the void

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

Post by cephalon » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:24 am

I have read the power of now, a new earth, as well as listened to one of eckhart's audio books.
My life has reached a point where every day is exactly the same, i have nothing that i can do to gain enjoyment out of, and have minimal interactions with people outside of work. I am able to sometimes enter a state of presence at most for a day or so, but then the next morning I'll wake up and all of the fog will all come back again. And I feel like I'm in an infinite struggle to try to reprogram my thoughts to try to accept my surroundings, but the majority of the time I'm always exhausted and just cant see any purpose in continuing to try to accept these circumstances that i despise or take the effort to try to feel good. I feel like I'm locked inside my house and I have no desire to experience anything other than the continuation of suffering or indirect egoic views of future salvation. I don't even know what advice to ask for...I just feel like I need to express myself because I've become enveloped in boredom. I feel like I've reached a state where I can simply observe the futility of my surroundings and realize that I don't want any of this, but I have nothing to work towards or any real desires or interests at this point to focus on or try to achieve. I realize that the best option at this point is probably surrender, but whenever i observe any of my surroundings everything just seems old and depressing. I find that If I try to surrender, I just find myself sitting around the house more and surrounded by inescapable circumstances that I can't help but resist.
Even attempting to be thankful or meditate often just results in frustration and the mind labeling such things as useless under the circumstances.

That being said, I realize that after reading this it is probably apparent that I've been possessed by the egoic mind and/or pain body...but I can't figure out how to break free...any advice that anyone could offer me would be greatly appreciated

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Post by boogeyman » Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:53 am

The reason why you think your unhappy is not it.
The reason you(we) suffer is because we think things should be different.
Say YES to sadness say YES to depression, allow it all.

See for your self how all your unhappiness comes from resistance to what is.
Resisting your emotion, resisting your thoughts. There is an basic assumption behind suffering: IT SHOULDN'T BE LIKE THIS!
Last edited by boogeyman on Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by boogeyman » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:31 pm

I am in the same kind of situation as you. I know what yo are talking about.

I often get frustrated when I try to meditate or accept what is, because it seems impossible. But theres an assumption again, I shouldn't get frustrated because I'm trying to accept and meditate. Then you just end up getting frustradet because you are frustrated. Seeing these patterns in your self does help alot.

As Tolle says: theres a "no" ontop of a "no". You can't accept that your not accepting. You bring the "yes" to the "no". I accept, that I dont accept.

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Post by Webwanderer » Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:16 pm

boogeyman wrote:The reason you(we) suffer is because we think things should be different.
That's the heart of it cephalon. And trying to accept things isn't going to cut it. Trying is a function of mind that ego doubts and is destined to fail. Genuine acceptance is done beyond the mind in the present moment, in this Now. It is to live in conditions as they are without judgment that they are wrong or that you are somehow a victim.

The path to changing your experience is less a matter of changing your circumstances as it is a recognition of your true nature. Money and friends will not buy clarity of being.

Now there is the old saw about idle hands being the devil's workshop. With little to occupy the ego/mind, it has the tendency to run amuck. And as it is generally created out of fear, resistance and isolation; without direction, it falls back on what it knows best, and that is more of the same.

You may wish to consider directing the mind/ego into something creative, something that directs the spinning mind into an upward spiral rather than a self destructive one that often comes from inactivity. Having gratitude is exceedingly valuable, but one must constantly see things in life to appreciate. Some are here naturally (such as a refreshing breeze, or a beautiful flower), others can be created (plant a garden, or do some volunteer work). The point is to direct the mind into accomplishment so as to keep it focused on things that make life more enjoyable. There you can find gratitude and appreciation for experience.

Make no mistake that engaging in productive activities will not change who you are. Recognition of Self is where the pointers of ET and others will lead you. Directed activities will however, change your immediate experience and allow you to see the ego/mind function in productive ways. Mind is a tool; ego is an assumption of identity. Learn how they operate, and recognize their place as content within your essential being. Freedom is found in living from truth.

