Category Archives: Eckhart Tolle

Epidemic of Separateness

If I had to pin point the biggest problem in the world today, I would say that it is the epidemic of separateness that permeates every aspect of our lives.

As a society we are always trying to place everyone in their appropriate category, and battling ourselves to improve our status. It happens with the choice of the car you drive, the clothes you wear, or the degree on your wall.

We are also clamouring to rank people.

Radio stations rank the top singers. Hollywood awards oscars to the best actors. Forbes names the richest people in the world. America’s Most Wanted has the most dangerous criminals. TSN names the best hockey players.

Why do we do this?

Many people often align themselves with those they admire in order to elevate their status to the same level. And should anyone say something negative about anothers hero, they would defend them as if they were their own child. This is very prevalent in sports where some fans are so aligned with the success of their team that they violently defend their honour against all opposers, Occasionally to the point of death.

From the negative spectrum we are also very quick to condemn those we perceive as below us. The homeless, the criminals, the drug users, all allow us to elevate our own status at the cost of our perception of their value as human’s.

Perhaps it is fear that drives us. Fear that we will never become anything of value, or fear that we have nothing more to offer.

The truth of the matter is that we are all one. No one better. No one worse

We all came from this planet. Everything inside us is from the earth. Whatever force created the universe is equal inside all of us. To paraphrase Eckhart Tolle “We don’t have a life, we are life.”

Would you rank the best trees? I suppose you could rank the tallest tree, the greenest, or the longest living. But none of that captures the essence of a tree. How from billions of years of creation the universe has expressed itself so perfectly in it’s stillness. Don’t get it? It sure is tall though.

And that is essentially what happens with people. When we rank everything in such a superficial way we ignore the very essence inside every person. We forget that in the most important way we are all linked, we are all one.

If everyone truly realized this I wonder how different the world would be. Would millions be left to starve while millions of others waste food? Would those without money and insurance be left without health care? Would wars be waged if you realized how closely linked you are with those you wish to attack?

Maybe one day…

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The End of Suffering

Breakthrough!

After having somewhat of a dreadful morning I came across this passage from Eckhart Tolle and it triggered an aha moment. It speaks of the loss of sense of self, awakening, and the end of suffering.

What exactly is the connection between suffering and spiritual awakening? How does one lead to the other? When you look closely at the nature of human suffering you will find that an essential ingredient in most kinds of suffering is a diminishment of one’s sense of self. Take illness, for example. Illness makes you feel smaller, no longer in control, helpless. You seem to loose your autonomy, perhaps become dependent on others. You become reduced in size, figuratively speaking. Any major loss has a similar effect: some form that was an important part of your sense of who you are – a person, a possession, a social role – dissolves or leaves you and you suffer because you had become identified with it and it seems you are losing yourself or a part of yourself. In reality, of course, what feels like a diminishment or loss of your sense of self is the crumbling of an image of who you are held in the mind. What dissolves is identification with thought forms that had given you your sense of self. But that sense of self is ultimately false, is ultimately a mental fiction. It is the egoic mind or the “little me” as I sometimes call it. To be identified with a mental image of who you are is to be unconscious, to be unawakened spiritually. This unawakened state creates suffering, but suffering creates the possibility of awakening. When you no longer resist the diminishment of self that comes with suffering, all role-playing, which is normal in the unawakened state, comes to an end. You become humble, simple, real. And, paradoxically, when you say “yes” to that death, because that’s what it is, you realize that the mind-made sense of self had obscured the truth of who you are – not as defined by your past, but timelessly. And when who you think you are dissolves, you connect with a vast power which is the essence of your very being. Jesus called it: “eternal life.”