A New Earth summary – The following is a book summary of Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth.
The author of A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle gives the readers a frank and candid look at the state of humanity today.
He begs us to see, and to understand that this state, which is based on a mistaken identification with the egoic mind, is one of precarious insanity.
We are also told that there is an alternative to this potentially dismal situation. This is because a shift in consciousness, gives us the opportunity to create a new, more loving, saner world.
In revealing the nature of this shift in consciousness, the author gives a detailed description of how our present ego-based state of consciousness works.
He then leads us into this new consciousness, to experience who we really are, which is something substantially greater than anything we currently believe we are, and brings freedom.
The book begins by explaining that seeing the beauty in a flower can briefly awaken us to the beauty of our innermost being, and that the first acknowledgement of beauty was one of the most important happenings in the evolution of human awareness.
Until we can sense this beauty, and recognize it as part of ourselves, we identify only with our body and mind, and do not love ourselves.
He shows that we each have the supremacy to make a difference, and in the author’s own words, “A New Earth begins with you”.
This book shatters our modern ideas of self and society, ego and entitlement, and exposes the fears that hang over each, and every one of us. It teaches us how to discover the joy of being, as it strips away the illusions we live by.
Although the human mind is highly intelligent, it is spoiled by madness, and technology. Science has inflated the negative effect that this dysfunction has had upon the planet, other forms or life, and the human race.
As you watch the news on television daily, it is clear to see that this dysfunction is escalating. Ignorant of our connectedness to the whole, and driven by greed, we continue to behave in a manner that can only result in our own destruction.
The dysfunction is an inherent collective delusion, which lies in the mind of all human beings, and is the root cause of all our greed, fear, and desire for power.
It is this that most spiritual teachings fail to address, as they do not consider the ego.
The start of a new consciousness
Humanities greatest achievement is recognizing its dysfunction. However teachings, which showed the way beyond this dysfunction were misinterpreted and distorted, until they became part of the insanity.
We see this in the divisions between different religions, and the resultant hatred and violence.
Despite the insane deeds carried out in the name of religion, the author explains, “ The Truth to which they point still shines at their core.”
Spirituality and Religion
Many religious people are totally identified with their mind, and don’t realize the restrictions of thought. If you don’t think or believe in the same way they do, you are judged as wrong. This has caused many of our wars.
In the past the Christian church monopolized spirituality, and anyone standing up in public giving a spiritual talk, or writing a book on the subject, would be silenced, but things are changing.
The author presents an example of Pope John Paul 11 visiting a synagogue, as well as a mosque.
Some religious movements and churches remain collective egoic entities, and are closed to any other point of view. However the ego is intended to dissolve. The author explains that the most rigid structures will fall first, and gives the example of Soviet Communism.
The reason an extensive flowering of human awareness has not happened before, is because it was not imperative, but we are now faced with a situation that we have to evolve, or face destruction.
A new belief system is leading us beyond identification with our ego, our form, and towards an awareness of connectedness with all that is.
The climate change we see at this time is an indicator of the old consciousness dissolving.
The Ego and the illusory self
Everything is connected, and when you don’t live in a world of labels, and words, a new depth returns to your life. To do this you have to sort out you sense of I, Beingness, from all that it has become identified with.
“I” is a misleading notion, what the author calls, “an illusory sense of identity”, but once you can recognize this as an illusion, then it dissolves.
When you say “I” it is usually the ego speaking, but once you awaken, this word will come from a deeper place inside yourself.
The egoic mind is totally habituated by the past. Its conditioning consists of two parts:
- Content, which is conditioned by your upbringing, culture, and environment.
- Structure, which comes about by identifying with things, my toy, my car etc.
The type of things we identify with varies according to:
- Social class
It is this ego-identification with things that creates attachments and obsessions, and we are forever trying to fill our lives with more of these things.
Observe yourself, and examine you relationship with the world of things, which you call, “my”. Ask the following questions:
- Is your self worth tied to the things you possess?
- Do some things make you feel important or superior?
- Do you mention the things you own offhandedly in order to show off or increase your sense of worth, to yourself, and others?
