Daily Spiritual Insight from Eckhart Tolle's Stillness Speaks

How calm, present, and non-anxious can you stay in a life-threatening crisis?

A BBC News report from John Sudworth in Seoul, South Korea, says that the recent skirmish between North and South Korea “is of a different order” from the usual exchanges between the two nations. It seem that civilians were killed in the shelling of the South Korean island by the North.

So how are people handing this? Realizing it could escalate into all-out war on the peninsula that would wreck the South Korean economy, what are people doing to prepare?

Well, actually, nothing.

The BBC report goes on to say that “there is no sense of panic here in the capital Seoul. This busy, bustling city has been going about life as normal…”

There's no hoarding of provisions or desperate flurry of last-minute flight bookings out of South Korea. Says the BBC reporter, “North Korea is simply a fact of life that South Koreans have learned to live with for many years.”

If we get into our thoughts and let them have free rein, there are so many possible tragic scenarios we could imagine for our own life, ranging from being a victim of terrorism to being in a car crash, losing our income, a fire devastating our home, or being traumatized, injured, or killed in a crime.

In contrast to the people of Seoul, many in countries like the United States are hoarding, expecting a collapse of the economy. And there are blogs and newsletters online that promote the fear that drives this.

Years ago on the Tonight show, Johnny Carson did a piece that was tongue-in-cheek about a toilet paper shortage. There was no shortage—until the day after the show.

Do you remember back when there was an announcement of a shortage of oil, and gas stations were emptied because people came in droves to fill up, lining up for blocks?

Most of the crises we find ourselves in are created by thought—ours, or that of someone else.

In his second book, Stillness Speaks, Eckhart Tolle comments:

Thinking that is not rooted in awareness becomes self-serving and dysfunctional. Cleverness devoid of wisdom is extremely dangerous and destructive. That is the current state of most of humanity.

Eckhart adds:

The next step in human evolution is to transcend thought. This is now our urgent task.

If consciousness prompts you to a particular action, such as vacating a city or country, that is one thing. But if actions come from thought, they are bound to backfire.

There is a lesson in the behavior of the people of Seoul. It’s not that they are living in a peaceful situation that never evokes worry, or that they are particularly conscious, but that they are able to go on with life despite this kind of threat. There is a measure of presence in this.

After all, one isn't either not present at all or totally present. Presence happens to different degrees, at different levels in different situations. The universe has lots of shades of gray, little that's either black or white.

Elsewhere, Eckhart asks, “What problem do you have at this moment?” Not when you get to the office in twenty minutes, but right now in this minute.

The only thing that takes us out of this moment is thought.

Consciousness operates in the now, not in speculation about the future. So if the South Koreans can go about their lives in the face of a serious threat, can we not live our life without becoming so anxious and spreading such panic, with its loss of confidence, that we bring down an economy?

Author's Bio: 

David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors.

If you would like to go deeper into being your true self, powerfully present in the now, we invite you to enjoy the daily blog Consciousness Rising - http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-robert-ord.