A New Earth: Finding Your True Self So You Can Make a Real Difference

The New York Times bestselling author is a favorite of Oprah and an influential voice in modern spirituality. During his life, he suffered from severe depression, and at the age of 29, he had a profound epiphany known as an “inner transformation,” which led him to pass on his knowledge to the world.

Bitely Team
Last update:calendarApr 20, 2024
Read time:clock11 min
A New Earth: Finding Your True Self So You Can Make a Real Difference

There is a need for profound, meaningful changes on the individual and global levels.

The key might be Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.

Recent key issues, from pandemics to climate emergencies to the Black Lives Matter movement, have highlighted how inefficient our current systems are. As a result, the planet and people are prioritized over financial gain, strength, and convenience. Hope, however, can also be found in this knowledge.

According to Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth, awareness is the most significant force for change.

The New York Times bestselling author is a favorite of Oprah and an influential voice in modern spirituality. During his life, he suffered from severe depression, and at the age of 29, he had a profound epiphany known as an “inner transformation,” which led him to pass on his knowledge to the world.

As a result of Oprah’s recommendation of his debut book (The Power of Now) to her audience, the book became a huge success and has since sold countless copies and translated into more than 30 languages worldwide. So, it remains relevant 15 years after A New Earth was published in 2005.

The Human Condition

Purposes within and outside the body

Eckhart’s approach to solving the world’s problems is changing how we perceive our consciousness. We strive for both inner and outer purposes. To achieve our internal purpose, we need to live in the present moment and become more aware of our current thoughts and actions. Whether creating peace, solving world hunger, or helping others, we strive to achieve our outer purpose. It may seem obvious to choose the latter when trying to make a difference on a global scale.

In contrast, Eckhart states that your inner purpose is more important than your outer purpose. Consider the case where your primary focus is on your outer purpose. Putting your foundation in outer purposes will not bring you fulfillment or peace. Instead, when you approach your outer purposes with awareness and motivation, your inner purpose will serve as your foundation. Ultimately, this will accelerate your journey toward real-world change.

Religion and spirituality

Most ancient religions describe human life as dysfunctional. For example, Maya is a term used in Hinduism to describe collective mental illness. The Buddhist term dukkha describes a state of misery and suffering as the natural state of mind. As sin is the act of missing the mark, the concept of sin in Christianity is defined as ‘missing the point.’

Even though most religions strive to help us overcome this disease, none of them have succeeded. Many religions seek to cure madness by teaching people to live kindly and humbly in unity. Yet, consider all the violence committed in the name of religion. Looking back over the last century, we can see that our planet has suffered havoc despite unprecedented advances. It’s clear that we still don’t understand.

Getting Rid of The Ego

As part of this book section, Eckhart helps readers understand the ego, how it arises, and how they can identify it to become free. According to him, the ego possesses the following characteristics:

● Negative thoughts and complaints strengthen everyone’s ego.

● Unawareness is associated with egoism. Being aware will prevent your ego from taking over.

● The ego is a fragile thing. There is a tendency for it to take everything personally, even when it doesn’t need to.

● Joint dysfunction is what makes up the ego. The struggle we all go through and its impact on the people and the world around us are two things we all struggle with. The insanity of the mind is what it is.

● Reactivity feeds the ego. Drama and negativity are the ego’s favorite things. Whenever you fail or have hardships in the past, this mind loves to dwell on them.

● It is based on unstable structures in that the ego is built.

According to Tolle, the ego is the root cause of our destructive human tendencies. When we identify as our ego, we become consumed by our perceptions and emotions and the urge to interact with the outside world. As a society, we measure human worth and identity through achievements, status, and wealth. Tolle believes this must stop.

The ego confuses self-knowledge with self-awareness. The key to letting go of your ego is to realize that you are not your ego but rather an image of yourself that you construct. ‘I,’ the authentic self, is the one who can stand outside the flow of perception and recognize the truth regardless of what is happening in this stream of consciousness.

