I Don't Understand

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I Don't Understand

Postby tricianc » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:50 am

hi, I'm new here....and maybe you get these desperate sounding newbie posts often, but here it goes....

Anyone else find 'a new earth' to be depressing and negative? i still have 100 or so pages to go but i don't know if i can finish this book? please don't reply with 'your ego can't handle it' :} i need more than that. i like being human, in fact i LOVE it. i LIKE thinking, if i didn't have an ego what would i have learned? i've learned so much. if ego is just a destructive nuisance then why do we even have them? why don't we just come to earth without an ego? why bother? i think ego serves a purpose, an important one. it seems as if eckhardt wants to completely dismiss it, wants us to stop being human? what?? i don't want to be an 'essence' just yet, i want to enjoy my humanity. its not to say i don't agree with alot of what he says, like being in the moment. but i don't always have time to be in the moment. and that's fine with me. what's wrong with flip flopping? i just feel there is more to it than this. these ideas are all something he developed himself. is this it? this is the answer? eckhardt has it all figured out? no more ego, be in the moment and POOF....then what? everything is blissful all the time and all problems magically disappear?

like i said, i agree with alot of what he says, its just....reading this book doesn't feel good. it made me feel quite badly. i like being human and i don't intend to stop. i think ego serves a purpose.
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Re: i don't understand

Postby Sighclone » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:32 am

Welcome tricianc. There are good people who lead wonderful lives and never really wake up. I'm guessing that Albert Schweitzer and possibly even Mother Theresa were examples. You probably know some older people who are just wonderful. Of course your mind is a good tool and that there have been many revelations about life and the world that have come to you through it. Not everyone suffers like Eckhart did, with roots in his family of origin.

If you want to be present for five minues a month, that is just great. It is not necessary that ANE or any other book constantly grab your attention.

Buth this is false:
these ideas are all something he developed himself.


Please look through our Recommended reading section, pick a couple books and read them if you need more convinving. There are other authors and teachers who are vety active today. Shankara was one of the earliest to write directly about the experience of enlightenment.

Eckhart's definition of ego is kind of thin, in my opinion, and probably reflects his general distaste for the world of psychology which is all about "becoming," whereas Eckhart and the many other nondualists are about being. A better sense of ego is found in the first third of John Welwood's "Toward a Psychology of Awakening." He defines it much more specifically and this text is rich with many other commentaries and pointers form many traditions. Before you judge Mr. Tolle, on this very ancient subject, please read a couple of other sources.

And stick around...you are very much welcome. We do however require things like capital letters and other standard conventions in English usage. That is not because we are stuffy old school-marms, but rather because a significant number of our 3,000 members do not have English as their first language and have trouble reading text-message-style short cuts.

Eckhart also mentioned that many people, him included, are (were) completely dominated by the ego until about age 30...and it is perfectly natural...

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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Re: i don't understand

Postby Plorel » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:27 am

Hey tricianc and welcome.

Being human (as you call it) is absolutely equal to waking up. Meditating in no more spiritual than watching TV and Jesus has not been holier than the most wretched creature on this Earth. Everything is an expression of the one life unfolding and therefore you impossibly can do it wrong, no matter which decision you make. Do what you love to do and what brings you happiness. And if one day you find that there is something missing, you have an idea where to look.

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Re: i don't understand

Postby kiki » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:08 pm

Why, then, are you even reading Tolle? Nobody is forcing you to read him, right? If you don't like what he's saying or what it means then stop, but something must have prompted you to start in the first place. What was the reason? Examine your motive for starting to read Tolle - was there something in particular that caused you to pick up the book and keep reading?

if ego is just a destructive nuisance then why do we even have them?


It's not just a destructive force, it has a purpose, but it's not who or what you are. When you think you are ego then it causes problems, but as you point out it can be useful. Its main purpose is to keep the body safe while the formless absolute plays the game of experiencing and exploring what it means to be in the world of form. One of its games is to "pretend" to be a human with an ego disguise while pretending to "forget" what's actually real. Awakening is about seeing this truth. If you want to remain ignorant of the truth of what you are then that's perfectly OK. It doesn't really matter one way or another to reality how the game plays out because essence/You aren't affected in any way.

i don't want to be an 'essence' just yet


You have no choice in the matter - you already are essence. There is no need to struggle to be something you already are. But I understand what it is you are trying to say. Like I said earlier, if you don't want to follow through with his teaching nothing is forcing you to do so, is there?

i want to enjoy my humanity.