- Do you feel bitter, or angry, when someone has more than you, or you lose something?
Whenever you are attached to things, you will know it’s the ego, but when you totally accept a loss, you go beyond ego, and become who you really are, consciousness itself.
Ownership, an illusion
Most people don’t realize until they are dying that everything outside of them falls away, and that none of this had anything to do with whom they are.
It is at this time that they realize that what they have been looking for all their lives, a sense of self, had always been there, but remained hidden because of their identification with things.
However rejecting all your possessions does not routinely free you of the ego, as it will attempt to guarantee its survival by identifying with something else.
The ego believes it exists because of what it has. Your ego evaluates, and sees itself in the way that others see you.
The author gives an example here; saying that a person may give up his wealth, move to a simple cabin, and recoup their identity by seeing his or herself, as more spiritual than others.
It’s not possible to let go of attachment to things, but it drops away when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. For the moment, it’s enough to be aware of your attachment.
The ego must have more
As the ego identifies with having, it has a deep-rooted sense of incompleteness, of not having enough. The author explains that when the ego says, “I don’t have enough yet”, it really means, “I am not enough yet.”
This unfulfilled wanting leads to restlessness, boredom, dissatisfaction, unease and anxiety.
Another form of identification is that of our body:
- Being male or female forces us into a role
- The way you look contributes to a sense of who you are
- Physical strength gives a sense of self-worth
If you identify with your physical strength, good looks, or abilities, you suffer when these features begin to fade, as they must with time. It is not only people with good bodies who are inclined to identify with them, as others identify with their body’s illness, disability or other imperfections.
Identifying with our bodies is one of the most basic forms of ego, but it is easy to go beyond this, by moving your attention from thoughts of ugly beautiful, too thin, too fat, strong or weak to the feeling of aliveness inside it.
The author explains that whatever the appearance of your body on the outside, there is an energy field beyond this, which is very much alive.
The ego also identifies with the voice in your head, a voice that never stops talking, a stream of non-stop obsessive thinking, which totally absorbs your attention.
The ego is an accumulation of habitual thought forms, and habituated emotional/mental patterns that are endowed with a sense of I, a sense of self. This is the forgetfulness of Being, the unreality of total separateness that turns our life into a nightmare.
Many of us continue to live like a sleepwalker, ensnared in out dated dysfunctional mindsets that re-create the same nightmarish reality, over and over again.
Whereas some people become bitter and resentful, others experience a new dimension of consciousness after a tragedy, such as:
- Losing all possessions
- The loss of a spouse
- The loss of a child
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of physical abilities
- Loss of social position
At these times whatever they had identified with had been taken away, and after the initial anguish and fear, they felt a deep peace, and a revered sense of Presence. When you surrender, a new level of awareness opens up, and rests in inner stillness and peace.
The central essence of all your mind activity consists of particular recurring and constant emotions, thoughts, and reactive patterns that you identify with most strongly. This thing is the ego itself.
The resentful complainer
The ego complains all the time. This is its strategy to grow stronger. The underlying emotion is resentment, which adds even more energy to the ego.
The most effective way to go beyond the ego is by not reacting. You can only not react when you can identify that someone’s behavior is coming from the ego, and understand that it’s not personal.
The author explains that another word for not reacting is forgiveness, and that to forgive is to overlook.
The ego is not only resentful and complains about other people, but also about situations. We say we are being unfairly treated, or that this should not be happening. The ego’s biggest enemy is the present moment, life itself.
A resentment of long standing is called a grievance, and represents a considerable part of many peoples ego. It is a strong negative emotion, which is linked to a past event, and it is kept alive by retelling the story over and over again.
It only takes on powerful grievance to contaminate your life, and keep you in the ego’s grip.
Trying to let go of grievances, to forgive, does not work. Forgiveness is the result of seeing that the grievance has no purpose apart from to strengthen a false sense of self, to keep the ego in place.
The ego takes everything personally, and confuses opinions with facts. It is not capable of telling the difference between an event, and the reaction it had to an event.
