Tolle writes, “When every thought absorbs your attention completely, when you are so identified with the voice in your head and the emotions that accompany it that you lose yourself in every thought and every emotion, then you are totally identified with form and therefore in the grip of ego.”
Because of the overwhelming awareness of emotions within me, the voice in my head rattles on most of my waking hours. And today, there is frustration and sadness within me. My heart aches for my nephew, and my heart aches for one of my very best friends, who just found out her Mom is battling Cancer. And, as I read Tolle today, the frustration within me increases.
Living in an unconscious state is sometimes a blessing. Generally speaking, drug addicts, alcoholics, bulimics, anorexics, etc. aren’t trying to find their conscious state; rather they are trying to find a state of unconsciousness. Yes, I understand the concept of the mind – the ego – telling you that your life is lacking for whatever reason. I understand the concept of using food to avoid the labels of the ego. But seriously, I am wondering if I am too in tune with my emotional state. I am wondering if I am too in tune with a conscious state. I analyze too much as it is now; reading Tolle seems to encourage further analysis which is overloading the circuits in my consciousness.
One of my Facebook friends had this as her status: ‘In the 60’s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.’ There is humor and truth to that thought. Humankind is constantly searching for something else. If that statement weren’t true, books would not be sold, and spiritual teachers would not have pupils attending their classes. Even living in the state of consciousness creates a desire to find an even deeper sense of consciousness. Seeking a deeper sense of consciousness risks falling into the trap of always wanting greater fulfillment.
When frustrated or sad (or experiencing any emotion), Tolle suggests one should express the feeling as ‘there is frustration in me’, rather than saying ‘I am frustrated’. Tolle suggests that the emotion has nothing to do with who you are. Honestly, I do notice a difference within myself when I say, “I feel frustrated” vs. “There is frustration within me.” One of those statements seems to remove me from the situation to the point that the frustration seems less intense. However, even though there are tendencies within me to stew on any given emotion at any given time, I don’t recall feeling as though any given emotion was my identity. Unless ‘crazy’ is an emotion.
Seriously, this book is dangerous territory for me. I need not be encouraged to observe my thoughts instead of listening to my thoughts. Listening was never a strong suit of mine, anyway. In the meantime, the frustration and sadness exists within me. My thoughts are consumed with my friend and her Mom. In fact, after reading this, I ask that you take a moment to say a prayer, send a positive thought, or whatever the spiritual side of you does – please send support to my friend and her family. Her brother, while battling a brain tumor, kept these words beside him during his struggle: Strength, Perseverance, Determination, Hope. Those are good qualities on which to hold tight.
And to my friend, I raise a glass of Guinness to you and your Mom. Guinness for Strength; Guinness for Health. I love you.