What, if anything, is truly sacred in this world? If you don’t know anything about Eckhart Tolle, or don’t appreciate his “teachings“, you may be asking yourself why people are so interested. Why did I go to see him speak at the retreat?  Apart from knowing that I can’t uncover Truth through the words or deeds of another, why do I read his books and listen to his videos?

Why, for that matter, am I so interested in the experiences of so called Christian, Muslim, Asian and Eastern mysticsGnostics, Sufi Masters, Hindu, Zen, and Tao Masters? Why am I so interested in rare ancient “visionaries” like DaVinci, Galileo, Socrates, ShakespeareKafkaEinstein and many other (historically few) artists, poets, writers, scientists, philosophers, musicians, teachers and rare individuals? Why such interest even in quantum mechanics which, as a field of scientific study, is often thought to contradict the path of spirituality?

The short answer is: I’m lost in a forest of Fearful Dreams which have plagued the deepest parts of me since early childhood, independently (I feel), of my external environment which was totally loving and nurturing.

Actually, almost 11 years ago through a close friend I first stumbled (un-coincidentally?) upon the world of J. Krishnamurti, which led me to Ramana Maharshi, Rajneesh Chandra Mohan, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Eckhart Tolle, Meister Eckhart and several others (not necessarily in that order). I even began delving deeply back into the words attributed to Jesus, looking at them with fresh new eyes, open and receptive to interpretations that veer greatly from traditional views.

But to say that my journey on this Pathless Path began 11 years ago is also not accurate. I didn’t begin with any book, or any teaching, or any experience other than my own. What I experienced was an internal questioning of common beliefs and ‘norms’ such as the idea of God, happiness, success, love, and peace. What I sensed innately was this, (spoken in words which I borrowed from a familiar source with a few words omitted for the sake of fun – how many lines will it take you to guess?):

 matrix

“Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad…do you know what I’m talking about?”

[“Yes”]

“Do you want to know what it is?”

[Head Nod]

“It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”

“What truth?”

“That you are a slave…like everyone else you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind…unfortunately no one can be told what…[it]…is. You have to see it for yourself”

If it wasn’t inevitable that Eckhart Tolle would share this video clip with us on his “night of entertainment” at the Omega Institute in June 2014, it should have been inevitable. I’m sure most of you have already guessed by now:

(The Matrix – A Warner Bros. & Silver Pictures Production)

I have always been afraid, contemplating the meaninglessness of life, and the suffering it seemed to inflict upon all living things. Something was wrong with the world – with people – life seemed like a cruel and surreal kind of dream, and I a slave to its ‘reality’ which was ever changing, ever doubtful, ever insecure. When I look back at my wonderful external life (a childhood full of love) I realize that this sense of unease was always there, somewhere deep inside, if not just under my skin – in my internal world. Sometimes it was dormant. Other times it erupted violently leaving me cowering and paralyzed with fear. My questions were always essentially this, “Who Am I? Why am I afraid? Is there something more than this wearisome and worrisome dream-like existence?”

Copyright © 2014 Eckhart Teachings Inc. – “The Depths of Who You Are”

I believe that most human beings know or sense something similar to this feeling of unease. Undoubtedly, others have asked similar questions, as all human beings recognize that life is difficult. But who investigates beyond the surface? Most opt for the blue pill. I must opt for the red pill, because beyond the basic needs for survival, nothing ever satisfies us for long. Nothing ever feels good enough. Happiness is always “when I become this” or “once I have that”. The next moment is always the destination and the present moment is just a means of getting there. Meanwhile, anxiety remains a constant white noise in the background. Does anyone else also sense something wrong in all of this?

Photo Credit: Rita M. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo Credit: Rita M. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

So, why do I search? Why do I question? Why do I write this blog?

There are three main reasons:

1. I could never stand the perpetual sense of unease that lived (and still lives) just beneath the surface of my skin.

2. I believe that Eckhart Tolle, Buddha, Jesus (and several others) have recognized the ‘disease’ which plagues and fragments the mind of mankind in time (the ego).

3. I want to walk out of the dream (or nightmare, depending on the perception), and realize the Truth which alone can set me FREE from the chain of cause and effect – the cause being ego, the effect – suffering.

This beautiful video clip from Star Trek: Insurrection, called “A Perfect Moment in Time”, suggests the potential – the purpose – of human existence. I believe that this purpose can, in fact, be fulfilled, but only in the NOW…

(Video Source: Movieclips.com)

 

So far it seems that the simple act of total presence in the Now is a state of being which has eluded humanity not just for a mere few centuries, but for millennia. But that’s not an issue or a problem unless we once again choose to postpone presence. Can I stop questioning the reality of life and simply recognize that which makes it possible? And if I can, can I do it in any moment other than the Now?

Photo Credit: Matt Zhang (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo Credit: Matt Zhang (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I want to leave you with a beautiful message that Eckhart left for a few hundred people sitting in an auditorium in a moment which now only resides in my mind as a memory. Though he spoke only to a few hundred, he may as well have been speaking to the entire world. I closely paraphrase:

“Here we are in this dream. There is a man in front of you, sitting on a chair, and he is telling you that this is just a dream. He is telling you that you CAN both wake up from the dream AND enjoy the dream as one who is awake. This man is shaking you! He’s telling you to WAKE UP! You are all characters in a film, walking around, doing whatever you do, believing you are this character, but someone comes and tells you ‘you are NOT this character, but the light which is being projected onto the screen!”

Wake up Rula!

Wake up Reader!

Wake up Humanity!

Realize Now (and not in a few centuries) that waking up takes no time at all…

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