A New Earth

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Overview

Make this your next book club selection and everyone saves.
Get 15% off when you order 5 or more of this title for your book club.
Simply enter the coupon code TOLLENEW at checkout.
This offer does not apply to eBook purchases. This offer applies to only one downloadable audio per purchase.

Read more about the newest selection from Oprah’s Book Club here.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143143499
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/31/2008
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club Series
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 8 CDs
  • Pages: 8
  • Sales rank: 101,156
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 5.16 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Eckhart Tolle is a contemporary spiritual healer 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. Eckhart travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Biography

Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany in 1948. He spent his teenage years living with his father in Spain, then moved in his early 20s to England where he attended the Universities of London and Cambridge. Following a period of intense personal crisis, he underwent a profound spiritual awakening at the age of 29. He embarked on a long, transformative inner journey that effectively dissolved his old identity and changed the course of his life. Today he is recognized as a great spiritual counselor and an author of inspirational self-help guides. He remains unaffiliated with any organized religion or specific philosophical tradition.

In his first book, The Power of Now (1999), Tolle stressed the importance of living, fully present, in the moment. His powerful message of active self-awareness resonated with millions of readers -- including kingmaker Oprah Winfrey -- and launched a range of related literature and teaching materials. In 2008, Winfrey selected another Tolle title, A New Earth, for her influential Book Club, joining the author for an online workshop. A sought-after public speaker, Tolle travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Ulrich Leonard Tolle (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Vancouver, BC, Canada
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 16, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lünen, Germany
    1. Education:
      University of London; Cambridge University

Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Eckhart Tolle about A New Earth: Awaking to Your Life's Purpose

B&N.com: The theme for your new book is consciousness and overcoming our ego's struggle for power. Although you say the key to happiness is simple, why do you think it's so difficult for people to see through the ego's tricks?

Eckhart Tolle: Because the ego cannot recognize itself. To recognize the ego in oneself, another dimension of consciousness needs to arise. We may call it awareness or Presence. The arising of awareness is spiritual awakening. As long as there is no awareness, you are the unobserved mind, which is the ego. By definition, the unobserved mind cannot observe itself.

But more humans than ever before are now ready to awaken. Books such as A New Earth are here to accelerate the awakening process and are themselves part of that process.

The ego looks to the future for happiness and to the past for its identity: a recipe for continuous frustration and unhappiness. In its search for identity and happiness where they cannot be found, the ego obscures the only point of access to happiness and your true identity: the present moment.

In the section "A New Heaven and a New Earth," you say, "The inspiration for the title of this book…seems more applicable now that at any other time in human history." Why is this so?

A long time ago, some people already foresaw that the dysfunction inherent in the human mind would eventually bring about havoc on our planet and lead to a global crisis that would threaten the very survival of our species. We are reaching that point now. For the first time in history, the dysfunction of the human mind is threatening not only our survival but that of all life on earth. This is because science and technology are magnifying the effects of that dysfunction to such a degree that it is becoming an ever-increasing threat to all life on the planet.

Some people also foresaw that such a radical global crisis would act as a trigger for a shift in human consciousness. This is described in the Bible as an arising of a new heaven and a new earth. Heaven here refers to the inner dimension of consciousness, whereas earth is its outer reflection.

Describing the New Earth, you state: "…as the old consciousness dissolves, there are bound to be synchronistic geographic and climactic natural upheavals in many parts of the planet…." Can you explain a bit how human consciousness and the planet are interwoven? How can we make sense of difficult natural events like Hurricane Katrina?

One of the greatest insights that has come out of modern physics is that an event is not separate from the consciousness that perceives it. That is to say, the observer and the observed are not separate, and every act of perception is also an act of creation. Ultimately, what we perceive as external reality or the world is an outward reflection of our state of consciousness. This is to say that whatever happens on planet earth is a reflection of collective human consciousness. And when the old structures in the collective consciousness break up, as they are now, this is reflected outwardly in the breakup of external structures, both man-made as well as natural ones. This means we can expect many more such disasters as Hurricane Katrina and last year's tsunami. There is always another side to such events, which on the surface look entirely negative. Through the disruption of their lives, millions of people who otherwise would not be ready to awaken are being initiated forcefully into the awakening process by such disasters. They are forced to dis-identify from form, which is what awakening is. Many others experience the arising of compassion and the joy of egoless giving and helping. And what of those who don't make it, who die? There is not death, only the dissolution of form, which in any case is just around the corner for every human being and every life form.

Can you describe the difference between awareness and thinking? Is our essential being constant, or can it grow or even change over time?

Awareness is consciousness that has become conscious of itself. It is formless and unconditioned. Thinking is form, and form is conditioned by the past.

The arising of awareness is the dis-identification of consciousness from form. This is spiritual awakening. You can sense it as an alert inner stillness in the background, while thinking, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences happen in the foreground. The only way you can really understand awareness is by being aware, that is to say, present -- not by thinking about it or trying to define it.

