Presence does not lead to enlightenment

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old dead wood
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by old dead wood » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:55 am

In the beginning of PON, didn't Eckhart swoon from overwhelming fear and depression, THEN "wake up" immediately after ? Didn't he have fear and depression during a long period before? Now THAT I can relate to! How many people DON'T wake up, but get meds or commit suicide at that point ? How much COULD ET really do than give up to an experience that he had no control over ? There was no guarantee he would have come out the other side "awake".
Didn't he spend a lot of time just sitting in the park, like other mentally ill people, before his awakening? Was it just a radical, lucky, and random re-mixing of brain chemicals and circuits ?
Same thing seemed to happen to Byron Katie .

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Onceler
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by Onceler » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:05 pm

I believe you are right about ET's awakening. It was unlooked for and unusual. And most people do have a different outcome if they are suffering from intense depression and pain. It is truly amazing that presence chose just the right person (also Bryon Katie). One wonders why it doesn't happen this way more often, and maybe it will start happening with more frequency.

My understanding is that he sat on the park bench after his awakening...like a mentally ill person.
Be present, be pleasant.

Josiah
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by Josiah » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:09 pm

Here's how it looks to me today (partly I'm figuring this out as I write/edit it):

Each of us knows within how close to total enlightenment we are, relative to how we have defined enlightenment for ourselves. This is THE PATH, itself. Failure to fully realize this path will lead to conclusions such as "there's no such thing as enlightenment", or "you're already enlightened, there's nothing to do", i.e., denial expressed as philosophical principle.

Actually, the other key facet of the path (getting to enlightenment) is that the basic task or assignment, if you will, is to eliminate everything that is NOT enlightenment, however long that takes (if ever), and when there's nothing left to eliminate, you're there. At some point, to make this work, you have to value the path equally with the desired end result.

The method of elimination (pun not intended) is simply to stare in the face of each facet of non-enlightenment/ego/nuerosis that you become aware of, until it becomes part of "witnessing" and you no longer consider it "real", or part of the story/drama.

Prior to total enlightenment, we have to accept whatever level of enlightenment we find (there is no such thing as ZERO enlightenment, once ANY trickle of awareness seeps through, though there are those who never challenge their stories or dramas and will actually DIE defending their egoistic or self-identification interpretation of same), and face the fact that humanity IS in a sense unending non-enlightenment, if you catch my drift.

Ben

haldor72
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by haldor72 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:00 pm

Josiah, neo advaita teachers have spent many years looking for something on spiritual paths. Even the uncompromising Mr Tony Parsons was a follower of Osho. Many years ago I read a small booklet of Ramana Maharshi sayings . One stood out. It said (paraphrased ) " the time will come when you will laugh at all your efforts and that time of laughter is now! There is nothing external to the Self. " At that time , 35 yrs ago , it rang my inner bell. However I journeyed on the progressive path of meditation , satsang and service to reach my goal.

I have read so many books, followed a guru, lived in a monastery and tried to earnestly surrender to God etc.

It was through Eckhart Tolle that it finally all clicked and now my search is ended. I still sit in meditation whenever I feel like it , not to attain but just to enjoy stillness and nowness.

These neo advaita guys are absolutely , conceptually and intellectually indefatigable ! However they will none of them seem to admit that their paths were once there and that they themselves followed teachers. In truth the master and student are one. However we are still playing the duality game, at least I am , and enjoying it immensely. ......Steve , south coast of England.

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Webwanderer
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:02 am

Thanks for your contribution haldor72
It was through Eckhart Tolle that it finally all clicked and now my search is ended. I still sit in meditation whenever I feel like it , not to attain but just to enjoy stillness and nowness.
So it is with many here. Welcome to the forum.

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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by Josiah » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:53 pm

Steve,

Your post put me in mind of an old saying that goes something like "I'm not sure what you heard me say is what I actually said" (lol as they say)....I'm just working out "theory" and "method" of personal growth, which COULD be "argued" on a level of defining enlightenment, but my intentions are to accept enlightenment as both existing and definable ("path" too), for reasons beyond reductionism to simplest principles, indeed reasons which are squarely in the realm of "the illusion", or as you put it "the duality game", i.e., the unavoidable interface with matter, entities and physical relationships.

