Can anyone help me, please?

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pabl692
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Can anyone help me, please?

Post by pabl692 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:19 am

Hi everyone,

I will try and keep this as succinct as possible. If someone could just take a moment to read the following and get back to me with some ideas or advice, I'd be very grateful.

I am fairly new to everything that Eckhart teaches. Basically, since I was 19 (I'm now 26), I've had my ups and downs with OCD and depression. Without going into too much detail, it has led me down some very dark paths. In my past, I have done very shameful things. These things haunt me. For years, I have spent day in day out ruminating about the things I have done, and how I simply have nothing left to live for. Regarding the things that I have done in the past, I can honestly say that I don't possess the same desires that I once did. I can't really explain why I did what I did. However, I can look myself in the eye and say that I am truly sorry for what I did and that, again, I have no desire to do what I did.

I did what I did to confirm to myself who I was and as a way of acceptance. Let me be clear, I never physically hurt anyone with what I did. But for a long time, I battled with a particularly theme of OCD, a fear that I was a certain type of person. I reached a breaking point, so I thought the logical move would be to accept it and even, to an extent, enjoy it in a relatively harmless way. However, as I underwent this process, I realised what I was doing and was truly sickened by my actions. Those desires died but I felt terrible that I ever went down that road. It is in the past. However, my OCD always tells me that I need to confess things to people. I feel like everyone needs to know the 'true' me, otherwise I can't bare it. Every single day I think to myself, if these people knew what I had done, they wouldn't ever speak to me again. I was one of the worst of the worst. In regards to relationships, this has always hindered me. I don't much of myself and to be honest, I never have. I've never thought I was special. I'm not particularly talented, I'm not particularly intelligent. I don't judge other people, because 99.9% of the world are better people than me, in my eyes considering everything that I have done. But every time I think I like someone, I have to force myself away because I know it wouldn't be fair to them to keep things from them. They have a right to know exactly who they are with and everything that I have done.

Anyone that knows me says that I am different. I don't try to be and I don't see this as a particular badge of honour. Because of my past, I made my mission to just live every day as honestly and decently as I can and to try and instill some sort of happiness in others if I can. I try and be kind and I never want to harm anyone.

It was my father who introduced me to Tolle. I have read his works (in a state of anxiety, so it's not all gone in) and watched a number of his videos. However, I do struggle with a few things that are frightening me, to be honest.

The thing is, there are a number of things in life that I love. And I feel that in getting rid of the ego, you have to live a very basic existence. I struggle with what I can actually enjoy. The things that for years have given me some sort of comfort (I appreciate that probably 99.9% of people in world would not wish me to have any sort of comfort considering my past), I feel that I can't enjoy if I am to get rid of my ego and live that life.

I know people will say this is the ego fighting back.

I just don't know how far it is to be taken. I enjoyed losing myself in playing video games, watching sports and reading history books. I study International Politics and MA level by distance in my spare time. But after reading Tolle, I think, what is the point? What does it matter? If this is me trying to 'better myself', or just my ego?

Does this make sense to anyone? I study because I wanted to be able to get into a position where I might be able to influence conflicts and halt suffering across the world. I love consuming books and learning about history. I love being able to learn from history and then try and bestow that knowledge on others. Not to try and sound smart, but just because they might find it interesting. But reading Tolle, I just think, what is the point in knowing things? Perhaps there is no point. But that scares me.

If I give up these things, what do I have to look forward to? Or what can motivate me to get out of bed?

A few weeks ago, I got moderate tinnitus from playing in a band. My band is just a bit of fun, nothing serious. It sent me into a meltdown. I was suicidal. I managed to get myself to hospital a few weeks ago because I was seriously on the brink of suicide. It has taken all my little comforts away from me. I can't watch TV for it, I can't read my books, I can't play my games because all I can focus on is this noise in my head. So again, I turned to things like the teachings of Mr Tolle, because I am completely and utterly lost.

I find living in the present helpful. Otherwise I would ruminate all day. I haven't slept well in years - I have incredibly vivid dreams and wake up frequently from around 2:30am. Like I said, I find being in the present helpful and I enjoy it. It does give me peace and breaks the cycle of rumination.

I just struggle with what I should be able to find comfort in, if I am to rid myself of my ego. With this tinnitus, I'm looking at finding a new purpose to try and make life livable. Does that make any sense? I have to adapt. But from reading Tolle, I just think that I can't have a 'traditional' purpose. Whats the point in reading my books and trying to acquire knowledge, perhaps to use to teach? Because what I get from Tolle is that is my ego, and that there is no point in acquiring knowledge, because essentially, that is just because I want to be 'smart' and 'know things'. Should I play my video games to try and distract myself?

Sure there is a girl I like. I admire her from afar. To my mind, I think she is special. She's a wonderful innocent soul. When I talk to her, she makes my day. But after reading Tolle, I sort of think that these feelings are a fallacy. Is this an ego thing? Should I even be allowed to feel like this? Or is she just another human being that I shouldn't be allowed to have feelings for?

To be honest, I'm not sure I want to live like that. I want to feel love and emotions. But then again, I want to find inner peace. I have a messed up past and now a debilitating condition (tinnitus). But I want to live. What do I do?

My apologies for the incredibly long post. But this all comes from someone who really is at rock bottom.

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by Sighclone » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:07 am

Welcome pabl692 -

Let me begin with a general comment - OCD is a clinical diagnosis which you have perhaps received from a counseling professional. I encourage you to continue to work with a psychologist on that issue. Yes, it is a "condition of the egoic self." But, in my opinion, and that of many others, it is necessary to achieve a certain level of understanding and 'peace' with personality and behavior styles we find in ourselves, before we can awaken for more than a couple of minutes. A glimpse of Presence is available to everyone, at any time. But Eckhart talks about a permanent shift, and both he and Adyashanti encourage people to continue with more conventional counseling if there is significant suffering, and suicidal thoughts. Moreover, a solid clear experience of Unity can result in something more widely known as "spiritual bypassing,"in which one avoids the messiness of real life and, as you note, sort of sits around and does nothing - this is possible if you do not commit to working on psychological issues (which will not vaporize after awakening.)

Before I go much further, please purchase and read "True Refuge" by Tara Brach and "Emobdied Enlightenment" by Amoda Maa. It is very useful to get other modern perspectives on awakening.

