Creating Consciousness to Grow in Presence Power

By Eckhart Tolle

In ordinary unconsciousness, habitual resistance to or denial of what is creates the unease and discontent that most people accept as normal living. When this resistance becomes intensified through some challenge or threat to the ego, it brings up intense negativity such as anger, acute fear, aggression, depression, and so on. Deep unconsciousness often means that the pain-body has been triggered and that you have become identified with it. Physical violence would be impossible without deep unconsciousness. It can also occur easily whenever and wherever a crowd of people or even an entire nation generates a negative collective energy field.

The best indicator of your level of consciousness is how you deal with life’s challenges when they come. Through those challenges, an already unconscious person tends to become more deeply unconscious, and a conscious person more intensely conscious. You can use a challenge to awaken you, or you can allow it to pull you into even deeper sleep. The dream of ordinary unconsciousness then turns into a nightmare.

If you cannot be present even in normal circumstances, such as when you are sitting alone in a room, walking in the woods, or listening to someone, then you certainly won’t be able to stay conscious when something “goes wrong” or you are faced with difficult people or situations, with loss or the threat of loss. You will be taken over by a reaction, which ultimately is always some form of fear, and pulled into deep unconsciousness. Those challenges are your tests. Only the way in which you deal with them will show you and others where you are at as far as your state of consciousness is concerned, not how long you can sit with your eyes closed or what visions you see.

So it is essential to bring more consciousness into your life in ordinary situations when everything is going relatively smoothly. In this way, you grow in presence power. It generates an energy field in you and around you of a high vibrational frequency. No unconsciousness, no negativity, no discord or violence can enter that field and survive, just as darkness cannot survive in the presence of light.

When you learn to be the witness of your thoughts and emotions, which is an essential part of being present, you may be surprised when you first become aware of the background “static” of ordinary unconsciousness and realize how rarely, if ever, you are truly at ease within yourself. On the level of your thinking, you will find a great deal of resistance in the form of judgment, discontent, and mental projection away from the Now. On the emotional level, there will be an undercurrent of unease, tension, boredom, or nervousness. Both are aspects of the mind in its habitual resistance mode.

So how can we be free of this affliction?

Make it conscious. Observe the many ways in which unease, discontent, and tension arise within you through unnecessary judgment, resistance to what is, and denial of the Now. Anything unconscious dissolves when you shine the light of consciousness on it. Once you know how to dissolve ordinary unconsciousness, the light of your presence will shine brightly, and it will be much easier to deal with deep unconsciousness whenever you feel its gravitational pull. However, ordinary unconsciousness may not be easy to detect initially because it is so normal.

Make it a habit to monitor your mental-emotional state through self-observation. “Am I at ease at this moment?” is a good question to ask yourself frequently. Or you can ask: “What’s going on inside me at this moment?” Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within, secondary reality without.

But don’t answer these questions immediately. Direct your attention inward. Have a look inside yourself. What kind of thoughts is your mind producing? What do you feel? Direct your attention into the body. Is there any tension? Once you detect that there is a low level of unease, the background static, see in what way you are avoiding, resisting, or denying life — by denying the Now. With practice, your power of self-observation, of monitoring your inner state, will become sharpened. Excerpted from Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, pages 72-93. For more from this book, click here.

To access more of Eckhart’s teachings on the extraordinary in the ordinary, click here for this month’s episode of Eckhart Tolle TV.

24 responses to “Creating Consciousness to Grow in Presence Power

  1. Great stuff as usual. It’s always difficult (if not almost impossible) to describe the infinite in finite terms, so we must experience the raising of consciousness to achieve understanding. Kant said we need to go beyond the “Wall of reason” and I sense the same message here. Thanks again, blessings be!

  2. I read the Power of Now and then A New Earth, both are great books. A New Earth made me a Tolle disciple and actually helped me to appreciate more the Power of Now. I am facing significant financial challenges that have caused me to lose consciousness and step into the world of nonstop thinking…causing me to further lose consciousness and feel more stress. When that happens, I focus on my breathing and follow it through my body, resulting in my gaining presence, consciousness. By practicing presence as I have since I read those books, six and five years ago, respectively, I am able to regain consciousness, which then creates a sense of relaxation and enables me to have clarity, to identify potential solutions to my crisis. And, when I think about my situation and do not see a satisfactory solution, I follow Acceptance, which brings me back to presence, consciousness, and the calming feeling they create. I then have the energy and clarity of mind to pursue solutions…If I had not practiced this over the years, even during the “good” times, I don’t know how I would have been able to raise my consciousness and presence during these very difficult times. This really works…

    1. Excellent response Dean. You explained things so well – making it easier to apply. I will share this with people I love too. Thank you and all the best to you.

    2. Thank you for sharing your experience Dean. I’m glad you mentioned the importance of practicing when times are good so that we’re prepared and ready to maintain consciousness when times get more challenging. Be here now.

