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What Is The Purpose Of Mental Illness?

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Ultimately everything is part of the process of awakening. https://www.eckharttollenow.com Subscribe to find greater fulfillment in life: https://www.youtube.com/c/eckharttolle?sub_confirmation=1 Interested in diving deeper into Eckhart Tolle's work? Enjoy a FREE 10-DAY TRIAL to Eckhart Tolle Now: https://www.eckharttollenow.com/v9/join/ Check out some of our other playlist: Meditation - https://bit.ly/2QkG5uU Our True Identity - https://bit.ly/2COKGTo Supporting Awakening - https://bit.ly/2O4M6dW Daily Life - https://bit.ly/2O70SRp Conversations with Guests - https://bit.ly/2MiB2Ig Connect with us elsewhere: http://www.EckhartTolleNow.com https://www.facebook.com/Eckharttolle http://www.instagram.com/eckharttolle https://twitter.com/EckhartTolle http://pinterest.com/eckharttolle Eckhart Tolle is widely recognized as one of the most original and inspiring spiritual teachers of our time. He travels and teaches throughout the world. Eckhart is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition, but excludes none. His profound yet simple and practical teachings have helped thousands of people find inner peace, healing and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of his teachings lies the transformation of individual and collective human consciousness - a global spiritual awakening. Eckhart Tolle is the author of The Power of Now, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, which has been translated into 32 languages and become one of the most influential spiritual books of our time. In his most recent book, A New Earth, he shows how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world.
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Text Comments (792)
Sound City (21 days ago)
What purpose does more acute forms of mental illness such as bipolar or psychosis play in awakening?
Anna Nymetti (21 days ago)
If you want a more simplified answer, check out my channel. I have it broken down to be more understandable.
mental illness is a consequence of chemical imbalance in the brain - NOT some form of awakening
Paul Anthony Donahue (30 days ago)
Denial... The greatest dis-ease of them all!
Adele Barnabe (1 month ago)
We are so very, very blessed to have you among us. Gratitude🙏
1DaTJo (1 month ago)
As a child I was taught advaita; Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna, et al, whilst being exposed to severe domestic violence and drug abuse. I have been through so many horrible states of depersonalisation, breakdown, depression, and worse, and at times the spiritual teachings made it all worse. Now, at 54, I am able to partake of these teachings and find consolation and peace from them. I’m mostly in the Now and feel the Being, yet I have to take antidepressants too. My “troubles” are dissolving through awareness. It’s a wild ride.
Flexnet User (1 month ago)
It’s a very positive vision, without being cloying. Sober and practical.
BonnieandTom Liotta (1 month ago)
Children are sharing an imperative message with the adults of the world with the breakdown of mental health. Some are listening and bringing healing and hope to their families. I believe aware parents are being led to join us in empowering the next generation completely.
Barefoot Prof (2 months ago)
If this is the first time you have heard Eckhart or have not read his books, his answer may seem a bit presuming, but if you know his premises it will make sense, I think. :)
Chiel Klamer (2 months ago)
He just makes up stuff...he admits he doesn't know but keeps talking anyway...there is no purpose...period
Hiroo Motwani (2 months ago)
Wonderful explanations. Namaste.
Shiann Berryman (2 months ago)
He seems to be having a mental issue himself
Nathan Coleman (2 months ago)
Yes, I admit that pain, loss, and suffering made me a stronger person and taught me alot of important things, but there just comes a time in life, for me 32, where I just fucking had enough already. I do whatever now to avoid painful experiences. I don't know where I'm going in life, but I been through enough shit to fill many doggy bags, if you know what I mean. It's really just meaningless in the end like Ecclesiastes says. This is all vanity.
Wildman Samurai (2 months ago)
There is no purpose.
Peterson0809 (2 months ago)
Beautiful explanation. I often use the analogy of a masterpiece painting. God being the master painter. Each event/condition in life being a speck of paint. We look at bad events/conditions a horribly ugly speck of paint. If we were to pull back and have Gods view, we would see that these specks give contrast to the beautiful specks. They give the painting (life) its depth.
Peterson0809 (2 months ago)
Looking back I realize that what I thought at the time were the worst things to happen in my life, were actually the best. They changed my course and ultimately made my life much better. There is no good or bad things, it is our minds judgments that make things good or bad.
Eunuch (2 months ago)
"The Power of Now" was so helpful during my recent awakening, but the monetization of his message is the same old mistake humans make EVERY time someone like this comes with such an awakened message. I hope he isn't caught up in this insanity called "money" which only serves to divide us from each other and create conflict within as well.
James Richard Wiley (2 months ago)
Mental illness has no purpose. Only a migraine headache has a purpose.
Kate Warburton (2 months ago)
Not all mental illness is consciousness-blocking. Psychosis and spiritual awakening are in many cases one and the same thing. This is a mental illness where conscious expands very rapidly, too rapidly for the person to handle usually which is why it causes such drastic dysfunction.
V 13 (3 months ago)
You are just so beautiful for the human heart! I'm so thankful that you share your wisdom and love
Julie I AM (3 months ago)
I'm tired of my "temporary" expression of life form.
Sarah Al-Dossary (3 months ago)
I love him
kwood68 (3 months ago)
He never answered her question of the purpose of insanity.
Peter Cross (3 months ago)
Tolle: “does that make sense?” Me: “no”
Jenny Gao (3 months ago)
This brought me to tears... thank you Eckhart Tolle.
Gabe Sequeira Creative (3 months ago)
4:08 Namaste
Yashi * (3 months ago)
Can someone tell Eckhart there are more slaves living in the world today than in the entire history of the African/American movement
Josie F (3 months ago)
Thank you so much 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
Josie F (3 months ago)
Thank God 🙏👏👍👏🙏🙏🙏
It's not fair because the one going through it ends up experiencing a living hell and life dining and poor quality of life.
rhonda armstrong (3 months ago)
At 50 almost... I will be 51 in a week. I have come to the awareness that ALL my pain has brought me to where I'm at right now and I like where I am. I have finally realized even though I didn't like it at the time that all my pain has a purpose. Including the fact that the love of my life died a year and a half ago. That event with a few others has brought me to this conclusion. For myself I could have felt mentally better a long time ago but I did not listen to the voice in my head (God). I would not be where I am if I had. It takes what it takes for each of us to get it. For me the first thing it takes is just the willingness to be the best version of myself and change when necessary. My life's motto for how I treat others is to treat them just like I'd want to be treated. That starts with me caring about people I don't even know
mallory (3 months ago)
Mental illness is a smokescreen to protect family abuse.
Daniel Hanrahan (3 months ago)
The most sickening thing when it comes to psychology nowadays is that people are given labels and this leads to the identification with the label. For example somebody who is diagnosed with depression feel it is forever and something to fend off. Their identity also becomes deeply engrained in that diagnosis. For some people this is as an advantage. Speaking from experience I feel that it holds me down as if I was tied to the depression and it will latch on until my death which in itself a very depressing thought. I do believe labels are necessary but need to be toned down in the way their given to people and also stereotypes need to be recognised and changed fast. Eckhart tolle will tell you their is no such thing as depression and I'd rather believe that.
Lisa Nicholls (4 months ago)
Utube Channel- "Change your mind", Walter, a great certified proffessional Doctor with great advice and general mental health advice.
Nisano (4 months ago)
TheCherrytree123 (4 months ago)
the collective is illusion. life can only expressed by individuality
TheCherrytree123 (4 months ago)
Jung said the collective consciousness is much lower than individual consciousness.
Atone Forrest (4 months ago)
70 huh?
Brida mc (4 months ago)
peackeeper1 (4 months ago)
My mother has Ahlzheimers/Dimentia. Her brain is shrinking and has gaps in it from the Plaques and tangles. That is organic brain damage and quite different from those who don't necessarily have a diagnosed mental illness. She was very traumatized as a young girl by her mother.I observed her anxiety and fear intensify as I was growing up. All of my siblings have this same kind of anxiety and my mom was quite verbally and physically abusive as well. Collectively it was a huge cause of my whole families anxiety issue. Eckhart Tolles work has brought awareness of this to all my siblings. I shared his work with all my family after I read the Power of Now. We are healing wonderfully now.
