Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Celebration Month


July is a month of celebration for us.  The Course was born in July.  If you go all the way back to the beginning of the blog, you will see that it’s all there; you will see that the very first blog entry was July of 2008.  We celebrate Kay’s birthday on the 20th, and my own birthday on the 4th.  (I came in with a bang.)  The 20th is also our wedding anniversary, as we were married on Kay’s birthday (by her daughter Tiffany.)

So we invite you to approach the month of July as a time of celebration and appreciation for what we have received from the blog, and for those who participate in our Course via email, it is an auspicious time to feel our appreciation for it.  My own appreciation of the lessons of the Course has expanded a great deal since we first started back in 2008. 

I have a clearer understanding of where the lessons ‘come from.’  This was always a great mystery for me.  It was obvious that such teachings could not have come from the person that I believed myself to be.  My first Teacher transmitted the principles of Truth very clearly for me, and the Guru bestowed the Shakti to enliven the lessons, so that the Spiritual Energy of the lineage comes through the lessons to all those who are open and ready.  Even I could not doubt their authority

If you read every entry to the blog as it comes out, and especially are engaged in the comments following the blog entries, then you get a lot out of it that is helpful and beneficial for you.  It happens through grace.  To me, it is the grace of the Guru—which is scripturally described as the ‘grace bestowing power of God.’  It is enough to simply understand that spiritual growth happens through grace.  That is, simply because you are earnestly open to experiencing something entirely new, something happens inside you that is clearly something that you could not have done or understood or seen on your own.

I share this primarily because the transmission of the Principles of Truth, along with the Energy (Shakti) and will to actually apply them in our own life, happens to a much greater degree if we actually recognize and appreciate what exactly is happening.  Can it be experienced as a transmission of higher (more expanded and refined) energies?  The lessons as well as the blog are not, and never have been, mere words, you know.  It takes a great deal of openness and trust to truly acknowledge and appreciate the transformative process that is actually happening through this totally unexpected form.  Our karma has brought us together (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.)

In the final comments of the previous entry I promised I would answer the remaining questions in this month’s entry.  Of course, it isn’t really a ‘blog,’ is it?  It’s simply the most convenient form of mass communication available today.  In the blog you are actually getting ‘mini-lessons’ that give you a realistic glimpse of what the lessons of the Course are like, except that the lessons are designed to go from one to the next, so that the unfolding or growth happens naturally and spontaneously simply by focusing on your current lesson.

The first unanswered question is this:

“My question relates to working in a corporate / professional environment. I struggle at times to truly practice the lessons in the workplace. Seeing perfection in things goes against the grain of the very nature of my work. I am in a senior position where my role, essentially is to find flaws in the performance of people and negate them for the betterment of the business results. For me to let go & see perfection, I fear I would be out of work.”

There is a specific dharma (righteous action for the benefit of everyone involved) that entreats us to give our very best to our job.  In your case, in the realm of your job, perfection might require you to find the significant flaws in someone’s performance.  Someone’s got to do it.  So the job dharma trumps the idea of seeing things perfectly, (which in this case is actually ideally—otherwise, we would already see the perfection of whatever is without any effort or conscious engagement). 

Seeing things perfectly includes seeing you performing your job as perfectly as everything else.

The perfection already exists, whether we see it or not.  Learning how to see and experience the already existing perfection is one aspect of our Course via email.  Lots of teachers can tell you what to do, but very few actually transmit how to do it in your own life.  Lots of people have presented the idea that the present moment is the only reality, but do they actually live focused in the present moment?  No, chances are they are entangled in the mind and ego from time to time.

Lots of teachers present the principle I call simply ‘what you think is what you get.’  But can they consistently focus on pleasant, uplifting, and cheerful thoughts?  Chances are some egotistical melodrama has their attention.  So even more than learning what to do, we need to learn how to do it.  This is the foundation that brings about an actual transformation.  The potential for transformation is one reason that we take birth in a physical body.  Occupying this temporary form, experiencing the karma that comes with the body, presents a great opportunity for transformation, which is what the individual human life is all about.

Another question in last month’s comments was, “My only question at this time is how to occupy the mind when I am in the present moment.  Love and contentment stays for a while and then follow the thoughts.”

I love this question.  It is a living contradiction, and a great irony.  In the present moment there is no mind.  There is pure Awareness.  This is the Truth of the Present Moment.  When we start to occupy the mind, we lose present-moment-awareness.  The mind brings us back into time and space, back to the outer world, to the world of objective humanity.  The space between thoughts is universal, infinite, and pure Consciousness.  Then the next thought brings us back into this karmic reality.

The present moment is the space between thoughts.  It is always, eternally, the same space of pure Awareness.  It is changeless.

Someone wrote this:  "I have a query about what is madness?  This has been an ongoing quest since childhood.  My mother suffered greatly with paranoid schizophrenia.  And just recently a colleague's nineteen old year son took his own life.  He had a history of mental illness.  In a spiritual sense, I would really like to hear some words from you on the subject."

I am not quite sure what to say about madness.  Often I feel like a madman.  The famous artist, Salvador Dali, once said, 'The only difference between me and a madman, is that I'm not mad.'  I'm not so positive regarding myself.  I could easily be a madman and not even notice.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Some people have an imbalance of chemistry in the brain, causing unnecessary depression and anxiety, and present-day antidepressants are able to restore the chemical balance.  This is okay.  An Indian woman doctor swami told me many years ago in India, “Medicine is Shakti too.”

You say you want to hear some words in a spiritual sense.  Well, paranoid schizophrenia is largely because of a lack of alignment between manas (conscious mind) and ahamkara (ego).  If these two are not properly connected and balanced, then some form of mental illness is the physical manifestation.

The most important thing to understand is that each incarnation is only one of many that take place one after another, with perhaps some rest between, whereas a very worldly person, attached and addicted to the things of this world, will reincarnate rather quickly due to his or her desire to return to this world.

An incarnation dealing with any kind of mental illness is only working out a certain karma a person needs to finish.  There will be many more incarnations for this soul that will be completely free of any sign of mental illness.  It is only a certain kind of karma, which will expel itself very soon, allowing the incarnated being to experience a much greater incarnation next time around.

