An enlightened person

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
damc
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An enlightened person

Post by damc » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:16 pm

Hey, how can I find an enlightened person? I want to ask him some questions about enlightenment. Are there any enlightened person here, on this forum?

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kiki
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Re: An enlightened person

Post by kiki » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:30 pm

Hey, how can I find an enlightened person? I want to ask him some questions about enlightenment.
How could you be certain if they were an "enlightened person" or not? Because they said so? And what do you mean by "enlightenment"?
Are there any enlightened person here, on this forum?
I'd like to know that myself.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: An enlightened person

Post by damc » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:55 pm

How could you be certain if they were an "enlightened person" or not? Because they said so?
I don't know any way to be certain if they are an enlightened person. But it doesn't make me not looking for an englightened person. Maybe I will find and I will have what I want, maybe I won't and nothing will happen.
And what do you mean by "enlightenment"?
I don't exactly know what it is, but I heard about people that found out who they really are and then they were in total happines and without desires. So this is what I mean.

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Re: An enlightened person

Post by kiki » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:30 pm

I don't exactly know what it is, but I heard about people that found out who they really are and then they were in total happines and without desires. So this is what I mean.
OK, that's a little more helpful. Let me say this: as long as you are walking on this earth you will be subject to the changing forms that go with it. The body will change, the physical sensations will change, the emotions will change, mental states will change, events will change; everything that is seen and experienced will change, including, perhaps, your identity. But something exists that doesn't change - that which "sees"/witnesses those changes. That is not subject to change and is ever present - it is still, silent, and inherently peaceful. Knowing "that" to be your true essence is what enlightenment is, not just mentally understanding it but knowing the truth of it directly. This means that no "person" is enlightened because personhood is always changing. What lies at the core of personhood and witnesses the change is enlightenment. So, it's not any separate entity that is enlightened (or awake).

You could say, then, that enlightenment/awake-ness is the flowering of this through the human form. This will have an effect on how the mind is viewed, on how emotions are experienced, and how other things and people are related to. There is the realization that the form will constantly undergo change while the underlying consciousness/awareness remains stable and free of it all. Does this mean that there is constant "happiness" and "bliss" (whatever that is)? Not necessarily. It means that there is the freedom to experience even the "unpleasant" things without getting lost in them anymore because they too will change.

And one more thing - forget about becoming "desire free" because mind will put that out there as a kind of condition that should be met in order to "become" enlightened in some future time. Desires are just more phenomena; they are created in the mind and hold the hope that their fulfillment will make you happy. Any happiness that come from their fulfillment will quickly leave and a new desire will arise to replace the old one, creating an endless cycle of desires to chase after. Instead, realize directly what you truly are and you will see that while resting in/as true nature you are without desire in a very natural and spontaneous way. Whatever desires do arise then are just seen as more changing phenomena. Whether they are fulfilled or not makes no difference, so you are free to chase after them or not. But the thing is this: not having them met is no longer seen as a condition for your happiness.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: An enlightened person

Post by damc » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:42 pm

That is not subject to change and is ever present - it is still, silent, and inherently peaceful. Knowing "that" to be your true essence is what enlightenment is, not just mentally understanding it but knowing the truth of it directly. This means that no "person" is enlightened because personhood is always changing.
I'd like to know what you mean by "knowing the truth of it directly" and "not just mentally understand it"? My definition of "knowing" is related to mind and I can't understand how you can know something not mentally.
knowing the truth of it directly
And do you know the truth directly?

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Re: An enlightened person

Post by kiki » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:44 pm

I'd like to know what you mean by "knowing the truth of it directly" and "not just mentally understand it"?
Words and descriptions are just a kind of pointing to something, but to know the truth of it directly is to realize within yourself that which has been pointed to. It's the difference between reading about the taste of a mango and actually tasting one yourself. You know the truth of it yourself. To simply understand something mentally without the direct realization of it doesn't do much as far as awakening goes.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: An enlightened person

Post by Kutso » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:09 am

damc wrote:I'd like to know what you mean by "knowing the truth of it directly" and "not just mentally understand it"? My definition of "knowing" is related to mind and I can't understand how you can know something not mentally.
Are you saying the the mind is not known then?
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

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Re: An enlightened person

Post by ashley72 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:53 am

damc wrote:I'd like to know what you mean by "knowing the truth of it directly" and "not just mentally understand it"? My definition of "knowing" is related to mind and I can't understand how you can know something not mentally.
You need to peel back the onion and examine the layers. Appearance are one layer... What about the core? Take a fresh look.

He (Ezekiel) saw a city set on a hill sloping towards the south, which measured no more than a rod in length and breadth, that is, six cubits and a palm. But when he was brought into the city and looked about him he thought it was very spacious… many hundred cubits in length and breadth. It was extraordinary to him that this city which was so spacious within appeared so small when he stood outside.  Walter Hilton

And another hint....

Hsueh-feng went to the forest to cut trees with his disciple Chang-sheng. "Don't stop till your axe cuts to the very centre of the tree," warned the teacher.  The Iron Flute

Even scientists can be baffled by appearances...

The revelation by modern physics of the void within the atom is more disturbing than the revelation by astronomy of the immense void of interstellar space.  Eddington

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Re: An enlightened person

Post by damc » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:37 pm

kiki wrote:Words and descriptions are just a kind of pointing to something, but to know the truth of it directly is to realize within yourself that which has been pointed to.
Who musts do this job (realizing this)?

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Re: An enlightened person

Post by damc » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:40 pm

Kutso wrote:
damc wrote:I'd like to know what you mean by "knowing the truth of it directly" and "not just mentally understand it"? My definition of "knowing" is related to mind and I can't understand how you can know something not mentally.
Are you saying the the mind is not known then?
You mean "seen"? The mind can be seen but in my definition of "knowing" only mind can know something.

