Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Eckhart's Stinky "Presence"

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Today it was suggested that we take a look at Eckhart Tolle. We haven't read his book, The Power of Now, but we've run into many folks online who regard it as a kind of bible. And according to the official Eckhart Tolle Teachings, Inc. website, it's so much more than just words:
Readers of The Power of Now will already know that Eckhart has the rare gift of being able to convey the deepest spiritual truth in clear and simple words. More importantly than any words, however, these sessions represent an invaluable opportunity to allow yourself to be drawn into the awakened state by the intense conscious presence of the teacher and thus experience it first hand.
Let's all welcome Tolle to the ranks of occlusion spewing, self-aggrandizing gurus who make it all about themselves in their quest to fill seats at the satsang. His "conscious presence" may as well be a series of stinky farts for all the good it can actually do.

It's another disappointing glamorization of self-realization by a guru bent on building his business. What little understanding of self-realization he can offer to others is not augmented by the "presence" fantasy, it is thwarted by it. It seems to indicate a basic maxim of the guru business: make it all about the power of your presence, and they will come. Make it all about the actual truth, that self-realization is ultimately normalizing rather than some kind of magic gift bag from God, and you're just another fool with a webpage.

129 Comments:

At 10/24/2006 7:51 PM, Blogger jacflash said...

I like ET. He's not at all self-aggrandizing in person; very much the opposite. This whole thing seems to have taken him by surprise. And for people of a very particular sort of background, his stuff is quite useful.

The people around him, the people who market him, otoh, seem to be mostly stinkers.

 
At 10/24/2006 8:04 PM, Blogger jody said...

He's not at all self-aggrandizing in person

Neither is Ammachi, or pretty much any other guru you might meet.

I get the feeling he's a generally good guy, but he's ultimately responsible for the content of his website. If he really believes his presence teaches anything, he's got no business teaching at all, imo.

 
At 10/25/2006 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote:

"allow yourself to be drawn into the awakened state by the intense conscious presence of the teacher and thus experience it first hand."

So according to the above statement, Eckhart has the ability, through his conscious presence, to enable someone to experience first hand the awakened state.

That should really bring in the bucks. And if the person doesn't experience first hand the awakened state, then I guess they can always try (and pay for) the oppportunity again.

What the hell is conscious presence anyway? Does that mean there is unconscious presence, or consciousness which is not present? If there is such a thing as presence, which is conscious, then everyone's got it.

The idea that one person can zap another person into experiencing something which everyone is already experiencing anyway, is ridiculous.

"Awakened state?" "Conscious presence?" These seem to me to be buzz words designed to lead guileless hopefuls up the garden path and line the pockets of Eckart with gold.

 
At 10/25/2006 12:04 AM, Blogger jody said...

The idea that one person can zap another person into experiencing something which everyone is already experiencing anyway, is ridiculous.

Your words grace this blog, Maharaj!

 
At 10/25/2006 12:27 AM, Blogger Daniel P. Schreber said...

What turned me off to ET was listening to the first ten minutes of his Power of Now tapes.

In it he stated quite calmly that you should consider flowers. Flowers never worry, flowers radiate love, etc.

Flowers I perceive as beautiful. I might event project lovingness onto them sometimes. Point is its about me, not the flowers.

ET is someome with some decent insights wrapped inside the usual Newage BS.

 
At 10/25/2006 4:11 AM, Anonymous Joma Sipe said...

First of all my congratulations for your blog. It is the first time that i comment an article from you.

I have read the book "The Power Of Now" and really in something i agree with you and with your comments about the business around him and the so called "group" that he had created. I agree also with the comments that he and his first book was to him a big surprise that he somehow was unable to deal with it and the fame that it brought to him...

When we let others take control of something that we have made, the things get pretty out of our control.

For me the book is a very good way of finding ourselves and a way to find God inside and realize that we are actually God and that He is not outside, but a Force or Energy living inside of all of us...The book teach us things that we have always known inside and awake us to that universal truths...

Some years ago i have made a portuguese website with information from his book. It is on:

http://jomasipe.no.sapo.pt/poderagora.htm

for all of you that can read portuguese.

 
At 10/25/2006 9:26 AM, Blogger eWraith said...

I liked your "maxim of the guru business" -
I hope you don't mind - I've quoted it on Acalayoga blog.

M.

 
At 10/25/2006 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granted that nobody consciously "zaps" anybody into experiencing their own essential being, Jody, what would you consider an acceptable way of describing the heightened awareness of this "essential being" that many people do experience in the presence of greater and lesser teachers?

Because to deny that this happens is also ridiculous. It happens too often with too many people. Because this experience may be misunderstood or exploited doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

 
At 10/25/2006 1:27 PM, Blogger jody said...

Jody, what would you consider an acceptable way of describing the heightened awareness of this "essential being" that many people do experience in the presence of greater and lesser teachers?

I wouldn't call it an awareness of "essential being", I'd call it psyching oneself out to believe they are having a special awareness because of their belief in the power of their guru's stinky "presence."

 
At 10/25/2006 4:25 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

> what would you consider an
> acceptable way of describing the
> heightened awareness of
> this "essential being" that many
> people do experience

There are lots of words we could use. I'd suggest calling it a "big, special experience," since those are plain English words that express a clear meaning.

> in the presence of greater and
> lesser teachers?

It's only rarely that big, special experiences happen in the presence of a particular living teacher. Many people have them in nature, or in solitary meditation. In America, when big, special experiences happen in an overtly religious context, it's most often when people are praying to God or Jesus, NOT in the presence of any guru or satsang.

> Because to deny that this
> happens is also ridiculous.

Right, people have big, special experiences. Then they build elaborate idea-structures to try to explain them.

> It happens too often with too
> many people.

It should also be noted that there isn't any technique that automatically induces big, special experiences. A guru like Papaji or Muktananda may have many people claiming to have big, special experiences, but even then it's only a TINY percentage of the people who came to them seeking to have a big, special experience. Also, it seems so much more likely that the very fact that people came to them with the hope and intention of getting big, special experiences is the reason that at least this tiny percentage did in fact get them.

Taking a drug like LSD is a much, much, much more reliable way to get a big, special experience. Just as when the experiences come in the presence of a human teacher... the intention and expectation that one brings to the situation are a key factor in what one experiences, how one interprets it, and whether it has any lasting effect on one's life.

> Because this experience may be
> misunderstood or exploited
> doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

It's not just that big, special experiences can be misunderstood. It's that they can't be understood. If they could be understood, they wouldn't be so big and special.

And also, just because big, special experiences do happen, that DOESN'T mean that we ought to want them, cling to them, glorify them, and direct our lives around getting and keeping them.

Personally, I think getting big, special experiences now and then (or at least once in a lifetime) is a nice thing. I'd recommend it. For lots of people, about one week devoted to intense self-inquiry may be enough to induce one. Or for the busy man-on-the-go, about 5 minutes smoking Salvia Divinorum. But just as importantly, I'd personally assign an even higher importance to acting with honesty, clarity, and kindness, moment-to-moment, in ordinary, everyday life.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 10/25/2006 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you could invent a guru-personality and create a website for 'him' or 'her' and experiment with presenting simple untwisted teachings.
I wonder what it would look like.

You could grab some photos from the net as well of a face that seemed to display not-fake-ness and that would be the imagined guru's virtual face.

 
At 10/26/2006 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart said, "I'd personally assign an even higher importance to acting with honesty, clarity, and kindness, moment-to-moment, in ordinary, everyday life."

I also agree with you. It just seems to me that Jody has a fundamentalism mind set "against" understandings other than his own. He wants to either deny these effortlessly occurring experiences or say that they are self induced, as in masturbation, unless they are his own experiences "caused" by a psychedelic or a stone image of Kali.

I agree that these big special experiences are over-rated, that they are inspirational but not final and that nobody zaps us with them. And yet they happen and not just with teachers people adore and consider their gurus. I had such an experience at a Muktananda event and I have no respect or affection for him. Same thing happened in a Christian Church. I am not a Christian.

So why talk about "stinky presence"? Many scriptures advise being in the presence of noble teachers as an aid.

 
At 10/26/2006 9:26 AM, Blogger jody said...

It just seems to me that Jody has a fundamentalism mind set "against" understandings other than his own.

I'm just toting the line: neti, neti.

He wants to either deny these effortlessly occurring experiences or say that they are self induced, as in masturbation, unless they are his own experiences "caused" by a psychedelic or a stone image of Kali.

I'm with Stuartji on this one. Regardless of what causes the "big, special experiences", they are no closer to our nondual truth than a bathroom experience.

And I have never, EVER, regarded ANY of my own experiences as ANYTHING other than just one more fool's bullshit. My experiences, all of them, have as much to do with my nondual truth as my dog's ass.

 
At 10/26/2006 9:28 AM, Blogger jody said...

So why talk about "stinky presence"?

Because it's irrelevant to the truth. It's a smokescreen that gives folks an excuse to have a "big, special experience," which they proceed to tout as their own realization, when all they've come up with is another fantasy to cherish at the expense of their own spiritual understanding.

 
At 10/26/2006 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody said, "which they proceed to tout as their own realization, when all they've come up with is another fantasy to cherish at the expense of their own spiritual understanding."

This is not what Stuart has done with his. Neither have I. They can be an inspiration and an energizer, just like the experience of falling in love can be a doorway into real devotion. Devotion helps the mind relax and let go of control which "allows" a deeper awareness of our own "pure" existence. Inspiration helps you be alert to what is already there.

 
At 10/26/2006 4:53 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

> Many scriptures advise being in
> the presence of noble teachers
> as an aid.

If you like to think of Ammachi or Muktananda or anyone else as "noble," OK, we all have our opinions. And if you like the experience of being in their presence, that's why there's chocolate and vanilla.

