Confused. Please Advice.

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.

Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Sighclone » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:57 am

Why is it that two of my favorites (an old favorite, Onceler) and a new favorite (KB) have become friends here? Why indeed? This is a wonderful forum, a continuing blessing where we get to share our little bunny-trails of exploration with each other. In fact, I have found new writers and music and forums of great interest to me as a direct result of other members here. Both of you have demonstrated again and again great wisdom and immense charity.

Self-esteem shows up regularly in threads. Several years ago one of my best friends in Spokane asked me about it as soon as I began to babble about awakening experiences, and Tolle, Adya etc... Here is my current take: You cannot discard your ego until it is healthy enough to be set aside. A giant paradox. Adya supports me 100%, having sent a number of clients to therapists saying, come back when you are feeling better about yourself. I say "healthy enough" -- not hyper-inflated, not strong and dark and self-destructive. Expecting a nondual awakening to correct serious psychological dysfunction that one may or may not be aware of is, in my opinion, very wishful thinking and a recipe for failure. Failure to awaken and failure to get mentally healthy. But lots of people try it. There is a book titled "Able and Equal" by Denton Roberts, now out of print, which addresses low self-esteem. Transactional Analysis was all about self-esteem (I'm OK, You're OK) and created a model of the human personality which is a very useful tool. Notice I use the phrase "personality." Kathleen talks about natural pain and anguish which result from the wagon-circling mentality of egos. We build our personality from all kinds of "thought-forms" as she says and demonstrates. And often the personality causes deep grief and suffering...perhaps most of the time. But there needs to be a minimum threshold of self-contentment with the "little me" self before the lotus blossom of Unity can eclipse it. Even conventional therapists can help. Those with nondual experience can help more. If anyone is interested, PM me for a list. It doesn't make sense. "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form" doesn't make sense either. "To yield is to conquer, surrender produces victory," -- nonduality is chock full of paradox. And that's a good thing.

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: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Onceler » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:33 pm

You may be right, Sighclone. I think it plays out differently for everyone and I guess I have less faith in therapy than you.....I believe existential suffering can be a strong motivator in the search, but therapy is probably a good idea along the way in order to work on relationships, etc. judging from the forum responses, younger folks may need the extra stability from therapy more than others.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Sighclone » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:26 pm

Existential suffering is different, to my way of thinking, than conventional disorders. I think existential suffering (I do understand and appreciate the term, thanks!) is something which is created by the frustration of the mind (that is mind / self / ego) to understand "what's really going on." And such suffering is perfectly natural. It is the wrong tool for understanding ultimate truth. Trying to guild a house with a pair of tweezers is going to be impossible.

Clear seeing is elusive
Like trying to capture water
With a net.
The particular net employed is
The belief in the power of
The thinking mind.
For as long as this thinking mind is worshipped,
Clear sight is not to be obtained.
It is little wonder that
The dog chasing its tail
Becomes dizzy.

Stillness is not the absence of thought.
Stillness is prior to both
The absence and the presence.
It cannot be created but It can be found.


Hsin, Wu. The Lost Writings of Wu Hsin: Pointers to Non-Duality in Five Volumes. Kindle Edition.

* * * * *

Self-image problems are essentially internal problems of the ego. The ego is capable of containing and manifesting a jillion problems -- DSM-V is huge! But the fact of its presence (the Really Big Problem) is not a problem which can be addressed by conventional means. Completely shutting down the mind to allow Grace / Pure Awareness to surface is a primitive egoic fear, resisted agressively by the mind. But others, internal to the ego, can be "worked on," especially low-self-image ones -- the ego wants to believe it is not only the boss, but a competitive boss in society. So, ironically, the therapeutic trajectory in firming-up self-image is a process which needs to end after a plateau of adequate self-confidence is reached. Otherwise we end up like Donald Trump.

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: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:30 am

Sighclone I think you're right about needing to progress through ego-development before you can transcend it. I am a big fan of Ken Wilber and that is a foundational premise of his work. He calls it the pre/trans fallacy, where people think that a pre-egoic state is the same as a trans-egoic state because they are both non-dual. That is, an infant's perception of oneness is the same as an enlightened saint's. But the infant has no awareness of the unity, while the enlightened one does. That's the difference. We have to go through the stage of separation and identification as an individual ego to gain the awareness. The trick is to not over-develop the ego, which is difficult in modern western societies (particularly the US), which festishize the individual.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:28 am

Sighclone wrote:Why is it that two of my favorites (an old favorite, Onceler) and a new favorite (KB) have become friends here? Why indeed? This is a wonderful forum, a continuing blessing where we get to share our little bunny-trails of exploration with each other. In fact, I have found new writers and music and forums of great interest to me as a direct result of other members here. Both of you have demonstrated again and again great wisdom and immense charity.
Andy

I got so involved in the self-esteem question I forgot to preen a little (this is a joke :D ). This is a wonderful forum and I also have found lots of inspiration here.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Onceler » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:25 am

I honestly don't know, but I feel there are exceptions. To gain self esteem may be a life times work and then to gain clarity and understanding of your essential nature on top of that....?