I am right – you are wrong
The author explains that an “I am right and you are wrong”, attitude is dangerous in all relationships, personal, and the interactions between religions, nations, and tribes. However this is another way that the ego strengthens itself.
If you believe that only your religion is the Truth, you are using it to strengthen the ego.
On a communal level, the mind-set “We are right and they are wrong” is mainly deep-rooted in those parts of the world where there is widespread, longstanding conflict between two religions, tribes, nations, or races. Both sides believe they are right, and see themselves as victims.
As they have degraded the other as the enemy, they impose all kinds of violence, and even kill others including children, without feeling their compassion, and suffering.
They have become trapped in an insane spiral of perpetration and retribution, action and reaction.
The root cause of all this is total identification with the ego.
The author explains that anything that you dislike in another, which causes a strong reaction in you, is also in you. You cannot defeat this dysfunctional egoic behavior by attacking it, as whatever you oppose and defend against, you strengthen.
When you recognize the ego for what it is that of a communal dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind, you no longer wrongly see it as somebody’s identity. You no longer take it personally, and it becomes easier to remain non-reactive. The ego thrives on reactivity.
The author asks, “Can you feel there is something in you that would rather be right than at peace?”
Your true identity
Spiritual realization is to see clearly that what you think, identify with, experience, or feel, is in the end, not who you are, that you cannot find yourself in all those things that constantly pass away.
The ego always has a hidden agenda, wanting something from situations and people, as it always feels that it is lacking, so uses people to get what it wants. However satisfaction is short lived, as it is governed by fear, the fear of its death, of being non-existent.
This comes about because the ego identifies with form, and no forms are permanent. Once you accept that all forms are unstable, peace arises inside you, because recognizing the impermanence of all forms allows you to awaken to the formless inside yourself, what is known as, eternal life.
Strategies of the ego
- Many people are addicted to gossiping because it makes them feel superior, when they judge anyone else negatively.
- The ego uses name-dropping in order to make it feel more superior to the other person.
- It overvalues fame, and seeks to surround itself with others who will feed its overrated self-image.
- It is always angry, resentful, complains, blames, and is indifferent and incapable of a real relationship.
- The ego will play another role in order to get its needs met.
People are not generally aware of the roles they play, some can be subtle, and other obvious, but they are a means for the ego to get attention in some way.
This does not mean that a shy person is free of ego, but rather has an ego that cannot make up its mind, as it fears, yet wants the attention from others. They fear disapproval or criticism, and swing between feeling inferior and superior.
When some egos don’t receive admiration, they provoke a negative reaction in someone, and receive attention in this way. Others seek attention by committing crimes.
A common role is that of the victim, in order to gain pity or sympathy from others. This role is an element in many egoic patterns, such as, being outraged, offended, and complaining.
If no one will listen to the ego’s sad story, then it can always feel sorry for itself, in order to give definition to its self-image.
Role-playing is common at the early stages of a romantic relationship, but role-playing is hard work, and cannot be sustained for long. What we usually call falling in love, is spiraling egoic wanting and needing. You become addicted to your image of the other person, which has nothing to do with true love.
The author explains how he congratulates people when they say, “I don’t know who I am anymore”.
Because when people let go of the belief that they have to know who they are, then they become confused, but when you totally accept that you don’t know, you have more clarity, and become peaceful.
We all carry out different functions, and have various levels of intellect, and physical abilities.
It is not important what your function is, but the degree that you identify with it, and allow it to become a role that you play. This is because you are not aware of your role when you are playing in it.
However when you notice yourself playing a role, this creates a space between you and the role, which gives freedom from it.
We also assign roles to other people in the same way, seeing them only as we expect to:
- The tough macho male
- The middle class housewife
- The nonconformist performer or artist
- The female seductress
- A person of culture
If you are aware, you may be able to notice how you interrelate with others, and may be able to notice subtle changes in your attitude, behavior or speech, depending on the person you are with at the time.
As you have a mental image of who the other person is, and who you are in relation to this person, then you are not really relating to that person at all, rather the person who you think they are.
