Your Life is a journey to this Moment
In this unique and exhilarating book, Tim shows everyone how to be spiritually awake in the perpetual now, whilst also engaging passionately with the adventure of life.
Tim shares his own amazing journey to the ecstasy of oneness and the bliss of big love, inviting all of us to explore the “real world” of meaning, miracles and magic.
He offers astonishing insights and powerful wake-up techniques, clarifies common misunderstandings about what it is to be “spiritual”, and presents an extraordinary new understanding of death and immortality.
Full of warmth, laughter, tears, vitality and style, the book is a breathtaking tour de force that will help all to appreciate the mystery of the moment and enjoy the time of their lives.
Before reading the reviews click here to watch Tim introducing How Long is NOW?
In 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' Robert Pirsig refers to those who 'blaze their own trail into the high country' of spiritual experience. Tim is such a one as this, and in this book he invites us to join with him on the trail. He has blazed this trail with consistency, integrity and effort for some forty years. It has not been without cost, yet he does not speak to us as a guru dispensing hard won wisdom. He invites us to come alongside and join in the journey, or, if not to join in, to get a taste of it so that we can make more informed choices about our own.
The book is essentially an autobiography, but not in any sense of following a linear time line. It sometimes reminded me of reading 'The Time Traveller's Wife' where you are located at a different time, and therefore at a different point in the stories attached to linier time, at the start of each chapter. The meta-story we are following is outside time.
A great strength of this book is that Tim does not speak as having arrived, but only as one marvelling in the excitement and traumas of the journey. At one point he describes how his encounter with Ramesh Balsekar in Mumbai, and the insights he gained from it, made him feel his "journey of awakening was over", but immediately he comes in with "I soon discovered I was wrong about this…" and we go with him to another seminal moment in his experience where the view opens up onto yet another vista of life. This sense of travelling and never arriving is maintained throughout the book until we understand that it is never the destination, but only the journey that is significant. We get the distinct impression that the final insight he offers, in the section headed 'the koan pops!', actually occurred while the book was being written, and we know the process will continue after it has been published.
There are two aspects to Tim's approach to spirituality which sets this book in a class of its own as far as I am concerned. The first is his use of rationality to assess his experiences and anchor the conclusions he draws from them. He has had some fairly amazing experiences which he records for us, but he leaves their meaning open. He records that in 'modern spirituality' he has encountered a "disturbing amount of childlike gullibility...." which "leaves us confused and vulnerable" and "which discredits spirituality among those more rationally sophisticated." At the same time he makes good his endeavour to 'try to keep an open mind on everything'. He shows us how he uses rationality to ground his spirituality without closing himself to new insights, and this is very valuable.
The second aspect is his integration of mundane human experience and spiritual experience into an 'undivided garment' with which to clothe ourselves. He takes us through his experience of rejecting normal human life as at best irrelevant, and at worst destructive, to the spiritual journey, to a total acceptance of his humanity and its experiences as one with this journey. The key to this for him was the joy of human love and family life - elements conspicuously missing from much 'modern spirituality'.
This unification of the material and spiritual experience of life is, it seems to me, at the cutting edge of human evolution. This book is written from that edge. For too long humanity has suffered from keeping them separate and what this book has to say about the practical business of uniting them in our conscious awareness is of paramount importance to this age.
We are left at the end with a soaring view of human evolution in progress, in which we can all take part no matter where, or in what state, we find ourselves. And we can take part in the knowledge that each one of us matters - each one eases the birth of the greater awareness which humanity will have to embrace if it is to survive in its present form, and each one reduces the suffering which is required to bring this birth about. This book enables us to choose, or not, "to be a member of the deep awake tribe that is arising on the new edge of evolution."
Richard Jones 17.11.09
'How Long is Now' is Tim Freke's best book.
It is his best book because it is absolutely grounded in the joys and stresses of modern life.
Following a profound experience of expanded consciousness as a child, the book is a riveting account of how he has devoted his life to exploring its meaning. Yet this is not a life on a mountain top, hermit's cave or monastic community, but a journey through youthful uncertainties, the challenges of earning a living, marriage, fatherhood and all the other experiences that enrich life.
It is the story of how he travels to the East to understand what happened to him. Of how in the living room of an Indian Guru he once more tastes illumined consciousness - which this time takes root. He sees that it arises from a deep awareness of the eternal 'now' which we never leave and its awesome mystery.
