A Book Review – The Power of Now

No, Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” does not deal with procrastination. It deals with “the mind” and man’s propensity to allow the mind to dominate over the active present thereby restricting our ability to access a sense of “being”. Tolle describes the mind as the road block that prevents us from achieving a state of “being” and”consciousness”. We are said to be “unconscious” if our mind and thought muddles us in “time”. Yes, Tolle uses the word “time” throughout the book in a way which can be difficult to understand. Apparently “time” refers to historical events that create predispositions and judgments in our processing of the “now”. Hence, our “now” becomes tainted with our experiences unless we’ve discovered freedom from our past. Most of the book is concentrated around this theme. The theme is revisited with anecdotes and postulations from an italicized character. Herein, it is an effective method of expression.

The introduction deals with the concept of “God” versus “being” and Tolle admirably represents the anxiety surrounding “God” without offending any religion while keeping any worshippers of “God” inside the fold of the text. Fearlessly, Tolle describes “emotion” as a place where mind and body meet and hence one is compelled to question the merit of emotion if “mind” is an abberant variable to “being”. Yet, in a subsequent passage, he exclaims that “glimpses of love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible when a gap occurs in the stream of thought.” Tolle states that “if you are pulled into unconscious identification with the emotion through lack of presence, which is normal, the “emotion” temporarily become “you”. Ultimately, one can imagine the behavioural ramifications if states of unconsciousness persist?

The importance of forgiveness is examined in terms of liberating the burden of “time” and the inner body is identified as a place of focus when seeking the presence of now. “Chi” is thought to be the link between the “unmanifested” and the physical universe. “The unmanifested by way of negation expresses that which cannot be spoken, thought, or imagined.” The book is purposefully repetitive because the author is intent on conditioning the reader with his material.

In closing, Tolle does make reference to applications for obtaining a state of “being” such as transforming illness into enlightenment or the eradication of anxiety or paranoia. It was a fitting way to close.

Blair Sveinson


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