SOCIETY SOUTHERN AFRICA
The here and the Now is all that there really is. Eckhart Tolle is the most original and inspiring spiritual teachers of our time.
Eckhart grew up in Germany during world war two which caused much anxiety and depression in his life. At age twenty nine he contemplated suicide and quoted these words, “When I was twenty nine years old I contemplated suicide. I said to myself: I can not live with myself any longer. This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then I became aware of this peculiar thought in my mind. Am I one or two? If I can not live with myself then there must be two of me. The “I’ and the “Self”. The “Self” can not live with the “I”. Only one of the two is real.”
The Little Man In The Head
There is a little man in our head that keeps talking to us. The voice in the head. The internal dialogue. We wrongly identify ourselves with the voice in the head. The voice in the head is predominantly an unhappy one. This generates an enormous amount of unhappiness. The first step is to separate from the incessant stream of thinking and realise that it is not the true self.
The sense of self that is derived from your thought process is not your true self. The thought process includes your memories of the past and the conditioning you were exposed to. Your sense of self is a conceptual one that is derived from the past. Many of the negative thoughts you have is repetitive and habitual and reinforces the negative thoughts. Most of your thoughts are a continual flowing stream of negative energy
A spiritual breakthrough happens when you realise that yours thoughts are not you. This “knowing” brings about a separation between the real you and your thoughts. You no longer identify yourself with the stream of thinking in your head. You are not the little man. There is another dimension deeper than thinking. It is called the “stillness” (awareness without thinking). The real you is timeless. An awareness that is always in the present
When you become aware of this higher self, an awakening happens. The awakening is stepping out of the stream of thinking. To reach a place of awareness without thinking. The awakening is stepping into the eternal now that exists on the higher dimension above and separate from the thought process. When you recognise that you are the observer of the voice in your head, then that very recognition (awareness) is the real you
The Voice In The Head
The voice in your head:
is part of you but is not the real you
is attached to your body and ordinary awareness
is connected to the past
contains all your memories
contains all your reactive patterns (triggers)
contains old emotional patterns
contains reinforced habitual patterns
is the cause of all your perplexities and anxieties
is the cause of your low self esteem
Who Am I?
The answer to who I am can not be conceptualised through cognitive thinking. Who I am can not be defined through mental labels and thinking
Who I am is beyond the thought process. Who I am is the very sense of beingness or presence, when you become conscious of the present moment. Who I am is being “one” with the present moment. You are a conscious aware space in the eternal now.
The Torture Of Thinking
Thinking becomes an affliction when you derive your sense of who you are from the stream of thinking . When we totally identify ourselves with the stream of thinking. Then we are caught up in the “story of me”, and for many of us that story is an unhappy story. You are possessed by the thinking mind and need to be delivered, set free from the thinking mind. Thinking is a useful tool to service us but you can never find yourself in your thinking.
The Art Of Listening
If you live in your thoughts and identify with your thoughts then there is no sense of space in a relationship. Spacious aware presence must be brought into a relationship. The art of listening is to be there for the other person in the spacial awareness dimension . To just listen without thinking (thinking what you going to say). Be the space needed for the other person. To listen without preparation, evaluation, judgment, labelling etc. This is the greatest gift. As you listen to the other person you are not there as a person but rather as a presence.You offer them that space to allowed yourself to be connected to them without judgment.
A Man’s Best Friend
When you relate and communicate with your dog there is no judgment from the dog. The dog accepts you unconditionally, as you are. There is a sense of freedom when you talk to your dog because you are not being judged. The dog does not judge because it has only evolved to. a stage prior to thinking and that is why the dog has a simple natural presence. A human being has evolved beyond thinking to the state of awareness. Man and dog can connect on the level of non thinking awareness.
Living In The Space
Sometimes the universe is graceful and allows you to have a glimpse of that eternal now space. But the universe also wants you to ask for it, invite it into your life. The way you invite it in is by being more present in your life. More present moment awareness. A way of doing this is by being more conscious when doing everyday mundane things. Become an aware observer of the wonderful world around you without falling into the trap of thinking.
The Illusion Of Time
On the one hand past and future only exist in your mind. On the other hand time dominates the reality of the life we experience on this plane.
The surface level of reality is dominated by time. We sometimes think that time will eventually fulfil our deepest desires. Time will eventually make us happy. “One day in a future time, I will die and go to heaven”. Time will solve all my problems. Procrastination is the biggest deception that robs us of our lives in the now. You can not find happiness by looking into the future. The ingrained (deep-rooted) mental pattern makes us look for happiness in the future and we continually deceive ourselves because we never find it in the future. The deception is that we are always looking for something in the next moment and never being fully present in this moment.
The Problem With Problems
You identify your whole sense of self with problems. You seem to be continually involved with problems. Therefore your whole sense of identity is intimately involved and wrapped up in the problems you have (or think you have). To solve this problem ask yourself: what problem do you have right now? For a problem to exist you need time and mind activity. Most often you will find you don’t have a problem in the present.
These gold nuggets of truth from the heart of Echart Tolle will fundamentally transform you life. To experience the real power of living in the now requires you to practice living in the now moment by moment and day by day. To become aware that you are not your thoughts. That the higher self is above and behind your thoughts. The real you lives in a higher dimension where there is no past and no future. Only the eternal now exists in that place. The real you is aware of everything. Is one with all and is beyond the thought process of your mind.