Mary Helene's Reviews > A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
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's review
Jul 28, 08

it was ok
bookshelves: spiritual-and-religious
Recommended to Mary Helene by: a number of people
Read in June, 2008

In short: traditional Catholic spirituality rewritten in the current vocabulary. The evidence?
Eckhart Tolle (pg.225): (1) non-resistance (2) non-judgment, (3) non-attachment
Ignatian Banners of Christ (in the Spiritual Exercises) (1) vulnerability (2) humility (3) poverty
Or take Eckart’s sense of Presence and the Now. Here’s a quote from “The Sacrament of the Present Moment” by Jean Pierre Caussade, a humble eighteenth century priest
“ And so we leave God to act in everything, reserving for ourselves only love and obedience to the present moment. For this is our eternal duty. This compelling love, steeped in silence, is required of every soul…Pure, simple and sure, it is a straight path along which souls walk with courage and faith, looking neither to the right nor to the left, unconcerned with everything else. “
Or page 78 in “A New Earth” “This is why we call it Presence. The ultimate purpose of human existence, which is to say, your purpose, is to bring that power into this world.” Isn’t this a rephrasing of what it means to be in Christ? To be alive with the Holy Spirit in Christ? There are many such examples.He has rewritten (in a secular language of sorts) the thinking of such classic Catholics as Teilhard de Chardin (on the world wide evolution of the spirit), St. Therese of Lisieux (on the “Little Way” or “Just for Today”) and Brother Lawrence ( living in the ordinary daily task and present moment.)
What is strange is Eckhart’s explicit anti-Catholicism. On page 70, for example, he draws a parallel between the Catholic Church, in the first paragraph, and Pol Pot, in the second. I didn’t uncover any of his own opinions which seemed at odds with Catholic tradition, although there is much that is missing – and vital - a concern with social justice being chief here, or a respect for the discipline of communal life.
I would say that the Catholic antidote to the ego is living in a web of relationships which we call community, where we learn to respond to God’s love in the present moment. Eckhart Tolle’s antidote to ego seems to be rather more solitary and less loving.

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Robertsinnamon Eckhart Tolle review
Eckhart Tolle’s book is an attempt to awaken you to your life’s purpose but there are no meaningful instructions to take you there. Eckhart is focused on a symptom of the problem that he believes is the problem, “the ego” and I would suggest that this manifestation of the problem is certainly a red flag. However there was never a doctor who could cure patience’s problem by treating their symptoms. Like many doctors, Tolle misdiagnoses the patience and falls victim to the very thing that he makes confident assertions about. Eckhart suggests a treatment to close the hole of self only to discover there are always more openings.
“I think therefore I am” - thought is a product of the mind and without the mind there would be no perception of self or the body you possess. It was God who said “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) because He engineered your body and wants you to operate in the mechanics of His design so He can receive the glory. If we do not obey before we know (faith) it will be the mind that is responsible in producing the misperception of who you are, this illusory sense of identity. This illusory sense of self or the arrogance that could be called the ego that Albert Einstein referred to as “an optical illusion of consciousness”. And Tolle’s statement “That illusory self then becomes the basis for all further interpretations, or rather misinterpretations of reality, all thought processes, interactions, and relationships, your reality becomes a reflection of the original illusion,” is certainly true. Tolle may not have the answer but I believe he has a good understanding of the problem. Tolle also quotes Jesus in an attempt to give validity to his theology along with many others, but it was only Jesus who said in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
Eckhart’s solution to dissolve this illusion all come down to the word “‘if’ you can recognize illusion as illusion, it dissolves. The recognition of illusion is also its ending.” Nobody would disagree with his deduction. But a simple illustration of a man walking through a desert without water can test his deduction. It is not until he receives a drink of water can he believe that what he sees is nothing more than an optical illusion stemming from he imbalance state of body and mind.
If the mind or the brain is still in the same physical state that produced this illusion of self then it has no ability to see itself relative to truth. The fact that the mind in its unbalanced physical state has produced an ego is irrelevant and to try to recognize the countless illusions the mind is capable of generating is in itself absurd.
Unbelief comes from a polluted mind or a body that lacks the energy to maintain a balanced state. A mind cannot change its state without acting on the knowledge of the truth but the mind will not recognize truth as knowledge because it has been chemically programmed to reconfigure truth.
Purification comes with a cost of suffering, by the effects of a chemical withdrawal, in order to break our self-conceived ideas on how we see reality. A mind that has not been re-wired has no ability to be enlightened by divine teaching, because it is already programmed to arrange any new knowledge within it own pre-established formula, as to preserve its addictions, and therefore cannot discern the between the holy and the profane. Romans16:18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. Tolle and many other men come across so convincing because they have no idea they are completely controlled by their addictions to their own appetites. Our so called wise and learned men come across completely sincere because they have no idea their judgment have been impaired. Their rational seems logical and is received with applause because they are appealing to an audience who baths in the same pool of impediments. 2 Cor10:12 For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. Pro16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Joh8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. Only a relatively short period of time is needed in practicing sin, (or letting the flesh choose) before the brain sets up receivers to accommodate this new chemical addiction that reinforces the appetite. Like a drug addict on the street you are trapped and enslaved to serve your habit.
It is easy to sit back and tell someone that they do not have and answer to the problem and never using our own logic or deduction of reasoning to find the answer. Jesus tells us that we need to follow Him through regeneration, Mat19:28 Truly I tell you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration … We were once there as little children. One of the parts which will be renewed is the mind, Rom12:2 “… but transformed but the renewing of your mind … All regeneration and renewing is centered around “things” in you that are not of your DNA but make up almost 50% of your dry body weight. They turn out to be little separate creatures that are the engine that drives every one of your cells, including your brain cells. Without them, we would not move a muscle, drum a finger, think a thought. 1 Cor1:27 But God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are so that one may boast before him. The problem is these creatures replicate, privately, in their own fashion and if you do not provide the environment they need to regenerate you will never have a mind or thought process “that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom12:2).
For in-depth comprehensible study on the environment needed and how the Spirit logically lead me to this place of surrender please go to

Mary Helene Heady.

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