Functioning in the material world

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Western Spirituality
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Functioning in the material world

Post by Western Spirituality » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:00 pm

Hello, I have read both the PON and ANE and while they are incredibly insightful I have many questions regarding how I can still stay motivated to do things in the existence while staying present, as whenever I think to do things all my mind says is that is ego why are you doing that. For example, playing sports and wanting to win while enjoying the game my mind tells me how wrong it is, and wanting to earn money, get good grades etc can these things all be achieved while staying present?
As I still want to create a desirable life situation but reading these books has actually led to me taking less action, any help isn't appreciated, thank you.

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jukai
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Re: Functioning in the material world

Post by jukai » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:16 am

You ask a very valid and relevant question. I've faced the same dilemma as I've grown to apply Eckhart's teachings to my own life.

What I found is that the teachings are often in direct contradiction to the way one needs to function in modern life. As you mentioned, playing sports is a great example - how can you be motivated to perform well without investing a sense of self in the sport ? Same with one's job or career - you cannot succeed in a job without, to some extent, playing the dirty work politics or some sort of egoic games.

I think the key is to not take what Tolle (or any other teacher) says literally. Don't try to apply what he says to your life situation literally. You have to sort of find a balance between what he says and what you want from your life. For instance, you can keep in mind that your job, while not absolutely important, is necessary for you to survive and so you can continue performing to the best of your ability and do whatever you need to do to succeed.

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Webwanderer
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Re: Functioning in the material world

Post by Webwanderer » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:14 am

Western Spirituality wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:00 pm
...I have many questions regarding how I can still stay motivated to do things in the existence while staying present, as whenever I think to do things all my mind says is that is ego why are you doing that. For example, playing sports and wanting to win while enjoying the game my mind tells me how wrong it is, and wanting to earn money, get good grades etc can these things all be achieved while staying present?
If your mind is telling you how wrong something is, is that not the conduct of ego? The conundrum is that if it's wrong to think something is wrong, that too is ego in action. So where is the freedom from such judgments? I've never been a fan of desirelessness. It may sound good as a concept, but it makes for a life more difficult and dull than some other very enjoyable paths.

My sense is to take a path of exploration of life experiences. I just don't think we came here to withdraw from the many possibilities that our lives hold. Desire is the impetus to explore experiences that interest us. Wanting to win at sports,earn money, and get good grades is a natural driving force to achieve the experiences we seek. The problem arises from the emotional investment we generate in achieving it - or not. Just like one can see it wrong to want to win, one can see it wrong to lose or to fail in their efforts. Again that's the ego element that mucks up the works.

To the degree one can enjoy the effort of exploration, to appreciate the journey, and not be negatively affected by the outcome, desire becomes a valuable element. As eternal beings, exploring a uniquely limited environment, it's unlikely we all came to sit quietly in caves.

My recommendation is to explore life without being overly invested in the outcome. Enjoy and appreciate your life. Have some fun. And finally, recognize the ego and how it separates you from the aspects of life it judges, both internally and externally. Inclusiveness of awakened being is far more productive in an enjoyable life than the exclusiveness of a judgmental ego. It's not a matter of right or wrong, but of cause and effect.

WW

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turiya
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Re: Functioning in the material world

Post by turiya » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:50 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:14 am
The problem arises from the emotional investment we generate in achieving it - or not. Just like one can see it wrong to want to win, one can see it wrong to lose or to fail in their efforts. Again that's the ego element that mucks up the works.
So true!

Wanting to win at sports, earn money, get good grades, etc are all fine... unless you become attached to the winning, earning, getting, etc.

That is, if you depend on them in order to feel fulfilled (happy, worthy, alive, at peace, etc...), then you will suffer as soon as you lose, stop earning, fail to get, etc.

When you are present, however, the attachment to any outcome dissolves. So, in Presence, whether you win or lose, earn money or not, get good grades or not, there is a sense of your inherent, limitless fulfillment (joy, worth, aliveness, peace, etc...) in the depth of your being that isn't dependent on anything you do/don't do.

So, why do anything at all then if you're fulfilled no matter what?... What's the point?... What's the motivation?

For the enjoyment! :D

And, in my experience, being present is the only way to truly enjoy/be successful at doing anything. When not present, every activity becomes stressful, frustrating, unsatisfying... to a greater or lesser degree....even if I win, earn, achieve what I wanted to! (because I'm unconsciously placing my fulfillment, worth, peace outside of myself, where it can never really be found.)
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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turiya
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Re: Functioning in the material world

Post by turiya » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:14 am

Here's an Eckhart video I enjoyed watching:

https://www.eckharttollenow.com/s/8idbp2
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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MissNikki
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Re: Functioning in the material world

Post by MissNikki » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:24 am

It's fine to feel a sense of self or invest time in something important to you - just don't allow yourself to become CONSUMED by it. :wink:
Posted by MissNikki.

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AliArtist1963
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Re: Functioning in the material world

Post by AliArtist1963 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:19 am

MissNikki,
When I go into an experience, new or familiar, it is guaranteed that either an opportunity to love, an opportunity to be loved, and an opportunity to learn will present itself. The ego, at least for me, seems temporarily unattached while I'm waiting for those opportunities.
"...that awkward moment between birth and death "

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