“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle

I’m a snob, so I’m always wary of the label “Oprah’s Book Club.” But I actually find her magazine pleasant to flip through. A book-group friend liked Oprah’s favorite books of the decade list, and picked Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth for our next meeting. When I began to read, I felt wary, too. It felt very self-help-y and new-age-y.

Is humanity ready for a transformation of consciousness, an inner flowering so radical and profound that compared to it the flowering of plants, no matter how beautiful, is only a pale reflection?

I put my suspicion aside, and read on. And I really appreciated what I found. Tolle writes that the basis of much pain and suffering comes from the ego. Once we can recognize that, we can break free and be on the way to who we truly are.

Knowing yourself goes far deeper than the adoption of a set of ideas or beliefs. Spiritual ideas and beliefs may at best be helpful pointers, but in themselves they rarely have the power to dislodge the more firmly established core concepts of who you think you are, which are part of the conditioning of the human mind. Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind.

This is by no means a fun, fast read. But it is rich and thought provoking, especially for those of us who have trouble settling the mind, or quashing unkind thoughts. At the fear of overstatement, I think this could be a life-changing book, even if just in small positive ways. And which of us couldn’t benefit from that?

2 Responses to ““A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle”

  1. Steph Says:

    I try not to be an Oprah snob, but I kind of am too. I once saw a woman at the bookstore who just had a list of Oprah books and was mindlessly putting them in her basket. I found that behavior utterly bizarre, but I must admit, Oprah has nailed a few of her choices. While I don’t think one should read a book solely because of Oprah, it’s probably not good to refuse to read one because of her either. I’m glad you wound up finding this book unexpectedly rewarding.

  2. Amy Says:

    I’m leery of Oprah books, but confess I subscribe to the magazine. Which I won’t be caught dead reading in public.