I have tinnitus. It occurred after a spinning class (stationary bicycle) in which the music was too loud, about five years ago. It is not very severe, but it is there. So is your big toe, and many other things about your body. They are not "who you really are." I think your obsession with the ringing will fade away over time, even if the perceived sound does not. There are communities that are built around big pulp mills that have a lingering odor from the paper processing. People forget about it, but it is always there. Just since you started reading this post, there have been at least ten noises near you that you did not hear. "Thought stopping" is a form of behavior modification. It's ok to think about something else. It is not Ok to "scare yourself," and it is certainly not necessary!! So stop it.

Amoda Maa's book talks at length about relationships and awakening - you will benefit from reading it. It is not necessary to give up things you love, including reading. Things and hobbies and nature, and books are wonderful and can remain so. If and when you shift, there may be a period of disorientation (there was for ET). But after a while, you will establish a very peaceful sense of your "egoic self" and how it seamlessly integrates with your real Self.

Do you have a regular meditation practice? Although not a formal requirement, most teachers encourage it. You need to fine tune your spiritual antennae to listen for the Ground of Being that is unchanging, that is always 'here.'

Self-care is important, pabl692. It is not necessary that you consider yourself to be flawless to practice more self-compassion. You are not responsible for the conditioning, both external and genetic, that led you to misbehave. You don't need to confess your mistakes to anyone except yourself. What's past is past - let it be. Sit down for a couple of minutes, close your eyes and decide to fully occupy "the present moment." Not one one-thousandth of a second ago, but right absolutely Now...there may be a simple quiet surprise waiting for you.

Be well.

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: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by pabl692 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:30 pm

Firstly, thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I really appreciate it.

My OCD only manifests itself in my thought patterns. Constant rumination and trying to get absolute clarity on memories, why I did what I did etc. Also making sure everything is 'just right'. So, for instance, when my OCD started, if I walked down the street with my girlfriend and I passed a girl that I thought was attractive, I immediately felt awful and had to confess it to my girlfriend, so as not to keep anything from her. For a few years I've managed it relatively well. I still ruminate a lot and I think this is holding me back and a key reason why I sleep terribly and I dream a lot. However, I've been relatively comfortable, finding solace in being alone and engaging in a few little hobbies that I allow myself to do.

Only, after reading Tolle and a few posts on forums such as this one - perhaps I'm getting the wrong end of the stick - I just feel like should I try and make this change, my hobbies and interests are rendered pointless. I read, because I find things interesting, I like to know things and then be able to talk about those things with others. I get lost in playing my guitar and playing video games, and I can find myself going considerable time without ruminating. I also love watching movies. They're sources of pleasure and comfort. But I get the impression that this is bad in some way. Like, it's not me that enjoys the films but my ego. How do I know this? As I say, I'm studying a Masters, but now I think what's the point?

I want to be successful. Not in the sense of 'look at me, look at how great I am'. But I want to have a decent life.

What scares me is, how do I pass the time? What can I lose myself in? Sure, the present. But is it a case of coming home and sitting staring at a wall? Honestly, I'm not being provocative or anything. It just seems to me that, that isn't living. I want to feel emotions. When I've had major depressive episodes, the thing that has always worried me is the feeling of numbness. I need to feel something. I love to laugh, cry, feel fear (not too often) and even contentment.

Being in the present helps me greatly in breaking the cycle of rumination. I'm not sure I have interpreted it correctly, but I see it as focusing everything on that present moment. If I'm making food, I'm observing everything that I'm doing, not thinking about what I did years ago. Is this right? I enjoy this. I find I can go hours like this. Is this enough?

What are we if we can have opinions? What's wrong with wanting to be successful but remaining humble? What's wrong with wanting to love someone and spend your life with someone? There's a girl I like now. She's from Eastern Europe, but living here in the UK. I think she's beautiful (is this bad?) and I love to be around her because she's different. She's very friendly and always makes me feel comfortable. Her family are all the same. Not motivated by material things (neither am I, but I like to have things to make my life easier or more comfortable, not to show off). They're all vegans (I'm vegetarian). They're just nice people. We get along great. But my past holds me back from trying to take it further because I believe she should have a right to know what I've done.

I guess I'm just really anxious at the prospect of letting go of everything that for so many years has given me a purpose. After that dark period in my life, I had to rebuild my life and form a new identity. I was happy with who I was. Never really anxious, only with regards to relationships.

The tinnitus has sent me into a spiral. Everything is so much more difficult when you have this relentless noise. People on here talk about silence. I don't have that.

Sorry for rambling on. I'm in a desperate place..

I'll seek out those texts you mentioned.

I've probably not made any sense, just really finding it difficult to concentrate at the moment.

Thank you again and I hope you're well.

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by Webwanderer » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:51 pm

pabl692 wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:30 pm
What scares me is, how do I pass the time? What can I lose myself in? Sure, the present. But is it a case of coming home and sitting staring at a wall? Honestly, I'm not being provocative or anything. It just seems to me that, that isn't living. I want to feel emotions. When I've had major depressive episodes, the thing that has always worried me is the feeling of numbness. I need to feel something. I love to laugh, cry, feel fear (not too often) and even contentment.

Being in the present helps me greatly in breaking the cycle of rumination. I'm not sure I have interpreted it correctly, but I see it as focusing everything on that present moment. If I'm making food, I'm observing everything that I'm doing, not thinking about what I did years ago. Is this right? I enjoy this. I find I can go hours like this. Is this enough?
I'll offer my take on this. Being present doesn't mean withdrawing and doing nothing but staring at the walls. It means to be present with whatever you're doing and not simply lost in unguided habitual thought patterns. Life is an exploration of experiences. One such experience, and a very valuable one, is to be present in a thought free zone. This is what meditation refers to. In this you get a clearer sense of who and what you are. It is key to go here often as a clear sense of what you are is the basis for all else. This is where alignment with your true nature is born.

But you can also be present, and delightfully so, in most anything you are doing. Wash the dishes in clear presence of what you are doing. Drive to work in clear presence. Walk the dog, grocery shop. It doesn't have to be exclusive moments. Any of these can be as good an exercise as any other. Adyashanti calls it 'True Meditation'. I highly recommend it.

The point is to practice presence in order to be present in life rather than lost in thought. Any activity you do is an opportunity to be present in. You can even be present in thought if it is conscious thought and not the type that is just mind stories your running over and over again. Be present in your thinking as you would when focused on any other activity. Be present in your joy. Be present in your pain. Be present in your curiosity. Be present in your explorations where ever they may lead.

Life is not stasis. Life is engagement in any activity, in what ever manner attracts you. Some may cause you pain, some pleasure, some joy. Be present in them all and they will teach you through your guiding emotional feedback. It's a great system.

