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"A New Earth" - By: Eckhart Tolle

This has been one of the best books I have read. I was highlighting something on almost every page so get ready… This information is not new information; but it is very important information. We should be working on ourselves and reflecting on our lives everyday.

I hope you all make time to read this book. In the meantime, here are my highlights. :)

Chapter One: The Flowering of Human Consciousness

  • What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that. The awareness that is prior to thought, the space in which the thought - or the emotion or sense perception - happens.

  • Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms.

Chapter Two: Ego: The Current State of Humanity

  • Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much. Language consists of five basic sounds produced by the vocal cords. They are the vowels a, e, i, o, u. The other sounds are consonants produced by air pressure: s, f, g, and so forth. Do you believe some combination of such basic sounds could ever explain who you are, or the ultimate purpose of the universe, or even what a tree or stone is in its depth?

  • Some people never forget the first time they disidentified from their thoughts and thus briefly experienced the shift in identity from being the content of their mind to being the awareness in the background.

  • Thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence.

  • “Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.” - Buddha.

  • ‘If someone takes your shirt, let him have your coat as well.’

  • One thing we do know: Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.

  • If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that’s just more ego.

  • The Illusion of Ownership

    • To “own” something - what does it really mean? What does it mean to make something “mine”? If you stand on a street in New York, point to a huge skyscraper and say, “That building is mine. I own it,” you are either very wealthy or you are delusional or a liar. In any case, you are telling a story in which the thought form “I” and the thought form “building” merge into one. That’s how the mental concept of ownership works. If everybody agrees with your story, there will be signed pieces of the paper to certify their agreement with it. You are wealthy. If nobody agrees with the story, they will send you to a psychiatrist. You are delusional, or a compulsive liar.

  • It almost seems like a paradox: When you are in touch with the inner body, you are not identified with your body anymore, nor are you identified with your mind.

  • Descartes: “I think, therefore I am” This was the answer he found to the question “Is there anything I know with absolute certainty?”

  • “The consciousness that says ‘I am’ is not the consciousness that thinks.”

  • When you are aware that you are thinking, that awareness is not part of thinking. It is a different dimension of consciousness.

  • The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.

Chapter Three: The Core of Ego

  • The conceptual “I” cannot survive without the conceptual “other”.

  • Complaining is one of the ego’s favourite strategies for strengthening itself.

  • Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference.

  • Non-reaction is not weakness but strength. Another word for non-reaction is forgiveness.

  • Forgiveness happens naturally when you see that it has no purpose other an to strengthen a false sense of self, to keep the ego in place.

  • Being Right, Making Wrong

    • Not only a person, but also a situation can be made wrong through complaining and reactivity, which always implies that “this should not be happening.”

  • Are you defending the truth? No, the truth, in any case, needs no defence.

  • Thought can be best point to the truth, but it never is the truth.

  • “The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.”

  • Can the Truth be put into words? Yes, but the words are, of course, not it. They only point to it.

  • “I am the way and the truth and the life/”

  • “Love and do what you will.” - St. Augustine.

  • Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what your resist, persists.

  • According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical treatment is the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States. Homeopathy and Chinese medicine are two examples of possible alternative approaches to disease that do not treat the illness as an enemy and therefore do not create new diseases.

  • Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind.

  • Nobody is wrong. It is the ego in someone, that’s all.

  • Can I sense my essential Beingness, the I Am, in the background of my life at all times? Can I sense the I Am that I Am at this moment?

  • Danger. All Structure are Unstable. “That’s a profound sutra.” And we stood there in awe. Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you. This is because the recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it “eternal life.”

Chapter Four: Role-playing: The Many Faces of the Ego

  • The ego doesn’t know that the source of all energy is within you.

  • Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.

  • Active pain-body: emotional pain from the past that wants to renew itself through experiencing more pain.

  • “Falling in love” is in most cases an intensification of egoic wanting and needing. It has nothing to do with true love, which contains no wanting whatsoever.

  • Defending yourself through thought is limiting yourself.

  • And then there is the universal role of adult. When you play that role, you take yourself and life very seriously. Spontaneity, lightheartedness, and joy are not part of that role.

  • Instead of human beings, conceptual mental images are interacting with each other. The more identified people are with their respective roles, and more inauthentic the relationships become.

  • “There is unhappiness in me.” Then investigate it.

  • “Well, right now, this is how it is. I can either accept it , or make myself miserable.” The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.

  • Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it. Unhappiness covers up your natural state of well-being and inner peace, the source of true happiness.

  • Parenthood: Role or Function?

    • The role-playing identity remains in place long after the need for those particular functions has passed.

    • Awareness is the greatest agent for change.

  • The fire of suffering becomes the light of consciousness.

  • Doing is never enough if you neglect Being.

  • If you can be absolutely comfortable with not knowing who you are, then what’s left is who you are.

  • Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others.

  • A person in the grip of ego, however, does not recognize suffering as suffering, but will loop upon it as the only appropriate response in any given situation. The ego in its blindness is incapable of seeing the suffering it inflicts on itself and on others. Unhappiness is an ego-created mental-emotional disease that has reached epidemic proportions. Is is the inner equivalent of the environmental pollution if our planet. Negative states such as anger, anxiety, hatred, resentment, discontent, envy, jealously and so on, are not recognized as negative but as totally justified and are further misperceived not as self-created but as caused by someone else or some external factor. “I am holding you responsible for my pain.” This is what by implication the ego is saying.

  • “There is nothing either good or bay, but thinking makes it so.”

  • “At this moment I am creating suffering for myself”

  • Cleverness divides; intelligence includes.

  • Ask yourself, “Is there negativity in my at this moment?”

  • Before you were the thoughts, emotions, and reactions; now you are the awareness, the conscious Presence that witnesses those states.

  • The shift from thinking to awareness.

  • Emotions and even thoughts become depersonalized through awareness.

  • What is an argument? Two or more people express their opinions and those opinions differ. Each person is so identified with the thoughts that make up their opinion, that those thoughts harden into mental positions which are invested with a sense of self. In other words: Identity and thought merge. Once this has happened, when I defend my opinions (thoughts), I feel and act as if I were defending my very self. Unconsciously, I feel and act as if I were fighting for survival and so many emotions will reflect this unconscious belief. They become turbulent. I am upset, angry, defensive, or aggressive. I need to win at all cost lest I become annihilated. That’s the illusion. The ego doesn’t know that mind and mental positions have nothing to do with who you are because the ego is the unobserved mind itself.

  • In Zen they say: “Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.” What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind.

  • Work has become a spiritual practice.

  • I have also met many others who may be technically good at what they do but whose ego constantly sabotages their work. Only part of their attention is on the work they perform; the other part is in themselves.

  • When work is no more than a means to an end, it cannot be of high quality.

  • In some cases the personal ego seems to dissolve completely as someone dedicated his or her life to working selflessly for the greater good of the collective without demanding personal rewards, recognition, and aggrandizement. What a relief to be greed of the dreadful burden of personal self.

  • Crowds (which are temporary collective egoic entities)

  • If there is such a thing as “my life,” it follows that I and life are two separate things, and so I can lose my life, my imaginary treasured possession.

  • I don’t have a life. I am life.

  • How can I lose something that I Am? Is is impossible.

Chapter Five: The Pain-Body

  • Their attention being either in the past or future which, of course, exists only in the mind as thought forms.

  • The physical organism, your body, has its own intelligence, as does the organism of every other life-form. And that intelligence reacts to what your mind is saying, reacts to your thoughts.

  • You don’t run your body. The intelligence does.

  • An instinctive response is the body’s direct response to some external situation. An emotion, on the other hand, is the body’s response to a thought.

  • The ego is not only the unobserved mind, the voice in the head which pretends to be you, but also the unobserved emotions that are the body’s reaction to what the voice in the head is saying.

  • What is a negative emotion? An emotion that is toxic to the body and interferes with its balance and harmonious functioning. Fear, anxiety, anger, bearing a grudge, sadness, hatred or intense dislike, jealousy, envy.

  • Return to the only place of power: the present moment.

  • It may be shocking when you realize for the first time that there is something within you that periodically seeks emotional negativity, seeks unhappiness. You need even more awareness to see it in yourself than to recognize it in another person. Once the unhappiness has taken you over, not only do you not want an end to it, but you want to make others just as miserable as you are in order to feed on their negative emotional reactions.

  • All things are vibrating energy fields in ceaseless motion. The chair you sit on, the book you are holding in your hands appear solid and motionless only because that is how your sense perceive their vibrational frequency, that is to say, the incessant movement of the molecules, atoms, electrons, and subatomic particles that together create what you perceive as a chair, a book, a tree, or a body. What we perceive as physical matter is energy vibrating (moving) at a particular range of frequencies. Thoughts consist of the same energy vibrating at a higher frequency than matter, which is why they cannot be seen or touched. Thoughts have their own range of frequencies, with negative thoughts at the lower end of the scale and positive thoughts at the higher.

  • Psychic parasite.

  • The power of Presence. Instead of blaming the darkness, you bring in the light.

Chapter Six: Breaking Free

Chapter Seven: Finding Who You Truly Are

  • If small things have the power to disturb you, then who you think you are is exactly that: small.

  • Who you are requires no belief.

  • If the thought of lack - whether it be money, recognition, or love - has become part of who you think you are, you will always experience lack.

