Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby beginnersmind » Wed May 14, 2014 2:25 pm

Hi E2B.

I just happened to see this. I'm typing from my phone since my computer is downstairs where my wife is sleeping and my laptop is on the fritz.

I don't know if I have any thoughts beyond some of the stuff you said. IMO, everything exists in relationship, which is why I don't buy into the LOA thinking of one can change traffic lights and or get the best parking spots. This is a rather egocentric way of thinking and doesn't take others into account, isolating the one person and having the world literally revolve around them.

As far as form and consciousness. Form cannot exist or seem to be what it is without consciousness perceiving it. Therefore you cannot really separate the two. Consciousness is expressed on an individual level as well as a collective level. On an individual level we tend to have a private mind, with private thoughts, that make up a seeming private world. This might be called the egoic level of consciousness. This seeming private world can vary write a lot as our perceptions (how we see the world) can vary.


It doesn't see existence as in relationship, but as being separate. Not seeing this relationship to the whole, people often don't recognize that they do affect or contribute to the collective. It's kind of a dissociation. The world we see before us is a result of a collective consciousness either through actions or passivity. But a lot of this collective consciousness is made up from the individual standpoint or egoic standpoint in which the collective ends in nationalism, not seeing the world in relationship with all.

Some nations are not wealthy and others poor simply because one is in vibration with consciousness while the other is thinking poor thoughts. That is just the attempt to spiritualize a much deeper issue. Certain nations exploit others through politics, economics, and social stratification. In other words there is no true relationship, but a give and take one through what might be called collective individuals.

I have to stop, got to go to work, but it's hard to talk about consciousness and the world with out bringing this up too
beginnersmind
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Enlightened2B » Wed May 14, 2014 11:49 pm

Hey BM,

Thanks for the reply. I really don't know much about LoA, and to be honest, don't even understand how it works.

I agree with your premise on Consciousness. The collective whole definitely together creates the story, so to speak of the world we live in. Meaning, how we interpret reality individually, will clearly dictate the state of the world in how we interact with the world, based on our own interpretations subjectively.

As much as people like to chalk it all up to 'illusory', (which I don't agree with), it's still the only reality we find ourselves in, which is why, opening up to/in 'presence' is such an important indicator of how we will interpret the world.

Thanks again for the response.
Enlightened2B
 
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby beginnersmind » Thu May 15, 2014 1:35 am

Enlightened2B wrote:Hey BM,

Thanks for the reply. I really don't know much about LoA, and to be honest, don't even understand how it works.

I agree with your premise on Consciousness. The collective whole definitely together creates the story, so to speak of the world we live in. Meaning, how we interpret reality individually, will clearly dictate the state of the world in how we interact with the world, based on our own interpretations subjectively.

As much as people like to chalk it all up to 'illusory', (which I don't agree with), it's still the only reality we find ourselves in, which is why, opening up to/in 'presence' is such an important indicator of how we will interpret the world.

Thanks again for the response.


Hi again E2B,

Chalking it up to illusory is what I would call spiritual bypassing. It is a defense mechanism against dealing with one's own self and their relationship to the world. It is a form of nihilism in my opinion. I think in some regards everyone goes through this to some extent at one point in time or another. As that Zen saying goes, first there are mountains, then there are no mountains, then there are mountains again.

If we go off of the premise that Reality is that which is Eternal and Changeless, then the ephemeral would be considered an illusion next to this definition, because it is not eternal and does change, but that doesn't mean the manifested relative is simply disregarded, because while existing in the manifested relative what would it be disregarded for? A concept of the Absolute? That's what I think, because it is simply conceptual ideas and words within the conceptual mind.

The first verse of the Tao Te Ching even says this when it states (my version): The tao that can be spoken is not the Eternal Tao, but that which is reduced for the convenience of the conceptual mind.

One of the pitfalls of spirituality is that it can be just another something to be used as a way of not looking at yourself. What makes it even more of a slippery slope is one can read, accept, adopt and then parrot spiritual platitudes can easily be mistaken for thinking it is spiritual advancement and wisdom, when really it is just another form of a defense mechanism. Eventually though, even that illusion of "trasncending the world" will come crashing down like a house of cards, and then real spiritual work can begin.

