Why You’re Like a Beggar By Eckhart Tolle...

By Tom Hasker, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now has helped millions of people around the world to discover more about their personal sense of fulfillment and worth. Eckhart is a spiritual teacher and his work focuses on helping us to understand ourselves and get the most out of our life, by becoming aware of how our conditioned minds hold us back and limit our potential.

On the first page of the book, he shares a parable about happiness and being able to cope with the fast pace of life…

A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for over 30 years. One day, a stranger walked by.

“Spare some change?” Said the beggar, mechanically holding out his cap.

“I have nothing to give you.” said the stranger who then asked “What are you sitting on?”

“Nothing. Just an old box. I’ve been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.”

“Ever looked inside?”

“No. What’s the point? It’s just an old box.”

“Have a look inside.” Insisted the stranger.

The beggar managed to pry open the lid and to his amazement it was filled with gold.

I am that stranger who has nothing to give you and who is telling you to look inside. Not inside any box, as in the parable, but somewhere even closer: inside yourself.

Those who have not found their true wealth, which is radiant joy... and the deep unshakable peace that comes with it are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, validation, security and love while they have a treasure within that not only includes these things, but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.

The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment but it is simply your natural state...It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much greater than you...The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of separation, from yourself and from the world around you. You then perceive yourself consciously or unconsciously as an isolated fragment. Fear arises and conflict within and without becomes the norm.

Take a moment to take a breath, pause and feel.

True Happiness Can Only Come From Inside

What Eckhart is pointing to with this parable, is if we are looking for gratification from something outside of ourselves (like money, food, a relationship, cars) it is short-lived and when that thing is gone (spent, eaten, sold, or stolen) we will feel unhappy again. What he is saying, is that there is always a calmness within us where we know we are fundamentally happy already, where we can appreciate what we have in our lives without desperately 'scrapping' for more. When we lose sight of that and crave things on the outside, that is when we feel the world can come crashing down on us!

We will be exploring this book and the idea that we are in control of our lives, not the other way around in future articles...The time is now to make some amazing changes in your life!!

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