This chapter helps us recognize the tricks our mind plays on us. The ways in which “Loss of Now is the problem, or rather: the core delusion that turns a mere situation, event, or emotion into a personal problem and into suffering. Loss of Now is loss of Being (Tolle, p.59).”
I know that as I read this, I struggle to shake loose of the constraints of time. I too suffer from avoiding the present. I admit that I have lived much of my life reliving the past and dreaming of the future. The problem I see now is that all my time is spent between the two and by doing this repeatedly, I am rarely living in the Now.
This week, when I catch my self dreaming about the future, I stop. I make myself focus on the present so as not to get caught up in the act of simply dreaming but rather, force myself to work on the ‘doing,’ being in the Now.’ It’s not easy. I always thought myself one to take action but I see now that I have mostly been shifting between various states of the unconscious past and future.
Tolle speaks to us about ordinary unconsciousness (our normal state) and deep unconsciousness, the later being the more severe state triggered by the pain-body. It doesn’t even have to be real, this deep pain or intense unease that we cannot escape. We cannot imagine a way out from the burden that weighs us down and every action is a reaction. And, unless we can find a way to bring more consciousness into our every day lives, the moment the earth falls out from under our feet, or say someone does something to tick us off, we lose ground and react to the threat (however real or imagined). It’s like we need to shore up on our consciousness as a reserve for when these difficult moments show up.
Tolle tells us, all we have to do is observe our thoughts as “Anything unconscious dissolves when you shine the light of consciousness on it (p.63) .” The more we do this, the easier it will be to deal with deep unconsciousness. We need to continuously check in with ourselves and ask What is going on with me right now? By doing this consistently we strengthen our inner state and live in the Now.
“Wherever you are, be there totally” ~ start with dropping the negativity and dive in. Own it, whatever it may be. Do or don’t do. Just don’t substitute the Now for whatever might be or what was. Be in the Now.
“The Inner Purpose of Your Life’s Journey” ~It’s not so much about the future as it is the ‘how’ of right now, at this moment. What steps are you taking at this moment?
“The Past Cannot Survive in Your Presence” ~ It can only survive in your absence.