A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth is little more than the standard New Age (New Spirituality) fare which would be highly familiar to those having knowledge of this doctrine. What makes A New Earth unique is its adoption and promotion by Oprah Winfrey who has become perhaps the biggest cheerleader for New Age spirituality in modern times. Because of Oprah’s endorsement, millions of Eckhart Tolle’s books have been sold and New Age ideas have spread to a whole new segment of Western society.
Tolle clearly states that the purpose of his book is “to bring about a shift in consciousness, that is to say, awaken” (pp. 5-6). “Awakening” is “a shift in consciousness in which thinking and awareness separate” (p. 259). Thoughts and beliefs are things to transcend (pp. 18, 21-22, 70, 91, 121, 186, 193, 276) as we escape our ego (identification with form, primarily thought forms) (p. 22), stand outside of self and experience our Being or awareness, so that we can say “I am the awareness that is aware that there is attachment” (p. 46).
Tolle believes that all things are one (monism) (pp. 4, 26, 106) with the universe. This Eastern pantheistic teaching ultimately leads to all things being God. We are not surprised when he tells us that, “we are light” (p. 28), we are “I Am” (pp. 57, 60, 64, 79), “you are the Truth” (p. 71), we have a “common divinity” (p. 74), “I am life…I and life are one…I Am” (p. 128), we are God, or Being (p. 220), etc.
How are such Beings to live? Through “nonresistance, nonjudgment, and nonattachment [which] are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living“ (p. 225).
The ultimate goal of New Age spirituality is a new heaven and new earth. A new heaven “is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness. A new earth is its reflection in the physical realm” (p. 23). Apparently the hippie movement opened the door to Eastern wisdom (pp. 72-93) and Tolle is most hopeful that we are now seeing the consummation of what the hippies started (pp. 182, 218, 229, 261).
There is much more that could be said but hopefully this will suffice. It might be asked how Christians could possibly become entangle with such nonsense. Perhaps because Tolle carefully weaves 22 scriptural quotes throughout his book—more than a lot of Christian books have now days. A discerning reader will quickly note how these quotes are misused, but unfortunately many Christians lack such discernment.