Saturday, April 05, 2008

New Earth

"I found myself at first, naturally, being pessimistic about it. Big shock there.

"But I was soon frantically underlining passage after passage, while feeling wonderfully connected and understood.

"He is not trying to say that if we all think happy thoughts, we'll receive magnanimous good fortune, as I was expecting.

"But rather that if we just stop being so stressed out by every little issue that arises and simply soak up the present moment, we will see and feel a change. The little things will become more valuable and meaningful to us.

"I began reading passages out loud to my husband, who does not need such a book, as he is the Tigger to my Eeyore- perpetually positive, bouncy and accepting of whatever comes his way. But for me, there was such a resonance in the author's dissection of what plagues society, namely the quest for more, more, more. And I was clearly a part of the problem." - A Pessimist's New Earth

"He blames the world's ills on the ego - I blame negative energies and bad intentions.

"Additionally, I am not entirely convinced that the entire purpose of my life is to remember that I came from a big soup of consciousness. The fact is, if we are eternal souls, we'll be going back to God soon enough. I have no problem with people "losing themselves" in the material, as long as they are happy and not hurting other people.

"I look at it like this: Sometimes I like to watch a movie or play a video game as a way to get out of my head and experience another reality. We're here on the planet to experience reality. There's value to connecting to spirit, but I don't think we need to go so far as to completely negate the sense of past, present, and future that gives our lives a sense of movement and purpose. There's a reason why movies and books have conflict: It makes for a better, more interesting story.

"Thus, because my underlying philosophy is different, I did not come up with an 'a-ha' from reading A New Earth. At the same time, I felt his deconstruction of the ego will be helpful to very many people who are caught up in external things and need a way to articulate a method of connecting to spirit. For many people, this book will provide a deep resonance.

"For myself, I find that The Work of Byron Katie is more practical and useful when it comes to unplugging from my 'story.' Byron Katie, also, seems to have achieved more of a transcendence of dualism than Tolle himself has. Would Byron Katie say 'the ego is pathological'? No. She would ask us to question: 'Is that really true?'

"And thus, while I did find that the ultimate goal of peace as provided by Tolle is a good one, I'm not sure if focusing on my ego, if just to destroy it, is a good path for me personally. That might almost put me more into my head. I find I can achieve those moments of 'Presence' and serenity simply by meditating, doing my energy work, practicing yoga, and learning how to let go of that which no longer serves me. It's a simple formula that works for me." - "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle: Book Review Feel Good Girl

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