Eckhart Tolle on “The Dark Night of the Soul” Experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mpybTfz6rU

tollemictalk.jpgIn this short video, the questioner asks about his personal experience with ‘the dark night of the soul’ (which I thought was the most powerful part of this video and the main reason that I listed it here) and his sudden spiritual awakening because of that complete reality break.

The questioner then asks Eckhart about that ‘merging into Allness’ experience that he was suddenly immersed in where he lost his sense of identity and watched himself and his thoughts as they arose, as though they were separate from him.  Eckhart briefly mentions his own DNOS experience and then comments on the aspect of mind expansion into Allness and total awareness.

Eckhart then comments with a well-used quote on the nature of awareness itself: “The Tao that can be spoken of is not the true Tao.”

Awareness is indescribable, incomprehensible.  We experience only minute portions of the pool of total awareness.  Our personal comprehension of awareness pertains mainly to sensing our own life experience—how we perceive the world around us and ourselves in relationship to that world and to all the aspects of it, living and non.mysssarknightquote653

The thoughts we have about our personal experience are only our ego trying to make sense of its existence within the matrix portion of awareness that our human sense-making organ (our individual mind) can comprehend.  When we surpass our personal boundaries and tap into the Greater Awareness, we no longer THINK—we simply observe and ride the flow wherever it goes.  We don’t compare experiences for goodness or badness. We simply observe them as they arise.

We input without judgment or expectation or anticipation or attempts to define anything.

It can be an amazing experience of peacefulness and lovingness.  And it can also make you feel like you are losing it completely.spiritawaken67

So I like to temper my descriptions of the spiritual awakening or the Kundalini awakening experience with bits of how disruptive it can also be to your normal daily affairs and relationships.  If you listen to Eckhart, it took him years to come back to our mutual-consensus reality, and even then it was never fully back to the life that he once knew.  He was forever changed—for the better maybe, but let me tell you from my own experience, getting to that BETTER may not be an easy slog.

So be careful with your own spiritual awakening practices. Make sure you have a support team around to help you back from your space launch so you don’t burn up in the atmosphere on reentry.  Yes, some ‘dark nights of the soul’ (if they don’t kill you) can lead to kundalini awakening and reunion with the Oneness and Allness from which we emerged. But they can also be grueling, gauntlet-running, sanity-testing, limits-of-your-endurance experiences that are handled best if not faced alone.  ramdassdark night.jpg

I think in today’s world the hazards of sudden spiritual awakening are more broadly understood than a few decades ago, but there are few who have not personally experienced it for themselves who will ever relate to how bad it can get before it gets better. So if you are going through your own ‘dark night of the soul,’ look for others who can best help you through it.

That’s why I’m writing about it now.

 

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On the Nature of Consciousness

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In this video Deepak Chopra, MD, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD., were discussing “the Nature of Consciousness” in front of a large in-house audience. https://www.facebook.com/1975293189394717/videos/2006140909643278/

Kabat-Zinn was talking about his parents who, through their own careers and pursuits, kabatzinnport.jpgboth held very separate views of what reality meant to them, and how he, as a child and then a man, used his parents’ disparate reality views to steer his own late-adolescent life into the subjects that he pursued during his academic endeavors.

If you are into meditation or meditative philosophy, you are familiar with Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose first book that I read way-back-when was Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.

These two were talking about many of their early-academia influences such as quantum physicist David Bohm and religious scholar Huston Smith, and the Indian mystic/intellectual/philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti whose subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, and how the group psyche must evolve to meet the needs of this world now awakening. “I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. … The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

So basically during this conversation between Chopra and Kabat-Zinn, I’m chopradialog.jpgcomprehending that all these previous influential thinkers mentioned by them provided the scaffolding from which each of them constructed their own personal views on life in general, and showed them how best to perceive and interpret this reality experience for themselves.  They each created their version of reality through the influence of others who had previously affected them in some way—a newly shared perspective perhaps—a new way of thinking or considering the world around us.

And while I’m writing this, I realize that I’m doing the very same thing in my blog posts—I’m charting the history of my early influences and how my personal philosophy now reflects those influences and the thoughts first expressed long ago by others. Perhaps most of us are mere synthesizers of other’s original thought.  Possible, I suppose.  Or there is NO original thought, just periods of time in which that thought surfaces for consideration from various humanpreceiverconscious.jpgreceptors of consciousness who interpret it in their own ways.

