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A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
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A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

4.2 307
by Eckhart Tolle

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Building on the astonishing success of The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle presents readers with an honest look at the current state of humanity: He implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity.

Tolle tells us there is good news, however. There is an alternative to


Building on the astonishing success of The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle presents readers with an honest look at the current state of humanity: He implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity.

Tolle tells us there is good news, however. There is an alternative to this potentially dire situation. Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world. This will involve a radical inner leap from the current egoic consciousness to an entirely new one.

In illuminating the nature of this shift in consciousness, Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. Then gently, and in very practical terms, he leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we truly are--which is something infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are--and learn to live and breathe freely.

Editorial Reviews

Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle's first full-length book in eight years addresses the collective dysfunction that characterizes the present state of humanity. According to the author of The Power of Now, our identification with the "egoic mind" imperils the future of life on our planet. But there is, Tolle insists, an alternative to this dire outcome. In A New Earth, he describes a shift that allows an intelligence far greater than the ego's to operate.
Publishers Weekly

According to Tolle, who assumes the role of narrator as well, humans are on the verge of creating a new world by a personal transformation that shifts our attention away from our ever-expanding egos. This idea is well realized through Tolle's remarkably well-paced narration. Naturally, the author understands his material so thoroughly that he is able to convey it in an enjoyable manner, but Tolle's gentle tone and dialect begs his audience's attention simply through its straightforward approach. Something about this reading just seems profoundly important, whether one agrees with the material or not, and listeners' attention is sure to be captured within seconds of listening to Tolle's take on the universe in which we live. Originally released in 2005, both book and audiobook were reissued when Oprah Winfrey chose the title for her book club this year. A Penguin paperback. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Tolle follows up his successful The Power of Now-it's sold two million copies worldwide since 1997-with a plea to reject egotistic ways for a new form of consciousness. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"[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.'" —USA Today

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Oprah's Book Club Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.33(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.73(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Flowering of Human Consciousness


Earth, 114 million years ago, one morning just after sunrise: The first flower ever to appear on the planet opens up to receive the rays of the sun. Prior to this momentous event that heralds an evolutionary transformation in the life of plants, the planet had already been covered in vegetation for millions of years. The first flower probably did not survive for long, and flowers must have remained rare and isolated phenomena, since conditions were most likely not yet favorable for a widespread flowering to occur. One day, however, a critical threshold was reached, and suddenly there would have been an explosion of color and scent all over the planet—if a perceiving consciousness had been there to witness it.

Much later those delicate and fragrant beings we call flowers would come to play an essential part in the evolution of consciousness of another species. Humans would increasingly be drawn to and fascinated by them. As the consciousness of human beings developed, flowers were most likely the first thing they came to value that had no utilitarian purpose for them, that is to say, was not linked in some way to survival. They provided inspiration to countless artists, poets, and mystics. Jesus tells us to contemplate the flowers and learn from them how to live. The Buddha is said to have given a "silent sermon" once during which he held up a flower and gazed at it. After a while, one of those present, a monk called Mahakasyapa, began to smile. He is said to have been the only one who had understood the sermon. According to legend, that smile (that is to say, realization) was handed down by twenty-eight successive masters and much later became the origin of Zen.

Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature. The first recognition of beauty was one of the most significant events in the evolution of human consciousness. The feelings of joy and love are intrinsically connected to that recognition. Without our fully realizing it, flowers would become for us an expression in form of that which is most high, most sacred, and ultimately formless within ourselves. Flowers, more fleeting, more ethereal, and more delicate than the plants out of which they emerged, would become like messengers from another realm, like a bridge between the world of physical forms and the formless. They not only had a scent that was delicate and pleasing to humans, but also brought a fragrance from the realm of spirit. Using the word "enlightenment" in a wider sense than the conventionally accepted one, we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants.

