Whatever is, in fact, IS!

Tolle’s primary message is to “Live in the Now.”  Don’t let worries about the past or future infect the now and stifle your productive action in the moment.  How do we move from where we’re at (worrying about the future and complaining about the past) and live in the Now?  USE our dysfunctional reactions to wake up by fully experiencing them when they happen.

We wrote about Troy’s question below, “Are there ever times when life just doesn’t seem to go how you want it to?” The answer for me, and most of us, is YES.  We get disappointed when things don’t go our way.  We even get ticked-off sometimes.  But Tolle has a formula to use to help us wake ourselves up, and not get drawn into complaining, unproductiveness, and suffering of feeling things just aren’t going our way: Repeat this and (somehow!) internalize it and be aware of its truth: “Whatever is, in fact, IS!!” There’s no getting around reality. Accept what is, and if you react badly to contingency, then be aware of your suffering. It may transform you. Acceptance and Surrender!  Some people are better at surrender and acceptance of what is, thus they are able to work their will and shape their lives toward good outcomes, even in the midst of the contingencies that life throws at them.  But until you’re able to surrender and accept on a continual basis, take the opportunity when you’re ticked off about contingencies to feel the reality of the phrase, “Whatever is, in fact, IS!!”

#1: Let’s Begin…The Power of Now

I was very impressed by Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now.”  The message is that most people are asleep in that they spend most of their time thinking about the past and/or the future, and that this both causes great suffering, and robs the present moment of it’s power.  This then results in failed relationships, things not getting done or getting done wrong, and perpetuation of the “drama” and “problems” of our lives.  Further, our Egoic mind needs these dramas and problems because our egoic mind has forged a “self” that is built around these problems, and we think those problems are our true self, so letting all the drama and problems go in the Now is something the egoic mind does NOT want to do.  If that were to happen, our “Self” would be lost.  But in order to be psychologically healthy (even enlightened), that’s exactly what we have to do…let go Now.

This book is amazingly powerful in it’s simplicity!

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle (1999) is an amazingly simple book with a simple message, yet it is also a profound message, and one that is difficult to live.  The simple message is: “Live in the Now.”  The past and future intruding on the present moment, and all the problems that our thinking mind brings into the present moment, hold us back and hold us down and cause most of our suffering and difficulties.  That’s basically it!

It’s so simple that Time Magazine called it “Mumbo Jumbo.”  But that was probably before the book sold over 2 million copies worldwide and was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.  Somebody at Time must have lost a job.

One of the first points to be made here is that we’re analyzing the book’s contents–a set of ideas–while the genesis of the book was a profound personal and spiritual experience which Eckhart spontaneously had:

“I was fully conscious. … drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy… my body started to shake… I heard the words “resist nothing” as if spoken from inside by chest… [I was being] sucked into a void… Suddeny, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void.  I have no recollection of what happened after that.”  (pp. 4-5)

For the next five months he lived in an uninterrupted state of pure bliss.  After that, he was separated from everything.  No relationships, job, or home:

“I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.” 

So it’s almost oxymoronic to analyze a book about spiritual experience.  Eckhart himself travles around giving talks about it, of course, so it’s not nonsensical to analyze the book.  However, he does caution that God or being:

“…can be known in the silent space of stillness, which is in everyone, under the mental noise [of the mind.]…In everyone is the stillness of pure consciousness, your essential nature.”

He says these are just words that point to God or Being.  They can’t explain it.  They are just “pointers.”  And then the big one:  “The analyis of pointers is pointless!”

But, there is a point (no pun intended) to talking about it:

“So what I’m saying the mind cannot get.  [But you may] allow the [words] to work in you as pointers.  Not as an explanation of the universe.”

It’s the “working in you” we’re after here.  By looking at these pointers they may have an effect on us.

The Power of Now

Eckhart Tolle suffered greatly–he had bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts.  Then, one night, he woke up, thinking he couldn’t live with himself any longer.  He then realized that he must be two selves: The “I” and the “self” he couldn’t live with.  This was an utter shock to him.  Suddenly his mind stopped, but:

“I was fully conscious. … drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy… my body started to shake… I heard the words “resist nothing” as if spoken from inside by chest… [I was being] sucked into a void… Suddeny, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void.  I have no recollection of what happened after that.”  For the next five months he lived in an uninterrupted state of pure bliss.  After that, he was separated from everything.  No relationships, job, or home.  “I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.”  (From “The Power of Now” pp. 4-5)

Once he got on his feet again, people came in droves because they wanted what he had.  He simply told them they already had it, and he couldn’t really help them.  He wrote “The Power of Now” in an attempt to help people get it.

This book is amazing.  (Video is 4 min.):

“The Power of Now”—Eckhart Tolle

I was very impressed by Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now.”  The message is that most people are asleep in that they spend most of their time thinking about the past and/or the future, and that this both causes great suffering, and robs the present moment of it’s power.  This then results in failed relationships, things not getting done or getting done wrong, and perpetuation of the “drama” and “problems” of our lives.  Further, our Egoic mind needs these dramas and problems because our egoic mind has forged a “self” that is built around these problems, and we think those problems are our true self, so letting all the drama and problems go in the Now is something the egoic mind does NOT want to do.  If that were to happen, our “Self” would be lost.  But in order to be psychologically healthy (even enlightened), that’s exactly what we have to do…let go Now.

THIS BOOK IS AMAZINGLY POWERFUL IN ITS SIMPLICITY!

 Table of Contents:

  1. You Are Not Your Mind
  2. Consciousness The Way Out of Pain
  3. Moving Deeply into the Now
  4. Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now
  5. The State of Presence
  6. The Inner Body
  7. Portals into the Unmanifested
  8. Enlightened Relationships 
  9. Beyond Happiness and Unhappiness There is Peace
  10. The Meaning of Surrender