I’ve recently been doing a lot of reading of some not-so-traditional books and been finding myself all but in awe of the seeming truth that’s been pouring out to me. It’s like I read it and I have this feeling, like, this is it. Today I spent a good two and a half hours at Borders just flipping through about ten different books. What I read just made so much sense and created an emense thirst to read and learn more. I wrote down some of the passages from the book Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle. It’s not written in prose form, but rather in small snippets of material that make your head spin with the power and peace that they bring. I highly suggest looking it up.
It’s funny that everything that I stumble across, accidently or just absentmindedly seems to apply directly to me and where I am in my life. Many of you know about the trouble I’ve had in the last few years about my religious upbrining, and making decisions for myself about what I really believe. I don’t think I ever bought the whole Southern Baptist package. There are many problems that my adult mind now finds with what I was fed as a child, though I understand that none of it had viscious intent. I know now that condescending authority in the disguise of caring, spiritual people turned me off from the very beginning. I want something different. I am looking for something real. I don’t want a list of rules to follow, to be deemed “good” or “bad,” or to have to constantly wonder about whether or not I’ll actually go to Heaven. The idea of church that I grew up with is very much humanistic. I have a deep ache within me to connect with something bigger than human. Eckhart Tolle says at one point in his book that:
“Dogmas–religious, political, scientific–arise out of the erroneous belief that thought can encapsulate reality or the truth. Dogmas are collective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people love their prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a false sense of ‘I know.'”
It just feels so true to me. I think that this line of thinking is very different, and even when I think I understand it, I realize that I really don’t. It’s so different from what I’ve been taught. The whole concept of his books is that thought, the humanization of knowing, is what keeps us, the consciousness that is us, from just being.
I think that, even at an early age, I didn’t like church because it didn’t feel right. I believe I was taught some truth, but not the whole truth, and not everything that I was taught was true. Because the teachers were human and trying to authoritatively speak on something divine. There were too many answers. I agree with Tolle in this area, as I’ve thought for a long time about this, and his words mirror the thoughts in my head that until now have lacked words:
“A true spiritual teacher does not have anything to teach in the conventional sense of the world, does not have anything to give or add to you, such as new information, beliefs, or rules of conduct. The only function of such a teacher is to help remove what separates you from the truth of who you already are and what you already know in the depth of your being. The spiritual teacher is there to uncover and reveal to you that dimension of inner depth that is also peace.”
Just food for thought I guess.
The part that seemed to speak directly to me came next. It was a section about who you really are. This amazed me: People tend to believe that the part of them that does the thinking is who they are. But he says that the consciousness that knows that you’re thinking is what is really you. You are a consciousness. Thinking is human, what happens in your human brain– you simply sift through thoughts. “You are the knowing, not the condition that is known.”
To add to this, going along with the things that I’ve struggled with in the past few years, I read this:
“All the misery on the planet arises due to a personalized sense of “me” or “us.” That covers up the essence of who you are. When you are unaware of that inner essence, in the end, you always create misery. It’s as simple as that. When you don’t know who you are, you create a mind-made senf as a substitute for your beautiful divine being and cling to that fearful and needy self.
Protecting and enhancing that fake sense of self then becomes your primary motivating force.”
Very interesting. The one that spoke to me the most, though, was this:
“When you lose touch with your inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”
I am lost in the world. But I think I am on my way to finding my way out. I cannot wait to read more.
I like the idea that there is so, so, so much that we dont’ know. Thinking “outside the box,” the tiny little box that I’ve been taught to believe had all the “answers” is so liberating. I’m sure I did a rather poor job of relaying my thoughts about all this, and I’m sure these little snippets seem hokey outside of context, but really, I think they’re worth thinking about.
What do you think?