The Power of Now is about mindfulness as far as self-help goes because this book is what the title says. All of our problems come from living in the future or the past. Eckhart Tolle says we all have primitive brains, but we no longer need to rely on those primitive brains. Only one thing can destroy us because modern living is pretty easy.
We need many things. The only thing that can defeat us is our minds if we let them. There are so many people in society that are addicted to drugs. This is because they’re too busy worrying about the future or past. Things aren’t the way they’re going. You think about what you could have done better, and you can spiral out of control that way. You need to focus on the now by any time you do that.
The Power Of Now Book Summary
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a guide to spiritual enlightenment and a perfect book for this fast-paced world. The mind is a powerful weapon. It’s a powerful tool, but you give it too much power, and it takes over the show. So the author starts with the parable that frames the book. We have the tools, power, and resources to combat all the externalities that we think control life. But they don’t control our life. We’re letting them control our lives. We don’t have to. So that’s the idea to start here.
The power of now is about forgiving yourself for decisions you’ve made in the past and understanding that now you can make different decisions. No matter what is going on or what challenges you have, life is always eating you in the direction of your evolution. It means that no matter what is going on in one, the time between the past, present, and then the future is all moving in the good direction for you.
So you never have to worry about what has already happened and how that’s affecting this moment. You never have to worry about what will happen and how that’s affecting this moment. The present now is happening for you and growth. The author also talks about identifying the enemy at the moment. He talks about understanding each moment where you can make a better choice and respond in a way that is with your heart.
Everything happens for a reason. But you also have to take ownership of your actions. A part of that means understanding that you have the power. You make the decision. Things will work for you because you stand up and trust yourself. So identifying the enemy means understanding each moment.
Two things in our lives cause pain: the pain body and the thinking body. In the pain body, you experience pain in your life. It can be emotional pain or physical pain. But experiencing pain doesn’t mean you must identify with it and let it become who you are. The same thing with thinking body to thinking your mind is it?
You don’t need to identify with your mind if it keeps spiraling out of control. You can separate from those and focus on the now, and then he gets more into not thinking about the future, not living in the past. But it’s tough to do in today’s society because our whole lives are built up that way. When you’re young, you’re worried about getting to college, finding a good job, and what family you’ll live in.
Next chapter Tolle talks about how we’re not human becoming. We’re human beings. You don’t have to worry about the fruits of your actions. You have to worry about the action. If you put your effort and attention into the action, everything that comes after it will be what you want it to be, and how the source of wealth is intention. The source of abundance is intention. What you put out is what you will receive.
So instead of worrying about what it is to calm down and not be fully present now, focus on what you can do. The power of now is about doing what you can, where you are with what you have, and understanding that you are stronger.
The underlying principle to teach here is the value of disconnecting from the mind. By freeing yourself from the mind and its tendency to relive the painful past and worry about the future. Tulley suggests practicing present listening, observing, and listening to the mind, as you would a third party. The more you listen to your mind become a witnessing presence, the easier it shall be to recognize your conditioned mind.
The past has no power over the present moment. Most human pain is self-created and, therefore, unnecessary. The author notes two levels of pain we create now and pain created by our past. He points out that as long as we remain unable to experience the power of now living in the present moment, we continuously relieve emotional pain and start moving deeply into the now. The problems of the mind cannot be solved on the level of the mind. Studying your mind in the present will give you immense awareness.
Once you understand how the unconscious state works, start becoming aware of the mind as it creates the ego, the false self it uses to replace your true being. You become free. Being free from the ego is essential to experiencing the now and being happy. The ego has a ceaseless string of needs out of fear. It lives in a constant state of need.
Further, to end the delusion of time, we must stop being identified with our mind and the compulsion to experience our lives through memory. The now is the only point that can take you beyond the limited confines of the mind. Your only point of access to the timeless and formless realm of being is the key to spirituality.
This book is about 236 pages, and you can probably finish this book in a day. But understanding this book will take a long time. You need to pause, and you need to reflect on what you’ve read.
Author: Eckhart Tolle
Average Review: 4.7/5
Category: Meditation, Spiritual Self-Help, Personal Transformation Self-Help
Total page: 236
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
The Power Of Now Book Review
The Power of Now is a guide to spiritual enlightenment. The book divides into ten main chapters, each reinforcing the need to be present in the now. It is primarily about being present now rather than living life in the past, reliving the pain. Let’s review the book chapter by chapter.
Chapter 1: You are not your mind
Many of us spend too much time regretting the past or worrying about the future. Instead, we should be focused on the now because that’s the only moment. If you think about it, nothing happened in the past or the future. It only happened in a certain present moment. So when thinking about the past or the future, you’re using your mind. But we tend to overuse it, and we identify with it.
