Eckhart Tolle

The Egoic Mind (excerpt) THE NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle (Oprah #61 - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)

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THE EGOIC MIND

Most people are so completely identified with the voice in the head—the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that accompany it—that we may describe them as being possessed by their mind. As long as you are completely unaware of this, you take the thinker to be who you are. This is the egoic mind. We call it egoic because there is a sense of self, of I (ego), in every thought, every memory, every interpretation, opinion, viewpoint, reaction, emotion. This is unconsciousness, spiritually speaking.

Your thinking, the content of your mind, is of course conditioned by the past: your upbringing, culture, family background, and so on. The central core of all your mind activity consists of certain repetitive and persistent thoughts, emotions, and reactive patterns that you identify with most strongly. This entity is the ego itself.
In most cases, when you say "I," it is the ego speaking, not you. It consists of thought and emotion, of a bundle of memories you identify with as "me and my story," of habitual roles you play without knowing it, of collective identifications such as…

nationality,
religion,
race,
social class, or
political allegiance.

It also contains personal identification, not only with possessions, but also with…

opinions,
external appearance,
long-standing resentments, or
concepts of yourself as better than or not as
good as others, as a success or failure.

The content of the ego varies from person to person, but in every ego the same structure operates. In other words: Egos only differ on the surface. Deep down they are all the same.

In what way are they the same?

They live on identification and separation. When you live through the mind-made self comprised of thought and emotion that is the ego, the basis for your identity is precarious because thought and emotion are by their very nature ephemeral, fleeting. So every ego is continuously struggling for survival, trying to protect and enlarge itself. To uphold the I-thought, it needs the opposite thought of "the other." The conceptual "I" cannot survive without the conceptual "other." The others are most other when I see them as “enemies."

Complaining
At one end of the scale of this unconscious egoic pattern lies the egoic compulsive habit of faultfinding and complaining about others. Jesus referred to it when he said, "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" At the other end of the scale, there is physical violence between individuals and warfare between nations. In the Bible, Jesus' question remains unanswered, but the answer is, of course: Because when I criticize or condemn another, it makes me feel bigger, superior.

Complaining is one of the ego's favorite strategies for strengthening itself. Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in. Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference. Some egos that perhaps don't have much else to identify with easily survive on complaining alone. When you are in the grip of such an ego, complaining, especially about other people, is habitual and, of course, unconscious, which means you don't know what you are doing.

Applying negative mental labels to people, either to their face or more commonly when you speak about them to others or even just think about them, is often part of this pattern. Name-calling is the crudest form of such labeling and of the ego's need to be right and triumph over others: "jerk, bastard, bitch”—all definitive pronouncements that you can't argue with. On the next level down on the scale of unconsciousness, you have shouting and screaming, and not much below that, physical violence.

Resentment
Resentment is the emotion that goes with complaining and the mental labeling of people and adds even more energy to the ego. Resentment means to feel bitter, indignant, aggrieved, or offended. You resent other people's greed, their dishonesty, their lack of integrity, what they are doing, what they did in the past, what they said, what they failed to do, what they should or shouldn't have done.

The ego loves it. Instead of overlooking unconsciousness in others, you make it into their identify. Who is doing that? The unconsciousness in you, the ego. Sometimes the "fault" that you perceive in another isn't even there. It is a total misinterpretation, a projection by a mind conditioned to see enemies and to make itself right or superior. At other times, the fault may be there, but by focusing on it, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, you amplify it. And what you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself.

Nonreaction
Nonreaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego. But you can only be in a state of nonreaction if you can recognize someone's behavior as coming from the ego, as being an expression of the collective human dysfunction. When you realize it's not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were. By not reacting to the ego, you will often be able to bring out the sanity in others, which is the unconditioned consciousness as opposed to the conditioned.

At times you may have to take practical steps to protect yourself from deeply unconscious people. This you can do without making them enemies. Your greatest protection, however, is being conscious. Somebody becomes an enemy if you personalize the unconsciousness that is the ego.

Nonreaction is not weakness but strength. Another word for nonreaction is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through. You look through the ego to the sanity that is in every human being as his or her essence. The ego loves to complain and feel resentful not only about other people but also about situations. What you can do to a person, you can also do to a situation: make it into an enemy. The implication is always…

This should not be happening; I don't want to be here; I don't want to be doing this; I'm being treated unfairly. And the ego's greatest enemy of all is, of course, the present moment, which is to say, life itself.

Complaining is not to be confused with informing someone of a mistake or deficiency so that it can be put right. And to refrain from complaining doesn't necessarily mean putting up with bad quality or behavior. There is no ego in telling the waiter that your soup is cold and needs to be heated up—if you stick to the facts, which are always neutral. "How dare you serve me cold soup..." That's complaining. There is a "me" here that loves to feel personally offended by the cold soup and is going to make the most of it, a "me" that enjoys making someone wrong. The complaining we are talking about is in the service of the ego, not of change.

Ego Identifies with the Body
Apart from objects, another basic form of identification is with "my" body. Firstly, the body is male or female, and so the sense of being a man or woman takes up a significant part of most people's sense of self. Gender becomes identity. Identification with gender is encouraged at an early age, and it forces you into a role, into conditioned patterns of behavior that affect all aspects of your life, not just sexuality. It is a role many people become completely trapped in, even more so in some of the traditional societies than in Western culture where identification with gender is beginning to lessen somewhat. In some traditional cultures, the worst fate a woman can have is to be unwed or barren, and for a man to lack sexual potency and not be able to produce children. Life's fulfillment is perceived to be fulfillment of one's gender identity.

In the West, it is the physical appearance of the body that contributes greatly to the sense of who you think you are: its strength or weakness, its perceived beauty or ugliness relative to others. For many people, their sense of self-worth is intimately bound up with their physical strength, good looks, fitness, and external appearance. Many feel a diminished sense of self-worth because they perceive their body as ugly or imperfect. In some cases, the mental image or concept of "my body" is a complete distortion of reality. A young woman may think of herself as overweight and therefore starve herself when in fact she is quite thin. She cannot see her body anymore. All she "sees" is the mental concept of her body, which says "I am fat" or "I will become fat.”

At the root of this condition lies identification with the mind. As people have become more and more mind-identified, which is the intensification of egoic dysfunction, there has also been a dramatic increase in the incidence of anorexia in recent decades. If the sufferer could look at her body without the interfering judgments of her mind or even recognize these judgments for what they are instead of believing in them, this would initiate her healing.

Those who are identified with their good looks, physical strength, or abilities experience suffering when those attributes begin to fade and disappear, as of course they will. Their very identity that was based on them is then threatened with collapse. In either case, ugly or beautiful, people derive a significant part of their identity, be it negative or positive, from their body. To be more precise, they derive their identity from the I-thought that they erroneously attach to the mental image or concept of their body, which after all is no more than a physical form that shares the destiny of all forms— impermanence and ultimately decay. Equating the physical sense-perceived body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die with "I" always leads to suffering sooner or later.

