Moksha and Nirvana: Should We Seek It?

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Eckhart Tolle on the Dark Night of the Soul

Have you ever experienced the dark night of the soul? Your teachings have been so helpful through this difficult period. Can you address this subject?

The “dark night of the soul” is a term that goes back a long time. Yes, I have also experienced it. It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness. The inner state in some cases is very close to what is conventionally called depression. Nothing makes sense anymore, there’s no purpose to anything. Sometimes it’s triggered by some external event, some disaster perhaps, on an external level. The death of someone close to you could trigger it, especially premature death, for example if your child dies. Or you had built up your life, and given it meaning – and the meaning that you had given your life, your activities, your achievements, where you are going, what is considered important, and the meaning that you had given your life for some reason collapses.

It can happen if something happens that you can’t explain away anymore, some disaster which seems to invalidate the meaning that your life had before. Really what has collapsed then is the whole conceptual framework for your life, the meaning that your mind had given it. So that results in a dark place. But people have gone into that, and then there is the possibility that you emerge out of that into a transformed state of consciousness. Life has meaning again, but it’s no longer a conceptual meaning that you can necessarily explain. Quite often it’s from there that people awaken out of their conceptual sense of reality, which has collapsed.

They awaken into something deeper, which is no longer based on concepts in your mind. A deeper sense of purpose or connectedness with a greater life that is not dependent on explanations or anything conceptual any longer. It’s a kind of re-birth. The dark night of the soul is a kind of death that you die. What dies is the egoic sense of self. Of course, death is always painful, but nothing real has actually died there – only an illusory identity. Now it is probably the case that some people who’ve gone through this transformation realized that they had to go through that, in order to bring about a spiritual awakening. Often it is part of the awakening process, the death of the old self and the birth of the true self.

The first lesson in A Course in Miracles says “Nothing I see in this room means anything”, and you’re supposed to look around the room at whatever you happen to be looking at, and you say “this doesn’t mean anything”, “that doesn’t mean anything”. What is the purpose of a lesson like that? It’s a little bit like re-creating what can happen during the dark night of the soul. It’s the collapse of a mind-made meaning, conceptual meaning, of life… believing that you understand “what it’s all about”. With A Course in Miracles, it’s a voluntary relinquishment of the human mind-made meaning that is projected, and you go voluntary into saying “I don’t know what this means”, “this doesn’t mean anything”. You wipe the board clean. In the dark night of the soul it collapses.

You are meant to arrive at a place of conceptual meaninglessness. Or one could say a state of ignorance – where things lose the meaning that you had given them, which was all conditioned and cultural and so on. Then you can look upon the world without imposing a mind-made framework of meaning. It looks of course as if you no longer understand anything. That’s why it’s so scary when it happens to you, instead of you actually consciously embracing it. It can bring about the dark night of the soul – to go around the Universe without any longer interpreting it compulsively, as an innocent presence. You look upon events, people, and so on with a deep sense of aliveness. Your sense the aliveness through your own sense of aliveness, but you are not trying to fit your experience into a conceptual framework anymore.

Song by Loreena Mckennitt ” Dark Night of the Soul”

The Meaning : Poetic and Spiritual reflections by Steve Taylor

A collection of poems and pieces of spiritual insight, reflection and guidance in the tradition of Rumi and Walt Whitman. These poems by Steve Taylor show the experiential core of his best-selling books on psychology and spirituality. Written with the precision and descriptive ability of a true poet, the pieces communicate profound truths, and have the power to transmit spiritual experience to the reader. The book also includes an essay by the author on Poetry and Spiritual Experience

Steve Taylor is the author of The Fall, Waking From Sleep, Out of the Darkness and his latest book Back to Sanity. Eckhart Tolle has described his work as ‘an important contribution to the global shift in consciousness.’ Steve is a lecturer in transpersonal psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. In 2012 he was included (at no.31) in Mind, Body, Spirit magazine’s list of ‘The 100 most spiritually influential living people.’ He also writes poetry – his first book of poems, The Meaning, has just been published.

The Meaning by Steve Taylor

You can’t explain the meaning

Reduce it to thought or confine it to words

Break it down to basic building blocks

Or trace it back to an origin.

But when you see the meaning, you know it.

