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The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1999)

by Eckhart Tolle

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,3021031,189 (3.93)51
To make the journey into The Power of Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the beginning of the first chapter we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where one breathes a lighter air, the air of the spiritual. Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart Tolle offers simple language and a question and answer format to guide us. The words themselves are the signposts. The book is a guide to spiritual awakening from a man who has emerged as one of this generation's clearest, most inspiring teachers. Eckhart Tolle is not aligned with any particular religion but does what all the great masters have done: shows that the way, the truth, and the light already exist within each of us.… (more)
Recently added byJRMANDRAGON, private library, Chathamary, ccatalfo, mdibaiee, mloconte
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English (97)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
Edit April 2020: I had originally given this book 4 stars, but so many of its fans are so abusive and horrible and mean to people who give it bad reviews on here that I am now downgrading it to 1 star. It can't be worthwhile if the people who love it are so full of hate, resentment and a sense of their own superiority. I must have been wrong!


Original review:
-----------------

Look at this symbol: Ö
Every time I write something very clever that you need to think about I shall place this symbol in the review in order to signal to you you should stop and think about what I said.

I feel like I *shouldn't* love this but I do love this Ö . I love that it's quite secular and straightforward and practical, and yes it has a lot of fluffly fluffy scaffolding which for some reason I enjoy too.

There are very practical tips on meditation and this overall wonderful message that peace is always right there under the surface like a huge lake you can just sink into that you have been skimming along the top of, going as fast as you can so you won't sink Ö . There's a lot of stuff going on above the surface but you can, at any point, just sink under and chill out in the water and all that other stuff gets muffled. It's up to you where you wanna hang out or in which proportion, and this is equally available to everyone, being a guru doesn't make it easier Ö .

I also love the comment in one of the 1 star reviews "not all of us can wander around for years at a time, sleeping on park benches in a state of euphoria.". Ö



Notes:
1. The 1 star review mentioned is from a user named Erin
2. I don't think factual errors matter in a book like this but I just want to point out that unless you are very ill in some way there is no such thing as "dreamless sleep". All phases of sleep have dreams, they are just less memorable in certain phases. That just got my goat.
3. ( )
  RebeccaBooks | Sep 16, 2021 |
Even when I don't like a book, I try to find some nugget that was informative, useful, or beneficial in some way.

I don't hate this book... I rather liked the first few chapters. But I became caught up in my "mind-body ignorance" or whatever in chapter 8 when the author became heterocentric, cisscentric, and told me to just pay attention to my menses to free my mind. I'm noping out of this book.

What I find beneficial is the thought of some kind of spirituality, in whatever form I choose to define. Maybe now that I've reached a certain age, I find that when I'm focused entirely on work and not on myself, that my quality of life suffers. Spending lots of time outdoors and being mindful helps present me with another point of view, something that kind of resets me and makes me feel "me". I liked the first few chapters in the book, because it felt like the author was describing (in some way, not identically) how I feel when I make a point of being present to my surroundings in nature. Listening to every sound I hear, making a point to seek out every color, finding ways to accept my surroundings even if it's too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry, whatever.

However, and many other reviewers have pointed this out, Eckhart Tolle does not hold the monopoly in teaching about mindfulness and presence. Many of the things I read in the first part of this book were things I'd learned about through therapy (DBT, ACT), some Zen practice, and lots of Yoga. In fact, I found the *way* that the author prescribes spirituality to be limiting. I don't feel spirituality as a mindless "energy vibration"... I feel it when I am outdoors, doing Yoga, flying an airplane...

Another of the parts of this book I don't like are the thought that we can just some how brain-zap ourselves out of depression or pain. I have suffered through pretty bad depression, and if I had read this book then, that I could just "snap out of it" and "be okay" through my own willful decision... would have been patronizing and cruel. And as somebody who has intermittent chronic back pain, while mindfulness does help me accept the fact that my body will not do what I always want it to, I cannot just will the pain away. It will be a part of my life forever.

I also firmly believe that my ego, my sense of myself through my work, my relationships, and even through my past and future... is an important part of me. I am learning that I can't focus on that person exclusively, I also need to spend time nurturing the mindful self... but I read this book and keep picturing "mindful zombies" who just sit around feeling the "energy vibrations" or whatever, meanwhile nobody has any life ambitions or goals. I think the importance is finding and accepting both halves of that dichotomy and embracing both in our lives.