There must be a short cut, but I don't know it. I think John Sherman comes closest to finding a psychological/neurological back door. But the outcome remains to be seen. I can't articulate my intuition any more than this.....
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Sighclone » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:34 am

To gain self esteem may be a life times work and then to gain clarity and understanding of your essential nature on top of that....?


I don't think a person needs to bask in Maslow's Self-Actualization for years to wake up. I do think that some level of comfort with who you are actually helps. Now, of course, we all know that Eckhart woke up when he was almost suicidal. Huge counter-example. So there surely is a back door. There are probably as many ways to wake up as there are people. But generally speaking it is pretty scary for the egoic self unless a lot of groundwork of some kind has been laid. In ET's case, there was no groundwork at all -- he was utterly bewildered with all of it except for the fundamental element: it was completely self-verifying and absolutely authentic. He never doubted that and slowly backfilled the academic / Advaita / Zen pieces, after talking to a variety of teachers and lots of reading. Then he began writing is his unique way, and speaking...always starting his responses with a little pause...


festishize the individual


So frigging true. I hate television advertising. (Oops it's not nondual to hate...). So maybe I accept them, but they are still giant piles of junk food for the ego. And pretty subtle also. Particularly this time of year.

Andy
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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Fore » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:07 am

Sighclone wrote: In ET's case, there was no groundwork at all --


I thought Eckhart was studying pshycology in university, he must have had some knowledge of the EGO?

He seems to have gained enlightenment through the use of a Koan, when he had the thought "I can't live with myself", he realised there must have been two of him, and this riddle led him to realize the deep stillness of the ultimate truth.

In Theravaden Buddhism there are 4 stages of awakening, Eckhart appears to have access to this stillness at will, this would mean that he would have reached the stage of non-returner or arahant. According to Buddhist doctrine an arahant must ordain within 7 days or die(don't know why exactly?) so this would make Eckhart a non-returner. To reach this high stage he must have done some previous work on his mental perfections???

These are: renunciation, morality, effort, tolerance, truthfulness, strong determination, wisdom, equiminity, selfless love, generosity.

Or has he had multiple awakenings since the event he describes in his book?
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Sighclone » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:49 pm

done some previous work on his mental perfections???


When? In a past life? Exkhart is pretty quiet on past lives...kind of focuses on just Being in the Present Moment.

What is the final authority level on all this of Theravadan Buddhism? And why is it more an authority than Dzogchen, Hinayana, etc.?

he koan "I cannot live with myself any longer," arose, had its impact and subsided in a period of about ten minutes -- re-read the first pages of PON. He then says: "For the next five months I lived in a deep state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss....I knew, of course that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn't understand it at all. It wasn't until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spend time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me."

Andy
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Fore » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:41 am

Sighclone wrote:When? In a past life?

I was just wondering if you or others had any more details other than what was shared in his book(having been around this site for so long), his enlightenment seemed sudden, so much so that it leads me to think he may have been doing some other work prior to this. An example may be concentration exercises, or did he live a particularly moral life.

Sighclone wrote:What is the final authority level on all this of Theravadan Buddhism? And why is it more an authority than Dzogchen, Hinayana, etc.?


Not sure if I understand the question, my current practice has its roots in the Burmese Theravaden tradition, and this is where I receive most of the theory to accompany my practice(this is why I mention Theravaden theory in particular). I believe that human being is human being and the theory of my practice lays out a map of the path to final awakening, this I believe must be universal and it also must be in accordance with the laws of nature. Dzogchen, Hinayana, Christianity, Hinduism, any viable path must lead one to the same goal, if it is to remain in accord with the laws of nature. Sadly my knowledge of these other traditions is limited, but is one of the reasons I am here. There just can't be a different final goal for different practices and Eckhart too must fit in.

Sighclone wrote:he koan "I cannot live with myself any longer," arose, had its impact and subsided in a period of about ten minutes -- re-read the first pages of PON. He then says: "For the next five months I lived in a deep state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss....I knew, of course that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn't understand it at all. It wasn't until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spend time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me."


I was just curious that perhaps during the 5 months following this experience that perhaps he may have had a few more of the 10 min periods or perhaps even deeper and longer experiences. Coming from a place of suicide Eckhart pain must have been very strong (much fuel for takeoff). I'm not doubting him at all, i'm just looking for additional information to possibly fill in some theoretical blanks.
I was just curious if there was any more information he released on this subject.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Lunchbox » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:16 pm

Fore wrote:I was just curious that perhaps during the 5 months following this experience that perhaps he may have had a few more of the 10 min periods or perhaps even deeper and longer experiences. Coming from a place of suicide Eckhart pain must have been very strong (much fuel for takeoff). I'm not doubting him at all, i'm just looking for additional information to possibly fill in some theoretical blanks.
I was just curious if there was any more information he released on this subject.


