Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby James » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:35 am

An interview with Eckhart Tolle was featured on ABC this past Sunday, 2/15/09. I missed it, but there is a short video clip available and also what appears to be a complete written transcript at this link: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/CelebrityCafe/ ... 584&page=1

What Is Ego?
Recently there was some discussion on this forum of Tolle's use of the word ego and what he meant by it. I copied an excerpt below that I liked in which ET discusses mind and ego, he says: "To me the ego is the habitual and compulsive thought processes that go through everybody's mind continuously. External things like possessions or memories or failures or successes or achievements. Your personal history. All these things, a bundle of thoughts, of repetitive thoughts that give you a sense of who you are." So in other words he is saying that is more of pattern of thinking, a movement of energy, rather than an actual entity. More of a verb than a noun.

A Few Personal Remarks
Also the interview touches on the fact that some Christians don't find his teaching to be compatible with the bible. There are also other Non Dual teachings, whose followers may focus on what they believe to be incongruent ideas with their own approach. With increasing public exposure such as these interviews, we may find more voices of opposition at our doorstep, coming to this forum to express their opinions. I am reminded of one of my favorite lines from A Course In Miracles: "In my defenselessness, my safety lies." It is a good quotation to ponder. To me "defenselessness" does not mean that we become a doormat, or that we can't express our opinion. But defensive-ness has a different energy and feel to it. It is an internal movement of resistance, and our own opposition to the other person's opinions. In short it is being outside the flow of life, and trapped in mind stream.

Most of us here know when we have crossed that line into defensiveness. We may not recognize it immediately, as our thinking becomes clouded in the moment. But later it becomes more apparent as we begin to simmer down. Going forward, if we want to keep this forum a comfortable "haven", a place of support and solace from the world's madness; it would go along way if we can recognize when we are heading into a defensive posture. As Kiki mentioned yesterday, pause and take a deep breath; inquire into your thinking process and what is causing a reaction. Get in touch with the body and how it feels, the body is a beautiful instrument for reflecting the mental state. It will often give us a clear message in the form of pain, tension or dis-ease when we are in a reactive mode. And as Eckhart suggests, unless we are operating from a state of peace, acceptance, joy or love; then our mind is probably in the driver seat. So perhaps we can remember that before we hit the "Submit" button, and fire off a post that will begin a chain reaction on this forum.

There is a quote that comes to mind from the late comedian Nipsey Russell:

"It does not matter what boat you came over on, we are all in the same boat now."

So why rock the boat, when we can enjoy the ride together? :D

james


Tolle, who was born in Germany is a rather unassuming "spiritual teacher" and doesn't like the term "guru." Tolle doesn't do "self-help" in the traditional sense. He isn't teaching people how to lose weight, get a job or have a better sex life.

Instead, he's teaching people how to shut off the noise in their heads and be happy. His message is that our egos are destroying our lives, and by ego he doesn't just mean thinking we are special, he means our thinking, period. That voice in our heads, our ego, Tolle believes, has a relentless need to be right, which leads us to make enemies. Tolle granted ABC's Dan Harris a rare interview.

Eckhart Tolle: To me the ego is the habitual and compulsive thought processes that go through everybody's mind continuously. External things like possessions or memories or failures or successes or achievements. Your personal history. All these things, a bundle of thoughts, of repetitive thoughts that give you a sense of who you are.

Dan Harris: So our ego, this constant stream of thinking, the voice in our head is making us miserable?

Eckhart Tolle: Yes, that's right. And it prevents you from being truly alive. So I'm not saying we musn't think anymore. That would not be possible and it would not be desirable. Thinking is a wonderful tool if it's applied. Thinking however can not become the master. Thinking is a very bad master. If you're dominated by thinking then your life becomes very restricted. If you're able to use your mind instead of being used by your mind, that's a beautiful thing. To use your mind constructively.

Psychologists found that 98 or 99 percent of our thinking is repetitive. And also a lot of our thinking is very negative. People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgements, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on. Many people live habitually as if the present moment were either an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment, and imagine living your whole life like that, where always this moment is never quite right, not good enough because you need to get to the next one, that is continuous stress.
Last edited by James on Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby Onceler » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:42 am

I like the notion of ego as a verb.

Resistance a verb going the opposite direction? Surrender a verb going the same direction as the ego?
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby Amritam » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:44 am

"Also the interview touches on the fact that many Christians don't find his teaching to be compatible with the bible."

This surprises me because I have been astounded at how many Christians I know that have read Tolle's books and they all seem to like what he has to say. Reading his books seems to help them expand and stretch their thinking.

I was shocked to find out that there is a Power of Now class in a Christian church in my town.
To have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.~ Tilopa
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby doug » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:54 am

"Most of us here know when we have crossed that line into defensiveness. We may not recognize it immediately, as our thinking becomes clouded in the moment. But later it becomes more apparent as we begin to simmer down. Going forward, if we want to keep this forum a comfortable "haven", a place of support and solace from the world's madness; it would go along way if we can recognize when we are heading into a defensive posture. As Kiki mentioned yesterday, pause and take a deep breath; inquire into your thinking process and what is causing a reaction. Get in touch with the body and how it feels, the body is a beautiful instrument for reflecting the mental state. It will often give us a clear message in the form of pain, tension or dis-ease when we are in a reactive mode. And as Eckhart suggests, unless we are operating from a state of peace, acceptance, joy or love; then our mind is probably in the driver seat. So perhaps we can remember that before we hit the "Submit" button, and fire off a post that will begin a chain reaction on this forum."

