I was listening to a CD by Eckhart Tolle yesterday. He was talking about the questions that get submitted (for him to answer) during the retreats he leads, pointing out that labeling anything as “mine” tends to attach us to the thing, and then we (our egos) take it personally. If my question isn’t chosen, I might feel dismissed, or if it is chosen and someone says, “What a great question!” then I feel proud…as if the question is me!
I thought about this attachment of myself to objects, thoughts, gifts, and even my body, all day yesterday, and woke up with the thought that I would like to begin looking at my world or I could say, the world, in a new way, without personal attachment to things outside of me. And by me, I don’t mean only my body or my thoughts or posessions…these are not the true me anyway. They are, at best, temporary forms, but this is a good place to start.
Have you ever brought a dish to a potluck and had no one say anything nice about it, and ended up feeling bad? I have.
Have you ever purchased a new dress or gotten a new hair cut, and had no one really notice, or even hear someone say they didn’t like “it” and found that you felt bad? I have.
Have you ever written something or asked a question and had someone call it dumb, and felt terrible? I have.
The list could go on and on.
I do wonder how many times (hundreds of thousands?!) that I have done this; attached my sense of Self, my value, my worth, to an object, or a thought, or even a person’s (usually a relative’s) behavior.
This is what I believe is meant by the words, “We must die to the old self to be reborn in the new”. The old self doesn’t know who it really is. It is limited in the extreme. It is all egoic mind. It thinks about itself, its problems, its objective world, constantly. It is always worried, planning, afraid, on alert.
We are all so much larger than our egoic minds believe. We really are infinite beings, all capable of realizing the Truth of our being, but to do so, we need to realize the larger dimension of Self.
I am here in a body, but I am not my body. I have thoughts, but they are not me. When I let go of the old concept of myself as a limited being, confined to only what you can relate to through the senses, I naturally expand. …I let myself out of the box labeled, “I am only what you see, what I own, what I create, read, touch, hear, think…” No. These things are just the tip of the iceberg of magnificent you.
“Thinking isolates a situation or event and calls it good or bad, as if it had a separate existence. Through excessive reliance on thinking, reality becomes fragmented. This fragmentation is an illusion, but it seems very real while you are trapped in it. And yet the universe is an indivisible whole in which all things are interconnected, in which nothing exists in isolation. ” Echart Tolle, from “A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.