The next two questions in the comments were very poignant.  One was from a woman I’ve known for a long time; I’ve known her daughter since she was 16, and now her daughter’s son has become violent.  Excerpts from her comment:

“How can you tell if/when you are really in harmony with a situation and are observing from the heart, or if you need to develop greater compassion in order to get to that point?  Now here's a little background for the question.  I'm definitely looking at the backside of life as I'll be 80 next year.  Gratefully I have taken the lessons for nearly 38 of those years.  My daughter's 21 year old son was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic four years ago with addiction a complicating factor.  My grandson is a danger to everyone, and especially to my daughter as he continually threatens to take her life.  This generates some really strong feelings in me.  Yet often these same feelings seem to be in neutral.....even absent.  Then I begin to ask, Where is my compassion?  Do I have any or have I been kidding myself?  And this brings me back to the above question.  Always with love, Ann”

Dear Ann, I wish I could just reach out and give you a comforting hug.  We had one of our early workshops in the 70’s in Ann’s home in Rome, New York.  After moving to Hilton Head, her cheerful, smiling, radiant face started showing up every year for our workshops in Atlanta, and it always felt so good to see her glowing eyes again.  So I hate that she is going through these things (I did not include details of her husband’s declining health).  She has a lot on her karmic plate.

And the comment following that was from a man who had to call the police on his own son, since he was becoming violent and dangerous.  Such things are tough karma.  When our children or grandchildren start becoming violent and/or irrational, or out of control in any way, it calls for tough love.  We have to be compassionate, we have to be unconditionally loving, and yet we must be strong enough to deal with the situation and the person effectively, and from a position of strength.  It is our dharma to do what we can to prevent loved ones from acting recklessly, in ways that could alter his or others’ lives.

Ann, it feels to me as though you have plenty of rational compassion.  It also sounds as though you are also being detached from it all, which is a really great sign.  You are approaching 80 years of age, each of them well done as far as I can tell.  You’ve lived a great life and done the best you could for everyone involved.  It should be obvious that not much is expected or required of you at this point.  You have done your work, and you have always been true to your dharma.  I’ve known you for a long time, and I have nothing but love and respect for you.  Please give Holly my love and assure her of my subtle support.

Be there for her if you can be helpful, but don’t impose it on her (which I am sure you would never do.).  Be supportive and encouraging.  But don’t take on any personal responsibility for how any of this works out, because it’s all going to be the same to you no matter what happens.  It is hard to be detached from our children’s karma, as it unfolds all on its own, having nothing to do with us.  And karma can be very fleeting.  Everything will work out as it always has, and you and she will always be cared for by the elder brothers who live among us in subtle form.

Margaret Peloquin, who does wondrous healing work up in the Gloucestor, MA, area wrote:  “I am noticing that I'm reading the Lessons more frequently now that I have copies scattered throughout the house!  I always thought it would be wasteful to print extra copies but I'm experiencing the convenience as well as the value of repetition so much more these days.  (It's like I've been wasting the Shakti in the Lessons by not making several copies.).  I know it's all been perfect as it is now. Great revelations though.

“As I continue reading about the radiant Light I realized that my Polarity training taught me that concept and I've been doing it for myself as well as for others during healing treatments.  It's such a powerful tool for optimal health.

“I've incorporated it into my yoga classes as well either during the opening or closing meditations, drawing this Light in through the chakras and out into the energy fields.  Very cool.  I know I get blasted by the Energy.  I hope others feel its power.....but then, I am working on not being affected by what others think!”

I mention these people’s names because they included their name in their questions among the comments of the previous blog entry, and since I didn’t answer it for them then, I am responding to it here and now.  Probably it is still here and now regardless of when you read this.

Margaret is an excellent example of how one aspect of our Course is to prepare teachers to be better teachers, and through the process of participating in the lessons they experience a refinement and upliftment of their understanding and experience, as well as a greater capacity to transmit it to others.  Many participants of the Course are teachers, leaders, and guides for others; a clear understanding of all the principles of Truth presented in the Course is essential to being the best possible teacher or guide for others.  Without this understanding, it is the blind leading the blind.  

Margaret, I know you have been a great help in the lives of many others.  I am happy to hear you are learning the value, after all this time, of rereading the lessons, as there is great power in repetition.  Many people never have that realization, and it takes the average Course participant about two years to finally discover, realize, or experience the power of repetition.  I am also happy to hear you are focusing on the Light.  I am certain that your focus on the inner Light will be transmitted to your own students and clients, and that is a truly great service in this world.

Someone wrote in a question that I often hear in various versions from different people.

"D.R. can you explain why someone who is aware of your course, even aware of what it might offer, doesn't jump at the chance to participate?  It can't be the cost since it's cheaper than the cost of a couple pizzas a month.  I can't imagine someone is so busy that they can't find 10 or 15 minutes a day to read it.  This is one of life's great mysteries for me, knowing what the course has to offer."

My response to this is, I don't know. I know that many more people would enjoy and benefit from participating in the Course, just as many before them have already experienced, but I imagine for the large part they don't have the karma to ever hear about the Course, or for it to ‘register’ should they hear about it.  When someone is ready for the Course, usually he or she magically learns about it through some unlikely source, gives it a trial, and then inexplicably remains a participant for life. 

There are people participating in the Course who have received the lessons for 40 years now.  They are great people, with an unsurpassed foundation of understanding, and the majority of them have helped many other people as well.  They are people I deeply respect.

Back to your question, I would love for more people to learn of the Course.  It wouldn’t be a big deal for me personally, but I have the knowledge, from many years of feedback, that most people who give the Course a trial end up benefitting greatly from it, and even transforming their lives.  It has the power to change people's lives in ways that would have previously been undreamed of.  I know that anyone who participates in the Course is taken care of for the rest of his or her life.

Ultimately, though, regarding why someone wouldn't start the Course, even knowing about it, is a great mystery to me.  Some just aren't ready.  If one isn’t ready he can’t possibly appreciate the value and power of the principles of Truth.  Also, many doubt that the highest Truth can be communicated and transmitted in this particular form. 