To refrain from identifying with the body doesn't mean that you neglect, despise, or no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can enjoy and appreciate those attributes while they last. You can also improve the body's condition through right nutrition and exercise. If you don't equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the formless dimension, the light of consciousness, can shine more easily through the fading form.

It is not just people with good or near-perfect bodies who are likely to equate it with who they are. You can just as easily identify with a "problematic" body and make the body's imperfection, illness, or disability into your identity. You may then think and speak of yourself as a "sufferer" of this or that chronic illness or disability. You receive a great deal of attention from doctors and others who constantly confirm to you your conceptual identity as a sufferer or a patient. You then unconsciously cling to the illness because it has become the most important part of who you perceive yourself to be. It has become another thought form with which the ego can identify.

Once the ego has found an identity, it does not want to let go. Amazingly but not infrequently, the ego in search of a stronger identity can and does create illnesses in order to strengthen itself through them.

The Collective Ego
How hard it is to live with yourself! One of the ways in which the ego attempts to escape the unsatisfactoriness of personal selfhood is to enlarge and strengthen its sense of self by identifying with a group—
a nation, political party, corporation, institution, sect, religion, club, gang, football team.

In some cases the personal ego seems to dissolve completely as someone dedicates his or her life to working selflessly for the greater good of the collective without demanding personal rewards, recognition, or aggrandizement.

What a relief to be freed of the dreadful burden of a personal self. The members of the collective feel happy and fulfilled, no matter how hard they work, how many sacrifices they make. They appear to have gone beyond ego. The question is: Have they truly become free, or has the ego simply shifted from the personal to the collective?

A collective ego manifests the same characteristics as the personal ego, such as…

the need for conflict and enemies, the need for more, the need to be right against others who are wrong, and so on.

Sooner or later, the collective will come into conflict with other collectives, because it unconsciously seeks conflict and it needs opposition to define its boundary and thus its identity. Its members will then experience the suffering that inevitably comes in the wake of any ego-motivated action. At that point, they may wake up and realize that their collective has a strong element of insanity. It can be painful at first to suddenly wake up and realize that the collective you had identified with and worked for is actually insane. Some people at that point become cynical or bitter and henceforth deny all values, all worth. This means that they quickly adopted another belief system when the previous one was recognized as illusory and therefore collapsed. They didn't face the death of their ego but ran away and reincarnated into a new one.

A collective ego is usually more unconscious than the individuals that make up that ego. For example, crowds (which are temporary collective egoic entities) are capable of committing atrocities that the individual away from the crowd would not be. Nations not infrequently engage in behavior that would be immediately recognizable as psychopathic in an individual.

Grievances
There are many people who are always waiting for the next thing to react against, to feel annoyed or disturbed about, and it never takes long before they find it. "This is an outrage," they say. "How dare you ..." "I resent this." They are addicted to upset and anger as others are to a drug. Through reacting against this or that they assert and strengthen their feeling of self.

A long-standing resentment is called a grievance.

To carry grievances is to be in a permanent state of "against," and that is why grievances constitute a significant part of many people's ego. Collective grievances can survive for centuries in the psyche of a nation or a tribe and fuel a never-ending cycle of violence.

A grievance is a strong negative emotion connected to an event in the sometimes distant past that is being kept alive by compulsive thinking, by retelling the story in the head or out loud of "what someone did to me" or "what someone did to us.”

A grievance will also contaminate other areas of your life. For example, while you think about and feel your grievance, its negative emotional energy can distort your perception of an event that is happening in the present or influence the way in which you speak or behave toward someone in the present. One strong grievance is enough to contaminate large areas of your life and keep you in the grip of the ego.

It requires honesty to see whether you still harbor grievances, whether there is someone in your life you have not completely forgiven, an "enemy." If you do, become aware of the grievance both on the level of thought as well as emotion, that is to say, be aware of the thoughts that keep it alive, and feel the emotion that is the body's response to those thoughts.Don't try to let go of the grievance. Trying to let go, to forgive, does not work. Forgiveness happens naturally when you see that it has no purpose other than to strengthen a false sense of self, to keep the ego in place. The seeing is freeing.

Jesus' teaching to "Forgive your enemies" is essentially about the undoing of one of the main egoic structures in the human mind.

The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. And what is a grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.

--PURCHASE:
The New Earth Tolle

--COURSE IN MIRACLES WORKBOOK:
The Workbook
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"NATIONAL AND RACIAL PAIN-BODIES" (excerpt) The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

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Painting - “Tattooed With Emotions” by Melinda Konya


NATIONAL AND RACIAL PAIN-BODIES

Certain countries in which many acts of collective violence were suffered or perpetrated have a heavier collective pain-body than others. This is why older nations tend to have stronger pain-bodies. It is also why younger countries, such as Canada or Australia, and those that have remained more sheltered from the surrounding madness, such as Switzerland, tend to have lighter collective pain-bodies. Of course, in those countries, people still have their personal pain-body to deal with. If you are sensitive enough, you can feel a heaviness in the energy field of certain countries as soon as you step off the plane. In other countries, one can sense an energy field of latent violence just underneath the surface of everyday life. In some nations, for example, in the Middle East, the collective pain-body is so acute that a significant part of the population finds itself forced to act it out in an endless and insane cycle of perpetration and retribution through which the pain-body renews itself continuously.

In countries where the pain-body is heavy but no longer acute, there has been a tendency for people to try and desensitize themselves to the collective emotional pain: in Germany and Japan through work, in some other countries through widespread indulgence in alcohol (which, however, can also have the opposite effect of stimulating the pain-body, particularly if consumed in excess). China's heavy pain-body is to some extent mitigated by the widespread practice of t'ai chi, which amazingly was not declared illegal by the Communist government that otherwise feels threatened by anything it cannot control. Every day in the streets and city parks, millions practice this movement meditation that stills the mind. This makes a considerable difference to the collective energy field and goes some way toward diminishing the pain-body by reducing thinking and generating Presence.

Spiritual practices that involve the physical body, such as t'ai chi, qigong, and yoga, are also increasingly being embraced in the "western world. These practices do not create a separation between body and spirit and are helpful in weakening the pain-body. They will play an important role in the global awakening.

The collective racial pain-body is pronounced in Jewish people, who have suffered persecution over many centuries. Not surprisingly, it is strong as well in Native Americans, whose numbers were decimated and whose culture all but destroyed by the European settlers. In Black Americans too the collective pain-body is pronounced. Their ancestors were violently uprooted, beaten into submission, and sold into slavery. The foundation of American economic prosperity rested on the labor of four to five million black slaves. In fact, the suffering inflicted on Native and Black Americans has not remained confined to those two races, but has become part of the collective American pain-body. It is always the case that both victim and perpetrator suffer the consequences of any acts of violence, oppression, or brutality. For what you do to others, you do to yourself.

