Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

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Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by fish-master » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:25 pm

I'm not a cynic or a pessimist and I really want to believe in the idea of enlightenment and nirvana, a state of perfect bliss. I would like to believe that Eckhart Tolle and the many other famous teachers are enlightened individuals that have achieved a state of bliss, and that all people can achieve that bliss.

Now, as much as I would like to believe it I am suspicious and nervous when it comes to the spiritual teachers. I have never met Eckhart Tolle but I get the idea that a spiritual teacher who is producing multiple books, and is certainly quite wealthy is probably giving us a false sense of what enlightenment is in order to make his books sound more convincing and more interesting.

I believe in what he says, that we should live in the moment and be aware of our feelings, emotions and not get sucked into a trap of thoughts and egoic misconceptions. However, I just have a really hard time identifiying with this idea of constant joy and bliss, that there is such a thing as pure enlightenment and conciousnes. That we can live our lives always happy.

I don't believe it because I never met anyone like that, or met anyone who met anyone like that. I wonder if these people really exist in our lives. Do the teachers sensationalize the idea to make themselves a little richer? If anyone is TRULY englightened, or knows of an enlightened person, or has met Eckhart Tolle and was blown away by his energy, please share that with me. I think Eckhart Tolle is a bright man, and he's unlocked a lot of important knowledge, but at the end of the day we are of this world and we are affected by the world, and no amount of inner being can make us immune to the pain that we sometimes must endure.

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by erict » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:42 pm

Firstly, whoever told you that enlightenment has anything to do with "perfect bliss"? In the eloquent words of Jed McKenna...

"Fuck bliss."

"Bliss is nothing. It's not relevant. It's a pretty piece of candy that has lured you away
from the real work of waking up. Get it out of your heads. I can't emphasize this enough.
This is right at the very heart of the web of misconception that diverts countless millions
of seekers away from their own awakening. This is exactly the kind of narcotic you have
to break free of."

"Now, pay attention. The way to get something out of your head isn't to hear some
spiritual teacher say it's bullshit. It's for you to drag it out and really shine a light on it for
yourself. This bliss nonsense is a perfect example. Do you really think that enlightenment
is going to be like a permanently extended sexual orgasm?"

"Think about it. Think for yourself. That's the Golden Rule in this game: Think for yourself."


I just have a really hard time identifiying with this idea of constant joy and bliss, that there is such a thing as pure enlightenment and consciousness. That we can live our lives always happy.
Even if you simply read the power of now, you'll see that enlightenment has nothing to do with happiness.
I have never met Eckhart Tolle but I get the idea that a spiritual teacher who is producing multiple books, and is certainly quite wealthy is probably giving us a false sense of what enlightenment is in order to make his books sound more convincing and more interesting.
If anyone is TRULY englightened, or knows of an enlightened person, or has met Eckhart Tolle and was blown away by his energy, please share that with me. I think Eckhart Tolle is a bright man, and he's unlocked a lot of important knowledge, but at the end of the day we are of this world and we are affected by the world, and no amount of inner being can make us immune to the pain that we sometimes must endure.
And what if he's the most greedy person who ever lived, the most immoral being that ever was? Who cares? If someone gives you accurate directions for how to get to New York from Philadelphia, and it turns out the man is a serial killer, then his directions are suddenly useless?
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by fish-master » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:52 pm

So what exactly is the goal here, i read the power of now and it does explicitly say that he is constantly at peace and he is unaffected by outside problems. So if we, "fuck bliss", what exactly are we shooting for? If we aren't shooting for anything, then what are we doing? Are we setting our goal, as not setting a goal? I mean I get the non-duality and the, "just be", mentality.. i'm just wondering what the practical outcome of that is.

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by erict » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:11 pm

I recommend that you read The Power of Now again. It explains things beautifully.

I wanna see the part, which says that he is always at peace. Although I suspect that when he says peace, he means something entirely different than what you've experienced in your life. Peace that is as a field that includes the whole spectrum of happiness-unhappiness. When he is happy, or sad, he is also in touch with something deeper and greater, and unlike us, isn't entirely lost in the states of being.

There are many practical things that I've learned to apply in my own life from Eckhart's teachings. Although if we're talking strictly about enlightenment, I doubt these practical habits that I've adopted have anything to do with it.

You're trying too hard to figure it out. What's the point? Just take what resonates with you and makes sense to you, and use that in your life. Leave the rest. Obviously, you'll have a really hard time figuring out something you haven't experienced. And what for, anyway? Let's take me, for example, I feel like I "understand" virtually everything that he talks about, even things I haven't experienced. But what good does that do me?
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by fish-master » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:19 pm

Ok, I don't want to get caught up with what Tolle said or didn't say, what I want to know is.. are YOU at peace, happy, enlightened, whatever. I mean does anyone, after great understanding and great awareness achieve a state of happiness? What is it that at the end you come to be? That's what I'm wondering, because all of this stuff sounds like its aimed at an awareness that is just pure joy, what does that mean? Do you or anyone else have that?

i feel like I've asked this a few times, maybe I'm not being very clear, this is my first post.

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by erict » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:22 pm

Enlightenment has nothing to do with happiness or any other state of being.

Enlightenment isn't about awareness, and most certainly isn't about understanding. It is a shift in identify, from the personal to... well, I'm not sure exactly... consciousness, whatever...

