I am posting another talk from the delightful John Butler, which he discusses his books, his life, and his spirituality - which I have previously called Christian Zen.
I call it this because it uses Christian language to describe an 'Eastern' spiritual way that neither wants nor aims at the resurrected life eternal with God, Jesus, and other sons and daughters of God, dwelling in Heaven - that Jesus made possible for those who followed him.
Instead, JB's desire is for self/ego-less, body-less, peace, stillness, oneness and unity with God and every-thing - which I will tern Nirvana.
What is instructive about this video is that it seems to make clear why John Butler wants this. He mentions the core problem of life as 'How do you cope with the world' - and the impossibility of escaping from the world due to the constraints of the body. Clearly the hope permanently to be rid of the body is not the same as the hope of resurrection.
JB also mentions his aim of 'less me, more God' (not my will but God's will) - which equates closeness to God with dissolution of 'me', the self, the distinct ego.
The great hope is for total and perfect unity - in which whatever makes us distinct and unique is removed. This is holiness. He suggests the special virtues of losing the individual in the community (family, village, nation); absence of criticism between Men; and patient, forbearance and waiting - which he (from experience) regards as better lived in Russia.
Butler describes his books on Russia (which I have read, and recommend) as describing How spirit may strengthen to bear an unbearable world.
This phrase is, I think, a great clue to this Christian Zen perspective. It describes the basic stance that 'the world' is intrinsically unbearable, that this un-bearability comes from the detached and observing conscious self; and therefore implies that the best and only hope is to escape the un-bearability by dissolving consciousness (and the underlying self) - so that we will just-be.
By his own account John Butler has had (until recently) an 'unbearable' life of misery, loneliness and depression - alleviated only by the discipline of (oneness-type, 'transcendental') meditation. Some fifty years of meditation practice have enabled him to cope with the world, while he awaits death.
But why did JB experience life as unbearable? Well, his biography shows that this came from within; it came from the way he was and from what he wanted. And the Christian will, naturally, focus on the matter of love - because love is the principle of God's creation.
Now, for Christians, love ought to be between persons - on earth and in Heaven (because God and Jesus Christ are also persons). But John Butler's aspirational idea of love is not between persons, but a blissful the loss of personhood into oneness.
In this video; JB describes the great 'love' event of his life. This was a time when he and a woman friend (not his wife) were meditating together, and he experienced a vivid and compelling vision of their two souls leaving their bodies and joining into a single spiritual unity. This led to nothing relational between the two; but triggered JB to leave his wife and led to several years of a life wandering alone and miserable.
So, the experience of 'love' drove JB further away from the world; because (I would say) this was not relational-love between persons, but was the 'annihilational'-love a loss of self (a microcosm of the hoped-for dissolution into the divine).
From what I have gathered of John Butler's life (from the several books of his I have read) his only experience of relational love (Christian love) was with his mother; and this was warm, constant and long-lasting.
Yet, I think this love, because it was with his mother, probably pointed backwards into a lost childhood; rather than forwards into eternity - and (in other of his work) I judge that JB regard all inter-personal and conscious love in terms of a negative attachment to the unbearable world.
He seems to regard Christian love as a narrowly-specific, immature and anthropomorphic perspective on life; something which ought-to-be set-aside in favour of the universal, 'abstract' undifferentiated 'love' of complete unity with the impersonal-and-universal-divine.
In sum, I believe that (so far as I can tell) John Butler is an example of someone who does not want what Jesus has to offer. He does not, indeed, want to be a Man - because he finds distinct consciousness so unbearable in its suffering, that he would 'hand back the entrance ticket' of becoming a Son of God and return to a situation of pre-creation blissful mere-being.
I think he regrets being budded-off God, because of the existential loneliness and isolation it engenders (at least in adults); and wishes to lose all awareness of himself as a separate entity - lose all awareness altogether.
From this perspective, this mortal life is nothing but a Vale of Tears; without any essential function or purpose. It is a kind of punishment, or accident; something to be coped-with by learning Not to think. And something from-which death is a deliverance.
For me, none of this is true. I see this incarnated mortal life as having a purpose that is essential to what I most want: which is resurrected life eternal in Heaven with other persons - including at least some of those whom I love from this earthly time.
I regard this mortal life as made good (albeit intermittently, and temporality) by inter-personal love, I see love of God and Jesus as between me and other persons and living beings; and I see the aim of both earth and Heaven (the thing I most want to 'do') as being creation/ creating from and for this 'web' of loving relationships.
As I have often said before; it seems apparent that there are some people who are (apparently from young childhood, and perhaps related to the pre-mortal spiritual nature) wanting something very different from the gift that Jesus brought us - and John Butler seems to be one of them.
Instead of opting-into Heaven, and different from choosing the Hell of opposition to God - these people want to stop being people.
I regard this as a consequence of the fact that when God (our Heavenly parents) took our primordial and unconscious selves and procreated them into being sons and daughters of God with consciousness and free agency; some regretted the event.
Among those who regret being sons and daughters of God are those who respond by blaming and hating God and divine creation - these are the demons who work to destroy.
And there is this other group - of whom John Butler (along with perhaps vast numbers of adherents of Eastern religions) is one; who want to return to the state of a primordial and unconscious self. I don't think this is literally possible, because I believe that the sons and daughters of God are eternal.
But God can certainly remove all self-consciousness and all awareness of difference from the sons and daughters of God ; so that after death fully, and to some extent, during mortal life (e.g. in oneness meditation) - Men can blissfully feel and experience themselves as-if they are an impersonal and abstract part of the divine.
This is not what God most wants for us and from us; but I think it is something he will do for his children who choose to opt-out of Heaven but without being hostile to the Heavenly project.
Note added. While I believe that all the above applies in an abstract and ideal sense; I think that here-and-now (in these 'end times') it is very difficult for anyone to reject (real) Christianity without damning themselves.
In other words; as of the conditions in The West in 2021, Christian Zen is mostly in practice anti-Christian.
When the world is ruled by a demonic cabal - so that all which is mainstream, official, 'approved' is strategically on the side of evil in the spiritual war - then those who reject the gift of Jesus will find it very difficult not to find themselves accepting the assumptions and motivation of those who actively oppose Jesus.
To put matters differently; because the Christian Zen adherent rejects discernment (i.e. rejects 'judgmentalism') - its becomes all-but impossible for anyone with any kind of engagement with The System (and surely we all depend on The System to keep us alive, and not to kill us) to avoid joining-with the system in pursuit of damnation.
I would say that discernment of Good from evil has become an absolute necessity in 2021. The default is nowadays to take the side of Satan, and it requires almost an active choice to reject damnation.
As an example, in another video John Butler demonstrates a belief in the CO2 Global Warming agenda which is deceptive and evil agenda based on several Big Lies; and speaks approvingly of the Extinction Rebellion organization - which is a tool created-by and working-for the goals of the totalitarian world government: the Global Establishment.
This kind of gross failure of discernment seems almost inevitable when one combines a rejection of judgment with a climate of pervasive authoritarian evil.
To put it very simply: For most people, most of the time, here-and-now; the choice is binary: Christ or Satan - and those who in other cultures and at other times might genuinely have wanted Nirvana, will sooner or later find themselves wanting Hell.