WW

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by Sighclone » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:12 pm

pabl -
But my past holds me back from trying to take it further because I believe she should have a right to know what I've done.
Your past holds you back because you believe that it should. You believe that you deserve eternal punishment for perceived errors in judgement. How do you know for sure that "what you did" was not exactly what another person needed to learn something. You do not know that. Seek out Byron Katie's cognitive exercise called "the work." It starts with an assertion that causes you stress, such as "XXX (what you did)" was a horrible thing and I am a horrible person for doing it." Then there are five steps to address that assertion. The fifth one is a "turn-around" - for you it would be "XXX served two purposes - one, it helped another person to learn a valuable lesson early in life, (or whatever) and two, it highlighted for me an unnecessary and debilitating habit of not forgiving myself, and has allowed me to focus on self-care."

There may be a point in a relationship where you decide to tell someone else about past mistakes. If that person is compassionate towards you they would likely ask "Do you still do that kind of thing?" or "What did you learn from that?" or "Will your past behavior affect us or me?" and most importantly: "Have you forgiven yourself for those mistakes?"

Also read "Buddha's Brain" by Mendius and Hansen. They talk about the negative bias hard-wired into our brain and how to reverse it.

Egoic pleasures do not disappear, nor should they. Eckhart still enjoyed soup, and walks in nature. The mind-vortex you are creating is the problem. Self-inquiry (ala Ramana Maharshi) is turning your mind to the question "Who am I?" It is a powerful tool. Another fine blog is by Gary Weber: http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot.com/ . Playing music, reading, cooking, exercise...all wonderful. They are not traditional routes to waking up, however...but they can be, in surprising ways. When you get lost in a "flow" experience (Csikszentmihalyi, "Flow - The psychology of Optimal Experience"), you have stopped identifying with your "separate inside self." So stop creating the concept that they are "bad" either before or after awakening.
it's not me that enjoys the films but my ego.
OK, let us say that this is true. The grand paradox of nonduality is that it is a "both/and" paradox, not an "either/or" paradox. Awakening is about discovering something profoundly fundamental about consciousness. Until it happens, you are stuck with a concept of, say, "enlightenment." After you "wake up", (I like the concept "Self-realization" better than others), egoic interests remain, but are cast into bold relief as being just fine, (but not really who I am, fundamentally.) Before awakening, the separate-self identity is all you have...plus a concept of being awakened. So long as the separate self is who you perceive yourself to be, why not make peace with it? Why not see and appreciate the high-quality virtues in your personality? And also change those that need changing. A fine book on habits is "The Power of Habit" by Duhigg. (There is a good section in there on changing habits - you would do well to study it.) So, since the only "you" that you understand is your egoic self...fully enjoy the movies! Just because they do not cause instant enlightenment, does not mean they are bad. In fact, denial of pleasures did not work for Buddha, if you will recall.

I know a fine spiritual teacher who has tinnitus (from living on a submarine.) His "stillness" transcends the "noise in his ears." He considers the tinnitus a blessing that enables him to know and experience deeper Presence. You are not there yet, but tinnitus need not be considered or experienced as a permanent barrier. My guess is your obsession with it will fade. I also agree with everything WW has said in this thread - thanks WW!

Now go buy some of the books I've talked about. Byron Katie's technique is in "Loving What Is" and probably also on her website. Eckhart Tolle is only one voice - a fine voice, but you deserve more. Nonduality and awakening is popular not because ET writes well, but because it is a powerful truth recognized and shared by many others.

"Strictly speaking there is no such thing as enlightened people, only enlightened activity." (Shunryu Suzuki)

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: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by pabl692 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:13 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:51 pm

I'll offer my take on this. Being present doesn't mean withdrawing and doing nothing but staring at the walls. It means to be present with whatever you're doing and not simply lost in unguided habitual thought patterns. Life is an exploration of experiences. One such experience, and a very valuable one, is to be present in a thought free zone. This is what meditation refers to. In this you get a clearer sense of who and what you are. It is key to go here often as a clear sense of what you are is the basis for all else. This is where alignment with your true nature is born.

But you can also be present, and delightfully so, in most anything you are doing. Wash the dishes in clear presence of what you are doing. Drive to work in clear presence. Walk the dog, grocery shop. It doesn't have to be exclusive moments. Any of these can be as good an exercise as any other. Adyashanti calls it 'True Meditation'. I highly recommend it.

WW
Firstly, thank you for your post. Again, I'm really humbled that strangers on the internet will take the time out to write in an attempt to help me. I never know how to react to acts of kindness, to be honest.

Today I have made an effort to try and be present. As I say, I started this in an attempt to break the cycle of rumination that is so so tiring. I figured that perhaps, I don't know, it might help me sleep better too.

I've been driving, to the supermarket, reading a few articles online, all the time trying to just take in that moment and not think about anything else but what is happening at that moment. When I'm the supermarket I've been taking everything in. It's strange, because I start noticing things I haven't previously. For instance, I noticed when driving out of my estate that a house I drive past every single day has a door on the side of it. I know this might sound stupid, but I was so surprised that I had never noticed it. Because obviously, I'm usually too busy thinking about everything else in my mind. Sure, at times, I've had to think a little bit about the future. For instance, people are texting me to make arrangements for tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Is there a difference between actively being in the now, and say, genuinely becoming engrossed, for example, watching a film? What I mean is, it being in the now supposed to be a constantly conscious thing? I just found myself watching TV for a few minutes when I was completely lost in it. I wasn't thinking about what I was having for dinner, I was watching the characters. Or is a more active process? Sorry if this doesn't make sense.

How do I resist the urge to ruminate? My head sometimes screams that I need to think about something in the past... when logically I know that it is an utterly pointless endeavor. Do I just refocus?
Sighclone wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:12 pm

Egoic pleasures do not disappear, nor should they. Eckhart still enjoyed soup, and walks in nature. The mind-vortex you are creating is the problem. Self-inquiry (ala Ramana Maharshi) is turning your mind to the question "Who am I?" It is a powerful tool. Another fine blog is by Gary Weber: http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot.com/ . Playing music, reading, cooking, exercise...all wonderful. They are not traditional routes to waking up, however...but they can be, in surprising ways. When you get lost in a "flow" experience (Csikszentmihalyi, "Flow - The psychology of Optimal Experience"), you have stopped identifying with your "separate inside self." So stop creating the concept that they are "bad" either before or after awakening.
Again, thank you. I think this evening, I'm feeling a little calmer.

