Why Did ET Change His Name?

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Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby jsd80 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:12 pm

I apologize if this has already been talked about. I did a search and only came up with one thread that wasn't helpful.

My question is why Eckhart, and Adyashanti changed their birth names.

At first I didn't think much about it as I figured it went hand in hand with their awakening, and no longer wanting to use the name that they had associated with the ego for so long. It symbolizes the authentic "I" that they discovered when they awoke. Yesterday though, I was questioning why someone who should be the least likely to put any emphasis on a label/name would care enough to change it.

What makes me more curious too is why they picked names that (in ET's case) refer to someone well known, or (Adya's) literally mean something- almost like there is ego involved:

Eckhart's case- Presumably the German mystic Meister Eckhart (well known/famous if you will)

Adyashanti- Sanskrit word meaning, "primordial peace".

So my main question is why someone who has awakened (especially a teacher!) would be motivated in the slightest to change their name to a new one, when it is clearly of little importance.

Secondly: Why chose a name that literally means something, or one that refers to an individual who is meaningful/"important" or viewed by historians to have been? Why not re-name yourself Sam, or Joe, or a common German name? Better yet- just make one up! What's in a name? What is the Motivation behind it? It seems like identification IMHO.

Ulrich was the same "I" as Eckhart; he knows that :)

I am open to other's speculation/ideas, or anything that either of these two have said about this subject. I have never seen an interview in which anything other than the meaning of Adyashanti was discussed, but if someone else has that would be interesting.

When I googled "ET" with "changed name", there were some hits on seemingly religious (specifically Christian) sites that view ET as sacreligious- which of course he is not. One went as far as to question whether his birth name was even Ulrich Tolle, as well as his claimed scholarly accomplishments not being able to be verified, etc.

I really could care less what ET's "accomplishments" are or what he calls himself. I do not care, but I am curious about the truth (which is what this is all about). It would not make his books or message any less true if he was not a scholar, and he didn't really have a sudden awakening on the brink of suicide. I just started Awareness by Anthony De Mello, and he starts off stating the obvious- that human nature is to act out of self-interest. I'm almost positive that ET is human...Well at least this ET :)
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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby kiki » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:21 pm

I changed my name to @!&* - it has no meaning, but nobody could pronounce it so I just go by kiki instead. :wink: Why did I do this? I don't know, I just did it. :D

Seriously, it doesn't really matter to me what some "teacher" has done. What matters to "me" is the degree to which I can remain present with what is.
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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby Onceler » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:53 pm

I always wanted to change my name to "Smokey." Guess I will have to wake up first.

It is a good question and always puzzled me as well. I think you answered it in your post with one of those speculations. Makes sense to me. It seems that upon awakening there is a strong impulse to change ones name....
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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby jsd80 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:00 pm

kiki wrote:I changed my name to @!&* - it has no meaning, but nobody could pronounce it so I just go by kiki instead. :wink: Why did I do this? I don't know, I just did it. :D

Seriously, it doesn't really matter to me what some "teacher" has done. What matters to "me" is the degree to which I can remain present with what is.


Kiki,

I think that you should have left it @!&*; I think it has a beautiful ring to it ;) It's a toss-up though because I really like Kiki too.

So yes you are absolutely correct when you say that it doesn't matter what some teacher does, because ultimately one does not need to actually practice truth to convey it to others; it still remains true regardless of the messenger, and the messenger is not important at all really. I think they should change the saying to "don't shoot or worship the messenger".

"me" is a skeptic... and a recovering cynic, so I don't mean to place undue importance on things. I still have lots of conditioning to "un-condition" :) I will admit that I like to find the truth in every detail, and if I am honest with myself I will say that I fear being tricked, taken advantage of, or blinded. It's almost like I need to constantly assure myself that I am not just seeing what I want to see. I ask questions sometimes that may sound like devil's advocate but I guess I do that so I can do a reality check, and when someone like you comes along and explains something to me, debunks my conditioning, or provides an answer, then it re-affirms my position and distrusting "me" feels better. "Not getting conned today" he says...everyday!

I realize that I identified the message with the messenger now and was sleeping, but I am awake again (for now)! I really like Awareness...De Mello pulls no punches, and he's pretty damn funny too with his stories. I am still "re-learning everything" as he says. BTW- I find it amazing and frightening at the same time that there are people that don't already know what he is saying to be true. I can hear myself saying the same things, and I literally have before. I am 40 pages in and honestly I cannot think of anything right now that I have read that I didn't already know (way way way post Tolle). I am kind of reading it thinking, "Yeah I know that. Isn't that common sense?" "That is so blatantly obvious isn't it?" "Did this guy listen in on family debates and arguments with my fundamental Christian parents all these years?"
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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby dutchred » Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:57 am

Why chose a name that literally means something, or one that refers to an individual who is meaningful/"important" or viewed by historians to have been?