Our essential being is consciousness. It is constant, eternal, that is to say, not subject to time. However, from our human perspective, it appears that it can grow over time because it is only gradually coming into this world. "Spiritual growth" means realizing and manifesting more and more fully who or what you already are in the depth of your being.

Ultimately, there is no spiritual growth, only the gradual (and sometimes sudden) dissolution of illusion and ignorance, which occurs when you stop identifying with the incessant stream of thinking.

In the book, you have tips for parents on how to raise spiritually healthy children. Do you think everyone is born with an ego that can get stronger over time; or, are people ego-free at birth, and it's created later?

Children are not born with an ego but with pre-existing mind-structures -- a blueprint as it were -- through which the ego later comes into existence. As humanity is awakening, an increasing number of humans who are coming into this world now, instead of being stuck in ego for the rest of their lives, will quickly outgrow the egoic stage of human evolution. On the new earth, many people will have outgrown the ego by the time they reach their early 20s. Ego will be recognized as no more than immaturity associated with childhood and adolescence.

You say that "the ego in search of a stronger identity can and does create illnesses in order to strengthen itself through them." Can you elaborate, and what are some examples of illnesses that the ego creates?

The ego's underlying fear, its sense of lack and incessant wanting, its resistance to or denial of the present moment create enormous stress, anxiety, and other forms of mental-emotional negativity. Even mainstream medicine is beginning to recognize that such stress and negativity weaken the immune system, create toxicity in the body, and adversely affect the heart, cell reproduction, and countless other functions. Many diseases are, therefore, an inevitable by-product of the egoic state of consciousness.

In addition, an illness can serve to strengthen one's conceptual sense of self, the ego. You then define a significant part of your identity as a "patient," a "sufferer" of this or that disease, or a victim. The ego grows through seeing yourself as being "more" seriously ill than someone else. ("You are in pain? That's nothing. I've been in far more pain for years. Don't talk to me about pain.") The mind can and does make the body ill. The ego, the unobserved mind, will sometimes use what would otherwise be a passing physical weakness or imbalance, attach a concept and a sense of self to it, and thus give it a solidity and permanency that it didn't have before. And so it grows into "my illness." Some people may feel angry upon reading this -- a sign that they have some unconscious ego investment in the concept of illness.

In other interviews, you have described your spiritual awakening and how the world changed for you, literally overnight. Do you ever ponder your life prior to your awakening, and if so, what are your thoughts about that time in your life versus now?

It is like a distant memory of a past lifetime or a dream, and I rarely think about it. I am, however, grateful for the suffering because there would have been no awakening without it. When I reached a point when I couldn't live with myself any longer, the self that created so much suffering and that I couldn't live with turned out to be no more than a phantom. I woke up from a bad dream. That's what it feels like. But if the dream had not been quite as bad as it was, I might still be dreaming today.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 265 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2008

    Life Opening

    This is a must read for anyone that is looking for why we are here on the Earth. I am a Christian and I was skeptical as well that this was new age stuff that was gonna trick people into some kind of cult. This book is the opposite!! It freed me to really get what Christ was trying to say to all the World 2,000+ years ago....and I have more peace!! I will read this again. And again.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle

    A wonderful spiritual trip. Let the past stay where it needs to; in the past. If you loved "the power of now" you must read this book or listen to the cds. What a Gem Tolle has given us. I hope that I can help other people like his books have helped me. I must say that because of reading it I have found my outer and inner purpose . . . and when they are in-line you will find true happiness of being . . . the essence of being.

    Loved it!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Change Your Mind

    Tolle's follow-up to the equally insightful "Power of Now" gives readers plenty to think about. Don't continue to let your pain-body (ego) rule you. Learn how to stay in the present moment, which I'm finding is the true path to peace.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2008

    Mixed Interpertations

    Although the book is very insightful, I walked away feeling that if you were not spiritually evolved enough to understand what the author was trying to convey, you could absolve yourself from any past wrong doing, and not be held accountable or responsible for your actions, because after-all being in the presence of now is all that really exists anyway. There were many things I found myself nodding 'yes' to and other viewpoints I found myself saying out loud 'no that doesn't seem right'. Will have to read the book again in a year or two.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    A book that can make you change the way you behave and live differently. All in Great New ways

    This book was given to be by my mother. I purchased the CD's so that I can read and listen at the same time. It has changed how I act and react in many different situations. It is leading me to a great change that I welcome. I would recommend this to anyone in any situation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A new earth has changed my life!!!

    After reading the book, I found myself living in a new earth. It has opened my eyes to the world for the first time!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    A little disappointing

    Especially the "pain body" stuff. The author actually relates a story where he believes the "universal" pain body made itself known to him in a restaurant. That was a little much.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    FANTASTIC - Life Changing!