I think the parts I've quoted here I find difficult to understand at this stage. What do you guys find pleasure in now? Of course, at this point, I want to say that I want to be able to continue experience pleasure in things. I want to continue the things I do. A week or so ago I was planning on buying myself a nice desk for my spare room, having my games console in there, getting some ambient lights and a few plants and creating a calm space for myself. But now I start to think, is this just my ego turning to material things again?

My point is that I have always had to have little things to give me comfort. And they genuinely do, they have for years.

I guess what I need to know is, what will being awake feel like? I guess I won't have any interests in material things (to be honest, I don't now, but I use them as tools to lose myself in... if that makes sense..). I wouldn't say I am a person who gets angry at the actions of others, only really as injustices to animals or people that inflict pain and suffering on others. People are not always nice to me, but it doesn't make much difference to me as, for one, I don't really believe I deserve people being nice to me. When someone is kind to me, I find it really awkward.

I feel I am rambling a little here, without really getting to a point.

I find that living in the present as much as I can is really useful in breaking the cycle of rumination. I still feel like 'me', perhaps a little different. It is strange not to be ruminating and the urges are there to go back to it. However, I know I need to break that cycle; it's pointless and destructive. It doesn't help me feel calmer, I can't explain or know why... I guess not thinking means there can't be anxiety. But is this enough? I feel like I need to do more... even though at this point, I'm not sure I want to.

For sure I will read those suggestions

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by Dcdc » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:54 pm

Hello, my friend. I hope I can give you some insights about all of this as well. I'm sorry for my english, it's not my first language.

Listen: "past" and "future" are literally words in english language that - as all the words in all languages in the world as well - reffers to ideas/concepts. Is reasonable to understand that, right? They are mental creations.

Well, which ideas are they reffering to? Basically: "the past" is the present moment that already occured, and "the future" is the present moment that will occur sometime.

Because of that, if you pay attention and look to this using some "distance", you'll notice that the past and the future your mind brings to you over and over are, literally, mental projections. Sure, you can remind things that indeed you do; but, if you pay attention, you'll notice you can't even remember them as they literally occured and with 100% quality, because your mind can't even show to you the past as "continuous videos", but only as moments of perception (almost as "frames"). For example: do you remember if yesterday was a sunny or rainy day? Probably yes... and do you remember what was the shoes' color of the first person you meet yersterday? No, because it's not true that we can simple record everything and play it later; using our ability, we can just bring to us moments of perception and "complete" the puzzle using our intution and logic/language.

The point is: of course what you do matters, of course you are responsible for your actions and of course we usually can remember things that (more or less) indeed happened. But if you live within the mental projection your mind creates, you will live in (literally) a fake reality, because that's not the world that is happening. The world that is happening is another one, and we, a lot of times, "prefer" to live in the mental and fake world instead live in the one that is actually happening. You actually can perceive a lot of people sharing the same space and living absolutely different realities all day.

Instead to live in the real world and just be, we prefer to use this ability we have of remember moments of perception to build a hole character based in mental projections. We really believe we are that persona, and we suffer a lot because: (i) that persona (ego) is going to die, and we "need" a explanation about what is going to happen with it (or "(...) what is going to happen with us", if the person still thinks he/she is the ego, hehehehe); (ii) that persona (ego) apparently isn't "complete", and we "need" a explanation about what we have to do to make it complete (usually a macro "purpose" or "objective").

In my opinion, you don't have to tell anyone (except your therapist or other professional that can help you if he/she knows the information) about what you did. Yes, you are responsible for your actions, and indeed you always can use the information about what already happened in order to try to learn and do better in the present moment, but you don't need to live this because this-is-not-the-real-world-anymore. There isn't another place to be, there isn't another scenario to live, so be and live here!

-

How?

This is very individual, and you'll receive a lot of different insights about that during your journey.

My particular practice basically (and I say "basically" because there is no rule, I don't have attachment about "methods", but I'm going to say it in order to become easier to understand) is: I follow every step of my breathing during all day. When I forget, I just bring my self to every step of my breathing again. When I'm follow my breathing and something in the present moment brings my attention (as a sound, a smell, a taste), I anchor my self into this new event. Then, when I'm anchoring my self into something for a while, I drop even the method and just be.

As I love the "following" the breath thing (because it changed everything for me), I'm going to reminder what ET said about it:

"Being aware of your breath forces you into the present moment--the key to all inner transformation. Whenever you are conscious of the breath, you are absolutely present. You may notice that you cannot think and be aware of your breathing. Conscious breathing stops your mind. But far from being in a trance or half asleep, you are fully awake and highly alert. You are not falling below thinking, but rising above it. And if you look more closely, you will find that those two things--coming fully into the present moment and ceasing thinking without loss of consciousness--are actually one and the same: the arising of space consciousness." (A new earth, pg. 246)

-

Oh, and don't worry about losing the "pleasure" of living. This is just another mental talking, hehehehe. First, do your best to be present for at least some months. After that, you'll be able to talk better about that possibility. Is that reasonable to agree?

Remimber: you are not that persona. You are a event that is happening, and, because of that, you are not the person/event that did these things anymore. Be present, and let your trueself, one moment at time, to just be.
Last edited by Dcdc on Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by pabl692 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:24 pm

Thank you for the reply and contributing to the discussion.

Today I feel a little calmer and I feel I am in a better place to sum up what I am feeling.

1. From being around 14 to the age of 20 (I’m 26) I had a lot of anxiety issues. I had a lot of panic attacks and a lot of fears. I would have panic attacks in restaurants, cafes, sports arenas, almost everywhere. For no real reason too, only the fear of the symptoms and feelings of the panic attack. When I went on holiday, I would always feel a strange anxiety at being in a strange place and I would literally spend every holiday counting down the hours until I could go home. I never enjoyed holidays and would dread going anywhere different for weeks in advance. If I had a presentation to do at school or work, I would spend the weeks before constantly worrying. I worried about everything. However, I stopped to think about why I was worrying. After all these anxious episodes, I was still alive. The panic attacks didn’t kill me. So I thought fine, whenever these feelings come, I will accept them. They’re only feelings, they can’t hurt me. It worked. For many years (aside from my recent onset of tinnitus), I can say I have been largely anxiety free. Indeed, I have spent considerable time helping others who have panic disorders and anxiety. I’m not really an anxious person anymore, in the traditional sense of anxiety.