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Re: the void

Post by Agnieszka » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:26 pm

That's also my experience, unfortunately. I constantly catch myself TRYING HARD (often in tears) to ACCEPT how people relate to each other, the world, what I see on the news, all the suffering. My friend once said that it's a sign of ARROGANCE on my part - claiming to KNOW BETTER what the world SHOULD BE and look like. When I experience something that gives me pain, I immediately get into presence. Presence does not makes pain evaporate, but surrounds it with something else, some bigger field, inside which the pain is felt. Then, when I have lived through a difficult and potentially painful situation in full awareness, the mind comes into play: is it MORAL to tolerate all this? It shouldn't be like that! I don't want to be part of it, I want to withdraw, run away, don't want to live the rest of my life experiencing it. I don't want THIS LIFE to be lived through me, I don't want "to be the dance" while THIS EGO-DRIVEN LIFE "is the dancer". I know it's my own ego that knows better that there should be no suffering in the world and resisting it. But how is it possible to smile in the middle of suffering and pain? It would be easier to maintain enlightened presence locked up in a cave than here.

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Re: the void

Post by Larryfroot » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:27 pm

Hi

There is one part of your post that caught my eye in particular...

"...can't see any purpose in continuing to try to accept..."

Acceptance is not something we can try and do. it is not a doing. It is an entirely passive state in the face of what we do not want, but cannot move away from or change. Acceptance is an allowing. 'Trying to accept' is a paradoxical state that is impossible to achieve. Acceptance is an allowing...a forgiveness towards ourselves, our experiences and our situations, no matter how unwelcome they may initially be.

The content is not the container...the boredom and the insight and the failing and the attempting and the reading and teh book and the words and the attempting and the outlook...

...is content. The trouble starts when we resist it, especially when we undermine acceptance by 'trying to accept'. That paradox again. It is a subtle trap but a common one.

We resist the content and we resist the healing and the grace within the moment that the content arises in. We 'throw out the baby with the bath water'.

This experience isn't happening to you because you got anything wrong, or because you are failing in anyway, not because you are bad, or stupid or spiritually lacking. This is happening because you are human. That's all. We are all there or have been there. And the world and his dog seek to do three things in the face of the G.A.F. (God Awful Feeling).

Firstly we numb out with the usual suspects...even with boredom as the unconscious mind can undermine curiosity and interest as it all may simply be a way of becoming even more entangled in the G.A.F. Prime examples of those who looked long and hard at the G.A.F. with curiosity but little insight were the Existentialists, those silly bunnies. For most of us that degree of raw honesty is not on the agenda, at least not without some idea of what we can do once we get there. The Existentialists got there and got sloshed on red wine.

So numbing out is one thing. Distraction is another. TV, work, reading, chocolate, sex and daydreams...the list goes on and on.

From that the third escape mechanism arises. We tell ourselves and others that all we experience and feel happened for a reason. My reason used to be my father. If only he got it right I would not have waded through decade after decade of pain and hurt went my story...we rationalise the feeling in order to try and come to terms with it. And for that to happen we often re-visit the past again and again trying to untangle the twisted psychological strands. but what the past always gives us is more past.

The pain body - which is what we are truly trying to run away from - is not negative thoughts or negative emotions. To observe these things is a positive and helpful thing to do, but it will not ultimately bring us liberation. because negative thoughts and emotions spin off from the God Awful Feeling.

So lets look at the GAF. It is that moment when the heart constricts, the gut drops, the throat swallows and the mind feels as if it is freefall. It is the absolute pits. It is there whenever we get close to our essential ignorance of what this life is really about...when the support we thought we had is suddenly taken away from us and we are face to face with our aloneness with no sympathy or shelter. The raw experience of the GAF lasts for a second at most before the negative thoughts and emotions arise to obscure it. Some people will become sorrowful, some angry. The reaction is not as important as the fact that it obscures the GAF.

