"A NEW EARTH" by ECKHART TOLLE
CHAPTER ONE — THE FLOWERING OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS
any life-from in any realm—mineral, vegetable, animal, or human—can be said to undergo "enlightenment". It is, however, an extremely rare occurrence since it is more than an evolutionary progression: It also implies a discontinuity in its development, a leap to an entirely different level of BEING and, most important, a lessening of materiality.
so when you are alert and contemplate a flower, crystal, or bird without naming mentally, it becomes a window for you into the formless. there is an inner opening, however slight, into the realm of spirit.
the human mind is highly intelligent. yet its intelligence is tainted by madness. science and technology have magnified the destructive impact that the dysfunction of the human mind has upon the planet, other life-forms, and upon humans themselves.
humans suffered more at the hands of each other than through natural disasters.
if the history of humanity were the critical case history of a single human being, the diagnosis would have to be: chronic paranoid delusions, a pathological propensity to commit murder and acts of extreme violence and cruelty against his perceived "enemies"—his own unconsciousness project outward. criminally insane, with a few brief lucid intervals.
you do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.
the greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness.
but the ego is destined to dissolve, and all its ossified structures, whether they be religious or other institutions, corporations, or governments, will disintegrate from within, no matter how deeply entrenched they appear to be.
a significant portion of the earth's population will soon recognize if they haven't already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: evolve or die.
"a new heaven" is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and "a new earth" is its reflection in the physical realm.
CHAPTER TWO — EGO: THE CURRENT STATE OF HUMANITY
you become hypnotized into implicitly believing that when you have attached a word to something, you know what it is. the fact is: you don't know what it is. you have only covered up the mystery with a label. everything, a bird, a tree, even a simple stone, and certainly a human being, is ultimately unknowable.
we cannot really honour things if we use them as a means to self-enhancement, that is to say, if we try to find ourselves through them.
"whatever the ego seeks and gets attached to are substitutes for the BEING that it cannot feel."
letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.
life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. how do you know this is the experience you need? because this is the experience you are having at this moment.
attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.
body awareness not only anchors you in the present moment, it is a doorway out of the prison that is the ego. it also strengthens the immune system and the body's ability to heal itself.
the ultimate truth of who you are is not i am this or i am that, but I AM.
CHAPTER THREE — THE CORE OF EGO
at one end of the scale of this unconscious egoic pattern lies the egoic compulsive habit of faultfinding and complaining about others. JESUS referred to it when he said, "why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"
nonreaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego.
beware of making it your mission to "eradicate evil," as you are likely to turn into the very thing you are fighting against. fighting unconsciousness will draw you into unconsciousness yourself.
there is a deep interrelatedness between your state of consciousness and external reality.
all that is required to become free of the ego is to be aware of it, since awareness and ego are incompatible. awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment. the ultimate purpose of human existence, which is to say, your purpose, is to bring that power into this world.
CHAPTER FOUR — ROLE-PLAYING: THE MANY FACES OF THE EGO
behind every negative self-concept is the hidden desire of being the greatest or better than others. behind the confident ego's feeling of and continuing need for superiority is the unconscious fear of inferiority.
defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.
action may be required to change a situation or remove yourself from it. if there is nothing you can do, face what is and say, "well, right now, this is how it is. i can either accept it, or make myself miserable." the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.
"if you think you are so enlightened," RAM DASS said, "go spend a week with your parents."
the paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. a lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego—but not until you suffer consciously.
to love is to recognize yourself in another. the other's "otherness" then stands revealed as an illusion pertaining to the purely human realm, the realm of form.
you are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself. but don't try to be yourself. that's another role. it's called "natural, spontaneous me." as soon as you are trying to be this or that, you are playing a role. "just be yourself" is good advice, but it can be misleading. the mind will come in and say, "let's see. how can i be myself?" then, the mind will develop some kind of strategy: "how to be myself" another role. "how can i be myself?" is in fact, the wrong question. it implies you have to do something to be yourself. but how doesn't apply here because you are yourself already. just stop adding unnecessary baggage to who you already are. "but i don't know who i am. i don't know what it means to be myself." if you can be absolutely comfortable with not knowing who you are, then what's left is who you are—the BEING behind the human, a field of pure potentiality rather than something that is already defined.
in essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. true self-esteem and true humility arise out of that realization. in the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. in truth, they are one and the same.
cleverness is motivated by self-interest, and it is extremely short-sighted. most politicians and businesspeople are clever, very few are intelligent. whatever is attained through cleverness is short-lived and always turns out to be eventually self-defeating. cleverness divides: intelligence includes.
the ego doesn't know that your only opportunity for being at peace is now. or maybe it does know, and it is afraid that you may find out. peace, after all, is the end of the ego.
being one with life is being one with NOW. you then realize that you don't live life, but life lives you. life is the dancer, and you are the dance.
in ZEN they say: "don't seek the truth. just cease to cherish opinions." what does that mean? let go of identification with your mind. who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself.
in order to attract success, you need to welcome it wherever you see it.
CHAPTER FIVE — THE PAIN-BODY
an instinctive response is the body's direct response to some external situation. an emotion, on the other hand, is the body's response to a thought.
CHAPTER SIX — BREAKING FREE
being present is always infinitely more powerful than anything one could say or do, although sometimes being present can give rise to words or actions.
accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. it is part of the ish-ness of the NOW. you can't argue with is.
CHAPTER SEVEN — FINDING WHO YOU TRULY ARE
your sense of who you are determines what you perceive as your needs and what matters to you in life—and whatever matters to you will have the power to upset and disturb you. you can use this as a criterion to find out how deeply you know yourself. what matters to you is not necessarily what you say or believe, but what your actions and reactions reveal as important and serious to you.
you are not the ego, so when you become aware of the ego in you, it does not mean you know who you are—it means you know who you are not. but it is through knowing who you are not that the greatest obstacle to truly knowing yourself is removed.
acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance. the fact is: whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world. you are withholding it because deep down you think you are small and that you have nothing to give.
try this for a couple of weeks and see how it changes your reality: whatever you think people are withholding from you—praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on—give it to them. you don't have it? just act as if you had it and it will come. then, soon after you start giving, you will start receiving. you cannot receive what you don't give. outflow determines inflow. whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you already have, but unless you allow it flow out, you won't even know that you have it.
the source of all abundance is not outside you. it is part of who you are.
JESUS puts it like this: "for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
whatever you learn through psychoanalysis or self-observation is about you. it is not you. it is content, not essence. going beyond ego is stepping out of content. knowing yourself is being yourself, and being yourself is ceasing to identify with content.
the decisin to make the present moment into your friend is the end of the ego. the ego can never be in alignment with the present moment, which is to say, aligned with life, since its very nature compels it to ignore, resist, or devalue the NOW.
there are three ways in which the ego will treat the present moment: as a means to an end, as an obstacle, or as an enemy.
nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe. through it, consciousness (spirit) is freed form its imprisonment in form.
if you are content with being nobody in particular, content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. what looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the only true strength.
the answer is both simple and profound. when you are aware of space, you are not really aware of anything, except awareness itself—the inner space of consciousness. through you, the universe is becoming aware of itself!
CHAPTER EIGHT — THE DISCOVERY OF INNER SPACE
this, too, will pass.
nonresistance, nonjudgement, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.
another pointer to the truth in you is contained in the following statement: "i am never upset for the reason i think."
here is another way of finding inner space: become conscious of being conscious. say or think "I AM" and add nothing to it. be aware of the stillness that follows the I AM. sense your presence, the naked, unveiled, unclothed beingness. it is untouched by young or old, rich or poor, good or bad, or any other attributes. it is the spacious womb of all creation, all form.
so who is the experiencer? you are. and who are you? consciousness. and what is consciousness? this question cannot be answered. the moment you answer it, you have falsified it, made it another object. consciousness, the traditional word for which is spirit, cannot be known in the normal sense of the word, and seeking it is futile.
