18 June 2013

Reflections on The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Chapter 2.

  Say what you like about Oprah, the girl has a big heart and I really enjoy her conversations with Eckhart Tolle. You know why Oprah is such a great T.V host? She asks the questions that are on the common man and ladies mind, and my mind is very common, maybe a little too common.
  This morning at boot camp we were thinking about what makes us feel true strength and power and when I reflect on some of the things that break me into a sense of universal indomnitable joy, they are the things in life that bind me to a larger consciousness. Nature and music really give me a sense of deep and refreshing power. Music especially inspires me. Music is so fantastic because despite the fact that we are all caught up in our minds and our identities, beliefs and god forbid, idealogical positions, we can all say, throw on a Beatles record and feel a common appreciation for existence and life that lies beyond our thinking minds.
  I have had a couple of conversations that have irked my ego over the past couple of months. I find myself getting wound up and self-righteous about with an internal dialogue that rages about people 'living in denial' or "being ignorant of plain facts" and basically being infuriating examples of how idiotic and damaging human brains can be, but if I am honest with myself, this righteous rant in my head is just me ego tripping. It is me projecting my anger onto an "other". Me being right and them being oh so wrong. Me running the same self-righteous play in a game of egomania that gives my mind identity some validation as some kind of special, heroic fighter for the ultimate truth. What a blowhard.
  I love the book "The Gift of Fear", by Gavin de Becker, it advises that the best thing to do with a person set in their beliefs (in his examples, usually highly dysfunctional prone to violence individuals) is to not enter into a pattern of escalation with them. You can't argue with crazy. How does this apply to being present and not getting sucked up in an argument about guns and child abuse? Well, the more you push your point, the more validity that will give the person who uses their own belief structure to bolster their own identity. The more you say, "You are wrong", in most cases, the more they become defensive and protective over their belief and the more it escalates their own sense of self-righteous indignation. Keep walking, ignore the trap of getting caught up in a battle of ego's. Be present, listen to nature and accept people with what you consider to be crazy ideas as they are. It is not my responsibility to save the world one gun nut at a time, my responsibility is to let go of my ego and connect with a higher consciouseness that is loving and supportive of life. The next time you start to get into an argument, start talking about The Beatles. Everyone loves a good song.
  Martha Beck www.marthabeck.com is an author who always inspires me with her writings. They are what Eckhart Tolle calls signposts to oneness. She describes in her book, "Finding Your Way in a Wild New World", about how she has learnt and taught many people the art of bending a spoon by sinking into oneness, greeting and getting in touch with a spoons essential energy and then being allowed by the spoon to bend it with ease. I have tried but I can't quite get to that zen stage, but it did make me realize how deep the film The Matrix is as a metaphor for modern human life. Work with me here. The human species is in test tubes and their minds are absorbed by a false "reality", this to me works as a metaphor for the ego. Neo is the one because of his ability to point to the one reality that lies beyond the fiction of our minds, when he transcends the program of belief, he is able to manipulate the very essence of what is possible and what is not. There is indeed no spoon.
  Indeed, this reminds me in turn of Plato's cave allegory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave that I heard and liked back when I still interpreted things through my ego. That basically we are all chained facing a cave wall and looking at the shadows cast on the walls as reality and not being able to turn around and 'see the light" so to speak. Again this is a brilliant metaphor for mind identification. Our shadows are our stories, not an essential truth, but merely egocentric fictional grabs at a deeper truth. I am not sure if this was Plato's intention but it is a powerful image of how we live our lives, staring at the cave wall of our insecure brains. 
  These lessons of freeing ourselves from our minds are all about us and have been through history, I just have to keep reminding myself to follow the signs.