134 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exactly what I needed to read at the right time
I am going to keep this short. For years I have been reading spiritual books, trying the exercises, doing the things to bring the learned theoretical information into my life. Time and time again, it didn't work, I was still depressed, annoyed, lost, etc, etc etc. This book is the first book I have ever read that actually enabled me to see and practice what it said,...
Published on 19 Oct 2009 by Sebastian Buescher
90 of 108 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good points made, but not a keeper for me
I have mixed feelings about "A New Earth". While I thought some very good points were made, I didn't find it easy to read because the style of writing is so dense. Many of the ideas that Tolle presents are not original (e.g. how we interpret people or events is a result of our own thoughts or egos, we must strive to live in the present moment), but they are still well...
Published on 25 Mar 2008 by Julia Flyte
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134 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exactly what I needed to read at the right time,
This review is from: A New Earth: Create a Better Life (Paperback)I am going to keep this short. For years I have been reading spiritual books, trying the exercises, doing the things to bring the learned theoretical information into my life. Time and time again, it didn't work, I was still depressed, annoyed, lost, etc, etc etc. This book is the first book I have ever read that actually enabled me to see and practice what it said, quite quickly, without lists to guardian angels, thinking about what I want, analyzing the past, changing beliefs and planning for a brighter and more vibrant future. The bottom line is, I didn't know what I wanted and I still don't know. Most books ask you to make these goals, to plan ahead, but that is not really possible if you don't know. This book asks you for the opposite: Wide awake now, here, alert, attentive and conscious and then let's see what life chooses to do through you.
188 of 197 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise... Unusually good,
This review is from: A New Earth: Create a Better Life (Paperback)I admit... I had my reservations about Tolle and his material. When I first saw the man, he talked way too slowly for my liking and I could have sworn he was half-mole. And after reading the book description and some of the reviews; I had an uneasy feeling that this was going to be a lot of spiritual hokum that tells me that my discomfort was due to my furniture in the wrong place or that I don't cuddle enough fluffy animals, and that the path to happiness is paved with daily 5-hour meditations where I admire my feet, so that one day I can shoot laser beams from my hands.
Anyhoo... I'm glad my close friend persisted in his recommendations.
I won't lie: This book can be abstract in places and is very spiritually-centred, so will not be for everyone... however, the spiritual element is incredibly practical. As much as my head imploded in some of the later chapters, his explanation of the ego and pain body are utterly brilliant. (In short: The ego is the "individualistic" element that seeks superiority/being unique, be it by showing off, playing the "hard-done-by-victim" or actions that purposefully make us 'different'. The pain body is a network of emotions that help to 'fuel' the ego. How lovely). What I really admire is how much Tolle talks you through the process of weakening their influences. With most self-help books, the tutor will generally explain their solution and just leave it at that... here, Tolle almost has a built-in FAQ, and explains a lot of the mistakes, potential problems and general things to expect when starting out. If I'm honest, I've found this a lot more practical than the majority of other self-help tactics out there... things like affirmations (the art of saying nice things about yourself) seem like short-term fixes that don't hold water when the going gets tough. Here, I'm seeing a lot more strength. (For anyone else who's read the book, I've found the phrase "The ego feels/thinks..." to be very useful. Of course I don't say this out loud...)
In terms of whether this book is for "you"... hmm...
Personally, if you're in a situation where you seem to be "losing sense of who you are", and fluctuate between highs and lows almost like a minor form of bi-polar depression (one minute you're a hero, next thing you know you're nothing), and can feel that you can handle a decent level of abstract psychological/spiritual ideas... then you're probably ready and should give this a spin!
166 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful,
This review is from: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Paperback)I love the Power of Now but I think A New Earth is even more profound and lucid. I find that this book - like all Eckhart's books, but this one has it even stronger - has an almost uncanny power. Somehow you can feel the wisdom it contains seeping into you as you read and taking you a little closer to realisation. This book gives you a profound understanding of how the ego works, and after reading it you are never quite the same person again. We are amazingly lucky that Eckhart possesses such an acute intellectual mind with an enlightened spiritual state. (The two don't often go together.) I would also recommend Steve Taylor's wonderful and inspiring book Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of our Minds, which Eckhart describes as 'one of the best books on spiritual awakening I have come across. An important contribution to the global shift in consciousness.' Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of Our Minds
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing book about the ego's negative spell,
This review is from: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Paperback)Eckhart Tolle says in his life-changing book "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" that all suffering is caused by our "ego." The ego is the identification with our thoughts, emotions, memories, interpretations and opinions. It is our involuntary stream of thinking, reactions, stories, resentments and comparisons. Our ego identity can also be our work, possessions, appearance and accomplishments.