It doesn't really matter what proportion of your pain-body belongs to your nation or race and what proportion is personal. In either case, you can only go beyond it by taking responsibility for your inner state now. Even if blame seems more than justified, as long as you blame others, you keep feeding the pain-body with your thoughts and remain trapped in your ego. There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness. That realization is I true forgiveness. With forgiveness, your victim identity dis-1 solves, and your true power emerges—the power of Presence. Instead of blaming the darkness, you bring in the light.

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"THE COLLECTIVE FEMALE PAIN-BODY" (excerpt) The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

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Painting - “Tattooed With Emotions” by Melinda Konya


(Our pain-bodies are the energy of our past hurts: the bumps, bruises and scars of life that we never really dealt with fully in the moment. The result is that we carry that pain in an energy field within us)

The collective dimension of the pain-body
* has different strains in it. Tribes, nations and races, all have their own collective pain-body, some heavier than others, and most members of that tribe, nation, or race have a share in it to a greater or lesser degree.

Almost every woman has her share in the collective female pain-body, which tends to become activated particularly just prior to the time of menstruation. At that time many women become overwhelmed by intense negative emotion.

The suppression of the feminine principle especially over the past two thousand years has enabled the ego to gain absolute supremacy in the collective human psyche. Although women have egos, of course, the ego can take root and grow more easily in the male form than in the female. This is because women are less mind-identified than men. They are more in touch with the inner body and the intelligence I of the organism where the intuitive faculties originate. The female form is less rigidly encapsulated than the male, has greater openness and sensitivity toward other life-forms, and is more attuned to the natural world.

If the balance between male and female energies had not I been destroyed on our planet, the ego's growth would have been greatly curtailed. We would not have declared war on nature, and we would not be so completely alienated from our Being.

Nobody knows the exact figure because records were not kept, but it seems certain that during a three-hundred-year period between three and five million women were tortured and killed by the "Holy Inquisition," an institution founded by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy This surely ranks together with the Holocaust as one of the darkest chapters in human history. It was enough forH woman to show a love for animals, walk alone in the fields or woods, or gather medicinal plants to be branded a witchcraft then tortured and burned at the stake. The sacred feminine was declared demonic, and an entire dimension largely din appeared from human experience. Other cultures and religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism, and suppressed the female dimension, although in a less violent] way. Women's status was reduced to being child bearers and I men's property. Males who denied the feminine even I within themselves were now running the world, a world I that was totally out of balance. The rest is history or rather a case history of insanity.

Who was responsible for this fear of the feminine that j could only be described as acute collective paranoia? We could say: Of course, men were responsible. But then why in many ancient pre-Christian civilizations such as the Sumerian, Egyptian, and Celtic were women respected and the feminine principle not feared but revered? What is it that suddenly made men feel threatened by the female? The evolving ego in them. It knew it could gain full control of our planet only through the male form, and to do so, it had to render the female powerless.

In time, the ego also took over most women, although it would never become as deeply entrenched in them as in men. We now have a situation in which the suppression of the feminine has become internalized, even in most women. The sacred feminine, because it is suppressed, is felt by many women as emotional pain. In fact, it has become part of their pain-body, together with the accumulated pain suffered by women over millennia through childbirth, rape, slavery, torture, and violent death.

But things are changing rapidly now. With many people becoming more conscious, the ego is losing its hold on the human mind. Because the ego was never as deeply rooted in woman, it is losing its hold on women more quickly than on men.

Tolle “The New Earth” p. 155-57
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"The End of Your Life Drama" (excerpt: p.150-51) — THE POWER OF NOW

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…Ego is the unobserved mind that runs your life when you are not present as the witnessing consciousness, the watcher. The ego perceives itself as a separate fragment in a hostile universe, with no real inner connection to any other being, surrounded by other egos which it either sees as a potential threat or which it will attempt to use for its own ends. The basic ego patterns are designed to combat its own deep-seated fear and sense of lack. They are resistance, control, power, greed, defense, attack. Some of the ego’s strategies are extremely clever, yet they never truly solve any of its problems, simply because the ego itself is the problem.

When egos come together, whether in personal relationships or in organizations or institutions, “bad" things happen sooner or later drama of one kind or another, in the form of conflict, problems, power struggles, emotional or physical violence, and so on. This includes collective evils such as war, genocide, and exploitation — all due to massed unconsciousness. Furthermore, many types of illness are caused by the ego’s continuous resistance, which creates restrictions and blockages in the flow of energy through the body. When you reconnect with Being and are no longer run by your mind, you cease to create those things. You do not create or participate in drama anymore.

Whenever two or more egos come together, drama of one kind or another ensues. But even if you live totally alone, you still create your own drama. When you feel sorry for yourself, that’s drama. When you feel guilty or anxious, that’s drama. When you let the past or future obscure the present, you are creating time, psychological time — the stuff out of which drama is made. Whenever you are not honoring the present moment by allowing it to be, you are creating drama.

Most people are in love with their particular life drama. Their story is their identity. The ego runs their life. They have their whole sense of self invested in it. Even their — usually unsuccessful — search for an answer, a solution, or for healing becomes part of it. What they fear and resist most is the end of their drama. As long as they ore their mind, what they fear and resist most is their own awakening.

When you live in complete acceptance of what is, that is the end of all drama in your life. Nobody can even have an argument with you, no matter how hard he or she tries. You cannot have an argument with a fully conscious person. An argument implies identification with your mind and a mental position, as well as resistance and reaction to the other person’s position. The result is that the polar opposites become mutually energized. These are the mechanics of unconsciousness. You can still make your point clearly and firmly, but there will be no reactive force behind it, no defense or attack. So it won't turn into drama. When you are fully conscious, you cease to be in conflict. “No one who is at one with himself can even conceive of conflict,” states A Course in Miracles. This refers not only to conflict with other people but more fundamentally to conflict within you, which ceases when there is no longer any clash between the demands and expectations of your mind and what is.

THE END OF YOUR LIFE DRAMA (excerpt: p.150-51) — THE POWER OF NOW

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"The Collective Ego" (excerpt) THE NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle

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How hard is it to live with yourself? One of the ways in which the ego attempts to escape the unsatisfactoriness of personal selfhood is to enlarge and strengthen its sense of self by identifying with a group – a nation, political party, corporation, institution, sect, club, gang, football team.

