselves as unworthy, often without realizing it.It is good to be adaptable and to develop tolerance and endurance. These are each essential aspects of spiritual evolution. Enlightenment is being established in contentment.

The true inner work is the present moment awareness of the Self, the pure Awareness of Being. When we are aware of the Truth, and LIVE in the Truth of the Present Moment, it won't matter what is happening in the realm of karma. It is simply how the movie of this individual life is manifesting right now. Everything passes except the Witness of all that happens. The seen constantly changes, but the Seer remains eternally the same.

We don't have to 'do' anything except remain lighthearted and loving and appreciating the humor in the appearance of this world. You will find this easier and easier as you go along. In the physical realm in particular, such things 'take time.' Maintain a strong conviction regarding the conclusion, if you know that it is in the best interests of everyone involved to do so. This is dharma. Dharma is living for the whole rather than for the part.

D. R. Butler said...

Dear Vincent...thank you for your comment; however, at this time the comments to this article are devoted to the recent Facebook writings of Ram D.R. Butler. Please feel free to write to us at drbutler.course@gmail.com for a free Lesson 1 as an introduction to the Course via email, available in English, Spanish, and French.