Sunday, June 20, 2010

Christianity and The Power of Now

A guest post by Brad Harris

Although I can’t quite remember exactly when I first read The Power of Now, I do remember the circumstances in which I became aware of the book and how it just ‘jumped into my lap’ in my favourite bookstore in Bowral. Having just been told about Eckhart Tolle and the concept of ‘living in the Now’ by a counsellor, I went looking for the book soon after when my wife and I were day tripping in one of our favourite destinations, the Southern Highlands of NSW. Not even sure if I would find the book, and before I had even made my way to the rear of the store where the ‘spiritual/self help’ books were located, I looked down to see a whole row of hard cover special editions of The Power of Now (it was an anniversary edition I think). Anyway, the book seemed to be yelling at me “but me, buy me!”

I bought it, read it and my life has not been the same since.

The last book that had anywhere near the life-changing effect on me was ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Scott Peck. That book started me on a journey of seeking God in a spiritual sense beyond that which I knew of Him in a religious sense. Having grown up it a Bible-based fundamentalist church and having attended Sunday School, Bible Study Classes and Gospel talks all my life, I felt I had a good understanding of who God was, who Jesus was and what life was meant to be all about. I even thought I knew the future of the world (a big claim when I think of it now!) For me the Christian life was all about living according to a set of rules now in order to experience ultimate happiness in the future – an eternal future. It was the only way of doing Christianity that I knew.

Again I am not sure what came first, my awakening or my reading of the Power of Now. The book either contributed to my new way of being or explained the strange but amazing transformation that was happening to me.

I had discovered that I was not the ‘I’ of my thinking. I had become aware that there was a part of me that was continually thinking (usually a lot of meaningless rubbish and untruths about myself, my circumstances and other people) and that part of me was not the real me but my ego. This new awareness has helped me know myself more fully, relate better to other people and most of all opened my eyes to a new way of seeing and experiencing God.

This new relationship with God had serious consequences for my world view and my long held beliefs about Jesus. What for me was once a nice neat package of beliefs that formed a picture of the world that made sense to me, was sent into a mad spin by my newly emerging outlook on life. It was though my religious beliefs were a completed jigsaw puzzle that had been thrown in the air and I was now sitting on the floor picking up the pieces and trying to put them all together again. But first I had to work out what the picture should look like. A friend said she liked that description of what happened. She asked “I wonder where Jesus fell?” That question has been plaguing me ever since and my search for the real Jesus is has become my highest priority.

My re-imaging of God and Jesus, while helped by Eckhart Tolle’s insights has been an ongoing journey, with lots of doubts, lots of further reading and lots of new discoveries. I look forward to sharing some of this journey with you in future blogs where I will take each of the Bible verses quoted by Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth (the follow up to The Power of Now) and give you some insights into how Eckhart’s way of interpreting these has changed my thinking and my life.


Anonymous said...

I will be praying for you and your journey. I am on the same journey and it is very uncomfortable not "knowing." May God guide and protect us as we seek Him. May we not be deceived by a cunning serpent but directed by the Creator of the Universe.

Anonymous said...

Wow! It's amazing how strong our search for labels can be.

As Ekhart Tolle puts it, the truth is not in our "knowing," it's in our ability to allow ourselves

TruLiberty said...

What seems to be missing is not a better understanding of God or self but of the Son of God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Bible Christianity focuses on our need for reconciliation to God through the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Creator God, Rev. 4:11 and deserves our worship. Good works are not the way to God, Ephesians 2:8-9. Please read Romans 10: 9-13 and of course, John 3:16. Enlightenment that leaves out the Biblical truth of man's need for repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation to God through Christ is not true enlightenment but illusion.