It's a bit of a red flag though to talk about what scriptures advise. If you want to repair a car, then by all means get your knowledge out of a book. But if we're talking about our own experience, why in the world should anyone care what a book says? It's our own experience, what more do we need?

Yes, there are books that some people call "scriptures" that say you should be in the presence of a guru (whatever that means). There are others that say you should drink your own urine. Let's at least have some consistency. If you're going to offer up "scriptures" to support guru worship, how about downing a few pints of the yellow stuff?

http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 10/26/2006 5:09 PM, Blogger jody said...

This is not what Stuart has done with his.

I guess you must have read it differently, because this:

it seems so much more likely that the very fact that people came to them with the hope and intention of getting big, special experiences is the reason that at least this tiny percentage did in fact get them.

is telling me he's right on same page I am. Meanwhile, you appear to be in a book at the other end of the stack.

 
At 10/27/2006 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart said, "Personally, I think getting big, special experiences now and then (or at least once in a lifetime) is a nice thing. I'd recommend it."

Guess you missed that Jody. He is not glorifying them but suggesting they are inspirational. That puts Stuart and me on the same page as well.

 
At 10/27/2006 9:34 AM, Blogger jody said...

That puts Stuart and me on the same page as well.

Yes. And he's saying one of the best ways to get them is with psychedelic drugs. Are you on the same page with that?

 
At 10/27/2006 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say "get them" as if the psychedelic drug is zapping the individual with an experience, rather than it happening within the self. How would that be different from "getting it" as a contact high from a teacher or satsang?

Otherwise, I am not opposed to it, per se. But I'm way out of that loop and wouldn't know where to begin to get some. Can you help me out?

 
At 10/27/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

[regarding big, special experiences...]
jody said ...
> And he's saying one of the best
> ways to get them is with
> psychedelic drugs.

Just to be precise... I'm in no position to claim any way as best. I do think it's clear that psychedelic drugs are a far more *reliable* way to get such experiences than visiting a guru.

Take a dozen people to see Eckhart Tolle. Take a dozen people to see Gurumayi. Give a dozen people LSD. Care to make a wager on which group has the highest percentage of big, special experiences?

What's "best" is for each of us to determine for ourselves. I'm just presenting what I see as the rational view. IF one's goal is to get a big, special experience, THEN the technique of mild-altering drugs is far more reliable, less expensive, and less addictive than looking to a guru.

Anyway, I don't think there's any real argument about whether special experiences, whether they come from smoking Salvia or hugging Ammachi, are nice. Sure they are, ain't nothing wrong with either of them. But I do think there's some clarity to be gained by questioning what's MOST important, and I'd propose that it's NOT the accummulation of big, special experiences.

http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/mypage.htm

 
At 10/27/2006 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

("David the blade" here).

I wouldn't quite let Tolle off the hook for self-mythologization. Don't be decieved by a warm, loving and apparently "humble" persona into thinking that self-mythologization, and sacro-mythic inflation are not present.

A person like Tolle who has had an experience like he has had, is almost inevitably going to become sacro-mythically inflated if he cannot properly contextualize his internal experience in a way that is **completely** free of narcissism and self-overestimation. However, almost every well-known teacher falls into a trap of inflated self-view born out of interpreting their experience sacro-mythically, as if they are some kind of special great light to the world. In other words, if his self-interpretation is sacro-mythical, some degree of narcissism and inflation seems to be almost inevitable.

Narcissism is not all mean and aggressive, and doesn't always have the appearance of being other-excluding. There is a loving, kind, joyous narcissism that is narcissism by the very fact of the bearer's inflated self-view arising, ultimately, from a tendancy to view oneself as the 'mythic' center of the world (or, as having a special connection to the mythic center of the world). This aspect of narcissism can fuse and lock into an inflated sacro-mythical self-image (as some kind of savior or bringer of light) around the time of enlightenment. It seems pretty clear to me that this has happened to Tolle. Witness his self-image as continuing the great work of J. Krishnamurti, one extremely sacro-mythically inflated dude. The people to whom this happens have no idea that they have become significantly inflated, and their followers are even further from seeing the reality of it. The traditions are typically no help in this regard, because they know nothing about it, only knowing the grosser, non-pietic forms of narcissism, and indeed, even their mythical founders were probably sacro-mythically inflated also. Or, at least, our images of them are sacro-mythically inflated.

 
At 10/29/2006 7:44 AM, Anonymous durga said...

I agree that the presence thing with Tolle needs to be looked at. I’m sure he is a good guy who was surprised by his success, but there is something about the hammering of the idea of “presence” that takes me out. It’s great to be present, but all of these people giving seminars about how to be “present” reeks of post modern spiritual materialism.
I read Eckardt’s book Power of Now. Some things in it were helpful, but he seems to have it in for the past and the future. Being in the Now is good in some situations, while thinking about past and future can be helpful in others.. I’d say people don’t know enough about history as it is, at least in the U.S., and should pay a little more attention to the past and the future. It is much more pleasant to sit here and be in the “now” than to really consider what’s going on in the world and try to do something about it. I myself am guilty of this.

Stuart's suggestion of putting the focus on awareness, kindness, and honesty day to day seems to be a good idea. more realistic than always being in the Now.

 
At 11/04/2006 3:55 AM, Anonymous Mushin said...

It seems that the discussion here about the effect of the presence of a teacher is missing a point - nevertheless I greatly enjoyed reading it and cherish the interesting points of view.

What I think is missing is well expressed in the bible: "Where two or three are gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them."
I think this alludes to the phenomenon we're considering here. A phenomenon I know quite well as it plays an important part in my work with people.
Once you've started to watch out for this "presence between" you'll notice it whenever you meet people. Actually it is clear to me that this felt presence is a co-creation of everybody involved in the situation - and by everyone I also mean unseen presences as well (not that I believe in such, it's just that sometimes I have the distinctive feeling there are some bodiless presences around, so I take them in as possible co-creators as well; not that it is essential, it's just included in my view).
Once, some ten years ago, I did an experiment in a bus in St. Petersburg (Russia). I was in a public bus, closed my eyes and strongly focused on 'sending out' a feeling of 'heart-presence' (those where the terms I used then being a fledgling guru). And when I looked up after doing this for several minutes, everybody was looking at me... What also comes to mind is Rupert Sheldrake's experiments with staring: Many people do notice it when they are being stared at from behind.
So explaining the phenomenon people report about Tolle and others away psychologically (even though that plays a big role in interpreting the felt presence) might be a nice sport but it doesn't satisfy me at all. Rather it shows that most of us most of the time still subscribe to the view that we are indeedseparated in consciousness. I rather propose that consciousness is a common phenomenon in which all of us participate and that "special experiences" are the personal views of certain constellations in this 'common consciousness'.

I used to subscribe to what I've come to call 'vertical spirituality' in which there are 'higher authorities' that 'govern' us somehow. When in that mode I was considered (and considered myself) as a 'spiritual teacher' - a guru. Now I've come - through a deep crisis - to what I call 'cooperative spirituality' in which there is still hierarchies, but they are based on competence.
I've devoted a wiki (http://wiki.musin.eu) to this and it plays an important role in my blog (http://blog.mushin.eu).

Much Love,
Mushin

 
At 11/04/2006 12:26 PM, Blogger jody said...

What I think is missing is well expressed in the bible: "Where two or three are gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them."

To that I'd say, "Not anymore than in each of us individually."

Once you've started to watch out for this "presence between" you'll notice it whenever you meet people.

Once you've begun to project these ideas of "presence between" you'll see it wherever you believe it to be.

Actually it is clear to me that this felt presence is a co-creation of everybody involved in the situation - and by everyone I also mean unseen presences as well (not that I believe in such, it's just that sometimes I have the distinctive feeling there are some bodiless presences around, so I take them in as possible co-creators as well; not that it is essential, it's just included in my view).

But NONE of it has anything more to do with the nondual truth than anything else. In other words, you may be correct in your ideas about presence, but regardless of their actuality, they are phenomena that exist in the world as any other phenomena, and as phenomena, they have nothing more to do with the nondual truth than my dog's ass.

Once, some ten years ago, I did an experiment in a bus in St. Petersburg (Russia). I was in a public bus, closed my eyes and strongly focused on 'sending out' a feeling of 'heart-presence' (those where the terms I used then being a fledgling guru). And when I looked up after doing this for several minutes, everybody was looking at me...

Probably because you looked like a wackjob on the bus and they weren't sure what you were going to do next. They could have thought you were a terrorist making your last prayers before you pulled the detonator.

What also comes to mind is Rupert Sheldrake's experiments with staring: Many people do notice it when they are being stared at from behind.

I have to admit I experience this all the time myself. But regardless of the seemingly paranormal origins of the phenomena, it has nothing more to do with our nondual truth than anything else.

So explaining the phenomenon people report about Tolle and others away psychologically (even though that plays a big role in interpreting the felt presence) might be a nice sport but it doesn't satisfy me at all.

Of course it doesn't. Your whole trip is predicated on what we're debunking.

Rather it shows that most of us most of the time still subscribe to the view that we are indeedseparated in consciousness.

I'm not subscribing to that view at all. All I'm saying is that any phenomenon, whether regarded as physical, spiritual, supernatural, whatever, all have as much to do with our nondual truth as my dog's ass.

I rather propose that consciousness is a common phenomenon in which all of us participate and that "special experiences" are the personal views of certain constellations in this 'common consciousness'.

I've no argument with that. However, it still doesn't mean anything special with regardless to the nondual truth we all are right now.

I used to subscribe to what I've come to call 'vertical spirituality' in which there are 'higher authorities' that 'govern' us somehow.

I call that theosophical nonsense.

