Friday, November 10, 2017

Love, Light, Bliss--and Infatuation?

On November 2, 2017, Ram (D. R. Butler) posted the following on his Facebook page. He entitled the thread Love, Light, Bliss--and Infatuation?
Someone wrote to say, “Infatuation has really come up strong this year and honestly reveals a pattern of behavior over the years where I periodically develop these odd crushes on people. They seem to last for a while, cause me some degree of pain and confusion. Then they pass. I would like to be free of this pattern and do my best to see the Truth in the present moment. When do we get to the love, light, and bliss you speak of? Any thoughts or ideas will be greatly appreciated.”
First of all, infatuation comes in many forms and on many levels. For example, most of us are greatly infatuated with our own thoughts and with our melodramas. We think they’re so interesting that we can hardly wait to tell others all about them. Meanwhile the others wait for us to finish so that they can tell us their thoughts and melodramas—the ones they are currently infatuated with.
Of course, you mean infatuation with another person, and I know very well how much pain and confusion this causes. The pain and confusion arise from its illusory nature. It feels like we should do something about it, or that there is something to be done, and then it’s painful when it’s inappropriate or impossible to do anything whatsoever. If we do something about it, in many cases we only cause unnecessary karmic complications. So there is pain and confusion either way, whether the infatuation “works out” or not. Infatuation never “works out” in an ideal, Hollywood-ending kind of way.
Infatuation is unrelated to love, even though our mental melodrama tries to convince us that it is real and has great meaning and promise. Infatuation is very powerful, yet it passes extremely fast, and we’re left wondering what hit us. In one moment we’re madly in love, and in the next moment we’re wondering what we got ourselves into.
When we are relatively young it’s very challenging to remain totally free from infatuations. We always think we see a person who is more interesting or more rewarding or more something than the other people we already know. We think she/he is unique in some way, and that she/he can add something indispensable to our life that is available from no other. (Actually, we can share things with others, but we do not really 'get something from' them.)
At my age infatuation is no longer a problem. For one thing, we start to see that no matter how mysterious or unique another might outwardly appear, ultimately it’s only another variation of everyone else, or a different combination of all the traits and qualities we are already familiar with. Under the spell of infatuation she might seem to be a wonderful and mesmerizing creature, but once the spell breaks we might be amazed to see how completely ordinary she is in all ways.
The spiritual path is not different from all the things of regular life. It is not something vague and other-worldly, having nothing to do with the ‘real world.’ It is a certain approach to each moment, to each experience of the 'real world', where we bring our own awareness and presence into every situation life presents, including when we are grabbed by infatuation.
In truth, living a spiritual life is simply being more aware and present in each moment, during the ordinary, worldly happenings that take place in our life. The primary priority of sadhana, spiritual 'work', is focusing attention on higher qualities such as love, light, and bliss, while refusing to focus attention on the more contracted qualities such as anger, agitation, worry, jealousy, suspicion, blame, resentment, infatuation, and the like. Where and how we focus our attention determines everything.
A true spiritual life is how we live each moment—it is being totally focused on the Truth of the present moment. Ordinarily, of course, people hardly ever focus on the actual Truth of the moment. This skill is developed through training.
Love, light, and bliss are available at any time, while undergoing any endeavor. We can sit and experience them in formal meditation, yet there is no reason to limit the higher qualities to sitting meditation. They can be integrated into every situation in life, every relationship, with business ventures, or simply strolling down the street. It is a moment-to-moment thing, independent of circumstances.
There is no limit to how much, or how often, we can experience the love, light, and bliss that is already our own eternal Nature. They are more who we actually are than any verbal description we could make about ourselves.
We only need to take our attention off our apparent problems and difficulties and focus our attention on the already existing love, light and bliss. They are part of our Nature, not just passing phenomena like thoughts and feelings. The nature of the inner Self is love, light, and bliss. After all our thoughts and emotions have come and gone, we will see that this is the way it has always been as well as the way it will always be. Love, light, and bliss are eternal.
So it’s not when do we get to the love, light, and bliss? It’s when do we start focusing our attention on our already-existing love, light, and bliss, which exists without interruption in this very moment? These more expanded qualities exist right now within our own Self. It’s up to us to recognize and appreciate them, and nothing stops us other than the conditioned mind and ego.
Because some work needs to be done to break free from the conditioned mind and ego, and to learn how to consistently focus our attention on our higher qualities, as well as on pure Awareness of Being, we offer the Course of Training Living in the Truth of the Present Moment,  through email. The lessons of the Course lead us step-by-step from where we currently find ourselves to where we ultimately wish to be.
As Shunryu Suzuki once said:  "You are perfect just as you are, and you can use a little improvement."
That about sums it up.