Any life-form in any realm—mineral, vegetable, animal, or human—can be said to undergo "enlightenment." It is, however, an extremely rare occurrence since it is more than an evolutionary progression: It also implies a discontinuity in its development, a leap to an entirely different level of Being and, most importantly, a lessening of materiality.

What could be heavier and more impenetrable than a rock, the densest of all forms? And yet some rocks undergo a change in their molecular structure, turn into crystals, and so become transparent to the light. Some carbons, under inconceivable heat and pressure, turn into diamonds, and some heavy minerals into other precious stones.

Most crawling reptilians, the most earthbound of all creatures, have remained unchanged for millions of years. Some, however, grew feathers and wings and turned into birds, thus defying the force of gravity that had held them for so long. They didn't become better at crawling or walking, but transcended crawling and walking entirely.

Since time immemorial, flowers, crystals, precious stones, and birds have held special significance for the human spirit. Like all life-forms, they are, of course, temporary manifestations of the underlying one Life, one Consciousness. Their special significance and the reason why humans feel such fascination for and affinity with them can be attributed to their ethereal quality.

Once there is a certain degree of Presence, of still and alert attention in human beings' perceptions, they can sense that there is more there than the mere physical existence of that form, without knowing that this is the reason why he or she is drawn toward it, feels an affinity with it. Because of its ethereal nature, its form obscures the indwelling spirit to a lesser degree than is the case with other life-forms. The exception to this are all newborn life-forms—babies, puppies, kittens, lambs, and so on. They are fragile, delicate, not yet firmly established in materiality. An innocence, sweetness and beauty that are not of this world still shine through them. They delight even relatively insensitive humans.

So when you are alert and contemplate a flower, crystal, or bird without naming it mentally, it becomes a window for you into the formless. There is an inner opening, however slight, into the realm of spirit. This is why these three "en-lightened" life-forms have played such an important part in the evolution of human consciousness since ancient times; why, for example, the jewel in the lotus flower is a central symbol of Buddhism and a white bird, the dove, signifies the Holy Spirit in Christianity. They have been preparing the ground for a more profound shift in planetary consciousness that is destined to take place in the human species. This is the spiritual awakening that we are beginning to witness now.

The Purpose of This Book

Is humanity ready for a transformation of consciousness, an inner flowering so radical and profound that compared to it the flowering of plants, no matter how beautiful, is only a pale reflection? Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones, so to speak, transparent to the light of consciousness? Can they defy the gravitational pull of materialism and materiality and rise above identification with form that keeps the ego in place and condemns them to imprisonment within their own personality?

The possibility of such a transformation has been the central message of the great wisdom teachings of humankind. The messengers—Buddha, jesus, and others, not all of them known—were humanity's early flowers. They were precursors, rare and precious beings. A widespread flowering was not yet possible at that time, and their message became largely misunderstood and often greatly distorted. It certainly did not transform human behavior, except in a small minority of people.

Is humanity more ready now than at the time of those early teachers? Why should this be so? What can you do, if anything, to bring about or accelerate this inner shift? What is it that characterizes the old egoic state of consciousness recognized? These and other essential questions will be addressed in this book. More important, this book itself is a transformational device that has come out of the arising new consciousness. The ideas and concepts presented here may be important, but they are secondary. They are no more than signposts pointing toward awakening. As you read, a shift takes place within you.

This book's main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness, that is to say, to awaken. In that sense, this book is not "interesting." Interesting means you can keep your distance, play around with ideas and concepts in your mind, agree or disagree. This book is about you. It will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless. It can only awaken those who are ready. Not everyone is ready yet, but many are, and with each person who awakens, the momentum in the collective consciousness grows, and it becomes easier for others. If you don't know what awakening means, read on. Only by awakening can you know the true meaning of that word. A glimpse is enough to initiate the awakening process, which is irreversible. For some, that glimpse will come while reading this book. For many others who may not even have realized it, the process has already begun. This book will help them recognize it. 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—or any combination of the above. If the awakening process has begun in you, the reading of this book will accelerate and intensify it.