Likewise the other person will be relating to you, by who he thinks you are, so it is easy to see that there is no true relationship, and it is hardly surprising that relationships are full of conflict.
In most cases this is just another role that we play, and behind the masquerade is a great deal of pain.
The author explains that if you are unhappy, then you need to acknowledge that there is unhappiness in you, and then investigate it.
If this has to do with a situation that you find yourself in, then you may have to take action in order to change the situation. If there is nothing you can do about it, you have to face up to the fact and accept that this is how it is.
Happiness is intangible, and you won’t find it by looking for it. However freedom from unhappiness is possible now, by facing up to the situation, instead of denying it, unhappiness only covers up the source of your true happiness.
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Many adults use silly words and talk down to children. This is playing the role of parent that most adults do at one point in their lives.
The author explains that the vital question to ask yourself is whether you can perform your function of being a parent without it becoming a role.
- Excessively giving your children what they need becomes spoiling.
- Keeping them from danger becomes over protectiveness.
- Telling them what to do becomes controlling.
Many parents are unable to let go of this role even when their child grows up, because they are motivated by the ego to preserve their role identity.
The ego needs to control others to fill it’s own sense of lack, and says:
- I want you to achieve what I never did because I wasn’t given the opportunity.
- I sacrificed a great deal for you so don’t disappoint me.
- If you do what I think is right, I will keep loving you.
Becoming aware of these unconscious motivations allows you to see how ridiculous they are, and this is the best way for change.
If your parents are doing this to you, it is enough for you to recognize, and accept that it is the ego in them, without reacting.
Notice whether some of the thoughts going through your mind are the internalized voice of your mother or father, telling you that you are not good enough. As you become aware of this, you no longer have to believe all the thoughts you think.
If you have young children then guide and protect them, as best you can, but remember to give them space to be. We all have to experience suffering in order to transcend it.
Most hidden anger and resentment, which children have towards their parents is generally caused because the relationship is not genuine, and the child longs for the parent to be more than just a role.
In order for a parent to bring Being into the relationship with their child, you have to give your child formless attention. This means listening to your child, being completely present, and not wanting anything other than that this instant, as it is.
When you go beyond form in the relationship with your child, you are equal, and find the true love in that relationship, and the child feels loved.
The art of living
The art of living is to do what is required without identifying with a role. You are at your most powerful when you do something for its own sake rather than a way of enhancing, protecting, or conforming to your role identity.
The author explains that most people of important standing, such as religious leaders, TV personalities, and politicians, are totally identified with their role, and are no more than unconscious actors playing their role in the egoic game.
When you stop playing roles, there is no ego in what you do, and your actions have greater power.
When you give up defining who you are to yourself, and to others, you will come to life, and will interact with others as a conscious Presence.
The only reason the ego assumes roles is because of the thought, “I am not enough” and need to play a role in order to be fully your self.
However you cannot be more than you already are, as you are one with Life itself, underneath your physical, and psychological façade.
Whenever you are aware of negativity in you, you become aware of the ego. This means your identity has swung from ego to awareness, and this shows that your awareness is growing, and your ego is shrinking.
When you can realize that you are creating the suffering, which you are feeling in that moment, this will be sufficient to raise you above the limitations of habituated egoic states.
These are the most common unconscious thoughts, which make you resentful, and unhappy:
- There is something that needs to happen in order to make me happy and fulfilled.
- If something hadn’t happened in the past, I would be happy now.
- This should not be happening to me.
These are stories that the ego has created to persuade you that you cannot be yourself, or happy, at the moment.
Happiness is possible when you make peace with the present moment. When you are One With Life you realize life lives you – you don’t live life.
To end the unhappiness that has afflicted the human race for thousands of years, you have to be accountable for your inner state at any given moment.
- Am I feeling negative at this moment?
- Become aware of your thoughts and emotions.
- Watch out for nervousness and discontentment.
- Watch out for thought, which seem to justify your unhappiness, but are really the cause of it.
As you become aware of this negative state you have dis-identified with the ego, and you become the conscious Presence witnessing those states.
