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The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

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The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

3.5/5 (1,936 ratings)
284 pages
5 hours
Oct 6, 2010

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Editor's Note

Contemporary classic…

This beloved book holds the key to ultimate awareness, inner peace and happiness: the present.


Written by Scribd Editors

In the #1 New York Times bestselling The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle says that the truest path to happiness and enlightenment is to live in the present. Leave behind your false self and your ego. Instead, embrace the essence of our Being and experience what it’s like to breathe a lighter air.

Topics in this spiritual self-help book include:

  • The Greatest Obstacle to Enlightenment
  • Create No More Pain in the Present
  • Don’t Seek Your Self in the Mind
  • Loss of Now: The Core Delusion
  • The Esoteric Meaning of “Waiting”
  • And more

The Power of Now is packed with information to help you achieve spiritual enlightenment, inner peace, and true happiness. Though it started as a word-of-mouth phenomenon, it has now sold over 5 million copies. Tolle’s clear writing and enthusiasm have acted as a beacon for many on the journey to enlightenment. If you allow it, this book can radically change your life for the better.

Oct 6, 2010

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About the author

Eckhart Tolle est né en Allemagne en 1948, il y a passé les treize premières années de sa vie. Après des études universitaires à Londres, il s'oriente vers la recherche et, dans ce cadre, dirige même un groupe à l'université de Cambridge. À l'âge de 29 ans, il connaît une profonde évolution spirituelle qui le transfigure et change radicalement le cours de son existence. Il est notamment l'auteur du Pouvoir du moment présent paru en 1999 qui est devenu un best seller international, traduit en 33 langues. Il vit aujourd'hui à Vancouver (Canada).

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The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle



Six years after it was first published, The Power of Now continues to play its part in the urgent task of the transformation of human consciousness. Although I was privileged to give birth to it, I feel that the book has taken on a life and momentum of its own. It has reached several million readers worldwide, many of whom have written to me to tell of the life-changing effect it has had on them. Due to the extremely high volume of correspondence I receive, I am regretfully no longer able to send personal replies, but I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to all those who have written to me to share their experiences. I am moved and deeply touched by many of those accounts, and they leave no doubt in my mind that an unprecedented shift in consciousness is indeed happening on our planet.

Nobody could have predicted the rapid growth of the book when Namaste Publishing in Vancouver published the first edition of three thousand copies in 1997. During its first year of publication, the book found its readers almost exclusively through word of mouth. That was the time when I would personally deliver a few copies every week to some small bookstores in Vancouver, something I found enormously satisfying, knowing that every book that I handed over had the potential of changing someone’s life. Friends helped by placing copies of the book in spiritual bookstores farther afield: Calgary, Seattle, California, London. Stephen Gawtry, the manager of Watkins, the world’s oldest metaphysical bookstore in London, England, wrote at the time, I foresee great things for this book. He was right: by the second year The Power of Now had developed into an underground bestseller, as one reviewer later called it. Then, after the book received a number of favorable reviews in various journals and magazines, its growth accelerated and finally became explosive when Oprah Winfrey, who had been deeply affected by the book, proceeded to tell the world about it. Five years after it was first published, it reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and it is now available in thirty languages. It has been very well received and become a bestseller even in India, a country considered by many to be the birthplace of humanity’s quest for spiritual enlightenment.

Most of the thousands of letters and emails that have been sent to me from all over the world are from ordinary men and women, but there are also letters from Buddhist monks and Christian nuns, from people in prison or facing a life-threatening illness or imminent death. Psychotherapists have written to say that they recommend the book to their patients or incorporate the teachings in their practice. Many of those letters and emails mention a lessening or even a complete disappearance of suffering and problem-making in people’s lives as a result of reading The Power of Now and putting the teachings into practice in everyday life. There is frequent mention of the amazing and beneficial effects of inner body awareness, the sense of freedom that comes from letting go of self-identification with one’s personal history and life-situation, and a newfound inner peace that arises as one learns to relinquish mental/emotional resistance to the suchness of the present moment. Many people have read the book more than once, and they comment that the text loses none of its freshness upon subsequent readings, indeed that the book’s transformative power remains not only undiminished, but actually becomes intensified.

