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New World Library Unshelved

New World Library Unshelved

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Thursday, July 30, 2015
THE INNER PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE’S JOURNEY: An Excerpt from THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle
 

A word-of-mouth phenomenon since its first publication, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is one of those rare books with the power to create an experience in readers — one that can radically change their lives for the better.

To make the journey into The Power of Now, we need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the very first page of this extraordinary book, we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air. We become more connected to the indestructible essence of our Being, “the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.”

We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book.

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When you are on a journey, it is certainly helpful to know where you are going or at least the general direction in which you are moving, but don’t forget: The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.

Your life’s journey has an outer purpose and an inner purpose. The outer purpose is to arrive at your goal or destination, to accomplish what you set out to do, to achieve this or that, which, of course, implies future. But if your destination, or the steps you are going to take in the future, take up so much of your attention that they become more important to you than the step you are taking now, then you completely miss the journey’s inner purpose, which has nothing to do with where you are going or what you are doing, but everything to do with how. It has nothing to do with future but everything to do with the quality of your consciousness at this moment. The outer purpose belongs to the horizontal dimension of space and time; the inner purpose concerns a deepening of your Being in the vertical dimension of the timeless Now. Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now. As you become more deeply aware of this one step, you realize that it already contains within itself all the other steps as well as the destination. This one step then becomes transformed into an expression of perfection, an act of great beauty and quality. It will have taken you into Being, and the light of Being will shine through it. This is both the purpose and the fulfillment of your inner journey, the journey into yourself.

Does it matter whether we achieve our outer purpose, whether we succeed or fail in the world?

It will matter to you as long as you haven’t realized your inner purpose. After that, the outer purpose is just a game that you may continue to play simply because you enjoy it. It is also possible to fail completely in your outer purpose and at the same time totally succeed in your inner purpose. Or the other way around, which is actually more common: outer riches and inner poverty, or to “gain the world and lose your soul,” as Jesus puts it. Ultimately, of course, every outer purpose is doomed to “fail” sooner or later, simply because it is subject to the law of impermanence of all things. The sooner you realize that your outer purpose cannot give you lasting fulfillment, the better. When you have seen the limitations of your outer purpose, you give up your unrealistic expectation that it should make you happy, and you make it subservient to your inner purpose.

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Eckhart Tolle is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Power of Now and A New Earth, which are widely regarded as two of the most influential spiritual books of our time. Visit him online at www.eckharttolletv.com, where you can sign up for a free trial of a monthly subscription service that offers his teachings via the Internet.

Excerpted with permission from the book The Power of Now © 1999 by Eckhart Tolle.





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