Intellectual understanding...but not experiencing The Now

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
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din
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Post by din » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:03 am

kiki wrote:
Step out of your dream of being a deluded person
And if you think you're enlightened, step out of that dream too.
By the way keith, you're the second person to say this today.


Here's what Jeff Foster wrote in reply to Toombaru.
> Adya is a talking head....as are all so called sages.
>
Some talking heads are better then others at blathering on about the
> Emptiness.....and some listening heads are better the others at
> picking up the meaning of what is said.
>
> toombaru
>

for any one, there will be ones that appear better than others...and so
those will be the ones that one listens to, but this will never imply
that emptiness has any meaning that can be understood or talked about...


once one got the meaning of what was said, then that same one may be
said or understood to be living an illusion, dreaming an understanding
of emptiness, this new dream is the sleepwalker waking from the dream of
seeking into the dream of understanding and believing in
meanings.
..these ones are all in the same room of emptiness along with
the talking heads, and all the other heads still attached to...

"stop making sense"- what did david byrne mean by that?
:)

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Post by yougarksooo » Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:59 am

And if you think you're enlightened, step out of that dream too.
That made me smile. Thanks Kiki. And love the Adyashanti quotes, Din. Such peace in reading this entire post. aaahhhhh Thanks guys.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by completeinthenow » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:01 am

It's humbling to realize that I still spend most my time in that room thats in the dark.

I witnessed my mind attempting to think itself into perfection earlier today. When I realized it was almost impossible to stop the flow of intellectual vomit from making it's effort to mimic spiritual awakening I decided to accept my current state AS IS.

An amazing thing happened when I let my ego be what it is without an attempt to control it's compulsive behavior... a subtle peace replaced my agitated worry over my mind's restless activity.

Allowing the Now to be what it is, even when it's full of my ego's manic desire to mimic enlightenment, leaves the door open for Spirit to Flow through as my resistence to the Now is no longer blocking all passage ways into the Home of Being deep within my heart.

Thank you everyone for the clarity provided in this thread.


Peace Is With Us


Resheph
"Only what is loving is true." A Course in Miracles

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Re: Intellectual understanding...but not experie

Post by JD » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:16 pm

julia_whirly wrote: Theres also some queries i have with the book I was wondering if anyone had any comments -
Eckhart tends to assert that mere observation and awareness of unhelpful patterns of thinking are enough to transmute the thought patterns. Well, if a person practices this - observing and realising the pattern, and wishes to stop engaging in the behaviour/thoughts, I am convinced this is often not enough. What I mean is that sometimes a behaviour/thought pattern is so ingrained, that even with conscious awareness and observation, an individual may still find him/herself unable to disidentify with that pattern.
It may help to understand what a "thought pattern" actually is.

A "thought pattern" is a complex of thoughts that tend to group together because they vibrate on the same energetic frequency.

These thoughts are, to all intents and purposes, living entities rather than inert objects.

Thoughts have certain things in common with all living entities.

They possess intelligence and they have an agenda, which is to acquire as much energy as possible in order to gain power and prolong their existence for as long as possible.

The only place they can get that energy is from your mind.

You give them energy every time a thought or situation triggers the repetitive "thought pattern" and it successfully pulls you into the stream of thought that corresponds to its nature.

That means if the thought-pattern is to do with financial insecurity, say, you start worrying about money and fantasizing about bankruptcy, eviction, etc.

Thinking on this frequency of fear will enable the "thought pattern" to feed off the energy and gain power.

When it has enough energy, it will disappear back into your subconscious mind until it begins to get a little low on energy (or until you trigger it again), at which point it will re-emerge, ready for another feed.

The more you feed it, the stronger and more difficult to resist the thought-form will become.

If, on the other hand, you manage to maintain enough consciousness to be aware when it surfaces and simply observe it instead of getting sucked into a negative thought-stream that will feed it, then you win that round and it gets no energy from your mind.

But it won't like that at all.

That's not what it's used to. :D

Normally, the slightest trigger is enough to get you fantasizing wildly and providing it with a sumptuous energy-banquet.

The next time it surfaces, it will do so with considerably more force and urgency. You'll have to be very sharp indeed to catch it this time and not get dragged into negative imaginings. :D

But, so far as the thought-form is concerned, this is a strategy of desperation.