P. G. (4 months ago)
Huh?? Maybe I'm a little behind.. Did he answer the question? Sounds like he's talking about something way off.. A whole lotta rambling. Lol When he asked her does that make sense? She should have said.. No sir.
Pageanon (4 months ago)
Why on earth ask him that question? What is he? God? Good grief!!
2LoLGaming (4 months ago)
Those nostrils when he breaths thought are so huge thats why every thought of him expands in that way. Im just joking great video i wanted some people to laugh a bit xD
Ryan W (4 months ago)
I think this speaker is mentally ill. Can’t get straight to the fucking point
timothy gardner (5 months ago)
I kind of agree with what you are saying. I think what he is trying to say is mental illness is an obstacle that is necessary to overcome as part of the evolution of becoming conscious. Mental illness is just that, it's a product of the mind. The mind is not the soul, it is simply a tool of the soul. Think of consciousness as a seed attempting to sprout from the land. It must force itself through layers of dirt and ground in order to sprout and attain a higher state of life. We have evolved over the course of billions of years from microbes, and are at a point now where we can finally choose to discern consciousness . But do not forget that we have been a product of the animal kingdom for billions of years until this point. The purpose and utility of the mind is not necessary in the same sense as it was millions of years ago. We are in a transition state of moving beyond the mind, but that transition is difficult and mental illness is a byproduct as we push through the barriers of unconsciousness.
Luiz Paulo Brüggemann (5 months ago)
I take antipsychotics that aren't probably collaborating with my process of awakening. I'm wondering if it's possible to become enlightened while taking these medicines. I have almost no connection to my emotions and my creativity is weak.
Cheryl hutchinson (5 months ago)
I have a friend who has caused a lot of suffering with complete irresponsibility, but never seems to suffer himself. Now he tells everyone how happy and blissful he is and he is "really experiencing some wonder things through meditation." I am experiencing some wonderful doubt that there is any such thing as enlightenment if a guy like him can float into it without suffering any reprocussions from his actions.
Carmen Kujawa (5 months ago)
Yes, we're all connected to everyone and everything. We are mentally or not mentally ill ... Our thoughts affect all lives .......Learn ............
Suffering and cruelty is suffering and cruelty. There is no "meaning" that could ever justify this. Anything can be learned without this kind of horror and distortion. So just stop.
Dreams Warp (5 months ago)
Nice Q&A. I just subbed! I love listening to him. He always reminds me of truths and pulls me back from my habitual delusions. Breaking thinking/ feeling patterns that facilitate suffering is not always easy. It feels like an addiction. I've been working as a psychotherapist for years and I still fall prey to backslides. I happen to have a whole FaceBook page dedicated to this, Law of Attraction teachings, Zen Buddhism, and more. If anyone wants to check it out just search for DreamsWarp on FaceBook! thanks for the vid!
Supple Chap (6 months ago)
Ive been having this weird thing recently, and I'am wondering if any of you have experienced anything like this. I'am 15 and i have been following eckhart's teachings for maybe two years. And I definitely haven't lost my ego or anything like that. But Ive been having this thing where I feel like some part of me is missing, sometimes I can't fully think of things or understand a situation, its like a blanket that covers up my thoughts. I will also feel disconnected from myself at times as well. The two feelings are similar but not quite the same, and they sort of alternate. More recently I've also been noticing more egoic thoughts, and it seems like i can't control them. Also things and people I see sort of get stuck in my head, I will notice that I'll start to adopt someone else ego or "character" in the back of my head. Its like I'am losing myself. I first noticed this about 7 month ago but its been increasing in the last 2. thank you so much for taking the time to read this if you did. I just feel like this crowd is a good one to share things with.
1DaTJo (1 month ago)
I feel for you. I was meditating and reading advaitic materials at 15 too. Some would say that you need to build up a healthy ego before you “transcend” it, and Nisargadatta says not to teach advaita to children. I went through some very strange headspaces too, as I had no life perspective on what I was learning. I’m not sure how to help you, except to say to trust your own inner promptings. Love yourself 💕
Keykers77 (2 months ago)
Hi, The shadow figure. Are you still feeling this way and Do you experience anxiety?
