Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of Now"?

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Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of Now"?

Postby naekid » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:49 am

I'm not sure if I am the only one to have this particular reaction to "The Power Of Now," but after reading it, I have become, not depressed, but very sullen. The words in the book resonated with my mentally, and I felt what Tolle says is true, but that means that all of the pursuits I had previously relied on for happiness (for example work, sex, entertainment, music, anything really) would not ever bring me the real peace, and joy that comes from being truly present in "the now." Therefore, what's the use of doing anything? I have lost my drive to chance my external situation... Make music? Don't make music? Work? Don't Work? What's the difference, as long as I am unconscious, all any of it will bring me is cycles of joy and pain, with mostly a lot of anxiety and worry. As of reading the book, I go about life feeling heavy, sad... Whereas before I was considered sociable and easy going, I rarely smile anymore, and can hardly look people in the eye because I know that I am attached to my ego, and I have a lot of self-hate. There is no deluding myself anymore, I know I am "insane" as I identify with my pain-body and thinking mind. I meditate at least an hour a day, and am aware of the pain, but it does not transmute. I try to bring awareness into everyday activities. Through it all I would say I was happier, although more deluded, person before reading the book. Now there is no hiding the truth, the negativity, worry, projection, anxiety that lives in my mind. I know I just need to drop it, but if it is true that I can, I seem to be unable to, or not really want to. I don't know. It's difficult, because friends and family are noticing a difference in me, and it is pushing them away. I feel I am and will continue to alienate myself, unless I can reach a resolution. I want to surrender to the Now, but I don't know how...

It seems all I see are people talking about how this book helped them. Although in on sense I felt it opened my eyes, I didn't like what I saw. It's like waking up from the Matrix, to use a silly analogy, and thinking, "put me back in, because it sucks out here!"

All advice, words, thoughts, are appreciated.
Thanks.
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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby Webwanderer » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:23 pm

naekid wrote:I'm not sure if I am the only one to have this particular reaction to "The Power Of Now," but after reading it, I have become, not depressed, but very sullen. The words in the book resonated with my mentally, and I felt what Tolle says is true, but that means that all of the pursuits I had previously relied on for happiness (for example work, sex, entertainment, music, anything really) would not ever bring me the real peace, and joy that comes from being truly present in "the now." Therefore, what's the use of doing anything? I have lost my drive to chance my external situation... Make music? Don't make music? Work? Don't Work? What's the difference, as long as I am unconscious, all any of it will bring me is cycles of joy and pain, with mostly a lot of anxiety and worry.

Don't get your answers to life out of a book - even Tolle's. Real answers come from within. Books like Power of Now point to that inner guidance. Being present in the right frame of reference, opens our alignment from our true nature to our conscious minds. All the pursuits of happiness you suggested are not wasted, but they can be taken out of context. There is no happiness inherent in any particular pursuit that interests us. Happiness is derived through the quality of meaning we apply to, and the feelings we get from, the conditions we engage in.

Music, work, etc, in an of themselves, really don't make any difference. So congratulations on that insight. Everything, every event, every condition, we encounter is inherently neutral. What is not neutral is the meaning we apply to those things, events and conditions. That is where the joy and happiness in life is born. It is also the source of all emotional pain and suffering. If you can get clear on this, take responsibility for how you see things, and consciously choose what meaning you apply to what you encounter in life, life becomes an incredible adventure.

Is it challenging? Yes indeed. But you are designed for the task by that which you are. You are a human extension of an eternal beingness. What you do while in this life contributes beneficially to the ongoing evolution of your True Nature. So long as one plays small ball in living only as a human ego, much of this remains obscure. But as one aligns more consistently with their true nature as suggested in the Power of Now through clear presence awareness, a greater perspective on life in human form grows. We can then consciously choose what events mean to us and experience them with a greater sense of joy and appreciation.

We are blessed with the freedom of choice. Yes, we have been conditioned to perceive things in certain way, and that has a good deal of momentum, but with a little understanding of how we re-create experience in our lives, we can freely choose a perspective that makes life enjoyable. It's just a matter of choice.

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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby naekid » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:53 am

Thanks for the response Webwanderer. I appreciate the sentiment.

