The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Great book – quite intense; I wouldn’t recommend it for your first spiritual psychological type book. A better book to start thing with would be Dale Carnegie’s Stop Worrying and Start Living book, for example.
“YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND” – is the general jist of the book. I’ve written that in capitals, because that’s how it is written in the title of chapter 1.
Your thoughts pollute who you are. You are the person/spirit/soul/hobbit/bellend underneath all the chatter and thoughts in your brain. I’m putting all this in my own words now…if you think about it makes sense, most anxious people are unhappy, and most anxious people are unable to focus etc because their minds are overloaded with thoughts.
We are also happiest, generally when we are in the moment, and not thinking with words, like when we play sport, or even watch something on TV that’s really interesting or entertaining.
Eckhart also touches on the ‘we are all one’ hippy concept, something that I’m a big fan of. Something people talk about a lot if they ever do DMT – see the Dorian Yates London Real podcast for example:
This basically means that we are all one energy force, every one is, everything is, we are all separated by form – and we have identified with our forms only, not the hippy magic that lies underneath those forms. In other words, don’t be a bellend with a big ego, because your ego is not your true self.
Our mind causes us to judge, label, define things etc. which makes us unhappy. Especially the judging bit – try saving nice stuff only about other people for a few days, it makes you feel ace – you never find a chilled out and happy judgemental person who’s complaining about others all the time. To our mind, the present moment doesn’t exist, just the past and future. Emotions arise in reaction to your mind and thoughts, emotions in turn have an impact on the body, usually a negative one in relation to your thoughts – generally tension and pain. According to the author, most positive emotions occur in the absence of thought.
Start to watch your thoughts. Sit and think “I wonder what my next thought will be”, it messes with your head a bit, but gives you an idea about what the author is on about. Don’t judge what you hear, because that’s your mind and thoughts going at it again – see how messed up this gets.
The present moment is the only thing you can ever experience. The future only ever occurs, when it is ‘the now’. The mind always thinks about the past and the future however, people become obsessed with time. This is what Apollo Creed meant when he shouted “There is no tomorrow” to Rocky a few times.
Start to observe your mind predicting the future, being better or worse than the present.
There are rarely problems in the now. You may have a problem in 10 minutes, in 1 year, but generally not in the now. Even if you were living in paradise, pretty soon your mind would start to think “yes, but…”. Don’t look to solve your problems, realise there are no problems. According to Eckhart. Either way, negativity is never the way to deal with anything, any problems, if you do actually have any.
Don’t fight ‘what is’. Complaining is nonacceptance of what is. It’s also the trait of all emotional vampires (admittedly I can be one myself) – basically meaning you bring the mood down of everyone else around you. Change a situation or accept it.
If you’re stressed out, it’s normally because you are ‘here’ but are in too much of a rush to get ‘there’. Like the way I’m thrashing out this blog post as quickly as possible, to listen to the wife talk about the circus in Wrexham, or something. Don’t see anything as a means to an end. There is joy in everything, from washing your hands, doing the dishes, to having a dump. Don’t think about what you are doing in 30 seconds time, enjoy whatever it is you are doing.
Surrender to the now, surrender to what is, and you will be happy. If not, there always that DMT stuff.
Here is a link to the book.
It’s very good, but you have to be quite open mind and perhaps already of a hippy mind set to understand it. It’s pretty deep stuff.