“Enlightenment consciously chosen means to relinquish your attachment to past and future and to make the now the main focus of your life” [Eckhart Tolle]
Oprah’s Winfrey’s latest episode of “fools rushing in where angels fear to tread” is her endorsement of Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, which was announced as her book club selection on January 30, 2008. Additionally Oprah and Eckhart Tolle teach "A New Earth" in Oprah's worldwide classroom [live Monday nights] on Oprah.com.
The Associated Press tells us that
“About 3.5 million copies of Eckhart Tolle's spiritual self-help guide have been shipped since Winfrey announced her selection four weeks ago. The book has topped the best seller list on Amazon.com virtually from the moment Winfrey's choice was revealed and is the fastest-selling pick ever at Barnes & Noble, Inc., according to a statement issued Thursday by Winfrey”. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23390586/]
Oprah calls the book “the best in it’s genre” that she has ever seen
However wasn’t it just a short year ago that Oprah [February 2007] aired a special about The Secret, helping put the DVD in the #1 position on Amazon.com.
The Secret: Didn’t The Secret teach that the world is on the brink of a new era that will open up to humanity unleashed power, riches, creativity and all that we ever dreamed of, including losing weight? with the producers promising that it’s the secret to everything, “unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted.”
A New Earth: However A New Earth teaches that the current state of humanity is “one of dangerous insanity” but that this potentially dire situation can be remedied. Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world.
Hmmm! Anyone else have trouble reconciling Oprah’s fads??
Incidentally Eckhart Tolle is also the author of The Power of Now, a #1 New York Times bestseller, which was translated into over 30 languages. It emphasizes the importance of being aware of the present moment as a way of not being lost in thought. In his view, the present is the gateway to a heightened sense of peace.
Who Is Eckhart Tolle?
Eckhart Tolle is a fifty something German, educated in England and living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Tolle had a “radical spiritual awakening” at the age of 29 after suffering long periods of depression and acute anxiety.
In his own words..
Life seemed meaningless, barren, hostile. It became so unbearable that suddenly the thought came into my mind, "I cannot live with myself any longer." The thought kept repeating itself several times. Suddenly, I stepped back from the thought, and looked at it, as it were, and I became aware of the strangeness of that thought: "If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me – the I and the self that I cannot live with." And the question arose, "Who is the ‘I’ and who is the self that I cannot live with?" There was no answer to that question, and all thinking stopped. For a moment, there was complete inner silence. Suddenly I felt myself drawn into a whirlpool or a vortex of energy. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words, "Resist nothing," as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. Suddenly, all fear disappeared, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that. [http://eckharttolle.com/interviews_71]
He goes on to say that when he awoke the next morning he felt like he has just been born, and that “Everything seemed fresh and pristine and intensely alive”. A peace that has stayed with him, in varying degrees, for more than 20 years.
Tolle is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. However, in the book 'Dialogues With Emerging Spiritual Teachers' by John W. Parker [Source], he has acknowledged a strong connection to J Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi and stated that his teaching is a coming together of the teachings of both those teachers. In addition, he states that by listening to and speaking with the spiritual teacher Barry Long, he understood things more deeply.
Barry Long? Hmmm! Would this happen to be the same person who in 1964, abandoned everything including a 12 year old daughter, who was “devastated” and who did not see him again until she was 19? [During those years she wrote to him for help and advice but he refused to be involved with her, telling her that she was her mother's responsibility]. Surely this is not the same Barry Long that, for a period of time, apparently had a relationship with five women simultaneously, one of whom left her two sons as he did not want any children around him. Perhaps it is the Barry Llong that, in India, experienced a spiritual crisis culminating in a mystic death, which he called his "realisation of immortality," followed four years later by a "transcendental realisation"; a contact with a depth of consciousness from which his knowledge of universal reality ultimately derived.
Other influences which are alluded to in The Power of Now are the writings of Meister Eckhart, Advaita Vedanta, A Course in Miracles, mystical Islam, Sufism, and Rumi's poetry, as well as Zen Buddhism's Lin-chi (Rinzai) school. The book also professes to quote the Bible, however every quote is either misinterpreting and/or taken completely out of context.
