Why would I send back the cold soup?

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 :)
Post Reply
Krychek
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:39 am

Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by Krychek » Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:25 am

Hi,

I’m new here, so a little background may help you understand why I’m stuck on this question.

When I was young, I encountered some “emotionally negative” experiences which I wasn’t able to handle too well. (Nothing too extreme, mind you, just a messy divorce with an occasionally violent father.) My reaction to this was to “shut down” emotionally. My world became logic, data, and reason. The only emotion I’ve been aware of experiencing in the last 26 years is extreme fear (airplane turbulence precedes this lovely state) and extreme anger (wife turbulence precedes this lovely state). About once every six months, I’m enduring one or the other. The rest of the time, I’m a DNA based zombie-computer processing perception stimuli or thoughts.

This state of existence isn’t fun, pleasant, or fulfilling. It’s just… neutral (and exhausting).

For 26 years, this splinter in the back of my mind seemed to be whispering (and occasionally screaming) “What’s the point?”. For 26 years, no action I’ve ever taken seemed worth the effort it took to do it. So I went religion shopping to infuse a sense of purpose into my life situation. This failed. Turns out, most religions demand you first must believe something that can neither be proved or disproved before you can enjoy it’s benefits. My mind (using it’s only tool - logic) said to me, “That’s irrational and dangerous. Find a rational way to feel a sense of purpose. Or exist without one. Or when you can’t stand it any more, just kill yourself. But don’t you dare ever sell out or give up on rationality.”

So the search continued…

ET seemed to offer a ray of hope. “Here is your purpose - The evolution of human consciousness.” Not exactly provable in the classic sense, but as there appears to be some precedence in nature, I’m going to call it more probable than “blow up the infidels, the afterlife virgins are waiting” or the ever popular “accept Jesus as your savior lest you be cast into a lake of fire for all eternity” - sorry Jews, it ain’t lookin too good for you guys and gals. But I digress.

Furthermore, ET says “Don’t believe me, try it, see for yourself if I’m lying.” This guy’s talking my language now. Direct perceptual feedback verifying or not verifying whether or not his words reflect objective reality. Super, sign me up.

One problem…

Logic forces me to conclude that if I’m completely surrendered to what is, in the NOW, and all labeling (and thus all craving and aversion and ego) is gone, and the waiter brings me cold soup when I ordered warm, nothing that I can see would motivate me to ask him to heat it up. So…

“Would I ask him to heat it up?” “And if so, why?”

ET was asked this question in various forms several times. His responses ranged from “acceptance isn’t resignation” (sorry ET, that’s question avoidance) to “Yes, you’d ask him to heat it up, but you’d be motivated to do so not by wanting or fearing, or egoic need, you’d ask him to heat it up because “The universe would act through you (presumably because your consciousness is so close to the unmanifested and thus more in tune with what the “universe wants”) and you’d just find yourself asking him to heat it up.” Ok, better. Not avoiding the question at least. Still pretty bad though, as it sounds like pure nonsense. Now granted, my only tool to judge this as pure nonsense is logic. And maybe this does indeed reflect objective reality, but logic is inadequate to the task of seeing why it is so. Or maybe logic is useful here, but I’m not smart enough to see how it applies. Or maybe ET is lying. Or maybe ET is pulling one of his famous “You’re not ready for that type of information yet, if I told you the real truth, you’d abandon this path.” I’m not sure which it is, but if anyone here can shed any light on this for me I’d be very very very grateful as it’s been holding me back for about seven years now. HELP! :|

User avatar
erict
Site-Admin
Site-Admin
Posts: 1812
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:24 pm
Location: Israel
Contact:

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by erict » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:35 pm

I think that the kind of acceptance that Eckhart Tolle is talking about is actually very simple, although a lot of people seem to misunderstand it.

You would send back the cold soup, because you prefer to eat a warm soup. It's really as simple as that.

Saying that there would be no labeling, means that you would not label the cold soup as "bad" or as "another sign of how rotten your luck is" or any other elaborate dramatic story around it. You would perceive that the soup is cold, and without making a big internal drama about it, you would ask for a warm one, because you prefer a warm one. You would simply skip the whole insane part of punishing yourself for the soup being cold by creating all sorts of internal negativity.

I don't think I'm explaining myself very well at all. But let me try some more, maybe it would be helpful after all. Eckhart is inviting you to be dealing with direct reality, instead of a made-up story about the reality. The reality is you are sitting in a restaurant, in front of a cold soup. And if you keep it that simple, without constructing a story about how "waiters are out to get you" or how "your luck is always so bad" or whatever, and then act on it, then your experience would be remarkably different.