being aware of your breathing takes attention away from thinking and creates space. it is one way of generating consciousness.
if you have a compulsive behaviour pattern such as smoking, overeating, drinking, TV watching, internet addiction, or whatever it may be, this is what you can do: when you notice the compulsive need arising in you, stop and take three conscious breaths. this generates awareness. then for a few minutes be aware of the compulsive urge itself an energy field inside you. consciously feel that need to physically or mentally ingest or consume a certain substance or the desire to act out some form of compulsive behaviour. then take a few more conscious breaths. after that you may find that the compulsive urge has disappeared—for the time being. or you may find that it still overpowers you, and you cannot help but indulge or act it out again. don't make it into a problem. make the addiction part of your awareness practice in the way described above. as awareness grows, addictive patterns will weaken and eventually dissolve. remember, however, to catch any thoughts that justify the addictive behaviour, sometimes with clever arguments, as they arise in your mind. ask yourself, who is talking here? and you will realize the addiction is talking. as long as you know that, as long as you are present as the observer of your mind, it is less likely to trick you into doing what it wants.
physicists have discovered that the apparent solidity of matters is an illusion created by our senses. this includes the physical body, which we perceive and think of as form, but 99.99% of which is actually empty space.
here are some ways in which people unconsciously try to emphasize their form-identity, if you are alert enough, you may be able to detect some of those unconscious patterns within yourself: demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you don't get it; trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illness, or making a scene; giving your opinion when nobody has asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation; being more concerned with how the other person sees you than with the other person, which is to say, using other people for egoic reflection or as ego enhancers; trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks, status, physical strength, and so on; bringing about temporary ego inflation through angry reaction against something or someone; taking things personally, feeling offended; making yourself right and others wrong through futile mental or verbal complaining; wanting to be seen, or to appear important.
it has been said: "stillness is the language GOD speaks, and everything else is a bad translation."
CHAPTER NINE — YOUR INNER PURPOSE
i am not saying here that helping others, caring for your children, or striving for excellence in whatever field are not worthwhile things to do. for many people, they are an important part of their outer purpose, but outer purpose alone is always relative, unstable, and impermanent. this does not mean that you should not be engaged in those activities. it means you should connect them to your inner, primary purpose, so that a deeper meaning flows into what you do.
the road to hell is paved with good intentions." in other words, not your aims or your actions are primary, but the state of consciousness out of which they come. fulfilling your primary purpose is laying the foundation for a new reality, a new earth.
the great arises out of small things that are honoured and cared for. everybody's life really consists of small things. greatness is a mental abstraction and a favourite fantasy of the ego. the paradox is that the foundation for greatness is honouring the small things of the present moment instead of pursuing the idea of greatness. the present moment is always small in the sense that it is always simple, but concealed within it lies the greatest power.
so be true to life by being true to your inner purpose. as you become present and thereby total in what you do, your actions become charged with spiritual power.
when you meet with people, at work or wherever it may be, give them your fullest attention. you are no longer there primarily as a person, but as a field of awareness, of alert PRESENCE.
is the notion of success just an egoic illusion? how do we measure true success???
the world will tell you that success is achieving what you set out to do. it will tell you that success is winning, that finding recognition and/or prosperity are essential ingredients in any success. all or some of the above are usually by-products of success, but they are not success. the conventional notion of success is concerned with the outcome of what you do. some say that success is the result of a combination of hard work and luck, or determination and talent, or being in the right place at the right time. while any of these may be determinants of success, they are not its essence. what the world doesn't tell you—because it doesn't know—is that you cannot become successful. you can only be successful. don't let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. and what is that? there is a sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action. quality implies care and attention, which comes with awareness. quality requires your PRESENCE.
the unconscious assumption behind all action is that success is a future event, and that the end justified the means. but the end and the means are one. and if the means did not contribute to human happiness, neither will the end. the outcome, which is inseparable from the actions that led to it, is already contaminated by those actions and so will create further unhappiness.
