Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A New Earth (I)

I’m reading Eckhart Tolle’s latest book, A New Earth, and it’s stellar. Only a third of the way through, it’s remarkable how clearly he explains the human condition. Basically, we’re trapped both in and by our minds which, in his parlance, means our egos.

I’m not sure about the bad rap the ego gets. It doesn’t seem correct to me. But I am sure that when I get in trouble, it’s because my ego isn’t getting what it needs. Egos are like any mania. Stop feeding them and eventually the cravings diminish.

What I really like about the book is that Mr. Tolle suggests that going beyond egoic mind is the next step for humanity. We’ve done the mind thing. Done it to death. Finis. Through. Over. Let’s get on with it—what’s the next level of evolution?

His answer is awareness. In fact, awareness, which is only available in the present moment, is the cure-all for egoic mind. Awareness of the late afternoon light shining through my window and into my left eye, the whirr of the fan in the air conditioner, the cool air on my skin, the words that I write right now.

Egoic mind is a jockeying mind. It wants position, acknowledgment, praise, acceptance. Becoming aware of these wanting, we stop wanting these things. Offering awareness of ourselves and to others improves relationships.

I had occasion to speak to a close friend today on the phone. She was fresh from a workshop experience and cranky about one of the participants who wasn’t participating very well. I got annoyed at my friend. Egoic mind. Her egoic mind, and mine. I returned to the cool air and the glinting sunshine and in a trice, I was perfectly happy to let my friend have her complaint.

Awareness is a discipline for most of us. I sometimes am so caught in words in my mind that I have to report to myself what’s around me. I’m sitting in an Aeron chair. My legs are crossed at the ankles. I tell myself where I am and what’s happening to become aware.

Try it and see if it helps you let go egoic mind.

To be continued . . . as I keep reading.

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