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Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth Book Summary

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  • Chapter 1: The Flowering of Human Consciousness
    • 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 the light.
    • To sin means to miss the mark, as an archer who misses the target, so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. It means to live unskillfully, blindly, and thus suffer and cause suffering.
    • No doubt: the human mind is highly intelligent. Yet it’s very intelligence is tainted by madness.
    • Ignorant of their connectedness to the whole.
    • To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.
    • Many people are already aware of the difference between spirituality and religion. They realize that having a belief system – a set of thoughts that you regard as the absolute truth – does not make you spiritual no matter what the nature of those beliefs is. In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you and from the spiritual dimension within yourself.
    • They equate truth with thought, and as they are completely identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of the truth in an unconscious attempt to protect their identity.
    • How spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness.
    • In fact, at the heart of the new consciousness lies the transcendence of thought, the newfound ability of rising above thought, of realizing a dimension within yourself that is infinitely more vast than thought. You then no longer derive your identity, your sense of who you are, from the incessant stream of thinking that in the old consciousness you take to be yourself.
    • Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms.

     

    Chapter 2: Ego: The Current State of Humanity

    • Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much.
    • Most people are still completely identified with the incessant stream of mind, of compulsive thinking, most of it repetitive and pointless.
    • I didn’t realize yet that thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence.
    • Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.
    • The egoic mind is completely conditioned by the past. Its conditioning is twofold: It consists of content and structure.
    • The unconscious compulsion to enhance one’s identity through association with an object is built into the very structure of the egoic mind.
    • One of the most basic mind structures through which the ego comes into existence is identification.
    • I try to find myself in the things but never quite make it and end up losing myself in them. That is the fate of the ego.
    • What you identify with is all to do with content; whereas, the unconscious compulsion to identify is structural. It is one of the most basic ways in which the egoic mind operates.
    • When you live in a world deadened by mental abstraction, you don’t sense the aliveness of the universe anymore. Most people don’t inhabit a living reality, but a conceptualized one.
    • Ego-identification with things creates attachment to things, obsession with things, which in turn creates our consumer society and economic structures where the only measure of progress is always more.
    • The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifests, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part.
    • One of the ills of our time is object proliferation.
    • I suggest that you investigate your relationship with the world of things through self-observation, and in particular, things that are designated with the word “my”. You need to be alert and honest to find out.
    • You can only feel it when you get out of your head. Being must be felt. It can’t be thought. The ego doesn’t know about it because thought is what it consists of.
    • Whatever the ego seeks and gets attached to are substitutes for the being that it cannot feel. You can value and care for things, but whenever you get attached to them, you will know it’s the ego. And you are never really attached to a thing but to a thought that has ‘I,’ ‘me,’ or ‘mine’ in it. Whenever you completely accept a loss, you go beyond ego, and who you are, the I am which is consciousness itself, emerges.
    • Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.
    • Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.
    • Don’t take the ego too seriously. When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh.
    • Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are. In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stand revealed as ultimately meaningless. In the last moments of their life, they then also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with their mind.
    • The ego tends to equate having with being: I have, therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am. The ego lives through comparison.
    • Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.
    • Since you cannot find yourself through having.
    • The ego wants to want more than it wants to have.
    • They derive their identity from the I-thought that they erroneously attach to the mental image or concept of their body, which after all is no more than a physical form that shares the destiny of all forms – impermanence and ultimately decay.
    • Although body-identification is one of the most basic forms of ego.
    • Make it a habit to feel the inner body as often as you can.
    • When you are in touch with the inner body, you are not identified with your body anymore, nor are you identified with your mind.
    • Ego is always identification with form, seeking yourself and thereby losing yourself in some form.
    • The consciousness that says ‘I am’ is not the consciousness that thinks.
    • When forms that you had identified with, that gave you your sense of self, collapse or are taken away, it can lead to a collapse of the ego, since ego is identification with form. When there is nothing to identify with anymore, who are you? When forms around you die or death approaches, your sense of beingness, of I am, is freed from its entanglement with form: Spirit is released from its imprisonment in matter. You realize your essential identify as formless, all identifications. You realize your true identity as consciousness itself, rather than what consciousness had identified with. That’s the peace of god. The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I am.
    • When you yield internally, when you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens up.

