#4671 - Sunday, August 5, 2012
Nonduality Highlights Issue #4671, Sunday, August 5, 2012
By usurping the impersonal subjectivity of the one Absolute subject as that of an individual person, the human being commits the original sin and therefore comes under bondage. As soon as this mistaken identity is realized and the true identity as the one formless and eternal subject or witness is established, the bondage disappears and there is enlightenment.
- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels
A sociology professor once told me that he believed in magic. I thought this is interesting, a sociologist expressing a belief in fairies...
No, he said, the biggest magic of all is language itself. He then talked about the "Thomas Effect": "if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences". This professor knew what he was talking about. He was under the spell of spelling. He used to get irate over spelling mistakes in my essays!
Words are like spells. They hypnotize and mesmerize language-users into believing that language "describes"/mirrors a pre-existent non-linguistic reality but actually words write this "reality." Words do not describe; they inscribe what they purport to describe.
In Zen, it is said that we tie ourselves up in knots without any rope. The "knots" are all conceptual; that is, they are made of nothing but words. The only apparent obstacle to peace and happiness, it would seem, is the "mind." The good news is that it doesn't actually exist. The bad news is that we're convinced that it does!
Whatever, never mind the "mind," look for it:
Looking for the mind is like looking for wine in an empty wine bottle!
- Brother Beatnik, posted to allspirit
Eckhart: Most people are not aware that they have a voice in their head that they predominantly identify with. It is primarily an unhappy voice. It is essential to understand that the sense of self that comes from the voice in the head is a conceptual one derived from the past--it is a conditioning. It is always a breakthrough to step out of identification with the stream of thinking. It is an aware presence, like waking up - thus the term "awakening". Waking up out of the stream of thinking is a completely new dimension of consciousness. You can recognize the voice in your head as beliefs, memories, etc. and know that it is not YOU. Who you are cannot be defined through mental knowing. In essence, you and the present moment are One. You are the consciousness out of which everything comes. Essentially, you are the conscious aware space.
Oprah: Did it blow your mind to awaken?
Eckhart: Yes, but I didn't understand it. I was just in a state of deep inner peace. I understood three years later, when I was talking to a Zen monk. He explained that it was going beyond thinking, and the repetitive thinking was gone.
Oprah: Isn't to think human?
Eckhart: Yes. It can be powerful and wonderful. It only becomes an affliction when one is totally identified with thinking and the "story of me". When you realize "I am the awareness behind the thinking", you are no longer possessed by the thinking mind. It becomes a tool but not a "self". That spacious aware presence in a relationship is the greatest gift you can give a person. Can you listen in a simple state of alertness--as a presence rather than as a person? Then there's no judgment or definition. No mental labels. Many people love pets, and they are the only area where they realize that they can communicate and relate to another being because that being is not judging them. It gives them a sense of freedom. An animal is in a state prior to thinking. Humans can move beyond thinking. Both are awareness.
Oprah: How can you live in that space?
Eckhart: First acknowledge and be grateful for glimpses of that space. Then you can invite space by bringing in more present moment awareness. Bring more presence into your life with the simple things--washing hands, making coffee, waiting--be there as the still, alert presence. Bring as many spaces into life as possible. Take one half a minute to pause and become present to the moment throughout the day. On one level, no one can argue with time - the past and future. Time is something we cannot do without. It dominates the surface level of reality. People look at time to eventually give them what they need. There are two ways of being unhappy - getting what you want, and not getting what you want. When you are always expecting something in the next moment it means you are never fully in this one. Many people identify their sense of self with problems. Often I say, "What problem do you have at THIS moment?" Sometimes people will wake up for a moment. You might have a challenge but it is not a problem without time and repetitive mind activity. You always have to admit that right now there is no problem.
Oprah: Do you live this way all the time?
Eckhart: Yes. I'm always in the now. Occasionally anger arises and passes through quickly. You can't argue with what is or you suffer.
Oprah: Does it leave you passionless to live in the moment?
Eckhart: You are more passionately alive when you are living in the present moment. Complaining and resisting is denying the present moment.
Oprah: How do you plan for the future?
Eckhart: Enjoy your planning for the future. Are you losing yourself in the future or using time and future on a practical level? When you say, "At some point in the future I will finally be happy", that is a projection that causes unhappiness. Psychological time is continual obsession with the past and the future.
Oprah: Do you feel that you are straddling both worlds?
Eckhart: Yes. There is a balance between dealing with things that require time and thinking, but not being trapped by it. There is a deeper dimension inside you that is outside that stream of thinking.
- Conversation between Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle, posted to The_Now2
If you're wise, be foolish.
If you can see, squint.
Though you can hear, sit
dumb as an old rock.
Whatever anyone says,
listen and agree.
This is a friendly practice,
and it leads to some truth.
- Lalla, from Naked Song - Versions by Coleman Barks, posted to AlongTheWay
My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I'm with.
If you're not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words
tangle and knot up.
How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.
When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom
to the ocean. There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can't hope.
The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.
Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back to you.
- Rumi Ghazal 1073, version by Coleman Barks, from The Essential Rum, posted to Sunlight