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Eckhart Tolle on Negative Thinking: The Ego's Trap

Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and best-selling author, with well over 10 million books sold. He is most well known for helping us to focus on the here and now. In this interview, he sheds light on how discovering a different state of consciousness can free us from endless negative thinking.

According to Tolle, this cycle of being caught up in repetitive negative thinking is a common ego trap. He goes on to say that it’s the source of many of our ills today.

Negative Thinking – The Root of Unhappiness? 

When asked in this interview with Dan Harris of ABC’s Nightline whether or not he ever gets irritated or sad, Tolle replied:

“No. I accept what is. And that’s why life has become so simple.”

“But what if somebody cuts you off in your car?”

“It’s fine” Tolle replied, “it’s like a sudden gust of wind. I don’t personalize a gust of wind and so, it’s simply what is.”

Tolle’s core message is that our egos may be destroying our lives. “To me, the ego ishabitual and compulsive thought processes that go through everybody’s mind continuously.

Psychologists have found that 98 to 99% of our thinking is repetitive. And also much of our thinking is very negative. People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind becomes obsessed with negative things…with judgements, guilt.”

Tolle’s other core belief, as reported by ABC News, is we are refusing to live our lives in the present moment.

“Many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment. Imagine living your whole life like that—where this moment is never quite right, not good enough because you need to get to the next one. That is continuous stress.”