 In some cases the personal ego seems to dissolve completely as someone dedicates his or her life to the working selflessly for the greater good of the collective without demanding personal rewards, recognition, or aggrandizement. What a sense of relief to be freed of the dreadful burden of personal self. The members of the collective feel happy and fulfilled, no matter how hard they work, how many sacrifices they make. They appear to have gone beyond ego. The question is: Have they truly become free, or has the ego simply shifted from the personal to the collective?

 A collective ego manifests the same characteristics as the personal ego, such as the need for conflict and enemies, the need for more, the need to be right against others who are wrong, and so on. Sooner or later, the collective will come into conflict with other collectives, because it unconsciously seeks conflict and it needs opposition to define its boundary and thus its identity. Its members will then experience the suffering that inevitably comes in the wake of any ego-motivated action. At that point, they may wake up and realize that their collective has a strong element of insanity.

 It can be painful at first to suddenly wake up and realize that the collective you had identified with and worked for is actually insane. Some people at that point become cynical or bitter and henceforth deny all values, all worth. This means that they quickly adopted another belief system when the previous one was recognized as illusory and therefore collapsed. They didn’t face the death of their ego but ran away and reincarnated into a new one.

 A collective ego is usually more unconscious than the individuals that make up that ego. For example, crowds (which are temporary collective egoic entities) are capable of committing atrocities that the individual away from the crowd would not be. Nations not infrequently engage in behavior that would be immediately recognizable as psychopathic in an individual.

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A NEW EARTH — Tolle
From — A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. This is from page 125 and 126
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"Identification With Things" (excerpt) The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

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The people in the advertising industry know very well that in order to sell things that people don't really need, they must convince them that those things will add something to how they see themselves or are seen by others; in other words, add something to their sense of self. They do this, for example, by telling you that you will stand out from the crowd by using this product and so by implication be more fully yourself. Or they may create an association in your mind between the product and a famous person, or a youthful, attractive, or happy-looking person. Even pictures of old or deceased celebrities in their prime work well for that purpose. The unspoken assumption is that by buying this product, through some magical act of appropriation, you become like them, or rather the surface image of them. And so in many cases you are not buying a product but an "identity enhancer." Designer labels are primarily collective identities that you buy into. They are expensive and therefore "exclusive." If everybody could buy them, they would lose their psychological value and all you would be left with would be their material value, which likely amounts to a fraction of what you paid.

What kind of things you identify with will vary from person to person according to age, gender, income, social class, fashion, the surrounding culture, and so on. What you identify with is all to do with content; whereas, the unconscious compulsion to identify is structural. It is one of the most basic ways in which the egoic mind operates.

Paradoxically, what keeps the so-called consumer society going is the fact that trying to find yourself through things doesn't work: The ego satisfaction is short-lived and so you keep looking for more, keep buying, keep consuming.
Of course, in this physical dimension that our surface selves inhabit, things are a necessary and inescapable part of our lives. We need housing, clothes, furniture, tools, transportation. There may also be things in our lives that we value because of their beauty or inherent quality. We need to honor the world of things, not despise it. Each thing has Beingness, is a temporary form that has its origin within the formless one Life, the source of all things, all bodies, all forms. In most ancient cultures, people believed that everything, even so-called inanimate objects, had an indwelling! spirit, and in this respect they were closer to the truth than \ we are today. When you live in a world deadened by mental abstraction, you don't sense the aliveness of the universe | anymore. Most people don't inhabit a living reality, but a conceptualized one.

But we cannot really honor things if we use them as a means to self-enhancement, that is to say, if we try to find ourselves through them. This is exactly what the ego does. Ego-identification with things creates attachment to things, obsession with things, which in turn creates our consumer society and economic structures where the only measure of progress is always more. The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifests, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part. Some economists are so attached to the notion of growth that they can't let go of that word, so they refer to recession as a time of "negative growth."

A large part of many people's lives is consumed by an obsessive preoccupation with things. This is why one of the ills of our times is object proliferation. When you can no longer feel the life that you are, you are likely to try to fill up your life with things. As a spiritual practice, I suggest that you investigate your relationship with the world of things through self-observation, and in particular, things that are designated with the word "my." You need to be alert and honest to find out, for example, whether your sense of self-worth is bound up with things you possess. Do certain things induce a subtle feeling of importance or superiority? Does the lack of them make you feel inferior to others who have more than you? Do you casually mention things you own or show them off to increase your sense of worth in someone else's eyes and through them in your own? Do you feel resentful or angry and somehow diminished in your sense of self when someone else has more than you or when you lose a prized possession?

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A NEW EARTH — Tolle

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"Tolle on Religion" - REVISITED (excerpt) A New Earth


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On a recent HBO program a heated debate erupted around the topic of Islam, interpretations of the Quran and Muslim extremist behavior. Side A stated that there is vast Muslim support worldwide for the implementation of shari’ah law — based on a more “literal interpretation of the Quran”

(Unlike secular legal systems that grow out of society and change with the changing circumstances of society, Sharīah law was imposed upon society from above. In Islamic jurisprudence it is not society that molds and fashions the law but the law that precedes and controls society Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Even Indonesia, considered the most modern of Islamic states, overwhelmingly supports (by 70%) the establishment of shari’ah law. The argument was furthered by the statement that a “more literal interpretation of the Quran” disconnects and alienates Muslims from the modern world. As a consequence an increasing number of Muslims find little connection to modernity.

Side B countered with a simple point: there is always great danger in the over simplification of any complex institution like Islam, and sadly, creating stereotypical images/ideas can someday be passed on to a much greater audience. In essence, to some, Islam becomes a single monolithic entity—particularly to the West.

All said, my interest in this conversation requires a third perspective—namely, any form of fundamentalist ideology (religious, political, economic, etc)) is based on one simple premise: “WE are unquestionably right and THEY are clearly wrong.” This distorted perspective is inevitably a fear producer, intensifies irrational behavior, and tragically leads to violence. Literal interpretation of scripture, no matter the faith (Islam, Judaism or Christianity), demonstrates is a complete lack of faith. It is simply wishful thinking. A way of justifying ones own insecurities and ego (at the expense of others). Monkey see monkey do.

I am making this Eckhart Tolle excerpt from
THE NEW EARTH once again available to my readers. Why? Consider Tolle’s insights on the “new consciousness.” Possibly a better perspective?

—Bei Kuan-tu



The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness. In the distant past, this recognition already came to a few individuals. A man called Gautama Siddhartha, who lived 2,600 years ago in India, was perhaps the first who saw it with absolute clarity. Later, the title Buddha was conferred upon him. Buddha means "the awakened one." At about the same time, another of humanity's early awakened teachers emerged in China. His name was Lao Tzu. He left a record of his teaching in the form of one of the most profound spiritual books ever written, the Tao Te Ching.