Then totally enjoy all of it, including the "bad stuff". Revel in it all, in every single thing and then you have nothing to worry about. That would mean that you've surrendered completely to life as it is unfolding, totally accepted "what is", which is all Tolle is really teaching. If you can do that then you are doing great - throw all the books away.

its not to say i don't agree with alot of what he says, like being in the moment. but i don't always have time to be in the moment.


That's really quite amusing (not poking fun here, but making a point) because when you "don't have time" you are in the moment, you are present. It takes no time to be in the moment. Can you see that? Besides that, there is only the present to begin with - see if you can get away from now. You can't. Even thoughts of past or future happen now, but when identification is wrapped up in ego "problems" inevitably follow from its perspective. It's those perceived problems that usually push people to look towards teachings like Tolle's.


and that's fine with me. what's wrong with flip flopping?


There is nothing "wrong" with flip flopping - that's pretty much what most awakening people experience. But nobody has said awakening will be comfortable; it won't, especially for those who are heavily invested in ego identity.

these ideas are all something he developed himself.


One of the main criticisms of Tolle is that his teaching isn't original. He never claimed they were. He has drawn on many things, but his gift is in how he presents his teaching. Even so, lots of people probably won't resonate with him.

is this it? this is the answer? eckhardt has it all figured out? no more ego, be in the moment and POOF....then what?


Then you live life with one foot in the world while being cognizant of what you are with the other foot, fully enjoying what it means to be "human" but not confined to that.

By the way, welcome to the board.

kiki
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Re: i don't understand

Postby James » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:32 pm

tricianc
I like your candidness, after I read your post this song came to mind from the quirky new wave band The B-52's, the lyrics and link to the video are below. Enjoy yourself "Roam if you want to, roam around the world." "Ride the arrow to the target-one".


Roam Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPpzkqzE3sc

I hear a wind
Whistling air
Whispering in my ear

Boy Mercury shootin' through every degree
Oooh girl dancin' down those dirty and dusty trails
Take it hip to hip rocket through the wilderness
Around the world the trip begins with a kiss

Roam if you want to
Roam around the world
Roam if you want to
Without wings, without wheels
Roam if you want to
Roam around the world
Roam if you want to
Without anything but the love we feel

Skip the air strip to the sunset
Ride the arrow to the target-one
Take it hip to hip rock it through the wilderness
Around the world the trip begins with a kiss

Chorus

Fly the great big sky
See the great big sea
Kick through continents
Bustin' boundaries
Take it hip to hip rocket through the wilderness
Around the world the trip begins with a kiss

Chorus

Take it hip to hip rocket through the wilderness
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Re: i don't understand

Postby Ralph » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:19 pm

is this it? this is the answer? eckhardt has it all figured out? no more ego, be in the moment and POOF....then what? everything is blissful all the time and all problems magically disappear?


My understanding of what Eckhart Tolle teaches can be sumed up in one sentence.

To go from "I am in this world AND of it" to "I am in this world BUT not of it.

I also like kiki's response.

Then you live life with one foot in the world while being cognizant of what you are with the other foot, fully enjoying what it means to be "human" but not confined to that.
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Re: i don't understand

Postby tricianc » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:10 am

Sighclone/Andy:

Thank you for the response:}
I will try to use correct punctuation. I obviously agreed to the 'terms' and didn't read one word of it, busted.

So its ok to fade in and out of the present moment then? But does it not seem as if Eckhardt is saying you should remain in the present moment always? It seems that other people are not seeing his book so black and white like I am? I just want to know if that's what HE thinks?

I have read elsewhere that people have accused him of stealing ideas. I don't particularly care either way, SOMEONE (a human) came up with it. Which makes me think that like most things, there's more than one way of doing things. Yet again, he seems too specific (like the pain body for instance) and narrow on 'how it is'. Is he not open to other methods, other ways?