My interest in reading Tolle was twofold really. One I wanted to find a way of dealing with my tinnitus that had sent me into a spin. I thought learning to refocus and live in the now might help. Two, I do spend a lot of time ruminating about past actions, and they do hold me back. They don’t make me anxious, as such, but I can get a bit down about it sometimes. My sleep is never restful, I dream a lot so I am always tired. I thought that if I can break the rumination, perhaps I will sleep better. I found that living more in the now stops the cycle of rumination. That part works for me. I am open to meditation and trying to calm my mind. Though I wouldn’t say my mind has been that active in recent years…

2. It is the parts with regards to dissolving the ego that has scared me a little bit, in the way that, seemingly whatever I do now, I am questioning myself and I hear a voice telling me that, in some way, I’m deceiving myself and that I am doing something wrong. Also, that no matter what I do, it won’t be enough. Please, let me explain.

I never thought that I was someone who has a great ego. But, apparently, I do. And the reason why I guess I’m still here, I don’t like the idea of having an ego. I’ve never been someone who has thought of myself as something that I’m not. I don’t think I’m anything special. I’m certainly not aesthetically special and I’ve never been a ‘hit’ with women. Which is fine, there’s nothing I can do about it. Of course, I try and present myself as best I can (voice here saying that I shouldn’t and that it is some sort of sin). There is no point being bitter. It doesn’t make women bad, they’re just not physically attracted to me. I’m also of very average intelligence. There are many people naturally smarter than me. That’s fine, I am what I am. My friends say I am the ‘smart’ one of the group and, I must admit, sometimes I like it when they say that (voice saying that this is bad, I shouldn’t react, I should be emotionless).

I don’t own many things. If you came into my living room now, you’d find 2 plain, cheap sofas and a TV in the corner. Oh and a lamp in the other corner. That’s it. I dress quite plainly, though I do like clothing. I sometimes look forward to a little shopping expedition to get a few new bits of clothing. Indeed, I like going food shopping (voice again, this is all ego etc). I was brought up to live within my means and to live modestly. I'm not interested in owning something for the sake of it. Material things have their place, but they're not everything to me.

What is wrong with owning things? I live very modestly. But I feel after reading Tolle that I should consider myself an egotistical materialistic twerp living in a fantasy land. I don’t think I do (ah, you might say, this is your ego fighting back). I own a nice car. What is wrong with that? I enjoy driving it and it gives me freedom. I don’t drive round in it for people to think “wow, look how nice his car is”. But I like how it is engineered, its sounds and its smells. What is wrong with this, exactly ?If I see a car that I admire, is it wrong to want to consider owning it? I would never buy anything to act as a statement to others. I’m not interested in what other people think, really. I would only ever buy something because I like it, for whatever reason. With cars it’s how they look (to me), how they’re engineered and if they’re fun for me to drive. I love driving. It's sort of like meditation to me, does that make any sense?

I’ve never been one who is that interested in owning that many things. I recently bought a very basic, budget phone. In the past I might have wanted the most up-to-date phone, all singing, all dancing. Today, I’m not interested, so I bought a cheap phone. This raised a few eyebrows in my office but I explained that I don’t need an iPhone or anything fancy, I just need something to make calls and send a few text messages. Recently, since the onset of my tinnitus, I thought I would get back into gaming. I wanted to go buy myself a desk for my spare room, and make it a calm place, where I could play some games. Now I keep getting thoughts like, oh more material things, this is bad, this is your ego. I’m not doing it to show off, I just wanted to create a calm room in my house. The voice says that, essentially, I should be content with sitting on the floor staring into the abyss, just enjoying the present.

So in regards to material things, I try and live within my means. I honestly couldn’t own anything less, really. I’ve played guitar since I was 12. In the past I was obsessed with buying more. But then I realised what’s the point. Today I still own 5 guitars, but I have gotten rid of a lot. I like the ones I have. They are serve a purpose and all get used. But now I get a voice saying, why own 5, why own any? Why do you like them? It is all your imagination. I like them because of how they sound, how they feel, and how they look. Voice again: this is all your ego, they are nothing, get rid of them, they’re pointless.

After reading Tolle I feel like he says the truth is that we should all be walking everywhere barefoot, with no possessions and that, essentially, we should just have the present. I should be sat here now looking into the abyss, not concerned with anything because I have the present and nothing else matters. I’m not sure I want to live in that world, and I don’t think I’d recommend it, either.

I have noticed that Tolle wears a lot of Ralph Lauren, a very expensive luxury brand. Isn’t this at odds with everything he says? If owning things are terrible, why is he wearing such ostentatious brands? It makes no difference to me what he wears, I’m indifferent. I just wanted to raise this point. Am I overthinking or overlooking something? I have a friend who buys brands like that. It is fine, it is up to him. But I never would, because I don't see the point. I like to wear relatively nice clothes, but nothing fancy like that. And here is Tolle wearing Ralph Lauren jumpers, around £150 a pop.

3. I’m worried about losing my personality. At this point you might say, you don’t have a personality, it is a construct of your imagination - an illusion. But what if it isn’t? I don’t see how I can dumb myself down anymore. Again, I’ll try and explain. I do not want to be a zombie. This is my personality:

I’m not a gossiper. I recognise when people gossip at work and I don’t get involved. It uses far too much energy. It’s usually none of my business for a start and I’m certainly not in the business of judging people. It takes all kind of people to make a world.
I always try and live honestly and decently. Every day I get up and go to work in college with hundreds of young people. I love it. I feel that my work gives me an identity (again, voice saying, this is all false). But what is wrong with this? I go to work, I make the kids laugh by acting stupid and I try and help them all with their studies (voice again: studying is pointless, all that matters is being lost in the now, there is no point in trying to achieve anything). And why is my identity false? Who says? What if this already the real me?

I love seeing the kids. I love going to work. I would say that it does give me a sense of purpose and identity. Is this bad? The kids love to see me too, because I’m not a disciplinarian, and they know that I am approachable and that I can’t be offended. So they can have a laugh with me. They also feel they can, and often do, come to me with their problems. They appreciate that I’m not judgemental and that I will always try and help them. But again the voice: this is your all your ego. What is wrong with simply enjoying going to work and helping young people? Ah, this is just you trying to feel better about yourself, because you believe that this is the right thing to do. “It’s all a construct”. I’m not sure. I don’t do these things falsely or to deceive.

In the past, I might have been someone who got angry at many things. Like getting stuck behind someone driving slowly. But a while ago I just realised, what’s the point in getting angry, there’s nothing I can do. I don’t angry at many things. Aside from the larger injustices in world: wars and conflicts. Which is why I got involved in studying international relations. I wanted to gain enough knowledge to work myself into a position where I could influence conflicts and suffering. But now the little voice in my head says: consuming information is pointless, get rid of your books and stop studying, all you need is the present, everything is irrelevant.

