Anybody read any of Eckhart Tolle's books? The Power of Now or A New Earth, and are familiar with his concepts on spirituality?

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Jenny - posted on 06/10/2012

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I'll do better, here's an excerpt from Wikipedia's synopsis on A New Earth.

Chapter One: The Flowering of Human Consciousness

Tolle begins with an allegorical evocation: "Earth, 114 million years ago, one morning just after sunrise: The first flower ever to appear on the planet opens up to receive the rays of the sun ... this momentous event heralds an evolutionary transformation in the life of plants". This is used by Tolle as an analogy for a transformation in human consciousness that he sees is about to occur and has already begun.

Tolle believes that the earliest such "flowers" or spiritual messengers were in the forms of Buddha, Jesus, Laozi and other such great teachers, and that at those particular time periods in history, these great teachers’ messages were not fully understood. Tolle explains:


"The inspiration for the title of this book came from a Bible prophecy that seems more applicable now than at any other time in human history. It occurs in both the Old and the New Testament and speaks of the collapse of the existing world order and the arising of "a new heaven and a new earth." We need to understand here that heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness. This is the esoteric meaning of the word, and this is also its meaning in the teachings of Jesus. Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner. Collective human consciousness and life on our planet are intrinsically connected. "A new heaven" is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and "a new earth" is its reflection in the physical realm. Since human life and human consciousness are intrinsically one with the life of the planet, as the old consciousness dissolves, there are bound to be synchronistic geographic and climatic natural upheavals in many parts of the planet, some of which we are already witnessing now."

Chapters Two, Three and Four: Ego

In his book A New Earth, Tolle defines the term ego as an "illusory sense of self"[1] based on one's memories and thoughts.[2] Tolle says that when studying history "it becomes obvious that the human ego in its collective aspect as “us” against “them” is even more insane than the “me,” the individual ego, although the mechanism is the same. By far the greater part of violence that humans have inflicted on each other is not the work of criminals or the mentally deranged, but of normal, respectable citizens in the service of the collective ego. One can go so far as to say that on this planet “normal” equals insane. What is it that lies at the root of this insanity? Complete identification with thought and emotion, that is to say, ego."

Tolle describes our identification with things: things that we use every day for self enhancement or things we have become attached to and become obsessed with. He describes how inferiority changes the way we act with other people and creates an ego that we didn’t normally have.

Chapters Five and Six: The Pain Body

Tolle uses his term pain body to describe the human tendency to carry around "an accumulation of old emotional pain".[3] The identification is what causes all the reoccurring pain in the individual. Being able to know where the pain is coming from will prevent the pain body to renew itself through you. Our inner consciousness can change the world by not just being satisfied with what you do. Our destinies can be determined by how we carry out our actions and how we can fulfill them with the best possible consciousness.

Chapters Seven, Eight and Nine: Inner Space, Inner Purpose and Who You Truly Are

In these chapters, Tolle makes many distinctions: between "knowing yourself and knowing about yourself"; between the "Dreamer" and the "dream"; between the objects of consciousness and the space of consciousness; between outer space and inner space; and between outer purpose and inner purpose

Chapter Ten: A New Earth

In the final chapter, Tolle discusses what he calls "the three modalities of awakened doing": acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Acceptance is when you may not enjoy what you are doing but you have to be able to accept it. This is essentially being able to take responsibility in your life and to take action with certain things that are not enjoyable at all and to find peace within these activities. Enjoyment is the next modality and it is being able to make the present moment a pivotal part of your life. This doesn’t mean that if you want to do something that you will find enjoyment in it. It means that with everything you do that you need to enjoy it in the present; you can’t let the moments pass you by or tell yourself you will enjoy something in the near future. The final modality of the inner consciousness is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm entails that there is a deeper enjoyment in the actions you do and being able to work towards a final goal, with a sense of urgency, but without stress.

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