Hi again Kungwu,
Kungwu111 wrote:"nothing can then really shake the deep peace within you" - the keyword here is "really"...like the water on the surface of a lake could be rippled when wind blows but the bottom of the lake remains still...
Yes, I understand.
It is the attempt of this whole article for "some fundamental shift of perspective" -
Yes, I hear you. My question was, to what degree is such a shift possible? Or to be more precise, to what degree is such a shift temporary or permanent?
A permanent shift of our fundamental psychology would be amazing indeed, and I can see why people want permanent peace, surely that is understandable. But...
Where is the evidence such a thing is possible, or possible for any significant number of people? As example...
If Tolle was serious about showing that he has achieved such a fundamental transformation he would volunteer for some challenging situation such as being in jail. At the least he would get a regular mundane job like most of students have to deal with. He would show us that it's possible to work the midnite shift at the bakery for minimum wage year after year, and still be happy.
But what does Tolle do instead? He puts himself on a big public pedestal, surrounds himself with adoring fans, and proceeds to get rich on their purchases of his services. My guess is that Tolle still feels small inside, like most of the rest of us, and that's why he is reaching for all this bigness.
My point is not that Tolle is a bad guy, because I really don't think he is. I just think he's leading a group fantasy that would best be set aside in favor of readily available common sense thought management techniques.
As example, do we search for the food that will end our hunger forever? No, we accept that we will need to eat regularly. We accept what is. We don't accept hunger, but we do accept the need to continually manage hunger. That is, we don't distract ourselves with an illusory search for a permanent solution. We are realistic, serious, practical. Managing hunger day after day isn't glamorous, but it beats the hell out of being hungry.
The search for a permanent peace is really just another glamorous becoming trip, like the quest to become rich, famous, popular etc. It's not acceptance of what is, it's avoidance of what is.
Of course I could be wrong, and hopelessly limited by my own silly little situation. So if you can provide a list of people who can demonstrate permanent peace by some method other than wonderful speeches, I'm willing to listen.
I'm actually open to the idea that some rare end of bell curve type individuals may exist who are to psychology what say, Mozart was to music, Einstein to science. But if true, I don't see their relevance to our lives. Mozart could teach us how to play piano, but not how to be a Mozart, which is essentially what Tolle is trying to do.
You are not your mind or the conceptual identity you have of yourself. You are the awareness itself. Understanding this at the mental level will not do it. Its true recognition (self recognition of the awareness) can only happen through direct experience...
I don't dispute such experiences can happen. My point is that once the experience is over we will be required to return to thought to function as a human being, and then "me" and all the rest of what goes with that will return. I'm suggesting making peace with the reality of being human. To think is to suffer, and we have to think at least some of the time.
My experience was one day about 6 years ago, I was reading "Stillness Speaks" (by Eckhart Tolle) while I was contemplating what is this stillness...by looking around a plant on our balcony...the stillness is inside and outside the plant, completely...how...what..is this stillness?
I had similar experiences over 40 years ago, and as you can see, I'm still yelling at people on forums.
Not all the time, there are moments of stillness too. It's like the ocean, the tide comes in, the tide goes out, and it's foolishness to think I can change the nature of the ocean. It's wiser to just accept the times I get wet, and try to have a sense of humor about it.
Whoa, this post is an extra large thought wave at high tide. Watch out! Don't walk too close to the water if you're not ready to give up the fantasy Tolle is selling.
-- March 24th, 2016, 9:00 am --
"truly known through direct experience" meaning what?
Reading about sex is something entirely different than having sex.
Philosophizing about mental stillness is something entirely different than experiencing mental stillness.
If you have experienced this "I" can you perhaps talk us through this process step by step?
"I" is made of thought. To the degree one lowers the volume of thought, or perhaps turns it off altogether, "I" vanishes.
Put another way, the division between observer and observed is eased, or erased. There is no longer "me" observing "reality". There is just reality, sometimes called "what is".
And then you sooner or later have to return to thought to function in the world, and then "me" and the division between observer and observed returns.
It could be said there is a permanent transformation in the sense that once we know how to take a break from thought and "me" we don't need to fear mental suffering so much.
Kungwu is right that we can talk about this all day long on forums for years, and it won't accomplish much beyond casual entertainment. This is one of those cases where one actually has to do the homework to get much out of it. Analyzing the homework from a safe distance is really just a way to put off doing the actual homework. Not that that's a crime or anything, sometimes we just aren't ready.
If the things we want to hear could take us where we want to go, we'd already be there.