New Earth – by Eckhart Tolle

I have been writing a lot about Eckhart Tolle’s books recently, Power of Now and New Earth, but that is because they have really had a profound effect on me, which I hope lasts and is not forgotten like other sound advice from other books that have passed through my hands – however I feel that Tolle’s books are truly transformational or at least they have been for me.

Having finished reading his New Earth this wonderful sunny afternoon, these are the messages that have stuck in my mind, although there are many more and one blog post cannot do justice to the book at all.

You cannot be more by having more

You might think ‘I need to get more so that I can be more. But you cannot be more than you are because underneath your physical and psychological form, you are one with Life itself, one with Being. In form you are and will always be inferior to some, superior to others. In essence you are neither superior or inferior to anyone.’

The pain body

Tolle says people have what he calls the pain body, which is a collection of people’s painful past memories and emotions, including a collective pain body of a nation or gender. This lies dormant in people, but occasionally needs to be replenished by feeding on your own negative emotions or those of others. That’s why sometimes even a small event can trigger people’s pain body, which feeds on drama and negativity. That is why sometimes we may not like someone just by looking at them, because we can sense this negativity in them. The way to get rid of your pain body is to become conscious of it and that way it gradually looses its power over you.

‘The snow falls, each snow flake in its appropriate place’ – Zen saying

Nothing is good or bad, what we think is bad might be good for us and vice versa. There is a higher order to everything that happens.

‘This, too, will pass’

Everything in this world on the level of form will pass eventually the things we perceive as good and those we see as bad. This can be a consolation to us if we don’t like something, but it can seem negative when we’re experiencing a happy moment. But that is the fact of life, by realising this you can enjoy even more what life has to offer without attaching yourself and identifying with form, because you know it will be gone one day.

‘The words this, too, will pass are pointers towards reality. In pointing to the impermanence of all forms, by implication, they are also pointing to the eternal. Only the eternal in you can recognise the impermanent as impermanent.’

Conscious breathing

‘Discover inner space by creating gaps in the stream of thinking. Without those gaps your thinking becomes repetitive, uninspired, devoid of any creative spark, which is how it is with most people on the planet.’

You can do this by focusing on your breathing as often as possible and whenever you remember. Even one conscious breath, but preferably more, will still your mind and create space, as it’s usually impossible to focus on breathing and think about something else at the same time.

Inner and outer purpose

Everyone has a inner and outer purpose. Your inner purpose is to awaken and is primary and your outer purpose is what you do and is secondary.  Awareness happens when instead of being lost in your thinking, when you are awake, you recognise yourself as the awareness behind your thoughts. This usually happens gradually. Everything which is done in an awakened state, by focusing on it and being fully present givers purpose to your life. Your purpose is what you are doing right now, it’s not just the end result. If you are walking now to fetch a book than walking is your purpose and getting the book, that will be the purpose when you get it. By enjoying what we do right now, the results become positive, if we do things reluctantly and unwillingly the process is negative and the results also become contaminated.

‘If the means don’t contribute to human happiness (yours or others’), neither will the end.’

Give your full attention to people

‘When you meet people at work or wherever it may be, give them your fullest attention.’

This creates a field of awareness between you, and being aware and present in general brings you more opportunities, more chance meetings with people, etcetera as life helps you fulfil your purpose.

‘You cannot become successful, you can only be successful’

‘The waiting to start living syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do’

Joy is not derived from something you enjoy doing, if you believe this ‘you then look to the world to bring you joy and happiness, but it cannot do that.’

Three modalities of doing

‘What you do will be dysfunctional and of the ego unless it arises out of one of these three modalities. The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm.’

Acceptance – accept and be at peace with anything you do. If you cannot accept doing something, stop doing it, otherwise you are not taking responsibility for the only thing you can really take responsibility for – for your state of consciousness and for life.

Enjoyment‘what is the relationship between something that you do and the state of joy? You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present, any activity that is not just a means to an end.’

If you are absolutely present, even mundane or irritating tasks like washing the dishes or doing the laundry can become enjoyable.

Enthusiasm – if you are following your inner purpose, suddenly one day you know what your goal is – you have a vision of what you should be doing. Enthusiasm means that there is deep enjoyment in what you do, plus the added element of a goal or vision. But this does not mean being stressed, when there is stress that is a sign that the ego has returned.