Clothed Ape (6 months ago)
Purpose in life. Nature empowers us to achieve certain things in life and then rewards us with happiness and pleasure when we achieve them. Failure or difficulty in achieving these things will result in no happiness or pleasure which results in depression. Anxiety is just a primitive reaction that can't function properly in a modern world because society as changed much faster than our minds have evolved to adapt to it.
Rowan Sadasivan (6 months ago)
u sure ur not from the DC universe
Nancy Centauro (6 months ago)
Benno Cadman (6 months ago)
Shame this information is so rehearsed. LSD gives you the same realisations but I wouldn't recommend continued use. Peace
Zoo Sue (6 months ago)
This makes sense to me. I had some so called crazy thoughts and actions, but my GP said there’s nothing wrong with me! This was a couple of years ago, I now realise it was the beginning of awakening and this is what led me to search and find Eckhart amongst other people, also leading me to a transition towards plant based eating. The only problem is other people who try to sabotage your awakening. Thank you for your videos.
2012BeyondtheWorld (6 months ago)
I really like what Eckhart says about mental illness, it's not just personal illness but a whole part of the entire collective consciousness of the human world. It seems those of us awakening from suffering want to heal not only ourselves but also the whole world. So when we seek out help we're not just doing ourselves a favor but taking part in the betterment of the one collective consciousness of human life as well.
coreycox2345 (6 months ago)
This is not about Eckhart Tolle. I was helping my sister shop for a house. We found a beauty designed by a top Phoenix architect of the 60's and 70's. It was a mess inside. We learned that the owner was brilliantly successful, but had a drug problem and had quietly dropped off the face of the earth a year earlier. His relatives did not expect to see him again. In the midst of his rubble was "Finding Your Life's Purpose." This still strikes me as tragic. I am not sure that this man being lost was nothing. It may have been.
Martine Flatley (6 months ago)
Mmm id have me a bit of Eckhart tolle
Eric - (6 months ago)
He literally told her that if she died it doesn't matter lol
Eric - (6 months ago)
spiritual communism
Dee Vee (6 months ago)
to answer the title's question: mental illness serves the purpose of not taking true responsibility for one's own actions. the weakness/personality type that wants to use unwellness as a shield and an excuse is the true mental illness. the rest is the shreds of other peoples' lives that they use to hide themselves from the truth and to hide the truth from themselves: that they're weak and shitty people that have no business being a dominant part of society since they can't handle it without resorting to insanity and lies.
Infinite (7 months ago)
Cookie Monster (7 months ago)
I just ate a fruit cake, it was gorgeous, just thought I'd let you know.
aLaughingheart (7 months ago)
mental illness is a part of life, so you might as well ask, what is the pupose of life
Straight Up Skill (7 months ago)
His epiphany came from watching a women having out loud mental chatter on a bus. In other words he didn't want to work and plagiarised Buddhism and stuck his own spin on it with a few additions. He has even convinced himself by training his thoughts that what he does is good. Everybody THINK, ask questions, have a million happy thoughts. It is about what you think about and not forcing those thoughts back. And change how you feed yourself, big help.
Straight Up Skill (7 months ago)
Eckhart hasn't even studied Psychology, Physics, Evolution, Anatomy, Philosophy, Genetics, the list goes on and most people haven't either, and this clown thinks he has answer to life's tribulations. STOP IT NOW, misleading the naive.
Straight Up Skill (7 months ago)
Regurgitated Buddhism
Straight Up Skill (7 months ago)
Take responsibility for your actions then self reflect over your life and come to understand many perspectives until you reach the truth, and BOOM you are on your way. FREE advice for those that see this comment.
Straight Up Skill (7 months ago)
Firstly, a lot of illiteracy in these comments, so if you can't type/speak English properly, how do you think you will reach spiritual enlightenment? Eckhart, I hope you read this as well. I am very spiritual and you are A FAKE. I watched your talk on the ego, when you told the crowd about someone jumping up and disagreeing with you then they left. Then you proceeded to tell the crowd the story and laughed about it. That my friend is the ego hiding in plain sight, and your forcing your thoughts back, and the micro expressions your doing shows exactly that. Don't even try to put a spin on it. Your misleading people with that nonsense and these people need to find themselves, not by finding someone else to do the job for them. So when the time comes (you'll see what I mean eventually) you will know that you have took people's money by ripping them off with something they can or cannot prove. The reason I say this is because I have never charged people for the gift I have to help people. Do expect an analysis of you to hit the media in the near future, and I will personally name you.
