Eckhart Tolle · 128 pages
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“All problems are illusions of the mind.”
“The moment that judgement stops through acceptance of what it is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace.”
“The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.”
“All you realy need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.”
“True Power is within, and it is available now.”
“When you surrender to what is and so become fully present, the past ceases to have any power. The realm of Being, which had been obscured by the mind, then opens up. Suddenly, a great stillness arises within you, an unfathomable sense of peace. And within that peace, there is great joy. And within that joy, there is love. And at the innermost core, there is the sacred, the immeasurable, That which cannot be named.”
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have”
“Be where you are. Look around. Just look, don't interpret. See the light, shapes, colors, textures. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of the space that allows everything to be.”
“THE JOY OF BEING To alert you that you have allowed yourself to be taken over by psychological time, you can use a simple criterion. ASK YOURSELF: Is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing? If there isn't, then time is covering up the present moment, and life is perceived as a burden or a struggle.”
“DO NOT BE CONCERNED WITH THE FRUIT OF YOUR ACTION — just give attention to the action itself. The fruit will come of its own accord. This is a powerful spiritual practice.”
“When you accept what is, every moment is the best moment. That is enlightenment.”
“Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form.”
“One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.”
“THE BEGINNING OF FREEDOM is the realization that you are not the possessing entity — the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the entity. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind.”
“When you are enlightened, there is one relationship that you no longer have: the relationship with yourself. Once you have given that up, all your other relationships will be love relationships.”
“Coming from Being, you will perceive another person's body and mind as just a screen, as it were, behind which you can feel their true reality, as you feel yours. So, when confronted with someone else's suffering or unconscious behavior, you stay present and in touch with Being and are thus able to look beyond the form and feel the other person's radiant and pure Being through your own.”
“present moment holds the key to liberation.”
“THE WISDOM OF SURRENDER It is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that is the main determinant of what kind of future you will experience, so to surrender is the most important thing you can do to bring about positive change. Any action you take is secondary. No truly positive action can arise out of an unsurrendered state of consciousness. To some people, surrender may have negative connotations, implying defeat, giving up, failing to rise to the challenges of life, becoming lethargic, and so on. True surrender, however, is something entirely different. It does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action. SURRENDER IS THE SIMPLE but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation.”
“IF THERE IS NO ACTION YOU CAN TAKE, and you cannot remove yourself from the situation either, then use the situation to make you go more deeply into surrender, more deeply into the Now, more deeply into Being. When you enter this timeless dimension of the present, change often comes about in strange ways without the need for a great deal of doing on your part. Life becomes helpful and cooperative. If inner factors such as fear, guilt, or inertia prevented you from taking action, they will dissolve in the light of your conscious presence.”
“THE WISDOM OF SURRENDER It is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that is the main determinant of what kind of future you will experience, so to surrender is the most important thing you can do to bring about positive change. Any action you take is secondary. No truly positive action can arise out of an unsurrendered state of consciousness. To some people, surrender may have negative connotations, implying defeat, giving up, failing to rise to the challenges of life, becoming lethargic, and so on. True surrender, however, is something entirely different. It does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action. SURRENDER IS THE SIMPLE but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. It is to relinquish inner resistance to what is. Inner resistance is to say “no” to what is, through mental judgment and emotional negativity. It becomes particularly pronounced when things “go wrong,” which means that there is a gap between the demands or rigid expectations of your mind and what is. That is the pain gap. If you have lived long enough, you will know that things “go wrong” quite often. It is precisely at those times that surrender needs to be practiced if you want to eliminate pain and sorrow from your life. Acceptance of what is immediately frees you from mind identification and thus reconnects you with Being. Resistance is the mind. Surrender is a purely inner phenomenon. It does not mean that on the outer level you cannot take action and change the situation. In fact, it is not the overall situation that you need to accept when you surrender, but just the tiny segment called the Now. For example, if you were stuck in the mud somewhere, you wouldn't say: “Okay, I resign myself to being stuck in the mud.” Resignation is not surrender. YOU DON'T NEED TO ACCEPT AN UNDESIRABLE OR UNPLEASANT LIFE SITUATION. Nor do you need to deceive yourself and say that there is nothing wrong with it. No. You recognize fully that you want to get out of it. You then narrow your attention down to the present moment without mentally labeling it in any way. This means that there is no judgment of the Now. Therefore, there is no resistance, no emotional negativity. You accept the “isness” of this moment. Then you take action and do all that you can to get out of the situation. Such action I call positive action. It is far more effective than negative action, which arises out of anger, despair, or frustration. Until you achieve the desired result, you continue to practice surrender by refraining from labeling the Now”
“THE POWER TO CHOOSE Choice implies consciousness — a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. This means that you are compelled to think, feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind. Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity. They happen because there is not enough presence in you to dissolve the past, not enough light to dispel the darkness. You are not fully here. You have not quite woken up yet. In the meantime, the conditioned mind is running your life. Similarly, if you are one of the many people who have an issue with their parents, if you still harbor resentment about something they did or did not do, then you still believe that they had a choice — that they could have acted differently. It always looks as if people had a choice, but that is an illusion. As long as your mind with its conditioned patterns runs your life, as long as you are your mind, what choice do you have? None. You are not even there. The mind-identified state is severely dysfunctional. It is a form of insanity. Almost everyone is suffering from this illness in varying degrees. The moment you realize this, there can be no more resentment. How can you resent someone's illness? The only appropriate response is compassion. If you are run by your mind, although you have no choice you will still suffer the consequences of your unconsciousness, and you will create further suffering. You will bear the burden of fear, conflict, problems, and pain. The suffering thus created will eventually force you out of your unconscious state.”