another way of putting it: what the future holds for you depends on your state of consciousness now.
the whole is made up of existence and BEING, the manifested and unmanifested, the world and GOD. so when you become aligned with the whole, you become a conscious part of the interconnectedness of the whole and its purpose: the emergence of consciousness into this world. as a result, spontaneous helpful occurrences, chance encounters, coincidences, and synchronistic events happen much more frequently.
doing this because of that is the mind's way of cutting up reality; whereas nature lives in unconscious oneness with the whole.
can the whole use the human mind to create things or bring about situations that are in alignment with its purpose?
yes, whenever there is inspiration, which translates as "in spirit," and enthusiasm, which means "in GOD," there is a creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of.
CHAPTER TEN — A NEW EARTH
"why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?" asks physicist STEPHEN HAWKING, realizing at the same time that no mathematical model could ever supply the answer.
if you look within rather than without, however, you discover that you have an inner and outer purpose, and since you are a microcosmic reflection of the macrocosm, it follows that the universe too has an inner and outer purpose inseparable from yours. the outer purpose of the universe is to create form and experience the interaction of forms—the play, the dream, the drama, or whatever you choose to call it. its inner purpose is to awake to its formless essence. then comes the reconciliation of outer and inner purpose: to bring that essence—consciousness—into the world of form and thereby transform the world. the ultimate purpose of that transformation goes far beyond anything the human mind can imagine or comprehend. and yet, on this planet at this time, that transformation is the task allotted us. that is the reconciliation of outer and inner purpose, the reconciliation of the world and GOD.
stupidity is relatively harmless, but intelligent stupidity is highly dangerous.
we are also learning that action, although necessary, is only a secondary factor in manifesting our external reality. the primary factor in creation is consciousness. no matter how active we are, how much effort we make, our state of consciousness creates our world, and it there is no change on that inner level, no amount of action will make any difference. we would re-create modified versions of the same world again and again, a world that is an external reflection of the ego.
consciousness is already conscious. it is the unmanifested, the eternal. the universe, however, is only gradually becoming conscious. consciousness itself is timeless and die. when consciousness becomes the manifested universe, it appears to be subject to time and to undergo an evolutionary process. no human mind is capable of comprehending fully the reason for this process. but we can glimpse it within ourselves and become a conscious participant in it.
you can only something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.
awakened doing is the alignment of your outer purpose—what you do—with your inner purpose—awakening and staying awake. through awakened doing, you become one with the outgoing purpose of the universe. consciousness flows through you into this world. it flows into your thoughts and inspires them. it flows into what you do and guides and empowers it.
now what you do, but how you do what you do determines whether you are fulfilling your destiny. and how you do what you do is determined by your state of consciousness.
the modalities of awakened doing are ACCEPTANCE, ENJOYMENT and ENTHUSIASM. each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. you need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all—from the most simple task to the most complex. if you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.
whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. acceptance means: for now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so i do it willingly.
some of those people who, through creative action, enrich the lives of many others simply do what they enjoy doing most without wanting to achieve or become anything through that activity.
the fourteenth-century persian poet SUFI master HAFIZ expresses this truth beautifully: "i am a hole in a flute that the CHRIST's breath moves through. listen to this music."
enthusiasm means there is deep enjoyment in what you do plus the added element of a goal or a vision that you work toward. when you add a goal to the enjoyment of what you do, the energy-field or vibrational frequency changes.
with enthusiasm you will find that you don't have to do it all by yourself. in fact, there is nothing of significance that you can do by yourself. sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy, and all you have to do then is "ride the wave."
enthusiasm and ego cannot coexist.
instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested sources of all life through you for the benefit of all. all this implies that your goal or vision is then already a reality within you, on the level of mind and of feeling.
you cannot manifest what you want, you can only manifest what you already are.
the only existence the future actually has is as a thought-form in your mind, so when you look to the future for salvation, you are unconsciously looking to your own mind for salvation. you are trapped in form, and that is ego.