Life was never meant to be easy. Worse than that, weapons of mass destructions and atomic bombs are all man-made inventions designed for leading wars and conflicts and spreading the evil and destruction of the beauty, the happiness, and the joy the life presents to us. Why do people do this? Why don not they enjoy the life and contemplate the beauty of the nature and of the new life which is born? I will never cease asking these questions after having read Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
Hundreds of volumes of books on history of humanity never really taught anything valuable, because we tend to repeat the same mistakes, to engage in the same useless and devastating war conflicts despite the harsh reality of history lessons. Despite the bitter and lamentable experience of wars the USA have been engaged in those starting from the Civil War and WWI and ending the long list of terrors and conflicts with wars in Iraq and active involvement in the inside affairs of Iran.
The county continues fighting for some virtual dream or, maybe, for the sake of mere fighting, because I don’t see the other rational explanation. History of my native country, South Korea, is not free of terrors of war, conflicts and constant interventions of Japan, the USA, or the Soviet Union. There are many lessons which are to be learned as well. The country has been divided into two parts a long time ago, but for some reason the desired reunification never takes place. Formal and informal meaning of unification would bring people joy, as this is a dream of many Korean people.
Deep inside I feel it is my purpose to unify the country. I’m studying political sciences to become professional in this field, as my outer purpose is to become a president and to unite two parts of my country, two artificially created nations into one nation of the Korean people. Deep inside I feel that my inner purpose is very close to my outer purpose. The first stage of accomplishing of some goal is full understanding of what you want and whether you really want it. The second one, you need to make some efforts in the chosen direction to realization of your plan and you will succeed without a doubt.
I know this might sound like big words or catchy slogans and this might be not so simple on the state level from political and socio-economical perspectives. However, I’m confident in what I have to do since this will bring joy and happiness to the majority of the people of both South and North Korea – this is my innermost duty to united and glue together the two parts of the country torn apart by the United Nations arrangement. Due to a simple reason which was disagreement of the Americans and the soviets in far 1948 the country was devided.
My father, who is a wise man, always has been sure that stubbornness, resentment, and meanness can be useful only for one time and then they come back to you like a boomerang. He is sure that being good to people and doing the good will spread the good and happiness. When you smile to a person, you receive the smile back and at least two people feel better – you and the other person. Also, my father has once said that it is better to have one hundreds of friends than to have one hundred dollars.
I know that what he’s said is far from Tolle’s ideas, but he has his inner and outer purpose merged which makes him happy and helps to make others happier as well. And this, I think, is the most important. Taking this course I was thinking of learning something new and meaningful which will be a valuable asset in my luggage of knowledge. However, the knowledge and the experience which has been gained through this course and reading Tolle’s book is much more valuable for me than I could have thought.
The author of A New Earth gives me an opportunity to the rebirth of my soul and to its awakening. I was watching the bee flying and running her errands on the flower. The tiny creature was busy with something meaningful to it. It had its purpose of gathering honey and pollen. Having gathered the full amount it headed to its little home. Then, I saw an ant in the grass. The tiny poor thing was carrying something bigger and heavier than itself. It was fighting its way through the grass, transparent drops of morning dew and other little obstacles fulfilling its purpose.
These little creatures don’t have the brains, they simply follow their instincts, but even they fulfill some inner purpose, even they have meaningful life within the universe free of any boundaries. I stopped to think why I am here and what my own purpose is. Without a doubt there must be some purpose I’m to fulfill in order not to break the unity and coherence of events and the existing harmony between my own self and the universe. Now, the memories of contemplating the true nature and the harmony in the natural world remind me the words of Tolle presented in the first chapter of his book:
Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature. The first recognition of beauty was one of the most significant events in the evolution of human consciousness. The felling of joy and love are intrinsically connected to that recognition (Tolle 2). I’ve been always repeating Confucius’ words that “the perfecting of one’s self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development”. However, I was not sure where to start at my moral development.