In the above mentioned interview he is asked what writings and teachers had the greatest effect on him, to which he replies…
“…first I picked up a copy of the New Testament almost by accident, maybe half a year, a year after it happened, and reading the words of Jesus and feeling the essence and power behind those words. And I immediately understood at a deeper level the meaning of those words. I knew intuitively with absolute certainty that certain statements attributed to Jesus were added later, because they did not "emanate" from that place, that state of consciousness, because I knew that place, I know that place. But when a statement emanates from that place, there is recognition. And when it does not, no matter how clever or intelligent it may sound it lacks that essence and it does not have that power. In other words, it does not emanate from the stillness. So that was an incredible realization, just reading and understanding "beyond mind" the deeper meaning of those words.
It is virtually impossible to plumb the depths of human stupidity.. since they seem to reach new lows almost every day. Tolle intuitively knows with “absolute certainty that certain statements attributed to Jesus were added later, because they did not "emanate" from that place”.
And an undiscerning, gullible easily exploited public reads all these wonderful words and goes Ooh! and Aah! Without considering for a moment that ALL there is to go on is Eckhart Tolle’s declaration that he knows what Jesus said and didn’t say. Of course “That Place” is one of those mysterious, obscure, indefinable totally ridiculous phrases that everyone, in their endless search for ‘spirituality’, very wisely nods their heads over, without a clue as to what he is talking about. What place Eckhart??
In spite of the fact that Tolle is trying to get the entire species to stop thinking and suspend critical judgment, God did give us brains and it seems pretty reasonable to assume He intended for us to use them. So see if you can churn that grey matter into something resembling intelligence for just a moment (you can return your brains to Tolle’s somnambulistic state in a few minutes if you wish)…
Tolle says he knows “with absolute certainty” what Jesus did and did not say. However knowledge has to come from somewhere… ALL knowledge has an intelligent source. The impersonal cosmos [synonym for Universe] cannot transmit information, knowledge or enlightenment. So, if you have managed to stay with me this far on this terribly logical train of thought, perhaps you should be now asking where his knowledge comes from. Somewhere… someone (or something) has to have a huge repository of knowledge that includes a data base of Jesus’ sayings… and this information had to be somehow communicated to Tolle.
For him to say that the text will be charged with power only if “the words must have come out of the awakened consciousness rather than the accumulated knowledge of a person’s mind” [quote below] is quite simply another red herring. This ‘awakened consciousness’ (or enlightenment) is supposed to be making “the now the main focus of your life”. So how does the consciousness of the ‘now’ cause a person to have knowledge of something that happened centuries ago, or for the text he writes to be “charged with power”? And what kind of power are we talking about here Tolle? Power has to emanate from a source.
So let me suggest one other simpler, far more believable explanation for what is happening here. When Tolle [and others like him] manage to suspend their self-identification with thought processes [emptying their minds is probably more like it] they become more vulnerable, and allow themselves to be far more easily controlled by whatever is out there that has access to information…
The Bible calls them demons.
Demons… Intelligent beings that seek to control man and his planet. Demons… powerful beings that will stop at nothing in order to achieve their ends. Demons… who probably find it remarkably easy to control people who are taken up with emptying their minds, relinquishing rational thought and/or being ‘Enlightened’ that they have not given one whit of attention to Biblical warnings.
Incidentally, while Tolle has a “an immediate, deep understanding of and an incredible love” the Bhagavad Gita, which he calls “a divine work”, he says he also had an immediate understanding of the Tao Te Ching; often knowing that it was not a correct translation and that the “translator had misunderstood”. He adds that he knew “what the real meaning was” although “he does not know any Chinese”.
And to add to which, this man is so sure of himself that he states
“There is no need for confirmation from any external source. The realization of peace is so deep that even if I met the Buddha and the Buddha said you are wrong, I would say, "Oh, isn't that interesting, even the Buddha can be wrong." … So there is just no question about it.” [Source]
So what is right and what is wrong is based solely on Tolle’s “realization of peace” .. what Eckhart Tolle feels. Does anyone out there, besides me, see the sheer magnitude of the stupidity? Eckhart Tolle’s feelings can not be wrong. Wow!
