Eckhart Tolle will be in speaking in Ireland for the first time in five years this September 12th in Belfast as part of his European tour. Find out more >
“To change the future and make it better, you have to change your consciousness in this moment, that’s where the only real change is possible.”
Interviewed by Paul Congdon.
Ekchart Tolle wrote ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ in the late 90s. It had such a profound effect on people, that it reached and remained in the New York Times bestseller list for years.
The book came about after years of emotional turmoil in Tolle’s own life. He recalled to us how one night, he spontaneously felt better. Although he couldn’t explain it at the time, he realised later he had surrendered to the moment. He went on to write ‘A New Earth’, a book on awakening to your life’s purpose, published in 2005. Even today, he tells us, the books come back into the bestseller lists and he laughs about how they have a life of their own. Is there another book on the way? He says he has been doing some casual writing about the teachings of Jesus, something he came to identify with the truths of later in life, despite a Christian background, but he says the books evolve if they need to, the consciousness he’s working in and through uses him as a tool. If there needs to be another book there will be. We asked him our questions and hopefully some of yours too.
What would your definition of love be?
Love is the most vital ingredient in every human relationship, even a superficial relationship that only lasts for a minute. And perhaps we need to redefine what love is, because for many people it means, I want you. If that want is rejected, if it’s egoic love, it can very easily transform into anger. So what we are really talking about is a more transcendent love. The Dalai Lama uses the word kindness and we can add to that, ‘loving kindness’. Also goodwill or benevolence. Empathy is another word that is closely related to it. But no relationship can really thrive and be beneficial, whether between individuals or groups or nations, if that basic ingredient is missing. And how can we improve at that? Including the ingredient of love?
What blocks the potential manifestation of love, loving kindness, benevolence, whatever you want to call it, is excessive identification with the conceptualising, thinking mind, which brings up judgmental screens through which you then relate to others. Rather than relating to others through your presence, you’re then relating to them through the conceptualising, judgmental preconceptions and the conditioning of your mind. The greatest barrier then, to manifesting love and having satisfying relationships, personal or collective, is that excessive identification with the conceptual mind. Jesus recognised that too, he said, “Don’t judge”. If I can sense my essence, for a moment, being the space behind thought, there’s a moment of alert stillness. In that moment, I can sense my deeper being which is consciousness and that’s a beautiful, simple realisation. I’m not defined in form when I can sense myself as consciousness and then when I look at or listen to another human being, I can sense their essential reality as consciousness also. When I can sense their essential reality beyond their personality, I realise it’s one with mine. That recognition is the recognition of oneness and that is love.
Subscribe to receive the summer issue in print and read the rest of the article or check our list of stockists here. Tell them we said hello if you’re popping in to one.