Written lessons via email can seem at first as a rather dubious source for the Truth.  All kinds of stuff is available now, and some can offer visuals that require even less effort to understand.  There are many good teachers with something to offer.  Yet, especially for teachers who didn’t have a Guru to carve them into true teachers, it is good to have contact with a teacher’s teacher, to make sure everything is crystal clear.

As I’ve mentioned before somewhere, I will be 70 this month.  I first came across yoga, meditation, and Creative Thinking, or the Power of the Mind, when I was 15 in 1960.  I’ve seen a lot regarding the ‘spiritual scene’ over all these years, all the teachers who have come and gone, always having helped someone and perhaps many.

Anyway, I’m now too old to feel that I am deluded, or that I am being egotistical or arrogant to share the Principles of Truth as I have come to know them over all these years.  I’ve learned to trust whatever I put out there, and to know that it is elevating to read, as this is my experience while writing it, or, later, while reading it.  I’ve learned what’s essential to know, and I’ve learned what is completely irrelevant.  In the Course I share the essential, while leaving out the irrelevant.

I have a firm conviction that these writings allude to pure Truth, considering all the limitations that are inherent in words alone.  I cannot describe or define the Truth, but I can allude to it in ways that enable you to see and/or experience it.  This is just something I’ve observed over the years, along with the feedback received from Course participants, sharing their own transformations.

I hope you have enjoyed the ‘blog’ entry for this month.  My intent has been to share something of value, or perhaps something simply humorous, something that might even spark the beginning of true transformation, or a real-time psychic booster shot for the already transformed.  Thank you for reading this month’s offering, and for being open-minded and open-hearted enough to take it in.  Thanks to those of you who participate in the Course for your loyalty to the Training.  Thank you for making it all possible with your contributions.  Thank you for being here and for being you.  In this whole cosmos, you are one of a kind.

If you wish to actually experience the Couse of Training, you will be immediately sent information about the Course, and a complimentary Lesson 1, simply by writing us at:  drbutler.course@gmail.com

The lessons are also available in Spanish and French.

If  you have enjoyed this and feel that it is worth sharing it with others, please send them the link to the blog, or post it in social media if possible.








Saturday, May 2, 2015

Your Life Is What You Make It


Hello friends.  It is good to meet with you again this way, through this cyber/subtle connection that transcends time, because we can read this at any time on any day and here we still are.  The Energy behind the writing, unseen and unexpected, doesn’t fade with time, but remains forever available whenever we tune into it.

There were some questions in the last part of last month’s comments that were never responded to, and there are also other questions that have come in and have not yet been answered.  So I’m using them to stir the interest of the typist and get him started.

It seems that a lot of people are having a hard time.  This has actually been a long-running theme in most people’s lives.  This is easily observable by watching the media news outlets reporting all the worst things that are currently happening.  On a more individual basis, all I have to do is read our mail.  Thankfully, many people write to share how totally their lives have been transformed since beginning the lessons of the Course, which initiates an inner process for the reader that leads to greater freedom and understanding.

Even so, there are also reports of life’s hardships and difficulties.  I’ve been reading letters and then emails from participants of the Course for 40 years now, exacting in August.  (The original lessons of the Course were first mailed out in August, 1975.)  Nothing surprises me anymore.  Everything is a variation of similar themes in the lives of many others.  All these years of people opening up honestly with me regarding the details of their lives has enabled me to see the ‘human condition’ quite clearly.  No matter what we are going through, we are all pretty much all in the same boat.  The only real difference between us lies in the degree to which we are aware of the Truth.

Here is a question from the blog comments:  “In my current lesson it says ‘since we have perfected all the preceding exercises, lets simply focus on the eternal serenity of all things.’  I don't feel like I have perfected the preceding exercises.  And from your comment, I should read them more often, and go back and read more from the past?  My ego is attaching to feeling like I lost the skill in this work at some point, and I feel like a failure. . . that I won’t get to the place others are at.”

If you’ve known me very well or very long, you know I can have a deadpan sense of humor that is sometimes difficult to recognize as actual humor.  I can assure you, no one has perfected all the preceding exercises; everyone got out of them whatever they were open to, and according to their approach and commitment to the exercise, and determined primarily by what they are truly ready to receive.  However I am not oblivious to the fact that probably the majority of participants give relatively little attention to the exercises, much less perfect them. 

Most participants probably could not tell you, without looking, what their current exercise is.  It is also true that most participants would benefit greatly from rereading their current lessons, or even lessons received previously, more often than they do.  The secret to the vast power of the Course lies in your openness to repetition, which some people automatically resist. 

The Course is not about learning new information or new facts. The Course is about tuning into a certain level of Energy, and a certain state from which to approach and live life.  This transmission happens through repetition.  It doesn’t matter if you already ‘know’ the lesson.  What matters is that through willingly reading it once again we are uplifted and elevated.  You don’t have to take anyone’s word for this.  You can very easily prove it true for yourself.

You can’t be a ‘failure’ unless you just quit and refuse to grow.  As long as you simply keep going, you are a success.  And please, never think about ‘getting to the place others are at.’  What others?  What place?  How do you know ‘where they are at?’  What if you’re actually in first place?  In reality, there is no one to compare yourself to, and the tendency to compare is the ego at work.  Never bother with comparing yourself with another regarding anything.  It is total waste of time and energy

Another wrote simply:  “I don't know how else to say it.  If I can't find a way to solve my money samskaras and earn a living I fear one day it may cost me my life.  Please help me"

Kay initially responded to him, as she usually does to individual emails, and he explained more in his response to her:  More than anything I want to be a financial blessing rather than a burden to my aging parents and I hope to marry my girlfriend who has a wonderful 11 year old boy.  Elsewhere Ram has said that financial karma is among the easiest to change.  I very much hope this is true but so far that has not been my experience.  Work always seems to involve substantial anxiety, doubt, fear and turmoil.  I seem to have significant fear about serving in any capacity and my earnings have never yet been enough to meet even my most basic needs.  All this despite having high intelligence and excellent education through a master's degree.  Currently I have a sales position that is my first ever opportunity to earn a good living.  After two months I have yet to make a sale.  My parents are getting up in age and have always supported me, I am 45.  I need to change so that I will have somewhere to live for my lifetime.”

