My latest book review is of Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle, and I thought I might post it here even though most board members will probably already have read this book:
In the late 1990s Eckhart Tolle shot to fame in the world of contemporary spirituality with the publication of his book The Power Of Now, and a few years later, with good help from Oprah Winfrey and her book club, his popularity and success moved onto a whole new level with the book A New Earth. In-between these two excellent books he published another little book that in its own unique way is as good, but not nearly as well-known and popular as it deserves to be. This book is called Stillness Speaks and it is a lovely collection of sutra-like statements centred around some of Eckhart Tolle’s most familiar themes.
The book is divided into 10 chapters, each dealing with a particular subject, such as The Now, Acceptance and Surrender, Silence and Stillness, Nature, Relationships, and Who You Truly Are. These are all subjects that Eckhart Tolle has covered extensively in his two other main books, but the difference here is that instead of writing about each theme in great detail, he writes just short statements which can all be read separately. In other words, you can just open the book anywhere you like and read something, and regardless of what you chance upon, it is bound to be very good, inspiring and enlightening. This book is more suited for quiet introspection, meditation and reflection than for the kind of thorough study and exploration that The Power of Now and A New Earth invite. To give you a feeling of what Stillness Speaks really is about, it might be useful to quote from Eckhart Tolle’s introduction to the book:
“This is not a book to be read from cover to cover and then put away. Live with it, pick it up frequently, and, more importantly, put it down frequently, or spend more time holding it than reading it. Many readers will feel naturally inclined to stop reading after each entry, to pause, reflect, become still. It is always more helpful to stop reading than to continue reading.”
This might seem like a rather strange kind of advice from an author, but the funny thing is that this book, more than any other I’ve come across, really does seem to invite the reader to just hold it, look at it, and thus experience or feel the essence of it. It is a rare book indeed that has the power to induce a state of peace and meditation just by being held, but Stillness Speaks carries that little extra special something. It is a beautiful book in all respects, and one to be loved and treasured over a lifetime. Stillness Speaks may be a small book, but in its own unique way, it is a channel of transformation and authentic spiritual maturity.
Review by Pathik Strand