Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
James
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by James » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:37 am

Well said Onceler,
I can't say I know what sevenworlds experience is like either, who can truly know what it is like for another. I did just listen to Adya's free download, Spiritual Addiction, that you recommended, I think it is apropos. He talks a lot about the middle path beyond all extremes and opposites, that makes sense to me, and is consistent with Tolle's message. Adya sounds like he has the sniffles in the beginning, perhaps that is why it was a free download, the audio quality is not as good as some of the newer recordings. If having a cold makes him less enlightened in someone's book, that is fine by me :) .

It sounds like sevenworlds gravitates towards more masculine, authoritative energy in a teacher, that's cool. That's why there are lots of different teachers and approaches out there. Eckhart admits that his energy is softer and gentler than some teachers, it is slightly more feminine; nothing wrong with that. Some prefer that because it is more comforting, other students may prefer the more masculine type. There is also the school of sudden enlightenment and the school of gradual enlightenment, I don't think it is either or, but both. Always already Is, and the appearance of becoming at the same time. The path would be awfully crowded if everyone was traveling the same route, (yes of course it is the pathless path).

There are many different flavors of ice cream, not everyone likes vanilla. Thank God for variety. :)

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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Onceler
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by Onceler » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:43 am

Agreed. I know of the sudden enlightenment vs. gradual in zen. Soto zen is focused on gradual and in the moment enlightenment and in my experience is best translated to the Western mind by Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginners Mind. This is the soft school of zen. Rinzai is the sudden enlightenment school and can be read about in The Three Pillars of Zen by Phillip kaplau. It is blood, sweat, and tears until sudden enlightenment. This is kind of the classic stereotype of zen, I think, with the sticks and the killer meditation sessions. Peter Mathiassen's Nine Headed Dragon River is a nice description of his experience in both schools of zen.

I have always thought there must be two personality types here and folks are drawn to one or the other. Tolle is soft, as you said. Adya as well, although he is a little edgier, maybe and looks for that "sudden flash".
Be present, be pleasant.

sevenworlds
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by sevenworlds » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:28 am

This state is like electricity - it's pure life, pure potential energy. If you imagine a live wire running across the floor. Most people don't even notice it. They are too occupied with everything else. A very small few will happen to notice the live wire and stop and look at it. Pretty soon they will be off again, enticed by the world. They may stop and look again at various points along the way but they always get distracted by the world in the end. An even rarer few will actually touch the wire, albeit accidently (you would never choose to do so). Those people die and become the very energy itself.

My point is, those who are stopping to look at the live wire... well, it doesn't matter how many times they do that, nothing is going to happen until you touch it. Once you touch it there is no way back. The majority of Tolle's followers seem to be playing with this live wire, admiring it from afar but not touching it. Sure he is encouraging people to have a look but will you touch it? Those who are ready will most likely do so one way or another - they don't need Tolle. Touching it means the end of you, the end of all your relationships, all your interests, your religion, your beliefs, all of it goes. If he tells you that up front you won't buy his books or go to his talks because it will scare you. By leaving that out, he encourages you to go on playing with it and gives you false hope that in doing so one day something will happen.

This is not to pick out Eckhart but to point out the sticking point of all those with something to sell spiritually. How do they get you interested? By selling you comforting concepts which end up generating more thought.

Onceler, just to clarify, I wouldn't call mine a blow-your socks-off experience. If anything can be said about the actual "moment" when it all dawns on you it is nothing really. Everything just stops and falls silent. It is the aftermath that is chaotic. The chaos itself is not that state though, the chaos - aches and pains in the body, strange mystical states, etc - happen within the state itself, to even call it a state. So I've experienced all sorts of things all taking place WITHIN that field or whatever you want to call it. Certain things have remained constant throughout. My vision has been different ever since. Everything looks like a painting, as if the depth isn't there because space is thought.

lucy
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by lucy » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:34 am

Sevenworlds

I hear what you are saying and I think your criticism of Eckhart is valid if you believe the goal is what Sailor Bob Adamson says about taking people beyond the need for further help; ET will be a beginning for a lot of people and not an ending. I had not even heard of nonduality before Eckhart, and I found him a good way to ease into it, to test the waters so to speak. I think you are right that he does hold back and doesn't quite go far enough but I think he does this not to sell books but because he genuinely doesn't want to scare people away. I think he is sensitive to the fact that his message may be too radical for the mind. His U.S. publsiher (New World, I think) is quoted as saying "Deepak Chopra (who they also publish) talks about the law of detachment but he doesn't practice it. He is very invloved in the business. Eckhart on the other hand has never asked or cared how many books he's sold".

