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JosephM

The Power of Now - By Eckhart Tolle

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Anyone interested in a book discussion of  "The Power of Now , A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" by Eckhart Tolle?

It contains an introduction and 10 Chapters and we could discuss 1 chapter a week over a 10 week period. 

"You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!" 

---Eckhart Tolle

 

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11 hours ago, JosephM said:

Anyone interested in a book discussion of  "The Power of Now , A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" by Eckhart Tolle?

It contains an introduction and 10 Chapters and we could discuss 1 chapter a week over a 10 week period. 

"You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!" 

---Eckhart Tolle

 

I'll try, but I hope people discuss the book and don't just use it as an excuse to ramble on about their private ideations.  The TNH book topic was very disappointing.

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Fair enough Burl. Would like to get more than just 2 of us to start. Anyone else? The book is a #1 NY Times Best Seller.

Joseph

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Good. We can start with 3 and anyone else is welcome to join. Do you have the book already Paul and Burl? If so Read the intro and Chapter 1 then comment. If not let me know when you are ready. Chapter 1 " You are not your Mind"

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I have the book, so I think I will be in a position to comment as you suggest in a couple of days (maybe sooner).

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Eckhart is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. In his teaching, he conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters: there is a way out of suffering and into peace.

The first chapter is pretty clear in that Tolle's method is to repress many important aspects of experience.  This does not sound healthy in the least.  

He writes entirely too quickly and with very few examples.  His statements are not supported or elucidated.  I have a sinking feeling that this is going to be a lot of him trying to induce a temporary sense of well-being by implementing psychological defense mechanisms.

 

 

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I have another 7 pages to go in Chapter 1  before i officially comment but so far i see him saying don't think about what I am saying and try to understand it so much intellectually but .... rather try and be a witness to your own mind and see if what i am saying is true for yourself. I do agree he doesn't seem to be aligned with any one exclusive  religion.

Joseph

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5 hours ago, Burl said:

 

The first chapter is pretty clear in that Tolle's method is to repress many important aspects of experience.  This does not sound healthy in the least.  

 (snip)

 

Burl,

If by repress, you mean .. restrain, prevent, or inhibit , I got the opposite understanding. Clearly his words to me seem to say "be a witness" and "do not judge your thoughts". He doesn't to me seem to be advocating restraining or stopping thoughts but rather stressing that instead we should witnessing them ( rather than identifying with them) which  brings them into the light of consciousness so that we will see they are just conditioning and that their power comes from that conditioning and our being unconscious of what is really happening . In essence he is saying identifying with our thoughts as our true self is giving those thoughts power over us. He proposes that the more we practice witnessing them the less frequently our mind will use us and the more we will use it as a tool rather than the other way around. Hence the Chapter 1 title "You are not your mind" as it is just a very small part of consciousness and who you are on a deeper level. At least that is my take on his words.

Joseph

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3 hours ago, JosephM said:

Burl,

If by repress, you mean .. restrain, prevent, or inhibit , I got the opposite understanding. Clearly his words to me seem to say "be a witness" and "do not judge your thoughts". He doesn't to me seem to be advocating restraining or stopping thoughts but rather stressing that instead we should witnessing them ( rather than identifying with them) which  brings them into the light of consciousness so that we will see they are just conditioning and that their power comes from that conditioning and our being unconscious of what is really happening . In essence he is saying identifying with our thoughts as our true self is giving those thoughts power over us. He proposes that the more we practice witnessing them the less frequently our mind will use us and the more we will use it as a tool rather than the other way around. Hence the Chapter 1 title "You are not your mind" as it is just a very small part of consciousness and who you are on a deeper level. At least that is my take on his words.

Joseph

I'm guessing.  His ideas are so thin at this point I can't get anything more than just a general idea of where he might be going.  When he gets into specific experiences that will help.

He only lists four or five references, which is going to make it difficult to compare and contrast.  Mind involves conscious, subconscious, memory, imagination, learning, sensorium, aspirations, emotions, personality, talents, temperament inter alia.  That's over five references already.

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Chapter 2 is dead wrong and psychologically damaging.  Tolle's insistence on making up his own terms and ignoring everyone else is problematic, but look at this:

Quote

So the pain-body doesn’t want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is. The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in. I call it presence. You are now the witness or the watcher of the pain-body. This means that it cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you. You have found your own innermost strength. You have accessed the power of Now.

I read his "pain-body" as an interruptive and unpleasant internal dialogue.  Why there is no corresponding "pleasure-body' I don't know, but I personally seem to have both.

Tolle says 'higher dimension of consciousness' but I think he is really advocating the denial of psychological trauma.  When the pain occurred it was certainly in the 'Now'.  It is likely to repeat or have other effects in the 'Now' if simply dismissed.

Negative thoughts need to be opened up and explored, not emotionally stuffed like they are not real.  

The fact that the 'pain-body' is elicited by the 'Now' is completely ignored. 

The fact that Tolle has ignored a hundred years of experience in mental health is disturbing.  I hope he gets to the spiritual part soon, 'cuz his pop psychology is dangerous.

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