I loved how goldjacketluke described the one consciousness with the analogy of the Mario video game ...
I’m going to see Eckhart in Newfoundland in June ... I’m hoping for a wonderful experience :). My husband is coming with me as well. I loved his books and really feel everything he says to be very true. 🙏
Myth girl (7 months ago)
He just fumbled and mumbled through that question without really answering it. It was a fantastic question, poorly answered, I don't think she received any clarity rather looked more confused. If its a part of everyone's awakening, why do only some people suffer from mental illness and others don't? If Mental illness is the awakening meeting an obstacle, why do people have to be medicated for that with SSRI? I dont agree with this glorification of suffering saying every suffering has a purpose. Kids killed with sarin gas. Women raped. Men and women abused. It only appears to be a personal lesson and nothing else. Yes, life will go on without all of us. Bt that may not be because it is a single consciousness, that continues forever. It is merely the way of life on Earth. Earth existed before us and after us. People existed before us and after us. it will continue. If the single consciouness that he speaks of is creating awakening, to what purpose? Why?
Straight Up Skill (7 months ago)
Completely agree with you, your the most spiritual person I've seen/read in these comments. This guy is a fraud spiritual Sigmund Freud. He has zero clue and never experienced the range of multiple life experiences speaking absolute nonsense.
John boy (7 months ago)
Its always good too learn to observe you're own thoughts will help u kno you're own thoughts from others .stay relaxed
serendipity (7 months ago)
Answer is in the description Ultimately everything is part of the process of Awakening
serendipity (3 months ago)
If that's what you choose to believe, you'll suffer. At least imo. Happiness is a choice, embrace it.
Straight Up Skill (7 months ago)
No, it is not.
Glynna Schmehl (7 months ago)
Everything happens for a reason if you're worth your salt.
Oliver Sotakal (7 months ago)
Every other person is complaining about him not answering the question the way they wanted to have it, but I can understand him and the actual answer should be your conclusion of the things he's told us! God or however you may call it, has it's unique purpose with every one of us, that's it.
miamigroove (8 months ago)
9:06 - 9:09 Listen closely - he reveals the secret of mental illness.
Wellness Connect (8 months ago)
I love him but he fails to answer the question at all. Mental illness js genetic or the result of abuse or unknown reasons. It’s not something my consciousness can control. Thank God for therapy meds exercise green smoothies AND my Eckhart Tolle❤️ The recipe for wellness is a mixture of many factors.
Primal Pulse (8 months ago)
To put you on the street, isolate you, and give leftists another scapegoat to blame for their sins.
Paul Adam (8 months ago)
That was deep seeded ego ...at the start boy...
Deep Space (8 months ago)
ET tried his best to answer the unanswerable. But it was clear to me she didn't get it. (of no fault of her own)
GIA A (8 months ago)
Amazing voice but why he look so ill himself?
Julian2Sounds (8 months ago)
Glen Rame (8 months ago)
Who with half a mind, actually takes this fool seriously? He's not even a good fake!
Vertiline Black (8 months ago)
John boy (8 months ago)
Dam that makes sense
mopiklo I-/ (8 months ago)
The very kind way in which he asked 'does that make sense?'.
Chase N. Paper (8 months ago)
To anyone out there not sure what they are feeling, if they are having issues identifying what awakening is, stop thinking about it and just keep experiencing and processing what is happening, paying attention to what is happening, but not the fine details. Don't think to much on it and the thoughts will come to you!
Chase N. Paper (8 months ago)
I LOVE you Eckhart Tolle, I love everyone else as well and wish all a beautiful existence.
oliver franklin (9 months ago)
How do people with multiple personalities tie in with the Ego and the self?
Butter Cheeks (9 months ago)
I deal with a chemical imbalance that effects my mood and the way I think. It has made my life miserable and has effected my relationships. With that said, there is no useful purpose. Its like saying cancer has a purpose. Mental illness is the body going wrong.
