Some years ago, a very-respected colleague of mine was going through a rough patch at home. She told me at lunch how she was using Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now to help herself through it. At the time I was studying for my masters, so there was no time for ‘leisure’ reading. I mentally put it on the ‘I shall read that one day’ list, and there it has stayed, until now. 

I realise this book has a great heap of loyal and devoted followers. I noticed that Tolle has subsequently published other similar spin-off books, meaning the first must’ve made his publisher lots of money. I get it, I can see it, but what the hell does this book even say?  

I lasted twelve pages.  

Absolute drivel. Nonsensical, grandiose hippy-dippy self-help junk. I’m okay with self help books, but they have to actually say something and they have to be real. This was incomprehensible to me- and I’m no slacker.

Maybe I should’ve persevered. Maybe I didn’t have the right mindset. Maybe it was something to do with my faulty ego (as the book seems to talk about). I don’t know, because I don’t have the faintest idea what any of it said. 

To me it sounded like this:

‘To find the middle, you must know where the middle starts and ends, and begin at the beginning of the start. You can’t know where the end is so you have to begin searching for the middle by moving from the start and outwards, slowly always towards the middle. When you find the middle the middle will find you and then you will see you are moving away from the middle once again”. 

What the actual what?

Of course, I’m making that up but that’s how it felt to me, just words that should be poignant but just end up being almost comical in their obfuscation. 

I sent it back to the library, glad I hadn’t forked out actually money for the thing. 

I know I’ll cop criticism for my view. I’ve read some forums, where the Tolle believers crucify the non-believers for their unenlightened egos. I don’t care; this book was, at least for me, a black hole of time I’ll never get back.