My verdict on this whole thing

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.

My verdict on this whole thing

Postby painBody » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:22 am

When my exposure to Eckhart's teachings began, a couple of years ago, I was, of course, ecstatic to realize that I wasn't the colossal fuckup I thought I was. Seduced by that profound initial realization, my journey proceeded with an emphasis on reading and listening, without much practical application. Over time, I realized that, like with everything else that everyone else says, the teachings had to be ingested with some salt and pepper, and that not every bit of it was edible.

Living with about the most unconscious/unenlightened person I can conceive of, proved to me that not everything Eckhart says is (even remotely) applicable. Some of it is, a lot of it is not. Recently, I had another excellent opportunity to put everything I had learned from Eckhart, to the ultimate test. Again, some of it proved to be spot on, while some of it just didn't.

With Eckhart's teachings in the pot, this is what I take away from the stew:

- That there is no purpose, inner, outer, or whatever. You're given some time here; make the most of it. For some, it's a prison; for others, a vacation; for most, some place in between.

- That nothing, and no one, matters that much, and hence, nothing needs to be taken that seriously. If I'm laying on the grass at night, out in the wilderness, and it's freezing cold, and I get eaten by a bear, the world will continue turning when I don't wake up tomorrow. The bear, satiated, will move on to its next meal, the forest will consume the leftovers, two people will mourn a loss that every human has had to experience at some point, and all will be well.

- That form does matter, about the same amount, as the formless. The claim that the formless is absolutely important and form is relatively important ... is entirely arbitrary at best and total bullshit at worst. It is important to me how I present myself in public. It is important to me whether my sleeping bag can handle 30 degree weather. It matters to me whether or not I can relate to the author of an autobiography I am reading. Not absolutely, but it sure as shit makes a difference I care about. We all need to find a form/formless balance that works for us.

- That since form does matter, it follows that time does matter. I'd rather be 33 than 34 years old. Waiting nine hours for a train is boring.

- That thoughtless awareness is nice when it happens spontaneously, like when a hummingbird appears suddenly, but it is not particularly interesting and I would not want it to be my predominant state. I would much rather use my mind than be entirely thoughtless ... whether it is to fantasize about an alternative reality, or to solve problems I find interesting/stimulating, or to recall pleasant memories.

- That a state of presence will do nothing beneficial for you in the world of form. It is great for the soul, but don't expect it to win you money or respect.

- That all the spiritual books/audiotapes in the world that you've read/listened to don't mean jack shit unless you've been able to apply them. I'd much rather be a great programmer with a Bachelor's degree who's written a hundred apps than a novice with a PhD in artificial intelligence who's never built anything.

- That just because people are unconscious doesn't mean they're not also worthless pieces of $hit. Not everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

If I live a few more years, my vantage point might change, but this is where I'm at now.
Last edited by painBody on Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby dijmart » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:28 am

That there is no purpose, inner, outer, or whatever. You're given some time here; make the most of it.


After a very long contimplation, over the years, yes, ultimately, there is no purpose, imo.

The claim that the formless is absolutely important and form is relatively important ... is entirely arbitrary at best and total bullshit at worst.


True, but this form will die. The formless will not. That's the point.

Since form does matter, it follows that time does matter. I'd rather be 33 than 34 years old. Waiting nine hours for a train is boring.


True, very true! I'd rather be 27, then 47, age wise..ouch! However, I'm "much" happier at 47, then I was at 27!!

Waiting for trains, buses, airplanes, taxi's...suck! Hehe :mrgreen:

That thoughtless awareness is nice when it happens spontaneously


I can make this happen "at will"....yes it gets boring..lol...hence why I don't choose to stay there! Plus, I have to go to work, ect...haha

That just because people are unconscious doesn't mean they're not also worthless pieces of $hit. Not everyone deserves to be treated with respect.


Ok, story time, so when I started my job 5 1/2 yrs ago there was a case manager who was pretty mean to me. Made me cry a few times. Hung up on me all the time, yelled at me, but I kept being as nice as I could be. A few months ago she had a death in her family. When she came back from leave she acted a " bit" different. Over time she's been a tad nicer. Today, she came up behind me, put her arm around me and said "I'm just fixing your collar" and gave me a big smile. I was amazed! Then, called me later asking me for my advice...which is a miracle after the way she used to be! So, you never know!
Take what you like and leave the rest.
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby painBody » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:11 am

That is a great story, Dij :) Thanks for sharing.

Yes, of course, no person is always a piece of shit or always nice. They change. I just meant that not everyone deserves unconditional love/respect.
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby rachMiel » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:07 pm

You're an original pB. Full of surprises and joie de ... something. Great to hear from you, keep it up!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby Onceler » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:05 am

I kinda agree with everything you say here, PB. I'd like to hear the ET stuff that works.