I have an instagram account and I share things on there. I also look at what others are doing. I am genuinely interested in what my friends are up to. I post mainly silly things on my ‘story’. I wouldn’t say that I am being false on there or trying to convey an image of myself that I’m not. I just share my interests. If people are interested, great. If they’re not, that’s fine. Again, the voice: it’s pointless, it’s your ego. Is it, really? What is wrong with it? It doesn’t cause me any suffering whatsoever, and I learn things in the process (voice: learning things is pointless).

I’m friendly to all I meet. I like to be kind. If someone does something to me, out of my control, then it what it is. There's nothing I can do. I'm also a forgiver. I have friends who haven't been so nice to me at times, but nevermind. I’m not motivated by money, but it is useful to have it. I could get a job on much more money. But some things are worth a lot more than money to me. But shouldn't we just get rid of all of our money? But then, isn't ET a millionaire? I'm not being provocative, I'm just so confused. I love animals. In fact, I did get a little angry the other day to find that in a local pet store, they had boxed up thousands of little crickets and grasshoppers, all still alive. That annoyed me. (Voice: this is your ego, you don’t really care about animals, you just want people to think you do). No, I want to go through life without inflicting pain or suffering on any living creature. I don’t do it to impress anyone. I love all animals, what’s wrong with that?

Finally, relationships. I never actively go out of my way to find love. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. In the past, I couldn’t stand being alone. But now, I find that it isn’t everything. Sure I would like a partner. There’s a young woman that I currently like. She’s wonderful, in my eyes. And I enjoy the feelings that she gives me. The nervous excitement when I see her. The comfort the thought of her gives me sometimes at night when I can’t sleep. I do like the chase. It’s exciting. I feel alive. But now the voice says, it’s all an illusion, she is an illusion, it’s all nothing. What’s wrong with wanting to love someone and share your life with someone? To live, share interests and ideas, share fun times and bad together, to help each other, to love each other. What’s wrong with that? The voice says it’s all an illusion. What’s wrong with wanting to have children and have a family? Just to spend that tiny bit of time you have on this earth with people that you love. What’s wrong with sharing experiences?

Basically, it’s taken the fun out of everything. The voice has taken the colour out of my life. And it says I should find colour in the present. I’m not sure I am happy with just sitting in a vegetative state for the rest of my life, supposed to be content with the silence (which I don’t hear thanks to tinnitus haha). I can live like I want, but now this voice questions everything and won’t leave me alone. Be content with the ‘now’. I’m not sure I can. Oh, that’s your ego and you are not awake. What’s wrong with opinions? What’s wrong with knowing things, learning about things, enjoying things, watching sports, watching movies, living, laughing, doing stupid things. Of course, I want to live in the moment, but enjoy these things. What is wrong with having a personality? I can’t be numb to everything.

Essentially, if I am supposed to be content with just being present, with nothing, no opinion, no thoughts, nothing, then I don't think this is a life worth living. It's just existing. The voice at this point says, well, if you die, it is what it is, be content with it. Can you see how this is messing with my mind? I can't escape it now.

Sorry for the essay. I have more to say, but I feel like I can’t possibly put it all on here right now. I just want this voice to leave me alone. I didn’t think I had a huge ego. But apparently, I do. Do I sound like I have a lot of awakening to do? I’m obviously open to enlightenment, or I wouldn’t be here. I want to be a decent, compassionate person (voice: this is ego). I just feel like I can’t win!

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by Sighclone » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:37 pm

Fine comments, dcs.
I guess what I need to know is, what will being awake feel like?
I cannot know what it will feel like for you, but I do know what it feels like for me and for others I know. For me and others, the discovery that my egoic identity was false and incomplete was stunning. The "falseness" of it was that the ego is a collection of habits that is actually an activity rather than an entity. In that sense it is real...our habits are our habits...our preferences are our preferences...our unique skills are ours alone...etc. But they are not the entire picture. If you identify yourself as, a teacher, say, what happens to that identity when you retire? What remains? Well, your personality remains....fine. But waking up is the discovery that your personality, your persona is merely a conditioned mask you wear. The recognition that it is a temporary, relative, provisional and deceptively incomplete "self" is pretty disorienting. For me, it felt like I had finally disengaged the clutch and the car started moving. But well after awakening, many things continue the same, but all of them have an asterisk. And the asterisk is the same for all actions in the relative world: "This event or item or personality appears real and separate. But it is not. Each one is merged with the next in time and space in a grand unity." And that observation is continual and comforting.

dcs's suggestion about returning your attention to your breath is a good one, and also one of many standard meditation techniques. Also, you probably need to see a more conventional counselor to deal with your false belief that you do not deserve to enjoy life. Do read "Buddha's Brain" on negativity bias and also check out Adyashanti's audio recording on "Healing the wound of unworthiness." He believes that about 90% of Westerners have the wound.

You have begun to wake up. Read a few random posts of "kiki" who is a moderator here...his writing is as clear as a bell and helpful in many ways.

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: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by pabl692 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:34 am

Dcs wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:54 pm

The point is: of course what you do matters, of course you are responsible for your actions and of course we usually can remember things that (more or less) indeed happened. But if you live within the mental projection your mind creates, you will live in (literally) a fake reality, because that's not the world that is happening. The world that is happening is another one, and we, a lot of times, "prefer" to live in the mental and fake world instead live in the one that is actually happening. You actually can perceive a lot of people sharing the same space and living absolutely different realities all day.

Instead to live in the real world and just be, we prefer to use this ability we have of remember moments of perception to build a hole character based in mental projections. We really believe we are that persona, and we suffer a lot because: (i) that persona (ego) is going to die, and we "need" a explanation about what is going to happen with it (or "(...) what is going to happen with us", if the person still thinks he/she is the ego, hehehehe); (ii) that persona (ego) apparently isn't "complete", and we "need" a explanation about what we have to do to make it complete (usually a macro "purpose" or "objective").

I do get what you're saying, I do.

The thing is, I have never really felt 'incomplete' or that I need something. The only thing that I sometimes long for is a partner and someone to love. But it isn't constantly on my mind. Sometimes I find myself thinking about it, sure. But then I honestly just think, it is what it is. If something happens, great. If not, then there's nothing much else I can do.

My life feels pretty complete as it is. I'm not longing for riches or to be this or that. Family, friends, laughing and loving and enjoying arts are the most important things to me. I don't care about being a big star. I used to in the past, believe it or not. I used to get down that I hadn't achieved everything I thought I would. But I don't care now.