     

    Chapter 3: The Core of the Ego

    • Most people are so completely identified with the voice in the head – the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that accompany it – that we may describe them as being possessed by their mind.
    • Complaining is one of ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself.
    • Non-reaction is not weakness but strength. Another word for non-reaction is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through.
    • The voice of the ego, no more than a conditioned mind-pattern, a thought.
    • Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.
    • Forgiveness happens naturally when you see that it has no purpose other than to strengthen a false sense of self, to keep the ego in place.
    • Forgive your enemies.
    • The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. And what is a grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotions.
    • The simple observation that lightning precedes thunder.
    • Ego takes everything personally.
    • Love and do what you will.
    • What is it that lies at the roof of this insanity? Complete identification with thought and emotion, that is to say, ego.
    • Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.
    • There is a deep interrelatedness between your state of consciousness and external reality.
    • Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind.
    • You do not fuel the drama anymore that is part of all egoic relationships. What is its fuel? Reactivity. The ego thrives on it.
    • Awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment.
    • Only presence can free you of the ego, and you can only be present now, not yesterday or tomorrow. Only presence can undo the past in you and thus transform your state of consciousness.
    • All structures are unstable.
    • No forms are permanent, that they are all fleeting.
    • All structures (forms) are unstable, even the see seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you.
    • In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever. That alert attention is presence.

     

    Chapter 4: Role-playing: The Many Faces of the Ego

    • The source of all energy is within you.
    • When you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.
    • Is it possible to let go of the belief that you should or need to know who you are.
    • Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.
    • When you are completely identified with a role, you confuse a pattern of behavior with who you are, and you take yourself very seriously. You also automatically assign roles to others that correspond to yours. For example, when you visit doctors who are totally identified with their role, to them you will not be a human being but a patient or a case history.
    • Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.
    • When you play that role, you take yourself and life very seriously. Spontaneity lightheartedness, and joy are not part of that role.
    • There is no true relationship.
    • The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.
    • Facing facts is always empowering. Be aware that what you think, to a large extent, creates the emotions that you feel. See the link between your thinking and your emotions.
    • Unhappiness covers up your natural state of well-being and inner peace, the source of true happiness.
    • Awareness is the greatest agent for change.
    • If there is awareness in you, you no longer need to believe in every thought you think. It’s an old thought, no more. Awareness means presence, and only presence can dissolve the unconscious past in you.
    • Suffering drives you deeper, the paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the go – but not until your suffer consciously.
    • Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego.
    • The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it.
    • In fact, doing is never enough if you neglect being.
    • The ego knows nothing of being but believes you will eventually be saved by doing.
    • You will only lose yourself in doing. The entire civilization is losing itself in doing that is not rooted in being an this becomes futile.
    • You are the being behind the doing.
    • Then there is being. It is found in the still, alert presence of consciousness itself, the consciousness that you are. Human is form. Being is formless. Human and being are not separate but interwoven.
    • To love is to recognize yourself in another.
    • To do whatever is required of you in any situation without it becoming a role that you identify with is an essential lesson in the art of living that each one of us is here to learn. You become most powerful in whatever you do if the action is performed for its own sake rather than as a means to protect, enhance, or conform to your role identify. Every role is a fictitious sense of self, and through it everything becomes personalized and thus corrupted and distorted by the mind-made “little me” and whatever role it happens to be playing.
    • A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
    • When you don’t play roles, it means there is no self (ego) in what you do.
    • You are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself.
    • Just be yourself.
    • Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others.
    • Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as a field of conscious presence.
    • Why does the ego play roles? Because of one unexamined assumption, one fundamental error, one unconscious thought. That thought is: I am not enough.
    • In form, you are and will always be inferior to some, superior to others. In essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. True self-esteem and true humility arise out of that realization. In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same.
    • A person in the grip of ego, however, does not recognize suffering as suffering, but will look upon it as the only appropriate response in any given situation.
    • Unhappiness is an ego-created mental emotional disease that has reached epidemic proportions.
    • There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
    • The ego creates separation, and separation creates suffering.
    • The ego doesn’t know that your only opportunity for being at peace is now. Or maybe it does know, and it is afraid that you may find this out. Peace, after all, is the end of the ego.
    • How to be at peace now? By making peace with the present moment.
    • There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One with life.
    • Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.
    • The suchness of life, which is no more than the suchness of this moment.
    • Forgive them for they know not what they do.
    • To become free of the ego is not really a big job but a very small one. All you need to do is be aware of your thoughts and emotions – as they happen. This is not really a “doing”, but an alert “seeing.”
    • When that shift happens, which is the shift from thinking to awareness, an intelligence far greater than the ego’s cleverness begins to operate in your life.
    • You are the light of presence, the awareness that is prior to and deeper than any thoughts and emotions.
    • What is an argument? Two or more people express their opinions and those opinions differ. Each person is so identified with the thoughts that make up their opinion, that those thoughts harden into mental positions which are invested with a sense of self. In other words: Identity and thought merge. Once this has happened, when I defend my very self.
    • The ego is the unobserved mind itself.
    • Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions. What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerged by itself.
    • Many people are truly their own worst enemy.
    • A collective ego is usually more unconscious than the individuals that make up that ego.
    • However, constant alertness is required since the ego will try to take over and reassert itself in any way it can.
    • Dissolving the human ego by bringing it into the light of awareness.