When in that mode I was considered (and considered myself) as a 'spiritual teacher' - a guru. Now I've come - through a deep crisis - to what I call 'cooperative spirituality' in which there is still hierarchies, but they are based on competence.

I call that a load of bunkum. There is the world, and the nondual truth. Any hierarchies are limited to the world, and thus have as much to do with our nondual truth as my dog's ass.

I've devoted a wiki (http://wiki.musin.eu) to this and it plays an important role in my blog (http://blog.mushin.eu).

Have a heyday with it. Thanks for commenting.

 
At 11/04/2006 3:16 PM, Blogger jody said...

How would that be different from "getting it" as a contact high from a teacher or satsang?

Because it's not by contact that you get "high". It shows that big experiences are all internally generated by certain cues, whether found in the belief in a guru's "presence" or in the biochemical effects of certain molecules.

Can you help me out?

Go to Burning Man next year and find out yourself.

 
At 11/04/2006 4:01 PM, Anonymous Mushin said...

Hi Jody,

I really like your mantra: "they have nothing more to do with the nondual truth than my dog's ass."

Especially since there is no non-dual truth, there are only non-dual lies - but presumably you have a dog with an exaust for waste products after digestion.

The dualism "there is the world and there is non-dual truth" might be of some consolance to you... in the long run it failed me utterly. There is only this, whatever it is, and even that is saying too much.
No way out of this, and the way in doesn't work either.
But I guess you have a lot of fun with this.

Much Love,
Mushin
...who appreciates this blog quite a lot.

 
At 11/04/2006 8:14 PM, Blogger jody said...

Especially since there is no non-dual truth, there are only non-dual lies - but presumably you have a dog with an exaust for waste products after digestion.

I guess it didn't occur to you that I'm saying the very same thing.

The dualism "there is the world and there is non-dual truth" might be of some consolance to you...

Every expression is a dualism, Mushin. The whole point of my blog can be summed up as "neti, neti." Any hierarchies you believe in are all within the purview of your own existence as an individual being. They are a part of the world, regardless of how much significance you invest there.

As I've come to know it, what we refer to as the nondual stands entirely outside at the same time it is not. It's either everywhere, equally or nowhere at all. In either case, it has as much to do with anything in the world as my dog's ass.

in the long run it failed me utterly. There is only this, whatever it is, and even that is saying too much.

I agree. However, there is already so much being said about it that I believe it's better to say some things than nothing at all in my Quixotic attempt to change things for the better.

No way out of this, and the way in doesn't work either. But I guess you have a lot of fun with this.

I do have a lot of fun with my blog, which I'm happy you appreciate.

 
At 11/06/2006 8:27 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Stuart said, "If you're going to offer up "scriptures" to support guru worship, how about downing a few pints of the yellow stuff?"

I'm not into guru worship and that anonymouse didn't say anything to suggest he was either. But if you'd read as many westerns as I have you'd know about the healing properties of your own urine. It can disinfect and help heal from outside or inside and doesn't taste half bad once you get past the thought of it. Plus there's scientific research behind this, Stuart. You seem like a guy who has read a lot of books, just like Jody. Why come down so hard on scripture books. I've read every Louis L'Amour ever written.

Just drink the mid stream, though Stuart.

 
At 1/05/2008 11:37 AM, Anonymous Mort said...

The other day I attained liberation! Liberation from Echhart!

I attended the teaching with questions already well formulated in my mind (I was ready.):

As an "enlightened ONE", why does he charge $100 for his talks? Why does he have a second vacation home? Why does his website look like a well crafted marketing campaign with Oprah's name plastered at the top? What's with that fancy gold vest??


I drove down the street, happy as could be, and then the lesson came. Eckhart suddenly appeared before me. Carried within his beautiful big golden SUV. My first encounter with Eckhart! The normalcy of the man was but a note in the song of my day! His relative insignificance, a brilliant revelation! We were one!

but excuse me... I've got to go "co-create" with cat's ass (and save a $100!)

--

Thanks for the great posts Jody, and excellently productive contributions from everyone else!

 
At 3/08/2008 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I drove down the street, happy as could be, and then the lesson came. Eckhart suddenly appeared before me. Carried within his beautiful big golden SUV. My first encounter with Eckhart! The normalcy of the man was but a note in the song of my day! His relative insignificance, a brilliant revelation! We were one!"

I think he owns an infinity actually...and how do you know he has a vacation home? search google for eckhart tolle vacation home, and you come up first. how about that.

 
At 4/01/2008 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tolle is a wolf in sheeps clothing. The most evil people in the world are often say the most attractive and alluring things. The very things that your ears are itching to hear.

 
At 4/03/2008 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is near impossible for many people to lose weight. What are the long term chances we can lose our ego? My guess is there is a natural progression when changing our thinking as Tolle suggests. It starts out with great promise but as with most diets it will end at some point. This is not a reflection of his ideas but rather the human condition. It is always more difficult to change than we expect even though we expect it to be difficult.

 
At 5/04/2008 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, this site really brought me down, but it's made me realize that there is truth in what Eckhart teaches about ego, as I read this page it is hard not to let my pain body feed, I so badly want to react to all this fear and negitivity but , instead I am taking a deep breath, feeling this moment and instead I feel compassionate for you all and I don't mean that to be patronizing or condecending . It's hard living with so much judgment so much worry.

 
At 5/04/2008 12:55 PM, Blogger jody said...

It's hard living with so much judgment so much worry.

Actually, it's quite easy living in truth. You should try it some time.

 
At 5/07/2008 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard living with so much judgment so much worry.

Actually, it's quite easy living in truth. You should try it some time.

5/04/2008 12:55 PM

what a patronising and superior thing to say! I mean in this context. Do you have an exclusive hotline to truth? I read Tolle, as I read many things for clues on this thing called 'truth' and am not shouting 'Eureka'...yet. Debunking is necessary , just like shitting. But one has to eat first to shit, otherwise it is just a lot of hot stinky air. Your 'truth' is vain hot air. Looks like these debunkers are setting themselves as anti-gurus...the word guru by the way means one who removes darkness...You on the other hand are trying to entice people into your darkness, promising 'truth'!

 
At 5/07/2008 4:52 PM, Blogger jody said...

what a patronising and superior thing to say!

You patronize me about my "judgment," and I'll patronize you about your ignorance.

I mean in this context. Do you have an exclusive hotline to truth?

Of course not.

I read Tolle, as I read many things for clues on this thing called 'truth' and am not shouting 'Eureka'...yet.

Nor am I. But I am saying that a person's spiritual understanding has no effect over distance, as Tolle is implying by charging by proximity.

Debunking is necessary, just like shitting.

Yes, there is a relationship there.

But one has to eat first to shit, otherwise it is just a lot of hot stinky air.

I have eaten a lot of shit over my years. No wonder my breath is so stinky to you!

Your 'truth' is vain hot air.

Your assumptions about what I find to be truth are noted.

Looks like these debunkers are setting themselves as anti-gurus...

Looks like you've got a three-year-old's understanding of just what I am trying to say here.

the word guru by the way means one who removes darkness...You on the other hand are trying to entice people into your darkness, promising 'truth'!

Not really. I am just trying to render realization and enlightenment in its actual effect on a life. My goal is to strip the superstition from what is really only the ongoing condition of all beings, not just those who proclaim themselves guru.

 
At 5/08/2008 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words are pointers to patterns that fire in your brain. (the key word their is "your") A 'tree' points to whatever matter your experience tells you is tree. In other languages, it is not a 'tree' - it is an 'arbol' (Spanish example). Then truth becomes a function of agreement. That piece of matter is a 'tree' only because of agreement. (dictionary) It is true now that google is a verb in the dictionary. It is true that Pluto is a planet . . . oh . . .wait a minute . . . the agreement changed on that one . . . it is not true anymore. :-)

The amazing thing about the universe is that it is indifferent to our description of it. Each person who posts here (including me) can post what they believe is the truth, supported by whatever agreement they can find, and it will have no bearing on whether or not it actually IS the truth.

And lest you think I am a philospher . . . I am a neurologist who specializes in linguistics. So I guess I could be a philosopher if I got a label that said so. :-)

Remember: words can NEVER be that which they describe/point to - so stop feeling so significant about what you believe.

 
At 5/08/2008 7:52 AM, Blogger jody said...

Each person who posts here (including me) can post what they believe is the truth, supported by whatever agreement they can find, and it will have no bearing on whether or not it actually IS the truth.

But sometimes some folk come to an understanding that whoever may describe a truth is non-existent from the regard of nondual truth.

stop feeling so significant about what you believe.

That's appears to be your projection. I am not significant, nor do I feel significant, in any way. I'm just some jerk with some opinions about how nondual truth is used and abused in the context of Vedic-based spiritual culture in the West.

However, it is significant that you've mentioned significance. It's the number one cause of our misidentification as people who think they know things. It's the making of nondual truth into the significant that's fostered the creation and maintenance of this blog. By charging by proximity at his satsangs, Tolle has made his presence significant, leaving others to believe in that significance, leading them to assume that realization comes with a power that allows its transmission over short distances. This does his students a grave disservice, which is why I happened to complain about Tolle in this blog post.

 
At 5/08/2008 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saying that what I say "appears to be my projection" is stating the obvious. It can't be anything but a projection. I only interpret, process and then type (project) my interpretation.

I might not be clear on the linguistic point: Your words about "nondual truth" carry no more 'truth' than Tolle's. Your truth is what you believe it to be - and so is his. Neither of which has any bearing on the truth.

Him pushing his truth - and you blogging your truth are two sides of the same coin.

Where this blog has merit is on BEHAVIOR. The charging of the $ for proximity is an example of behavior that does not align with integrity to his stated positions about ego.

