Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

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

Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby lea_ » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:58 pm

Hello everyone,

My concern might seem ridiculous, as we probably all, more or less, are ''stuck between being awake and driven by ego'', depending on the situation we find ourselves in etc (except maybe E.Tolle who seems to be awake and conscious all or most of the time).

My question is...I wonder...whether it is possible to accelerate the awakening process somehow, I feel stuck for two years now and it's pretty intense. It is two years ago that I had my first glimpse of ''I am not the thinker'' and since then, it seems like there is finally a meaning to life, that things actually makes sense, that this is the truth (we all are more than the mind...).

But real life is another thing...as thought this beginning of awakening made things so much more complicated. I've always been opinionated, with strong beliefs about what is right and wrong, morals...I am also the creative type and believed these ideas, what I create, my opinions, my views on the world, my principles etc. is Me, is who I am...who am I without it? No one, nothing...no me..., and that seems like the end for a person who's life ''depends'' on expressing opinions, being artistic, creating...writing a book for instance...where do these ideas come from...in my case, often from what I experienced/ felt in life, different situations: the material world.

The secret is to die before we die and it makes so much sense but I am truly struggling between ''being in the material world'' : keeping my opinions, views , ideas in order to stay creative and do my work and between the realization that this is not who I am, this is only superficial. How to deal with it? I can't just retreat to an island and meditate for the rest of my life, telling myself my opinions, and I am not who I thought I am etc.

Yet, everything seems much more meaningless and less important...as though standing up for some ideal, as I usually would, made no sense because people are mostly ego possessed anyway and nothing can truly be changed on the level of the material world.

My question is basically just: how do you reconcile the two...I have been struggling for over two years now, it feels like I am stuck not being able to find a meaningful occupation anymore, like E.Tolle when he quit university and was ''no one'' in the eyes of society for a while before he published his first book. Except he was fully awake and it happened over night. In my case , I feel like I am nowhere also but instead of being awake, Im stuck between being conscious and unconscious, which is blocking me completely, I can't function, exist and do my work the way I used to and neither can I fully enjoy life and admire it's beauty consciously.

It's more like: the voice in my head is constantly there, repeating the same and same things over and over again and although I am aware of it, I surrender to the voice and let my mind possess me because if i dont, who am I, how can I function in the world, what will people around me think...It is so weird...often times I am fully, fully aware that what I think, feel is unnecessary, artificially created (as it has been a million times before, by the mind)...I for instance recognize egos need to feel important...for instance can get very disappointed or angry if I feel like a friend doesnt pay enough attention,doesnt care enough, doesnt have enough time...( ''how is that possible, I would do anything and am so devoted and he or she is this and that, not available'' and so it stars and goes) the thoughts are always the same, the feelings that ensue are also always the same: destructive every time and yet, when I realize it (and also realize its always the same and happened so often and is useless), and although I perfectly realize all that, instead of letting it be, I start expressing my unhappiness at the situation or my anger ..because if I dont then I tell myself, its not me...I dont share my feelings with my friend and if i dont, it's all gonna come out sooner or later, i need this or else I am not me. And there are a lot of other examples...I am aware what the voice in my head keeps on repeating about my appearance and that it is oftentimes not true, I am aware of an event/situation/person triggering certain patterns of thoughts and the emotions that go with it etc.

And yet, its like a trap...I just cant stay aware and observe, I let myself be absorbed by the mind or else I feel like I am no one, like I dont exist, like I am dead. Who am I if I just sit there and observe...how can I function. I believe I basically Could get rid of the ego much more ( stop feeling the need to be successful , look good in the eyes of society, please other people, be conform to the ''norm'' that Eckhart calls insane) BUT I dont because I wouldnt have a place in this world anymore ( I cant go sleep on a bench and admire the beauty of the world and do my thing) I have responsibilities...a family, as we all do and therefore a need to earn and therefore a need to be able to function in society and I feel like if Id rid myself of ''who I am'', who I was all these years, Id turn into a lunatic. I feel like I just wouldnt be able to function in the world. I feel like I already 'started to not be able to function in the world'' anymore because the news on tv for instance seem ridiculous and I have no side to take: seems like humanity is more or less as insane as it used to be during wwI (as E.Tolle mentioned in his book). So yes, anyway... if I fully surrender to that, with such an attitude (''this world is insane, makes no sense cause everyone is driven by ego'') how can you create something, change world for the better?

Im stuck, I am not sure what to do...I am aware that my fear of ''losing it all'', losing control, losing Myself also comes from the voice in my head and that its probably nothing but an illusion but I feel so so so stuck, dont know which direction to take ( again, a problem my mind created , I created myself, and yet its there ) . So one one hand I have...staying in the material world, continuing to function like 90% of the population and being responsible in taking care of my family and duties...on the other hand ''letting myself go'' and instead of letting the mind take over, work on observing and changing my life for the better but that would also mean I wouldnt be like everyone else and wouldnt be able to be myself anymore (talking without the space, being my thoughts opinions, creations, everything I thought was I).