Thanks James...I appreciate the information in your post.

As we carry the theme of "haven" further from where it was first stated in the "take a breath' thread should we be vary careful of setting forth a group speak standard?

With some of the stuff posted lately particularly in the "Eckhardt Bashing" and "Take a Breath" threads I just see so much judgement that I am surprised. There seems to be a whole lot of resistance and much less "let it be".

I may be confused and if so it would not be the first time? Please straighten me out.
Last edited by doug on Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby randomguy » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:38 am

Thanks for posting this, James, and I am at peace with ET's quoted definition of ego here.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby James » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:58 pm

Hi Doug you wrote:
Thanks James...I appreciate the information in your post.

As we carry the theme of "haven" further from where it was first stated in the "take a breath' thread should we be vary careful of setting forth a group speak standard?

With some of the stuff posted lately particularly in the "Eckhardt Bashing" and "Take a Breath" threads I just see so much judgement that I am surprised. There seems to be a whole lot of resistance and much less "let it be".

I may be confused and if so it would not be the first time? Please straighten me out.


I'm not sure I understand you correctly, especially the part about setting a group speak standard? perhaps you could expand on this a little. :?

Thanks
james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby doug » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:13 pm

Thank you James...

The point that I was making is well explained by the two members who posted their departure this morning.

To further clarify my question...Someone posted recently in another thread that this place had changed and they would hope that it would return to the "haven" that it once was. This statement was supported by others including mods. Another person posted that there was just too many subjects that seemed to draw conflict and disagreement...ego vs. no ego, etc.

When we tell people what they can discuss and how, we will send the message that results in members leaving. As I pointed out in another thread (take a deep breath" or something like that), the past couple of days I have written a few posts and then, after reading them over, deleted them. In self discovery as to the reason why I would do this the answer was due to what I perceived to be a standard that had existed in this forum that had somehow recently been broken. Was I part of the reason? Not sure but it has resulted in a bit of paranoia about it.

As this relates to your post...I just got the impression that it was sounding a well intended alert about new members that may be coming and how we needed to respond in a certain way a.k.a. "group speak".

I have to admit that I faced off a tidy bit with two members here since I have been here. Each time was in defense of someones right to post without being called a name, implied that they were stupid (as occum did), and I've done this because I've seen this happen in forums before. Strong willed members pushing people around with personal attacks to the point where people won't voice there opinion only when it agrees with the "group think" mindset.

Sorry for being so long winded on this...these thoughts are just that and rather insignificant in the larger scope of things but, as this is a place I have enjoyed and have learned from and hopefully contributed to), I wanted to protect it. Of course, that resistence that has caused me to voice this opinion now shifts to complete acceptance of what is is. :)
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby HermitLoon » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:28 pm

I, also, at one point, said I was "leaving'" because people were not responding to "me" (and "others") in the way i thought they should - according to expectations.
Then I realized that absolutely nothing that anyone "else" says or does has anything whatsoever to do with "me".
It has only to do with them - their awareness/consciousness/experiences/conditioning/habits.
i also came to realize that every response, every sharing is valid - and that every experience of the Human Experience is "sacred" (within the Reality and Truth and Oneness of Pure Awareness and the "Great Design").

So i "came back" :D

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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby randomguy » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:51 pm

Can you feel it? The dark silent nothing is already unchangingly letting the new noise die within it's eternal space.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby James » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:57 am

randomguy is showing his poetic side. I like it!

Doug, I really appreciate your sincerity and integrity, and the fact that you stuck it out. No worries about what happened. HL's response is great, and fits well, he wrote:
Then I realized that absolutely nothing that anyone "else" says or does has anything whatsoever to do with "me".
It has only to do with them - their awareness/consciousness/experiences/conditioning/habits.
i also came to realize that every response, every sharing is valid - and that every experience of the Human Experience is "sacred"


Yes it is all sacred!

I'm glad you came back HL! :D
Thanks

I'll be away for a few days
Enjoy the weekend all.

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby HowToKnowGod » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:08 am

I find it curious that many times when introducing Tolle, the fact that he was born in Germany is mentioned. Is this supposed to be important? Even this article (thanks for the link btw) calls him "German".
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby tod » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:31 am

HermitLoon wrote:Then I realized that absolutely nothing that anyone "else" says or does has anything whatsoever to do with "me".
It has only to do with them - their awareness/consciousness/experiences/conditioning/habits.

This further illustrates that beyond stating 'your position', disagreement and defensiveness is pointless. Where one is positioned is merely an informing of consciousness. Consciousness having no real need to be in-formed, let alone disagree.

Disagreement is the taking of in-formation - the making something of it - which makes it disagreeable. This, in medical terms, is known as 'having a condition' (or being conditioned). The prescription is usually complete rest.

Resting where I am,
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Re: Turning Off Your Head and Getting Happy-Tolle Interview

Postby HermitLoon » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:39 am

Thanks James :)
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