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A Forthwith Review of Eckhart Tolle's 'The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment'

Alex is an active member of his church, a student of philosophy, and he has visited many holy houses of worship.


Where there is anger there is always pain underneath.

— Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'

A Momentary Introduction

The Power of Now is one of my all-time favorite reads. I've read it, and I've listened to the audiobook. That isn't to state that it isn't very controversial. Some people hate it, and others absolutely love it; I'm not sure how many individuals actually fall in-between. I'd be surprised to hear anyone challenge that the book is one of the most influential pieces of art of the 20th century. Eckhart Tolle's famous book has given me countless hours of meditative practice and readiness. Trying to be ready for something that is already here seems funny to consider, and it is that type of thinking that this book helps to inspire.

Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought.

— Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'

Tolle's Illustration of Religious Ideologies

I'm not sure I should start a discussion about this book without bringing into the light the views surrounding religion in The Power of Now. I will give my two cents as I do. It would appear to me that Tolle's definition of 'God' is limited. When I refer to God, I am usually making a reference to Heavenly Father. Eckhart, on the other hand, is aware of a number of definitions for the word, and thus stays smartly far from it in his talks. When Eckhart described ideas that people usually associate with the word "God", Tolle explains that it is the thing itself and not the name which is important.

Nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.

— Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'

Now, Tolle's views on the Savior and the Buddha are, to some, very contentious. To these people, I would like to point out that language is not always to be taken literally. Humans should be taught how to identify items like poetic language. I remember Alan Watts once stating something in one lecture to the tune that his intent was not to teach people a set of beliefs, but to get people to think in a different way; to play with that vital organ—the mind. This is, in many respects, how I view this book. If I took the book in its entirety a work to be perceived literally, much of my praise would not be placed herein. However, I do recognize things like hyperbole and metaphor; thus, this work will receive five stars in my rating.

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.

— Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'

The Audiobook Versus the Paper Version

One thing that is really amazing about the audiobook version is that Eckhart Tolle reads the majority of the book himself. I love when the author is the narrator in the audio version. I noted that at least one word was changed. This makes sense, as we are listening to him in the audiobook and not reading his book in the traditional sense. One of the advantages of the paperback version is the symbols between thoughts. Tolle places a number of symbols throughout his work, and these serve to remind the reader to meditate of what has been read. I personally find this feature very helpful, and it is an item that couldn't be completely incorporated into the audiobook for obvious reasons..

Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive.

— Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'

A Timeless Conclusion

The Power of Now is one of the most fascinating books to have been published in my lifetime. I wouldn't recommend this piece of art to everyone, but I very much enjoy it myself. I love the work, I love the author, and I will assuredly be giving this book five stars!

Die to the past every moment. You don't need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present. Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being. Feel your presence.

— Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'

What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.

— Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'

'The Power of Now'

© 2019 Alexander James Guckenberger


Alexander James Guckenberger (author) from Maryland, United States of America on September 18, 2019:

Abitha Deepak,

This is one of my favorite books. I love it so much. There are multitudes of good quotes. I hope you do pick this one up!

Abitha Deepak on September 18, 2019:

This such a good review Alexander will definitely pick this up. The concept of mindfulness always intrigued me. This is a wonderful quote - What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.

shriram on March 09, 2019:

Hi thank you for the nice article

thank you

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Alexander James Guckenberger (author) from Maryland, United States of America on January 22, 2019:

Jo Miller, You're not old. I'm happy that I introduced you to this. I think that you'll love it! Do you know where you read the last part of your comment? O.O

Jo Miller from Tennessee on January 22, 2019:

I've never read this work, but then I'm old and often out of touch--which doesn't bother me much. You've whetted my appetite and I'll check it out further.

God is just a word, I once read, that we humans made up about something we are yearning for. We know little, so far, about it.

Alexander James Guckenberger (author) from Maryland, United States of America on January 21, 2019:

Ikram, that's very exciting for me. It can be somewhat life changing. :)

Ikram Afzal from Pakistan on January 21, 2019:

After reading your article I also have decided to read the book.

Thanks for such a solid review.

Alexander James Guckenberger (author) from Maryland, United States of America on January 20, 2019:

Layne, I mostly just listen to his lectures too. Is there a favorite recording for you of Alan Watts?

Laynie H from Bend, Oregon on January 20, 2019:

Sections of Cloud-Hidden and Still the Mind some time ago but mostly listened to recordings.

Alexander James Guckenberger (author) from Maryland, United States of America on January 20, 2019:

Layne, have you ever read any books by Alan Watts?

Alexander James Guckenberger (author) from Maryland, United States of America on January 20, 2019:

Maya, I've never finished reading 'A New Earth', but now I feel inspired to!

mayaellenson on January 20, 2019:

Excellent review! Eckhart Tolle is one of my favorite gurus. I come back to New Earth and The Power of Now every now and then to refresh their flow in my heart and mind. If everyone on our planet tunes into Tolle's worldview, mindfulness and awareness will become our very state of being -- and as a result-- we'll create a high-vibrational reality, full of harmony and synergy vs. antagonism and polarity. Unfortunately, so called organized and stifling religions with their rigid belief systems keep a good deal of humanity deprived of their innate ability to stay fully present in order to connect with their formless aspect with no beginning and now end, in other words, to soar freely.

Laynie H from Bend, Oregon on January 20, 2019:

I really enjoy Eckhart Tolle, I like Alan Watts as well. Very nice sharing this review. I've only read excerpts but I can imagine the power of The Power of Now.

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