What can I do? I feel like I have done nothing productive these past two years since the slow beginning of my awakening and its been the way i described above for a while now (struggling between two ''realities) . :( I am lost .

Im am so sorry for the long message, I got carried away...had this on my mind for such a long time now and it feels good to share. If anyone has advice, went through a similar experience or anything you have to share actually, I would be very grateful ! Thank you. Lea
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby dijmart » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:41 am

Oopsie, I duplicated my post, so....deleted!
Last edited by dijmart on Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby dijmart » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:09 am

I've been spewing this all over this forum..lol. But, you especially would benefit from Vedanta! It will assist you in reconciling the aspects that are driving you batty. Go to shiningworld.com website, look under satsang and you will find hundreds of satsang email question/answer format from Vedanta teachers. Also, on youtube, James Swartz has a series of satsang Vedanta videos you can watch in sequence.

https://youtu.be/x8UHESkSCFU

Vedanta has a methadology, makes sense, is logical, it works and it ends suffering when fully assimilated.
The only catch is you have to be qualified, have a clear still enough mind to understand, become Self realized, assimilate this knowledge. So, if your not qualified in the beginning they teach you what to do to become qualified.
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby Rob X » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:46 pm

You may not like me saying this Lea, but your post reeks of an ego straining to be rid of ego - and you've got about as much chance of success as someone grabbing their ankles in order to lift themselves off the ground. So what to do? Again, you might not like this but for starters FORGET ENLIGHTENMENT. Striving towards enlightenment is a disease that messes with the mind.

I would suggest dedicating (some of) your energy towards simply looking and simply being - forget results. That's all. Spend 30 to 45 minutes every morning sitting (or laying) still and watching what comes up. When you're out and about be curious to what is happening presently. If there is a lot of opinion arising then see that for what it is - the manifestation of opinion - so what. Now it might be an artistic idea - great. Now it might be sadness - be curious.

You don't have to be rid of the personality - just see it for what it is. It's as natural as the movement of tides or the growing of finger nails. Don't be fooled by images of teaches in white robes surrounded by flowers, they've all got personalities, inclinations, traits, characteristics, habits and so on - that's what body-minds tend to do. What some of them have discovered is that the body-mind-personality is a manifestation of something vast and ineffable that we can all access - because it is ultimately what we are.
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby dijmart » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:59 am

they've all got personalities, inclinations, traits, characteristics, habits and so on - that's what body-minds tend to do. What some of them have discovered is that the body-mind-personality is a manifestation of something vast and ineffable that we can all access - because it is ultimately what we are.


Yes! :D
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby lea_ » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:52 pm

I saved the link and will read more about Vedanta, thank you @dijmart , it seems interesting and helpful!

As to ''FORGET ENLIGHTENMENT'', thank you for that eye opener @Rob X . It's true I started seeing Eckhart Tolle's teachings as some kind of manual to follow (with all the advice he gives on how you can gradually become more and more present) but as useful as it may be, being as present as possible became a goal to achieve in the future which in itself is already contradictory.

''Don't be fooled by images of teaches in white robes surrounded by flowers'', so true ...I do tend to idealize wisdom teachers as those who have to ultimate truth (and therefore we must thrive to be like them) because isn't that what E.Tolle is saying in the end: ''The world is insane'', ''Our mission on earth is to get out of the ego possessed state'', ''Evolve or die'' etc. And then he gives all sorts of examples of how we can work towards that ''goal'' of being more and more present every day.

I don't know, I just get lost in all that. ''You don't have to be rid of the personality - just see it for what it is.'' That is true but what if one is very often aware of their own thoughts and their wrongness for instance but is not able to change it, get rid of it ? Say I observe my thoughts and what is going on inside the way you described...well thoughts come and go, often the same, often wrong and ridiculous and although I'm aware I am not able to rid myself of them and to use my mind when I need it, ''the mind keeps on using me'' as would say E.Tolle.

This is why I was saying I feel stuck. Let's say I forget enlightenment and stop obsessing about achieving a certain level of wisdom etc. and rid myself of the ego that is trying to get rid of the ego.......................then what is left, is just me being aware of my thoughts and how repetitive, damaging, ridiculous they are but unable to rid myself of me (as though they possess me ,are me.....) if you take it into extremes (which is thank God not my case) but in E.Tolle's case for instance it almost lead to suicide and then so much suffering that he awoke all of a sudden and was rid of them. This is the kind of stuck I was talking about. Repetitive vicious thoughts, to do with the past and accumulated painbody....Now I know, ''everyone'' has it etc.but it's been difficult for me lately. I was obsessed with awakening because it seemed like the solution to it all. When I actually know that the solution cant be in the future, it is in the present moment but I described what happens when I am in the present moment and aware of my thoughts. As says E.Tolle, the negative thoughts etc are supposed to vanish in the light of awareness but they don't.................