But your savior complex does give off the perception of significance - whether it is your intention (or you feel it) or not. There is no Kool-aid on the end of Tolle's message . . . let people make their own way. (and yes, it would be stating the obvious again to say that this is my opinion) :-)

PS: why is there the preoccupation on here with fecal matter from animals and anal orifices? It sort of detracts from the quality of what people are really stating - and reads like a blog of a lesser educational quality. (which I don't believe it is by the content)

 
At 5/08/2008 8:38 AM, Blogger jody said...

Saying that what I say "appears to be my projection" is stating the obvious.

Well, I am a master of the obvious.

Your words about "nondual truth" carry no more 'truth' than Tolle's.

I'm not saying they do. I'm saying that physical proximity and nondual understanding have no relationship to one another, as Tolle implied on his website.

Your truth is what you believe it to be - and so is his. Neither of which has any bearing on the truth.

Yet, one, the other, or both of us may have a personal, experiential insight into the nature of nondual truth.

But your savior complex does give off the perception of significance - whether it is your intention (or you feel it) or not.

Well, it's true that I'm grandiose in that I feel a duty to express my opinions about how nondual truth is butchered by the spirituality industry. But I'm very clear on the fact that I'm just some jerk who thinks he knows and is somewhat impotently empowered by a blog to express this. Were I to die today, the world would keep turning.

There is no Kool-aid on the end of Tolle's message

There are gallons upon gallons of Kool-Aid pouring into Tolle's message because he's made his own spiritual understanding so significant. It's a function of a guru's popularity and his/her ignorance of this very fact.

PS: why is there the preoccupation on here with fecal matter from animals and anal orifices?

You brought it up first.

It sort of detracts from the quality of what people are really stating - and reads like a blog of a lesser educational quality. (which I don't believe it is by the content)

All you're getting here is one jerk's opinions, poorly clothed in an attempt to be humorous. They are written in the style of a pop culture blog, which sometimes affords me the opportunity to be truly juvenile, a guilty pleasure I still enjoy in my middle age.

 
At 5/30/2008 10:55 PM, Anonymous Andrew said...

I actually came upon this blog looking for criticism of Eckhart Tolle's ideas. So far my Google search has only led me to accusations against him for being a New Ager, without much examination of what he actually says.

The most specific thing I saw on here seems to be the criticism that he claims to be able to make people feel "awakened" by his very presence. It may sound like just a ploy for money, but in his book "A New Earth" Tolle gives some examples of this that might make it clear.

I've never seen him in person, but I think I've experienced what he's talking about. The people you are around tend to affect your own thought patterns. I've been around people who seem very serene and peaceful. When I've see them not react to angry and tense people, and then see the other people's anxiety deflate, I've come away feeling a little more able to be this way whenver I encounter conflict or negative emotions myself.

As for Tolle's celebrity status and money-grubbing tactics, I don't know enough about him to make judgment. But if he's charging large amounts for his lectures and not doing anything free or low prices I would say that does not match up well with his ideas. Of course we don't always know where that money's going - it could be helping any number of charities for all we know.

 
At 6/30/2008 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I'm not supposed to have such a thing, as it's egoic and emblematic of Form not of this earth, and. . .blah blah blah. . .Hey, here's a THOUGHT:

How, exactly, do you suppose Eckhart Tolle managed to write several best-selling books if he wasn't, um, THINKING about writing several books; best-selling or otherwise? I mean, THINK about this for a moment:

The United States is fighting a War on Terrorism right now, right? Yeah. Well, Mr. Tolle may indeed be astute in having pointed out in "A New Earth" how anything called "the war on [fill in the blank]" is doomed to failure--I won't here debate the point; nor will I allow if, in fact, I agree--but aren't the terrorists the U.S. is fighting in this struggle a bunch of radicals who are convinced that the Word of Allah was dictated by the Archangel Gabril to the Prophet Mohammad? Yes, they are. Well, forgive me for making what seems a rather self-evident observation here but. . .either Eckhart Tolle gave the cottage industry that has arisen out of all his mumbo jumbo a whole lot of, uh, thought, folks, OR you believe that he's some divine radio, as it were, tuned in to God's broadcast. That is, either he's a hypocrite, or he's, like the entity credited with giving the world a religion today known as Islam, some divine messenger.

So which is it? I'm going with the first assumption, and that's because I know that Eckhart Tolle wants me to do the one thing he preaches I shouldn't do: He wants me to think about his words; then, presumably, realize how much they resonate before going out and buying another of his books, attending one of his seminars, telling everyone I know, etc.

Eckhart Tolle isn't Paul Newman, people. Newman's Own, as the labels go out of their way to remind you, donates all its profits to charity. But remember that Eckhart Tolle doesn't represent any church or religious ideology except the one he dreamt up himself. And "A New Earth" ain't the Gideon bible. Eckhart Tolle isn't giving anything away. (In fact, it costs a small fortune to hear him speak live, or so I've been told; a point that's been made by several other commenters.)

So where, exactly, do you think all the money Oprah's helped Eckhart Tolle generate. . .is going? Not surprisingly, the author wouldn't want you thinking too hard about that one.

Fortunately, you don't really have to.

Not only could I not disagree more with Eckhart Tolle, but I don't need to write several best-selling books to impart MY message. (Just a somewhat long-winded comment on a blog.)

THINK, everyone! Only--and this may be a novel idea for many--do your OWN thinking. I realize that some of us may seek spiritual enlightenment, "awakening", "presence", or whatever it's being called by the latest guru-of-the-moment. But the path to enlightenment won't be found blindly latching on to the words of others. It seems to me that if it's peace one truly desires, one needs to find his or her OWN voice and then become comfortable with it.


Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

 
At 7/18/2008 7:44 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Like Andrew (two posts up), I stumbled on this for the same reasons as he did. I frankly could care less about ET, since to me he's just another con looking to cash in on people's insecurities by challenging their self-perceived character flaws (God, listen to me... I'm beginning to sound like one of those guys).

But I have to challenege one thing Andrew said:

I've never seen him in person, but I think I've experienced what he's talking about. The people you are around tend to affect your own thought patterns. I've been around people who seem very serene and peaceful. When I've see them not react to angry and tense people, and then see the other people's anxiety deflate, I've come away feeling a little more able to be this way whenver I encounter conflict or negative emotions myself.

Please. You don't need to "be around people" with serenity to have those feelings yourself. I spent lots of time around very peaceful, calm, serene people for years, and I'd still occasionally spin out of control when angered or upset.

It didn't take other people to change me. Three years ago at age 50, I had a heart attack and was seriously ill for some time. While I recuperated, a couple of situations arose that would have normally sent me spinning like the Tasmanian Devil going after Bugs Bunny. I began to realize, having come a little too close to death, that stress and anger were not going to fix or alleviate these issues. I taught myself to be calm about things.

But more importantly, I discovered that it was far more important to do this for others than just for myself. Sure, there are plenty of "selfish" reasons for me to want to stay alive a few years longer (grin). But I have a wonderful wife and a beautiful daughter who frequently rely on me for some important things. Taking care of myself and rethinking my attitudes about things for their sake makes that change a lot easier.

Mr. Tolle and others like him are so busy telling us to focus on the "now" and how "we" experience the "moments," "we" are forgetting that there are others around us.

This is why charlatans like John Edward get away with the crap they do, convincing people they communicate with the dead. People respond to the cold reading and other scams because they are affected in some way by that loss. They're focusing on their emotions and he's taking advantage of that common human weakness.

When my brother died six years ago, Mr. Edward was a big deal on TV. My sister was convinced he was genuine, until I showed her how he worked and why he was a fraud. Then I asked her a question: if Tom were actually able to "communicate" with living people, don't you think he would communicate with my Mom or Dad, or me or you?

In the end, they're all part of the same con game, the goal of which is to separate people from as much of their money as possible, while making them "feel good" about it.

 
At 11/25/2008 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys just dont get it. your thoughts about what ET is saying are the things that would never understand this place he speaks of in the first place. he's saying that you are not your thoughts, and so dont identify with them. go deeper for identity. you are using your ego's to understand this. which is impossible. he is trying to say ideas are ego based, and get us in trouble with each other. they are the apple we bite. this whole presence thing comes from not wasting our time with knowing whats right and wrong.. not playing the game of 'this makes sense' or 'that doesnt make sense'.. its about getting over that urge to know.. and just be your real self. the self that couldnt give a rip about who's right and wrong.. but just relax into who it is that God made you to be.
if you were an angel in heaven, you wouldnt be concerned with truth anymore.. you would be in truth and living with total trust that God made you whole, and not lacking, not needing to seek any longer.. not arguing about who you should be.. you would be in God, and in heaven.. thats where ET connects with Christianity nicely. You dont need to worry about thoughts revolving around spiritual growth anymore.. you dont need to grow.. because if you are living in God, then you dont need to measure your growth.. you just trust that you are alligned in a heavenly state in Gods care with total trust (which would be opposite of ego)And there may be a good and bad, and there probably is, and there probably is a right and a wrong.. but you wont need to waste your time thinking about that anymore, because you gave yourself to God (in the moment no less).. and youre covered at that point, and beyond lack.. where you can finally be yourself.. and wait for others to do the same.

 
At 1/06/2009 6:15 PM, Blogger diahni said...

I'm about as allergic to all things new agey as anybody, yet I find ET to be sincere. He is highly intelligent and articulate. I've found his message to be quite useful. Say what you like, this man is a genuine spiritual leader.

 
At 1/11/2009 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting to remark that the single person who has made a comment here that displays actual understanding of Eckhart Tolle's teachings is the one two comments up.