What Matters Most

Emotions and instincts

We tend to think automatically and repetitively most of the time. Our thoughts often lack purpose, so many of them are meaningless. The act of thinking is a physical one, just like digestion. Rather than thinking, we are influenced by our thoughts. It does not mean, however, that we should act according to our thoughts. It is becoming increasingly common to let our thoughts control us and provide us with identity. Our egos are like this. A person’s ego depends on how much they identify with their thoughts.

Moreover, these thoughts don’t define us. They are only a tiny part of our consciousness. However, we have allowed these thoughts to become almost all of who we describe as ‘us’ within the modern world, and we now feel overwhelmed with emotions. This is because we identify with our minds through our feelings.

We Seek Negative Emotions

One word sums up all negative emotions: unhappiness. There is a strong association between this unhappiness and physical illness. Occasionally, we seek this unhappiness as well. It is through emotional negativity that we experience unhappiness. To stop seeking out emotional negativity, we must recognize our tendency. Our negative thoughts are not the result of our inability to stop them but rather our unwillingness to stop them.

Our ego calls it love, but it is merely possessiveness and the identification of self through someone else that it calls love. There is a risk that this ‘love’ may quickly become a hate-filled relationship if the ego is not let go of it. Only one evil in the world and other ‘bad’ are responsible for this: humans.

All of us have been there. You feel the pain immediately when offended, annoyed, or hurt. If you don’t leave it alone, you keep thinking about it, analyzing it, worrying, and letting it weigh you down. Due to this ego-driven tendency, we suffer from overthinking the past and future. Our negative emotions and circumstances prevent us from enjoying life.

Pursuing Your Purpose

We cannot be fulfilled or content without a real purpose in life, regardless of how much money we accumulate, what stuff we own, or what status we achieve. For most of us, Tolle argues, being present in the moment is our inner purpose. That is why we need to change our consciousness and separate our thoughts from our awareness. The most important thing is to be aware of your inner purpose. Career development or money-making is not always within your control, so they may change and disappoint you.

Say, for example, that you are very proud of your work and identify as the most successful stock trader — that’s just who you are. Then, the economy crashes, and you suddenly aren’t the best at your position. It is as if you have no job due to the economic downturn. In that case, who are you? You can keep yourself safe from hurting your ego by remembering that you do not define yourself by the external world but rather by your inner purpose.

You are not defined by your external actions but by the inner purpose that drives them. For example, charity work can appear noble and selfless from the outside, but if it stems from a place of ego, it is fueled by ego and will not bring contentment to its recipients.

Embrace and Take Pleasure In

So what’s the secret? What can you do to reduce daily tension and stress? What can we do to achieve peace and perhaps even enlightenment? Acceptance and enjoyment are the two most essential elements in the present. It’s easy to say. But, in practice, how do you do it? What can you do to enjoy everything?

According to Tolle, it is first necessary to take action peacefully whenever necessary. This is what acceptance is all about. Accepting a task and being at peace with it means accepting even a task that is not pleasant, such as washing dishes, folding clothes, or filing taxes.

It’s not always easy, of course. But, according to Tolle, if you cannot take pleasure in, or even accept, an activity, then you should stop doing it. In his view, the sole thing you control in life is your state of mind, so if you carry on without the desire or joy to do so, you forfeit it. No matter what life throws at you, only you can decide how to deal with it.

Your actions will always be motivated by pure enjoyment once you become aware of your true self, a sense of awakening.

Freedom to Get Better

We can change not only our own lives, but we can change the world we live in by discovering our inner purpose and achieving enlightenment, says Tolle. Violence or destruction is unnecessary when there is no desire, greed, or want.

The cycle of self-sustaining negative thoughts that have plagued us for so long can be broken once we release our ego. Then, we can begin to take action with enthusiasm from a place of intention to positively impact the planet, not only for the people who live on it but also for the earth itself.

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