THINK TANK: THE POWER OF NOW
HENRY HAMILTON: “If you had as much time as I have, what would you do with it?”
WILL SALAS: “If I had all that time, I sure as hell wouldn’t waste it.”
—In time, 2011, Andrew Niccol.
I HAVE READ The Power of Now 1 several times.
The first time, I was so marveled that I underlined many paragraphs and studied them carefully. I even followed the instructions stopping at the right places to reflect on the insights and to find an analogy on my experiences. The second time, I thought I had a gem in my hands, and perhaps it was the best book I’d ever read. From the last readings, I come to the conclusion that I still consider it a brilliant book, with useful insights, but I also admit that Eckhart Tolle has not invented the wheel. I’ll tell you why.
The author of the bestseller The power of Now is not the father of the teachings about how to live in the Now—the only one time that exists. Although many more spiritual seekers have been teaching it, the source of his piece comes from the Hindu philosophy Advaita Vedanta, and especially from the spiritual teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi a hundred years ago. Of course, Eckhart Tolle translates that philosophy for the western society.
Don’t get me wrong! This is not a negative critique. His writing shed powerfully light on people’s suffering from the insane travels of the mind. However, it’s good to mention that nowadays when we dig into the source of knowledge, we can’t talk about individuals but 'Think tanks.'
If Tolle merchandises the philosophy of Advanta Vedanta, I can’t find anything wrong; my only concern is that his message lacks practical approach; above all, about the issues of everyday life.
The same holds true for German philosopher Martin Heidegger who proposed two modes of existence. He stepped into the dichotomy of everyday life and the ontological mode. Let’s try to dissect that.
Absorbed in everyday life, you are completely immersed in your surroundings. You observe the identifications of the ego: physical appearances, belongings, prestige, and belief systems. On the other hand, when you are in the ontological mode, not only you’re focus on the miracle of being itself, but also you’re courageously prompted to construct an authentic life of meaning, connectivity, and self-fullfilment.
The turning point to focus on the ontological mode is an awakening experience. Yet, nobody tells how we can overcome the challenges to seek and construct an authentic life of meaning, your own richness. I guess it takes your own journey.
1 The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle, 1999.
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