It's already low on energy so an all-out, full-strength attack is very risky if you still refuse to bite.

So this apparent increase in power is really nothing of the sort, in fact, it's a sure sign that you're doing exactly the right thing.

I've dissolved many of these complexes and they all behaved in exactly the manner I've described.

So don't think you're not making progress just because that attacks initially seem to get worse.

If you can keep a cool head and still not get sucked into negative thinking, rather than simply observing the thought-complex without judgment or mental comment, I can promise that you will eventually succeed in de-energising it.

There can be no other outcome, as the thought-complex can only obtain energy from one place - your mind when it's thinking on the same negative frequency as the thought-form.

Starved of energy it will eventually wither up and cease to be a problem.

This is inevitable.

What may seem a vague, intuitive process (de-energising a problematic thought-complex), is actually quite logical, precise and empirical.

Follow a certain procedure (disinterested observation without judgment) and the same result will always follow eventually (the thought-form becomes disenergised).

Hope that helps. :)

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Post by eseward » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:35 am

completeinthenow and JD, both excellent posts IMO. Absolutely matches my experience.

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Post by yougarksooo » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:43 am

JD, wonderful description of becoming conscious.

I will also add that I just stare directly at those thought patterns. They absolutely cannot exist when you stare at them. It is as if they cannot tolerate the awareness. The grow and feed on the dark. JD said this in his own unique way.

Feelings are the same way. Loneliness, for example, can only survive if I'm not paying direct attention to it. And when paying attention to it, I don't mean by thinking about it. I mean staring right at it, without any label, description, struggle, story etc. Nothing but pure, direct looking. Move into it. Be very curious the moment anything arises. If a feeling or thought arises, just move into it. Say, what is this? Let your awareness be the thing that is asking, not your mind.

Some of the more extreme thought patterns which entrenched in our consciousness are really just stories. We've believed them so long that we take them to be who we are and totally controlled by them.

But simple suggestions (in my experience) practiced diligently each moment (e.g inner body awareness, staring directly at thoughts and emotions, becoming aware of every time you are not present) irreversibly lead to waking up from every egoic story or thought pattern.

Those patterns that seem to control you at one time just lose their significance. It's not that they necessarily go away (they may), it is that you don't care anymore. The egoic me's agenda to get rid of this or that is not there. There is just awareness, which has its own movement, totally separate from the ego's need to "get rid" of this or that thought pattern. It's like waking up and realizing everyone is in a dream and you realize the dream is not real.

Then the old thought patterns may come again but you see them as part of the dream, see right through them. This stuff is hard to explain. It is also dangerous, IMO, to start making any of this a goal. So the only thing to really understand is that, in each moment, the point is to watch emotions and thoughts, keep inner body awareness, notice each time you are not present. The rest unfolds naturally, including no longer seeing thought patterns as "very serious" things to be rid of. But, IMO, there must be daily, and moment to moment practicing of the tools Tolle's presents in his books. Otherwise, this whole thing is nothing more than intellectual food for thought. Ugh!! Hasn't the world had enough of that.....
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by yougarksooo » Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:04 am

Eckhart tends to assert that mere observation and awareness of unhelpful patterns of thinking are enough to transmute the thought patterns. Well, if a person practices this - observing and realising the pattern, and wishes to stop engaging in the behaviour/thoughts, I am convinced this is often not enough. What I mean is that sometimes a behaviour/thought pattern is so ingrained, that even with conscious awareness and observation, an individual may still find him/herself unable to disidentify with that pattern.
I try not to be "convinced" of anything that I don't know for absolute certain. The only thing I know 100% is that I am. Anytime the mind becomes convinced of anything beyond that, I've just bought into a belief. I have tons of beliefs or have had tons of them which I had to see through in order to get to what is absolutely true.

If you believe that observation is "not enough" then it won't be enough for you. "Convinced" and "not enough" are stories. The mind gets its claws into those stories. The stories are repeating themselves in your head. They become truth, to your mind. You share them on here. The stories become more and more solid in these ways.

