college

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 :)
vandelay85
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college

Post by vandelay85 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:46 pm

Hello all I am new to this forum. I am a 19 year old male and a sophomore in college right now. I read PON early on in the summer and I can say I have had my share of fantastic spiritual experiences. I have a question though on gaining knowledge and being burdened with a huge work load as a college student. I have heard ET say that knowledge is useless and that it doesn't matter if you are rich and successful in the material world. This makes it hard for me to stay motivated in college and make good grades. I agree with almost everything Eckhart preaches, so I have been thinking about just moving away and doing nothing. I can stay happy even if I get a job as a cashier and make minimum wage because the material, ego-filled world is pointless to me. Every time I am in class, I think about how stupid this information is and how it doesn't matter at all. Is this a bad mind set to be in? Every time I try to study and engage in academic activities, I can't help but realize the stupidity of all of this. I don't need it at all. The only thing I need is to stay connected in the moment and be aware of the joy and purity of my being.

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kiki
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Re: college

Post by kiki » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:53 am

In the context of knowing what you are and awakening into that, book learning is "useless" (of course, some books can provide good pointers to reality). In the context of providing for yourself education is quite helpful. His point is this: don't look to complete yourself through knowledge, through power, through position, through relationship or anything else outside of yourself. In the fullness of now "You" are already complete. The Power of Now points to that truth, and it's you alone who can realize that truth. My advice is to take advantage that college is presenting you; there is certainly nothing wrong with that, but be wary of becoming so absorbed in it that your essential nature gets overlooked. In other words, enjoy the dream without become lost inside it. A good education can be a valuable asset in enjoying the dream.

By the way, welcome to the board.

kiki
"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
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Re: college

Post by karmarider » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:33 am

Kiki's words are as usual eternally wise and immensely practical.

Many of us who come to awareness are often confused about how to live the usual life. How should I feel about money and relationships and knowledge and the suffering and unconciousness around me and everything else that makes up life? Turning to Awareness is not turning away from the world...this is not so, turning away is a form of resistance. We dont' have to turn away from the world; as Kiki says so well, we simply stop looking for completion from the world.

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Re: college

Post by Sighclone » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:15 am

Awakening is all about freedom from stresses, among other things. Poverty can be a source of stress. Eckhart was relieved when he won the small lottery to finish PON. Maybe if you have fully abiding enlightenment you will win lottery after lottery. But freedom in the noumenal world, freedom to walk in the forest, say...freedom to find some stillness might require more income than store clerking provides. Education also introduces you to a wider variety of expression. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form -- Source is present in all of it. So are you. Choosing to narrow the opportunities in maya is possible, perhaps even fulfilling, but it limits your opportunities for broader experiences.

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

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Re: college

Post by Ananda » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:34 am

Hello Vandelay85

I can relate directly to what you are saying, being 20, I too went through exactly the same thing during my time at college. I was an art student, most of my artwork was driven by desire to be better than everybody else. Gradually as my realisations deepened, my desire to always be the best slowly came to an end, my artwork became much more flexible and loosely defined. Eventually this whole business of non duality would seep into every single art brief given to me, I would always try again and again to express this through artwork, and each time came away slightly disillusioned, it was just too abstract, even for art! It was a very intense period of time for me, as if a lifetime's worth of spiritual and soul searching had happened all within such a short time. It was unavoidable, the pull of it far too strong. The shallow and subjective nature of the work given to me revealed itself, and my interest was waning fast. And then, one day, without choosing, like a scab the whole thing just fell off. The wound that was there prior to the search had been healed. I just didn't go to college anymore. I've spent all of the time since then deepening further in my realisations, and then, abiding as the Self. I still appreciate art, of course, and there is always the seed of an artist inside me, but this was just one of those unavoidable things that happens during life. Everything just goes upside down, and the direction changes completely. My future has a giant ? over it, but I am fine with this because I am content in the present. My advise to you is to not force yourself to choose either way, you will just know what to do when it comes to you. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. In the meantime, enjoy what you have discovered and let the answers come to you from your presence. :D

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Re: college

Post by Sighclone » Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:28 pm

My future has a giant ? over it, but I am fine with this because I am content in the present.
Ananda...there are over 1,000 members here. You are one of the giants.