Finally, I can live without the pseudoscience. Most "woo" books that I've read (which admittedly isn't many) completely lose me when they start going off about physics. Please stop doing this. ( )
  lemontwist | Jun 26, 2021 |
Started with Ruby's book club but put on hold because of COVID. In Evanston, it is now my night book. Helped me get to sleep in a better way.
  Elizabeth80 | May 8, 2021 |
This is not an over-hyped book. It elucidates a framework for understanding the way your mind and emotions like to fence in and imprison your being. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, this book can positively change the way you approach life. I highlighted all throughout, took away some profound statements, and keep a running list of great propositions. One day, I'll start adding those to Goodreads. ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
I've been listening to a podcast recently where this book was briefly discussed and as I've been meaning to read it for years I decided it was time. Fortunately I didn't need to buy it as I found a copy on my wife's bookcase that she was given by a friend many years ago. This book is considered a spiritual classic with Buddhist leanings and often pops up on lists. The core message is that you can remove a lot of your 'problems' by focusing on the now and not worrying about the past or the future.The first chapter is very very good but after that it does get a bit repetitive and a lot of the chapters cover similar ground. The book also contains questions he has been asked along with his answers. While these do work in the main, there are some answers he gives which are not great and there is rarely any counter questions to these weak answers. ( )
  Brian. | Apr 9, 2021 |
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Epigraph
You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are! - Eckhart Tolle
Dedication
First words
A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years.
Quotations
When you say Being, are you talkíng about God? If you are, then why don't you say it?
The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as íf they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous statement "God is dead." The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white beard, but still a rnental representation of someone or something outside you, and, yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something. Neither God, nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that transcendental reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being,however, has the advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite invisible to a finite entity. It is impossible to form a mental image of it. Nobody can claim exclusive possession of Being. It is your very essence, and it is immediately accessible to you as the feeling of your own presence, the realization I am that is prior to I am this or I am that. So it is only a small step from the word Being to the experience of Being.
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Wikipedia in English (5)

To make the journey into The Power of Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the beginning of the first chapter we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where one breathes a lighter air, the air of the spiritual. Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart Tolle offers simple language and a question and answer format to guide us. The words themselves are the signposts. The book is a guide to spiritual awakening from a man who has emerged as one of this generation's clearest, most inspiring teachers. Eckhart Tolle is not aligned with any particular religion but does what all the great masters have done: shows that the way, the truth, and the light already exist within each of us.

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Om de weg te gaan die wordt beschreven in De kracht van het Nu dien je de indentificatie me je analytische geest en het daardoor gecreërde onechte zelf, het ego, te laten varen. We zijn ons denken niet. We kunnen onszelf van psychische pijn verlossen. Je authentieke kracht wordt pas gemobiliseerd door je over te geven aan het Nu. Hier vinden we vreugde en zijn we in staat ons ware zelf te omarmen.
Daar komen we er ook achter dat we al 'heel' en 'volmaakt' zijn. Velen zullen tijdens het lezen van dit boek vaststellen dat de grootste blokkades om in het Nu te komen onze relaties zijn, dat wil zeggen de manier waarop we in onze relaties staan. Relaties kunnen echter ook een toegang zijn om tot verlichting te komen, mits we ze wijs benutten zodat ze bijdragen aan onze bewustwording en we daardoor in staat zijn meer liefde te geven.
Als we volledig aanwezig kunnen zijn en iedere stap in het Nu kunnen zetten, kunnen we de werkelijkheid ervaren van zaken als 'overgave', 'vergeving' en 'het onnoembare'. Zo kunnen we onszelf openstellen voor de transformerende ervaring van De kracht van het Nu.
Når vi erkjenner at vi skaper vår egen lidelse, kan vi frigjøre oss fra smerte, frykt og nevroser - en gang for alle!
"Når vi innser at det er vårt eget sinn som er ansvarlig for all smerte, med den uopphørlige strømmen av tanker som retter seg mot fortiden samtidig som vi bekymrer oss over fremtiden, vil vi finne vårt sanne jeg," hevder Eckhart Tolle i "Det er NÅ du lever". "Vi er alle opphøyde vesener, og vi må gjenopprette kontakten med vår innerste natur og uttrykke oss gjennom vår helt spesielle guddommelige virkelighet i den fysiske verden - hele tiden. Da først vil vi oppleve fred og harmoni i oss selv og med omverden."

"Bevisene for at det eksisterer en høyere virkelighet finnes ikke i intellektuelle diskusjoner, men ved at du på den ene eller andre måten kommer i berøring med det hellige."

På en mesterlig måte åpner Eckhart Tolle denne muligheten for oss i "Det er NÅ du lever".
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