Eric
beginnersmind
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Enlightened2B » Thu May 15, 2014 3:58 am

beginnersmind wrote:If we go off of the premise that Reality is that which is Eternal and Changeless, then the ephemeral would be considered an illusion next to this definition, because it is not eternal and does change, but that doesn't mean the manifested relative is simply disregarded, because while existing in the manifested relative what would it be disregarded for? A concept of the Absolute? That's what I think, because it is simply conceptual ideas and words within the conceptual mind.


Yes, the premise is that if reality is non-dual, then what we experience is not AS real as that which is the essence of it all. So, that's the only illusion I see. I'm not sure why it gets so convoluted into 'non-existence' and other nihilistic concepts. I guess it's more comforting to some, like many other silly spiritual concepts.
Enlightened2B
 
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby beginnersmind » Thu May 15, 2014 2:07 pm

Enlightened2B wrote:
beginnersmind wrote:If we go off of the premise that Reality is that which is Eternal and Changeless, then the ephemeral would be considered an illusion next to this definition, because it is not eternal and does change, but that doesn't mean the manifested relative is simply disregarded, because while existing in the manifested relative what would it be disregarded for? A concept of the Absolute? That's what I think, because it is simply conceptual ideas and words within the conceptual mind.


Yes, the premise is that if reality is non-dual, then what we experience is not AS real as that which is the essence of it all. So, that's the only illusion I see. I'm not sure why it gets so convoluted into 'non-existence' and other nihilistic concepts. I guess it's more comforting to some, like many other silly spiritual concepts.


I think the simple answer to your last question is that spiritual nihilistic concepts act as some kind of coping mechanism for someone that has deep personal issues and has severe problems with dealing with life and the state of the world.

I think all of us at least in western society to an extent have coping issues. A lot of people in the western world cope through distractions. Entertainment, sports, gossip, celebrity gossip, religion, politics, and even spirituality can be used as a distraction.

This nihilism of neo advaita reminds me of people that believe in hell. These people find a comfort in imagining that people they deem evil will suffer eternity. It is like saying, " I can't punish you myself now, but I can find comfort in knowing you will be punished for all eternity in the future and that makes me feel better now."

While the form may differ in how nihilism and the concept of hell are expressed, I think both lead to a feeling of comfort to the mind as a coping mechanism.
beginnersmind
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Maire » Mon May 19, 2014 11:35 am

Looking into some things on the internet about the Law of Attraction, the main point seems to be having your "dreams" fulfilled. Make a list of all the things you have in your life that you are grateful for. Force yourself to be happy whatever is going on. And write detailed lists and descriptions of all the things and situations you want to have in your life. I suppose all your gratitude, love and happiness is then supposed to bring you the good life.

That whole scenario seems totally contrary to believing you are already whole, you need nothing more, there's no future or past - it is just an illusion. The pursuit of dreams and the pursuit of happiness is just feeding the ego's agenda. I really don't see how the two can work together. Now I'm not saying you should not have any material wealth or anything else you enjoy, only that this obsessional pursuit of "dreams" definitely goes against all Eckhart Tolle proclaims.
I have lived with several zen masters - all of them cats. - Eckhart Tolle
Maire
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:17 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Mon May 19, 2014 1:09 pm

Maire wrote:Now I'm not saying you should not have any material wealth or anything else you enjoy, only that this obsessional pursuit of "dreams" definitely goes against all Eckhart Tolle proclaims.


If your dream is to realise the Self for the benefit of yourself and others does this still go against Eckhart's teaching? I feel he is asking us to create the dream of being Present and switching our identity to our Absolute Self while still living and bringing positivity into this physical reality. Perhaps our ability to dream is our creative potential through which we can manifest reality as we see fit. Perhaps it is this that gives us the power to choose ignorance via identification with the physical alone, or enlightenment via identification with the absolute and the physical. I don't know if this is the answer but from my perspective it seems like a fuller picture.

beginnersmind wrote:I think the simple answer to your last question is that spiritual nihilistic concepts act as some kind of coping mechanism for someone that has deep personal issues and has severe problems with dealing with life and the state of the world.


