May 19th, 2015

The Power of Now

“Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won't die. You will come to life. And don't be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it's their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don't be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.” -- Eckart Tolle

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a seminal book: it encapsulates eons of mystical and spiritual teaching in a way that’s easily understood.

I’m not sure now how long ago I first read it, but it changed my life. In essence, it propelled me on a journey away from my former egoic identity to something more profound.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not suggesting that the book’s message is for everyone (or anyone), notwithstanding the various celebrity endorsements it’s received over the years, but, rather, it’s one of those books that either snaps you out of your egoic delusion, i.e. you are anything but your thoughts, or you’re apt to throw it in the bin as another vain attempt to pander to our insecurities.

Even if you’re not disposed to read or investigate its contents, it’s message is very simple: “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life”.

But, of course, you need more than another exhortation to lift the veil. Instead, you need become the witnessing presence to your thoughts where your deep sense of felt-oneness takes precedence to your insecurities driven by past experience and future reckoning.

What am I really getting at?

It’s pretty easy.

All I’m asking you to do, much like the process of mindfulness, is to observe your thoughts and nothing else. Also, to focus deeply on the present that your attention is so intense, you’re mind doesn’t wander, looking for the next fix.

If you need know what this feels like, try to imagine the last time you were in the zone when all your attention was on one thing -- it might have arisen from the fight or flight response -- but it arises in such a way that you can’t follow your thoughts.

Of course, you may think all this spiritual stuff a load of nonsense, and I quite understand that. But, if you’re willing to suspend your cynicism and invite a new paradigm, one where you don’t try to control your mind but instead allow the moment to envelope you (without judging), you may just find that you’re overcome by a moment of quietude, sufficient to live fully and not in a mind-projected state.

At the back of your mind, you may ask why I’m bothering to share any of this material with you?

It’s a good question.

Part of me would rather say nothing and continue to enjoy the teaching, but the bigger part of me wants to shine a light on a philosophy that has the power, if taken to heart, to change our lives for the betterment of humankind.

Like all things though, it’s a choice. You either want to continue to live within yourself or find your place among the stars.

I know which side of the track I’d rather be.

PS. Here's a snippet of the Power of Now on Soundcloud.