Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Synopsis From My Viewpoint

Okay, I finished A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle yesterday. To my surprise, I finished the book in one day. It has over 300 pages and by the time I got to the last couple of chapters, I was sick and tired of reading words. For one, I am not a HUGE reader, and second, I usually am not that intent in finishing a book in one sitting, but things that were talked about in the book intrigued me even though I found through reading the book that there were many things I completely disagreed with. However, I decided to fish out the things that were good and use them in and through my life where Father has intended, and throw out the rest.

In order to understand where this guy is coming from, I must be honest and share both, the good and uplifting things I saw and the stuff I don’t agree with.

The whole meaning and purpose of this book is to recognize ones conscious state and how one can become aware of the now, and the Presence, as he calls it, in order to be awakened and fully understand ones human BEING. In order to fully understand your consciousness, one must know the signs and be aware of how powerful the ego is.

The ego is what Eckhart calls, a powerful force that builds up through ones entire life. It is born in and through a person since childhood. Ego becomes more important than anything or anybody else. Ego takes control when one is unaware of the current moment, and becomes lost or trapped in thought. They are selfish thoughts that create scenarios of anything that seem to be ‘against’ the self (ego). Eckhart points out that the ego isn’t necessarily wrong or bad but it is unconscious. It is unaware of the current moment.

These are the things that the Ego feeds on: unhappiness, resentment, grief, (possessions, and anything that has material quality value), never is satisfied and always wanting more, fear, greed, jealousy, violence, anger, rage, the need to feel superior to all others, mistrust in everyone and everything, complaints, feeds on paranoia, sees only what it wants to see, lives for recognition of others, admiration, wants to be famous in all eyes, destroys any hope or opportunity for any genuine relationships, lives to be fake, never wants ‘problems’ to cease, a dysfunction of every sort.

These characteristics of ego will show its self when the opportunity arises. They won’t necessarily show themselves at the same time, but will when the time is right. In order to overcome this ego or control it, when it is so desperate to destroy ones life, is to understand how powerful it is and realize that it will go as far as you allow it to go, in order for ego to control and manipulate you to do what it wants. Once the ego is recognized for what it is, the answer to removing this controlling force and to break free from its powerful grip and to fight back for what is truly yours, your life. In order to control this, one must move beyond the ego into ones own true identity. This is where discernment comes in and separates what I believe to what the Author believes. Eckhart believes that in order to do this, one has to become God. One has to strive to have the appearance and approach to all things as God. It first seemed like he was saying God being in us will give us the power to become present in the moment and defeat the ego, but then he says this. “The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I AM.” After reading that one little sentence, I felt as though he stripped away every supportive meaning that this book had to offer in just that one sentence. Father bluntly and honestly says in scripture.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

I am starting to think that he purposely took the (I AM) out of what Father was saying, and to call us what Father calls Himself, (or maybe I am just reading to far into this.)

Eckhart uses many scripture references that proclaim what Jesus says, but neglects the true meanings behind what Jesus is actually saying. For example, he uses an example from the Gospels, yet in what Jesus says in this, Eckhart is doing and telling the reader the exact opposite. “And when Jesus said, ‘Deny thyself,’ what he meant was: Negate (and thus undo) the illusion of self. If the self-ego-were truly who I am, it would be absurd to “deny” it.” Eckhart basically took two words out what Jesus was saying and didn’t show the verse for what Jesus really meant by it.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24 Jesus said, ‘Follow me’, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Father means what he says, and Eckhart wholeheartedly denies it. One has to have a purpose in denying themselves. Using those two words in this book doesn’t even make sense. A person isn’t going to deny himself or herself anything unless they have a good reason to: that being to follow God and live for Him. At least that is the best reason I can think of!

Even though Eckhart believes that the “I AM”, as in (ME) takes precedence over God, which is a BIG, not okay, in my book, I find some of his information to be helpful in living for God. (Not to sound contradictable) but I find that he does make a good point in separating the ego from who a person is. I just want to look past the negative things that Eckhart proclaims as truth, not to allow it or accept it as truth, but rather, to be graceful and sensitive to what Father is showing me.

