I might be weird, but I like to mark my books. I like to underline passages and write in the margins. Like I said, you might think I’m weird. But while I’m reading a book, I wonder if anyone else ever re-read the same passage two or three times, finding it insightful or humorous. And I wonder if I am alone and in love with a character. Or if anyone else has ever felt the same ability to relate to the outcast or the romantic, the antagonist, the main character, or maybe a character who is only in the background - barely acknowledged by the author. This feeling is only stronger when reading a borrowed book or a library book. Smelling the same pages as maybe hundreds of people have turned before me. And I wonder how many times their eyes scanned the same pages as I am. Which pages kept them awake at night. So I underline.
Half intoxicated by the thoughts of sleep, he rolled around in bed trying not to open his eyes. He knew that once they opened, the chances of falling back into a state dreaming would fall close to zero. His head rested in between two large pillows, made from geese feathers to support his delicate neck. His bare arms were exposed to the frigid winter air, and one of his legs dangled over the edge of his bed. Suddenly he retracted his leg back underneath his shelter of covers as he remembered the demon from Paranormal Activity dragging the woman around the house. He lay there in his ball of warmth, focusing on not focusing and trying to fall back to sleep. The buzz of his alarm pierced the silence, and he jumped out of his fetal position, scared stiff from the high soprano pitch. He cautiously peered from behind his pillows, certain that something had been there in his room. After carefully scanning the room, he gathered the courage to plant his feet on the ground.
He pulled on a large shirt and walked to his gas stove, putting on a kettle to boil water for coffee. He took a whiff of the course brown drug, ground to a very fine powder by the store he regularly visited. He filled the coffee maker with boiling water and watched as it evaporated the miniscule pile of java, and turned it into a hot brown muddy mush. Pressing down roughly on the manual lever of the machine, he saw the water churning and swirling in rigid patterns, almost as it was screaming from being burned with the scalding water. It gave off batches of boiling bubbles, like the popping of soda poured into a glass filled with ice cubes, crackling under the pressure of the carbonated nectar. The bubbles rose to the top, and when poured into his cup, started making revolutions around the rim and spun on and on; until each individual one had popped and been engulfed noisily by the thirsty man.
Fixing his eyes on a lone grapefruit seated upon his kitchen table, he towered over the quivering fruit, completely in control of its fate. He fastened it under his left hand, and started to saw through the thin layer of beige skin that it had put up as a fight in order to defend itself - a pitiful defense. A light red mist was sprayed onto the counter, and he watched as the grapefruit lay before him, sliced down the middle in two halves. He held in his right hand a foot-long bread knife drenched in red pulp, which gleamed a translucent pinkish colour beneath the pale glow from his bright fluorescent ceiling lights. The grapefruit continued to bleed out its insides, its pink red pulp falling out from being sawed open by a stronger opponent. He took the halves of the fruit, and roughly twisted them onto his old juice maker. The fruit left behind half a cup of a vibrant-coloured juice, packed densely pulp and slivers of seeds. However, what remained strung out on the countertop was a deflated and mangled former living being. Almost unrecognizable, the remains looked like it had been through a horrific experiment, leaving it permanently disfigured.
He clanked a pan against the stove, and poured a generous amount of oil onto it. Taking a matte white styrofoam container out of the fridge, he took out a clump of meat pre-cut by his butcher. He slapped on the long, thick strips of juicy bacon, and watched it simmer. It gave off a burning odour, sizzling within the pool of oil which began to spatter all over the walls. It squirmed wildly in the scorching oils, screaming so painfully loud that he had to shove a metal cover over the pan. Defeated, the meat began to shrivel, curling up into little brown sticks. The man poured his victim onto a plate, pressing it down with a towel to remove the excess oils. The thin pieces of meat broke easily within his mouth, and made loud crunching noises as he bit down on them ferociously, causing a dust of meat to cover his entire body.
Feeling content from his delicious breakfast, he started to clean up the kitchen, and began to wipe the counters clean. His eyes spun wildly around the room, and started to visualize the mess around him. The coffee maker was dripping with the brown, sludgy organs stored inside its murky glass cylinder looking straight out of a horror film. His cutting board was drenched with what seemed to be a dead rodent, disembowelled and dismembered to a freak’s enjoyment. It lay flattened upon his countertop, blood now beginning to thicken and form pools. There was nothing left of the last specimen, only a light disintegrated dust of the former animal. He succumbed to the numbness in his feet, and fell to the ground in disbelief of what he had done. He darted across his house, jumping face first into his bed, Twisting the covers around him, he closed his eyes and drowned himself in his own serenity and peace. Finally he was safe again, finally nothing would scare him.