You do not invest energy into fighting against what IS internally - which doesn't do anything to change the situation (it only makes you suffer). You invest only the little energy on the level of actions, that is necessary to change it. The situation is already as it is, all the inner resistance in the world would not change it. All it would do is make you suffer.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2257
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by Onceler » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:54 pm

I think you explained it well, Eric. I can only add the contortions I would go through. Pre-ET, I would have had this lengthy, intense internal dialouge to the effect of:

I can't ask the waiter to heat up the soup, they might be irritated, it is busy in here tonight...what am I, a coward? Yes, I have been cowardly all my life (come up with 43 instant examples), then I would tell myself, no more cowardice, I will ask them to heat it up...then I would get extremely nervous and have a long conversation with my wife and she would confirm my cowardice (she is dutiful in that regard). Then I may or may not ask them to heat it up, if they did I would fear they spit in it and not enjoy the soup....go home and beat myself up some more. Think of it the whole next day/week as the latest confirmation of my ineptness as a human being.

Now, I would simply ask, as Eric said, because the soup is cold and I like it hot. Or I wouldn't ask, because the server is obviously stressed, it is busy and it would slow the process of the dinner--if I was internally complaining, I would again determine whether I should ask it to be heated, or drop the complaining. Either way I would live with my decision without the mental contortions. I may have mental contortions if I am in a bad mood, but I can usually catch that these days. My wife is brilliant about this stuff, and she has taught me a lot. She simply asks for what she wants, because she has paid for it. she is not overbearing, nor overly demanding and she usually gets what she wants.

Good question and welcome to the forum, Krychek. Are you an X-files fan?
Be present, be pleasant.

User avatar
shivak
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:42 pm

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by shivak » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:30 pm

Only the person identificated with EGO prefers one thing over the other;
but the person disintified with all forms (and so "truely in the now" does not.)

So the question "Why would I send back the cold soup?" is a very good one,
and I'm not exactly sure if I know the answer to it.



I guess you could also ask the question "Why would I even eat or walk around?";

The body gives feeling of hunger, this means you need to eat to keep it fit.
The body gives the feeling of sleepyness, this means you need to sleep to keep it fit.
When sitting in the meditation position... the body gives the feeling of tension in the legs,
this might mean you need to get up and move your legs... to make the blood flow better...
otherwise there may be a problem with bloodcirculation that might be Lethal very soon even.

So i guess the question "why eat" depends on wether you want to keep your body alive and healthy, or not.
And if you want to keep it alive and healthy... why is that, if you do not prefer one thing over the other?

I guess to be 100% in the now...
then you let everything be as it is without interfering one bit... this results in death, because you don't make effort to eat.
To keep the body alive and to do other actions such as work a job... you need to continue to identify at least a little bit with EGO.



Drinking cold soup or warm soup is not necessary for your survival,
and if you are aware enough of your True-Self...

then you will not like Cold soup more than you like Warm soup.
Pleasure doesn't charm True-Self and pain doesn't hurt True-Self.

(I use the term True-Self as another term for "the Self" a.k.a. "Brahman")
To get back to the question of "Why would I send back the cold soup?"

I'd say... it's the part of you that is still identified with Ego,
which decides wether you become a Spiritual Teacher... or a Hermit.
which decides wether you eat Cold soup... or Hot soup.

and it's the same part of you that is still identified with Ego,
who is "happy" when there is pleasure and "unhappy" when there is pain.



When the "happiness" that pleasure provides doesn't seem cut it anymore,
and the "unhappiness" that pain provides is becoming a bit tiresome...

this is usually the time a person starts to become interested in Self-Realization a.k.a. Enlightenment :mrgreen:

I figure it's ok to identify a bit and let the body and mind do it's thing in this world of Illusion,
but don't take it too seriously and don't place value on it or the illusion will seem real and make you unhappy. :P
"The mind is there to show you what is not real." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4553
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by kiki » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:00 pm

Welcome to the board, Krychek.

Eric's answer is spot on. Preferences remain but they no longer contribute to defining you, so if your preference can't be met then acceptance of the situation follows without a big internal drama being created over it which then follows you around afterward. Simple, neat, and spontaneous, and life just continues to unfold.
"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
---

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6342
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by Sighclone » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:02 am

For 26 years, this splinter in the back of my mind seemed to be whispering (and occasionally screaming) “What’s the point?”. For 26 years, no action I’ve ever taken seemed worth the effort it took to do it. So I went religion shopping to infuse a sense of purpose into my life situation. This failed. Turns out, most religions demand you first must believe something that can neither be proved or disproved before you can enjoy it’s benefits. My mind (using it’s only tool - logic) said to me, “That’s irrational and dangerous. Find a rational way to feel a sense of purpose. Or exist without one. Or when you can’t stand it any more, just kill yourself. But don’t you dare ever sell out or give up on rationality.”
Krychek -

