The most constructive thing for people desiring to change the way they perceive life is to read all chapters of Tolles book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Lifes Purpose. I cannot imagine what would have happened in my life in case I had never had the opportunity to read this book. The most important element Tolle highlights is that everyone in the world has a problem with the ego. Apart from it, there is also an outer and inner purpose. The former tends to focus on ones doing while the latter is primarily concerned with being. I doubt that I would relate well with other people without Tolles ideas. On the contrary, the relationship would be the biggest problem for me as an individual. I must also admit that my friendship with different companions is still at stake if I do not strictly follow what I have learned through this book, various course documents, and the posts presented by numerous course mates. I have grown and changed tremendously because I now understand how to handle different issues without necessarily allowing the pain body to control me. Everything that I experience has been easier to deal with because of the acceptance and recognition of the pain body in me. This factor has played an instrumental role in shaping the way I carry myself around in the course of life. The best thing about Tolles ideas is that they apply to every individual around the world. They are not selective, as they emphasize the need to awaken and take up a new approach to life. This essay explicates the view that Tolles ideas and the entire class readings have facilitated my growth and changing as a person in terms of dealing with other people I meet in my daily life.
One of the key things that I cannot fail to connect to in this book is the arising of the new consciousness about which Tolle talks in Chapter 1. New consciousness comes to people when they can rediscover themselves and move ahead in the best ways possible. Many of us, including me, have dysfunctions in our lives but find it difficult to correct them and take on new challenges. Tolles reference to Gautama Siddhartha, who received the title Buddha because of his realization of human madness and dysfunctions, is one of the most touching aspects of the whole story. For instance, he says, A man called Gautama Siddhartha, who lived 2,600 years ago in India, was perhaps the first who saw it with absolute clarity. Later, the title Buddha was conferred upon him. Buddha means the awakened one (Tolle 15). It implies that the discovery of our madness is the key to living a quality life or even receiving recognition within the society. In the course of my life, I have always looked for an opportunity to be an open-minded person and coexist peacefully with other individuals in the community. I have imagined that people see weaknesses in me but fail to tell me. However, the question I did not ask myself is whether I realized my madness as a person. Before getting the opportunity to read this book, I was in the dark as I did not necessarily know what the awakening is. My desire to awaken after reading the first chapter of this book motivated me to visit my mentor. We had a long discussion on what I should do to eliminate the undesirable dots in my life. It has not been easy adjusting to the directions she offered me concerning how to discover my errors as a person and live in the best ways possible within the society. However, the details on the awakening and their significance to my everyday life are the reason I am writing this essay. The progress toward my awakening has been positive so far because without it I would have stood the risk of losing friends at every given time. My friends could not tolerate me because they thought I was so full of myself owing to my personal dysfunction that I had never discovered before reading this book.
The course document, A Human Being is Part of a Whole by Albert Einstein resonates with what I have understood about the need to awaken and put aside the self in me. I have always had a fear that it would have been difficult for me to associate with other people I meet in my life in case I had never had the opportunity to gain an insight into how individuals should live. Einstein says, This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion... It means that most individuals are deluded about their personality and do not give the opportunity to other people or elements of nature. I had been held in this kind of prison limited to the individual nature throughout my years; therefore, writing this essay really matters to me. It had been dangerous to me before I realized the essence of awakening and doing everything possible to accommodate other people within my circles. Currently, the major thing at stake is that some people who knew me from my childhood are still skeptical of being my friends. The reason for this skepticism is their perception of me as an individual only limited to my personality.
During my peer review, I came across what my classmate Emily had written in her post about the significance of opening up and dealing with other people effectively. Her post was extremely gripping, especially the view that we should always aim at creating positivity in our environments rather than limiting our interactions with only a few individuals. I learned from her life story that she believed that the best way to live is to be self-centered without catering for the needs of other people. According to her post, it is clear that life is only fascinating when we are free-minded people not limited by the desires of the ego. Her post was informative as it offered the lesson that individuals could be left alone in cases they do not appreciate others because of their ego. I personally do not want to find myself in a terrible situation where I am completely lonely because friends, who would be of significance to me, deserted me.
Furthermore, the aspect of the pain body has been an inescapable part of this course. It is worth mentioning that the negative effects of the pain body affect almost every individual around the globe in one way or another. Moreover, it keeps renewing itself as long as people accept to live with it. Nowadays, the key risk that my pain body has been causing in my life is still associated with the loss of friends. The only way to overcome the negative tendencies of the pain body is to understand how to free oneself from it. Both personal and collective pain bodies emanating from what happened in the past or will occur in the future have severe consequences when not managed appropriately. While illustrating how to manage pain bodies, Tolle says, The beginning of freedom from the pain-body lies first of all in the realization that you have a pain body (Tolle 101). This statement means that we should always focus on knowing that we have pain bodies and it would help us live in peace with all the other people. As noted before, I personally meant to write this essay to basically tell my story. In addition, I aimed at showing that I face the risk of having lesser friends in my life if I am not serious with the views asserted in the readings. When I was a child, I remember growing up with one of the naughtiest bullies in my hometown. There were many children in the estate, and we usually played together as it is usual for kids. I did not understand how this bully boy only targeted me. He hit and abused me many times, but I did not have a defense since he warned me that I would face grave consequences if he were to be punished for his behavior. Thus, I was always forced to wash away my tears and return to the house pretending as if nothing had happened. This situation went on for a long time, developing into a pain body. I later realized its effects in the future as I started meeting different people. I could not allow people to make a joke of me, as I had always a desire to hit them. The lack of self-control with the pain body made many people turn away from me, as I could not accept these unpleasant situations at any given time.