The more the dysfunction of the human mind plays itself out on the world stage, clearly visible to everyone in the daily television news reports, the greater the number of people who realize the urgent need for a radical change in human consciousness if humanity is not to destroy both itself and the planet. This need, as well as readiness in millions of people for the arising of a new consciousness, is the context within which the success of The Power of Now must be seen and understood.

This does not mean, of course, that everyone responds favorably to the book. In many people, as well as in most of the political and economic structures and the greater part of the media, the old consciousness is still deeply entrenched. Anyone who is still totally identified with the voice in their head — the stream of involuntary and incessant thinking — will inevitably fail to see what The Power of Now is all about. Some enthusiastic readers gave a copy of the book to a friend or relative and were surprised and disappointed when the recipient found it quite meaningless and could not get beyond the first few pages. Mumbo jumbo was all that Time magazine could see in a book that countless people around the globe found life-changing. Furthermore, any teaching that puts the spotlight of attention on the workings of the ego will necessarily provoke egoic reaction, resistance, and attack.

However, despite a certain amount of misunderstanding and critical dissent, the response to the book around the globe has been overwhelmingly positive. I feel confident that in the years to come millions more will be drawn to it, and that The Power of Now will continue to make a vital contribution to the arising of a new consciousness and a more enlightened humanity.

— Eckhart Tolle

Vancouver, B.C.

April 19, 2004





I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly like to tell you how I came to be a spiritual teacher and how this book came into existence.

Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life.

One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train — everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.

I cannot live with myself any longer. This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with. Maybe, I thought, only one of them is real.

I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words resist nothing, as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.

I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all.

That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.

For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.

I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn’t understand it at all. It wasn’t until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me. I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the original experience I just described pales in comparison. A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.

But even the most beautiful experiences come and go. More fundamental, perhaps, than any experience is the undercurrent of peace that has never left me since then. Sometimes it is very strong, almost palpable, and others can feel it too. At other times, it is somewhere in the background, like a distant melody.

Later, people would occasionally come up to me and say: I want what you have. Can you give it to me, or show me how to get it? And I would say: You have it already. You just can’t feel it because your mind is making too much noise. That answer later grew into the book that you are holding in your hands.

Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher.


This book represents the essence of my work, as far as it can be conveyed in words, with individuals and small groups of spiritual seekers during the past ten years, in Europe and in North America. In deep love and appreciation, I would like to thank those exceptional people for their courage, their willingness to embrace inner change, their challenging questions, and their readiness to listen. This book would not have come into existence without them. They belong to what is as yet a small but fortunately growing minority of spiritual pioneers: people who are reaching a point where they become capable of breaking out of inherited collective mind-patterns that have kept humans in bondage to suffering for eons.

I trust that this book will find its way to those who are ready for such radical inner transformation and so act as a catalyst for it. I also hope that it will reach many others who will find its content worthy of consideration, although they may not be ready to fully live or practice it. It is possible that at a later time, the seed that was sown when reading this book will merge with the seed of enlightenment that each human being carries within, and suddenly that seed will sprout and come alive within them.

The book in its present form originated, often spontaneously, in response to questions asked by individuals in seminars, meditation classes, and private counseling sessions, and so I have kept the question-and-answer format. I learned and received as much in those classes and sessions as the questioners. Some of the questions and answers I wrote down almost verbatim. Others are generic, which is to say I combined certain types of questions that were frequently asked into one, and extracted the essence from different answers to form one generic answer. Sometimes, in the process of writing, an entirely new answer came that was more profound or insightful than anything I had ever uttered. Some additional questions were asked by the editor so as to provide further clarification of certain points.

You will find that from the first to the last page, the dialogues continuously alternate between two different levels.

On one level, I draw your attention to what is false in you. I speak of the nature of human unconsciousness and dysfunction as well as its most common behavioral manifestations, from conflict in relationships to warfare between tribes or nations. Such knowledge is vital, for unless you learn to recognize the false as false — as not you — there can be no lasting transformation, and you would always end up being drawn back into illusion and into some form of pain. On this level, I also show you how not to make that which is false in you into a self and into a personal problem, for that is how the false perpetuates itself.

On another level, I speak of a profound transformation of human consciousness — not as a distant future possibility, but available now — no matter who or where you are. You are shown how to free yourself from enslavement to the mind, enter into this enlightened state of consciousness and sustain it in everyday life.