Webwanderer wrote:Don't get your answers to life out of a book - even Tolle's. Real answers come from within. Books like Power of Now point to that inner guidance. Being present in the right frame of reference, opens our alignment from our true nature to our conscious minds. All the pursuits of happiness you suggested are not wasted, but they can be taken out of context.

I agree. And I hope I didn't come across as someone that doesn't think for themselves - all my life I have thought, felt, and sought to discover the "secret to happiness," and I am no closer now than I ever was. I realize that now, and that is why I despair. I like to believe that I am not my pain, but who am I if I am not? I have no experience of a self other than the mind I identify with, except possibly a few moments of being totally present interspersed throughout my life.

Webwanderer wrote:There is no happiness inherent in any particular pursuit that interests us. Happiness is derived through the quality of meaning we apply to, and the feelings we get from, the conditions we engage in.

I agree. But the happiness I derive from pursuits has always been a peripheral happiness, one that comes and goes, and is muddled by much pain...

Webwanderer wrote: If you can get clear on this, take responsibility for how you see things, and consciously choose what meaning you apply to what you encounter in life, life becomes an incredible adventure.

It seems to me that I have no control over how I see things. Emotions bubble up, I can not conjur happiness or sadness within me. I also seem to be unable to "surrender to," the pain of the present. But I agree, life would be an incredible adventure if I was able to. I know this from past experiences when I somehow dip into, I guess I will call them "mini-enlightenments" where I become extremely present, and lose the ego for a little while. This normally happens after a great deal of suffering, when I have reached a end of my rope, so to speak, and inadvertently I say "just forget it all" and then WHAM, suddenly, I have accepted my situation, and feel at peace. This happens rarely, and only when I am not looking for it though. If I seek these "states" they don't come. If however I seek happiness through some external situation, the extreme pain it sometimes brings forces me to disconnect with my ego. It is so funny how these things seem to work - when I look for happiness, I never find it, and when I absolutely don't care to look anymore, it turns up!! but I think it is the only thing worth looking for!! It's pretty humorous :)

Webwanderer wrote:Is it challenging? Yes indeed. But you are designed for the task by that which you are. You are a human extension of an eternal beingness. What you do while in this life contributes beneficially to the ongoing evolution of your True Nature. So long as one plays small ball in living only as a human ego, much of this remains obscure. But as one aligns more consistently with their true nature as suggested in the Power of Now through clear presence awareness, a greater perspective on life in human form grows. We can then consciously choose what events mean to us and experience them with a greater sense of joy and appreciation.

We are blessed with the freedom of choice. Yes, we have been conditioned to perceive things in certain way, and that has a good deal of momentum, but with a little understanding of how we re-create experience in our lives, we can freely choose a perspective that makes life enjoyable. It's just a matter of choice.


Thanks for the encouraging words WW. I do not know if this is possible, because like Tolle said, all he can do is "point" to the truth with words, or "signs," BUT practical advice for how to align consistently with my true nature would be much appreciate as well. I meditate, and by meditate, I mean I become aware of my senses, and watch my mind (which usually balbs on about complete nonsense as I watch it. I don't even control the thoughts it makes, it just goes off about the most random idiotic crap ever haha) as well as my emotions and just be present watching them. Tolle talks a lot about what it is like to be living in the "Now," but offers little on how to get there. Maybe it's because he, or anyone else for that matter, really just can't do much more than point to the truth. Nonetheless, I will keep watching my thoughts, my emotions.
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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:00 pm

naekid wrote:I agree. And I hope I didn't come across as someone that doesn't think for themselves - all my life I have thought, felt, and sought to discover the "secret to happiness," and I am no closer now than I ever was.

You may be closer than you think. The 'secret' to happiness is just a choice. And while it is simple, that doesn't mean it's always easy - especially when first opting to do so. Our conditioned responses to life's events have a good deal of energy and momentum.

I like to believe that I am not my pain, but who am I if I am not?

If you read Power of Now, Tolle points to our true nature as the conscious space within which all experience takes place. Get a sense of that space, that awareness, and recognize that all your feelings, all your thoughts, all life's events, are just momentary conditions passing through an eternal presence.

I have no experience of a self other than the mind I identify with, except possibly a few moments of being totally present interspersed throughout my life.

I sense you have more experience than you 'think'. It's likely that you just don't recognize it amongst the cacophony of distractive thought. But that's the nature and quality of waking up, recognizing the distinction between thought and awareness. Focusing on the perspective of thought is just habit. But like any habit, it can be changed by refocusing our attention long enough to allow our natural energy to create a new perspective.

