You’re not here as a carrier of your personal history. You’re here as an alive field of aware presence – Eckhart Tolle
This isn’t a quote I read; I heard Eckhart Tolle say it on a CD that I have, at 4.30am this morning! When I get overenthusiastic about life, like falling in love, I get positive stress and sometimes can’t sleep, thinking about all the possibilities. Have you ever noticed that when you first fall in love? It is actually a form of stress.
Anyway Eckhart Tolle is just the man for the job on these occasions, whether I wake up oddly unsettled or hyperactive with ideas. I would love to say that his wisdom puts everything in perspective for me and soothes my soul. But the truth is, his monotonous voice sends me right back to sleep. Every time, day or night! Win/win. His words do actually put things in perspective, when I can stay awake long enough to listen. So I am happy if I can take in what I am hearing (and I seem to hear something new each time I listen, depending on where I am at) and even happier if I can get back to sleep as I know my body needs it. Which it did today.
So today’s quote is something I have heard and written down before as it sums up a lot of his wisdom for me. Of course it’s nothing new. He is reminding us that our egos label everything. I am Emma, I have this, I do this, my job is this, I earn this. Our continuous and repetitive mindstream reminds us of our personal history; always analysing, judging, measuring in some way. But he says there is another way to live than this, as a human. We are actually here as an ‘alive field of aware presence’. We are aware of everything around us but to what extent? Are we looking at something but not seeing it? Are we hearing music or talk but not listening? Are we lost in thought? I am so prone to go off with the fairies that my kids shout Emma instead of Mum which snaps me out of it faster for some reason (it also works better when we are out to get my attention too they discovered).
Anyway I digress. Another way I think of this concept is that I am an alien that has actually kidnapped someone as described by the National Enquirer. I have inserted my mind into this human form and sent it back down to earth to check things out. I go through the motions of what the human is doing but with a new perspective. I look at my hands while I am driving and marvel at them, so different to my alien hands. When was the last time you really looked at/studied something familiar? As an alien, I wonder at the things people come out with, the expressions they pull when talking, the little sayings they repeat; fluff words that fill no purpose such as – ‘sort of like’, ‘and everything else’, ‘each and every’, ‘anyway I digress” – Ouch! Eckhart suggests we create or ‘be aware of awareness‘ by various means which he calls portals. One is the portal of the human body. He says “feel the inner energy field of your body, the inner sense of aliveness. Every cell is intelligently alive”. Close your eyes and feel it actually working. How do you know where your hand is if you haven’t just seen where it is? Our cells are so intelligent – try watching TED.com sometime. They can make even microbiology fascinating!
I also loved a concept I read in a book, I forget who by, about imagining you are standing on a balcony above planet earth. You are just a soul, just a field of presence. You look down and see the glorious planet with nature and entertainment and love, sex, happiness. Would you be keen to go down and try it all, sample it? Hell yes! So why, when we get here do we forget what there is on offer? Why do we stress about completely invisible things such as the state of the economy, the threat of – fill the blank – or what someone else says or thinks?
So I enjoy and continue to listen to Eckhart when I can. I love his odd laugh and his wisdom and that his ego peeks through on occasion. And I particularly appreciate his ability to help me sleep.