You will inevitably encounter adversity in life, either on a personal level or, as we are experiencing it now, on a collective level. If you haven’t delved deep enough, if you haven’t found anything beyond the conceptual thinking mind, then adversity, whatever it is (in this case we know what it is), will devastate you. Be aware of yourself, not the conceptual self, not your personal history, but become aware of yourself as conscious presence. Thinking doesn’t help you there. Thinking is an obstacle. So go deeper than thinking and stay fully awake and present, without mental activity. The beginning of the realization of your eternal essence, the dimension of consciousness deeper than that with which you normally identify. Find that unshakable foundation that is within you, within everyone.

Adversity is a wonderful opportunity because it forces you to dig deep. Life becomes almost unbearable when you live only on the surface of sensory perceptions and your conceptual mind, and then you listen to the news and read all kinds of things, and everyone is in a state of fear, due to the construction of a house in the sand. And this is an invitation to awaken who you are, because if you don’t, you will suffer unnecessarily.

Millions are in a state of anxiety. But use this as an opportunity to wake up. It is an opportunity to realize that you are much deeper than what you have known before. You should pay more attention to your own conscience than to the news and whatever you hear and see. Use this precious time, it is part of the awakening of humanity. Humans do not wake up in their comfort zone, they wake up when they are taken out of their comfort zone, when they can no longer bear suffering or unhappiness. Feel the vitality, become aware of that presence that is inseparable from who you are. That is an incredible accomplishment! There is more to you than the person! That presence is deeper than the person. You needed adversity to find it or to deepen fulfillment.

There is a saying that goes: “When the ego cries over what it has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has found.” What looks bad and very negative on the surface, as an obstacle to the well-being of humanity from the conventional point of view, has an essential function. So this is a time of great opportunity. Use it. Do not waste it. Don’t get lost in the mind. Don’t get lost in fear. To be rooted in this rock that is your essence identity.

Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal. When you walk through a forest that has not been tamed and interfered with by man, you will see not only abundant life all around you, but you will also encounter fallen trees and decaying trunks, rotting leaves and decomposing matter at every step. Wherever you look, you will find death as well as life.

Upon closer scrutiny, however, you will discover that the decomposing tree trunk and rotting leaves not only give birth to new life, but are full of life themselves. Microorganisms are at work. Molecules are rearranging themselves. So death isn’t to be found anywhere. There is only the metamorphosis of life forms. What can you learn from this? Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.

About the Author:

Eckhart Tolle is widely recognized as one of the most inspiring and visionary spiritual teachers in the world today. With his international bestsellers, The Power of Now and A New Earth—translated into 52 languages—he has introduced millions to the joy and freedom of living life in the present moment. The New York Times has described him as “the most popular spiritual author in the United States”, and in 2011, Watkins Review named him “the most spiritually influential person in the world”. For more information, please visit: