IS there anything to do????

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 :)
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gently awakening
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IS there anything to do????

Post by gently awakening » Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:22 pm

Although Tolle's writings make more sense to me than anything else I also browse quite a lot of non-duality sites. And that totally throws me. Tolle advises using portals to bring awareness back to Presence. Or to help awareness become aware of itself.

Then there are the Tony Parsons, the John Wheelers, the David Carses. They're saying stop. There's nothing to do. It's all false. All seeking is. There is only this.

For example David Carse says in his book 'Perfect, Brilliant, Stillness' the following, and it seems hugely contradictory to me:
When you step out of what you are not, what remains is not something you have to become, but what you always already are. That is why there is nothing you have to do, or become, or learn, or practice, or work at, or purify. It is completely effortless to be in your natural state. What is full of difficult, constant effort is maintaining this false and unnatural idea of being somebody, of being an individual, a separate something. You are a non-entity! Let it go! When it is let go of, you rest in the effortlessness of All That Is, of what could be called your natural state.

Effortlessness is not something that can be attained by effort. No-mind is not a state that can be achieved by the mind. Peace cannot be achieved by striving. Trying to be aware of 'just being in the present moment' is a contradiction in terms; being 'self-consciously' aware of it takes you out of it. Trying to be awareof "I Am' is a similar contradiction, and for the same reason. You can't try to be happy any more than you can try to go to sleep or try to act naturally. You only act naturally when you're not trying, not thinking, but simply going about life
And then he takes this quote from the Bible:
"Whoever discovers the true meaningof these sayings will never die:Let the seeker not stop seeking until he finds.And when he finds, he will be greatly troubled.And after he has been troubled,he will be astonished,and he will reign over the All."
- Jesus of Nazareth (The Gospel of Thomas)
From what I can gather, here on this forum, there appears to be a search. But one day the story is seen through and all illusions drop away. And peace reigns. Hurrah! Perhaps Carse and others have so fully seen through the veil that they can now only describe the ultimate truth. Whereas Tolle is giving us gentle pointers to the truth....

So what's the deal here? Do I throw away my list of reminders about how to come back to the present moment? Or do I practice diligently until the truth is seen and then laugh about all those wasted years of seeking? :roll:

Carse's words touch me in a deep place but the only way I can see to 'let go and rest in effortlessness' would be to drop my physical reality and go sit in a cave.

gently awakening
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Post by gently awakening » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:52 pm

Perhaps this answers my question. It's from this website:

http://www.nonduality.info/awareness.html
This website is not for casual spiritual seekers with just a shallow interest in the truth. Nor is it for those interested in the occult. It is also not for those who are after spiritual entertainment... i.e seemingly enlightened 'masters' or 'gurus' wearing impressive robes with important sounding titles and never ending practices. If this describes you, then do not enter.
The aim of this website is to annihilate the ego and to take you beyond the need for any further spiritual help. Only read the information on this site if this is what you are after and you are prepared to take 100% responsibility for your own experiences.
http://www.nonduality.info tries to explain in words what cannot be explained in words. It attempts to explain THAT ( the true self ) which is prior to words, concepts and thoughts. Because of this, words and concepts can only be used as 'pointers'. Due to this conundrum there is potential for the reader to easily misunderstand the contents of the site and to come to incorrect conclusions. The creator of the website cannot be held responsible in any way for any misunderstandings whatsoever of the contents of the website, or any advice which is given, and the effects thereof which occur for whatever reason.


The information on this site is in accordance with traditional Advaita, which is the only Advaita there is. It is NOT a 'Neo-Advaita' site. Neo-Advaita, whilst looking very much like Advaita, is DEFINITELY NOT true Advaita and more often than not only leads to an intellectual 'awakening', which is not an awakening AT ALL. Neo-Advaita 'teachers' say that 'you are already there so you don't need to do anything'. Because of that they frown on any methods at all, not realising that methods can be used to transcend themselves and can result in DIRECT KNOWING. They say that to do a method only reinforces the ego. Unfortunately, their intellectual approach more often than not just leads to a BELIEF that you are 'enlightened' and not to actual enlightenment, which is PRIOR to any belief. Unfortunately, many of the current popular so called Advaita or nondual teachers are Neo-Advaitists and it's recommended that you be clear about what type of 'nondual' teacher you are taking advice from because they are NOT all the same.
The information contained in this website is NOT meant to be accepted blindly and 'learnt' intellectually. Blind acceptance of the information on this site is USELESS and would miss THE WHOLE POINT behind Advaita. The information on this site is intended to aid spiritual aspirants in attaining that knowing which is beyond ANY words, thoughts, beliefs or concepts WHATSOEVER .... the wordless, thoughtless, timeless truth.
Great website that I had saved in favourites then forgotten about. Am about to start reading again!

