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JosephM

The Power of Now - By Eckhart Tolle

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

Paul, I am a trained and experienced psychologist.  Abnormal is clinically defined as causing problems in daily life.  Thought cascades are a common problem and are as easily treatable as changing a flat tire.

I do not know what thoughts are made of.  Good luck on that one.

So it is in that context, i.e. that we don't know what our thoughts are made of or how and why the brain comes up with the thoughts that it does, where I say that we simply don't understand how the mind works well enough to understand how the mind running away with its thoughts occurs.  Maybe 'why' the mind runs aways with these thoughts is a better word to use for my statement.  We know that the mind does run away with thoughts (in some people) no argument, and we have some excellent, practical ideas of how to address it (although I don't think it is a simple as changing a tire), but I don't believe we fully understand thought or the mind yet, is what I was saying.  You seem to agree.

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47 minutes ago, PaulS said:

So it is in that context, i.e. that we don't know what our thoughts are made of or how and why the brain comes up with the thoughts that it does, where I say that we simply don't understand how the mind works well enough to understand how the mind running away with its thoughts occurs.  Maybe 'why' the mind runs aways with these thoughts is a better word to use for my statement.  We know that the mind does run away with thoughts (in some people) no argument, and we have some excellent, practical ideas of how to address it (although I don't think it is a simple as changing a tire), but I don't believe we fully understand thought or the mind yet, is what I was saying.  You seem to agree.

We do not COMPLETELY understand thought or mind.  We do understand them well enough to have developed methods and appreciations of immense practical value.  There are always more observations and nuances to be made.

 

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

We do not COMPLETELY understand thought or mind.  We do understand them well enough to have developed methods and appreciations of immense practical value.  There are always more observations and nuances to be made.

 

Yep - I agree.

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Chapter Three for me:

If I read this book as a tool for how to feel better by living in the moment, by not being burdened by my past or feeling anxious about my future, no problem.  In fact, I think Tolle makes many good points about how to use our mind to make us feel alive and in the moment.  He doesn't say we are using the mind, in fact he says the opposite, but I don't accept what he's saying and to me he seems to just be using different words for what I would say is the mind being used.

If I read it as a more mystical text then I think it loses its way and talks a bit of gobbledygook about mind, time and being.  It seems to me that Tolle requires us to use our mind and our ego to release ourselves into the Now.  I have no problem with that but I don't see our mind in any way being separate to our consciousness.  In fact, it seems to me personally that my consciousness only exists because I have a mind - i.e. me as consciousness did not exist before my mind developed and I believe my consciousness will cease when my mind (brain) ceases working as it should.  As yet, I haven't seen Tolle verify anything different.

But I do agree that past and future can cause us angst and worry so parking those and focusing on the present seems a good tool for happiness.  However, if I don't keep a mind out for the future then I would probably starve to death and my mind would no longer allow my consciousness to exist.

 

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That is an interesting observation Paul. However, I don't think he is advocating to use your mind other than in problem solving as necessary to  carry on with everyday life. Rather i see his emphasis on watching the mind and its effects on emotions and our actions. When it is done on a regular basis there becomes increasing gaps in thoughts and an identity shift into who you really are rather than mind identification of who you are which he puts the name ego to. At that point one realizes or rather knows that the mind is only a tool and a minicule part of who or what you really are.

To me, Living in the moment is being present / awareness more than using the mind or being lost (unconsciously following your thought patterns) in your compulsive thoughts. At least that is my take on his meaning and my own personal experience.

Anyway, regardless of interpretation , anything benefial or that brings more peace in ones life that comes from any teachings in my view is positive and worth pursuing.

Joseph

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22 hours ago, JosephM said:

That is an interesting observation Paul. However, I don't think he is advocating to use your mind other than in problem solving as necessary to  carry on with everyday life. Rather i see his emphasis on watching the mind and its effects on emotions and our actions. When it is done on a regular basis there becomes increasing gaps in thoughts and an identity shift into who you really are rather than mind identification of who you are which he puts the name ego to. At that point one realizes or rather knows that the mind is only a tool and a minicule part of who or what you really are.

I don't see the difference though - he is using his mind to watch his mind - I don't think there are two separate entities (although I appreciate that's probably not what Tolle thinks).  I do wonder if this identity shift is just the ego changing (i.e. the mind now aligns the ego with a different name for itself).  That doesn't necessarily detract from the effectiveness of what he is suggesting but it just makes me question his description of how it happens.

22 hours ago, JosephM said:

To me, Living in the moment is being present / awareness more than using the mind or being lost (unconsciously following your thought patterns) in your compulsive thoughts. At least that is my take on his meaning and my own personal experience.

Yet I think you use your mind to put yourself into that position.  I can't question your personal experience but to me it seems the benefit comes from knowing how to use our mind rather than allowing it to run itself, muck like what we do with the rest of our body and cells - we manage ourselves a certain way or we suffer the consequences.

22 hours ago, JosephM said:

Anyway, regardless of interpretation , anything benefial or that brings more peace in ones life that comes from any teachings in my view is positive and worth pursuing.

Agreed.  I look forward to continuing the read.

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5 hours ago, PaulS said:

I don't see the difference though - he is using his mind to watch his mind - I don't think there are two separate entities (although I appreciate that's probably not what Tolle thinks).  I do wonder if this identity shift is just the ego changing (i.e. the mind now aligns the ego with a different name for itself).  That doesn't necessarily detract from the effectiveness of what he is suggesting but it just makes me question his description of how it happens.

Yet I think you use your mind to put yourself into that position.  I can't question your personal experience but to me it seems the benefit comes from knowing how to use our mind rather than allowing it to run itself, muck like what we do with the rest of our body and cells - we manage ourselves a certain way or we suffer the consequences.

Agreed.  I look forward to continuing the read.

It would appear or seem that way but it is something else itself that is watching the mind. It is a subtle difference and Tolle holds the view that the mind is not an entity. The mind is a tool that the real entity has attached itself to.in this state of evolution and therefore takes it on or identifies the mind as itself.

That which is still and beyond thought is what Tolle speaks of as the witness. Perhaps it is  pointed to as no-mind in Buddhism and Spirit in Christianity or possibly Atman in Hinduism? Anyway, your point is well taken from a skeptical point of view.  It cannot be understood with the mind but seems to me it can only be experienced. It is quite the conundrum

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5 hours ago, JosephM said:

It would appear or seem that way but it is something else itself that is watching the mind. It is a subtle difference and Tolle holds the view that the mind is not an entity. The mind is a tool that the real entity has attached itself to.in this state of evolution and therefore takes it on or identifies the mind as itself.

That which is still and beyond thought is what Tolle speaks of as the witness. Perhaps it is  pointed to as no-mind in Buddhism and Spirit in Christianity or possibly Atman in Hinduism? Anyway, your point is well taken from a skeptical point of view.  It cannot be understood with the mind but seems to me it can only be experienced. It is quite the conundrum

Tolle reminds me more of Steiner, Blavatsky and the theosophists.  He describes different mind conditions/confections as reality, which is the opposite of the Hindu/Buddhist dogmas.

 

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