Eckhart Tolle     113 posts


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The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist. The old mind-pattern or mental habit may still survive and reoccur for a while because it has the momentum of thousands of years of collective human unconsciousness behind it, but every time it is recognized, it is weakened.

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Allowing The Diminishment of the Ego
Excerpt from A New Earth

The ego is always on guard against any kind of perceived diminishment. Automatic ego-repair mechanisms come into effect to restore the mental form of “me.” When someone blames or criticizes me, that ego is a diminishment of self, and it will immediately attempt to repair its diminished sense of self through self-justification, defense, or blaming. Whether the other person is right or wrong is irrelevant to the ego. It is much more interested in self-preservation than in the truth. This is the preservation of the psychological form of “me.” Even such a normal thing as shouting something back when another driver calls you “idiot” is an automatic and unconscious ego-repair mechanism. One of the most common ego-repair mechanisms is anger, which causes temporary but huge ego inflation. All repair mechanisms make perfect sense to the ego but are actually dysfunctional. Those that are most extreme in their dysfunction are physical violence and self-delusion in the form of grandiose fantasies.

A powerful spiritual practice is consciously to allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it. I recommend that you experiment with this from time to time. For example, when someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself – do nothing. Allow the self-image to remain diminished and become alert to what that feels like deep inside you. For a few seconds, it may feel uncomfortable, as if you had shrunk in size. Then you may feel an inner spaciousness that feels intensely alive. You haven’t diminished at all. In fact, you have expanded. You may then come to an amazing realization: When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non-reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize that nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming “less,” you become more. When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self-image. Through becoming less (in the ego’s perception), you in fact undergo an expansion and make room for Being to come forward. True power, who you are beyond form, can shine through the apparent weakened form. This is what Jesus means when he says “Deny yourself” or “Turn the other cheek.”

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The moment that judgement stops through acceptance of what it is, you are free of the mind.

You have made room for love, for joy, for peace.

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The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.

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Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are.

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Internal and external are ultimately one. When you no longer perceive the world as hostile, there is no more fear, and when there is no more fear, you think, speak and act differently. Love and compassion arise, and they affect the world.

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Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.

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Pay attention to the gap - the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, or the gap between the in-breath and the out-breath. When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of 'something' becomes - just awareness. The formless dimension of pure conciousness arises from within you and replaces identification with form.

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Focus attention on the feeling inside you.
Stay present and continue to be the observer
of what is happening inside you.
Become aware, not only of the emotional pain,
but also of, 'the One who observes, the Silent Watcher.'
This is the power of the now;
the power of conscious presence.
Then See what happens.

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What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to something that already is?

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Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.

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If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace. If peace mattered to you more than anything else and if you truly knew yourself to be spirit rather than a little me, you would remain nonreactive and absolutely alert when confronted with challenging people or situations. You would immediately accept the situation and thus become one with it rather than separate yourself from it. Then out of your alertness would come a response.

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To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.

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I have met many highly intelligent and educated people who were also completely unconscious, which is to say completely identified with their mind. In fact, if mental development and increased knowledge are not counterbalanced by a corresponding growth in consciousness, the potential for unhappiness and disaster is very great.

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To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.

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When you recognize that there is a voice in your head that pretends to be you and never stops speaking, you are awakening out of your unconscious identification with the stream of thinking.

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You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe.
An intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person.
But a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.

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Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not “yours,” not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you.

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You say: “He lost his life” or “my life,” as if life were something that you can possess or lose. The truth is: you don’t have a life, You Are Life. The One Life, the one consciousness that pervades the entire universe and takes temporary form to experience itself as a stone or blade of grass, as an animal, a person, a star or a galaxy.

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You can’t think about presence, and the mind can’t understand it. Understanding presence is being present.

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Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. You are not separate from it, and there is no objective world out there. Every moment, your consciousness creates the world that you inhabit.

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Rather than being your
thoughts and emotions,
be the awareness behind them.

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Suffering cracks open the shell of ego, and then comes a point when it has served its purpose. Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.

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Death is not the opposite of life.
Life has no opposite.
The opposite of death is birth.
Life is eternal.

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Emotion arises at the place where mind and body meet. It is the body’s reaction to your mind—or you might say, a reflection of your mind in the body.

The more you are identified with your thinking, your likes and dislikes, judgments and interpretations, which is to say the less present you are as the watching consciousness, the stronger the emotional energy charge will be, whether you are aware of it or not.

Basically, all emotions are modifications of one primordial, undifferentiated emotion that has its origin in the loss of awareness of who you are beyond name and form. You will not be free of that pain until you cease to derive your sense of self from identification with the mind, which is to say from ego.

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Stillness is your essential nature. What is stillness? The inner space or awareness in which the words on this page are bieng perceived and become thoughts. Without that awareness, there would be no perception, no thoughts, no world. You are that awareness, disguised as a person.

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