I feel this way too. Thoughts like "nothing I can do will change anything", "the future is already decided" etc. seem to offer a lot of comfort to some people and they get lost in these concepts and deny the totality of existence. I've seen some very cold and heartless people aligned with this movement. That said, I met one of the public figures of neo-advaita and he was deeply compassionate though he still felt no practice would aid development. Perhaps 10+ years of identification beyond the physical altered his view over time leading to greater compassion. Or perhaps he was just always more compassionate than some of his peers. We all have our parts to play, notes in a symphony of change arising from the unchanging stillness of the Self.

Jack
User avatar
EnterZenFromThere
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Webwanderer » Tue May 20, 2014 1:13 am

Maire wrote:Looking into some things on the internet about the Law of Attraction, the main point seems to be having your "dreams" fulfilled. Make a list of all the things you have in your life that you are grateful for. Force yourself to be happy whatever is going on. And write detailed lists and descriptions of all the things and situations you want to have in your life. I suppose all your gratitude, love and happiness is then supposed to bring you the good life.

That whole scenario seems totally contrary to believing you are already whole, you need nothing more, there's no future or past - it is just an illusion. The pursuit of dreams and the pursuit of happiness is just feeding the ego's agenda. I really don't see how the two can work together. Now I'm not saying you should not have any material wealth or anything else you enjoy, only that this obsessional pursuit of "dreams" definitely goes against all Eckhart Tolle proclaims.

I don't know if you are genuinely interested in a clearer understanding of LoA, but I will hazard to offer one in the event that you are.

That whole scenario seems totally contrary to believing you are already whole, you need nothing more, there's no future or past - it is just an illusion. The pursuit of dreams and the pursuit of happiness is just feeding the ego's agenda

This may be where the context of understanding LoA goes awry. Consider this as a hypothesis: LoA is a fundamental law of life. We'll get back to it in a bit.

The idea of being whole does not necessarily indicate that life is complete as it is. Being as we are still living and doing all sorts of curious stuff without a clear understanding of the nature of being, it would suggest that there is a Purpose to being in this somewhat limited human experience. If we 'need nothing more' then it seems odd that we live in an environment that magnifies lack, and in doing so creates environments of desiring more. It makes one wonder, why would that be?

And illusion or not, the experience of human life is very real. It may well be that the physical universe does not exist except in Imagination, but that is surely sufficient to create realms of experiential exploration for a Consciousness capable of such imagining. What interesting possibilities could exist for that One Source Consciousness to imagine such a physical universe and populate it with unique perspectives (of its own) within that universe that then have the freedom to explore it individually without clear awareness from and through Its other perspectives?

If we take then in our hypothesis, that this limited description is something of the nature of what the universe is founded upon, then what could be the mechanism for further creation in this physical world through the exploration of those unique perspectives? I would submit that it is through desire, attention, and the Law of Attraction. Desire and attention seem to be common commodities in this human experience. And as all of physical life (and beyond) is in vibration on a seemingly infinite scale of variety, causing a focus of conscious vibration through our focus and attention creates a resonance with the more potent energy and attracting it into creative expression in the experience of the one so focused. Remember, it's all imagination anyway, so such a natural creative flow from the un-manifest to the manifest is not such a reach.

Egos are the mechanisms, the thinking identifications, that hold Consciousness's attention (we perspectives) in the world of physical form. If One clearly knew from these unique perspectives the whole Story, there would be less useful experiential exploration from the point of view of Source Consciousness. Already knowing kind of ruins the surprise of discovery, even if it's re-discovery. Meanwhile the interaction between perspectives, not knowing the Story, makes for even more interesting experiences.

Understand, this is a bit simplistic as it leaves out all the non-physical realms of being that may lie between the physical world and the origin of Source. Life exists beyond the physical, both before and after. That said, time is more of a physical construct than a non-physical one. So before and after is a statement relative to this world of form.

This description of course is my take and I offer it for consideration. Take from it what you will, but LoA makes perfect sense in this construct, and to consider it just about getting stuff does not do it justice. If stuff is its expression, it is surely the stuff of life experience in whatever form it takes. Who's to say what experience is valuable and what is not? Who Indeed?

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6280
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Maire » Tue May 20, 2014 1:49 pm

Webwanderer wrote:

I don't know if you are genuinely interested in a clearer understanding of LoA, but I will hazard to offer one in the event that you are.