What is puzzling to me is this man has taken our Course for a long time.  He knows what to do, but for some reason he does not do it.  It’s like you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink.

One of the earliest sections of the Course is What You Think Is What You Get.  Thought is creative, and therefore our personal life cannot be different from what and how we think.  In our loved one’s letter, he expresses almost one negative comment after another.  I can understand this kind of thinking when one has never been exposed to the principles of Truth, but when one knows that what you think is what you get, and he only thinks of what is unpleasant and of what he doesn’t want, I feel a little sad.  All that is required to change everything is to apply the principle.

He has a Master’s degree, is 45 years old, and has depended on his aging parents to support him all his life.  Of course, the parents also did not understand the principles of Truth, or they would have never allowed him to reach this point of his life without having to take care of himself.  At some point, being a good parent is allowing our children to go through what they have to in order to learn how to take care of themselves and to live independently.

The dharma (righteous action) here is that as long as one is a student, he can accept support from his family to the degree that they are able to help, but after being a student one enters a phase of life known as ‘the householder’ dharma.  The dharma of a householder is to support oneself and if possible to support one’s elders and also his or her children for as long as they are students.  These dharmas are described and defined very clearly in the ancient Eastern scriptures.  They are not something I am just now making up.

It is true that financial karma is among the easiest to change.  Income is very amenable to consciousness of abundance.  If we think we do not have enough income to support ourselves, that generates a vibrational energy that repels abundance.  If we are conscious of abundance, however, and KNOW that we have and will receive everything that is needed, this opens up our capacity to generate financial growth.  Not only can we have what we need, but we can live in abundance, never even having to consider whether there is enough money or not.

Assuming abundance turns on the faucet of supply, which is potentially unlimited, unless we limit it in our own consciousness of what is realistically available.  Our questioner said, “Work always seems to involve substantial anxiety, doubt, fear and turmoil.  I seem to have significant fear about serving in any capacity and my earnings have never yet been enough to meet even my most basic needs.  Currently I have a sales position that is my first ever opportunity to earn a good living.  After two months I have yet to make a sale.”

The anxiety, doubt, fear, and turmoil have to be replaced by supreme confidence, and the KNOWLEDGE that you are cared for in every possible way.  There is some reason deep-seated in your consciousness that prevents you from making a single sale.  Do you have confidence is what you are selling?  Is it a good deal for your customers or clients?  If the answers are ‘yes,’ then you can approach potential buyers with the knowledge that you can offer them something very helpful to them.  Is your answer is ‘no’ to those two questions, then you are in the wrong business, or at least trying to sell the wrong products—if you have no faith in them yourself.

The primary thing is to develop, through consistent practice, a positive attitude and an uplifting approach to your life.  You have thought negatively long enough.  It is easy, because it is your usual way to go, but you have to give it up and come up with a much more positive approach to your life.  This includes seeing yourself in a much more positive way—which is seeing yourself as you actually want to be.  You can ‘be’, ‘do’, and ‘have’ whatever you want.  It is all a matter of what and how you think. 

For proof, try believing something, and see if you can experience anything other than what you believe.  You will invariably experience whatever you believe, and this can never be successfully disproven. 

Finally, someone wrote this question:  “I have recently started the 4th year of the course.  I have begun to observe what happens over time, which is something I never would have considered at the beginning.  I have always heard the term, ‘expanded awareness’, but I never really got what that meant until seeing how my own inner consciousness has been definitely expanded in the past couple of years.  My question is, what makes this possible?  What is behind it all?  It is obvious that it is beyond the written words of the lessons.”

This question, in many variations, comes up from time to time, and each time I look to see how this needs to be answered at this time.  There is actually no sensible answer to this question.  What happens during the process of participating in the Course is something that the mind cannot fully comprehend.  The conscious mind only gets bits and pieces of what is actually going on.

The Course does not find its origin in the typist.  I am happy to type, for then I am the first one to see the new lesson, but the power of the lessons all participants experience comes from a Source far beyond anything we ordinarily think about, or consider as real.  If we ordinarily live on the 3rd of 7 levels of Awareness, the Course comes from the 7th level, filtering through the 5th and 6th levels of Awareness simply so that our conscious mind can somewhat grasp it. 

From our perspective, the 7th level is a space of no-thought but pure Consciousness.  It is what we refer to as The Truth of the Present Moment, since the present moment is the only ‘time’ anything can exist, even a memory or a plan.  We are guided from that level intuitively to the degree that we are open to receiving knowledge that we don’t know how we know it.

To fully intuit the answer to this question is to allow for the fact that life is much larger, broader, and richer than we ordinarily experience it to be.  Our ordinary experience comes mostly from social conditioning, and not from intuitive promptings.  We have been presented with a world, and brainwashed to the degree that we assume our perception and experience of this world is ultimate reality. 

Ultimate Reality, however, is far beyond our comprehension of this world, or this ‘life.’  Sooner or later we must allow that there are entire ‘sections’ of the experiential universe that have never even occurred to us.  The world, and this life, are far larger than we have the power to comprehend. 

So many energies are at work, and we go through life exchanging energies as an aspect of leading up to the perfect balance and the perfect harmony.  It is a splendorous game, but it helps immensely to know that it is a game and what the ‘rules’ of the game are.  This is conveyed quite clearly through the lessons of the Course, and much more that we have room to even hint at here.

Thank you for joining me here.  I have enjoyed sharing this ‘time’ and ‘space’ with you.  I will see you in the lessons, in the blog, and even on Facebook, for those of you who choose to join us there.  This is especially helpful if you wish to be in contact with other participants of the Course—who are your inner, subtle family—a family of total acceptance, compassion, and unconditional love. We are available online, including right here in the ‘comments’ that follow.  To easily get to the comments, click on the title of the blog entry, and then you can scroll down through all the comments.

You will be immediately sent information about the Course, and a complimentary Lesson 1, simply by writing us at:  drbutler.course@gmail.com

The lessons are also available in Spanish and French.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Self-Interview March 2015


Q:  I haven’t been able to pin you down for a long while now.  You isolating?  Been avoiding me?

