Friendships with Unconscious Individuals: How do you make..

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 :)
buckeyeboywonder
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:28 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
Contact:

Friendships with Unconscious Individuals: How do you make..

Post by buckeyeboywonder » Mon May 28, 2007 5:42 am

How do you have a genuine friendship with someone when everyone in your life is absorbed by the ego? My co-workers, my college friends, everyone - if idle gossip occurs from my lips for one moment, I realize it, but let it be -- yet hope that it will not be spread. Yet it is turned around and told through the grape vine -- even by my best friends- and it hurts me that people I consider my best friends would do this -- I understand it is their ego doing it and not them, but it just hurts (and I know this pain I am feeling too is also ego and it will pass), but I'm wondering...

How do I properly function in a society ruled by ego? How do I interact with people and friends ruled by ego?

Ives
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Tuscany, Italy

Post by Ives » Mon May 28, 2007 4:45 pm

One very practical thing you could do is join a spiritual group in your neighbourhood. Only don't expect to find people who are all awake and perfectly free of the ego.

weichen
Posts: 734
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:37 am
Location: NYC

people shouldnot all be absorbed by ego, is that true?

Post by weichen » Mon May 28, 2007 5:18 pm

Another way is to use Byron Katie's 'The Work' to deal with this thought "How do you have a genuine friendship with someone when everyone in your life is absorbed by the ego?"

"people in my life should not all be absorbed by their ego", is that true ?

who would you be if you drop that thought ?

Turn it around: when I am with everyone around me, I am the one who is absorbed by the ego, and they are the enlightened (accept what is), does that "turn around thought" feel more true ?

Foxtrot
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:44 pm
Location: Phila. Pa.

Post by Foxtrot » Mon May 28, 2007 6:37 pm

How do you have a genuine friendship with someone when everyone in your life is absorbed by the ego?
Wow, this is a really great question. You have a genuine friendship with them just as you you always have.
if idle gossip occurs from my lips for one moment, I realize it, but let it be -- yet hope that it will not be spread. Yet it is turned around and told through the grape vine -- even by my best friends- and it hurts me that people I consider my best friends would do this
Lets look at this a little closer. First you state that you either started or passed on some gossip to your friend who spread it through the grapevine, causing you some type of hurt. I would suggest the hurt you feel is not caused by them spreading some gossip but by your judgement of them as less spiritual than you or as people who should not spread gossip. You are in effect projecting your code of ethics on them, a code which you violated by telling them in the first place. Lets face it, if you really didn't want it to go through the grapevine you would not have said anything in the first place. If you realize it in yourself and you then let it be as you put it, can't you afford your friends this also ? Your friends are only mirroring back to you what you yourself have done in the past and are still doing until recently. That is just what the mind does until it is seen by the person as an activity he/she no longer wants and then works to stop that unconcious pattern or habit. Everyone you meet is your mirror, reflecting back to you what you project. Some are clear mirrors and some are not so clear. Some mirror your past, some your present, and some your future. Never berate or condem others or yourself for this, just notice it, and clean it up in yourself. That's all you need to do.
How do I properly function in a society ruled by ego? How do I interact with people and friends ruled by ego?
How would you like someone you consider to be " Spiritualally Awake " to interact with you when you do something that is ego based, but not yet seen by you as an unconcious act ? Should they judge and condem you, or avoid you in the future ? Find the answer to this question of yours in your own heart, and then act on the answer. Just notice how it feels inside as you act on this answer, and if it feels right, GREAT. If it feels like you need to modify your actions based on the answer you recieved, then change it a little until you get it just right for yourself. That is how you interact with those ruled by the ego, and that includes yourself.

User avatar
JD
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: Friendships with Unconscious Individuals

Post by JD » Mon May 28, 2007 7:59 pm

buckeyeboywonder wrote:How do you have a genuine friendship with someone when everyone in your life is absorbed by the ego?
Like attracts like.

Concentrate on dis-identifying with your own ego and you'll soon find yourself in the company of others who've done the same with theirs. :D

D'ray
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 7:01 pm
Location: Something Now-ish ;)

Post by D'ray » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:02 pm

How would you like someone you consider to be " Spiritualally Awake " to interact with you when you do something that is ego based, but not yet seen by you as an unconcious act ? Should they judge and condem you, or avoid you in the future ? Find the answer to this question of yours in your own heart, and then act on the answer. Just notice how it feels inside as you act on this answer, and if it feels right, GREAT. If it feels like you need to modify your actions based on the answer you recieved, then change it a little until you get it just right for yourself. That is how you interact with those ruled by the ego, and that includes yourself.
Oh great. This was just what I needed.[/quote]

eseward
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:27 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Friendships with Unconscious Individuals