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

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Re: college

Post by Hand » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:51 pm

Great advice from karmarider, kiki, Sighclone, etc

As kiki says
]...enjoy the dream without becoming lost inside it
Very true - reminds me of Byron Katie's advice to accept reality, to have no resistance to what happens, to go with the flow, therefore you are not using up energy in resisting what happens, and just enjoy being in the life of "you" (which of course is the universe manifesting as you).

I understand now what Eckhart said to "accept the moment as if you had chosen it" - it is the same thing (and something I posted a topic on a while ago).
Life is. Accept Life. Peace reigns.

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Re: college

Post by Sighclone » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:47 pm

"accept the moment as if you had chosen it"
Always a good reminder...thanks, Hand.

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

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Marcel Franke
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Re: college

Post by Marcel Franke » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:30 pm

> accept the moment as if you had chosen it

Yummy.

Cheers,

MF aka Shagabonga.
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Re: college

Post by Hand » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:24 pm

Thanks guys - I need reminding when I am at work, scattered and stressed that what is happening 'should' be happening because it is and i need to 'go' with it....stop resisting what a waste of energy thinking what you 'should' be doing, what you 'could' be doing. Also when the moment is all that there is and people treat life as one big moving conveyor belt when it is really just a series of 'snapshots', like when they 'look forward' to things (like what is happening is something to be 'endured')

Sorry for rambling I guess it is something i am reminding myself. Life is a miracle isn't it - there is so much 'suffering' in the world - and for what? You might as well drop the suffering.....what is there to suffer?
Life is. Accept Life. Peace reigns.

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Re: college

Post by enigma » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:10 am

You might as well drop the suffering.....what is there to suffer?
Be careful not to drop it on your foot. :lol:

Suffering can't be dropped through a logical decision to do so. Suffering oozes out from under many layers of delusion and was never chosen to begin with. One of the biggest obstacles to 'dropping' suffering is the belief that the cause of the suffering can be corrected, and the biggest obstacle to 'dropping' that belief is that it's basically true. It's likely that you're continually making changes that improve the quality of your life, and while none of them have brought permanent happiness, every change has brought temporary relief from the oppression of the need to be content. Setting goals and accomplishing them, Improving your financial security, relationships, physical ability, knowledge, all constitutes a movement through life that is both interesting and enjoyable. This movement is very natural, and even when it's clear that no permanent fulfillment is possible and there is no end to it, it still continues. This is life, and life is a movement.

The desire to perpetuate this movement cannot be dropped as long as it is believed that it is your life that is in motion, and so there is attachment. To live a life of stagnation and self denial would be a worse hell than the roller coaster ride of happy/unhappy, success/failure, joy/sorrow. There is nowhere for the mind identified individual to rest, and so the foundation of the structure of 'your life' must be questioned and allowed to collapse.

Only when life has been fully tasted, when one is no longer caught in the illusion like a deer in the headlights, only then is there the willingness to chip away at the foundation and finally rest on the solid granite that lies beneath. This foundation is then seen to be the only solidity ever found. Everything else is fluid, changing and uncertain.

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Re: college

Post by Hand » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:28 am

That made me chuckle Enigma!! You are right, when you see life for what it is, the suffering drops away automatically.
It's likely that you're continually making changes that improve the quality of your life, and while none of them have brought permanent happiness, every change has brought temporary relief from the oppression of the need to be content.
I would imagine that relates to 'Samsara' the cycle of suffering. There is no need to do anything, life is always perfect now.
no longer caught in the illusion
of suffering I assume? of thinking that things have to be better.

Ha ha life is so serious (not!) :)
Life is. Accept Life. Peace reigns.

