May 28, 2015 7:30 AM
As to be expected, the attention from the BATGAP interview has brought with it the ire of the haters. Anonymous people calling me names, making fun of the way I look, the way I live, criticizing things I said half a decade ago… even my photography (now that’s just mean). Synchronistically (of course), Trey Ratcliff—one of only about a dozen bloggers I follow and who has a great saying about haters—recently put out a video where around the 10:00 minute mark talks about if you consistently do what you love, then the right people will show up. Then, this morning (more synchronicity (are you seeing the pattern here?)) Seth Godin posts about haters and that we should not take their names down, but take the names of those who are fans, supporters, and sneezers (people who share your work).
Feed the lovers, not the haters.
So to all you who are “lovers”, who are appreciative and share my stuff—and I know how difficult it is to share my work since it is so different than most nondual teachings—I say from the bottom of my heart, Thank-you. I love you.
And on the note of “so different than most nondual teachings,” I have some further thoughts about what I said in the interview about Eckhart Tolle and the need for a caregiver.
Both Eckhart Tolle and Ramana Maharshi (I know, I know, I’m just asking for haters) both experienced what I call surprise enlightenment. They weren’t looking for enlightenment, they didn’t even know what it was (detaching from your thoughts/identity), they hadn’t spent their days researching or seeking it, and so when their identity was seen through and fell away, they were left in a state of deep psychological shock (because they were ignorant of “enlightenment”).
What is beautiful about these two people, is how they exemplify what perfect non-identity/egoless-ness looks like. They serve as a wonderful example of an ideal.
But ideals aren’t practical or realistic. Ideals—by their nature and definition— are very black and white in a world filled with colors.
Because both Tolle and Maharshi fell unexpectedly into these ideal states, they basically needed caregivers to take care of them. Kim Eng, takes care of a lot of Tolle’s needs and Ramana Maharshi had the entire staff of a temple to look after his.
Why did they need caregivers? Simply because one of the traits of what I call Emptiness is that, once all boundaries are seen through and the Unity is experienced, every “thing” holds the same value to the observer as everything else. In other words, you value your body no more than that tree over there. This is exemplified in the famous story of how Maharshi would allow vermin and bugs to bite his feet and legs while he sat completely dis-identified from the world and Tolle (to a lesser extent) just sitting on a bench for three years while enthralled with his experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Tolle and Maharshi, I love the ideal that they represent. Is it practical? No. Is it integrated? No. Is it beautiful and inspiring? Absolutely.
Surprise enlightenment (as opposed to a more integrated version) is a very beautiful thing, but—and this is a big but—it requires a caregiver simply because there is no reason for them to take care of themselves (as demonstrated by Maharshi (I’m all about evidence) where he didn’t value his body anymore).
We can learn a lot from these beautiful, ideal examples, but it isn’t something we should strive for (who wants a caregiver?).
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