     

    Chapter 5: The Pain-Body

    • The greater part of most people’s thinking is involuntary automatic, and repetitive. It is no more than a kind of mental static and fulfills no real purpose. Strictly speaking, you don’t think: Thinking happens to you.
    • Digestion happens, circulation happens, thinking happens.
    • The voice in the head has a life of its own. Most people are at the mercy of that voice; they are possessed by thought, by the mind. And since the mind is conditioned by the past, you are then forced to reenact the past again and again.
    • For thousands of years, humanity has been increasingly mind-possessed, failing to recognize the possessing entity as “not self”. Through complete identification with the mind, a false sense of self – the ego – came into existence. The density of the ego depends on the degree to which you – the consciousness – are identified with your mind, with thinking. Thinking is no more than a tiny aspect of the totality of consciousness, the totality o who you are.
    • Most of their attention is absorbed by thinking, and so they don’t really see you, and they are not really listening to you. They are not present in any situation, their attention being either in the past or future which, of course, exist only in the mind as thought forms.
    • So emotion is the body’s reaction to your mind.
    • You don’t run your body. The intelligence does. It also is in charge of the organism’s responses to its environment.
    • This is true for any life-form. It is the same intelligence that brought that plant into physical form and then manifests as the flower that comes out of that plant, the flower that opens its petals in the morning to receive that rays of the sun and closes them at nighttime. It is the same intelligence that manifest as Gaia, the complex living being that is planet earth.
    • The fundamental difference between an instinctive response and an emotion is this: An instinctive response is the body’s direct response to some external situation. An emotion, on the other hand, is the body’s response to a thought.
    • Indirectly, an emotion can also be a response to an actual situation or event, but it will be a response to the event seen through the filter of a mental interpretation, the filter of thought, that is to say, through the mental concepts of good and bad, like and dislike, me and mine.
    • Although the body is very intelligent; it cannot tell the difference between an actual situation and a thought. It reacts to every thought as if it were a reality. It doesn’t know it is just a thought.
    • The ego is not only the unobserved mind, the voice in the head which pretends to be you, but also the unobserved emotions that are the body’s reaction to what the voice in the head is saying.
    • The body has an ego attached to it, and it cannot but respond to all the dysfunctional thought patterns that make up the ego. Thus, a stream of negative emotion accompanies the stream of incessant and compulsive thinking.
    • What is a negative emotion? An emotion that is toxic to the body and interferes with its balance and harmonious hatred or intense dislike, jealousy, envy – all disrupt the energy flow through the body, affect the heart, the immune system, digestion, production of hormones, and so on.
    • Recognize the connection between negative emotional states and physical disease.
    • There is a generic term for all negative emotions: unhappiness.
    • What the ego calls love is possessiveness and addictive clinging that can turn into hate within a second.
    • There is not good without bad, no high without low.
    • Ego-generates emotions are derived from the mind’s identification with external factors which are, of course, all unstable and liable to change at any moment. The deeper emotions are not really emotions at all but states of being. Emotions exist within the realm of opposites. States of being can be obscured, but they have no opposite. They emanate from within you as the love, joy, and peace that are aspects of your true nature.
    • We are a species that has lost its way.
    • The past lives in you as memories.
    • Your personality, which is conditioned by the past, then becomes your prison.
    • It may be shocking when you realize for the first time that there is something within you that periodically seeks emotional negativity, seeks unhappiness. You need even more awareness to see it in yourself than to recognize it in another person.
    • All things are vibrating energy fields in ceaseless motion.
    • Thoughts consist of the same energy vibrating at a higher frequency than matter, which is why they cannot be seen or touched.
    • It is not so much that you cannot stop your train of negative thoughts, but that you don’t want to.
    • There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness.