Now I can argue that that genuine beauty and intrinsic good comprise big part of the essence of life. My father’s wise words and my contemplation of nature have led to reevaluation of my own life and my deeds. While taking this course and reading Tolle’s book together with the great Poems to Last A Lifetime by Roger Housden my personal rebirth began and I’ve began to understand who I am and why I am. Nonetheless, prior to my understanding and my complete awareness of my inner space and the ability to reach my inner purpose I had to meet with my ego first and to admit its powerful influence on my life, decisions I make, and steps I take.
When I was young and immature and met my first love, I thought I was the happiest person in the world. However, when she left me on her parents’ advice, my ego became a rebellion and I was suffering. I thought it was the end of the world and I started drinking alcohol. My pain-body was feeding my thoughts, which were becoming more and more negative. At times, rational thinking came back to me, and then I decided to go to the army and to bury my sufferings there.
My ego did not like the army confinement and the orders it had to fulfill while the pain-body was constantly reminding me that I was born only to suffer and there was nothing worth living. My negative thoughts together with my ego were killing me and making me feel really miserable and worthless. There was no end to my frustration. My ego and pain-body actually took hold of me without my slightest guess about it. Only now, when some time has already passed I understand what was going on with me – my soul and my mind. Right now, I know that my consciousness was suffering and I was not conscious of my own Being like I am now.
Back then, in the army, the more I was thinking and analyzing, the worse outcomes I was predicting for myself. Of course, the world is not deprived of good people. One of those was my chaplain. He was the first one to tell me the ancient Sufi story and the words “this, too, will pass” which are still echoing in my mind since that time in the army. Already then I understand there was something more behind the words from Sufi story, something I still was to learn and experience, something great and remarkable, something worth wondering and living.
Those were only first guesses, maybe, even first signs of awakening about which I’ve been lucky to learn in this class. When I was young I also longed for appraisals and rewards, for attention and for good reputation. I cared more about the form of my personality rather than its inside – the soul. Like the most people who are kept imprisoned by their ego, I tend to think that money, richness, high social position, big house, nice car, reputation would make me happy.
However, after I’ve got to know God and reevaluated my life looking at it through the prism of Tolle’s ideas, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is nothing greater than peace of Good, eternal truth and love, and the harmony with the rest of the world. A few years before, I was leading a chaotic life fulfilling the wrong goals and purposes and wasting precious time on useless things. The poems we’ve read in class such as The Art of Disappearing by Nye, Song of a Man Who Has Come Through by Lawrence, When Death Comes by Oliver as well as the other poems make us think about our life and the way we live it.
We do not think of the “tap on the shoulder” or “knocking at the door in the night” which can catch us any moment during any activity and we will “tumble any second” and leave everything once and for all. These great poets who present their life experience and give us great advice on how to live the life to the fullest and not to waste precious moments on trivia. Negative thinking, arguing, complaining, gossiping, and lying take the bigger part of our life which is so dear and precious. The poem Leaves by Williams resembles our most frequent state of consciousness and our mind: A pair of red leaves spinning on one another
in such wildly erratic patterns over a frozen field it’s hard to tell one from another and whether if they were creatures they’d be in combat or courting or just exalting in the tremendousness of their being. Humans can be like that, capricious, aswirl, not often enough in exalting, but courting, yes, and combat; so often in combat, in rancor, in rage, we rarely even remember what error or lie set off this phase of our seeming to have to slaughter. Not leaves then, which after all in their season give themselves to the hammer of winter, become sludge, become muck, become mulch,
while we, still seething, broiling, stay as we are, vexation and violence, ax, atom, despair (Williams). So often I’ve caught myself spinning like that red leaf feeling “capricious, in combat, in rancor, and in rage”. I remember only the feeling and don’t even know what the cause of the problem or quarrel was. The time when I was attending high school I had regular quarrels with my father. I just remember the rage and the angriness I was feeling toward him. My pain-body was reminding me of all the negative experiences and the worst situations I had had. According to Williams, I was “vexation and violence, ax, atom, despair”.
