The primary message in ‘The Power of Now’ is simple, it is contained in the title. Live in the present, in the current moment, that is the objective, that is what Tolle is trying to teach us.
There is no reality except what is now, at this moment; everything else is either memories or imaginings. But memories differ, change over time, different people have different memories of the same event, have different memories of shared experiences even. As for the future, who knows what it will hold?
Tolle uses the word ‘Being’ for what we traditionally would call God and he explains why, “The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they were talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what they were denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as ‘My or our God is the only true God and your God is false’, or Nietzsche’s famous statement ‘God is dead’. The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white beard, but still a mental representation of someone of something outside you, and yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something”.
Tolle further explains, “The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being, however, has the advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite invisible to a finite entity. It is impossible to form a mental image of it. Nobody can claim exclusive possession of Being”
Being is within as well as without. It is all pervasive. That is Tolle’s second lesson for us. He tells us, “However, Being is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is accessible to you now as you own deepest self, your true nature”
Tolle’s third lesson for us is that awareness of Being, the ability to feel it, to connect with it, arises from stillness, from being present. “But don’t seek to grasp it with your mind”, he advises us, “Don’t try to understand it. You can only know it when your mind is still. When you are present, when your attention is fully and intensively in the Now, Being can be felt, but it can never be understood mentally. To regain awareness of Being and to abide in that state of ‘feeling-realization’ is enlightenment”.
We have heard this already, from deMello, from Scott Peck and from others. Stillness, being present, being aware, awakening, that is how we find happiness and peace, how we connect the Being, with God.
Be still my friends and know.