Thursday, July 10, 2008

"A New Earth"

I finished reading “A New Earth” by Eckart Tolle earlier this summer. I have been on a spiritual path for most of my life, trying to make sense of it all. I have to say this book was very helpful. Like all spiritual self-help books, there is no real evidence that what the writer is saying is of absolute truth, however his points do make intellectual sense. Like millions of people, I was born a soul searching for meaning my entire life. I think I starting questioning things in my mid teens and continue to do so as I age. What I got out of this book is that some people, many actually, just don’t ask life questions. Many are stuck in their heads making up things that either don’t exist or are of little of not importance in the greater scheme of life. We all deal with some level of fear; the greatest of them all is the fear of death.

One of the major messages of Tolle’s book is that the true essence of life occurs in the present moment. Millions of people spend a lot of their mental energy on the past, stuck on resentments or past pain and trauma. Many also are so much invested in their future plans like what job they want, where they will live, how much money they will gain, who they will marry, how many kids will they have, that they do not appreciate the present time.

Back to death, something most human beings fear, Tolle says that if you believe you are life itself and your soul is eternal, then there really is no such thing as death, therefore there is nothing to fear. Now I am one who does not deal with death well and every encounter, whether personal or a death of a celebrity I connect with, makes me feel the coming of my own mortality. Though, as I get older the goal of my spiritual journey is to accept what my life has been to the present moment. I believe and accept that it has meant something in the greater scheme of things, if not to at least one individual, and that when it is my time to go I should not fear the transition.

In any event, no matter what one’s spiritual or religious path, I really do feel that we all go to the same place in the end and only chose our own path to that destination. Life is good and worth exploring to the fullest. I aim to learn as much as I can while I’m here and move on to the next place as connected to it from this end as is humanly possible.