Friday, February 29, 2008

Eckhart Tolle Hates Your Ego

File under: Gurubusting

We just can't bring ourselves to read a book by Eckhart Tolle. We know, it's a disservice to you all, but to be completely honest, we find our divinity more in pop culture than spiritual culture these days.

But the effects of Tolle echoed from the Niagara Gazette today, and it was an ugly sound we heard:
Not too long ago, however, I realized that my ego was getting louder and louder, yammering at me from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, my hair askew and my face still wrinkled from my pillow, my ego was already in full boar.
This writer is confused, and it's Tolle's fault. That's not the woman's ego criticizing herself, it's a tiny piece of it, one of probably many sub-personalities. She's still identified as an ego, only attached to a different piece of it, the one that thinks it's not the ego, the one that Tolle is locking people into by giving them this horrible idea as to what ego really is.

We can agree when Tolle lays the blame for most evil with the ego, but he also wouldn't be able to charge you more for sitting closer to him if he didn't have one himself.

Put Tolle's ideas into the head of a person who has the wrong idea of ego, like this woman, and suddenly you've got folks who believe their ego is just their bitchy side. There are plenty of supposedly enlightened gurus who have a bitchy side, so that's obviously not a problem. In fact, the problem ends up having nothing to do with the personality (the defacto definition of 'ego' in the West) at all.

Of all the things we have going on in our heads, our living truth as the Self is the secret hiding in plain sight. But something is getting in the way of seeing what's always right [t]here. We like to lay some of the blame on the ideas about enlightenment that get projected into our heads by spiritual culture, but that can't be all of it. Apparently, Tolle wants you to think it's your mean and bitchy side, and he's now on a world-saving tear in support of his book that tells us about it.

We're all for a bit more peace, and perhaps Tolle has a greater chance of bringing it than TM™ ass-bouncers, but the confusion about ego and personality he's introducing along the way will always be piss in any peace he can bring.

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127 Comments:

At 2/29/2008 10:06 PM, Blogger jody said...

And the little piggy went we, we, we all the way home.

Yeah, there's a lot of us in here.

 
At 2/29/2008 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a quote from Eckhart Tolle you may find surprising, as it totally contradicts what the woman in that article was saying. Personally, I do not perceive him as the stinky man that you see him as - perhaps that idea is just a thought in your head you have invested with meaning? ;-)

From the horse's mouth: "The ego is a stage in the evolution of human consciousness. It is not your enemy. To perceive somebody or something as an enemy is in fact one of the main misperceptions or delusions of the egoic unconsciousness. So, you cannot fight against the ego and win that fight. If you think you have won the fight against the ego, it is the ego in you that thinks so and it has enlarged itself.

So the ego is not an enemy, but a dysfunction. Looked at from one point of view, it is an entity that the mind created. From another perspective, however, it is simply a delusion, resulting in a distorted way of perceiving reality and consequently in dysfunctional behavior. This second perspective is probably a more helpful one.

A delusion dissolves when you recognize it as delusion, and so does the ego. The ego is the by-product, as it were, of the rapid development of our faculty of thought over the past six thousand years. We lost ourselves in thought, that is to say became identified with it to such an extent that we now derive our sense of who we are from thinking. Thought is a particular way for universal intelligence to express itself. It is no more than a tiny aspect of that vast intelligence.

Thought, through naming things, analyzes, dissects, and separates reality into bits and pieces. Thinking can be a helpful practical tool, but when you identify with thinking the delusion of separation arises. Your reality becomes fragmented. You lose your original sense of connectedness with Being ("paradise"). You become unhappy, needy, discontented, full of ever unfulfilled desire, and you are always unconsciously attempting to regain your lost sense of being, of who you are."

-Eckhart Tolle

Thanks Jody, love ya blog, but don't agree with you on Tolle!

 
At 3/01/2008 1:25 AM, Blogger gregory said...

this world is spiritual kindergarten, for the most part... i am just glad the idea of ego-as-destructive is entering into wide awareness... that in itself is an amazing thing

don't know about you, but it took me at least 12 years to get from kindergarten to out of high school, where real education then began

go easy on these people, they are not wrong, just new

 
At 3/01/2008 9:38 AM, Blogger jody said...

Here is a quote from Eckhart Tolle you may find surprising, as it totally contradicts what the woman in that article was saying. Personally, I do not perceive him as the stinky man that you see him as - perhaps that idea is just a thought in your head you have invested with meaning? ;-)

The fact that the woman was left with such a bad idea about her ego, while perhaps not something she got directly from Tolle, is still a function of her interpretation of Tolle's teaching. I think it's safe to assume that other students of Tolle's are coming away with the same, very wrong ideas about ego.

The thing that makes Tolle stinky is the use of the "presence" gambit in his internet marketing. He charges more to sit closer to him. That reeks to the high heavens.

So the ego is not an enemy, but a dysfunction.

But the ego is not a dysfunction at all. It's a tool which evolved to help animals stay alive. The ego is our primary survival mechanism. Without it, we wouldn't know to stay out of the way of the bus on the street.

Looked at from one point of view, it is an entity that the mind created. From another perspective, however, it is simply a delusion, resulting in a distorted way of perceiving reality and consequently in dysfunctional behavior. This second perspective is probably a more helpful one.

Again with the demonization. This is where he makes his big mistake. Ego being dysfunctional will translate to ego being baaaaad for many people. Not good in my book.

Thought is a particular way for universal intelligence to express itself. It is no more than a tiny aspect of that vast intelligence.

That's a gloss, a quaint little thought to please us with the idea that we are a part of a vast intelligence. We are the basis of all intelligence, but we sure aren't doing any thinking as that. Thought is just what happens when analytic abilities get crossed with the use of symbols. Universal intelligence, whatever that is, has no need for our tiny heads to express itself.

when you identify with thinking the delusion of separation arises. Your reality becomes fragmented. You lose your original sense of connectedness with Being ("paradise"). You become unhappy, needy, discontented, full of ever unfulfilled desire, and you are always unconsciously attempting to regain your lost sense of being, of who you are."

More demonization of ego and what is in fact a very natural and normal idea of being separate.

Tolle is right to blame ego for all ills in a way. But it's also what makes him the guy going around telling us all about it. He needs to disclose facts like that to give folks a fuller picture of what's going on. He needs to adjust folks' ideas of just what ego is in the context of what he's saying.

When Tolle is speaking of that which appears to prevent self-knowledge, I believe he's talking about the ahamkara, not the personality or sense of oneself as a separate being. The ahamkara is the primary attachment to the idea of being a separate being. That's all it is, an idea. But it's a special kind of idea that runs much deeper than just verbal thought. It is in fact the root of all ideas in a way.

Hammering yourself for being an ego, having an ego, having impure thoughts, not meditating, not following the instructions of the teacher; these are all just more cranking of that ego. Tolle mentions that at the beginning of this passage, but then he turns and goes into the same ego-bashing that's messing folks up, in my opinion. It's actually very common in his business, but Tolle appears to have taken it up a notch now with his save the world thing. Unfortunately, I'm seeing the potential for a lot of casualties along the way.

Thanks Jody, love ya blog, but don't agree with you on Tolle!