    I'm not someone who is easily swayed by religion or philosophical writings and ideas, but this book just blew me away and initiated a spiritual awakening that I'm so thankful for. I listened to audio format first and then went out and bought the book to read because it was that good! My first introduction to Tolle's writing came in the form of the Power of NOW practical guide, so when I saw this book, I figured I'd give it a quick read. Turns out I was captivated by the message and ideas he presents and I've since listened to the audio book about 4 times. I've even turned my wife onto this book and find myself applying the material all the time in every day life. It's just good - trust me. It will change your life!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    Transformative

    As a non-Christian and a long time student of many of the World's great religions I can say this book is one of the most transformative I have ever read. Many of the concepts are at the core very Zen Buddhist but Eckhard Tolle does an amazing job of explaining and decoding some of its most seemingly complicated and esoteric teachings while respectfully embracing many religions and philosophies. The book is not just philosophical musing but is eminently practical, giving concrete and current examples of dysfunctional egoic thinking as well as providing practical exercises on how to respond when you encounter it within yourself and in others. Ekhart Tolle writes from the most humble and compassionate point of view with nothing other than the desire to inspire others and ease the suffering of each reader. Whether you are Atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Other this book will give you peace of mind, understanding, and compassion that is so undervalued in much of today's society. It is equally applicable to people of any age and at any stage of their lives, irregardless of ones circumstances. This is one of those very rare books which you will finish a different person than your were when you began. I have read hundreds of books and if I could only have one to be "stranded on a deserted island with" this would undoubtedly be the one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2010

    Not MP3 Friendly!!!

    I got tired of replacing discs that don't hold up--they claimed these things (CDs) were indestructible at first but that changed--probably as a planned attack on consumers in general. My solution, put all my stuff on MP3, keep my discs safely stored, and use the MP3 as "indestructible" storage.

    Problem, many of these CDs do not transfer properly because they are not properly indexed or whatever and the tracks, CD title--for that matter, do not match up. How frustrating!! I can't use my MP3 or even burn a copy that can be labelled properly. When a customer lays out the money for a product it is really lame when a little incompetence severly limits what the product could do.

    For some reason this tends to happen most with self-help materials (for me). Why can't they get it right?!

    Digression - And don't even get me started about replacing mediums. When my 30 or so Bowie cassettes became obsolete I should have been able to trade them in for CDs. 90% of the cost is supposed to be the art not the disc or cassette; so if I already paid for the intellectual product then why can't I trade an older medium in and upgrade to a newer medium for a SMALL fee? What a rip-off.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    better than a sleeping pill

    How did this make Oprah's Club? I graduated from college with a minor in psychology 20 years ago. The whole ego/superego thing was dead then. So why is this guy talking about it now? I bought the CD version and could not believe my ears. All he kept talking about was the ego. What a bunch of bunk. And dear God, the guy should have invested in a good narrator. He literally put me to sleep. I usually have trouble falling asleep at night, but the night I listened to this, the sound of his voice droning on and on, lulled me right to sleep. No sleeping pills needed! I really tried to like this, but after the 4th chapter, I gave up.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Eckert Tolle's A New Beginning

    I have the book...but the Audio tape is wonderful! I think I understood it all better when Eckert actually read it to me! A life-changing book/audio tape! Highly recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A New Earth

    Very useful and enlightening,i probably would not recommend reading it before bedtime because it can get deep at times.It really explains well the workings of the human ego. I gained insight into the workings of people and the world.Probably best to be an opened minded person rather than someone who is entrenched in their religious belief"s before reading this book.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Could Have Wrote This....

    Well, not actually wrote it, but it confirmed insight to my own life's philosophy and contained revelations on others that were, should I say, enlightening.

    What a wonderful book. I have experienced, first hand, the unconsciousness of this world and people of religion that it is refreshing to get such an unbiased look at the human condition and how to improve the world, of course, starting with yourself.

    This is not to say that the author has a 100% correct insight to enlightenment, but this book is a truly inspiring and helpful tool. Studying the book rather than just reading it is likely best to assimilate all the knowledge contained within.

    Thank You Eckhart

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2009

    Enlightening

    The audio book was so soft. easy to listen to Tolle's voice. It is a very uplifting, informative, correct audio book. It would be highly recommended for those who are cut off from knowing the truth by religion, religion is often a huge barrier into finding true peace, and udnerstanding to this life's purpose.. ENJOY!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2008

    Love it

    I love this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2008

    Fashionable nonsense

    I had never even heard of the author until Oprah picked the book. It was what I expected. Fashionable nonsense with no real meaning or purpose except to tell us that we create our own reality and so on. It is simply bourgeois clap-trap.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2008

    EGO EGO EGO

    According to Mr. Tolle I would be referred to by him as not ready to transcend or be awakened because I did not feel this book did much for my thought process. Told me nothing I didnt already know, and most of us already know, if we bother to take a moment and think about it. Revelation???? Nah, I dont think so... its the secret but focuses on a different aspect of self being looking inward for the answers to all lifes perplexing questions.... Well, I didnt like it, didnt think it really captured much in the way of enlightenment and if it does than you really are a person who has never sat down and thought genuinely and honestly about yourself and your reasons for being.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews

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