The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle has been sitting in my shelf for quite many years until now when I finally decided to read it.
★★★ (3 out of 5)
Eckhart Tolle deals with the age-old message of living in the now. He explains how if you want to live a peaceful and happy life then living in now instead of delving into the past or worrying about the future is the right way.
He explains how our worries and problems are our own creation, and they really don’t exist if we decide to ‘surrender’ ourselves and start living in the ‘Now.’ He defines a few terms such as ‘Being,’ ‘Unmanifested,’ ‘Pain-Body,’ etc. to drive the point that we need to find ourselves, surrender ourselves and then everything will be fine.
The book is in a Q&A, which Tolle has reproduced from his earlier discussions. He also emphasizes that the reader at specific points close the book and think about what is being said.
The points that Tolle mentions in his book are religion agnostic. He cites from Jesus to Buddha, from Chi to Bhagavad Gita. The readers can replace these names with any of their choices but the teachings or learnings still remain the same.
What I Think
There has been a barrage of books about Spirituality and Self-help in recent years and books have been written from East to the West. But luckily the theme mostly remains the same. Which is to stay that at least there is some sort of consensus amongst writers and seekers as to what is essential and what is not. Although the path to achieve that could be different for different cultures, sects, and religions.
The Power Of Now deals with one and only one thing that is, how living in now can alleviate most of our problems. This is not the first book that I have read on this topic. A lot about living in now has been written in Zen articles and other books. But the biggest question that you might end up asking after reading any such book is, how practical is it?
Tolle writes in the preface that when this book came out it wasn’t appreciated or understood by many and Time magazine could only see it as “Mumbo-jumbo” written about spirituality. And I can very well understand why people who read it back then would have had such a reaction.
Today after there has been so much open discussion about these topics and so much literature floating around in the world, some of the words and phrases used by Tolle still seem Mumbo-Jumbo to me.
I have no doubt that the author has had great experience and learnings based on which he has written this book. But I don’t like the book much.
First, the Q&A format is not conducive to reading. It would have been better if the terms and basic facts would have explained adequately first and in the end, could have dedicated a section for Q&A.
Second, its a dry read without examples, parables or stories which makes it difficult to grasp the concepts that the book mentions.
Third, the book deals a lot in the abstract. It’s like “you delve deep inside yourself and focus on now, and you have achieved peace.” It’s not easy for a person to undo his years of rote learnings of how to be a better human and achieve whatever you are saying. The book is not at all practical.
There have been a few other books and articles on this topic by Buddhist Monks and Zen masters which are much better in terms of making you understand the power of now.
Also, the points that are mentioned in the book are drawn a lot from the East. Even the Indian and Chinese spirituality guides talk a lot about this topic and explain it in a much better manner.
Despite my dissatisfaction on few things with the book, the book did a fair job of dealing with this topic of living in the now. The questions that were raised and some explanations from the author are good and worth pondering about.
If nothing else, the book will make you think that can you change your life or better still should you change your life.
If you have never read about the topic of living in the now, I recommend you read The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle book. But if you already know something about it, you may as well skip it.
You can buy this book at a low price from Amazon.in