A New EarthIn A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Eckhart Tolle simply and beautifully employs spiritual parables from many traditions to distill and illuminate the One truth to which they point: God in me; me in God. Form (the material world) is interpenetrated by nothingness (space, quantum possibilities, consciousness, spirit, God). If so many cultures can agree that we, as form, are permeated with spirit, why do we experience so much separation and suffering?
Tolle states that suffering is cIn A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Eckhart Tolle simply and beautifully employs spiritual parables from many traditions to distill and illuminate the One truth to which they point: God in me; me in God. Form (the material world) is interpenetrated by nothingness (space, quantum possibilities, consciousness, spirit, God). If so many cultures can agree that we, as form, are permeated with spirit, why do we experience so much separation and suffering? Tolle states that suffering is created when the ego identifies completely with form:1. Physical Forms: personal, socio and spiritual conditioning from the past (such as gender, social status and race), 2. Feeling Forms: accumulated emotional pain, and 3. Thought Forms: beliefs, expectations and judgments.“This results in total unawareness of my connectedness with the whole, my intrinsic oneness with every “other” as well as the Source. This forgetfulness is original sin, suffering and delusion.” Tolle posits that this forgetfulness creates a schism between what we perceive and the realm of possibilities—or spirit. This schism is the result of an outmoded egoic consciousness. Does that mean that ego is bad? We use this ego consciousness as a vehicle to identify with form. It’s how we experience and engage the world! It’s in this identification and mastery of form, that we find our security, certainty and power. Look at the vast possibilities we’ve created in our world: technological convenience, accessibility of information, sanitation, medical science, culture, etcetera. Tolle does not say that ego is bad, but suggests, however, that it’s no longer a necessary vehicle. Eckhart Tolle believes that it is imperative that our ego consciousness evolves. He doesn’t urge us to stop thinking—but to stop identifying with our thinking.
Nor does he urge us to stop suffering, but to recognize it as a messenger to be conscious. How can we do that when we are suffering? Tolle offers an alternative to identifying and defending our old physical, feeling and thought forms. He calls this Awakened Doing and defines three modalities: acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. If you are not in the state of at least one of them, no matter what you are doing, you are creating suffering for yourself or others. 1. Acceptance is to assume responsibility for your identification with beliefs, expectations and judgments. If you are living an old situation over and over in your thinking, you are not in the present. Bring your consciousness here. This is what you have control of. If you’ve relinquished your thoughts and still cannot accept what you’re doing—if it’s causing you suffering—stop. 2. To experience Enjoyment is to find the joy of conscious Presence in whatever you are doing. Instead of identifying with your feeling, obsessively wanting something or expecting joy to come from a certain activity, you bring yourself to the present moment. Perhaps in this moment, no matter how small, you are alive and alert. Practice this, and each moment will expand so that you begin to experience connection to the universal creative power. Joy flows from there into activities that were once tedious or painful, because a new consciousness is awakened in you. 3. Enthusiasm is the spiritual will or vision manifesting through you. To find your relationship to enthusiasm you must recognize how you are connected to the spirit. You are not your gender, title, cultural conditioning, or race.The result is the Earthly manifestation of Heaven. Awakening now is your life’s purpose! Eckhart Tolle is an articulate writer, and his ideas flow logically. The stories he chooses enliven the concepts he presents. I have two minor critiques of this book: 1) I wish the end-notes contained source references to all the stories—not just the Biblical references, and 2) It would have allowed me greater contemplation if he included pauses in his writing for personal discovery and practical applications. But, all-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed A New Earth....more