‘A New Earth’: A book of great depth by Eckhart Tolle

‘A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose’ by Ekhart Tolle, the author of ‘The Power of Now‘, talks about the ego, the collective ego, the conscious and subconscious and being in the Present.

He defines flowers as the ‘enlightenment of plants’, because of how flowers are more delicate, beautiful and give off the sweetest scent.

Just like newborns are innocent, sweet and beautiful and seem other-worldly because they delight even the most insensitive of people, similarly flowers are there to light up the darkness of the world.

The author defines spiritual awakening through the importance of the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christianity and the jewel in the lotus is a central symbol in Buddhism.

In Hinduism, what they call the mind a Maya or ‘the veil of delusion’, is similar to the Original Sin in Christianity. The Original Sin is not associated with the concept of sinning but it literally means to ‘miss the point’.

What is sanity? To recognize one’s own sanity is of course the arising of sanity. Religion should not be mixed with spirituality as that causes judgemental behavior.

‘As the world changes, humanity is faced with a stark choice – evolve or die.’

Hence, ‘A new heaven, hence is a transformed state of human consciousness and a new earth is its reflection in the physical realm.’

The writer then comes to the illusory self. It is the inner voice in your head. It deals with ‘I’ and refuses to listen to the voice. The writer says you have to try to be freed of the self (ego) and compulsive thinking. The ego in you wants to buy designer products but if everyone could afford them they would lose their psychological value. It will create a big consumer market which means the class hierarchy will be more acute.

The writer then talks of how sometimes letting go of things is a far greater power than defending or hanging on.

Apart from objects, another form of identification is with our body. People who are obsessed with youth, good looks, physical strength or ability are more likely to experience a setback, when these things fade away. The body awareness is the doorway out of the prison into a freer realm.

Eckhart points to how you can be a slave of your mind sometimes. It conditions you to see enemies and find faults in others. At other times it maybe, that you are correct but the mind amplifies the fact that you are at fault. Therefore, to forgive is to overlook and the best strategy. He says, whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.

The author then moves on to the pain body. How the mind is conditioned to look into the past and is forced to reenact it again and again.

Children’s pain bodies sometimes manifest themselves as moodiness or withdrawal. So don’t give into emotional drama.

‘The more unhappy I become, the more likely I am to get what I want.’

When you have young children, guide them and teach them, but when they are old give them the freedom to make choices so that they learn.

When you learn about your own pain body, you learn what triggers your pain – be it occasions or certain things people say. So, to be aware of your triggers and pain body will help you function better emotionally.

The author concludes with the message ‘You don’t need to become whole but be what you already are – with or without pain body.’

The book is a great insight into how enjoying what you do with enthusiasm is what makes you productive to the maximum. So let go of your ego, and quit doing. Choose what gives you pleasure.

Beenish Mahmood has a double Master's in English Literature with almost a decade of experience in magazine journalism. She is passionate about South Asian Fiction and environmental issues. She can be reached through email at address-beenishmhmd@gmail.com.