The Power of Now: An Inside Look in the Science

Clinical Skills / Psychotherapy

The Power of Now: An Inside Look in the Science

These 3 words sound so “spiritual.” In fact, they are the title of the book, classified as a spiritual genre, written by Eckhart Tolle [1], whom they call a spiritual teacher.

Let us leave the “spiritual teachers” to teach “spirituality.” Let us stick to what our expertise is and look at the power of Now from a Neuroscience perspective; in fact, from the intersection of Neuroscience and Physics, to be exact. Why? Because these are the two scientific fields that have made the most major contributions to our understanding of the concept of Time and Consciousness [2], which go hand in hand. Time and Consciousness go hand in hand because it is very difficult, if not impossible, to really understand one without a real understanding of the other. And the key word here is not “understanding,” rather, the key words are “real understanding.” Why?

Because almost everything we think we understand is merely a matter of belief, which has nothing to do with understanding. And when we want to convince ourselves that we really understand we realize that it’s merely an intellectual understanding and not an experiential understanding. Now, why is it important to make the distinction between an intellectual understanding and an experiential understanding? Here’s why:

Have you ever heard a client say to you, “I know it’s my head. But I can’t help it.”? This phrase is what it means to have an intellectual understanding of something and not an experiential understanding. Now that the distinction is clear, let us look at an understanding of one of the two key concepts mentioned above so we can return to talking about the power of Now.

We have looked at Consciousness in previous articles. In this article, let us look at Time. Because we know that Albert Einstein was the one who debunked 200 years of Physics, we also know, as a result, that his work has been revolutionary [3]. Part of that scientific revolution led to how we now think about things. And one of these things is, indeed, Time.

Before Einstein’s era, most people, including scientists, used to think of Time as something constant. However, with Einstein, study after study has shown that Time is merely an illusion; that Time is not a constant, and that Time varies based on an infinite number of factors. These Time varying factors include and are not limited to, the person in question, that which the person is interacting with, the position of the person, the distance between the person and that which the person is interacting with, and the speed at which the person is moving.  This new universal insight is part of Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity, which in 1905, was one of his 4 groundbreaking papers, a year considered as his “annus mirabilus,” (miracle year), leading to his Nobel Prize 16 years later.

Now, Einstein was a very rare genius in the sense that he could speak in both theoretical and practical ways. And the most practical way we have found that he spoke about Time is in the following famous statement of his, “The only distinction between past, present, and future, is a stubbornly persisting illusion.”

In this phrase, Einstein was saying:

  1. All there is, is Now
  2. Everything outside of Now is an illusion
  3. Illusion in itself means nothing
  4. There can be power in nothing
  5. The only thing there is, is Now
  6. And the only power can therefore be in the Now

You may or not already see the importance of this for our patients. And, whether you do or not, it still gives you a reason to look into it more. As a clinician, we are called to practice using most evidence-based principles possible. There are essential reasons for that:

  1. First, we ought to do no harm: As we use an intervention, we’re expected to learn how to do it properly to avoid iatrogeny or minimize as many side effects as possible
  2. We need not reinvent the wheel. Science has been advancing at such a pace that it no longer takes 25-30 years before some scientific findings make it to clinical care.

    Nowadays, 90% of clinicians are likely to spend their whole career without ever get to use what has already been established in Science [4]. This means the chance for anyone of us to spend our whole career practicing based on outdated science is 9 out of 10. If you find this to be alarming, you will not be alone. When you consider the science of our field doubles every 18 months, you may also find it disarming to even try to do anything about this huge gap. That conclusion would in fact be justified if you were to do it alone. Fortunately, you don’t have to, which takes us to the 3rd essential reason why we are called to practice using the most evidence-based principles possible
  3. Because of such a huge gap in the science of implementation of the latest scientific findings in clinical care, and because of such a fast growing pace and increasing gap, it is easy to have implementation errors. This can be avoided only when we stick to what evidence shows.

Now, when it comes to the Power of Now, scientific evidence shows why the power is not only in the how (as shown above), but also how to harness such a power.  We hope you will look into this. You need not use the SWEET Institute for that. You can use any other places that know how to help you properly do that.

We send you love and we look forward to seeing you soon
Karen and Mardoche

[1] “Home – Eckhart Tolle: Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.” Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness, 19 Mar. 2021,

[2] Gruber, Ronald P., et al. “The Illusory Flow and Passage of Time within Consciousness: A Multidisciplinary Analysis.” Brill, Brill, 30 July 2018,

[3] Falk, Dan. “What Is Relativity? Einstein’s Mind-Bending Theory Explained.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 29 Nov. 2018,

[4] Morris, Zoë Slote et al. “The answer is 17 years, what is the question: understanding time lags in translational research.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine vol. 104,12 (2011): 510-20. doi:10.1258/jrsm.2011.110180