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Eckhart Tolle

How do I manage self-expectations?*

As I am awakening I am becoming more aware of how often I am angry and it is getting tiresome. How do I manage the expectations of myself?

You need to manage the expectations and then you need to manage the anger. Anger management and the expectation management.

Expectations mean you beat yourself up for being unconscious which is more unconsciousness. Because the mental image of who you are says: „I am not good enough I cannot do it. You see, I‘ve practiced for 25 years and I still cannot do. It cannot possibly be any good if you still cannot do it after 25 years,“. Those are thoughts that float around in your mind (and how do you feel as Barie Katie would ask), how do you feel when you believe your thoughts? Not good. You are beating yourself up and you feel an emotion, feel bad about myself, more ego, more conceptualized identity in your mind. Concept in your mind about you, you derive your sense of self from that. More of the same. Let’s say it is anger. When you wake up after the anger reaction and say: “I did it again, I am not good“. So you have the second egoic reaction to the first one.

Photos from Ojas archive. © Ojas, 2017
 Photos from Ojas archive. © Ojas, 2017

Anger is something that comes in many people very fast, so they may not be, unless there is already considerable presence power in you, there may not be enough presence to catch it, it takes you all before you know it, especially old reaction.. and before you know it you talking and shouting, you are not doing it at all. It is the mind pattern, mental emotional pattern in you, which often related to what I call pain body, which is old accumulated painful emotions, which could be anger, which could be deep depressed sadness, anger is very frequent one. The pain body energy is just waiting in people who have accumulated old anger going back to childhood feeling, feeling powerless. What a child does when it feels powerless? It starts screaming, that is all he can do and sometimes it works, sometimes the parents come and say, ok you can have a sweet, if you scream loud enough. 

So, the powerlessness is always behind the anger. And the ego pretends that there is your power in anger, but anger arises out of the sense of powerlessness. Often there is fear hiding underneath it. When you are there looking at it, you realize that at first hand within yourself there is a sense of powerlessness behind it. The ego is pretending to be powerful when it is really in the state of fear. You can see it even with little dogs, the smallest dogs bark the most. I see the little dogs whenever big ones goes past they get angry“ au aua au“,. If I were that size, I would do that too probably. So, your little chiwawa or your sweet little bichon frise and when Mastiff or Rottweiler walks past who looks very quiet, because the Rottweiler knows its own power. It goes quietly, and the little one wau wau...

With dogs we smile when we see that, because we somehow recognize the pattern and we smile and probably the Rottweiler has an inner smile too, when he walks past.

But with humans it is more difficult to smile when they go angry and the words go streaming out of their mouth. It is more difficult to smile but it is possible. Not necessarily so smile, but recognize what it is. When you see it in another, do not equate that with who that person is. Recognize that the person has been taken over by that energy feel and that already a wonderful thing. That what we could call the forgiveness in a wider sense. We do not equate an unconscious behavior with who that person is. If you aquated it with who that person is, that is the real meaning of judgment. Judgment is not to say to somebody I realize that you get angry a lot. And that person may tell you are you judging me. No, it is a fact. If I see that you get angry a lot, that was just a fact, there is no judgement in it. But if I equate that with your essential identity of who you are: „you are an angry person and I always expect more anger from you”, that is a judgement.

Not recognizing a pattern that operates unconsciously through humans and taking that for their identity is judgment. And you can do it to yourself. You can judge yourself for those things and that is just as much ego as judging somebody else. You can beat yourself up and call yourself no good and whatever else the self-talk in your head it calls you. In many people’s minds when the mind talks to you, it says: you, you see, you cannot do it, sometimes it says Ï”, in some people, but in many it says you, is not that strange? You talk to yourself in your head.

One part of your mind condemns the other part. When you see it, you can raise above it and there is suddenly an awareness that comes with it. You are no longer trapped in those patterns. I would recommend particularly to become particularly alert where you know you getting stressed, situation is building up.

Transformation of anger. Photos from Ojas Meditation Academy archive. © Ojas, 2017


For example if anger takes over when you get stressed, that could happen. When you feel stress building up towards it, you become very alert, so that you can, does not take you over, you know the anger is about to come, if you know such areas of your life which more likely you behave unconscious, sometimes you know just beforehand, that those are going to arise in the next minute or so. And then you can be alert and feel the entire energy field in your body, be alert of every cell of your body, then pick up the phone, and talk about financial situation, with your investment advisor. Treat those as spiritual practices. And realize that nothing is more important than consciousness, not the situation.

Some peoples pain-bodies consist of as I said predominantly with anger and in some people you can sense the semi-dormant pain body background even when they are not particularly angry right now. But there are people who are waiting for the next opportunity to be angry. That is their pain body. Sometimes when you are sensitive towards others you can feel energy fields, you can sometimes sense in other people, they are waiting for an excuse to be angry. Some open you look into their eyes it is already there, but it is not them, it is one that occupies inner energy field, which is the pain body, and so they are waiting and any excuse and they will get angry at you or whoever may be. So you become a grievance looking for a cause.

* - Excerpt from  Eckhart Tolle discourse „Living A Life Of Balance“,

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