I also don't think presence dissolves any negative thing. It can make things worse, at least it did for me.
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby dijmart » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:41 am

Onceler wrote:I also don't think presence dissolves any negative thing. It can make things worse, at least it did for me.


Really? Uh? This isn't my experience at all. My capacity for suffering is huge, potentially, without bringing "presence" into my daily life. Otherwise the mind is just on an endless hamster wheel.
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby painBody » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:49 am

rachMiel wrote:You're an original pB. Full of surprises and joie de ... something. Great to hear from you, keep it up!


:)
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby painBody » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:35 am

Onceler wrote:I'd like to hear the ET stuff that works.


Ah, that's funny :) I see now, upon rereading my post, that I made it sound like I disagree with everything ET says.

1 - Identity: The most important thing I agree with ET about is what he says about one's identity ... we get lost in our conceptual identities that are basically just roles we play and like to assume, i.e. thoughts in our heads (or other people's heads). We give them too much importance. They are, first of all, only transient. Moreover, in the context of human interaction, roles are entirely dependent on the other person also believing you fit that role. For instance, you may see yourself as an intelligent, interesting, and fun person to hang out with, while the other might just see you as someone who works for XYZ company and a way to get an easy referral. You may see yourself as warm, loving, and a trophy partner, while the other might see you as boring, insecure, and a placeholder till a "better deal" comes along. (Note - most examples I cite are non-fictional :wink: )

In other words, it doesn't fucking matter what anyone thinks of you. Trying to implant a certain impression of yourself in another's mind is quite the futile (and stupid) endeavor, it turned out ... much less was any of it necessary :) This is what I meant when I said above that "I realized that I'm not the colossal fuckup I thought I was." Over the years, I have really learned to appreciate myself more objectively, i.e. an honest evaluation of my strengths and weaknesses, as opposed to doubting myself over every criticism or rejection from others (usually from total idiots).

I can recall countless nights of crying my eyes out on a transit bus and begging God to slaughter me coz I was convinced I was absolutely worthless (actually, I was convinced that I was either an inferior extraterrestrial specimen or possessed by a demon). I am now so much more comfortable in my own skin. I know what I'm worth, what I'm capable of, and what I can offer. This, I have ET to thank for, at least partially.

2 - Things/events: I kinda alluded to this in my 2nd point above ("nothing and no one matters that much"), but another big agreement with ET is on the central message that we tend to give things/events in our lives way too much importance - "Are you voting for Trump ?" ... "Dude, Microsoft bought ..." ... "How many times do I need to tell you that those dishes ..." And, that we take those stupid things too fucking seriously, as if the whole universe revolves around that thing/situation ... total misalignment and loss of perspective.

I love the idea of, and I've written posts before about, what I call "zooming out" ... from your chaotic life situation, from your city/state/country, from all of Earth ... as you do so, see your problems get smaller and smaller and smaller, in the scheme of things ... till they become infinitesimal and disappear from view. And, what ET says seems to agree with this. I imagine any spiritual teachings agree with this. To rephrase, I think I agree with the idea that a thing/situation is rarely worth sacrificing one's sanity. It may be important, but always weigh it against your sanity.

If I learned anything from ET that transformed my life for the better, it was these two fundamental realizations: 1 - who I am, and 2 - what (or how important) the things/events around me are ... in the scheme of things.

The beauty of it is that I don't have to agree with everything ET (or anyone else) says, for his teachings to benefit me. In fact, I have picked up amazing little nuggets of wisdom from so many people I've come across - things I'll never forget. Even if you think someone is a loon, they might say one thing, often in passing, that resounds with truth (to you). This has been another important life lesson for me.

Onceler wrote:I also don't think presence dissolves any negative thing. It can make things worse, at least it did for me.


Yeah, I totally agree. I assume that, by "dissolve negative things", you're referring to when he says, "Negative emotions can be dissolved in the light of presence." If so, yeah, absolutely !

In my experience, nothing negative can ever be completely dissolved. It is physically impossible !!! What arrogance to think that it is possible ! You cannot erase memories/emotions, good or bad, unless you get a lobotomy. Emotions/memories being dissolved would mean that you're a machine and that information has been permanently wiped off your hard drive (and even in the case of a computer, information is never completely erased ;) )

No on-off switches here. It's a process. Negative stuff will always keep coming back into the foreground. It gets better over time, though. Time does heal wounds.

Contrary to popular psychology and ET, I have found that distraction and even denial are very effective coping strategies. I use the word "cope" because that is all anyone can do, even though we like to fool ourselves into thinking we can "cure" ourselves.

Fill in the blanks question: Complete the following sentence ...
Q: "Watch those emotions ... process them ... dissolve them in the light of presence." _________

Answer: "till they come back tomorrow night."