Can you say with 100% certainly that observation is not enough? Who is saying that? Is it your mind? Is it a story? A belief? Absolutely true? These are questions I ask myself in each moment.

If you can't say, with total certainty, that observation is not enough for certain ingrained patterns, then are you merely holding a belief? Telling a story, a very convincing one albeit..... Drop all of that and then observe directly on a moment by moment basis the thought patterns underneath that you say are so ingrained. It might be that your stories related to how observation are not enough are like a layer protecting you from directly observing the ingrained patterns you mention. Who would you be if the most extremely ingrained patterns were dissolved? Is there fear in you when you think about that? There is for me, until I see its all a story.

If you can accept that you have formed a belief that observation is not enough, you might be getting close to looking through that belief to the ingrained patterns themselves. But if you hold on to that belief, it may continue to be a block for you. Isn't that the very nature of suffering? Identifying with beliefs such as this? This is what identity is all about. This is what "waking up" is all about, isn't it? Moving directly into even the most entrenched patterns of who we think we are.

Forget Tolle for now and just ask yourself the above questions.

Hope you don't mind my contribution. Just trying to help.

Peace to all.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Re: Intellectual understanding...but not experie

Post by Nebula » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:45 am

JD wrote: If, on the other hand, you manage to maintain enough consciousness to be aware when it surfaces and simply observe it instead of getting sucked into a negative thought-stream that will feed it, then you win that round and it gets no energy from your mind.

But it won't like that at all.

That's not what it's used to. :D

Normally, the slightest trigger is enough to get you fantasizing wildly and providing it with a sumptuous energy-banquet.

The next time it surfaces, it will do so with considerably more force and urgency. You'll have to be very sharp indeed to catch it this time and not get dragged into negative imaginings. :D

But, so far as the thought-form is concerned, this is a strategy of desperation.

It's already low on energy so an all-out, full-strength attack is very risky if you still refuse to bite.

So this apparent increase in power is really nothing of the sort, in fact, it's a sure sign that you're doing exactly the right thing.

I've dissolved many of these complexes and they all behaved in exactly the manner I've described.

So don't think you're not making progress just because that attacks initially seem to get worse.

If you can keep a cool head and still not get sucked into negative thinking, rather than simply observing the thought-complex without judgment or mental comment, I can promise that you will eventually succeed in de-energising it.

There can be no other outcome, as the thought-complex can only obtain energy from one place - your mind when it's thinking on the same negative frequency as the thought-form.

Starved of energy it will eventually wither up and cease to be a problem.

This is inevitable.

What may seem a vague, intuitive process (de-energising a problematic thought-complex), is actually quite logical, precise and empirical.

Follow a certain procedure (disinterested observation without judgment) and the same result will always follow eventually (the thought-form becomes disenergised).

Hope that helps. :)
Thanks, I found this 'potentially' helpful, as I can again see the logic in this, but have difficulty seeing how i can 'observe' thoughts that give me immense amounts of fear, as soon as i 'observe' them, i get sucked into them, and become them/identify with them, which energizes the emotion....and so on.
Any ideas on how not to get sucked into the thoughts whilst observing them?
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Post by Nebula » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:52 am

yougarksooo wrote: I just stare directly at those thought patterns. They absolutely cannot exist when you stare at them. It is as if they cannot tolerate the awareness. The grow and feed on the dark. JD said this in his own unique way.

Feelings are the same way. Loneliness, for example, can only survive if I'm not paying direct attention to it. And when paying attention to it, I don't mean by thinking about it. I mean staring right at it, without any label, description, struggle, story etc. Nothing but pure, direct looking. Move into it. Be very curious the moment anything arises. If a feeling or thought arises, just move into it. Say, what is this? Let your awareness be the thing that is asking, not your mind.

Some of the more extreme thought patterns which entrenched in our consciousness are really just stories. We've believed them so long that we take them to be who we are and totally controlled by them.

But simple suggestions (in my experience) practiced diligently each moment (e.g inner body awareness, staring directly at thoughts and emotions, becoming aware of every time you are not present) irreversibly lead to waking up from every egoic story or thought pattern.

