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 Jiddu Krishnamurti

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In my previous post, Chopra mentioned how influenced he was by Jiddu Krishnamurti, who was quite an interesting character in early 20th century philosophy and religious circles. As an adolescent in India he was “discovered” by Annie Besant of the Theosophical Society who was searching for the group‘s “world teacher.”

While Krishnamurti’s greatest thought and influence extended far beyond the limits of the TheJiddu_Krishnamurti_01.jpgosophical Society, the society itself was pretty amazing for the time period that it influenced:

(From Wikipedia) “The Theosophical Society was officially formed in New York City, United States, on 17 November 1875 by blavatskipicHelena Petrovna Blavatsky, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, and others. It was self-described as ‘an unsectarian body of seekers after Truth, who endeavour to promote Brotherhood and strive to serve humanity.’ Olcott was its first president, and remained president until his demise in 1907. In the early months of 1875, Olcott and Judge had come to realize that, if Blavatsky was a spiritualist, she was no ordinary one.[2] The society’s initial objective was the ‘study and elucidation of Occultism, the Cabala etc.’[3] After a few years Olcott and Blavatsky moved to India and established the International Headquarters at Adyar, in Madras (now Chennai). They were also interested in studying Eastern religions, and these were included in the Society’s agenda.[4] After several iterations the Society’s objectives evolved to be:

  1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour.
  2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science.
  3. To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. …”

So back when Krishnamurti was still in his teens, these folks from this theology-philosophy cult adopted him to represent their beliefs and teachings about spirituality and life in general; and to share those thoughts—including his direct-connection abilities to Higher Truth—with the rest of the world. They helped him further cultivate his existing knowledgebase, and encouraged him to reach deeper to decipher the meaning and purpose to life; which he definitely did, and much of what he later wrote about or spoke about, was first encouraged and supported by the Theosophical Society itself.

Theosophical Society post card front 001.jpgNow my personal connection to all of this is as strange as it gets.

My grandmother grew up in a little town best known from Walt Disney’s early childhood: Marceline, Missouri.  And evidently Walt wasn’t the only artist or illustrator near that tiny town in the early 20th century.  Evidently an A. Theo Bondy also resided near my grandmother who was named Alice, or often called “Allie.” And she must have been early friends with Mr. Bondy because in 1949 he sent her a Christmas postcard that I found many years after my grandmother’s death. (See the front and back for details)

That little postcard that I found in my grandmother’s hidden-treasure drawer, began my quest to find out more about the Theosophical Society,  and during that research, I discovered Jiddu Krishnamurti for myself and read his extensive philosophical contributions at that time.Theosophical Society postcard back 001.jpg

So there you go.  How strange is life itself?

This must be like one of those ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ things.

 

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 TAO (the Dao)

“Tao in the world is like a river flowing home to the sea.”
~Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching~thetaoqquote5.jpg

“Tao or Dao: 道 is a Chinese word meaning ‘way’, ‘path’, ‘route’… ‘Tao signifies the primordial essence or fundamental nature of the Universe. Tao is not a ‘name’ for a ‘thing’ but the underlying natural order of the Universe. It is thus ‘eternally nameless’ and to be distinguished from the countless ‘named’ things which are considered to be its manifestations.”    (posted on Ecological Consciousness)

I love Lao Tzu and Tao Te Ching quotes—they just feel good to me—like TRUTH feels when it resonates inside me.

Can’t say I am very learned in The Tao or Taoism, but I can say that what little I know, moontao5.jpgagain, feels more like a natural expression of myself in some way.

The Yin-Yang symbol (called the Taiji) is often used to represent the concept of the Tao—the in and out, the give and take, etc., often even representing the seeming polarity of the masculine or feminine principles.  But rather than as opposing forces, the pairings are meant to represent the complementary forces required to signify the wholeness or unity even in apparent duality—just as salt and pepper are simply condiments meant to enhance flavor, while still being distinct in their own attributes and coloring.taoquote67

I knew I could do an entire post with nothing but Lao Tzu or Tao Te Ching quotes because these abound everywhere and they still seem applicable to our present life.

The Tao Te Ching is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi, or presently known as Lao Tzu. That’s a long time for catchy phrases to be hanging around and still be considered as ancient wisdom.

Even simple ones still have tremendous depth of meaning:

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Wow…that one hit me in numerous ways—the positive and negative space references—the substance and emptiness aspects. The “It’s all in how you fill the emptiness” aspect that can be so significant to the vessel’s importance—just ask any psychologist the truth of that statement.

There is so much potential in that one simple quote.