sevenworlds
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by sevenworlds » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:44 pm

Lucy, I'm not saying Eckhart is after the money. Even if he is, that's fine. To me, you have to say it like it is. If someone is picking and choosing what elements of It they want to share then I'd be wondering if they really were in the state they claim to be in. In actual fact, there is no choice in how you express yourself. I don't see how you can "test the waters" or ease yourself into it. Then it becomes a hobby or an interest. It's like when people say "that's a very non-dualistic approach" or once someone said to me "you sound very advaita". I said I didn't even know what that word meant. These are all just meaningless mind games, trying to fit It into concepts and traditions and play with it on a mind level.

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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:51 pm

It's a most interesting discussion. Does realization come in a lightning strike, or does it come as the dawn. Words seem a bit inadaquate and metaphors only slightly better. In the end no one can say with authority what another's experience is. ET says awakening came to him in a flash, but then spent years gaining clarity. William Samuel speaks of awakening precept by precept. Sailor Bob Adamson spent decades in his awakening after his time with Nisargadatta. My own experience is one of an ongoing process of steadily increasing clarity, most of which came in moments of intentionally thought-free presence. I feel that while the ultimate depth of that clarity of being is fathomless, there are limiting factors encumbant in the human experience - sort of like the fence around the school yard.

While that increasing clarity may come gradually or in sudden advancements, the key issue is recognition of the light of truth as distinct from identfication with self concepts. Once it is clearly seen that conceptual identity is imaginary, and that one's natural state is an undefined beingness, the concepts of self begin to drop away. For some this may be sudden and complete. For others (and I dare say most), the light of clarity may not be so bright as yet, and the habits of identification yet stong. Still, the nature of life in form is self correcting in the long run. Pain and suffering, and fear of impending death are strong motivators to seek greater understanding.

Lightning strikes of awakening seem to be a bit more of the luck of the draw, and I don't much believe in luck. More likely there is a great deal of preparation that goes into readying for such sudden revolations, preparation that may not be just of this presently known material world experience. Such awakenings may be a short-cut that was earned through previous efforts in successful outcomes to forgotten experiencial challenges.

But if this is indeed the case, the fact that one is in the world of form is indicative that more opportunities and challenges await.

WW

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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by Glycine » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:54 pm

I'm not trying to be spiritual or anything, but I feel like posting the following quote:
If anyone thinks that the one's insight exceeds the other's, he has no eyes.
-Zen
The insight described in the above quote is no better than other insights, as well.

sevenworlds
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by sevenworlds » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:02 pm

Webwanderer wrote:Lightning strikes of awakening seem to be a bit more of the luck of the draw, and I don't much believe in luck. More likely there is a great deal of preparation that goes into readying for such sudden revolations, preparation that may not be just of this presently known material world experience. Such awakenings may be a short-cut that was earned through previous efforts in successful outcomes to forgotten experiencial challenges.
The moment itself can only happen like a lightning strike. There may be a preparation going on but you wouldn't even know what that is until after. That is what I'm keen to point out. Spirituality has nothing to do with this. There is probably more chance of this happening to someone with no spiritual background than someone who has read all the books and done all the practices for years. It's not operating within cause and effect, which is time, which is mind.

To go back to the live wire example, you don't want to go near the live wire. You want to play in the world. It is only when the world beats you down and wears you out that you could say you get nearer to it and yet there is no nearness to it. It's simply that you run out of options until there is nowhere to go and then you will either sink or swim - commit suicide/go insane or touch the wire. There is a very fine line between the natural state and what we call someone who is insane. From the perspective of society.

I don't think you will be genuinely interested in hearing this message unless you've had enough with what the world has to offer. As long as you have the pull of your husband/wife/partner, your family, your job, your activities it will just be another thing to play around with. It has to be all-consuming. Eckhart isn't telling you all of that. Even Jesus said "A man's enemies will be the members of his own household" and yet 2000 years later we still cling to the idea of family.