Although changing one's name to the name of a famous person may look like egoic move to those of us who still have egos, that's probably just us projecting our own motives onto someone else. From a place of unity consciousness, that decision may look quite different. The "little me," as you pointed out, no longer exists. From this new place of non-existence, someone might do what Eckhart did as an act of humility, an homage to a teacher to whom one feels gratitude.

Names are difficult things. I have several manuscripts for children's books, and they are all nameless. Any titles I have ever come up with for them feel like a lies or half-truths. This has always been the case, even years before I became consciously aware of the tendency of labels to separate us from genuine experience. I have never figured out what to do about it--I've been puzzling over it for years! As I type, I see it was only my ego that thought I needed to find a solution here. So thank you, jsd80, for shedding light on yet another thing to surrender.

This moment, this thread, these nameless books--they all lack nothing.

Onward I march, with my load a little lighter! :)

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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby jsd80 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:25 am

Dutchred,

Good point about surrendering; it feels good every time!

I was confusing accepting "what is" with needing to know information to find truth.

I realize now that accepting what is is just accepting that ET changed his name, and not trying to get to the factual "truth" of the matter (that's the mind...the problem creator).

Names are tricky like you point out because they appeal so much to the ego I think. They are very important if your job is to market something or someone, and who is it that is being sold?
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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby James » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:19 am

Particularly in the east, changing names is traditional, it signifies a transition from the former human identity that is highly associated with the name, the little "i", to awakening to ones true identity as formless. This is Psychological death. The German Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart must have resonated with Tolle. Since the ego is crafty and does not like to give up, there is also the possibility that someone with a new name, can create a new identity as the one that it is enlightened.

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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby jan-sandahl » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:26 am

Hi, first post on this forum... :)

One wants a spiritual teacher to be no less than 100% clean, and never show any sign of human weakness. Another source of inspiration to me, Alan Watts, stated his human qualities very clearly and probably had several "flaws" (even though he did not aspire to be a guru or spiritual teacher, he just spoke of things that interested him).

My two "problems" with Eckhardt is that he points out namedropping as an act of the dysfunctional ego. And yet he changed his own name, and quite frankly he is a name/quote dropper in his writings (which, granted, also serves to bridge gaps between different teachers/teachings).

My other "problem" with him is that he speaks warmly about being inclusive, not exclusive. Still he sells his teachings and spiritual resources online at prices which are exclusive to some.

Despite this, I find his way of expressing spiritual matters helpful, and he has condensed a lot of wisdom one otherwise finds scattered around in different traditions, scriptures and teachings.

I´m currently at a place where I have almost forgiven him for these shortcomings - although I really think this is what they are. On the other hand, it shouldn´t have any impact whatsoever one ones own journey. In the larger picture he has much more on the positive side of the scale than on the negative.

This is my own shortcoming - I´m not completely free from relying on external idols. Yet.
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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:44 pm

jan-sandahl wrote:One wants a spiritual teacher to be no less than 100% clean, and never show any sign of human weakness.

On the contrary, it's far better that our teachers be flawed to some extent. The reason being that you will then not put your complete trust in them, giving up your own inner guidance in favor of some outside source. Recognize that you must accept responsibility for finding your own truth. Teachers offer pointers, and to a degree, examples by their own life.

And are you sure that the 'problems' you have with Eckhart are not just problems of your own limited vision? If you hold him in judgment, does that not speak to a perception within you that begs review?

WW
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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby jan-sandahl » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:26 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
jan-sandahl wrote:One wants a spiritual teacher to be no less than 100% clean, and never show any sign of human weakness.

On the contrary, it's far better that our teachers be flawed to some extent. The reason being that you will then not put your complete trust in them, giving up your own inner guidance in favor of some outside source. Recognize that you must accept responsibility for finding your own truth. Teachers offer pointers, and to a degree, examples by their own life.

And are you sure that the 'problems' you have with Eckhart are not just problems of your own limited vision? If you hold him in judgment, does that not speak to a perception within you that begs review?

WW


I agree with what you say, it´s a good point. Maybe I should have put it a bit differently and described the want for an ideal teacher as wishful thinking. Yes, I´m pointing out my own problems in my egoic mind. I recognize both that I bumped into my own limitations as well as seeing the absurdity in having idols at all - which is the same as I´ve realized that one has to find ones own way. Teachers are pointing the way using words, symbols and the map is not the territory et c.
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Re: Why Did ET Change His Name?

Postby Jadevoll » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:30 am

In an interview with Eckhart he explained what led to his name change:

"Some time after this “inner transformation”, Tolle changed his first name from Ulrich to Eckhart following a dream in which he saw books lying around. On the cover of one was the name Eckhart and he knew he had written it. By coincidence, he bumped into an acquaintance, a psychic, a few days later who, for no apparent reason, called him Eckhart! Having become a completely different person he was ready to relinquish the name Ulrich and the unhappy energy the name held for him."
Here's the link to the site: http://www.positivelife.ie/2011/11/eckhart-tolle/
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