Thoughts on humanity from a theological and psychological point of view...
A New Earth
by Eckhart Tolle
Commentary by Peter K Bullock,
A new age, a new era, even a new species is arising
This new development is a result of a new “consciousness”
New consciousness = break with the ego defined as “self”
New consciousness (awareness) is that elusive sense that is not attached to the ego (which is, according to Tolle, at best a functional operation and at worst a “false self”)
New consciousness, or break with attachment to “ego” frees one from pain, anxiety, depression and the general malaise of neurosis of human suffering
The “I” that emerges with this new consciousness is transcendent and eternal
As such, these “enlightened” beings can envision and even help bring about a “New Earth”
Tolle’s book, published in 2005 and on bookshelves recently, is an interesting, thoughtful reflection on certain “spiritual” insights. I cannot help but think of “Quoheleth” the “preacher” (Ecclesiates in the OT) who said “there is nothing new under the sun” – (350
Sidarrtha Gautama (463
The Buddha thought that life as perceived through our body and mind is an illusion and therefore pain and suffering and even happiness is an illusion and an illusion does not exist, ergo, no pain, etc
Paul (Circa 60 AD)
“Don’t let the world (ego) press you into it’s mold, but be transformed by having the mind of Christ in you.” “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ who lives in me.” If any be in Christ Jesus they are a new being.
C G Jung (Early 20th Century)
Jung, along with Freud, the delineator of the unconscious or psyche or soul. Inner transformation occurs only by an inner search to find, understand, or at least grasp some knowledge of “who am I really?” His great contribution concerns archetypes, unconscious constellations of meaningful drives and motivations all out of consciousness. The goal is to bring into consciousness through awareness. Two of these archetypes “anima” (female) and “animus” (male) Tolle refers to, but in a simplistic and stereotypical manner, and even reduces these feminine and masculine characteristics to a description of countries in terms of how women are seen and treated.
Juan Ramón Jiménez (1973)
Tolle’s construction I (the emerged new consciousness) am not I (the ego)
I am not I.
I am this one
Walking beside me whom I do not see,
Whom at times I manage to visit,
And at other times I forget.
The one who remains silent when I talk,
The one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
The one who takes a walk when I am indoors,
The one who will remain standing when I die.
Without sounding too critical, my experience of “The New Earth” is that it is a rehash of ideas and concepts that are in fact ancient. To his credit, Tolle compiles these (sort of) with a readable, and I might add “easy” enough notions to make his book marketable. Actually, what he says is not refreshingly said, but I certainly would not deny him the right to say – or sell it. Gurus come and go. I have been temporarily fascinated by my share. There is only one of whom it is said “there is no shadow of turning” and He remains the same today and forever – and He is Love – and that is the last thing standing when all else has fallen.
Several days later I saw the fox – graceful, head up, tail straight out, gliding over the green and brown grass, its winter fur still mottled. Its form fell behind a rise and I saw only a glimpse as she slipped into the foliage. “So that’s the fox my wife has been talking about – and not too friendly, either.” That fox had taken her egg. A couple of weeks went by and all of a sudden we saw three foxes, the mother and two kits busily frolicking in the meadow like grass that passes for our lawn. I thought to myself that fox family has been here 10,000 years. They shed their winter fur, ate goose eggs and have been here since when the southern tips of the last Ice Age glacier was only ninety miles north. The geese were here also, proudly, loudly and fiercely protective – the reason for their existence.
We have here in our wooded space turkey and rabbits and woodchucks and deer and herons and weasels and blue jays and hummingbirds and cardinals and squirrels and they all have been here 10,000 years. There used to be twenty turkeys, but suddenly there were only two, and we thought – Hunters! We soon discovered why there were only two. Because one day following them, the male out in front and the female leading them, there were a dozen small furry, flapping, stumbling, fledgling turkeys. Life abounding. We watched them as they made their rounds and noticed one day there were only nine– not twelve. Then, just recently, we could count only five. The parents still majestic and strutting.
I reflected on the wonder of life and its continuity, its ebb and flow, its birth and death, its persistent resilience. As I felt the privilege and gratitude of witnessing just a small piece of the journey, I was caught up in a sense of peace and comfort, knowing that I and we, are part of the great sojourn – and here since the ice stopped only ninety miles away.
PKB, July 2008
Sermon on the Mount
by Peter K Bullock,
Recently I was subjected to a YouTube presentation which used some sound bites from an Obama speech. Wherein he was pointing out what parts of the “Bible” we would use to guide our nation; a Leviticus line that supports slavery, a Deuteronomic line that says children should be stoned to death if they refute the faith or the Sermon on the Mount which would render our defense system irrelevant. His point was that the Bible says many different things, all of them contextual, and not to be used selectively, as so many on the “right” do.
The presentation went on in a rant reminiscent of fascist propaganda in its’ claim that Obama disbelieves or dierespects the Bible. He [Obama] then adds that people in general “aren’t reading their Bible.” The presenter was aghast that anyone would suggest that people don’t read their Bible, because good cultural evangelical born again Christians DO read the Bible; of course, literally, uncritically, without insight or appreciation for the developmental character of the Holy Script. Of course they read “their” Bible, and do so in the same way that magical thinking, fantasy prone and literalistic children do. The more insidious suggestion is that Obama is not a good moral man, much less a Christian. As for taking the Sermon on the Mount seriously, one might point out:
When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life and yet fail to acknowledge that your policies ignore his essential teaching or turn them on their head
(you know, Sermon on the Mount stuff like never returning violence for violence and those who live by the sword shall die by the sword)
you are doing something immoral.
Dr Robin Meyers
Why the Christian Right is Wrong
(Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ)
As long as one wishes to throw stones while living in glass houses, one could be reminded that McCain’s whole life has been devoted to militarism – and he is a self admitted adulterer – and he and his cartoon running mate are proven guilty of bearing false witness eg, the Keating affair, and she being called on her use of unethical power in a recent Alaskan legal decision.
One final observation. Those who make the “country first” “the Bible” and the “flag” as idols are guilty of the first of the 10 Commandment (you shall have no other gods before me), but, what can one expect from a Sunday School level of moral development, lack of reflective insight or sadly, just plain ignorance.If anyone is interested in seeing the video that prompted this -- here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi-V_ilJu0w