Identification with the Mind

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 :)
Anois
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Identification with the Mind

Post by Anois » Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:16 am

1) Why does consciousness allow itself to become lost in identification with the mind ?

2) How can consciousness, the essence of the universe, become lost ?

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Post by summer » Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:23 am

The mind produces a powerful illusion
that of existing in this body which we consider to be our own
by Kalu Rinpoche

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Post by Anois » Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:39 am

Ok, but it is consciousness which inhabits the body.
Consiousness in the body can then be aware of the workings of the mind.
Why is this not the case all of the time ?
Why does consciousness lose this awareness ?

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Post by summer » Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:05 am

I don't think that consciousness ever loses awareness of the body and the mind. We all go to sleep every night and don't worry too much about how we are going to breathe all night and stay alive.
We usually expect to wake up all refreshed and ready for a new day.

Consciousness takes care of everything :)

Our minds play this trick with us that it is making our lives work.

And many sages have called this the illusion that the mind creates.

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Post by kiki » Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:33 am

Hi Anois, and welcome to the forum
1) Why does consciousness allow itself to become lost in identification with the mind ?
I like to think of it this way: consciousness is playing a game with itself because consciousness is all there is. In order for this game to be interesting and challenging consciousness creates the illusion of becoming lost (it's not really, but the illusion is quite convincing).

The game it has set forth for itself is the remembering and recognition once again that all there is is consciousness. This re-cognition can only happen when the search for answers is redirected from an outward search to an inward one. When that happens, it is discovered that the 'individual' whom we thought we were does not, in fact, exist. There is the appearance of an individual (this is the illusion) which only thinks it has a separate existence. When this 'apparent me' is seen to be nothing but a collection of ideas that arises within the underlying awareness (what you really are) the game is seen through as just that - a play of consciousness, in which consciousness (YOU) is the writer, producer, director, and actor of every single role in the play.

2) How can consciousness, the essence of the universe, become lost ?
This is the assumption that is made by the apparent individual who is trying to find answers. When the game is discovered and consciousness recognizes itself in everything as everything the realization emerges that consciousness had never been lost in the first place.

Best game of hide and seek ever, don't you think? Remember how fun that game was when you were a kid? Becoming lost to the others (when in fact you were never lost at all) was really quite fun. And the sense of joy and fun when discovered by those others playing the game. Well, consciousness has only itself to play with, so it must create the appearance of 'others' in this game on the cosmic scale. And to make the game most interesting for itself the appearance of others must be convincing.

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Post by a_friend » Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:06 am

i'm not sure. i'm not convinced consciousness has become lost. in fact, i think its kinda growing or becoming better at being itself. and one step in that progression seems to be a step backwards, but its really not. again, eckhart says that consciousness is progressing from perfect unconciousness to imperfect consciousness to perfect consciousness. he also says the pupose of the "world" is to transcend the world. consciousness has never had to transcend anything before. but Now it can! while i can understand this on an intellectual level, quite honestly i have no true understanding of this truth. but the idea is that consciousness itself is evolving. it is "knowing" and it is just Now coming to the "knowing" of itself.

the lesson i get out of this is that there is only one direction, and that is forward. And this is supported by one of the laws of thermodynamics (the third??) Anyway, sometimes we look at a person and think, what the hell is she thinking?? why is he acting like that?? what is that person doing to herself?? But in reality, its the only possible thing that could be happening. That person needs to be doing that to figure out what he needs to do next. The hope in "spiritual teaching" is that it saves time. It might not take another 7 lifetimes to figure it out. And we might actually need to figure this out quickly, as eckhart (and others) believe the planet earth couldn't last another 100 years of the level of unconsciousness at which most humans exist. But the good news is that eventually we all "get there", because perfect concsiousness is the only possible destination. anyway, that's my extremely hopeful and fatalistic and unenlightened evaluation of the matter. but none of this thinking really matters in the end anyway ;)

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Post by kiki » Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:53 pm

Hi friend,
a_friend wrote:but none of this thinking really matters in the end anyway
That's right. Thinking that thinking matters keeps truth from being seen. Don't take anything too seriously - that creates a space around thinking from which thinking can simply be observed and truth realized.

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Post by Anois » Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:20 am

Thanks Kiki. This illusion might be able to buy the remembering and recognition explanation. It is encouraged enough to ask for guidance on a further question.

Why are we only aware of the witnessing aspect of consciousness ? Is consciousness happy enough to sit back and watch the game ?

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Post by heidi » Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:15 am

Without judgement, the watching - and yes happy, in fact joyous - to watch without judgement.
Heidi
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wonderment on the third wave

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Post by kiki » Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:13 am

anois wrote:Why are we only aware of the witnessing aspect of consciousness ? Is consciousness happy enough to sit back and watch the game ?
What You really are is awareness itself. Awareness IS witnessing, it is not an aspect of consciousness. It is the 'knowingness' of whatever arises. There is 'nobody' in particular who witnesses anything, just the knowingness of what is by awareness. All awareness does is witness what arises within it. From its unmodified 'state' (it's not actually a state, it is nothing in particular at all, yet it is the source of all) there is the witnessing of its modifications within the manifested realm.

One of the modifications of awareness is ego, which gives one a sense of individuality, for when ego is created 'other' is simultaneously created. With the creation of ego fear arises, for 'other' represents a threat to the sense of self as an individual. When ego is discovered not to be real the sense of 'other' also evaporates and so nothing is feared because nothing is seen to be separate.

To rest within awareness is to come to the end of all searching; there is nothing which can be added or taken away, for the sense of wholeness is complete while resting in the natural state of awareness. There is also silence, stillness, and fulfillment for it is seen that all there is is now, and that 'what is' couldn't be any other way.

The ego that would object to 'what is' has been discovered to be a phantom, so when ego does arise again it is no longer taken very seriously. With the ensuing disidentification with ego as 'me' there grows an ever larger space around it when it arises - this is the spaciousness of awareness. Then comes the deepening of peace, stillness, and sense of fulfillment.

I suppose you could say that awareness 'happily' watches the game it has created, but happiness is more a mental quality that depends on whatever is being faced by a particularized ego - it is a mental position taken that is dependent upon outward circumstances. Awareness is beyond all mental positions - it just watches.

kiki

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Post by kiki » Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:18 am

I will add that in sanskrit there is a phrase applied to this whole idea of awakening: sat-chit-ananda

sat is truth
chit is consciousness
ananda is bliss

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Post by Anois » Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:49 am

Thank you Kiki. I hear all that you are saying and it rests very easy with me. Thank you again.

Does consciousness create as well as witness ?

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Post by Anois » Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:39 pm

What I am trying to say is that all around us there is active manifestation of consciousness into physical forms, animal and childbirth, seeds to plants etc. There is also the active sustenance of all this creation in the form of the functions of the body, the sap in the trees etc.

It is a busy job keeping all this going. Who is doing it all while the awareness is witnessing ?

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Post by kiki » Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:30 pm

anois wrote:Does consciousness create as well as witness ?
Awareness is doing everything, but this awareness is impersonal and is unlimited, unbound. Being 'busy' implies a 'someone' whose capacity for performing action is limited.

Awareness is all there is - that's what's known as nondualism, 'not two.' It's a mystery that the mind will never figure out. Discover the awareness that gives rise to the mind, then see if any more questions arise.

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Post by summer » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:21 am

And yet, witnessing this amazing creation, is one of the most beautiful gifts that I have ever experienced. When we see with "soft eyes" it feels like even our Creator is also in awe of everything that comes into awareness.

Such a freshness. So full of mystery and wonder :D

We are left speechless.
Deeply humbled
and filled with gratitude

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