While thinking about the significance of dealing with the pain body, I can make relevant connections to what Rumi says in the course document, Guest House. The best way to live and bring more people closer to you is to have a heart that is always ready to welcome and overcome any negative feelings. For instance, Rumi says, The dark thought, the shame, the malice / meet them at the door laughing / and invite them in. This phrase means that as individuals, we should always look forward to being fresh. Moreover, we should stand against any negative feelings that might occur in our lives by laughing off or just smiling at them. It is automatic that I would stand the risk of not making new friends if I would not have come across such ideas throughout this course. Learning how to welcome different emotions is one way of accepting and breaking away from the pain body and the overall senseless things in which it could result. It would be better to continue focusing on the positive aspects of life rather than only looking at the negative ones that are reflective of the pain body and its effects on the survival of individuals.
In our peer interactions, many of my friends shared how they have attempted to overcome their pain bodies, as they move on with life. In particular, I remember the posts by Lay and Emily where both of them revealed how pain bodies have been a hindrance in their lives. For instance, one of the worst problems I learned from their posts is the tendency of the pain body to bring ill feelings to their family members. None of us wants a situation where we have conflicts with our family members because of the persistence and the regeneration of the pain body. The participation of other class members in the post writing also offered me the opportunity to understand the view that pain bodies are not limited to particular individuals. On the contrary, they tend to be a common occurrence to everyone at least in their past or future.
Moreover, another crucial point mentioned throughout the course is the purpose, which is one common thing that drives everyone around the world. However, the fundamental issue refers to the ability of an individual to differentiate between the outer and the inner purpose, as Tolle explicates these two aspects in the book. As mentioned earlier, the former is transient and is mostly concerned with doing while the latter is primarily and mainly associated with being. In the clarification of purpose, Tolle says, Without living in alignment with your primary purpose, whatever purpose you come up with, even if it is to create heaven on earth, will be of the ego or destroyed by time (161). This statement underlines the significance of the inner purpose as the main one in the lives of individuals. Realizing my purpose has always been the most challenging thing in life, especially because I never understood the difference between the outer and the inner purpose. For instance, my choice of careers was changing constantly since I was a child, as once I thought I would become a pilot and later preferred a career of a teacher. However, the best way to achieve ones purpose is by following the inner purpose, which is the key to everything in life. With the focused reference to the risks facing my friendships, I think it still remains clear that an inner purpose guides them. The main thing I have to discover here is that I should remain focused on the primary role of friendships instead of paying too much attention to the outer purpose that keeps changing. It is possible to change friends each day when one focuses on the outer purpose rather than on the inner one. My main aim of building friendships was to satisfy my ego and desire to have people around. Instead, I should have focused on how we could help one another as friends. I think it was an outer purpose that kept changing, hence leading me to change friends frequently and look forward to finding new ones who satisfied the ego. In line with the discussions above about friends, the stake in my life is that I would be unable to make permanent friends with this kind of purpose. The most significant change would be to have friendships driven by the inner purpose of mutual benefit in any relationship.
In the course documents, the quote by Plato sums up the movement toward purpose among individuals. The focus on the inner purpose seems to indicate the view that people are fighting a difficult battle for its realization. The most important thing is that the inner purpose comes through continued persistence and fighting against any potential challenges. In this quote, Plato says, Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. It means that persons are taking the opportunity to fight for their lifes purpose in the hardest ways possible. For instance, in my friendship matters, I feel I have to continue to fight to keep friends rather than take them for granted and fall into the risk of losing many of them. The key problem with the outer purpose is its tendency to fade away within the shortest time possible. On the contrary, the inner purpose lasts for a long time and backs up the attainment of the outer purpose. Concerning the posts brought up by my classmates, Lus discussion of the essence of purpose in life and the importance of knowing what the inner purpose is all about highly inspired me. Lu connected directly to Tolles discussion of the outer and inner purpose, revealing that it is critical for individuals to appreciate their being instead of being disrupted by what they are doing. The focus on what we are doing tends to lead to frustrations when we fail to achieve something. To overcome these frustrations, the inner purpose would be more helpful and instrumental in leading to the creation of better opportunities to succeed in a persons life.
