Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Reader comment on Eckhart Tolle's passage ...

Noticing the Gaps

On Jan 12, 2010 SK wrote:

Tolle hits upon an important cause of misery and unhappiness in the world in the latter half where he mentions a few examples to illustrate how people unconsciously try to emphasize their form-identity. He recommends detection and discontinuation of these unconscious patterns.

 In making this assertion, he introduces an inherent contradiction with the first part of the write-up, where he emphasizes that the ability to enjoy life depends on the frequency and duration of ‘gap in alert attention’ or ‘inner space’ when the thought process of consciousness is interrupted. This initial portion along with the expression ‘frequency the joy of perceiving with little or no interference of thinking’ seems to indicate that thought is an impediment to happiness.
The unconscious pattern happen because there is no ‘in the present moment’ thought process involved and old fixed patterns just play out in the consciousness. It is the intervention of thought that makes us aware of these patterns creating an opportunity to change these patterns.
It is possible that Tolle did not intend this contradiction, or it may not seem a contradiction unless interpreted more literally. Nevertheless, I would prefer not to label thought or thinking in negative terms, and not necessarily consider it as an ego-enhancing activity. To achieve the goal of breaking the unconscious patterns as suggested by Tolle, the thought process does not have to be interrupted but rooted in higher degree of awareness.

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