Webwanderer wrote:There is no happiness inherent in any particular pursuit that interests us. Happiness is derived through the quality of meaning we apply to, and the feelings we get from, the conditions we engage in.

I agree. But the happiness I derive from pursuits has always been a peripheral happiness, one that comes and goes, and is muddled by much pain...

A little more clarity here. Happiness is not derived so much from our pursuits themselves, but from the perspective one holds while pursuing. Results are as relevant as you make them. But if you hang your happiness on results, you will likely find a good deal of consternation. Things don't always pan out as we plan. It's the journey that matters. Results are generally down the road. Our journey is always now. It is in this now that one can effect the quality of experience. It is so significant an understanding that Tolle named his signature book after it.

It seems to me that I have no control over how I see things. Emotions bubble up

This is simply conditioning at work. You have spent a lifetime setting your current perspective and the triggers that cause the automatic responses you experience. It's the same for all of us. As/when we gain clarity on this reality, we gain more power over that conditioning.

I can not conjur happiness or sadness within me.

To the degree that you believe this, it will be true. And if it is 'true' then how can it be changed? When a belief is exposed for what it is - just an adopted idea about life - and it becomes no longer so true, it becomes recognized as a perspective, it becomes changeable. Beliefs create truths - for the one who holds the belief as real. Life energy creates experience based on those beliefs. Beliefs focus natural creative energy.

I also seem to be unable to "surrender to," the pain of the present. But I agree, life would be an incredible adventure if I was able to.

Then make it you goal and begin focusing your attention here to bring energy to it. Just don't take score too early. It's a process that will produce results (creation) over time - maybe a little, maybe a lot - it doesn't matter. It's the journey that matters. Each moment we can make the conscious adjustments in the way we want to perceive life as it unfolds.

If however I seek happiness through some external situation, the extreme pain it sometimes brings forces me to disconnect with my ego. It is so funny how these things seem to work - when I look for happiness, I never find it, and when I absolutely don't care to look anymore, it turns up!! but I think it is the only thing worth looking for!! It's pretty humorous

This is a good example in how misplaced focus creates issues. Happiness is not a result of situations. It's a result of perspective. What meaning we apply to situations brings experience. Apply meanings that are positive and uplifting and the experience we have is more up the scale of happiness than is a judgmental meaning of wrongness such as failure etc. This is a choice. And while it may be an automatic one based on our conditioning, it is not so static that it cannot be changed to one of preference through conscious understanding of the process.

We are blessed with the freedom of choice. Yes, we have been conditioned to perceive things in certain way, and that has a good deal of momentum, but with a little understanding of how we re-create experience in our lives, we can freely choose a perspective that makes life enjoyable. It's just a matter of choice.

Thanks for the encouraging words WW. I do not know if this is possible, because like Tolle said, all he can do is "point" to the truth with words, or "signs," BUT practical advice for how to align consistently with my true nature would be much appreciate as well. I meditate, and by meditate, I mean I become aware of my senses, and watch my mind (which usually balbs on about complete nonsense as I watch it. I don't even control the thoughts it makes, it just goes off about the most random idiotic crap ever haha) as well as my emotions and just be present watching them.

It's possible. If one person can do it, so too can another. And there are many, including this one, that live this life more by conscious choice on how it is perceived.

Aligning with your true nature is mostly a matter of recognizing your essence as conscious awareness rather than the content within it. You are not what you think you are. Connecting with this recognition is best done in mental silence where one is not so much aware of and watching thoughts, but rather being aware of being awareness and resting in the feel of being consciousness itself - as self. Add a sense of appreciation to the awakening to this true nature and watch the recognition grow into something beautifully and clear.

Tolle talks a lot about what it is like to be living in the "Now," but offers little on how to get there. Maybe it's because he, or anyone else for that matter, really just can't do much more than point to the truth. Nonetheless, I will keep watching my thoughts, my emotions.

Watch the watcher. That is who you are. Rest in the feel of your true nature, not the thought of it. 'You' cannot be labeled. Labels separate, feel integrates.

The thoughts within you, the watcher, are just clouds floating through an endless sky of being. Know who you are, not what you think and see.

