A New Earth - What is the premise of the book?
In “The Purpose of this Book” Tolle asks, “Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones . . . transparent to the light of consciousness?”1 He assures us that, “You cannot fight against the ego and win, just as you cannot fight against darkness. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary. You are that light.” Tolle’s personification introduces the “pathological” nature of our egos:
A New Earth - Is it New Age?
Causes Illness – “The ego . . . will sometimes use what would otherwise be a passing physical weakness or imbalance . . . so it grows into ‘my illness.’ [People] have some unconscious ego investment in the concept of illness.”
Traps Us In Our Physical And Emotional Form – “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?”
Steals Our Identity – “. . . 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.”
Is the premise of the book A New Earth compatible with New Age doctrine? In Chapter 1, “The Flowering of Human Consciousness,” Tolle presents his own compilation of many mystical religions such as Buddhism, Gnosticism, as well as a comprehensive embracing of New Age doctrine. The Universal Consciousness is manifested through flowers, crystals, precious stones, and birds -- all considered as “enlightened forms.” The first chapter reveals how “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.”
The beliefs presented in A New Earth are nothing new. New Age, a religious movement that centers in SELF, reveals itself boldly throughout this book. Tolle explains, “Even disasters such as Hurricane Katrina or a tsunami reflect our state of consciousness . . . as the old consciousness dissolves, there are bound to be synchronistic geographic and climactic natural upheavals in many parts of the planet.” In perfect congruency with New Age doctrine, you become your own god as man unifies with nature!
A New Earth - It is compatible with the Bible?
How does the premise of the book A New Earth present the Bible? Tolle attempts to present his religion as compatible with Christianity, but fails horribly. His occasional half-quotes from the Bible are constantly misinterpreted, misdirecting the focus away from God.
Tolle: “Jesus tells us to contemplate the flowers and learn from them how to live.”
BIBLE: In Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus responds to our concerns for material things. He uses birds and lilies to illustrate God’s provision for all creation. We are far more valuable than birds or flowers. Yet as the Creator, He meets our every need when we make Him our primary concern.
Tolle: “The jewel in the lotus flower is a central symbol of Buddhism and a white bird, the dove, signifies the Holy Spirit in Christianity.”
BIBLE: In the gospels (Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32-34), the Spirit of God in the bodily shape like a dove, descends and settles on Jesus, as God endues with power His Son, Jesus Christ, upon the earth.
A New Earth strives to redefine the core of Biblical truth. Instead of being consistent with the Bible, it presents these contrary beliefs: 1) Salvation becomes a state of being achieved through one’s own power, 2) Heaven exists as simply a state of consciousness, and 3) Jesus, the Son of God, becomes another spiritual master who teaches us to look within ourselves for spiritual release.
1 All Tolle’s quotations can be found by looking on the Barnes and Noble site for A New Earth (excerpts from the book) and (an interview with Tolle).
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