Different aspects I have learned in this class have automatically made me grow and change positively. Firstly, my knowledge and findings of the ego and its effects on individuals have helped me to grow and transform into an open-minded person. Furthermore, I have grown in terms of the way I interact and relate with things around me. Instead of being critical of everything I came across, I perceive things with an open mind. My change presupposes that I have realized that the ego is a form of prison that tends to limit us in terms of our reasoning. I have grown and changed because I have evolved from a judgmental person to an individual who automatically appreciates what other creatures and individuals have to offer within the society. I could say I have grown and changed in the way I look at other things. Moreover, I am living in tandem with Tolles assertion that, The paradox is that the foundation for greatness is honoring the small things of the present moment instead of pursuing the idea of greatness (Tolle 162). With the help of realization of this statement, I have shifted the way I perceive even the smallest things possible in my environment. I have grown to the realization that life is not just about me, but also other people and things within the surroundings. My focus is not anchored on the attainment of greatness, but on the ability to give other individuals the opportunity to fit into the society as they wish. I do not keep complaining about the little things such as the way a teacher conducts the lesson. However, I mostly focus on what I am supposed to achieve in my coursework. There has been a remarkable improvement in my life concerning the way I perform in class because of the positivity I have developed so far.
Secondly, I have also grown and changed in terms of how I manage any form of anger emanating from my pain body. It was interesting to learn about pain bodies in this course, especially through the course documents. They emphasized the need to overcome any form of anger and move in the most positive direction. I have grown into a mature person ready to handle any situations, including those that remind me of my pain bodies. Instead of thinking of hitting people who insult me, I have transformed into an individual who can negotiate and strike peaceful coexistence before thinking of fighting at any given time. It means that I am now in a better position to live with other people without causing unnecessary conflicts and hatred that could disrupt the overall quality of life for all of us. The change process started when I understood and accepted the fact that I have a pain body that I should overcome in the course of my life. The childhood memories of being bullied tend to tempt me to be aggressive to others. Nevertheless, the lessons I have learned about freedom from the ego gave me the opportunity to reason before acting towards different directions. The course reading, I Am Not I by Juan Ramon Jimenez has played a critical role in propagating this change. It enabled me to understand the significance of forgiving and forgetting when faced with different problems. The motivational aspect that has facilitated growth and change is Jimenezs assertion, And other times I forget / who remains silent when I talk / and forgives, gently, when I hate. This quote inspired me to grow into a person who is ready to forgive rather than hold grudges, emanating from the pain body.
Thirdly, I have also grown and changed in the way I organize my purpose in life. Previously, I was a person whose attention was only limited to the outer purpose. Nowadays, I can admit that I have transformed into an individual who is guided by the internal purpose. Prior to the course, I did not understand that the outer purpose has the potential of changing in the course of time and that our actions govern it. Nevertheless, I have changed in an individual committed to and driven by the inner purpose. Tolles statements on the inner purpose enabled me to appreciate myself and move forward with the entire confidence required of an individual. I do not think I would have been able to move forward in terms of friendships at some point in my life because of the outer purpose that was driving me in these situations. I have changed in the sense that I have placed my focus on my being rather than on my doings. Gradual understanding of different frustrations that happen in the course of ones life has given me the opportunity to shift toward the direction of living with the inner purpose rather than the outer one.
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The last aspect of growth and change emanates from the lessons I have gained through interactions with other classmates through our postings. These posts have offered me the opportunity to grow and change from a person who did not understand the element of true friendship and moderate criticism into a better individual who can interact positively with others. As mentioned earlier, I began this essay by affirming that my friendship status is the key aspect at stake, which prompted me to write and share various situations that I have experienced. My change in this area has come to the level where I have the opportunity to understand all my friends perfectly. Thus, I stay away from frequent misunderstanding known for disrupting the quality of friendships. Most of my companions have also appreciated the change that has occurred in my life. They admit that they can see the positive signs I exhibit while interacting with them on a daily basis. With this growth and change, life has become easier and more manageable for me as an individual. In addition, the majority of these friends now know that I prefer real friendship and mutual understanding.
In conclusion, the ego is one of the most terrible things to dominate a persons life because of the harm it can cause. Owing to the Tolles book, numerous course readings, and even posts by other class members, I have realized that my friendship with other people has been at the highest risk of breaking away because of the ego. In tandem with this course, I now have the confidence to say that the ego is like a small prison that tends to distract individuals from living with others in the required manner. It basically makes people feel that they are alone and should perceive everything that happens with limited appreciation of all the other things that surround our society. This approach is egocentric and makes everything worse, especially because aspects such as friendship are likely to be distracted and affected by its presence. The element of pain bodies also touched me because I have been a notable victim of its reoccurrence. However, I appreciate the way Tolle offers a solution emphasizing that individuals could easily overcome it by accepting it and staying peacefully with others. Dwelling on matters such as the pain body had also put my friendship in difficult positions. The misunderstanding used to occur at different times because of the emergence of these emotions. Overall, I wrote this essay based on my experience and I believe that I have grown and changed in a better person with the combination of ideas from Tolle and the course documents. For instance, I have transformed into an individual who can control my reactions to different situations when dealing with them. The reduction of overreactions means that I am living a better life free from quarrels and fights with other people. More so, I have changed in an individual who can differentiate between an outer and the inner purpose, hence leading to the making of better decisions. The lessons learned throughout this course would be a guiding force for all the aspects of my life.
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