How’s Your Inner Beggar?

by Henry Makow Ph.D. – (from Oct 31, 2009 – Improved Feb 8, 2013)

This being the weekend, I am reflecting on the timeless question of human happiness. What do people want?
Simple creatures, we want to feel good.
If you make other people feel good, they’ll love you.
But how many of us bother? We are too busy trying to make them, make us feel good.
We are feel good addicts, hoping to wring our happiness from the world. Food, drink, drugs, sex, money, power, love.
In The Power of Now, Eckhard Tolle speaks of a beggar who asks a stranger for money. The stranger tells the beggar to look under his seat. Turns out there was a nugget of gold there all along.
The message is “the kingdom of heaven lies within” i.e. in the soul. Tolle’s theory, based on Raja Yoga, is that we are souls, not minds. But we falsely identify with the mind (ego), which is the voice of a beggar in our head,  constantly saying, “I want.”
“I want corrupt politicians to be punished. I want the world to be just. I want my stocks to go up. I want to be noticed. I want my boss to praise me. I want to make a big sale. I want my spouse to be sweet. I want people to write on my Facebook wall. I want someone to put something in my cup.”
Tolle’s theory is that the ego has no permanent existence. After all, we die. But throughout our lives, our ego-beggar tries in vain to assert its existence.
In order to feel good, everyday, it needs a cocktail of money, love, sex, recognition and power, or you name it.
This is why many rich people are so stingy. They are their money. If they give it away, they are diminished. This is also why people cling to discredited ideas. They are their opinions. 
The ego can never be satisfied. No matter how much is stuffed into its cup, it wants more. “Enough is a little more than what one has,” Samuel Butler said.
So Tolle’s message is: we should identify with what is eternal and permanent, i.e. our souls, and not our ego-beggars.
According to the mystics, we can access this spiritual dimension, where truth and love are self-evident, by meditation and prayer. By switching our identity to the observer, which witnesses beggar-thought as something foreign to our real spiritual identity, eventually we can experience our soul. If we don’t identify with our thoughts, and learn detachment, we will never go crazy.
The ego-mind becomes a calculator at best, a boorish intruder at worst. 
Tolle teaches his followers to be still and live in the present; to empty their minds and unwrap the lollipop within.


Continues …

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