The book, ‘A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose’ is convenient for one to read when feeling down. The book falls under the motivation category. This is evident because the author Tolle tries to encourage people to find the true meaning of life in the book. In the sixth chapter of the book ‘Breaking Free’ Tolle (2008) tries to explain why people behave violently as they do. He says that people with a strong pain-body emit some form of unpleasant energy. According to Tolle this leads to conflict between this group of individuals and the rest of society. Tolle says that pain-body's main trigger is to go through some unpleasant experiences in the past, among other reasons. Larkin (1953), in his poem ‘Days’ speaks of people wondering what days are about. He argues that days should be happy and should not involve priests and doctors to solve the answers to the issues. This can be attributed to emotional pain individuals go through on a daily basis. This supports Tolle’s argument that for people to be free of emotional pain they need to communicate with others. This shows that for people to be happy as they ought to and to find the true meaning of life they need to discuss what they feel with other people such as counselors, doctors and priests.
In chapter seven of the book ‘A New Earth’, Tolle explains why one can never know who he or she is. The chapter titled ‘Finding out Who You Are’ speaks about how people choose to find their true identity. He uses several arguments to explain that an individual’s perception of the self is on the basis of the opinions and actions of others. Deresiewicz, a poet and former lecturer at Yale University argues with the concept of self in his poem ‘The End of Solitude’ in a similar way. According to the two writers, people are afraid to know their true self and choose to reflect their personality through the opinions of others. In the book ‘A New Earth’, the coverage of the subject of solitude is in a more similar way as it is in "The End of Solitude" poem, both argue that even those who seek to dig deeper to find the secrets of their lives, finally end up searching for more information from others. This, according to ‘The End of Solitude’ poem happens because solitude is not for everyone. People want to be accepted by others and will seek others opinions so as to know whether they fit into the social groups. Tolle uses short illustrative stories to support his opinions, which aim at explaining how the ego affects the discovery of the true self.
My favorite passage in chapter six is the one that talks about acceptance being the first step towards emotional freedom. ‘After Knowing and accepting emotional pain, the rest will follow’, (p112). Tolle expands his idea about the presence of pain-body by stating that to handle emotional pain one must accept it is present. He says that when an individual accepts pain-body is present it becomes almost impossible for the emotions to take over a person (Tolle 2008, 99). An experience I once had about acceptance of emotional pain involves a friend who for long ignored his emotions,what he did not know is that he was setting himself up for serious physical illness. It took a long time for him to shed off his violent behaviors because acceptance was an issue with him. This behavior stopped after he acknowledged that indeed he had a problem and accepted to face it.
Tolle, the author of ‘A New Earth’ (2008), captures my attention in the passage on how unconscious people remain unconscious of their identity. “Unconscious people-remain trapped in their egos, they identify themselves in terms of their names, careers, history and whatever they identify with” (p113). In this chapter titled ‘Knowing Who You Are’ Tolle (2008) argues that many people identify themselves with their surrounding (pp113-114). This is interesting because these people believe that by so doing they can know their true self and yet while they are not aware of their personality. From a personal experience many people fail to acknowledge whom they are, they live lives of loneliness simply because they fail to know their true worth. I have seen a couple who have ended up in solitude because they laid much emphasis on others approval of their selves. Others will continue to love someone who does not love them back. This is because their friends think that the individual can be a good couple with the person they love. These experiences show how people are unconscious of themselves to the point of not identifying factors that are pulling them back in their lives.
In conclusion, to end the solitude and conflicts with the rest of the society one must realize his or her true identity. This will assist a person to accept the issues causing pain in life. This is what will then assist one to break free of emotional pain and live a happy life.
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