The Blade Is Sharp
File under: Gurubusting
Lately we've been graced with the participation of a commenter who calls himself "David the Blade." Here he weighs in on our recent criticism of the seemingly self-inflated Eckhart Tolle:
I wouldn't quite let Tolle off the hook for self-mythologization. Don't be deceived by a warm, loving and apparently "humble" persona into thinking that self-mythologization, and sacro-mythic inflation are not present.We just learned a new word we're sure we're going to use a lot. Having been sacro-mythically inflated ourselves, we can really relate. Fortunately, we got that out of the way early and ended up just a jerk with a nice dog whose ass can neutralize any and all spiritual ignorance with just one poot.
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.