The problem and reason why none of you (including me, mind you) can truly grasp ET's 'presence' term is you're reviewing and considering his ideas through your egos. That is precisely the very fact Mr. Tolle is trying to get us to 'wake up' to. Trouble is, ego-based thinking is so deeply integrated in us we simply cannot get rid of it. Tolle says it again and again: 'You cannot solve this by thinking.' Do not take this too literally though, because we're of course thinking all the time. It's simply the QUALITY of thinking that's different. Look back to the thousands of times when you were simply concentrated on the moment - such as when intensely watching a good movie (this is when it occurs the most often for me for some reason). THAT is presence.

All of us HAVE experienced the 'presence' he goes on about, mind you. Personally, I can remember how there was a certain completely different sort of quality of experience to my childhood. This is precisely why children are valued as 'pure' or 'alive' - they haven't yet developed the unfortunate cognitive abilities to make judgments.

Whether Tolle is a money-greedy bastard and is all about making $$$ is completely irrelevant. In that case, he would be simply another charlatan, fallen from his own beliefs. Fact is what he speaks is TRUTH, and like he points out you will somehow 'know' this as you read Power of Now.

The much more interesting point is how NONE of us are able to 'live' that truth, precisely because of our egos. You can verify this for yourself: Thinking back of your life, would you not agree that 99,9% of the pain you've experienced was created by yourself? Of course, it could be you were angry at somebody for treating you badly (such as for stealing your wallet, for example). However, if you measure how much of that pain had actual reality you will find there is no pain - did it hurt finding your wallet gone? No, only in your mind. Even traumatic losses of close ones or other horrible things that can happen to you are illusory, suffering created by your own thoughts. Actual pain is limited to the physical realm (such as hurting your leg) and how much was mental (being put down, blaming yourself for X) you will indeed discover that all suffering is your own projection and thus illusory. 97% of people's worries never become relevant!

Yes, I do believe Tolle's words hold the very truth about freedom vs. suffering, indeed the very essence of the mythical 'apple biting' in Eden. What Tolle does a horrible job of stressing enough, however, is how you should NOT repeat *NOT* seek for salvation through his ideas! This is precisely what you see all these 'Tolle maniacs' doing when they're defending him, being too doof to understand they're precisely working AGAINST his teachings are getting farther and farther away from 'presence'. Being a 'fan' of Tolle is the very kind of ignorance these people are seeking to rid themselves of. This is why Tolle can be incredibly DANGEROUS, something to which I can attest myself. DO NOT go questing for enlightenment!

***Obviously, this comment was made by somebody with an ego.***

 
At 1/12/2009 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if it's true that Eckhart's making a lot of money, therefore must be fruadulent, ect. that's all well and good. On the other hand, why should that be my any of my business? I check his books and CD lectures out at the public library and don't pay a cent for them. (And yes, I think his voice alone is enough to convey his presence, for what it's worth.) I don't believe for a minute that I'm benefiting less than someone who has shelled out a hundred bucks for a lecture, and my guess is that Tolle would agree. If people want to extol him as some guru or messiah, when he says repeatedly in his books (which Jody has admitted hasn't read, so much for having a well-informed, balanced opinion) that he should not be considered as such, then isn't it their problem, and not his? Didn't someone once say you should focus on the message, and not the messenger? And btw, name calling ("stinky") is a rather juvenile way of presenting one's case, unless you're appealing only to other juveniles.

 
At 1/12/2009 3:11 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Didn't someone once say you should focus on the message, and not the messenger?

In the case of big-time gurudom, the messenger IS the message. And when the messenger is held above as an example of perfected humanity, the nondual truth gets covered in speculation and expectation.

And btw, name calling ("stinky") is a rather juvenile way of presenting one's case, unless you're appealing only to other juveniles.

This blog is written in a style that emulates a gossip blog. We reserve the right to be as stupid as any of them.

 
At 2/07/2009 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why dont you all actually read the book first, before discussing it as if you know what the book is about.

 
At 3/20/2009 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just love it when people criticize a doctrine without even reading it. Way to go man!

 
At 3/27/2009 6:39 PM, Blogger Brian said...

I have listen to A New Earth and the biggest issue I have is when he discusses being and thinking as 2 different parts of your being and that the idea "I think therefore I am" is false. You are your thoughts. Your can analyze your thoughts but your brain is you. There is no essence that is the pure you. In his world this pure you is just like every other essence. There is no identity, no self. What's the point? Must I then believe that I won't exist to find peace? Then why aren't atheist the happiest people on the planet. Self awareness in not hocus pocus. It is looking at what you do and asking your self why you do it. You could find peace better through a mental health book. It does however help you look at things from a different frame of view and I did find it helpful just don't suck it all in as 100% truth.

 
At 6/24/2009 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be interested in discussing Eckhart Tolle's teachings with someone who has understood it, or at least understood some of it or has found it useful. i am not interested in knocking him off as I think that he has been very generous in sharing his knowledge with us. (1hermit)

 
At 7/09/2009 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how you never read "The Power of Now" but you seem to be giving a review of it.

 
At 7/09/2009 11:10 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

I don't need to read the book to know it's bullshit to charge for proximity.

 
At 10/19/2009 9:05 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I don't understand why you have to be so villifying and negative about Eckhart Tolle.

You seem to think that money somehow sours things. Money is just money, it's not good or bad.

I would rather give money to someone who has something useful to say than use it for the many destructive things it can be spent on.

Either way, you should learn from him. Nowhere in his writings do I see him villifying people and making very, very negative comments about people he hasn't even met. You see a set of circumstances and see fit to categorize someone and their work as "stinky".

Also, you seem to contradict yourself because you call him a good person, then you call him "stinky" (you sound rather confused).

 
At 10/19/2009 9:33 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Tolle has done more to reify the idea of the now than any other guru. He's made millions, and while a lot of folks feel they've been helped by his ideas, their heads are now full of occluding concepts that likely prevent their own nondual understanding.

 
At 11/11/2009 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember ET back in the 80s grabbing onto others "New Age" BS, as so succinctly coined on this post. Theres nothing new or original about him or his 'message'. Perhaps he really believes the pap he spouts but as previously stated, I see him as dangerous, self delusional and exploitive. Ironically a perfect example of an ego run mad. I recently had the misfortune to speak to some of his followers, it was like talking to 'Stepford wives', all his cliches kept issuing from their mouths, unexplored and without discrimination, it was scary and very depressing.
Ironically one of them had been brought up by Jehovah's Witnesses, rejected that because it was a cult, and yet couldn't see he was swapping one cult experience for another . There was nothing to say, the messianic glaze over his eyes precluded any debate." Worldbridgers" they call themselves, sais it all really. Im new to this blog , have you come across "The guru papers ,masks of authoritarian power"? Terrible title but I cant recommend it enough

 
At 1/28/2010 5:45 PM, Blogger Dhamma said...

So Jody,
Honestly, your arrogance and defensiveness to others' criticism makes it pretty clear that you have not really experienced, or at least maintained, the experience of this "non-duality." And unfortunately you are distracting many with this blog of arguments and other mental noise. :(

 
At 1/29/2010 12:49 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

your arrogance and defensiveness to others' criticism makes it pretty clear that you have not really experienced, or at least maintained, the experience of this "non-duality."

If it's an "experience" that is "maintained", it has nothing more to do with the Atman than my dog's ass.

And unfortunately you are distracting many with this blog of arguments and other mental noise. :(

Opinion noted. Caveat emptor!

 
At 2/05/2010 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LMAO! What I find funny is that you'll say such things not in an effort to actually understand or be critical, but rather to increase traffic to your blog. The very thing that you accuse ET of, you do yourself. I'm sure it's no coincidence that you are writing now about ET when he has books that were on the best seller list for the last 11 years.

You are transparent to me. I can see through your bullshit.

 
At 2/20/2010 2:42 PM, Blogger Dhamma said...

Oops, did not mean "maintained" Sorry, bad word choice. I meant more like continuing, or a state/awareness/openness/knowing/feeling/seeing that is still as such within you. :)

Still, the nature/tone of your response to me continues to support my "opinion." :P

Anyway, you and your doggie's butt are already the "Atman," you just don't know it yet. :):):) <3 <3 <3

Sorry, if my first comment seemed a little harsh. I think I was feeling a little frustrated with the tone of much of this whole blog...

Sincerly though! <3 (a Heart)
And with LOVE,
Brandi

 
At 2/20/2010 4:04 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

I think I was feeling a little frustrated with the tone of much of this whole blog...

That "tone" is called "critique," rather than "breathless promotion of whatever the peace-bringing [INSERT GURU'S NAME] is saying."

We all have different tastes.

 
At 2/24/2010 3:33 PM, Blogger Dhamma said...

To Jody:
Yes, I understand and appreciate critique, when it serves ourselves. This is beyond healthy critique though, and going toward the opposite end of the spectrum from the "breathless promotion" of gurus.

Anyone's who's priority is truth and not just following one's own "tastes" will have a healthy mix of both critical thinking and openness. This blog seems to blindly criticize everyone.

I sincerely wonder if there are any gurus/teachers/leaders (or whatever your preferred word) that you do respect and appreciate as genuinely wise, helpful, compassionate, and/or whatever you value most.
I am actually very curious. That/those one(s) must be truly exceptional!

With Love,
Brandi

 
At 2/25/2010 1:45 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

This blog seems to blindly criticize everyone.

This blog was designed just for that purpose, to expose those gurus who use of the idea that their enlightenment makes them special, somehow more holy and better than the average person. Tolle fits this bill, not to mention his defunct ideas about "ego."

I sincerely wonder if there are any gurus/teachers/leaders that you do respect

There are real gurus, and there are commercial gurus. I find most commercial gurus defective to some degree, some more than others, mostly as a function of their need to market themselves. Adyashanti is a commercial guru that's not all bad, but he's about the only one I can think of at the moment.

