Last night, I watched the 6th class of Eckhart on Oprah. (from a download) I have not read the book. Actually I have rather a backlog of books to be read, and more lined up after that (laughs). I love exploring how others see the world and explain the deeper truths. So the ideas are not new and I am very familiar with what he is speaking of. Eckhart simply uses some of his own terminology. He has a strong focus on the “pain body”. As I observed in “The Teacher” and elsewhere, Eckhart suffered and then he awoke, so he sees this as the way home. And he has a great deal of clarity around that.
He made some excellent observations. The pain body (the resisted feelings) wants suffering and uses the mind for its power and expression. The ego itself actually wants happiness but due to its incorrect understanding (and relationship with reality) it unintentionally causes suffering. When the pain body surfaces, we are acting unconsciously so even the ego is not in control. He described the ego as the identification with what is not you, with form. What they often call attachment in the east. The tiny mad idea.
In a prior post, I spoke of the “3 Am-egos“. While there isn’t really 3 egos, there is three aspects to our sense of identity and they each contribute to our illusory sense of individuality. The mental idea of who we are is of course what is normally called the ego. The emotional or pain body is the semi-conscious feeling values that are resisted, cycling back over and over until we learn to allow them. Exactly what they were talking about last night. The third value is our root sense of identity, fully subconscious until we are in the awakening process. It is also entirely fear driven and is the root of our core beliefs about self. It is the driver behind the pain body. Eckhart did not differentiate betwen the emotional drama body and the core fear body in terminology, but you can see him gesturing at the lower gut – what we might call the fear body, and the heart, what we might call the drama body. The drama is of course fueled by the fear.
Now, separating the drama and fear bodies is not entirely accurate. They are more of a continuum. But in terms of their opening and release, they are usually separate stages. As Eckhart observes, first we become present and can observe the mind playing its tricks. This diffuses the illusion. Then the emotional dramas begin to lose their stories and start to spin down. As they clear and release, we have the first heart opening. That in turn leads to the awareness of and resolution of the core fears. And then we are truly free. Kind of a 2 step with his pain body. For him, these opened together it sounds like. Adyashanti describes how they are often separate stages.
In response to a question, Eckhart said that the mother “passes on” her pain body to her child. I don’t agree with the way he put that. The child does not take on the mothers pain body. Rather the child adapts to the environment in which they are being raised, which in the womb is concurrent with the mothers pain body. Bruce Lipton talks about this with powerful examples of the biology. So it certainly is a very powerful influence and the child will often pattern their energy after their parents. In that way it seems to be passed on. But the child does not always accept it. Sometimes they rise above the parents. Or equally take a fall.
Eckhart beautifully explained how suffering changes after awakening. Its no longer suffering when we don’t identify with it. There may still be the occasional bit of anger or pain, but it is now not personal. It is simply an experience, like hearing a siren go by. It comes, then it moves off quickly never to haunt us again. This is how karma dissipates as well, no longer cycling back over and over.
Its all about relationship. Who we are relative to ourselves. When we can see and feel and be with what is, what we already are, then we can become that. We are no longer the pain, no longer the grief, no longer the anger. We are simply peace, rolling in happiness deep within.