A New Earth
One page on his site asks if you are ready to be awakened.. [All Emphasis Added]
“Are You Ready to Be Awakened?
Although The Power of Now reached far more people than I ever thought possible, I realized, even as I was writing A New Earth, that the new book would make the teaching, without diluting it, accessible to an even wider audience, including the many people who perhaps would not have dreamt of reading a spiritual book, but have within them an unrecognized longing for spiritual awakening. With Oprah’s support and blessings, this wider audience is now being reached. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Oprah for her enormous contribution to the awakening of humanity and the arising of a new earth”. [http://eckharttolle.com/news]
Apparently this “awakened consciousness” is supposed to align a person with their “life purpose”. Or is this “awakened consciousness” just making a person a puppet in the hands of something that is accomplishing it’s ‘life purpose’ through a now pliable, impressionable human.
He also says
“Building on the astonishing success of The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle presents readers with an honest look at the current state of humanity: He implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity.
Tolle tells us there is good news, however. There is an alternative to this potentially dire situation. Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world. This will involve a radical inner leap from the current egoic consciousness to an entirely new one.
In illuminating the nature of this shift in consciousness, Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. Then gently, and in very practical terms, he leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we truly are—which is something infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are—and learn to live and breathe freely”
Asked if a person can be awakened spiritually by a book, Tolle says this.. [All Emphasis Added]
Firstly, there must be a readiness on the part of the reader, an openness, a receptivity to spiritual truth, which is to say, a readiness to awaken. For the first time in history of humanity, large numbers of people have reached that point of readiness, which explains why millions have responded so deeply to The Power of Now.
Secondly, the text must have transformative power. This means the words must have come out of the awakened consciousness rather than the accumulated knowledge of a person’s mind. Only then will a text be charged with that power, a power that goes far beyond the informational value of the words. That is why such a book can be read again and again and lose none of its aliveness.
Thirdly, the terminology used needs to be as neutral as possible so that it transcends the confines of any one culture, religion, or spiritual tradition. Only then will it be accessible to a broad range of readers world-wide, regardless of cultural background. [http://eckharttolle.com/a_new_earth]
Another question he was apparently asked was:
“If everyone could connect with that state of awareness, would there be a change in global consciousness at a planetary level? How would that new world be like? How do you imagine that new era, as a new human evolution?”
To which he replied….
“It would transform the world. It is the next step in human evolution, or one can even say the coming into existence of a new species. I don’t imagine what the new earth would look like, but I’m sure it would seem to us almost like a different planet. Even science and technology may no longer exist, replaced by a simpler, more direct way of manifesting material forms through the mind. Of course, we would not need as many things as we do now” [http://eckharttolle.com/dear_eckhart_13]
But let me interject a question here… what exactly is “global consciousness at a planetary level” and how in the hell does Tolle know “It would transform the world”. Would every single human have to ‘connect’? What it there were a couple of die hard holdouts? Or would it take maybe two thirds (Half?) of humanity to achieve changes of any significance. Okay so I am being facetious, but the ridiculous questions are being asked of a ridiculous hypothesis. And, as an aside, my use of the word ‘hell’ is perfectly serious.
More ‘God Give Us Patience’
In answer to the question. "What is enlightenment?" Tolle said
“simply, it is when there is no longer any identification with thinking. When there is no longer self-identification with thought processes and self-seeking through thinking. Then the compulsive nature of thinking ceases…”
Now I know that I have come across that much horse manure stuffed into one sentence, but not all that often. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the fact the ability to think and reason one of the characteristics that distinguishes man from the other inhabitants of this planet? And while I am perfectly amenable to the suggestion that we often think and worry far too much and would gain much by obeying the Biblical injunction to take no heed for the morrow, it is more than over the top to suggest that “enlightenment is when there is no longer identification with thinking”.
