Life Purpose Showdown: 55 Ways Eckhart Tolle (“A New Earth”) & Rick Warren (“Purpose Driven Life”) Say the Same Thing

Sloww Life Purpose Eckhart Tolle Rick Warren
Source: (Eckhart Tolle), Facebook Page (Rick Warren)

Hang with me on this one. At first glance, you may be surprised to see the names Eckhart Tolle and Rick Warren in the same sentence. Your surprise may turn to sheer shock when I propose to you that 80–90% of their message is the same. How could that be??

After all, isn’t Eckhart Tolle a New Age spiritual teacher? And, isn’t Rick Warren the pastor of an evangelical Christian megachurch? Surely that must mean they are on completely different ends of the spiritual/religious spectrum. However, after reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle and The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren back-to-back (and taking 10,000+ words of notes from each book), I noticed way more similarities than I did differences.

After some quick Googling, I was unable to find any content that compared these two life purpose powerhouses. Both authors have sold millions of books; if you search Amazon for “life purpose,” you’ll see that these two books have 4,000+ ratings. The only other book up there with them is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (on my reading list next).

If you’d like to read my summaries of the two books, you can find those posts here:

Please keep in mind, the insights and analysis provided in this post are from my own personal interpretation of the books and messages. Your takeaways may be different than mine. If they are, I’d very much enjoy a constructive conversation in the comments!

Before we dive in, some quick housekeeping: All quotes are from the authors unless otherwise stated. I have organized my notes into my own categories, and I’ve added bold to some quotes for emphasis.

Life Purpose Showdown: Do Eckhart Tolle (“A New Earth”) & Rick Warren (“Purpose Driven Life”) say the Same Thing?

Let’s start with a quick bio of Tolle and Warren. You’ll notice vastly different upbringings: Warren seemed to have an uneventful childhood while Tolle’s was anything but stable. Warren had his “aha moment” at age 19, ten years before Tolle’s at age 29.

The differences are easy to see. But, what I find most interesting is the similarity in time gaps between their aha moments and the publishing of their big books on life purpose:

  • Eckhart Tolle: Aha Moment (age 29) — Published A New Earth (age 57) = 28 years
  • Rick Warren: Aha Moment (age 19) — Published Purpose Driven Life (age 48) = 29 years

About Eckhart Tolle¹:

  • Childhood: Born and raised in Germany. Unhappy, his parents fought and eventually separated, and he felt alienated from a hostile school environment.
  • 13 years old: Moved to Spain to live with his father.
  • 15: No high school; studied literature, astronomy and languages at home, read several books written by a German mystic.
  • 19: Troubled by “depression, anxiety and fear”, he began “searching for answers” in his life.
  • 20s: Tolle decided to pursue his search by studying philosophy, psychology, and literature; enrolled at the University of London.
  • 29 (Aha Moment): Inner transformation:
  • “I couldn’t live with myself any longer. And in this a question arose without an answer: who is the ‘I’ that cannot live with the self? What is the self? I felt drawn into a void! I didn’t know at the time that what really happened was the mind-made self, with its heaviness, its problems, that lives between the unsatisfying past and the fearful future, collapsed. It dissolved. The next morning I woke up and everything was so peaceful. The peace was there because there was no self. Just a sense of presence or ‘beingness,’ just observing and watching.”
  • Tolle stopped studying for his doctorate, and for a period of about two years after this he spent much of his time sitting, “in a state of deep bliss,” on park benches “watching the world go by.”
  • 49: Published The Power of Now.
  • 57: Published A New Earth.

About Rick Warren²:

  • Childhood: Born and raised in California. His father was a Baptist minister, his mother a high-school librarian.
  • High School: Founded the first Christian Club
  • 19 (Aha Moment): Called to full-time ministry when he was a student at California Baptist University.
  • 21: Got married.
  • 26: Started Saddleback Church “for people who didn’t like church.”
  • 48: Published The Purpose Driven Life.