Post by eseward » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:22 pm

JD wrote:Concentrate on dis-identifying with your own ego and you'll soon find yourself in the company of others who've done the same with theirs.
Such a great answer. :)

proudlybeing
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: tasmania (australia)

Post by proudlybeing » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:43 pm

Hi all, thanks to bucketboywonder for initiating this thread,

This area is one of my few stuggles with 'conciousness' , but from a slightly different angle. I do not find problems with others egos so much a stumbling block to friendships , but I do find that I become almost 'switched off' to 90% of conversations , simply because I understand that they have egoic minds, and their conversations etc tend to be overwhelmingly negative, judgmental etc, once you find peace, it's sometimes quite difficult to be around these egoic conversations.

Also quite often, I find myself visiting people whom I have known for years, and am very fond of, only to find that they may be watching movies including violence, sexism, etc or their children are playing violent video games etc and will ask me to play them with them, which i just could not do. I
do try to focus on the people themselves etc, and ignore the tv as much as possible, but sometimes the more peace I feel, the more isolated from society i become. Where I live there are few if any 'like minded' people, so this makes meeting others difficult, besides that, I simply adore my existing friends, and don't want to loose them, but it does seem to be getting harder to relate to them.

I totally understand that they do not have the problem here, and in no way am i judging them, in fact i just come straight out and say that i don't like these types of things, but would never ask or expect anyone to make allowances for my personal position.

This is all quite difficult for me as I would consider myself to be a 'people person' but peace is somehow pushing me away from people.
Balance here is hard to find


Any pearls of wisdom on this would be greatly appreciated

P.B
My heart (and being) felt thanks to the force(es) than bring me to share this site and journey with you all.

Larryfroot
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 9:49 pm
Location: Devon, United Kingdom

Post by Larryfroot » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:24 pm

in one sense it is much more about how we approach them than how they respond to us. To connect with the highest and best in them is a wonderful thing, and they may not really know why they feel comfortable, and understood, and heard. But so often it is down to listening to what they say with your entire body. this is an opprotunity for you to let go of ideas and to listen with all of you. this is their opportunity to connect with the energy field of someones presence.

And in the end we are all in this together...other people, whether unconscious or not, are the 'field' in which we develop our patience, our compassion, our ability to connect with the highest and best in everyone through maintaining presence and listening to what they have to say...and whatever you respond with, coming from that presence, will be spot-on.

I read Tarot for some pretty messed up people at times. The one rule is to never fall in love with the sound of your own voice. Humility will enable people to open up in atmosphere of trust and become more meaningful in manner and thought. But when the 'us and them' issue is raised, I have always found that unless I at least try to have some humility, polarisation can often result. The point I think is to bring the 'us' and the 'them' into the 'we'. And also someone who I may consider very unconscious will always still have something to teach me, so should I not at least respect them for that?
Many a mickle muches a markle.

eseward
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:27 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Post by eseward » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:32 pm

Larryfroot wrote:... they may not really know why they feel comfortable, and understood, and heard.

... The point I think is to bring the 'us' and the 'them' into the 'we'.
Exactly. Beautiful, Larry. :)

proudlybeing
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: tasmania (australia)

Post by proudlybeing » Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:30 am

Thanks for the reply larryfroot, but it seems that I did'nt expain the problem very well, With regard to conecting with the highest and best in people, there is no issue for me here, as the people around me know that when we are one on one , that they are given 100% of my attention, and there is no judgement involved if they have issues that they want to discuss. I am more talking about group settings, and as you know when
we have 'presence,' we have an entirely different prospective on most things, the egoic mind, might want to 'jump in' and give a position, or become involved in a conversation that is being played out by 2 or more egoic minds, but the realization is there that this would be futile, and that
their minds almost 'need' to be involved in these conversations.

Of course the other thing here is that we are often asked to take a position, or give an opinion on the subject at hand, but as these conversations are often personal attacks on people, of whom the 'target' is another friend, I may be able to see the reason why the 'target' person has said or acted as they have, or I'll look at it as follows,

We can only judge people when we know ALL the facts involved in the situation, and exactly how the person (s) involved are effected by these facts . Of course people are who they are because of what they have experienced in their lives, and will therefore react differently to different situations for that reason, now with this in mind , It is impossible to judge anyone !!
Some people tend to be annoyed by this as their egoic needs are not being met.