Again, I agree with most of what he says, and am really starting to pay attention to my 'ego'. But is this rigidness I perceive in him a reality?
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Re: i don't understand

Postby tricianc » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:18 am

Thank you Ploral/Stefan:}

What you posted is the kind of 'thinking' that attracts me or makes sense to me. Yet Tolle doesn't seem to be a fan of 'thinking'. Are we really to be expected to live here on earth and never 'think'???? What??? I was sitting thinking about something that made me laugh at work the day before. I was not in the moment because I was thinking about something hours previous. I was laughing when I thought of it, my ego likes to laugh, it just can't help itself. I don't see much laughing in Tolle's world. I find that disturbing?? I'm really not trying to criticize him, I just don't see how he can cut out so much of life?
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Re: i don't understand

Postby tricianc » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:29 am

Kiki:

I started reading the book because a coworker suggested it. I kept reading although I felt thoroughly depressed because I felt he had to get positive at SOME POINT. My motive for reading is that I had been listening to Wayne Dyer and felt SO GOOD. I was on a role.... here, read this awesome book about finding your Life's purpose....sweet......ok, religion is horrible, the ego is horrible, if you're not in the present moment you're being ruled by your ego, thinking is bad, you have a pain body that makes you psycho at pms time, etc. Ummm, goodbye good feelings. What exactly just happened?

Where did Tolle say the ego is useful? I missed that part. The ego is not who I really am, yes, I can dig that. I don't need chapter after chapter of doom and gloom to understand that point. Although I do appreciate the curve he's thrown me. And yes I believe all the bad feelings I felt after reading it serves a purpose and I can't wait to see what that is:}

You have some very strong opinions! But thank you.
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Re: i don't understand

Postby tricianc » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:32 am

Thank you James:}

I'm very familiar with that song... It was popular when I was a teenager and I have it on cd:}
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Re: i don't understand

Postby tricianc » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:39 am

Thank you Ralph....

Everyone has their interpretation of what Tolle has said I suppose. I just can't figure out why I found it rather dark and depressing in many parts, whereas others did not see that at all? If its my ego that is fine, but I still want to know why others did not see it that way? For instance, what were other people's initial reaction or overall feeling after having read the book? Enlightened? Inspired? Or depressed like myself, and feeling that if that is true, that is so much more rigid I could ever imagine 'enlightenment' to be.

"Then you live life with one foot in the world while being cognizant of what you are with the other foot, fully enjoying what it means to be "human" but not confined to that" - this sounds good.
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Re: i don't understand

Postby kiki » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:49 am

I started reading the book because a coworker suggested it. I kept reading although I felt thoroughly depressed because I felt he had to get positive at SOME POINT. My motive for reading is that I had been listening to Wayne Dyer and felt SO GOOD. I was on a role.... here, read this awesome book about finding your Life's purpose....sweet......ok, religion is horrible, the ego is horrible, if you're not in the present moment you're being ruled by your ego, thinking is bad, you have a pain body that makes you psycho at pms time, etc. Ummm, goodbye good feelings. What exactly just happened?


What happened? Well, ego doesn't want to hear bad stuff about itself, it's too threatening. What ego fears most is its death, which is what people think will happen through awakening. But that doesn't happen - it can't "die" because it isn't real to begin with. Something that isn't even real can't die, but ego doesn't really know this. Instead, ego is seen for what it is, and when that happens it tends to disappear from view when not needed. Identification with ego dissolves, and along with that ego's "problems" disappear. Situations which previously caused suffering are then just situations that are met as they unfold - no more suffering.

Where did Tolle say the ego is useful? I missed that part.


Ego has many functions; without it you wouldn't know where your home was, where work was and how to do it, how to do your taxes, you wouldn't know enough to turn around when someone called your name. It's the conveyor of the practical things that have been learned in life and stored in the memory bank, but it is not what you are. It is a tool to help you get around in the world of form. But when it is identified with as being "me" there will be suffering. This is what he is trying to get people to see/realize, that they are not the ego. They are the consciousness that sees ego at work; they are the consciousness in which mind and thought arise and fade away; they are the consciousness which witnesses physical sensations and emotions, and he uses what he calls "portals" to get people to see that for themselves. When all of those things are seen as "mine", however, you know ego is dominating and wanting to manipulate things to its vision of how things "should or shouldn't be".

