"Paradoxically, what keeps the so-called consumer society going is the fact that trying to find yourself through things doesn't work: The ego satisfaction is short-lived and so you keep looking for more, keep buying, keep consuming." ~ Eckhart Tolle
For a long time, I resisted reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. What I had read about him and his teachings is that they are nothing new; they are rooted in ancient eastern philosophy. My reasoning for overlooking this immensely popular spiritual teacher's writings is that I prefer to read the old ideas, not new translations of old ideas (It probably didn't help that his christening by Oprah Winfrey made him much too mainstream for my taste). My mind, however, never closes to anything.
I stumbled over A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose at the library and thought I would skim through some pages but found myself interested in (and relating to) most of Tolle's philosophies, which many are similar to my own.
I like his idea of ego; that it is an "illusory sense of self," dominated by one's memories and thoughts. The ego associates with (and is drawn to) the physical world of forms (e.g. money, material wealth, social status, visual beauty); and, hence, the unconscious human will spend a large amount of energy (and dollars) on pleasing the ego.
To overcome the ego, one simply must be aware of it. I've always thought (and continue to write) that self-awareness is the key to financial success and success in all areas of life; that meaning must come before money and purpose precedes planning.
Ego, or rather the lack of awareness of ego and its influence on your thoughts and actions, can lead to incredible financial, spiritual, and physical harm.
I'll have much more thoughts on this in the coming weeks...