is he just mad/ does it matter

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
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grant
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is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by grant » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:06 pm

hi all,
iv'e not been here for a while. life's perfect as always, haha.
i been thinking! Is eckhart tolle bi/polar? is there a conection between bi/polar and enlightenment? is it the same thing, in your oppinion. we never know anything for sure. i accept that. i can live with that.
there is some information on the subject with interesting videos on youtube.
any thoughts on this subject will be gratefully received. i love this s..t. haha

HowToKnowGod
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by HowToKnowGod » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:50 am

I think everyone in this world is bipolar to some extent. It's the dualistic world, so you can't escape it.

What are you getting at though? Can you be specific?

goldenbirdies
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by goldenbirdies » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:37 pm

Everything is connected in the state of Being, thus there is a connection.

At a more superficial level, many great artists have been bi-polar. And Eckhart talks of a link between creativity and consciousness; so here is a specific similarity, but whether this is coincidence, synchronicity or direct correlation would probably require some deep research...
David

Steal Softly through Sunshine, Steal Softly through Snow - Don Van Vliet

James
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by James » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:41 pm

I would not say there is a correlation between Bi-polar and enlightenment. From the human perspective, enlightenment may appear to be a form of madness. Throughout history, enlightened individuals were regarded with suspicion, even fear. In the olden days, those that declared their awakened divinity were often killed. We have come along way since then, but today the understanding of enlightenment is still shrouded in ignorance and conceptualization.

What we do know is that Tolle declared that he was depressed and anxious prior to awakening. That is the collective insanity of the unawake mind. Many people that awaken do so because the dream suffering becomes unbearable. We could say that they were ready to awaken and thus the dream/ego structure was beginning to collapse. In that sense the suffering has a "noble purpose". It does not really matter how one awakens, or how you look at it, but it certainly seems like a fortunate thing for those that do and find freedom.

Eckhart speaks of the enlightened state as peace, joy, connectedness to the whole; that is true sanity. To be awake is to no longer identify with the brain as the seat of consciousness, or to harbor any sense of physical identity. Then It becomes less relevant if the brain is working optimally. Brain function can and may improve after awakening, or it may not, but it no longer matters as much. The peace and joy of awakening don't have their origin in the brain, they are inseparable from what we are; it is the true essence of the Self. Eventually we all must concede, that the body, including the brain, will fail us, wither and die. Where will our identification be when that occurs? We can begin now, to seek peace, joy and fulfillment in that which always remains. We don't even really need to seek it, but rather discover what already is. It is our essential nature, we can never be separate from what we already are.

J.

grant
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by grant » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:45 pm

so there could be a correlation between bi polar and awakening. the depression bringing you into so much pain. And the mania giving you the sense of nirvana, which is the state that people search for.

James
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by James » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:15 pm

I think you are still missing the point, any suffering can be the doorway to awakening, it would probably be more helpful to drop the label "Bi-Polar" and just call it suffering. Nirvana is not the same as a manic brain state. Nirvana is the ceasing of suffering, which occurs after awakening. Mania is still in the realm of dreaming and duality.

J.
"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."

goldenbirdies
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by goldenbirdies » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:28 pm

This debate may highlight categorisation complications caused by the human mind: On the one hand, an enlightened person may be mis-categorised by an un-enlightened psycho-analyst as being on a "manic-high".
On the other, if such a condition as "manic-high" exists, a sufferer may mis-categorise themself as enlightened.

Solution: avoid categorisation?

Dave
David

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James
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by James » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:46 pm

Yes Dave, any discussion certainly depends on semantics and how words are used. Mania as it is usually defined in psychology is an excited state of frantic activity, caused by a brain abnormality, the flip side of a depressive episode. Whereas enlightenment is more often described as calm, peaceful, joyful, energetic perhaps at times, but not excited as in an emotional high kind of way. Although many people that awaken do go through periods of high energy, or an energy imbalance and insomnia, that kind of thing (kundalini experiences), usually initially after an awakening, or a partial awakening. But that has more to do with not fully integrating it yet, they are a passing phase. I hardly would refer to Tolle or any other enlightened person I know, as being manic in their behavior based on the definition above.