Essential nature of the ego
The ego’s essential nature represents suffering and dysfunction. Many mental disorders have the same egoic personalities that operate in a normal person. The only difference is that they have become so distinct that their pathological nature is now noticeable to everyone, except the sufferer.
The mental illness known as paranoia is fundamentally a larger than life form of the ego. It generally consists of an imaginary story the mind has made up in order to make sense of a continual core fear.
Behind this story lies the belief that people are plotting against, or trying to control.
Although the ego need others, deep down it fears and hates them, and the person suffering from paranoia lives severely with that hell.
It also affects everyone with egoic patterns, and the stronger the ego, the more likely you are to see others, as the source of the problems in your life.
The collective ego of religions, nations, and tribes often has this strong element of paranoia, them against the evil of others.
Violence is a way that the ego attempts to defend itself, and prove it self right, and the other wrong. At times when the ego is under threat, the individual unconsciously acts and feels, as if fighting for survival.
Here again we are reminded to, “let go of identification with the mind, and who you are, will emerge by it self.”
Cooperation is alien to the ego, unless there is a secondary motive. This means people unintentionally sabotage their own work when they keep back help or information from others.
An illness can:
- Strengthen the ego if you resent being ill, feel self-pity or complain.
- Weaken the ego if you access your inner knowing, and are content.
The ego tries to escape feeling not good enough by identifying with a group. This can be a political party, football team, gang or even a sect.
This does not mean that the person is truly free, as the ego can shift from the personal to the collective, and ultimately, the collective will be in conflict with other collectives.
At this point the individual may realize the element of insanity in the collective.
The author explains that as the new consciousness surfaces, groups will form, which reflect the enlightened consciousness, but the individuals who make up these groups, will no longer need to define their identity through the group.
Enlightened collectives will accomplish an important role in the arising of the new consciousness, and accelerate the planetary shift.
Thought is not the only dimension of the ego. Another dimension is emotion; this is the body’s reaction to your mind, the response to a thought.
This does not mean that all thinking and emotions come from the ego, as this is only so, as long as you identify with them, and they take you over totally and become, “I”.
The problem is that although our body is intelligent, it is not able to tell the difference between an actual situation and a thought, and reacts to all thoughts, as if they were real.
The author explains: “The ego is not only the voice in your head that pretends to be you, but also the unobserved emotions that are the body’s reaction to what the voice is saying”
This causes us to make unconscious assumptions, which create our personal reality, such as believing we don’t deserve love, or abundance.
We all suffer a great deal of stress because the ego constantly disrupts our body’s natural state of well-being, and it is this anxiety and fear, which affects the immune system, heart, digestion, and hormones.
Positive emotions, which emanate from connectedness with Being, have the opposite effect, they strengthen the immune system, and heal the body.
The burden of the past
The human mind has an unwillingness to let go of the past. The past lives in us as memories, but these are not the problem. The problem is when you allow thoughts about the past to become part of your sense of self, and hold onto the old emotion, because it strengthens your identity.
We all carry a build up of old emotional pain in our energy field, which the author calls the pain body. We can stop adding to this by learning to stop dwelling on the past. The past has no power because it cannot prevent you from being present now.
The pain body is not only individual, as it shares the pain suffered by innumerable humans throughout the history of humanity.
The pain of constant tribal warfare, pillage, enslavement, torture, rape, and other violence, still lives in the collective psyche of humanity.
The pain body is an addiction to unhappiness. It feeds on any emotional painful experience, and thrives on drama in relationships, and negative thinking.
.When you are unhappy you want to make others feel just as miserable, in order to feed on their negative emotional responses.
The pain body remains dormant until it needs to replenish itself, or an event, or what someone says may set it off. The pain body cannot digest happy positive thoughts, as it can only feed on negative thoughts, which are attuned with its own energy field.
Everything is a vibrating energy field, which is constantly moving, and what you perceive as physical matter, is in fact energy moving at a particular range of frequencies.
Thoughts vibrate at a higher frequency than matter, which is why you cannot see or touch them.