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Re: college

Post by BrianPK » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:07 pm

Vandelay85,

When I first went away to college I had very similar thoughts about knowledge and learning. I was saying the same things to myself: "What is the point of all this?", "I don't need a lot of money, I can be just as happy doing anything else". In my second semester of freshman year a philosophy professor assigned to us a book called "Education and the Significance of Life" by J. Krishnamurti. It contained many words that pointed to the truth within such as, "What we can and must do if we are in earnest, is to tackle our problems now, and not postpone them to the future. Eternity is not in the future; eternity is now. Our problems exist in the present, and it is only in the present that they can be solved". Although these words spoke to my True self, I wasn't ready to manifest any of the teaching in my real life. I was still so conditioned by my upbringing that I wasn't ready to fully awaken. Perhaps I needed to suffer, so instead my ego used the concepts in the book as fuel to resist the world around me. I began criticizing the school for not being the way that it should be. I became bitter in relationships, especially with my parents, and blamed them in so many ways you couldn't imagine. I knew that I was more wise than others and that I was better off. I left school believing that it wasn't as it should be, that school just breeds conformity; that everyone is motivated by fear and greed. Krishnamurti spoke of a school as a way of being free from suffering, accessing the true intelligence within that isn't motivated by self-interest. I basically came to the conclusion that this perfect school didn't exist anywhere. I completely stopped doing work in school and left. School was the enemy.
I spent the next few years searching for purpose in the world outside of school. I lived with my parents and worked several different jobs, although they never really lasted long. I lived unconsciously. I isolated myself in my parents' house and attempted to separate from them. Basically I did nothing. I created so much suffering for myself and anyone I had a relationship with. I would complain and criticize everything. I became psychologically addicted to alcohol and marijuana. I searched for myself in these drugs. I didn't realize that these things were just temporary reliefs for the pain, and were only creating more pain. I thought that I would finally be free if I just moved away and started my life over so I moved out of my parents' house and moved 1500 miles away. Shortly after I realized that I was actually suffering even more once I moved.
Something inside me compelled me to go back home. I just packed up and left; it all happened so fast.
Just before I returned home I had my spiritual awakening. I was sitting on a hotel bed and just began to smoke marijuana. As I was doing this two voices in my head started to speak to me. One was saying that I shouldn't be smoking marijuana anymore; the other (the one i was so used to) was reassuring me that all of life's answer were to be found by smoking marijuana. Both of the voices were so strong on their points. They went back and forth for about a minute. At the end of it I knew which one to side with. The urge to get high almost immediately ceased to exist. I rid myself of anything that had to do with drugs. It was only after reading the PON a few months later that I realized what had happened to me. It seemed so similar to what happened to Eckhart (although Eckhart's seemed to be quite a bit more intense, ha ha). It was only after reading the PON that I recognized that the voice that was convincing me to do the drug was actually a phantom self, the ego. If I were to just substitute the word 'marijuana' with 'suffering' in what I described it makes perfect sense. All the ego wanted was to suffer more. It was being its tricky, cunning self by trying to convince me to suffer more. But my true Being would have none of it.
I went back to my parents' house and completely surrendered. It no longer matter what they, or I, did in the past. I asked for forgiveness and I received it. My new life began, free from suffering. An ironic thing about my awakening is that my mom, a person whom I resented so much in the past, gave to me a copy of A New Earth. I never would have imagined that my mom would help accelerate the awakening process for me by giving me Eckhart's book. Anyway I spent the next few months reading ANE and PON. I wasn't suffering anymore and was finally content with just "doing nothing". After a few months I decided to return to school, this time with a true purpose and direction. I am studying psychology and want to be a psychotherapist/social worker. I feel that I am capable of help others. I am so thankful for this One Life we are living and would only like to accelerate this awakening of consciousness in humans. Instead of blaming the world for not being ready I accept that most people/schools aren't awakened yet. But, perhaps I too can help point others toward awakening.
So, Vandelay85, maybe you will decide to leave school, maybe you'll stay. Maybe you will have a period where you aren't "doing" much. The peace within you will always be there. I recognize that my outer purpose (studying to become a therapist) is secondary while my inner purpose ("being the ever alert guarding of my inner space") is always primary. As long as your inner purpose is primary it doesn't matter all that much what you "do".
Anyway I realize that I may have delved too much into "my story" but maybe you could take something from it. On the other hand, when it comes to studying I try to just take it one assignment at a time, one page at a time, one sentence at a time. Let the power of the Now help guide you. If a thought arises that you aren't doing enough or that the compulsion to keep doing more arises, recognize that you don't need to add anything else to be complete. You already are.

This is my first post and to be honest, I was really writing this for me. I'm 22 and it's been a year since my awakening. I've been reading and digesting posts on this forum for a few months now and I guess I just felt compelled to respond, finally, to this one. Greetings and thanks to all of the other wonderful people who make this forum what it is. If I've gone over the preferred word limit please tell me! ha ha ha ha :lol:

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Re: college

Post by BrianPK » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:09 pm

let me just say: WOW! I did not realize how long that turned out to be. Because of this I won't reply to a post until 2011. lol

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Re: college

Post by Hand » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:53 am

BrianPK - thanks for sharing - lovely post, inspiring.....
Life is. Accept Life. Peace reigns.

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