Apathy

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jukai
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Re: Apathy

Post by jukai » Tue May 29, 2018 3:47 am

Sighclone wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 1:55 am
Niki -

Many people who approach spiritual awakening do so out of a secret or not-so-secret desire to rid themselves of disorders of the ego (by this I mean all the material in DSM-V, and other obsessions, neuroses, syndromes, etc. that fall under the broad definition of "significantly debilitating mental problems causing suffering.") A number of posters here (and I include myself in earlier years) have waved the flag of awakening / enlightenment to end all of that..."just skip all the traditional talk-therapy and wake up."

I'm much less happy with that as a general recommendation these days. Both Adyashanti and Rupert Spira have sent students to more traditional therapists (especially those with a nondual bent like John Prendergast or John Welwood) for work on their psychological challenges before they will counsel them spiritually. The subconscious does exist and is part of the ego, in fact it can launch suble salvos against awakening as the seeking proceeds.

Andy
Hello Andy,

I understand that your response was intended for someone else, but you brought up something relevant to my own experience - therapy. Hope you don't mind me being a third wheel here. It is interesting that you recommend (as do some spiritual teachers that you mentioned) conventional psychotherapy in addition to spiritual counseling/guidance.

I have seen numerous therapists over the years, before delving into anything "spiritual". None of them taught me anything valuable or eye opening. I always felt like the stuff they were suggesting was coming out of some script and was too contrived and cookie cutter to be effective for me. They would throw out the kinds of "wisdom" cliches you'd hear in some C-grade high school comedic drama. Today, I can see that they were just scratching the surface of things, and didn't go deep enough to catalyze a realization within me. Long story short, therapy for me = nothing more than expensive frustration.

By contrast, when I read the first few pages of Power of Now, a light bulb instantaneously went off in my head. It went deep enough in me to cause a realization. It was direct and unambiguous, unlike anything the therapists had told me. Knowing what I know now, I wish that I had sought spiritual counseling earlier in my life. I wish it would become more mainstream.

Also, I would think that combining conventional therapy with spiritual counseling would confuse the heck out of a patient/disciple, like a language student trying to learn both Japanese and German at the same time. I'm curious as to why some feel that this would be effective.

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Re: Apathy

Post by Niki » Tue May 29, 2018 2:21 pm

Junkai—this is a strange question considering you are you and not somebody else therefor cant know or be on the path of anybody else but you.
There a many paths and people have attained ‘awekining’ without gurus. All the information you need has always been in all of us, how an individual divine’s it is their journey.

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Re: Apathy

Post by Sighclone » Tue May 29, 2018 4:04 pm

Niki -
The DSM-V is the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders." My essential point was about unrealistic expectations from spiritual teachers. I'm glad you have found Gabor Mate - my wife speaks highly of him - addiction and trauma are his specialties.

Steve Taylor talks about traumatic events triggering spiritual awakening here: https://www.stevenmtaylor.com/essays/spiritual-alchemy/
But I have observed an awful lot of people who are chasing an illusion that they believe will ‘ save them from themselves’. I've also seen people behave selfishly all under the cover of ‘following a spiritual path.’
Totally agree with the above. The Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers is forming - trying to police the bad behavior. This is a challenging project, of course, starting with the word "spiritual."

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: Apathy

Post by Sighclone » Tue May 29, 2018 4:37 pm

Jukai -

I completely resonate with your experience - had the same response to ET - first few pages were a huge blast of relief and a big trigger for me. But, of course, both you and I had, at that point, recognized that our search was not for a "cure" for a mental disorder, but rather an answer to a deeper question about self and reality. My point to Niki, and in general, is that some people simply need to start with therapies to address fundamental and significant mental disorders before expecting a spiritual journey to be the answer. Now that said, spiritual practices like meditation, yoga nidra and self-inquiry may help relieve suffering. But often, particularly in couples or family therapy, revealing the sources of dysfunctional behavioral habits, and adjusting them, or unearthing causes of phobias or other chronic stressors, and getting relief from them can clear the way for deeper growth.

