The book is devoted to teaching the reader about whom he or she truly is, behind the ego that we think we are. The teacher/doctor/mother/wife/lawyer/etc… that we identify with is only an ego mask; it has nothing to do with our true identify. Eckhart Tolle proposes that who we are is a being that only exists in this exact moment, in the now. All of the identity that we carry, all of the thoughts of the past and the future, all of the worry and all of the anxiety are all in our mind. In this precise moment, we are okay, we are whole and complete. Our constant self talk about our past and worry about our future is what Tolle calls a pain body. It is resistance to the present moment. We are not accepting and living with what is; we are constantly labeling our lives as “good” or “bad.” Hence, we feel “good” or “bad.” Tolle asserts that nothing is good or bad, those are just labels. Life just is. When we accept the now exactly as it is we become free from our ego and we are able to raise our consciousness to resonate on a level close to our true “self,” that is the self that is the observer, separate from thought.
The purpose of The Power of Now is to encourage the reader to become an impartial observer of his or her thoughts. Letting thoughts be thoughts. By detaching from the good and bad of what we are thinking we are freed from the pain of feeling the worry, guilt, ect… of the experiences we are thinking about.
I absolutely see the validity in what Tolle is talking about. You can observe your thoughts and it is enticing to contemplate who the thinker is and who the observer is. Past and future really only exist as thought. There is no place called “past” or “future” that you can travel to. They only exist in your mind. That is why the now is really our only access to who we truly are and to create change. Affirmations are written in present tense for this exact reason.
The gripe I have with Tolle is that he can tend toward being ethereal. When someone has 1,000 things going on and a thought to accompany each, it is one thing to say: “Let all of your thoughts go, just focus on being in the now.” and a completely different thing to practice it. Remaining in the now is a hard thing to do. Meditation helps. Paying attention to your thoughts in 3rd person, when you remember, can help.
Nonetheless, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a fascinating read that sets up the goal of being here on this earth. It will have you contemplating more than you ever expected.
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