SUMMARY AND REVIEW OF THE POWER OF NOW
THE FIGHT AGAINST THE PRESENT MOMENT
Imagine a drop in a huge stream that is constantly trying to fight the current to move back or move forward. The drop will always lose the battle because is opposing the flux of the same stream which is part of.
Many of us behave exactly like that drop. When we think about the past we feel guilt, regret and sadness. When we think about the future we feel worry, anxiety and stress because we imagine catastrophic scenarios that are never going to happen.
The source of negative emotions is non-acceptance of the present. We want the Now to be something different from what already is. However, the entire universe conspired to bring about this exact moment. Resisting the present means to fight with Life and every time we do so we suffer.
“To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”
The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle page 56
THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Have you ever seen those people who have lost their mind, and wander in the streets of our cities, talking aloud to themselves, saying who knows what? Well, there is no difference between them and us. We are considered sane but our craziness happens inside ourselves. If only we could register what is going on in our mind, we would be shocked by the absurdity that we think at all time. We are not even aware that there is something wrong in the way we live because everybody assumes that the pain we feel is normal.
We just need to have a look at the face of people in our metropolis to understand that we are making some mistakes. Sometimes when we see someone laughing, we even believe is weird. Probably you thought it as well ‘Why is he laughing so hard?’
We are lost every day in our mind creating and reliving fears, anxieties and regrets, no wonder we aren’t happy. We should ask ourselves a simple question to realize the nonsense of what we are doing: how many times what we feared the most has actually happened?
If we are honest with ourselves we will find that what we dread seldom becomes reality. Our fears are just illusions that are alive only in our mind because we give attention to them. These negative fantasies are like the bogeyman that we used to imagine when we were kids. There has never been the bogeyman in the closet. We used to believe that something unreal could exist.
“The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is. On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment. On the emotional level, it is some form of negativity. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind. The mind always seeks to deny the Now and to escape from it. In other words, the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer. Or you may put it like this: the more you are able to honor and accept
the Now, the more you are free of pain, of suffering — and free of the egoic mind.
Why does the mind habitually deny or resist the Now? Because it cannot function and remain in control without time, which is past and future, so it perceives the timeless Now as threatening. Time and mind are in fact inseparable.”
The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle page 43
ACTING WITHOUT EXPECTING
The majority of this insanity that we consider normal is born because we derive our sense of self, our value as human beings from external factors. Obviously is impossible to control reality to get always what we want.
When we don’t achieve our goals we continually torment ourselves; we feel we don’t have meaning because we don’t have ‘proofs’. We are briefly satisfied even when everything works out perfectly then the cycle starts again. Our mind begin to crave something else that can reconfirm our value. In short, we try to feed an insatiable monster.
Is important to make a distinction: there is nothing wrong in wanting. However, we are always going to experience pain if we need objects to reinforce our sense of self. We should learn to act without having the constant need of external results. We should want without needing because needing implies a lack.
“If you set yourself a goal and work toward it, you are using clock time. You are aware of where you want to go, but you honor and give your fullest attention to the step that you are taking at this moment. If you then become excessively focused on the goal, perhaps because you are seeking happiness, fulfillment, or a more complete sense of self in
it, the Now is no longer honored.”
The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle page 63
THE ONLY TRUE LIBERATION
To escape from this prison of thought that we have built ourselves, we have to learn to observe and calm our mind. When we are lost in our thoughts we squander the most precious thing we will ever have, the present moment, the only moment we will ever have.
The power of now is the power that each one of us has to focus his attention in the present, to forget about what is not anymore and about what will probably never be, in order to rediscover the internal peace and fulfillment that everyone is looking for.
“Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease. The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by ‘watching the thinker,’ which is another way of saying: listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence.”
The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle page 32
ENLIGHTENMENT IS CONSCIOUS PERFECTION
The aspect of the teachings of Eckhart Tolle that I found more fascinating is his ability to explain the parables of the Bible in a way that makes much more sense than what we are used to.
We are the only creatures that can conceive the past and the future, is impossible for a tree to worry about what is going to happen to him or for a cat to feel regret for something that has done in the past. A flower is constantly present, a flower is in paradise but doesn’t know it, while we are in the opposite situation, we are conscious but we try to fill with external results a void that doesn’t exist in the first place. Our duty is to rediscover what the animals and the plants already feel but don’t know they are feeling.
“This process is explained by Jesus in his parable of the lost son, who leaves his father’s home, squanders his wealth, becomes destitute, and is then forced by his suffering to return home. When he does, his father loves him more than before. The son’s state is the same as it was before, yet not the same. It has an added dimension of depth.
The parable describes a journey from unconscious perfection, through apparent imperfection and “evil” to conscious perfection.”
The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle page 99
Plenty of people assume that practicing the power of now can be of interest only to someone ready to leave everything behind and go to live on a mountain because without a constant stream of thoughts would be impossible to plan the future and have a normal life.
This is not the case because the happiness that everybody is looking for is not in the achievement of the goals but in the journey, is in everyday life. We can feel this happiness only when our internal monologue is calm and we discover The Power of Now.
Purchase The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment on Amazon.com
The book of next week is: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.
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