Thanks and that's ok. I actually don't know a whole lot about Tolle. But it is the appearance of gurus that I'm most concerned with, and based on that, I'd say he needs to adjust some aspects of his presentation of his thing.

I'm sure if I met Tolle we'd have a lot to agree about. I'm not saying he's a false teacher, I'm saying he's a sloppy teacher, (and maybe a bit greedy with the proximity rates,) and that this sloppiness works much more against him than for him.

 
At 3/01/2008 10:48 AM, Blogger nahor said...

"But the ego is not a dysfunction at all. It's a tool which evolved to help animals stay alive. The ego is our primary survival mechanism. Without it, we wouldn't know to stay out of the way of the bus on the street."

I agree and disagree with you. I agree that the ego is not a dysfunction. But I disagree that the ego is our survival mechanism. You do not need a sense of self or a contracted sense of separation to step out of the way of a bus on the street. While learned and shared experiences feed into the ego, they are not the ego.

The problem is that the word ego has been severely polluted and means different things to different people. Popular spirituality pushes the idea that ego is bad (for people who feel ego means 'self-serving traits to be snipped off'). People who feel ego means 'all of thought' will object to that spiritual message. But true spirituality talks about neither of these.

I think the word identification is better. Whether your thoughts continue to play out or not, you do not need an identification with your thoughts -- an imaginary lasso around a section of your thoughts that you call yourself -- to survive in this world.

 
At 3/01/2008 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He charges more to sit closer to him. That reeks to the high heavens... he also wouldn't be able to charge you more for sitting closer to him if he didn't have one himself."

It also costs less to sit farther away. It's one of many common seating systems. You might prefer the same price seats for everyone, and someone else might prefer to pay more for the opportunity of a closer live look at ET, to see the twinkles in his eye, the smirks on his face, the color in his cheeks, the holes in the bottom of his shoes, or whatever. Whether the object on stage is ET or an Egyptian mummy, the mere fact that closer seats cost more does not mean the object on stage has an ego. The system and prices could have been chosen by ET's handlers driven by public demand. Or ET could have picked a system like a man pulling a name out of a hat. Or he could have a roaring ego.

 
At 3/01/2008 11:08 AM, Blogger jody said...

someone else might prefer to pay more for the opportunity of a closer live look at ET

But it's sold as having more value because you are closer to his "presence". Sorry folks, but realization or enlightenment doesn't add anything to a life that you don't already have, although folks' belief that it does certainly brings more opportunity to project presence on to their guru.

 
At 3/01/2008 11:17 AM, Blogger jody said...

You do not need a sense of self or a contracted sense of separation to step out of the way of a bus on the street.

But evolutionarily, you once did.

In other words, when we began to establish rudimentary identity as separate organisms, way back in the fish days, or perhaps even well before, we did so because there were other organisms that liked to eat us. We needed to know the other so we could stay out of the way, or maybe go after our next meal. That's why we have the ego today, in my speculative opinion. It's the vestigial survival impulse. But of course, it's also the absolute foundation of all culture and civilization. Evolutionarily, it was immensely useful, and still is to a large degree, ego-bashing teachers notwithstanding.

I'm in complete agreement with all your other points, especially about identification vs. ego. Too bad Tolle isn't on the same page.

 
At 3/01/2008 11:17 AM, Blogger Steven Sashen said...

The ego is the by-product, as it were, of the rapid development of our faculty of thought over the past six thousand years...[When identified with thought] you lose your original sense of connectedness with Being ("paradise").

Sounds like ET's suggesting that 6-10k years ago, people weren't identified with thought and, therefore, everyone experienced paradise all the time.

Hmmmmm.... I wouldn't take that bet.

 
At 3/01/2008 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But it's sold as having more value because you are closer to his "presence"."

That's your interpretation that you're selling.

 
At 3/01/2008 11:29 AM, Blogger jody said...

That's your interpretation that you're selling.

"these sessions represent an invaluable opportunity to allow yourself to be drawn into the awakened state by the intense conscious presence of the teacher..."

No, that's what he's selling.

 
At 3/01/2008 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No, that's what he's selling... it's sold as having more value because you are closer to his "presence".""

No, he doesn't say the session has more value if you sit closer to his "presence". He says, "these sessions represent an INVALUABLE opportunity to allow yourself to be drawn into the awakened state by the intense conscious presence of the teacher." You pay more to look at the holes in the bottom of his shoes, not to be closer to his "presence."

 
At 3/01/2008 11:49 AM, Blogger jody said...

these sessions represent an INVALUABLE opportunity

Disingenuous notion noted.

 
At 3/01/2008 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nowhere in his quote does he state or even imply that you get more of his "presence" by sitting closer. If you interpret that quote or the seat pricing as meaning you get more of his "presence" by sitting closer, that's your interpetation. If you advocate that interpretation, you are "selling" it.

 
At 3/01/2008 3:55 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

Ego is sophisticated survival instinct, sophisticated but instinctual non the less, therefor very automatic , and written deeply into our DNA. Necessary for our development and survival, but not always our ultimate growth and happiness,and so powerful that we can mistake it for being all of who we are. So if you are interested in getting into things other than acting in a predictable relentless way, you might get into recognizing and understanding ego.
I agree with jody that defining Ego as a dysfunction is unfortunate word choice. and defining it as such may just be another knee jerk reaction. and may feed to well into the guilt minds of Judeo-Christ Westerners.
I agree with Gregory that this kind of thread has brought up a more interesting and mature conversation than usual , so maybe Tolle is putting a wide spread focus on some good stuff.
I have found it in general good to have concerned thoughtful seekers of all stripe weighing in on this issue, and my advice for the mainstream beginner would be to don't stop at one guys interpretation, dig on!
Maybe there is not one correct interpretation and you just have to trust people to slog it out for themselves. don't take the fun away.

GP said" That's a gloss, a quaint little thought to please us with the idea that we are a part of a vast intelligence. We are the basis of all intelligence, but we sure aren't doing any thinking as that. Thought is just what happens when analytic abilities get crossed with the use of symbols. Universal intelligence, whatever that is, has no need for our tiny heads to express itself.

Who knows? maybe we can act and think personally in a way that is part of universal intelligence, other wise what the point of this conversation? what's the connection? why practice loving kindness? If we are the basis of a vast intelligence then surely we are part of it, and therefor our thinking our stinking. our loving, hating , is expressing that.

 
At 3/01/2008 4:30 PM, Blogger jody said...

Who knows? maybe we can act and think personally in a way that is part of universal intelligence

Maybe we always are, regardless of what we are doing.

what['s] the point of this conversation?

To attempt to bring clarity to areas that have been clouded by myths about enlightenment.

why practice loving kindness?

Because that's what we want for ourselves?

If we are the basis of a vast intelligence then surely we are part of it, and therefor our thinking our stinking. our loving, hating, is expressing that.

Sure, but since it's all doing it all all the time, there is no way to resolve individual bits, unless you are an individual bit. On the not-individual side, there is no awareness of any bit. That's why I'd say it's moot to talk of "vast intelligence." And besides, it's not vast either. That's a misconception. I know you didn't mean it that way, but it functions as a misapprehension nonetheless, in my maybe-not-as-humble-as-it-should-be opinion

 
At 3/01/2008 4:46 PM, Blogger jody said...

