| A Lesson from Eckhart Tolle 'Power of Now'|
|28 Dec 2003 @ 04:20, by Craig Lang|
In the last couple of days, for many reasons, I have spent quite a bit of time re-studying the material in "The Power of Now" (PON, for short). Some events on NCN, including the recent dialog regarding "evil medical companies" (to quote a friend on this topic) has caused me a bit of spiritual grief. Grief often fosters growth, and these events have seemed to "invite" me to return to Tolle's lessons. What can we learn about human nature, human affairs, peace studies, etc...? How can we live in the Now, in the face of political, economic and moral strife?
I spent some time over Christmas and the days surrounding it, going back into PON. And in doing so, I recognized some interesting things about human nature. According to Tolle, we all want to feel better about the past. Too often we let the past and the future define us. We want to "expose the lies", "speak the truth", "fight for justice", "balance the scales", and numerous other initiatives in our relations with others. Usually, this involves "us and them", and we always want a future where "we" triumph over "them". For to fail would mean a scenario where we were in some way "defeated", "enslaved" or somehow have a negative change in our future status.
But, from PON, I discern that the "lies", "truth", "justice", etc. are all manifestations of our views of "our" relationships with "them". We create our own reality, so therefore, for those relationships to be real, they must be created by us. They are in fact, based upon our beliefs about events in the past and our anticipation of events in the future. Tolle reminds the reader that in reality, we live NOW, and unless we choose otherwise, these past/future threads need not bind us. In fact, for us, they need not even exist.
Tolle speaks of more - asking us to step back and observe our thoughts. He suggests that when we are told that we are wrong, or that we see things that annoy us, to witness the anger, to ask "what am I experiencing at this moment?" What he states is that we quickly discover that we are more than that anger, more than the need to correct this particular wrong, more than the ties to the past and future. Simply put, we ARE.
He suggests observing, then stepping back even further, to observe the observer. What is occurring? Tolle suggests that all thoughts and emotions are simply patterns - or as another author, Steven Wolinski puts it: simply "condensations in the zero-point mind-field".
Tolle suggests stepping back even further, observing the relationships between patterns, observers, and the space between them. For in that space between is the truth. In the void is where enlightenment can be found. In the gaps between thoughts is pure consciousness - the still, small voice of God.
Several PSI events I have been involved in - readings that I have recieved, and one or two perceptions that I have had myself, have involved percieving someone walking along an edge. On one side is smooth sailing, an uncomplicated table top, maybe a golden time of prosperity. On the other side is chaos and the abyss. And in between is a balancing act - as one travels along the edge, moving from past to future. That edge is the present moment, and it is a delicate balance: to be involved in the world, while not being fully identified with it. We are not the affairs of the world - they are of the past and future. In fact, as we move along the edge, we simply "ARE".
Another metaphhorical vision that kept coming to mind all of yesterday was of something detached or disconnected - like a branch separated from a tree, or a rock removed from a mountain. As part of the greater whole, the smaller thing is a functional part of that whole. It was part of the flow of energy, and the consciousness of that whole. Removed, it is simply an inert bit of "stuff".
I had earlier been considering backing off from some engagements, perhaps even including NCN. What I realized was that in a number of cases, while this might remove a little bit of pain, it also would remove a great source of joy and wisdom, because the flow of life contains both. In the flow of life - being in the now - we are like part of the river - experiencing the vitality of life. And it is something that each of us needs in order to fully experience life in the world.
With truth often comes pain - and then wisdom and light. And just for a moment we "get it" - as I realized, just a little bit, while spending time with Tolle's book. And then, as another sage (not sure who) said, we must return to chop wood and carry water. We once again look through the the glass darkly. Life goes on - one struggling breadcrumb at a time.
Category: Medicine, Healthcare
28 Dec 2003 @ 08:05 by martha : Voice
i was fortunate this spring to get the Power of Now on cd and listened to Eckhart's voice. I haven't viewed life quite the same since then. His voice is marvelous and I recommend listening if one can get hold of the cd's. Eckhard has a clear precise way of explaining but I still had to listen twice and am about ready for a third go at it. Each time more past memories of mine surface and I release them and feel lighter. Patricia Sun also has the same effect on me. Thank you craig for discussing Eckhart. He is a great teacher.
28 Dec 2003 @ 10:05 by : Life Changing
Yes, I have found Tolle's book to be truly life changing. Like finding a true spiritual teacher. It's one of those deep books that one can understand on oh-so-many different levels. I'm re-reading it again for the n'th time, and each time I begin to understand even more. And maybe some day I will "get it"... :-)
28 Dec 2003 @ 23:09 by : Craig,
RE: ***Some events on NCN, including the recent dialog regarding "evil medical companies" (to quote a friend on this topic) has caused me a bit of spiritual grief.****
I am inquiring if you are referring to me as the friend Craig...
***I felt like you, to edit my comment here. Assume nothing ey? Oopsie!!! I see that you are not referring to me! It just looked that way at first glance.
I am sorry to hear that you are in grief through exchanges having to do with this topic. I value your friendship and sincerely wish to communicate as clearly and respectfully as possible. In and through that process however, I will confront distortions and projections within our communications if and when they arise. I also see that you initially had taken words from within that original post out of the intended context and that fired a process, that looks to be taking you into and through an important experience as you outline above.
I like and value your comment, which is so true!: With truth often comes pain - and then wisdom and light -
Alana, Don't worry, that quote was not from you.
I heard it from a dear friend, and you are a dear friend. But that particular person is not you. So you're off the hook... :-)
The "Evil Medical Companies" phrase came from someone else. Someone used these exact words in the past. It was in a slightly different context (Not on NCN), this person's comments were pretty bighting. I hear stuff like this all the time. But it seems to capture the flavor of some of the commentary I have heard.
Your commentary has been very balanced. Don't worry, you are kewl...
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