Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

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Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby David92506 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:01 am

I'm an avid reader of such books as, "The Secret" and "Change Your Thoughts-Change Your Life." From my perspective, each has an underlying theme that we need to change our thoughts. Once we change our thoughts we become a magnet to whatever our new thoughts are. Affirmations and creative visualizations are wonderful tools. As a matter of fact, you can buy subliminal tapes so that when you sleep you can have thoughts enter your subconscious.

However, it seems to me that Eckhart Tolle has a different teaching. We don't "change" our thoughts, we "transcend" our thoughts. If we catch ourselves lost in negative thinking, we don't change it into positive thinking, but rather, we acknowledge them, let go of them and embrace silence.

If this be the case, then isn't any type of affirmations a confirmation of our ego? I was briefly reading, in this forum, a person wanted to become a better public speaker and he read "The Secret." However, once a person writes, "I am a person who is a great public speaker" isn't this reinforcing ego? Eckhart Tolle tells us to say, "I am" and that is it. We are not who we think we are.

Aren't affirmations then a waste of time?
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby peas » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:27 am

Affirmations in themselves are fine. Like most things, it's how they are used that really matters.

They can be helpful to counterbalance years of negative thinking. Pin a note on your bathroom mirror that says, "I am not my thoughts."

However, once the mind is in balance they lose their usefulness and drop away naturally.

If not, then one should look at whether the affirmations are artificially adding something to who they are. This possible identification with something external to your essence is what Eckhart calls the ego. Once you get a glimpse of it, in other words once you are aware that the affirmations are hard to let go of, you will cease to be fully identified. The result is the dissolving of the power of the original identification. This is the freedom of awareness that is hidden in this very moment.
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby David92506 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:58 am

peas wrote:They can be helpful to counterbalance years of negative thinking. Pin a note on your bathroom mirror that says, "I am not my thoughts."


However, wouldn't learning to "let go" of negative thinking and embracing the silence be more effective in counterbalancing years of negative thinking than affirmations?
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:04 am

Affirmations help in letting go of negative thinking by refocusing attention (and energy) into preferred perspectives. Without consistent attention on negative perspectives, those perspectives begin to lose their energy and attractiveness. Replacement with a preferred outlook is an effective tool.

A truism I have found to be helpful is that there is no inherent meaning in life in this form. Meaning is applied to all conditions and events by each of us uniquely. We each choose -consciously or through conditioning - what an event means to us, and we experience it accordingly.

From that point of view, our intent, felt through affirmations, create the meaning, and thereby the experience of life's events as they unfold. The words alone in an affirmation are not generally effective however. Without an energetic feel for the intent behind the words, they are more likely to be frustratingly inert. There is energy in beliefs and genuine perspectives that create experience. And that energy has momentum through repetition and conditioning. Momentum matters. Literally.

I'm not suggesting that 'embracing the silence' as you suggest is not helpful. On the contrary, I see it as critical. Mental silence, while clearly and actively aware of present being, is the fertile ground for gaining alignment with ones true nature. Mental silence is the open door through which clarity of being flows.

Above all do what feels best. There is value in both sets of teachings. Trust your own inner guidance as you feel things out. Bridging the gap between apparent contradictions can offer a strong perspective on life that will serve you well.

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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby peas » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:39 am

David92506 wrote:
peas wrote:They can be helpful to counterbalance years of negative thinking. Pin a note on your bathroom mirror that says, "I am not my thoughts."


However, wouldn't learning to "let go" of negative thinking and embracing the silence be more effective in counterbalancing years of negative thinking than affirmations?


A more direct way, yes.

See all techniques and teachings as signposts. Once you arrive, the signposts are out of view for you but in view for those still on the road.
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Onceler » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:50 pm

I've tried affirmations and the "secret" and it worked! I just didn't like what I wished for......be careful what you wish for.
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby beginnersmind » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:22 pm

While beginning to change one's thinking is a helpful process on the spiritual path. I don't know if I'd consider "The Secret" to be a "spiritual teaching." It seems more to be what I've heard some call "spiritualized greed", with the idea of attracting material wealth, the perfect relationship, and get whatever the heart desires. The typical "keys to happiness" of the external that is often pursued by most of the world already.

I was listening to an author on LOA (can't remember his name) on SoundsTrue. One of his criticisms of LOA in its present form is that when practicing the LOA, the person often doesn't take into account other people. It is all about that person and what they can get and achieve. Spirituality should always take into account interpersonal relationships, as humanity is interconnected and interdependent. We are to heal ourselves, so that we may play our part in the healing of the world. It should not be what "I" can simply get and achieve. It is not simply about the universe revolving around that particular individual.

Two books that have very good sections on this very topic are: "Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects us From What Really Matters" by Robert Masters and "Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path", by Mariana Caplan.

Eckhart Tolle has briefly discussed this topic in some of his audio lectures I have, though he says he'll speak about it since it was raised. He does say yes, if one visualizes, makes a commitment, and puts in the work, they can achieve what they want. He also points out though that he could lock himself in his room and visualize till his heart's content and still would never be heavyweight boxing champion of the world (though I dobt he would want to be) he is just making a point.

