Subtitled “a guide to spiritual enlightenment”, this is one of the classic spiritual self health books of recent years, with strong sales and a solid reputation.
Despite this pedigree I’ve only just got to reading it – too many books, too little time – and I don’t find really feel my life is any the richer for the read. Sorry, if that disappoints Tolle fans.
The premise could be distilled as being in now – rather than then present or past – is our route to enlightenment. Logical as the past is past and the future is future. But in driving this premise home Tolle seems to gloss over a lot of practical detail. The author himself addresses critics:
“This does not mean, of course, that everyone responds favourably to the book. In many people, as well as in most of the political and economic structures and the greater part of the media, the old consciousness is still deeply entrenched. Anyone who is still totally identified with the voice in their head—the stream of involuntary and incessant thinking—will inevitably fail to see what The Power of Now is all about. Some enthusiastic readers gave a copy of the book to a friend or relative and were surprised and disappointed when the recipient found it quite meaningless and could not get beyond the first few pages. “Mumbo jumbo” was all that Time magazine could see in a book that countless people around the globe found life-changing. Furthermore, any teaching that puts the spotlight of attention on the workings of the ego will necessarily provoke egoistic reaction, resistance, and attack.”
Quite. I read that as if-you-disagree-with-me-it’s-because-you-are-not-enlightened-and-I-am – frankly it grates for me, and I felt the book contained more than its fair share of spiritual bypassing (google it).
As such, I was disappointed in its content. Your experience may be different, try it. Didn’t really resonate with me.