I don't know, maybe I should meditate more or something else but right now I just feel like running away from myself (to some island, where everything is pure clean and nice, leaving my thoughts about the past behind......they are not who I am)

Sorry for the long message again...if anyone is still reading ,then thank you for having taken the time and although I know there is no answer or quick solution to that, Id still be thankful for any reply...sharing your own experience for example and thanks again to dijmart and Rob X
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby dijmart » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:38 pm

Id still be thankful for any reply...sharing your own experience for example


Welp, my journey has been pretty much documented here on this forum, since 2010. I was in complete ignorance for many years, while on this forum. I thought I knew something, here and there, then I'd black out again into total and complete ignorance. I don't mean a lack of intellegence, but lack of Self knowledge and Self understanding.

I was one of the people who tried suicide, a serious attempt that left me on life support in a coma for 5 days, in 2009. The thoughts were distructive, I thought they were me or I was them. I wanted them to end, as the suffering became to great to bare. After my failed attempt of suicide, I slowly became mentally "stable" after 6 months. I was given E.T.'s book and the quest of enlightenment started.

The problem from the beginning was that many guru's make it seem that you need to have an "event" happen, sure you may time stamp the first moment you percieve yourself as awareness. Awareness aware of itself! I can recall the first true experience of this, it's amazing, but I was still as ignorant as anything, because I was still being lead around by the ego, as if nothing had happened. Why? Because, experience comes and goes...knowledge, specifically, Self knowledge once actualized...sticks! So, no matter what's happening, good, bad, ugly...you know it doesn't change your essential nature as awareness. You see from that perspective, at will. You realize that everything that happens or will happen is happening "in/to" you, awareness. It's always been this way, always, but you've identified yourself as the "person", not as awareness. That is the cosmic joke. You've been playing hide and seek with your self this entire time. However, you aren't even really hiding you are accessible at this moment, here and now. Just give up the idea you have of being this limited person.

If you break down thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions, the body and understand they all appear in/to you- ordinary, ever present, complete, total awareness. Then understand, you (awareness) are the witness OF them. They are you, in the sense they are made of awareness, but you are not them. As you are the substratum/background of all that is...

Pain and pleasure persist, regardless. So do thoughts, feelings, emotions, ect...but you are the awareness in which they arise and subside. They come and go, the only thing that doesn't come and go is you/awareness, you as a person can be negated, but not you, awareness.

Hopefully I haven't confused you!
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby lea_ » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:09 am

Not confusing, very helpful. Thank you so much for what youve shared dijmart !:)
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby dijmart » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:59 pm

lea_ wrote:Not confusing, very helpful. Thank you so much for what youve shared dijmart !:)


No problem :wink:
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby Rob X » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:31 pm

lea_ wrote:I saved the link and will read more about Vedanta, thank you @dijmart , it seems interesting and helpful!

As to ''FORGET ENLIGHTENMENT'', thank you for that eye opener @Rob X . It's true I started seeing Eckhart Tolle's teachings as some kind of manual to follow (with all the advice he gives on how you can gradually become more and more present) but as useful as it may be, being as present as possible became a goal to achieve in the future which in itself is already contradictory.

''Don't be fooled by images of teaches in white robes surrounded by flowers'', so true ...I do tend to idealize wisdom teachers as those who have to ultimate truth (and therefore we must thrive to be like them) because isn't that what E.Tolle is saying in the end: ''The world is insane'', ''Our mission on earth is to get out of the ego possessed state'', ''Evolve or die'' etc. And then he gives all sorts of examples of how we can work towards that ''goal'' of being more and more present every day.

I don't know, I just get lost in all that. ''You don't have to be rid of the personality - just see it for what it is.'' That is true but what if one is very often aware of their own thoughts and their wrongness for instance but is not able to change it, get rid of it ? Say I observe my thoughts and what is going on inside the way you described...well thoughts come and go, often the same, often wrong and ridiculous and although I'm aware I am not able to rid myself of them and to use my mind when I need it, ''the mind keeps on using me'' as would say E.Tolle.