It is amazing at how many different brands of mysticism and so called spirituality call on one to suspend all thought and just “be”. From various forms of meditation to Contemplative prayer in the church the effort is on in a big way to ensure that more and more people get into the habit of “being” and “feeling”. And why not? .. people who reason are far less likely to adopt the total inanity of the New Age movement.
Additionally in the words of herescope.blogspot.com..
“being” can produce an overly relaxed, falsely confident, passive state of mind where trusting souls do not think to “test the spirits.”
Tolle’s ‘Spiritual Enlightening’
Now here is the interesting part. Tolle has NO real knowledge of what actually happened that night, but before it actually happened he was conscious of “intense fear”. Perhaps that fear mechanism was an instinctive reaction to real danger… his last opportunity to save himself, to fight ‘falling into the void’. But he did not.. he obeyed the words "Resist nothing" and was transformed. A transformation that has no explanation, can not be accounted for by any known principle and was entirely subjective.
What leads me to greatly despair of the future of much of the human race is the apparent inability to reason things out. Transformations, including spiritual transformations, do not just happen.. they have a cause. If you tell me that two wires in his brain were suddenly and mysteriously crossed, producing stimulus to the ‘peace centers’ in his brain, I would be inclined to believe you. (Providing of course that you gave me a slightly more scientific explanation than I have). If you told me he sniffed something that had been wafted around his neighborhood by the local drug lord which caused him to see things in ‘living colour’ I might also be inclined to believe you. If you said that scientists had developed a new and wonderful feel good drug and had provided him with a 20 year supply… I might be inclined to ask where one could obtain some more of this (I know a few people who could stand copious amounts).
However if you tell me that there is no known explanation, but that it simply happened and has been accepted without any question.. I am going to dismiss you (and him) as a fool. Because there is an explanation for whatever happened that night.. Tolle just doesn’t know what it is. And he is willing to distribute his lack of knowledge to anyone with a distinct lack of common sense and a willingness to pay for the book and/or participate in the classes.
Tolle does provide his own theory… and please bear in mind that this is little more than a supposition…or what he thinks happened.
“Years later, I realized that the acute suffering I felt that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from identification with the unhappy self, the suffering "little me," which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that the suffering self collapsed as if the plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left was my true nature as the ever present "I AM": consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. You may also call it pure awareness or presence”.
Now I do realize that there are quite a few very intelligent people out there. I also realize that there even more that the more esoteric the language, the more they are inclined to swallow it.. hook line and sinker, whether they completely comprehend it or not.. as long as they can “feel” it. It seems to me that all one has to do is come up with some enigmatic, inscrutable, cryptic, incomprehensible, mysterious (and totally inane) phrases to have not only a bestseller, but hundreds of thousands of people hanging on to your every word.
However, whether Tolle knows it or not, and, if he does, whether he believes it or not, Scripture has, many hundreds of years before Tolle was even dreamed of, told us that this day was coming. Those who have not yet given up on all study and reflection will find that many of the world religious systems as well as the literature of the occultists simply echo what has already been taught in Scripture.. Except that Scripture has a slightly different slant..
New Agers believe that there is a new age dawning with many changes on the horizon. The Bible teaches these changes will herald the coming of the antichrist.
New Agers [and some other religions] believe in a coming world teacher who sets up a Golden Age on earth. The Bible warns that this individual will be a pawn of Satan himself.. the antichrist.
Tolle says “For the first time in history of humanity, large numbers of people have reached that point of readiness…” He got that right! New Agers and their quest for ‘Spirituality’ indulge in all manner of meditation, visualization, channeling, spirit guides, goddess worship and Gaia, throwing the doors open to God only knows what.. We have openly invited evil to cross the threshold and one of these days the doors will be wide enough for them to make their move. You can take it to the bank that they are coming back. Jesus said, "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).
Tolle says there will be a New Earth.. The Bible says so too.. when Christ Himself comes back to judge and destroy.
Somehow I suspect that Tolle is not going to like this new earth very much.
Tolle's View of Christ
The web site nobigsecret.org says
Since the book often speaks of Jesus, and references Christianity, we believe it is important for Christians to know exactly what is being said. (In fact, the author says he titled the book based on a Bible passage!)