Nowhere in his quote does he state or even imply that you get more of his "presence" by sitting closer.

This is a matter of opinion. He's not a rock star, he's giving a presentation. Put a big video screen behind him and every seat in the house is good enough. If you are selling proximity to a lecturer, the only thing that could be valuable is his "presence," the word he's using himself to sell it.

If you interpret that quote or the seat pricing as meaning you get more of his "presence" by sitting closer, that's your interpetation. If you advocate that interpretation, you are "selling" it.

To review: "allow yourself to be drawn into the awakened state by the intense conscious presence..."

You are right. I am selling my interpretation. I think it's clear they are implying that you will get more in the way of "awakened state" because you've been "drawn into" one by the "intense conscious presence" which you just paid extra for. It's the charging to sit closer that reveals the belief it's more valuable to sit closer.

 
At 3/01/2008 5:09 PM, Blogger eka said...

"Six thousand years" of rapidly developing thought eh!

Interesting time scale Tolle has chosen.

This is a bit of a Mullerism. One of those dates that keeps popping up. Perhaps Tolle's belief system like [the infamous] Max Muller's [and others, I mention Muller only because he has a link with advaita-y things] is influenced by the Christian belief that the dawn of man [creation of world] was 4004 b.c. Very interesting - but stupid. ...and not really relevant here... although it is one of those silly dates that has brought needless havoc to Indological studies.B-)
see - "Ussher chronology" on Wikipedia for other famous folks who like this crazy date..

 
At 3/01/2008 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Blade here) Jody is onto something: by telling people of the great opportunity to benefit from his 'Presence', Tolle is presenting himself as special. And Jody is also right that Tolle is responsible for any blurbs that go out promoting his appearances. You may be sure he is approving those blurbs. If he is not, he is irresponsible for not looking them over. If people are paying maybe a quarter of a million dollars or more to come to your talks, you owe it to them to be clear what you are offering.

He's presenting himself as special, despite earlier writings of his such as in 'The Power of Now', p87: 'Avatars, divine mothers, enlightened masters, the very few that are real, are not special as persons. Without a false self to uphold, they are more simple, more ordinary than the ordinary man or woman.'

Will a person who is more simple, more ordinary than the ordinary man or woman state that his Presence is a great opportunity to get in touch with your own, while presenting Presence as something divine? Or charge people more to get closer to him, helping to rake in maybe a quarter of a million dollars or more for a single talk?

Of course not. Not in the proper sense of 'ordinary'. But people playing the repudiation-cultivation game always have a way out with semantic tricks. So Tolle and his defenders will work out some tortuous sense of 'ordinary' and 'special' that make them feel they are off the hook.

Either Tolle has drunk the Kool-Aid of his own amazingness, or he's simply selling out -- letting standards of truth down in favor of bigger numbers and bigger bucks -- or a combination of the two.

 
At 3/01/2008 6:25 PM, Blogger jody said...

Either Tolle has drunk the Kool-Aid of his own amazingness, or he's simply selling out -- letting standards of truth down in favor of bigger numbers and bigger bucks -- or a combination of the two

You're hired!

 
At 3/01/2008 7:03 PM, Blogger gregory said...

from blade - "Either Tolle has drunk the Kool-Aid of his own amazingness, or he's simply selling out -- letting standards of truth down in favor of bigger numbers and bigger bucks -- or a combination of the two."

i don't agree.

we are who we are. there is no independent origination. life being life is taking the path that places this set of circumstances into being. the set of events exists independent of our interpretation of it, and independent of anybody's intention or desire for a predetermined outcome.

yes, sounds like what they call predetermination, which you may not like. the difficulty in accepting this is that one has to have a wider tolerance for life.

tolle, all of us, we are who we are. if we were doing something else we would be someone else. this quote that is being discussed about tolle's decision is just what came up, no one decided anything prior to its existence.

 
At 3/02/2008 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the ego is not an enemy, but a dysfunction. Looked at from one point of view, it is an entity that the mind created. From another perspective, however, it is simply a delusion, resulting in a distorted way of perceiving reality and consequently in dysfunctional behavior.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but without an ego wouldn't we all be walking into each other, since we have no concept of I or you.

It seems like a convoluted guide to chasing rainbows and tolle of course is the recipient of the pot of gold at the end.

 
At 3/02/2008 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I especially like my guru's voiced opinion on proximity of seating or "closeness", and that is:

"sit as far away as possible. If possible, don't let me even know you are there. If you give me something, I don't want to know about it, don't tell me or anyone else. In fact, if you don't come at all it's better. After you have seen me, anything that has to happen will now happen, so no need. Those people who keep coming around touching my feet over and over and sitting up close to me only get more confused and sick. They don't listen to this instruction. If I'm going to someone's home there is trouble or problems there. Better I don't go......" He carries on like that.

Main instruction following: "pray to God and forget everything you prayed for and do whatever you do. You'll be fine."

But people give some importance to some "feeling" they get in the proximity of people of power, whether spiritual or material or whatever. They like the importance given to them if they sit close, are recognized. They think some special thing is coming to them.

My guru says otherwise. His instructions are clear, given publically, etc. Still people crowd to sit close, touch his feet, etc.

I don't know Eckhart Tolle. I wonder what he would say about the "closeness" phenomenon?

 
At 3/02/2008 8:44 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Blade said..
Either Tolle has drunk the Kool-Aid of his own amazingness, or he's simply selling out....

..................

Maybe it's a case of when his own inner mule brays, Tolle must hee haw in response! Or maybe his Momma needs an operation or maybe the Illuminatis who dominate world publishin told him he had to appear to become a fallen world teacher or else they'd blow up an orphanage... There are many good reasons why an illuminated man such as Troll who lives a simple life and mostly hangs with hisself would need to make $250,000 for a couple of hours work!

 
At 3/02/2008 8:54 AM, Blogger Emilio said...

I think you are going to have to break down and read it for yourself. As I'm sure others have pointed out the person quote just didn't get it. I had been turned off to Tolle mostly by the lack of depth in those reporting to me that I should read "Now". I came to the audio version of "New" though a different route and found it surprising "enlightening".

 
At 3/02/2008 12:15 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Jody said...
We just can't bring ourselves to read a book by Eckhart Tolle.

Isn't all his stuff about getting to "now"? So whenever I have a thought about reading Tolle, I check my watch, verify that it's already now, and then I know that reading Tolle isn't necessary.

Tolle said...
The ego is a stage in the evolution of human consciousness.

This Tolle quote from the 2nd commenter goes on for 4 paragraphs. It's not like the quote is bad; if Oprah and America enjoy this type of talk, God Bless 'Em.

It does seem overly complicated. I mean ego means "I." We can examine and question: What is this "I"? Do we really need books and books of explanation?

Paradoxically, I think Tolle illustrates why having a teacher sometimes does have value. My sense of Tolle is that he got a spontaneous, Big Special Experience, that just hit him out of the blue, as they sometimes do.