The Inner Body by Eckhart Tolle
I personally found a lot of inner truth and resonance within these passages and i’m sure Eckhart Tolle wouldn’t mind if i share them with you all. For those who haven’t heard or read the book it’s a massive Q&A on how to become the observer of your thoughts, learning about how to create true ego loss/egodeath and divine strategy on empowering yourself within. Power of Now is such a strong, powerful resource i use when the timing is right. Hope you enjoy <3
BEING IS YOUR DEEPEST SELF
You spoke earlier about the importance of having deep roots within or inhabiting the body. Can you explain what you meant by that?
The body can become a point of access into the realm of Being. Let’s go into that more deeply now. I am still not quite sure if I fully understand what you mean by Being.
“Water? What do you mean by that? I don’t understand it.” This is what a fish would say if it had a human mind. Please stop trying to understand Being. You have already had significant glimpses of Being, but the mind will always try to squeeze it into a little box and then put a label on it. It cannot be done. It cannot become an object of knowledge. In Being, subject and object merge into one. Being can be felt as the ever-present I am that is beyond name and form. To feel and thus to know that you are and to abide in that deeply rooted state is enlightenment, is the truth that Jesus says will make you free.
Free from what?
Free from the illusion that you are nothing more than your physical body and your mind. This “illusion of the self,” as the Buddha calls it, is the core error. Free from fear in its countless disguises as the inevitable consequence of that illusion — the fear that is your constant tormentor as long as you derive your sense of self only from this ephemeral and vulnerable form. And free from sin, which is the suffering you unconsciously inflict on yourself and others as long as this illusory sense of self governs what you think, say, and do.
LOOK BEYOND THE WORDS
I don’t like the word sin. It implies that I am being judged and found guilty.
I can understand that. Over the centuries, many erroneous views and interpretations have accumulated around words such as sin, due to ignorance, misunderstanding, or a desire to control, but they contain an essential core of truth. If you are unable to look beyond such interpretations and so cannot recognize the reality to which the word points, then don’t use it. Don’t get stuck on the level of words. A word is no more than a means to an end. It’s an abstraction. Not unlike a signpost, it points beyond itself.
The word honey isn’t honey. You can study and talk about honey for as long as you like, but you won’t really know it until you taste it. After you have tasted it, the word becomes less important to you. You won’t be attached to it anymore. Similarly, you can talk or think about God continuously for the rest of your life, but does that mean you know or have even glimpsed the reality to which the word points? It really is no more than an obsessive attachment to a signpost, a mental idol. The reverse also applies: If, for whatever reason, you disliked the word honey, that might prevent you from ever tasting it.
If you had a strong aversion to the word God, which is a negative form of attachment, you may be denying not just the word but also the reality to which it points. You would be cutting yourself off from the possibility of experiencing that reality. All this is, of course, intrinsically connected with being identified with your mind. So, if a word doesn’t work for you anymore, then drop it and replace it with one that does work. If you don’t like the word sin, then call it unconsciousness or insanity. That may get you closer to the truth, the reality behind the word, than a long-misused word like sin, and leaves little room for guilt.
I don’t like those words either. They imply that there is something wrong with me. I am being judged.
Of course there is something wrong with you — and you are not being judged. I don’t mean to offend you personally, but do you not belong to the human race that killed over one hundred million members of its own species in the twentieth century alone? You mean guilt by association? It is not a question of guilt. But as long as you are run by the egoic mind, you are part of the collective insanity. Perhaps you haven’t looked very deeply into the human condition in its state of dominance by the egoic mind. Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. You don’t need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity.That is unconsciousness. Above all, don’t forget to observe your own mind. Seek out the root of the insanity there.
FINDING YOUR INVISIBLE AND INDESTRUCTIBLE REALITY
You said that identification with our physical form is part of the illusion, so how can the body, the physical form, bring you to a realization of Being?