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Re: An enlightened person

Post by kiki » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:07 am

Who musts do this job (realizing this)?
The realization arises within you. That which is realized is not some "thing" that appears in mind, not some bit of information or some fact that will get filed away in memory - those are only descriptions. That which is realized is what's present when all mental activity subsides. When all ideas and thoughts are absent, including all thoughts that define who you believe or imagine yourself to be, something yet remains that is alert, still, and silent.
The mind can be seen but in my definition of "knowing" only mind can know something.
What is it that "sees" mind? That's the critical thing, and that's what awakening is about.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: An enlightened person

Post by phleppen » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:58 am

I understand the desire to seek an "enlightened person". There are times in my life where I wish I could just be around somebody who is completely present for 5 minutes, in hopes that it would rub off on me.

But, as I've constructed this response, I've realized that perhaps that has more to do with me than anything else. It is like a garden, the world, and you are like the sun. If you are obscured with the clouds of thoughts, you will not expose light onto and thus see all of the enlightenment that already exists in your life.

I really do think we have the power to bring the enlightened person out of others, if we're willing to consciously make an effort to see that in them.

That said, I've decided to make my practice this week to look for the specialness and enlightened being in all others. Perhaps you would like to try this too.

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Re: An enlightened person

Post by damc » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:52 pm

The realization arises within you.
Which "you"? Consciousness?

My question was "what should do this realization?". I understand that your answer was that the consciousness. The only thing that can realize something is mind because the only thing that consciousness can "do" is to perceive. So this realization is done by mind or you mean by "realize" - to perceive. So what?

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Re: An enlightened person

Post by kiki » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:00 am

The only thing that can realize something is mind
No. If that were true then thought could realize another thought is present, and that simply is absurd. Shortly after one thought stops another takes its place, but if what you assert is true then you'd have to be thinking two thoughts simultaneously, and that doesn't happen. Each time a new thought comes it's because the old thought is no longer present. That which recognizes a new thought is present is the ever present consciousness/awareness.

Mind is just a stream of thoughts and ideas that is constantly changing, but consciousness is the steady unchanging background that sees and knows those ideas are present. So the ability to know something is a function of consciousness, not mind.
because the only thing that consciousness can "do" is to perceive.
Information enters via the senses, but it is consciousness that knows the presence of that information. Without consciousness senses couldn't function; consciousness is the foundation for everything else, including the functioning of perceptions. Perceptions are a type of form arising within the world that is experienced. But consciousness itself is not something that appears and disappears like other forms because it HAS NO FORM - it is formless and ever present. Another name for formless consciousness is knowing-ness. You can't put knowing-ness under a microscope and examine it because there is nothing to examine.

When mind activity has ceased and ideas and thoughts aren't present consciousness is just resting knowing-ness without any object to illumine. It is alert, silent, still, and aware; in other words, it knows even if there isn't any thing to be known.
So this realization is done by mind or you mean by "realize" - to perceive.
It is consciousness which allows that which is perceived to be known. Mind doesn't "know" anything. Mind is a kind of movement, an activity, but it is consciousness that realizes that movement and activity is taking place. So without any activity arising in the mind it is consciousness that reveals itself to itself. In other words, it is consciousness that realizes its own presence.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: An enlightened person

Post by ashley72 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:20 am

damc wrote:
The realization arises within you.
Which "you"? Consciousness?

My question was "what should do this realization?". I understand that your answer was that the consciousness. The only thing that can realize something is mind because the only thing that consciousness can "do" is to perceive. So this realization is done by mind or you mean by "realize" - to perceive. So what?
Damc,

Attention/Consciousness/Awareness has an "arrow". Where is the arrow of your attention pointed? An unenlightened person focusses outwardly on worldly "things". Their attention stays with & follows thoughts & feeling which come & go... and believe that thoughts/feelings is their true identity. By turning the "arrow" of attention 180 degrees back towards your true centre or zero point (where the head/face resides). You discover a void, an awake space.... this awake space doesn't come & go. It is the still point or centre. The more one remembers to turn the arrow of attention back to this still point.... the more you will Realise that keeping your arrow of attention on this space helps to naturally detach from "thoughts" & "feelings" which come & go. You can't stop thoughts & feelings arising, you should never try and resist them directly by avoidance strategies, because that is actually attaching or identifying with them further. The only way to detach from thoughts & feelings is to place the arrow of attention back at the zero point or centre. The thoughts & feelings still arise but they're not noticed as much... they seem to be arising more on the periphery with less attachment. You can witness them arise without totally following or buying into their story.

Eventually you start looking with a kind of two-way attention, where you always leave some attention on the awake space (inwardly), that keeps you rooted in the Now or inner body as Eckhart Tolle often talks about.

Don't expect to be instantly enlightened when you turn the arrow of attention back to the void... Unless you can keep it there for a very long time. Most people only look back fleetly at the void... and don't Realise the true power of the no-thing. Most people are still too attach to worldly things to let go for a while... so they need to suffer longer :)

I think Eckhart Tolle had suffered alot... that's why his shift was so sudden to the void. However, even he took a few years before he actually went and sat on a park bench and let go completely. It takes time to slower Realise the nature of thoughts & feelings.... and how to overcome the suffering they create.

After Eckhart Tolle had spent a couple years on the park bench "inwardly" focussed on the void. He took several years more to work out how to participate in the world again. This is where he developed the two-way looking. Where he keeps some attention on the inner body whilst at the same time playing outwardly with the world and being creative.

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