I remember reading that before his enlightenment Eckhart was some sort of psychology counselor. I think, in the book ' A new earth' (which I lost my book copy) there was a passage of a dying lady he was seeing. It's the one were this lady lost her ring and was blaming her housekeeper. Nonetheless, this passage ends stating that the lady lost her detachment for the missing ring. Therefore bringing some sort of sense of peace to her. Once she passed away, the ring was found, but it did not matter, because of her detachment. Very unique experience Eckhart lived, and a very strong book passage, if you ask me.

Perhaps those life events, mentioned or not, that he went through unconsciously pushed him to his "awakening."
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Fore » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:36 pm

Hi lunchbox thanks for the reply, I think I will read the book again its been awhile. I thought that he had already become enlightened when this story took place and was guiding this lady.

Also congrats on how you handled me hi-jacking your thread for my own selfish inquiry, you could have got upset, but instead you put your own interests aside, stepped up, and offered what information you have to help another.

You are the answer to your question and confusion and in this selfless act of stepping aside became the answer.

Maha Metta,

Fore
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Lunchbox » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:08 pm

This past week I realized something that, perhaps, contributed to my miserable state I was going through.

This new realization happened. And I'm also happy because I believe this new approach might benefit me at any new goals I'm trying to reach.

I guess I was taught emotions are a great life guidance. For example, "follow your heart," "Keep doing what feels right to you," etc. Whenever you feel threatened or uncomfortable of any situation, feelings is a way your body letting you know to retreat or do something. I guess I was completely wrong, I'm going to tell you why.

When people go to work you have to complete several tasks, that why you get paid for. However, at work I had always had a miserable time with people, and I thought this has to do with me being bullied. I'm starting to believe one of the reasons this happened was because I was not playing my role correctly. My role at my job is to supervise a certain department. Sometimes I felt uncomfortable giving instructions or recommendations to people because, i guess, i was afraid of how they would react or if they would even listen to me. So one of the new approaches I was trying this past couple of weeks was to watch my social interactions. I noticed how I would always negatively prejudged any social interaction. So I decided to play my role without listening, but sill acknowledge, my emotions

Example : If I notice another department from my job is doing something wrong, weather it's unnoticed or not, there should not be any hard feeling from my part If I go up to them and acknowledge it, because all I'm doing is just following a role. And nobody should be upset about it because it is just a role we all perform at work. Now if I go up to them and tell them about it in a douche-bag kind of way, It would cause many problems. On my end, I'm messing up because I've emotionally become attached to my role, this attachment is probably my ego trying to accomplish something. And in the other end, if they are emotionally attached to their roles, they would take it personally and... the cycle commences.

I told my self not to emotionally attach to anything at work. Surprisingly, this was very effective. Not only this has made my job easier, it has also stopped people walking over me. It has stop people from walking over me because I'm unemotionally sticking to my job role and 'defending' it. So they stop. However If I'm doing something wrong and they try to help me, I must not take it personally and adapt, because ultimately it's just a job.

Same concept may be applied outside work. Let's say I'm walking in a sidewalk. Then a guy behind me is riding a bike and wants to pass me but I'm on the way. Then he rudely tells me to get out of the way. There is nothing wrong for me to tell him that this is a public sidewalk and acknowledge him that that was not politely way to talk to people. The trick here is not to be emotional attached to your response, and be fair, that way the biker will reason with himself that this is a public sidewalk and in a way he had a wrong approach to solve his problem.

Thanks,

Lunchbox.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Lunchbox » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:26 pm

Fore wrote:Hi lunchbox thanks for the reply, I think I will read the book again its been awhile. I thought that he had already become enlightened when this story took place and was guiding this lady.Fore


Oh, you might be right, I don't exactly remember. Lost the new earth book a couple of years ago.

I'm curious too, why are you curious about the theoretical blanks? Are you trying to formulate a step-by-step type of guide?

And re-reads are always great. You might see it differently this time since you might have gained new concepts since reading the book.

Fore wrote:Also congrats on how you handled me hi-jacking your thread for my own selfish inquiry, you could have got upset, but instead you put your own interests aside, stepped up, and offered what information you have to help another.


No problem. I believe this forum is composed with many people with good deeds. Plus this whole spirituality concept is very interesting read.

Thanks,

Lunchbox.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Fore » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:09 pm

Lunchbox wrote:I'm curious too, why are you curious about the theoretical blanks? Are you trying to formulate a step-by-step type of guide?

No, I just find it of interest, perhaps harvest some contemplative wisdom.
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