A New Earth create a better life
Author: Eckhart Tolle; Publisher: Penguin
‘This book’s main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness, that is to say, awaken. In that sense, this book is not ‘interesting. Interesting means you can keep your distance, play around with ideas and concepts in your mind, agree or disagree. This book is about you. It will change your consciousness or it will be meaningless. It can only awaken those who are ready.’ Page 6-7
The back sleeve of the book says that Tolle will give you the confidence to let go of fear, anxiety and the eternal quest for more. It certainly offers a huge challenge to the reader. In addition the extract above also challenges and puts the reader on the spot.
In reading this book the reader has to be prepared for some heavy going and be prepared to stick with it. It is definitively not a book to read in a quick sitting. Tolle opens by talking and introducing the concept of consciousness and that heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness. Earth on the other hand is the outer manifestation in form which is always a reflection of the inner.
Tolle then proceeds to introduce the concept of ego and how the egoic mind is conditioned by the past and that it consists of content and structure. He explains how this concept of ego is used by the advertising industry to sell things that people don’t really need. By exploring what ego means he states that it tends to equate with Being, ‘I have therefore I am’. This is a challenging concept which, by understanding it, can help to bring about more self realisation and greater consciousness.
In describing the ego and what it does Tolle is attempting to show the reader how much of life is driven by the ego. If people were to recognize either their own or someone else’s behaviour as coming from the ego then there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were.
He also points out that those egoic patterns one reacts to most strongly in others and misperceive as their identity tend to be the same patterns that are also in you, but that you are unable or unwilling to detect in oneself. While Tolle devotes a large section of the book to identifying the difficulties that association with ego can cause for people he does bring it around to identifying ways of who you think you are and discovering inner space and seeking your inner purpose.
Tolle devotes a whole chapter to your inner purpose. He does this by means of a dialogue on inner purpose where he condense numerous conversations he has had with people who were looking for their true life purpose. He says that something is true when it resonates with and expresses your innermost being, when it is in alignment with your inner purpose. The impact of the dialogue is to crystallise a lot of the concepts that that he has spoken about in the book. One of the points he makes in the dialogue is that
“As the ego is no longer running your life the psychological need for external security, which is illusory anyway, lessens. You are able to live with uncertainty, even enjoy it. When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your lie. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change.” P274
He concludes the book with a chapter on A New earth where he talks about the three ways consciousness can flow into what you do and thus through you into this world, three modalities that you can align your life with the creative power of the universe. These are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. In effect if you are not in a state of acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm you will find you are creating suffering for yourself and others.
The book is a challenging one and at times difficult to read. Indeed you may find that you have to put it down for a while before you can come back to it. In relation to what it offers a coach it is very good in helping to define ego and the power of ego and how it can contribute to understanding what drives the internal voice or saboteur. It also provides a discipline for recognising and dealing with the ego as a means of self realization.
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