The Purpose of the Books:

  • “This book’s main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness; that is to say, to awaken.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “This is more than a book; it is a guide to a 40-day spiritual journey.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Eckhart Tolle Definitions & Synonyms:

I initially did this for my own benefit after reading the book and organizing my notes. But, I think it could be beneficial to share with you as well. Here’s how I interpreted Tolle’s language:

  • Spirituality = state of consciousness
  • New spirituality = the transformation of consciousness
  • Spiritual awakening = becoming free of identification with form.
  • Transformation of human consciousness = enlightenment (Hinduism) = salvation (Jesus) = end of suffering (Buddhism) = Liberation = awakening
  • Form = foreground of life, human, physical forms (body, things, etc), thought/psychological forms, sense perceptions, emotional forms, reactions, content (perceive, experience, do, think, feel), identity, manifested, existence
  • Formless = background of life, Being, Beingness, “I Am,” essence, life, consciousness, Christ within (Christian mystics), Buddha nature (Buddhists), Atman (Hindus), the indwelling God, unmanifested, Source, God, timeless, eternal
  • Joy of Being = the only true happiness
  • Inner body = life energy, the bridge between form and formlessness
  • Now = present moment, life itself, awareness, Presence, the suchness of life
  • Ego = identification with form (primarily thought forms/your mind), a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment, lives through comparison, the final stage of universal sleep

Life Purpose Showdown: 3 Ways Eckhart Tolle (“A New Earth”) & Rick Warren (“Purpose Driven Life”) Differ


Let’s start with an obvious topic. Eckhart Tolle is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition and pulls insights from all of them. Rick Warren was raised Baptist and is an evangelical Christian pastor.

  • “A large­-scale opening of spirituality outside of the religious structures is an entirely new development. In the past, this would have been inconceivable, especially in the West, the most mind­-dominated of all cultures, where the Christian church had a virtual franchise on spirituality.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Regardless of your job or career, you are called to full-time Christian service.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

The biggest differences I see are in these two focus areas:
 1. Eckhart Tolle focuses on a way out of suffering whereas Rick Warren focuses on a way to be saved.
 2. Tolle focuses more on humanity’s evolution whereas Warren focuses more on humanity’s eternity.


  • “It has been said ‘God is love’ but that is not absolutely correct. God is the One Life in and beyond the countless forms of life. Love implies duality: lover and beloved, subject and object. So love is the recognition of oneness in the world of duality. This is the birth of God into the world of form. Love makes the world less worldly, less dense, more transparent to the divine dimension, the light of consciousness itself.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life


  • “To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands of years, you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for your inner state at any given moment. That means now.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “‘For everything absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, …everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.’ COLOSSIANS 1:16 (MSG) The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Life Purpose Showdown: 55 Ways Eckhart Tolle (“A New Earth”) & Rick Warren (“Purpose Driven Life”) Say the Same Thing

1. Source = God

  • “Although inner space has no form, it is intensely alive. That ’empty space’ is life in its fullness, the unmanifested Source out of which all manifestation flows. The traditional word for that Source is God.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “God is not just the starting point of your life; he is the source of it. To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God’s Word, not the world’s wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths, not pop psychology, success-motivation, or inspirational stories.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

2. There is a Grand Designer with a higher order/master plan

  • “Behind the sometimes seemingly random or even chaotic succession of events in our lives as well as in the world lies concealed the unfolding of a higher order and purpose. This is beautifully expressed in the Zen saying ‘The snow falls, each flake in its appropriate place.’ We can never understand this higher order through thinking about it because whatever we think about is content; whereas, the higher order emanates from the formless realm of consciousness, from universal intelligence. But we can glimpse it, and more than that, align ourselves with it, which means be conscious participants in the unfolding of that higher purpose.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “There’s a Grand Designer behind everything. Your life is not a result of random chance, fate, or luck. There is a master plan.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