Tolle says the ego is the identification with a role to protect and enhance ourselves. The ego cannot distinguish between the situation and our interpretation or reaction. The ego is never at peace with the present as satisfaction is always in the future. The ego's negativity and suffering are motivated by self interest and short sightedness.
Armed with Tolle's teachings I began observing my ego in action. To my dismay I saw how my ego always wanted the next thing to react against, to feel annoyed, disturbed or outraged. I realized I was addicted to anger and upset. I had no idea my constant reacting against everything strengthened my ego and sense of self importance. Each time I complained it made me right and the other person wrong.
As I became more aware I saw there was something in me that took pleasure in negativity. My ego was a master of selective perception and distorted interpretations. The moment I noticed this there was a shift from ego to awareness. I became more aware of the difference between the event and my reaction to the event. In time I discovered the best way to differentiate between fact and opinion was not through my thinking but my awareness.
Tolle says I'm not unique. The collective ego of countries keep grievances to fuel their endless cycle of violence. Throughout history many religions believed they were in sole possession of the Truth and killed those that did not believe their story. Their truth was considered more important than human life.
When I stopped feeding my ego's illusions I felt a profound joy and connectedness with all of creation. As my victim identity diminished I stopped seeking people's attention and sympathy. I became more accepting of what happens.
Instead of waiting for some change in the future I now enjoy the present. The joy does not come from what I do but flows into what I do. My new awareness allowed the world to become a mirror. The more I loved without conditions the more loving the world appeared. The spiritual realization I am not my thoughts, feelings, body or story but pure consciousness set me free.
The other Tolle teachings I found helpful include the awareness of how the ego patterns we react to in others are usually the same patterns in ourselves. How the ego constantly tries to protect and enlarge itself by looking at the world as "us" versus "them." How the ego needs enemies to feel right and superior. What we react to in others we strengthen in ourselves. How the ego sees each person as separate and views them as inferior or superior.
How all suffering is ego centered. Ego uses our mind to resist life as it is. The more we make our thoughts, beliefs, story and identity the Truth the more we cut ourselves off from the spiritual dimension within. Spirituality has nothing to do with what we believe and everything to do with our state of consciousness. Since consciousness transcends thought it is the dimension within ourselves that is infinitely more vast than thought.
The Holy Spirit is the Truth and it is within all of us. This is what Jesus really meant when he said, "I am the way and the truth and the life." Our essence, the Holy Spirit, is the TRUE identity of all humankind and all of creation. When we touch the Christ Within all our actions and relationships reflect the oneness of all life.
Our REAL identity is not the voice in our head but our awareness prior to the thoughts, the space in which our thoughts, emotions and sense perceptions happen.
Awakening is the realization that who we are is the oneness of life, we are the manifestation of all things, experiences and personalities. It requires a shift of perception from seeing ourselves as an isolated individual to being in everything, everyone and everywhere. It is the realization that we are universal spirit or consciousness. There is no separation anywhere in the the universe. It is a glimpse beyond the veil of duality. When we have no ego we become a conscious Presence, we are not concerned about how others see us, and become one with Life itself.
The way to break the ego's negative spell is is to become aware of the ego. Our identity will then shift from ego to awareness. Awareness grows as the ego shrinks. Alertness allows us to detect subtle negativity such as impatience, irritation and nervousness. True self esteem comes when we realize we create our own suffering and rise above the ego's conditioning. Not reacting to our ego is the best way to dissolve our ego. To not react we must see the other person's behavior as coming from their ego. It is not personal. When we look passed the ego to their spiritual essence they too have an opportunity to become more conscious.
Non-reaction is forgiveness. It is not a weakness but a strength. Non-reaction does not mean we accept hurtful behavior. There is no ego in informing someone of a mistake so it can be put right. The key is to make a neutral statement, stick to the facts and not complain. Complaining serves the ego not change.
