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March 19 , 2011

Wonders of Spiritual Unfoldment


Even if there is a realm beyond mortality, would finding it improve our lives on earth? What use is Spirit to a troubled world? Do prayer and meditation work? As a young man in search of love and a purpose to live for, the author could not fit within the world he found. Longing to be useful but unwilling to conform, he went out to South America. It wasn’t so easy. Alone on a mountainside one day, an inner voice said, ‘To make whole, be whole’. This was a turning point. He realised that, before being able to help others, he first had to work on himself. Once back in England, he found a method of meditation. Love of nature led him to become one of the first organic farmers but, when asked what he really wanted in life, he answered ‘God’. He’d been schooled in the Christian faith but was not at this time attracted to the Church. Meditation proved an ideal accompaniment as further adventures took him to Africa and, in particular, the desert. Later, at a low ebb in the USA, he ‘met Jesus’, which brought his practice of meditation and Christianity together. At the age of 51, he re-entered university to study Russian prior to visiting his mother’s homeland for the first time in 1991. This led to several years living in Russia, where he realised the similarity between his own practice and traditional Orthodox ‘prayer of the heart’. The book is based on notes of the author’s unfolding spiritual experience, which taught him that the wholeness he sought is actually – Spirit. How is it attained? With many encouraging examples he shows how, with patient perseverance, the grip of the ego with all the restrictive unhappiness it brings, can be released. Being then more open to the influence of Grace, we may come to discover the Kingdom of God – our original, spiritual and perfect home. Dear John, ‘I hope you won’t mind my addressing you by your Christian name but having read your book twice as well as highlighting many paragraphs to study, I feel you are a dear friend. I am writing to say that your profound insights are enormously encouraging, an awakening, a wonderful inspiration for me, and I feel so fortunate to have found them. Your experiences in Spirit are conveyed so clearly and simply ‘ I find them truly uplifting. Every day I read some pages and always seem to find something new. I feel extremely grateful that you chose to write of your experience ‘ your legacy is to inspire countless other people, and to enrich their lives as you have mine.’ ML, 2011 Dear Mr Butler, ‘I am over half-way through your book ‘Wonders of Spiritual Unfoldment’ and feel I would like to express my gratitude to you for helping me gain clarity in the process of awakening. It is difficult to express in words the way your writings from personal experience have helped crystallise my sense of ‘Being’ in Reality. Your notes on waking from the dream or illusion we mistake for life and the sense of non-attachment to the world this engenders ‘ greatly assist me in releasing my conditioned perception. It is wonderful to find that someone living so near me, geographically, can write with such clarity and, knowing that you are here in the flesh confirming the truth of the possibility of waking up, has been a great affirmation to me and is supporting me in my own journey of awaking or coming home. Thank you so much.’ L, 2011 ‘This is a moving, honest ‘ and long ‘ spiritual autobiography, interestingly given in two voices: contemporary notebooks interlaced with present day ruminations. Butler met the meditation early and it colours his early days of self-sustaining farming after Cambridge, and his many adventures described in detail and with compassion in South America, Africa (sharing keenness of hunger and the haunting splendour of the night skies) and India, culminating in coming ‘home’ to his core way in the Russia of his mother and its Christian orthodoxy. It was love that led him through the labyrinth of his life ‘ a path we all recognise. As he says, ‘to surrender myself and let the spirit act.’ Throughout it is his honesty which makes the book valid for us. His spiritual insights have all been gained through the experience of this varied life which he seems to have accepted with the innocence and enthusiasm of a child. His way is our way. It is a book of vivid description and some very helpful insights.’ Contact 55 – Summer 2011
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