  3. As I watch a colleague experience a spiral into denial from the what is….I am powerless because the Ego seems to have such a strong hold on them…..I am praying and meditating for the person, not trying to react….my prayers are for them to have a peaceful resolution to their issue, and my meditation is Metta to assist with remaining detached and loving. I am using the affirmation Live and Let Live. I trust the Universe, their own source will provide a safety net…for them to land. Thank you for this article it shed some light on the issue in my own ego patterns of fight or flight….be well and happy 🙂

    1. Tom, Dean & Janie,
      Your words couldn’t have been said any better. The Power of Now & A New Earth are the books I refer to time and again. I am a different person because of its teachings. The work in me is no where near the conscious realm Mr. Tolle has reached, but have definitely been awakened with just the realization or conscious awareness of my own ego as well as others. I am able to recognize them and can still the mind in the present moment in order keep it from gaining the strength it feeds from negative energy. These books are quite powerful. If only everyone in the world would take the time to recognize & eliminate the ego in themselves, what a wonderful world our earth would be. Many blessings. =)

  4. Eckhart’s writings are so on point. I am going through a period of homelessness with my husband. We alternate between being present and being overwhelmed by our life situation; it has become a perfect example of what Eckhart speaks of here. This is a reminder to be conscious so that the pain body does not take over creating a spiral of misery between the two of us which radiates out beyond us.

  5. If acceptance and peace become a goal and final solution for every uncomfortable situations nothing will change in life.
    What ever we have in our life from technologies and food ,…. are here because somebody somewhere didn’t accept the situation and tried to change it .
    I am not in favor of blaming everything around us but also not in favor to accept everything.Because after Death we will be in ultimate Peace And there will be not any stress .

  6. Otra pregunta que hacerse a uno mismo para estar en el aquí-ahora. ¿ siendo consciente de este momento, habría alguna forma de superarlo, de hacerlo mejor, de mejorarlo ? Obviamente no. este momento es perfecto estés haciendo lo que estés haciendo.
    Another question to make oneself to stay in the here-now.
    : Being concious of this very moment ¿ will be a way to enhance it, to make better ? Obviously not. This very moment is perfect, whatsoever you are doing, just being concious make it so.

  7. Accepting what is doesn’t mean not bringing about change. It means calming the organism so it can make a calm and intelligent change if that’s necessary. For me accepting means not being able to change people. Just one aspect.

  8. I get anxious and my blood pressure goes way up every time I visit doctors office. It’s like an intense fear reaction inside my body, then when I leave office I relax and back to normal feeling, blood pressure goes down. What is it inside me that is causing this???

    1. Hi. Yes, i know what you speak of. I also became aware of intense energy like that in specific situations. And also asked that same question. Before the answer revealed itself i just continued to feel it whenever it came up. I felt it and sat with it to the point i could even tell the color of it. And when it dissipated i was able to recognize a thought that brought up the pain body which later i sensed as intense energy.
      There is no real reason why should you be nervous now unless the doctor pulls out a knife or some other tool of torture (kidding!!!) So painbecause there is pain in your unawarness related to the hospital smell or white doctor’s coat does it rise to your attention and wants to be addressed.

      Today i witnessed something that made me realize that the intensity of the painbody grows by accumulation of unconfronted pain. The heavier it is the heavier the now turns to be. I hope i am wrong about this, and that its just a random life lottery… i saw a young woman in unutterable inner pain.. i held my breath in reverence and presence of such intense pain.. i could feel the emptiness and meaninglessness of everything. Then my own painbody rose up. Its still in here:)) i am holding it in warm safe place…

      I wish you well

      So keep feeling it and nevermind the why…. its like it is regardless of the

  9. to undrestand the two books of mr Tolle you must
    read them several times whenever you read them another
    aspect of the power in now can be realized.

  10. À few days ago i realised that i never feel ‘at home’ in my own body and mind. As if something is wrong, as if something still has to be done. Now i understant why, and what this feeling is telling me! I am not in the now.

  11. wow!! – eckhart tolle – truly is an amazing spiritual teacher – his work will continue and influence mankind forever!!!

  12. Dear me,

    I love the way you are. That is why I know, that I am in the right place at the right time at all times.

    If I wouldn’t love you and if I wouldn’t care for you, I know that people around you would have a hard time, to do the same. That, dear me, is why I have started loving you and that is why people around you are so great towards you.

    If there is something else I can do for you… …take it away. There is enough for all time.


  13. The present moment is all we have and all there will ever be, wow this book has taught me a lot… I’m a spiritual person, and I’m a regular meditator… I’ve been getting stronger spiritually over the past 3 yeArs, and I’m 19 yeArs old anyway… I Discovered this book about 6-7months ago, the statement “Watch the Thinker” WOW! It was like the key that opened my spiritual world too a even greater mass of Positive energy, meditation was never a problem don’t get me wrong… Its just I can’t describe the sensation, feeling and energy within myself… So thank you EckHart Tolle for speaking your ‘mind’, cause I understand you mahn, I really do… Your teachings is of much appreciated than expected. A life lesson. O and yeah I stopped smoking, realizing that the physical is not intended too be a chimney haha . Stay Positive.

    Yours sincerely Grant Marang…

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