The Start of a Shift of Consciousness

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A New Earth by Eckhart TolleEach chapter in A New Earth is segmented into smaller topics so it was easy to read a section, let it soak in and then move on to the next section.

Thoughts on Chapter 1

There were definitely moments where I wondered if I would be making this book a DNF. I like to give books at least 50 pages to prove themselves worthwhile or a waste of time. At the end of chapter 1 I found myself happy that I hadn't completely written off A New Earth, but I still may end up adding this to my DNF pile.

  Favorite ideas

  • I like that the goal of this book is not to convince you to believe in what the author believes in, but is instead meant to "bring about a shift in consciousness. . .to awaken (7)." I take that to mean that Tolle wants to show you a different way to see and interact with the world around you.
  • Sin translated from ancient Greek means to miss the mark. Tolle compares it to an archer who misses the target. As someone who sets goals on a daily basis I really appreciate this view of sin. It helps me understand it in a way that I hadn't before, as a temporary roadblock and not necessarily the end of the world. With time and practice you can hit your mark and be the person you want to become.
  • Fear, greed, and the desire for power are the psychological motivating forces for all the major conflicts and violence. They all skew your perception in a big way and lead to a life of misery.
  • Quote I really loved:
"You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you. . . ." (13). 
  • I really love the entire paragraph he devotes on religion on page 15. Instead of religion bringing one another together it has become so divisive. 
"They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them, they could make themselves 'right' and others 'wrong' and thus define their identity through their enemies. . .Man made 'God' in his own image."
  •  There is still some truth and light at the core of all of the religions. I completely believe that. There is most definitely some goodness everywhere once you sort through the muck and misinterpretation. This is one of several reasons why I think that religion is not a one church fits all.
  • You can have religion and not be spiritual. 
  • If you become so focused on just what you perceive to be "right" then you will find that you are stuck and cut off from the "spiritual dimension within yourself" (17). Religion is like politics. When someone is hardcore left or right they very rarely can hear anything beyond their own beliefs and everything becomes an argument.
There were also some things that were a little too out there for me. Tolle claims that some people believe that life-forms on this planet evolved in the sea? I must have missed that lesson. I'm curious to see what Chapter 2 - Ego: The Current State of Humanity brings.

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