Are you your mind?
[Warning! Philosophical conversation follows. . .]
“You are not your mind.” – Eckhart Tolle
First, I should say I’m somewhat surprised that I’m writing about Eckhart. I’ve never read any of his books (including his best-seller, The Power of Now). I’ve never followed anything he’s said, and I don’t know much about him.
So of all the people I could write about, why him? Because his quote, the one I just quoted, troubles me. (I’ll repeat it again for emphasis.)
“You are not your mind.” – Echhart Tolle
I have some idea what this means, and I want to agree with it in theory. But I have no idea how to use it in a practical way.
I can believe I have a soul separate from my mind, but from a practical sense, I can’t experience that difference.
I’m trapped in my mind. From my perspective, who I am is completely tied to my mind, specifically the functions of my mind: my thoughts.
Perhaps I just need to read his book.
But yes, over the past year or so since I heard that quote, it’s baffled me. Usually, ideas like this don’t baffle me. Usually, I’ll choose a side – or make up my own side. Whether my choice is accurate or not is questionable, but at least I choose.
Or if the idea’s not interesting enough or I completely don’t understand it, I’ll forget about it and move on. Not with this idea. I’ve neither been able to choose nor forget about it.
So, do you have any thoughts on this?
Do you think the quote is accurate? If so, how so? From a practical sense, what does it mean to be separate from your mind? Is your mind a necessary part of who you are (would you be you without it)?