|Standard Rating:||Coming Soon…|
|Available Formats:||Paperback, Hardcover, Audio Book|
|Book Dimensions:||7.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches|
|Sub-Genre:||Self-Help, Health, Mind-Body, Psychology & Counseling, Consciousness, Spirituality, Personal Transformation|
|Tags:||Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Health, Mind-Body, Psychology & Counseling, Consciousness, Spirituality, Personal Transformation, Enlightenment, Ego|
“Building on the astonishing success of The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle presents readers with an honest look at the current state of humanity: He implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity.
“Tolle tells us there is good news, however. There is an alternative to this potentially dire situation. Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world. This will involve a radical inner leap from the current egoic consciousness to an entirely new one.
“In illuminating the nature of this shift in consciousness, Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. Then gently, and in very practical terms, he leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we truly are-which is something infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are-and learn to live and breathe freely.” (From the author’s website)
When I first approached a serious reading of this book, I was told by a good friend that it was quite good. In fact, his exact words were that A New Earth is “life-changing.” After the first 50 pages, I appreciated his opinion and could see the basis of it. It was at about the same time that I realized I was going to have a difficult time writing a review that would do the book the level of justice that it deserved.
A New Earth is about enlightenment, increasing conscious living, decreasing, and if possible, eradicating, the influence of the Ego in your life. And though it is not a book that caters to members of any specific religious group, Tolle builds the foundation for his teachings from the teachings of Buddha, Jesus Christ, Hindu, and other sources. For example, Tolle Spends a larger percentage of the book discussing the Ego and the detrimental effects a strong ego has on the human spirit and psyche. Four chapters (2 through 5) are devoted to discussing and exposing the Ego for what it really is. The Ego (what I grew up calling The Natural Man) is defined as “the unobserved mind, the voice in the head that pretends to be you” “unobserved emotions,” and “dysfunctional thought processes” (134). The Ego possesses an amount of influence in human consciousness that is at the same time detrimental and destructive to the person experiencing an egoic episode and the person or persons the episode is aimed at. The problem with the Ego is that it is a foundational part of the human psyche and can never be completely eradicated. However, individuals who are aware of the strength and power of their individual Egos can learn how to deal with the ego in a way that will not actually work to strengthen the Ego in the end. The influence that the Ego has in a person’s life can be minimized though, and must be minimized so the person can enter a level of consciousness they will be incapable of experiencing otherwise.
Everyone caries some amount of emotional baggage. Tolle refers to this baggage as the pain-body, which is an interesting concept. “Because of the human tendency to perpetuate old emotion, almost everyone carries in his or her energy field an accumulation of old emotional pain, which I call ‘the pain-body.'” The Ego and the pain-body work to perpetuate one another-the Ego makes the pain-body stronger and the pain-body makes the ego stronger. When working to reduce the influence of one of these, you also reduce the influence of the other. “We can…stop adding to the pain-body that we already have. We can learn to break the habit of accumulating and perpetuating old emotion by flapping our wings, metaphorically speaking, and refrain from mentally dwelling on the past, regardless of whether something happened yesterday or thirty years ago…nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?” (140-141).
After laying the foundation about what the pain-body and ego are, and why they are so detrimental to our lives and society, Tolle spends the rest of the book (chapters 6 through 10) discussing how to minimize their influence. The first step: recognizing the ego and the pain-body for what they are. Next: becoming Present. And then: gnothi seauton-know thyself. Is it really that simple? No, not even close; but Tolle walks his reader through the whole process in a very straight-forward manner that lacks excess, flowery mysticism. Like I said earlier, his methods are, in part, grounded in the teachings of Buddha, Jesus Christ, Hindu, and other sources. The process is fascinating, though I don’t fully agree with some of Tolle’s ideas. Aside from those few differences, I think Tolle is right on.