“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!” – Eckhart Tolle.
If I were asked who my idol or inspiration was, it wouldn’t be a famous celebrity, pop star or a rich personage. It would be Eckhart Tolle. A profound contemporary spiritual teacher, who’s words swirl around my head stimulating growth, curiosity and peace. Tolle doesn’t follow one particular religion or tradition. His core teachings seem an even farther and more advanced way of thinking. His fundamental principal *‘lies in the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution.’ A forward-thinker I would say, communicating to a disoriented world that is slow to catch up.
Eckhart’s name was a fleeting memory after hearing his name flash on TV, while having the Oprah Winfrey show play in the background of some daily mundane activity. “Must be some cheesy American motivational speaker or something,” I had thought as I brushed away the thought. Oh how wrong I was. It was not until a year later that I had spotted a book on my father’s bookshelf. ‘The Power of Now” it read. Just that one line deeply correlated with my beliefs. So I picked it up and there begun my deep appreciation for this man and his philosophies.
‘The Power of Now’ is not just a book you read once, but is full with so much wisdom and practical teachings that it almost becomes a bible. The modern western world has created a stream of analytical minds, which many tend to support a ‘false self’ dominated by ones ego. In conjunction with a rapidly moving and fast paced society, this leads to all sorts of dysfunctional beings. This book is about breaking that cycle and creating space for radical inner transformation. Firstly, Tolle makes you aware of these personas. From that point you must be willing to adapt and change your ‘false self.’ But this book doesn’t just tell you what to do, or ‘how to be happy.’ In its question and answer format, Tolle makes you understand. By becoming aware on your own accord and then allowing for this change, you are creating a path to an enlightened state of consciousness. Not just for you, but also for a healthier, more connected and communicated world.
I personally believe that we have limited ourselves to this one-dimensional way of looking at life; an analytical way, with goals and outcomes and processes. We grow up thinking things must be done in a certain way, we must all think and react a certain way and live the same lives, with the same job and one partner and a couple kids. Majority of the world, especially in our society, they don’t look outside that box. The logistics are wrong. People are greedy chasing money and power. We are on a planet that is magically here and we can’t even question the ordinary practices and procedures around us? Lazy and selfish, I say. There is so much more to be explored. This is where Tolle leads.
Why did this book work for me? I went through some deep and emotional changes in my life at one point last year. At that point in my life my mind was begging to be fed with spiritual teachings. Every day I would read this book and others, I would read affirmations, watch documentaries on various spiritual teachers and research. What worked best for me was looking at many different religions and beliefs, and taking the things that related to me. Spirituality is about finding what works for you and your personal growth. It is not about restrictions and limiting things in your life. It is not about focusing on the negatives, what 'not' to do, or worshipping a ‘superior being.’ My ability from there to be able to deal with challenging occurrences in day-to-day life was phenomenal. It was almost like my body arose from situations, so that my mind didn’t even have time to conjure up it’s usual ‘if’s, what’s and buts.’ “Rather than being in your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them,” says Tolle. When you are more aware of the present moment and watching instead of acting on the thoughts that arise in your head, you will find a greater strength and peace.
“The primary source of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” - Eckhart Tolle.
The depth that Eckhart Tolle goes into is remarkable and he covers all questions that one could ask. From relationships, to suffering, time and discovering enlightenment – it’s all there. As I agree strongly with, “all problems are illusions of the mind.” So if we learn his ways, life becomes a whole, other…wonderful story. His words of wisdom fill me with intense sense of joy, realisation and serenity. I am continually learning to have that “enlightened state of consciousness and sustain that in every day life.” Human evolution is dependent on changing this ego-based consciousness, a ‘prerequisite for not only personal happiness but ending violence on this planet.’ It’s a practice though and it will take time. I encourage you to question, learn and live in each present moment. This book can be the beginning.