Some readers of this slim follow-up to the bestselling The Power of Now may be alarmed that the seemingly wise and gentle Tolle writes in the introduction that his new work "can be seen as a revival for the present age of the oldest form of recorded spiritual teachings: the sutras of ancient India." Tolle explains that the Vedas and Upanishads, as well as the words of the Buddha, the parables of Jesus and the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching can be thought of as sutras in the sense that they share a brevity that "does not engage the thinking mind more than is necessary." Like those great sacred works, Tolle continues, his writings come from inner stillness. "Unlike those ancient sutras, however, they don't belong to any one religion or spiritual tradition, but are immediately accessible to the whole of humanity." Repeating what has become a familiar if no less ominous note in contemporary spiritual life, he adds that this unprecedented accessibility is due to the urgent need for humanity to wake up if we are not to destroy ourselves. It is the stillness that is our common Being-which is the formless container for what is happening in the now-"that will save and transform the world." In the brief chapters that follow, Tolle describes stillness with eloquent economy. Beautiful stand-alone paragraphs offer insight into the defensive nature of the ego versus what he sees as our true being, the attentive, receptive mind behind thought, the spaciousness and peace that blossoms inside when we accept what is, including death. "Your unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind." No one will doubt that Tolle has freed himself from nagging thoughts and fears. But the rest of us? (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Praise for "The Power of Now: "A reminder to be truly present in our own lives and liberated from our past and future. It can transform your thinking. The result? More joy, right now."
Tolle expands on the living-in-the-moment philosophy espoused in his earlier, popular The Power of Now. His method seeks simplicity (too often confused with simplemindedness) by stripping down thoughts and deliberately seeking the titular stillness. This is anything but simpleminded; tuning into silence in this way helps readers achieve inner peace, but to do so requires unlearning and deconstructing lifetimes of patterns and structure. More Sun Tzu than Dr. Phil, this is intended as a tool to help revise one's philosophy of life rather than as a practical method. Though short, the book packs considerable wisdom in its observations, e.g., that "the Truth is far more all-encompassing than the mind could ever comprehend" or that there is a "deeper `I' that has nothing to do with past and future." Motivated, future-thinking readers looking for a challenge will love it; those seeking bang will be bored and frustrated. Given Tolle's popularity, all but the smallest libraries will need to order at least one copy. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.