No, you didn't cure yourself. You just forgot about your rape/abuse/trauma for the time being. Wait a minute, you didn't forget !!! Because we're talking about it !!! :D

Good discussion, Onceler !
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby painBody » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:46 am

dijmart wrote:
Onceler wrote:I also don't think presence dissolves any negative thing. It can make things worse, at least it did for me.


Really? Uh? This isn't my experience at all. My capacity for suffering is huge, potentially, without bringing "presence" into my daily life. Otherwise the mind is just on an endless hamster wheel.


I agree with Onceler here.

Presence can help with negative emotions ... by being aware of them, you can then temporarily release them or ignore them ... but it can just as easily make things worse by amplifying them. And, presence doesn't dissolve shit (in my opinion).
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby Mystic » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:14 am

painBody wrote:The beauty of it is that I don't have to agree with everything ET (or anyone else) says, for his teachings to benefit me. In fact, I have picked up amazing little nuggets of wisdom from so many people I've come across - things I'll never forget. Even if you think someone is a loon, they might say one thing, often in passing, that resounds with truth (to you). This has been another important life lesson for me.


I also find this to be amazingly true. There is a universal intelligence at work.

painBody wrote:
Onceler wrote:I also don't think presence dissolves any negative thing. It can make things worse, at least it did for me.


Yeah, I totally agree. I assume that, by "dissolve negative things", you're referring to when he says, "Negative emotions can be dissolved in the light of presence." If so, yeah, absolutely !

In my experience, nothing negative can ever be completely dissolved. It is physically impossible !!! What arrogance to think that it is possible ! You cannot erase memories/emotions, good or bad, unless you get a lobotomy. Emotions/memories being dissolved would mean that you're a machine and that information has been permanently wiped off your hard drive (and even in the case of a computer, information is never completely erased ;) )


Being present can seem to amplify things but that is because we are becoming more aware of them. I have found that it takes much practice and mind training to begin to notice the weakening or the inconsequentialness of the ego-pain-body system. The ego and pain-bodies are like entities that require regular feedings of negative emotions like anger and fear. Pain-bodies can lie dormant for long periods of time. Maybe they go into in hibernation. It requires vigilance and the alertness of awareness.

Presence is fearless and is always there even when we do not know it is there. You can choose to identify with the fearlessness AKA the inner stillness, a deep inner peace - or you could say it is Love.

I call it the fearlessness but that word might mean something else to someone else. Just like the word dissolve could mean different things to different people.

Keep up the good work and the good talks painBody. :D
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby painBody » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:36 am

Mystic wrote:
painBody wrote:The beauty of it is that I don't have to agree with everything ET (or anyone else) says, for his teachings to benefit me. In fact, I have picked up amazing little nuggets of wisdom from so many people I've come across - things I'll never forget. Even if you think someone is a loon, they might say one thing, often in passing, that resounds with truth (to you). This has been another important life lesson for me.


I also find this to be amazingly true. There is a universal intelligence at work.

painBody wrote:
Onceler wrote:I also don't think presence dissolves any negative thing. It can make things worse, at least it did for me.


Yeah, I totally agree. I assume that, by "dissolve negative things", you're referring to when he says, "Negative emotions can be dissolved in the light of presence." If so, yeah, absolutely !

In my experience, nothing negative can ever be completely dissolved. It is physically impossible !!! What arrogance to think that it is possible ! You cannot erase memories/emotions, good or bad, unless you get a lobotomy. Emotions/memories being dissolved would mean that you're a machine and that information has been permanently wiped off your hard drive (and even in the case of a computer, information is never completely erased ;) )


Being present can seem to amplify things but that is because we are becoming more aware of them. I have found that it takes much practice and mind training to begin to notice the weakening or the inconsequentialness of the ego-pain-body system. The ego and pain-bodies are like entities that require regular feedings of negative emotions like anger and fear. Pain-bodies can lie dormant for long periods of time. Maybe they go into in hibernation. It requires vigilance and the alertness of awareness.

Presence is fearless and is always there even when we do not know it is there. You can choose to identify with the fearlessness AKA the inner stillness, a deep inner peace - or you could say it is Love.

I call it the fearlessness but that word might mean something else to someone else. Just like the word dissolve could mean different things to different people.

Keep up the good work and the good talks painBody. :D


Thanks, Mystic. Nice post yourself.

I'm not so sure I believe that the pain body can be consciously weakened. I think that only time (and distance) can weaken it. A hurt from 5 yrs ago is not as intense today as it was on the day of the occurrence. Similarly, creating (physical/geographical distance) between yourself and the hurt can help weaken its grasp. For instance, if I have horrible memories associated with a particular place/person, I find that it helps me to distance myself from that place/person by simply walking away. I did this with my own family that horribly mistreated me, and it helped greatly; in fact, it was the only thing that helped (cutting them completely out of my life).