If I come to a point where I see "searching" as something no longer needed or desirable, I'll let you know, but for now, I view searching as lifestyle, infinite intention, not in conflict with peace, serenity, enlightenment, etc.

Hope that's clear. Thanks for conversing.

Ben, Boston, MA area

haldor72
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by haldor72 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:15 pm

OOps ..sorry Ben I think I was replying to another post and addressed it to you by mistake .

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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by Andrea » Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:51 am

To the orignal poster...
The self that is always seeking and looking "out there" will always come up with a temporary fix/solution, or empty handed. That is the unconscious seeker. Trying to live and have ones mind in the present, staying in the now, and knowing your conscious self, indeed may not bring enlightenment, but you won't be suffering either. Be mindful of where you are in your path. Then you will become the discoverer. Perhaps you will "discover" enlightenment.

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mistral
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by mistral » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:41 pm

Ok, I just read through all this....and I have to say this:

Of course Presence leads to enlightenment.....we cannot be anywhere else but Present...no matter how hard we try, we cannot leave this Presence....Have we ever been conscious of anything that was not included within this Awareness, this Presence, that is right here....You could not have been speaking via telephone to that 'teacher' in or from any 'other' Presence than this One! There is nothing else and no other 'time' but this very Awareness being aware of everything 'going on within It".....Like the one person posted here---Now is Infinite....It includes all of All that is....there is nothing ever outside of Now, nothing takes place anywhere else but Here in This Living Presence ('we are', already). We cannot think, dream, imagine, speak, speculate, ponder, make phone calls, wonder, write, or be or do anything 'out side of Here and Now'....try as we might---- there is no 'other presence-'place' to be, no matter what I am doing or not doing.....If I am 'aware' (does not matter what I am 'aware of') then I am Present or one with The Presence already....You have nothing to 'fret about' .... Any 'enlightenment' to any degree or thing that happens must take place in the Present. Enlightenment is Here as I-Identity, and that of course, is precisely wherever you are.
This Awareness 'you be' already--- right here right now, it is yours, it is/you are fully present....It is Always Here. In fact, we see there are no intermediaries twixt ourself and God/This Living Presence. God is being all there is to Life, God is being the One and only presence, alone, all, the awareness aware of the words being read---there is no other awareness here, and no other awareness on the scene. Enlightenment (recognition of our Real Identity) arrives in a million ways; all the time....we've all seen this. Your 'Enlightenment' is absolutely a matter between the Selfhood (Identity) you really are, and God who is being that joyful Identity. So, you have nothing to worry about. Presence is your 'birthright'....No wonder you were you 'upset' by that 'guy' to tell you otherwise. How in the world could he have told you that enlightenment is not found in the Presence? ....where else you gonna find it!? Geesh! All the ridiculous arguments ever there were or will be and any intellectual banter from now to dooms day can only take place Here and Now within This Awareness I Am (you are)----there is no other--- and ---there is no other 'place' wherein anything going on can occur----Awareness is a fact: we know it: we are it: nothing is outside of it. Awareness is God's Awareness and God Alone is Being All that is or ever was or will--- Here in The Present, that which I Am (you are) we discover the true Identity, and Live It. We realize there is nothing separate or apart from the Awareness-I-am.

You got it kiddo---just trust yourself and live it!---Love to all, Mistral

Hey, if you want to read some really reliable, honest books on this, I would suggest the book titled "A Guide To Awareness and Tranquillity" by William Samuel
http://www.williamsamuel.com ---He is true mystic and master, I'd say.

Sandiegojoereal
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by Sandiegojoereal » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:31 am

Your friend is correct, but based on his answers, he is still not quite there himself IMHO

Telling someone there is nothing they can do on the level of form is not helpful, even if it is ultimately true.
Tolle addresses this issue in one of his talks, its tricky and hard to understand with the mind.

Being Present does not lead to enlightenment.

Being Present is being enlightened.

Enlightened beings are always Present. The rest of us vary.

So listening to authentic teachers, hanging around them, being in nature, focusing on your breath or inner energy field, are all pointers and portals for Presence, and when Presence is your predominant state of consciousness you will be enlightened.

:D

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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by PlutoISaplanet » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:36 am

Onceler wrote: "Thanks Intel for bringing this up. I guess it touched a nerve....I found that I just assumed I would become enlightened at some point and your post caused me to evaluate the truth of this.