So the key here, as the chapter says, is you are not your mind. You need to identify from the thinking mind. You are the observer of your thoughts. If it’s not making much sense yet, it will make more sense later because this stuff is hard to wrap your head around, especially the first time we hear it.
So how can we decide to benefit from the thinking mind? There’s a chapter later in the book dedicated to that. But for now, the most obvious one is meditation. You can become present by focusing on all the minor details of the mundane things around you.
You can be your breathing, sensation body, and sounds you hear, things you usually wouldn’t pick up on. If you give those your full attention, you stop using your mind because it’s impossible to think about something when you’re focused on something else.
Chapter 2: Consciousness (The way out of pain)
The author explains in this chapter something called the anxiety gap. When your body is here in the present moment, which is always, and your mind is not in the present moment. Instead, your mind is projected in some future moment that doesn’t truly exist in this gap between your body being here and now and your mind being elsewhere creates anxiety.
Another key point in this chapter is something called the pain body. It’s something that we all have. It’s the accumulation of the pain and mental suffering we’ve built over our lives. The problem comes when you identify with it, in this, pain becomes a part of your identity because then, subconsciously, you don’t want to let go of that pain. It is because it would mean ruining your entire identity, letting go of who you are.
Along those same lines, the author also warns not to identify with a mental position in an argument. If you do this, your mind-based sense of self will be destroyed if you lose the idea and are wrong. As long as you don’t tie your self-worth into opinion, you can be OK with being wrong.
Chapter 3: Moving deeply into the now
The author begins with a quote that summarizes the first two chapters in this chapter. He says you have already understood the basic mechanics of the unconscious state identification with the mind. It creates a false self, the ego as a substitute for your true self, rooted in being or presence. Then he gives a nice little metaphor. He says the past and future are like the moon. They have no true light but only reflect the light of the sun.
He’s saying that the now is all we have. It is the source of everything. Then the past and the future are simply reflections, as the moon only reflects the sun’s light. Now its next point is super useful. He says you’re thinking too much about the future if you’re experiencing unease, anxiety, tension, stress, or worry.
If you’re experiencing guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, or non-forgiveness, you’re overthinking the past. Now here’s another good quote about finding happiness here in the now.
You no longer depend on the future for fulfillment and satisfaction. You don’t look to it for salvation.
Therefore, you are not attached to the results. Neither failure nor success can change your inner state of being. You have found the life underneath your life situation. That’s also an important distinction to make the difference between life and life situations. He says that your life situation is everything you have around the house.
You live in the family and have a car, whereas your life is your true being. Whenever you’re tapped into presence, whenever you are here and now feeling the aliveness in your body, that is your life. Another similar quote here, he says.
“When your deeper sense of self is derived from being when you are free of becoming as a psychological need, neither your happiness nor your sense of self depends on the outcome.” There is freedom from fear.
Chapter 4: Main strategies for avoiding the now
Here he differentiates between something called ordinary unconsciousness and deep unconsciousness. It’s like the sound of an air conditioner, and you never notice it until it stops. Then deep unconsciousness is when there is more acute pain when things go wrong. So learning to be more present will help you eliminate the background static of perpetual discontent that characterizes ordinary unconsciousness.
He also tells you not to complain and says to leave or accept the situation. Finally, he differentiates between your inner and outer purpose. So he says first to realize your inner purpose, and then the outer purpose becomes a game you play because you enjoy it. You realize that every outer purpose is bound to fail somehow due to the law of impermanence. Don’t try to find fulfillment from your outer purpose. Our purpose is anything material out in the real world, like your job position or something like that.
Chapter 5: The state of presence
Presence isn’t something that you can mentally understand. It’s something you have to feel and experience. So don’t worry if all this sounds crazy. The opposite of being present would be to be identified with your ego mind. Here the author says the collective ego-mind is the most dangerously insane and destructive entity ever to inhabit this planet.
So here he’s reemphasizing the fact that being present is very important. It is because if you’re not, you’re going to be unconscious, and you’re going to act in terrible ways. He explains how being absent has started major world problems like wars, genocide, famine, etc.
None of that would happen if we were truly present and rooted in the now and loving each other the way we should be. Here, he gives a little more insight into tapping into presence. He says that presents are this stillness. Listening to the silence underneath and between the sounds is an excellent way to find that stillness. When meditating, many people listen to the sounds, not only the sounds but also the stillness between the sounds. That’ll be very important in a minute.
