We’re here to find that dimension within ourselves that is deeper than thought.
This teaching isn’t based on knowledge, on new interesting facts, new information. The world is full of that already. You can push any button on the many devices you have and get information. You’re drowning in information.
And ultimately, what is the point of it all? More information, more things, more of this, more of that. Are we going to find the fullness of life through more things and greater and bigger shopping malls?
Are we going to find ourselves through improving our ability to think and analyze, and accumulate more information, more stuff? Is “more” going to save the world? It’s all form.
You can never make it on the level of form. You can never quite arrange and accumulate all the forms that you think you need so that you can be yourself fully. Sometimes you can do it for a brief time span. You can suddenly find everything working in your life: your health is good; your relationship is great; you have money, possessions, love, and respect from other people.
But before long, something starts to crumble here or there, either the finances or the relationship, your health or your work or living situation. It is the nature of the world of form that nothing stays fixed for very long – and so it starts to fall apart again.
The voice in the head that never stops speaking becomes a civilization that is obsessed with form, and therefore knows nothing of the most important dimension of human existence: the sacred, the stillness, the formless, the divine. “What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose yourself?”
It has been said that there are two ways of being unhappy: not getting what you want, and getting what you want. When people attain what the world tells us is desirable – wealth, recognition, property, achievement – they’re still not happy, at least not for long. They’re not at peace with themselves. They don’t have a true sense of security, a sense of finally having arrived.
Their achievements have not provided them with what they were really looking for – themselves. They have not given them the sense of being rooted in life, or as Jesus calls it, the fullness of life. The form of this moment is the portal into the formless dimension. It is the narrow gate that Jesus talks about that leads to life. Yes, it’s very narrow: it’s only this moment.
To find it, you need to roll up the scroll of your life on which your story is written, past and future. Before there were books, there were scrolls, and you rolled them up when you were done with them.
So put your story away. It is not who you are. People usually live carrying a burden of past and future, a burden of their personal history, which they hope will fulfill itself in the future. It won’t, so roll up that old scroll. Be done with it.
You don’t solve problems by thinking; you create problems by thinking. The solution always you step out of thinking and become still and absolutely present, even if only for a moment. Then, a little later when thought comes back, you suddenly have a creative insight that wasn’t there before.
Let go of excessive thinking and see how everything changes. Your relationships change because you don’t demand that the other person should do something for you to enhance your sense of self. You don’t compare yourself to others or try to be more than someone else to strengthen your sense of identity.
You allow everyone to be as they are. You don’t need to change them; you don’t need them to behave differently so that you can be happy.
There’s nothing wrong with doing new things, pursuing activities, exploring new countries, meeting new people, acquiring knowledge and expertise, developing your physical or mental abilities, and creating whatever you’re called upon to create in this world. It is beautiful to create in this world, and there is always more that you can do.
Now the question is, Are you looking for yourself in what you do? Are you attempting to add more to who you think you are? Are you compulsively striving toward the next moment and the next and the next, hoping to find some sense of completion and fulfillment?
The preciousness of Being is your true specialness. What the egoic self had been looking for on the level of the story – I want to be special – obscured the fact that you could not be more special than you already are now. Not special because you are better or more wretched than someone else, but because you can sense a beauty, a preciousness, an aliveness deep within.
When you are present in this moment, you break the continuity of your story, of past and future. Then true intelligence arises, and also love. The only way love can come into your life is not through form, but through that inner spaciousness that is Presence. Love has no form.
Reprinted from Eckhart Tolle’s Findhorn Retreat: Stillness Amidst the World, © 2006 by Eckhart Tolle, Eckhart Teachings Inc.