3. We are wired to align with Universal Intelligence

  • “It is our purpose and destiny to bring a new dimension into this world by living in conscious oneness with the totality and conscious alignment with universal intelligence.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Anthropologists have noted that worship is a universal urge, hard-wired by God into the very fiber of our being — an inbuilt need to connect with God.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

4. Even the Universe has a Cosmic Purpose

  • “If you look within rather than only without, however, you discover that you have an inner and an outer purpose, and since you are a microcosmic reflection of the macrocosm, it follows that the universe too has an inner and outer purpose inseparable from yours. The outer purpose of the universe is to create form and experience the interaction of forms — the play, the dream, the drama, or whatever you choose to call it. Its inner purpose is to awaken to its formless essence.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “The purpose of your life fits into a much larger, cosmic purpose that God has designed for eternity.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

5. Eternity is your real home/reality

  • “The collective disease of humanity is that people are so engrossed in what happens, so hypnotized by the world of fluctuating forms, so absorbed in the content of their lives, they have forgotten the essence, that which is beyond content, beyond form, beyond thought. They are so consumed by time that they have forgotten eternity, which is their origin, their home, their destiny. Eternity is the living reality of who you are.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realize that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to live differently. You will start living in light of eternity, and that will color how you handle every relationship, task, and circumstance. Suddenly many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed so important will appear trivial, petty, and unworthy of your attention. The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

6. Everything on Earth & Eternity is Interconnected

  • “The whole is made up of existence and Being, the manifested and the unmanifested, the world and God. So when you become aligned with the whole, you become a conscious part of the interconnectedness of the whole and its purpose: the emergence of consciousness into this world.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Unity in the church is so important that the New Testament gives more attention to it than to either heaven or hell. God deeply desires that we experience oneness and harmony with each other.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

7. Everything on Earth is Impermanent/Temporary

  • “The recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it ‘eternal life.’” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “To make the best use of your life, you must never forget two truths: First, compared with eternity, life is extremely brief. Second, earth is only a temporary residence. You won’t be here long, so don’t get too attached.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

8. Heaven is the perfect state of consciousness

  • “Collective human consciousness and life on our planet are intrinsically connected. ‘A new heaven’ is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and ‘a new earth’ is its reflection in the physical realm.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Only in heaven is everything done perfectly the way God intends. That is why we are told to pray, ‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.’” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

9. The Ultimate Truth is that you are Being/Eternal Life

  • “When there is nothing to identify with anymore, who are you? When forms around you die or death approaches, your sense of Beingness, of I Am, is freed from its entanglement with form: Spirit is released from its imprisonment in matter. You realize your essential identity as formless, as an all­-pervasive Presence, of Being prior to all forms, all identifications. You realize your true identity as consciousness itself, rather than what consciousness had identified with. That’s the peace of God. The ultimate truth of who you are is not in I am this or I am that, but I Am.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Your identity is in eternity, and your homeland is heaven. When you grasp this truth, you will stop worrying about ‘having it all’ on earth.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

10. Your Ultimate Purpose is to become Conscious/Jesus

  • “When the ego is at war, know that it is no more than an illusion that is fighting to survive. That illusion thinks it is you. It is not easy at first to be there as the witnessing Presence, especially when the ego is in survival mode or some emotional pattern from the past has become activated, but once you have had a taste of it, you will grow in Presence power, and the ego will lose its grip on you. And so a power comes into your life that is far greater than the ego, greater than the mind. All that is required to become free of the ego is to be aware of it, since awareness and ego are incompatible. Awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment. This is why we may also call it Presence. The ultimate purpose of human existence, which is to say, your purpose is to bring that power into this world.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: He wants to make us like himself before he takes us to heaven. This is our greatest privilege, our immediate responsibility, and our ultimate destiny.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

