The Power of Now

by | Oct 31, 2007 | Psychology | 0 comments

I recently attended a two day talk here in New York City, given by Eckart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, a best-selling self-help book, and a number of related books and tapes. For those who are not aware, Mr. Tolle’s major thesis goes something like this:

Most of us live most of our lives in preoccupation with the future or the past, leaving the present moment very short shrift. As a result of this, we miss out on the enjoyment of life which comes from just being present to the wonders of the world around us, and instead tend to fret about things which either might happen, or may have happened to us in the past. His framework posits an “observing entity”, which is separate and ultimately superior to the “mind”, which is the “thinking entity” which he identifies as the “ego”, which most of us identify as ourselves. Since the ego’s thinking is compulsive, and constantly takes us away from the present, the work is to progressively dis-identify ourselves from our “mind”, and align ourselves with “being” or the observing entity, which allows us to maintain present moment awareness.

His viewpoint has many similarities with the Buddhist and Taoist traditions, which both offer a “here and now” approach to life, although echoes of this point also exist in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions as well, and for that matter in many other religious traditions and psychological frameworks.

I recommend his work for those continuing their own paths of self-discovery, although perhaps his path may not be immediately appealing or intuitive, given our human addiction to thought and “mindstuff”, which leads us to reactionary feelings when confronted with a “non-mind” approach.


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