.Negative thoughts are at the lower end of the scale, and positive at the higher.
Each thought feeds the pain body, and so the pain body makes more thoughts. When it returns to its dormant stage, having replenished itself, it leaves behind a depleted body that is more susceptible to illness.
Drinking too much alcohol often activates the pain body, and the drunken person goes through a personality change, as the pain body takes him over. This can result in the person becoming physically violent, yet being truly sorry when he becomes sober.
It is usual for a pain body to need to inflict and suffer pain. This is often seen in couples that believe they have fallen in love, but are actually drawn to each other because their individual pain bodies match each other.
Often the pain body is clever enough to lie low until the couple begins living together.
The reason violent films are so popular is because they fuel our addiction to unhappiness. The pain body wants to feel bad. This is only applicable if the films portray violence as normal human behavior.
In the same way our newspapers know that negative emotion sells more newspapers than anything else.
Spiritual practices and Freedom
Spiritual practices such as tai chi, qigong, and yoga, which involve the physical body, are becoming more popular. These will play an important part in global awakening, as they unite body and spirit, and help weaken the pain-body.
You can only go beyond your pain-body by taking accountability for your inner state now. As long as you keep blaming someone else, you keep feeding the pain-body, and stay trapped in your ego.
But with forgiveness, your victim identity dissipates, and the power of Presence emerges.
Freedom from the pain-body begins with the realization that you have one. You then have to stay present enough to notice it as an influx of dense negative emotion.
Once you become aware of this, it can no longer act as if it is you, or renew itself through you. It does not dissolve immediately, but your thinking is no longer clouded by emotion.
Not all unhappiness is due to the pain body, as when you are not aligned with the present moment, you create new unhappiness.
Dis-identifying with the pain-body
Other people find a strong pain-body in another person unpleasant. They may be repulsed by their energy field, and feel they want to keep interaction with him or her to a minimum. This means their pain body is resonating strongly with the other person’s pain-body, and that is why they react so strongly.
You need a great deal of Presence to avoid reacting when dealing with a person with such an active pain-body, but staying present may enable the other person to dis-identify, and experience a sudden awakening.
When you are familiar with your own pain-body, you will learn what triggers usually activate it. When you stay in a state of alert Presence, you won’t identify with it. Each time you do this some of the pain-body’s negative emotional energy becomes transmuted into Presence.
The author states, “The pain-body needs your unconsciousness. It cannot tolerate the light of Presence.”
Although the pain-body appears to hang over you like a dark cloud, distorting and controlling your thinking, and upsetting your relationships.
It is common for people with strong pain-bodies to reach a point where they can’t take any more drama, and the quest for inner peace becomes a priority.
The pain-body then becomes the decisive factor, which forces them into a state of Presence.
However, due to the unparalleled flood of consciousness we are witnessing on the planet now, many people no longer need to withstand this amount of suffering to be able to dis-identify from the pain-body.
When they enter into a dysfunctional state, they are able to opt out of identification with their emotions, and enter the state of Presence.
The more limited your viewpoint is, and the more your react to the unconsciousness in others, the more you strengthen the ego in yourself. You may even experience your own ego through its reflection in others.
Most peoples whole reality is based on a false self, which sabotages situations and relationships. It you think that you lack money, or love, and this has become part of your experience, then you will always experience lack.
The foundation for abundance is to recognize the good that is already in your life, because whenever you think the world is holding something back from you, you are holding something back from the world.
This is because underneath you think that you have nothing to give.
To change your reality, try this for a few weeks:
- Show appreciation; give praise, help, and loving care to those you think are withholding from you.
- See the beauty in everything all around you
- Always ask what you can give to a situation, how you can be of service to someone.
Do this and you will see that you don’t have to own anything in order to be abundant! Abundance comes only to those who already have it, as scarcity and abundance are inner states, which manifest as your reality.
Behind the apparently random, or even disordered string of events in our lives, as well as in the world, lies hidden the unfolding of a higher order and purpose, but we can never understand this by thinking about it, because the higher order originates from the formless realm of universal intelligence.