11. Nothing Matters More than Purpose

  • “There is no substitute for finding true purpose. But the true or primary purpose of your life cannot be found on the outer level. It does not concern what you do but what you are — that is to say, your state of consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Nothing matters more than knowing God ‘s purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them — not success, wealth, fame, or pleasure. Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty, and pointless.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

12. You have an Inner/Shared Purpose & Outer/Specific Purpose

  • “Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that. You share that purpose with every other person on the planet — because it is the purpose of humanity. Your inner purpose is an essential part of the purpose of the whole, the universe and its emerging intelligence.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Your life mission is both shared and specific. One part of it is a responsibility you share with every other Christian, and the other part is an assignment that is unique to you.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

13. Being is primary, Doing is secondary

  • “Doing is never enough if you neglect Being. The ego knows nothing of being but believes you will eventually be saved by doing. If you are in the grip of the ego, you believe that by doing more and more you will eventually accumulate enough ‘doings’ to make yourself feel complete at some point in the future. You won’t. You will only lose yourself in doing. The entire civilization is losing itself in doing that is not rooted in Being and thus becomes futile.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “God is far more interested in what you are than in what you do. We are human beings, not human doings. God is much more concerned about your character than your career, because you will take your character into eternity, but not your career.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

14. Awakened Doing allows Consciousness/God to flow through you into the world

  • “Awakened doing is the alignment of your outer purpose­ what you do — with your inner purpose — awakening and staying awake. Through awakened doing, you become one with the outgoing purpose of the universe. Consciousness flows through you into this world. It flows into your thoughts and inspires them. It flows into what you do and guides and empowers it.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “We worry when God seems silent on specific issues such as ‘What career should I choose?’ The truth is, there are many different careers that could be in God’s will for your life. What God cares about most is that whatever you do, you do in a Christlike manner.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

15. Transforming Your Character to reveal the Christ Within

  • “Jesus speaks of the innermost I Am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every life­ form, in fact. He speaks of the life that you are. Some Christian mystics have called it the Christ within; Buddhists call it your Buddha nature; for Hindus, it is Atman, the indwelling God. When you are in touch with that dimension within yourself — and being in touch with it is your natural state, not some miraculous achievement — all your actions and relationships will reflect the oneness with all life that you sense deep within. This is love.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. Becoming like Christ does not mean losing your personality or becoming a mindless clone. God created your uniqueness, so he certainly doesn’t want to destroy it. Christlikeness is all about transforming your character, not your personality.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

16. A Relationship with Consciousness/God is a Choice

  • “Once you have reached a certain level of consciousness, (and if you are reading this, you almost certainly have), you are able to decide what kind of a relationship you want to have with the present moment. Do I want the present moment to be my friend or my enemy? The present moment is inseparable from life, so you are really deciding what kind of a relationship you want to have with life. Once you have decided you want the present moment to be your friend, it is up to you to make the first move: become friendly toward it, welcome it no matter in what disguise it comes, and soon you will see the results. Life becomes friendly toward you; people become helpful, circumstances cooperative. One decision changes your entire reality.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “The truth is — you are as close to God as you choose to be. Intimate friendship with God is a choice, not an accident. You must intentionally seek it. Do you really want it — more than anything? What is it worth to you? Is it worth giving up other things? Is it worth the effort of developing the habits and skills required?” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

17. Spiritual Truths are often the opposite of what we think

  • “If you are content with being nobody in particular, content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. What looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the only true strength. This spiritual truth is diametrically opposed to the values of our contemporary culture and the way it conditions people to behave.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “This next sentence is one of the most important spiritual truths you will ever learn: God develops the fruit of the Spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you’re tempted to express the exact opposite quality! Character development always involves a choice, and temptation provides that opportunity.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