  • You cannot receive what you don’t give. Outflow determines inflow.

  • Jesus: “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.”

  • Getting soaked in an abundance of water falling from the sky.

  • Ask yourself often: “What can I give here; how can I be of service to this person, this situation?”

  • Both abundance and scarcity are inner states that manifest as your reality.

  • Don’t confuse knowing about yourself with knowing yourself.

  • When you think or say, “my life”, you are not referring to the life that you are but the life that you have.

  • There are no random events, nor are there events or things that exist by and for themselves, in isolation.

  • “This is my secret,” he said. “I don’t mind what happens.”

  • When the basis for your actions is inner alignment with the present moment, your actions become empowered by the intelligence of Life itself.

  • The ego could be defined simply in this way: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment.

  • You discover that there is only ever this moment. Life is always now.

  • Everything seems to be subject to time, yet it all happens in the Now.

  • Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe.

  • The dreamer is not the person. The person is part of the dream.

  • The dreamer is consciousness itself- who you are.

  • When you are present, when your attention is fully in the Now, that Presence will flow into and transform what you do. There will be quality and power in it. You are present when that you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning) but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do.

  • The surrendered state of consciousness opens up the vertical dimension in your life, the dimension of depth.

  • That joy cannot come to you - ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and thus is one with you are.

  • When someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself - do nothing.

  • When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self-image.

  • Instead of trying to be the mountain, teaches the ancient Tao Te Ching, “Be the valley of the universe.” In this way, you are restored to wholeness and so “all things will come to you.”

  • Jesus teaches that “When you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place so that when your host comes, he may say to you, friend, move up higher. Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  • Here are the two dimensions that make up reality, thingness and no-thingness, form and the denial of form, which is the recognition that form is not who you are.

Chapter Eight: The Discovery of Inner Space

  • This, too, will pass.

  • “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bas, touch this ring and read the inscription. That way, you will always be at peace.”

  • You can participate in the dance of creation and be active without attachment to outcome and without placing unreasonable demands upon the world.

  • Drink alcohol or take certain drugs

  • But there is a high price to pay: unconsciousness. Instead of rising above thought, you have fallen below it.

  • Ananda - the bliss of Being.

  • The philosopher Nietzsche, in a rare moment of deep stillness, wrote, “For happiness, how little suffices for happiness! … the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a whisk, an eye glace - little maketh up the best happiness. Be still.”

  • To be aware of little, quiet things, however, you need to be quiet inside. A high degree of alertness is required. Be still. Look. Listen. Be present.

  • Say or think “I Am” and add nothing to it.

  • He knew what Zen was without knowing what it was that he knew!

  • All creativity comes out of inner spaciousness.

  • I Am timeless, eternal.

  • Discover inner space by creating gaps in the stream of thinking.

  • Physicists have discovered that the apparent solidity of matter is an illusion created by our senses. This includes the physical body, which we perceive and think of as form, but 99.99% of which is actually empty space.

  • Isn’t it amazing that your body is just as spacious as the universe.

  • At this moment, can I sense the presence of inner space, which really means, can I sense my own Presence, or rather, the Presence that I am?

  • Lose Yourself to Find Yourself

    • Inner space also arises whenever you let go of the need to emphasize your form-identity.

  • “Stillness is the language God speaks, and everything else is a bad translation.”

Chapter Nine: Your Inner Purpose

  • Your inner purpose is to awaken.

  • Your outer purpose can change over time.

  • “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

  • Some changes may look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.

Chapter Ten: A New Earth

  • Its expansion and contraction

  • Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, required me to do, and so I do it willingly.

  • Performing an action in the state of acceptance means you are at peace while you do it.

  • If you can neither enjoy or bring acceptance to what you do - stop.

  • Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you.

  • Make a list of a number of everyday routine activities that you perform frequently. Don’t include anything that you hate or detest doing. Then, whenever you are engaged in those activities, let them be a vehicle for alertness.

  • When you add a goal to the enjoyment of what you do, the energy-field or vibrational frequency changes.

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.”

  • Enthusiasm - comes from ancient Greek - enthousiazein - “to be possessed by a god.”

  • Sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy, and all you have to do then is “ride the wave.”

  • Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm.

  • Make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor or writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives.

  • Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested Source of all life through your for the benefit of all.

  • “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Meek is translated to humble.

  • The meet are the egoless.

This book has totally altered my life instantly. I still have an ego, as we all do, but I am much more aware that it is not me. Which allows me to bring peace into any moment, and watch my thoughts instead of becoming my thoughts. It has been very empowering and I am excited to continue to develop this muscle of being I Am, instead of titles that we give ourselves.

Enjoy my loves <3



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