We’ve arrived at the final chapter, but we know it’s just the beginning of bringing enjoyment to everyday tasks. Wherever you are in your life’s journey, whatever it is that brings you to Evolutions and this blog, you can be sure that reading this book has opened up your eyes, mind and soul to the wondrous joy of living in the Now.
Getting into the habit of living in the present moment takes time. As with any new habit, it takes some discipline and deliberate practice. However, the process of living with presence is a joyful one: in fact, being joyful is necessary for Presence to become real.
In the last chapter, Eckhart Tolle brings it all together and gives us actionable steps to bring the Outer and Inner Purpose together, leading to a new life of Presence.
Everything in existence has two universal movements: outgoing and returning home. Starting with the Big Bang of the Universe, an explosion that has been expanding ever since. Many scientists believe that the universe may eventually stop expanding and start contracting, returning home. It exploded into birth from nothing, and it will return to nothing: from formless, to form, and back to the formless.
Our bodies echo the life of the universe. From birth, to living, and ultimately to death, returning back to the formless. We can now see that we have both an outer and inner purpose. Both the entire universe and the human being have the same ultimate purpose. The outer purpose is to create the form, to experience, play, interact, etc. Our inner purpose is to remain awake and connected to the formless.
The reconciliation of the outer and inner purpose is the ultimate purpose: to bring consciousness to form.
Tolle says that we are currently in the midst of a momentous event in the evolution of the human consciousness, where it can create form without losing itself in it. And this can be done through “awakened doing.” It’s when there’s an alignment of the outer purpose (what you’re actually doing), and the inner purpose (the awakened state, what you’re actually being).
To bring the Outer and Inner consciousness together and live in alignment with the creative power of the universe, there are three modalities of awakened doing: acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each modality has a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. Note that it isn’t’ what you do, but how you do what you do that determines whether you’re living in consciousness.
To enjoy everything you do is a tall task and not realistic (for most people). Of course, having to wait a long time at the grocery checkout line when you’re dead-tired after a long day’s work would not be an enjoyable experience. Acceptance, however, is much more attainable, even for tasks or situations you may loathe. Here is Tolle’s definition of Acceptance: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly.
Performing a task while in a state of acceptance means that you’re at peace with it.
When you are present, when you stop making the past and the future the center point of your daily life, your quality of life increases dramatically.
Joy doesn’t come from what you do; rather, it flows into what you do and eventually to the world around you. So saying “I enjoy doing this,” is really a misperception. A more accurate thing to say is, “Joy flows into what I’m doing.” By detaching joy from what is to be done, you also stop depending on the world to bring joy to you. This joyful aliveness is really the essence of being. You become a human being, not a human doing.
We can increase joy in our lives simply by applying enjoyment to our everyday tasks. Here are five ways of bringing enjoyment. You will see that the five techniques engage each of our five senses.
Enthusiasm is when there’s deep joy in what you’re doing plus a goal or vision that you work towards. Tolle describes it as becoming an arrow that’s zooming towards its target – and enjoying the journey.
This is completely different from “want.” Wanting something is a statement by the ego that you don’t have it already it. Wanting energy is focused in the opposite direction of Awareness. It’s a statement to the universe that you need to take something from a source or someone, whereas enthusiasm starts from a place of abundance. Tolle says, “Enthusiasm wants nothing because it lacks nothing.”
Whatever goal that you have must come from a place of being or consciousness. If it comes from this place, instead of an external goal, then it comes through you onto the world, instead of you expecting the world to give it to you.
If you’re in a place where you don’t want to be (ie. a restaurant worker but your vision is to be an artist), you still need to honor what you’re doing at this moment fully and completely because something may arise out of it. When you bring presence into the now, it’s the fuel to everything you do. You need to be OK with the present moment. Whatever you do, if you bring presence to it, it has deep meaning and purpose for the world.
It’s easy to say that Tolle ends the book on a very hopeful prediction of future, yet the future is already here, in the Now. Remember that “future” is a construct of the thought-form in your mind.
In the Bible, it’s stated: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” (5 revelations 21:1) and “the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 21:17). The arising of heaven is not a future event; rather, it’s something that’s already here and already has been. And to experience it is to have awareness of the present.
Tolle gives us many ways to bring out our inner consciousness so we can experience awareness and live in the present. This is what our souls seek to be. This is the direction of our collective conscience. Through Awakened Doing, we can each contribute to the collective Awareness that’s coming to fruition day by day.
Every one of us plays a part in the universal conscience. We are born, we live and then we pass over to the next state. The stages of our lives are manifestations of the breath of God, and it will repeat for all eternity. We only need to realize this and to just be. But we can only do that when we learn to be present by pausing to be still, to breathe consciously, to listen deeply and stay attuned to our true nature.
Remember the first flower, spreading its colorful petals, reaching towards the sun. Even though that first flower quickly faded, it was inevitable for all others to follow and try again. Like the wave of flora that inevitably bloomed and thrived, the time has come for us, as humanity, to enter the next stage of our beautiful evolution.
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