18. Spiritual Growth is Counter-Cultural Today

  • “Many people who are going through the early stages of the awakening process are no longer certain what their outer purpose is. What drives the world no longer drives them. Seeing the madness of our civilization so clearly, they may feel somewhat alienated from the culture around them. Some feel that they inhabit a no­-man’s land between two worlds. They are no longer run by the ego, yet the arising awareness has not yet become fully integrated into their lives. Inner and outer purpose have not merged.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Your heavenly Father’s goal is for you to mature and develop the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Sadly, millions of Christians grow older but never grow up. They are stuck in perpetual spiritual infancy, remaining in diapers and booties. The reason is that they never intended to grow.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Lifef

19. Humanity has become increasingly self-centered over thousands of years

  • “For thousands of years, humanity has been increasingly mind­ possessed, failing to recognize the possessing entity as ‘not self.’ Through complete identification with the mind, a false sense of self — the ego — came into existence.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point — ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future? But focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

20. Default humanity needs a lot of help

  • “One can go far as to say that on this planet ‘normal’ equals insane. What is it that lies at the root of this insanity? Complete identification with thought and emotion, that is to say, ego.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “We live in a fallen world.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

21. Compassion arises when you realize the default state of humanity

  • “Compassion arises when you recognize that all are suffering from the same sickness of the mind, some more acutely than others.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Most of all, our weaknesses increase our capacity for sympathy and ministry. We are far more likely to be compassionate and considerate of the weaknesses of others.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

22. And, there’s some Good News

  • “Most ancient religions and spiritual traditions share the common insight — that our ‘normal’ state of mind is marred by a fundamental defect. However, out of this insight into the nature of the human condition — we may call it the bad news — arises a second insight: the good news of the possibility of a radical transformation of human consciousness. In Hindu teachings (and sometimes in Buddhism also), this transformation is called enlightenment. In the teachings of Jesus, it is salvation, and in Buddhism, it is the end of suffering. Liberation and awakening are other terms used to describe this transformation.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “The Good News is that when we trust God’s grace to save us through what Jesus did, our sins are forgiven, we get a purpose for living, and we are promised a future home in heaven.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

23. There’s a Possibility of Transformation/Transcendence

  • “Christ can be seen as the archetypal human, embodying both the pain and the possibility of transcendence.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “We must change the way we think. ‘Let the Spirit change your way of thinking.’ The Bible says we are ‘transformed’ by the renewing of our minds. The Greek word for transformed, metamorphosis (used in Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18), is used today to describe the amazing change a caterpillar goes through in becoming a butterfly. It is a beautiful picture of what happens to us spiritually when we allow God to direct our thoughts: We are changed from the inside out, we become more beautiful, and we are set free to soar to new heights.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

24. The Key to Change is in the way you think (or don’t think)

  • “Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Your first step in spiritual growth is to start changing the way you think. Change always starts first in your mind.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

25. Having God/Presence flow through you makes you fully alive

  • “When you are Present, when your attention is fully in the Now, that Presence will flow into and transform what you do. There will be quality and power in it. You are present when what you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning) but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do. And, of course, you cannot be present unless you become friendly with the present moment. That is the basis for effective action, uncontaminated by negativity.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “World-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. They are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God. World-class Christians are the only fully alive people on the planet. Their joy, confidence, and enthusiasm are contagious because they know they’re making a difference. They wake up each morning expecting God to work through them in fresh ways.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

26. Everything happens in the present/moment-to-moment

  • “Through the present moment you have access to the power of life itself, that which has traditionally been called ‘God.’” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Of course, this is a difficult mental shift because we’re naturally self-absorbed and almost all advertising encourages us to think of ourselves. The only way we can make this paradigm switch is by a moment-by-moment dependence on God. Fortunately he doesn’t leave us to struggle on our own.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

27. Presence takes Practice

  • “The seeing is the arising Presence. The moment you see the dysfunction, it begins to dissolve. Some people laugh out loud when they see this. With the seeing comes the power of choice — the choice of saying yes to the Now, of making it into your friend.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Practicing the presence of God is a skill, a habit you can develop. Just as musicians practice scales every day in order to play beautiful music with ease, you must force yourself to think about God at different times in your day. You must train your mind to remember God.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

