Eckhart Tolle is a renowned writer best known for The Power of Now that has sold over 2 million copies. A New Earth is a follow-up book to the Power of Now. In this book, he looks at how we can live in a conflict and suffering free world by going beyond our ego-based state of consciousness. Eckhart acknowledges that many people in the world today are imprisoned in their consciousness.
You have been conditioned to believe that the only thing that can liberate you from this imprisonment is religion. In Christianity, they call it salvation, Buddhism they call it the end of suffering and in Hinduism, they call enlightenment. This book brings in a new perspective that can help free your mind. Read the A New Earth summary below to get a glimpse of the ideas that Tolle is passing along in his book.
The Flowering of Human Consciousness – in this chapter Eckhart discusses the source of the insanity and division that is there in the world today. In ancient times, only a few people were able to reach true liberation and consciousness, for instance, Buddha, Tao Tzu, and others.
However, these people were frowned upon hated and sometimes even killed which made religion more divisive. To be able to reach the level of liberation of the human consciousness that Eckhart talks about, there should first be the realization of our inherited dysfunction.
When this has been attained, then you can be able to easily detach yourself from your mind and your ego so you can think freely. Many people who are in religion think to the level of conscious thought. That is, if you do not believe the tenets of their faith then you are wrong. However, there is an urgency of transformation happening now, and it is only when we are faced by such a crisis that we are able to change.
Ego: The Current State of Humanity – in this chapter he discusses how humanity has lost sense in the depth of life by giving things labels and titles. If you remove the labels given to things like stones, trees, chairs, etc, then you start to see the miraculous in everything. Life becomes more profound and full of awe for you. Further, the label of “I” which brings other labels like me, mine, my, myself is the source of all ego.
However, he states there is good news. “The good news is: If you can recognize illusion as illusion, it dissolves. The recognition of illusion is also it’s ending. Its survival depends on your mistaking it for reality. In the seeing of who you are not, the reality of who you are emerges by itself.”
The Core of Ego – “The content of the ego varies from person to person, but in every ego, the same structure operates. In other words: Egos only differ on the surface. Deep down they are all the same. In what way are they the same? They live on identification and separation.”
Role-Playing: The Many Faces of Ego – To get what it wants, ego has to take on many shapes and forms. It has to play different roles and seek energy from the outside because it doesn’t understand that the energy is within you. “The ego thrives on others’ attention, which is, after all, a form of psychic energy.” Ego is what makes you feel superior or inferior to someone else.
The Pain Body – in this chapter Eckhart indicates that most people are suffering because they are not in control of their thoughts. Just like breathing or circulation thinking for most people is just happening.
Therefore since you are not thinking and thinking is happening to you, you keep reliving your past because the mind is conditioned by the past. To truly liberate yourself from this state of static mental cycle you have to hack your thinking. Literally, you need to start thinking.
Breaking Free – this chapter is about breaking free from your pain body. After you have realized you have a pain body, then you need to separate yourself from your thoughts so you can start putting thoughts in your mind and not merely responding to the pain body.
Finding Who You Truly Are – “Unconscious people – and many remain unconscious, trapped in their egos throughout their lives – will quickly tell you who they are: their name, their occupation, their personal history, the shape or state of their body, and whatever else they identify with.
Others may appear to be more evolved because they think of themselves as an immortal soul or living spirit. But do they really know themselves, or have they just added some spiritual sounding concepts to the content of their mind? Knowing yourself goes far deeper than the adoption of a set of ideas or beliefs.”
The Discovery of Inner Space – here Eckhart talks about detachment from the happenings in your life. When something happens, it is important to remember the phrase “this too will pass.”
“This, too will pass brings detachment, and with detachment, another dimension comes into your lie inner space. Through detachment, as well as non-judgment and inner nonresistance, you gain access to that dimension.”
Your Inner Purpose – “So the most important thing to realize is this: Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose. Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary. Outer purpose concerns doing and is secondary.”
A New Earth – A new earth will only arise for you when you have been fully liberated; when you have noticed that you are your life and you can differentiate absolute and relative truths. “The notion of “my own life” is, of course, another limited perspective created by thought, another relative truth. There is ultimately no such thing as “your” life since you and life are not two, but one.”
What I Like About the Book
I like that this book takes a different approach than what many other books would take. Eckhart points out that religion cannot fully liberate us because it also carries part of the problem. This different approach is crucial because you have to think past what you might have been led to believe all along that is not working out.
Also as religion is growing old and the message passed on from one generation to the other, it is distorted, and therefore it becomes part of the problem. Many have run to religion, but they are still not liberated. A New Earth takes a different approach and shows you how you can find liberation without religion.
Why You Should Read the Book
You should read A New Earth if you want to be able to detach from your mind and your ego and achieve a transformation of your consciousness. Eckhart Tolle’s book guides you through how you can identify ego and consciousness so you can be able to rise above the imprisonment of your own personality and be liberated.