Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The Power of Now - A book review

This is more of a recommendation than a review. And I haven't read the whole book yet, being the slow and erratic reader that I am:)

The fundamental message of the book is quite simple, and counter intuitive. It's that the root of all worries and sufferings is in the way our mind operates - in that it dwells too much in the past and the future, and very little in the present.

Now, we have heard that before, but what sets this work apart is the solution that it suggests.

It is - to stop thinking (yes literally) and you will see that your focus automatically shifts to the present. In the book, Eckhart Tolle argues that the present is all you have - the past and future being mere illusions. And that to operate in the present, you don't need to think. You just need to "be".

To actually stop thinking, might seem like an extreme thing to do. And I haven't succeeded in doing that, though I've succeeded to see a lot of logic in the theory - if you watch your mind, there is indeed a lot of unnecessary activity that does nothing but wastes your processor cycles:)

Anyway, I suggest you read the book yourself before you judge; so pick up the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle the next time you visit a book shop, it could change the way you use your mind, in a very positive way.

6 comments:

Cris said...

Thats a scary thought! Thinking is the only thing I do regularly everyday for hours on a stretch! But now I come to think of it, I dont know how much of it is in the past n future. Oh well.. I still say its a risky idea!

Anamika said...

Stop thinkinga? Now thats an easy thing to do! Why didnt I think of it before!

Monika said...

You're probabaly aware of this as Mallu uses a lot of Sanskrit terms in their original form. ET's "being in the moment" approach reminded me of the Sanskrit word for "the present", "Vartaman" which I recently learnt comes from the word "vart" meaning "to use" and that "vartaman" refers to that which can be used.

I haven't read the book but I'm guessing ET is talking about avoiding goal-less brooding over the past or worrying about the future. For instance, taking a closer look at a past event for the purpose of shedding some light on one's motivations, weaknesses, fears and the like seems like a useful form "thinking".

I have a friend with this remarkable ability to remain receptive to observations about herself even during situations largely non conducive to personal growth, such as arguments with a boyfriend. She manages to register the truth amidst the "Oh Really"s, the "Yaa.. RIGHT"s & the "Phuleeeze"s, does a REWIND and then works on introducing these realizations into her behaviour.

It's a gift.

Monika said...

You're probabaly aware of this as Mallu uses a lot of Sanskrit terms in their original form. ET's "being in the moment" approach reminded me of the Sanskrit word for "the present", "Vartaman" which I recently learnt comes from the word "vart" meaning "to use" and that "vartaman" refers to that which can be used.

I haven't read the book but I'm guessing ET is talking about avoiding goal-less brooding over the past or worrying about the future. For instance, taking a closer look at a past event for the purpose of shedding some light on one's motivations, weaknesses, fears and the like seems like a useful form "thinking".

I have a friend with this remarkable ability to remain receptive to observations about herself even during situations largely non conducive to personal growth, such as arguments with a boyfriend. She manages to register the truth amidst the "Oh Really"s, the "Yaa.. RIGHT"s & the "Phuleeeze"s, does a REWIND and then works on introducing these realizations into her behaviour.

It's a gift.

Monika said...

OOPS! Sorry about the double posting. Will be careful in the future.

Nithin Rajan said...

@Cris, you think too much:)
@Anamika, you too;)
@Monika, yes, I think 80% of our *normal* thinking is such meaningless brooding, and ET is suggesting that the best way to switch it off is to switch off the thinking itself.
Btw, that's a really tough talent your friend has, to be able to focus while ignoring the emotions.