Friday, April 3, 2015

The Power of Now

I just finished reading The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenmentby Eckhart Tolle and found it to be quite good. I even developed a new practice based on it, which is simply to keep my mental voice quiet as much as possible throughout the day. This is the main teaching given in the book, but near the end he talks about surrender and briefly mentions the Apocalypse which I've quoted below.


How do you equate surrender with finding God?

Since resistance is inseparable from the mind, relinquishment of resistance - surrender - is the end of the mind as your master, the impostor pretending to be "you," the false god. All judgment and all negativity dissolve. The realm of Being, which had been obscured by the mind, then opens up. Suddenly, a great stillness arises within you, an unfathomable sense of peace. And within that peace, there is great joy. And within that joy, there is love. And at the innermost core, there is the sacred, the immeasurable, That which cannot be named.

I don't call it finding God, because how can you find that which was never lost, the very life that you are? The word God is limiting not only because of thousands of years of misperception and misuse, but also because it implies an entity other than you. God is Being itself, not a being. There can be no subject-object relationship here, no duality, no you and God. God-realization is the most natural thing there is. The amazing and incomprehensible fact is not that you can become conscious of God but that you are not conscious of God.

The way of the cross that you mentioned is the old way to enlightenment, and until recently it was the only way. But don't dismiss it or underestimate its efficacy. It still works.

The way of the cross is a complete reversal. It means that the worst thing in your life, your cross, turns into the best thing that ever happened to you, by forcing you into surrender, into "death," forcing you to become as nothing, to become as God - because God, too, is no-thing.

At this time, as far as the unconscious majority of humans is concerned, the way of the cross is still the only way. They will only awaken through further suffering, and enlightenment as a collective phenomenon will be predictably preceded by vast upheavals. This process reflects the workings of certain universal laws that govern the growth of consciousness and thus was foreseen by some seers. It is described, among other places, in the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse, though cloaked in obscure and sometimes impenetrable symbology. This suffering is inflicted not by God but by humans on themselves and on each other as well as by certain defensive measures that the Earth, which is a living, intelligent organism, is going to take to protect herself from the onslaught of human madness.

However, there is a growing number of humans alive today whose consciousness is sufficiently evolved not to need any more suffering before the realization of enlightenment. You may be one of them.

Enlightenment through suffering - the way of the cross - means to be forced into the kingdom of heaven kicking and screaming. You finally surrender because you can' t stand the pain anymore, but the pain could go on for a long time until this happens. Enlightenment consciously chosen means to relinquish your attachment to past and future and to make the Now the main focus of your life. It means choosing to dwell in the state of presence rather than in time. It means saying yes to what is. You then don't need pain anymore. How much more time do you think you will need before you are able to say "I will create no more pain, no more suffering?" How much more pain do you need before you can make that choice?

If you think that you need more time, you will get more time - and more pain. Time and pain are inseparable.

This past Christmas I saw a beautiful animated special with the underlying theme of surrender that the whole family can enjoy. It is called the Toy Story That Time Forgot. I've watched it with my kids three or four times already.