As far as real gurus, I know many. I have my own, a humble swami from India, as well as a Sufi sheikh/psych professor. I also have many internet gurus, folks I've encountered online who have offered valuable perspective and input on my ideas. Many of my friends have functioned as guru for me in one way or another. Even the music I listen to can be the voice of the guru; for instance, anything that Tina Dico sings.

Here's what I think of gurus: if they can't lead you to your own inner guru, they are worthless. The commercial gurus don't want this, because then you won't depend on them anymore. They get you hooked and string you along so you'll keep feeding their greed. There are many unidentified gurus out there, offering quiet assistance without expecting to be lifted on a pedestal and worshipped like God. Those are the real gurus.

 
At 3/13/2010 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody, I love how you unknowingly or knowingly (depending on how much you love your hampster wheel)spin circles projecting a few of eckharts students opinions of him and TRY to make it look like it is what he believes himself to be. he's stated he's nothing special numerous times To which you would think "ohhh how convienient, make my students believe im not special so i can make more money on the "non-dual" truth. Since you haven't read the book it's quite pointless. The only reason i'm responding is because despite some misjudgments, this board isn't flooded with hate. The message in his books is that of love and has helped many including myself open the door into a more fullfilling experience in countless ways. Why would you want to sour people on that idea including yourself? All I see is "that's not ice!, it's water!" statements.

 
At 6/24/2010 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dissociation is catching, so, yeah, Tolle's(and any other guru's) presence could lead to dissociation in audience members. This is actually the way the scam works.

 
At 7/10/2010 7:48 AM, Blogger Tom said...

wow. i must say this was one of the deepest discussions i have seen on the web. if any of you ever takes the initiative to arrange a skype conference call or anything similar, i'm totally in!

 
At 7/12/2010 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never realized how hypac
ritical I have been all my life in relation to the fact that I have always been down on the bible even though I have never read it. I just knew it was full of bs.

Now that I see people trashing ET and those same people making the same hypocritical mistake that I have been making with the bible has been an eye opener for me.

I have read the ET books over and over again and they have changed my life for the better.

 
At 8/03/2010 2:36 PM, Anonymous mer said...

Felt compelled to respond as a massage therapist to this blog. In this field I am constantly aware of mind/body as I encounter people coming to be soothed by touch. ET does his own type of soothing the masses by touching with words. That said, the problem I see with his work is that he isn't trained as a philosopher and so his use of language is very unclear and can lead you, with just one word used in a myriad of contexts, to total confusion. Yet, he is touching upon feelings and concepts that most people do not really vet for themselves, but in the manner in which he says them, the spirit if you will, manages to soothe... and like a good massage can put you in a trance of sorts and finally to sleep. No harm done, except as someone pointed out, nothing gained, nothing learned, except maybe the pleasure of being released from existential fear for a moment in time. When real life hits you upside the head you want to believe that with these good feelings you will be prepared to not react and instead you will be able to translate those soothing good feelings into right action. Unfortunately, it's rarely the case. It takes hard work on a daily basis to remember yourself and to act with integrity with your professed values. Also, with regard to people who appear to appear calm and collected and integral, especially high on a seminar over the weekend, yes, as a real philosopher said, a one Herr Wittgenstein, "Our ability to play a role is endless".

 
At 1/27/2011 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chillax b'ys.. <3

 
At 1/30/2011 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the fecal-shit-ass comments can be attributed to the emotional-territorial circuit in you brain/nervous system. In other words, ego-politics as usual. Suck on those words! (Bio-Survival Oral Circuit, Symbolic Logic Semantic Circuit).

As any crazy Zen Master knows, the use of words, describing a spiritual experience or realization is usually done incredibly poorly and just fucks up other people's minds. Also, a person with weak language, math, and logic skills runs the risk of having a weak understanding of the higher states one might experience and runs the risk of dogmatically mapping such experience into narrow reality tunnels.

It appears to me that Eckhart is a failed intellectual who both accidentally and through effort centered into the state of spacious awareness (detached heightened sensual awareness) and possibly opened up to some of the higher states or circuits as well. So as a "spiritual" person, yeah he is legit. As a writer and speaker he appears to me to be a bit of an idiot.

Shawn Aleister

 
At 4/02/2011 1:27 PM, Blogger Urgulak said...

ET is normal manipulator. But, on the other hand, I believe, that he could maybe have so mess up brain, that he believes in what he is teaching.

He is mixing psychology, religion and philosophy, and no one of his thoughts is original.

I am a student of classical and modern philosophy, so I can very easy recognize original thoughts in his teaching, mostly stolen from Phenomenological methods of Edmud Husserl, than of course from Zen – Buddhism and maybe from Logotherapy of V. E. Frankl.

But his eclectic using of thoughts doesn't really bother me, what bothers me is, that he is using thoughts of others in a way like they are his own, and than he is reversing these thoughts and cutting of important parts so it is leading to many contradictions.

For example, without the conscious of our mistakes, of our our past, we could not be able to learn, and if we will live in a constant presence, yes it could be good – no worries, no bad memories or fear od future, but than we will be dead – our personality will die, and we will be like animals, just living from day to day, without selfreflection, whithout reflection of our past actions and future consequences. Personally I am convinced, that his teaching is very dangerous.

PS: I am apologizing for my English, I am not native speaker and I am still learning ... If you will see some grammar mistakes, please write me about them, thanx

 
At 5/06/2011 5:17 AM, Blogger derfplik said...

Sadly, you miss the whole point. In a world where people believe that war is essential for survival, guns should be toted in belts, resolutions to problems are to kill your enemy in the name of God, sexual exploitation is the norm, failure of education is blamed on teachers, budget balancing precludes helping the less fortunate, it is good to know that someone like Eckhart Tolle and all other "gurus" have some words of encouragement to us. Of course money is needed to spread that word. Capitalism requires it. After all, that 1% of the population who already have 90% of the wealth are not willing to use their power to spread this word, and are too busy espousing the afore mentioned ideas.

 
At 5/22/2011 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is what ET and other teachers are trying to do in a nutshell.
Convey the truth they have realised to others. As it transcends mind/body, it is always going to fail in conveying That. They have nothing to prove. They can just as easily remain in silence. They don't pretend to have any answers or special philosophies. Ramana Maharshi generally remained silent, and even in this silence, many who came to him reported deep states of stillness, opening, shifts. They are not interested if you agree or disagree with what they say. They hope people will read, listen, and attend in person, so that they may, by being in proximity to this Grace/transmission, that is awakened consciousness, awake to that same Truth. Some do, some have a taste, and many are not touched in any way. Still others are triggered to flame.

 
At 5/22/2011 7:22 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

They hope people will read, listen, and attend in person, so that they may, by being in proximity to this Grace/transmission, that is awakened consciousness, awake to that same Truth. Some do, some have a taste, and many are not touched in any way. Still others are triggered to flame

You've invoked the folk theory that enlightenment radiates within a certain proximity to an enlightened person, as well as confusing a transitory change in state of consciousness with nondual realization, of which there is no taste at all.

Eckhart, and most of the other commercial gurus, bank on these folk theories and transitory experiences to sustain their business. But to use these ideas—either explicitly or implicitly—only contributes to the ignorance the gurus claim they want to alleviate.

 
At 5/22/2011 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't get what these teachers are pointing to; if you've never had a heart opening, or an OBE, or NDE, or energetic stirring, or witness state, samadhi, an experience of the oneness of all life....
in other words, if someone has never had an experience that points to there being more to this life than brains and chaos, then it is only normal that they will not get it, be critical or cynical, lash out at something so foreign and strange, feel immensely frustrated that somehow they are missing it, be skeptical, cry bloody murder, cult, and all the rest.
The only remedy in this case, is an experience, one that confirms in some measure what teachers like ET are trying to point to. It may sound pretentious or elitist, but there is really no other way.
It cannot and should not be taken on faith, hope or intellect, it absolutely must be experienced, and known for oneself. There are really 2 camps out there, to put it simply, those who know, to whatever measure, that at least there is more to the show than brains and chaos. Even a little taste is enough to turn one into a seeker for life. The absense of this taste, is enough to make one a cold, cynical, angry, lonely pessimist.

 
At 5/22/2011 7:54 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

If you don't get what these teachers are pointing to; if you've never had a heart opening, or an OBE, or NDE, or energetic stirring, or witness state, samadhi, an experience of the oneness of all life....

If something comes and goes, it is not nondual awareness, although samadhi is a favorable state.

The only remedy in this case, is an experience, one that confirms in some measure what teachers like ET are trying to point to.

One problem with ET, et al., is that they point to transitory experiences as if they were enlightenment. They are not. It's a bait and switch.

The other problem is the language they use to describe enlightenment. These descriptions are more obstructive than constructive, in almost every case. By giving somebody a picture of enlightenment, you've just wallpapered-over their chance to come to it themselves.

 
At 5/25/2011 11:45 AM, Blogger samgravell said...

I'm not sure that the most intelligent way to bash an author is to introduce the topic by blatantly acknowledging that you didn't even read the book...

 
At 5/31/2011 1:51 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

blatantly acknowledging that you didn't even read the book

Just being honest. And honestly, you only need to read the first five pages to see it's only another man's needless conceptualization of what can never be expressed. Just more mud thrown on the jewel.

 
At 6/06/2011 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After many years of practicing meditation, Kundalini Yoga etc I can only say that the philosophy of Tolle is intriguing but the practice is profound. You wont know without practice.

Purusha

 
At 7/15/2011 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Hindhu who is practising Rajayoga Meditation for more than 10 years now now I have read both of ET's books, Power of Now and A New Tommorrow. ET has a rare gift of explaining what many of us are practising through our Masters or Religion. I think he is genuine and very sincere. Your comment about his "Stinky Presence" speaks volumes of what you have learnt.

