A New Earth
Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
“A wake-up call for the entire planet . . . [A New Earth] helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be, and to put ourselves in the now.” —Oprah Winfrey
With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived “in the now.” In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.
Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, A New Earth is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life—and for building a better world.
Praise For A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose…
"[Oprah] Winfrey calls the book 'a wake-up call for the entire planet, one reader at a time. It helps us to distance ourselves from our egos . . . and to open ourselves to a higher self. . . . It helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be, and to put ourselves in the now.'"
"I would do anything to be anywhere in the vicinity of Eckhart Tolle."
"A gentle journey, one that could take you to a spectacular and very special place of new awareness and deeper understanding."
—Neale Donald Walsh, author of Conversations with God
"One of the best books to come along in years. Every sentence rings with truth and power—the power to bring you into the gap, the space between our thoughts, where we find, as Eckhart so beautifully puts it, deep serenity, stillness, and a sacred Presence."
—Deepak Chopra, author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Penguin Life, 9780452289963, 336pp.
Publication Date: January 30, 2008
About the Author
Eckhart Tolle is widely recognized as one of the most inspiring and visionary spiritual teachers in the world today. With his international bestsellers, The Power of Now and A New Earth—translated into 52 languages—he has introduced millions to the joy and freedom of living life in the present moment. His teachings focus on the significance and power of Presence, the awakened state of consciousness, which transcends ego and discursive thinking. Eckhart sees this awakening as the essential next step in human evolution. The New York Times has described him as “the most popular spiritual author in the United States”, and in 2011, Watkins Review named him “the most spiritually influential person in the world”.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
In Chapter One, Tolle discusses the reasons for reading A New Earth, and what leads people towards awakening. He writes: “For some, it may have begun through loss or suffering; for others, through coming into contact with a spiritual teacher or teaching, through reading The Power of Now or some other spiritually alive and therefore transformational book.” Discuss why you decided to read this book and seek spiritual awakening. What led you to want it? Do you think you were already on the path when you began reading A New Earth? How did the book help you with your enlightenment?
Discuss the following passage: “If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating fundamentally the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction” (p. 22). Do you agree with this statement? What changes does Tolle argue for? What can humans do as a people to make change happen? What can you do as an individual?
Why does Tolle tell the story of “The Lost Ring” in Chapter Two? Have you ever felt as the woman in the story feels? Why does Tolle teach the importance of disassociating ourselves with our physical possessions? Why do you think people are so quick to identify so closely with their possessions? How can we stop? Why should we stop?
On page 52, Tolle discusses the importance of feeling the inner body. He says we should “Make a habit of feeling the inner body as often as you can.” Why is this so important to do? How is your inner body different than your outer body? What can we learn from our inner bodies?
In Chapter Three, Tolle delves into “Reactivity and Grievances.” Discuss a grievance you’ve had with someone. Have you let go of it? How or why not? Why is it so important to let go of grievances? How does holding on to grievances damage your ego?
In what outward behaviors does your ego manifest itself? Pride? Superiority? Criticism? Examine the outward face of your ego. How can you conquer these issues and let go of them? Now consider the internal manifestations of your ego. What are you holding on to? How can you try to let go? Discuss.
“In Zen they say: ‘Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.'”(p. 121). What does this statement mean to you? How can you practice this in your own life? What other sayings or thoughts help you to see beyond your own mind to get beyond your ego?
What unconscious assumptions (ie. “Nobody respects me” or “I don’t deserve love”) have you had to fight against? Have you been able to conquer these assumptions? How? Are there any you are still trying to conquer? Why are some harder than others? Why is it so important to get unconscious assumptions out of our minds?
Discuss the parable of “Carrying the Past” on page 139. What does the story mean? How does it relate to the larger themes in this book? Are you carrying baggage from your past? How can you unload it? If you have unloaded past baggage, explain to the group how you managed it.
What is Tolle saying when he writes about the pain-body? How does the pain-body manifest itself in you? How can you break free from it? How is the pain-body stilting to spiritual growth and awakening?
How have the lessons in this book helped you to identify who you truly are? How can you expunge negativity and unhappiness to find your true self? What techniques have you tried? What has worked and what hasn’t? Discuss with the group
How is your true identity different than your inner purpose? How can you find your inner purpose? What in this book has helped you to uncover it? Do you feel that you have reached an awakening? What more do you have to work on? Discuss ways to help one another to reach the awakening you seek.
How can you help other towards enlightenment? Do you think “The New Earth” that Tolle writes about is possible to achieve? How can the human race as a whole be helped by his teachings?