The Off Button

Eckhart Tolle
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Thinking has become a disease. Disease happens when things get out of balance. For example, there is nothing wrong with cells dividing and multiplying in the body, but when this process continues in disregard to the total organism, cells proliferate and we have disease. Note: The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly -- you usually don't use it at all. It uses *you*. This is the disease. You believe that you *are* the mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.

[Q: I can still use my mind to accompish things.] Just because you can solve a crossword puzzle or build an atom bomb doesn't mean that you use your mind. Just as dogs love to chew bones, the mind loves to get its teeth into problems. That's why it does crossword puzzles and builds atom bombs. *You* have no interest in either. Let me ask you this: can you be free of your mind whenever you want to? Have you found the "off" button?

[If not] Then the mind is using you. You are unconsciosly identified with it, so you don't even know that you are its slave. It's almost as if you were possessed without knowing it, and so you take the possessing entity to be yourself. The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the possessing identity -- the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the identity. The moment you start *watching the thinker*, a higher level of consciousness is activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that matter -- beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace -- arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.

-- Eckhart Tolle, from 'Power of Now'

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