28. Shift to seeing to shape your life

  • “All you need to do is be aware of your thoughts and emotions — as they happen. This is not really a ‘doing,’ but an alert ‘seeing.’ In that sense, it is true that there is nothing you can do to become free of the ego. When that shift happens, which is the shift from thinking to awareness, an intelligence far greater than the ego’s cleverness begins to operate in your life.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “The way you see your life shapes your life.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

29. Be the Light vs the Darkness

  • “When you recognize the unconsciousness in you, that which makes the recognition possible is the arising consciousness, is awakening. You cannot fight against the ego and win, just as you cannot fight against darkness. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary. You are that light.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Hiding your hurt only intensifies it. Problems grow in the dark and become bigger and bigger, but when exposed to the light of truth, they shrink.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

30. How identified are you with your thinking mind?

  • “The density of the ego depends on the degree to which you — the consciousness — are identified with your mind, with thinking. Thinking is no more than a tiny aspect of the totality of consciousness, the totality of who you are.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Change your autopilot — the way you think. The Bible says, ‘Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.’ Your first step in spiritual growth is to start changing the way you think. Change always starts first in your mind. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

31. Are you unconsciously or consciously creating content in your mind?

  • “Most people define themselves through the content of their lives. Whatever you perceive, experience, do, think, or feel is content. Content is what absorbs most people’s attention entirely, and it is what they identify with. When you think or say, ‘my life,’ you are not referring to the life that you are but the life that you have, or seem to have. You are referring to content — your age, health, relationships, finances, work and living situation, as well as your mental­-emotional state. The inner and outer circumstances of your life, your past and your future, all belong to the realm of content — as do events, that is to say, anything that happens. What is there other than content? That which enables the content to be — the inner space of consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “If I asked how you picture life, what image would come to your mind? That image is your life metaphor. It’s the view of life that you hold, consciously or unconsciously, in your mind. It’s your description of how life works and what you expect from it.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

32. There’s a dark side of your mind

  • “If the history of humanity were the clinical case history of a single human being, the diagnosis would have to be: chronic paranoid delusions, a pathological propensity to commit murder and acts of extreme violence and cruelty against his perceived ‘enemies’ — his own unconsciousness projected outward. Criminally insane, with a few brief lucid intervals.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Temptation always starts in your mind, not in circumstances. Jesus said, ‘For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.’” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

33. Sin of the Mind

  • “Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms. If evil has any reality — and it has a relative, not an absolute, reality — this is also its definition: complete identification with form — physical forms, thought forms, emotional forms. 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.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

34. Ego is forgetfulness of Being/God

  • “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.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “God often attaches a major weakness to a major strength to keep our egos in check. A limitation can act as a governor to keep us from going too fast and running ahead of God.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

35. Ego lives through comparison (does ego = Satan?)

  • “The ego tends to equate having with Being: I have, therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am. The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Satan will try to steal the joy of service from you in a couple of ways: by tempting you to compare your ministry with others, and by tempting you to conform your ministry to the expectations of others. Both are deadly traps that will distract you from serving in the ways God intended.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

36. The self is an illusion; be self-forgetful

  • “Spiritual realization is to see clearly that what I perceive, experience, think, or feel is ultimately not who I am, that I cannot find myself in all those things that continuously pass away. The Buddha was probably the first human being to see this clearly, and so anata (no self) became one of the central points of his teaching. And when Jesus said, ‘Deny thyself,’ what he meant was: Negate (and thus undo) the illusion of self.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Servants focus on others, not themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. They are self-forgetful. Paul said, ‘Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.’ This is what it means to ‘lose your life’ — forgetting yourself in service to others.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