On this level of the book, the words are not always concerned with information, but often designed to draw you into this new consciousness as you read. Again and again, I endeavor to take you with me into that timeless state of intense conscious presence in the Now, so as to give you a taste of enlightenment. Until you are able to experience what I speak of, you may find those passages somewhat repetitive. As soon as you do, however, I believe you will realize that they contain a great deal of spiritual power, and they may become for you the most rewarding parts of the book. Moreover, since every person carries the seed of enlightenment within, I often address myself to the knower in you who dwells behind the thinker, the deeper self that immediately recognizes spiritual truth, resonates with it, and gains strength from it.

The pause symbol after certain passages is a suggestion that you may want to stop reading for a moment, become still, and feel and experience the truth of what has just been said. There may be other places in the text where you will do this naturally and spontaneously.

As you begin reading the book, the meaning of certain words, such as Being or presence, may not be entirely clear to you at first. Just read on. Questions or objections may occasionally come into your mind as you read. They will probably be answered later in the book, or they may turn out to be irrelevant as you go more deeply into the teaching — and into yourself.

Don’t read with the mind only. Watch out for any feeling-response as you read and a sense of recognition from deep within. I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that deep within you don’t know already. All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten. Living knowledge, ancient and yet ever new, is then activated and released from within every cell of your body.

The mind always wants to categorize and compare, but this book will work better for you if you do not attempt to compare its terminology with that of other teachings; otherwise, you will probably become confused. I use words such as mind, happiness, and consciousness in ways that do not necessarily correlate with other teachings. Don’t get attached to any words. They are only stepping stones, to be left behind as quickly as possible.

When I occasionally quote the words of Jesus or the Buddha, from A Course in Miracles or from other teachings, I do so not in order to compare, but to draw your attention to the fact that in essence there is and always has been only one spiritual teaching, although it comes in many forms. Some of these forms, such as the ancient religions, have become so overlaid with extraneous matter that their spiritual essence has become almost completely obscured by it. To a large extent, therefore, their deeper meaning is no longer recognized and their transformative power lost. When I quote from the ancient religions or other teachings, it is to reveal their deeper meaning and thereby restore their transformative power — particularly for those readers who are followers of these religions or teachings. I say to them: there is no need to go elsewhere for the truth. Let me show you how to go more deeply into what you already have.

Mostly, however, I have endeavored to use terminology that is as neutral as possible in order to reach a wide range of people. This book can be seen as a restatement for our time of that one timeless spiritual teaching, the essence of all religions. It is not derived from external sources, but from the one true Source within, so it contains no theory or speculation. I speak from inner experience, and if at times I speak forcefully, it is to cut through heavy layers of mental resistance and to reach that place within you where you already know, just as I know, and where the truth is recognized when it is heard. There is then a feeling of exaltation and heightened aliveness, as something within you says: Yes. I know this is true.




Enlightenment — what is that?

A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. Spare some change? mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. I have nothing to give you, said the stranger. Then he asked: What’s that you are sitting on? Nothing, replied the beggar. "Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I

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What people think about The Power of Now

1936 ratings / 99 Reviews
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Critic reviews

  • If you feel like you're stuck in the past or waiting around for a future that never comes, this is the book you need to learn how to start living in the moment. For anyone curious about meditation and who loves philosophical lessons on being present.

    Scribd Editors

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Great Book for Achieving Enlightenment
  • (3/5)
    Yes, this is a good book. A good Buddhist book, about achieving enlightenment. About already being enlightened, and recognizing this fact. It’s full of words which take you there, and I found myself writing some of them down in my notebook. However, by the end of the Tolle’s book, I was a bit bored. I was muttering, “Okay, I think I get it already.” The words can sometimes be dry, considering the subject matter is letting go of time entirely and entering a state of cosmic bliss.