     

    Chapter 6: Breaking Free

    • The beginning of freedom from the pain-body lies first of all in the realization that you have a pain-body.
    • It is your conscious presence that breaks the identification with the pain-body.
    • Every human being emanates an energy field that corresponds to his or her inner state, and most people can sense it.
    • There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this what you feel right now.
    • Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.
    • Pain-body and ego are close relatives. They need each other.
    • The power of allowing lies in noninterference, nondoing. Being present is always infinitely more powerful than anything one could say or do, although sometimes being present can rise to words or actions.
    • Satori is a moment of presence, a brief stepping out of the voice in your head, the thought processes, and their reflection in the body as emotion. It is the arising of inner spaciousness where before there was the clutter of thought and the turmoil of emotions.
    • The thinking mind cannot understand presence and so will often misinterpret it. It will say that you are uncaring, distant, have no compassion, are not relating. The truth is, you are relating but at a level deeper than thought and emotion. In fact, at that level there is a true coming together, a true joining that goes far beyond relating. In the stillness of presence, you can sense the formless essence in yourself and in the other as one. Knowing the oneness of yourself and the other as one, knowing the oneness of yourself and the other is true love, true care, true compassion.
    • Money can activate the pain-body and cause complete unconsciousness.
    • The pain-body needs your unconsciousness. It cannot tolerate the light of presence.
    • Unconscious, spiritually speaking, which means totally indentified with mind and emotions.
    • Whatever you identify with turns into ego.
    • They realize they are the knowing, not the known.
    • Consciousness that has become conscious of itself.
    • Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the is-ness of the now.

     