I am not a competitive person, so I do not 'need' to be involved with 'egoic tennis' , sure , sometimes there is the opportunity to slip in
a diffent perspective which may well
defuse this 'egoic tennis', and sometimes if I can see that the issue may escalate, then I may do that, but of course when we do that, the egoic minds involved are put out because their 'game' may be over.
If we do this too often , (in group setting particularly) I find that I become more isolated.

Another downside to this is of course, if i just switch off to the negative conversations, and allow them to pass through, sometimes people will ask for an opinion or for imput from me, and I won't actually know what they are talking about, this can give the impression that I'm either in 'in a daze' or am ignorant. I must stress that at no point do i feel like I am above these persons etc, in fact i totally respect their need to be this way,
as they only generally have their egoic minds to work with ,

It just may be , that isolation is the price of peace. the only way to get away from the noise, is to get away from the noise.

For me I guess the problem is not my reaction a given situation , but my
lack of reaction, as peace is paramont.

bless you all
P.B
My heart (and being) felt thanks to the force(es) than bring me to share this site and journey with you all.

Larryfroot
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 9:49 pm
Location: Devon, United Kingdom

Post by Larryfroot » Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:20 am

Thank you proudlybeing, your post makes for a bit more clarity...

I think this is where compassion (not sympathy as sympathy is NOT compassion) comes in. If wisdom is the mind of enlightenment, then compassion is its heart.

There seems - and I emphasise 'seems' to be a lot of books in the nowbie canon that are wisdom based...in other words approaching presence through insight and philosophy and experiential knowledge. None of them are the goal of course, but they remain very apt and useful pointers to the goal (or non-goal if one prefers). but the wisdom - based approach is there.

But compassion is not a word i come across very often in my nowbie travels. I accept that I may be missing a slew of compassion based threads and posts somewhere, but I don't think I am. Again, please do correct me if I am wrong on this point.

But to assume for the sake of flow that this is the case, there is little spoken about directly relating to compassion. And I am not knocking wisdom! Honestly..but sometimes it all seems a little one-sided...

Yet in our dealings with others painbodies, and especially with our own painbody compassion is absolutely essential in order to relate without losing consciousness.

I have distinguished between compassion and sympathy as compassion is an acknowledgement of our interdependence and the natural way of acting with others and the wider world based on this realisation of inter-dependent oneness.

Sympathy however often seeks to assert moral superiority over others.

So compassion...really the way I found compassion was through being compassionate to my own painbody. To the very root of negative thought and emotion (these I feel are spin-offs from the painbody and not the painbody itself).

Because when I saw the root of my own suffering I saw that all sorrow is one sorrow. None of the root painbody and all the spin-offs from it are personal.

So with this much widened scope I discovered to show compassion, loving kindness and understanding to the "root" painbody is to show it to all painbodies everywhere.

There is a stunningly simple formula for assessing our spiritual development. It is from the Tibetan Buddhist stable. It is this:

When one thinks of others welfare as much or more than one thinks of ones own...this is the measure.

Compassion is inherent in wisdom and wisdom inherent in compassion.

To be able to stay connected with presence through having compassion (which is never condescending or cringeworthy) for the people we are with. That is a really potent practice. One listens, nods, offers angles of different reasoning and is content with small gains as well as large ones...

With the heart of compassion beating, all negativity seems to be water off a ducks back. It really finds no target. but there has to be balance, because wisdom without compassion becomes a polarising assertation of facts without any kindness or respect that emphasises differences and feeds the painbodies of all involved. And compassion without wisdom becomes sentimental sympathy or, if allied to an external cause even fanaticism.

To be compassionate is not to become a doormat. It is to become powerful....powerful in the way presence and consciousness can be maintained through a heart that wishes joy for everyone.
Many a mickle muches a markle.

proudlybeing
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: tasmania (australia)

Post by proudlybeing » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:06 pm

Thanks again larryfroot,

I find your posts most helpfull.

Perhaps a better description again is empathy,

I look at it like this,

if you walk past someone who has fallen down a hole,and can't get out, a sympathetic person would cry for them, jump in the hole and hold them until thety feel better, and then realise that they are both stuck in the hole.

An empathetic person however would still feel the distress, but would actively search for a means of freeing the person from the hole, or encourage the person to do so themselves.

Lack of compassion is not really what I am talking about here though,
if anything it is too much compassion that causes these difficulties.


bless you all P.B
My heart (and being) felt thanks to the force(es) than bring me to share this site and journey with you all.

Larryfroot
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 9:49 pm
Location: Devon, United Kingdom

Post by Larryfroot » Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:43 pm

Hmmmm............too much compassion...too some ears that sounds as oxymoronic as too much wisdom.

I think perhaps the terms and meanings of 'compassion' and 'sympathy' are being mixed up somewhat.