    My favorite part was the beginning, the story of how Tolle woke up one day, after days of being totally fed up with life, and just leaped into his transformation. And then he tries to explain exactly how to do it, and sometimes this works, but sometimes it’s less effective than being hit on the head with a ping-pong ball.
  • (5/5)
    Realising the importance of living in the present moment and making the present moment my friend was an important breakthrough moment in my life. Even though I had been practicing Zen meditation for some time before reading this book I had never previously been able to say "yes" to what is and to surrender to the present. By focussing more on the present and inviting stillness into my life many things changed for me and I certainly became a lot happier.
  • (4/5)
    This book hit me in two very different ways. The message is almost too simple to be able to present in a question and answer format. If the questions didn't seem natural to me, I wanted to skip over the answer. I kept expecting to hear my voice in the questions, and I didn't.At the same time, the message to be present, to think of down moments in your energy as catalysts for determining change and necessary paths, without allowing yourself to get too bogged down in the emotion... well, that was an important reminder.
  • (5/5)
    Mindblowing. Absolutely life changing. For you Tibetan Buddhists out there curious about "seeing the nature of the mind" try this...this book brought that moment to me. And Eckhart Tolle is certainly not my root guru ;) I guess it happens like this sometimes.
  • (3/5)
    This has been a fantastic book. Through this book I have learned to see myself and where I am in my life in an entirely new light. I'm going to have to read it again. I am certain that there is more to be gleaned.

    "The more you are focused on 'time' past and future the more you miss the now (the present).

    The eternal present is the space in which your whole life unfolds.

    Life is now."

    Eckhart Tolle - The Power of Now

    There are some eternal truths to be learned from these concepts.
  • (4/5)
    Lots of good information is contained in this book. The only drawback is that its rather dull after awhile but still provides adequate knowledge. I would recommend this studying a chapter at a time taking good notes, reflect back on the material, and then proceed to the next chapter to be able to really absord what is provided.
  • (5/5)
    This is probably the best single book that I’ve ever come across. Although all teachers come to spirituality from their own point of view.
  • (5/5)
    The key to joy, and feeling connected to the source. Told in black and white terms by a man who won't coddle you, and will not hear excuses. This is my Bible. It's like a Zep song: With every listen/reading, you learn something new.
  • (2/5)
    There are some decent things in this book, but unfortunatley Tolle seems so taken with his own discoveries that he has little ability to see beyond. As far as it goes, this is good stuff. It just does not go very far. If you like Tolle, I really recommend Richard Ross's The Mandala of Being, which I am halfway through, but which brings new treasures on each page; unlike Tolle, who never said much new past the introduction.
  • (5/5)
    I believe this to be one of the most important spiritual works of our time. It sets out a practical guide to transcending many of the psychological difficulties and barriers that people face everywhere today irrespective of culture, age or background. It makes a very convincing argument for placing more emphasis on mindfulness and focusing on the here and now as a means to overcome much of the needless psychological suffering that we unwittingly heap on ourselves.Never has this message been more important than today, in a time when growing materialism and conflict create much havoc and pain.This book is written and delivered in a manner that will appeal to all people of all beliefs. It does not attach itself to any particular religion and could be of equal use to even the most ardent of atheists.Do not make the mistake of viewing it as just another self help book. This book changed my life and offers a common sensical and direct approach to age old spiritual questions that is nothing short of revolutionary. It is such texts that must play an important role in addressing spiritual matters whilst transcending the pitfalls of secularism and religious divide in a world where personal belief is endlessly diverse. Read it today.
  • (5/5)
    Somehow, literally every sentence of this book seems to speak the "truth"!!
  • (4/5)
    DO NOT get the audio version. Read by the author & it shouldn't have been. Very mono tone, grating voice. Best to get a paper copy and just read it. (We did both & got a lot more out of reading it...)
  • (5/5)
    Eckhart Tolle is MISSING a huge bulk of the population, people who have incessant thoughts (or even an occasional wandering thought) but CAN will their mind to empty at will when they're not agitated.Tolle jumped from a lower type of consciousness (inability to empty) to a higher type (no wandering thoughts at all) so he missed the interim type. But check the Yahoo TPON forum, many people there talk about emptying their mind when they try, as a result of reading this book. The book didn't change the consciousness type of these people. It's a 3rd type and Tolle simply missed it.Having said that it's arguably the best book about consciousness ever written. I love it and it influenced my thinking deeply.
  • (3/5)
    I think the problem with reading this book was that I read Tolle’s [A New Earth] first. When I got to this book, I knew what he was going to say. He said what I expected. You must learn to live in the present. You must learn to distinguish what is your ego speaking and then look upon your ego as an impediment to living in the “now”. Tolle said this over and over…and over.For someone beginning to learn about Eckhart Tolle’s philosophy (and this is not just his own philosophy, by the way), this may be a good starting point. The book is written in simple language and takes the form of questions and answers. It does try to address different kinds of solutions and has answers for the skeptic. I do know, from hearing Tolle speak on television, that he does not push his philosophy on people and allows people to learn about it from him only when they are ready.For people who say that this book is “too new agey”, I don’t find it that way. There is much about what Tolle speaks with which I agree. There is also, however, quite a bit with which I disagree. The best part of the book, I think, is that it gives readers a new way of handling issues that have occurred or will occur in their lives. If you don’t know anything about “the power of now”, by all means, start learning about it by reading this book.
  • (5/5)
    Life changing viewpoints
  • (5/5)
    One could quibble, perhaps, with this or that. But when it comes right down to it, it's the simple truth.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't really get what the fuss was about with this book. It didn't strike me as anything new, and I don't remember what it was about anymore...
  • (4/5)
    I recently finished the audio edition of “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart’s part of my extended network, so I’ve been hearing about the book for years.