Then there is one quote more applicable to what I normally write about on self-transformation:taoquote63

 

So while I may not know much about Taoism other than I really like the quotes of Lao Tzu, in some ways I feel that I really do know the TAO—which is the essence of the universe that expresses itself through us in unique and powerful ways, because that’s the part of my life that I like the best.

“If Not Now, Then When?”

(Thanks to Tao & Zen on  May 25  for this posting from Lama Surya Das in 1994)

(I personally align to no particular religion, but am open to quality spiritual thought. I like Buddhism for its psychological depth and self-examination aspects. I like Hinduism for its ancient Vedic Seers (as well as more modern saints) who were capable of parting the veil obscuring our perceptions on this life. I like agnostics who claim that we can’t possibly know God based solely on our limited comprehensions. And I especially like the wisdom of our own Higher Self aspects that define our life experiences within the context that this human vehicle is capable of understanding.  To me, this article expresses all of those ‘likes’ by simply discussing Dharma—the way of awakening to one’s fullest potential.)

“Buddhist meditation is the heart of the path of awakening. It is called Dharma… the way of awakening to one’s fullest potential, in Western terms.buddhamedpic5.jpg

‘Awakening from what?’ you might ask. Awakening from the sleep of semiconsciousness, the dream of delusion. Awakening to enlightenment, illumination, freedom, nirvanic peace, inner peace as well as outer peace.

This is a path that we travel. It is not a dogma or belief system that we need to accept. In fact, as a very wonderful wise friend of mine, an American lama, once said, “It doesn’t really matter what we believe. It only matters what we do and are.”

I found that interesting. In Buddhism we usually say it doesn’t matter what we do, it matters how aware we are. It shows that the outer and inner are totally inseparable. It is what we are that counts, but that is what we do, actually. Our inner state shows up in our behavior…

If we practice this path, we experience the fruits, the results. Each of us innately has that Buddha potential or Buddha-nature, enlightened perfect nature.

Not just in us, like a needle in a haystack, so hard to find; rather, it is us, just waiting to be realized fully, or actualized. So this path of meditative practice, of self-inquiry, of cultivation of awareness is a practice path that we travel ourselves. Not a dogma we need to believe.

This meditative practice is like a mirror to help us see ourselves, to better know ourselves, thoroughly — our true selves, not just our superficial personalities and conditioned social selves, our persona, but our true nature, our true selves. To unfold and realize that is possible. That’s what we call awakening the Buddha within.

An ancient rabbi, Hillel I think, said, “If not you, then who? And if not now, when?” If you are not the Bodhisattva, a selfless spiritual activist or hero serving the welfare of beings, who will be?

And if not now, when? This is a call to action–not just worldly, compulsive busy-body-like activity, but a call to Buddha-activity, enlightened activity, enlightened living… ifnotnowwhen7.jpg

Not just living wisdom from the eyebrows up, totally cerebral and intellectual. Rather, embodying truth and living it.”

~ Lama Surya Das ~ Excerpts from “Dharma Talk,” October 24, 1994; Cambridge, MA.

 

“YOU Are the YOU-niverse”

With all the weekend precipitation received here I wish that I could say I had at least enjoyed the intense reading that this “quality inside time” allowed me.

diamondimage6.jpgInstead I can say I waded through two books that have long been sitting by my recliner. And the best thing I can say about both of them is that they can now be shelved away in my reference bookcase for future culling to Goodwill.

I love books, and I usually love good psychology/spirituality writers;  AND… I don’t like giving out bad reviews because any book critique is subjective and personally biased, BUT……..I think I want my money back from these two.

The first was A.H. Almaas book about the ‘Diamond Approach’ that he championed in psychology circles a few decades ago.

His book is called ESSENCE WITH THE ELIXIR OF ENLIGHTENMENT: The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization, …which sounded like something almaasbookessenceI’d love to read doesn’t it?  Yeah, that’s what I thought when I bought it.  Here we are defining reality and the unpinnings of the human experience: What is reality? What is spirituality? How does a human actually experience both?  What does it MEAN to do so?

Well maybe the copyright date of 1986 had more to do with this book’s pioneering appeal to introducing spirituality into psychology’s mental health approach in the early 1990’s than what it meant to me in the now, but I had to speed-read through it forcing myself to complete it.  Perhaps long ago in the newly-birthed spiritual movement in clinical psychology this book was considered influential and enlightening, but it did little for me in 2018, and THAT is what my review of it means for the present.

The other book I read was by one of the better-known spirituality writers of the last century: Deepak Chopra.  I can honestly say that I’ve read most books by Deepak, with chopragreenback.jpegsome books being better than others.  I still follow him on Facebook to hear his latest thoughts on our present-day situations.  I even commented on one of his articles awhile back (Nov. 22, 2017 – “How to Reset the Mind”) where he titled his article “Does the Human Mind Need a Fresh Start?”  I stated then that I thought his article was lengthy and involved, and sounded a bit “Buckminster Fullerish” where he tried to be so all inclusive and over-encompassing that it lacked focus and clarity.