Comment:  Wow, does it ever! And once again, your timing is perfect.
Comment:  Very powerful, Ram. Thank you.
Comment:  The last sentence really made me laugh. Love these summaries of yours Ram, especially when they ask for some scrolling down smile emoticon:-)
Comment: I came upon a quote from Baba yesterday that has been resonating ever since: "You focus the mind and lead it toward the heart."  So clear and simple. I feel more and more that it is indeed a matter of focusing, like you wrote, on what is already there, though when I'm tired my mind gets this kind of wanderlust, tickling old patterns and emotions. Being able to see that now feels like such a great gift, thank you for that! And now off to bed I go.
Comment:  "The spiritual path is not different from all the things of regular life." Thank you Ram. I needed to be reminded of this at this moment.
Comment:  Yaaaaay!!! This could have been me asking the question as it’s a pattern I’ve been stuck in for eons (lol) - this and the envy of thinking I see others getting the attention from the “other” I crave. Due to some of your suggestions and thoughts you’ve offered to me and to others around this issue lately I notice when it comes on and I am able to shift it much much sooner. Did it just last night in a manor of minutes!!! AND was aware it came up and aware of what I needed to do to shift it. (Remember first that I’m making up a story that’s not real, then breathe and bring myself back to knowing love, light and bliss.  This stuff really WORKS. 🙂
Comment: And THEN- I read in my lesson (V3, Lesson 29) “maintain your attention on the choice you make from one moment to the next:   contracted state or light, love, and bliss - the mind or the moment. See what you are doing. Be accountable for the state you choose.” And damned if that wasn’t what I did that night before even reading this lesson (which is my exercise for the next two weeks). I am singing in a public performance next week with all the people involved in the above mentioned interaction. Oh boy, is this gonna be good!!! Thanks, D.R. Butler (Ram), for this amazingly timely exercise. I love this Course!!!!

To be continued in the "comments" section...many of the following comments are also from Ram.

For more information on the Course of Training and a complementary Lesson 1, please write us at
drbutler.course@gmail.com



7 comments:

D. R. Butler said...

Some of my friends, especially those from earlier days, might wonder how I ended up with the name of Ram. (Ram rhymes with Tom, not Sam). It was given to me in 1974 by a powerful Indian Guru that I met in NYC.

Two years before that, I was visited by an old friend who was on staff at a different ashram, with another Guru, and she brought a gift that she wanted to put on my wall. She unfolded it to reveal a classical Indian painting, which she told me was of Ram. I asked her who Ram was, and she said, 'Ram was a Warrior for Righteousness and an Incarnation of Love.' That is enough for now regarding any meaning in the name.

Why do people take on spiritual names? A lot of my friends' names do not look or sound like Westerners, yet they are. The name offers one a new Identity to try on, a new ideal to live up to and to grow into. Becoming one's name from the Guru is a whole spiritual path in itself.

D. R. Butler said...


Love those who manipulate and use you. Love those who take advantage of you. Love those with malice in their heart. Maintain your love day after day after day, without interruption. If you can love those you are wary of, those who frighten you, those who upset you, and those who threaten you, you will be so free you will not believe you could have known such freedom in this lifetime.

D. R. Butler said...


A quote from Leonard Cohen: "What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love.

Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order.

