A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
It’s been about 9 years since I read this book for the first time and I’ve read it and studied it several times since. It was given to me as a gift from my wife (then girlfriend) and what an incredible gift it’s been, time and time again. Over the course of my conscious personal growth journey, whenever times got tough and I lost myself in fear or worry or even anger, I went back to this book to remember its lessons. This book changed the course and nature of my life and I hope it does the same for you.
It’s all about understanding and embracing the power that exists in the present moment and that most, if not all, of our ‘needless’ suffering comes from us identifying with our minds and living in a state of unconsciousness. Almost everybody lives like this but most aren’t aware of it because they feel it’s normal, it’s just the way it is.
Is that hard to hear? That we are unconscious? Do you feel any resistance to that point? Welcome to your EGO.
This book will teach you about your ego – a false self created from all the stories of your past and your interpretations of all the events of your life. We are highly controlled and influenced by our egos and it produces most of our thoughts, emotions and our actions. Our real selves, our true spirits, are suppressed and since there is so much noise going on in our minds, we barely even notice that we’re living a pattern or series of patterns over and over.
Do you notice a voice within your mind as you go about your day? Is it cynical, negative, critical or judgmental? Or is it worrisome, anxious, fearful and dreadful? Are you an overly harsh critic of others or yourself? Are you striving for some inner peace and happiness and tell yourself “once this happens (better job, bigger house, new car, kids grown up)… I’ll be happy”?
It’s time to connect with your true self and be who you really are!
Once you realize that you are not your habitual thoughts and that your mind has basically run amuck, you will notice a presence within you that is full of life. You will get a sense of true being – a consciousness within you and you will awaken for the first time and realize that you are not your mind but something much greater, more beautiful and much more powerful.
Tolle takes you on a journey into yourself. Written in a question and answer format as if the two of you are having a conversation, he explains a deep concept and then poses a question that most of us will be thinking as we hear and contemplate what he just said. Then he answers the question with another penetrating concept – and on it goes, deeper and deeper into who we really are and how we can eliminate (or at least reduce) needless suffering. For example:
“Nobody’s life is entirely free of pain and sorrow. Isn’t it a question of learning to live with them rather than trying to avoid them?”
“The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.
The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is. On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment. Ont the emotional level, it is some form of negativity. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind. The mind always seeks to deny the Now and to escape from it. In other words, the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer….
Why does the mind habitually deny or resist the Now? Because it cannot function and remain in control without time, which is past and future, so it perceives the timeless Now as threatening.”
Tolle, E. (1997) The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Vancouver Canada. Namaste Publishing.
You may be saying to yourself, I’m not suffering, my life is fine, I’m just not as happy as I thought I should be at this point in my life. Or you may say that this sounds too woo-woo or new-agey and you want practical solutions to help you increase your happiness, productivity, performance, etc. Perhaps you are lying to yourself and don’t even realize it.
This book will help you learn what is false within you and on another level it will bring you into your own presence and begin a transformation that will cultivate your consciousness and free you from enslavement to the mind so you can truly enjoy more of your life, more often, and create new possibilities once you access the true power of NOW.
If you want to feel inner peace, true joy and love, instead of anger, frustration, negativity, worry, dread, angst, fear, resentment, self-pity, jealousy, or even just plain irritability, please consider reading this book and practicing what you learn. Take it slow – it’s taken you years, probably decades to reach this point in your life – you can take a few weeks to read this book instead of rushing through it in a day or two.
There is so much wisdom in this book I cannot explain all the people and life situations it can help – dare I say everybody at any point in their life?
Yes, I do. I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in personal improvement.