Life Beyond the Mind: Eckhart Tolle (Onbeing.org)

Millions of people around the world have found pragmatic tools in his vision that fundamentally complicates the notion, “I think, therefore I am.”

I thought, “My God. Her voice — she never stops talking.” And I suddenly realized, well, I do that, too, except that I don’t do it out loud. And then I thought, I hope I don’t end up like her. And somebody next to me looked at me, and I suddenly realized in shock that I had actually said these words aloud, just like her. I said, “I hope I don’t end up like her.” [laughs]

So I realized my mind was as incessantly active as hers. Our only difference was that my thought was mostly based on feeling sorry for myself. It was depressed kind of thinking. Her patterns were fueled by anger. It took years before I finally was able to really step out of the stream of thinking and realize, there is a place inside me that is far more powerful than the continuous mental noise with which for many, many years I had been completely identified, just like that woman.

The Unconscious (Richard Rohr, Meditation)

Jesus uses yeast in both a positive way, to describe a growth-inducing “yeast which is hidden inside the dough” (see Matthew 13:33), and in a very negative way, when he warns the disciples against “the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod” (see Mark 8:15).

I would like to suggest these passages tell us that leaven or yeast is a metaphor for things hidden in the unconsciouswhich will have a lasting effect on us if we do not bring them to consciousness. Carl Jung seemed to think that ninety percent of our energy—good and bad—resides in the unconscious, over which we have little direct control or accountability.

If we do not discover a prayer practice that “invades” our unconscious and reveals what is hidden, we will actually change very little over our lifetime. This was much of the genius of John of the Cross (15421591) who, in a highly externalized Spanish Catholicism, spoke from personal experience of darkness, inner journeys, and the shadow self. He was centuries ahead of the modern discovery of the unconscious, and thus many of his fellow Carmelites considered him heretical and dangerous.

Prayer should not be too rational, social, verbal, linear, or transactional. It must be more mysterious, inner, dialogical, receptive, and pervasive. Silence, symbol, poetry, music, movement, and sacrament are much more helpful than mere words.

When you meditate consistently, a sense of your autonomy and private self-importance—what you think of as your “self”—falls away, little by little, as unnecessary, unimportant, and even unhelpful. The imperial “I,” the self that you likely think of as your only self, reveals itself as largely a creation of your mind.

Through regular access to contemplation, you become less and less interested in protecting this self-created, relative identity. You don’t have to attack it; it calmly falls away of its own accord and you experience a kind of natural humility.

If your prayer goes deep, “invading” your unconscious, as it were, your whole view of the world will change from fear to connection, because you don’t live inside your fragile and encapsulated self anymore.

In meditation, you move from ego consciousness to soul awareness, from being fear-driven to being love-drawnThat’s it in a few words!

Of course, you can only do this if Someone Else is holding you, taking away your fear, doing the knowing, and satisfying your desire for a Great Lover. If you can allow that Someone Else to have their way with you, you will live with a new vitality, a natural gracefulness, and inside of a Flow that you did not create. It is actually the Life of the Trinity, spinning and flowing through you.

Richard Rohr: The Perennial Tradition: Oneness

On that day, you will know that you are in me and I am in you. —John 14:20

.. My experience with [perennial wisdom] convinces me that all diversity is part of a greater unity; that my sense of a separate self is a functional necessity rather than an absolute reality; that all my suffering is rooted in mistaking my limited and labeled self (male, Jewish, white, American) as my truest Self; and that I can, with practice, shift my awareness from that limited egoic self to the infinite divine Self that is all Reality. [1]

The Egoic Operating System

We come into existence with a certain operating system already installed. We can make the choice to upgrade.

Our pre-installed binary system runs on the power of “either/or.” I call it the “egoic operating system.” This dualistic “binary operator” is built right into the structure of the human brain.

.. But this sense of identity is a mirage, an illusion. There is no such self. There is no small self, no egoic being, no thing that’s separated from everything else, that has insides and outsides, that has experiences. All these impressions are simply a function of an operating system that has to divide the world up into bits and pieces in order to perceive it. Like the great wisdom teachers of all spiritual traditions, Jesus calls us beyond the illusion: “Hey, you can upgrade your operating system, and life is going to look a whole lot different when you do it.”