The body that you can see and touch cannot take you into Being. But that visible and tangible body is only an outer shell, or rather a limited and distorted perception of a deeper reality. In your natural state of connectedness with Being, this deeper reality can be felt every moment as the invisible inner body, the animating presence within you.So to “inhabit the body” is to feel the body from within, to feel the life inside the body and thereby come to know that you are beyond the outer form. But that is only the beginning of an inward journey that will take you ever more deeply into a realm of great stillness and peace, yet also of great power and vibrant life.
At first, you may only get fleeting glimpses of it, but through them you will begin to realize that you are not just a meaningless fragment in an alien universe, briefly suspended between birth and death, allowed a few short-lived pleasures followed by pain and ultimate annihilation. Underneath your outer form, you are connected with something so vast, so immeasurable and sacred, that it cannot be conceived or spoken of — yet I am speaking of it now. I am speaking of it not to give you something to believe in but to show you how you can know it for yourself. You are cut off from Being as long as your mind takes up all your attention.
When this happens — and it happens continuously for most people — you are not in your body. The mind absorbs all your consciousness and transforms it into mind stuff. You cannot stop thinking. Compulsive thinking has become a collective disease. Your whole sense of who you are is then derived from mind activity. Your identity, as it is no longer rooted in Being, becomes a vulnerable and ever-needy mental construct, which creates fear as the predominant underlying emotion. The one thing that truly matters is then missing from your life: awareness of your deeper self — your invisible and indestructible reality. To become conscious of Being, you need to reclaim consciousness from the mind. This is one of the most essential tasks on your spiritual journey. It will free vast amounts of consciousness that previously had been trapped in useless and compulsive thinking.
A very effective way of doing this is simply to take the focus of your attention away from thinking and direct it into the body, where Being can be felt in the first instance as the invisible energy field that gives life to what you perceive as the physical body.
CONNECTING WITH THE INNER BODY
Please try it now. You may find it helpful to close your eyes for this practice. Later on, when “being in the body” has become natural and easy, this will no longer be necessary. Direct your attention into the body. Feel it from within. Is it alive? Is there life in your hands, arms, legs, and feet — in your abdomen, your chest? Can you feel the subtle energy field that pervades the entire body and gives vibrant life to every organ and every cell? Can you feel it simultaneously in all parts of the body as a single field of energy? Keep focusing on the feeling of your inner body for a few moments. Do not start to think about it. Feel it. The more attention you give it, the clearer and stronger this feeling will become.
It will feel as if every cell is becoming more alive, and if you have a strong visual sense, you may get an image of your body becoming luminous. Although such an image can help you temporarily, pay more attention to the feeling than to any image that may arise. An image, no matter how beautiful or powerful, is already defined in form, so there is less so there is less scope for penetrating more deeply.
The feeling of your inner body is formless, limitless, and unfathomable. You can always go into it more deeply. If you cannot feel very much at this stage, pay attention to whatever you can feel. Perhaps there is just a slight tingling in your hands or feet. That’s good enough for the moment. Just focus on the feeling. Your body is coming alive. Later, we will practice some more. Please open your eyes now, but keep some attention in the inner energy field of the body even as you look around the room. The inner body lies at the threshold between your form identity and your essence identity, your true nature. Never lose touch with it.
HAVE DEEP ROOTS WITHIN
The key is to be in a state of permanent connectedness with your inner body — to feel it at all times. This will rapidly deepen and transform your life. The more consciousness you direct into the inner body, the higher its vibrational frequency becomes, much like a light that grows brighter as you turn up the dimmer switch and so increase the flow of electricity. At this higher energy level, negativity cannot affect you anymore, and you tend to attract new circumstances that reflect this higher frequency. If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the Now. You won’t lose yourself in the external world, and you won’t lose yourself in your mind. Thoughts and emotions, fears and desires, may still be there to some extent, but they won’t take you over.
Please examine where your attention is at this moment. You are listening to me, or you are reading these words in a book. That is the focus of your attention. You are also peripherally aware of your surroundings, other people, and so on. Furthermore, there may be some mind activity around what you are hearing or reading, some mental commentary. Yet there is no need for any of this to absorb all your attention. See if you can be in touch with your inner body at the same time. Keep some of your attention within. Don’t let it all flow out. Feel your whole body from within, as a single field of energy. It is almost as if you were listening or reading with your whole body. Let this be your practice in the days and weeks to come. Do not give all your attention away to the mind and the external world. By all means focus on what you are doing, but feel the inner body at the same time whenever possible. Stay rooted within.
