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 looked for and 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? By 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.


Author Details
Life long spiritual practice shows its worth in old age, when all else falls away but Spirit grows ever stronger. Realised as oneself, it fulfils every need. My story is only one more witness to the same eternal destiny of all who seek and find. Through many trials, errors and layers of limitation, it describes how I gradually come to realise more fully what I am , and how to be of use. Sufficient to say, this greatest of adventures thrills me now as it did when I first started. Ahead it can only get better.

Visit John Butler‘s website: and his YouTube Channel, Spiritual Unfoldment with John Butler.

You can read more about John Butler on his author page.


“He has a beautiful, vulnerable style of writing about his life’s experience, which I find most absorbing – almost captivating. But the whole purpose behind the book is to share the insights he has received over the many years he has been struggling to learn at least something about true prayer.”
From the Foreword of the Very Reverend Daniel Joseph of the Russian Orthodox Church

“This book is naive in the best sense of the word. Essentially it is the reflections of an elderly man on a very full life lived in quest of God; the life itself interspersed with insights which take the reader deeper into the doubts and illuminations which he experiences along the way. It is told with a beautiful simplicity, yet almost every page will bear re-reading.”
The Watkins Review

“At first I tried to dip in but, soon realising that would not do it justice, decided to read from beginning to end. It’s a rich mix so, each day, before I meditated, a page or two sufficed. It took me a year. To mark notable passages, I turned over a corner of the page, but found so many the book doubled in thickness by the time I’d finished. It’s not an autobiography, though passages are included as they relate to John’s spiritual journey – in particular, the many uniquely first-hand descriptions he provides of ever deepening meditation / prayer, diminishing ego and union with the One. He looks like an Orthodox saint, and I suspect he is one, though he would be embarrassed by the suggestion.”
Christian Meditation UK News

“This is an extraordinary book by an extraordinary man, who happens to be a member of my parish in Nottingham. I have been reading it slowly since the moment when it became available, marvelling at the life experience, wisdom, and spiritual teaching that John offers us here. I highly recommend this book for its fascinating, unusual, and deeply spiritual teaching. Composed from notes, poems, and vivid insights that have been collected over the years by a remarkable man, this is a book which, with huge generosity and honesty, offers these insights to all of its readers.”
Mary Cunningham, lecturer in patristic theology at Nottingham University, Published in The Messenger – journal of the Orthodox Church of Russian Origin, in England

“Wonders of Spiritual Unfoldment is indeed a book to read again and again. Over time it yields fresh insight and endlessly deepening layers of meaning as the reader’s own spiritual unfoldment reveals treasures that were hitherto concealed.”
GlenW, reader, – To read the full review, which serves as an excellent summary of the book, please click here.