V-Day, Denial, and The Power of Now

¡Hola! Everybody,
Damn! It was so cold this morning!

Had brunch with some friends I hadn’t seen in a while yesterday and had a good time. I must say, some people just don’t know how to act. I’m out of control when I’m in a crowd.

Was it just me and my Gemini freak girl Dee (“DEELINQUENT DEEVA”) that noticed that Amy Winehouse needs to reach out for some help and go go go to rehab? I mean, like, DANG! Her shit is all over her face. I’m not making fun here, boys and girls, I’m in recovery myself and I’m sorry, but that girl needs some help! What she talkin’ ‘bout she don’t need no rehab?!! Bitch! You look wasted! And that’s on TV where you have fuckin beauty pros putting a dab on that warmed-over-death look. Get some fuckin’ help, now!

::ahem::

And please explain why people are dissing V (Vagi-ga) Day? Stop frontin’ ma’fuccas! And don’t even try to come with that bullshit “Hallmark-created-this-holiday” defense. STOP! I’m willing to bet my left nut that if some of you had someone to hide the morcilla with for V-Day, or you were getting some toto and/ or bicho on a regular, you’d be all open and shit. So stop it! That’s why ma’fuccas get poosie/ dick whupped so easily, they’re in denial about the vaginal!

I was all excited about meeting my friend Frankie (“enchantedenigma”) this weekend, who was making the trip all the way from New Mexico. Unfortunately, her significant other had a mishap and she had to change her plans. Hope all is well, Frankie.

I am writing the following because my friend Barb asked. Like so many of us, Barb (“epistling”) is experiencing some huge waves right about now. Sweetie, I wish you and yours the very best from the bottom of my heart.

* * *

The Power of Now
“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly.”
Eckhart Tolle

A man, experiencing the greatest crisis in his life, homeless and sleeping on a park bench experiences a blinding flash of insight that changes his life forever. It is this recounting of a flash of enlightenment at the age of 29 that leads us into the work and teachings of Eckhart Tolle.

The message of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment is deceptively simple, but no less powerful. It says, in a nutshell, that to transform your life all you need is the realization that the only time you ever have is this moment. I realize that most of you are already thinking, “I know this… ” but do you?

I would submit that most of us may know this intellectually, but that’s not worth much in the real world, is it?

First published in Canada and then released in the United States, The Power of Now became a word-of-mouth hit and made its author, Eckhart Tolle, into a sought-after teacher.

Its approach is different from the majority of spiritual/ New Age/ self-help books in that instead of exhorting readers to achieve transcendence, it focuses on the problems we have today and the people we are at this moment. From this perspective it present s a more practical because it encourages foregoing our usual tendency to imagine a bright future without first coming to grips with the present. Most importantly, the book also offers a masterful fusion of the ideas from Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, and other traditions, linking the important evolutionary need to think outside the boxes of conventional religion, and recognizing that in the final analysis all spiritual traditions say the same thing. Kind of like what I wrote yesterday.

Because of time constraints, I will touch on two aspects of the teaching that I found especially interesting.

The first thing I liked about Tolle was his recognition that modern man has become a slave to thinking. In one of his talks, he mentions, the “tyranny of thinking,” and it’s quite a compelling critical analysis of the westerner’s tendency to confuse the mind, and its constant thinking state, as being us. He also acknowledges that our civilization is built on the achievements of the mind, many of them remarkable. However, there is a “being-ness” behind the mind that is the real “I.” By getting in tune with it, we can control our thoughts and put our emotions into proper perspective.

Until we have control of our mind, it controls us. If you ever sat still for even ten seconds you realized that the mind has continual conversations with itself that difficult, if impossible, to turn off. It has a lot of opinions, much of it based on what has happened in the past. What happens is that this makes it difficult to experience things from a fresh perspective in the present. Perhaps you’ve heard yourself or others talk about today as never as good as the great times to come, or the ones that were? This is the restless kind at work.

The insidious part of all this is that you have probably come to identify this constant stream of thought as “you,” when in fact it is only a part of who you are. We are addicted to thinking, Tolle observes, because by getting us to think all the time the ego gives us a sense of identity. Yet the irony is that continual thinking prevents us from fully enjoying the present moment.

The question remains, then, how do we free ourselves from compulsive thinking? We begin by becoming a witness to what the mind says and thinks, in the process rolling with the mind waves of thought and emotion that we experience everyday. You will continue to use your thinking to solve problems and survive, of course, but by getting some distance (objectivity) from it and embracing the real you –the pure awareness — behind it, you are taking the single most important step in your life. What happens when you’re able to slip behind all the thinking and endless ruminating is that you awaken from a dream state into reality as it is, rather than as you would prefer it to be. You begin to get a full appreciation for the present and everything around you.

In a chapter that he dedicates to enlightened relationships, Tolle submits that “most ‘love relationships’ become love/ hate relationships before long.” In a sentiment that reflects the “normality” of switching suddenly from love and affection to savage hostility and back again, the saying goes can’t live with a person, can’t live without them. In the grips of an undisciplined mind, we believe that if we could just get rid of the negative states, all would be well, but Tolle contends that this can never happen. both polarities of love and hate depend on each other, and are merely “aspects of the same dysfunction.” when we are in love, the other person makes us feel whole, but the downside to that is the growing addictive attachment to this individual and the horror that comes with the awareness of the possibility of losing them. While the ego needs a sense of wholeness, romantic relationships pose a serious problem because it creates a sense of self that is dependent on an outside factor. We all carry pain inside of us that appears to be healed when we are in love, but the pain is still there and emerges once the honeymoon is over.

According to Tolle, the real purpose of genuine, long-term relationships is not to make us happy or fulfilled; they exist to bring out the pain within us so that it can be transmuted. They are there to make us more conscious, and if we can accept this we can move to another level, and the relationship will flower naturally. Free of our thinking mind’s expectations, even drama-filled relationships can be transformed if instead of trying to escape it, you go into it more deeply.

Rather than presenting a grand fix-it-all for success, The Power of Now asks us to be more present in the everyday things of life, to see if we can make meaning of every moment. What is regret but that we’re not more fully present with the situation? On another note, it’s my own observation that obsessive attention to run-away thinking is at the root of many mental disorders. I have found this to be true especially of people diagnosed with clinical depression.

If you read this book, be sure to read it ore than once. The writing style is elegantly clear, so as to give you the impression that you’ve “gotten the message.” However, the work is only fully realized when the teachings are pout to practice.

Love,

Eddie

Resources

Tolle, E. (1999). The power of now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment. Novato, CA: New World Library

To visit Eckhart Tolle’s website, click here.

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