To recognize one's own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence, a new dimension of consciousness had begun to emerge or the planet, a first tentative flowering. Those rare individual then spoke to their contemporaries. They spoke of sin, of suffering, of delusion. They said, "Look how you live. See what you are doing, the suffering you create." They they pointed to the possibility of awakening from the collective nightmare of "normal" human existence. They showed the way.

The world was not yet ready for them, and yet they were a vital and necessary part of human awakening. Inevitably they were mostly misunderstood by their contemporaries as well as by subsequent generations. Their teachings, although both simple and powerful, became distorted and misinterpreted, in some cases even as they were recorded in writing by their disciples. Over the centuries, many things were added that had nothing to do with the original teachings, but were reflections of a fundamental misunderstanding. Some of the teachers were ridiculed, reviled, or killed; others came to be worshiped as gods. Teachings that pointed the way beyond the dysfunction of the human mind, the way out of the collective insanity, were distorted and became themselves part of the insanity.

And so religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. Instead of bringing about an ending; of violence and hatred through a realization of the fundamental oneness of all life, they brought more violence and hatred, more divisions between people as well as between different religions and even within the same religion. They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them, they could make themselves "right" and others "wrong" and thus define their identity through their enemies, the "others," the "nonbelievers" or "wrong believers" who not infrequently they saw themselves justified in killing. Man made "God" in his own image. The eternal, the infinite, and unnameable was reduced to a mental idol that you had to believe in and worship as "my god" or "our god."

And yet . . . and yet ... in spite of all the insane deeds perpetrated in the name of religion, the Truth to which they point still shines at their core. It still shines, however dimly, through layers upon layers of distortion and misinterpretation. It is unlikely, however, that you will be able to perceive it there unless you have at least already had glimpses of that Truth within yourself. Throughout history, there have always been rare individuals who experienced a shift in consciousness and so realized within themselves that toward which all religions point. To describe that non-conceptual Truth, they then used the conceptual framework of their own religions.

Through some of those men and women, "schools" or movements developed within all major religions that represented not only a rediscovery, but in some cases an intensification of the light of the original teaching. This is how Gnosticism and mysticism came into existence in early and medieval Christianity, Sufism in the Islamic religion, Hasidism and Kabbala in Judaism, Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism, Zen and Dzogchen in Buddhism. Most of these schools were iconoclastic. They did away with layers upon layers of deadening conceptualization and mental belief structures, and for this reason most of them were viewed with suspicion and often hostility by the established religious hierarchies. Unlike mainstream religion, their teachings emphasized realization and inner transformation. It is through those esoteric schools or movements that the major religions regained the transformative power of the original teachings, although in most cases, only a small minority of people had access to them. Their numbers were never large enough to have any significant impact on the deep collective unconsciousness of the majority. Over time, some of those schools themselves became too rigidly formalized or conceptualized to remain effective.

SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION
What is the role of the established religions in the arising of the new consciousness? Many people are already aware of the difference between spirituality and religion. They realize that having a belief system—a set of thoughts that you regard as the absolute truth—does not make you spiritual no matter what the nature of those beliefs is. In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself. Many "religious" people are stuck at that level. They equate truth with thought, and as they are completely identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of the truth in an unconscious attempt to protect their identity. They don't realize the limitations of thought. Unless you believe (think) exactly as they do, you are wrong in their eyes, and in the not-too-distant past, they would have felt justified in killing you for; that. And some still do, even now.

The new spirituality, the transformation of consciousness, is arising to a large extent outside of the structures of the existing institutionalized religions. There were always pockets of spirituality even in mind-dominated religions, although the institutionalized hierarchies felt threatened by them and often tried to suppress them. A large-scale opening of spirituality outside of the religious structures is an entirely new development. In the past, this would have been inconceivable, especially in the West, the most mind-dominated of all cultures, where the Christian church had a virtual franchise on spirituality. You couldn't just stand up and give a spiritual talk or publish a spiritual book unless you were sanctioned by the church, and if you were not, they would quickly silence you. But now, even within certain churches and religions, there are signs of change. It is heartwarming, and one is grateful for even the slightest signs of openness, such as Pope John Paul II visiting a mosque as well as a synagogue.

Partly as a result of the spiritual teachings that have arisen outside the established religions, but also due to an influx of the ancient Eastern wisdom teachings, a growing number of followers of traditional religions are able to let go of identification with form, dogma, and rigid belief systems and discover the original depth that is hidden within their own spiritual tradition at the same time as they discover the depth within themselves. They realize that how "spiritual" you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness. This, in turn, determines how you act in the world and interact with others.

Those unable to look beyond form become even more deeply entrenched in their beliefs, that is to say, in their mind. We are witnessing not only an unprecedented influx of consciousness at this time but also an entrenchment and intensification of the ego. Some religious institutions will be open to the new consciousness; others will harden their doctrinal positions and become part of all those other man-made structures through which the collective ego will defend itself and "fight back." Some churches, sects, cults, or religious movements are basically collective egoic entities, as rigidly identified with their mental positions as the followers of any political ideology that is closed to any alternative interpretation of reality.

But the ego is destined to dissolve, and all its ossified structures, whether they be religious or other institutions, corporations, or governments, will disintegrate from within, no matter how deeply entrenched they appear to be. The most rigid structures, the most impervious to change, will collapse first. This has already happened in the case of Soviet Communism. How deeply entrenched, how solid and monolithic it appeared, and yet within a few years, it disintegrated from within. No one foresaw this. All were taken by surprise. There are many more such surprises in store for us.

BUY the BOOK:

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A NEW EARTH — Tolle
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"The Art of Listening" from 'Power of Now' (and Commentary)


listening-under-summer-skies- by jacqueline-lovesey
---Listening Under Summer Skies by Jacqueline Lovesey

When listening to another person, don't just listen with your mind, listen with your whole body.  Feel the energy field of your inner body as you listen.  That takes attention away from thinking and creates a still space that enables you to truly listen without the mind interfering. You are giving the other person space — space to be.  It is the most precious gift you can give. Most people don't know how to listen because the major part of their attention is taken up by thinking.  They pay more attention to that than to what the other person is saying, and none at all to what really matters: the Being of the other person underneath the words and the mind.  Of course, you cannot feel someone else's Being except through your own.  This is the beginning of the realization of oneness, which is love.  At the deepest level of Being, you are one with all that is. Most human relationships consist mainly of minds interacting with each other, not of human beings communicating, being in communion.  No relationship can thrive in that way, and that is why there is so much conflict in relationships.  When the mind is running your life, conflict, strife and problems are inevitable. Being in touch with your inner body creates a clear space of no-mind within which the relationship can flower.  

