Eckhart Tolle: New Earth and Power of Now vision – Eckhart Tolle, the AmAre Way.
Eckhart Tolle was born Ulrich Tolle in 1948 in Germany. He described his childhood as not happy, with his parents divorcing. He moved with his father, at the age of 13, to Spain, and decided to study at home instead of high-school. At the age of 19, he moved to England and for three years taught German and Spanish. Marked by “depression, anxiety and fear” Eckhart Tolle began “searching for answers”. Aged 22, he enrolled at the University of London, and then was offered a scholarship to do research at Cambridge University as a postgraduate student.
At the age of 29, an inner transformation occurred, changing the course of his life. After sharing his gift as a counselor and spiritual teacher in London, in 1995 he moved to Vancouver, Canada. He then became the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Power of Now and of A New Earth. He has been described as the first of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.
Eckhart Tolle: Power of Now
“The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” was published in 1997 by Namaste Publishing. Oprah Winfrey recommended it in her magazine in 2000, and in August it was on the New York Times Best Seller list; after two more years, it was number one. Eckhart Tolle says the book “represents the essence of my work, as far as it can be conveyed in words”, “can be seen as a restatement for our time of that one timeless spiritual teaching, the essence of all religions”.
Tolle starts the book sharing his initial transformational experience at the age of 29. For him, the ego is a sense of self derived from the content and activity of the mind, “a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning”. As we live “the voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on” reliving the past or rehearsing an imagined future. He says there is a a conscious presence which may be known in various ways, deeper sense of self than the ego, for example we listen to the voice in the head without judging it in any way, or getting attached to its content.
Eckhart Tolle warns readers not to get attached to the words he uses, to make this easier, he avoids intellectual discussion and argument, to tell life under the power of the ego is miserable, including emotional pain.
Our mode of consciousness can be transformed, so we can live in the Now, by becoming deeply conscious of this present moment. We understand connectedness with all beings, a “state of felt oneness with Being… connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible … that is essentially you and yet is much greater than you.”,”coming from Being, you will perceive another person’s body and mind as just a screen … behind which you can feel their true reality, as you feel yours … Compassion is the awareness of a deep bond between yourself and all creatures”. We cultivate acceptance, “Allowing it to be as it is … takes you beyond the mind with its resistance patterns…”. Acceptance and surrend are not resignation: surrender is an inner phenomenon, changing our attitude so we accept how things are at this moment. Then we can act positively to change the ongoing situation. These points are very similar to the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). We can also appreciate the Joy of Being, “As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease”, “You abide in Being — unchanging, timeless, deathless — and you are no longer dependent for fulfillment or happiness on the outer world”. That is unconditional happiness.
Eckhart Tolle also shares some ways of encouraging transformation, including watching the thinker, watching the “pain-body”, focusing attention on the present, awareness of nature, breathing, etc.
After “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”, Eckhart Tolle in 2003, published his second book, Stillness Speaks.
Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth
Eckhart Tolle says about A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose: “this book’s main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness; that is to say, to awaken”. He begins with an allegorical evocation: “Earth, 114 million years ago, one morning just after sunrise: The first flower ever to appear on the planet opens up to receive the rays of the sun … this momentous event heralds an evolutionary transformation in the life of plants”. Tolle sees this an analogy for a transformation in human consciousness, which he says it is already started.
Eckhart Tolle then describes our identification with things, and also talks about the “pain body”, a human tendency to carry around “an accumulation of old emotional pain”. He also makes several distinctions between: “Knowing yourself and knowing about yourself”; “Dreamer” and the “dream”; between objects of consciousness and space of consciousness; between outer space and inner space; etc.
In the final chapter, Eckhart Tolle discusses “the three modalities of awakened doing”: acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Acceptance is when you are able to accept a situation, even if you do not like it. Enjoyment is being able to make the present moment a pivotal part of your life, with everything you. Enthusiasm is a deeper enjoyment in the actions you do, cultivating meaning with a sense of urgency, but without stress.
While The Power Of Now was in a question and answer format, A New Earth is a long essay, which allows him to spend more time on the societal ramifications of his ideas, including descriptions of a future where enjoyment and compassion have replaced desire and conflict.
Eckhart Tolle: Inspirational quotes
In “A Happier You” published on the The Oprah Magazine in January 2009, Eckhart Tolle says:
– Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.
– The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about
– See if you can catch the voice in your head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a thought.
– You only ever experience the present moment.
– You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.