My mind struggles with The Now. That’s because Now can not be conceived by the mind. For instance, when I try to think about it, I wonder: when does Now start? How long does Now last? Is it 5 seconds, 1 second, or maybe a millisecond? If so, I imagine it must look a bit like a bell curve in time. The apex of the curve is the Now, as you go to the left, it drops off into the past, and as you go to the right, the future approaches. Just a short time away from the apex of Now either way, either Now just happened or Now is about to happen.
But according to Eckart Tolle, the Now is timeless. It is not a part of time and can not be understood by the mind, because the mind exists only in time. So if the Now is not a part of time, then to think of it in terms of “how long” it is, is ultimately futile… as much as my mind would like to think otherwise.
According to Tolle, to experience the Now, one must enter a place of no-mind. Stop the addictive thoughts. Move deeply into presence and awareness. Become the observer of your thoughts. But I can’t explain it all here. I recommend his book “The Power of Now.” I read it recently and am now reading another of his books, “A New Earth.”
He makes many references to Christianity, to Jesus words. But, as a Pagan, when he refers to Christianity, it actually makes sense. Not the kind of sense an Evangelical, right-wing, pro-war christian might understand, but a deeper, timeless wisdom, one of enlightenment.
From what he says, I see that Jesus was a pointer to the Truth, not an end unto himself, but a conduit. Not to be endlessly worshiped while his message gets lost, but to actually seek enlightenment. People who focus on Jesus only, or literal interpretations of the bible, or the rapture, or converting others, or judging, or piousness, miss an important (the most important) part of Jesus message. To free us of our mind.
Tolle also references the Buddha as well as other great teachers through the ages. Suddenly, it all begins to make sense. My Christian upbringing, my recovery from active addictions, simplicity, ecopsychology, my journey into Paganism and Witchcraft — I see all of it in what I am now learning. No, I am in no way at the end of my path. I am just beginning.