Then observe how this changes your state of consciousness and the quality of what you are doing. Whenever you are waiting, wherever it may be, use that time to feel the inner body. In this way, traffic jams and lines become very enjoyable. Instead of mentally projecting yourself away from the Now, go more deeply into the Now by going more deeply into the body. The art of inner-body awareness will develop into a completely new way of living, a state of permanent connectedness with Being, and will add a depth to your life that you have never known before. It is easy to stay present as the observer of your mind when you are deeply rooted within your body. No matter what happens on the outside, nothing can shake you anymore. Unless you stay present — and inhabiting your body is always an essential aspect of it — you will continueto be run by your mind.
The script in your head that you learned a long time ago, the conditioning of your mind, will dictate your thinking and your behavior. You may be free of it for brief intervals, but rarely for long. This is especially true when something “goes wrong” or there is some loss or upset. Your conditioned reaction will then be involuntary, automatic, and predictable, fueled by the one basic emotion that underlies the mind-identified state of consciousness: fear. So when such challenges come, as they always do, make it a habit to go within at once and focus as much as you can on the inner energy field of your body. This need not take long, just a few seconds. But you need to do it the moment that the challenge presents itself. Any delay will allow a conditioned mental-emotional reaction to arise and take you over.
When you focus within and feel the inner body, you immediately become still and present as you are withdrawing consciousness from the mind. If a response is required in that situation, it will come up from this deeper level. Just as the sun is infinitely brighter than a candle flame, there is infinitely more intelligence in Being than in your mind. As long as you are in conscious contact with your inner body, you are like a tree that is deeply rooted in the earth, or a building with a deep and solid foundation. The latter analogy is used by Jesus in the generally misunderstood parable of the two men who build a house. One man builds it on the sand, without a foundation, and when the storms and floods come, the house is swept away. The other man digs deep until he reaches the rock, then builds his house, which is not swept away by the floods.
BEFORE YOU ENTER THE BODY, FORGIVE
I felt very uncomfortable when I tried to put my attention on the inner body. There was a feeling of agitation and some nausea. So I haven’t been able to experience what you are talking about.
What you felt was a lingering emotion that you were probably unaware of, until you started putting some attention into the body. Unless you first give it some attention, the emotion will prevent you from gaining access to the inner body, which lies at a deeper level underneath it. Attention does not mean that you start thinking about it. It means to just observe the emotion, to feel it fully, and so to acknowledge and accept it as it is. Some emotions are easily identified: anger, fear, grief, and so on. Others may be much harder to label. They may just be vague feelings of unease, heaviness, or constriction, halfway between an emotion and a physical sensation. In any case, what matters is not whether you can attach a mental label to it but whether you can bring the feeling of it into awareness as much as possible.
Attention is the key to transformation — and full attention also implies acceptance. Attention is like a beam of light — the focused power of your consciousness that transmutes everything into itself. In a fully functional organism, an emotion has a very short life span. It is like a momentary ripple or wave on the surface of your Being. When you are not in your body, however, an emotion can survive inside you for days or weeks, or join with other emotions of a similar frequency that have merged and become the pain-body, a parasite that can live inside you for years, feed on your energy, lead to physical illness, and make your life miserable (see chapter 2).
So place your attention on feeling the emotion, and check whether your mind is holding on to a grievance pattern such as blame, self-pity, or resentment that is feeding the emotion. If that is the case, it means that you haven’t forgiven. Non-forgiveness is often toward another person or yourself, but it may just as well be toward any situation or condition — past, present, or future — that your mind refuses to accept. Yes, there can be nonforgiveness even with regard to the future. This is the mind’s refusal to accept uncertainty, to accept that the future is ultimately beyond its control.
Forgiveness is to relinquish your grievance and so to let go of grief. It happens naturally once you realize that your grievance serves no purpose except to strengthen a false sense of self. Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life — to allow life to live through you. The alternatives are pain and suffering, a greatly restricted flow of life energy, and in many cases physical disease. The moment you truly forgive, you have reclaimed your power from the mind. Nonforgiveness is the very nature of the mind, just as the mind-made false self, the ego, cannot survive without strife and conflict. The mind cannot forgive. Only you can. You become present, you enter your body, you feel the vibrant peace and stillness that emanate from Being.
That is why Jesus said: “Before you enter the temple, forgive.”
Tolle, Eckhart (2009-03-25). The Power of Now (ch. 6 The Inner body). New World Library. Kindle Edition.