“La no-mente es conciencia sin pensamiento. Sólo la no-mente permite pensar creativamente, porque da al pensamiento un poder real.”
“IF YOUR OVERALL SITUATION IS UNSATISFACTORY or unpleasant, separate out this instant and surrender to what is. That's the flashlight cutting through the fog. Your state of consciousness then ceases to be controlled by external conditions. You are no longer coming from reaction and resistance. Then look at the specifics of the situation. Ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do to change the situation, improve it, or remove myself from it?” If so, take appropriate action. Focus not on the hundred things that you will or may have to do at some future time but on the one thing that you can do now. This doesn't mean you should not do any planning. It may well be that planning is the one thing you can do now. But make sure you don't keep running “mental movies” that continually project yourself into the future, and so lose the Now. Any action you take may not bear fruit immediately. Until it does — do not resist what is.”
“Stay present, stay conscious. Be the ever-alert guardian of your inner space.”
“LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIPS Unless and until you access the consciousness frequency of presence, all relationships, and particularly intimate relationships, are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional. They may seem perfect for a while, such as when you are “in love,” but invariably that apparent perfection gets disrupted as arguments, conflicts, dissatisfaction, and emotional or even physical violence occur with increasing frequency. It seems that most “love relationships” become love/hate relationships before long. Love can then turn into savage attack, feelings of hostility, or complete withdrawal of affection at the flick of a switch. This is considered normal. If in your relationships you experience both “love” and the opposite of love — attack, emotional violence, and so on — then it is likely that you are confusing ego attachment and addictive clinging with love. You cannot love your partner one moment and attack him or her the next. True love has no opposite. If your “love” has an opposite, then it is not love but a strong ego-need for a more complete and deeper sense of self, a need that the other person temporarily meets. It is the ego's substitute for salvation, and for a short time it almost does feel like salvation.”
“THE ACCEPTANCE OF SUFFERING is a journey into death. Facing deep pain, allowing it to be, taking your attention into it, is to enter death consciously. When you have died this death, you realize that there is no death — and there is nothing to fear. Only the ego dies. Imagine a ray of sunlight that has forgotten it is an inseparable part of the sun and deludes itself into believing it has to fight for survival and create and cling to an identity other than the sun. Would the death of this delusion not be incredibly liberating? DO YOU WANT AN EASY DEATH? Would you rather die without pain, without agony? Then die to the past every moment, and let the light of your presence shine away the heavy, time-bound self you thought of as “you.”
“Recurring negative emotions do sometimes contain a message, as do illnesses. But any changes that you make, whether they have to do with your work, your relationships, or your surroundings, are ultimately only cosmetic unless they arise out of a change in your level of consciousness. And as far as that is concerned, it can only mean one thing: becoming more present. When you have reached a certain degree of presence, you don't need negativity anymore to tell you what is needed in your life situation. But as long as negativity is there, use it. Use it as a kind of signal that reminds you to be more present. WHENEVER YOU FEEL NEGATIVITY ARISING WITHIN YOU, whether caused by an external factor, a thought, or even nothing in particular that you are aware of, look on it as a voice saying, “Attention. Here and Now. Wake up. Get out of your mind. Be present.”
“TO OFFER NO RESISTANCE TO LIFE is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your”
“Until you practice surrender, the spiritual dimension is something you read about, talk about, get excited about, write books about, think about, believe in — or don't, as the case may be. It makes no difference. NOT UNTIL YOU SURRENDER does the spiritual dimension become a living reality in your life. When you do, the energy that you emanate”
“Too revved to sleep."
"Is that so?" Some of the light she loved was back in his eyes. "Well, what can we do to pass the time, help you relax? Cribbage, perhaps?"
Her eyes narrowed. "Cribbage? Is that some perverted sexual activity?"
He laughed, and grabbing her, tossed her onto the bed. "Why not?”
“Getting back to the issue of the child," Tina said, harshing our buzz as visual, "I really think you should reconsider. He—"
The phone rang. She picked it up, glanced at the caller ID.
"We're kind of busy," I said, a little sharply. The phone was a whole thing between Tina and me.
"If it's important, they'll call back."
"But it's your mother."
I practically snarled. The phone, the fucking phone! People used it the way they used to use the cat-o'-nine-tails. You had to drop everything and answer the fucking thing. And God help you if you were home and, for whatever reason, didn't answer. "But I called!" Yeah, it was convenient for you so you called. But I'm in the shit because it wasn't convenient for me to drop everything and talk to you, on the spot, for whatever you needed to talk about.”
“I was helpless in trying to return people's kindness, but also helpless to resist it. Kindness is a scarier force than cruelty, that's for sure. Cruelty isn't that hard to understand. I had no trouble comprehending why the phone company wanted to screw me over; they just wanted to steal some money, it was nothing personal. That's the way of the world. It made me mad, but it didn't make me feel stupid. If anything, it flattered my intelligence. Accepting all that kindness, though, made me feel stupid.
Human benevolence is totally unfair. We don't live in a kind or generous world, yet we are kind and generous. We know the universe is out to burn us, and it gets us all the way it got Renee, but we don't burn each other, not always. We are kind people in an unkind world, to paraphrase Wallace Stevens. How do you pretend you don't know about it, after you see it? How do you go back to acting like you don't need it? How do you even the score and walk off a free man? You can't. I found myself forced to let go of all sorts of independence I thought I had, independence I had spent years trying to cultivate. That world was all gone, and now I was a supplicant, dependent on the mercy of other people's psychic hearts.”
“I dreamt of bears so vividly that I woke with a furry death hug at my throat, but feeling quite refreshed.”
“The flow of the river is ceaseless; and its water is never the same.
The foam that floats in the pools
Now gathering, now vanishing
Never lasts long. So it is with man
and all his dwelling places on this earth.”
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