So back to the nature of reality and consciousness: Here you have two meditation masters discussing the process and benefits of meditation, but also how reality is a personal creationan intention of how you focus your consciousness.  Okay but…..

 So what is consciousness?  (I thought that’s what they were suppose to discuss but didn’t.)

What is consciousness?  Wow—that’s a tough one (which must be why they didn’t get into specifics), other than to say consciousness is awareness of self and the greater surroundings.

Awareness is simply sentience—the ability to feel, perceive, or experience.

But interpretation of that awareness is what shifts the perception to judgment or opinion, and makes for subjective reality, which is how each of us interprets the reality experience for ourselves.

the-nature-of-human-consciousness.jpgSo then does that mean that the nature of consciousness is simply the aware observer observing that whatever is, IS? 

Or is consciousness an infinite ocean of Allness from which our meager perceptive abilities can sample only droplets at a time without flooding our sensing mechanisms (blowing our minds)?

I think Eckhart Tolle referred to this previously somewhere, that consciousness is NOT a “thing”—it is EVERYTHING—ALLNESS—the Source of us individually and ALL other possibilities.

Consciousness is that infinite, ever-present ocean—ever churning, ever pulsing, ever being, wave after wave, in indescribable vastness and indeterminable immensity—substance, void, material and non, presence, imfiniteocean56.jpgessence, simply ALL possibilities both imaginable and inconceivable.  

For humans, consciousness refers to our material processes of being alive and aware of our surroundings, including the awareness of ourselves.

But consciousness in general is indefinable and indistinguishable from what we refer to as God or Source.

No wonder Chopra and Kabat-Zinn avoided the details on the nature of consciousness in that hour discussion.

 

Explaining the Divine Purpose of the Universe

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Well now, THERE’s a subject to consider!

Here are a few quick notes from Eckhart Tolle’s explanation from the question he was asked on this subject.

(Here also is the actual video of Eckhart Tolle giving his explanation for the Divine Purpose of the Universe:  https://www.eckharttollenow.com/new-home-video/default.aspx?free=/594579485/ )

“The Universe wants to awaken consciousness (in general) coming into this dimension.  ..But the Divine Purpose is two-fold:  One, is the Universe delights in creation, …creativity, …creating new forms….  It delights in experiencing itself THROUGH those forms.  …ONE life expressing itself through countless life forms…

TWO, the Universe also wants to know its own source…it wants ‘source-realization’. … There is an outgoing movement into creation, but there is a return movement where it wants to realize itself, and its essence through YOU.  The Universe wants both.    …

The return movement expresses as coming totally into the present moment, stepping away from becoming, into BEING.

BECOMING is the outward movement, … BEING is the return, the BE STILL and BE in this present moment and go deeply into just BEING.  …divinepurposeunitolle56

For us (as humans living in this dimension), it means finding balance between the two.

 

For outward movement, create not from a place of Egoic need, … create from a playful participation in the world of form without losing oneself in the creation or the DOING aspect.

There are those who simply hold the frequency of the planet. (He calls them) ‘frequency-holders’ … they are more into BEING, than DOING.

There are those who are more into creation and DOING, but they must maintain their playfulness (to do so without ego fixation).

So the Divine Purpose of the Universe is to know itself, both through the creation of form and the realization of the formless essence (the Source itself). …And YOU are here as part of that (process).”

***

This makes perfect sense to me because I’ve been on both paths: Earlier in my life I was creating the activities that help to shift energetic frequency, and I am now simply HOLDING the energetic frequency as high as I possibly can.  I was once a Do-er, and now I am more of a BE-er.

And that’s okay with me, which is quite a flip for a once Type-A,  DO-er.

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The Purpose of the Universe

I did remember there was one quote in Chopra’s book that I wanted to salvage before shoving it onto the “oblivion shelf”:

“We participate in the universe by finding order and figuring out where the patterns come from. Einstein hit upon a deep truth when he said,I want to know the mind of God; everything else is just details.’  Substitute ‘the purpose of the universe’ for tolledivinepurposeof universe‘the mind of God’ and you have a goal worth pursuing for a lifetime.” (p73, You Are the Universe, etc.)

