Sunday, June 01, 2008

How I Am Feeling...

...As though on the cusp of something very important and/or revolutionary.
...Free and alive, and grasping at the first straws of what it might mean to be more Aware.
...As though all of my formal [four] years of full-time ministerial training did not contain even 3% of what it means to be “spiritual”.
...As though saying all of the above is truly liberating, and exciting.
Just recently, as many of you may know, I read the Eckhart Tolle book, The Power of Now.
I thought it was fabulous. I started with this book because I [correctly] understood it to be his first one, and so I wanted to be introduced to his teachings on sort of an inaugural basis, before reading his more recent book, A New Earth.
I, along with two friends, read The Power of Now, and we discussed it incessantly over a period of a week or so. We all found it revolutionary, challenging, and in many ways an admixture of profound simplicity and complexity.
As Tolle himself says, several times, [and I paraphrase]…. he is not intending to teach us something we do not already know. He has no desire to be heralded as a guru of any kind. In fact, he repeatedly advises de-attachment to words or ideas of any kind, consistently emphasizing that being “spiritual” or “enlightened” has nothing to do with what we believe, but rather, has everything to do with our state of consciousness.
The Power of Now really zeroes in on how this concept applies to the individual person.

Just yesterday I picked up A New Earth and I am now finding it to be an extension of the ideas of the former book. Here he is dealing with the topic of “collective dysfunction” and showing how the application of Awareness is essential to the ending of conflict and suffering in the world.

I am already confident that he knows what he is talking about, even though I am only on chapter two.
After convincingly delineating how that the century that has most greatly identified itself with thought and scientific advancement [the 20th] has also been the most atrociously cruel century in history [in its deliberate infliction of human suffering], he then offers the best definition of “evil” I have ever come across:
“If evil has any reality – and it has a relative, not an absolute, reality – this is its definition: complete identification with form – physical forms, thought forms, emotional forms. This results in a total unawareness of my connectedness with the whole, my intrinsic oneness with every ‘other’ as well as the Source. This forgetfulness is original sin, suffering, delusion. When this delusion of utter separateness underlies and governs whatever I think, say, and do, what kind of a world do I create? To find the answer to this, observe how humans relate to each other, read a history book, or watch the television news tonight.”

I stopped reading, and tried to envision any sort of “evil” that does not come under these parameters [unawareness of my connectedness with the whole, with the Source]…. from burglary, to rain-forest decimation, to rape, to big-game hunting, etc., and it is true, evil, at its base, is the result of a lack of a sense of connectedness/Awareness.

The Power of Now is awesome. Both the book, and what its title implies.

And A New Earth promises to be even better.
How am I feeling?
I feel as though the combination of these two books may prove to be the most significant step[s] that I have ever taken, in my own ongoing journey of spiritual enlightenment.
The determining factor is within me, and involves among other things, my readiness.
As the author says, “…this book is not ‘interesting’. Interesting means you can keep your distance, play around with ideas and concepts in your mind, agree or disagree. This book is about you. It will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless. It can only awaken those who are ready. Not everyone is ready yet, but many are, and with each new person who awakens, the momentum in the collective consciousness grows, and it becomes easier for others. If you don’t know what awakening means, read on.”
I shall….!

Of course, we all know that Oprah Winfrey has heavily endorsed the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, and were it not for her publicity efforts [making A New Earth an “Oprah©” Book] I myself would not have ever heard of the thing.
Some people are turned off by such marketing ploys.
I am merely grateful.
Basically, [Oprah-or-not], whatever pipe Greater Spiritual Truth is flowing out of, I just want to get my thirsty-assed Leaky Bucket under that!
In keeping with these severe marketing ploys, a wonderful little advertisement has been produced. It is set to absolutely beautiful music, and emphasizes the theme of the book with a surprising measure of commercial reticence [the book cover is never shown] while employing powerful imagery that some may dismiss as nothing more than Shirley MacLaine-ish New-Agey pap for the needy of soul!
Once again…. how do I feel about it?
Firstly, I love it.
And secondly, I am “needy of soul”.

I think it is very well done, nothing deceitful about it.
My favorite moment is when the woman sort of ascends that rock outcropping there, with the sunset ablaze, and just begins to extend her hands outward, palms upraised.
It occurs exactly 25 seconds into the clip.

That is how I am feeling!


Anonymous said...

I am so greatful to Eckhart Tolle and Oprah for turning me onto Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and her beautiful book ""My Stroke of Insight"". Her story is amazing and her gift to all of us is a book purchase away I'm happy to say.

Dr Taylor was a Harvard brain scientist when she had a stroke at age 37. What was amazing was that her left brain was shut down by the stroke - where language and thinking occur - but her right brain was fully functioning. She experienced bliss and nirvana and the way she writes about it (or talks about it in her now famous TED talk) is incredible.

What I took away from Dr. Taylor's book above all, and why I recommend it so highly, is that you don't have to have a stroke or take drugs to find the deep inner peace that she talks about. Her book explains how. ""I want what she's having"", and thanks to this wonderful book, I can! Thank you Dr. Taylor, and thank you Eckhart and Oprah.

Beth said...

Your enthusiasm is inspiring. I've been following the philosophy (or trying to) which says all one truly needs to recognize that connection with others is within each of us. Making a conscious effort to reflect on this in daily life is a challenge.