Photo courtesy of Kim Eng © 2004
"Why write another book?" a friend of mine commented when I told him I had just started writing A New Earth. "What else can you possibly say that you haven't said already in The Power of Now?"
I could see his point. Countless people from all over the globe had been writing in to tell me that reading The Power of Now had been a life-changing experience for them. So why was I writing another book?
The process began in the same way as it had with The Power of Now—a strong sense that there was a book that wanted to be written. It felt almost as if the book already existed in the unmanifested realm and wanted me to bring it into this world. Many times in my life, it has been my experience that the most powerful starting point for any endeavor is not the question, What do I want?, but What does Life (God, Consciousness) want from me? How do I serve the whole?
Already in the early stages of writing A New Earth, I realized that, although the same essential truth was being expressed (or rather pointed to) as in The Power of Now, this truth was being approached in a very different way. It was pointed to through narrative rather than dialogue, and although it was expressed powerfully, it was approached less forcefully, somewhat more gently. And the teaching had been evolving. Some of the new perspectives and helpful pointers that had spontaneously arisen in hundreds of talks and teaching sessions I had given all over the world during the seven years after The Power of Now was first published became incorporated into the new book. But there was also an added sense of urgency, a realization that what the planet and humanity need most is a shift in consciousness, a spiritual awakening. Without it, we perpetuate the insanity of the past (which we can see most clearly in the history of the 20th century) or, at best, we only treat the symptoms of the disease, not the underlying cause. The disease, of course, is the collective dysfunction of the egoic mind.
Although The Power of Now reached far more people than I ever thought possible, I realized, even as I was writing A New Earth, that the new book would make the teaching, without diluting it, accessible to an even wider audience, including the many people who perhaps would not have dreamt of reading a spiritual book but have within them an unrecognized longing for spiritual awakening. With Oprah's support and blessings, this wider audience is now being reached. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Oprah for her enormous contribution to the awakening of humanity and the arising of a new earth.
I invite you to join Oprah and myself in our weekly online sessions. We will be studying A New Earth, but not as an academic subject or in order to acquire new theories or beliefs. Our aim is to explore through the teachings of the book the most important question you can ask: What is the purpose of my life and how do I fulfill that purpose? It will be a course in self-exploration and awakening. It will help you see what the dysfunctional patterns are within yourself that create unnecessary conflict and suffering and prevent you from finding true fulfillment. Hopefully, it will also help you access a dimension within yourself that perhaps you didn't know existed or only caught glimpses of on rare occasions. Don't be trapped for the rest of your life within the narrow confines of your personal history and your conditioned personality and allow your life to be transformed from within, through the power of consciousness itself.
— Eckhart Tolle
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Published on June 09, 2008