A:  It’s been a long cold winter.  Snow is still all we can see in every direction.  It’s supposed to be Spring.  But it’s all the same, isn’t it, all God’s brilliant, pulsating play of the present moment.  I think I’ve finally been able to be content and whole within myself, unrelated to anything in the outer world.  Kay and I have decided that the best approach to being together until the end is to simply accept each other as we are.  Trying to change each other at our age is very tiring, frustrating, and just not worth it.  We are beyond being improved upon.  We can only grow within.

Q:  What mostly still gets to you?

A:  The only thing I’ve noticed in a long time is my children.  They still have the power (which I have given them) to affect my feelings.  I just want to always live in harmony, respect, and love with them.  It’s pretty unconditional for me, and I think that truly it is for them too, but I have a tendency to think I’ve done or not done something that displeased them or that they disapproved of.  My younger son Shane always asks me why I bother to do that; he always makes me contemplate something I need to better understand.  When Graham Nash wrote ‘teach your parents well,’ he really nailed it.  I learn a lot from them, but not much surprises me from other people.

Q:  How is it that nothing surprises you about other people?

A:  Well, I’ve been ‘officially’ working with people for about 40 years now.  A lot of people have shared very openly and honestly with me.  After a while everything is simply some variation of something you’ve already experienced or seen.  I don’t remember hearing or reading anything in a long time from anyone that seemed really new or original.  It’s just this person’s version of something that’s basically very common, an aspect of human nature, or of the human condition.

Q:  Is there a difference between human nature and the human condition.

A:  Of course.  Human nature is the way people naturally are.   The human condition is the way people have been conditioned to be.  We do this that we share together here and in the Course to break free from the human condition, and to simply flow freely with our human nature—which is an essential aspect of what we are to do during this physical incarnation.

Q:  I’ve read your blog entries now and then, not as much as would be good for me, I admit.  (See, I didn’t even say ‘should have’ because I know you don’t like us to ‘should’ on ourselves.)  Every blog entry seems quite different from the previous one, and yet somehow there seems to be a great order inherent in your teachings.  Where does that primordial order come from?

A:  That idea ‘your teachings’ brings up this great wince inside me.  I have no teachings.  I invented no philosophy.  I certainly never followed a religion.  I had the good fortune in my life to spend some quality time with some of the great spiritual Teachers and Leaders during my lifetime, and I wanted the knowledge as I wanted to breathe, and I soaked it up like a sponge.  Even at 15 I intuitively knew that this knowledge, and the ability to apply it in daily life, was the most important thing in the world.  In my 70th year I would not be still writing this otherwise. 

So what you are calling ‘teachings’ are Principles of Truth as they were taught to me by my major teachers, assimilated, and coming out in a generic form that includes all traditions and paths simultaneously.  I am basically a typist and seemingly a regular person in all ways, although admittedly my own children have sincerely (though lightheartedly) let me know that I had to admit it, that I am definitely bizarre.

Anyway, the Principles of Truth go back to the beginning of time, even before humanity roamed the earth.  That spark of Truth was hidden where most human beings would be unlikely to look for it—within themselves.  For some reason I was ‘appointed’ at an early age in an unlikely environment and family history to transmit the Principles not only mentally but experientially, so that people can actually experience what they are reading as they are reading it.  It simply requires the least bit of openness and receptivity to the possibility, and the rest just happens.

At 30 or 40 or maybe even 50 I could seem very deluded for saying such things, but at this time of my life I could care less if anyone thinks I’m deluded.  If I’m deluded, it’s okay with me.  I have simply practiced to prove the Truth to myself, and am now passing on the teachings of my Teachers.  I have to think I’m something in order to be deluded, and I know there’s nothing here but the Self.  And you can experience it too—right Now—pure Consciousness.

And then life goes on.  We do our work.  We walk the dog.  We remain connected to family and dharma where family life is concerned.  We shovel the snow (written in the winter of ’15).  We do what needs to be done.  We set along some time for some guilt-free relaxation and recreation—which is essential to a balanced life.  Everyone has a karmic play to flow through.  If we can simply remain in harmony with whatever comes up, we will enjoy life and be satiated in love.

Q:  Wow, you say you don’t have teachings, yet once you get going…

A:  Yes, it’s a great paradox.  It’s like a water faucet.  You turn it on and it just flows until it is turned off.

Q:  You don’t communicate like you have something memorized.  You really just let it flow spontaneously, don’t you?

A:  Yes, after all these years, that turns out to be true after all.  I don’t know anything.  I can’t even remember things.  Sometimes I’ll be doing something I’ve done easily all my life, and somehow I’ll be meticulously going through each detail, like a child who was learning how to do something for the first time.  For all I know there’s not much difference between me and a person with dementia.  The primary difference is in Awareness.  Awareness can get you through dementia so easily that you’ll actually enjoy it.

Lacking in Awareness, however, and the flame goes out.  There’s simply a vacancy.  Awareness is ahead of everything—way ahead of mind or emotions.  It is awareness that allows us to ‘see’ and ‘know’ our thoughts and feelings.  It is also awareness to see that there are no thoughts or feelings.

Q:  Where does the Awareness come from?

A:  That’s a great question, but there’s no answer that satisfies the mind.  Awareness is Self-emanating.  It is its own Source, for nothing else exists, except the relative world we can be aware of.  Is the sun a source of light or a receptor of light?  We know that moonlight is a reflection of sunlight, but what is sunlight the reflection of?  It is is the Light of the Self, the Light of Consciousness.

Q:  So you can live in this Light and still be affected emotionally by your children?

A:  It’s a great paradox, isn’t it?  We live on so many levels of existence simultaneously; there are so many dimensions that exist concurrently, right now, and we play our own dharmic role in each.  On one level we are pure Light, Love, and Bliss, undisturbed by the mind, the emotions, or the outer world, including this physical body we presently to occupy.  On another level we are incarnated in a physical body as a cycle of karma, part of the Soul’s journey back Home.  And we have all the same potential human feelings and experiences as any other human.  We never really ‘go beyond’ anything, except in self-righteousness.