Sorry to go on... :)

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Onceler
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by Onceler » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:25 pm

7worlds,

No, go on! What you are saying is fascinating. I agree with Web that it is a stimulating discussion and I appreciate your honesty.
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by lucy » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:31 pm

Sevenworlds, I sense the integrity in your words and I don't mean to insult you by pointing out what I know you already know. Eckhart said when "awakening" first occured
he spent two or three years on a park bench without an identity. Using your analogy of the live wire, when he experienced his "dark night of the soul" he grabbed the live wire and it blew away his
identity, but he goes on to say that the balance had been lost. People thought he had gone mad. To me, and please correct me if I'm wrong, you seem to be saying that after you touch the live wire, you cannot go back into a life of form even with the "knowing" that the world is an illusion. In my experience it is not the individual that apparently returns to form, but the "totality of life". If each expression of the truth is destined to awaken to itself in it's own way, how can one discount or evaluate another's awakening. "Each snowflake in it's place". I agree with you that those who are ready to grab the wire will do so, they don't need Eckhart or anyone else's teaching. Life functions perfectly well without any of us.

sevenworlds
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by sevenworlds » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:15 pm

Lucy, no, I'm not saying you can't go back into a life of form. There is no "you" after that point to even do that. To others it may look that way. Life just lives itself. There isn't somebody who returns knowing the world is an illusion. The world being an illusion is just as meaningless as the world being concrete real from that state.

I don't know what Eckhart means by the balance being lost. That implies he has now regained the balance because he is a successful author/speaker and seen to be a part of society. Ramana Maharshi spent the rest of his days not moving far from the same spot and rarely speaking. Does that mean he lost the balance? This kind of talk, especially from Western teachers, seems to be a comfort for their audience. There is no knowing how the life will live. I'm not saying it is totally impossible that you could go through this with your family, relations, job and everything intact but it seems highly unlikely given that those things are all very self-centred. If any kind of mass awakening is to happen as Eckhart and others like to suggest, I can't see how it can happen, especially in the West, without it getting very very messy. All these structures of society we have worked so hard to build must crumble. People aren't going to give all that up without a huge struggle. It wouldn't surprise me at all if we start seeing a lot of people going mad and insane.

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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by lucy » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:12 pm

Sevenworlds,
There is a lot of choas and dysfunction before the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, but it really doesn't have a choice does it? Life does it regardless of what the caterpillar wants because there seems to be an evolutionary impulse there. Funny enough, reading the recount of your awakening, all the physical changes etc. that you mention reminds me of the transformation of the caterpillar into a butterfly, but in awakening it is the realization that you never were a caterpillar to begin with. I believe you are right when you say people will not give up all that structures that society has built without a struggle and that there will be a lot madness (we are alreday seeing it don't you think?). Huge structures are crumbling (banks, stock markets etc). Will this shake us out of the dream of form? No one can know.

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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by randomguy » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:51 am

Some questions that arose while reading some of this thread:

What would I be without the story of sudden all-or-nothing awakening?
Could it imply a liberating possibility of further acceptance of what is, further investigation and questioning of mind, further surrender to and growing in fond familiarity with reality?

What is my primary target of investigation; my imagination of some guru's being, defining what I imagine happens to others during awakening or questioning my own mind?
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho

sevenworlds
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by sevenworlds » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:59 am

Yes, I agree Lucy. I don't see it as a bad thing if it goes that way. And the signs of it are already here, as you say, although we always want to replace crumbling ideas with new ones and so the cycle goes on. Whatever happens on an individual level, it is no different on a collective level. So as I said earlier, when the moment comes you either sink or swim and that is what the world as a whole faces. I'm not concerned which way it goes but I have to express myself now and I do feel a certain urge to say it straight and not comfort anyone. I don't know why. Is it not better to face up to the fact now that nobody can help us. Governments, financial institutions, doctors, lawyers, scientists, religion, education, family... they are all outdated, deluded and in turn conning us day by day. They were all built by thought but we cling to them because we are too afraid to stand alone.
Last edited by sevenworlds on Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

lucy
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Re: Isn't Discussion Generating More Thinking?

Post by lucy » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:06 am

You're right nobody can help us. But then again, there's nobody to help, and that I find comforting.

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