What gets enlightened

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RCharles
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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by RCharles » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:05 am

Hi Vera,

Being ever practical, I want to offer a more experiential perspective. Having an enlightenment experience is really as simple as shifting your attention. It's the difference between being wholly involved in what's going on in your head and being totally absorbed in life going on around you.

In the one mindset, you are thinking about what *I* want to do, what I'm worried about, what I feel like, where I want to go, what I'm going to say, and so on. In the other mindset, you are so fully absorbed in the world around you and its marvelous beauty that you forget yourself. It's really that simple. It's just a shift of attention.

Here's an exercise you can try that might illustrate this shift of focus. Take a hand mirror with you and find something beautiful that you think can fully absorb your attention, such as a flower, a beautiful landscape, or whatever. Let's say a flower. Now hold the hand mirror close to your face and look at yourself. Then quickly put the mirror aside and focus totally on the flower. See its rich color, notice its wonderful smell, the texture of its petals, how intricate and lovely it is. Become absorbed in the flower and really get caught up in contemplating its beauty. Did you forget yourself for a moment? That's what enlightened experiences are like. One moment, you are absorbed in yourself, your face in the mirror, and the next, there is no self, just a heightened sense of everything else. We simply shift our attention so that we are open to the universe and not focused on our own thinking.

That's as close as I can get to putting it in words. It starts with a delicious, empty silence of mind that comes when we stop focusing on thoughts and becomes an even more delicious, joyful fullness of Presence to everything.

Does that help? Does it make any sense?

RC
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

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Mouse
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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:17 am

HermitLoon wrote: Following this "path" is neither important nor necessary - it is simply a possibility.
Yes and there is the sense that I am going 'home' or I have found my home in realising being.

And do you sense that you are becoming more intelligent by knowing yourself?
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:32 am

vera wrote:I feel like all there is left to do is give up. I don't see anything that can be 'done.' I get frustrated with the search, realise that this kind of frustration and internal push-pull is exactly what I am trying to be released from, and yet giving up, surrendering, is the one thing I don't seem able to do. I can read books, I can ask questions, I can listen to audio, meditate, reflect on whatever questions arise, inquire, etc. But it's all still something that is going on in my mind.

Perhaps the answer is love. Perhaps you need to realise more love in your life and then you can find and rest in that place within. There has to be a substitute for the busy mind and self. In Eckhart's teaching that is the wellbeing in the inner body, that is the golden anchor that anchors the awareness in something real and is the substitute for the experience of the mind. Find the sensation in the body, wellbeing or the sense of harmony or stillness and seek it out and love it by being with it. You need surrender to do that but the resting place is pleasureable so it is not so difficult.
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:19 am

vera wrote: People talk and write of 'truth realisation' which suggests there is something that is realising.

Different teachers talk about this in different ways and it can be confusing.
Yes they do, I think that it is because of a fundamental difference between East and West. The East is Being or Self and the West is self or ego. So in the original Eastern teachings there is a top down approach ie You are that self illuminating brilliance ie the Sun, already perfect........ Ananda says it better than me :wink: .
And then there is the West which is the place of death of the East, the setting of the Sun. It is the place of nuts and bolts and science and rational thought.

West has a fundamentally concrete notion of individuality. So we need a bottom up teaching that tells us all about our small self because that is what we are focused on.

But that doesn't really answer the question of what is realising anything.
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:38 am

vera wrote:. But it still feels like I'm pressing up against a glass wall, looking in at something. It's all still just something in my head.
I get the sense of this too. It is like self has a certain gravitational pull that draws awareness on to it. It is like being stuck to a face mask.

Is this what you mean?
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:57 am

Sighclone wrote: Tim Freke talks about the “both/and” paradox of awakening. You are both “little vera” and you know you are merged with Being, as Awareness.
This again sounds like there is a third party involved which we could call an individual self-knowledge, it would have to be the case for a "both/and" reality which I assume means both Being and ego or both Unity and individuality. There has to be an individual self knowledge that is 'lifting the game' of the ego through knowledge of Being /Self.
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:59 am

Ananda wrote: I is wholely and not in part (individuality) the Self. It is the idea that you are anything but the absolute Self which is the cause of bondage, the removal of this ignorance by permanent direct Self awareness is what constitutes enlightenment.
This is the final reality that you describe Ananda and I have no problem with it as a statement of truth. But as you can see I have added permanent to the quote. This is because if I ever become identified with my mind or emotions I am no longer the truth I am no longer the Self. In the state of Self as described in your post there can be no thought and no emotion for that is all ignorance. If that arises in my system it means that I am unconscious of the State of Self, I am loving my little self or ignorance. It is all or nothing what you are describing.

