Synopsis Through Oprah Winfrey’s remarkable influence, motivational speaker and author Eckhart Tolle’s teachings have become a staple for the spiritually hungry.
Imagine being set free from nagging thoughts that well up feelings of shame.Or imagine experiencing a connection with a cosmic reality greater than yourself that offers safety, security, and self-improvement.Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author of bestsellers claims to have realized such desirable states of being and seeks to pass on his spiritual wisdom to others.Tolle believes, further, that the spiritual awakening that he hopes to induce in others constitutes “the next step in human evolution” In reality, however, the spiritual teaching of Tolle is like a cosmic hot fudge sundae with extra nuts, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries laced with arsenic—certainly tantalizing, but nutritionally impotent and ultimately toxic.Born in Germany, Tolle graduated from the University of London and studied at Cambridge University.At the age of twenty-nine he experienced “a profound inner transformation,” which altered the course of his life.He came to realize that the “self” by which he identified himself, which he thoroughly loathed, was not his true identity; and through this realization he experienced a psychological release wherein his false sense of self gave way to his true identity, which he describes as “pure consciousness.” Here is how he tells of this awakening: I was deeply identified with a very unhappy, egoic entity I believed was “me.” For years I lived in depression and continuous anxiety. The thought came into my mind, “I cannot live with myself any longer.” Then I saw that my thought contained a subject and an object: I and myself.I stood back from the thought and asked, “Who is the self that I cannot live with? Who am I, and who is the self that is impossible to live with?” In that moment, that mind-based sense of self collapsed. I knew myself as pure consciousness, prior to form before it becomes something, before it becomes a thought, before it becomes a life-form: the One Life, the One Consciousness that is prior to egoic identity. via her book club and has hosted a massively attended online class with Tolle as the instructor.What remained was I—not the form “I,” not the story-based “I,” the mental story of me—but a deeper sense of being, of presence. One cannot deny that something profound happened to Tolle.As tested by the teachings of the Bible, however, what Tolle discovered is not ultimate truth.