It seems to me, you're trying to figure out if this enlightenment business has something worthwhile to offer you. I'm afraid it does not. :)
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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by erict » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:28 pm

fish-master wrote:are YOU at peace, happy, enlightened, whatever. I mean does anyone, after great understanding and great awareness achieve a state of happiness?
Me. I'm not enlightened, and as far as I'm aware, neither are 98.5% of the other members of this forum.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by heidi » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:52 pm

Here here, Eric. What it's really all about is simply accepting things as they are. With that acceptance comes peace. You feel like crap, accept it; don't fight it. You feel joy, yes, that's good too. Because What Is is What Is, and there's no use going against the facts. Acceptance, that's all. It's so simple.

So, you're stuck in traffic. Just say yes! :)
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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by Webwanderer » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:02 am

One difference between one who has awakened to his/her essential being, and one living through ego/mind is how life is perceived. Painful events may happen to either and likely will. Pain afterall, is a part of life and teaches us much about living in the world of form.

But how does one respond to painful events? The one who lives through ego is likely to take an advisarial position to the pain, making all kinds of value judgments about events as to right and wrong. This creates mental and emotional resistance, and then isolation from the parts of life we judge as wrong. If the painful event persists, even as a memory, the resistance morphs into suffering as the isolation makes one feel smaller and more vulnerable.

The one who lives from an inclusive state of clarity and presence, sees the same event as a passing experience that is just part of the unfolding nature of life. Because nothing is right or wrong, but merely content within the richness of possibility, pain causes little or no suffering. No separation develops between experience and experiencer, no resistance to life's expression is created. Events are seen as content within, rather than threats from without.

It is said that within each life a little rain must fall. Awakening frees us from the fear of floods that the ego may suffer needlessly.

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by fish-master » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:15 am

Beautifully said, I love the notion but I wonder if anyone has experienced it. I'd like to live in a constant state of acceptance, it sounds great but I'm just wondering if it is possible, and if so where is the proof? Have you or anyone you know achieved that at all?

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by Webwanderer » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:47 am

Don't be too concerned about living in a constant state of acceptance, or for that matter what state of awareness someone else might have. That's only a distraction to some future desired condition. Life cannot be lived in the future.

Consider, can you adopt a temporary state of acceptance? Like right now? You don't have to hold on to it forever, or even for the next 10 minutes. Can you just accept life as it is right now, for however long it lasts? If you can, begin to do so more often under more circumstances. Make moments of acceptance a priority in your life.

Have no concern for failure here. Just observe the degree of clarity that exists when you are unecumbered by concerns of what happens next. If you fall back into ego identity (and you will), learn to recognize the condition and process as it develops, and then return to acceptance of this moment, just as it is. No self reprimand is necessary for back sliding, just a gentle return to clarity.

Awareness is fundamental to life and always fully present, there is nothing to achieve. What is necessary is a return to awareness that is clear of false ego/mind perceptions. Recognize clearly the ego in operation. As one does so, freedom from its hold returns.

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by heidi » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:56 am

Yes, you can just witness the fact that you are not accepting and accept that! :wink:
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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by fish-master » Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:18 am

I suppose the moral is live your life as best as you can, but there is no great truth or salvation. We can live better however, and hopefully it will lead us to more peace and a greater joy in life. I guess I can live with that.

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by Onceler » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:01 am

fish-master wrote:I suppose the moral is live your life as best as you can, but there is no great truth or salvation. We can live better however, and hopefully it will lead us to more peace and a greater joy in life. I guess I can live with that.
Absolutely. And then, maybe, in the middle of living with that you see things as they are. Adyashanti talks about the quest for "altered states" that many spiritual seekers try to find. He says the ego distortion makes everything an altered state. He says that enlightenment is the absolute lack of an altered state; or seeing things as they are--clearly.

That's what seems to work for folks here, trying to see, accept, things as they are and then one's ego erodes and crumbles bit by bit.

Me? I ain't enlightned (none of my friends/colleages seem to be either) so I can't help you on the personal stuff. Just a pilgrim.

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Re: Who Truly Beliieves in Enlightnment? Is it sensationalized?

Post by Suzanne » Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:35 am

fish-master wrote:there is no great truth or salvation.
Not claiming any kind of certification in the enlightened department, but, I can say a few things that can only be explained from Eckhart's perspective:

I used to be like you: Looking for the payoff. The key. The door. Call it what you want. Enlightenment is yours. Mine was relief from living in the future. It never worked. I was always disappointed, and nothing I tried was ever a relief.

Then, I stopped trying. Trying to get happiness from the world. I looked inside and started to meditate and I found, quite accidentally, the deep pools of calm, blue waters that I already possessed. Just like Dorothy looking for home, it was there all along. Later, I found the Power of Now and then I understood it as my natural state, not something imposed from outside myself.

Now, just as Eckhart says, the little things bounce around the surface of the water, but really don't make me suffer much anymore. Because underneath the surface is an ocean of calm, of safety, of contentment. It can't be taken from me. I can let my ego hide the calm from me by letting my mind try to run my life, like a cloud obscures the sun. But the sun and the calm is always there. I don't doubt it.

So, my search for relief in the world is over. If I need to calm myself, I sit down and tell my mind to take a vacation, and simply remember that the calm waters are mine. Always.

It's not exactly bliss, but more like the confidence we all (hopefullly) put in our parents as little kids, that they'd always take care of us and make everything allright. It's a feeling of confidence, rather than an ecsatic high.

Anyone else feel it like that? Am I way off? :?:

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