Sunday, 17 April 2011

The power of NOWT

This post is more aimed at the post self crowd rather than any noobs, however, it has an important idea about how we conceptualise time and construct our fictional self. This is worth exploring in real depth post self and is also useful for anyone who is looking. Ghost 2014 

Read Eckhart Tolle's Power of Now and it will tell you about what he calls presence. This is just basically being in the present moment. There are many names for this, zen, mindfulness, awareness whatever. But what is the problem with being in the present moment? When you come out of it and everything is back to normal, the problems arise again, all your worries come back and your life returns.

Being present is just like a refuge from the stream of thought we are engaged in. Eckhart tells you to focus on living in the present moment whenever you can. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this in itself, do you think you can become a zen master by simply imitating what Eckhart does? Can you become a pig by mimicking what a pig does?

What Eckhart doesn't make clear is that all you are doing is repeatedly going back to this refuge. If you do the same thing repeatedly, you will get the same results. Maybe you get in this refuge more often at best but making it your default state? Impossible. Eckhart is sharing his wisdom for sure and I'm sure many have benefited from his work but he ain't so great at cracking people out.

I got my first person out of the delusion this week and so whilst I'm glad that I managed to liberate someone, there is nothing to celebrate really when the whole world is living this delusion called self. I'm just pleased that I've woken some one up from their slumber. I have no idea of how many Eckhart has freed but I'm led to believe it is 0.

No this is not going to be a slur against Eckhart at all, he has played his part in raising mainstream awareness of this thing called presence. I enjoyed reading his books and his insights helped to change my life a few years ago but at no point did he offer a road map on how to become liberated from “ego”.

That is what he is lacking and telling people to repeat the same thing and try and get a logical understanding of what he is saying. He becomes like the other gurus who become a block to becoming liberated from self. You can read all Eckhart's books, listen to his audio presentations and subscribe to his website for 6 months for $99 and guess what? You will still be at square one and none the wiser. He is a great author though and makes it easy for sceptics to get in to spirituality. However, you have to hope these people don't get mired in all the spiritual trappings out there which only serve to divert the average person from realising no self.

Enlightenment is not what you think it is, whatever you think it is, that's what it is not.
Yawn... lets stop with the mysteries and riddles and actually deal in what is real.

When I see stuff like that above I have to chuckle these days about my grandiose delusion of enlightenment! How silly. Ghost 2014

When you are in “presence”, what happens when you come back out of presence?
The chain of thoughts starts again, you begin associating with the mind again. Lets just say that you had something major going on like you suspected your partner was cheating on you. You could go in to presence and as you do, the thought subsides for a brief moment and maybe you can hold this state for a short time before you are plunged back in to the cognitive dissonance and negative feelings associated with this situation. How does this really help you?
Going in to presence achieves what?

A temporary respite at best but then straight back to suffering.

Now as we come out of presence, immediately a thought grabs you. Then every other subsequent thought is about this thought. It probably starts with a thought about it, then maybe a mental image pops up of your partner being with someone else, then thoughts about what it says about you as a person, how your going to be hurt, your joint account and all the problems...the negative spiral has begun. You suffering starts again and you have achieved nothing.

However, what is the one thing that is happening when you are being in the present moment? You are actually looking at life as though there was no self for a brief moment even though this is done in the context of a self being responsible for it.
When you are in the present moment, what is it that actually exists in that present moment?

The answer is everything that is real.
What is real?

Everything that is in the present moment... existence.

So what about tonight? It doesn't exist yet it is not real
Yesterday? It already existed it is not real any more
Next week? It doesn't exist yet it is not real
Last year It already existed it is not real any more

Only the present moment exists in reality. Nothing can actually exist outside of the present moment. However, humans have a concept of past and future and that is why we think they are real things.

They are only thoughts in the subjective realm, they are not real things in objective reality.
The only way they become real is when we experience the thoughts in the present moment. Now the thoughts are about something that is not a real thing in objective reality but are of a concept that deals with the measurement of time.

They are not about anything real but the direct experience of these thoughts IS real. In other words one can only directly experience thought in the present moment.

A thought is real, a concept about time is a real “concept about time” but the concept itself is of something that doesn't exist in reality.
Yes... time is an illusion in that respect but only in the same way that numbers are illusory.

We have just adopted a useful measurement system that serves us well. The number 5 is not a real thing, it is just a label assigned to a quantity to make life easier. Should we drop it? Hell no. Should we discuss this further? Hell no. We are just demonstrating that subjective labelling of objective reality is useful but it doesn't make it an objective thing in reality. All time is, is an arbitrary measurement of movement, within a three dimensional space. We happened to use one particular measurement of time standard all over the world, from the phase of a full rotation of the earth on its axis.

So all that really exists is the present moment and what happens in that moment. We have the direct tacit experience of the present and that is it. That is all there is and ever can be or as Eckhart puts it: “The eternal now”.

