Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: A New Earth

A New Earth. Eckhart Tolle. New York: Plume Books, 2005. 309 pp
In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle states that the purpose of this book “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, to awaken.” (page 6-7). After reading A New Earth, I believe that he succeeded beautifully in this purpose.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose is not a book that you can just idly read as an interested bystander. Rather, it pulls your into its core concept: that we human beings primarily operate from our egoic states which cause great suffering. Moreover, our egoic states, derived from our experiences and from the stories that we tell ourselves about those experiences, are not who we really are. What we are, says Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth, is beyond form. It is beyond the roles we play in life. It is beyond our occupations. It is beyond any labels we give ourselves.
What we are is pure consciousness that needs nothing added to it to be happy. Yes, this concept is a shock to our consumerist egoic minds, but it is our ego that thinks that we need that new car or more money to be happy. In a state of pure consciousness, however, we are happy just as we are and, because we do not need anything else to be happy, prosperity literally rains down upon us.
But this consciousness is obscured by the constant chatter of our thoughts. Our thoughts tell us how we should be and how we should feel and how much status and prestige we should have and…well…they limit us.
In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle shows you how to silence those thoughts and directly access the state of pure consciousness where true happiness lies. But it won’t be easy. First you have to deal with what Eckhart Tolle calls the “Pain Body.”
In Chapter Five, he discusses this “pain body” in depth, and I was fascinated. It sounds almost as if the “pain body” possesses our mind, behaviors, and emotions until we learn how to exorcise it (so to speak). Step by step, Tolle shows you exactly how to rid yourself of your pain body and return to a state of pure consciousness.
For anyone who wants to become spiritually awakened, I highly recommend this book. Buy a copy, read it, then let me know what you think!

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