Aside

“They are not tied down
By anyone or anything.
They are lucky and do not rejoice.
They are unlucky and do not weep.
This is steady wisdom.”

Question:

“Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace?”

Eckhard Tolle:

“Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.”

Question:

“Is it not possible to attract only positive conditions into our life? If our attitude and our thinking are always positive, we would manifest only positive events and situations, wouldn’t we?”

Tolle:

“Do you truly understand what is positive and what is negative? Do you have the total picture? There have been many for whom limitation, failure, loss, illness or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of misleading self-images and superficial ego-dictated desires. It gave them depth, humility and compassion. It made them more real.

Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn’t.

Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. When you live with complete acceptance of what is…which is the only sane way to live…there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in your life anymore. There is only a higher good…which includes the ‘bad.’ Seen from the perspective of the mind, however, there is good/bad, like/dislike, love/hate, etc. Hence, in the Book of Genesis, it is said that Adam and Eve were no longer allowed to dwell in ‘paradise’ when they ‘ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’”

My friend, Daniel Clark, wrote to me about this verse and commentary:

“Thanks for your gift of three ways to be stoic.

Prabhupad is stoic because everything is Krishna.
Ramakrishna is stoic because all is one.
Tolle is stoic because whatever is, is.”

[stoic: indifferent to pleasure and pain based on the school of Stoicism
founded by the Greek Zeno around 300 B.C. which maintained that
the wise are in alignment with natural law and unmoved by joy or grief.]

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