I am genuinely interested in a clearer understanding. I read your post and you seem to have a good understanding of it but I have to reread it a few times to see what you mean. If it is "simplistic" - no, don't make it any more complicated.

And illusion or not, the experience of human life is very real. It may well be that the physical universe does not exist except in Imagination, but that is surely sufficient to create realms of experiential exploration for a Consciousness capable of such imagining. What interesting possibilities could exist for that One Source Consciousness to imagine such a physical universe and populate it with unique perspectives (of its own) within that universe that then have the freedom to explore it individually without clear awareness from and through Its other perspectives?


I take from this: Even if it is ultimately an illusion, you have to treat it as though it's real while you are here and not just sit around saying "well, if everything is whole and perfect, I don't actually have to do anything at all". You need some way to navigate through life, such as it is. Yes, of course I agree (if that's what you mean).

I'm not 100% certain that LoA is really an absolute law. It seems to be so for some areas of life but I don't think it really would stand up to careful scrutiny for all situations. As I said, I can see you have gone into it much more than I have so I haven't studied it all that carefully, just read bits and pieces. A simple example: It is not necessarily people with a negative mindset that attract illness and disability into their experience. Often you see people with the worst life situations - terminal illness and such - who seem to stay positive in the most unlikely situations. And the opposite - people who never stop moaning but seem to never actually have anything wrong with them. And you might think "well, stop complaining, if had all your stuff I'd be happy".

Still, I'm not against it as a means to improve your life and your mental health. If it works in any small way to help people, it doesn't matter much to me whether it is an absolute law or not. I mean if people can use positive thinking to help themselves that is good one way or the other. I have read a few books in my time by authors such as Wayne Dyer and Norman Vincent Peale (the oldies, I suppose) and changing your thoughts from negative to positive to influence what your life attracts is the general idea of all of them.

Eckhart Tolle does seem to have a totally different approach, however, and I admit that I find the two philosophies don't seem to fit very well together. Probably, I would think the positive thoughts for a positive life philosophy would be of better practical use to many people. But when you've been running around pursuing a positive life for years, and are not sure it's worked out very well - then Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra offer something different.
I have lived with several zen masters - all of them cats. - Eckhart Tolle
Maire
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:17 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Webwanderer » Wed May 21, 2014 1:00 am

Maire wrote:I take from this: Even if it is ultimately an illusion, you have to treat it as though it's real while you are here and not just sit around saying "well, if everything is whole and perfect, I don't actually have to do anything at all". You need some way to navigate through life, such as it is. Yes, of course I agree (if that's what you mean).

Yes, because it is not the appearance of conditions that is real, it is the experience of them. It is experience that is ultimately valuable in life. But what creates experience within a realm of imagining? Why does one person have this experience and another that? What is the creative template and structure? LoA seems to be a fair consideration.

I'm not 100% certain that LoA is really an absolute law. It seems to be so for some areas of life but I don't think it really would stand up to careful scrutiny for all situations.

Not being 100% certain of anything seems to be a wise choice in our perceptions.

Consider that if, as I suggested, that we as human perspectives are in reality only an extension of consciousness from some greater beingness. Call it a soul, or higher self, or true nature - there can be many terms all pointing to our own non-physical origin. This greater Self is who we are once we remove the limitations that were designed for a particular and unique exploration in this physical reality. (again, it's an imagined reality that appears physical and solid to the limited perspectives of us extensions.)

If this created imagined realm exists for the purpose of exploring experiential possibilities through the limited perspectives of what we call ego-mind, then there may well be more specific intent in setting the stage for that exploration. There is certainly experiential differences and opportunities available, depending on the environmental influences one is born into.

From a soul perspective that is eternal, it seems likely that there is distinctly advantageous insight gained from the challenges of a difficult life of poverty vs a seemingly easy life of wealth, or any number of other life possibilities. What I am suggesting is that some of what we attract stems from a vibrational foundation that was set at birth for the purpose of exploring specific experiences. That said, how we relate to our pre-set internal environment is still a choice made from our ego perspective, and will either reinforce our current experience for more of the same, or set the stage for attracting other experiences.

It may well be that one of our main challenges in life is to change the course of the beliefs and emotional energies that were set in motion by our birth environment. All of this seems to work well with the concept of LoA.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6280
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Phil2 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:54 pm

beginnersmind wrote: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.



