Presence attracting people and success: theory vs reality

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Presence attracting people and success: theory vs reality

Postby painBody » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:00 am

I've been itching to write about this for a long time, but couldn't quite find the right words.

ET often claims that presence tends to attract other people, thus attracting "success" in one's "life situation" (relationships, jobs, etc). It rings true, when you hear him say that your calm and soothing energy, and lack of a dense ego, is attractive to others ... it makes sense, theoretically. But, my experience has been the antithesis of that. Yes, presence will definitely increase contentment and peace, and I can attest to that (hence, I listen to ET and hence, I'm on this site), but no, it seems like it is not conducive to success on the level of form. I wanted to share my experience and find out what others here have discovered in their own experiences.

All my life, I've been surrounded by big dense egos ... at school, at jobs, in relationships and friendships, in casual social circles ... everywhere. I found but tiny smidgens of presence if any at all. And, despite my own (relative) presence, my life situation (no job, no money, no friends, no relationships) tells me that I didn't attract any people or "success". Yes, there were a couple of people along the way who told me that they liked my energy and my relative transparency or lack of ego, but I could count those people on one hand. Almost all were either repulsed by my simplicity and naivety or just didn't notice it.

So, I think I understand why I've come to this general conclusion. Big strong egos want other big strong egos to participate in their dramas, play roles, and perhaps validate their identities. The "cool" macho guys want to hang out with the other "cool" macho dudes. The workaholic programmer who eats, shits, programs, and gets promoted, wants birds of his feather to confirm to him that his lifestyle is noble and worthy. None of those guys describes me. I was always happy just being myself. Someone who is present, just doesn't fit in, and that is not conducive to "success".

So, I guess I'm saying that, while I agree that presence can bring tremendous peace to one's life ... when it comes to presence attracting people and "success", I think Eckhart is talking out of his a$$. Yes, presence will attract other conscious people, but let's face it ... a conscious person in this world is like a nugget of Gold in an infinitely long sewage pipe ... doesn't exist. Another way of saying this is that, in order to attract people and "success" (on the level of form), you need to play the (ego) game, and playing the game and presence just don't go hand in hand ... they're opposites.

What do you think ? What has been your experience ?
Last edited by painBody on Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:01 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby Onceler » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:27 am

A lot of people mention how calm I am, especially at work. It's a mixed bag for me. Giving someone my undivided attention can be positive for some unnerving for others. My own presence phases in and out depending on who I am with as well. Some people are simply easier to be present with.

It sounds like you have had some rather harsh work environments. I guess I'm lucky to work in a small private school with people I like and get along with.
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby painBody » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:11 am

Onceler wrote:A lot of people mention how calm I am, especially at work. It's a mixed bag for me. Giving someone my undivided attention can be positive for some unnerving for others. My own presence phases in and out depending on who I am with as well. Some people are simply easier to be present with.

It sounds like you have had some rather harsh work environments. I guess I'm lucky to work in a small private school with people I like and get along with.


Thanks for responding, Oncie. Always nice to hear from you :)

Interesting. Yes, you definitely seem lucky in that regard. Do you teach little kids or young adults (or adults who think they're too old for school) ?

BTW, I finally figured out your form identity - "The Once-ler is the narrator and a character in The Lorax. He was a greedy industrialist who cut down all of the beautiful (...) trees to make a peculiar garment." Wonder if you chose your username as an intentional joke :lol:
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:46 am

I think it's worthwhile to consider the distinction between ego and personality. While ego may be recognized, and to an extent released, personality persists beyond the ties of ego. I mention this because people are often attracted by another's personality. Of course personality is influenced by many factors including ego and the quality of clear presence in whatever measures they may be present.

Years ago when I was around far more people than I am today, my sense of calm and clarity, born of a strong base of knowledge and practice, attracted quite a few for different reasons. I worked in and environment where it was possible to have frequent and lengthy philosophical discussions. Religion and metaphysics were common discussions/debates. Many were intrigued and saw value in such discussions. Others simply wanted to either win a debate, or save me from hell and damnation.

I frightened some because I was a threat to their belief systems. How, after all, could I be such a calm an spiritually aware person and not believe in their version of religious doctrine. This went on for years. I had many good friends and supporters, and some who tried to get me fired. Fun times.

The point of all this is that a calm presence is just one factor in attracting people. Personality and conditions play a large and significant role. I do agree with you that presence alone will not necessarily attract success. It is however, in the right circumstances, a difference making factor.