Another key thing to note is that he often refers to religious texts throughout the book to connect them to the Bible. He says the second coming of Christ is a transformation of human consciousness, a shift from time to presence, from thinking to pure consciousness, not the arrival of some man or woman. So the way he talks about these things in the book puts religion into perspective for you and makes you question many of the traditional stuff you’ve heard.
Chapter 6: The Interbody
The author starts this chapter with a different religion, quoting Buddha, who explains the illusion of the self or core error, which is the illusion that you are nothing more than your physical body and mind. So by becoming more present and enlightened, you become free of this brief and vulnerable sense of self. Don’t deny the physical body, either.
Transformation happens through the body by focusing on breathing and feeling the life inside you by becoming more present. You can improve your psychic immune system or operate at a higher vibrational frequency. If you’re familiar with Hawkin’s scale of consciousness, there’s this chart of all the vibrations we operate, starting with fear, shame, and guilt. Then we start all this stuff like peace, joy, love, and enlightenment at the top.
So, what he means when he says you improve your psychic immune system he’s saying you operate at a higher vibrational frequency. So lower vibrations like fear and anger don’t affect you as much.
He gives one little tip to feel more connected with your inner body. He says to flood your body with consciousness as a form of meditation, meaning you focus on feeling the life inside your body part by body part. If you stick your hand out, think about the feeling in your hand like; how do you know that your writing is there if you’re not touching anything?
Chapter 7: Portals into the unmanifested
This provides a significant clarification. As sound cannot exist without silence, objects cannot live without empty space. So pay attention to the nothingness around you and the silence between the sounds. It is important because the inner version of silence or empty space is the consciousness that enables your mind and objects to be as space allows all things to be. So, in other words, he’s saying we, at our essence, are this blank canvas. We are the space, if you will, through which thoughts can go.
Thinking about it this way makes it easier to identify from those thoughts because normally, you think that was you if you have a thought. You are that thought. But if you see yourself as this blank canvas through which that thought came, you can observe it without judging and letting it go. That will make your life so much easier.
He also says that too many people identify themselves solely on their physical and psychological images, which are unstable. Temporary, causing them to live in fear. Anything natural is unaffected by any external event. He’s calling us out for being fake and getting it. What he’s saying is we have this false sense of self-based on our job. Those things are all formed one way or another, which means they’re impermanent. Something could happen to them.
We could lose that job or crash that car or whatever. If it makes you feel any better. The author says there would be no enlightenment if there were no illusions. So, in other words, the world of form and material things is all a distraction out there that is there so that you can transcend it.
Chapter 8: Enlightened Relationships
In this chapter, the author dives into the meaning of love and says true love has no opposite, which would be paid in the form of a tax and emotional violence and other things. These are pretty common in many romantic relationships. He also says that deriving your sense of self from others is dangerous. That should go without saying. He also says it can be challenging for a normal person to live with a fully present person because the ego feeds on problems, meaning the peaceful person is a threat.
The ego-driven person will debate trivial issues to disrupt the peace or continually refer to past incidents to pull them out of the present. As darkness cannot survive the light, the ego cannot survive the present. However, it’s OK even if one person becomes more enlightened than the other or is in a relationship. At least that enlightened person learns to stop judging, criticizing, and trying to change the other person. They also end up disrupting otherwise endless cycles like debates that never conclude.
The author also says that men’s greatest obstacles to enlightenment tend to be their thinking mind, and for women, it tends to be the painful body in general. Lastly, he says to give up the relationship with yourself to become enlightened. You don’t love or hate yourself or whatever you are yourself.
Chapter 9: Beyond happiness and unhappiness, there is peace
It’s neither good nor bad. It’s like the story of the Taoist farmer. He distinguishes between peace and happiness. You must remember that they’re different because he says you can’t be happy when a loved one dies, but you can be at peace by not resisting and accepting it.
Again, he explains that everything on Earth is impermanent and comes in cycles, another reason not to attach your self-worth or happiness to external forms. Here’s another great analogy. He says that you should be like a deep lake. The lake’s surface is your life situation, sometimes calm, sometimes rough, and affected by the environment. However, the lake is always undisturbed.
Lastly, being enlightened changes the world because any unenlightened behaviors around you aren’t reacting to breaking the cosmic cycle of action and reaction. You become the light of the world and give off good vibes. If it’s a bunch of us all being unenlightened, we’re all going to argue with each other. But then, if there’s one more enlightened person out of the group, they try to fight with them. The fight isn’t going anywhere because the enlightened person will diffuse that situation.
