Re: How Eckhart Tolle took me to the brink of suicide
Date: April 24, 2020 10:37AM
Hi all, new to this forum!
I was researching info about the Avatar cult (which is quite difficult to pinpoint) and came across this website. Amazing place to clear your ideas and keep away from insanity!
First of all, you both are very brave and I encourage you to keep looking for answers, without walking into gurus traps. I hope you both are doing fine with tour lives.
I am quite surprised about all the info about Tolle's (and others) misleading teachings that it can be found here. I read his books many years ago, and liked some of his ideas, even admire him a bit I must recognize, but never bought some of his other crap.
If it is helpful to anyone, my approach to these things is that of a disbeliever. Obviously, when we are seeking for answers to distress our suffering, we are vulnerable. But that doesn't mean that we must blindly follow any teachings, not even those from wider acceptance such as Buddhism or Hinduism. We are all Westerners and we'll never grasp the deep meanings and practices of those whose culture, infancy, family story and traditions, etc were founded on those teachings.
If you allow me a couple of analogies, me being a musician, I can ever truly acquire the mindset of a hindustani musician, even with full lifetime dedication, because I have not experienced it from my childhood, and can't understand the religious and social aspects of it (I tried for a couple of years until I realized of this). Being spanish (catalan), I can't even connect with flamenco (which is common in Andalusia), because I have not "been born" into that social reality. I can learn it, of course, but there are many things I will never understand deeply, aside from moving into that region and living there for 40 years.
I was once playing for a yogi meeting, and they were thanking Krishna and other hinduist deities, but none of them knew a sh*t about all that. Aside from being disrespectful, I found it very disturbing.
On the other hand, being also a pedagog, I never approach a didactic method as if it was THE method, because they all are incomplete in some sense. So the best you can do is learn from all of them, and take what it makes sense for you.
I think the same should apply to gurus or enlightment practices. Sure, this or that guy seem to have the truth, but what is your truth? My point is, learn from everywhere but don't buy everything. Make your own path, something that makes sense for you, and if something doesn't feel well, it is probably not for you.
Having myself tried LSD, and not willing to judge ThePowerofNo, I think the feeling you explain after taking some LSD might have a lot to do with that. It's a powerful drug, and while you can have truly amazing experiences with many kind of enlightening substances, it has to be 1. Properly accompanied by someone expert (like some of the ayahuasca rituals, which I never tried and I'm a bit suspicious of them, but at least are done in a relatively safe enviroment, with people that take care of you through the experience), or 2. With the knowledge and awareness that you are under the effects of the drug. The first time I tried LSD I was out for a week, unable to speak or think coherently. At first I was very scared that it would stay that way forever (it is for some people, you should know). It didn't, I think because I tried not to overthink about it and be confident that it was a temporary state. The mind is very powerful, and when we struggle with thoughts, we can convince ourselves of anything, leading to destruction, or reconstruction.
Also, I wouldn't take it if I have doubts or I m having a bad emotional time.
Shashah, I can't imagine how it must be to have a terrible trauma like you explained. It must be very hard to overcome the anxiety of something like that. My only and humble advice is, find some good old therapist that is not trying to empty your pockets, and believe in yourself, and not the toxic guru-says that you'll find, sadly, everywhere. In any case, read them, don't believe what they say, and if something resonates and you think it might be positive, try it carefully. I think anyone with the need for answers should be accompanied with the most care. Changing the mindset in order to change your reality, paraphrasing the ugliest gurus, is difficult, so don't treat it lightly, and go to the extent where you feel safe.
One thing helps me to bring calm to my mind when I feel overwhelmed (I think, in fact, that I read it on Tolle's sh*tbooks, but I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, he took it from Buddhist teachings): the very essence of existence is a void, and no one can escape from that. So, knowing that, you can take some distance from the pain (and euphoria) and see that we cannot do anything else but take what we've got, and make the best of it. Taking care of others and focusing on basic needs (eating well, having a good sleep routine, keeping mind and body awake without being too harsh, just enough to feel well) can help a lot. Also, even I being someone who was thirsty of epiphany moments, extreme sensations of joy and euphoria (as well as the opposite) are not what life is made of.
In regards of this, a little personal anecdote: I played in a psychedelic rock band for many years. We were smoking pot all the time, looking for connection and enjoying the power of sound. We did a concert once, where a member of the band was in Thailand (where he had a breakthrough mainly beacuse of combining many powerful drugs). Other friends joined us, and so the experience of our music was all new (we didn't rehearse too much so it was kind of a jam). That gig I had an epiphany moment, so strong that for the next 6 months I couldn't find joy in anything around me, not even in the music, because nothing was giving me an experience so strong. Know what? It passed. After a time (and some conversations with friends and some connecting with the ground), things returned to a normal state. You can't live from epiphany revelation state-of-mind. Life is much simpler than that, even when it is hard and difficult.
I hope my babbling brings some light to someone.
Be strong, calm, and take care!