    Chapter 7: Finding Who You Truly Are

    • Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooter in being, instead of lost in your mind.
    • How to react to people and situations, especially when challenges arise, is the best indicator of how deeply you know yourself.
    • Whatever you think people are withholding from you – praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on – give it to them. You don’t have it? Just act as if you had it, and it will come. Then, soon after you start giving, you will start receiving. You cannot receive what you don’t give. Outflow determines inflow.
    • The source of al abundance is not outside you. It is part of who you are. However, start by acknowledging and recognizing abundance without. See the fullness of life all around you.
    • What can I give here; how can I be of service to this person, this situation.
    • Abundance comes only to those who already have it.
    • Both abundance and scarcity are inner states that manifest as your reality.
    • There is nothing wrong with psychoanalysis or finding out about your past as long as you don’t confuse knowing about yourself with knowing yourself. The five-thousand page dossier is about yourself: the content of your mind which is conditioned by the past. Whatever you learn through psychoanalysis or self-observation is about you. It is not you. It is content, not essence. Going beyond ego is stepping out of content. Knowing yourself is being yourself, and being yourself is ceasing to identity with content.
    • Most people define themselves through the content of their lives.
    • What is there other than content? That which enables the content to be – the inner space of consciousness.
    • The snow falls, each flake in its appropriate place.
    • Nature can help you become realigned with the wholeness of life.
    • At some point in their lives, most people become aware that there is not only birth, growth, success, good health, pleasure, and winning, but also loss, failure, sickness, old age, decay, pain and death.
    • The wisdom of this world is folly with god.
    • Thinking isolates a situation or event and calls it good or bad, as if it had a separate existence. Through excessive reliance on thinking, reality becomes fragmented. This fragmentation is an illusion, but it seems very real while you are trapped in it. And yet the universe is an indivisible whole in which all things are interconnected, in which nothing exists in isolation.
    • Often it is impossible for the mind to understand what place or purpose a seemingly random event has in the tapestry of the whole.
    • I don’t mind what happens.
    • To be in alignment with what is means to be in a relationship of inner nonresistance with what happens. It means not to label it mentally as good or bad, but to let it be.
    • Is that so.
    • Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness.
    • The most important, the primordial relationship in your life is your relationship with the now, or rather with whatever from the now takes, that is to say, what is or what happens.
    • The ego could be defined simply in this way: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment.
    • The present moment is inseparable from life, so you are really deciding what kind of a relationship you want to have with life.
    • The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of the ego.
    • Time is what the ego lives on.
    • Almost every thought you think is then concerned with past or future, and your sense of self depends on the past for your identity and on the future for its fulfillment. Fear, anxiety, expectation, regret, guilt, anger are the dysfunction of the time-bound state of consciousness.
    • For every problem that is solved, another one pops up.
    • As long as the present moment is seen as an obstacle, there can be no end to problems.
    • External reality, which always reflect back to you your inner state.
    • Life is always now. Your entire life unfolds in this constant now. Even past or future moments only exist when you remember or anticipate them, and you do so by thinking about them in the only moment there is: this one.
    • Why does it appear then as if there were many moments? Because the present moment is confused with what happens, confused with content.
    • You only ever experience the present moment, or rather what happens in it. If you go by direct evidence only, then there is no time, and the now is all there ever is.
    • The ego cannot tolerate becoming friendly with the present moment.
    • There are two ways of being unhappy. Not getting what you want is one. Getting what you want is the other.
    • Through nonresistance to form, that in you which is beyond form emerges as an all-encompassing presence, a silent power far greater than your short-lived form identity, the person. It is more deeply who you are than anything in the world of form.
    • Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe, Through it, consciousness (spirit) is freed from its imprisonment in form.
    • There is the dream, and there is the dreamer of the dream. The dream is a short-lived play of forms. It is the world – relatively real but not absolutely real. Then there is the dreamer, the absolute reality in which the forms come and go.
    • The dreamer is consciousness itself – who you are.
    • Form means limitation. We are here not only to experience limitation, but also grow in consciousness by going beyond limitation. Some limitations can be overcome on an external level. There may be other limitations in your life that you have to learn to live with. There can only be overcome internally.
    • The surrendered state of consciousness opens up the vertical dimension in your forth from the dimension of depth.
    • Unhappiness or negativity is a disease on our planet. What pollution is on the outer level is negativity on the inner. It is everywhere, not just in places where people don’t have enough, but even more so where they have more than enough.
    • That joy cannot come to you – ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and this is one with who you are.
    • That through becoming less, you become more.
    • When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self-image. Through becoming less (in the ego’s perception), you in fact undergo an expansion and make room for being to come forward. True power, who you are beyond form, can then shine through the apparently weakened form.
    • Instead of trying to be a mountain, teaches the ancient Tao Te ching, be the valley of the universe. In this way, you are restored to wholeness and so all things will come to you.
    • Another aspect of this practice is to refrain from attempting to strengthen the self showing off, wanting to stand out, be special, make an impression, or demand attention. It may include occasionally refraining from expressing your opinion when everybody is expressing his or hers, and seeing what the feels like.
    • When the eye finds nothing to see, that no-thingness is perceived as space. When the ear finds nothing to hear, that no-thingness is perceived at stillness. When the senses, which are designed to perceive form, meet an absence of form, the formless consciousness that lies behind perception and makes all perception, all experience, possible, is no longer obscured by form.
    • What cannot be seen with the eye, but that whereby the eye can see: know that alone to be Braham the spirit and not what people here adore. What cannot be heard with the ear but whereby the ear can hear: know that alone to be Braham the spirit and not what people here adore…What cannot be thought with the mind, but that whereby the mind can think: know that alone to be Braham the spirit and not what people here adore.
    • Their identification with form keeps them trapped in ego.
    • Just as space enables all things to exist and just as without silence there could be no sound, you would not exist without the vital formless dimension that is the essence of who you are.
    • Being is prior to existence. Existence is form, content, what happens. Existence is the foreground of life, being is the background, as it were.
    • The collective disease of humanity is that people are so engrossed in what happens, so hypnotized by the world of fluctuating forms, so absorbed in the content of their lives, they have forgotten the essence, that which is beyond content, beyond form, beyond thought. They are so consumed by time that they have forgotten eternity, which is their origin, their home, their destiny. Eternity is the living reality of who you are.

