Sarah's Reviews > The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
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it was ok
bookshelves: nonfiction, 2016, knocknock-get-the-door-its-religion

This book is fucked up, but I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on it, considering that I read it because I am fucked up.

I see this book recommended EVERYWHERE that mindfulness or meditation is mentioned. I have a really difficult time with invasive thoughts and anxious thought patterns in general. I'm medicated for it, but I know from therapy and my own research that the problem won't go away unless I challenge those thoughts and let them go. This book is often one of the first books mentioned as a guide to redirecting the mind away from anxious thoughts and towards the present moment.

I think this book is useful but not profound. It's good as an instruction booklet for mindfulness and nonsense as a spiritual/life practice. Which is fine - I picked it up to learn how to quiet my anxiety, not to attain enlightenment. A lot of the exercises, though fairly run-of-the-mill as far as mindfulness practices go, are well-explained. I felt I was learning something; Tolle has a gift for clear and conversational prose. Unfortunately, as soon as Tolle moved away from practical exercises and into metaphysics and spiritual teachings, I started rolling my eyes.

I was actually surprised at how much I disliked the spiritual aspect of the "Now." I find spirituality and religion fascinating to read about, though I don't really have a religion of my own beyond "vaguely theistic." I still found Tolle's hodgepodge of Eastern religions, Christianity, and New Age was painful for me to get through. Please, stop telling me about my "vibrational frequency" or how humanity is on the cusp of "spiritual awakening." Just teach me how to be present. Damn.

Short coda: does Tolle's version of enlightenment seem super fucking boring to anyone else? Tolle argues that "the mind" is the source of all suffering, which is pretty standard Buddhism from what I understand. Tolle, though, constantly hammers home the idea that the mind needs to be utterly abandoned in all areas of life. Everyone is just a magical energy source that is the same as the magical energy source inside everyone else. If we all tapped into this Being energy, there would be no... anything, from what I can understand. No mind, no self, no differences. Nothing anyone has ever thought or done or experienced matters. Where's the fun in that??? ("This one is deeply identified with her mind," Eckhart Tolle tuts from his sun-drenched mountaintop retreat, "she thinks she is her mind." Sorry for bringing down the vibrational frequency of man's collective consciousness, Tolle. I can't help it.)
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 27, 2016 – Shelved as: nonfiction
July 27, 2016 – Shelved
July 27, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016
July 27, 2016 – Shelved as: knocknock-get-the-door-its-religion

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