THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle
I don’t agree that the body needs to die. I am convinced that we can achieve physical immortality. We believe in death and that’s why the body dies.
The body does not die because you believe in death. The body exists, or seems to, because you believe in death. Body and death are part of the same illusion, created by the egoic mode of consciousness, which has no awareness of the Source of life and sees itself as separate and constantly under threat. So it creates the illusion that you are a body – a dense, physical vehicle that is constantly under threat.
To perceive yourself as a vulnerable body that was born and a little later dies – that’s the illusion. Body and death: one illusion. You cannot have one without the other. You want to keep one side of the illusion and get rid of the other, but that is impossible. Either you keep all of it or you relinquish all of it.
However, you cannot escape from the body, nor do you have to. The body is an incredible misperception of your true nature. But your true nature is concealed somewhere within that illusion, not outside it, so the body is still the only point of access to it.
If you saw an angel but mistook it for a stone statue, all you would have to do is adjust your vision and look more closely at the “stone statue,” not start looking somewhere else. You would then find there never was a stone statue.
If belief in death creates the body, why does an animal have a body? An animal doesn’t have an ego and it doesn’t believe in death. But it still dies, or seems to.
Remember that your perception of the world is a reaction of your state of consciousness. You are not separate from it and there is no objective world out there. Every moment, your consciousness creates the world that you inhabit. One of the greatest insights of modern physics is that of the unity between the observer and the observed: the person conducting the experiment – the observing consciousness – cannot be separated from the observed phenomena and a different way of looking causes the observed phenomena to behave differently.
If you believe, on a deep level, in separation and the struggle for survival, then you see that belief reflected all around you and your perceptions are governed by fear.
Nothing is what it seems to be. The world that you create and see through the egoic mind may seem a very imperfect place, even a vale of tears. But whatever you perceive is only a kind of symbol, like an image in a dream. It is how your consciousness interprets and interacts with the molecular energy dance of the universe. This energy is the raw material of so-called physical reality. You see it in terms of bodies and birth and death, or as a struggle for survival. An infinite number of completely different interpretations, completely different worlds, is possible and, in fact, exists, all depending on the perceiving consciousness.
Every being is a focal point of consciousness and every such focal point creates its own world, although all those worlds are interconnected. There is a human world, an ant world, a dolphin world and so on. There are countless beings whose consciousness frequency is so different from yours that you are probably unaware of their existence, as they are of yours.
Our collective human world is largely created through the level of consciousness we call mind. Even within the collective human world there are vast differences – many different “sub-worlds” – depending on the perceivers or creators of their respective worlds. Since all worlds are interconnected, when collective human consciousness becomes transformed, nature and the animal kingdom will reflect that transformation. Hence the statement in the Bible that, in the coming age, “The lion shall lie down with the lamb.” This points to the possibility of a completely different order of reality.
Adapted from The Power of Now, copyright 1999 by Eckhart Tolle. Visit www.eckharttolle.com.