Our life manifests as our individual, unique karma—a karmic movie.  If we can remember we are the audience, the Observer, the Witness, of the movie, and don’t get personally involved with characters or happenings, then we will simply enjoy a good movie.  Sometimes it will be a love story.  Sometimes a melodrama.  Sometimes it will be horror movie.  Other times an action movie, or a slice of life, or intense suspense, yet other times a comedy.  Some movies are even ‘black humor,’ which are among my favorite.

I am the last remaining parent my children have.  I feel I have a lot more to ‘live up to’ than I probably would if their mother were still alive.  She was kind of the ‘primary’ parent, as mothers usually are.  I pitched in the best I could and was always there for them.  Now, though, they are old enough to take care of themselves, although my daughter won’t be 20 until May.  She is very mature and sensible, though, and very strong too for her experiences in life, so I feel really good about how all their lives are going.  Still I am always 50 years older than my daughter is.  Although I probably did my best parenting with her, at a more mature age, the downside of having a daughter at 50 is that no matter how long I live, she will still be relatively young.  But that’s the karma we signed up for.  I’m sure everything will work out perfectly.

Q:  How do you and Kay get along together?

A:  What can I say?  We met at a Yoga Conference in the summer of ’76.  I was teaching and she showed up for the class.  For many years she’s been my best friend and confidant, and for most of that time she’s worked closely with me and has been the Course manager for many years, in its different manifestations.  I don’t know of anyone else offhand who could help me get the Course out the way she does.  We are a good match, enjoy pretty much the same things, and have mostly learned to simply accept each other as we are.  In case you’ve never tried it, it’s pretty hard to change someone at 70 for the better.  As the songwriter John Prine once put it, “You are what you are and you ain’t what you ain’t.”  That about sums it up.

Q:  Do you have anything particular to say to people reading this who aren’t taking the Course?

A:  You’re missing out on one of the best things available in the physical world for inner development and increased understanding.  There is nothing else similar to the Course of Training via email, with two new lessons every month.  You might think it’s like something else, but I can assure you that it isn’t, and there are a few hundred students who will tell you how true that is.  In fact, going back to its beginning in 1975, more than 50,000 people have taken the Course in one form or another.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your first Teacher, whose Course you started taking when you were 15?

A:  He died at age 93 the year before I began his Course.  Luckily his wife was 50 years younger, and continued to send out his lessons for many years.  His father was British nobility and his mother was an Indian woman his father met on his travels to the East.  He entered Oxford University at age 15.  He was visiting the Taj Mahal with some friends as a young man when he saw a man near a Bo tree that he recognized, and he excused himself to go see him. 

He remembered the man from catching him as a child when he fell out of a tree.  The man still looked the same as he had then.  The man told him that he was expected as a lamasery in Tibet that no one could possibly find unless they were led there.  He told him they already knew about his whole life.  My Teacher said he had to think about it, and the man told him what hotel in Bombay he was staying at and said be there by the next morning if he wanted to go.

When he went back to his friends they asked him what he was doing, and he told them he went to talk to a familiar man.  They said, ‘What man?  You were alone by yourself the whole time.’

Needless to say, he followed the man to the lamasery in Tibet and didn’t leave until 17 years later, when his Master sent him to America.  He was in Swami Vivekananda’s entourage when he came to Chicago in 1897 to first present Eastern teachings to a Western audience.  He was among the first to meet with Swami Yogananda when he first came to America, before he ever became the Paramahansa. 

He was the Western representative of the Lodge of Mystics or the Great White Brotherhood (having nothing to do with color of skin.)  These are the ones who are primarily responsible for overlooking and guiding the spiritual growth of the people on Earth.  Even the Indian Masters look up to the Masters in the lamaseries of Tibet and Nepal.  He wrote his final Course when he was in his 80’s, and that’s where I received my primary Training, which contains the ‘understanding that will make you free.’  This month, actually, is the month of his birthday.

Our Course is the modern interpretation of the Principles of Truth that have been around for eons, but which did not originate on this planet.  We are like the ‘minor leagues,’ with a few true and authentic Teachers available to take us to higher or more expanded levels of Being.

Our Course is especially important for other teachers to refine their understanding and be initiated into the higher realms available to them.  Trying to teach others without this Training can be limiting, in ways that can’t be understood until the Truth of Being is fully understood.  Like my Teacher before me, I will never be widely known in a public way.  He understood that persecution is the fruit of true Masters revealing themselves or what they actually teach. 

I have already experienced this to a limited degree, and know the perils of fame as a ‘spiritual teacher.’  Those who teach or reveal secret knowledge, or ‘the mysteries', are inevitably persecuted by those who want the Truth to remain what they have always imagined it to be, according to how their minds were molded at a very young age, and they do not want their order of the world threatened.

Q:  Didn’t your Teacher say something about Teachers, including himself?

A:  Yes he did, and this was one of my favorite things he ever wrote, although it took me many years to finally fully understand it:

“He or she is great who disturbs you, irritates you, even affronts you, so that you are shaken out of your habitual ways—fairly pulled out of your mental ruts, lifted up above the commonplace.

“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.  So here’s a tip:  Fall in love with your Self and be your own Teacher.  This is my truest and most sincere advice.”

If your destiny is to teach others, be careful how you present yourself.  Be modest and humble among all things.  Don’t let on that you possess ‘the Secret of the Ages’ even if you do.  True knowledge is best concealed, except to those rare ones who are evolved enough to grasp the Truth no matter where it leads them.

I will close the interview at this point.  Thanks to all who put in the time and energy to read this, and may the Truth be revealed more and more to you each day.   

For information about the Course via email, and a complimentary first lesson, please write to:  drbutler.course@gmail.com

Thanks to our translators who have volunteered to help make the Course available to as many as possible, the lessons are also available in Spanish and French. 


I’ll meet with you in the ‘comments’ to follow.  Questions contribute to the understanding of all, even if you already ‘know’ the answer in your own way.  A lot happens on a very deep level in that space we share together.  Be Happy.  Be Love.  Celebrate.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The 'Power Struggle' Between Anger and Compassion, and Much More

Hello friends and life-mates.  I promised you a new blog entry and here it is.  I am taking some questions from last month’s comments that were never responded to, as Q&A is a very effective method for sharing Knowledge.  Even Socrates taught through dialogue with his students.  (While a member of the basketball team in college, my teammates gave me the name ‘So-crates,’ and usually referred to me as such.  Under my photo in the high school yearbook the editors described me as ’Philosopher at large.’) 