So what can we do in the face of the GAF? Something so overwhelming and terrible that seems to be at the very heart of the human condition?

We can love it.

We can show it compassion and we can show it understanding.

We can allow it space.

We can use it to give rise to our expression as consciousness.

This is so gloriously counter - intuitive! But it is impossible for any thought, no matter how vile, to be loved and from that point on to stay as a negative thought without being transmuted into the love that we allow it. That we allow to shine though us towards it.

it is so simple and yet so revolutionary.

The 'human condition' is simply a collective pain body born of fear and pain and suffering...and when we see the manifestation of that do we react in a way that is healing towards that which is most wounded in ourselves? No. We beat it up, we reject it and we fight it.

If we treated other people like we treat our thoughts, our minds and the GAF itself we would be in a court of law on charges of cruelty to someone already in a highly vulnerable condition. But that is just what we do. Those thoughts of negativity and apathy, the mind that produces them and the underlying threat of the GAF itself need our love, our compassion and our understanding. Not more fear and more loathing. That just makes things a hundred times worse.

So take one thought...perhaps '..this is so boring and grey and sludge-y' and sense what is beneath the words...and open up to that in the spirit of love and reconciliation.

Well I have gone on for long enough...but if you love that within you which seems the most loathsome, then you will begin to transform the emotional charge behind the thought, the thought and what is more...you will be making inroads to address the very heart of all human pain in the best possible way. You will begin to heal...and to see that all pain is one pain, and as you begin to open up to your experience of the GAF, you will also begin to open up to others essential hurt as well. The GAF is the most unexpected opportunity towards becoming as free and as beautiful and as liberated as we are. We simply have to understand it, and from that point of understanding comes a response based upon the reality of our situation, rather than the ego turning it into a monster to hate and resent. It is anything but.
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Re: the void

Post by kiki » Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:42 pm

Great post, Larryfroot. I especially liked these two paragraphs, which are worth repeating:
Larryfroot wrote:If we treated other people like we treat our thoughts, our minds and the GAF itself we would be in a court of law on charges of cruelty to someone already in a highly vulnerable condition. But that is just what we do. Those thoughts of negativity and apathy, the mind that produces them and the underlying threat of the GAF itself need our love, our compassion and our understanding. Not more fear and more loathing. That just makes things a hundred times worse.

..

...but if you love that within you which seems the most loathsome, then you will begin to transform the emotional charge behind the thought, the thought and what is more...you will be making inroads to address the very heart of all human pain in the best possible way. You will begin to heal...and to see that all pain is one pain, and as you begin to open up to your experience of the GAF, you will also begin to open up to others essential hurt as well. The GAF is the most unexpected opportunity towards becoming as free and as beautiful and as liberated as we are. We simply have to understand it, and from that point of understanding comes a response based upon the reality of our situation, rather than the ego turning it into a monster to hate and resent. It is anything but.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: the void

Post by heidi » Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:51 pm

Larry! I'm so glad you're onboard. Thanks for the wonderful clarifying post. :)
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Re: the void

Post by cephalon » Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:58 pm

thank you all very much for your kindness and your responses. everything that has been said here has provided relief in different degrees for me, and the reality alone that all of you are caring enough to try to help me out has been liberating in itself...especially larry with such a long, passionate response. I also wanted to ask if anyone else experiences something similar to this: When I look at things, although sometimes I have to be paying a little bit more attention than just casually glancing, I see what appears to be a very subtle transparent film of static or an energy field for lack of a better term. Sometimes I'll see a small pinpoint of white light flash somewhere in my field of vision, or if i'll be really focusing on it I can see what appear to be little 'electrons' or insects made of light jumping or sparking around...I don't know- it's kind of difficult to explain. Usually I have to be kind of passively noticing them, because if I try to focus on looking directly at anything it disappears. Anyway, does anyone else ever see things like this or have any kind of explanation for what I'm talking about?
'Over thinking, Over analyzing separates the body from the mind' -Tool (lateralus)

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Re: the void

Post by sparks » Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:06 am

Great post, Larryfroot.

