The Power Of Now Book Review
Length: 236 pages
Publisher: Namaste Publishing (August 19, 2004)
Price: $9.22 at Amazon.com
Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.5 inches
I have written about this book before and even some of what I teach is based on this book. It offers a different perspective and really made me think about things that I never even considered thinking about before. This was really the first book that got me into meditation in the first place. If you aren’t completely sold on meditation (I know I wasn’t) then you should definitely give this book a read. If you are into self development in general then you should also give this book a read. The main premise of this book is that only the present moment (or the ‘now’ as Tolle repeatedly calls it) is whats important. He even takes it step further by saying the past and the future don’t even exist. They are just made up by our thoughts or ego. Tolle claims focusing on anything other than the present moment will eventually bring you pain. Tolle makes his arguments in question and answer format which I find particularly useful in clearly answering many questions people have on topics such as these.
What I Learned
The Power Of Now was the first spiritual book I read. It does a good job of relating the spiritual fluffiness with your modern life and concerns. I think it is one of the only spiritual books that explain spirituality in an understandable way. Although this book definitely has a lot of spiritual fluff I found myself agreeing a lot with Tolle than disagreeing. if you can get past the fluff, this book has a lot to offer.
One of the best things you will learn from this book is about your ego. I have talked about this before but your ego is separate from your true self. In essence, you are not your thoughts. Tolle talks about how our society – even when we are little kids, values thinking so much that its often easy to confuse this thinking with ourselves. This voice, that constantly goes off every day, filling your mind with worries and insecurity prevents us from being in the moment. When in fact this voice is only apart of you but you are much deeper than this voice in your head.
“Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace.”
Another important lesson you will learn is being present is how you will be truly happy. This all ties back in with the ego and being present but its so important its worth mentioning again. This is really the key to building rock solid confidence. The book does a great job of really hammering it into your head – and in my opinion this one lesson is worth reading the entire book. Most people base their confidence on material possessions such as money, a nice house, a car or even big muscles. When these things are lost their confidence comes crumbling down. This is why people who win the lottery often become depressed. Its why even famous people become depressed or why even wealthy people who lose it all come to the brink of suicide. When you base your confidence on possessions that come and go your feeding your ego which will always be hungry. Its a vicious cycle which may end in misery.
“The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, person and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.”
I can keep going on but i’ll give you one more lesson I learned from this book. If you’ve had a troubled past before that led you to find this review or even this website then Tolle talks bit about how to let go of your past and future. He says we dwell time for too long and occasionally pay visits to the present. In reality it should be the opposite. We should dwell in the present and occasionally pay visit to the past and future when we need it.
“Whereas before you dwelt in time and paid brief visits to the Now, have your dwelling place in the Now and pay brief visits to past and future when required to deal with the practical aspects of your life situation.”
What I Didn’t Like
I briefly mentioned before that the book has a lot of spiritual fluff in it. This stuff can make it hard to read if you are not used to reading spiritual books. It sometimes makes simply ridiculous claims not backed by anything such as inanimate objects such as rocks as having ‘rudimentary consciousness’ and if it didn’t its rudimentary atoms and molecules would disperse because it wouldn’t ‘be’. These phrases don’t appear too much but – maybe i’m alone in this but after a deep sigh I often end up skipping these kind of things. Keep in mind that my beef with statements like these isn’t the fact that the statement didn’t make sense to me (it doesn’t) but the problem is that you can’t just claim something like this – especially something as outrages as atom dispersing and not give sufficient evidence that this is the case. I feel like he kind of just gives us some spiritually shenanigans and moves on about his day as if were supposed to accept that. Tolle can certainly claim that were unhappy because of this or that or our emotions are governed by xyz. These things aren’t really tangible and with our current knowledge of biology we really don’t know for sure why some people become depressed and others don’t or why some people are happier than others. When you tackle something with less evidence you don’t really need to provide to much convincing proof but when you try to contradict proven Scientific ideas you need to provide more evidence.
One other thing I didn’t like is I felt like Tolle didn’t provide a good way of how to become enlightened and in the moment. He talks most of the time about why you should be in the moment but after finishing the book and being convinced that I should live in the present I still have all of these thoughts in my head, I still don’t feel very present and I have no idea where to start. He does talk about meditation but I wish he expanded on the topic more. I feel like he spent the whole time talking about the gold in the treasure chest but forgot to give us the map to get the treasure chest and just left.
The Power Of Now by Eckart Tolle is an overall fantastic book. It teaches you so much about our minds, our inernal dialogue and what it means to be happy. Although I feel like it does make some quite ridiculous claims but these claims are few and really – quite insignificant compared to the overall lessons and value you can gain from reading this book. I think he could’ve done a better job on telling us how to become enlightened rather than why we should but maybe that’s because he doesn’t even know. He talks about how he basically woke up and found out he was enlightened after sitting on park benches for literally years. Perhaps he wants us to find that path ourselves. Maybe he wants us to sit on park benches for years – who knows.
- You learn a lot about the ego.
- You learn why you should let go of material wealth, status and possessions.
- You learn why you should not dwell in the past and future and that there is only the present.
- Can sometimes make debatable claims about some scientific facts
- Focuses a lot on why you should live in the present and not how to live in the present.
If you would like to discuss this review please feel free to post a comment below! Whether you agree or disagree with me please don’t be afraid to speak out!
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