WW
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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby Onceler » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:21 pm

Really nice responses, WW & naekid. It sounds as though the secret code has been revealed.....the behind the scenes underpinnings. I was a carpenter for a decade and when I first started doing that work I was astonished at what was behind the walls of a house. The framing, the wiring, the plumbing.....most of it not pretty and frankly rather barebones and skeletal. I started looking at houses, especially modern construction, as sort of a sham.

Despite (or because of) this knowledge, I have been able to enjoy living in houses and have an even deeper sensitivity to how things work and how to make improvements on my own homes. It just changes things......ignorance is bliss? Knowledge is.......?
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby naekid » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:53 am

Webwanderer wrote:It's possible. If one person can do it, so too can another. And there are many, including this one, that live this life more by conscious choice on how it is perceived.


Err what I mean was is it possible to give practical advice for how to align consistently with my true nature? It's like, I know what I have to do (be present), but other than meditation, and attempting to be aware (attention to senses, feelings, thoughts in a non-attached, non-labeling way), I'm not sure how exactly to BE present.

Webwanderer wrote:Aligning with your true nature is mostly a matter of recognizing your essence as conscious awareness rather than the content within it. You are not what you think you are.

This makes sense to me.

Webwanderer wrote:Connecting with this recognition is best done in mental silence where one is not so much aware of and watching thoughts, but rather being aware of being awareness and resting in the feel of being consciousness itself - as self. Add a sense of appreciation to the awakening to this true nature and watch the recognition grow into something beautifully and clear.

aware of being aware... Whew, well I will try it.

Webwanderer wrote:Watch the watcher. That is who you are. Rest in the feel of your true nature, not the thought of it. 'You' cannot be labeled. Labels separate, feel integrates.

The thoughts within you, the watcher, are just clouds floating through an endless sky of being. Know who you are, not what you think and see.

WW

Thanks for the advice WW. It definitely helps!! I will apply meanings that are positive.

Onceler wrote: I was a carpenter for a decade and when I first started doing that work I was astonished at what was behind the walls of a house. The framing, the wiring, the plumbing.....most of it not pretty and frankly rather barebones and skeletal. I started looking at houses, especially modern construction, as sort of a sham.

Despite (or because of) this knowledge, I have been able to enjoy living in houses and have an even deeper sensitivity to how things work and how to make improvements on my own homes. It just changes things......ignorance is bliss? Knowledge is.......?

Knowledge is power? It seems it has been a lot of pain... Ignorance was too though haha.
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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby arjan41 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:52 pm

Hi naekid

I have been practicing being present for about ten years now. I want to tell you from my own experience, that feeling miserable is something what i felt throughout the practice of being present.
But this feeling will slowly disolve when you shift your sense of self from the ego to being present. Try this: if you can feel being present then use this feeling too change every bad feeling into being present. When you feel bad simply change it in the feeling of being present.
The beautiful thing is, that if you can feel the feeling of being present, you can use this feeling on to everything. Simply chance everything into being present.

I do not know if it work for you, but you can try.

Gr Arjan
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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby peas » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:31 pm

No. Quite the opposite. I felt like my eyes were truly open for the first time.

But it all depends on whether you are ready for it.

There is no way to force it. You can keep exploring until the penny drops.

Exactly what 'ready' means is part of the mystery.
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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby Psychoslice » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:52 am

peas wrote:No. Quite the opposite. I felt like my eyes were truly open for the first time.

But it all depends on whether you are ready for it.

There is no way to force it. You can keep exploring until the penny drops.

Exactly what 'ready' means is part of the mystery.


Hi peas, yes I felt wonderful after reading it also, but it already happened in my life, it wasn't until I read his book that I actually put a label to it, even though the label isn't what is.
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Re: Did anyone else feel miserable after reading "Power of N

Postby peas » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:33 am

Psychoslice wrote:
peas wrote:No. Quite the opposite. I felt like my eyes were truly open for the first time.

But it all depends on whether you are ready for it.

There is no way to force it. You can keep exploring until the penny drops.

Exactly what 'ready' means is part of the mystery.


Hi peas, yes I felt wonderful after reading it also, but it already happened in my life, it wasn't until I read his book that I actually put a label to it, even though the label isn't what is.


This sounds very similar to what happened to Eckhart. He had the shift, then took years to work out what happened. You are in fine company.
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