An essential part of the awakening is the recognition of the unawakened you, the ego as it thinks, speaks, and acts, as well as the recognition of the collectively conditioned mental processes that perpetuate the unawakened state. That is why this book shows the main aspects of the ego and how they operate in the individual as well as in the collective. This is important for two related reasons: The first is that unless you know the basic mechanics behind the workings of the ego, you won't recognize it, and it will trick you into identifying with it again and again. This means it takes you over, an imposter pretending to be you. The second reason is that the act of recognition itself is one of the ways in which awakening happens. When you recognize the unconsciousness in you, that which makes the recognition possible is the arising consciousness, is awakening. You cannot fight against darkness. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary. You are that light.


Meet the Author

Eckhart Tolle is a contemporary spiritual teacher who is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. In his writing and seminars, he conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters: There is a way out of suffering and into peace. Tolle travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world.

Brief Biography

Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date of Birth:
February 16, 1948
Place of Birth:
Lünen, Germany
University of London; Cambridge University

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A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 307 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first heard about A New Earth I was very skeptical the book wasn't going to say anything I hadn't already heard and as a Christian I was afraid it would mess with my faith in God. That is not what happened. The book is very intense but the webcast Oprah and Eckhart did helped me get a better grasp of what he was trying to say. You do have to be ready for it and by that I mean already seeking your purpose and why you are really here or it won't make much sense to you. My advice is to read The Power of Now first and then you will get a better grasp on A New Earth. Having discovered that the chatter that was going on in my head was not normal and the fact that I have been walking around unconscious most of my life, became my awakening moment and the chatter stopped! I now recognize the ego and the pain body for what they are not only in me but those still in unconsciousness. You really can't fight against what is. I am now conscious and have more inner peace. Things that I use to let bother me no longer do. I've had to make some adjustments in my life, let some situations and people go but it was for my greater good. It's amazing what you find out when you really pay attention.
MyGrace More than 1 year ago
I have read this book about six times all the way through. Everytime I read it, I get something new out of it. It is appropriate for the rapid advancements in enlightenment. I recommend this for anyone who already has a solid base in non-conforming spiritual awareness. Awesome, awesome, book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, is one of the most significant and important, that I have ever read. Friends that I have shared a copy with, have agreed. It contains the answer for my personal search to overcome a lifelong struggle to overcome anxiety and depression, as well as to be more centered and spiritual. My work as a Therapist, as well as my personal challenges with my ego, has been greatly enlightened by Tolle's clear explanation. Understanding the role and the working of the ego, has allowed me to begin to comprehend the inner presence. The explanation of the collective ego, clearly points to importance of consciousness to end the conflicts and suffering that is plague our world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Eckhart Tolle has created a masterpiece! We as the people of this planet need to fine tune ourselvess and become happier, calmer, and more caring. We need to forgive and understand ourselves, as well as our fellow man. This book in its 300 pages will help you to fine tune who you truly are deep inside. It can help you become the you, you used to be. Remember when you were so much happier..this book can help you become that person again. It will help you realize what has been holding you back from enjoying life and will help you lift that weight from you. I am recommending this book to all of my friends. Everyone I know would love to be happier. Whether it is a death, an emotional blow, an injury etc. that has changed you, you will awaken and enjoy life once again. It worked for me! If once you've read it you feel the same way I do...Please tell your friends or better yet buy them a copy. Then you too will be helping to make a better world one person at a time. An old proverb for teachers is, 'A teacher affects eternity they never know where their influence stops' I feel this way about this book. Its influence can change the world as long as everyone is exposed to it! Enjoy,
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really speaks to me. My mind is so busy that sometimes I absentmindedly arrive at a place and then ask myself what I wanted to do here. Within a few moments my mind goes through a number of different thoughts forgetting about the reason that directed me to a certain place. And this is why this book is so helpful. Eckhart Tolle provides simple solution to people like me. The solution is simple but in no way it is easy! The solution is getting rid of the noise in the head and focusing on the present moment and the one single activity that you are undertaking in this moment. In a way this book is -- to a certain degree -- a rehash of the author's previous work titled 'The Power of Now.' However, if you have already read The Power of Now I still suggest getting 'A New Earth' as there is still a great amount of new material. In a way in both books Tolle deals with the same subject matter, but in my opinion he is doing a much better job explaining the subject in this book. The author's soft-spoken manner permeates the whole work and makes it an easy and relaxed reading. A big part of the book is devoted to identifying the many faces of 'and dealing with' the 'EGO' ''the voice in the head that pretends to be you'' which is the culprit of our mental suffering that author calls 'The Pain-Body' ''the emotions that are the body's reaction to what the voice in the head is saying''. Tolle suggests ways for breaking free of the Pain-Body and finding who you really are. Unhappiness and negativity are everywhere around us. Surprisingly they are felt more deeply in the affluent western world, as we are more deeply identified with forms and trapped in our egos. The joy of being, the only true happiness, cannot come to us from anywhere, we can only experience it from the formless dimension within us after we allow the diminishment of the ego. This book is not to be read like a novel. I suggest reading it slowly - just a few pages at a time, and practicing the author's suggestions. In the realm of spirituality no-one of us will probably have the same experience, but I dare say that the deeper you get into it the more powerful the experience will be. The secret is getting to the awareness outside of thinking, to the awareness of true being. Get the book and try it out. It might also speak to you.
RebaFL More than 1 year ago
Great reading, it really helps you to ground yourself, and look at life in a whole new perspective. Although some of his teachings and/or beliefs, may not be mainstream religion, he somehow brings all beliefs into this book. The most amazing thing that I have found with all of his books that I read, just holding them in your hand, brings some since of peace to your mind.