37. Your real identity is in consciousness/Jesus

  • “When there is nothing to identify with anymore, who are you? When forms around you die or death approaches, your sense of Beingness, of I Am, is freed from its entanglement with form: Spirit is released from its imprisonment in matter. You realize your essential identity as formless, as an all­-pervasive Presence, of Being prior to all forms, all identifications. You realize your true identity as consciousness itself, rather than what consciousness had identified with. That’s the peace of God. The ultimate truth of who you are is not in I am this or I am that, but I Am.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “You discover your identity and purpose through a relationship with Jesus Christ.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

38. Your “New”/Essential Self

  • “The greatest miracle is the experiencing of your essential self as prior to any words, thoughts, mental labels, and images. For this to happen, you need to disentangle your sense of I, of Beingness, from all the things it has become mixed up with, that is to say, identified with.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “We must ‘put on’ the character of Christ by developing new, godly habits. Your character is essentially the sum of your habits; it is how you habitually act. The Bible says, ‘Put on the new self, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness.’” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

39. Be blessed by being “Poor in Spirit”

  • “‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ Jesus said, ‘for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.’ What does ‘poor in spirit’ mean? No inner baggage, no identifications. Not with things, nor with any mental concepts that have a sense of self in them. And what is the ‘kingdom of heaven?’ The simple but profound joy of Being that is there when you let go of identifications and so become ‘poor in spirit.’” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “God has never been impressed with strength or self-sufficiency. In fact, he is drawn to people who are weak and admit it. Jesus regarded this recognition of our need as being ‘poor in spirit.’ It’s the number one attitude he blesses.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

40. Love is Life

  • “In the stillness of Presence, you can sense the formless essence in yourself and in the other as one. Knowing the oneness of yourself and the other is true love, true care, true compassion.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Love should be your top priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition. Love is not a good part of your life; it’s the most important part. The Bible says, ‘Let love be your greatest aim.’” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

41. Happiness is already within you at all times

  • “The joy of Being, which is the only true happiness, can not come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person, or event — through anything that happens. That joy cannot come to you — ever. It emanates form the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and thus is one with who you are.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Happiness is a choice. You are as happy as you choose to be. If you don’t know how to be happy with what you have, you will never be happy with more.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

42. Enthusiasm gives energy

  • “This is why Ralph Waldo Emerson said that, ‘Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.’ The word enthusiasm comes from ancient Greek — en and theos meaning God. And the related word enthousiazein means ‘to be possessed by a god.’ With enthusiasm you will find that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. In fact, there is nothing of significance that you can do by yourself. Sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy, and all you have to do then is ‘ride the wave.’” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “How do you know when you are serving God from your heart? The first telltale sign is enthusiasm. When you are doing what you love to do, no one has to motivate you or challenge you or check up on you. You do it for the sheer enjoyment.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

43. Unity/Inclusion over Division

  • “The only actions that do not cause opposing reactions are those that are aimed at the good of all. They are inclusive, not exclusive. They join; they don’t separate. They are not for ‘my’ country but for all of humanity, not for ‘my’ religion but the emergence of consciousness in all human beings, not for ‘my’ species but for all sentient beings and all of nature.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “We must remember that it was God who chose to give us different personalities, backgrounds, races, and preferences, so we should value and enjoy those differences, not merely tolerate them. God wants unity, not uniformity. But for unity’s sake we must never let differences divide us.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

44. The real definition of “success”

  • “What the world doesn’t tell you — because it doesn’t know — is that you cannot become successful. You can only be successful. Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. And what is that? There is a sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action. Quality implies care and attention, which comes with awareness. Quality requires your Presence.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “In God’s eyes, the greatest heroes of faith are not those who achieve prosperity, success, and power in this life, but those who treat this life as a temporary assignment and serve faithfully, expecting their promised reward in eternity.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

45. The “more” of consumer culture is a disease

  • “Ego­ identification with things creates attachment to things, obsession with things, which in turn creates our consumer society and economic structures where the only measure of progress is always more. The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifests, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Like a flesh-eating bacteria, the disease to please can consume all our time, energy, and happiness.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