I know I'm prejudiced, but I believe that all psychotherapists need at least a clear conceptual understanding of spiritual awakening, either from the Buddhist or Advaita tradition, and the difference between that and "depersonalization." And they need to own their own deficiencies in the spiritual area and send their patients elsewhere for spiritual guidance. (It sounds like that did not happen for you...that your practitioners kept scheduling appointments, etc...) The conventional models I feel are useful are Attachment Theory and Transactional Analysis, for those who like to read about this stuff.

I also think most people can understand the difference between psychotherapy and nondual spiritual seeking. The first attempts to heal a broken person, the second asks if that person really exists. I do not think people who are struggling with serious mental disorders will have them dissolve if they have a kensho...unresolved serious egoic disorders will creep back in - sometimes within a day. Personalities survive an awakening experience...even broken ones. Also, there are a number of people who throw out the baby with the bathwater when a spiritual path takes them to a dead-end because of psychological/mental problems that did not get "fixed."

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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jukai
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Re: Apathy

Post by jukai » Wed May 30, 2018 6:33 am

Andy, thanks for your response. What you were initially trying to say makes more sense now.

I think that psychotherapy can actually be quite harmful to people who are seeking a deeper truth (and who cannot benefit from psychotherapy), because the lack of improvement over time, despite the therapy, can reinforce the feeling that they are beyond help/hope, cause mounting frustration, eventually leading to hopelessness and despair (like what happened to me). I was pretty much already dead inside when I picked up Power of Now, and even that happened totally by chance.

My therapists clearly weren't familiar with spiritual awakening and weren't able to point me in the right direction. I shudder to think how much pain and suffering could have been spared if one of them had just pointed me to Power of Now. Sigh.

Anyway, I can only speak for myself.

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Re: Apathy

Post by Niki » Wed May 30, 2018 6:23 pm

andy & junkai
from age 12 to 20 therapy and therapists were invaluable to me (as were social workers, and AA) and I believe they have done a lot of good for a number of people. Suffice it to say, inner growth and introspection are entirely the responsibility of the individual. You know the old adage "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink', well in the same vein; If you want to see you will, if you don't you wont. And, you won't even know that you don't. There is no shame in that, it is simple what is. Of course, there is nothing like intense suffering to bring you to your knees, pain will push you to die to yourself like nothing else can. I worked in an office with a man that I considered to be 'awake' and 'enlightened', although he was not aware of any of these terms or any of the new age spiritual teachers. He came from an extremely impoverished and violent background and read the writings of St. Francis. He was exceedingly gentle, nothing perturbed him and people would become calm in his presence. He died in his sleep a few years back and our office is decidedly not as calm. I don't believe there is any such animal as an 'expert', we are all simply human beings-- E.T. eats and shits just like the rest of us do :) All anybody can ever do is give pointers and the pointers that today's 'spiritual teachers' give have been around since antiquity.
niki

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Re: Apathy

Post by Sighclone » Wed May 30, 2018 8:33 pm

I think that psychotherapy can actually be quite harmful to people who are seeking a deeper truth (and who cannot benefit from psychotherapy), because the lack of improvement over time, despite the therapy, can reinforce the feeling that they are beyond help/hope, cause mounting frustration, eventually leading to hopelessness and despair (like what happened to me). I was pretty much already dead inside when I picked up Power of Now, and even that happened totally by chance.
"When the student is ready, the teacher will arrive." - I.e. maybe not totally by chance.

I was a seeker, but did not really define myself that way, until I suddenly became a "finder." I had a chat with a fellow at SAND (Science and Nonduality Conference) who helped to clarify the fundamental difference between a seeker and a finder, having mainly to do with intention. Some people get stuck as a "seeker" - bouncing from guru to guru, actually addicted to being "at the feet of the master" rather than taking the "inner hike" to find out who they really aren't. And some teacher are perfectly happy to have them sitting at their feet forever... :(

Thanks for joining, Niki and jukai!