I recommend this book, it is great follow-up to the Power of Now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I always believed you need to know where you came from to know where you are going. You live what you learn. This book is the perfect example of that. Scarry to dig deep for some people, but definitely worth the trip to make the rest of your life better. I want to read the book again, in case I missed anything.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those of you who gave this book a bad review you have totally miss the point. Mr. Tolle doesn't write about being right in his discovery, his spiritual realization of his own enlightment. Only those who are ready will feel it in their soul. I am a practicing catholic and this book has been a journey to go deeper into my faith. To dispute how many people were killed in the inquistion is pointless the point is that the church is responsibly for most of the murders which shouldn't have happening in the first place. All Mr.Tolle is doing is sharing in how he has awaken. Don't get stuck in the dogma of your faith. People have use their faith to do unthinkable acts(like the sex abuse by priests)and that is a fact just read history. Jesus did say to know ourself and I think this great book is a excellent start. If you are ready your soul will know. Peace and Love to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great and innovative way of looking at our world. Bravo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is an incredible book! beautiful. moving. changed my life. pure poetry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good, thought-provoking book that is along the lines of modern buddism and new-ageism. Not anything earth shattering, but a good read nonetheless.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hit rock bottom after coming back from Iraq, to a daughter who didn't seem to take to me, and a wife that had been a single mom while I was away. This book alone changed my life! It broke down my thought pattern and showed me the way to true happiness! This book is a book I can always keep around and open up to any page for a little boost in my day. I've been reading it on average 2-3 times a day, and I was never a reader before this book! An amazing book, and one I will always hold on too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Changed my way of thinking, for a better everything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very inspiring. Its helped me see the world in a new light.... what's funny is that i found this book to be the type of book where you will read when its the time for you to truely learn something. This is a must read for everyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
His first book changed my life. So awsome!!!!
Schmooby-Doo More than 1 year ago
I bought this book and went through the Life Class with Mr. Tolle and Oprah. The book is so boring, hard-to-follow and pretty complicated. I think of myself as being pretty bright and fairly spiritual but..... i'm sorry but this nice gentleman does NOT live in the real world with spouses, kids, animals, jobs, etc. etc. It would be a great book if you lived a solitary life, a contemplative life. I can see kind of where he's going, but man, he takes forever to get there. We need a book called A NEW EARTH FOR REAL PEOPLE. Snore. The on-line class was pretty good although he is not the most animated speaker. Bless his heart, he does seem kind and earnest.
Theresa Johnson More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Recommended for anyome who wants to awaken. Truly inspiring!
Barbanded More than 1 year ago
Amazing insights to finding out who you are and how you handle life. I've read it twice cover to cover and I still refer back to it from time to time when things are bringing me down. A MUST!!!!!
Jaypee More than 1 year ago