Compassion is bourne of insight. It is recognising the interdependence of all beings...and acting in ways that are entirely in tune with that insight. Not only that but we can understand that by acting from compassion, we are sowing the seeds of powerfully beneficial conditions that can help us to ripen the froot of realisation with. As to act with compassion is to act in ways that go with the reality of interdependence, not against it and that is reflected by the progressive karma that ripens from compassion rather than the restrictive karma that arises from being pre-occupied with ones own welfare to the exclusion of others.

Compassion is not about becoming a doormat, but of being empowered by the wisdom that percieves causes and conditions and informs our actions, influencing them into the direction of compassion.

Compassion doesn't waste time wringing its hands or being condescending. It doesn't weaken somebodys spiritual practice but rather multiplies its intensity by as many one has genuine compassion for.

Wisdom is the mind of enlightenment, and compassion its heart.

Compassion to ourselves is often the only cure for difficult times.

The mind is a mirror, and no aspect of our experience more so than our painbodies...which is what arises in all situations we find dissatisfactory, including interacting with others the experience of which troubles us. But at the end of the day...no matter what we feel about others, our own discomfort arises in us, not in them.

We are responsible for our own experience....the root of all our suffering is the pain body. Not defined as a series of negative thougts and emotions. That is just the emotional and verbal spin offs from the painbody. The painbody is pre - verbal, and pre-emotion. By going even deeper in our observation of the pain body than our negative thoughts or emotions we can dissolve the "root" painbody. By dissolving it in love and compassion and understanding. To do that...to truly dissolve it, we have to open our hearts to the tenderness and love that is the heart of compassion.

And as we can readily see that the "root" painbody is not a personal phenomenon but one that is universal to all human beings, our opening of our hearts to release the transformative power of compassion for the healing of the "root" painbody is an opening of the heart towards all our pain.

In this sense compassion takes real courage. Because when we face the "root" painbody we face the place inside us that truly scares us. Whatever our problem...sorrow or anger, frustration or resentment all spin off from this common human experience that we spend entire lifetimes trying to avoid.

We try and distract ourselves from it, numb out from it, or justify it with stories about fault, blame, superiority or abnegation which act as a buffer zone between us and the "root" painbody. But here the challenge is to go right to that place, stay with it using open curiousity, non - judgemental attitude, a light touch and a dash of humour. When we experience it without labelling it, without telling ourself stories about how it came to be, whose fault it was or any discursive argument, when we fail to bring to it any emotional or mental baggage to the experience, we are staying with the very feeling that drives individuals into patterns of suffering that can last an entire lifetime.

It is so hard to put that feeling into words...but 'fear' comes close.

And from that point of staying we open up our natural, innate heart of compassion. We totally accept the "root" painbody at the same time as remaining full of love and compassion and open-ness towards it.

This actually transmutes the painful energy into the qualities of the heart that we have opened up towards it.

And that is the power of compassion.

Compassionan and widom, inseparable.
Many a mickle muches a markle.

proudlybeing
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: tasmania (australia)

Post by proudlybeing » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:15 pm

Larryfoot,
I do feel that this has actually gotten off the actual 'path that i was endevouring to follow, as a volunteer with organisations whom help a wide variety of people to help themselves, through victims of crime, crisis counciling etc, i do understand compassion very well.
I agree with all that you are saying in relation to compassion, but the issue that is at hand is the problem of when to not interfere with other peoples rights etc to have there little games of ' egoic tennis ' , is this in itself not compassion ? to take a position of compassion on every conversation as i said before, will inevitably cause stress on friendships ,
It is not possible to take on every little arguement, or disagreement that the people around you have, even if it was, it would be self destructive. there is an element of 'self care' in every situation,
for me , I find that not getting involved in 'cyclic arguements' etc,
frees up the ability to help persons that are in need of more intensive or critical support, these people, are in need of compassion and are ready to be helped.

Compassion around compassionate people, for compassionate causes is truely one of lifes most rewarding experiences, and has an amazing multiplying effect, but its the interaction with more mainstream egoic minds that is difficult,

I hope that you can understand that this is my experience, and as I said before , it may be that what is right for my journey may be to become more isolated, from 'mainstream' life. after all , many traditional
'enlightened' people have lived very secluded lives, I am at peace with all that ' is ' now more than ever, and accepting that for me this issue seems to have no resolution , is part of what 'is' in the now.

Still my journey continues, and i'm sure that the answer will come
( maybe even one day from rereading your posts).

Thankyou for you time and imput .

bless you and all you care about
P.B
My heart (and being) felt thanks to the force(es) than bring me to share this site and journey with you all.

Post Reply