Some might say they are pollyanna or foolish for being so happy all the time, in that case so be it. :D

J.

goldenbirdies
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by goldenbirdies » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:52 am

Thanks James - I agree the "excitable" element of a bi-polar high certainly differentiates it from enlightened serenity. Having known someone who was "sectioned" as a result of their bi-polar high, and comparing their state to that of an enlightened person, it is clear that there is a difference. That said, there still remains plenty of scope for human categorisation error, though!

Dave
David

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James
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by James » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:02 pm

Agreed Dave, Grant's question is valid, I can see how someone might interpret manic elation as nirvana. An energetic shift could be the result of awakening, as mentioned above, requiring time to integrate; or it may just be mania and another egoic trap. It may take some clarity, self honesty, and intuition not to be deceived by their experience.

Thanks for the question Grant

J.

let what comes, come...
let what goes, go...
and see what remains...
Ramana

grant
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by grant » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:05 pm

i'm not suggesting ET is manic now. but that he may have been. ET said himself that the original uforria was replaced with a calmness.( the inbetween). i agree mania is a frantic experience but when you come back from it( if you do). you have seen the world in a way the majority will never experience. although they search for the freedom and awareness it may bring.
i have met many people who have read many books on the subject of realisation. they talk the talk but don't walk the walk so to speak. they still believe in fairytales.

before enlightenment. chop wood carry water.
after enlightenment. chop wood. carry water.

James
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by James » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:06 am

Grant said:
i'm not suggesting ET is manic now. but that he may have been. ET said himself that the original uforria was replaced with a calmness.( the inbetween).
I don't know if Tolle was ever manic, to me it does not matter. There can be a sense of euphoria after awakening. Adyashanti calls it the honeymoon phase or first kiss, but that is just another experience that comes and goes. Our true nature is not an experience, enlightenment is not an experience, it is our natural state of being, free of interference by mind formations or conceptualization. There may be some very pleasant experiences that accompany awakening, but that is not the eternal. As Ramana says, see that which is unchanging, that which always remains, our essential nature. It defies description, so rather than attempting to describe what it is, naming it or labeling it, theorizing. Discover it for yourself, or abide in it; let it abide in you. It is right here right now, "the peace that passeth understanding."

Grant said:
i agree mania is a frantic experience but when you come back from it( if you do). you have seen the world in a way the majority will never experience. although they search for the freedom and awareness it may bring.
I see what you are saying. The same is often described by drug and alcohol users, a euphoric experience that seems to have a transcendent dimension to it. I think of it as counterfeit enlightenment. But like these drug induced states, mania has a flip side when the experience wears off. Those that are manic will come down and be depressed again. So mania in that sense is suffering, just as drug and alcohol abuse is suffering. As I said earlier though, any suffering can be a doorway to awakening. So whatever experience one is having, be fully present with it, consciously accept and open to it; and see what it has to teach. If mania gives someone a glimpse of another way of seeing, and motivates them to awaken, then it has served a useful purpose.

J.
"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: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by Sighclone » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:02 am

There is no peace and no joy in either phase of bipolarity. It is one of many disorders which do not represent enlightenment. My mother was gravely bipolar, although controlled by lithium, for 20 years. No joy for her, no enthusiasm, and very little acceptance.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Onceler
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Re: is he just mad/ does it matter

Post by Onceler » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:56 pm

The manic episodes literally degrade the brain--physically erode neurons. Depression, with its high doses of cortisal can do the same thing in more severe forms. 60% of people with major depression have toxic levels of cortisal. Medications are protective in bi-polar and keep the brain from physical harm.

I have a theory that the major mental illnesses that some of these teachers underwent for years, (ET & Byron Katie, major depression) "clearcut" brain gray matter to neurologically pave the way for awakening. You could think about it as the neurology of suffering somehow prepares the brain for the major neurological transformation of awakening...

I doubt ET is bi-polar, but he may have been. If he was healed from this major illness, that is huge and may yield further neurological research. If only these folks had the presence of mind to get a pre and post awakening MRI!
Be present, be pleasant.

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