just a moment
I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose. It’s essentially about the ego and the suffering it causes. He advises that the key to living a life without suffering is to free yourself from the torment of the ego and the constant barrage of thoughts it manifests. Thoughts are useless, he claims. They are nothing more than mind-chatter that serve no purpose other than to keep you trapped in your own head.
He recommends observing our thoughts without judgment or attachment as a way that we can dissolve the ego. This means being in the present moment, and not letting our thoughts and emotions control us. When we’re present, we’re not identified with our thoughts and emotions. We’re just observing them.
Letting go is not that easy, though. Thoughts are sneaky and they have a way of creeping in when you least expect them. But with practice, you can learn to let them go and live in the present moment. And that’s where true freedom lies.
He also advocates meditation, mindfulness, and letting go of attachments.
It’s no secret that as a society, we’re pretty well obsessed with acquiring stuff. We’re bombarded with pitch after pitch lambasting us if we don’t have the latest and greatest gizmo, the trendiest clothes, and the newest car. It’s a made-up lifestyle that’s been packaged and spoon-fed to the masses. And we’ve gobbled it up like gluttonous pigs. But are we happy?
According to psychologist Tim Kasser, we’re not. In fact, Kasser found that people who place a lot of value on material possessions are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
As a remedy, he believes that we need to change our focus from acquiring stuff to living a more meaningful and fulfilling life. One way to do this is by embracing a minimalist lifestyle.
A minimalist lifestyle is all about living with less. This doesn’t mean going without, but it does mean being more intentional about the things you allow into your life. It’s about quality over quantity and finding joy in experiences rather than things.
It seems pretty reasonable to assume these two principles kind of go hand-in-hand. That is to say, killing the ego, and living with less. Scaling back on acquiring; that’s easily done. Eckhart’s abstract concepts, on the other hand, are more of a challenge to grasp, but I can honestly say I think I’ve got it.
I truly have awakened to my life’s purpose.
I am now completely thoughtless, and very little pleases me.