Well, imagine him writing an entire 263-page book that same way explaining modern psychics and the latest Grand Unified Theory of Everything—the QUANTUM of life-as-we-know -it experience from his learned medical/spiritual perspective along with an astrophysicist, Dr. Menas Kafatos.  They call their new theory the “Qualia” Paradigm. It basically explains that the universe that we perceive is purely subjective and dependent on human perception to exist. Ok. We create our own reality—I do buy that part.

However in this book, it is goodbye string theory, adios to the Planck’s Quantum theory era with your waves and particles.

Here is all you ever thought you might want to know about the developmental history and modern theories of the Science of Physics and how to view/understand the world around us. Wow! What an undertaking, you might think. And it read just like that: What an undertaking to read this book.

The book is called: YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE: DISCOVERING YOUR COSMIC SELF AND youareuniversebook.jpgWHY IT MATTERS, by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Menas Kafatos, Ph.D.   The best I can say about it is that at least I actually have a few penciled underlines in this one, whereas the Almaas book is crystal clear.

And I hate to fault Deepak for simply being Deepak. He tries so hard to explain spirituality against the more difficult aspects of modern physics and how to relate the spiritual experience into all of that equation-/math-dependent, empirical research environment that we define as the “scientific approach.”

He really tries to explain the nearly unexplainable about our present world; and I’m sure that I’ve gained a greater understanding about historical attitudes and approaches to the “What is life?” question that the scientific community has considered for centuries, ever since the overpowering Church institution relinquished its death-grip on “enlightened secular thinking.”

kafatosshoprapic.jpgBut Deepak being Deepak, gets wordy and lengthy and anecdotal and then one simile follows another simile, followed by analogies, followed by more similes and analogies because this stuff is hard to fathom any other way for those of us who are NOT into “physics” explanations and equations.

I’m glad he tried to dumb-it-down for those of us who might never have comprehended the basics of the physics theories any other way, but…. he doesn’t really convince this reader on his somewhat extrapolated theories other than I already believe what he’s trying to write. He doesn’t have to convince me.

And I don’t think his qualia principles and accompanying explanations are quitetimespacematterchopra.jpg the end-product of his own subjective, deductive logic.  But, again, good try Deepak.

On to the dusty bookshelf they both go.

The Stranger-Than-We-Can-Think Universe

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I’m pretty sure I came into this world with a big question mark on my forehead; and you can view that in every possible way because over the years I’ve probably considered most of them as well.

But foremost in my own search for answers to my deepest and most pressing life questions are the “how things work” and” Why are they intended to function in the manner that they do?” issues.

To me there is ample evidence that we live in a purposeful universe. We may not understand those purposes behind much of what we see around us, but there seems to be a logic of sorts—an intention, if you will, behind the structure of what we call physical reality and the interacting forces/components that create it.

I think it was one of my personal heroes, Buckminster Fuller, who said something to the effect that ‘geometry was the language of creation.’   If you as a reader want a mental challenge, read his two volumes of Synergetics (Book 1 and 2): Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking’.  I won’t pretend that I fully understood them but I did get the basic idea behind them—life is designed—nature is an intentional creation, but the questions of why, by whom and for whom are still unknown.

Buckminster Fuller was such a prolific thinker and articulator of the complexities of reality:

“Up to the Twentieth Century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see, and hear. Since the initial publication of the chart of the electromagnetic spectrum, humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one-millionth of reality. Ninety-nine percent of all that is going to affect our tomorrows is being developed by humans using instruments and working in ranges of reality that are nonhumanly sensible.”   [R. Buckminster Fuller on Education (University of zodiacman.jpgMassachusetts Press, 1979), p. 130]

Or maybe we could consider another of my favorites, C.G. Jung’s thoughts on reality:

Jung: “The underlying, primary psychic reality is so inconceivably complex that it can be grasped only at the farthest reach of intuition, and then but very dimly. That is why it needs symbols.” – Carl Jung

So while much of what I write refers to relatable subjects that affect us in somewhat comprehensible ways, there is still much that also daily affects us that we are unable to grasp even the concepts of, let alone the significance of those affectations.

EintsteinQuestionEverything.pngAnd from Albert Einstein came the importance of stating those questions themselves:  “ If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”    [Albert Einstein, (1879 – 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate How to Define a Problem]

The world we think that we know is an intricate place that is likely beyond our present ability to understand the interconnectivity and true complexities of it.  But that doesn’t stop us from trying to do so in our own ways.

This blog is about mine.