Can there be degrees of Self knowledge in that?
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:36 pm

Sighclone wrote:Eckhart weighs in here in a March episode of Eckhart TV: http://eckharttolle.blip.tv/posts?view=archive&nsfw=dc

"Who becomes enlightened?" is an excerpt in the third row.

Andy
Thanks for that Andy.

So to summarise Eckhart here; "No person gets enlightened.....the person becomes more transparent, less dense.....but no one gets enlightened....consciousness is identified with form... consciousness is asleep,dreaming the dream of form......consciousness awakens."

And it is worth watching to the end for Eckhart's dark glasses quip.

But that doesn't explain the store of self knowledge for example the knowledge that I love being and not my unhappiness. That is a permanent self knowledge and That is what I am. Self knowledge can't be accessed it is present as a 'vibration' that is not vibrating, it is a knowledge not a knowing, it is what I am it is not separate from me as in knowing (mind).
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Ananda » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:36 pm

Mouse,


Permanent direct Self awareness is very difficult to maintain because of the body's necessities and commitments. In most cases, permanent Self awareness leads to the end of the body's life and is usually a conscious decision called mahasamadhi, that is, the decision to permanently enter Self awareness and drop the body once and for all. Most sages enter mahasamadhi at an old age, but some such as Jnaneshvar entered mahasamadhi at a very early age (he at the age of 21 sealed himself into a cave and dropped the body in intense meditation). Permanent Self awareness is not necessary to remove ignorance, because ignorance itself is not permanent, and can last only for as long as the Self is not known.
This is because if I ever become identified with my mind or emotions I am no longer the truth I am no longer the Self.
This is not so! The Self never becomes identified with the body, mind or emotions. It never did and it never will. It is the mind which projects individual selfhood as the body and simply covers the Self. There are two modes of ignorance; covering and veiling. The first makes it appear as if the Self simply does not exist. And the second makes it appear as if the Self does not shine always. Both of these modes of ignorance dissapear simply when you know the Self as that which you are.

There is a difference between being the Self and being aware of (yourself as) the Self. You do not cease to be yourself when you are not aware of yourself. How is it that it ignorance can be admitted if you are not aware of your ignorance? Both knowledge and ignorance can only be admitted if you, the Self, are aware of them. If you ceased to be the Self (which is awareness) whenever there was ignorance then you would never know there was ignorance, because you would blink in and out of existence every time ignorance appeared!
In the state of Self as described in your post there can be no thought and no emotion for that is all ignorance.
This, again is not so. The body remains for as long as it will, as will it's mind and emotion. All this is my appearance. The ignorance is not in the appearance itself but in the mind's identification of the Self as the body. That's where the trouble is begun and ended.
If that arises in my system it means that I am unconscious of the State of Self, I am loving my little self or ignorance.
You may or may not consciously abide as the Self, but this does not change the fact of you being the Self, you do not increase or decrease in any way. The opposite of direct Self awareness is not ignorance, direct Self awareness is simply the remedy for ignorance. No, the opposite of direct Self awareness is just awareness of one's experience. The ego only lasts for as long as there has not been direct Self awareness, but it does not return again like a phantom each time one's attention moves away from the Self. If this is your experience (that ego returns whenever you are not meditating) then you have not gone deep enough to cut out the ignorance and have not cemented yourself fully in the knowledge that you are the Self.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:42 am

Ananda wrote: If this is your experience (that ego returns whenever you are not meditating) then you have not gone deep enough to cut out the ignorance and have not cemented yourself fully in the knowledge that you are the Self.
If the realisation of Self is an intellectual one then it can not penetrate this matter of the body and dissolve the attachment to thought and feelings.

An anology would be an old fashioned record player. I am the stylus, my ego is the record. Remove the stylus and the noise stops, that is akin to no more thought. The record itself is my emotional experience, and that revolving is stopped by my stillness. Nothing arising.

Whenever I think, rather than consciously look, and speculate beyond the facts I the awareness, the stylus am pressed against my self the record. That is an unnecessary attachment to ignorance that can be negated. I am loving thought when I am thinking, there is some psychic stuff arising.