Ember2460 Harrington (9 months ago)
I So wish he wouldnt ramble. At times he has such important things to say but it takes him forever to get it out
bluemermaiid (9 months ago)
I don’t know if there is a higher purpose to mental illness. I just think it’s a different way of perceiving things - sure, one that can bring much suffering, for it distorts perspectives, but still, a different way of perceiving. We know of the neurobiological and socio historical causes of them, but we don’t know the meaning of their existence. That being said, all mental illnesses serve a purpose to the person who experiences it individually. For instance, anxiety can serve the purpose of a defense mechanism to someone who’s been abused. That doesn’t mean it’s a good thing or that the person couldn’t have handled their difficulties without the anxiety, but it was the way their brains found to cope. I believe enlightenment comes from understanding why the mental illness was a “resource” your brain “choose” to YOU, as an individual. And I say this because, on a higher level, I think it’s pretty hard to find a meaning to it (ex: why the universe or god “designed” that illness to you). I don’t know if this makes sense, but that’s my two cents on it.
2012BeyondtheWorld (6 months ago)
bluemermaiid I find it useful when I can connect with another human living/suffering/experiencing with the same illness I'm living/suffering/experiencing with. Just to have extensive knowledge and understanding beforehand is really helpful when living among others and really adds more spice to life when you can connect so deeply with people like yourself. Then we offer hope and wellbeing to everyone and it really brings out a sense of deep belonging and acceptance when we're in it together as that's what life is innately all about. We all have the gift of transcending through our own illnesses and reaching out to others going through the same. When you reach out and say "I understand you" it makes a whole world of difference to the person you're connecting with. That's how psychologists try to help people, they're trying to reach out and tell you that it's going to be okay and they understand you, but I think you'll feel even better when you meet people who speak out your own life and you can connect so deeply almost on the same exact level.
2012BeyondtheWorld (6 months ago)
bluemermaiid Yes it makes sense. I deal with anxiety and I think if we try to understand it on a deeper level that it is a coping mechanism that our brain uses for us but also try to use it in different ways as to not fully disable us from connecting with others and living our lives. We can continue to suffer with our illness or we can find ways to understand its message to awakening spiritually on the conscious level of all human consciousness. It is no longer an illness when you can transcend and heal not only yourself but other people going through the same. It makes me think of why there's a number of people being affected by the same illness, these people can help each other rise above their illness and transcend their purpose in life to the healing process. In a way, whatever our personal illness and suffering, when we come together and share we find similarities and find we do connect on a deeper level both emotionally and physically. We might have different lives or experiences but each one is similar to our own which on a broader scope can make us realize we're all in it together no matter the difference in our illnesses. This can go very wrong with continuous stigma, stigma doesn't help with any healing but adds suffocating negativity and shame to others wishing to speak out and join in the healing process.
wernertrptube (9 months ago)
Purpose ???  to sell Psychopharmaka
wernertrptube (9 months ago)
versucht hier ein Verrückter zu erklären wie sehr verrückt er ist ?
wernertrptube (9 months ago)
friß nicht soviel Psychopharmaka.
Peter N (9 months ago)
Maybe the purpose of any disease is to incite other people to find a cure. Consciousness arises through us not (only) by accepting passively by (also) by acting actively. Accept where we stand now, yes, but do not necessarily accept that it should stay so forever. There are many ways in which the blockages can be released.
2012BeyondtheWorld (6 months ago)
Peter N Agree. The blockages can be released by coming to terms with our illnesses and also like you said, choosing to actively engage in life and improve our situation regardless. Our own struggles do seem as our own ways to understand our purpose or the paths to our lives. It seems many people struggle to find purpose in their lives but with illness we already have it right in front of us waiting for it to be resolved so we can get on with our life. Illness can be a wonderful awakening to all involved.
Topher Ming (9 months ago)
He's wrong. We do have individuality. Selves do exist.
MrAfghanz boii (9 months ago)
Jason P (9 months ago)
Mr. Tolle, what is your view on schizophrenia? My father had it all his life and according to doctors it started just after a childhood accident. He's dying now of old age and Parkinson and I just hope he finally finds peace in death, at least.

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