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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby painBody » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:52 am

WW - Yeah, that's a good point. Personality is important for "success". I lumped personality under ego or "false self", so, I kind of used ego as an umbrella term for any kind of form/conceptual identity.

You seem to have been more fortunate with regard to having the "right" kinds of people around you. And yes, the right people and circumstances, along with presence, can definitely come together and create wonders ... wonders I wonder about sometimes :)

Thanks for the response.

(BTW, you write well)
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby Mystic » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:34 am

What is success? Is it materialistic possessions and monetary wealth? For some, that could be success, and to compete and compare with others... But ...to define one's self by ownership of material things could even be described as a form of poverty. I have what I need, food, shelter, a job, and I see all people as inherently good at the core of their being. The ego of other beings is like a fragile shell with no, or little power, therefore my ego also has no or little power.

But being a rich billionaire does not necessarily mean that a person has a big ego. Grandiose delusions of the ego include many different story lines, including religion and self debasement. The ego is legion. :lol:

The fundamental law of reality is the law of universal oneness, also called the law of cause and effect. As I think and do unto others so I think and do unto myself.
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby Onceler » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:06 pm

painBody wrote:
Onceler wrote:A lot of people mention how calm I am, especially at work. It's a mixed bag for me. Giving someone my undivided attention can be positive for some unnerving for others. My own presence phases in and out depending on who I am with as well. Some people are simply easier to be present with.

It sounds like you have had some rather harsh work environments. I guess I'm lucky to work in a small private school with people I like and get along with.


Thanks for responding, Oncie. Always nice to hear from you :)

Interesting. Yes, you definitely seem lucky in that regard. Do you teach little kids or young adults (or adults who think they're too old for school) ?

BTW, I finally figured out your form identity - "The Once-ler is the narrator and a character in The Lorax. He was a greedy industrialist who cut down all of the beautiful (...) trees to make a peculiar garment." Wonder if you chose your username as an intentional joke :lol:


I don't teach much, but a little bit....mainly social skills classes. I'm a clinical social worker and work with K-12 graders. The kids have some kind of learning issue; ADHD, Autism Spectrum, Dyslexia, etc. the kids are great, but challenging and the staff is incredibly collaborative and professional.

Nailed it. I was never a greedy industrialist, but I was self centered and greedy in another way (still am to some extent). There is hope for the Onceler in the end as he passes on the seed to the boy......it fit my state of mind back in 2007 when I chose it, maybe it's time for a new Avatar?
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby Onceler » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:43 pm

Just as you have been mulling over the ideas in this thread, I've been mulling over another set of ideas which, I think, fits here just as well as anywhere. The thesis is that we have to get over this notion of perfected, realized beings who act with sweetness and kindness, let go of the past almost instantly, and exude this aura of tangible resonance which will calm the environment.

I think it's a bit messier than that and a bit more real. We are human and that's GOOD! We make mistakes in our evolution. We get angry, irritated, petty, egotistical, etc. Some of this is our own doing, some of it is just a by product of being around other humans that are scared **%*less most of the time and this fear and loathing is projected onto us (sorting out what is our own crap and what we are picking up from the environment is some kind of super power I don't have nailed down and is probably worthy of another thread). The true test is how we navigate all this. Do we have the presence, intelligence, humor, grace to acknowledge our missteps, handle gracefully the missteps of others, be assertive (and maybe even an ***hole) when necessary? To me presence is a flow, more akin to Bruce Lee's "Be like water" than anything else. We present ourselves to others, communicate, miscommunicate, understand, are misunderstood, screw up, make amends, solve problems, make problems. All this like water. Since we are centered and connected, we are not bothered by the messiness, or we are bothered by the messiness enough to tidy up. Everyone is a fixed point in a constantly evolving, chaotic world, the more fixed we are, the more we suffer. The more flexible, adaptive we are the the greater our connection to the moment and appreciation of life. This flexibility takes presence, concentration, grace and may not look from the outside, from another fixed point, as anything adaptive at all. It may even present, to a very rigid point of view, as threatening. We expect this as part of doing business in the human body. It's a challenge, a dance (more like tai chi). It is not disassociation and perfectionism from a lofty place. It's a wonderful, complicated, unpredictable thing that calls for us to, well, be like water.
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:22 pm

painBody wrote:(BTW, you write well)

Thanks PB. Six thousand plus posts and the best alignment I could muster certainly helped a bit. :)

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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby painBody » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:28 am

Mystic wrote:What is success? Is it materialistic possessions and monetary wealth? For some, that could be success, and to compete and compare with others... But ...to define one's self by ownership of material things could even be described as a form of poverty. I have what I need, food, shelter, a job, and I see all people as inherently good at the core of their being. The ego of other beings is like a fragile shell with no, or little power, therefore my ego also has no or little power.