But it always happens that, after a minute or hour or decade or something, the special experience of clarity is over. And then we start thinking about the experience, analyzing and interpretting it. Tolle seems to have adopted a bunch of ideas from spiritual and new age traditions, and used them to dress up his experience for sale to the masses.

My point: if you practice with a good teacher, the primary function of the teacher is to help you avoid latching onto new concepts and attachments, after you see through the old. After you've been through a big special experience, maybe a teacher or sangha can help you avoid falling into new delusions ("Wow, I've really attained something!").

Tolle, having no teacher and following no tradition, had his wonderful experience, cleaning the slate of his old ordinary delusions. But it's not clear that there was anyone around to help him avoid scribbling new, non-ordinary delusions onto that once-blank slate.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 3/02/2008 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gregory said:
i don't agree.


Gregory, I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're saying. I hear you don't agree with me but then you just say stuff which you could say if you agree with me as well as if you disagree. I can't see any impact at all on what I've said.

I'm seeing very flimsy intellectual and philosophical foundation for Tolle's concept of 'Ego'. He's positioning it similarly to the way 'the Devil' is positioned in Christianity (except in non-dual packaging). If you examine it closely enough, it will break down.

In 'A New Earth', Tolle is just giving you more religion. It's just re-packaged in a new-agey or psychological way.

The ego is the by-product, as it were, of the rapid development of our faculty of thought over the past six thousand years.

This is just crap. It's absurd to relate the particular angst that civilization brings to 'the ego', and then position the ego as that demon we must cast out to get into paradise. It's tedious to even start picking it apart. He spews it out as if it is fact. This is typical for him. People fall for this stuff. The shocking part is that a lot of them are educated. But they have low standards for thought and scholarship. Doesn't anyone ask any questions?

There's maybe a universal law in action here - those who start thinking they are above the mind seemed to be doomed to falling below it.

-Blade

P.S. Jody, thanks for the job!

 
At 3/02/2008 1:31 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

"Maybe we always are, regardless of what we are doing."

yes true but, I'd rather do with awareness, knowing this makes a difference , then you can decide for yourself i guess, to be part of universal intelligence and suffer all the time or be part of it and suffer a bit less, not giving so much energy to the accouterments of individuality.

"why practice loving kindness?

Because that's what we want for ourselves?"

yes this is a time honored teaching, but what it is, is not always so easily understood, still working on it myself, but haven't found anything better. perhaps what you realize is that you are no different from everyone else, so your wanting for yourself somehow changes. and as an individual you can live this, so your dance with the Universe gets a little more groove to it.

anyway I'm not really one to talk about this guru stuff cause I'm not a very good guru chaser, i didn't go see the Dalai Lama when he was here because i think it costs to much! It's for rich people , and somehow that don't seem right to me , but he does offer gatherings for the public so i've no excuse , just don't really want to go.
I do believe you can learn something in another's presence,most traditions are based on sitting with the living teacher, what you learn is more than the sum of it's parts. some people capitalize on that, some don't. any good teacher could do this if they follow the Oprah plan. I know a Zen teacher who looked into going the Oprah route , but she was told everything had to be dumbed down and made as simple as possible, so she decided not to, and this is someone who wants and needs money and loves to work. maybe Ekhart has weighed the pros and cons and decided to go for it, He will probably suffer more than anyone else for it.. He can shine a light , he doesn't have to be a perfect light, just because it's already in you doesn't mean you can't use a teacher. I'm saying this in spite of the ad copy, he may have some great teachings to impart. i think there is a difference between presence and charisma even though they can overlap, but Tolle ain't got the charisma, so his teaching is through this awareness he has cultivated , So what? I go to my music teacher so i can gain from her experience in music, but i will never be a classical Indian singer like she is . Go to Tolle for his experience,if you want to, you will still be who you are . but you may learn something. even if it has been dumbed down.my teacher has to dumb down to teach me anything.

 
At 3/02/2008 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tolle should charge in inverse proportion to the distance you are from him, with premiums for every auric sheath you get within.

 
At 3/03/2008 8:34 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

Yomamma said...my teacher has to dumb down to teach me anything.

There is no need to dumb down the simple truth. It is only all the ideas and analysis and judgments about the truth that has to be dumbed down and this is the stuff that we spend our time on until we can allow ourselves to be satisfied with what is simple and unvarnished. The gap between seeing a deer in the woods and looking at a National Geographic high definition glossy photo of the same deer is huge. A deer in the woods is so ordinary looking that the mind is hardly interested in seeing it. The few words you get when you are initiated into meditation are so simple because you're just being encouraged to be with and accept who you already are. But there are volumes and volumes of books written about this simple little moment of being yourself.

 
At 3/03/2008 9:01 AM, Blogger gregory said...

nice point by betty about how things look exotic in national geographic..

here in india it is just normal life, until i see it on tv, then, wow, so exotique

 
At 3/04/2008 2:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to Google.

Type 'Eckhart Tolle' and 'Platinum' into the slot. You can do this just on the
Google main page.

Or, if you want to be precise, type ET's full name into exact phrase slot and
the words 'platinum' and 'seating' into the all words slot.

Seating is divided into bronze, silver gold and platinum.

Read the price differential for tickets based on how close you want to sit to the stage. Platinum price seating is for the first three rows.

Now...a question.

If a teaching is supposed to transcend the speaker's personality/history and is meant to liberate the listeners from suffering generated by their own personalities and personal histories----

Then, (unless one is visually or hearing impaired), what difference does it make how close one sits to the person doing the speaking?

Its the teaching that should matter, not the speaker's own embodied personality. Whether one sits in the back or front row shouldnt matter.

IMO the verbal context is all about transcendence of personality and personal history--yet the social context and price structuring seem to imply, nonverbally that the speaker's presence and personality do remain important enough to influence price structuring.

So we have a combo of verbal and non verbal elements that combine to form a possible double bind.

Tolle may not be aware of this, but if it potentially undermines the message that he sincerely wishes to get across, then as a thoughtful teacher, he would be well advised to re--think this arrangement and design something that doesnt generate
a rank ordered class structure tied to money and ability to pay or charge up credit cards.

For it is possible that this rank ordered fiscal/seating structure might, without people being aware of it, insinuate some obstacles and subvert a teaching process in which Tolle sincerely wishes to help people transcend personal history and class, but which may subvert what he is trying to accomplish.

The possible problems generated by the rank ordered seat pricing, named by precious metals and tied to proximity to the speaker might possibly have the following effects:

The verbal content would possibly influence participants consciously, but the nonverbal elements of price structuring might provide an unconscious teaching that personality remains important, after all--contradicting the stated content of the teaching and impairing the pedagogical impact.

Enlightenment and celebrity would be subtly tied together and transcendence of craving would, in this context, remain subtly linked to a social state (celebrity) that many of us do crave and are taught by our culture to crave.

The price differential would also bring in, nonverbally, matters of class--those who have the money (or credit) to afford front row seats, with financial and social stratification based on ability/willingness to pay hierarchically rank ordered
by bronze, silver, gold and platinum---the last three being precious metals and themselves objects of craving.

(If people have a hearing impairment this could be solved by supplying headphones.)

Ive been to events where rows close to the speaker were priced higher, but this price difference was donated to charity and clearly spelled out as such.

