Ray: You’ve written that human beings had to develop a state of madness as a collective to then be able to transform and awaken evolutionarily. That parallels what seems to happen on the individual level, doesn’t it? As a child, a person builds up an egoic sense — the child has a name, has an “I,” has a mind. But then, to awaken, a person needs to completely transcend that sense of ego.
Why was it necessary for humanity to go through insanity to get to the point now of potential awakening, and then, on the individual level, do all people really have to build up an ego just to tear it down upon awakening?
Eckhart: On an individual level, you can see how the ego develops even in a small child. For example, when one child says to another “I can do this, I bet you can’t,” “My dad has a bigger car than yours,” or “My dad is stronger than yours.” Children identify with this or that, trying to build up a sense of self — a mentally defined sense of self.
So far for humans it has been the case that ego develops and then humans are stuck with it for the rest of their lives. On the new Earth, as the awakened consciousness comes in, I would say the ego would develop in children and quickly become outgrown when they reach adulthood. The egoic stage will be much more short-lived, and it will be associated with growing up.
When humans reach their early 20s or mid 20s, they quickly will go beyond ego. Ego is an immature stage of development for humans, and that’s what it will be recognized as when the consciousness changes on the planet. Children will develop an ego and quickly outgrow it.
That’s very different from developing an ego and being stuck with it for the rest of your life!
Ray: And collectively?
Eckhart: On the collective level, was what has happened necessary? Yes, because it happened. It happened, so it was part of the larger totality of what is.
Humanity, it seems, had to go through that developmental stage. You can say it is an immature stage. Like in an individual with a mentally defined sense of self that identifies with this or that, it is not knowing who you are.
Humanity had to go through it. It started with the arising of the ability to think, which I believe is described in the beginning of the Bible as the fall. It is the telling of good and evil. Suddenly, you can differentiate mentally, “This is good, and this is bad.” Humans eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Suddenly, they start cutting reality up into bits and pieces, which is what the thinking mind does.
At first, it wasn’t a problem. In fact, it was an enormous step forward in the evolution of humanity. Although they were not physically stronger than many animals, quickly through thinking — which became their most powerful weapon — humans were able to outwit animals.
Then, thinking grew and grew. For a long time humans probably were in touch on a deeper level with the depths of their being, unconsciously so, the same way an animal or a tree is. Gradually, though, more and more of their identity went into the movement of thought. They identified more and more with the movement of thinking.
So they got cut off from the depths of their being. Their identity moved into the head. They were defined mentally, and then they became egoic entities — me — scoped more and more separate, because the thinking man cuts reality into, “This is me, this is the other, this is us, this is them.” He cuts everything. So the egoic entity arose.
Then, after thousands of years, they were trapped in the mind. Their greatest weapon had become their greatest trap. It’s an old mythological motif: The thing that gives you power also traps you.
Ray: Why is now the time for humanity to escape the trap?
Eckhart: We are in the final stages of egoic madness. Almost the whole world is fighting each other. We witnessed the final stages of egoic madness in the 20th century, and even now it still is playing itself out. It has not quite come to an end yet. Humanity had to go through egoic madness, it seems, and then outgrow it.
Although that still is the predominant energy on the planet, there are now many — more and more — humans who are outgrowing that stage of development. Humanity is reaching the end of the evolutionary stage of ego. The closer we get to the end, the more dysfunctional humanity becomes.
I sometimes give the example of a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly. For a while, the caterpillar’s life works quite well. And then, suddenly, something goes wrong with the caterpillar. It cannot move very well anymore. It becomes more and more dysfunctional as a caterpillar just before the metamorphosis into a butterfly happens.
That is what is happening to humans now. We had to go through an evolutionary stage. We are getting very close to the end of that stage. In fact, for many humans the end already has come. And, so, the dysfunction becomes more apparent.
*Learn about Eckhart Tolle and his teachings at www.eckharttolle.com, and read more of this interview at Hemachandra.com. I did the interview for New Age Retailer magazine.