 
At 7/15/2011 10:58 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Your comment about his "Stinky Presence" speaks volumes of what you have learnt.

Or, it reveals to us exactly what you have NOT learned.

 
At 8/04/2011 5:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we haven't read his book..." is a great way to start a critique, wouldn't you say?

 
At 8/05/2011 2:58 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

is a great way to start a critique

One only needs to read the first chapter to gather the gist.

 
At 8/25/2011 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha... how to make a complete ass of yourself: don't read the book that you publicly announce is shit.

 
At 8/25/2011 12:58 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

don't read the book that you publicly announce is shit.

You don't have to smell shit to know it stinks, right?

 
At 8/25/2011 6:26 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Generally, the book isn't a total disaster, but anytime you fetishize a state of consciousness, you are going to create more ignorance than clarity, IMO.

 
At 10/19/2011 6:26 AM, Blogger Nazz said...

Everybody is right YAY!!!! :D

 
At 11/12/2011 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must sense that there is something other than "thinking" that represents reality. Thinking is not real, it is a virtual reality..., it is a facsimile of real life happening. Thinking has a basis in fact, but it is not fact, because it is conditional, inductive and subjective. Anything you think about should have an inherent disclaimer "based on a true story", therefore you are not fooled by what your mind purports. What Eckart Tolle speaks of is the universal and perpetual effort to awaken us from mistaking mental activity for who you are. You are not your mind. ET is expressing this in a contemporay way, just as anyone else in history seemingly compelled to free you from this psycological burden. Trust illuminatives like ET, when they don't point to themselves as the source of enlightenment, but to you as that source. You can't be sold this, because you already have it.

 
At 11/12/2011 9:29 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

You can't be sold this, because you already have it.

https://www.eckharttolletv.com/join/

 
At 11/12/2011 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A perfect response to perpetuate the spirit of this blog...

 
At 11/12/2011 10:42 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Yes. It's called truth, n'est-ce pas?

 
At 11/12/2011 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touché! This, as anything else, has its place and purpose... Your efforts are appreciated.

 
At 11/12/2011 11:18 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

There are two kinds of knowers of the nondual truth: those who sell it and those who don't. It requires a certain grandiosity to attempt to sell something that will, 1) always remain entirely subjective to yourself, and 2) can never be communicated in any manner that involves the use of words, or anything else that exists in the world. Tolle may think he's helping people, and I'm sure there are many who feel they are helped. But I'm also sure his "teaching" results in the installation of constructed notions that, while providing bits of warm and fuzzy feelings, do so at the expense of the very clarity he foolishly believes he is providing.

 
At 11/12/2011 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the alternative to this blog is silence... Yet, what is expressed here, is meaningful... the duality of the knowledge. There must be some "expense" (perhaps monetary), to then suggest there should be none... The need to use words to point to the uselessness of the same!

 
At 11/12/2011 11:47 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

So the alternative to this blog is silence...

I'd say it's to meditate, contemplate, and pay your bills.

 
At 11/15/2011 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm back as the most resent anonymous poster, because I feel the need to admit my judgmental attitude over the intent of this blog. The following is a correction of my assumptions:

You are not an uniformed cynic.

You were using the blog to promote your own egoic need to satisfy some deep seeded psychological dysfunctions unbeknownst to you.

Your chide remarks to posters were mental defenses that were actually obstructing you from the realization of your true nature.

Your post on non-duality is presented with a real sense of the knowledge. And you have been brilliantly exposing and reflecting posters to their own egoic presumptions.

I would like to supplement your observations of purporters of non-duality as: Those who use the illusion of duality to point to non-duality by targeting the mind and its bank account in an ever ascending "you’re not quite there yet", to those who point to the reverse, "you are there (here)" and anything else you do maybe helpful but not necessary...

Thanks Jody... Peace.

 
At 11/15/2011 5:56 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Opinions noted. :)

 
At 11/21/2011 7:32 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

You were using the blog to promote your own egoic need to satisfy some deep seeded psychological dysfunctions unbeknownst to you.

The term "egoic need" is sort of like saying water is wet. All needs are egoic. The dysfunction was quite known, actually. However, I felt a need was there to present my critiques, which are based on the notion of nondual occlusion.

Your chide remarks to posters were mental defenses that were actually obstructing you from the realization of your true nature.

It was more born out of a central frustration I was carrying. It was a "mad at life" thing, although I am and have been a generally happy person. I did not find that this was an impediment to jnana, although it certainly comes from a place of identification with myself as an individual than it does from self knowledge.

As you can see, this has mostly tapered off. I credit Twitter for helping me in this regard. If you get too snarky there, you get blocked. It forced me to tone down the jabbiness.

 
At 11/27/2011 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jody,

The points that you reflected on, were actually part of of my assumptions. I meant, that I assumed these things of you and then wanted to confess this and retract. I should have isolated the first 3 statements after the colon to clarify.

I have noticed your adjusted responses to posters (over 5 years!), and appreciate your further personal elaboration.

Regardless, if the blog promotes self-reflection (which it did for me, you(?) and others) as much as friendly agreement/disagreement, then great!

 
At 1/06/2012 9:17 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

Allen Ginsberg had an awakening when he was reading William Blake and masturbating. Can Eckhart Tolle explain that?

 
At 1/06/2012 9:21 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

First, you'd have to ascertain exactly what Ginsberg awoke to. If we give that it was an internal recognition of nondual consciousness, I don't believe anybody could explain it, although Tolle and his ilk (commercial gurus) might try to anyway. To me, it was just some weird shit that had a happy(er) ending.

 
At 1/06/2012 9:59 AM, Blogger Dhalgren said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/22/2012 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this intellectualising -

It's so simple......just prove it for yourself. If it works, great and if it doesn't, well you've proved it wrong.

Personally, I've found that it works and those moments of stillness and serenity are worth a million dollars.

No need to complicate things.

 
At 1/25/2012 9:27 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

Glad to know you are feeling better. But it doesn't matter either way. His books can just as easily encourage mental illness in the wrong people, as some reports have already shown.

If he was just a self-help author (like Paul Wilson author of Instant Calm) then his phenomenal success would be less provocative. But Tolle is setting himself up as an expert on 'the truth' in a much higher sense.

When I read his first book I found a collection of spiritual cliches and a few half-baked meditation techniques, plus big promises of transformation. Many people want to be saved from their unhappiness and they want a solution that is easy and uncomplicated. They think Tolle fits the bill.

Granted it's an entertaining read, but pop-mysticism is not spirituality, it doesn't matter how still you can make your mind. The very name of the book is crass, not to mention the aggressive marketing and money making, and displays the egoism at the heart of the Tolle-cult.

 
At 2/21/2012 1:53 AM, Blogger ddt4free said...

My wife and I recently listened to a Tolle lecture, or whatever they are called. We enjoyed it thoroughly, but we watched "My Dinner With Andre" the night before and we liked that too, if that tells you anything. Anyway, I just read the bulk of the above Tolle comment thread and I wish to thank you for the time and thought it has obviously taken. As for gurus and guides, I suspect that the bulk of all philosophy/religion is one massive story telling contest. Everyone gets a vote. One thing that Shakespeare/Tolle gets right, we cast ourselves in roles and play them out, and (as Tolle tells his paying audience) there's a big difference between playing the "searcher' and playing the "finder." --and of course it's his turn to play the guru, and he does. Also thanks to Tom Brokaw and David Letterman for appearing as Anonymous:)

 
At 4/07/2012 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting role that gurus act out. Whatever seeks answers needs a guru to answer them. One poster mentioned that 'Presence' is present in everyone, so why seek it in someone else.

The only thing a guru can really do is to provide the service of the realization that no guru can give us anything. A real 'guru' is that which smacks the questioner up side the head and says, "What the hell are you asking me for?"

The questions and answers are just part of the play. And people go to plays to be entertained/distracted. Gurus are simply entertainers.
"Ungurus"....the end, the last stop that makes the seeking mind tire of seeking....won't make a cent because no one comes back.

 
At 6/28/2012 8:04 PM, Blogger [Indignation] ~ said...

Hi guys, i found this chain of comments really interesting. I was just searching info about this man, Eckhart Tolle, and it's really dissapointing the kind of things that you see when you enter at his "official page". It's all very contradictory... however, i think that all the things that he says are very useful and they are real things that can be felt with dedication, personal development, or other ways like near-death situations, etc...
His marketing shit and his teachings are exactly the opposite. It's pure contradiction but at the same time his teachings aren't bad.
I don't know what makes him to be like this... i suppose i'll send him an email.

 
At 7/09/2012 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's his message in a nutshell:

Ignorance is bliss.

Don't think. Reasoning is useless, logic is useless, all your normal faculties of critical thinking are to be distrusted, in order for you to be capable of accepting the truth.

Don't criticize yourself, as there's no point worrying about right or wrong. Just do whatever you want. Who cares what the consequences may be in the logical realm of reality?

Don't think, don't grow, don't rationalize. He's hacking into your brain by disarming all your defenses. He needs your mind to revert to the state of ignorant impressionability found in children.

Churches use the impressionability of children to sell their dogma. They snare the occasional adult too. Eckhart's way of doing it is pretty damn clever.

 
At 7/28/2012 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can one dismiss Tolle's teachings as New Age bullshit when, studied and lived, the teachings have helped usher in greater inner (and therefore, outward) peace in myself and countless others? I'm not saying the gurus are perfect and without greed, as they may claim. Of course that's a disappointment and a worry, but if I let that disgust keep me from reading on, and being still (which most mainstream religions encourage) to see what resonates, that would be a shame and a tremendous loss.