 
At 3/04/2008 8:25 AM, Blogger gregory said...

anonymous dude..

boxing matches, nba games, concerts, theaters, everything where the public wants to attend, seats at the front cost more

and it makes a lot of sense, since we know how wacko spiritual seekers are, they will be lined up hours before for a celebrity guru, they will put their pillows on the floor as space savers, it gets bloody...

so, as crowd management, and as income source, what tolle's people are doing makes complete sense, is standard all over the world, and you are just fishing for reasons not clear to me, except to promote a view that you are wedded to

 
At 3/04/2008 6:21 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

i can't understand why some of you guys have bothered to reincarnate , but thanks, I'm so grateful. See? see how that guru stuff starts?

 
At 3/05/2008 9:28 PM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

Jody, it's a really dubious idea that Tolle is to be judged not by his own teachings, which clearly contradict what this chick said, but for her misunderstandings of his teachings.

Now, if I misunderstand what you say on this blog, and go off spouting some nonsense I say reading your blog inspired in me, when in fact you said something completely different, should the rest of the world condemn you, and blame you for my misunderstanding?

This is really not hard to figure out, dude. You're grasping at straws. I mean, I think Tolle's a bit obnoxious myself, but this line of criticism just has no foundation whatsoever.

 
At 3/05/2008 10:08 PM, Blogger jody said...

it's a really dubious idea that Tolle is to be judged not by his own teachings

Point taken. Nonetheless, if she didn't get it after reading the book, perhaps he should look at putting it a different way.

should the rest of the world condemn you, and blame you for my misunderstanding?

I have no say in what the world does.

this line of criticism just has no foundation whatsoever.

I've got to half give this to you, BY. But if she read the book and yet still came away with such a gross misunderstanding, it could be said to speak to what Tolle is saying or how he is saying it. Unless of course his interpreter in this case just doesn't have the smarts for it.

 
At 3/05/2008 11:08 PM, Blogger gregory said...

broken yogi, good comment, a subset of the question, can yo assess a guru by his/her followers?

the more this tolle/oprah thing is publicized, i begin to see it as a major marker in the "spiritualizing" of america. he is going to be on her show for ten weeks! every monday. since the thing was announced, 3.5 million copies of the book have sold! un-effing-believable...

forget the subtexts that highly advanced and highly evolved practitioners such as the reader's of guruphiliac will immediately see through .... most of middle america has no idea they can watch their thoughts, gthat there is something "more" in consciousness... to me that this info is spreading is a damn good sign, something to counteract the political/economic nonsense of cnn, etc...

something is happening, this is a sign, says me..

separate subject, in the times of india this morning, a picture of amma blessing modi, with the caption, all are equal in her eyes... one of your posts was berating her about her support of him.. i prefer the indian mind about it...

ok. enjoy... gregory

 
At 3/05/2008 11:12 PM, Blogger jody said...

i prefer the indian mind about it...

You mean the one that lives in a horrific denial of mass murder and atrocity?

 
At 3/05/2008 11:18 PM, Blogger jody said...

Although, if you think about it, the American mind lets itself get away with the very same denial.

 
At 3/05/2008 11:22 PM, Blogger gregory said...

jody it is not denial like we would use the word, it is the patience, tolerance, wisdom of an ancient culture, where famine, drought, pestilence, murder, invasions, are part of life

the patience of india is amazing

 
At 3/05/2008 11:32 PM, Blogger jody said...

it is not denial like we would use the word

It's denial the way I use the word.

It was government complicity in human genocide, with Modi as the lead henchman.

 
At 3/06/2008 4:33 AM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

I've got to half give this to you, BY. But if she read the book and yet still came away with such a gross misunderstanding, it could be said to speak to what Tolle is saying or how he is saying it. Unless of course his interpreter in this case just doesn't have the smarts for it.

Again, all this shows is that Tolle is not a perfect writer, who can write in such a way as to perfectly convince people to perfectly understand what he's saying, and never be misunderstood. That's not exactly the standard a writer should be expected to meet, even an enlightened one. How many people misunderstand Shakespeare, for example? Are you saying he should have written in such a way that no one would misunderstand him? Can you make such claims? Could anyone?

Now, you're on stronger ground criticizing Tolle for cashing in bigtime on his so-called enlightened teachings. As Papaji said, anyone who charges for their "Satsang" is simply a fraud. Tolle may talk a decent line, but he's not living it.

 
At 3/06/2008 4:46 AM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

broken yogi, good comment, a subset of the question, can yo assess a guru by his/her followers?

I think you can do that to some degree, certainly, in the sense that the Guru or group leader tends to set the tone for the group, and so you can get a sense for the leader's approach by looking at his followers. If the followers are very competitive, nasty, phony, and materialistic, or cultic, you can probably expect to see something similar in the Guru. It's not that the Guru is responsible for the problems of his followers, you have to be able to differentiate the problems some individuals have from the group dynamic, and not look for perfection there, but there's certainly a reflection of the Guru present in that dynamic. The best summary is Jesus' answer: you will know them by their love. If the love is phony, the leader is probably phony. If the love is genuine, so is the leader.

As for Tolle becoming popular, I guess it is a good thing in some respects. It's probably the first time any form of non-dualism has been successfully mass marketed. I don't really know much about Tolle. I have a good friend who's been into him for a while, and who gave me some of his tapes to listen to, and I had a mixed reaction. His basic teachings seemed good in the generic non-dual way, but there's something about the guy's voice which really creeped me out. It's like he's a zombie reciting from the dead sea scrolls. Overly calm, overly placid, overly non-reactive, to a fault, I thought. Reading a little about him, it seems he had his "enlightenment" during a psychotic break. I find such a story believable, and also a bit scary. My general sense is that this kind of enlightenment experience is always partial, and often rather deluding. Tolle himself doesn't seem like a malicious dude or anything, and I'm sure he means well, and maybe there's something quite genuine about his experience, but something in me just doesn't feel all that good about it. But that could change with more exposure.

I haven't read his new book, or actually any books by him, so I can't say what kind of influence it will have. My wife is an Oprah freak, and she wants to do the whole book club class online, but we only have dial-up in our area, so I'm spared that at least. God knows what this will end up becoming, but my sense is that Tolle is probably the wrong guy to be representing non-dualism for the masses. Not that I know of anyone who is. But if it turns people on to the real Masters of the tradition, like Ramana or Nisargadatta or Papaji, then great. I'm just not holding my breath.

 
At 3/06/2008 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>"so, as crowd management, and as income source, what tolle's people are doing makes complete sense, is standard all over the world, and you are just fishing for reasons not clear to me, except to promote a view that you are wedded to"<<

Gregory,
This is kind of a specious argument you've just put forth. If "crowd control" is the purpose (and not money grubbing), then a simple seat lottery would be sufficient. I'm waiting for the "Americans don't value anything unless they pay through the nose" bit...muktananda used it,maharishi mahesh used it. I'm surprised Tolle's "handlers" haven't used it.....yet.
On the other hand, there is something very positive about Tolle being Oprah's "flavor of the month"...if it encourages people to start thinking about the fact that they are thinking then I guess marketing Tolle like an expensive face cream is part of the price?

seen too much

 
At 3/06/2008 12:14 PM, Blogger gregory said...

holy mother of mercy, twice, twice a word has been mentioned in this comment thread that totally appalls me.... papaji

jesusgodmotherofmercysumbitch, if there was anyone who ever did so much damage to "spirituality" as that guy, i have yet to hear of him

everything you need to know about that guy, you can just look at his followers ten years later, man oh man

 
At 3/06/2008 4:56 PM, Blogger eka said...

