(Bautista, personal photograph of Sunrise, 01-03-15)
From Eckhart Tolle’s (1999) The Power of Now:
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. (p.228)
“Forgiveness” is a term that has been in use for two thousand years, but most people have a very limited view of what it means. You cannot truly forgive yourself or others as long as you derive your sense of self from the past. Only through accessing the power of the Now, which is your own power, can there be true forgiveness. This renders the past powerless, and you realize deeply that nothing you ever did or that was done to you could touch even in the slightest the radiant essence of who you are. The whole concept of forgiveness then becomes necessary. (p.229)
When you surrender to what is and so become fully present, the past ceases to have any power. You do not need it anymore. Presence is the key. The Now is the key. (p.229)
I’m still trying to ingest theses nuances from The Power of Now. I read the book in 2013, actually around 2 years ago, and remember feeling at the time that the text was enlightening and overwhelming me. It really made me aware of what I was doing, where I was and how I had gotten myself to that place of disillusion.
It’s been a few years now, I’m still moving forward, still stumbling on occasion but I deeply believe that by casting off the person I was back then and deciding to pursue my life through solace and solemnity that the changes that have come have unearthed perhaps the essence of who I am.
I dislike the word “loner” as it connotes a sort of social disease. Rather, I’m selective with who I share my life story with – growing up I will say I struggled with loneliness because we are socially trained to seek out “others” – beings, vices, hobbies, addictions, actions, brands or whatever form they take – and if you don’t seek out these “others” than you are outcast, loathed, ostracized, feared, “othered” –
But it is what it is and I am thankful.
Without the suffering, the utter inhumane name-calling and finger-pointing – without the whispered insults or indirect chiding – the ambushes and set-ups to trick me into falling apart – the social prodding to infuse insecurity – the deceit of friendship – the hollowness of sadness – the lost childhood – the violence –
Without all of these lifetime experiences thrust upon me, I would never have known my own strength.