In his book, 'The Power Of Now',
Eckhart Tolle is writing about Nurturing Instinct.
He seems painfully aware of the problems our Nurturing Instinct can create in our lives.
Yet he has misdiagnosed this instinct as something else.
He calls it the 'false self', 'ego', the 'pain-body', and the 'mind'.
We can see this very clearly on page 16:
"The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly - you usually don't use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over."
Now watch what happens when I substitute Nurturing Instinct for 'mind':
"Nurturing Instinct is a superb instinct if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your Nurturing Instinct wrongly - you usually don't use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your Nurturing Instinct. This is the delusion. The Instinct has taken you over."
And on page 36:
"So the pain-body doesn't want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is."
And again the substitution:
"So your Nurturing Instinct doesn't want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is."
is a primitive survival instinct.
If we observe it directly,
it stops being instinctual and becomes conscious.
From page 22:
"To the ego, (Nurturing Instinct) the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important."
Our Nurturing Instinct makes us live in the regret of yesterday, and the fear of tomorrow.
It is what keeps our Instinct sharp and focused on survival.
It makes it difficult to stay in the present moment.
He continues on page 22 writing about the ego:
"It constantly projects itself into the future to insure its continued survival and to seek some kind of release or fulfillment there."
He is writing about a survival instinct.
But, Mr. Tolle is unaware of Instinctual behavior.
He believes that the mind is the problem.
He is saying, that if you change the way you think, you can change the way you act.
This is a very popular belief today. It has been championed by psychology.
It is one of the core beliefs of those of us who act out of Nurturing Instinct.
The problem is: Changing the way we think
will not change instinctual behavior.
It is instinctual, not psychological.
Why 'The Power Of Now' will appear to work for some people:
Those of us who act primarily out of Nurturing Instinct will be instinctively attracted to 'The Power Of Now'.
Mr. Tolle uses phrases that resonate with our Nurturing Instinct starting at page 1:
"You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold.
That is how important you are!"
Our Nurturing Instinct makes us desire to be part of such a divine purpose.
It makes us desire to feel needed.
Mr. Tolle is talking directly to the desires of our Nurturing Instinct.
And those of us who have those desires will believe he is telling us the truth.
Even though he can offer no proof that there is a divine purpose to the universe.
Or an explanation of what that purpose is,
Or that we human beings have anything to do with it.
Our Nurturing Instinct motivates us to try to manipulate outcomes.
'The Power Of Now' provides advice on how to manipulate the outcomes of our lives.
Mr Tolle is speaking directly to the desires of millions of human beings who act primarily out of Nurturing Instinct.
And they like what he says.
This does not mean he is right.
It means that he is speaking directly to the desires of the millions of human beings who act primarily out of Nurturing Instinct.
This is why the book is so welcomed, and claimed to be some kind of spiritual guide.
Those of us who act primarily out of Nurturing Instinct welcome it as an affirmation of the desires of our instinct.
Wal Mart affirms the desires of our Gathering Instinct.
But Wal Mart is not a guide to spiritual enlightenment, anymore than 'The Power Of Now' is.
Mr. Tolle also includes chapters about 'Slowing Down The Aging Process' (page 122),
and 'Strengthening The Immune System' (page 123).
These are also desires of our Nurturing Instinct, which seeks to keep us all alive for as long as possible.
Mr Tolle is tapping into the same desires that the cosmetics and drug industries are.
What does slowing down the aging process and strengthening the immune system have to do with spiritual enlightenment?
But they are core desires of Nurturing Instinct.
Those of us who act primarily out of Nurturing Instinct will cling to this book the same way we cling to 'The Secret', and countless other books.
Because we cling to anything that promises relief from worry, regret and fear.
'The Power Of Now' is all about living in the 'Now'.
Those of us who act primarily out of Nurturing Instinct desire very strongly to live in the present moment.
Mr Tolle is telling us that he can show us how.
And that is why he has sold millions of books.
But, Mr Tolle is trying to use the desires of our Nurturing Instinct
to try to stop the negative effects that the desires of our Nurturing Instinct have on our life.
This is like using gasoline to try to put out a fire.
Which brings us to:
Why 'The Power Of Now' will not work in the long run :
We act out of primitive survival instincts.
We cannot think our way out of instinctive behavior.
Our mind is not smarter than the rest of our body.
We cannot meditate our way out of instinctive behavior.
We cannot use yoga, or breathing techniques, or focusing deeply on our inner self, or forcing ourselves to stay in the moment.
The only way to stop
the negative effects of our Nurturing Instinct
is to become aware
that we are acting out of Nurturing Instinct.
Page 147: "Unless and until you access the consciousness frequency of presence, all relationships, and particularly intimate relationships, are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional."
Let's substitute again:
"Unless and until you become aware of your Nurturing Instinct, all relationships, and particularly intimate relationships, are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional."
And that is why 'The Power Of Now' will not help you fix the problems in your life.
Nurturing Instinct is only one of eight instincts that human beings act out of.
Another instinct we act out of is Worker Instinct.
People who act primarily out of Worker Instinct tend to take everything in stride.
They don't sweat the small stuff, or the big stuff.
They leave the past in the past, and the future in the future.
They live in the 'Now'.
They are the happiest of humans, usually bond and pair for life.
Their relationships are not deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional,
because they do not act out of Nurturing Instinct.
They communicate well.
They love unconditionally and selflessly.
They have attainable goals, value their family, and don't carry grudges.
From Mr. Tolle's viewpoint, it might look as though:
People who act primarily out of Worker Instinct have achieved spiritual enlightenment...?
The reality is:
They are simply acting out of another instinct.
People who act primarily out of Worker Instinct account for over half of all human beings.
They are the largest Instinctual group in the human hive.
They live in the 'Now' instinctively. They cannot live any other way.
And yet, Mr. Tolle, and many others who act primarily out of Nurturing Instinct, would like to teach them how to live in the 'Now'.
Those who act primarily out of Nurturing Instinct,
cannot teach something to someone else
that they themselves are incapable of doing.
And the people they are trying to teach it to,
are already doing it instinctively.
Let's look at some other instincts, and see who also lives in the 'Now':
Our Warrior Instinct makes us focus on the immediate moment.
It makes us ignore the past, often denying that it even existed.
And blocks us from imagining the future.
This is how Warrior Instinct stays effective.
Our Inventor Instinct makes us see the bigger picture.
Those of us who act primarily out of Inventor Instinct are able to see the past, present and future simultaneously.
And are therefore able to invent, create, and design based on what has been done, what we need right now, and what we will need in the future.
Our Gathering Instinct is also rigorously focused on right Now.
Do we have enough food right now?
Do we have a place to sleep right now?
Yesterday doesn't exist to our Gathering Instinct and tomorrow is not here yet.
The most important thing is - "Are my needs getting met right now?"
Mr. Tolle has accurately described Nurturing Instinct.
He has detailed the the pain, confusion and suffering that it causes.
He is proposing a solution.
His solution is misguided because he has no awareness of the real cause.
On page 24 he writes:
"It wasn't through the mind, through thinking, that the miracle that is life on earth or your body was created and is being sustained. There is clearly an intelligence at work that is far greater than the mind."
Yes, Mr. Tolle, you are exactly right, it is called Instinct.
The good news is that awareness of instinctual behavior is happening.
Millions of people are seeking awareness and help for the negative effects of our instinctual behavior.
On page 159 he writes:
"Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race."
You are quite correct Mr. Tolle.
We are evolving.
All of us.
We are becoming aware of our Instinctual behavior.