The power of now: addendum

Reading our previous post back, our readers may wonder why we protest so much. Probably because of our own petty anxieties about intellectual appearances. But as we get towards the end of yet another re-reading of Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now and The New Earth, we feel less inclined than ever to make any apologies. These books are powerful. Tolle himself considered his teachings to be the stream where Ramana Maharshi and Jiddhu Krishnamurti meet. This may seem puzzling. What can a quiet and gentle Hindu mystic who claimed to have found God and taught mostly through silence have in common with a man who (at least apparently) rejected all religion and religious organisation and lectured at great length and in often strident and (at least apparently) obscure philosophical tones? Go into it (to use a favourite phrase of Krishnamurti’s), and you’ll see that both their teachings are the same: know thyself. And how? How else but through self-enquiry? Such teachings can be extremely frustrating to hear for those seeking guidance and help. Ramana Maharshi and Krishnamurti take you to the door to self-enquiry, kick you through and leave you to it. A bracing experience! But for modern, western minds at least, Tolle may be kinder and more helpful. He takes you to the same door – but takes your luggage and helps you over the threshold. Then he shows you round. The tour he gives reveals an extraordinary palace, full of riches. There are demons and monsters there, but angels and bodhisattvas too. You can take the tour whenever you’re ready. There’s no charge.

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