I’m pretty sure that is the very thing I said not long ago that I am pursuing in this blog: I want to know the purpose of the universe. I want to know the why’s, and how’s and where’s, and when’s of it all. So if I ever had a doubt that this is the right path for me to follow, I guess Deepak just confirmed for me that it is.

Thank you, Deepak!  Maybe that quote alone will move you from the “oblivion shelf” to the “think-about-it shelf” .

He also further described the ‘all choice possibilities’ being explored in M-theory and multiverses, which were favorite subjects of Stephen Hawking and Max multidefinition4.jpgTegmark, besides being one of my favorite subjects in this blog.

But rather than seriously considering the “multiverse” concept, Chopra/Kafatos said they prefer the concept that “the universe is self-organizing, driven by its own working processes. In a self-organizing system, each new layer of creation must regulate the prior layer. So the generation of every new layer in the universe, from particle to star to galaxy to black hole, cannot be considered random, given that it was created from a pre-existing layer that in turn was regulating the layer that produced it.” (p 71)

Hmmm.  Who said the multiverse was random, Deepak?  wattsquote76

I consider the multiverse intentional and more self-educating by whatever choice is made.  Isn’t “self-educating” how they train AI (artificial intelligence) systems? They learn from their previous choices and the results obtained from them, as to how successful those choices were to achieving their end goal?  And doesn’t that parallel how humans learn through our species-inherited rewards/punishment behavior motivators—just exponentially faster?

Anyway, those were a few quotes I did mark for further consideration from the You Are the Universe book.

True, one can find substantiating evidence no matter where one looks for any personally-held theory, but that also is a contributing aspect of the expanding human universe we daily live through our own unique perspectives and interpretations.

“It isn’t what we look at that is important, but what we see that makes it so.”

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What Does It Mean to Be ME?

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Going within, according to Eckhart Tolle, is to taste the essence of who we are at soul level.  Being a Presence—the recognition of Beingness—is the footprint of Spirit in physical form, and yet, Spirit exists beyond physicality. We are everywhere and nowhere, distinguished only by our point of singularity—or as Carlos Castaneda would call it in his many books, by our “reality assemblage point” positioned in our luminous energy field.universewitnessing.jpg

But back to Eckhart, when you are conscious of yourself, you are aware of what consciousness is. You are the object of your consciousness, but at the same time, you are still consciousness even without the object being conscious of itself.

 

If you are somewhat confused, you aren’t alone. I like Eckhart butthatiam6and his philosophical examinations on our Earthly presence here, but to speak fluent “Eckhart Tolle” is to turn phrases into circular statements. And yet, there is such profuse clarity in flipping our thoughts to reflect back to us their underlying intent—a type of perceptual juxtapositioning—that it feels like suddenly understanding the Zen koan “the sound of one hand clapping,” as when you smack your forehead with recognition of understanding the truth behind the ancient mystery.

What set this post off was that I listened to a short video of Eckhart’s on what it means to lightofconsciousnessgo within, https://www.eckharttollenow.com/new-home-video/default.aspx?free=/847159847/ and found that I understood more than what his words were implying, but at the same time, I missed the point of “What it means to be me” other than I am the metaphorical beam of sunlight looking back at the sun.

I get it and yet, I didn’t. Is that the whole point?

To be ME, must be to be confused—sunburned and blinded by the light’s intensity, but still confused.

The confusion part of ME-ness I understand very well.

This must have been a participatory exercise rather than a lecture.

Notes from “The Secret of Life” (2017) by Eckhart Tolle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atCYBU7_YsIeckharttolle5.jpg

I am a fan of Eckhart Tolle and have read many of his books, including The Power of NOW, so here are a few notes from this video titled “The Secret of LIFE”. I found that he elaborates on Presence and the concept of being present better here than in other videos I’ve seen from him. The actual YouTube version is listed above if you are interested:

“…There are two dimensions to you—to who you are—one that you are very familiar with—the person—the personal entity with a past and a future, ….including the physical body—the entity of ME—its life situation. That is usually the limit to people’s perceptions of themselves, not realizing that there is a deeper dimension in them that is…the Light of Consciousness—so that any moment you are both a person and you are the Light of lightofconsciousness6.jpgConsciousness that has nothing to do with your person or personal history….when the Light of Consciousness predominates over the personal sense of self, I call that being Present. There is a presence which you cannot touch or see or make into an object of consciousness. ….Because the Presence is an eternal subject not an object to your consciousness. …