‘Enthusiasm and ego cannot coexist.’

However be aware that your goal cannot be something which boosts the ego – like to be a movie star or a famous writer, nor having things like having your own company or owning a mansion by the sea. You can instead see yourself as inspiring people and enriching others’ lives.

I hope you get a chance to read this book, as well as Tolle’s other books, because they are really worth it.



About Maia

My name is Maia, I live in London, UK, and I originally come from the Czech Republic. Maia's World is my blog where I write about life in general, personal development, and about ideas, beliefs and discoveries on how to live a fuller life.
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10 Responses to New Earth – by Eckhart Tolle

  1. I read this book and others several years ago, and as for you, a profound effect on me as well. You reference hoping not to lose the ‘sense of place’ – and it has been my experience that it takes practice. You might also like the writings of Oriah Mountaindreamer > her poem > The Invitation > holds a very special place in me. Best wishes, and I look forward to staying in touch.

    • Maia says:

      Hello Peter, thank you for comment, I’m glad you can relate to the post and yes I will have to make sure to keep practicing and reminding myself of the message of the book, as for it not to be forgotten about and fade in the background like lots of other books I’ve read have done. I’ll definitely check out the writer you suggest – thanks for the tip!

  2. Thank you for that recommendation. Those are the kinds of books I like to read. Been reading some things about that pesky ego lately. We don’t want it to be our controlling force, though most people are relinquishing power to it that way.

    Maia, what basic messages did you get from “New Earth”, if you could sum it up in one paragraph? What I’ve been reading lately has keyed on having an awareness, appreciating the simple things, not listening to propaganda, listening to your inner voice, thinking for yourself, being true to yourself, following your own happiness, being in control of how you feel and how you deal with things, realizing that suffering is an indispensable conduit for growth and enlightenment, understanding that appearances only provide us a perspective and not a true representation of reality, that we know a lot less than we might think we do, that there’s much more to life than meets the eye. I’ve gotten these messages from a few seemingly unrelated books, reverberating in my mind. Am enjoying your offerings as well. -RS

    • Maia says:

      Hi Rusty,
      I think the main message I got from New Earth like Tolle’s other books is basically live in the now, whenever you hear your compulsive thinking coming back stop it by coming back to the present, because it’s your ego talking, don’t do things for egoistic reasons, don’t let your mind and emotions, thoughts about past and future control you. Observe your thoughts from above as to speak because your are not the thoughts but the consciousness behind them and this makes you dis-identify with them. I think that summaries the basics what it meant for me. Would definitely recommend the Power of Now and New Earth.

      • rockomnibus says:

        I’m going to check out New Earth, and then Power of Now. It sounds like Tolle’s gist is that we psych ourselves out with baggage from the past and possibly worry too much about the future, and basically make decisions more complicated than they need to be. I like the idea of acting instinctively according to the current situation and not over-analyzing. I like to do things for a reason other than simply because that’s the status quo. I did a blog post a few months ago which touched on the notion of “best practices”. Take a look if you get a chance.

        The second part you mentioned is quite a profound statement, and I’m sure it will sink in more when I see it in context. Perhaps kind of along the lines of being self-aware and not confusing the thought process. All things about identity are utterly fascinating to me.

        Interested in exploring all the surrounding ramifications of these concepts.
        -RS (rockomnibus)

      • Maia says:

        Hi Rusty I hope you like them! Let me know what you think.

  3. Hey nice blog. I happened to get the Power of Now audiobook on a whim about a month ago and have been listening to it incessantly ever since, then got New Earth aswell and have read it a number of times. His work seemed to clarify everything I was figuring out myself and answered a lot of questions I had from my other studies in buddhism and existentialism etc. and fit it into a coherent and pragmatic system. I definitely think everyone should read his work.

    • Maia says:

      Thanks for the comment, I completely agree with you, it really clarify’s a lot of things and his techniques work!

  4. as has been stated in a previous conversation of this nature ~ if you stop worrying about the past, I’ll stop worrying about the future, and then we can both take full advantage of enjoying the present together.

  5. Pingback: The books that changed my life | Maia's World

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