Thank you! I mean me! I mean the all knowing one! :?

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Post by kiki » Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:30 am

Strictly speaking Carse is right - there is nothing you have to do because you are already it. The real effort is in maintaining the appearance of separation. The egoic entity must be maintained in some way, but what you are, the natural state of awareness, is always fully here, so nothing ever has to be done to "arrive" at where you already are.

The difficulty for people is the recognition of this, not just the intellectual understanding of it, but the realization of this as the truth of what they are. ET goes about this in a round about way with his portals. Some people seem to need this and this is where a seeming search takes place until it's realized that nothing really has to be done. Once you actually wake up you see how nothing has to be done. The others you mentioned are more direct in describing how to realize what you are, pointing out that the one who seeks is what gets in the way. If you can see this for yourself you'll have no need for portals, practices, and techniques. But you have to actually see/realize this otherwise it just remains something in the mind that is identified with. It will remain, as he stated, just an intellectual understanding, which does not give you any more freedom than you had before.

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Post by gently awakening » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:04 pm

So after my querying yesterday I bacame anxious. All of a sudden there was this feeling of 'there Is something I have to do! I've been wasting time!'. I'm trying to go with it but now feel like I have to sit and meditate twice a day and quit smoking and do a detox etc etc. PURIFY my apparent self.

I struggle with the fact that I don't live up to my noble ideals. That's just where I'm at with my current level of consciousness right now. But then I remembered something Ramana said. Something like- 'life happens, you simply bring your attention to it. That is all. '

And recently I have read that you don't have any real choice in what thoughts appear, there is no volition. Thoughts appear a fraction of a second before you become aware of the thought. So that is somewhat comforting....I guess what I'm waffling on about here is actually the crux of it all. the great point that I'm missing.....acceptance.....I only appear to make a choice.

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Post by eseward » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:52 pm

gently awakening wrote:So after my querying yesterday I bacame anxious.
gently awakening wrote:I've been wasting time!'.
gently awakening wrote:I have to sit and meditate twice a day and quit smoking and do a detox etc etc. PURIFY my apparent self.
gently awakening wrote:I struggle with the fact that I don't live up to my noble ideals. That's just where I'm at with my current level of consciousness right now.
gently awakening wrote:the great point that I'm missing.....acceptance.....I only appear to make a choice.
IMHO the great point that you are missing is that you are not this you that you referred to so many times. That you is actually just your conditioning, which you are currently identified with (hypnotized by), and which fades as you realize this fact. Then the real you emerges effortlessly in the space created by that fading, and the real you has none of the problems you mentioned.
Vernon Howard wrote:We must cease to know so many wrong things.

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Post by kiki » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:27 pm

For the purpose of illustration let's remove you from a first person perspective and put you in a third person perspective with what you actually are you - a great unknown that is the source of everything. This great unknown is benevolent to the point of allowing everything to be as it is, even the seeming appearance of good, evil, struggle, and suffering.

Now, you (the great unknown) are watching what's happening from the seat of a movie theatre and you know it's a movie. In the movie you (gently awakening) appear and in the role you are playing, as part of the performance, you see limitation, faults, desires for things to be different and all the rest of it and because of that you react and resist what's happening and you "suffer". It's a very good performance, very convincing to the player and all of the other characters are captivated by his performance. Really, he should get an Oscar for his work!

At some point the character of gently awkening hears about "enlightenment" and waking up. So he puts efforts toward that goal. The great unknown watches as the flickering light upon the screen does this and that and wonders why he can't wake up. Ah!!! what a performance, what drama! Bravo!

Now you (the great unknown), being the benevolent source of it all, and being unaffected by what's happening on the screen, smile with acceptance at what he/she/it is seeing. Will gently awakening "wake up" or remain "asleep"? Does it matter to the great unknown what happens? No. And why not? What's "out there" on the screen isn't actually real; it's only an appearance of constantly flickering light, and the great unknown knows this. It only matters to the character playing gently awakening whether or not he wakes up.

In this scenario is there anything to be upset about?

------------

OK, now instead of picturing all of this as described above, let's put the great unknown within you, within gently awakening, peering through those eyes and not sitting inside a theatre. There still is "life happening" as Ramana said, but the witness of it is You as you really are. The drama of it is the drama of the character "gently awakening", but the viewer of that drama smiles with acceptance at what manifests, totally free of what only seems to be drama in the mind of the character playing the role of gently awakening.

The attention now shifts a bit and is not totally focused on the drama from the perspective of gently awakening, but also includes some attention on the witness of that drama. Feeling/sensing /knowing /realizing the witness is what deflates the effect of the drama upon the character. The "play" continues, but now gently awakening is seen for what he really is, a mentally created character lit up and animated by consciousness/ source.