Hmmm! I think we're on to something.

Perhaps the time has come for Ramana Maharshi to take responsibility for the atrocious misunderstandings of some of those who claim to be his devotees. B-)

 
At 3/07/2008 1:04 AM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

gregory,

I'm curious what you've got against Papaji, and which "followers" you are talking about?

 
At 3/07/2008 9:36 AM, Blogger gregory said...

broken yogi, it would be a rant-and-a half, maybe a rant(squared), or a rant to the power of ten ... another time, if it comes up again

 
At 3/07/2008 6:00 PM, Anonymous Martin Gifford said...

I read in Tolle's book A New Earth, that "Presence" is for demolishing the "Pain Body".

The Pain Body appears to be Tolle's term for the Indian term Samskaras.

Presumably, if you don't have enough Presence, or can't be your Presence enough, or whatever, his Presence will remove your Pain Body, or his Presence will help you to be your Presence more so that you can remove your own Pain Body.

 
At 3/07/2008 6:09 PM, Blogger jody said...

his Presence will remove your Pain Body

The only thing present in all of that was a stinking heap of bullshit.

The only reason anyone is getting anything from Tolle is because he put it out there that he had something to give. His ministry isn't about the truth, it's about his grand experience something he believes is "truth." Realized but off the rails, or just full of shit?

Maybe both.

 
At 3/09/2008 12:13 AM, Anonymous Martin Gifford said...

Jody wrote: "The only thing present in all of that was a stinking heap of bullshit. The only reason anyone is getting anything from Tolle is because he put it out there that he had something to give. His ministry isn't about the truth, it's about his grand experience something he believes is "truth." Realized but off the rails, or just full of shit? Maybe both."

Tsst, tsst, tsst. That must be your Pain Body talking. ;)

But you do agree that samskaras need to be zapped right? How are they zapped? "Presence" doesn't sound deep enough to me. And it could add to prententiousness, as in, "My Presence is wonderful, and better than yours."

Ultimately, I think it's surrender. Or should that be Surrender with a capital S?

 
At 3/09/2008 7:34 AM, Blogger gregory said...

snagged a usa today newspaper in bangalore yesterday, it said oprah's monday internet session with tolle had 500,000 viewers, enough to crash the servers somewhere...

that is a bloody amazing number, what do you make of it?

 
At 3/10/2008 2:22 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

my experience with people and teachers who have developed energetic skills , yogic skills, presence, etc, is that it is great to be around them,and i have benefitted to some degree,but it could be and is habit forming. that's why spirituality has become such a mega biz. If you can translate these teachings into your life in a way that is satisfactory and rewarding for you ,good but, If you are left always jonesing for Amma's presence, Ekart's presence and somehow never quite feeling any confidence in your own then something could be wrong. .
As long as enlightenment is seen to be unreachable and exotic, people will pay through the nose. so that might be the thing about Oprah , the lady may have good intentions but she's also just a salesman, she knows what's hot, so where will eternal truth be when Oprah is done with it? where it's always been i suppose, right there.

 
At 3/10/2008 2:56 AM, Blogger eka said...

What do you make of it?

If, it is the case, in these modern times, that teachers are judged purely by popularity, on the Oprah-scale, Eckhart Tolle is right up there.

And they need to get bigger servers. B-)

 
At 3/12/2008 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stopped at this blog because I liked the name but gee... What IS the point here? Feels like I've walked in on some kind of pseudo-spiritual circle jerk. And I can't figure out where the contempt for Tolle comes from? I mean, I understand the knee-jerk reaction of hating anyone that becomes remotely popular - especially in the "spiritual" arena - but Oprah or no Oprah, this guy is the real deal; one of the very very very few who is the real deal and sticks around to help others find their way.

 
At 3/12/2008 2:24 PM, Blogger jody said...

What IS the point here?

To make sure people understand that self-realization doesn't make you special, that it doesn't make your guru special outside your projections of him/her, and that those who market themselves as special because they know self-realization – AS TOLLE APPEARS TO DO – are assholes for doing so.

I can't figure out where the contempt for Tolle comes from?

One, he's setting up his followers with personality splits with his war against the ego nonsense. Two, he charges based on how close you want to sit to him. Three, he makes a big ass deal out of his enlightenment experience.

this guy is the real deal

There's a lot more "real deal" than you are able to perceive, apparently. The fact is that most of the "real deal" don't waste their time trying to impart an unteachable truth. Tolle is providing spiritual lolly-pops, not nondual truth. And he's making millions with his crap. That's why he gets slammed here.

 
At 3/13/2008 9:18 AM, Blogger eka said...

Jody said, "Tolle is providing spiritual lolly-pops, not nondual truth. And he's making millions with his crap. That's why he gets slammed here."

...and so says all of us [with bloody great bells on]!

[note to stage left]] Are they strawberry lolly-pops? I am quite partial to a strawberry lolly-pop. Maybe I should go see him... you never know. Could be worth it. B-)

 
At 3/13/2008 9:29 AM, Blogger jody said...

There are a ton of people in the world who think they could use a spiritual lolly-pop. That's why Tolle and other nondual tools can take something that has little to nothing to do with psychology and dress it all up as yet another expensive self-help methodology.

Unfortunately, any actually nondual truth ends up looking like a Manhattan Meat-Packing district tranny, all dolled up in garish makeup and horrible hooker fashion, promising to take you to the moon when in fact they can't hardly make it to the next corner tottering in their too high heels.

 
At 3/13/2008 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To make sure people understand that self-realization doesn't make you special, that it doesn't make your guru special outside your projections of him/her, and that those who market themselves as special because they know self-realization – AS TOLLE APPEARS TO DO – are assholes for doing so.

Tolle doesn't "market himself" as anything. He obviously had a profound enough spiritual experience that people noticed and began asking him questions, etc. and poof, years later he is a spiritual teacher. I've never once heard him claim to be "special" and moreso I have specifically heard him say that he is no guru.

Self-realization may not make one special in the 'hey everybody look at me' kind of way but it certainly makes one very unique; even more unique if they are willing and able to convey helpful information to others in an understandable way.

One, he's setting up his followers with personality splits with his war against the ego nonsense.

Have you even ready any of his stuff? How exactly does one get set up for a personality split? In his teaching he specifically warns against the idea of waging "war" against anything. It doesn't sound like you've even read the guys work but you feel qualified to tear it down anyway.


Two, he charges based on how close you want to sit to him.


I doubt this was a personal decision of his. He has obviously become quite popular and has promoters that handle these kinds of things. Generally any entertainment event, concert, or lecture will have a higher price for the closer seats. I don't see why that's a problem. It cost money to rent a facility to host an event and pay people to work there, etc.