Eckhart Tolle

Commentary:
Personal vanity and the hypnotic state set by the illusory self may be our biggest enemies to genuinely hear and connect with others.  It’s as if there’s a constant “low frequency hum,” like dampened power lines on a cold wet Spring morning, buzzing and distracting us even when we are seemingly lucid, in control of our actions and wits . With such a deafening distraction it is near impossible to listen to anyone, let alone the "still small voice within.” In this chaotic state [‘monkey mind’], self-obsessing thoughts paralyze any form of real interaction with others. And to finalize our self induced madness, we calculably pass judgement on others — sometimes even the dearest of friends!  Our minds, now crystalized like industrial  strength adhesive, simply will not budge from this lifeless quandary!  It's as if we're operating in a sensory disabled static — that disconnects us from the universe, our connectivity with others, and our own inner-stillness.  

So if we fail to know how to listen, or consciously choose not to, then what in fact are we doing?  As Tolle points out, "most people don't know how to listen because the major part of their existence is taken up by thinking."  So… a preoccupation with our mental selves?  A inner-blindness to others that separates us from their and our Being? The obvious answer to both questions is “yes.”   The real tragedy emanating from this disconnection is our utter failure to engage, to care, to show compassion, and to love. Herein lies the crux of not just our individual mania, but also the dysfunction that grips our world. It is time to put aside prideful fear, self-righteous attitudes and all mental controls and simply listen; to humble ourselves and warmly allow others hearts to speak and touch our own. In such a energized place life is lived.

—Bei Kuan-tu

If your mind habitually wanders and you’d like to consider or explore new dimensions of thought or non-thought, here’s a YouTube video that may be helpful:

“Mindfulness" by Jon Kabat-Zinn
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AS WITHOUT, SO WITHIN (excerpt) A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle

Peter Churcher, Aus, Winter, Barcelona, 115 x 130 cm
---Painting by Peter Churcher


When you look up at the clear sky at night, you may easily realize a truth at once utterly simple and extraordinarily profound. What is it that you see? The moon, planets, stars, the luminous band of the Milky Way, perhaps a comet or even the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy two million light years away. Yes, but if you simplify even more, what do you see? Objects floating in space. So what does the universe consist of? Objects and space.

If you don't become speechless when looking out into space on a clear night, you are not really looking, not aware of the totality of what is there. You are probably only looking at the objects and perhaps seeking to name them. If you have ever experienced a sense of awe when looking into space, perhaps even felt a deep reverence in the face of this: incomprehensible mystery, it means you must have relinquished for a moment your desire to explain and label and" have become aware not only of the objects in space but of the infinite depth of space itself. You must have become still enough inside to notice the vastness in which these countless worlds exist. The feeling of awe is not derived from the fact that there are billions of worlds out there, but the depth that contains them all.

You cannot see space, of course, nor can you hear, touch, taste, or smell it, so how do you even know it exists? This logical-sounding question already contains a fundamental error. The essence of space is no-thingness, so it doesn't "exist" in the normal sense of the word. Only I things—forms—exist. Even calling it space can be mislead-ing because by naming it, you make it into an object. Let us put it like this: There is something within you that
has an affinity with space; that is why you can be aware of it. Aware of it? That's not totally true either because how
can you be aware of space if there is nothing there to be aware of?

The answer is both simple and profound. When you are aware of space, you are not really aware of anything, except awareness itself—the inner space of consciousness. Through you, the universe is becoming aware of itself!

When the eye finds nothing to see, that no-thingness is perceived as space. When the ear finds nothing to hear, that no-thingness is perceived as stillness. When the senses, which are designed to perceive form, meet an absence of form, the formless consciousness that lies behind perception and makes all perception, all experience, possible, is no longer obscured by form. When you contemplate the unfathomable depth of space or listen to the silence in the early hours just before sunrise, something within you resonates with it as if in recognition. You then sense the vast depth of space as your own depth, and you know that precious stillness that has no form to be more deeply who you are than any of the things that make up the content of your life.

The Upanishads, the ancient scriptures of India, point to the same truth with these words:

What cannot be seen with the eye, but that whereby the eye can see: know that alone to be Brahman the Spirit and not what people here adore. What cannot be heard with the ear but that whereby the ear can hear: know that alone to be Brahman the Spirit and not what people here adore... What cannot be thought with the mind, but that whereby the mind can think: know that alone to be Brahman the Spirit and not what people here adore.7

God, the scripture is saying, is formless consciousness and the essence of who you are. Everything else is form, is "what people here adore."

The twofold reality of the universe, which consists of things and space—thingness and no-thingness—is also your own. A sane, balanced, and fruitful human life is a dance between the two dimensions that make up reality: form and space. Most people are so identified with the dimension of form, with sense perceptions, thoughts, and emotion, that the vital hidden half is missing from their lives. Their identification with form keeps them trapped in ego.

What you see, hear, feel, touch, or think about is only one half of reality, so to speak. It is form. In the teaching of Jesus, it is simply called "the world," and the other dimension is "the kingdom of heaven or eternal life."

Just as space enables all things to exist and just as without silence there could be no sound, you would not exist without the vital formless dimension that is the essence of who you are. We could say "God" if the word had not been so misused. I prefer to call it Being. Being is prior to existence. Existence is form, content, "what happens." Existence is the foreground of life; Being is the background, as it were.

The collective disease of humanity is that people are so engrossed in what happens, so hypnotized by the world of fluctuating forms, so absorbed in the content of their lives, they have forgotten the essence, that which is beyond content, beyond form, beyond thought. They are so consumed by time that they have forgotten eternity, which is their origin, their home, their destiny. Eternity is the living I reality of who you are.

Some years ago when visiting China, I came upon a stupa on a mountaintop near Guilin. It had writing embossed in gold on it, and I asked my Chinese host what it meant. "It means 'Buddha,' " he said. "Why are there two characters rather than one?" I asked. "One," he explained, means 'man.' The other means 'no.' And the two together means 'Buddha.' " I stood there in awe. The character for Buddha already contained the whole teaching of the Buddha, and for those who have eyes to see, the secret of life. Here are the two dimensions that make up reality, thingness and no-thingness, form and the denial of form, which is the recognition that form is not who you are.


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BUY: A NEW EARTH — Tolle

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"OUR INHERITED DYSFUNCTION" — Eckhart Tolle's — A NEW EARTH (excerpt p.8-13)

1550 italian glory (preparatory for paradiso)-
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---'Italian glory' (preparatory work for Paradiso) by Guy Denning

If we look more deeply into humanity's ancient religions and spiritual traditions, we will find that underneath the many surface differences there are two core insights that most of them agree on. The words they use to describe those insights differ, yet they all point to a twofold fundamental truth. The first part of this truth is the realization that the "normal" state of mind of most human beings contains a strong element of what we might call dysfunction or even madness. Certain teachings at the heart of Hinduism perhaps come closest to seeing this dysfunction as a form of collective mental illness. They call it maya, the veil of delusion. Ramana Maharshi, one of the greatest Indian sages, blundy states: "The mind is maya."