There is nothing wrong with money or success or great relationships, but if it comes from thinking these are the things that will make you happy, it is looking to change cause and effect. The effects becoming cause (external) and the cause (you) becoming their effects.

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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:30 pm

beginnersmind wrote:I don't know if I'd consider "The Secret" to be a "spiritual teaching." It seems more to be what I've heard some call "spiritualized greed", with the idea of attracting material wealth, the perfect relationship, and get whatever the heart desires.


So if LoA is indeed a fundamental Law of Nature, and we as individualized expressions of Source consciousness are co-creators with that Source using LoA as a primary tool, are you saying that it's wrong to employ it consciously and actively in one's life? Or are you simply making judgments on its 'proper' use?

Then there is the matter of LoA being in effect at all times in everyone's life regardless of their conscious intentional employment of it or not. As each individualize life is creative in nature, LoA is attracted to the focus of attention of each one's consciousness and perspective. LoA is the energy that flows into the beliefs and perspectives each one holds. If you believe LoA is simply 'spiritualized greed', LoA holds that you will experience it as such and examples proving your belief will flow into your experience.

The best and clearest teachers of LoA consistently point to the importance of alignment with ones true nature and inner being when working consciously with creating desired experience. If one wants a great relationship but fears it won't happen, if one wants more money in life but fears that won't happen, what do you think is most likely to unfold?

Conscious exercise of LoA is not as easy as many pop teachers suggest. It takes an expression of core beliefs. Thoughts and affirmations may eventually lead to developing a core belief, but if it's not clearly felt, it's likely just window dressing and what is really felt to be true will continue to create life experience accordingly.

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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby coriolis » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:49 pm

LoA gives me a bad vibe I think because it seems to me, whether intentionally or not, to to be tainted with the "more, more, more" mantra of consumerism when I've always found tons "more, more, more" joy by practicing "less, less, less" of having or wanting "more, more, more" .

That's just "me", though.
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:01 pm

coriolis wrote:That's just "me", though.


That's well said.

One might argue however, that under the perspective of LoA, your less, less, less is your more, more, more. Curious how that works. To each his own. That is the nature of freedom.

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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby coriolis » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:17 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
coriolis wrote:That's just "me", though.


That's well said.

One might argue however, that under the perspective of LoA, your less, less, less is your more, more, more. Curious how that works. To each his own. That is the nature of freedom.

WW



Quite true but likely not for someone with no food to eat and nothing to shelter their body from the elements.

I could afford to lose a few pounds and sometimes forget I live in thermostatically controlled comfort -- therefore the different perspective.
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Onceler » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:42 pm

I believe more focus should be placed on ending suffering and an acceptance of 'what is'. These are more immediate concerns. Long term planning and visualizing of goals is best done from a place of no suffering, no fear, and immersion in ones life, or these negative influences will distort the outcome.

If one is not suffering and if there is immersion with ones life, the future will take care of itself.....and is almost secondary (as a fluid construct).
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:55 am

coriolis wrote:Quite true but likely not for someone with no food to eat and nothing to shelter their body from the elements.
Onceler wrote:I believe more focus should be placed on ending suffering and an acceptance of 'what is'.


With all due respect to my long term forum mates, I perceive this type of perspective will do more to increase suffering than it will to alleviate it.

Forgive me while I ramble a bit.

Coriolis and Onceler, consider: If LoA is indeed a Law, then it must be so for everyone. There's a subtle distinction here worth noting. While recognizing that someone may not have enough food to eat brings an issue to mind, it is seeing and focusing on the possibilities of abundance that is more likely to have a positive long term effect. It goes back to the old saw of 'give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime'.

Focus not on the problem, but on the solution. From the perspective of LoA, where do you prefer Source energy to go? According to the tenants of LoA, it will flow into creating that in which it is focused. There really is no lack in the world, there is only abundance - abundance of whatever is focused on and created - be it wealth, or be it poverty, be it joy, or be it suffering. Think not so much of material abundance, to which one may physically measure and compare. But rather think in terms of experiential abundance which is the currency of spirit.

The same goes for the general perspective of 'ending suffering and accepting what is'. Where is the focus of attention? Where does Source energy flow when we are thinking about the suffering? There is indeed an abundance of suffering in the world and it seems to feed on itself only to create more of the same. It is however, a valid experience from the greater perspective, like any other. So what is its root cause? The Source of its creation?

When raising our children, what is the focus of our interest and concern? Recognition and emphasis on when they are being 'bad'? Or is it recognizing and celebrating their goodness? Where would you like the children of the world to focus?

In the human exploration, from the perspective of Spirit, all experience is valid and useful in the expansion of consciousness. All of this will one day pass away, but the value of the experience gained, the only thing that is real, will have lasting benefit.

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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Onceler » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:53 am

When I suffered, I wished for things to change.....when suffering left I realized I don't lack for anything. Can't imagine what I would wish for in this rich life. I seem to get what I want.

Just lucky I guess.
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Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:17 am

Onceler wrote:Just lucky I guess.


Yeah, I get ya on that. Since I've learned to effectively focus my attention, I get luckier all the time.

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