Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Jim Carrey on Eckhart Tolle:
Eckhart Tolle first gained attention as a spiritual teacher with his 1997 book, "The Power of Now". In 2008, Oprah Winfrey chose his follow-up work, "A New Earth", for her book club. Her 10-week online seminar with Tolle has since been downloaded 27 million times.
Listen to a fascinating interview with Eckhart Tolle-
Adult children of alcoholics can be prone to living in the past or fantasizing about the future rather than being in the present moment. There is a force within us that works to keep us from living in the now and experiencing the peace and serenity that is our birthright.
Tolle coined the term "the pain body" to describe a subconscious force in people that is fed by painful memories and thrives on them. The pain body is below the level of our awareness, yet reacts strongly to everyday events and affects our thoughts and behavior negatively. The pain body seems to be it's own sovereign entity, surviving alongside your conscious awareness and influencing feelings and actions.
Tolle came to this realization by observing that strong emotional reactions from people are often out of proportion to the event that triggered them.
"And so I realized that there's something in everybody that is a remnant of past painful emotion. And these remnants of past painful emotion from pain that you suffered as a child, perhaps even pain that was passed on from previous generations."
Tolle believes the pain body has two ways of feeding on further emotional pain. One is through YOUR thinking and one is through OTHER people's reactions.
"If you are sitting alone in a room and the pain body gets awakened from its dormant state because it needs to feed on an experience of pain, what happens is the old emotion, perhaps triggered by one thought in your head about your sad story from the past, the old emotion rises up into the mind, and suddenly your entire thinking becomes extremely negative. It reflects the emotional energy. So all your thoughts that you're thinking about your life and your life situation and your past and other people is deeply, deeply negative. Totally distorted, of course. It's distorted by the pain of the past."
"It's an addictive thing. So it feeds on the one hand on your thinking. On the other hand, if there are people around you at the time when the pain body awakens the favorite way of feeding for the pain body is to provoke a negative reaction, for example, in your partner. It could be a little situation, something he or she says or does, and you push the buttons in your partner and you amplify something that otherwise would be a relatively insignificant thing perhaps. And you know the pain body has a certain cunning intelligence to it."
"It knows exactly what buttons to push in your partner or the person close to you or your family member. And it'll say those things that are most likely to provoke an intense negative reaction, and then it'll feed on the drama. So that's the second way, then, in which the pain body feeds, is the drama in relationships. And many couples recognize this truth and say, "Oh, yeah. That's true. Every week or every two weeks or every three weeks we go through our drama."
"...there is a place inside me that is far more powerful than the continuous mental noise with which for many, many years I had been completely identified..."- Eckhart Tolle
Tolle believes that the way to eventually become free of the pain body, is not to reactively reject it or the experience that triggers it but "just to see that it's there". The key is to be the awareness.
Recognize the emotion and allow it to be because it already is. Accept the reality of what is currently present. The goal is to reach a state of alert attention to what is, where compulsive thinking no longer operates. Being in the moment, in the NOW keeps you from jumping into regret from the past and fear of the future.
"This means you rise above thinking to a large extent in your life. Where you can face life without the interference of the mind, still being able to use the mind when it's needed but not being used by it".
"And then you become deeper. Or rather, you realize that you are deeper than the emotion. And that frees you from being controlled by the emotion. Then gradually the pain body weakens because it can't feed anymore on your relationship or on your thinking. And now if you have a lot of emotional pain from the past, you may always experience from time to time some painful emotion arising."
Tolle says, "The ultimate thing is the realization of the formless essence of who you are because if God has any reality in this world, it cannot be separate from who you are in your essence. And finding that in yourself, really, I see as the purpose of human life. And then the external world, the temporary world, the world of forms, also changes as a result of that. But the essence is finding who you are beyond form, beyond time."
Tips on developing still and alert attention, freeing yourself from mind noise and audio meditations can be found HERE- Exercises For Your Awakening.
Interview quotes are excerpted from: http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2009/tolle/
Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children