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Press releases

March 2nd 2021

‘Mr Nothing’ finds himself with 155,000 subscribers and over 12 million views for Spiritual Unfoldment on YouTube

At first sight, John Butler is not one to make much of an impression. Quiet, soft-spoken and usually alone, he became known – in the 1970’s – as one of the first organic farmers, and frequently appeared in the national press. Among lesser appearances, the BBC made a well-received documentary about his work – “Three Acres at Bicker Fen”.  Then, for many years, he disappeared from public view.

Having, throughout his life also practiced meditation, 4 years ago, at the age of 79, he was recommended to Conscious TV, a Youtube channel, focusing on those with experience of higher consciousness. Unwilling at first to face publicity, he was later persuaded to be interviewed. This has since becomes the most popular item on the channel.

Soon after his debut on Conscious TV, Phil Shankland found one of John’s books in a second-hand shop in Sheffield, was interested, came to see him, and then decided to move and live nearby. Encouraged by success on Conscious TV, they decided to make some videos themselves. This developed into the Youtube Spiritual Unfoldment Channel, which recently clocked up 155,000 subscribers and over 12 million views, besides their substantial followings on Facebook, Instagram and, most recently, Spotify.

How has this happened? Though brought up with Christianity and familiar with it, John follows no particular teaching but speaks entirely from his own experience, using examples from nature and simple common sense. Liking the name ‘Mr Nothing’, he suggests to his followers, ‘Feel your feet on the ground – listen and look’. Practiced with attention, this brings the mind to rest – in silence, which may then expand into stillness or peace, spaciousness, freedom and an abiding sense of spiritual presence. Traditional religious teaching that, ‘The Lord is with us’ begins to come into real life experience.

Besides farming and meditation, John has lived an extraordinarily interesting life, including much spiritual insight, emotional ups and downs, long periods in Peru, Africa and the USA besides several years in Russia, all of which have been part of the far from easy journey to where he is now. To record his adventures, he’s written no less than 10 books, starting with publication of ‘Wonders of Spiritual Unfoldment’ in September 2008. Details are available through his website.

For over 60 years, as he worked to develop and put his understanding into practice, John has communicated a consistent message. Now, that his work is better known, both in the UK and around the world, the BBC have made a further documentary, “Return to Bicker Fen”. He has also recently appeared on BBC Local Radio and in the local press.

Phil Shankland


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