When disorder enters our life in the form of sickness, disability, accident, old age or death, this can become the opening into a higher order. There are no random events, nor is there anything that exists in isolation.
I don’t mind
When you say this, it implies that internally you are in alignment with what happens, and you actions are given power by the intelligence of Life itself. Only when you resist what happens are you at mercy of what happens.
The most important relationship in your life is with the Now. If this is dysfunctional, it will be reflected in all situations, and relationships. Once you have attained a certain level of awareness, you will be able to decide what sort of relationship you want to have with the present moment.
When you decide to make the present moment your friend, this means the end of the ego, because the ego can never be aligned with the present moment. The ego can only treat the present moment as:
- A means to an end
- An obstacle
- An enemy
Life is Now, so ask yourself frequently, and look for the answers to the following questions:
- What is any relationship with the present moment?
- Am I treating the Now as no more than a means to an end?
- Do I see it as an obstacle?
- Am I making it into an enemy?
Whenever you allow the moment to be as it is, you not only dissolve the ego, but also time, and the separation between the world and God, dissolves.
The author explains that there is the dream, and a dreamer of the dream. The dreamer is the total reality, whereas the dream is a passing play of forms. The dreamer is not the person, but consciousness itself, who you are. Your purpose now is to awaken within the dream.
The decline of the ego
The ego is always watchful against its decline, and puts automatic ego repair functions into effect to reinstate the mental form of “me.”
The author gives a powerful spiritual practice to consciously allow the ego to go into decline, without restoring it:
Instead of defending yourself next time someone calls you names criticizes, or blames you, allow your self-image to stay diminished and notice what this feels like inside you.
You may feel uncomfortable for a while, but then you may sense a space inside, which feels strongly alive, and so you will realize that nothing is lost.
This does not mean turning yourself into a victim, but without egoic defensiveness, and no reactive force, you will find more power behind your words.
Another feature of this practice is to abstain from trying to strengthen the self by showing off, and see what this feels like.
A balanced life is a dance between form and space. The problem is that most people are so identified with thoughts, and emotion that they remain trapped in ego.
They are so obsessed with time that they have forgotten eternity, the living reality of who they are.
The author explains that the words, “This too will pass” are pointers to reality, and make you aware of the fleetingness of every situation. This allows you to detach, and gain a better place to view the events in your life.
You no longer feel trapped inside them. Inner space is found through:
- Non judgement
- Non resistance
When you find this inner space you can enjoy the things of this world without making them more important than they are. You can enjoy experiences and things, without loosing yourself in them, and becoming addicted to the world.
Pointing to the impermanence of all forms infers pointing to the eternal, because it is only the eternal in you, which can appreciate that the impermanent is just that.
Most of our lives are cluttered with material things, but when you become conscious of the inner space, you will have not only freedom from the ego, but also from dependency on materialism. This is because it is only the spiritual dimension that gives true meaning to this world.
If you are not spending all your time worrying, or obsessed by other negative states, and are able to spend time enjoying the simple things of life, such as listening to the sound of the wind, or rain, or if you need to be alone at times without mental stimulus, or feeling lonely, or if you find yourself showing a kindness to a total stranger without expecting anything in return, then a space has opened up, and when this happens there is a sense of well being.
Another way of finding inner space is to say or think, “I am”
The author states, “When consciousness is no longer totally absorbed by thinking, some of it remains in its formless, unconditioned, original state. This is inner space.”
The greatest hindrance to the discovery of inner space, and finding the experiencer, is becoming totally enthralled by the experience, and losing your self in it.
You can find inner space by making gaps in the stream of thinking. When you become aware of your breathing, this creates space because it takes attention away from thinking:
- Be aware of your breathing.
- Notice the sensation of the breath.
- Feel the air moving in and out of your body.
- Notice how the chest and abdomen expand and contract slightly with the in and out breath.
- One conscious breath is sufficient to make some space where there were non-stop thoughts before. It also forces you into the present moment, which is the key to all inner transformation.
Use conscious breathing to generate awareness, and remove the urge from compulsive behavior patterns, such as overeating, Internet addiction, overeating, smoking, watching TV, or drinking.
