Monday, March 30, 2015

Stillness Speaks

From my favorite, modern-day philosopher, Eckhart Tolle and his book Stillness Speaks:

"Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take
each thought that comes into your head for the truth.
Situations don't make you unhappy.
They may cause you physical pain, but they don't make
you unhappy. Your thoughts make you unhappy.
Your interpretation, the stories you tell yourself make
you unhappy.
'The thoughts I am thinking right now are making me
unhappy.' This realization breaks your unconcious
identification with those thoughts.
What a miserable day.
He didn't have the decency to return my call.
She let me down.
Little stories we tell ourselves and others, often in the
form of complaints. They are unconsciously designed to
enhance our always deficient sense of self through being "right"
and making something or someone "wrong."
Being "right" places us in a position of imagined superiority
and so strengthens our false sense of self, the ego.
This also creates some kind of enemy: yes, the ego needs enemies
to define its boundary,
and even the weather can serve that function.
Through habitual mental judgment and emotional contraction,
you have a personalized, reactive relationship to people and
events in your life. These are all forms of self-created suffering,
but they are not recognized as such because to the ego
they are satisfying. The ego enhances itself through
 reactivity and conflict.
How simple life would be without those stories.
It is raining.
He did not call.
I was there she was not."
What a powerful thought:
My thoughts make me unhappy.
And this isn't a simple, "Look on the bright side!" kind of idea.
It's deeper.
It's harder.

It means that while it may be difficult to control my thoughts, I certainly don't have value them all the same. The mind is a river of constant movement and thought. We think about dry cleaning and dinner and this meeting we are in and the itch on our foot and that high school classmate in the same minute at times. Is every thought as important as the next? Absolutely not.
As Tolle says, "Here's a new spiritual practice for you: don't take your thoughts too seriously."


KendraKay at said...

Aww snap! That's why I LOVE reading your blog. :) if our journeys were two circles, they'd overlap quite a bit!

Heather said...

This makes me smile.