This review is about Eckhart Tolle first and fundamental book "The Power of Now". Eckhart Tolle is German-born Canadian spiritual teacher. But unlike other spiritual teachers he does not belong or even relates to any existing religion, even though he often cites Buddha and Jesus. He came to the today's fame (almost all celebrities are fascinated by his teachings) through quite unusual life. Despite almost 10 years old refusal to acquire traditional education, he was admitted to the University of London and matriculated at Cambridge in 1977. It was in this year when he felt into depression and came out of it after undergoing, what he describes as enlightenment or "inner transformation". In 1995 he moved to Vancouver, and soon after, in 1999 he wrote "The Power of Now". As the book became later the New York Time bestseller, his fame started to grow. His frequent performances with Oprah Winfrey and admiration of many celebrities positioned him among top spiritual teachers of the western hemisphere.
He promotes his message through a company he created and named "Eckhart Teachings"....
His history and fame could easily make my mind very suspicious about the quality of his message. But, I must admit, here comes a great surprise. The message is very simple, very basic and obvious - and expressed in such sincere and explicit words, that we should read it with attention. In a most concise description, the message is about the discovery of our inner consciousness, the silent "I" which is not reduced to our mind, thoughts or even our ego.
He beautifully describes it as the "no-thing", as the background of our thoughts and perceptions.
The discovery of the true inner center of our awareness, reveals also all negative consequences of mind domination - both on personal and also on social level. His analysis of the concept of pain-body which describes the negative emotional component of our life - is really deep and profound.
I also found his basic advice or "tool" one can use to self-wake up as very interesting - it is attempt to live in the "now"- in the Present. The past, and future are mental creations, the first through memory, the second through imagination. The focus on our "Now" on things and thoughts that matter for presentness - opens us to the awareness of the deeper level of existence, to true being, or "is-ness" - the another term, Tolle uses in an interesting way.
Even though I disagree with the apparent diminishing of the importance of the past, I must admit Tolle analysis of time is convincing.
In some sense, Eckhart Tolle rediscovers the truths well known to almost all meditational traditions of the world, however he does so in truly universal way - in language that the modern world can understand and can accept. It rediscovers what almost all religions of the world were telling us for centuries, but what was forgotten or maybe simply obstructed for many by the organizational or even political aspects of many religions.
Finally, even though many aspects of Tolle career are not what I like the most, he, by no means can be called "revitalised New Age mumbo jumbo" as it was done by Independent in an article published on June 21, 2008.
If I was about to point some weakness in his teaching it is in his forgetfulness of the importance of unchangeable past, our freedom and grounds for moral teaching. Paradoxically if one extends his basic teaching of awareness - the foundations for these concepts are there !
It is also funny, how I found this book and Eckhart Tolle teachings. It was thanks to Raymond Harrison who posted some comments on my blog about time and its dimensions. He pointed out to me Tolle teachings and I'm grateful to him for this reference...