My pain-body was merciless torturing my mind exacerbating my vision of problems, despair, misfortune, etc. However, now having those reminiscences of my so far and desperate past, I rejoice for having found God and for the new knowledge which gives me the opportunity to break free from my pain-body as well as my ego, at least at times. Ode to life titled When Death Comes by Mary Oliver serves as an inspiration for me. I feel the same way the poetess expresses herself in the line “the bridegroom taking the world into my arms”. I’m so happy I have this great chance to live and to observe all the beauty the life presents.
I really feel like a bridegroom who is happy and has many dreams and plans for his future marriage. The world is like my bride, who is also happy in her anticipation of the happy marriage life. In the moments of feeling great happiness just because I live and just because life is so wonderful, I think my ego becomes weak as it has nothing to complain and nothing to tell me off for. In the moments like this it seems that the world becomes a motionless ocean of peace, freedom, and joy, where I’m a little whale who rejoices rushing through the big waves and being scorched by the summer sun.
In the moments like this I think I’m very close to awakening and I begin to long for it more and more. I’m Christian and very religious person and the peace of God which I can experience only through losing myself and reaching my inner space is the highest point of my happiness. Therefore, I think that Bible and such books as Tolle’s A New Earth (if there more like this one) are to be taught at school. From the early years children would learn how to control their ego in order not to become reserved, egoistic, ignorant, and rebellious individuals.
This art of awakening Tolle is speaking about is to be the core subjects at national schools. Children who know their inner purpose and who learn to enjoy their life and the things they do will become confident, wise, and level-minded citizens of their country. A new generation of people with completely different mindset and worldview will populate the earth and it will be ‘a new earth’ Tolle is speaking about. Today children are very clever and even genius, but most of them are spoiled by being allowed to do anything they want and to have anything they wish.
The violence regularly broadcasted on the television and the aggression showcased in the videogames both are the second teachers of contemporary children. This is sad experience and most parents complain about inability to influence their child. On this account Tolle says that “in addition to reactivity, negative thinking, and personal drama, the pain-body also renews itself vicariously through the cinema and television screen” (p. 153). Thus, there is a need in radical changes in approaches to education and child upbringing in today’s world of war and violence.
The evolution of the mind or transformation of the soul of the whole generation might take several years. If this generation is not completely transformed, the next generation or the descendants of the previous generation will have entirely different attitude to life as well as to other people. The war will be seen as the worst and useless of evils of humankind, something which is totally incompatible with the mode of life of the new generation. Tolle’s ideas of freeing from ego and reaching the inner space can be incorporated into the courses taught at contemporary educational establishments.
Transformation of mind nationwide or (which would be much more powerful and fascinating) worldwide would bring radical changes to the life course of humanity and bring fresh breath of refined air to the world history of humankind. The world would be free of egoistic consciousness ruling the world and leading to wars and conflicts. Full realization of who you are by every person will lead to reevaluation of the existing order of things. Every human being will become conscious of his/her consciousness which will increase the degree of valuing of one’s own life as well as someone else’s life.
There won’t be people unsure in their strengths or having addictions, because everyone would realize his/her inner purpose redirecting all the efforts onto its fulfillment. This is a vision I have for the future of humanity, but you never know what future holds. The only person you can change and influence is yourself. According to great philosopher Confucius “by three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest”.
I think that reaching our inner space through losing yourself and awakening is possible with the help of the first method. Something, we can learn by imitation. The essence of life cannot be learned without the experience, even though the bitterest of the methods. Realization of my own self and becoming conscious of my own Being makes me free and happy. I still remember the advice a Zen master gave to the monk which was to listen to the mountain stream. Very often now I try to listen to those sounds and noises of the world and of the universe.
My soul is in tune with the melody of rain, the buzzing bee, the rustle of the leaves in the wind, noise of the ocean waves. I’m so happy to be here at this moment. I don’t care much what others might think or say. I’m not bothered with my physical appearance. I can also say about myself “happy is how I look and that’s all”. I feel sorry for those innocent people who don’t realize who they are and why they live this life. I feel sorry for people who waste their life in the pursuit of wealth and money, for those fighting for the position in the society and for having power.