He examines that the ego isn’t a part of the person, but just a collective dysfunctional behavior, the insanity of the human mind, that wants nothing more than to destroy ones life. He notices that all humans have this because they are unaware of their consciousness and not familiar with their BEING. Eckhart expresses how important it is to find consciousness, and become aware of the awakening of the soul and thus live life in the awakening of ones consciousness, and to BE in the moment of every moment. I have found this information very helpful and gather that Father desires me to realize that if I become more aware of each moment I live in, that, through the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit, I will become more aware of realizing that I have a say in how I react and respond in situations where I would normally ride on my anger or whatever wants to take hold of me in those certain moments and any of those characteristics that selfishness feeds on to gain control and precedence in my life.

The reason why I finished this book was because I felt that Father was telling me to finish what I started, not just for the sake of ‘finishing’ this book, but to see how Father was going to use the good that is found in this book and use it in His truth and in His light!

If most of what I took from the book seemed to be nagative in a spiritually sense in how one percieves God, it was not my intention to make the "negative' seem bigger than the positive. However, the negative that was found seemed to build my perception of God and strengthened my identity in Father more as I wrote this.

I think the most important thing that I have grasped from this book is becoming more aware and more conscious in every present moment, and understanding that there is something happening in that moment, whether or not I am ‘conscious ‘ enough to realize it, and in every moment, Father is there, and is waiting for me to find him or recognize him in every moment in time. In and when I notice the Spirit, all Father wants is to lead me and guide me to Him. This isn’t saying that Father is a cop and He is watching my every moment or move just in case I slip, but His desire is for me, and in that, all I see is how much He loves me. I want to come alive and become awakened on a regular bases by Father and His Spirit. That is what I ache for, so that I may portray His beauty and truth in and through the way I live my life.

13 comments:

Walking Church said...

WoW Nic - a whopping A++ on this excellent paper (synthesis)..ya done good sis.

I am more impressed you did not buy into the 'lie'. As I read your analysis - I couldn't help but think this proposal has much in common with the Garden of Eden. The 'big lie': you can be like or be God. (humans took the bait, once are we silly enough to think it tastes better on the second swallow?)

'Ego' is not the enemy - 'Sin' and 'Satan' are! The author has not acquired his 'Spirit' life found in Christ - so his think will be stink'n.

For me: two passages of scripture (favs) stick out.

Col. 3.2-3 "Set your mind on th things above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life,is revealed,then you also will be revealed with Him in glory"

Gal 2.20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me".

Why the scripture: Who is my 'life'. (the answer isn't always B - giggle) Christ is MY LIFE. How did I take care of my Ego (Me). Well it was crucified with Christ. I no longer live - Christ lives in me. This is more than sufficient for me.

To build on what you said Nic - scripture does record Jesus as saying HE is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. Since Jesus is my life, I have the 'way', the 'Truth' and 'Life'. All are His - but now are mine.

Jesus also said in order to gain life (His life, eternal life) you had to loose yours. Does this sound like an opportunity for crucifixion - of ego, of self?

As for the being in the moment - Christ gives us something better. We are 'eternal'. Christ is Eternal life - and we have His Life, now. We existed before the foundations of the earth were laid and we currently sit in heavenly places.

I think 'buddy' has a few more books to sell before He is deemed number one in all time book sales. Bible will be top dog for a while.

Again thanks for the pull apart and digest of the book.

I am sure my bros BAWB will have some thoughts on this one as well.

In Him, and He in Me . . .where o where can my ego be? Dead! RoFL

Laurie said...

Good points and close to my thoughts (and I agree, as Nic's homeschooling teacher 'til she was 18, an excellent report/synopsis -- A++!)

