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SPIRITUAL UNFOLDMENT

FARMING TO FREEDOM - BOOKS BY JOHN BUTLER

 

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"Oh, Russia
- of mystic forbearance” "How could we cope when social certainties break down - God is abolished, individuality despised, inhumanity, distrust and fear take power? Would resurrection rise from degradation, or humility bring comfort to the soul?” What have you given me? I pause to think, Oh Russia, and my eyes are filled with tears. That’s what you’ve given me, my dear – the gift of tears. I knew them before in pain, self-pity, disapproved, but you teach how they wash the soul. Based on original letters, this most moving account describes Russia’s age old swing from sin to sanctity, from height to depth. All nations suffer but few have borne it in such scale and intensity as her. Is this, as many say, her destiny – to bear the human cross? By climate and history, a land of extremes, Russia is hugely illustrative of both human and natural conditions. In this last century alone, from revolution to reaction, from noblest ideals to their ultimate corruption, she’s known the best and worst. This book does no more than lay bare the situation, but, if “Trouble shared is trouble halved”, it may help readers who struggle with their own lives, to understand and bear the burden of their time. Born in England from a Russian mother, John’s 5 years in her homeland were an extraordinary revelation of (his) roots, grown through the traumas of history to faith which endures … and endures. Drawn to study, understand and love the qualities that formed her character and his, as a country boy and farmer, he also drew to Russia’s unspoilt nature. No one can hide the facts of her traumatic past, and no nation asks more often, “Why did it happen?” and “What can we do?” Russian Orthodoxy is distinctly different to Western churches. After 70 years of state persecution, its amazing resurgence bears witness to how Russians esteem the answer it provides. Coming straight to the point, “It was”, said the Patriarch, “To cure us of a monstrous pride”. 600 pages, in 2 volumes “Oh, Russia – Oh, John, Whilst many are driven to search and suffer, very few will have recorded their long-searching years, over a lifetime, in such prolific detail and, in turn, shared it with others to help them in their own personal quest. You have the most wonderful gift of speaking simply and directly to another’s soul, with the power of waking them up from the spell of deep, illusory sleep – reawakening from routine life their forgotten desire to grow ever closer to God. What courage it takes to expose and lay bare to the world your joys, loves, anguish and despair - but if it raises the consciousness of just one reader, it’s of inestimable value to mankind. As I am already one to be affected in this way, I have no doubt there will be very many more. What legacy could be more worthwhile? By listening to that voice, which spoke to you all those decades ago in Peru – “To make whole, be whole” – by being yourself that change you’ve always wanted to see, you are indeed changing the world of others. As if born with her sorrow in your being, it seemed inevitable that from the depths of heart and soul, your life-long compulsion to search for understanding would, at some point, take you to Mother Russia. The force of your inner drive has wrung you out through fear, misery, loneliness, depression, and tormented you to the point of threatening your sanity. Like Russia’s people with the evil they’ve endured, you’ve plumbed the depths of despair before you could unburden and express all that lies within your soul, and understand the power of her bloodline in your veins. This breakthrough understanding brought about by the spirit of God within you, has finally enabled you to write of the ghastly, unspeakable horrors endured by generations of Russian people, including your own family, and allowed you to find peace despite it all - wonderfully expressed by you as “The fullness of emptiness”. Mystic, martyr and mortal ego, all enmeshed, all striving to make sense of life’s purpose – what a harrowing and remarkable journey you’ve undertaken to record, I am a much bigger person for having shared your experiences through this amazing book – thank you so much, dear John.” CA