Eckhart Tolle and a Living Reality


Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin

5 years ago I started reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. I got about 2 chapters in before choosing a different book instead. I started reading it again just a few days ago and I swear I’ve never read a single word of this book before. I guess that 5 years of life experience have given me “New Eyes” or something.

Today’s quote that made me pause and scramble to find a pen:

Most people don’t inhabit a living reality, but a conceptualized one.

This book is all about the Ego and how “I” am not who “I” think “I” am. Damn that hurts the brain. Tolle talks about this stuff in a way that makes sense to me like nothing I’ve read on the subject until now. And it really does feel profound.

I really do spend most of my time living in a reality constructed by my obsession with relationships, titles, possessions, anxieties, theories, political ideals, religious affiliation (or lack thereof), feelings of accomplishment, feelings of failure, thoughts about how many people will read/”like”/comment on this blog, and the list goes on and on and on.

So what does a “Living Reality” look like? I am sure I can’t define it in these words, but I believe I have experienced it a few times in my life. When I witnessed my wife magically bring the life of my 2 kids into this world. When my wife told me her campus was on lockdown with reports of an active shooter (After several tense minutes, we discovered it was precautionary due to an arrest in the area). When I stood in the shower suddenly taken in by the sheer real-ness of a shower tile. There are more, but these are a few instances I have seen my conceptualized reality fall away revealing something deeper/truer.

Here’s to hoping my “New Eyes” will see more on the next page!


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