I have recently started rereading the book “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I first read the book several months ago and it deeply impacted me, making me want to change my entire outlook on life. As time has passed however, the key points of the book have faded away and I seem to be falling into the traps the book had previously warned me of. The book’s main concept is overall very simple but as I read, the words and concepts go beyond simplicity and bring forth the root cause of suffering in our lives.
The author was once a deeply troubled young man who woke up one morning and decided he had nothing left to live for. Suicidal thoughts raced through his mind as he told himself, I cannot live with myself any longer. Suddenly an epiphany was realized. He realized that by saying he could not live with himself meant there must be two of him. One being his true self and the other being a false sense of self somehow created through delusions. This realization set him free of bondage and released him into consciousness. He looked around the room and for the first time in his life truly saw. Not many people are fortunate enough to truly realize the chains that bind them and be released into this bliss. Many can understand the factors which are holding them back but must still struggle and fight for realization. To understand, is not to realize, but understanding is better than living life in the clouds.
The false sense of self Eckhart Tolle was able to rid himself of is created by an identification with the mind. The majority of people’s minds are filled with a barrage of thoughts which are constantly voicing their opinions in silence. The voice of the mind is almost always connected with events which have occurred in the past or events which have yet to occur. On a daily basis we carry around pains from our past or anticipations for the future. Subconsciously we begin to identify with judgments of our past, how things could have been, or how things should have been. Without even realizing it these thoughts become who we are and a sense of identity is developed. This sense of identity is also called the ego. On a day-to-day basis we make decisions according to this false sense of identity and our future unfolds rooted in fear. Negative emotions arise out of nowhere and we think it’s just who we are but nothing could be further from the truth. The emotions arise from a false sense of self-created by the mind whom we have identified with and is pulling us further and further away from the perfect presence of who we truly are. We are an essence of spirit, perfectly residing in the Now with no attachments to anything but purity and love.
The main point is that suffering is not natural but is created by an identification with the mind which separates us from the only thing that matters, this very moment. It is widely accepted that we us humans do not have the power to control our minds. It seems to be an engine that cannot be stopped and is constantly pumping in the realm of our subconscious. The first step is to simply separate yourself from identification with the mind. This is done by becoming a silent witness to your thoughts. Instead of letting your thoughts control you, you observe the voice inside your head. You become aware of when negative thoughts are occurring and banish the ones which simply make no sense. Many times the thought which is harming you is not spoken clearly but may arise through emotions of anger or depression. This is handled in the same way. You separate yourself from the emotion and observe the occurrence without judgment. By doing so the negative thought patterns are brought to the surface and can be discarded. The more you separate yourself from the ego, the false self, the more you reside in your true being.
I have a lot of pain I’m carrying around with me from my past which causes me to many times live within a state of suffering. Anger, sadness, and other negative emotions arise without reason but I know stem from my identification with a false self. It’s scary to break away from this identification because that would mean stripping away my identity, but it’s not my true identity I’m breaking away from. My true self contains no suffering but only bliss and joy.
“The secret of life is to die before you die and find that there is no death.”
– Eckhart Tolle
This past weekend I found myself extremely nervous and anxious about the coming week. I was just not looking forward to more time spent training Bob and was dreading all the uncomfortable situations. Also despite the excitement I felt concerning my upcoming experiences with Adam I found myself stressed over the situation and imagining all that could go wrong. I’ve been trying hard to start coming up with schedules for my week so that Bob knows when to come over but I can never say when Adam would do a session. I really just wished I had nothing going on so I could prepare and always be ready for session with Adam.
Well the week has started and I’m discovering that my dread was much worse than the actual experience of this week. Bob helped out with a lot of personal stuff yesterday and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined. It gets frustrating sometimes having to give detailed directions about everything but slowly I’ll have to give less and less directions. He seems to be a quick learner about a lot of things and it simply is going to take some patients on my part. I have decided to stop judging whether our personalities mix correctly because it’s just too early to tell.
Scheduling continues to be difficult for me but I believe is slowly coming together. The more I schedule, the easier it will come to me and the more likely I am to figure out a certain type of schedule that I like. The rest of the week involves Power soccer, rugby, getting a soccer guard for my chair, gym workouts, and a healing session with Adam.