I found that I don't know that this will happen, in fact it probably won't happen given the limited number of people in the world who are even supposedly enlightened (statistically far less than 1%?). I probably have a better chance of getting struck by lightening and winning the lottery at the same time."


Onceler, your statistic about the number of people who are enlightened made me laugh. How were the data collected? Were people handed a survey with the question, "Are you enlightened? Check yes or no"?

The truth is, no one really knows what's going on in another person's head, body, and spirit. Maybe there's degrees of enlightenment. Certainly there are levels of growth. I am not the same person now in my forties that I was in my twenties. I have much more compassion and patience now. Is this enlightenment? I would like to think that it is to a small degree.

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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by tikey » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:28 pm

this whole spiritual bullshit can make you crazy! I am mad of it and I would NEVER go to OTHER man to ask HIM how do I have to live!
It is not HIS problem! He definitely made you CONFUSED and that's why i think you SHOUDN'T trust him, because no true spiritual man
(or even a normal man) should leave you in confusion, because then - he makes HARM to you, and no GOOD MAN should do it to you!

peace, tikey
Im just a cloudless sky :)

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Onceler
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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by Onceler » Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:59 pm

"Onceler, your statistic about the number of people who are enlightened made me laugh. How were the data collected? Were people handed a survey with the question, "Are you enlightened? Check yes or no"?

The truth is, no one really knows what's going on in another person's head, body, and spirit. Maybe there's degrees of enlightenment. Certainly there are levels of growth. I am not the same person now in my forties that I was in my twenties. I have much more compassion and patience now. Is this enlightenment? I would like to think that it is to a small degree."

I pulled it out of my *ss. I have no idea how many people are enlightened, I have no idea what it even is or if it exists. I am (overly) fascinated by the idea, despite, probably due to some unwholesomeness in my childhood. Who knows? I am in my forties also and enjoy what I have...
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by James » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:49 pm

Perhaps what is being referred to here is "being present" versus "Presence" with a capital P, There is a distinction. Being present in the Now may not bring a person to full Presence, which is an enlightened state, but it might feel better, so it is a start and one of the portals.

There are definitely degrees of enlightenment, states and stages, it is not an all or nothing affair. Someone may have an moment of illumination and then quickly revert. Or they become somewhat more enlightened as time goes on.

Consciousness "always already is" as individual identity. You are alive, you are aware, that is consciousness. Individual consciousness, and a miracle it is when you consider it; the "I AM" that is you and me, when we stop taking it for granted and realize how incredible it is, what a gift to be alive. So now you are becoming conscious that you are consciousness. The only thing interfering with this pure consciousness is layers of conditioning or beliefs in the mind. The becoming (or practice if you will) is rediscovering what you already are beyond conditioning, beyond mind. So it is as Adyashanti describes it, "always, already is, and becoming" at the same time.

What Tolle and other enlightened teachers are pointing too regarding practicing Presence, is a natural state of being which is a result of enlightenment or is enlightenment. Someone that is enlightened has a high sense of Presence as their real identity. Words are limited in describing what Presence is, they are just the pointers to get you to discover it for yourself. Enjoy the process and accept the state or stage you are at, keep your attention and interest on the awakening process, and it will happen. It happens to some degree in an ongoing way, you will experience some light, more or less depending on the individual, every moment that you are present and acknowledge the "I AM" of your being, individual consciousness expressed.

"Always, already is, and becoming." Life aware of itself.

Enjoy the ride

James
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

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Re: Presence does not lead to enlightenment

Post by LarryD » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:00 am

Interesting discussion. Tolle's expertise on the "now" is that when a radical shift takes place and the ego is dissolved, you are left in a state of immediate awareness that is permanent. The 'enlightened" individual lives in presence as default. So you might say that constant presence is the end state of enlightenment rather than the path to it. It's not just a matter of training oneself to achieve better or more enduring presence in the hope that one day one will reach the critical amount and become fully awake. The day that one can discard the ego as shopworn baggage is the day that you are free from all impediments to constant presence. That day will come to all of us in extreme old age or on our death beds. In the meantime, being more present will improve the quality of our lives until that day comes.
I'll continue this thought on the "No such thing as 'Sudden Enlightenment'" thread as this topic puts it in better perspective.

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