“So in any situation—in the NOW—when you can sense the Presence rather than the personal, ….who are you really? Are you the Light of Consciousness seeing others around you without judgment, …or can you only operate as the Person of YOU with your psychological makeup—your sense of limited perception?  How do you feel, ….how do you sense, …the deeper Consciousness itself (of which you are only a minute part)?… At preeentmomentallthis moment (when you are in Presence) your problems have NO reality… you have only Presence. Therefore, you have no problem. …(Only when you start thinking about things do you perceive ‘problems’.  Problems do not exist in Presence. There may be situations and interactions occurring, ..but that is only what they are…situations and interactions occurring around you, …you can observe them in Presence. When you judge them and designate them as deleterious to you, then you make them ‘problems.’)

“The transcendent dimension can be experienced at any time as the simple powerful fact of the Light of Consciousness that you are.  …before the Light of Consciousness turns into a thought.  ..So you transcend your life situation and see your life situation as a timeless self immersed in the Light of Consciousness.  ..So then you can either be present or you can be immersed in your own stuff (that you judge and perceive as problems).

“…You carry the world inside your head with you,…so you cannot escape it. So you must bring the Presence into your daily existence so you can see thru the gaps in your daily life and simply be the Light of Consciousness… simply BE the Presence (without judgment or emotion).   When you are lost in your thoughts, you are lost in an illusory state of existence …unaware of who you really are.  livein now ekWhen you are Present, you can sense the peace of who you are in essence …you are not totally trapped in the personal sense of self.  A simple sense perception can take you out of your (thinking) mind and into your sense of just being.  This is when you can occupy two dimensions simultaneously: the formed and the formless—the personal and the Light of Consciousness itself.

“The fact that you are conscious at this moment is beyond doubt, but anything else could be a dream. …When you can know yourself as that Light of Consciousness (recognizing the illusory matter you call LIFE for the illusion that it is), …it is called self-realizationdeath and die ek

“You are the LIGHT from the projector, ….NOT the projection on the screen,…you are just the light.

“Challenges may distract us from our Presence, ….but then we wake up again to who we really are, …the Light of Consciousness, ..(not the projected image on the screen, ….we are just the Light behind it).

evolution ofconsciousness.jpg“We may experience challenging situations, but we do NOT have to suffer because of them, …because suffering is a choice. Suffering is how we choose to view any situation. Things happen to us, yes, …but SUFFERING because of those situations, is optional.”

 

“It’s wonderful to see you liberated from your personality.  To simply be your Presence without your rigid thought patterns or beliefs, …that is to be liberated.  And as you awaken there is a freedom in that, even though you may have your own particular characteristics, ….there is a transcendent consciousness that persists through it. That is who you are.”

The Path of NO-Path

My life, and all of ours if we are attentive, is humorously synchronistic where I am constantly reminded to never take myself too seriously.  This morning the Universe presented me with numerous addendums to my previous post—all of which came through some fine “focal points.”

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“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself..” ~Eckhart Tolle

 

***

Ramana quote.jpgThe late great Sage Ramana Maharshi proclaimed that the final truth consists of the fact that there is no path, nor any such thing as progress. In other words, Reality is not some sort of attainment to be gained by a progression from state to state.

There is no final, triumphant union to be attained, because there never was any separation from the no-beginning. There is simply the unfathomable expanse of spontaneous presence, pure unborn awareness, regardless of any intermittent mental content which might appear in that sphere of being.

Recognizing the empty nature of both the dreaming as well as the dreamer is consideredRamana M.jpg by the sages to be liberation, though paradoxically, there is nobody being freed or bound. There is simply awakening to that which has always been the case, even as we daydreamed.”

~Bob O’Hearn
The Paradox of Inherent Perfection

https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/the-paradox-of-inherent-perfection/

***

 

“So then, here’s the drama. My metaphysics, let me be perfectly frank with you, are that there is the central Self, you could call it God you could call it anything you like. And its all of us. Its playing all the parts of all beings whatsoever everywhere and anywhere.

Alan Watts.jpgAnd its playing the game of hide and seek with itself. It gets lost, it gets involved in the farthest out adventures but in the end it always wakes up, and comes back to itself. And when you’re ready to wake up, you’re gonna wake up. And if you’re not ready your gonna stay pretending that you’re poor little me.”

Alan Watts – The Way of Waking UP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7blUYJm6i-c