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

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
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I did enjoy this book, and I do believe that it can be a helpful tool in many regards for some people dealing with mild forms of anxiety and depression. I also believe it can be useful in teaching people the value of recognizing that their own egos can very often be the main barrier to their well being, and that learning to let go of the self can often be a simple on/off switch for the suffering we don't even realize that we are inflicting upon ourselves. Not that many of these teachings are really Tolle's own brainchildren, but rather extrapolations largely from Taoist, Jainist and Buddhist teachings, but he does simplify and make them more practically applicable without the religious baggage, thus making them more accessible, so I do still see the value in reading this book over immersing yourself in those religious teachings.

All of that said, there is much in this book to take issue with. A man who preaches with such a condescending tone as Tolle uses, one would hope that he was proselytizing some down home universal truths that were indisputable and applicable to everyone. Through this entire book though, I couldn't help but wonder how Tolle would handle raising a child. He makes no mention of the fact that many of his teachings seem only applicable to a person moving through this life as a singular entity, one who can move about freely without social anchors. But when one is saddled with the responsibility of properly raising a child one often finds themselves in toxic situations that might be for the best for the child but not at all best for the parent, and by Tolle's silence on this reality one is left only to assume that his attitude is "well if you want spiritual peace you ought not to have had that kid." He seems to have found an enlightenment path for himself, for his own life situations and then determines that if his teachings aren't a perfect fit for you then you just aren't doing it right. Ultimately it seems he is just as rooted in the ego as the rest of us (not to say that is such a bad thing, I believe the ego is actually a better thing that is presented in this book.)

Tolle has a philosophy that is worthwhile to study, but to be taken with a grain of salt. He has aggrandized what is really just a valuable self help book into a grandiose spiritual dogma that is just simply is not. If you're looking for a way to be a more peaceable person, this book can help. But if you're looking for spiritual enlightenment, you won't find it here.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 15, 2013 – Finished Reading
April 14, 2013 – Shelved

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