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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jukai
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Re: Apathy

Post by jukai » Thu May 31, 2018 12:35 am

Niki wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 6:23 pm
andy & junkai
from age 12 to 20 therapy and therapists were invaluable to me (as were social workers, and AA) and I believe they have done a lot of good for a number of people. Suffice it to say, inner growth and introspection are entirely the responsibility of the individual. You know the old adage "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink', well in the same vein; If you want to see you will, if you don't you wont. And, you won't even know that you don't. There is no shame in that, it is simple what is. Of course, there is nothing like intense suffering to bring you to your knees, pain will push you to die to yourself like nothing else can. I worked in an office with a man that I considered to be 'awake' and 'enlightened', although he was not aware of any of these terms or any of the new age spiritual teachers. He came from an extremely impoverished and violent background and read the writings of St. Francis. He was exceedingly gentle, nothing perturbed him and people would become calm in his presence. He died in his sleep a few years back and our office is decidedly not as calm. I don't believe there is any such animal as an 'expert', we are all simply human beings-- E.T. eats and shits just like the rest of us do :) All anybody can ever do is give pointers and the pointers that today's 'spiritual teachers' give have been around since antiquity.
niki
You can also lead a horse to a well of poison, and the horse will know not to drink :) And if there is nothing to see, nothing will be seen.

If therapy worked for you, I'm happy for you. It doesn't work for everyone, and it is easy to understand why.

Psychotherapy is formulaic. Therapists go to school and take a very specific set of courses, none of which have anything to do with spiritual awakening. Therapy is geared towards people who suffer from disorders outlined in the DSM, and for that, I'm sure it can be effective. However, it cannot have any positive effect on those who are simply having an existential crisis and are seeking answers to deeper questions, unless the therapist himself has a level of depth within and can point the patient to that.

Yes, all anyone can do is give pointers, but the quality of the pointers matters a lot ! You can give really shitty pointers or really great ones.
Last edited by jukai on Thu May 31, 2018 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jukai
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Re: Apathy

Post by jukai » Thu May 31, 2018 12:46 am

Sighclone wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 8:33 pm
"When the student is ready, the teacher will arrive." - I.e. maybe not totally by chance.
:mrgreen:
Sighclone wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 8:33 pm
Thanks for joining, Niki and jukai!

Andy
:)

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Onceler
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Re: Apathy

Post by Onceler » Thu May 31, 2018 2:29 am

Sounds like you needed a Jungian therapist
Be present, be pleasant.

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jukai
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Re: Apathy

Post by jukai » Thu May 31, 2018 2:51 am

Onceler wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 2:29 am
Sounds like you needed a Jungian therapist
I'm going to assume you were responding to me :)

I needed a therapist who had the humility to say, "We've been doing this for 5 years, and you don't seem to be improving. Perhaps we're going down the wrong path here in this office. It appears I may not know how to help you. The only other thing I can think of is to recommend the book, 'Power of Now', which has helped some people. Good luck to you." rather than just continuing to pick up a paycheck and watching me suffer.

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Re: Apathy

Post by Niki » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:46 pm

It's wonderful that you found your way to the Power of Now! Do you think it could be at all possible that had you not been suffering in therapy you may not have been moved to reach out for a book such as TPN?

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jukai
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Re: Apathy

Post by jukai » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:11 pm

Post deleted by moderator

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Re: Apathy

Post by Niki » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:08 pm

Jukai--apologies...

try this: https://youtu.be/IdGaXBXylRU

hope it helps
peace
niki

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Re: Apathy

Post by turiya » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:56 am

I didn't get to read your deleted post, jukai. So I'm not sure what's going on.

Somehow, The Who is ever-relevant (imo), though... So here's The Real Me:

https://youtu.be/qTytEjcROMI
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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