Hannibal Free Public Library

A New Earth

Eckhart Tolle

January 21, 2010

   Eckhart Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates.  He then describes the transformation he claims to be infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are.  Eckhart Tolle is a contemporary spiritual teacher who is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition.  

In addition to reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, book discussion participants should also consult A New Earth by Paul F. Davis, and other commentaries about the book, such as:  




Participants may also wish to consult “Exercises for Your Awakening,” developed by Eckhart Tolle with Elizabeth Lesser, found at http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/exercises/anewearth_exercises_main.jsp  


  1. Why do you think A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle was selected to begin our book discussion series that concerns the science and spirituality of consciousness?
  1. In Chapter One, Tolle discusses the reasons for reading A New Earth, and what leads people towards awakening.  How is the book’s message different from or similar to other consciousness and spirituality texts, whether these books lean more toward popular psychology, Christianity, or other viewpoints?
  1. Discuss the following passage: "If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating fundamentally the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction" (p. 22). What changes does Tolle argue for? Do you agree?
  1. Why does Tolle tell the story of "The Lost Ring" in Chapter Two?
  1. On page 52, Tolle discusses the importance of feeling the inner body. He says we should "Make a habit of feeling the inner body as often as you can." What can we learn from our inner bodies?
  1. In Chapter Three, Tolle delves into "Reactivity and Grievances." How does holding on to grievances damage your ego?
  1. "In Zen they say: 'Don't seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions'"(p. 121). What does this statement mean to you?
  1. Why are some unconscious assumptions harder to conquer than others? Is it so important to get unconscious assumptions out of our minds?  Why or why not?
  1. Discuss the parable of "Carrying the Past" on page 139. How does it relate to the larger themes in this book?
  1. What is Tolle saying when he writes about the pain-body?
  1. How is true identity different than inner purpose?
  1. Is it important to help others toward enlightenment? Can Tolle’s teachings ever cause harm?

Freely adapted from http://us.penguingroup.com/static/rguides/us/new_earth.html