What About When Life Is Going Well?

If adversity can help us become more conscious, what about when the life situation is going well?

You can either be forced into awakening, in which case you have to wait until things fall apart around you or death approaches—or you can voluntarily embrace awakening, which is what you are doing right now (along with most of you reading these words). In other words, you choose presence. You choose to look around at the sky and the trees and the flowers, to breathe, to take in this moment, to enjoy this moment, to inhabit this moment, to inhabit your body in this moment.

When you notice that your mind is drawing all your attention into useless thinking, you can consciously take your attention back into breathing, being, feeling the energy field in your inner body, feeling that you are alive. It’s always a matter of choosing. You can choose the present moment rather than losing yourself in future worries or past regrets and so on. You choose to return to the simplicity of this moment and feeling alive.

Now, to be able to choose, you need to have a certain level of consciousness. From there you can choose to be present. Ultimately, of course, it’s not you who chooses to be present. It’s not you who chooses to be conscious, because there isn’t you and consciousness. You are consciousness. So, while it looks from an external viewpoint (or even to yourself) that you are choosing presence, it’s not really how it is.

What’s really happening is consciousness is coming through you, but it looks as if you were choosing consciousness. You don’t have consciousness; You  are consciousness. I am consciousness. Because, if I have consciousness, then who am I? Some entity without consciousness that has consciousness?

You can say the same about life. People think, “I’m going to lose my life.” Well, then there must be an I there that can lose life—but without life, who is that I that must have a life and can lose life? I don’t have a life. I am life. I am an expression of life. There’s no “me” separate from life. I can’t have it. And if I can’t have it, I can’t lose it. If I am life, I can’t lose life.

So, when things are going well it’s also an opportunity for choosing presence, and the more you choose presence, the less you need the disaster to force you into presence. If a disaster should still come, that’s okay too, because then it will really intensify your presence. The way you deal with it will be much, much easier than it would be in the unenlightened state.

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Author Information

Eckhart Tolle

Spiritual Teacher and author was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey.

Books from Eckhart Tolle

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