An article in Success magazine describes A New Earth as a “self-improvement book” that encourages its readers to live their lives in each present moment and to create happiness for themselves without emphasizing material possessions. Tolle’s intent is to change the way human beings think, and he envisions a world population that is increasingly humble, enlightened and pure. According to Tolle, the book’s 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”.
In the book, Tolle asserts that everyone can find “the freedom and joy of life” if they live in the present moment. The book describes human dysfunction, selfishness, anxiety and the inhumanity we inflict on each other, as well as mankind’s failed attempts to find life meaning and purpose through material possessions and unhealthy relationships. It asserts that thoughts can have a powerful and beneficial “effect on the healing process”, and puts forth a concept of “evolutionary transformation of human consciousness” which prompts the reader to participate in “honest self-evaluation [that] can lead to positive change.”