One of my compelling reasons for interest in Consciousness results from the results of deep penetrating rationality, applied with the scientific method to subatomic particle activity in the last 100 years. This produced, of course, Quantum Mechanics, or as Einstein said 'the end of physics as a science.' He spent 35 years failing to disprove the disturbing discovery that 'the watcher' is part of the observation. His EPR paper was finally shown to be wrong, well after his death. Add to that non-locality and the recent perturbations of the double-slit experiment, and the continuing naked truth of the Copenhagen Interpretation, and you are left with the end of science resting at the doorstep of Being, or pure consciouness. May I recommend 'The Self-Aware Universe' (Goswami) and 'The Conscious Universe' (Nadeau). One of the better (and funnier) summaries of QM and its history is Satinover's 'The Quantum Brain.' These are not particularly spiritual books, but come to the staggering conclusion that science and metaphysics are now speaking the same language, using the same terms. If you would like a really rational life-purpose, grind away on that conumdrum, reach a purely rational conclusion and contribute to the continuing quest for 'the real reason we are here...the real reason the Universe exists', and stop worrying about soup. I say this with respect, by the way, not to be glib and insulting. But ET is saying, in a way, where the mind ends, Being begins. So if rational thinking can't describe the behavior of electrons, maybe something else is going on and 'giving up on rationality' may be the beginning of deeper understanding. Welcome to the board. Please stay and contribute.

Namaste,
Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

no won
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:05 pm

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by no won » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:21 pm

“Would I ask him to heat it up?”

The way to ask the question imo is " would the waiter be asked to heat it up " in this way the "i" is lost and only the impersonal obseving of what is arising remains leaving just awareness of what is, which may or may not include the question. Wait and see what happens as the observing awareness, there is no right or wrong answer.

User avatar
coriolis
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:51 pm

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by coriolis » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:46 pm

Unfortunately logic, the sort that normally occurs in human brains, will attempt to understand everything in terms of an either/or dichotomy and largely ignore the incomprehensibly vast shades of "maybe" between them because, let's face it, the left hemisphere of the human brain is incapable of processing that much reality into the coin of it's realm -- information.

The "thinking" mode of consciousness works by taking sensory snapshots of the present and is only actually aware of the "present" in the past tense as an impression in it's cognitive space, or in future tense as a projection in it's cognitive space. Maps are valuable aids in the beginning for understanding the territory you wish to explore. But after having walked through it and known if from experience they are nothing but woefully inadequate two dimensional approximations of some of what is really out there.

So, no matter how hard you try you'll never "get" what Tolle is saying by trying to understand it logically because, when now becomes a thought now is already gone and the future is now in the serial processing mode of human thought.
His purpose is not to get you to "understand" anything by reading/hearing his words but to induce you to experience for yourself "that at which the words point".
There's nothing to believe and nothing to follow.
Only one mind blowing realization that our "normal thinking consciousness" is actually nothing but an efficient reducing valve that allows the life force of the universe to trickle through these little bodies at a rate that will not instantly dissolve them into it's cosmic presence for perhaps several decades until the machinery fails an it "happens" anyway.

"Would you send back the could soup?" is no more than an injunction to speculate and can never have anything to do with "surrendering to what is" because, by the time you've considered "what is" it is "what was". What is requires a completely different mode of consciousness than most of us are accustomed to including into our "normal" experience.

Strictly speaking nobody has ever thought of or mentally grasped "what is".
They have always only known a tiny fraction of "what was" and tried to guess, on that basis, "what may be".
Look deeply inside yourself and try to find yourself.
The ensuing failure is the true finding
---- Wu Hsin

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2257
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by Onceler » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:33 pm

coriolis wrote:Only one mind blowing realization that our "normal thinking consciousness" is actually nothing but an efficient reducing valve that allows the life force of the universe to trickle through these little bodies at a rate that will not instantly dissolve them into it's cosmic presence for perhaps several decades until the machinery fails an it "happens" anyway.
Love it, Brilliant.
Be present, be pleasant.

no won
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:05 pm

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by no won » Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:31 am

Don't order the soup !

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6342
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by Sighclone » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:41 am

In the third Oprah session, he says specifically, again - send back the cold soup. He and Oprah remind us that we do that because the soup is cold, not to berate the server from ego.......
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

User avatar
BrahmanEternal
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:04 am
Contact:

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by BrahmanEternal » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:22 pm

There is no better or worse soup , there is no soup, there is no debate here, theres really nothing here.
There are only concepts we use to navigate through the labyrint of ego, through past and the future hoping we will find SOMETHING, only concepts and those concepts will always be a shadow to the truth of this experience.
Free of need to be Free.

grant
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:23 pm
Location: brighton, England

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by grant » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:33 am

Who wrote that last post. Haha :wink:

User avatar
BrahmanEternal
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:04 am
Contact:

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by BrahmanEternal » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:10 am

grant wrote:Who wrote that last post. Haha :wink:
Nobody did.
Free of need to be Free.

grant
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:23 pm
Location: brighton, England

Re: Why would I send back the cold soup?

Post by grant » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:16 pm

Thats what grant thought.

Post Reply