Going back to high school, one night during my senior year my girlfriend and I were riding in the car and suddenly, out of the blue, she said, very sincerely, “Please show me your space ship.  I promise I won’t tell anyone else that it even exists.  Just show me.  I want to see where you came from.”  She was an intelligent and level-headed young girl.  She was serious when she said this. 

Most everything is revealed in the lessons of the Course of Training Living in the Truth of the Present Moment (see the sidebar on the right for contact info), but the blog community is also important, for the Principles of Truth should be passed on to whoever is ready and open.  For participants of the Course, the blog is required reading, as an aspect of the Course.

There is a lot available here on this site.  There are archived articles that go back to July, 2008.  If you verbalize your question in the comments section of this current entry, it will either be answered there on the spot within a few days, or become a part of next month’s article.  Your participation is a great contribution to all who come here.

Something important that I want Course participants to understand (and it is available here for anyone who reads the blog):  We cannot tell by the way anyone looks, speaks, or acts, how advanced he is ‘spiritually’.  I am wanting to find a word other than ‘spiritual’ for it is greatly misunderstood and also brings up a duality--as in the word ‘non-spiritual’.  Nothing is either ‘non-spiritual’ or ‘spiritual’.  Everything is simply a play taking place within the supreme Consciousness we all share simultaneously.

Years back, I would come into scenes where some people dressed in a certain way, or made markings on their forehead, or acted or spoke in a way that was designed to cause others to assume that they were ‘spiritual.’  Invariably, such people were beginners with very limited understanding.  A truly advanced soul might be very cleverly disguised, might seem totally normal if not boring, or totally outlandish, and might do and say things no ‘spiritual’ person would ever do or say. 

It is important that we break out of this limited way of seeing and under-standing things.  Our job is simply to see the play of Consciousness in everything, and the same supreme Self in all people.

Okay, on to the questions and answers:

Q:  In my current lesson it says “We can experience hostility or intense resentment simply because we lack the determination and will to replace habitual reactions with something more uplifting.”   My question is “how does belief or faith relate to will?”  An important mentor in my life recently advised me to pray. He said I should ask God for what I want and offer my actions as devotion. I am unaccustomed to devotion or prayer as I was not raised in any religious tradition. In fact, I was raised by “devoted” atheists. Nonetheless I feel there is some connection to my struggles with maintaining the will to focus my attention on a conscious intent.

A:  You seem to have a natural understanding of the ways things work.  I agree totally with ‘offer my actions as devotion,’ but there is duality inherent in praying to God to ask for things—it implies that there is us and there is someone else, a ‘God’ separate from our own Consciousness.  Yet in truth there is no one else out there.  The only ‘God’ in existence is one with our own inner Consciousness.  There is nothing separate from that, except in imagination. 

Since the only ‘God’ there is lives in all of us equally as our Awareness of Being, the only true form of prayer is affirmation.  We don’t ask or beg or plead--we affirm what we wish to be true as ALREADY True.  This is the Creative Principle at work.  All this is explored in detail in the lessons of the Course.

You asked: ‘How does belief or faith relate to will?’  Will is consciously KNOWING something is true even if there is no physical evidence of it at this time.  ‘Belief and faith’ arise from accepting some particular dogma or perspective of the way things are.  I advise Course participants to give up ‘belief’ altogether, as all that is truly important is to experience the Truth of the Present Moment.  ‘Faith’ is real and true if it is having the ‘Faith’ that the only Reality is our own highest state is this present moment.  There is ultimately nothing else worth having ‘faith’ about.  Simply have faith in your own Truth.

Q:  Who reports my dreams and sleep quality to me? If I’m asleep, who is awake?

A:  The One who is Awake is the only One that is ever Awake.  It is referred to as the Seer, the Witness, the Observer.  In Sanskrit it is referred to as the Turiya state--which ‘sees’ the waking state, the dream state, and the deep-sleep state simultaneously.  It includes and goes beyond all the states.  In itself, Turiya is eternally changeless, and always remains as it is.  When we truly ‘awaken’, we live in the Turiya state.

Q:  In lesson 8, you mention to become aware of the space between thoughts.  I’m a little lost on how to be aware of the space between thoughts.  This is a “concept/method” that has evaded me for many years.   I’m more familiar with other methods such as being aware of awareness, or being present in the now.  I would like to understand and deepen my ability to be aware of the space between thoughts.   Is it the same thing as being aware of awareness or being conscious in the present?  Thanks for your help and advice. I’m enjoying the course very much and I can feel the Shakti, the universal Energy, in the course.

A:  The ‘space between thoughts,’ ‘being aware of Awareness,’ and ‘being present in the Now’ are all different ways of wording the same state or experience.  There is no difference among the three.  They are simply different ways of alluding to living in the highest State.  (The Guru used to say that the highest state is Alaska.)

Q:  In my Current lesson the exercise is to practice resting in the turiya state even while functioning in the world. I don’t understand this concept at all. Believe me, I would love to be able to do this, because I think it might help me with the chronic insomnia I experience, which then leaves me very tired when trying to function during the day. I feel as if I don’t spend any time in a deep-sleep state during the night. Is there any connection here? Could you explain more about resting in the turiya state, what it feels like, how to access it?

A: Chronic insomnia is usually attributed to an overactive manas, or conscious mind or waking mind, attuned to this physical world.  Turiya is simply the Awareness that is always, invariably, Present.  We access the Turiya state through observing that there is no interruption between the waking state, dream state, and deep-sleep state.  Turiya includes all the states and whatever lies beyond.  It never begins or ends.  It is, ultimately, all there is.  It is the state of living in the Truth of the Present Moment. 

For sleep, practice the sensation of ‘sinking’ into your mattress while taking long, slow, deep breaths, without allowing conscious mind thoughts.  By the time you truly sink into the mattress, you’ll be sound asleep.