But being a rich billionaire does not necessarily mean that a person has a big ego. Grandiose delusions of the ego include many different story lines, including religion and self debasement. The ego is legion. :lol:

The fundamental law of reality is the law of universal oneness, also called the law of cause and effect. As I think and do unto others so I think and do unto myself.


Thanks, Mystic. Yes, I was only referring to success on the level of form. Hence, the quotes around "success".

I'm not saying it is the most important thing. But it is relatively important.

I'm unemployed, broke, with no friends, and I see all people as inherently unconscious at the core of their being :)
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby painBody » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:47 am

Onceler wrote:Just as you have been mulling over the ideas in this thread, I've been mulling over another set of ideas which, I think, fits here just as well as anywhere. The thesis is that we have to get over this notion of perfected, realized beings who act with sweetness and kindness, let go of the past almost instantly, and exude this aura of tangible resonance which will calm the environment.

I think it's a bit messier than that and a bit more real. We are human and that's GOOD! We make mistakes in our evolution. We get angry, irritated, petty, egotistical, etc. Some of this is our own doing, some of it is just a by product of being around other humans that are scared **%*less most of the time and this fear and loathing is projected onto us (sorting out what is our own crap and what we are picking up from the environment is some kind of super power I don't have nailed down and is probably worthy of another thread). The true test is how we navigate all this. Do we have the presence, intelligence, humor, grace to acknowledge our missteps, handle gracefully the missteps of others, be assertive (and maybe even an ***hole) when necessary? To me presence is a flow, more akin to Bruce Lee's "Be like water" than anything else. We present ourselves to others, communicate, miscommunicate, understand, are misunderstood, screw up, make amends, solve problems, make problems. All this like water. Since we are centered and connected, we are not bothered by the messiness, or we are bothered by the messiness enough to tidy up. Everyone is a fixed point in a constantly evolving, chaotic world, the more fixed we are, the more we suffer. The more flexible, adaptive we are the the greater our connection to the moment and appreciation of life. This flexibility takes presence, concentration, grace and may not look from the outside, from another fixed point, as anything adaptive at all. It may even present, to a very rigid point of view, as threatening. We expect this as part of doing business in the human body. It's a challenge, a dance (more like tai chi). It is not disassociation and perfectionism from a lofty place. It's a wonderful, complicated, unpredictable thing that calls for us to, well, be like water.


Wow, great ideas to ponder here ! Thanks for bringing this up ! I generally feel like my threads don't live beyond 2 or 3 replies ... not much discussion.

I like the way you think - very pragmatic. And, that resonates wonderfully with the underlying theme of this thread - pragmatism. Theory is great to ponder and debate and all, but ultimately, the real test is the application of that theory ... or else, what's the point !

And, I totally agree with you - presence is really a continuous process of graceful adaptation to phenomena, rather than a perfect state from which one may never regress. I have also noticed, like you, on this forum, that some folks are under the impression that "enlightenment" is some sort of lofty state from which no problems arise ever again. It is a bit naive to think in that way. In fact, I am certain that Eckhart and all other so called spiritual teachers themselves regress on occasion ... unless they're made of alien DNA.

Presence is not a discrete state, that, like a light switch, is either "on" or "off". Rather, it lies somewhere on a broad (continuous) spectrum. I have found, through much contemplation, that a huge part of the problems of humanity arise from our tendency to think in black or white. Computers and other electronic devices, which I have worked with closely for many years, love discrete binary states - 0 and 1, on and off. They are very comfortable with such states; in fact, they are not capable of working with broad spectrums (it is an illusion that they are) like humans are. When humans think like computers - bad/good, democrat/republican, present/unconscious, Muslim/infidel ... that severely limits possibilities. In fact, conflict and suffering is built right into this kind of thinking !

Like you said, we can't just turn a switch off and forget the past ... it just doesn't work like that. And, like you said, nobody's perfect - we can be good and bad, have both success and failure, simultaneously. It's our ability to adapt to constantly changing phenomena, our ability to mold ourselves into situations, that is the real test of how evolved/awakened we are. We have to shift our way of thinking from success/failure -> process, as in, evolution and awakening are a lifelong process, not accomplishments that we can claim, put under our belt, and then get disappointed when we regress.

