There’s been much talk and much writing about “the power of now” since 1997 when Eckhart Tolle wrote his book of the same name, and even more perhaps about “the power of awareness” since 1952 when Neville Goddard brought that term into the world via his classic book.
Despite all the talk and all the writing however, how many people know what these masterpieces of spiritual literature truly point us to? And how many readers really know how to live their teachings? And of those who know, how many actually do live them?
Compared to the millions of people who have read those works, I suspect that the truth is that very few put the principles the authors gifted us with into practice.
This being the case, and my observations over a lifetime suggest that it is, what could be the secret that the authors were aware of but so few of their students seem to pick up on?
Well, I believe this particular “secret” (btw: I am not referring to the 2006 book and film of that name) is very, very simple.
In fact Neville himself gave us this secret way back in 1944, via his beautifully simple and direct little book titled: “Feeling is the Secret“.
The power of Now is the power of feeling – because feeling is only, ever, Now. Whereas thoughts are always of the past or of the future.
What’s desire got to do with it?
We all feel desire for all kinds of things and experiences. Our human-created world, and especially the consumer society, revolve around and are fueled by our desires.
But what is desire, really?
The essence of desire, the want that lies behind all others, is simply the desire to be happy and fulfilled.
This puts us in a somewhat peculiar situation, because true happiness and fulfillment is only to be found in this present moment – yes, this moment, now, in which you are reading these words.
But because desire is always of the future it inevitably veils the happiness of this present moment, veils the power of Now, from our awareness.
This means that our wanting to be happy and fulfilled in and of itself blinds us to the happiness and fulfillment that we want to find … err … duh …
How to transform a future desire into a present moment reality
Desire is an affirmation of lack, of not having.
Think about this. When you have something, do you desire it? Do you want what you already have?
No, of course not. That would be silly. We do not desire our current physical circumstances because they are already so.
We can only want, or desire, what we believe (in other words, imagine) we do not have. Therefore desire can only be the thought of not having something. And when we don’t have what we want, how do we feel?
Ecstatically happy? Blissed out?Jumping up and down with joy?
No … frustrated, stressed, and unhappy would likely be closer to the truth. Siddhartha Guatama, the classical Buddha, taught that desire is suffering, is unhappiness, and in today’s language – is stress.
Identifying with our desires is living from poverty consciousness – and is the root cause of suffering
The Power of Present Moment Feeling
If I were to ask you if you feel that the home you live in, the vehicle you drive or ride, and the people you have relationships with, are real I’m sure you would reply, “Yes, of course. That’s obvious.”
But do you feel the same way about the images that float across the movie screen of your mind?
I doubt it. I suspect they seem as if they are of some hoped for, or maybe feared, future reality.
But when we hold our inner visions with Present Moment Feeling (PMF) they become alive Now and cease to be mere daydreams.
Similarly, when we hold our conceptual thoughts in the light of PMF as if they are already so, our desire for them naturally and spontaneously dissipates – because we feel that they are real and already so, just like we feel that our external physical environment is real and already so.
What then emerges spontaneously, without effort and without our doing a single thing, is a delicious feeling of freedom and peace. Siddhartha called this blissful feeling “Nirvana”.
Now, at this point I feel it wise to issue a gentle and compassionate health & safety warning. Because the images we hold in the light of Present Moment Feeling are far more likely to materialise in physical form than images we imagine to be merely of some future fantasy.
The old saying “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it” comes into play here.
As we step into the true feeling power of Now, into the very real feeling power of present moment awareness, the probability of our thoughts materialising in this physical world increases.
So it’s a pretty sound idea to hold only to thoughts of what we love, thoughts that are kind, and thoughts that are intended for the good of all life.