I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.
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RCharles
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by RCharles » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:07 am

Lowrey, shortcut answer to your shortcut question--yes, it is very common to have an emotional/spiritual crisis because of practicing presence. I was exactly where you are about a year ago. I had enjoyed many years of peace through a meditation practice, but then events in life and deepening meditation brought me to a spiritual crisis. I actually thought I might be on the verge of losing my mind.

What happened? I sought out spiritual teachers, this forum, and many books, all of which assured me that this is a normal part of the process. Not everybody goes through a crisis, but many do. If it gets really bad, try to find a spiritual teacher in your community that you can talk to in person. This forum also helped me tremendously, so keep talking to us. For now, know that you are not unusual, and it is very likely that you will get through this experience and come out feeling a lot better when you are on the other side of it.

In my own case, the process continued to deepen my awakening, and a lot of wonderful growth happened. If I seem a little too "high" on my spiritual experiences, it's because I am! I made it past the hard stuff and found joy on the other side. More hard stuff keeps coming up, but deeper awakening makes that stuff easier to deal with now.

I hope this reassures you and offers some hope that you will most likely come through this just fine.

Chuck
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

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Webwanderer
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:10 am

Lowrey wrote: like I've said, I have no intention to become "enlightened". I believe in my own soul, and not believing in being a "universal consciousness". I have a past. YOU did not lived my past, I did. Denying that we all have a unique own soul is just crazy to me. I don't see myself as a "mind-made self". Sorry but I think this idea is an inner suicide (which Tolle admits when he says he's already died). Tolle says that life goals like being a movie star, or a great football player, or having a lot of money are mind-made illusions and concepts. I think trying to reach "enlightenment" is even a bigger illusion, and an even more worthless concept. I don't care about it.

I care about finding freedom and living my life.
Lowry, let me offer this: Consider what a 'soul' is. It's not something you have, it's what you are. Soul is not a human identity but an expression of Source. It is Self. That self you feel is an aspect of Source's own Being expressed as you. It is the same basic sense of self that exists in all humanity.

It is the ego that has a soul. It is it's True Self. It is the sense of self that abides unchanged regardless of the nature of egoic thoughts heaped upon it. What died in Tolle was his belief in this heap of thought structure and his identification as ego. The Tolle that died lived only as an imagining. Recognition of the truth set him free. Mind-made self is just that, a construction of ideas about being a human being rather than being a soul living out a human experience. Tolle alludes to this very point in the following video. It demonstrates his recognition of the survival of self beyond the physical experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWXpPGL55No


You are quite right however, to question the belief in no-self as some suggest. There is some truth to be gleaned from it, but it is not the a truth of non existence. It is a pointer to the imaginary identification with/as ego. You are not what you 'think' you are, but that does not mean you do not exist. It means what you think you are is an imaginary identification construct. What you are is far more than the human mind can imagine.

I see Tolle's teachings as an effort to break us out of the egoic dream - to awaken to a clearer understanding of our true nature. Now, it may be that we will not entirely realize that true nature while focused in our human form, but we can get free of a completely egoic perspective if we can sense our conscious being - awareness - beyond the thoughts arising from our conditioned minds. How far that clarity can unfold is likely dependent of many factors - much of which may be beyond our immediate control.

Other factors can be quite helpful however, like honesty, curiosity and openness. Then there is the basic teachings of Tolle and others on living in the present moment rather than in memories of the past an imaginings of the future. These are the identity enhancing realms of ego.

In all cases let truth be you guide. And while there are many who would point to their perception of it, it is you who must decide what brings clarity to your own understanding. It's the same for all of us. Trust your own instincts but be ever open to change. Continued awakening and greater clarity depend upon it.

WW

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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by Lowrey » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:12 am

RCharles wrote:Lowrey, shortcut answer to your shortcut question--yes, it is very common to have an emotional/spiritual crisis because of practicing presence. I was exactly where you are about a year ago. I had enjoyed many years of peace through a meditation practice, but then events in life and deepening meditation brought me to a spiritual crisis. I actually thought I might be on the verge of losing my mind.

What happened? I sought out spiritual teachers, this forum, and many books, all of which assured me that this is a normal part of the process. Not everybody goes through a crisis, but many do. If it gets really bad, try to find a spiritual teacher in your community that you can talk to in person. This forum also helped me tremendously, so keep talking to us. For now, know that you are not unusual, and it is very likely that you will get through this experience and come out feeling a lot better when you are on the other side of it.