Provision has been made in God's plan to effectively eliminate our biggest enemies -- sin, satan and self. (and I do see 'self' and 'self-will' as an enemy as well because it so readily cooperates with the other two enemies. I need God's help to remember daily that my 'self' (or sin nature/self) was crucified with Christ.)

Romans chapters 5 through 8 were helpful to my understanding of what Jesus accomplished through the Cross. (as well as other scattered passages such as the ones mentioned by walking church in Col. and Gal.) When God gives us a revelation in our spirits of how the Cross of Christ has provided our freedom, then self, sin and satan (and all the man-made rules and regulations in this world) no longer have power over us. That is not to say that there won't be some days when we have to make sure our armor is on so we can battle to stay or get back to the place of resting in the finished work of Christ.

Walking Church said...

Hey Laurie - most impressed with your homeschoolin' with Nic.

Yes you are absolutely right..I wrote this very early in the morning...yes...ego (which can be sin if it of a roque nature versus a healthy sense of self derived from Christ) and Satan are certainly...the enemies. Anything that comes in between us and God is Sin. Yes, we do have to die to 'self' => Adamic Nature and become alive in Christ.

Thanks for the catch.

Nicole's Godblog said...

Alvin - Thanks for checking it out! Great comments. I really love your wisdom in this and acquired a lot of thoughts from you. I am just glad that you got something out of it. This kind of reminded me of a homework assignment, (back in my old home-school days) LOL, but it was worth it and I learned that I do have discernment. I guess Father really had a plan for me this weekend and I got out of it what I believe Father wanted me to. Father is truly amazing…

Mom - I do agree with you that the self could become an enemy if we allow it too. However, but Father has given us free will and we do have the strength by that in which not to allow the self to destroy our hearts. The more I think about it, it is a battle between two internal organs. The brain, (mind) and the heart, (the spirit), its fighting for control, and it just depends what’s the most important factor, what someone thinks, or what their heart is saying. And if Father is in our hearts, he gives us the strength through the freedom we have to survive and win in His victory over self. Hope that makes sense.

Thanks guys for sharing!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Aida said...

Good job, Nicki. You took a complex book (too complex for me) and simplified it. Your approach showed a lot of wisdom and discernment. You wanted to know what Father had in it for you but you weren't ready to accept everything said. That's very wise.

I've found that's a good approach even when reading books by believers. There are some authors that I love and respect, yet when I read their books, there will usually be parts where I'll think, "I'm not sure of that"
or "No, I can't accept that."

The Spirit is in us to help us discern truth from error. We've got to learn, however, not to throw out the baby with the bath water. Sometimes, because we discern error, we close our minds to what Daddy may be wanting to teach us.

I think a closed mind can be just as bad as a gullible one that accepts all that's put into it. I'm glad to see that your mind is neither one. That's because you have the mind of Christ and have learned to live in union with him.

Aida

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

I did some research on this book as well as the author.

Here are some of the statements from his wikipedia page:

Eckhart Tolle is said to have attained enlightenment at the age of 29 after suffering long periods of depression, dissolving his old identity and radically changing the course of his life.

(I am not sure how he dissolved his old identity)

Eckhart Tolle is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. Influences which are alluded to in The Power of Now are the writings of Meister Eckhart, Advaita Vedanta, A Course in Miracles, mystical Islam, Sufism, and Rumi's poetry and Zen Buddhism's Lin-chi (Rinzai) school. The book also interprets sayings of Jesus from the Bible.

I am little familiar with the Advaita Vedanta which is part of the eastern Hinduism and it is highly mystical and ‘karma’ based. Some of the new age philosophies are very much connected to Hinduism and Buddhism. (Even the highly used 'name it and claim it' comes from Buddhism through pastor Yonggi Cho or North Korea)

Some of the things I agree with the author are the follows:

1. You are not your thoughts. (I agree to this that our identity is not our thoughts or even the sins we do.)
2. Accept the present moment. ( I have no problem with this)

Things I don’t agree with him:

1. Only the present moment exists. (This is not necessarily true. But one thing I would have to agree is that we have access to only the present. We have no access to the future, but that doesn’t mean that future does not exist. The hope Jesus gives us is about the future which is the eternal glory.)

