The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now

Eckhart Tolle

 

Categories: getting to “through me” and “as me,” spirituality

You’ve probably heard of this book. If you haven’t you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years.

This book is not traditional personal development, with setting goals and state management and what not. The Power of Now takes a much more spiritual approach to it.

First, a bit about the author. His life story is fascinating:

Eckhart Tolle was not always a world-renowned author. At one point in his life, he was suicidal. As he describes in his book, he attained enlightenment after realizing that “I” and the “self” are two different things. After all, the phrase “I cannot live with myself” implies that they are separate.

This realization, according to him, left him in state of unprecedented bliss. He spent the next two years sleeping on park benches, perfectly at peace with the world, before pursuing answers and ultimately becoming a spiritual teacher.

Disclaimer: I am not enlightened. I am working on it, but take my words with a grain of salt. Plus, what is described cannot be communicated through words, only your own experience. Look at these words as signposts in the road.

So what is the Power of Now? “Now” refers to the present moment, what is happening in reality. Tolle explains that you can gain tremendous satisfaction if you disassociate from the past and the future, and just be present.

He describes the power of Now as “None other than the power of your presence, your consciousness liberated from thought forms.”

Think about that for a minute.

I keep using the term “enlightenment,” and you might be wondering what that means. “Enlightenment” refers to the complete dissolution of the ego: realizing “you” do not exist.

Hold your horses! I know it sounds counter-intuitive and possibly scary, but hang with me for a minute.

Like I said in the beginning, this is a very spiritual book, unlike most other self-help books out there. This is the deepest topic you could ever study.

I’d like to recommend this video as an intro to Enlightenment:

 

 

Now, you might be thinking “this Enlightenment stuff isn’t for me, I’m a very practical person. Give me something useful here.”

That is what the Power of Now is about. In addition to talking about Enlightenment, the author also goes into depth about how to increase your happiness by focusing on what’s happening NOW, not in the past, and not in the future.

Seriously, if I had to give one tip to increase happiness, it would be this: focus on the NOW.

What sensations do you feel in your body? Are any of them inherently bad?

By coming in touch what reality, we become less neurotic, which is really the source of all your problems.

And the world’s problems, for that matter. One of the things I found most fascinating about the book was the fact that most religious teachings point to the Enlightenment and the Now, and also the idea that that most of the world’s problems stem from the lack of inner peace.

I know this sounds very vague. I advise you to do a bit of research on this topic. But remember, you’re not supposed to mentally grasp this concept. In fact, it’s impossible.

I want to say that you can really go two ways with this: you can use the Now as a tool to deal with life on a moment-to-moment basis, maybe when something bad comes up, or you can go the hardcore Enlightenment route: complete dissolution of the ego.

Personally, I would have loved it if he had provided more in terms of actually becoming enlightened, not just talking about it. Disclaimer: I could be wrong. Maybe Enlightenment just comes from being in the moment.

Either way, this is a fantastic introduction to spirituality.

 

Favorite Quote:

“As soon as you honer the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out of present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of tranquility, care, and love – even the most simple action.”

 

The Verdict:

There’s a reason the Power of Now has sold over 2 million copies. It is a truly amazing approach to how to live life. I would recommend it to anyone who wants fulfillment and a better quality of life – not in a material sense, but in a spiritual sense – and who doesn’t want that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman

The 5 Love Languages

Gary Chapman

Category: relationships

Sorry I haven’t written any reviews lately. I’ve had a lot of books to deal with at once. Good new is there will be at least two this month.

The first of which, you may have guessed, is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman 🙂

I was really blown away by this book. Its concepts are so simple and so fundamental, yet it is something most people overlook in their relationships.

The two main concepts in the book are these:

  • everyone has an emotional “love tank” that has to be kept as full as possible in order to feel loved.
  • everyone speaks at least one of the 5 “love languages” described in this book. This basically means that everyone has different ways of expressing and receiving love.

 

Now, we’re all familiar with the story of the couple who’s madly in love, but after they get married the love just kind of disappears.

This book is the remedy to that story. It takes the guesswork out of the act of loving your spouse (or anyone else for that matter).

Gary Chapman is saying that love is not out of our control. We can learn to keep it alive by learning to speak the primary love language of our spouse.

These 5 love languages are:

  • Acts of Service
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Physical Touch
  • Receiving Gifts

The author goes into a lot of detail about each, and give loads of exercises about how to determine your primary love language and that of your spouse.

The problem most people run into after marriage is that they come down off the “love high” that got them into it, then never learn to express love in a way the other can receive.

The idea is that the way you most feel loved is not necessarily the way your spouse will most feel loved. It’s like you are both speaking different languages (which you are: different love languages). As a result, neither of you feel loved, and that lack of love leads to resentment, tension, anger, divorce, abuse or infidelity.

For example, a lot of men think that by doing Acts of Service (doing the dishes, mowing the lawn) his wife will feel loved. But if her love language is different (maybe it’s Quality Time), she won’t get the same level of love as she would if he just spent more quality time with her.

You can see how this idea can make a huge impact on your life right? If you learned to love your spouse the way he/she wants to feel loved, you can greatly reduce the problems you will run into.

 

Favorite Quote:

“Real love” – “This kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth.”
The Verdict:
This book can revolutionize the way you think about love (it is in your control) and can drastically improve your intimate relationships. One of the best books on relationships out there.