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Post by qqq » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:30 pm

Hey everyone,

I've been following Eckhart Tolle's teachings for a few years now on and off, and I found this forum a few months ago. Great stuff -- thank you for all of it.

I have gotten to a point where I can usually "watch the thinker" completely, and disassociate myself with my mind either completely or mostly, for extended periods of time.

Of course, my mind has a plethora of problems with Tolle's teachings. It is always resisting in every way. While I am watching the thinker it is often dreaming up problems with Tolle.

One "problem" that my mind has noticed about following Tolle completely is that it seems to remove any sense of motivation to do...anything!

Now, admittedly, this is not a problem. Who said I ever have to do anything anyway? But, this is the reason that I stray from these teachings from time to time, so I would like to resolve this issue. (I stray from Eckhart Tolle because I, or my mind, or something, wants to actually *do* things, which I can't seem to do while watching the thinker)

"Normally" in life, there are a lot of things I like to do. I run a business, play music, etc. As soon as I detach from my mind, though, I don't do any of these things. I just sit there, in presence. Maybe staring at the wall.

But this is good, right? Sure.

But, I feel like something must be lacking in my "understanding," since even Eckhart Tolle does things -- he in fact seems to be very active in his teaching. And I know that many teachers say that you can be present and still *do* things.

But what I don't understand is where the motivation to do those things comes from? It seems that all motivation to do even *move* across the room, is generated by the mind. So, if truly disassociated from the mind, wouldn't I just sit there, and not move, and not do anything, and yet be perfectly content?

Why would I get up and play the guitar, when I am content just sitting there doing nothing? After all, the voice in my head that says "go play the guitar" is just my mind!

And similarly, why would I get up and do anything?

Again, that would be fine though, if I didn't do anything at all then, right? But, it seems that many people do act from presence, and I would like to do that too. Or, rather, my mind would. Which is all part of my paradox, because this whole post might sound like a description of a "problem" I have, but of course it is just a problem my *mind* has, not me. So, I can disassociate from the whole problem, too.

Of course though, if I do that, I don't...*do*...anything. I just sit there.

Which is only a problem for my mind. But, is there a solution anyway? :mrgreen:

Ramblings from my mind, which I could completely disassociate from, but didn't (???)

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Re: Doing...anything!?

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:12 pm

Hi qqq, welcome to the forum and for posing a great question.

I would suggest that you not confuse mind with ego. Ego is a trapping within mind. It is a grouping of thoughts that carry with it the overarching thought that this particular grouping, constitutes an actual being, an identifyable self. It is this perception of a separate self that causes all the commotion through the perceived need of exclusive self interest.

In my experience the capacity for volition does not necessarily originate in ego/mind. Experiment with this a bit. Make, and act upon, the choice to go for a walk. Stay present while active without referencing a "me" or "person" that is doing anything. In other words be one with the expression and flow of the moment. Be aware of what's happening and participate fully in it, but not from the perspective of a "me" doing it.

It seems to me that the purpose of living in form is to experience life and manifest clarity through the possibiltities that form, in all its variety, offers. Sitting around staring at the walls in cognizant bliss is one valid (and valuable) option, but to presume it is the only way one may stay present is not so. Presence is ones natural state whether sitting still or climbing mountains. It seems likely that sitting in quite presence within the relative peace of ones room is just the seed ground, a beginning, for living in clear presence in all our adventures.

Explore volition a little deeper. Sit for a while and sense the motivation to act, of making a choice. Can you make the distinction between acting from a sense of a separate person with a specific identity, and the pure energy of volition? Mind is involved in either case but choice may be seen as content without the "me" to divide and isolate ones experience.

Make the transition from static presence in silent stillness to active presence in ego free participation. Don't be overly concerned about getting pulled back into ego focus for awhile. Just recognize what's happening and begin again from clarity...and again...and yet again. Be at peace with success and failure. It's just the stuff of life in form.