In my own case, the process continued to deepen my awakening, and a lot of wonderful growth happened. If I seem a little too "high" on my spiritual experiences, it's because I am! I made it past the hard stuff and found joy on the other side. More hard stuff keeps coming up, but deeper awakening makes that stuff easier to deal with now.

I hope this reassures you and offers some hope that you will most likely come through this just fine.

Chuck
first, thank you again for taking your time

what can I say? I'm scared and confused. I woke up early this morning having some startin panic attacks, like my head was going to explode literally. But I know I have no health problem, because I went to doctors and found nothing. Just saying this to let you know more how I feel.

I don't feel anymore that I want to deal with spirituality. I read these books because I wanted to be strong, confident and successful, and I got extreme fear, anxiety, panic, depersonalization and confusion. Who can tell me now that keep dealing with spirituality won't make me go deeper into the whole? Noone.

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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by Ziendus » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:45 am

First you have put your confidence in some guy called ET,
and now you wanna bash his face.
Now your trying it with some forum....
History repeats.
What else can it do ?

Becoming strong and successful, thats fine.
But, that what comes, will go.
That is its very nature.
But what you also are, does not come or go,
remains untouched by success or fear.
What you also are, needs no advice from book or forum.

Look, you are.
The things that come and go are experienced by you.
Yet, you remain.
What book or forum can teach you that ?
---ooOoo---

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ashley72
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by ashley72 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:04 pm

Well articulated.... Ziendus

zack
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by zack » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:33 pm

I wouldn’t recommend stop practising presence now, its your only way out of this condition. See if you can welcome the anxiety and the physical sensations. Do that and it will lose its energy and transmute itself into joy and aliveness.

Zack

Lowrey
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by Lowrey » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:55 pm

zack wrote:I wouldn’t recommend stop practising presence now, its your only way out of this condition. See if you can welcome the anxiety and the physical sensations. Do that and it will lose its energy and transmute itself into joy and aliveness.

Zack
thank you Zack

I do know I may sound like a confused idiot.

Practising "presence" doesn't seem to worsen how I feel. I mean if practicing it would have caused it in the first place (which I doubt more and more), it should make it worse, right?

but it's almost impossible now to calm down. I mean I'm calm, if you'd sit right here you wouldn't have any idea that I may feel bad. and I feel horrible.

anyway I sometimse laugh at myself and the idea that I think that practicing PoN caused me to be here. come on, what actually is PoN? nothing.. it's a good book that tells you to don't think about past and future always because you miss the present. how could that cause you panic and extreme fear?

the whole sensation really feels like something wants to "come out", but since I got an attack I got scared about anything spiritual.

zack
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by zack » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:23 pm

I know what you are going through. I am not saying that Tolles teaching has caused this. The anxiety and fear has been their all the time but is more likely to surface when you relax the grip of ego. With no observing presence you condition is likely to continue since you are adding new layers of fear on the fear that is already there. There is plenty of good CBT-literature dealing with panic disorder out there, I recommend you picking some up. Good luck!

Zack

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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by Midnight » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:13 pm

Lowrey wrote:
zack wrote:I wouldn’t recommend stop practising presence now, its your only way out of this condition. See if you can welcome the anxiety and the physical sensations. Do that and it will lose its energy and transmute itself into joy and aliveness.

Zack
thank you Zack

I do know I may sound like a confused idiot.

Practising "presence" doesn't seem to worsen how I feel. I mean if practicing it would have caused it in the first place (which I doubt more and more), it should make it worse, right?

but it's almost impossible now to calm down. I mean I'm calm, if you'd sit right here you wouldn't have any idea that I may feel bad. and I feel horrible.

anyway I sometimse laugh at myself and the idea that I think that practicing PoN caused me to be here. come on, what actually is PoN? nothing.. it's a good book that tells you to don't think about past and future always because you miss the present. how could that cause you panic and extreme fear?

the whole sensation really feels like something wants to "come out", but since I got an attack I got scared about anything spiritual.
Well lets see if we can get to grips here with some basic misunderstandings that might make you feel a whole lot better.