     

    Chapter 8: The Discovery of Inner Space

    • This too, will pass.
    • When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them.
    • The earth is precious and at the same time insignificant. The recognition that this, too will pass brings detachment and with detachment another dimension comes into your life – inner space. Through detachment, as well as nonjudgement and inner nonresistance, you gain access to that dimension.
    • When you are no longer totally identifies with forms, consciousness – who you are – becomes freed from its imprisonment in form. This freedom is the arising of inner space. It comes as a stillness, a subtle peace deep within you, even in the face of something seemingly bad. This, too, will pass. Suddenly, there is space around the events.
    • You can participate in the dance of creation and without be active without attachment to outcome and without placing unreasonable demands upon the worlds.
    • All such suffering is due to an overvaluation of form and an unawareness of the dimension of inner space. When that dimension is present in your life, you can enjoy things, experience, and the pleasures of the sense without losing yourself in them, without inner attachment to them, that is to say, without becoming addicted to the world.
    • Most people’s lives are cluttered up with things: material things, things to do, things to think about.
    • Their minds are filled up with the clutter of thoughts, one thought after another. This is the dimension of object consciousness that is many people’s predominant reality, and that is why their lives are so out of balance.
    • The arising of space consciousness is the next stage in the evolution of humanity.
    • Awareness implies that you are not only conscious of things (objects), but you are also conscious in the being conscious.
    • If you can sense an alert inner foreground – that’s it.
    • I am never upset for the reason I think.
    • Your mind is inactive only in the sense that it is not producing thoughts, it is, however, continuously absorbing thoughts and images that come through the TV screen.
    • Laughter is extraordinarily liberating as well as healing.
    • Ananda – the bliss of being.
    • All creativity comes out of inner spaciousness.
    • You don’t awaken spiritually until the compulsive and unconscious naming ceases, or at least you become aware of it and thus are able to observe it as it happens.
    • Every experience has three possible ingredients: sense perceptions, thoughts or mental images, and emotions.
    • So who is the experiencer? You are. And who are you? Consciousness. And what is consciousness? This question cannot be answered. The moment you answer it, you have falsified it, made it into another object. Consciousness, the traditional word for which is spirit, cannot be known in the normal sense of the word, and seeking it is futile.
    • Yet without the formless dimension, the world of form could not be.
    • Although you cannot know consciousness, you can become conscious of it as yourself.
    • Be aware of your breathing as often as you are able, whenever you remember. Do that for one year, and it will be more powerfully transformative than attending all of these courses. And it’s free.
    • Being aware of your breathing takes attention away from thinking and creates space.
    • Being aware of your breath forces you into the present moment – the key to all inner transformation. Whenever you are conscious of the breath, you are absolutely present.
    • Ego implies complete unawareness of the dimension of space.
    • Inner space also arises whenever you let go of the need to emphasize your form-identify. That need is of the ego.
    • Stillness is the language god speaks, and everything else is a bad translation.
    • Stillness has no form – that is why through thinking we cannot become aware of it. Thought is form. Being aware of stillness means to be still. To be still is to be conscious without thought.