You can also use breathing to become aware of the inner body:
Take two or three conscious breaths.
- Can you can detect a faint sense of aliveness that spreads through your entire inner body.
- Can you feel your body from within, so to speak?
- Sense briefly specific parts of your body
- Then become aware again of the inner body as a whole.
When you become aware of the Now, you suddenly feel more alive inside. The author explains that to do this you have to ask yourself:
“Am I aware not only of what is happening at this moment, but also of the Now itself as the living timeless inner space in which everything happens?”
You should use the awareness of the inner body to create space, as often as you can each day, as this prevents you getting lost in emotions and thinking, and keeps you present in the Now.
There is a gap between the moment you first see or hear something, and the mind naming it. It is easy to miss, but that is the inner space.
When you let go of the need of the ego to highlight your form identity, an inner space also arises. You become less, so you can be more.
Stillness is just another word for space, and whenever you become conscious of stillness, it will connect you with the formless and timeless dimension within yourself.
Your life has two purposes:
- The inner purpose is primary, and concerns Being – to awaken
- The outer purpose is secondary and concerns doing
Your inner purpose is shared with every other human being, and is an essential part of the whole.
Many people going through the beginning stages of the awakening are no longer sure what their outer purpose is, because what drives the world no longer drives them.
- Want some change in their life, but don’t know exactly what
- Want to be doing something meaningful, and the freedom that comes with it.
- Want to do something that makes a difference to the world Want to know what their life purpose is
The author explains that unless you live in alignment with your primary purpose, whatever you decide is your secondary purpose will be short lived because it will be of the ego, and sooner or later, lead to suffering.
Satisfying your primary purpose is underpinning for a new reality, a new earth. Once this is in place, your external purpose becomes charged with spiritual power because your plans and purpose will be one with the evolutionary desire of the universe.
Whenever you become uneasy or stressed, then your outer purpose has taken over, and you have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary. As you become present in that you do, your actions become charged with spiritual power. There is now a deeper purpose that can only be found through the denial of time, in the present.
Your outer purpose comes through awareness; you wake up one morning and know what to do. It is subject to time, and will then be replaced by another purpose. Your purpose will no longer work when it is unsuited to your inner purpose.
On the new earth old age will be recognized across the world, as a time for the flowering of consciousness.
As the new consciousness starts to emerge on the planet, more people will no longer need to be shaken, to have an awakening.
When we are not weakened by egoic dysfunction, our intelligence fully aligns with the creative power of the universal intelligence, and we become conscious participants in the creation of form, by allowing the universe to create through us.
When consciousness becomes form it enters in a dreamlike state, and although intelligence remains, it becomes unconscious of itself, as it becomes identified with forms.
Glimpses of awakening only come at death, and the next incarnation starts, followed by awakening, and the next dream of form, continuum.
On earth, the human ego signifies the final stage of universal sleep, which is a necessary stage in the evolution of the consciousness.
The ego becomes more dysfunctional, the nearer we get to the end of this stage in our evolution.
Consciousness can now start to create form without losing itself in it, and can remain conscious of it self, even as it creates and experiences form.
The author offers a spiritual practice to bring creative expansion, and empowerment into your life:
- Make a list your everyday activities, including those you consider boring, or stressful, but not anything you detest doing.
- Whenever you are doing one of these activities, be totally present and sense the stillness within you.
You will soon find that instead of being boring or stressful these chores actually become enjoyable, when you are in a heightened state.
The new earth arises, as more people discover it is their purpose to bring the light of consciousness into this world.
Enthusiasm never fights anyone, as it does not make anyone the winner of the loser. It is based on including others, rather than excluding them. The ego cannot exist along side enthusiasm.
When you enjoy what you are doing whilst working towards a goal, this becomes enthusiasm.
The author concludes by saying that only the present moment can set us free, that realizing is the awakening, and awakening is the realization of Presence.
This means the awakened consciousness is not something to be achieved in the future, but Now. A new heaven, a new earth, a new species – You – are arising now.
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