Eckhart Tolle’s book the power of now is a powerful study of mind, ego and Being. Ultimately its a guide to help you reach that mythical place of enlightenment, of inner freedom from external conditions, a state of true inner peace.

The book is quite spiritual (for me anyway). For it to be fully comprehended you need to train your mind not to overly think about the concepts Tolle is writing about. I discovered in The Power of Now, that enlightenment is all about rising above thought.

Would this book give value to you? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to find out:

  • Do you have a fear of what others might think if you fail or who it will affect?
  • Are you enjoying this day, a gift given to you that is denied to many?
  • Do you glorify the past, focus on the future and neglect the present?
  • Are you constantly projecting yourself into the future seeking some sort of release or fulfilment there?
  • Do you derive your sense of self from the content and activity of your mind?

If you answered yes to any of these I highly recommend the book: The Power Of Now, it has shed light on areas of work-on for myself, and I can see in leading others how it could impact on them too.

Here are some of the lessons and concepts I have learned:

As you grow up you form a picture of who you are, based on your environment, personal and cultural conditioning, this is a false self created by the mind. Tolle calls this phantom self: the ego. In order to focus on the now one must observe the mind and ego because to the ego the present moment hardly exists. Only past and present are considered important. Even when the ego is perceived to be focused on the present it reduces the present to a means to an end, an end that always lies in the mind of a projected future. Meaning you can never be truly present when operating from thought patterns stimulated by ego. Tolle challenges the reader to observe the mind, and you will see this is how it operates.

The book helped me to understand that emotions are part of a “dualistic mind and subject to the laws of opposites.” This means you simply cannot have the good without the bad. The very thing that will give you pleasure today will give you pain tomorrow when it leaves you. I don’t know about you, but if I could avoid oscillating between love and hate, happiness and sadness, comfort and fear I’d want to know how. The Power Of Now provides the answer to this, with the alternate focus on your Being.

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The Power Of  Now teaches us how to avoid creating pain into the future.  Most pain we experience is self-created, as long as an unobserved mind runs your life. The pain we create is centred around some form of non acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is. With the mind in control our thoughts will lead to judgement, and our emotions will lead to some form of negativity. With the mind at the forefront it will always seek to deny the Now, resulting in the pain of the past or anxiety for the future. Tolle states that the more you identify with the mind or ego, the more you suffer.

In order to stop creating future pain for ourselves, Tolle asks: What is missing from now? Think about it… If you truly focus on the present there is no need for anything else you are already all you need.

Tolle explains in The Power of Now, that to seek a permanent state of being, we shouldn’t look for it, where that sense of permanency cannot be found. He explains that in the world of form, of loss and gain, life and death you cannot demand that situations, conditions, places or people should make you happy, as you will then suffer when they don’t live up to your expectations. My understanding of this is, with absolute certainty if you place your sense of self into the uncertainties of form, consisting of life and death, loss and gain, love and hate, you will experience a roller coaster of emotions which have nothing at all to do with who you really are.

You may have experienced it yourself: that possession you have been longing for, once attained that loses its lustre, that person you courted only to find yourself discontent and miserable, that promising career change that turned out that the grass wasn’t any greener. Tolle states that “If your egoic mind is running your life, you cannot be truly at ease, except for brief intervals when you have obtained what you wanted or fulfilled a craving.” Your possessions, the work that you do, relationships, status, knowledge and other common ego identifiers are all external things. None of these are you.

The Power Of Now reminds us to achieve our sense of self from who we really are – our Being. Not from our personal past, or future achievements and conquests, but by focusing on who you really are right now. Being present allows you to focus on how whole you are. Whilst the future may be that you become wealthy, successful, knowledgeable,  free from this and that, but in a deeper dimension of Being you are complete and whole now.

If you fail to live in the now -by realising that now is all we are guaranteed, you will live a life driven by grim determination, through fear, anger, and discontent. Alternatively you will remain inactive through fear of failure, which to the ego is loss of self.

Tolle’s message is simple: the present moment holds the key to liberation. “If not now, when?”

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I highly recommend the book The Power Of Now it lives up to its praise, you can get a copy HERE.

 Elliott