Only 80% thoughts gone after enlightenment?

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Only 80% thoughts gone after enlightenment?

Post by chesterking » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:33 pm

Eckhart Tolle said in one of his youtube videos that only 80% of his thoughts were gone after enlightenment. I thought after reaching this state, that thoughts were meant to be gone completely.

Could somebody explain this one to me.

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Re: Only 80% thoughts gone after enlightenment?

Post by TemporalDissonance » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:38 am

This may be the original video you are referring to:

First, understand thoughts are not your enemy. Thoughts may be required when you are trying to solve an engineering problem for example. There are different categories of thoughts. Eckhart does a great job in the video in explaining what the 80% of thoughts that were gone predominately are. Its those autonomous judgements and comments our minds came forth with which most of the time.

Second, aside from the usual discretion about making enlightenment assumptions, a better exercise would be to watch your thoughts and see if you can differentiate them. Which are useful and who are not so much. :)

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Re: Only 80% thoughts gone after enlightenment?

Post by ThatAwareness » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:00 am

The ego that I identified with appears to be gone, perhaps I can share some observations since its dissolving.

Thoughts still arise, and the intensity of the mind still remains when engaged with the world. The difference is that there is no weight or seriousness attached to thoughts. It's as if watching fish swimming in a river. Sometimes that awareness becomes mesmerized by the interestingness of the fishes, but it never believes or becomes a fish. And the moment attention returns from the mind, the body is automatically flooded with presence.

With emotions, they are still there, even 'negative' ones. But they are not happening to a 'you' as the ego would want to believe. They just appear in the body and leave just as quickly, like an innocent messenger that wants to share information. Physical pain is similar, they are mere sensations that come and go. "No one" is ever threatened or hurt, whereas the identified mind would want to hold on to the sensations and attach meaning to it.

In essence, it's like being in a state of permanent meditation, our natural state. When sitting in silence the mind is completely silent. And when active in the world of 'things', awareness is presented with the option to engage or not engage. Stillness becomes a choice that's always there, and no longer a fleeting oasis in the torment of the mind. It's like a quiet passenger watching the scenery pass by as the body and mind drive through the world, but always able to look or not to look, always knowing it is a mere observer.

Perhaps other's experiences are different, I'd love to hear them.

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Re: Only 80% thoughts gone after enlightenment?

Post by jukai » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:43 am

First off, that 80% number can only be a rough estimate, at best. I guarantee you that no one will ever come up with technology advanced enough to be able to measure such a thing accurately.

It is just a widespread myth, like so many other glorified ideas and ideals floating around in the world of spirituality, that once a person becomes "enlightened" (whatever that means), all thoughts disappear.

I think it is safe to say that Eckhart (and anyone else going through a similar experience) may have experienced some reduction in involuntary thinking or "noise", but to claim that one can have so much influence on one's own brain so as to eliminate all thought would be a downright lie.

Don't believe everything you hear or read :)

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Re: Only 80% thoughts gone after enlightenment?

Post by Onceler » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:32 pm

In my opinion, the concept of “enlightenment” should be scrutinized, not thinking. The more worrisome part of thinking, to me, is not the ratio of thought to silence but the quality of ones thought. Are you lost in thought, letting thinking happen to you, or do you have agency and some control over thinking in a meta cognitive manner? Is your thinking negative, anxious, fear ridden, or perseverative? Ones ability to be aware of toxic, cyclical thinking and then shift to more constructive modes is, to me, a greater gift than some nebulous enlightenment state which hasn’t happened to me after years of dogged pursuit, not to anyone I know.
Be present, be pleasant.

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