This is what your particular ego is doing - it is saying that there shouldn't be "doom and gloom" in this teaching, it should make me feel good, like Wayne Dyer's stuff (by the way, I see Dyer's teaching to be, in a very subtle way, ego stroking, which is not conducive to awakening - he leaves you feeling "good" but he doesn't take you beyond those feelings into the reality of what you are because you get caught up in his ideas. His is a rather shallow teaching in terms of awakening - that's just my opinion). That's how ego seeks to exert control, and that's how it remains fixed in the mind. The portals are there for you to break through that identification and realize directly that the underlying consciousness is what you really are.

The ego is not who I really am, yes, I can dig that.


Don't just "dig it", see/realize directly for yourself - otherwise it just becomes another concept to get lost in. In other words, this isn't about understanding the idea and then stopping there; you must see/realize what the idea is pointing to. If you don't you just end up exchanging one set of ideas for another and remaining trapped in thinking. What he's getting at is transcending ideas/mind altogether by realizing what gives support to them, your true nature - consciousness.

I don't need chapter after chapter of doom and gloom to understand that point.


Again, the "doom and gloom" that you perceive is only an overlay of thinking that your ego has identified with - that doom and gloom is thought based only, it isn't real, but it is a very useful tool for ego to keep itself intact. The doom and gloom only seems real because ego is still identified with. What seems to be repetitious is really ET coming at this from lots of different angles so you have lots of opportunities to see through all of the ways ego has permeated your thinking and congealed into the "me" that you believe yourself to be.

Who/what are you really? Look for yourself - investigate, and don't settle for any answer that the mind gives you; see what's in the background of the thinking and feeling. What is that? When "that" is dis-covered/seen/realized rest there and just be. Discover for yourself what happens when you rest in/as your true nature and how that translates into the way life is lived through the particular mind and body known to others as "tricianc".
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Re: i don't understand

Postby arel » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:57 pm

So a good question would be "what's the point of all these teachings?" Why talk about the ego and consciousness?

The answer to this question for me is "to return to the natural state of things as it is meant be by nature".

There is a reason why ET stresses paying attention to the inner body as much as one can. Try to take it as much of your body sensation as you can right now. Play around with putting attention on the part of your body called the head. When I do that right away I can hear more, start looking around, taste the taste in my mouth, etc. See what you sense when you put attention on other parts of your body. The point of this is to show that this world is only possible through the body and mind. Put attention on the body and you are paying attention to the world.

Now to take it a bit further. Who/what is paying attention to the body-mind/world? I resonate with ET saying that it is, or I am the present moment. The nothingness of it, the awareness that it is.

Through this experimentation with your experience decide what is primary and what is secondary, the present moment or the world.

The problem is too much "identification" (being lost) on the body-mind mechanism of self-preservation (the ego), which has it's place, but is out of control, or not being seen through enough by most humans. It's not that important ET is trying to say, it's just a sensation among many others in the sea of the present moment that we all are.

The interesting thing is that humans, as far as we can tell, have the unique ability to realize that which is aware of everything, which what they are, or dis identify, or in other word - awaken.
What I say is only my viewpoint.
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Re: i don't understand

Postby tricianc » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:53 pm

thanks all for your thoughts and insights.
i learned alot from reading the book, and will take with me the things that make sense and leave the rest.
lots of good things in this book, but also alot that does not make sense to me nor does it seem to matter in the scheme of things. tolle is just another human being like everyone else, who has found something that he believes to be true, and works for him. but all the ideas are man made. and there is nothing more egotistical than a human being claiming to know the why's, where's and what's. i am more inclined to listen to someone who has died and come back, someone who has 'been there'. i also can't help but to be hesitant to take 'advice' from a person who has never had a child or been through parenthood. tolle seems to have bits and pieces of things, other people have pieces too. but i never read where tolle says there is more than one path to enlightenment. he claims to know what that is, and i find that to be very egotistical. quite forgivable though, as he is human. and he is meant to be human. as we all are, or we would not be here. i think we are here to learn, and the ego allows us to do that. without the negative there is no positive. i think the ego is something that should be thought of with love. its a great teacher. just my opinion.
thanks again:}
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Topman » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:37 pm

Not sure what not having a child and parenting has to do with Enlightenment?????
I see you gave up on the capitals again too.
Enjoyed reading your post.
Thanks for sharing.
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