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Eckhart Tolle is the most popular living spiritual teacher because his nature most clearly radiates the unshakable certainty that comes with having gone through the awakening process. Strangely however he is not talking about what made him awaken but about how to “be present” although this was not what facilitated his transformation.
In one night at age 29 after many years of depression , anxiety and suicidal moods he simply realized “I do not want live with me anymore” and this was such a deep experience that a permanent separation occurred between the suffering Eckhart and something he calls consciousness.
This separation occurred without him knowing anything about “being present”. Certainly he must have done something right in the years that led up to this event – he just says “suffering is a great teacher” but he does not tell us what it actually thought him except the ultimate lesson that “it is not his SELF that is suffering”.
Eckhart tells us how wonderful it is to feel the “life on the inside” while at the same time being aware of the impressions from the outside and how much this reduces the noise of thought. Everyone who tries this will agree that this is very true – but this was not the way that he came to his breakthrough that made this state so effortless and permanent for him now.
It’s a wonderful and calming technique if you are moderately happy and just want to have even more peace in your life. If you are very depressed full of anxieties, ADHD, or any other mental and emotional disturbance this can have a deeply healing effect.
But I want to question here that this will necessarily get you closer to awakening to this separation of consciousness from the lower self – the person with your name. This is a common dilema in most taechings of enlightened beings – they give little practical dettails about how they came to this transformation but more about what they realized to be of value now that they are on this level.
What caused him to awaken was not that his mind had become so calm and quiet or that he had learned though meditation or “being present” to be comfortable with his inner and outer world – NO the opposite the non-stopping mind and emotion had driven him to the edge of insanity and suicide and then it just happened . Most likly – if he would have found a teacher that would have given him effective metods to be more calm and centered this would not have happened.
If you are in a situation that you experience extreme intense emotions you might be in line for this ultimate breakthrough like Eckhart Tolle and then to understand that the pain is inevitable, is the bitter pill to swallow. You can make it shorter by accepting that suffering has a purpose, only suffering that is just too much, one that puts you into a corner were your Ego has no way to blame or explain anymore will eventually bake you into a new existence – make you twice born.
A billion times God has turned man back into Herself – We all stand in line for the highest gift HAFIZ
This understanding is the key for transformation which you need to bring to this internal struggle not one time but again and again because without it all the internal forces want you to blame or engage in self-pity not realizing the purpose of the ordeal.
There are two types of suffering one which I call the minor one, is suffering resulting from mistakes you make or defects of your personality that need to be changed – this is suffering that is necessary for the natural process of growth, just like every child has to put the hand in the fire to know that this hurts and know what to do in the future to avoid this pain.
However there is a major suffering that is not caused by your faults or that of others, if you are ready and lucky, this will come into your life because its your time to be born a second time, it will not happen in a day and you need to be careful not to do things that just make you feel better because they are cooling the internal fire – this is the moment when the purpose of existence is culminating and the creation of true faith that this suffering has the highest purpose.
So when you are in deep emotional trouble, especially when you feel that you do not see any way out, understand that this might be the most important time of your life, of many lifetimes and that it is this valuation, this golden light that you shine onto this suffering that is all that is required from you to make this gigantic step possible.
In this battle that makes you feel being pulled into pieces; there is nothing to change or to be victorious – it is analog to the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly , or a rocket leaving the gravity of earth behind.
What we really need is a new understanding of the value of suffering- of inner stress because it is this tension that needs apparently to be endured for some time before this awakening can occur – it is like a baking or destillation process and as in this analogy we can do things that take away the heat – just because is is not comfortable and then the baking or destillation will never come to an end.
If you agree that it is this separation between the you that has your name and conscisousness and that this sepration in order to become permanent needs intense heat then you might be ready to look at common spiritual techniques to see if they might not just reduce the heat rather than fasten the transformation process.