Firstly, PoN doesn't say "Don't think about past and future" specifically; rather, Eckhart outlines the basic way in which the egoic mind operates, one of these ways includes the fact that the mind chews on thoughts of past and future to keep the ego (idea of myself) spinning. Stopping thought deliberately can work for some people, but it's not actually needed because awareness is present even during thought activity, it just SEEMS to be covered up. With regards to thought, Eckhart says simply observe it without judgement, that's all and it is enough.

Another basic assumption you may be unconsciously believing is that the NOW Eckhart speaks about is in time. This is another trap. The NOW contains time, it is not involved in time itself. The NOW is consciousness/awareness/Self (that which perceives psychological time - cos remember, time is ONLY psychological and only exists in thought.)

As for fear and panic, this is speculation on my part regarding your experience because I don't know how much you've got to grips with what the book explains, but fear and panic come from the self-image/ego. To put your attention in other places away from the ego can cause it to try and create every resistance possible in order to make believe it is what you are and get you to identify with it once again. It's actually a very impressive and destructive thing and has a wide arsenal of tricks and techniques which can pull you back into it's 'orbit' as it were. A great one of these is fear!

If you can observe WITHOUT interest, this would be a great thing for you. Don't touch thoughts, let them come and go until the mind becomes more quiet.

Or if you want to be as direct as possible, turn your attention away from everything you can perceive (the fear, the panic, thoughts about the panic and fear, the sensations in the body and whatever emotions you may be feeling) what is left?

If you turn away from everything you can see objectively, what is still there?

snowheight
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by snowheight » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:06 am

snowheight wrote:Have you experienced this felt sense of Oneness Lowery?
Between this:
Lowery wrote:what I experienced can be really described as how Tolle describes his state in some ways, like not having a sense of self or feeling like living in a timeless dimension, or experience everything through stillness, but it is the worst experience I ever had to go through.
And the commonality between your experience and others posted here I'm going to answer for you -- yes you have.
Lowery wrote:I'm scared and confused. I woke up early this morning having some startin panic attacks, like my head was going to explode literally.
So what, exactly, are you frightened of? What is the source of the dread and anxiety? ... I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it is this:
Lowery wrote:I just can't accept any idea that denies my uniquness. I am unique. Everyone is unique, trying to solve your problems by saying there is no problems is just giving up. I don't want to give up.
Here's the thing. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DENY YOUR UNIQUENESS!

Tolle does give you a conflicting message, I will admit that. He tells you of a "felt oneness with Being", but he still writes the book as a dialog to YOU, Lowery.

If Tolle didn't mean for you to read the book as an individual he would have used very different language. Can you find one place in any of his writing where he denies your individuality? Look carefully, he doesn't. Now your mind might see a contradiction here, and that's because there is one. No doubt. But look again ... Tolle disclaims that he is laying out anything conceptual in his work.

Other's here will tell you that the trouble here is with a false self ... without arguing with them, I tell you, you can get past this without accepting that.

What is causing you this grief is the fundamental paradox at the root of our very existence. If you want to understand this a bit more deeply, I recommend this thread or that one. You can read Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Sartre if you want even more.

What you are feeling is what Sartre termed "Nausea". You might find the plot of this book described in the wiki summary as familiar:

"Written in the form of journal entries, it follows 30-year-old Antoine Roquentin who, returned from years of travel, settles in the fictional French seaport town of Bouville to finish his research on the life of an 18th-century political figure. But during the winter of 1932 a "sweetish sickness", as he calls nausea, increasingly impinges on almost everything he does or enjoys: his research project, the company of an autodidact who is reading all the books in the local library alphabetically, a physical relationship with a café owner named Françoise, his memories of Anny, an English girl he once loved, even his own hands and the beauty of nature.

Over time, his disgust towards existence forces him into near-insanity, self-hatred; he embodies Sartre's theories of existential angst, and he searches anxiously for meaning in all the things that had filled and fulfilled his life up to that point. But finally he comes to a revelation into the nature of his being. Antoine faces the troublesomely provisional and limited nature of existence itself.

In his resolution at the end of the book he accepts the indifference of the physical world to man's aspirations. He is able to see that realization not only as a regret but also as an opportunity. People are free to make their own meaning: a freedom that is also a responsibility, because without that commitment there will be no meaning."


These guys might help you understand, but they won't help you with the feeling.

In the end, the fear goes away when you realize that, ultimately, there is no understanding this, and yes, give up, surrender, and accept.