There are some readers will say that Tolle is rehashing and recycling teachings of Buddhism, etc, and while I wont say it isn't true, I will say...who cares? Tolle does use not only Buddhism, but Hinduism, and teachings from Christianity to convey his message. Is it a perfect book? No, but it does have some very good information that I and many others have found useful. Take what works for you and leave the rest out. If you look hard enough for negative aspects you will find them no matter what you are reading. I would say it is worth reading and it did confirm a lot of what I thought prior to reading it and did help me look at myself and my relationship to the rest of the world in a different light.
Zen1627 More than 1 year ago
Without question Eckhart Tolle is an author/spiritual writer that should not go without acknowledgment. Being the adult child of drug addicted/alcoholic parents, I have been trying to come to come to terms with my depression and understanding of life. Recently I have been to AA and a personal therapist without any answers to relieve the stress/anxiety I have been experiencing. Being an avid reader, I perused the shelves of B&N looking for something else to help me. I saw Tony Robbins, Joel Osteen and Eckhart Tolle. I left the shelves and returned several times. Something pulled me to "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. I purchased and am now on my third time listening. With a soothing voice Mr. Tolle describes the beginning of earth and how one should be aware of and recognize the ego and how the wants and needs of the today's people take away from the recognition of what we really are. I was literally in my car listening and felt as if I had been awakened and relieved of the stress of feeling as if I was constantly in a state of needing to prove who I was and be a better version of who i was. The book helps one understand that it is not "what we have" but "what we do" to recognize our inner selves. It has helped me more than any meeting or therapist and I cannot wait to read more of his books! Thank you Mr. Tolle!
Carol_GA More than 1 year ago
Eckhart Tolle is an author who, in this book, has combined the philosophies of Buddha, Freud, Jesus and others into something so simple and easy to comprehend in today's life. He shows us how to become fulfilled with being who we are. Many of us live through 2 people in our minds.Many of us live with pain, guilt, and suffering. Eckhart Tolle show us how to release ourselves from this thought process and become one. His philosophy in the book, The Power of Now, is fully explained and taught in The New Earth; he teaches you how to live in the now. That this moment is all that is; all that will ever be. He guides you in a way to live that lifts many burdens.
Marti65 More than 1 year ago
Following the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, Ferenc Margitics PhD created the New Spiritual Consciousness Scale (NSCS) and carried out its statistical analysis (Handbook of New Spiritual Consciousness: Theory and Research; New Spiritual Consciousness and the Transformation of Personality). The purpose has been developing a new measuring instrument for the recognition of spiritual consciousness
Sparky48 More than 1 year ago
This book is for people looking to understand how their belief systems affect their behavior and make the world what it is. Not easy to face but inspirational. I liked it very much. Perhaps because all of us can find ourselves or someone we know somewhere in the descriptions, we are called to take a look at ourselves and make changes. I think that the task proposed is oversimplified but nonetheless worth trying. Negativity is everywhere but it starts with the individual.
Frenchie56 More than 1 year ago
OPEN yourself up to the endless possiblilities of a new earth. It is truly up to us. I highly recommend this NECESSARY book for the survival of the human race.
Donnatella More than 1 year ago
I do not have enough superlatives to express how meaningful this book is to me. Tolle's message has helped me continue down a path of living a more selfless and positive life. This is a book I will read over and over again and get something new each time. This is definitely in the top ten best books that I have ever read.