Those patterns that seem to control you at one time just lose their significance. It's not that they necessarily go away (they may), it is that you don't care anymore. The egoic me's agenda to get rid of this or that is not there. There is just awareness, which has its own movement, totally separate from the ego's need to "get rid" of this or that thought pattern. It's like waking up and realizing everyone is in a dream and you realize the dream is not real.

Then the old thought patterns may come again but you see them as part of the dream, see right through them. This stuff is hard to explain. It is also dangerous, IMO, to start making any of this a goal. So the only thing to really understand is that, in each moment, the point is to watch emotions and thoughts, keep inner body awareness, notice each time you are not present. The rest unfolds naturally, including no longer seeing thought patterns as "very serious" things to be rid of. But, IMO, there must be daily, and moment to moment practicing of the tools Tolle's presents in his books. Otherwise, this whole thing is nothing more than intellectual food for thought. Ugh!! Hasn't the world had enough of that.....
Thanks for this also.
Again, how do you stare at the thoughts?
And more specifically, how do you stare at a feeling when it is very consuming and unbearable?
I realise that by trying perpetually to avoid doing both is merely maintaining the thoughts and emotions, but just can't seem to manage it, or am not sure exactly how to observe horrible feelings/repetitive thoughts without becoming them.

Also, when you describe staring at e.g. loneliness, you say
Be very curious the moment anything arises. If a feeling or thought arises, just move into it. Say, what is this? Let your awareness be the thing that is asking, not your mind.
, how do you do this without thought?
P.s. i'm going on a vipassana meditation 10-day course, and hope this will also help.
Last edited by Nebula on Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Post by Nebula » Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:01 am

yougarksooo wrote: I try not to be "convinced" of anything that I don't know for absolute certain. The only thing I know 100% is that I am. Anytime the mind becomes convinced of anything beyond that, I've just bought into a belief. I have tons of beliefs or have had tons of them which I had to see through in order to get to what is absolutely true.

If you believe that observation is "not enough" then it won't be enough for you. "Convinced" and "not enough" are stories. The mind gets its claws into those stories. The stories are repeating themselves in your head. They become truth, to your mind. You share them on here. The stories become more and more solid in these ways.

Can you say with 100% certainly that observation is not enough? Who is saying that? Is it your mind? Is it a story? A belief? Absolutely true? These are questions I ask myself in each moment.

If you can't say, with total certainty, that observation is not enough for certain ingrained patterns, then are you merely holding a belief? Telling a story, a very convincing one albeit..... Drop all of that and then observe directly on a moment by moment basis the thought patterns underneath that you say are so ingrained. It might be that your stories related to how observation are not enough are like a layer protecting you from directly observing the ingrained patterns you mention. Who would you be if the most extremely ingrained patterns were dissolved? Is there fear in you when you think about that? There is for me, until I see its all a story.

If you can accept that you have formed a belief that observation is not enough, you might be getting close to looking through that belief to the ingrained patterns themselves. But if you hold on to that belief, it may continue to be a block for you. Isn't that the very nature of suffering? Identifying with beliefs such as this? This is what identity is all about. This is what "waking up" is all about, isn't it? Moving directly into even the most entrenched patterns of who we think we are.

Forget Tolle for now and just ask yourself the above questions.

Hope you don't mind my contribution. Just trying to help.

Peace to all.
Thanks,
I am open to the idea that observation can transmute thought patterns, it's just that i haven't experienced it. I think this is due to my 'method' of observation, which is basically a dressed up version of avoidance. I just don't know how to observe without identifying.
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Post by aanwezigheid » Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:15 pm

julia_whirly wrote:I just don't know how to observe without identifying.
Who is this 'I' which says that it doesn't know how to observe without identifying? If there is one thing that I really have learned during the last three months that I practiced awareness, is that we just CAN NOT understand awareness. It is indeed really strange that the whole technique seems to fail when we try to explain it. I have experienced this when I tried to explain the technique to people in my close environment. The whole thing loses 'some of its magic'... I just don't find another way to describe it. Words can never describe the experience. It is like talking about candy while you never have experienced or tasted candy.

Words can only point to the truth and I thank JD and Yougarksooo who came very close to describe the whole thing... Absolutely 2 posts who are very helpfull to a lot of people you guys :D .