Chapter 10: The Meaning of Surrender
What is the meaning of surrender? It’s going with the flow of life and not resisting it. So when some people hear about going with the flow and everything, they think. But what about planning? Planning is super important. Eckhart says it may well be that planning is the one thing you can do now. So that’s a loophole to this whole presence thing. If you think about it and plan the future deliberately, you’re trying to ensure that your lot goes pretty well.
The problem comes when we overthink and make these mental movies about what could happen in this scenario. Once you start overthinking that, that’s when it’s a problem. So unconscious resistance is the enemy. By simply becoming aware of it, you bring it into consciousness. That is the beginning of the end of it.
Again, he says here when you don’t like your life situation, change what you can control and accept that you can’t. One last little quote here, he says.
“You attract and manifest whatever corresponds to your inner state. This pretty much goes straight into the law of attraction type of thinking. If you can keep yourself at a higher vibration, you will then attract more of that good abundance type of energy into your life.”
This last point I will make here is huge from an empathy perspective. You must see mind identification as an illness that most people have with varying degrees. That way, you’ll never resent them. The only appropriate response is compassion. So the lesson here is that we are all unenlightened to some extent. We all make our mistakes, and we need to be aware of that and treat each other with compassion and not judge each other.
I used to be the type to be always overthinking, feeling like maybe something was wrong and unable to enjoy things fully. But after reading this book, this was like the first stepping stone in a long journey, a long spiritual journey, if you will. Now I’m so grateful for things that I can find satisfaction and enjoyment in about everything.
Personal rating: 4.8/5
You should read this book because of the act of reading it. It makes you feel excellent. You can read a bit, learn and see how it applies to your life and the real world. You should read this book because the whole thing is written in a question-and-answer format of a theoretical person.
This is useful because you’ve probably had so many questions pop up throughout this summer. After all, this stuff is hard to wrap your head around. Whatever question you had is probably here, and so is the answer. Once you start reading this book, you feel like every word and sentence has some truth, some gold, and is valuable. So from beginning to end, you’re absorbing it all, and you’re receiving it, and you’re learning.
10 main points from The Power of Now
- Living in the present moment is the key to happiness and inner peace.
- Our minds tend to dwell on the past or worry about the future, but these thoughts only distract us from the present moment.
- Ego identification (the belief that we are our thoughts, emotions, and external circumstances) is the root of suffering.
- By observing our thoughts and emotions without judgment, we can detach ourselves from them and experience greater inner peace.
- We are not separate individuals but rather a part of a larger consciousness.
- By accepting the present moment, we can free ourselves from suffering and achieve greater inner peace.
- Emotions are the body’s reaction to thoughts, and we can choose not to let our emotions control us.
- We are not our possessions, achievements, or external circumstances. Our true nature is beyond these things.
- True love is unconditional and comes from inner peace and acceptance.
- The ultimate goal of spiritual practice is to realize our true nature, which is pure consciousness beyond the limitations of the ego.
Is Power of Now worth reading?
“The Power of Now” is a popular spiritual and self-help book published in 1997. It focuses on living in the present moment and avoiding the distractions of past and future thoughts. Many readers have found it life-changing and transformative because it helps them achieve inner peace and live a more fulfilling life.
The book has garnered positive reviews for its accessible writing style and practical advice. Influential figures like Oprah Winfrey have also endorsed it. However, some critics argue that the book is repetitive and lacks depth. Others may find that the concepts presented in the book don’t resonate with their beliefs or values. This book is valuable if you’re interested in spirituality, self-help, and personal growth.
Why should I read The Power of Now?
This book can help you achieve inner peace. It focuses on living in the present moment, which can help you let go of past regrets and future worries. By focusing on the present moment, you can experience a sense of calm and inner peace. You can improve your relationships by being fully present in your interactions with others. Overall, the book can be valuable for anyone looking to improve their mental and emotional well-being and find greater fulfillment in life.
The Power of Now criticism
Some common criticisms of the book include:
Repetitiveness: Some readers have criticized the book for being repetitive, with Tolle repeating the same concepts and ideas throughout the book.
Lack of depth: Some readers have found the book lacking in depth and criticized it for oversimplifying complex spiritual concepts.
Heavy focus on personal experience: “The Power of Now” is based largely on Tolle’s personal experience, which may not resonate with all readers.
Lack of practical guidance: While the book provides many ideas and concepts, some readers have criticized it for lacking practical guidance on applying these concepts in everyday life.
While “The Power of Now” has helped many readers achieve greater inner peace and personal growth, it may not be for everyone. It is essential to approach the book with an open mind and consider its strengths and weaknesses.
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