Buddhism uses different terms. According to the Buddha, the human mind in its normal state generates dukkha, which can be translated as suffering, unsatisfactoriness, or just plain misery. He sees it as a characteristic of the human condition. Wherever you go, whatever you do, says the Buddha, you will encounter dukkha, and it will manifest in every situation sooner or later.

According to Christian teachings, the normal collective state of humanity is one of "original sin."
Sin is a word that has been greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted. Literally translated from the ancient Greek in which the New Testament was written, to sin means to miss the mark, as an archer who misses the target, so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. It means to live unskillfully, blindly, and thus to suffer and cause suffering. Again, the term, stripped of its cultural baggage and misinterpretations, points. to the dysfunction inherent in the human condition.

The achievements of humanity are impressive and undeniable. We have created sublime works of music, literature, painting, architecture, and sculpture. More recently, science and technology have brought about radical changes in the way we live and have enabled us to do and create things that would have been considered miraculous even two hundred years ago. No doubt: The human mind is highly intelligent. Yet its very intelligence is tainted by madness. Science and technology have magnified the destructive impact that the dysfunction of the human mind has upon the planet, other life-forms, and upon humans themselves. That is why the history of the twentieth century is where that dysfunction, that collective insanity, can be most clearly recognized. A further factor is that this dysfunction is actually intensifying and accelerating.

The First World War broke out in 1914. Destructive and cruel wars, motivated by fear, greed, and the desire for power, had been common occurrences throughout human history, as had slavery, torture, and widespread violence inflicted for religious and ideological reasons. Humans suffered more at the hands of each other than through natural disasters. By the year 1914, however, the highly intelligent human mind had invented not only the internal combustion engine, but also bombs, machine guns, submarines, flame throwers, and poison gas. Intelligence in the service of madness! In static trench warfare in France and Belgium, millions of men perished to gain a few miles of mud. When the war was over in 1918, the survivors looked in horror and incomprehension upon the devastation left behind: ten million human beings killed and many more maimed or disfigured. Never before had human madness been so destructive in its effect, so clearly visible. Little did they know that this was only the beginning.

By the end of the century, the number of people who died a violent death at the hand of their fellow humans would rise to more than one hundred million. They died not only through wars between nations, but also through mass exterminations and genocide, such as the murder of twenty million "class enemies, spies, and traitors" in the Soviet Union under Stalin or the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. They also died in countless smaller internal conflicts, such as the Spanish civil war or during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia when a quarter of that country's population was murdered.

We only need to watch the daily news on television to realize that the madness has not abated, that it is continuing into the twenty-first century. Another aspect of the collective dysfunction of the human mind is the unprecedented violence that humans are inflicting on other life-forms and the planet itself-—the destruction of oxygen-producing forests and other plant and animal life; ill-treatment of animals in factory farms; and poisoning of rivers, oceans, and air. Driven by greed, ignorant of their connectedness to the whole, humans persist in behavior that, if continued unchecked, can only result in their own destruction.

The collective manifestations of the insanity that lies at the heart of the human condition constitute the greater part of human history. It is to a large extent a history of madness. If the history of humanity were the clinical case history of a single human being, the diagnosis would have to be: chronic paranoid delusions, a pathological propensity to commit murder and acts of extreme violence and cruelty against his perceived "enemies"—his own unconsciousness
I projected outward. Criminally insane, with a few brief lucid intervals.


Fear, greed, and the desire for power are the psychologist
cal motivating forces not only behind warfare and violence between nations, tribes, religions, and ideologies, but also I the cause of incessant conflict in personal relationships. They bring about a distortion in your perception of other people and yourself. Through them, you misinterpret every situation, leading to misguided action designed to rid you of fear and satisfy your need for more, a bottomless hole that ' can never be filled.

It is important to realize, however, that fear, greed, and the desire for power are not the dysfunction that we are speaking of, but are themselves created by the dysfunction, which is a deep-seated collective delusion that lies within the mind of each human being. A number of spiritual teachings tell us to let go of fear and desire. But those spiritual practices are usually unsuccessful. They haven't gone to the root of the dysfunction. Fear, greed, and desire for power are not the ultimate causal factors. Trying to become a good or better human being sounds like a commendable and high-minded thing to do, yet it is an endeavor you cannot ultimately succeed in unless there is a shift in consciousness. This is because it is still part of the same dysfunction, a more subtle and rarified form of self-enhancement, of desire for more and a strengthening of one's conceptual identity, one's self-image. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness.

The history of Communism, originally inspired by noble ideals, clearly illustrates what happens when people attempt to change external reality—create a new earth— without any prior change in their inner reality, their state of consciousness. They make plans without taking into account the blueprint for dysfunction that every human being carries within: the ego.

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A NEW EARTH — Tolle (excerpt p.8-13)



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"Three Spiritual Lessons in Eight Years" by Eckhart Tolle

relaxing-cat-toni-goffe-656x560
---“Relaxing Cat” by Toni Goffe


It’s Not a Damned Race
No matter how often I tell myself I wont read more than one or two books at a time, I always find myself in the middle of three or four books. Why? Because I think I am being productive by consuming and cruising through more and more information. Am I? No. The money is in the practice and its effects not what you can quote and recite line by line, word for word.

It doesn’t matter if it takes one month or five years to develop the ability to sit in peace and quiet and do a meditation without a barrage of thoughts every minute. The clock isn’t ticking down and you aren’t going to hell or some other imagined location for skipping out on a reading session or a meditation. Slow down and enjoy the process of learning and clearing the clouds that obscure your vision from peace and happiness.


You Don’t Know as Much as You Think You Know
Remember last year when you might have been a mental wreck or at least not the mental champion you might think you are now (or, like me, you might realize you know little, and even this is an overstatement)? Now remember even a year or more before that? I like to think back to when a significant inspiring moment shot me into a place of peace and tranquility, then the crafty ego crept in and assured me I knew it all. One year later, I knew it all again. And then again.

A key step in our spiritual growth is recognizing we know nothing. I’ll say it again: Nothing. You may have already discovered that the path to peace and happiness reaches a point in which we realize it is not a path a learning and accumulating knowledge, but it is a journey to remove all the nonsense and images our minds make up to make sense of the world. Eventually, we see that to judge anything is to misunderstand it.


Stop Reaching for the Mystical Experience
If that’s what you want, drop some acid or smoke some DMT. As tempting as doing that might be, we aren’t trying to get a spiritual high. Like point #2, we are relinquishing judgment. We are attempting to see everything as it is and everyone as they are. I’m not going to be your mother and tell you not to experiment (here’s an interesting article on that kind of experimentation), but that’s not the goal. We are merely attempting to see how our judgments betray our happiness and distort our world.