46. Beware of materialism sidetracking you

  • “Space consciousness represents not only freedom from ego, but also from dependency on the things of this world, from materialism and materiality. It is the spiritual dimension which alone can give transcendent and true meaning to this world.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Money has the greatest potential to replace God in your life. More people are sidetracked from serving by materialism than by anything else.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

47. Ban busyness in your life

  • “In other words, you aren’t ever fully here because you are always busy trying to get elsewhere.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Busyness is a great enemy of relationships. We become preoccupied with making a living, doing our work, paying bills, and accomplishing goals as if these tasks are the point of life. They are not. The point of life is learning to love — God and people. Life minus love equals zero.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

48. Your circumstances will help you develop/evolve

  • “One thing we do know: Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

49. Use your pain as fuel

  • “The energy that was trapped in the pain­-body then changes into vibrational frequency and is transmuted into Presence. In this way, the pain-­body becomes fuel for consciousness. This is why many of the wisest, most enlightened men and women on our planet once had a heavy pain­-body.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Pain is the fuel of passion — it energizes us with an intensity to change that we don’t normally possess.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

50. Suffering leads to surrender

  • “Suffering drives you deeper. The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego — but not until you suffer consciously.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days — when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great — and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers. When we’re in pain, we don’t have the energy for superficial prayers.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

51. Surrender (Yielding) means accepting what is

  • “Yielding means inner acceptance of what is. You are open to life. Resistance is an inner contraction, a hardening of the shell of the ego. You are closed. Whatever action you take in a state of inner resistance (which we could also call negativity) will create more outer resistance, and the universe will not be on your side; life will not be helpful. If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “This act of personal surrender is called many things: consecration, making Jesus your Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, yielding to the Spirit.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

52. Don’t wait until you are on your deathbed to realize the importance of Being & Relationships

  • “Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are. In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless. In the last moments of their life, they then also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their Being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with things, which ultimately means identification with their mind.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about. Wisdom is learning that truth sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed to figure out that nothing matters more.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

53. You are on the planet at this time, in this generation, for a reason

  • “Then comes the reconciliation of outer and inner purpose: to bring that essence — consciousness — into the world of form and thereby transform the world. The ultimate purpose of that transformation goes far beyond anything the human mind can imagine or comprehend. And yet, on this planet at this time, that transformation is the task allotted us. That is the reconciliation of outer and inner purpose, the reconciliation of the world and God.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “This phrase is the ultimate definition of a life well lived. You do the eternal and timeless (God’s purpose) in a contemporary and timely way (in your generation). That is what the purpose-driven life is all about. Neither past nor future generations can serve God’s purpose in this generation. Only we can.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

54. This is now your responsibility

  • “If you can neither enjoy or bring acceptance to what you do — stop. Otherwise, you are not taking responsibility for the only thing you can really take responsibility for, which also happens to be one thing that really matters: your state of consciousness. And if you are not taking responsibility for your state of consciousness, you are not taking responsibility for life.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “The more you know, the more God expects you to use that knowledge to help others. James said, ‘Anyone who knows the right thing to do, but does not do it, is sinning.’ Knowledge increases responsibility. But passing along the purpose of life is more than an obligation; it’s one of life’s greatest privileges. Imagine how different the world would be if everyone knew their purpose.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

55. A Final Watchout

  • “Trying to become a good or better human being sounds like a commendable and high­-minded thing to do, yet it is an endeavor you cannot ultimately succeed in unless there is a shift in consciousness. This is because it is still part of the same dysfunction, a more subtle and rarefied form of self-­enhancement, of desire for more and a strengthening of one’s conceptual identity, one’s self-­image. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • “Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment. They are saved, but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a missions conference because they aren’t interested. Their prayers focus on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. It’s a ‘me-first’ faith: How can God make my life more comfortable? They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for his purposes.” — Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life