The Power of Now
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.
“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.”
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?