Totally agreeing with you Eric, the "Secret" as it is presented is a way to inflate our ego by feeding its desires ... personally I found the second part of the book more interesting than the first part ... but of course the first part makes the selling, because people (egos) want to grow, to possess, to become ...

I don't deny that the "Law of Attraction" exists, the law probably works, but as with all scientific laws (and technologies derived from those laws) it can be used wrongly and generate conflicts and suffering too ...

There is no solution to be found in satisfying our desires or avoiding our fears ... what must be looked for is stillness, quietness ... which means the ending of the inner noise ... the ending of thoughts ... the ending of desires and fears and identities ... ie. the end of ego ... and come back to 'presence' ... which happens here and now ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
Phil2
 
Posts: 1379
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Phil2 wrote:There is no solution to be found in satisfying our desires or avoiding our fears ... what must be looked for is stillness, quietness

I don't see it as an either/or proposition. Life in human form is more in need of clarity and balance. Egos obviously exist as an experiential perspective and would seem to have purpose to the greater Being. Egos are no accident. While I certainly agree on the value of stillness in regaining alignment with our true nature, to be so dismissive of desires, a natural condition of being human, is to choose for a smaller, less inclusive, perspective on life. Exploring what value egos may offer in the human experience is a worthwhile pursuit. I have found it refreshingly expansive.

Ego doesn't have to be so problematic. Once clear on its nature, it can be engineered and used as a tool for exploration of experience. It's getting lost in thought and deeply forgetting one's true nature that is most concerning.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6280
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:48 pm

I'd agree with that WW. It seems that humanity is having an identity crisis. We think we are the ego, we think we are our thoughts, our bodies. It's important to look beyond that, but that doesn't mean totally rejecting these valuable gifts. I feel we are here in form for a reason that has been carefully planned. And a body and mind is part of that. I keep thinking about a scientist, a microscope, and a specimen slide. If a scientist spent all his time looking down a microscope he might be led to conclude that his only possible perspective is that of the microscope, without realising that he can stop looking down it and see the rest of the world. But if he had this realisation, that wouldn't make the microscope useless. If anything it would make the microscope more useful. I feel ego and thought is the same. A tool for creation, not an identity.

Love,

Jack
User avatar
EnterZenFromThere
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby beginnersmind » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:03 pm

There's nothing inherently wrong with what Tolle calls playing with form. But LOA at least in how books like The Secret present it, I would not necessarily call a spiritual path.
beginnersmind
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: Eckhart Contradicts Other Spiritual Teachings?

Postby karmarider » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:15 am

A few years ago I considered whether the idea that my thoughts create my reality is true or not, and decided that my mind was not clear enough to test the idea authentically.

The hypothesis that our thoughts create reality cannot really be tested unless the mind is clear. If ET and others who say that the suffering mind is driven by a delusion fear and a deep identification to thoughts and beliefs and a mistaken notion of who we really--if they are right, and I think they are--then I don't see how we can even really test the truth or falsity of the idea that thoughts create reality without first letting go of fear and the identification to thoughts and beliefs. The mind has to be clear.

Now, about ten years later, with a clearer mind I have tested the idea and found some credence to it. To test the hypothesis that thoughts create or influence reality, I must first believe it to be so (because if I do not then I create the reality in which thoughts do not influcene reality). And I find it easier to test an internal desire, for example, to test that the desire that the process of awakening, clarifying the mind, be enjoybale and creative, rather than frantic, as it previously was. These internal tests have had a positive outcome, but of course I cannot be sure if the outcome was to be that anyway.

My testing of the hypothesis and certain axiomatic beliefs I have (consciousness is all there is; we create physical reality and individuation so we may know love as an experience; human life is journey from fear to love) leads me to believe that my perspective does indeed influence reality.

I suggest to clear the mind first using techniques of observation and letting go--essentially what ET and others like him say. I don't see how the idea around the LoA can be helpful to those who are suffering. When the mind is clearer, at least in my experience, there is a deeper satisfaction of life, and there isn't much interest in controlling outer reality.
karmarider
 
Posts: 2141
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:00 pm
Location: Florida

PreviousNext

Return to General Eckhart Tolle Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests