Something I Never Knew About Tolle

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Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby nightowl » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:55 pm

Unity Magazine: Your awakening was dramatic and permanent. Most of us are trying to get there one step at a time. We still have to catch ourselves being in judgment or operating from ego and remember to let that go. Do you ever have to remind yourself of such things, or do you consistently live in higher consciousness without having to course-correct?

Tolle: Well, for the transformation to be integrated fully into my life took quite a few years. At first, on the external level my life continued as if nothing much had happened, although there was one change. Things came into my life without any effort, sometimes on a very small scale, or on a larger scale. But I still continued with my old life, believing that the academic world was still my path. I got accepted for graduate work at Cambridge and, again, that came effortlessly, and for a while I enjoyed it. Then gradually I noticed a heaviness because everybody was in their minds and their egos. So, it took a few years before I readily realized, “This is not where I am meant to be.” I almost touched on unhappiness again at that point. I had to bring myself back to the present moment. It was like the mind tugging on my sleeve and saying, “Come this way towards unhappiness.” And I had to say, “No, I’m not going there.”

For some reason, I always thought Tolle quit academic life immediately after his experience. I did not know it took him years to realize he was not where he was supposed to be. I also had no idea he came close to returning to a state of unhappiness. This makes his situation so much more relatable to me. For some time, I have been struggling with negative feelings about my job. But I don't know if these feelings are caused by ego's identification with habitual thoughts or if they are based on a deeper truth.

There is no logical reason I should be unhappy with my job. I sit in a warm, comfortable cube with other friendly cubemates. The work is not stimulating, but not incredibly boring. It's not like I'm picking cotton 18 hours a day. So I continue to question.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:34 am

Thanks for that quote nightowl.
In terms of awakening sitting on the park bench may have been where he felt most 'real' not in the 'external' bit of his life and maybe in recalling it that's what came to the surface as most important.

I remember reading how mind blowing it was for him when an admired professor of his suicided and it spun him into 'what the...?' questioning because this professor was a great 'thinker' and him then realising that the mind is not the be all and end all. (my take only).

The notion of knowing 'this is not where I am supposed to be' is a biggy imho.

The free falling out of there is even bigger. It requires facing your fears - false emotions appearing real. Working through resistances. HIs notion of almost becoming unhappy again (for me) speaks to the distance between his expectation and reality.

As he says in his books if you are doing something with less than full acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm - stop doing it! Obviously he walked his talk.

We're a strange species, we build our false empires and then cling on to them long after the enjoyment of whatever has faded. If you look at what makes us cling... there's usually a fear involved at the root of it that yes we can always 'logically' explain on one level, but what niggles at us is why we then feel chained and power-less instead of vibrant and alive.

NIghtowl - try an Anthony Robbins question - what would you do with your life (direction) if you knew you couldn't fail? would it be what you are doing now?
What would fill you with enthusiasm? Or rather what fills you with so much joy and clarity that it flows out from you into...

Of course with the notion, no choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience. :P
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby Natalie » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:38 am

" So I continue to question."
I think this is a good idea nightowl.
Your post made me remember how, early into my realization that I am not who I thought I was, I felt 'led' to change careers, etc, etc. Thank god I didn't make any drastic moves then as I have slowly come to the realization that no drastic changes are needed or required. I have brought awareness into my job of 26 years and it feels like a brand new job now. Same old tasks I've done for ever bring joy instead of monotony these days. It's a pleasure to train new employees, no longer trash my boss or the organization. Miracles do happen.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby Natalie » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:52 pm

Smiiley wrote "We're a strange species, we build our false empires and then cling on to them long after the enjoyment of whatever has faded. If you look at what makes us cling... there's usually a fear involved at the root of it that yes we can always 'logically' explain on one level, but what niggles at us is why we then feel chained and power-less instead of vibrant and alive."

Smiiley this is excellent and so so clear. It made me remember a therapist I had over a decade ago, when I was the most blind and uncouncious. She told me in more than one occasion that she found my choices "strange" .
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:44 am

Nothing wrong with 'strange' Nat :wink:

I have brought awareness into my job of 26 years and it feels like a brand new job now. Same old tasks I've done for ever bring joy instead of monotony these days. It's a pleasure to train new employees, no longer trash my boss or the organization. Miracles do happen.


I love the turn-around you found with your work, what a wonderful example you've given of no choice being wrong; and moving internally from egoic resistance, to what is, to acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm creating the 'different experience'. Well done you!

In that state of 'clinging' and powerlessness its sometimes hard for folks to see the solution to free ourselves is right there inside waiting to be released. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby ZenOfchaos » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:45 am

Wow, this is good to hear.

I've always felt that it was mostly unrealistic to just wake up liberated from the self and everything in life is so perfect...spiritually speaking. In TPON I think most people get the impression that his change was rapid and permanent and subsequently everyone else's should be too But this seems to fit more in line with adyashanti and others where there is a cocoon period of change.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby karmarider » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:14 pm

nightowl, thank you for posting this.

It's very instructive. I can attest in my personal experience as well from reports of others that the process of recovery can take time, and old psychological structures can keep tugging at us. And so the idea of "instant awakening" might be a myth.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby karmarider » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:15 pm

Natalie wrote:"I have brought awareness into my job of 26 years and it feels like a brand new job now. Same old tasks I've done for ever bring joy instead of monotony these days. It's a pleasure to train new employees, no longer trash my boss or the organization. Miracles do happen.


It's strange how that happens. As if nothing has changed and yet everything is.

Good to hear from you Natalie.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby karmarider » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:38 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:...The free falling out of there is even bigger. It requires facing your fears - false emotions appearing real. Working through resistances. HIs notion of almost becoming unhappy again (for me) speaks to the distance between his expectation and reality.
...
We're a strange species, we build our false empires and then cling on to them long after the enjoyment of whatever has faded. If you look at what makes us cling... there's usually a fear involved at the root of it that yes we can always 'logically' explain on one level


I'm glad you're considering the question of fear. You can consider if the various fears you mention have the same cause, which is a context of being which has been affected early by a fear.

There aren't millions of problems in the world, and there are not thousands of problems within us. There is only one problem, and it's only a delusion, which is the idea that is a problem with life. This is what I call the early fear.

This simple suggestion has brought about in some the strong defense of their favorite practices, and in some reactionary antagonism, and this has actually been very useful as it is a conspicuous illustration of how the fear works, and has generated an interest to know more about it privately in others.

All of this confirms to me that this is a worthwhile theory to consider.
Last edited by karmarider on Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby Natalie » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:48 pm

Great to hear from you too Km. I wrote that in August 2011 but basically feel the same way.

I am allowing some mild forms of turmoil into my life these days and curiously observing some of my reactions. I am not proud of some of these reactions but the learning process is invaluable. It’s all good.

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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby karmarider » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:53 pm

Natalie wrote:Great to hear from you too Km. I wrote that in August 2011 but basically feel the same way.


Oh boy, I didn't notice the dates.

I am allowing some mild forms of turmoil into my life these days and curiously observing some of my reactions. I am not proud of some of these reactions but the learning process is invaluable. It’s all good.


Allowing, observing, curiosity...it's all good, and it indicates a releasing of fear.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby jan-sandahl » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:22 am

nightowl wrote:
Unity Magazine: Your awakening was dramatic and permanent. Most of us are trying to get there one step at a time. We still have to catch ourselves being in judgment or operating from ego and remember to let that go. Do you ever have to remind yourself of such things, or do you consistently live in higher consciousness without having to course-correct?

Tolle: Well, for the transformation to be integrated fully into my life took quite a few years. At first, on the external level my life continued as if nothing much had happened, although there was one change. Things came into my life without any effort, sometimes on a very small scale, or on a larger scale. But I still continued with my old life, believing that the academic world was still my path. I got accepted for graduate work at Cambridge and, again, that came effortlessly, and for a while I enjoyed it. Then gradually I noticed a heaviness because everybody was in their minds and their egos. So, it took a few years before I readily realized, “This is not where I am meant to be.” I almost touched on unhappiness again at that point. I had to bring myself back to the present moment. It was like the mind tugging on my sleeve and saying, “Come this way towards unhappiness.” And I had to say, “No, I’m not going there.”

For some reason, I always thought Tolle quit academic life immediately after his experience. I did not know it took him years to realize he was not where he was supposed to be. I also had no idea he came close to returning to a state of unhappiness. This makes his situation so much more relatable to me. For some time, I have been struggling with negative feelings about my job. But I don't know if these feelings are caused by ego's identification with habitual thoughts or if they are based on a deeper truth.

There is no logical reason I should be unhappy with my job. I sit in a warm, comfortable cube with other friendly cubemates. The work is not stimulating, but not incredibly boring. It's not like I'm picking cotton 18 hours a day. So I continue to question.


- This is why I find Adya more effective sometimes than Tolle (who I return to nevertheless). Adya hints his own shortcomings, is less "protective", and in doing so reveals that there is no difference between himself and others - and works better, in regards of enlightenment. Tolle works better for some, in a bit earlier stage perhaps.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby tasukete » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:16 am

nightowl wrote:Tolle: Well, for the transformation to be integrated fully into my life took quite a few years. At first, on the external level my life continued as if nothing much had happened, although there was one change. Things came into my life without any effort, sometimes on a very small scale, or on a larger scale. But I still continued with my old life, believing that the academic world was still my path. I got accepted for graduate work at Cambridge and, again, that came effortlessly, and for a while I enjoyed it. Then gradually I noticed a heaviness because everybody was in their minds and their egos. So, it took a few years before I readily realized, “This is not where I am meant to be.” I almost touched on unhappiness again at that point. I had to bring myself back to the present moment. It was like the mind tugging on my sleeve and saying, “Come this way towards unhappiness.” And I had to say, “No, I’m not going there.”


So... in The Power of Now when he says:

"A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy."

That didn't actually happen then? He just stayed at university, graduated, and then integrated that into his life story to make him seem more enlightened?

I don't want to believe he did that, but I've read several spiritual teachers tell fantastic "law of attraction" style tales, and I'm always slightly suspicious.

Either way it wouldn't change the truth in his words, I'm just curious if was being completely honest with his readers, and whether such a spontaneous awakening really is possible.
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby Mariposa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:06 am

I know he usually doesn't talk about his past much, but I still believe he sat in park benches. I also didn't know he stayed in Cambridge, had never heard of it before. Sometimes curiosity strikes and I wonder whether he ever had a wife or not, whether he ever lived with anyone, but he doesn't talk about himself because it doesn't matter when it comes to sharing his teaching. So it's an opportunity for us to catch the ego thinking...
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Re: Something I Never Knew About Tolle

Postby treasuretheday » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:09 pm

"Then gradually I noticed a heaviness because everybody was in their minds and their egos. So, it took a few years before I readily realized, “This is not where I am meant to be.”

Interesting that Tolle felt the need to move on. Where, but the most rarified environment, could one find a place of employment that is not heavy with people living through their minds & egos? Doesn't Tolle strongly suggest that being present in the midst of whatever "is," egos & minds included, is the very heart of the spiritual practice that will facilitate *transcending* ego?

I guess this is congruent with Tolle's teaching about acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm being the needed states for *doing.* If one or more of these is not available as we conduct a task, we should not undertake it, he teaches in New Earth. Maybe this is the tricky part for many of us, as it can be very easy to simply "cop out" of something merely because we deem it "unenjoyable." But who finds the task unenjoyable? Our essence, or our ego? This is the key part of the discernment process, of cultivating awareness.

Our ego will never be satisfied with any scenario, & is quite adept at finding what's wrong with everything. So we need to tread carefully, as we step off of a path or away from a task based on the "acceptance, enjoyment, enthusiasm" litmus test.
Life itself is the proper binge.
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