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Comparative reading response paperThe books I chose were A New Earth, Create A Better Life by Eckhart Tolleand The Spiritual Child by Lisa Miller. The reason I chose “A New Earth,Create A Better Life” was simple, I wanted the manual and insight into whatconstitutes a better life. The version I was living was not a bad life, but anempty one,it lacked meaning, purpose and a connective transcendentrelationship. I was seeking direction, motivation and mastery in the skill of self-improvement.I chose The Spiritual Child, The New Science on Parenting for Health andLifelong Thriving because I wanted to know how my parenting has impacted onmy children health and thriving, even though they are adults they are still mychildren. I was aware that nurture and nature play significant roles andprecursors to social, educational, behavioural outcomes. Had I overlooked theirspiritual development in the pursuit of academic development and successes? Iwanted to self-reflect on this question. I was curious about the benefits andpower spirituality had on a child’s development.A New Earth presented me with many contemplative challenges. To spirituallybenefit from reading it I was forced to examine myself. The book offeredexplanations for the world-view and belief systems I held. Through reading it Ibecame aware of how I had been living and reacting to situations primarily fromthe unconscious and not from a state of consciousness, awareness and living inthe present.“Until the new consciousness, which is awareness based, growsand becomes more firmly established in the human psyche, temporaryregression to the egoic state of consciousness ( or rather unconsciousness ) caneasily occur. (p,xvi) The solution then is clearly to be aware of the ego becauseawareness and ego cannot coexist, and to do that one has to awaken.“Thisbooks main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or totry to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift of consciousness, thatis to say, to waken.” (Tolle, 2005, p,6,7) Tolle claims that I can awaken to thisshift of consciousness, if I was ready. “An essential part of the awakening is therecognition of the unawakened you, the ego as it thinks, speaks and acts, as wellas the recognition of the collectively conditioned mental processes thatperpetuate the unawakened state.” ( p,7)I had begun the process of “awakening” prior to reading this book, I could notname for it, but internally changes were stirring. There were incessant and
disturbing questions which became unrelenting and frequent in their demand foranswers. This created repercussions in all my relationships, my behaviour didnot comply to the version of me they knew. I was given the appellation ofcrazy, rationalised by others as the result of the trauma I had experienced.The last four years have been tumultuous, medically, relationally, spirituallyand psychologically. Circumstances in the last few years have capitulated meinto a crisis. Serious medical issues, three major surgeries, near death trauma,weeks in hospital followed by months of home nursing care. Psychologicalcounselling to prepare me for the major surgery to follow in the new year,breakdown of a long-term marriage and recently more surgery. These traumaticlife altering events, were the beginning of the awakening of my consciousness.“A glimpse is enough to initiate the awakening process, which is irreversible.”(Tolle, 2005, p,7)The glimpse was confronting, it exposed an inauthentic and undeniablyconfused mind in need of salving. I had to become present, aware and consciousfor reparation. I needed to authentically honour myself. All I had previouslyidentified with was no longer important. I had been living life per and for thestandards and values of others, and meeting the needs and wants of others at theexclusion of mine.I was the perpetual child seeking approval fromdisapproving parents with shifting and impossible goalposts and rigid values.“The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, ortechnology, but in the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness”(Tolle,2005, p,14) I agree with Tolle, my dysfunction, my own madness, doingthe same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.“That is why this book shows the main aspects of the ego and how they operatein the individual as well as in the collective. This is important for two reason:The first is that unless you know the basic mechanics behind the working of theego, you won’t recognise it, and it will trick you into identifying with it againand again. This means it takes you over, an imposter pretending to be you.”(Tolle, 2005,p,8)The only way to do that was to awaken to consciousness and recognise the egofor what was, the major obstacle in man’s spiritual happiness. Suffering iscreated when the ego identifies completely with form. It does this either throughidentification with 1) physical form, by gender, race, status or socio condition.