Good luck Lowery.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

Lowrey
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by Lowrey » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:12 am

Midnight wrote:
Well lets see if we can get to grips here with some basic misunderstandings that might make you feel a whole lot better.

Firstly, PoN doesn't say "Don't think about past and future" specifically; rather, Eckhart outlines the basic way in which the egoic mind operates, one of these ways includes the fact that the mind chews on thoughts of past and future to keep the ego (idea of myself) spinning. Stopping thought deliberately can work for some people, but it's not actually needed because awareness is present even during thought activity, it just SEEMS to be covered up. With regards to thought, Eckhart says simply observe it without judgement, that's all and it is enough.

Another basic assumption you may be unconsciously believing is that the NOW Eckhart speaks about is in time. This is another trap. The NOW contains time, it is not involved in time itself. The NOW is consciousness/awareness/Self (that which perceives psychological time - cos remember, time is ONLY psychological and only exists in thought.)

As for fear and panic, this is speculation on my part regarding your experience because I don't know how much you've got to grips with what the book explains, but fear and panic come from the self-image/ego. To put your attention in other places away from the ego can cause it to try and create every resistance possible in order to make believe it is what you are and get you to identify with it once again. It's actually a very impressive and destructive thing and has a wide arsenal of tricks and techniques which can pull you back into it's 'orbit' as it were. A great one of these is fear!

If you can observe WITHOUT interest, this would be a great thing for you. Don't touch thoughts, let them come and go until the mind becomes more quiet.

Or if you want to be as direct as possible, turn your attention away from everything you can perceive (the fear, the panic, thoughts about the panic and fear, the sensations in the body and whatever emotions you may be feeling) what is left?

If you turn away from everything you can see objectively, what is still there?
well, thank you guys again for replying.

it's interesting, I got into terrible emotional and thought chaos in the last few months, yet my personality, talents and desires haven't changed in any way. so that's again proves that yes, we are deeper than thought and emotion, but there IS a unique personality behind that. I kind of always believed it like that instinctly this is why I liked Tolle's book because I was never interested in philosophy. I don't even look Tolle as philosophy.

one thing I want to clarify : I did not have ANY problem and didn't find Tolle's ideas scary before I got a panic attack. I've found them GREAT. I lived life like I never before, being totally myself and working on my success, while ENJOYING life. not meditating and trying to go to Tibet ( :D ), but living my life.

what happened, I got a panic attack out of nowhere, THEN I started to automatically look the world in the most negative way possible, and Tolle's ideas were the most scary from the filter of anxiety.

anyway, between reading the PoN and my nervous exhaustion, I read another book about facing death (by Robert Greene). just a note.

look Midnight, I don't want to praise myself too much, but if I didn't have a VERY GOOD skill in not letting my emotions control me, I'd be DEAD.

Lowrey
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by Lowrey » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:16 am

snowheight wrote:
snowheight wrote:Have you experienced this felt sense of Oneness Lowery?
Between this:
Lowery wrote:what I experienced can be really described as how Tolle describes his state in some ways, like not having a sense of self or feeling like living in a timeless dimension, or experience everything through stillness, but it is the worst experience I ever had to go through.
And the commonality between your experience and others posted here I'm going to answer for you -- yes you have.
Lowery wrote:I'm scared and confused. I woke up early this morning having some startin panic attacks, like my head was going to explode literally.
So what, exactly, are you frightened of? What is the source of the dread and anxiety? ... I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it is this:
Lowery wrote:I just can't accept any idea that denies my uniquness. I am unique. Everyone is unique, trying to solve your problems by saying there is no problems is just giving up. I don't want to give up.
snowheight wrote:
Here's the thing. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DENY YOUR UNIQUENESS!

Tolle does give you a conflicting message, I will admit that. He tells you of a "felt oneness with Being", but he still writes the book as a dialog to YOU, Lowery.
Wow, I haven't think about it in that way. And yes it "resonates" with me more.
snowheight wrote:
If Tolle didn't mean for you to read the book as an individual he would have used very different language. Can you find one place in any of his writing where he denies your individuality? Look carefully, he doesn't. Now your mind might see a contradiction here, and that's because there is one. No doubt. But look again ... Tolle disclaims that he is laying out anything conceptual in his work.
yess you ARE right.
snowheight wrote:
Other's here will tell you that the trouble here is with a false self ... without arguing with them, I tell you, you can get past this without accepting that.

