This topic has become very popular since Eckhart Tolle has become so popular with the help of Oprah Winfrey. I have seen psychology articles talk about this. But is it possible that this is what psychology has always been about? Maybe they did not use those words of mindfulness or being in the present, but look at what the purpose of psychology or psychiatry is.

Since Eckhart Tolle reached this desired state through depression, he does not have a system of how people should do it. Thinking that you want to be in the present moment does not really help since thinking is what takes you out of the present moment. So does psychology have a system of helping people to be more aware of the present moment? The answer is yes.

Psychotherapy is defined by Merrian-Webster medical dictionary as "treatment of mental or emotional disorder or maladjustment by psychological means especially involving verbal communication (as in psychoanalysis, nondirective psychotherapy, reeducation, or hypnosis)." At a first look you can say that psychology is about the person's past to see what went wrong to see if they can fix it. While being in the present has nothing to do with the past.

But the reason that they are looking at a person's past is because there is something wrong with the person in the present. They believe that by helping a person with a past traumatic event, it will help them in the present. We are familiar with the idea a person suffering a horrible experience and then not being able to function in the present.

For example there are 2 movies where a guy lost his wife and children and as a result cannot function normally in the present. One of them is called Reign Over Me with Adam Sandler. Wikipedia says "When the Twin Towers went down in 2001, Charlie Fineman (Sandler) lost everything important in his life. Five years have passed since Charlie's wife and daughters died, and now the once-successful and sociable man has become a withdrawn shadow of his former self."

So a psychologist is supposed to help a person to get over the ill effect of a traumatic event in the past so they can function better in the present. Before Dianetics became Scientology, it was similar to psychology. Their goal was to do it better than psychology did it. Using their terminology explains the above in a better way. They say that traumatic events trap attention units in the past so they cannot be used in the present so a person functions at a diminished capacity.

The less attention units that a person has to use, the more efficient that he is at doing things and the happier that he is. So they would have a person go ever an event and relive it until they get to this point where this event no longer bothers him. This causes the attention units that were trapped in this past event to return to the present making him more in the present.

So this is what psychology was doing well before Eckhart Tolle taught this. A famous psychologist Abraham Maslow was born in 1908 and died in 1970. He said: "I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”

So psychology and Dianetics have a method to help achieve what Eckhart Tolle achieved by being depressed.

Author's Bio: 

Chuck Bluestein has been learning about health, mental health, Dianteics, Scientology and related fields for decades. He has been doing yoga since the age of 12. For more on being in the present see Is the Key to Happiness Being in the Present Moment