Q:  What about physical pain?  Masters seem to transcend it.  I’ve tried many methods, but when present it occupies my whole mind and body, can you enlighten me?

A:  ‘Masters’ do not transcend pain.  They only remain absorbed in their inner state, and refuse to focus attention on pain.  A major transmission in the Course is the capacity, or at least the possibility, to focus our attention only on what we actually prefer.  In fact, speaking of spiritual Masters, their pain might be the only thing keeping them in the body.  Some form of karma is necessary to stay in the physical body.  When the karma is finished, the body has completed its mission, and is left behind.  Thankfully, physical pain does not follow us into the next dimension after the transition.  It is best to simply consider it an aspect of the human condition.  No one lives without pain.

Q:  How is the breath related to the subtle body?  Does the subtle body “breathe”?  I know you have probably answered this in the Course or here before, but I’d love to hear it one more time.  I heart repetition.

A:  The breath enables the subtle body to enliven and animate the physical body, and is the primary connection between the physical and the subtle. The soul (jiva) enters the physical body with the first inhalation, and departs with the last exhalation.  There is no such thing as ‘death.’  There is only transition.

Q: In my current lesson it says:  “It is juicier to experience being the lover than it is to be the beloved, although in reality we are one and the same.”  I couldn’t figure out the first part of the phrase, though the second phrase resonates.  Hmmm. I’m not really looking for “corrections,” but some things seem odd even when I read them multiple times.

A:  It is simply that it is more satisfying and fulfilling to love than to be loved.  Of course, it is of major importance that we love our inner Self--then we can see and love the same One in all ‘others.’

Q:  It is very clear that a large part of my sadhana [[the inner 
spiritual work]] consists of coming into harmony with a loved one, my only child, who struggles with substance abuse. I continue to struggle with my reactions to his undesirable behavior; not only the fact that he’s addicted to heroin which will eventually kill him, there’s the lying and stealing that goes along with it. 

Anger is a big one for me.  I’m angry when he steals from me and lies to me, I can’t trust anything he says, I’m angry because it’s so painful to watch this, it doesn’t seem fair.  I feel shame, I grieve for the loss of the little boy I had such high hopes for.  Every parent enjoys taking pride in their child’s positive development and successes, how do you come into harmony with this?

I don’t know how to or what to replace this anger reaction with when it comes upon me SO fast. I without a doubt feel compassion for his struggle, but compassion takes a back seat when anger is in town.  It’s hard to feel gratitude too.  How do I keep an open loving heart and not sacrifice my own well-being in the process? God only knows where I would be had it not been for this Course - thank you!  It has taken me quite a while to actually compose this question to you - it seemed so daunting. I need some help. Thanks.

A:  I am sure that most who come here can empathize and relate to your life-situation.  It seems to be a certain aspect of the human condition.  Due to how we have been conditioned, first we pass judgment on our parents that seems to change from year to year for a while, and at a later stage of life, we have to deal with the physical manifestations of our children.  They were so cute when they were young, but as they got older the stranger became their actions, decisions, and choices.  It takes a few years for parents to fully understand their children, and part of that is honoring their karma, and living what feels like the most dharmic approach to all that comes unsought. 

Anger is one of the most common and intense samskaras [[tendencies to think, feel, and react in conditioned ways]] shared among people.  Anger primarily feels, and believes, that a certain aspect of God’s creation just isn’t going the way we personally would prefer it.  So instead of acceptance and compassion, we fill our psychic space with anger and resentment.  These two things are what primarily hold people down, not allowing them to experience the Truth of their Eternal and Perfect Awareness of being.

The way to deal with anger is to replace it with something completely different, something infinitely more preferable.  The most powerful replacement for anger is Compassion.  It is possible to go through life feeling compassion when we would once have been angry.  Someone, your son perhaps, makes choices that you feel unsettling.  It is a matter of developing and experiencing the subconscious impulse to be compassionate, whereas in our ignorance we could only feel anger and resentment.  We replace subconscious patterns to feel anger with patterns (developed, through conscious repetition) to experience compassion for what we were once angry about.

This is a very great transformation.  It is possible, and many have already experienced it.  It is not a ‘pipe-dream’.  We can live in a natural state of acceptance and compassion for all that anyone has to go through, as aspects of their karma.  It is actually absurd to be angry at someone because of their samskaras (conditioned subconscious patterns).  They have not yet developed the capacity to be otherwise.

There is a lot presented here, and certainly worthy of more than one reading.  As participants of the Course know, repetition is very powerful.  Certain life-lessons are best taught or transmitted through interaction. 

Please consider sharing this link with your friends, or through your social media.  The blog is for all people of all traditions and faiths.  The principles presented are a generic presentation of all the relevant teachings of reliable and trusted sources, and there is nothing in the lessons that anyone of any philosophy or religion can successfully prove to be untrue--'truth' will always be intuitively obvious through your own inner experience.

Recently a participant of the Course wrote that someone she would never 
have considered as having an interest in these principles was eager to begin the Course as soon as she read the introductory material and the complimentary first lesson.

Sooner or later everyone must become aware of these principles of Truth, especially to make it through the very fast and intense era we are currently experiencing.  Let others know about the blog and the Course in Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.  There is nothing else completely like it, believe it or not.  There is no reason to take anyone’s word about anything, nothing to accept on faith.  Try it yourself, initiate yourself in the infallible and immutable Truth of the Present Moment, which lives in love, bliss, and absolute contentment; there is nothing beyond it or separate from it.  This is the Truth of our own Self; this is the Truth of the Present Moment.

In last month’s comments there are two lengthy responses to answers not included here, and there are also two posts where Kay interacts with people regarding their questions.  They are well worth referring to.

For information about the Course via email, and a complimentary first lesson, please write to: 
drbutler.course@gmail.com

Thanks to our translators who have volunteered to help make the Course available to as many as possible, the lessons are also available in Spanish and French.  The translators are excellent, and have great understanding of the principles of Truth.  The only way anyone can successfully translate is through having a profound understanding of the communication and the evolutionary process we are all sharing.

I’ll meet with you in the ‘comments’ to follow.  A lot happens on a very deep level in that space we can easily share together.  Be Happy.  Be Love.