I finished reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”. Overall I feel about 50/50, I can see how it can be enlightening but I also felt that the content was hard for me to “buy” in the sense that I am skeptical of the theories, or teachings, if you will, of Tolle. A majority of the book felt like I was reading in circles, he kept re-emphasizing concerts I felt he had already covered pretty thoroughly so it just felt like filler and unorganized thought. I feel that his path to awakening is really something that we can accomplish while maintaining some aspects of our current society, and perhaps that is what his intentions are.

Maybe his vision, well not HIS vision but what he calls A New Earth is in fact nothing like the world we live in now and when everyone on the planet is awoken we wont have things like Major League Baseball and the NYSE. I think I would really need to speak with the author to understand further because I have a feeling the takeaway that I got from reading the book may not have been exactly what he was trying to put forth.

I dislike parts of the book which assume the reader is dense and simply would never be able to understand things like the wildness of nature, which the author calls “chaos” to the eyes of modern people. Apparently we can neither understand the diversity of people and thought processes that may be different from ours. I know that there are some people in the world who may be like this but not everyone. In fact its just insulting to assume that the majority of people are too dense (or perhaps busy) to have considered these simple concepts. These parts of the book are distracting to me because they just feel like the author is talking down to everyone. Of course, I may be too caught up in my own ego (and I mean “ego” the way he uses it in the book and not necessarily the way most people think of the go, which is actually a little related) to acknowledge that my thoughts are not representative of most people.

Of all the thoughts and ideas presented relating to becoming conscious, I can only believe about a third. For example, Tolle’s concept of a pain-body that lives inside all of us driving us to crave emotional distress makes some sense. It feeds on negative thought like anger, jealousy, self-loathing because that is how it satisfies itself. This pain-body sometimes causes us to unconsciously create drama in our lives and the lives of the people whose relationships we hold dearest. And I can say that I definitely feel that I have a pain-body that I’ve been using to tame for a lot of my life. I don’t believe, however, that this same pain body is what causes us to pay money to watch action movies. That’s just for fun. I DO believe that this same pain-body is what makes reality television so addictive, which was not really something he spoke about but I think reality T.V. was not the majority of programming that it was when he wrote this book.

His idea of conscious living seems like something that we should definitely strive for, not just for improvement in personal quality of life but also to heighten the overall consciousness of the planet through human kind. Humans have the ability to turn that consciousness off and in doing do, we are able to function in ways that other species can not, but we do lose touch with energy that comes so easily to animals and nature.

I still only vaguely grasp his concept of not living in the future and living in the now. I just can’t imagine functioning well without giving thought to the future and about how decisions and actions made now will affect the future. Like I said before, perhaps I do not fully understand and would need to have a face to face conversation to really get what the book is saying about this one piece. In the end I thought there were a lot of insightful teachings and I will definitely keep some of them in mind as I continue to live my life but I didn’t feel that it was completely life changing. Maybe it isn’t supposed to be, I guess I changed my life a little if I will move forward with some of these ideas.