 
At 8/09/2012 11:18 PM, Anonymous slarteyb said...

Think you said it all about the depth of you're understanding of all this when you admitted you hadn't read his book. Why don't you do some research before shooting your mouth off? It's not 'his' presence, what he refers to is the presence we all have when we're actually in the present moment, as opposed to being lost in our heads. I've found him totally useful, and a very self effacing person.

 
At 8/09/2012 11:24 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

You don't have to read his book to know that the notion of 'presence', regardless of what it signifies, can only be a reification and abstraction as a communication.

 
At 10/26/2012 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this thread is incredible! From 2006, and Jody u r still saying the unbelievable stuff u said from the beginning. I myself stumbled upon Tolle's book by accident in India in the year 2003, visiting Sai Baba. The Power of Now. But didnt get the book until 2008, after reading A New Earth, his second book. I was impressed, so impressed that I immediately grabbed the Power of Now. How I wished I had read the book much earlier. Because I went thru some really hard knocks right upon returning from India, i.e.my family broke up, my dad passed on, etc. etc. I really could dig what Tolle wrote about, i.e. NOW and all. I have even cured myself of pain from some pinched nerves, just by going into that space of NOW, where as Tolle said, is free of pain, problem and fear. This however is not a mind over matter thing. It's more like 'No-Mind'. If you dont mind, it doesnt matter, some say jokingly. But the NOW, the Presence that Tolle mentioned, I believe is what made your thread so marvellously long, lasting from 2006 until a few months back. If this were something inconsequential, the thread would have petered out within the first few days, LMAO!

 
At 10/26/2012 11:20 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

What has made this thread so long is:

1. The popularity of Tolle's book

2. The endless need folks have to escape their experience of themselves.

By reifying the present as a presence, folks come to believe they can escape themselves into this presence, and thus, keep running on the seeking treadmill.

 
At 10/26/2012 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have recommended the Power of NOW to others and not many can understand the mumbo jumbo stuff as Tolle himself said in the Preface, something like, when u r not ready for it, u will find it to be, as Times or some reviewer said, mumbo jumbo. The whole thing is not about Tolle really. As u said, people are forever seeking. I have read and seeked every where and with many different sources, but Tolle truly struck the right chords for me. In 2002, i met a guru whose message was, all the answers can be found in silence. I thought that to be profound. But Tolle's NOW really helped everything to click and fall into place. I find that I can face the rest of my Life in peace NOW, whatever happens. As Krishnamoorthy said, the secret is I dont mind. (No-Mind). I found Tolle's Q&A format to have answered the questions that truly mattered for me, those i needed especially in my deepest and darkest hours. He cautioned us not to be too attached to words after the message is understood. I take that to mean not only dropping the words but also even the teacher or Ego behind those words. To me that made a lot of sense. I totally agree with that first commenter who said that Tolle is not at all self-aggrandizing.

 
At 10/26/2012 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, it is not so much an escape from "Myself". Rather, the thinking Mind that is constantly chattering; not mine alone, i believe, practically everyone's for that matter. Many Gurus have since came onto to scene to talk about Zeroing the Mind, Restarting the Mind, etc. What's important to me is how can we use the Mind as a tool when we need it, and stop it when it is not needed. Tolle made that very clear for me. With the illustration of the lady who kept scolding from the subway to the U they were headed to, in A New Earth.

 
At 10/26/2012 12:20 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

What you describe is merely the result of the discipline of meditation. Tolle and his ilk are way, way late to this party, but I'm happy that you got it regardless of the source.

 
At 11/29/2012 2:15 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Hi Jodi, and thanks.

I would like to recommend this site:

http://ilcredino.blogspot.com/2011/10/eckhart-tolle-power-of-now.html#more

Although it’s in Italian; it’s hilarious. (maybe Google translate would help to get an idea)

 
At 1/06/2013 7:32 PM, Blogger Clifford B said...

Peace Pilgrim always said that one should never buy "spiritual truth" for those that sell it, ain't got it.
She never ever ever asked for anything. She only accepted some food if it was offered and she never wanted followers. She walked across the US from 1953 till around 1980 when she died. She was full of energy and made it her life's work to talk only with those people that would approach her or who would invite her to speak at a church, on a radio program, at a college, even on a short TV spot here and there. She realized that her simple message of inner peace was all that was needed to start people on their way to taking part in their own growing up and working towards inner peace. Not one cent, food or even shelter was ever asked from her of anyone. She walked her talk and refused to take followers on, saying that people that need to follow people were immature souls that didn't realize they had all they needed to learn about being of service and there by be an influence for peace in the world. Her friends created a site about her and never charged people for books and movies that they created about her. www.peacepilgrim.org check it out.

 
At 1/07/2013 1:18 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

First of all, thank you Jody for this blog and for the conversation that's unfolded here! Even though sometimes the skepticism can be to an extreme degree, we really do need it in the times we're living in; too many charlatans - I've seen it first hand. I read here years ago when I was looking up Ammachi, and now Tolle because my sis-in-law (bless her heart) bought me The Power Of Now. I really don't feel like reading it but figured I would for her. Before reading, I wanted to see if I could figure out what Tolle was about. I like to know about and understand the author of any work before I read it. I was almost tempted to throw it away immediately after seeing the blurb by Deepak Chopra(!) on the front. Chopra, Dyer, I couldn't have less respect for people like them. And Oprah, while I don't dislike her, her promotion of Tolle puts me off.

I know some of Tolle's background includes credentials in psychology, philosophy and literature from the University of London, so this gives me some insight into his world view. Just from the little I've gathered, he does use a lot of concepts from the East, but it looks like he's tried to put a Western spin on them? Is that part of the problem? (lost in translation?)

Supposedly Tolle's had his own experiences and wants to share them with the world at large, nothing wrong with that. Outside of this, I can't say with any certainty what his motives are. Is he just another 'stinky guru' type trying to get over on the poor New Age lemmings out there? I've no idea. imo, a true guru helps lead you to a place where you will no longer need them as your guru, you'll no longer need any bloody guru at all. Anyone who makes you dependent on their every word & action so that you can get your 'fix', is full of shit.

So, some denounce Tolle, others praise his approach as profound, genuine, etc.. Personally, I prefer to look at what a person DOES, rather than what he SAYS. I don't knock him for making money, but after taking a cursory glance at his website it reeks a bit like a commercial enterprise; join this, free trial that. I also didn't know, but now I do thanks to Jody, that he charges according to proximity?!? Really? He may very well have some useful insights/opinions, but I think people are too quick to latch on to his every word and blindly take in what he says as being the answer to all their problems. You can't sell enlightenment any more than you can buy away your problems.

I think the lesson here is that the only answer to whatever issue you may have, is YOU. You can read (self help etc.) books, converse with the 'biggest' minds of your day, look for the answers everywhere outside of yourself, but it will never be found outside of yourself it's always within you. The way I see it, if you don't have a relationship with the guru within, you'll always be lost in your problems, looking to others for answers. You have to stay on the path you are on - the path that is for you alone - and not let yourself be diverted; we're all on our own unique path/journey as unique individuals and must follow it wherever it may lead.

And to reiterate Cliffords excellent post, I think selfless service might be the key... Speaking of being on your own path, Peace Pilgrim is really an unsung hero. Too bad Oprah never promoted her else she'd be more well known! ;)

 
At 2/09/2013 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world is full of kings and queens, who will blind your eyes and smash your dreams, it's heaven and hell

 
At 7/19/2013 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jody is a cranky pants.

 
At 10/11/2014 7:30 PM, Blogger Mark Horan said...

I call it the oneness movement, and suggest one be very careful. Generally I see encouragement to disassociate and abandon discernment. It's not all good in this world ladies and gentlemen, and our rational, critical mind performs as legitimate a function as our eyes and ears. One should want to be firmly grounded in non-duality, or God, or True Self, while nonetheless awake and aware of the world as it is, however much easier said than done this is. "Be wise as serpents yet gentle as doves", said a wise man. These oneness movement gurus of course have much to say that's helpful, because they adroitly parrot those who've truly endeavored to help, but the message generally misses in just such a way that their followers are ripened to serve, not something greater than their finite selves, but something much lesser, which is state, social, political and economic power. There is a purpose behind the oneness movement's wonderful talk, and it's not at all nice. Be very careful.

 
At 10/11/2014 7:31 PM, Blogger Mark Horan said...

I call it the oneness movement, and suggest one be very careful. Generally I see encouragement to disassociate and abandon discernment. It's not all good in this world ladies and gentlemen, and our rational, critical mind performs as legitimate a function as our eyes and ears. One should want to be firmly grounded in non-duality, or God, or True Self, while nonetheless awake and aware of the world as it is, however much easier said than done this is. "Be wise as serpents yet gentle as doves", said a wise man. These oneness movement gurus of course have much to say that's helpful, because they adroitly parrot those who've truly endeavored to help, but the message generally misses in just such a way that their followers are ripened to serve, not something greater than their finite selves, but something much lesser, which is state, social, political and economic power. There is a purpose behind the oneness movement's wonderful talk, and it's not at all nice. Be very careful.

 
At 6/15/2015 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you start your blog post with "I have not read Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now". Are you kidding me? Why not read it first before commenting on it?
And see if it makes sense to you. If it does not make sense, put it aside and try again in 6 months, and so on...

 
At 5/30/2016 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. Humans will distort anything to keep Maya going it's part of life brah

 
At 5/30/2016 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mind is what the brain does. Who you are is something else. Go further. Eckhart is a pointer just as every other teacher. Don't let your mind construe you

 
At 5/30/2016 9:09 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

Who you are is the aconceptual, contentless awareness that is generated by our body. Don't let the folk theories promulgated by Tolle's very poor pointing get in the way of your own realization.

 

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