the Devil made me do it!

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.

the Devil made me do it!

Postby jimmyrich » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:35 am

What bothers me the most about ET’s teachings, as presented in Practicing the PON, re: the Pain Body is his concept of the Pain Body as some intelligent, separate and menacing entity/creature that seems to be in possession of the “host” and can operate like a completely separate and powerful “other” being within us.
The psychological work that I did addressed the Ego and inner, unhealed feelings/pain (Pain-Body) from the past but NEVER suggested that my ego or pain body was some kind of separate, powerful, independent BEING that had taken me over. I was always taught to take responsibility for my own behaviors and beliefs and NOT to blame a Scapegoat, like the ego or a so-called Pain-Body for my behavior.
On p. 76, it states: “The pain-body doesn’t want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is.”
To me, that is both totally false and counter productive based on my experiences. I would never see my pain-body as anything other than part of my inner self but my self nonetheless. It’s not some external or internal Devil (“the Devil made me do it”) that I would use as an excuse to act out my pain, sorrow and rage, etc. I would re-write the above sadly incorrect sentence to read: “I do not want to directly observe my pain-body and see it for what it is.”

Further on, ET writes: “… cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you.” I’d write the more responsible and empowering version thus: …. I am no longer allowing it to be me as my excuse. For me, the whole point is to consciously take RESPONSIBILITY for my own beliefs and behaviors rather than pretend that some ego or pain-body has taken me over and running my life. I’m no longer using Scapegoats to blame for my behavior.

The book speaks over and over about the pain-body as though it is an independent, menacing invader while the poor victim has no control over it whatsoever. IMO, this is both wrong and hopelessly destructive so long as it provides us with an excuse for our actions and something to blame – such as the seemingly autonomous pain-body or ego.

ET~ “Some pain-bodies drive their hosts to suicide.” For me, that may be true but is utterly false! I kill myself – not a pain-body! I attack my self – not some pain-body. I am not just the “host” – I am the pain-body when it is operating. It’s not the “Devil” making me do things – I’m doing them!

ET ~ “When you thought you knew a person and then you are suddenly confronted with this alien, nasty creature……….” To me, it is completely ridiculous to call the alien, nasty BEHAVIOR of someone I thought I knew as a “creature” when it’s glaringly obvious that the person is ACTING LIKE a nasty creature – NOT possessed by one, even if Denial and Delusion by both parties wants to use that excuse.

ET ~ “The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other ENTITY in existence…” I flatly deny that there is such an “entity” – in, around me, or anywhere! In some of us, there may be a pool or group of unhealed, damaged feelings/thoughts (a pain-body) from long ago and they can by triggered and come popping out as some part of me BUT NOT as an external “entity” or separate person/being like ET teaches us. It is important to me to know that all of this is about my self and not see myself as the helpless VICTIM of some menacing “creature” that has mysteriously invaded others and me. I wonder if ET was playing up to people’s need to Deny and hide from the Truth about their inner, unresolved feelings to help sell the book. There is a common belief that early wounds do not exist or that, if they do, they have little or no impact on our lives ~ now that we are no longer children and are all grown up and self-reliant. IT’S A LIE! But, by portraying our unhealed wounds as some alien creature, ET has successfully stepped around the fearful Denial many people have about their unresolved past and post traumatic stress disorders.
In reading ET’s section about observing and separating from then pain-body I am disturbed that he offers us nothing whatsoever about VENTING, discharging or releasing the intense and powerful bottled up feelings that I came upon in my emotional work but that would most likely take a whole separate book to demonstrate for us. ET’s teaching would not have helped me at all in my early days of Recovery because I HAD TO find out how to safely discharge or express the bottled up rage and sorrow that ET seems not to recognize at all. My inner feelings of anger and hatred could not have been shut up any longer by finding my Real Self but had to be allowed to come out and be both felt and expressed – NOT silenced! I may have made mistakes in how I allowed my bottled up feelings to finally come out but they did and I found enormous relief in doing so. I am not here to argue with ETs methods other than to say they would not have worked for me back then. My pain-body was way too full and in need of venting more than anything but I did find some safe ways to do it other than attacking others or myself. Now that the levels of old pain are greatly reduced, it’s possible to go with ETs teachings about Observing and separating from my ego, pain-body, and mind.
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:25 am

Re: the Devil made me do it!

Postby ashley72 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:03 am

Your mistake is your taking the literal meaning rather than the metaphorical meaning.

Tolle is trying to explain something abstract i.e Ego or painbody. The only way to do this effectively is by way of metaphor.

He's not suggesting that the Ego is not part of you. It's more like a process, but its easier to examine the process metaphorically as an invading entity... as it has alot of similarities to an invading entity... but an invading entity it is not.

A metaphor is never a 1 to 1 mapping. The individual has to decide where the map points relate & where they don't relate. In your case your taking the Ego as 1 to 1 mapping of an invading entity - & thats not the intent of Tolle.

Lastly, its not necessary to criticise Tolle because his metaphor falls short. All metaphors fall short. He's simply using a language device to communicate more effectively with his audience.

Why not offer up an even better metaphor that crystallises the attributes of a painbody?
User avatar
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: the Devil made me do it!

Postby ashley72 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:28 am

jimmyrich wrote:ET~ “Some pain-bodies drive their hosts to suicide.” For me, that may be true but is utterly false! I kill myself – not a pain-body! I attack my self – not some pain-body. I am not just the “host” – I am the pain-body when it is operating. It’s not the “Devil” making me do things – I’m doing them!

Tolle's main insight is - we can observe our thoughts, feelings & emotions using introspection.

In the beginning of The Power of Now, he describes himself as a 29 year-old who is considering suicide, he thought, "I cannot live with myself any longer.... Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the 'I' and the 'self' that 'I' cannot live with. Maybe...only one of them is real." I love this because it's the first time I thought, When I say I'm going to tell myself something, who is the "I" and who is the "self" I'm telling? That's the fundamental question, isn't it?

Therefore we all have the ability to look or introspect on a layer of processes going on inside, thinking, feeling & emotions. When these processes are negative & self-defeating they can be harmful to the individual. When these processes are habitually negative or self defeating - metaphorically we could refer to them as an invading entity. That does not mean that it is separate entity, we don't have influence over. In fact, introspecting opens the possibility of changing our processes because they are interconnected.
User avatar
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Return to General Eckhart Tolle Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest