The book provides an overview of the problems facing the modern world but then offers opportunities for hope. We can be the ones who solve these problems. A New Earth offers where we should start and how we should continue solving these problems. This journey starts with our problems with our ego, consciousness, and spirituality.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle Summary & Lessons
The disease of compulsive thinking
“Most people are still completely identified with the incessant stream of mind, of compulsive thinking, most of it repetitive and pointless.”
Most of us are completely identified with our mind – our thoughts, sensations, and emotions. We constantly revisit unproductive thought loops and live in our heads. We rarely enter the present moment and experience the abundant life that’s right in front of us.
The Ego State
“The ego identifies with having, but its satisfaction in having is a relatively shallow and short-lived one. Concealed within it remains a deep-seated sense of discontent, of incompleteness, of ‘not enough.’ ‘I don’t have enough yet,’ by which the ego means, ‘I am not enough yet.”
The ego is never satisfied. It will continue to reset the bar, constantly needing more. Any satisfaction will be short-lived and quickly be accompanied by a feeling of inadequacy that will plague even the most successful of people.
“No content will satisfy you, as long as the egoic structure remains in place. No matter what you have or get, you won’t be happy.”
When you are absorbed by the ego, you will constantly seek more things on your path to fulfillment. You will falsely believe that what you strive for will fulfill the lack you feel within, but in reality, you will just continue to feel hollow.
Dangers of beauty
“If you don’t equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way.”
If you build any part of your self-worth on how your body looks, you are setting yourself up for a miserable future. Beauty inevitably fades, and when it does, the bedrock of your identity will also fade if it’s tied to your beauty.