Oprah, Tolle, & A New Earth, Chapter 4
In Chapter 3, you learned about the ego's strategies of complaining and seeking drama. You practiced observing ego without judging. This week, discover how the roles you assume and the stories you tell about yourself and others can prevent you from being happy. If you missed Monday’s web class, watch it here.
Oprah & Tolle Discuss Chapter 4, "Role Playing: The Many Faces of the Ego"
This Monday (March 24, 2008), Oprah and Eckhart Tolle used their discussion and the workbook to help you discover what roles you play in life and how it may be leading you to unhappiness.
Tolle states in chapter 4 that the ego "will usually play some kind of role to get its 'needs' met, be they material gain, a sense of power, superiority, or specialness, or some kind of gratification, be it physical or psychological." Some of the roles Tolle mentioned in this chapter included that of the villain, victim, or lover. He also talks a great deal about parenthood and how many parents play this role so well, that they become lost in it. Oprah and Eckhart Tolle’s special guest for the evening was Jenny McCarthy who talked with them about letting go of feeling guilt as a parent. Watching Jenny have her own “aha” moment, as Oprah calls it, in the midst of the conversation was inspiring and empowering.
Tolle also tells us the secret to happiness in chapter 4: “There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.”
Discussion of A New Earth, Chapter 4:
1. Tolle talks a lot about negative thoughts in this chapter – "You will be free to let go of your unhappiness the moment you recognize it as unintelligent. Negativity is not intelligent" (p.112). We were challenged in the chapter 4 workbook to pay close attention to negative thoughts, feelings or actions and any background unhappiness, including resentment, discontent, nervousness or being "fed up." We were also told to become alert to our negativity and repeat silently: "At this moment, I am creating suffering for myself." Did you have any times of negative thinking that you were aware of this week? If so, did you release those negative thoughts and how did you release them? Tell Us.
2. What would you say your role is, or what roles do you often play at work, home, etc.? What are the roles you see others playing around you? Tell Us.
3. The primary cause of unhappiness is NEVER the situation, but your thoughts about it. How can we stop the negative thoughts? Tell Us.
Get Ready for Next Week: A New Earth, Chapter 5
In Chapter 5: The Pain-Body, we will explore how negative emotions and old memories—if not faced and seen for what they are in the moment—become fuel for the pain-body. Download your workbook for chapter 5 so you are prepared when next Monday roles around!
Article Written by: Amy Taylor; Amy is a graduate of FIDM in Los Angeles and is always looking for ways to better herself and the world around her.