Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eckhart Tolle

I'd like to recommend a series of web seminars being held by Oprah Winfrey via her website, featuring Eckhart Tolle, who is one of my favourite authors and whose books have quite literally changed my life (I know that's a real cliche, but it has the virtue of being the truth).

For anyone who isn't familiar with Eckhart, he is a guy who spent the first 29 years of his life in a terrible state, suffering extreme bouts of suicidal depression. Then one day, when he was 29 years old, he reached rock bottom and finally decided that he "couldn't live with himself". In that moment, a light bulb seemed to flash in his brain and he suddenly realised the paradox that most of us take as a given: who is this 'me' that 'I' can't live with? That implies that we are somehow split in two: a 'me' and an 'I'. Think about it, it's common to say things like 'I don't like myself', or 'I'm proud of myself', or 'I'm not confident with myself'. What's that all about?? Who is this 'me' and who is the 'I' that is aware of 'me' and 'myself'? In that moment of awakening, Eckhart finally snapped out of this split personality disorder that people take as 'normal' and woke up to reality: there only is one 'I' - there only can be one I, and the rest is just 'ego', a fictitious 'self' created by the mind, an illusion of consciousness, and the number one cause of all our suffering (he explains this in much more detail in his books - and my God, it all makes so much sense...).

Eckhart's two books have been life-savers for me. The past couple of years could have been quite hellish for me, but thanks to what I've learned (or rather unlearned) from Eckhart, it's a strange thing that I have completely accepted all the adversity and instead never been more at peace in my life. So for anyone who has suffered enough in life, I totally recommend his books 'The Power of Now' and 'A New Earth', the latter of which is the focus of Oprah's 'book club' and online seminars. His work is beyond categorisation and is focused around letting go of the mental constructs of past and future and living fully in the Now...he talks about how to relinquish all suffering by disidentifying from the ego (the false 'me') and also dealing with what he calls the 'pain body', which is basically a repository of painful/unresolved emotion that is lodged in our pysche and which is triggered by painful events, patterns and relationships. I can't recommend his books highly enough - they have helped me more than just about anything I have ever read and really, really helped me through some very tough times. I have to say that having studied degree level psychology, Tolle's books are FAR and above any pyschology texts I have ever read. This stuff is powerful, practical, insightful and if you put it into practise, you'll be amazed at how much more at peace you will be with life and how much joy can be found in each moment.

The 10 week web seminar is available to download for FREE via iTunes (or via Oprah's website at and has been transforming people's lives all across the globe. I truly believe that this is a gift to the world and something that is desperately needed right now. As Eckhart says in the first chapter of 'A New Earth', we're simply not going to survive as a species unless we move beyond the collective insanity that has characterised the human race throughout history and start waking up to who we truly are. It's not a difficult process, in fact nothing could be simpler, so long as we have an open mind and heart and are willing to let go of all the beliefs/thoughts/identifications that have held us back. But it's so vital. Right now, the human race has a choice: evolve or die.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A fresh start

It's been nearly 2 years (yes, 2 years!) since I last posted here, but I am well and truly back! Although I migrated my blog over to myspace in the interim, I've decided to make a fresh start and recommence this blog with a vengeance. Nothing against myspace, but I kind of prefer blogspot, or blogger, or whatever it's called these days.

I've actually gone through my old posts and deleted some things, things which I felt no longer resonated with who I am now, or who I want to be, or how I want to look back on my life. Rewriting personal history? Maybe. But who's to say it ever happened in the first place? One of the gaping realisations I've experienced (and I don't just mean an intellectual understanding, but a very powerful realisation) is that the past doesn't exist. And it never really existed other than as a sense perception in my mind. Whether it was a pleasant or unpleasant perception is immaterial - there's simply nothing remotely objective in life. It's all subjective: all a projection of our minds. If it wasn't a pleasant perception, then simply flip it around or better yet, LET IT GO. It's not real. Who's to say it ever was?

This blog is going to be the repository of all kinds of deeeep stuff. Philosophical and existential, spiritual and metaphysical...all labels I know, and therefore quite meaningless. But I can't get over the profound feeling that we all have to wake up now. No more time for petty indulgences, no more time for the usual BS that we let characterise our 'life'. It's really, really time to open our eyes and be present, be awake, be aware, be alive.

It's now or never. Wake up or dream on. Red pill or blue pill. It's a choice each of us have to make.

(As you might see, this blog will either kind of make 'sense' to you, or you'll find it meaningless and nonsensical. Either is good.)