These people are in constant pursuit of some illusionary happiness which, they think, is confined in physical forms like luxurious houses, expensive cars, luxuriant jewelry, stylish clothes, etc. All these things are toys of the grown up children who can’t live without playing expensive teddy bears and dolls. These people are in constant rush and search of something they don’t possess yet. They live in such a hustle their whole life and never stop to think of their inner purpose, their true Being, the real sense of life.
However, most of this people regret wasting their life on things like those, but the afterthought and realization of the precious time being lost often comes too late or sometimes never comes. I want to live my life to the fullest and to enjoy every bit of its moment. I’m sitting here and writing this essay and I do enjoy it so much. This is a conclusion of what I’ve learned and understood so far after having taken this course. I think my moral growth and development has started just on time and I plan to move in this direction my whole life. I don’t want to lose the feeling of awakening I’ve come so close to.
When thoughts like these began to spin around in my head I want to close my eyes and to relax and to reach my inner space and to feel the freedom and the unity and the harmony of the universe. Transformation of my mind and my soul and realization of my presence here in this moment, becoming conscious of my consciousness is real and possible. I think the humanity has a chance for a change and mind transformation. Only such radical changes which take place on the spiritual level are capable of making humanity different, more peaceful and less violent, less reserved and more open-minded.
Such a transformation on conscious and spiritual level enables moral development and growth not only of one person or group of people, but the whole humanity of generations to come. Tolle’s vision of the New Earth is not a Utopia, it is a reality which is yet to be reached and found. Having put together Tolle’s ideas expressed in his book and the ideas expressed in the poems we have read, I’ve come to realize that the humanity has the possibility to become better and kinder. However, we still need time, patience, and wisdom of the people who are ready and long for the moral development and transformation of their mind.
I see the new humankind free of conflicts and wars, of threatening weapons of mass destruction. To make it real, the ideas like Tolle’s need to be spread and discussed. The conscious transformations of the mind and soul of the humankind will take years, but it all depends on every individual ready for change and willing to start the process right now from the attempt to hear the mountain stream, buzzing bee, or flitting sparrow. I feel excited for the future of humanity which is a possibility, not an option.
Every person living according to the inner and outer purposes merged together. Everyone being free and happy in how they live and what they do is the reality of A New Earth. I’m happy how I am, but I want the others to be happy as well. I wish others the good and happiness I feel myself. To sum up, Tolle’s ideas present us great chance. Life is too short and existing forms are temporal, while fundamental truth, harmony with universe, and peace of God are eternal. I’ve made my choice already and I’m in the search of my inner purpose, which I hope will merge with my outer purpose.
I think if I’m ready to the transformation of my consciousness and to the new changes it might bring, then the humanity is ready for such transformation as well. I’m one of the human beings and I’ve realized the great power and great blessing of the awakening and peace of God, so the others will come to such an understanding and enlightenment too. The proverb “life was never meant to be easy” must have been invented by a pessimistic person, who was never ready for positive change and for the possibility of mind transformation or freeing from his ego.
To look at life from the inside of one’s inner space you will see how beautiful and harmonious it is. Only pain-body or the ego can spoil this beautiful vision. I will repeat myself and state that happy is how I look. Moreover I’m standing in front of the awakening and ready for the transformation within. The universe lives in me and I live in the universe. This is as true as the sun rises in the morning and the stars shine in the cloudless blue sky at night. Whoever you are, you are my friend and I wish you the same happiness and sooner awakening.
The sooner the humanity realizes the values of intrinsic good, eternal truth, peace of God, the need of awakening, the sooner there will be an end of their problems, sufferings, depressions, and disillusions. A New Earth is giving birth to the new children of human race, who have totally different worldview and visions of themselves and the others. They are egoless, conscious and awakened beings who value the truth and the peace of God. I’m one of those few children and there are much more to be born. Work Cited Tolle, Eckhart. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. New York: The Plum Book, 2005. Print.