    The most valuable aspect of this books is it’s bluntness. Although it references examples from various traditions, Eckhart isn’t of any lineage. The book is about the supreme importance of the present moment, and practical ways to interact with it.

    It’s formatted in an accessible question-and-answer format derived from his own experiences and challenges and observations from participants on his retreats.


    Most of the time we live in the past or the future. The present is the sweet spot.

    An example:

    Right now I’m in the midst of “The Fountainhead.” The protagonist, Roark, is obsessed with the present moment. He gives no thought to the past or the future. He doesn’t plan ahead. He gives everything to the moment. Sometimes he’s wildly successful. Sometimes he’s starving. But he’s always engaged. Roark often applies the practice of self observation, stepping back to witness how he’s feeling without immediately acting on that feeling.

    In contrast, his friend Peter has everything - a partnership at the most respected architectural firm, a ton of money, and lot’s of social standing - and hates his life. He went into architecture because of pressure from his mom. He doesn’t like it, but hasn’t bothered to try to find his true passions. He tries to please, and has no grounding in his intuition. He lives for the future - success and stability - but never experiences it.

    Roark lives in the present. His life is saturated with purpose and contentment. Peter doesn’t. His life is anxious and hollow.

    Another example:

    Often times in relationships we develop patterns. When an emotion is triggered, a habitual action follows. And that habitual pattern might have been set years or decades ago by an unconscious fear or misunderstanding. Another option is to define a threshold between our feelings and our actions. In the first step, we cherish the feeling and allow it to deeply permeate us, rather than trying to brush it off. The feeling is there for a reason, and it can give us insight. Second, we make a conscious choice how to behave, taking that feeling into account, but not blindly reacting to it. Usually these habits take the form of positive or negative feedback loops - we enforce whatever we’re receiving, or resist. Most of the time there’s no need to do either. And by fully experiencing the feeling, we can then move on, keeping our perspective in regard to purpose enact, rather than letting it get swept away.