It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is the caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.

His house is dangerous and finite, but he is at home in the world. He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Kay Butler to Marlene said...

To Marlene: You posted a comment to this article, and since the blog and its comments are now devoted to quotes from Ram's Facebook page, I posted your comment on a recent Q&A thread on his page. We can take questions any time at drbutler.course@gmail.com or in any current thread on Facebook (D.R. Butler Ram).

Marlene wrote: Hi Ram, What happens when I feel I didn't reach a place in my family that's considered the inner circle I'm on the outside looking in and it's painful?

D.R. Butler responded: Marlene should be her own inner circle. I wouldn't want to be part of an inner circle that I wasn't the center of.

D. R. Butler said...

It seems the current fun game on FB is to list things you may or may not know about me. Let's see what I can pull out of my bag of tricks.
(1) In high school I was the star of our basketball team and went to college on a basketball scholarship.
(2) In our high school who's who contest, I won friendliest boy, best boy dancer, and boy I would most like to be stranded on a desert island with.
(3) After hurting my back playing basketball, I helped pay my way through college being the manager and agent of a rock band that toured throughout the South.
(4) I sold and published my first short story when I was 20.
(5) In the summer of 1968 I moved from Mississippi to Greenwich Village. My girlfriend took me to see the original cast in the Broadway play Hair for my 23rd birthday.
(6) The last concert I saw was The Band in the old Fillmore East.
(7) In 1978-1982 I lived on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida, and frequented a popular disco.
(8) In 1978 I went for the first time to an ashram in India and studied and trained under a powerful Meditation Master who had the ability to bestow Shaktipat, the spontaneous awakening of Kundalini Shakti.
(9) Life was never the same again, and to this day I don't know what to expect next. Everything is either intuitively obvious or not worth thinking about.
(From 2013)

D. R. Butler said...

Free will is the only gift God gave us. The only way it can function is through our thoughts. We have the free will to think whatever we choose, which then determines how we act, as well as the consequences of our actions. Unfortunately most people habitually think the worst thoughts imaginable, and then they wonder why their lives are going so badly. What we think determines what we get, determines every feeling and experience. Many 'agree' with this, but very few have the discipline to actually practice the principle in their own lives.
(From 2015)

D. R. Butler said...

Since I was a teenager in Mississippi, I always wanted to understand the meaning of life, and why we are here. What are we supposed to do with this life we have been given? The usual things most people found important did not mean that much to me. It was only when I discovered the philosophy and psychology of Yoga that life started to actually make sense.

Now, at 72, I have lived a life. In some ways it seems to have gone on for so long, yet in other ways it has seemed amazingly brief. Actually, it is more like several quite different lives have been lived, and the only thing that really seems the 'same' throughout all that time is this inner Awareness.

Awareness is the same as Consciousness. In French, there is only one word. In my talks in Montreal, I used to love to say, "Consciousness is the same as Awareness," just to hear the translator say, "Conscience is the same as Conscience."
Whether we think of it as Awareness or Consciousness or Conscience, it is an extremely important thing to understand and to be aware of.

I find it important since it is the thread that remains the same throughout all my various 'lives' at various ages. I am not in any way the same person I was at 20 or 30, but this inner Awareness has remained the same.
No matter what changes you have gone through or will go through, this inner Awareness will always be the same.

People meditate simply to be aware of Awareness, or conscious of Consciousness. When we learn how to do it in formal meditation, we can bring it into all of life, and remain aware of Awareness no matter what is happening around us, no matter what we are doing, where we are, or who we are with. You can see for yourself that pure Awareness always remains the same.

Going back to that original quest of what is the meaning of life, I have come to see that it has something to do with being aware of Awareness, or conscious of Consciousness.
We can be aware of Awareness ONLY in the present Moment. This is why I titled our Course 'Living in the Truth of the Present Moment'.
After everything else comes and goes, that inner Awareness remains the underlying and changeless Truth behind all things.
Without Awareness, this life would not be.

Enjoy your day and your evening, friends.