"Fearlessness is the first requirement of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eckhart Tolle Part III: The Present Moment, Spirituality and Religion

Spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle,
author of "The Power of Now" and
"The New Earth: Awakening to Your
Life's Purpose
"(A) fundamental thing that first of all you need to realize," says enlightened spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, "is that life is 'now' and never not 'now.'" It's only this moment ever. Past and future only have a secondary reality. The past only exists if you remember it now. The future only exists if you mentally project yourself into some future moment; but, even that, you can only do 'now.'"

"Your entire life unfolds in this space of 'now,'" says the best-selling author, in the third of a three-part interview. "You cannot think, feel (or) experience anything that is not 'now.'"

However, "(p)eople don't live like that," he observes. "They live as if past and future - especially future for many people - were more important than the present moment. And they have a strange relationship with the present moment, which means with life. For many people," he notes, "the present moment is regarded unconsciously as an obstacle, because they are 'here' but they want to get 'there.'"

"That's a dysfunction," Tolle observes, "making the present moment into an 'obstacle.' Or, even worse, making the present moment into an 'enemy.'"

"It is the one basic spiritual truth," Tolle says. "That one basic spiritual truth expresses itself in different forms in the different religions. So, I'm going to the basic spiritual truth, instead of taking things from different religions and mixing them up."

"The different religions," he notes, "are just expressions of the one basic spiritual truth. So I'm going to the source of that, and express(ing) it in a way that people can understand and realize in their own lives without having to subscribe mentally to this or that religion."

"Whether they are Christians or Buddhists, or whether they subscribe to Islam, or any other belief, it doesn't matter," says Tolle, "the basic truth is there if you look deep enough in all the religions. So it is (a matter of) finding the core of spirituality that is there at the core of all religions."

"We go to the core of religion," he concludes, "rather than treating religion as an ideology, which it often becomes."

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(See the first and second parts of Tolle's three-part interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company's Sandra Abrams, here and here, respectively.)

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