Three, he makes a big ass deal out of his enlightenment experience.

Wow...this is the most compelling evidence that you haven't even ready anything of Tolle's. I don't think I've ever heard an enlightenment experience downplayed more than Tolle's. In fact he basically claims that he can't remember it. He just remembers waking up and the world looking different. I've heard him asked about it multiple times as well as seen how he describes it in his books and he scarcely gives it the time of day. He talks alot about how he felt after the experience but you get very few details about the experience itself.


The fact is that most of the "real deal" don't waste their time trying to impart an unteachable truth.


I absolutely agree with this statement. And it's another reason I'm defending Tolle here. He imparts it in a very practical, accessible way, especially effective to the western mind; the whole time being very adamant about not getting attached to the words.

Tolle is providing spiritual lolly-pops, not nondual truth

Another meaningless statement. Ad hominem. Impossible to argue against due to a complete lack of substance.

And he's making millions with his crap.

He's making millions because he's managing to convey a very much needed message in a world that is becoming more and more ready to hear it. I don't get the impression that he set out to make millions. But his message is very effective and it caught on. Then it got Oprah's golden blessing and now he's a millionaire. If you are mad at Tolle for making money, blame it on Oprah. But having an axe to grind with someone because they are making money just seems silly. Would you like him better if he lived under a highway overpass and ate out of a dumpster? I guess the sign of a true spiritual master is their begging bowl.

That's why he gets slammed here.

No, he gets slammed here because you (and your cheerleaders) seem to have a major chip on your shoulder against anyone that publicly teaches others about spirituality. Sadly, in most cases your opinions here are justified and you do have a point. But you've really missed the mark with Tolle and it kind of hurts your credibility because it's obvious you haven't even taken the time to gather the necessary info to make an informed decision on the guy.
Personally I don't believe in the whole guru thing anyway. It's an outdated concept that was probably a bad idea in the first place. But there are some legitimate teachers out there and surprisingly (trust me, I was very surprised!) Tolle is one of them.

 
At 3/13/2008 4:30 PM, Blogger gregory said...

anon, you have to figure that guruphiliac is the fox news of the spiritual world, fair and balanced, etc... and not really interested in the clear and unbiased, more in the pointed and critical

which is why i read him, as entertainment, and not truth, whatever that is

enjoy, gregory

 
At 3/13/2008 4:33 PM, Blogger jody said...

Tolle doesn't "market himself" as anything.

Really? Then he has people that do it for him. Either way, he's selling nondual ideas as personality pepper-ups, and that's BS in my book.

The "pain-body" vs. the "presence?" Purely speculative trash and a horrendous dualism to boot. Welcome to another personality split c/o Eckhart Tolle.

I've never once heard him claim to be "special" and moreso I have specifically heard him say that he is no guru.

One doesn't need to claim anything to enjoy claims made about them. As our esteemed Blade has observed, Tolle is a repudiator/cultivator space-daddy. He does all the denying as his people and devotees pump him up to be cooler than an ice latte.

Self-realization may not make one special in the 'hey everybody look at me' kind of way but it certainly makes one very unique;

Not so much in my world. I have about 10 friends who qualify.

even more unique if they are willing and able to convey helpful information to others in an understandable way.

Nondual truth is non-conveyable. Salable, as Tolle is demonstrating with the millions he is making, but only with overpriced words that fall on ears not capable of discerning their truth.

How exactly does one get set up for a personality split?

By claiming ego to be a dysfunction.

I doubt [charging more based on proximity] was a personal decision of his.

Regardless. He is ultimately responsible for what folks are pay to see him.

He just remembers waking up and the world looking different.

That's interesting. Most the folks that I know who came to self-realization say the world stays the same, it's THEMSELVES who appear to be changed.

He imparts it in a very practical, accessible way, especially effective to the western mind; the whole time being very adamant about not getting attached to the words.

Yet folks read the words and get them completely wrong anyway, as evidenced by the gal who wrote the article I featured in this blog post.

Impossible to argue against due to a complete lack of substance.

That's what we do best around here.

He's making millions because he's managing to convey a very much needed message in a world that is becoming more and more ready to hear it.

No. He's making millions because he's cast nondual spirituality as another self-help scheme in a world full of folks looking to escape their everyday lives.

I guess the sign of a true spiritual master is their begging bowl.

In my world, folks who know who they are just do what they do, whether it's teaching spirituality, offering psychotherapy, editing manuscripts, etc. They don't have to beg to get my blessing, they just have to refrain from creating erroneous concepts of nondual truth in the minds of their students. Tolle is failing in this regard.

you (and your cheerleaders) seem to have a major chip on your shoulder against anyone that publicly teaches others about spirituality.

I have a chip on my shoulder against anyone who conveys bullshit about nondual truth. I can't really say anything about anyone else here.

But you've really missed the mark with Tolle and it kind of hurts your credibility because it's obvious you haven't even taken the time to gather the necessary info to make an informed decision on the guy.

It's a good thing I never set out to have any credibility.

there are some legitimate teachers out there and surprisingly (trust me, I was very surprised!) Tolle is one of them.

I'm not saying he's not legit as a realizer, I'm saying he's selling a package that prostitutes nondual truth as another self-help scheme. He's not alone in doing so; he's just another of many spiritual "teachers" who've figured out how to get rich.

 
At 3/13/2008 4:36 PM, Blogger jody said...

more in the pointed and critical

Someone has got to be an antidote to all the starry-eyed Pollyannas living in a fairy-tale wonderland that has little correspondence to the real world, of which you regularly make a great example.

 
At 3/13/2008 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "pain-body" vs. the "presence?" Purely speculative trash and a horrendous dualism to boot.

Again, it's clear you don't have any idea what you are talking about (ie have never read the material) which is exactly why you feel so justified in this self-congratulatory nonsense about how you're "calling Tolle on his bs". It's easy to invent facts and then argue against them. It's called a straw-man. Congratulation, you've defeated your strawman. Now go read the book unbiased (oh wait, is that possible?) and let's talk when you can at least get the basic facts right.

One doesn't need to claim anything to enjoy claims made about them.

Again you make presumptions about what someone is feeling ("enjoying"). Wow, not only are you now a non-dual master but you are also a mind reader.

Tolle is a repudiator/cultivator space-daddy.

Funny thing about name calling...you can't argue against it. Another of your many pointless statements that indicate a lack of a substantive argument.

t so much in my world. I have about 10 friends who qualify.

I'm glad you've got yourself propped enough to be qualifed to make this judgement about your friends state of self-realization. Congratulations again, in your own mind and world you are clearly a mind-reading legend in the making.

Salable, as Tolle is demonstrating with the millions he is making, but only with overpriced words that fall on ears not capable of discerning their truth.


The one and only person I've ever pushed this info on (by giving them the audiobook) experienced dramatic personal breakthroughs and now experiences peace and contentment unknown before. Not that she became "enlightened" but among other things after years of insomnia she can now sleep like a baby at night. I'd say that was worth the $20 bucks I paid for the audio book.

By claiming ego to be a dysfunction.

It's a self-evident truth.

Regardless. He is ultimately responsible for what folks are pay to see him.

