THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle
Would you choose unhappiness? If you did not choose it, how did it arise? What is its purpose? Who is keeping it alive? You say that you are conscious of your unhappy feelings, but the truth is that you are identi€ed with them and keep the process alive through compulsive thinking. All that is unconscious.
If you were conscious, that is to say totally present in the Now, all negativity would dissolve almost instantly. It could not survive in your presence. It can only survive in your absence. Even the pain-body cannot survive for long in your presence. You keep your unhappiness alive by giving it time. That is its lifeblood. Remove time through intense present-moment awareness and it dies. But do you want it to die? Have you truly had enough? Who would you be without it?
Until you practise surrender, the spiritual dimension is something you read about, talk about, get excited about, write books about, think about, believe in or don’t, as the case may be. It makes no difference. Not until you surrender does it become a living reality in your life. When you do, the energy that you emanate and which then runs your life is of a much higher vibrational frequency than the mind energy that still runs our world – the energy that created the existing social, political and economic structures of our civilization, and which also continuously perpetuates itself through our educational systems and the media.
Through surrender, spiritual energy comes into this world. It creates no suffering on the planet. Unlike mind energy, it does not pollute the Earth and it is not subject to the law of polarities, which dictates that nothing can exist without its opposite, that there can be no good without bad. Those who run on mind energy, which is still the vast majority of the Earth’s population, remain unaware of the existence of spiritual energy. It belongs to a different order of reality and will create a different world when a sufficient number of humans enter the surrendered state and so become totally free of negativity. If the Earth is to survive, this will be the energy of those who inhabit it.
Jesus referred to this energy when he made his famous prophetic statement in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the gentle; they shall have the earth for their possession.” It is a silent, but intense, presence that dissolves the unconscious patterns of the mind. They may still remain active for a while, but they won’t run your life anymore. The external conditions that were being resisted also tend to shift or dissolve quickly through surrender. It is a powerful transformer of situations and people. If conditions do not shift immediately, your acceptance of the Now enables you to rise above them. Either way, you are free.
It is true that only an unconscious person will try to use or manipulate others, but it is equally true that only an unconscious person can be used and manipulated. If you resist or fight unconscious behaviour in others, you become unconscious yourself. But surrender doesn’t mean that you allow yourself to be used by unconscious people. Not at all. It is perfectly possible to say “no” firmly and clearly or to walk away from a situation and be in a state of complete inner non-resistance at the same time. When you say “no” to a person or a situation, let it come not from reaction, but from insight, from a clear realization of what is right or not right for you at that moment. Let it be a nonreactive “no,” a high-quality “no,” a “no” that is free of all negativity and so creates no further suffering.
If you cannot surrender, take action immediately: speak up or do something to bring about a change in the situation or remove yourself from it. Take responsibility for your life. Do not pollute your beautiful, radiant inner Being or the Earth with negativity. Do not give unhappiness in any form whatsoever a dwelling place inside you.
Adapted from The Power of Now, copyright 1999 by Eckhart Tolle. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA, 800-972-6657 (ext. 52). Visit www.eckharttolle.com.