Reg #: 86813-509
Work Assignment: Education
I recently completed the book, A New Earth, written by Eckhart Tolle. The book continued on Tolle’s previous work, The Power of Now. The timing of me reading this book could not have been better. Being in prison the overwhelming majority of people oscillate between focusing on the past and looking forward to the future. This book has a core focus on providing a guide to unlocking the most important moment in all of our lives, The Present.
Eckhart Tolle’s writing combines the fluidity of an investigative journalist with the intellectually prowess of a renowned professor. He espouses on so many important and provides real life examples from his experience and those around him.
The focus of the book is on several key concepts that resonated with my life.
The Pain Body: The pain body is like a bowl of our painful experiences that define how we see the world. I have filled up my bowl with painful experiences from my abusive father to my broken home, to being the only black child in many of my schools, to not being black enough for my black friends. These micro and macro experiences leave scars throughout our lives and fill up our bowl until it is spilling over. Many people feel connected to other people with complementary or supplementary pain bodies. These people often develop co-dependent relationships because the “love connection” they feel is actually a pain connection.
The Ego: The ego drives most of our daily life. We cater to the ego simply by defining a piece of property as “ours.” That simple act is enough to transform the way we view it and transforms they we react if something happens to it. The ego clouds every thought we have and our overall judgment. The ego is an insatiable force that motivates us to seek: money power, sex, fame, success, promotion or even being “right.” The ego can rationalize these ends through all means given its insatiable hunger. It should be our daily goal to identify and have awareness of our egos and to shed our egos like snakeskin.
Awareness: A major goal of this book is to awaken the reader to be aware of the difference between someone’s thoughts about the world and the world itself. The tree of knowledge of Good and Evil is used in Genesis because the overwhelming majority of meaning we, as humans, place on events, titles, beauty, wealth, and most other things we lust for was completely invented. Travel globally to gain perspective on how meaning can radically shift between cultures. Once we see the meaning we have assigned is not real, we can begin on the path to consciousness.
Being Present: Focusing on awareness and presence in the current moment is what matters in our lives. Our knowledge and understanding of the past is clouded by our own bias, our pain body, our ego, and our interpretation of the society in which we live. Our projection of the future is clouded by these same forces which make our view of the future an impermanent assign illusion. The only reality is the current moment which gives us the opportunity to impact our lives and the lives of all of those around us. ***This idea is especially important in prison. Almost every person you meet or interact with is focused on the past or longing for the future. Very few people are focused on optimizing their present.
If the Now and Present is all that actually exists then time is a manifestation of our own constructed reality and has no real meaning. It has meaning in the sense of daily/weekly schedules, events, and appointments but time does not carry the meaning that we typically give it because it only matters if we are focused on the past or future.
Most people in the world live an unconscious life focused on: money, influence, power, prestige, being liked, being intelligent, fear, lust, and aggression. They focus on endless forms of nothingness endowed with “magical” powers that will somehow fix them.
Space: Space in our lives and focused awareness allows us to be more conscious. Humans are composed of 99% space at the atomic level. We have significant room for space if we allow ourselves to recognize the truth.
Conscious living: Conscious living is biblical and comes from the Greek word spirit. So to live a conscious life means to be one with the Holy Spirit.
God’s love exists in the Present, and our direct connection with God can be obtained right NOW in this very moment.
Eliminating the idea ourselves and being conscious brings us closer to God and helps us live in concert with the Holy Spirit.
Each day we should focus on conscious living which means to live with Acceptance, Enjoyment, and Enthusiasm. We must allow space in our thoughts to be as present in each moment of our lives as possible.