The only thing that I ever really project for myself in the future is that I would love a family. And to have that family life. Waking up with someone you love and loving them. To have a few kids and watch them grow and evolve.

Perhaps the only other thing I aspire to is to have a decent career. Not to be recognised as someone who is successful or particularly 'smart', but just make a difference. Stop a bit of pain and suffering in the world.

What scares me is people talking like life itself is an illusion. And that if I feel I love someone, that is an illusion. Nothing is real. And that by aspiring to have a partner and a family, that is in some way a bad an unenlightened way of thinking.

I'm past the days of worrying about the things I cannot change. Which is why I say, if I find someone, great, if not, then that is fine too. If I have that family, wonderful, if I don't, then I just have to accept it. But Tolle and his followers seem to go even further, that I should even think about anything. I don't see what is wrong with having a few aspirations for the future. You might say that there is no point thinking about those things if you are indifferent whether they happen or they don't. Well I want these things to happen, sure. And I'll doubtless be disappointed if they don't. But I'll get over it. I won't be wreaked with internal suffering. I'm past all that.

Just cutting myself off from all the beauty and idiosyncrasies of this world we live in, and not feeling anything, to dumb myself down to an almost vegetative state where I don't feel anything or have any opinions, just seems hard for me to compute. I like living in the now in the life that I have. Looking objectively, my life is wonderful. I don't want to change all that, but it seems Tolle thinks I should if I want to be fulfilled..

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by Sighclone » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:25 am

to dumb myself down to an almost vegetative state where I don't feel anything or have any opinions, just seems hard for me to compute.
I guess I do know how people can adopt this concept as 'enlightenment.' I guess it has to do with Eckhart's public personality and style, and some vague mystical image of "what it must be to be enlightened." That monkish, inert image is so sad. Just because there is an abiding transcendent experience of unity does not mean that there are not noble human goals in the relative world, after the experience of awakening. It does not mean that it is not important to bring your Presence, The Presence to everything you do, and enjoy that, in every waking moment. And it does not mean that you turn off your mind.

Review the Tenth Bull of Zen. And read the Amoda Maa book. Your interpretation of ETs writings is incorrect, and your concept of enlightenment is not only wrong, it is repellent. Look further, read more and learn and practice meditation.

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: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by pabl692 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:25 pm

I'm sorry

It's just the who idea that everything I see, think and feel is not real is scary. And it's sent me into a real spin. I've not felt like this before. I feel like I can't function because I keep thinking nothing is real. Then what's the point in living? Even then people will say, if you didn't have an ego, you wouldn't have that thought.

I find this all very dangerous, to be honest. I feel empty.

The love I feel for people isn't real. They aren't real, they're illusions. Everything is an illusion. All my life and memories are not real. Nothing is real. So what am I? Where am I? Of course, I'm not real, I'm an illusion.

I'm genuinely scared. I've never felt as numb.

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by Dcdc » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:04 pm

pabl692 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:34 am
I do get what you're saying, I do.

The thing is, I have never really felt 'incomplete' or that I need something. The only thing that I sometimes long for is a partner and someone to love. But it isn't constantly on my mind. Sometimes I find myself thinking about it, sure. But then I honestly just think, it is what it is. If something happens, great. If not, then there's nothing much else I can do.

My life feels pretty complete as it is. I'm not longing for riches or to be this or that. Family, friends, laughing and loving and enjoying arts are the most important things to me. I don't care about being a big star. I used to in the past, believe it or not. I used to get down that I hadn't achieved everything I thought I would. But I don't care now.

The only thing that I ever really project for myself in the future is that I would love a family. And to have that family life. Waking up with someone you love and loving them. To have a few kids and watch them grow and evolve.

Perhaps the only other thing I aspire to is to have a decent career. Not to be recognised as someone who is successful or particularly 'smart', but just make a difference. Stop a bit of pain and suffering in the world.

What scares me is people talking like life itself is an illusion. And that if I feel I love someone, that is an illusion. Nothing is real. And that by aspiring to have a partner and a family, that is in some way a bad an unenlightened way of thinking.

I'm past the days of worrying about the things I cannot change. Which is why I say, if I find someone, great, if not, then that is fine too. If I have that family, wonderful, if I don't, then I just have to accept it. But Tolle and his followers seem to go even further, that I should even think about anything. I don't see what is wrong with having a few aspirations for the future. You might say that there is no point thinking about those things if you are indifferent whether they happen or they don't. Well I want these things to happen, sure. And I'll doubtless be disappointed if they don't. But I'll get over it. I won't be wreaked with internal suffering. I'm past all that.

Just cutting myself off from all the beauty and idiosyncrasies of this world we live in, and not feeling anything, to dumb myself down to an almost vegetative state where I don't feel anything or have any opinions, just seems hard for me to compute. I like living in the now in the life that I have. Looking objectively, my life is wonderful. I don't want to change all that, but it seems Tolle thinks I should if I want to be fulfilled..
Good morning, pabl692. : -)

I understand how you came to these conclusions, because these are common misunderstandings, but, with all the respect - and in my opinion, of course -, you didn't get it.

All the subjects we are talking definitely aren't about:

- "What scares me is people talking like life itself is an illusion. And that if I feel I love someone, that is an illusion. Nothing is real. And that by aspiring to have a partner and a family, that is in some way a bad an unenlightened way of thinking."
- "But Tolle and his followers seem to go even further, that I should even think about anything."
- "I don't see what is wrong with having a few aspirations for the future."
- "Just cutting myself off from all the beauty and idiosyncrasies of this world we live in, and not feeling anything, to dumb myself down to an almost vegetative state where I don't feel anything or have any opinions."
- "The love I feel for people isn't real. They aren't real, they're illusions. Everything is an illusion."
- "I do not want to be a zombie."
- Etc.

Hehehehehe, of course life itself isn't an illusion; of course aspiring to have a partner and a family isn't necessarily a "bad an unenlightened way of thinking"; of course ET doesn't think you should think about nothing; of course nobody wants to you stop to having feelings; etc. These are misunderstandings, hehehehe.

This isn't about not planning, stop thinking, stop having opinions, stop having feelings etc. In fact, and if this useful to you understand more, there are a lot of PhD teachers, businessmen (including a monk in my country), consultants, fathers and mothers, photographers, artists, poets that understand all of this and practice being in the now the most they can. Ask to them how much they love, have feelings, enjoy living, etc, and you'll be surprise.

If you want to give a honest chance in this alternative in order to stop the suffering, my suggestion to you is: (i) do formal meditations practices; (ii) read more and more carefully about this; (iii) ask to us everything you want.