    Although this book is by no means a complete guide to the world [there is no discussion of purpose], it’s tips on engaging with the present are invaluably forthright.
  • (3/5)
    I didn’t find it as easy to read as was stated. Some concepts I totally agreed with, some I argue are wrong and others I didn’t understand. Since I make these judgments from my mind, I suspect I’ll wait a few months and then read it again.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the best, and most inspirational, books that I have ever read. If I had to choose a favourite book, this may be it!
  • (2/5)
    I'm not a huge fan as I think Tolle recycles the wisdom from a lot of other folks. But he can be compelling.
  • (5/5)
    This is a stunningly powerful book.I was attracted to the title as my work on organisational change had identified that organisations often chose to chase the illusion of best practice, an illusion created by a misunderstanding of time. I anticipated that the book may also explore this area. The book does this to a degree but has an emphasis on personal change.In the introduction Eckhart Tolle describes the origins of his thinking through a simple but powerful illustration, He talks of waking up with a feeling of deep loathing for the world and a deep sense of dread. The repeated thought that ‘I cannot live with myself’ leads to a sudden awareness of how peculiar this thought is. ‘Am I one or two?’ If I can’t live with myself, there must be two of me, the ‘I’ and the ‘self’.This thought and the impact of pursuing what it means are at the heart of what the book explores; the means to stand outside the thinking-self and observe, to be a watcher. A key thrust of the book is that thinking, the ability to think, represents a key advance for mankind, but like all advances can become a ball and chain preventing further advances. Eckhart proposes that our current thinking represents a level of development which should now be replaced by a more advanced ability. Indeed his frequent references to Buddha, Zen masters and others indicate that this transformation has been signposted for some time and may be long overdue.As Eckhart says, he can tell the reader nothing that they don’t already know. I suspect that five years ago I may not have read beyond the first five pages, if indeed I had ever picked the book up. Now this book is one I’d like to recommend everyone to read. I wouldn’t, simply because as I wasn’t, many may not be ready for it. For some the language may be too ‘new-age’. It is important to recognise that the words are symbols for ideas, even so I found that to some I attached personal meaning and consequently found them grate. The underlying ideas when I was able to see them were however deeply profound.It is impossible to attempt a summary, but to provide a glimpse of the transition beyond current thinking and its applicability to change. Eckhart refers to research identifying that ideas are not the product of thinking, but of some other process. We don’t get ideas by thinking, perhaps walking the dog, taking a bath, through physical exertion, but not by thinking. We actually get ideas when there is no thinking. What we need is not more thinking, but less. Less thinking, but better controlled, focussed use of our minds. He goes on to describe our minds as in uncontrolled overdrive, processing thoughts in a random and ad hoc manner. It’s as if in our mind we each posses a super computer, but the program controlling it is written by chance rather than being written by ourselves as computer programmers. Thus events, situations and experience each form part of the programme and our thinking as a result begins to constrict understanding which in many ways limits, rather than extends what we may achieve. Our thinking builds attachments to our past and restrictions on our future and avoids the present moment, the Now.Eckhart then begins to develop the means by which we can take control of our thinking and rather than be described by behaviours that result from this ad hoc programming, what we do connects with what we are. The consequences of this transformation are wide ranging and dramatic.The book deals with what are extremely challenging ideas in a way that is remarkably accessible and uplifting. The format follows the style of a dialogue between a questioner and Eckhart's responses, which aids the accessibility by allowing the questions the reader may have, to be posed on their behalf.I highly recommend that you read this book. If you find it impenetrable, then put it on the bookshelf with a reminder to return on each anniversary to try again. Once you have read it, you will need a reminder to reread it, as each time you do you will learn more. A remarkable work.
  • (5/5)
    I'm sure this book has a lot of amazing reviews and I doubt I could write a praise that has not already been raised about this work. I took a long time to pick this particular book up, but I'm glad I did because the author has a gift in the way e explains what are often difficult concepts to master or understand. I don't know if I agree with or believe everything he states in this book, but I am willing to give some of it a try and see where it takes me. I suppose if you take one thing away from the book it would be to practice the ability to bring yourself fully in the present throughout each day. This is one of those books you can buy and read but won't be particularly meaningful for you unless your at a place in which you are open and ready for it. Anyhow, I cannot recommend it high enough.
  • (5/5)
    Just like Deepak Chopra's "Perfect Health" is my book-guru of health, so has this book changed my life in a spiritual sense.
  • (5/5)
    On rereading, this book impresses me more than ever. Tolle has taken common therapy/Buddhist issues and given them life in a nondramatic way. His explication of the pain-body is the best ever and makes that part of human psychology accessible. A must-read for any humans.
  • (5/5)
    It opened my eyes to a new world, it was my introduction to the Budha way of thinking without to break with my old system of thoughts. After this book was easy to understand another books.
  • (5/5)
    The only moment we have is the present, and staying in the now brings peace and happiness. Dwelling in the past and future is illusionary. Lots of tangents emmenating from this premise.
  • (5/5)
    This book showed me how to observe my thoughts (my ego) and how to be in the present moment. His teachings are true and by no means a new phenomenon. Tolle just adds to the spiritual readings available. I recommend this book to those who are searching for inner peace.
  • (5/5)
    Kind of kooky, but this may be the most important book I've ever read. Not for everyone.