------------

In this revised depiction nothing really changes. Isn't there still acceptance present? Isn't there still "drama"? But as eseward is pointing out, you have been placing attention and focus on the character as reflected by all of those "I"s you mention. Let attention deepen beyond the "I" so that the transcendent awareness is noticed so that the things that appear within it no longer overshadow the witness.

----------------

All of "us" give Oscar winning performances. However, the only ones who actually get them are those who perform roles on movie screens so convincingly that we as viewers get taken in completely. The only difference is that the Oscar winners know that they are performing a role and we don't. But we are. This is what waking up reveals, that we are playing a role to perfection, worthy of anything handed out in Hollywood. It's time to put the character's props and costumes away and return consciously to what gives life to the character, the underlying consciousness.

---------------

This can all be summed up thusly: Be still and know. This implies that you are "being" itself, and from "being" there is the knowing of what is actually happening, and in that the stillness of what you are is realized.

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Post by dubhasa » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:03 pm

Wonderful explanation kiki. Sharp and to the point. Thanks

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Post by Narz » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:46 pm

IS there anything to do????
There's lots to do. Life becomes boring quickly if you are inactive. I've never met a spirit who isn't restless. It's the spark of life.

Dead men tell no tales. Live ones always do. :)
“Seek simplicity but distrust it”

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Post by ninjin » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:51 pm

Boring is just a label based on past memories and negative labeling of emotions.
Better question who is getting bored? :lol:

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Post by Webwanderer » Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:12 am

Excellent post Kiki.
Narz wrote:Quote:
IS there anything to do????

There's lots to do. Life becomes boring quickly if you are inactive. I've never met a spirit who isn't restless. It's the spark of life.
Yes, there are lots of things to do. What there isn't is a bunch of separate independant doers. There are all sorts of things being done, but there is only the appearance of doers. There is adventure, and drama, and comedy, and boredom, and tragedy, and joy and all mannor of things being done; but the apparent doers are but perspectives of the Omnipresent Being acting in the world of form.

The richness of creation, includes the potential of belief in a separate nature. That does not make it real, but does offer a believable appearance. As Tolle has said, strong beliefs in concepts, form a knot of thought that is assumed as identity. (my paraphrase)

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Integration between inner purpose and outer purpose

Post by weichen » Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:09 am

Towards the end of "A New Earth", Eckhart has a chapter discussing on the integration of inner purpose and outer purpose. This deals with the question "what to do after one awakens".

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Post by Narz » Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:05 am

ninjin wrote:Boring is just a label based on past memories and negative labeling of emotions.
Not really. Bored is a very specific feeling in the present moment. It's based a feeling of dissatisfaction and understimulation. It doesn't have to reference the past or future such as discomfort doesn't. It is. In the moment. Accepting it doesn't make it go away just as accepting you have to pee doesn't make that go away. You have to act. We were meant to act. If not, we'd be plants.
ninjin wrote:Better question who is getting bored? :lol:
The only creature I have ultimate control over and full conscious experience of.
Webwanderer wrote:Yes, there are lots of things to do. What there isn't is a bunch of separate independant doers. There are all sorts of things being done, but there is only the appearance of doers. There is adventure, and drama, and comedy, and boredom, and tragedy, and joy and all mannor of things being done; but the apparent doers are but perspectives of the Omnipresent Being acting in the world of form.

The richness of creation, includes the potential of belief in a separate nature. That does not make it real, but does offer a believable appearance. As Tolle has said, strong beliefs in concepts, form a knot of thought that is assumed as identity. (my paraphrase)
Until you can see the world thru another's eyes or override their individual will and make them dance and sing for you, it's a bunch of separate doers.

Maybe we're all connected in some cosmic sense but we've been designed to think and act as seperate beings.

I, for one, am grateful. Glad I wasn't born as a little ant or bee. Poor little communists!
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Post by ninjin » Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:05 pm

Narz if you have no experience of anything other than what you currently are experiencing then you cannot get bore. Bored is based on a comparison.
There is no feeling named bored. Bored is a mental state in comparison to something else.

"The only creature I have ultimate control over and full conscious experience of. "
Its all in your head. The root is not getting bored the mind might be bored. But it is still a choice and a labeling. The happiest people on the planet really don't have anything to do. They live on a small island without much of everything. Clothes a house and maybe a boat. Still the happiest people on the planet. So like I said its just comparison, a thought of something missing.

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Post by Narz » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:01 pm

You might be on to something.

I still say that there is a human need for stimulation. I suppose a good practice would be to learn how to be stimulated by subtler and subtler things, until eventually you can feel pleasantly stimulated by any situation & circumstance, even just sitting at a bus stop or something.
“Seek simplicity but distrust it”

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