Power of Now – Summary of Chapter 5


Well, I just realized I did not post a summary from Chapter 5, so this post will be immediately followed by the post for Chapter 6

Chapter 5 – The State of Presence

Tolle is moving more and more toward philosophical and psychological underpinnings for his perspective.  He says that the wider the time gap between perception and thought, the more depth there is to you as a human being, which is to say the more conscious you are.  I would add a third element: reaction.  In immature persons, there is virtually no time gag from perception, thought, and reaction.  As we mature, we create more space in this cycle.

  • Immature
    • Perception: That person just cut me off in traffic.
    • Thought: The person is an idiot.
    • Reaction: I offer him the universal hand signal of ill will.
  • Mature
    • Perception: That person cut me off in traffic
    • Thought: Driving can be stressful and unpredictable.  I wonder how often I cut people off when I’m not paying attention.
    • Reaction: A quick prayer for all my fellow travelers, and gratitude for the patience I seem to be developing.

Here’s a section by section summary of Chapter 5

  • It’s Not What You Think it Is
    • You cannot “think” your way to presence.
    • Presence in anchored in body awareness.
  • The Esoteric Meaning of “Waiting”
    • Waiting, in the sense that Jesus described, is not about focusing on some future situation that you expect, or hope, will unfold.
    • Waiting, in the Now sense, is being fully present to each moment.
    • Tolle asserts that Jesus’s parable’s about waiting were NOT about the end of historical time, but rather about the end of psychological time.
  • Beauty Arises in the Stillness of Your Presence
    • Satori is the Zen word that refers to those flashes of Presence which are not in themselves transformative, but provide a flash of insight regarding the experience of Presence.
    • Satori moments are flashes of “no mind.”
    • The wider the time gap between perception and thought, the more depth there is to you as a human being, which is to say the more conscious you are.
    • A mind dominated culture produces ugliness.
  • Realizing Pure Consciousness
    • Tolle offers his philosophy of Being and consciousness.
    • Being is the eternal home of “God,” and is our home as well.
    • Consciousness seems to naturally create “forms” which create the world.
    • We become attached to these forms, and lose awareness of the Being behind them (Plato’s Cave?)
    • When we are able to then reconnect to Being, the “world” ends.
  • Christ: The Reality of Your Divine Presence
    • Tolle asserts that “Christ” is synonymous with “Presence.”
    • To connect with Christ is to connect with Presence.
    • The “second coming” of Christ is a transformation of human consciousness, a shift from time to presence, from thinking to pure consciousness, not the arrival of some man or woman.
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