A messenger (like Buddha and others)
One of humanity’s early flowers (like Buddha and others)
Precursor (like Buddha and others)
Rare and precious being (like Buddha and others)
The possibility of transformation was a central message of his
Salvation is the possibility of a radical transformation of human consciousness.
Teachings became distorted and misinterpreted.
Jesus thought heaven was an inner realm of consciousness.
Jesus thought the poor in spirit were those with no inner baggage, no identifications with things or mental concepts that have a sense of self in them.
Jesus thought the kingdom of heaven was the “simple but profound joy of Being that is there when you let go of identifications and become poor in spirit. [http://www.crosswalk.com/11572018/]
A New Heaven And A New Earth?
"The inspiration for the title of this book came from a Bible prophecy that seems more applicable now than at any other time in human history. It occurs in both the Old and the New Testament and speaks of the collapse of the existing world order and the arising of 'a new heaven and a new earth.'... We need to understand here that heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness. This is the esoteric meaning of the word, and this is also its meaning in the teachings of Jesus. Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner. 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. Since human life and human consciousness are intrinsically one with the life of the planet, as the old consciousness dissolves, there are bound to be synchronistic geographic and climatic natural upheavals in many parts of the planet, some of which we are already witnessing now." [Eckhart Tolle, The New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Plume, 2005), p. 23 [emphasis in original]
Fulfilling your primary purpose is laying the foundation for a new reality, a new earth. Once that foundation is there, your external purpose becomes charged with spiritual power because your aims and intentions will be one with the evolutionary impulse of the universe." (p. 265)
Again we have some high falutin’ terminology here that doesn’t make a whit of sense. Where does the spiritual power come from that your eternal purpose is supposed to be charged with? And what is the world is “the evolutionary impulse of the universe”? Actually I would love to hear what you imagine it to be. I do not promise not to throw up.
"Then comes the reconciliation of outer and inner purpose: to being that essence - consciousness - into the world of form and thereby transform the world.... the reconciliation of the world and God." (p. 280)
I wish Tolle would keep is nose out of matters he simply has no knowledge about. This man is so puffed up with what he is sure is true with absolutely no evidence other than his ‘feelings’ that he now presumes to be able to tell the human race what will effect the “reconciliation of the world and God”. Can anyone step beyond their own supreme egos for a moment and realize that God is the one that will tell us how to be recon-ciliated to Him.. and guess what folks? He already has.
"Jesus proclaims that simply believing his good news brings salvation. This is 'salvation by grace through faith' in a planetary sense: if we believe that God graciously offers us a new way, a new truth, and a new life, we can be liberated from the vicious, addictive cycles of our suicidal framing stories.... (p. 270)
Look as long and as hard as you like. But you will not find one word about a “planetary sense” in Scripture. I guess God forgot to mention that part and has left it to the very end of time to go “Duh! I guess I had better tell them”.
"And instead, we will live a life dedicated to replacing the suicide machine with a sacred ecosystem, a beautiful community, an insurgency of healing and peace, a creative global family, an unterror movement of faith, hope, and love." (p. 277)
This teaching is a long long way from the gospel of salvation taught in the Bible. It teaches that man is in charge of his own "reconciliation," and that he can redeem the planet. The Gospel of Salvation of Jesus Christ, is about new life. It is a radically different message from all other world religions. It is a personal message of hope for you. It is the only message that will truly transform. [http://herescope.blogspot.com/search?q=Oprah+and+Eckhart+]
In Conclusion people like Tolle and Oprah Winfrey stir some very mixed emotions in me. It makes me extremely angry that they and others like them can so blithely lead thousands astray and yet, I feel extremely sorry for them... I would not want to be in their shoes on judgment day. Chances are that Tolle would have been just another nobody, with another weird story, relegated in short order to a few dusty book shelves in New Age shops.. had his book not caught the fancy of America’s most dangerous woman. Now thanks to a self styled orchestrator of American spirituality, he is pretty much a household name, with hundreds of thousands wolfing down his diabolical ideas and opening themselves out to whatever it is that controls him.. God have mercy on us.