     

    Chapter 9: Your Inner Purpose

    • Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose. Inner purpose concerns being and is primary. Outer purpose concerns doing and is secondary.
    • Awakening is a shift in consciousness is which thinking and awareness separate.
    • Awareness takes over from thinking. Instead of being in charge of your life, thinking becomes the servant of awareness. Awareness is conscious connection with universal intelligence. Another word for it is presence: consciousness without thought.
    • You may remember the paradox of time we mentioned earlier: Whatever you do takes time, and yet it is always now. So while you inner purpose is to negate time, your outer purpose necessarily involves future and so could not exist without time. But it is always secondary. Whatever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.
    • The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for. Everybody’s life really consists of small things. Greatness is a mental abstraction and a favorite fantasy of the ego.
    • The world will tell you that success is achieving what you set out to do. It will tell you that success is winning, that finding recognition and/or prosperity are essential ingredients in any success. All or some of the above are usually by-products of success, but they are not success.
    • Your secondary or outer purpose lies within the dimension of time, while your main purpose is inseparable from the now and therefore requires the negation of time.
    • What the future holds for you depends on your state of consciousness now.
    • When doing becomes infused with the timeless quality of being, that is success. Unless being flows into doing, unless you are present, you lose yourself in whatever you do, you also lose yourself in thinking as well as in your reactions to what happens externally.
    • Consciousness also loses itself when it identifies with acting and reacting to what happens.
    • Every thought, every desire of fear, every action or reaction, is then infused with a false sense of self that is incapable of sensing the simple joy of being and so seeks pleasure, and sometimes even pain, as substitutes for it.
    • The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.

     

    Chapter 10: A New Earth

    • As an illustration of relative and absolute truth, consider the sunrise and sunset. When we say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, that is true, but only relatively. In absolute terms, it is false. Only from the limited perspective of an observer on or near the planet’s surface does the sun rise and set. If you were far out in space, you would see that the sun neither rises nor sets, but that it shines continuously.
    • For many people, particularly in the west, death is no more than an abstract concept, and so they have no idea what happens to the human form when it approaches dissolution.
    • Since death is only an abstract concept to them, most people are totally unprepared for the dissolution of form that awaits them. When it approaches, there is shock, incomprehension, despair, and great fear.
    • We are also learning that action, although necessary, is only a secondary factor in manifesting our external reality. The primary factor in creation is consciousness. No matter how active we are, how much effort we make, our state of consciousness creates out world, and if there is no change on that inner level, no amount of action will make any difference. We would only re-create modified versions of the same world again and again, a world that is an external reflection of the ego.
    • Consciousness is already conscious. It is the unmanifested, the eternal.
    • Consciousness is the intelligence, the organizing principle behind the arising of form.
    • Although the unmanifested realm of pure consciousness could be considered another dimension, it is not separate from this dimension of form. Form and formlessness interpenetrate. The unmanifested flows into dimension as awareness, inner space, presence.
    • Awakened doing is the alignment of your outer purpose – what you do – with your inner purpose – awakening and staying awake. Through awakened doing, you become one with the outgoing purpose of the universe. Consciousness flows through you into this world. It flows into your thoughts and inspires them. It flows into what you do and guides and empowers it.
    • Not what you do, but how you do determines whether you are fulfilling your destiny. And how you do what you do is determined by your state of consciousness.
    • All truly successful action comes out of that field of alert attention, rather than from ego and conditioned, unconscious thinking.
    • Whatever you cannot enjoy doing; you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means. For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly.
    • The peace that comes with surrendered action turns a sense of aliveness when you actually enjoy what you are doing.
    • When you make the present moment, instead of past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it the quality of your life – increases dramatically. Joy is the dynamic aspect of being.
    • Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you.
    • The misperception that joy comes from what you do is normal, and it is also dangerous, because it creates the belief that joy is something that can be derived from something else, such as an activity or thing. You then look to the world to bring you joy, happiness. But it cannot do that. This is why many people live in constant frustration. The world is not giving them what they think they need.
    • The joy of being is the joy of being conscious.
    • Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.
    • Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others.
    • Nothing is going to make us free because only the present moment can make us free.

 

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