What is causing you this grief is the fundamental paradox at the root of our very existence. If you want to understand this a bit more deeply, I recommend this thread or that one. You can read Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Sartre if you want even more.

What you are feeling is what Sartre termed "Nausea". You might find the plot of this book described in the wiki summary as familiar:

"Written in the form of journal entries, it follows 30-year-old Antoine Roquentin who, returned from years of travel, settles in the fictional French seaport town of Bouville to finish his research on the life of an 18th-century political figure. But during the winter of 1932 a "sweetish sickness", as he calls nausea, increasingly impinges on almost everything he does or enjoys: his research project, the company of an autodidact who is reading all the books in the local library alphabetically, a physical relationship with a café owner named Françoise, his memories of Anny, an English girl he once loved, even his own hands and the beauty of nature.

Over time, his disgust towards existence forces him into near-insanity, self-hatred; he embodies Sartre's theories of existential angst, and he searches anxiously for meaning in all the things that had filled and fulfilled his life up to that point. But finally he comes to a revelation into the nature of his being. Antoine faces the troublesomely provisional and limited nature of existence itself.

In his resolution at the end of the book he accepts the indifference of the physical world to man's aspirations. He is able to see that realization not only as a regret but also as an opportunity. People are free to make their own meaning: a freedom that is also a responsibility, because without that commitment there will be no meaning."


These guys might help you understand, but they won't help you with the feeling.

In the end, the fear goes away when you realize that, ultimately, there is no understanding this, and yes, give up, surrender, and accept.

Good luck Lowery.
thank you

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RCharles
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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by RCharles » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:25 pm

Lowrey, first, I'm sorry you're still having the panic attacks, but it does appear that they come and go, so it's good that you get periods of relief and life is not one big panic attack. Second, it is possible for PON to contribute to this condition. As you focus on being present and letting go of ego, your ego may resist being booted off center stage. Basically, like a little child, it throws a temper tantrum, which can be anger, panic, or any number of emotions. Also, as your mind quiets down, emotional issues deeper down in your psyche may tend to surface.

If you need temporary relief, you can just stop practicing presence and spirituality for a while. The symptoms will probably subside. Over the long term, practicing will probably help you overcome the very things you are struggling with, but you may need to take it in small doses and then back off if you feel overwhelmed. If you just can't handle it at all, then that's just the way it is, and maybe PON is not for you. You are absolutely right that no one can tell you for certain that PON will heal and not harm you. Do what you feel is best for your own peace of mind.

I hope you are able to find a measure of inner peace, one way or another.

Chuck
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by hanss » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:12 pm

Another alternative:

THE MC² METHOD
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)

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Re: I feel ripped-off, and I'm mad at Eckhar Tolle

Post by far_eastofwest » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:45 pm

Lots of replies, so thats good, hope you are doing ok Lowrey, and not feeling too horrible

Are you lonely perhaps?
When you wake up scared and confused thats, um, scary.
Sometimes its good to try and work out what is scaring you. Its not always that obvious. A person may be say they are scared of heights, but dig a bit deeper and its falling that they are scared of.

You read the books because you want to be strong, confident and successful.... well you are already strong and confident to put an opening post on a forum.... this is quite a nice forum compared to lots, but still takes courage and confidence to do in my opinion.
I read books because I like to. Walden was one I really enjoyed (got it from booksshouldbefree.com on mp3 as it would burnt my retinas out trying to read the small print and the long winded paragraphs, very nice with the lovely man reading it though, perfect for bedtime) and stuff from paulo coelho is nice too.
Anyway, I digress.....
Successful, thats so subjective. Everyone has different idea on success. For me: To be kind to others and myself, able to fix broken things and cook a meal with little money (this is important, if I am earning good money I can put the savings towards home/holiday/children, if i have little income, then me and the kids can still eat well - self sufficiency), yours will no doubt be different.

One thing I do note at times, people will state relatively easily acheivable things as 'success' for other people, but for themselves they have the bar set so much higher. Be aware not to set your bar too high.


I am looking forward to peace, surrender, acceptance, like my 81yo mother says "when I get old". Guess she means 90... nah... she means never. We are a feisty family. She gave me the books..... after spending hours reading them and I go to discuss them with her she tells me "the authors's full of ... " and has a good laugh.
:D
There is nothing harder to find than a black cat in a dark room
Especially when there is no cat....

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