I only have a couple of things to add.

Vernon Howard said that "everyone spends their lives trying to escape an unwanted sense of self."

The "seeker" becomes the last hope for relief. "If I become enlightened, I won't ever have to feel this pain again." From what I've read and experienced myself, any pain that is healed required a diving into. I believe it's awareness that makes us realize the pain is there, but it's the heart that dissolves it. Larryfroot already said this part in a more eloquent way.

The part I wanted to add is about how we can become so frustrated about not getting results with our seeking that we start mentally abusing ourselves. Can you see yourself as you are (with all the pain, frustration, "failures", and confusion), and give yourself a break? Can you allow yourself to be lost?

Forgiving yourself for being the way you are IS acceptance. As Eckhart says "if you can't accept what is, then accept your feelings about what is." Wherever you are, start there.

Compassion and forgiveness are very important to remember. Awareness lets us see what is wrong, but the heart is what heals it.

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Re: the void

Post by Larryfroot » Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:29 am

Well...

There are differences in how we see the 'outside' world between individuals, even with colour. Some see more into the infra red, some more in the ultra violet. We live in a perceived universe, and the particulars of our sensory information may be wider than we suppose. After all we do act accordingly to an idea of 'normal' and are reluctant to advertise the fact that we are a little out of that range. I have seen odd stuff...like little balls of fluffy energy bouncing along a countryside path. I thought perhaps they were new age fairies...gotten a bit too minimalist for the wings and long hair and were settling for some post - modernity image re-vamp.

Our perceptions are still relative to the consciousness that perceives them, and so in the field of human happiness, or misery come to that our perceptions can help or hinder us...hopefully the latter. But I can understand the curiosity factor, having had similar shifts in my perception from time to time...all I can say is that if the experience encourages you to understand your mind and the consciousness that permeates it, fantastic. If not, then just enjoy the twinklies as a blessing along the way.

At the risk of offering what may seem a rather glib soundbite, and referring to earlier themes in this thread...but I feel it is relevant in this thread...that peace of mind has little to do with the mind, and everything to do with the heart.
Many a mickle muches a markle.

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Re: the void

Post by kiki » Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:30 am

cephalon wrote:When I look at things, although sometimes I have to be paying a little bit more attention than just casually glancing, I see what appears to be a very subtle transparent film of static or an energy field for lack of a better term. Sometimes I'll see a small pinpoint of white light flash somewhere in my field of vision, or if i'll be really focusing on it I can see what appear to be little 'electrons' or insects made of light jumping or sparking around...I don't know- it's kind of difficult to explain. Usually I have to be kind of passively noticing them, because if I try to focus on looking directly at anything it disappears. Anyway, does anyone else ever see things like this or have any kind of explanation for what I'm talking about?
It could be traces of the aura around objects that you are seeing. In order to see any aura you have to let your gaze at an object sort of soften, as though you are looking through the object rather that directly at it (this is similar to looking at those 3D pictures that ordinarily looked like abstract gobbledegook). Then use your periphery vision to notice the energy surrounding the outside of the object. It helps if the thing or person if front of you has a neutral background, the ambient light source isn't too bright, and you aren't too far away. You will see a soft shimmering light that extends from a few millimeters to several centimeters around the outside surface of the object. That light can vary in color and intensity.
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Re: the void

Post by Larryfroot » Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:24 am

...mind you I did have an experience at Waylands Smithy, a neolithic chamber in Wiltshire...of seeing movements out of the corner of my eye, irregardless of the direction I looked in. Nothing in my direct vision but a movement in th ecorners of my eyes...a little teasing!
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Re: the void

Post by shappy » Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:33 am

sounds like you guys need to visit an optometrist!

Seriously, auras?

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Re: the void

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:52 am

I don't see them either but there is Kirlian photography that shows evidence of their existance. :shock:

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