For every single book that I read, I take notes on everything that I want to remember. One year, I read 170 books, and another year ‘only’ 39.
I absolutely have to take notes because I will never, ever trust my memory. I simply read too much. If you take a look at my reading list, you’ll see that there is just no way that I would be able to remember even 10 notes from each book. My advice: “Write it down.”
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I never intended to sell these notes or package them in a totally comprehensive way, so some of my notes go further in depth than some professional book summaries, and some not so deep at all. These aren’t something you might find from Blinkist, or even from James Clear, or Derek Sivers. They were never meant to be.
They are just what I personally have taken from each book, and I hope that they have some value for you.
Self-deprecation aside, many of these notes are from some of the most important books ever written. I’m interested in the human condition, the biggest questions ever asked, and the giant mystery that we’re all a part of. I’m interested in nothing less than what constitutes a meaningful life. That’s what you’ll find within my multiplicity of notes and sources.
Remember to think critically! Some notes are just interesting ideas taken from the text that I may or may not agree with.
Regardless, I wanted to remember them so as to stimulate my thinking at a later date. So don’t confuse my notes here with something that I staunchly believe. Sometimes you’ll be right, and other times you’ll be wrong.
I have turned them into a product which I sell in return for donations to Doctors Without Borders.
But I’ve decided to release some of my notes periodically on my site, for free.
This article contains my notes from the book, “The Power of Now”, by Eckhart Tolle. Enjoy!
From Amazon: To make the journey into the Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the very first page of Eckhart Tolle’s extraordinary book, we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air. We become connected to the indestructible essence of our Being, “The eternal, ever present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.” Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart Tolle uses simple language and an easy question and answer format to guide us.
A word of mouth phenomenon since its first publication, The Power of Now is one of those rare books with the power to create an experience in readers, one that can radically change their lives for the better.
Notes From “The Power Of Now”:
*Dis-identify with your mind
*Be there as the witnessing presence to the voice in your head
*Become intensely conscious of the present
*The past doesn’t exist any more and the future will never exist
*Your thoughts do not define who you are
*Observe your emotions and their effects on the body while perceiving as the present being
*Ask what is going on inside you at the present moment
*The present moment is all that you will ever have
*Dwell always in the Now and make it your focus
*Almost everyone you know lives in a state of fear
*Death is a stripping away of all that is not you until you realize that there is no death
*Your natural state and connectedness with Being is inseparable from joy and love
*Love, joy, and peace are three aspects of the state of Being
*All mind-connected pleasure will eventually turn into pain
*Stop creating time because Now is all that matters
*Allow the present moment to be
*Accept and then act
*Watch the pain inside you as it implies acceptance of what is and thus defeats it
*Being defensive is identifying with a mental position and that is due also to fear of death of the ego
*End the delusion of time
*All problems dissolve in the absence of time
*Withdraw attention from the past and future whenever they are not needed
*Use all of your senses fully
*Be aware of the silent presence of each thing and the space that allows it to be
*Listen to the silence underneath the sounds
*Deal with it or accept it if it can’t be dealt with
*Create no more pain
*Use challenges in order to become even more intensely conscious
*Catch yourself complaining
*Learning from a mistake makes it no longer a mistake
*Die to the past every moment
*Give up waiting as a state of mind
*Your outer purpose cannot give you lasting fulfillment
*You find yourself by coming into the present
*Body awareness keeps you present
*Everything is alive to some degree and has presence
*Listen with your whole body
*Everything is alive and everything has some degree of consciousness
*Consciousness is the universe expressing itself in form
*Eternity means no time and not endless time
*Being cannot become the object of knowledge
*Always go deeper into the Now and avoid projecting yourself away from the Now whenever that may be
*Words are no more than signposts and so you don’t need to become attached to them
*Have a stillness inside you that never leaves you
*Empty space enables things to be
*The essence of all things is emptiness
*Consciousness enables mind objects to be just as space allows physical objects to be
*Space and time do not exist without manifestation
*Space is nothing so it was never created
*The stillness and vastness that enables the universe to be is also present within you
*Spatial extension is ultimately a misperception of infinite depth
*Space and time are infinity and eternity represented
*Death is the end of illusion
*The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete and total acceptance of the other person for who he or she is
*Honor the present moment by allowing it to be
*Happiness and sadness is only separated by the illusion of time
*All negativity is resistance
*Do not make living and dying into a problem
*Every moment is the very best
*Become like a deep lake; perhaps rough on the surface, but absolutely still at the bottom
*Compassion is the awareness of a deep bond between yourself and all creatures
*Life and death is the total equality of all human beings
*You do not need the world any more
*Only those who have transcended the world can bring about a better world
*You eliminate unconsciousness from the world by being present
*There is no giver and no receiver when you share what you have
*Do not pollute the earth with negativity
*Unconsciousness in others is their illness but you can’t resent them for it
*Reside forever in the NOW
What a phenomenal book! It got a little too “New Age-y” for me at times, but the underlying message is timeless. Literally! If the world began in the past, then when that happened it was now. But hey, it’s STILL now. And the universe is just beginning now. And trailing off FROM now.
I find myself going back to these notes quite often, and I’m sure that I’ll continue to do so as the years go on. To this day, you’ll find me listening to the silence, feeling the space between objects, and going to the space between my thoughts. It’s powerful stuff, and I’ve never been as focused as when I first came across this remarkable book. Get past the New Age-y type stuff if that’s not your thing, and you’ll benefit from reading this.
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I hope these notes sparked your interest, or led to some new questions, or just made your life better in some way.
If they did, I’d love for you to consider donating to the phenomenal international non-profit, Doctors Without Borders. We operate all over the world, proving free medical services to those hardest hit by war, famine, and other disasters and atrocities. We never discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, ethnicity, etc. And we would be honored to receive your support.
Matt Karamazov is a human rights activist, boxer, and writer who reads 200 books per year and throws 300 punches per minute. His website, Godlike Discipline, is dedicated to raising money for causes like Doctors Without Borders, and Human Rights Watch, among others. It’s also dedicated to helping people tackle their biggest willpower challenges. He also like death metal, and so, consequently doesn’t get many second dates. Here he is on a horse.