A New Earth
||This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (December 2010)|
|A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose|
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose is a book by Eckhart Tolle, a follow-up to his first book and bestseller, The Power of Now. Tolle says "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". First published in 2005, it was selected in 2008 by Oprah Winfrey for her book club, and was followed by a 10-week live online seminar with both Tolle and Winfrey. By 2009, 5 million copies had been sold in North America. How the book was written is notable in that Tolle explained to Oprah that the writing "was inspired, but not channeled" and as with his first book, he needed to be on the West Coast of North America to facilitate this flow of writing.
Format and theme 
A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose is a more detailed examination of the ideas introduced in The Power of Now. Although both revolve around the same theme, there are significant differences. The Power Of Now is in a question/answer format, and focuses on the self-help aspects of Tolle's work; his second book Stillness Speaks is in the style of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, a series of short passages designed for meditative reflection; whereas A New Earth is in a more traditional long essay format, and Tolle spends more time on the societal ramifications of his ideas, culminating in tentative descriptions of a future in which enjoyment and compassion have replaced desire and conflict as the core motivating principle for humanity.
Tolle sees humanity as trapped in thinking. Individuals derive a sense of identity from these thoughts, and it becomes impossible to achieve lasting happiness. As this sense of identity is fictional and static, it is subject to destruction and decay, a process Tolle sees as the main causal factor in human suffering. Tolle also sees this sense of identity as the cause of unnecessary human conflict. The escape from this ongoing prison is a direct experience of the sublime, the infinite - that which stands outside, before and beyond the categorisations and divisions of conceptual thought. A key way which Tolle suggests this can be done is to bring one's attention to the present moment.
Chapter One: The Flowering of Human Consciousness 
Tolle 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". This is used by Tolle as an analogy for a transformation in human consciousness that he sees is about to occur and has already begun.
Tolle believes that the earliest such "flowers" or spiritual messengers were in the forms of Buddha, Jesus, Laozi and other such great teachers, and that at those particular time periods in history, these great teachers’ messages were not fully understood. Tolle explains
The inspiration for the title of this book came from a Bible prophecy that seems more applicable now than at any other time in human history. It occurs in both the Old and the New Testament and speaks of the collapse of the existing world order and the arising of "a new heaven and a new earth." We need to understand here that heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness. This is the esoteric meaning of the word, and this is also its meaning in the teachings of Jesus. Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner. Collective human consciousness and life on our planet are intrinsically connected. "A new heaven" is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and "a new earth" is its reflection in the physical realm. Since human life and human consciousness are intrinsically one with the life of the planet, as the old consciousness dissolves, there are bound to be synchronistic geographic and climatic natural upheavals in many parts of the planet, some of which we are already witnessing now..
Chapters Two, Three and Four: Ego 
In his book A New Earth, Tolle defines the term ego as an "illusory sense of self" based on one's memories and thoughts. Tolle says that when studying history "it becomes obvious that the human ego in its collective aspect as “us” against “them” is even more insane than the “me,” the individual ego, although the mechanism is the same. By far the greater part of violence that humans have inflicted on each other is not the work of criminals or the mentally deranged, but of normal, respectable citizens in the service of the collective ego. One can go so far as to say that on this planet “normal” equals insane. What is it that lies at the root of this insanity? Complete identification with thought and emotion, that is to say, ego."
Tolle describes our identification with things: things that we use every day for self enhancement or things we have become attached to and become obsessed with. He describes how inferiority changes the way we act with other people and creates an ego that we didn’t normally have.
Chapters Five and Six: The Pain Body 
Tolle uses his term pain body to describe the human tendency to carry around "an accumulation of old emotional pain". The identification is what causes all the reoccurring pain in the individual. Being able to know where the pain is coming from will prevent the pain body to renew itself through you. Our inner consciousness can change the world by not just being satisfied with what you do. Our destinies can be determined by how we carry out our actions and how we can fulfill them with the best possible consciousness.
Chapters Seven, Eight and Nine: Inner Space, Inner Purpose and Who You Truly Are 
In these chapters, Tolle makes many distinctions: between "knowing yourself and knowing about yourself"; between the "Dreamer" and the "dream"; between the objects of consciousness and the space of consciousness; between outer space and inner space; and between outer purpose and inner purpose
Chapter Ten: A New Earth 
In the final chapter, Tolle discusses what he calls "the three modalities of awakened doing": acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Acceptance is when you may not enjoy what you are doing but you have to be able to accept it. This is essentially being able to take responsibility in your life and to take action with certain things that are not enjoyable at all and to find peace within these activities. Enjoyment is the next modality and it is being able to make the present moment a pivotal part of your life. This doesn’t mean that if you want to do something that you will find enjoyment in it. It means that with everything you do that you need to enjoy it in the present; you can’t let the moments pass you by or tell yourself you will enjoy something in the near future. The final modality of the inner consciousness is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm entails that there is a deeper enjoyment in the actions you do and being able to work towards a final goal, with a sense of urgency, but without stress.
Publication and reception 
First published in 2005, it had reached first place on the New York Times Best Seller list for "Paperback Advice" several times by December 2008. Its huge success in 2008 coincided with Oprah Winfrey's selection of the book for her book club in January that year, which was followed by a 10-week live online seminar with Tolle, which started on March 3, 2008, for which over 700,000 people from more than 100 countries, registered on Oprah.com. According to Barnes & Noble, it became the fastest-selling title in the history of Oprah's Book Club, which has selected 61 books since 1996. Within four weeks of the announcement 3.5 million copies had been shipped. By 2009, an estimated 5 million copies had been sold.
See also 
Publication history 
- 2005. New York, New York: Dutton/Penguin Group. ISBN 0-525-94802-3
- 2006. New York, New York: Plume. ISBN 0-452-28758-8
- 2008. New York, New York: Penguin Group. ISBN 0-452-28996-3
- Tolle, A New Earth, p. 27
- Tolle, A New Earth, p. 29
- Tolle, A New Earth, p. 140
- Eckhart Tolle Biography - New York Times - "Times Topics" - March 5, 2008.
- Oprah's Favorite Books The Oprah Winfrey Show
- Are You Ready to be Awakened? The Oprah Winfrey Show.
- Oprah brings Tolle's 'Earth' to the classroom USA Today, February 3, 2008.
- Oprah Winfrey Book Pick 'A New Earth' Shatters Records, Associated Press via Fox News, Thursday, February 28, 2008.
- Ken MacQueen (2009-10-22). "Eckhart Tolle vs. God". Macleans.ca. Archived from the original on 24 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.