I think he is doing a honest effort to figure out the root cause of the problems any humans face. But he misses the great truth Bible reveals, that the root cause of all the problems is nothing but the ‘spiritual death’. All people are born ‘spiritually dead’ into this world since Adam fell. What we need is not enlightenment but ‘life’. A dead person needs ‘life’, nothing else. There is only person in the entire human history who said 'I came so that might have life'. As far as I know the only book reveals this fundamental truth is Bible. Greek philosopher Pascal said there is a 'God shaped vacuum' in every man’s heart. We were originally created (Adam) to be inhabited by God and until and unless that happens (until the resurrection life comes into us to make our dead spirit alive) we will be looking out anything and everything to fill that vacuum with the things of this world including worldly philosophies.

Nicole, I am glad you were able to discern. I admire the wisdom and maturity you have showed here writing this review.

As we grow in the fullness of Christ Jesus,

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.

bob said...

Hi Nicole

Sounds like you had a great week-end with Abba Father.

I have been studying Christian Counselling for the last 6 years under Dr. John Woodward and Dr. Charles Solomon. Without going into a long post, these 2 men have written on the same subject you were reading about except theirs is from a totally biblical view.
After reading your comments, seeing your wisdom and discernment I was prompted to point you to a couple of their books. The best 2books to read are "Handbook to Happiness" and "Rejection Syndrome and the Way To Acceptance" both By Dr. Solomon. Also "The Ins and Out of Rejection" by Dr. Solomon and "Man As Spririt, Soul and Body - A Study of Biblical Psychology" by Dr. Woodward are excellent books.
I have come to believe that if we don't understand the way God created us and what He has done for us, we will not be able to understand some scripture (ex. Gal.2:20) and therefore will struggle needlessly in our daily lives. Part of what God has me doing is pointing people to an understanding of who we are in Him. This will change peoples lives. Their website is: http://www.gracefellowshipintl.com/ie_home.htm

Continue to seek Him and spend time with Him.

Still seeking
Bob

Nicole's Godblog said...

Hey!

Aida, wonderful thoughts and thank you for commenting. I too agree that you have to be careful in every book you read, just because it’s from a 'Christian' author doesn't mean it is safe to read. Discernment is the KEY to true and real understanding of what Father is telling you personally!

Bino! I am so glad you looked up where this guy is coming from, a little background is always helpful, for it sure opens up so much room for understanding and discernment. Yeah, I didn't mention this, but I did notice that he was a little over board when he used Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism and put them all in the same box, not that they relate to each other, but it was like he wrapped up all different kinds of religions and put them all together and picked out what he thought that related to what he was trying to say. He would use Jesus and Buddha in the same sentence, and that made it all a little fishy to me. The more I noticed that kind of thing pop up, I started to think that he has no clue in what he is talking about. He also claims to be an evolutionist. He talked a lot about how we evolved in the beginning, and how the "BANG" happened and suddenly the earth 'evolved'. It was scary to think that this guy has any sense of wisdom. However, Father took the good out of all that was said, and is now using it in my life! That must take some discernment. Some wouldn't even bother with any of it just because of what I discovered that was not of God. Father is truly good and seems to be graceful to any no matter where they stand or what they believe! It gives me a reason to pray that Eckhart will find the truth, even if these lies are deep down inside him right now.

Bob! Wow, I will absolutely look into those Dr. Authors. They sound really good! My mom laughs at me because ever since I was younger she says I have always been into "self-help" books and really nothing else! 'I am just different', that’s what I would say. LOL! No, but I truly love self-help books, hardly do I go off the record and just read anything from anybody, usually it would be from Christian authors, but it is very curious to me where people get these crazy out of the mind ideas in trying to help others, when too, they are in need of the same kind of help. :)

Thank you all for sharing!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Nicole's Godblog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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