This comparative reading response paper discusses the books A New Earth and The Spiritual Child. The author reflects on their journey towards spiritual awakening and the impact of spirituality on parenting and personal growth. The paper highlights the importance of mindfulness, meditation, and prayer in daily life.
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Comparative reading response paperThe books I chose were A New Earth, Create A Better Life by Eckhart Tolle and 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 what constitutes a better life. The version I was living was not a bad life, but an empty one,it lacked meaning, purpose and a connective transcendent relationship. 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 and Lifelong Thriving because I wanted to know how my parenting has impacted onmy children health and thriving, even though they are adults they are still my children. I was aware that nurture and nature play significant roles and precursors to social, educational, behavioural outcomes. Had I overlooked theirspiritual development in the pursuit of academic development and successes? I wanted to self-reflect on this question. I was curious about the benefits and power spirituality had on a child’s development. A New Earth presented me with many contemplative challenges. To spiritually benefit from reading it I was forced to examine myself. The book offered explanations for the world-view and belief systems I held. Through reading it I became aware of how I had been living and reacting to situations primarily fromthe unconscious and not from a state of consciousness, awareness and living in the present. “Until the new consciousness, which is awareness based, grows and becomes more firmly established in the human psyche, temporary regression to the egoic state of consciousness ( or rather unconsciousness ) can easily occur. (p,xvi) The solution then is clearly to be aware of the ego because awareness and ego cannot coexist, and to do that one has to awaken.“This books main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift of consciousness, that is to say, to waken.” (Tolle, 2005, p,6,7) Tolle claims that I can awaken to this shift 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 that perpetuate the unawakened state.” ( p,7)I had begun the process of “awakening” prior to reading this book, I could not name 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 did not comply to the version of me they knew. I was given the appellation of crazy, rationalised by others as the result of the trauma I had experienced. The last four years have been tumultuous, medically, relationally, spiritually and psychologically. Circumstances in the last few years have capitulated me into a crisis. Serious medical issues, three major surgeries, near death trauma, weeks in hospital followed by months of home nursing care. Psychological counselling 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 undeniably confused mind in need of salving. I had to become present, aware and consciousfor reparation. I needed to authentically honour myself. All I had previously identified with was no longer important. I had been living life per and for the standards and values of others, and meeting the needs and wants of others at the exclusion of mine. I was the perpetual child seeking approval from disapproving parents with shifting and impossible goalposts and rigid values. “The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but in the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness” (Tolle,2005, p,14) I agree with Tolle, my dysfunction, my own madness, doing the 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 the ego, you won’t recognise it, and it will trick you into identifying with it again and 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 ego for what was, the major obstacle in man’s spiritual happiness. Suffering is created when the ego identifies completely with form. It does this either throughidentification with 1) physical form, by gender, race, status or socio condition.
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