Wednesday, March 5, 2008
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
I'm reading this New York Times Bestseller simply out of curiosity. I want to see what all the "hoop-lah" is all about. Oprah is preaching to the masses "read this book - it will forever change your life". I was in Barnes & Noble and saw it for $11 and thought well what can it hurt...let me see what this is all about. The very title intrigued me. Well let me tell you. I've been seriously rocked to the core reading it. it's so so so good. Here is an excerpt from the book that particularly means something to me...
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.
...ego isn't wrong, it's just unconscious. When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it. Don't take the ego too seriously. When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh. How could humanity have been taken in by this for so long? Above all, know that the ego isn't personal. It isn't who you are. If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that's just more ego.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit," Jesus said, "for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven." What does "poor in spirit" mean? No inner baggage, no identifications. Not with things, nor with any mental concepts that have a sense of self in them. And what is the "kingdom of heaven"? The simple but profound joy of Being that is there when you let go of identifications and so become "poor in spirit."
This is why renouncing all possessions has been an ancient spiritual practice in both East and West. Renunciation of possessions, however, will not automatically free you of the ego. It will attempt to ensure its survival by finding something else to identify with, for example, a mental image of yourself as someone who has transcended all interest in material possessions and is therefore superior, is more spiritual than others. There are people who have renounced all possessions but have a bigger ego than some millionaires. If you take away one kind of identification, the ego will quickly find another. It ultimately doesn't mind what it identifies with as long as it has an identity.
...The ego tends to equate having with Being: I have, therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am. The ego lives through comparison. how you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself. If everyone lived in a mansion or everyone was wealthy, your mansion or your wealth would no longer serve to enhance your sense of self. You could then move to a simple cabin, give up your wealth, and regain an identity by seeing yourself and being seen as more spiritual than others. How you are seen by others becomes the mirror that tells you what you are like and who you are. The ego's sense of self-worth is in most cases bound up with the worth you have in the eyes of others. You need others to give you a sense of self, and if you live in a culture that to a large extent equates self-worth with how much you have, if you cannot look through this collective delusion, you will be condemned to chasing after things for the rest of your life in the vain hope of finding your worth and completion of your sense of self there.
How do you let go of attachment to things? Don't even try. It's impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. In the meantime, just be aware of your attachment to things.
This book is rocking me to my core. I really like it. It's an eye-opener and a journey to self-discovery.
I think we are all discovering who we really are everyday and that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously, afterall we're only human.