The present moment = existence = reality

Outside of the present moment = non existence = concept of reality

So what is happening when you focus on the present moment? You are focussing completely on your direct tacit experience of life. What happens when you come out of it? you are directly experiencing life but through an illusion of self/ ego that does not exist in reality. It is merely a concept of “you”. Concepts only exist in the subjective realm, they do not exist in reality.

Concepts are part of reality DoH!! Should edit this to say 'you' is a concept (which of course the concept exists) but I don't mind leaving the errors in, I hope I have since learnt to argue more coherently than when I did back then lol! Ghost 2014

So we go back to our example. The suffering starts when you suspect your partner is cheating on you. It probably starts with a thought about it, then maybe a mental image pops up of your partner being with someone else, then thoughts about what it says about you as a person, how your going to be hurt, your joint account and all the problems...

This next bit may sound incomprehensible but it is completely true:

The problem does not actually exist.

It is a concept about something that has not existed yet, therefore it is not actually real it is simply a concept. The thought is real, thought arises and is experienced in the present moment but the thoughts are actually about that which is imagined or could potentially exist.
They are concepts of reality, therefore they are not real in the sense that they really exist.
I.E in this case they exist as real concepts of that which does not exist yet.
Now this is little comfort for you if you are in this situation. You may be getting angry about your partner, you may be feeling hurt. But lets look at this again.

Lets just say that you had something major going on like you suspected your partner was cheating on you

Now we look again at this and lets put two and two together. What do we know to be true?
There is direct experience of existence.
In the subjective realm, there is suffering, negative feelings and thoughts
The thoughts being experienced are of a concept that doesn't exist yet.
It is not known if what is suspected is actually the truth.

So is the suffering real? Yes but it is all because of an illusory concept. The lie of self actually causes feedback through an imaginary concept of self, that can even be produced from an imaginary concept of what could happen and then causes us the excessive negative thoughts and suffering.
In other words this suffering is because of something that doesn't exist in reality, it is entirely a product of imagination.

 The suffering is actually delusion.

Being able to think ahead is useful for humans but the trouble is with this mechanism that very often we think the worst and we create suffering with our own imagination. Don't forget, it is not a real reason in the very sense of the word real. It exists as a concept in the subjective realm but it is of an illusory outcome that may or may not come to be.

Yes pain generated that is totally imaginary in source.



All the while though, the thoughts are nothing more than projections about an imaginary scenario. They are not about anything that really exists. We know what is real, it is the experience of existence but if the thought is about nothing that IS real, then what is the problem?

There is a useful function of the brain in this thinking capacity, sure it is useful as a predictive faculty but that is the extent of its use. When it has been twisted by the lie of self it becomes an instrument that causes us to worry about something that may or may not happen. This is where anxiety comes from. It is a direct result of this process and is the mechanism of dysfunctional thought. Anxiety is a perfectly natural reaction to certain situations but prolonged anxiety attacks and constant worry are a product of the dysfunction of self as is suffering over imaginary future projections. This is extreme. We have just demonstrated how suffering is frequently generated from the imagination.

This is not to say that being liberated makes you immune to what is going on. You can't just pretend all this is not happening and it is not denial. It is happening but you just don't buy it. There is pain, it does not make it easier to bear but... the negative thought spirals and suffering are just not there. Well the negative thought spirals start but there is just a witnessing of this illusion and they carry no weight. You just don't buy it any more. Pain is useful to an organism. Suffering is not. Negative thought is useful to an organism. Negative thought feeding back in to itself is not.

So how can we fix ourselves and live in the present moment. The answer is you can't fix yourself as there is no self there. What Eckhart is telling you to do is to stay trapped in the confines of self and just enter the present moment. When you do this your focus is on direct experience which is a respite but as we have demonstrated, when you have an undesirable concept on the mind, this is not a respite from your troubles, it is nothing more than a simple distraction. Once liberated, then it becomes a real thing like Eckhart describes, then it is actually a state of bliss as it were.

Look at any of these teachers or guru's they all provide convenient distractions from looking at no self. Be it formalised meditations, opening chakras, developing spiritual energy, learning all the Neo – Advita speak, reading Buddha’s cryptic riddles and god knows what else. All the while it is distracting those from doing the one thing they need to do, in order to see no self: LOOKING IN REAL LIFE

Yeah, but Anatta is only a piece of the puzzle and these things are useful to explore further. If only I had been so militant about carrying on my journey instead of preaching! Ghost 2014

There it is. I have just outlined the blue print for liberating yourself from ego.
All you need is this:
There is no “you” in real life, “you” are an illusion.
Take a LOOK in reality and see the truth in this statement.

It is never quite that easy though but it is not exactly difficult.
Check the “FAQ's”, check “How to L@@k” and then do the “experiments” to see if there could be any truth in this.


StepVheN said...

I've been working through your blog and the clarity in your posts is simply mind blowing. You lay it out in a very clear manner.

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

Thanks, I'm always trying to approach from the angle that someone has little previous knowledge, so it is nice to know it is coming across that way :)

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