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A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by.  “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. “I have nothing to give you.” said the stranger. Then he asked: “What’s that you are sitting on?”  “Nothing.” replied the beggar. “Just and old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger. “No.” said the beggar.  “what’s the point?  There’s nothing in there.” Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger.  The beggar managed to pry open the lid.  with astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold. – Eckhart Tolle

I was recommended by a well meaning friend to read this novel. My world had been to say the least rather hectic and the stresses of day to day life had taken its toll on my sleep and peace.  The title of the novel made me wonder, that maybe I spent so much time worrying about everyday intricacies that I had forgotten to live in the moment and decided to give the novel a whirl.

I must admit the first paragraph illustrated above had a nice ring to it.  We do indeed never look inside us we look at the external forces and intricacies of others and their reflection on our own lives.  As I started reading I could relate to what the author was saying!

Back in the 80’s as most people of my generation, we were curious about the philosphies of the Far East and most importantly Buddhism… in 1983 for reasons I won’t go into I spent sometime looking into Buddhism. I loved the feeling of inner peace that was oft mentioned and felt it was something to explore. Not a religious experience per se but maybe an awakening into who I was.  So my friends suggestion of Tolle was a welcome idea.

However, Tolle mentions the word Enlightenment too often to be comfortable and as an historian this brings back the Enlightenment in Europe which in turn brings back the French Revolution hahahha. However I am sure this is not the same for everyone! Truth be told I am a strange animal 🙂

To carry on with Tolle  he referenced our  being and our mind as two different entities  Wow! As though the mind is an illegal alien we have allowed to take over and possess us.  I have to take exception to this. I do not agree that we are a separate entity to our mind.  Tolle is at best a new Ager ….. and I guess it does sell books!

He tries to express spiritualism and I have to say going through a life of studying religions and closely Buddhism for several years. He got it wrong! Of course these are my musings and please feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts on his novel. I would in all fairness be interested in your interpretations!

“Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgements and definitions that block all true relationship.  It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God”- Eckhart Tolle

Quick reply to the above paragraph – Bullshit!!!!

Don’t get me wrong I understand his comments regarding the fact that we do think too much. We live in a society where we are demanded to know more than the next man. Our daily lives force us to keep up with the competition. Social Media alone means we have no downtime… we have no rest… our minds do work from the moment we awake till we sleep. Our sub conscious working again through the night to solve problems we had no time for in the day.

We live in a noisy world. I agree we do need to take a time out. To quiet the roar in our heads. But to say our minds take us over and that we are almost slaves to it would be to create a serious wrong!  To enable us to be who we are took conscious thought.

“You say that an emotion is the mind’s reflection in the body. But sometimes there is a conflict between the two: the mind says “no,” while the emotion says “yes,” or the other way around”  – Eckhart Tolle

Tolle tells us that our emotions should always over ride our mind… I take exception to this also.. emotions are not always rational…. I believe our minds are.

I never managed to finish the book….. there was no need… he had given me enough to think over and disagree with. I may in future read more. As I said please feel free to ENLIGHTEN me on your thoughts of Tolle… I am all ears …..



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