Returning home, he then faces the challenge of nurturing transcendent awareness in the midst of modern western culture. As the experience waxes and wanes under the stress of daily living, he is slowly brought to ever-deeper understanding of what he comes to call lucid consciousness or being deep awake.
What really brings the book to life is its semi-autobiographical nature. It is the many stories, the kind of things that happen to you and me, and how they brought him to deeper insight, that lift this book to another level. The stories earth the book in daily living, where we must all learn to nurture the deep awake state if it is to mean anything.
Above all, this is a book that celebrates life. It is a profound enlightenment teaching, yet does not present expanded consciousness as an escape from a difficult world, but as a joyful way to dive in more deeply.
This is what marks the book out as different.
It is why the book could change your life.
Simon Small 25.08.09
Even the title of Tim's book sends me off into a Möbius strip loop which is like one of those amazing fairground roller-coaster rides. I get giddy just thinking about the ride and can't figure out if I've already been on the ride and am dizzy remembering it, whether I'm actually on the ride right now, experiencing it, or waiting to go on it and dizzy with anticipation. Then the most amazing realisation, it's all of these, at once, at the same time NOW!!!
This book is special for many reasons. The first reason may seem obvious, but it is worthwhile stating. This is written by a guy called Tim Freke whose profession is a 'stand-up Philosopher' or in other words a 'stand up Lover of Wisdom.'
Tim has spent all of his life loving, exploring and explaining wisdom. In this book he interweaves the story of 'Tim' with the profound and funny philosophical insights that he has distilled from many spiritual sources over time.
This book describes his journey to date and explores ways for us all to experience 'deep-awake' states, to live more lucidly and to have more Big Love in our lives.
I tried something this morning and randomly flicked through pages of this book to see if I could find pages where there were no philosophical treasures, or bits that sagged or didn't engage me - but couldn't find one…
In the 'Now' that we appear to be experiencing, I cannot think of a more relevant and loving roadmap for all of our realities. I have loved reading this book, I love reading this book and I will love reading this book, again and again and again.
Mary Anderson 16.08.09
Having had the pleasure of Tim's new book already, I am happy to say I am bowled over. I will try to give you a flavour of what to expect, though I will certainly fail to do Tim's work of genius justice…
The book explores all the mysteries your inner nature discovers when it looks at life directly, putting aside the roles we play and ideas we have about the world.
- It's a very pleasurable and engaging read.
- There is nothing to believe except your own experience.
- Through his own story, Tim embodies lots of the key ideas in "spiritual" thinking making them relevant, accessible and easy to feel as well as understand.
- There is new thinking in here, which I think it is easy to relate to. Stuff about the human experience. There are "of course" moments a plenty.
- Things which I understood in a far more complex cerebral way I now understand experientially.
It's a good read, an honest book, which strips out dogma and replaces them with a laugh or two. This book goes so deep it uncovers the simplicity at the heart of many practices and traditions - it connects you with the source of those traditions rather than the practice of them.
Perhaps most importantly I think this is not a book for the converted. Well, it is great for the converted obviously, but it's not just for the converted. By that I mean its not just for those interested in spirituality - it just about life. I think this book is a real manifestation of Tim's embodiment of the philosopher role (rather than spiritual teacher role) and I think that is a real strength.
In summary, a deep, inspired, human book about the natural process of awakening.
Joanne Strong 17.08.09
'How Long Is Now?' is an immense book, presenting both a riveting account of the author's personal journey of awakening, and a clear statement of its implications for the wider world. In my view, this book has the potential to completely reshape our shared understanding of the purpose and nature of spirituality, as well as open up exciting new vistas for transforming consciousness individually and collectively.
The writing is lucid, playful, probing and insightful; but more than that, it is borne of a love of life so deep that it has not tired in the face of hardship and heartache, but has shown itself to be resilient enough to find solutions to seemingly intractable problems, while at the same time affirming all that is good in life without ignoring the bad.
Unlike Tim Freke's previous books - which tend to focus more on history and philosophy - this one is intensely personal, drawing on key events from his extraordinary and ordinary life. In my view, this book represents a vast achievement, and I heartily recommend to everyone who is even remotely interested in life and its un-lived possibilities.
Anthony Taylor 15.08.09