If you don't want to do this right now, it's ok either. You can try your best in a way that makes sense to you. If someday you want to try a new alternativa in order to stop the suffering again, try all of this - and ask to us everything you want - again. :- )
Last edited by Dcdc on Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by Dcdc » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:34 pm

Sighclone wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:37 pm
But well after awakening, many things continue the same, but all of them have an asterisk.
Even though language is form, I love to read personal descriptions about being present. Mingyur Rinpoche, for example, said something very similiar to what you said, and I couldn't agree more. He says something as "after awakening, nothing changes; and everything changes."

The master of a Zen Monk from my country described once: "After awakening, when I'm hungry, I eat; when I'm sleepy, I sleep."

Very beautiful, simple and, at same time, complex phrases.

I'm happy that you are present, Sighclone. Enjoy : -)
Last edited by Dcdc on Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Post by pabl692 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:42 pm

Dcs wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:04 pm

Good morning, pabl692. : -)

I understand how you came to these conclusions, because these are common misunderstandings, but, with all the respect - and in my opinion, of course -, you didn't get it.

All the subjects we are talking definitely aren't about:

- "What scares me is people talking like life itself is an illusion. And that if I feel I love someone, that is an illusion. Nothing is real. And that by aspiring to have a partner and a family, that is in some way a bad an unenlightened way of thinking."
- "But Tolle and his followers seem to go even further, that I should even think about anything."
- "I don't see what is wrong with having a few aspirations for the future."
- "Just cutting myself off from all the beauty and idiosyncrasies of this world we live in, and not feeling anything, to dumb myself down to an almost vegetative state where I don't feel anything or have any opinions."
- "The love I feel for people isn't real. They aren't real, they're illusions. Everything is an illusion."
- Etc.

Hehehehehe, of course life itself isn't an illusion; of course aspiring to have a partner and a family isn't necessarily a "bad an unenlightened way of thinking"; of course ET doesn't think you should think about nothing; of course nobody wants to you stop to having feelings; etc. These are misunderstandings, hehehehe.

This isn't about not planning, stop thinking, stop having opinions, stop having feelings etc. In fact, and if this useful to you understand more, there are a lot of PhD teachers, businessmen (including a monk in my country), consultants, fathers and mothers, photographers, artists, poets that understand all of this and practice being in the now the most they can. Ask to them how much they love, have feelings, enjoy living, etc, and you'll be surprise.

If you want to give a honest chance in this alternative in order to stop the suffering, my suggestion to you is: (i) do formal meditations practices; (ii) read more and more carefully about this; (iii) ask to us everything you want.

If you don't want to do this right now, it's ok either. You can try your best in a way that makes sense to you. If someday you want to try a new alternativa in order to stop the suffering again, try all of this - and ask to us everything you want - again. :- )

Unfortunately, I feel like I have triggered something in my brain that won't let go of me. At this point, I want my old life back, but I can't have it now. I get this voice for everything, questioning everything, telling me that nothing is real and that I have two brains. One which is evil, which has led me all through my life, one one that is good but basically does nothing.

But I get the impression that ET, other spiritualists and their followers DO want me to stop having feelings. For instance, if I watch comedy. This is something I would do on an evening. A little victory for myself, to give myself some enjoyment. The comics make fun of everything and everyone. Now I get a voice saying, do not watch this, because 1) it is all an illusion and not real 2) all these thoughts comedians have are a construct of their ego and therefore not funny 3) it is bad to feel the emotion of laughing.

I never really considered that I suffered before. Like I said, I never searched myself inwardly. I was content with who I was. The only thing that ever bothered me was the things I did in the past and of course my tinnitus. However, I could put my past aside for the most part and live comfortably enough.

I came to Tolle to break the habit of dwelling on my tinnitus and perhaps to see if I could 'let go' of my past actions. I have never had a problem with my character otherwise. Or the character of others, much. The only people that ever frustrated me is those who I thought had a huge ego and were living a life outside of their means. But even then, I would think, it makes no difference to me how other people live. If people are happy doing what they are doing, then all power to them, I can't change people and nor do I want to.

But what I find scary is that apparently, the person who I am, who I was content with, is not real. Do you understand how scary that is? Apparently, it is all a devious construct by my ego. I liked my life, I was comfortable. I recognised my failings and my imperfections, but I live with them, it's fine. I am who I am, I cannot change much.

I thought I was a kind person - apparently, I'm not, this is my ego.. sure being kind makes me feel better about myself
I thought I was a loving person - apparently, all my feelings of love for other people are fake and not real, an illusion. Sure I like to feel loved by others (this is bad???)
I enjoyed many things in life - movies, music, nature etc - apparently this is all an illusion and my other brain telling me what to do. Like I have been possessed all my life.
Sighclone wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:25 am

I guess I do know how people can adopt this concept as 'enlightenment.' I guess it has to do with Eckhart's public personality and style, and some vague mystical image of "what it must be to be enlightened." That monkish, inert image is so sad. Just because there is an abiding transcendent experience of unity does not mean that there are not noble human goals in the relative world, after the experience of awakening. It does not mean that it is not important to bring your Presence, The Presence to everything you do, and enjoy that, in every waking moment. And it does not mean that you turn off your mind.

Review the Tenth Bull of Zen. And read the Amoda Maa book. Your interpretation of ETs writings is incorrect, and your concept of enlightenment is not only wrong, it is repellent. Look further, read more and learn and practice meditation.

Andy
Hi Andy,

I read the ten bulls of zen. My interpretation was that people need not search for who they are - you are already you. But you have the power to control your mind, which I took as being more in the present.

But my interpretation of the ten bulls was that it isn't about dissolving the ego, it is about accepting it. Which is basically, accepting who you are and being okay with it? Rather than worrying about who you are, and what you need to be, you just accept who you are, your thoughts and desires and just live it anyway. Is this right, or am I way off?

I thought ET was all about dissolving the ego?

I'm in such a state to be honest. It's almost 2pm here and I laid in bed still. I don't see the point in anything if everything is an illusion and not real. I feel like I've led a life of a lie forever.

Going to work gave me an identity. My hobbies and interests gave me an identity. I liked being that person, I had absolutely no issue with it and never desired to be anything else. Apart from say, a family man in the future. But these identities are false, illusions that are not me. So what do I have? Do I stop going to work? Just be happy staring into nothingness, because then I will have no thoughts and no ego? I absolutely promise I'm not being provocative, it's just how this voice in my head is telling me how I SHOULD live given what I have read and observed...

I swear I wish I'd never heard of ET :(

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