Look, these 3 last days were for me for example not so fun (but then again, who is this 'me'?). The thing was that I heard constantly voices in my head that tried to add comment with the whole process of practicing presence. But then I began also to observe these voices and also my impatience that I had because of the fact that I heared these voices. It was quite insane, because I felt a little bit lonely on the planet and very small. To say it straight to the point: they are not here anymore... It is possible that they come back, but now I feel at peace. Just keep you inner body awareness steady as much as you can. It is then much easier to notice when these voices return :).

A last thing that I want to say Julia Whirley: you are already very different then people who are living their life the way that the voices in their head want them to live it. They are are not conscious of it, they are completely the voice, they really live it. Take for example someone who always complains and who thinks that the world hates him/her and that he/she is always a victim. When we hear such a voice, we notice it and by noticing and watching it, we take it less seriously. Now, just do the same with your voice which says that it doesn't understand how to practice awareness. Surely you must have experienced awareness at least one time... It is just your mind which tries to find an answer.

The moment you notice that you are not present, you become present. Observe how the voice tries to make you unhappy... And also observe when the voice sneaks in which tries to add mental comment like 'Am I practicing on the right way?', 'Shouldn't I do this on a different way?', 'Look, that is the feeling irritation', 'Look that is the feeling lonelyness',... These are also things that you have to become aware of.

It is a process, something we propably have to do our whole life, but that doesn't matter: only the Now counts, there is only Now... It is a way of living that takes much less suffering... Where we will end shouldn't matter at all actually. Just relax, some voices are also not always immediately gone when you notice them. It is possible that they return, but hey, you are aware of them... That is what matters.

Good luck with it :wink:

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Post by eseward » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:04 pm

julia_whirly, this is a slight variation on a method which Vernon Howard describes. It has worked like magic for me even when the mind is sure it won't work and also when the mind doesn't want to participate or cooperate. Might be worth a try. :)

Consciously choose to disidentify with the thoughts and feelings as a part of observing them. How? Consciously give voice to the thoughts and feelings but consciously assign their source to the egoic mind/false self (rather than to yourself) as part of the procedure, by saying "it says...".

Scan your inner field of awareness. If you notice any uncomfortable feelings, silently say to yourself "it says...", then fill in the blank with what you observe/sense. The "it" in this case is the egoic mind/conditioned mind/false self. What it says is whatever you sense from the act of observing.

Eg. If you notice some anger there, start with "it says...". Maybe "it says" that it wants to smack that MF that just cut you off in traffic. So, "it says... 'I want to smack that MF'".

What this does is several critical things at once: it allows the thought/feeling to be there in consciousness with clarity rather than operating in the dark (very important), it allows the egoic mind/false self to have its say in the matter, and it also weakens your attachment to this thought/feeling as being a part of your real self.

You basically repeat this procedure every time your scan of the inner field of awareness shows any discomfort at all. Some strong identifications definitely require repeated applications, but eventually you notice a "space around the discomfort", as Eckhart describes, then a deepening sense of peace where the discomfort used to be.

And, of course, as you go long you will eventually notice more and more times when the inner scan reveals no discomfort at all, and when starting with "it says..." yields nothing to fill in the blanks with.

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Post by aanwezigheid » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:37 pm

Hey eseward,

Doesn't this 'It says..." include the mind? I have the feeling that this way the mind will create someone who observes the ego/the mind and this way you will be stuck in the ego again. Consciousness is nothing, it is nobody. Words tend to involve the mind. That is the thing that I remember of the teachings of presence.

Correct me if I'm wrong, I just try to follow your reasoning.

Greetz,
aanwezigheid.

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Post by eseward » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:24 pm

aanwezigheid wrote:I have the feeling that this way the mind will create someone who observes the ego/the mind and this way you will be stuck in the ego again.
Well, what happened when you tried it? What was your experience? :)

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Post by aanwezigheid » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:30 pm

eseward wrote:Well, what happened when you tried it? What was your experience? :)
Good question :D . I have to admit that I could focus more on the thought that appeared yes :). It was somehow clearer. Though I'm still a little bit afraid of the fact that my mind will sneak in again if I will do this continuously... Ok, Vernon Howard gave the tip, and I know that he is quite a reference.

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