So I finally just finished Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
I got it about two years ago from my mom for Easter, but never got past maybe about page 170.
I do this fairly often, starting a book without finishing it. Yeah I suppose it looks bad (ie. “not finishing what I started”), but it kind of reinforced certain points made by this book.
The author is a spritual teacher who doesn’t identify with a particular religion. Instead he draws ideas from a variety of religions (which tend to function on the same basic principles anyway).
The book discusses living in the present. Letting go of egoic thought and realizing that the true “you” is the consciousness that is aware of your thoughts, not the thing that is creating that inner dialogue.
Though it’s a little more complicated than this, basically, once you allow yourself to just “exist” in the present, your consciousness becomes in sync with the universe, which allows you to find true fulfillment.
Getting back to what I said earlier, I think it’s kind of funny that I had to make multiple attempts at reading this book in particular. Perhaps that is because I wasn’t ready to take it in at the times when I tried to read it before.
I remember one of the times that I tried to read this book was during grad school when I felt that reading was just the “right” thing to do. I made it a goal to read 1/2 hour before bed each night, an endeavor which was extremely short-lived.
During that time I was also feeling swamped in some of my classes and felt really out of control of the situation. So taking the time to read (even an inspirational book) didn’t really make sense. I wasn’t able to be fully “present” while doing what I needed to do (like coursework), so how could I have the Presence to take in a book like this that requires a lot of focus?
It makes a lot more sense that I was able to finish the book now because I wanted to read it.
Whereas before I thought that the end result of finishing the book was going to save me from my stress, it only added to it. And really, the book says that you shouldn’t rely on any ideas of the Future to “save” you because you’ll get lost in your thoughts again, and forget to live in the Present, which is the only time you have.
So if you don’t know how to appreciate and accept the Present, you won’t be able to enjoy the Future once it comes, because by then it will be the Present (which you don’t know how to appreciate, silly).
Anyway, I liked the book.
However, it kind of made me feel as though I “got it” better when I was younger. I mean, I was pretty content most of the time growing up. Now I can get a bit restless and wish for more attention or recognition, even though I know it’s not vital to my survival. And can actually be detrimental depending on the motivation behind it.
I also have lost touch with my philosophical side a bit. Before I would take the time to ponder things, and would do more just for the pure enjoyment of it. Now I have a harder time doing something “just because” since I feel like I’m wasting valuable time that could be getting me a job, for example.
I mean, I haven’t totally lost “it,” but “it” has been clouded and will take a little time to clear up again. Like an outbreak of acne. Or something…
I’ve actually seen recent articles about not trying too hard to get a job. The recommendation was to do what you enjoy, and the job will come. They suggested joining a group (like a recreational sports team) or volunteering for a cause you believe in, which in turn will bring out your passion. This can lead to feeling more self-assured and comfortable during an interview (which could lead to a job) or meeting someone you wouldn’t have otherwise met (which could take you in an entirely new direction).
I’ve heard the same thing a million times before when talking about finding your mate.
It’s amusing to me that so much of this “common knowledge” or advice we hear over and over again is so closely related to spiritual teachings, but it isn’t always recognized as such.
Or that so many people get caught up in religious doctrines and very specific rules that they totally miss the overall point of why that information was compiled in the first place.
Well, whatever. That’s what I did today.
Oh yeah, and I have another interview (somewhere else). More updates to follow.