B. Talbot--Braden Talbot Website


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"Tolle on Religion" - (excerpt) A New Earth

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"Finding Balance" By Eckhart Tolle

santini-balance
--“Balance” by Kimberly Santini


Question: How do we find balance between our individual will and the natural flow of life?

Eckhart Tolle: By living aligned with the present moment, you also align your will with the universal will, which you could call “the will of God”. You don’t have a separate will. The separate will wants to enhance or strengthen one’s sense of self. The separate will is concerned with the “me”, the “I”, the ego. But there is a divine Consciousness, the one Consciousness, there is an evolutionary impulse. What we are doing here at every moment, is to align ourselves with that.

Non-resistance is vital because as long as you are in resistance to the present moment, you will be trapped in the little egoic will. The egoic will needs to subside – that’s surrender to the present moment, and surrender to what is. When you align yourself with what is internally, it looks at first almost like a position of weakness, and it can be misinterpreted as something that prevents you from taking effective action. But the acceptance of what is, is totally compatible with responding to whatever the present moment requires.

Whatever wants to be created, manifested, done, at this moment – to be aligned with that, you need to first accept whatever form this moment takes.

Single out this moment only. For example, when you are ill, you don’t say “I need to accept this illness, the fact that I am ill, that I am suffering from this” because that is a whole conceptual story. All you need to accept is this moment as it is. There is never actually an illness in this moment, there is only a physical condition. There may be pain, there may be weakness, disability, discomfort. Those things may be there, and that’s the only thing you accept. This moment is as it is now.

If you are stuck in the mud somewhere, you don’t say, “Okay, I am in the mud, I have to accept it, and here I am – I’m not taking any action because I have to accept what is”. This moment is already always as it is, and there’s nothing you can do about that. That’s what you accept. Then, action that arises has a different energy to it. The will that flows into what you do is no longer egoic. When you have not accepted this moment, the will goes against the Universe – that is what the ego does. It is negative, it fights something that it says shouldn’t be there.

If you use negativity, you are trapped in ego. The “little will” has to subside for the more powerful will to flow through and deal with the situation. It creates, it is not isolated from the totality. It is one with the totality. When that operates, another word for that universal will is intelligence. It’s only when you look at a situation, completely accept the is-ness of this moment, and then of course action may be required.

Once the opening is there, through acceptance, the next step that you take will be much more powerful. There’s a Buddhist term “right action”, that can only arise out of the right state of Consciousness. You have to get out of the ego first before you can have right action. The Buddha was talking about that which flows from the awakened state of consciousness. To surrender the little will is to say ‘yes’ to the present moment. It’s not a big thing, just say yes to what is – because it already is anyway. Why complain about something that is? It’s insane, but normal.

To give up the egoic will, all you have to do is not complain about what is. Be aligned with the isness – people, situations, whatever – this is already as it is. It’s the inevitability of is. Become friendly with what is, and you become intelligent for the first time.

With the simple act of surrender to the inevitability of the present moment, another energy comes. You could call that universal will, you could call that intelligence, you could call that the creative solution to whatever the so-called “problem” is. You could call that power coming in, that is greater than the limited power of your mind. Or it may use your mind, and suddenly you say the right thing, if that’s what the situation requires. Suddenly the words come – where do the words come from? You don’t know what you’re going to say next. They come from a deeper level because that intelligence uses the mind.

You and the Universe become one, and as such it creates through you as this form. That’s the beauty of it. When the unmanifested flows into this world, it assumes form. Most thoughts that people have in the unawakened state are repetitive old thoughts, conditioned thinking, conditioned by the past. All you can rely on then is what you have accumulated in the past, you deal with things through conditioned thinking. When the simple act of surrender opens your mind, it can then be used as an instrument. Then, a thought may come in that is original and fresh and new. That is the birth of form. The birth of thought creates the birth of form. The Universe uses you as a vehicle or a channel through which to create. You are one. It can use your mind, and become thought, words, physical things. That’s the way in which the mind can actually be a helpful tool – alignment with the greater Intelligence, the One Consciousness.

It all starts with the present moment, and your relationship with the present moment. Friend or enemy? Are you allowing it, or are you fighting it, resisting it? That’s the end of ego – because the ego needs resistance. The ego survives through complaining, it survives through denying, or wanting something else.

The present moment is the teacher. Work with that – that’s all you need, really. That’s the end of the “little will”, which isn’t all that powerful anyway. Whatever it creates, creates more problems.

It seems so simple, and it is simple. And yet, because of the many thousands of years of habit-patterns, often people tell me “It’s so difficult to be in the present moment and allow it to be”. Of course, the opposite is true. Life becomes difficult if you don’t. What you accept is the form of this moment. No more. Then, see what’s needed. You are not truly intelligent until that happens.

Sometimes holding that space of simple Presence activates other factors that then come in, seemingly, from the outside to change the situation. You have activated the intelligence of the totality. It’s not necessarily coming through this form. That is why people speak of synchronistic things happening, suddenly a helpful factor comes in, suddenly the right person appears, the right thing happens. Almost miraculous when you don’t know that it’s natural, it seems like a miracle at first because most humans are not used to that.

When you hold Presence, sometimes the change may not happen through your action. There are many situations where action at this moment is not possible. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do, however you can continue to be present. Then, a greater intelligence is activated. Very often you will find change happening in the situation.

This greater intelligence is not the conceptual intelligence that you can measure with IQ tests. It is non-conceptual intelligence. Conceptual intelligence is the ability to retain information, analyze, compare, and so forth. It’s a tiny fragment of what intelligence is. There is a vastness of non-conceptual intelligence. Our destiny is to be in that way, so that our whole life is to become a work of art. Not just be confined to that state of consciousness when you do your creative work. Any creative thing has a spark, an aliveness, a quality, a newness, a freshness. You connect with non-conceptual intelligence in the alert Stillness within. Everybody has that, as their essence. That is true intelligence. To what extent you are connected with that could not possibly be measured through any IQ test. Ultimately, you cannot measure creativity.

Very often, the form of the present moment seems like a limitation on your life, something that is impinging on your freedom. The body could become ill, you may find it hard to move. When something drastic happens, if you can learn to accept it, a little bit of spaciousness comes into your life. You say, “this is what is”. A little bit of space just opened up, and you’re no longer just a resisting entity. Then, you realize that you are essentially formless space. In other words, you find inner peace. At first it is very gentle in the background, in the midst of any situation. That peace is powerful. It can become so powerful, that is obliterates almost anything. Peace is the formless in you. By accepting the form, the formless within you opens up. This is how something seemingly bad – a limitation – becomes an opening for realization of who you truly are.

© copyright 2008-2011. Eckhart Tolle . All rights reserved. http://www.eckharttolle.com/
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