The Self is perfect. It is the psyche of man and woman that has to be cleaned out. This is not necessary for Self's perfection but it is here in existence that the truth must be brought and that means into the ignorance of man and woman so that the psyche is once again pure as the driving snow.

The realisation of Self must be brought into existence and the demonstration of that is living free of unhappiness. If one wakes up with a mood on, is that OK for the Self realised body to have a mood in it? Not to me, it means something isn't perfect in the living life, something is bothering me, why settle for that.

So all in all the question has remained unanswered apart from your answers Ananda which I value, as to what gets enlightened.

There are varying degrees of knowledge of Self, how do you account for different levels of self knowledge displayed by the people and what embodies that in the individual body?
I still think that I am individual consciousness otherwise why do I return to this body every morning and not wake up somewhere else?
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Ananda » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:17 am

If the realisation of Self is an intellectual one then it can not penetrate this matter of the body and dissolve the attachment to thought and feelings.
It's not an intellectual one. When I say knowledge I don't mean in the sense of having a mental understanding or acceptance of something. By knowledge I mean insight by actual direct experience. The cultivation of insight by direct experience scrubs away all of the ignorance which is superimposed by the mind, this includes attachment to intellectual speculation and so on.

An anology would be an old fashioned record player
Haha, let me come back to this after some sleep :)
If one wakes up with a mood on, is that OK for the Self realised body to have a mood in it?
The potential for moods and emotions does not dissapear when the Self is known. It is the attachment to those moods and emotions which is eliminated, and thus any mood or emotion, or thought, which the body produces does not stick and passes as fast as it arses. To expect the body to not produce any emotion or mood is missing the point and creating an unrealistic expectation of perfection. The body isn't perfect and it doesn't need to be.
There are varying degrees of knowledge of Self, how do you account for different levels of self knowledge displayed by the people and what embodies that in the individual body?
Rather than saying 'There are varying degrees of knowledge of Self' I would rephrase this more accurately to' There are varying degrees of ignorance of the Self'. The different degrees to which people are relating to depend upon the level of ignorance which is still unresolved. Most people have glimpses of the Self so they know that it exists (therefore the 'covering' aspect of ignorance is removed) this is what constitutes what folks call 'awakening'. Continuous and earnest Self awareness removes the second form of ignorance (that which veils the constant shining of the Self) and so removes any and all doubt and confusion that one is anything other than the Self. When people experience lapses or swings of Self awareness and Ego reinforcement this is the veiling aspect of ignorance which is making it appear as if the Self is not always present (hence the many posts requesting help on 'being more present').
I still think that I am individual consciousness otherwise why do I return to this body every morning and not wake up somewhere else?
The waking and dream states occur when the body comes into contact with the world external to it. The body's subjective experience is the response of the brain/mind and the sense organs relationship with the objects which the body encounters. The impressions of the waking state are carried into the dream state even when the body's sense organs are resting. In dreamless sleep the subjective experience ceases completely (that is, the subject/object distinction of body and world) and resolves back into the nondual Self which is the constant background throughout all three states.

That which wakes up is the body, that which knows waking is the Self. When you say 'I still think that I am individual consciousness' this is an idea superimposed onto subjective experience by the mind in order to try to understand it. The Self is prior to and stands apart from all states of subjective experience, is not in the body or the boundary of space and is not affected by the passage of time. :)

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Re: What gets enlightened

Post by Sighclone » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:58 am

The Self is perfect. It is the psyche of man and woman that has to be cleaned out.
Embodiment of enlightenment in all levels of being takes some time. Adyashanti took 15 years. His process started at the "head" or intellectual level, then the heart, then the gut.

There are a group of nondual psychotherapists who have authored two books ("The Sacred Mirror" and "Listening from the Heart of Silence", both edited by John Prendergast) -- their website is here: http://wisdompsy.vpweb.com/default.html . They talk at length about the distinction between the pure awareness of Self and the many challenges of the egoic self in maya...and how the former can be a wonderful catalyst for resolving the latter.

The discovery of the Self is a nonmental experience. The integration of that experience with the rest of your life can take a while -- angstrom by angstrom...cell by cell.

Awakening is about being, refinement of the psyche is about becoming.

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: What gets enlightened

Post by Mouse » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:11 am

Thank you both and all very much for your replies.

My river has run dry. My self is exhausted with trying to understand although I get the idea. Thank you
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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