BTW, I'm a huge fan of Bruce Lee. However, I was shocked to find out, upon reading about his history, that he was quite a (violent) troublemaker who went looking for trouble everywhere, which is the antithesis of the image he generally portrays in movies. He was frequently getting into unnecessary unprovoked confrontations (martial arts fights) with fighters from rival martial arts schools. He was quite full of himself, it seems. Of course, this is all in the spirit of being an (imperfect) human. And, there is much to admire about Bruce Lee.
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby dijmart » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:58 am

I see all people as inherently unconscious at the core of their being :)


I get what you mean, but...actually the core of their being is pure consciousness. They're just identified with thought and lead by the nose by it. You may get to a point, if you haven't already, where you truly can laugh at people's behavior (inside if in close proximity or LOL when away from them). In Vedanta I would say lead by their vasanas (mental tendencies/ingrained habits) it's truly comical at times.

Other times, well, some peeps are just bat shit crazy or toxic and not funny at all. I try to avoid those people, if at all possible. Otherwise, I say very little, which almost gives the same effect.
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby painBody » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:47 am

dijmart wrote:
I get what you mean, but...actually the core of their being is pure consciousness. They're just identified with thought and lead by the nose by it.


I know :) I just put it that way to emphasize that almost everyone is so incredibly unconscious.

dijmart wrote:You may get to a point, if you haven't already, where you truly can laugh at people's behavior (inside if in close proximity or LOL when away from them). In Vedanta I would say lead by their vasanas (mental tendencies/ingrained habits) it's truly comical at times.


Yup, I'm at that point :) Sometimes, I laugh. At other times, I (internally) nod my head in pity. Usually, it's both. Yet other times, I admit that I look down at them condescendingly, as if to say, "You dumbass, you don't know the hell in store for you. And, you're not dragging me down with ya."

dijmart wrote:Other times, well, some peeps are just bat shit crazy or toxic and not funny at all. I try to avoid those people, if at all possible. Otherwise, I say very little, which almost gives the same effect.


Yes, absolutely. My maternal aunt and co. are just like that. I kissed them goodbye (more like told them to phuck off), and it has proved most certainly for the best.
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby Onceler » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:49 pm

Good to know about Bruce.....he taps a richer vein of Taoism with that quote. I'm more partial to the ancient Chinese wisdom teachings than those of India, truth be told.

To expand a bit more.....being in the flow, in the present, is amazing and a true gift, but it's not predicated on 'success' and things going well. They never do in a continuous fashion. The success comes from adaptability. Being able to flow with or around an obstacle. Problems or thorny situations are welcomed as they are a puzzle to be solved. This is my opinion, of course, and my experience.

Also, I don't believe presence is a thing to be cultivated, a primary skill to be learned. Trying to be present, to be mindful, can be helpful in a limited way, but it is just another rigid construct if the underlying problem is not dealt with. I believe it is a natural by product of seeing who you are and going through the long process where fear based systems go off line and are replaced with more adaptive, positive systems. A position of fear (most of the human race) is the ultimate fixed position and the ultimate rigid construct. It kills creativity, connection to the world, spontaneity, etc. With fear gone we are naturally adaptive and in the flow of life. New information is integrated with old information, memories and reality is accepted and adapted to as it presents itself. This is an ever evolving process as, over time, our position becomes less fixed and we are more adaptive.

Sorry if I'm repeating or preaching, but I think this is an important area of discussion as I believe many spiritual seekers are looking for a static, blissful place to escape to (myself included) where problems don't exist and hard feelings are dispelled. Life comes at you fast and hard, be adaptive, it's the flow of it that is joyous.
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Re: Presence attracting people and success: theory vs realit

Postby Mystic » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:19 pm

painBody wrote:I'm unemployed, broke, with no friends, and I see all people as inherently unconscious at the core of their being :)


You are close to an awakening, that is to see the Source, or Being, within all beings. Remember, Jesus said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". Pure awareness is the light of all consciousness. Oppositely, there is what is called the shadow self or the unconsciousness, also referred to as the false self. This shadow self, is a fragile shell. It is also called the "ego" in many spiritual texts. Eckhart Tolle speaks of the Universal Intelligence. This is an inner intuitive guide that speaks to our consciousness but not necessarily with articulated words. Our own intellect and training can be used to articulate these qualities of spiritual experience. Consciousness is the receptive mechanism, which is the ability to choose which guide to listen to, the true self or the shadow self. Ultimately, the false self does not really exist, there is only pure light or Truth.
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