Rebbe Nachman & Eckhart Tolle | The Power of Now
Reb Noson, the chief disciple and scribe of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, gifts us with the following antivenom to the bite of enslavement to past and future:
It is written: “See, now, that I, I am He…” (Deuteronomy 32:39).
“See, now,” precisely. Through the paradigm of “now,” you are able to see that “I, I am He,” and begin anew, in each moment, to cleave to God.
Rebbe Nachman teaches that if you want to attain the level of the World to Come – even in this world – just close your eyes – gently withdraw your mind from all that is going on around you and move yourself into another dimension. The more you “close your eyes to this world”, the more you will attain true spirituality and bring the essence of the eternal “World to Come” into your life.
This is the secret behind closing our eyes and covering them when we say the Shema prayer. Up to a certain point the world reveals God. Beyond that point however, that very same world obscures Him. We therefore close our eyes and cover them with our hand when we recite the beginning of the Shema – in order to break through the facade of this world to reach towards the unity behind it. This is the Power of Now.
ET: “Love, joy, and peace cannot flourish until you have freed yourself from mind dominance”
RN: “The reason why the world is far from God, and does not seek to come close to Him is only because people lack yishuv ha-da’as — a calm, settled mind”
ET: “Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within”
RN: “By connecting to simchah, a person liberates his very being and consciousness. Then it is possible to attain a calm, settled mind. Even in the supernal worlds, this accomplishes a great unification”
ET: “Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death”
RN: It is written: “When you walk, it will comfort you; when you lie down, it will watch over you; and when you awaken, it will comfort you” (Proverbs 6:22).
“When you walk” on this earth, the Torah “will comfort you.” “When you lie down” in the grave, God and the Torah “will watch over you.”
“When you awaken” in the World to Come, “it will comfort you.” When you have purified your thoughts, there is no difference between this world, the grave, and the World to Come. When you desire only God and His Torah, all are the same. In all three, you may connect to God and His Torah. One who is attached to the things of this world will experience a great difference between this world, which is a wide, open place, and the grave, which is a cramped place. However, if you purify your mind, all will be the same”
ET: “To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation” – “Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be”
RN: “Every perceptive person understands that time does not exist. The past is gone, the future has not come, and the present is like the blink of an eye. Thus, the life of a man is only this instant in which he stands. Consider this, and in whatever circumstance you may find yourself — even in the depths of Hell –you will be able to cleave to God in each moment”
ET: “Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now”
RN: “Forget about yesterday and tomorrow. Today is everything”
ET: “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence”
RN : “Yesterday and tomorrow are a person’s downfall. Today you may be aroused toward God. But yesterday and tomorrow pull you away”
ET: “Don’t get stuck on the level of words. A word is no more than a means to an end. It’s an abstraction. Not unlike a signpost, it points beyond itself”
RN: [Yes, but] “Prayer must be spoken out in actual words – literally. It is not enough to think the prayers. It is true that God knows what we are thinking. But the words have to be spoken, because speech is the vessel with which we receive the flow of blessings. According to our words, so is the blessing we receive .One who perfects his speech can receive abundant blessings through the vessels he forms with his words. This is why we must actually articulate our prayers with our mouths”
ET: “The ultimate purpose of the world lies not within the world but in the transcendence of the world”
RN: [Right on ET.] “If a person doesn’t focus on the purpose, what is the point of his life?”
Reb Noson explains that every day, constantly, God in His goodness renews the process of creation, and no instant can be compared to another. Because the heavenly constellations constantly change from one second to the next, every set of circumstances is unlike those that existed a moment earlier or a moment later. “Imagine what transpires from one second to the next in the supernal worlds, which are without limitation or number!”
“The garment of one day is unlike the garment of another day”
“All of these endless cosmic transformations are for the sake of man, to enable him to serve God”
“This is the reason for everything”