This is why I was saying I feel stuck. Let's say I forget enlightenment and stop obsessing about achieving a certain level of wisdom etc. and rid myself of the ego that is trying to get rid of the ego.......................then what is left, is just me being aware of my thoughts and how repetitive, damaging, ridiculous they are but unable to rid myself of me (as though they possess me ,are me.....) if you take it into extremes (which is thank God not my case) but in E.Tolle's case for instance it almost lead to suicide and then so much suffering that he awoke all of a sudden and was rid of them. This is the kind of stuck I was talking about. Repetitive vicious thoughts, to do with the past and accumulated painbody....Now I know, ''everyone'' has it etc.but it's been difficult for me lately. I was obsessed with awakening because it seemed like the solution to it all. When I actually know that the solution cant be in the future, it is in the present moment but I described what happens when I am in the present moment and aware of my thoughts. As says E.Tolle, the negative thoughts etc are supposed to vanish in the light of awareness but they don't.................

I don't know, maybe I should meditate more or something else but right now I just feel like running away from myself (to some island, where everything is pure clean and nice, leaving my thoughts about the past behind......they are not who I am)

Sorry for the long message again...if anyone is still reading ,then thank you for having taken the time and although I know there is no answer or quick solution to that, Id still be thankful for any reply...sharing your own experience for example and thanks again to dijmart and Rob X


I feel your frustration here Lea, but as you have come to recognise, there is no quick fix solution. Obsessing about some perfect state (of enlightenment or whatever) is not at all helpful - it just causes further agitation.

You say "…then what is left, is just me being aware of my thoughts and how repetitive, damaging, ridiculous they are… " Is that true? Is it possible to see that what is going on presently is the arising of this… now this… now this… and in this are apparent repetitive thoughts? If you can develop tools (meditation/curiosity/patience) that assist in becoming more attuned to what is really going on moment by moment then a broader outlook might emerge in which these sort of niggles become less of an issue and may diminish to some extent.

(If you are finding that repetitive, obsessive thoughts are just too overwhelming for this sort of approach then it may be an idea (at least for now) to seek some sort of professional assistance, therapy or counselling.)
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Re: Stuck between being awake and driven by ego

Postby Avager » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:27 pm

Hi Lea!

I read your post and can somehow recognize myself in it. I had a really strong awakening some months ago (you can read about it in a topic further down) and since then, I've experienced a situation that is similar to yours. I am no expert, but I will share what I think can be helpful.

Just on the first read of your post, I think you went into the same trap as me, and probably maaaany other people. And it's a trap that you have to stay away from your whole life. I speak here about the egos will to use your new "knowledge" for it's own. With other words, basically the same as Rob X wrote in his first reply.

I went through a process that is pretty like yours. I was thinking "what is this for", "do this really make any difference" etc etc and trying to stay present.
I've had periods of time for 2-3 weeks where I could start to scream and have "tics" ( I don't know if I use the right english word for this. I just felt like my body was releasing a lot of energy and my body did uncontrolled, fast, harsh movements for 1-2 seconds. Some people described it as "you looked as if you were going to have a heart attack". ) as soon as I was aware of thinking a deep ego-centred thought. I was unmotivated for everything, I felt "bad", I didn't know who to talk to (because I knew that probably no one is going through anything like me, since everyone I told about my spiritual awakening basically told me I am crazy after a while). I could lay in my bed and be afraid of not knowing what was going on, and thinking to myself "Is this is? Is this the now? Am I going to feel like this forever?". But I observed my reaction and my thoughts. What I also often thought to myself was "Even this is changing", the quote from A New Earth. And I accept that those states of mood might come and go. As Tolle wrote, "You maybe won't always be happy, but you will have inner peace". Or "You are like an ocean, no matter what happens on the surface, you are perfectly still deep down inside".

I've got a lot of "present reminders" from Power of Now or A New Earth that I use everyday. "What is going on inseide of me right now", "Do I feel joy in this moment", "Is there any negativity in me", "Even this is changing" etc etc. I can't really tell you how I use it, but it is more of a tool for me to feel my body and stay aware of what's going on in me.
And trust me, the negative thoughts come up often for me aswell (I honestly think that they do for everyone, no matter how "enlighted" you are). I don't see it as you can someday get rid of them (that's a salvation in the future), the trick is to see through them and accept that they are always going to be there, but that they have no control over you. And even if you get catched in the thought and the reaction that it brings, accept it etc - I guess you know that.

The best example - you have the issue you are writing about at this forums. Just by making this into a problem shows that you don't accept the process that is going on inside you right now, but fighting against it. As Tolle wrote in Pow (or something like that, just translating it directly from Swedish :P):
All unconsciousness is rooted from resistance against the Now.
I think you should... Be okay with not being okay. If that makes sense. That sentence helped me a lot and made me accept the situation I was in.
And if you while reading this react by, perfectly naturally, thinking "but I don't want to feel like this, I cannot accept it"... well, I think you know the answer to this deep inside of you.

And I know that this answer ir probably the intellectualy not most satisfying. But I think this is the best I can give you. Since you are basically explaining my situation, stronger in some aspects and weaker in other.

I hope I was to any help.
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