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Re: Doing...anything!?

Post by erict » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:18 pm

Your post was sort of funny. You could go on and on like that forever... Maybe the answer is that there is no answer on the level of the mind; on the level of concepts and ideas. There are always contradictions on that level.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."

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Re: Doing...anything!?

Post by Onceler » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:23 pm

Great reply, Webwanderer. That struck a cord with me. I like Byron Katie's response to this: simply do what needs to be done in reality. If you have the thought that the bathrooms need to be cleaned (and mine do) go clean them.

I try to watch which direction awareness wants to go.

Okay, I need to clean my bathrooms....
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Doing...anything!?

Post by kiki » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:50 pm

Just as Webwanderer has stated, don't confuse mind with ego. Even with mind active there is presence. There is always presence, and if thoughts come to "do something" those things can be done in presence as well. Watch those thoughts that say "I must do this, that, or the other; or refrain from doing this, that, or the other because "I" will be affected in some way." These are the thoughts ego has made its own, and it is these kind of thoughts that keep one trapped in the conceptual "me", and it is in the conceptual me that suffering arises.
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Re: Doing...anything!?

Post by OnlyNow » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:19 am

As you say, where is the problem?

If you are residing in presence the motivation to do will arise or not as the case may be.

Since residing in presence means you are not identifying or reacting with the content of your mind or with any forms that are arising in the now or the space you are physically occupying the actual thought of doing or not doing would seem largely irrelevant................maybe
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Re: Doing...anything!?

Post by D'ray » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:29 pm

Why to do anything, if nothing external makes you happy?

Lately, my motivation to do some things have dropped dramatically.

What is 'motivation' really? Is it ego based or can there be 'present motivation'. As I see it, something must be done in order to motivation to exist. So basically you have to have some NEED in order to motivation to exist. And when you have need you will suffer.

I am motivated about getting good enough grades so that I can get to the place where I want to study. To get a job, the get money, to survive. :mrgreen:

Maybe you can do tasks just because you enjoy doing them. Sometimes it feels like I'm taking ET principles too far outhere and forget the reality.
There's no "I" to become enlightened. The "I" can have spiritual experiences.

DON'T resist the RESISTANCE! The resistance is there. Walk into it. Feel it. Become one with it.

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Re: Doing...anything!?

Post by Oswald2001 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:32 pm

There's a 'positive' motivation and a 'negative' motivation. They come from different places.

More importantly...the lead to differnet places. (Real progress vs. 'dead ends'.)

Do you "need" to get good grades? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it's part of your 'Master Plan' rather than what The Universe would create for you.

I got a lot of good grades. As it turned out, it really did me no good in real life as things did not go as I planned. Not at all. Of course, everyone's path is different.

Living by 'negative' motivation is working "by the sweat of your brow" whereas living by 'postive' motivation is the 'Garden of Eden' experience.

With the 'Garden of Eden' experience, you can notice that your body is moving around and going through the motions, yet you are aware that it is not you that is getting things done. Things happen in a low/no stress fashion in a natural and essentially effortless way. Doors open and the way is provided.

Very few people live strictly...or even 'positive' motivation. I would suspect that Tolle, Adashanti, Byron Katie, Leonard Jacobson and others like them likely live by 'postive' motivation.

The process of letting go of the 'negative' motivation generally involves a period of 'wilderness wandering' where the old motivation is let go...but...the new motivation is not yet in place. Things often fall completely apart and you will likely issue cries similar to, "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?". (Sound familiar? :wink: )

This period may last a short time or many years. It is a very real sort of dying and can be excrutiatingly painful.

To me, this is the true meaning of being 'born again'. Dying to the old life and born into a new life.

You may say, "Why, if I didn't motivate myself...nothing would ever get done. I would not survive.".


1.) Is it true?

2.) Can you absolutely know that it's true?

3.) Etc.

4.) Etc. :)

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