I’ve just spent an hour or so at the hairdressers, the one and only place where I tend to give myself up wholeheartedly (and without apology) to all the pulp and trivia of the glossy mags, the fashion-lead drivel that consumes the popular media and – apparently – half the British public. Egged on by sickly-scented gusts of hairspray and the deafening boom of woman-chatter all around me, I use these infrequent occasions to pour over current “goings-on” and trends in popular culture with all the morbid curiosity of an anthropology student. And why not – it is Friday, after all!
I chanced upon an article in “Red” about Mary Portas who, love her or loathe her, is talk of the moment on the back of her current TV series in which she is setting up her own fashion-emporium aimed at women of a “certain age”, all mildly entertaining but hardly earth-shattering stuff. Given that, I couldn’t help but be taken-aback by her response to the question “what are you reading?” to which she eagerly proffered the response “Eckhart Tolle… he is the man”, adding that she always keeps his books by the side of her bed.
Snap! I couldn’t agree more and, regarding keeping his books by the side of the bed for regular top-ups – so do I! Since discovering Tolle’s “The Power of Now” two years ago, my life (in fact my very way of being) has changed unrecognisably; reading his books (listening to him – which you can do on his website or CDs – is even better) has had a cathartic effect, opening up my consciousness to a whole new dimension. His impact on my world has been immense and not only in a direct sense but because of the effect he has had on others who have read his work because of me (my husband, my close friends) and even people we have chanced upon from time-to-time – funny how the Tolle connection crops up in conversation – who we happen to find out have also undergone the Tolle-effect and with whom, with an understanding of where we are all coming from coming into play more quickly than if we didn’t have that in common, we have immediately struck a chord.
Whatever your take on Tolle, I don’t think you can fail to be touched by reading “The Power of Now” or any of his other works; it becomes a sort of rite of passage that people have embraced or turned away from (some, who are not ready to hear it, shrug it off at first glance) but there seems to be more and more people out there reading this stuff, I feel, than ever before and its building momentum. I won’t even begin to attempt to replicate what it is that he talks about, the impact of which has the potential to give you much more than a life-altering nudge; suffice to say that he deals with the evolution of human consciousness and, if that is enough to wet your appetite, my best suggestion is that you get your hands on “The Power of Now“, “A New Earth” and other material by Eckhart Tolle and read or listen to it for yourself. Yes, now.
My sneaking suspicion (encouraged by what I learned from the most unlikely of sources in the most unlikely of places just this morning) is that more and more people are beginning to do just that, something which I am extremely gratified to discover as there is a great deal of hope in that; the cultural drivel (including all the doom and gloom) that seems to dominate the surface of twenty-first century life isn’t all that is going on at all and there is a great deal more going on under the surface.