Just when you’ve forgotten it existed

You’re driving along the motorway

and turn your head to the side

As if someone’s tapped your shoulder

And it’s there, stretched across the evening sky

Filling the spaces between the clouds.

You open the door to empty the bin

And it’s there, rustling with the wind through the trees

Stroking your face softly like a lover.

You tilt your head back to catch the rain

And it’s there, falling with the infinite silver points

Bringing down benevolence from the sky.

Your eyes spring open in the middle of the night

As if there’s an intruder, an unfamiliar noise

And it’s there – in the dense, rich darkness that fills the room

And the glow of unconscious communion

Around you and your partners’ bodies.

The most familiar forgotten place

Your home from a previous lifetime

A mother’s soothing presence

And her warm enfolding arms.

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Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being by Rudolph E. Tanzi, Deepak Chopra, Shishir Kurup (Read by) ~ Updated Feb 4, 2013

A manual for relating to the brain in a revolutionary new way, Super Brain shows you how to use your brain as a gateway for achieving health, happiness, and spiritual growth. The authors are two pioneers: bestselling author and physician Deepak Chopra and Harvard Medical School professor Rudolph E. Tanzi, one of the world’s foremost experts on the causes of Alzheimer’s. They have merged their wisdom and expertise for a bold new understanding of the “three-pound universe” and its untapped potential.

In contrast to the “baseline brain” that fulfills the tasks of everyday life, Chopra and Tanzi propose that, through a person’s increased self-awareness and conscious intention, the brain can be taught to reach far beyond its present limitations. “We are living in a golden age for brain research, but is this a golden age for your brain?” they ask.

Super Brain explains how it can be, by combining cutting-edge research and spiritual insights, demolishing the five most widespread myths about the brain that limit your potential, and then showing you methods to:

-Use your brain instead of letting it use you
-Create the ideal lifestyle for a healthy brain
-Reduce the risks of aging
-Promote happiness and well-being through the mind-body connection
-Access the enlightened brain, the gateway to freedom and bliss
-Overcome the most common challenges, such as memory loss, depression, anxiety, and obesity

Your brain is capable of incredible healing and constant reshaping. Through a new relationship with your brain you can transform your life. In Super Brain, Chopra and Tanzi guide you on a fascinating journey that envisions a leap in human evolution. The brain is not just the greatest gift that Nature has given us. It’s the gateway to an unlimited future that you can begin to live today.

Deepak Chopra, MD, is the author of more than 65 books including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization.

Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Tanzi co-discovered the first Alzheimer’s disease gene and several others, as head of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project and is the co-author of the book Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Change The Structure of Your Brain! – Neuroplasticity | SUPER BRAIN

Published on Jan 18, 2013

Description: How can we change the structure of our brain and what is neuroplasticity?*

SUPER BRAIN is a manual for relating to the brain in a revolutionary new way. Learn how to use your brain as a gateway for achieving health, happiness, and spiritual growth.* Hosted by author and physician Deepak Chopra, and Harvard Medical School professor Rudy Tanzi, the series and book combines cutting edge research and spiritual insights to help you tap into your brain’s incredible capacity to heal and change. Dr. Tanzi is one of the world’s foremost experts on the causes of Alzheimer’s and includes tips and ideas to health promote brain health.

Meditation and the Brain | SUPER BRAIN with Rudy Tanzi & Deepak Chopra

Description: How does meditation affect your brain?*

SUPER BRAIN is a manual for relating to the brain in a revolutionary new way. Learn how to use your brain as a gateway for achieving health, happiness, and spiritual growth.* Hosted by author and physician Deepak Chopra, and Harvard Medical School professor Rudy Tanzi, the series and book combines cutting edge research and spiritual insights to help you tap into your brain’s incredible capacity to heal and change. Dr. Tanzi is one of the world’s foremost experts on the causes of Alzheimer’s and includes tips and ideas to health promote brain health.

Love and the Brain | SUPER BRAIN with Rudy Tanzi & Deepak Chopra

Description: What happens in your brain when you fall in love?*

Sleep, Brain Health, and Alzheimer’s Prevention | SUPER BRAIN

Description: What is the relationship between sleep, brain health, and Alzheimer’s disease?*

Memory and the Brain | SUPER BRAIN with Rudy Tanzi and Deepak Chopra

Description: What is the relationship between memories and our brain?*

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