That's my experience. No matter what I do, I cannot consciously dissolve it in the context of presence.

I'm also not sure I believe that whole "feeding the pain body" theory. Even if it's true, I'm not sure we can do anything to avoid it. Emotions will keep resurfacing. Yes, of course, when they do resurface, some reactions are better than others, but I doubt that we can actually control whether or not we "feed" or reinforce the pain body. I think it is way beyond our control ... much too complex to even comprehend.

Despite all our speculation, the human brain remains:
1 - The most complex organ, of any organism, in the universe
2 - The least understood organ, of any organism, in the universe

We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to understanding the brain. And so ... nice try, ET, but it's not that simple to "stop feeding" the pain body.
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby Mystic » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:30 am

painBody wrote:
I'm not so sure I believe that the pain body can be consciously weakened. I think that only time (and distance) can weaken it. A hurt from 5 yrs ago is not as intense today as it was on the day of the occurrence. Similarly, creating (physical/geographical distance) between yourself and the hurt can help weaken its grasp. For instance, if I have horrible memories associated with a particular place/person, I find that it helps me to distance myself from that place/person by simply walking away. I did this with my own family that horribly mistreated me, and it helped greatly; in fact, it was the only thing that helped (cutting them completely out of my life).

That's my experience. No matter what I do, I cannot consciously dissolve it in the context of presence.

I'm also not sure I believe that whole "feeding the pain body" theory. Even if it's true, I'm not sure we can do anything to avoid it. Emotions will keep resurfacing. Yes, of course, when they do resurface, some reactions are better than others, but I doubt that we can actually control whether or not we "feed" or reinforce the pain body. I think it is way beyond our control ... much too complex to even comprehend.

Despite all our speculation, the human brain remains:
1 - The most complex organ, of any organism, in the universe
2 - The least understood organ, of any organism, in the universe

We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to understanding the brain. And so ... nice try, ET, but it's not that simple to "stop feeding" the pain body.


Is the mind limited to just the brain? I would have to say that the mind is more than just a brain. Sensory perception is very limited for the investigation of the real world. There are things like synchronicity and out of body experience, precognition, etc. The little conscious self that identifies with a body and brain is just the tip of an iceberg of consciousness that goes very deep.

You are what you eat. Pain-bodies indeed seem to live a very long time especially when people dwell on them(and therefore feed on) the thoughts that trigger them over and over in their mind. It can can also have detrimental effects on physical health. So I will not run away from a pain-body. I will "be with it" as Eckhart Tolle teaches.

No repression, obsession, or running away from them. "Know thyself" and remove the mental blocks to the awareness of the inner stillness within.

Of course I do not always take my own advice. Often I will be day-dreaming or watching movies :lol:

The words like dissolve and feeding and pain-body are metaphors.

There are thousands of religions in the world due to the fact that different words affect people differently even though most all religions are referring to the same ultimate truth of life. So people desire to worship where they can understand and accept the words.
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby painBody » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:55 am

Mystic, I don't know that the mind > the brain.

Perhaps you have been able to access a deeper level of consciousness. Now, let's be clear - when I say "brain", I don't just mean "thought". Of course, I include thoughtless awareness in that. The brain enables all of it ... all perception.

I cannot comment on out-of-body experiences, etc.

So, given that I have not seen any convincing proof of mind > brain, I'm going to assume that mind = brain.
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby painBody » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:02 am

I do have one tiny comment to elaborate on my point about "time does matter". I mentioned age and waiting, but forgot to mention something far more important.

When I fall in love with a beautiful woman, I want to build lasting memories with her. I want to travel the world with her, embarrass myself in front of her, share a bottle of red on the beach at night, spoon by a campfire, celebrate anniversaries, tell her those three lovely words as many times as she can tolerate them, and ... just ... build memories with her.

If God did one thing right for men, it was ... that he ... umm ... created women ... and if they're going to be impermanent (which is always), can they be long-term impermanent rather than short-term impermanent ???

I've had one relationship of a length that would even be considered marginally long enough to qualify as a relationship - that was 8 months long. No one else gave me a chance ... (and I would have really liked one)

So, yes, time does matter to me. Now you know the real reason why. I blame the wine.

Another little secret while I'm being shameless ... ssshhhh, don't tell anyone about this, because if you know this, you know me ...

The only thing I ever really wanted out of this "life" was to spend it ... all of it ... with a woman (singular ... just one) ... back when I thought there was a "purpose", that was it ... and I failed. That's also why the word "solitude" (or the equally beautiful word "Einsamkeit" in German) is feminine to me.

Ssssshhhhhhhh ... ;)
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Re: My verdict on this whole thing

Postby rachMiel » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:23 am

(You're such a romantic! Shhhhhhhhh ...)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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