Among the topics that the book by Tolle offers, the forgetfulness of ego seems one of the most enticing issues to consider.
Introducing the idea of life as a process with its stages floating from one into another, interchanging and intertwining with each other, the concept of human forgetfulness is one of the bases that prevents people from learning the lessons from the new experienced and at the same time leaves out the issues that serve as the basis and the fundament of a person’s spirit and soul. However, one of the most specific elements that make the concept of forgetfulness more complicated is the selectivity, which presupposes that people remember certain events, which forgetting the ones that are supposed to be more essential; hence, it cannot be denied that the issue of human forgetfulness is one of the most topical ones in the process of self-cognition. Despite the fact that forgetfulness is one of the qualities that people are most inclined to, there can be no possible doubt that the given feature of human character prevents people from developing spiritually and morally, which makes the given problem quite a topical issue that requires thorough considerations. Among the most essential types of forgetfulness that Tolle marks, the forgetfulness of being is the basic reason for people to feel that they are far from reaching the state of moral and spiritual perfection; moreover, the larger their forgetfulness grows, the more detached from the opportunity for a self-perfection they are. As Tolle emphasizes, Ego is a conglomeration of recurring though forms and conditioned mental-emotional patterns that are invested with the sense of I, a sense of self. Ego arises when your sense of Beingness, of “I Am,” which is formless consciousness, gets mixed up with form. This is the meaning of identification. This is forgetfulness of Being, the primary error, the illusion of absolute separateness that turns reality into a nightmare.
(Tolle 36) Therefore, it is obvious that Tolle conveys the idea that the process of forgetting is closely intertwined with the one of losing oneself and the touch with the world. In the given case, Tolle approaches the idea expressed by Einstein – the kind of an optical delusion for people’s consciousness. As Einstein said, “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” (English 126 Course Documents). Therefore, it is worth keeping in mind that the forgetfulness of ego can also take the shapes of a sin and the idea that is not to cross one’s mind. Although forgetting does leave certain feeling of relief, one must remember that the state of forgetting, like any other blissful state, leaves a person in a certain dependency on the given pleasure. Logically, there are certain norms and postulates in the modern society that must not be abandoned under any pretext, whether it is the forgetfulness or the desire to live according to one’s own standards. Hence, the action of forgetting something or someone also harms one’s personality considerably, leaving the scars that cannot be healed.
As Tolle explains, the given state results in quite deplorable consequences: This results in a total unawareness of my connectedness with the whole, my intrinsic oneness with every “other” as well as with the Source. This forgetfulness is original sin, suffering, delusion. When this delusion of utter separateness underlies and governs whatever I think, say, and do, what kind of world do I create? (Tolle 18) Therefore, it cannot be doubted that the state of forgetfulness does have its “side effects” and the consequences that are to be avoided to reach the highest level of self-development and enlightenment. Once taking the wrong step that is likely to lead to the wrong conclusions, one will hardly be able to take the correct course and understand what misconceptions the confusion has led him/her to. Thus, the issue of forgetfulness is quite complicated and involves certain controversy. Hence, it can be concluded that the clockwork of the process of forgetting is still unclear and, moreover, can be hardly controlled by a human being.
Nevertheless, since the forgetfulness of ego is something that allows a person to evolve and does not fill people with the regret over the mistakes that were made in the past, the given quality can be considered rather a blessing than a negative trait of a character. Taking a personal experience as an example of the way in which forgetfulness works, I have to add that in my case, forgetfulness played quite a controversial role in the development of my own personality. Once forgetting about my own connectedness with the whole and deciding that there is no link between me and the rest of the people, I barely lost the touch to my relatives and friends and faced the threat of losing my own self, which was rather unpleasant experience. However, now that I can remember about the wholeness of the world and myself, I can feel that my ego has been restored.
Tolle, Eckhart. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
Weatherford, OK First Plum Printing, 2006. Print.