Reading a "A New Earth" helped me stop waiting for some change in the future and enjoy the present. The joy does not come from what I do but flows into what I do. My awareness allows the world to become a mirror. The more I love without conditions the more loving the world appears. The spiritual realization I am not my thoughts, feelings, body or story but pure consciousness has set me free.
85 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waking up - and losing your mind,
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Tolle's "A New Earth",
This review is from: A New Earth: Create a Better Life (Paperback)This is probably the most important book in the world today. It contains wisdom, psychology, philosophy and, above all, truth. The world would be an infinitely happier place if more people read this book.
56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and provocative,
I doubt whether I shall ever be able to implement the way of being that Tolle exhorts. However, even to allow a small awareness of something beyond the usual rat-race, pushing and shoving, grabbing and consuming can only be a good and helpful thing. I loved reading this book - and I'm sure that it is one that I will read again and again. Thoroughly recommended.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece from Tolle - Best Read of 2006 so far,
This will be one of my all time companions to be read over and over. The messages are simple, profound and ultimately life changing.
54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book written with great clarity,
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For me that is the beauty of this book it is very easy to read and understand the point of what is being said.
The author shows us clearly how we create unhappiness in our lives, and even better, shows us how to change the habitual way we see the world, and ourselves within it, to bring the happiness back.
A highly recommended read.
For what it is worth, my advise to anyone reading this type of book is to read carefully, ensuring each word and sentence is absorbed and understood, if need be go back and read a sentence again and again until it 'sinks in'.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something of value,
This review is from: A New Earth: Create a Better Life (Paperback)It is very easy (isn't it?) to dismiss this type of book as "New Age rubbish", "hocus-pocus", "psycho-babble", or whatever ; because so very many of them are precisely that - fanciful nonsense, and a waste of money. But in this reviewer's opinion Eckhart Tolle's works stand head and shoulders above the crowd, and this one is certainly no exception.
Brace yourself, though, because if you are to make the most of what "New Earth" is offering, you must be prepared to stand back, take a long, hard look at yourself, and be honest about what you see. I am still finding it quite painful ; yet curiously enough it is at the same time a relief, and well worth the effort.
In this book, Eckhart Tolle, whose "Power of Now" was such a major eye-opener, eases us towards recognition and acknowledgement of all those false layers of self that we hide behind ; and in simply coming to an awareness of our own play-acting, we are already taking a step towards finding our way out of the maze, and being honest and open with ourselves : becoming contented and at ease with who we are.
Wonderful stuff, then. But for me the most valuable insight provided by this extraordinary book is the clear description of what Tolle labels "the pain body" : that thing that we all carry around with us, that bit of us that reacts in anger and in fear to various triggers, most of them quite trivial - a word, a look, a gesture from someone else. A newspaper headline. A TV programme. A windy day. A broken shoe-lace.
Sounds a bit potty? Yes. It does. Yet on honest investigation it proves to make perfect sense. In so very few pages, he describes a human state to which psychiatrists and psychologists have over the years dedicated hundreds - perhaps thousands - of weighty, indigestible tomes, impenetrable to all but a few. Tolle, on the other hand, deals with the matter simply and directly. He explains why this negative state exists ; how it ruins lives ; how to deal with it ; and how eventually to conquer it by recognising it and putting a space between ourselves and this fairly destructive aspect of the human personality. And this is my own small-scale truth : having taken the "pain body" chapter on board, and made a real effort to recognise the thing when it starts to activate itself, I have had no major arguments with my husband for several months now. No sulking. No resentful silences. None of that stuff that appears, in my experience, to be a component not only of most marriages, but also of most parent-child relationships.
So I would say that "A New Earth" is invaluable reading for anyone who is ready to accept what it offers. And if, like some Amazon reviewers, having bought it you find to your irritation that it doesn't really speak to you, then for what it's worth, my advice is to put it to one side, and open it again later. A month. A year. Two years. Five years. It doesn't much matter. But whatever you do, don't throw it away. One day you will open it. And one day you will surprise yourself.
Good luck. And bon courage.
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A New Earth: Create a Better Life by Eckhart Tolle (Paperback - 1 Jan 2009)