Unfortunately in this world things cost money. Audotorium space in California isn't cheap. Neither is the help. Printing books costs money. Food costs money. Not mention the fact that making money is in no way in conflict with spiritual truth.

That's interesting. Most the folks that I know who came to self-realization say the world stays the same, it's THEMSELVES who appear to be changed.

Semantics. That's exactly what Tolle does say. I'm paraphrasing here. (A blind person that receives sight all of the sudden will percieve the world differently prior to this change.)

Yet folks read the words and get them completely wrong anyway, as evidenced by the gal who wrote the article I featured in this blog post.

You get several million people reading something and yes, odds are some people are bound to mis-interpret and just not get it. But many others do and even some that don't get alot of positive benefit (some of which I have personally seen the evidence of).

That's what we do best around here.

At least you're honest!

No. He's making millions because he's cast nondual spirituality as another self-help scheme in a world full of folks looking to escape their everyday lives.

While it's true that some people use this kind of thing as another form of escapism, most just want positive change in their life.

Tolle is failing in this
regard.


You are certainly entitled to your opinion; ill-formed as it may be.

I have a chip on my shoulder against anyone who conveys bullshit about nondual truth.

Another self-appointed authority on non-dual truth. You are the very thing you get your panties in a wad about! Gotta love the irony dont you?

It's a good thing I never set out to have any credibility.

I guess. It's a free internet. Write whatever bullshit floats your boat. Nevermind the accuracy.

He's not alone in doing so; he's just another of many spiritual "teachers" who've figured out how to get rich.

No, he got rich as a byproduct.

By the way, I do give you credit for actually posting my comments on your blog! I really didn't expect you to.

Your attempts here are misguided though. It's funny to watch.

 
At 3/13/2008 6:09 PM, Blogger jody said...

By claiming ego to be a dysfunction.

It's a self-evident truth.

That's ludicrous. Ego is the lynch-pin of the survival mechanism. Any dysfunction attributed to it is actually in its socio-cultural container. It's not ego that's bad, it's folks thinking that the ego is bad that's bad.

It's a huge problem with nondual spirituality. I'd be willing to bet that at least 75% of the folks embarking on their quest for enlightenment start out as inveterate ego-bashers, their own as well as that of others. All they are really doing is splitting themselves between a "bad self" and "good self." Too bad it's all illusory self. Thus, they extend their delusion decades by setting up this internal war, a war Tolle is initiating millions into with his take on ego, regardless and despite his attempt to prevent it. It's all in the use of the word "ego." This is Tolle's essential error, in my admittedly superficial view. When we hear "ego," we think "personality," and that's just plain wrong. When the authors of the Upanishads said "ego," they were meaning "ahamkara," or the attachment to identity.

You've nailed me as basically ignorant about Tolle's teaching, apart from a quick perusal of his website. But that's all that's required around here. This blog is concerned with the image of a spiritual teacher. It's all about superficiality. The due diligence has been done. Tolle's employment of the term 'ego' is introducing bad concepts of self, in my opinion, resulting in as much ignorance as any clarity some may extract from his teachings. Besides, what's he saying that a few hundred other nonduality teachers aren't? The problem is as much in the delivery as it may be with the deliverer.

If I'd come out in favor of Tolle, there would be folks giving me just as much shit as you are. It's a no-win for me either way. But based just on Tolle's use of the term "ego," and the effect it had on that writer, and the fact he's selling his presence as something worth paying more for, he's gets the thumbs down around here.

 
At 3/13/2008 6:56 PM, Blogger jody said...

Your attempts here are misguided

Welcome to my life.

Lookie! I did find a statement of Tolle's to explore:

"Once there is a certain degree of Presence, of still and alert attention in a human being's perceptions, they can sense the divine life essence, the one indwelling consciousness or spirit in every creature, every life-form, recognize it as one with their own essence and so live it as themselves."

I'm sorry, but we don't have a sense of the Self. If we did, we wouldn't need Tolles in our life. We cannot develop a sense that detects the Atman. We can only fall into a moment where we see a truth that has been ongoing, not gradually developing in degree. And once we see that truth in ourselves, we can still only infer that it's the same consciousness in all. There are no nerves that can relay to a mind the fact of Brahman's ubiquity, and Brahman doesn't even know it's own ubiquity, it only knows itself, Brahman.

I realize this is nitpicking, but the subtlety of the subject requires it. Tolle has provided a picture of self-realization here, and all pictures of self-realization are wrong. I especially don't like associating the term "life essence" with Atman. It definitely offers up a picture, like there's this divine juice that's in us. That makes it something that can be added to or taken away. There is no way Atman can be added to or taken away.

These kinds of subtle distinctions are huge in my world, because any pictures that end up forming in peoples' heads can only occlude what is being pictured, something that will never be pictured in a zillion years. It's the biggest dilemma of the nonduality teacher, imo. How do you prevent these images from forming? Zen beats them with a stick. Vedanta eschews them more gently. But Tolle has already spewed them in the first few pages of his book.

It's these concepts of "Presense" and "pain-body" that are at issue, along with that charging by proximity thing. It suggests to a satsang-junkie that you will get something by sitting closer, which is why satsang junkies want to sit close. (A satsang junkie is someone who believes they receive divine transmissions at traveling guru shows. Most big-time gurus use the idea of these transmissions to establish themselves as players in the satsang market.) To me it appears exploitive of that fact, that folks believe they get bathed in "divine light" by sitting closer. It's another huge bugaboo for me, and another reason this blog exists.

 
At 3/13/2008 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main problem of your criticism of Tolle is your lack of knowledge of his teachings. You cherry pick a few verses, take them out of their context and put them into your own preconceived context making them problematic (in your view). It’s funny because he specifically warns his readers against this “war on the ego” that you keep talking about.

You are attached to terms like “Atman” & “Brahman” which just like the terms “life essence” or “ego” are just verbal symbols for something that is much more than the symbolic expressions that we use out of necessity for the purpose of communicating with each other. A lot of people have no idea what “Atman” is and Tolle is putting it into terms that those people can better relate to. His way of expressing a truth that’s been expressed a thousand different ways over the course of history just happens to click very easily with a typical western reader. If you look at anyone that has had a profound spiritual experience they all have their own unique description and context for it. But when you get past the superficial representation, the message is always the same.

Also, for the record I’ve never once heard Eckhart describe himself as a “non-dual” teacher. And you are critical of Tolle for “providing a picture of self-realization” when you have no problem doing the exact same thing yourself.

Well, you have remained cordial in the face of some constructive criticism and I can respect that. But once again, if you are going to be critical of something it would behoove you to take the time to better educate yourself on the subject of your criticism.


As for the “divine light” in the presence of a guru thing… I don’t believe in gurus. But I have been around one spiritual teacher (not Tolle) where I have literally felt this very thing from being in his presence; really more pronounced just after leaving his presence, with the highlight of that being an unmistakeable and dramatic kundalini surge the next day during meditation. But of course this particular individual charges nothing for his teachings or his presence and he has many published books that you can buy but he also freely gives them away all the time.

 
At 3/13/2008 8:07 PM, Blogger jody said...

You are attached to terms like “Atman” & “Brahman” which just like the terms “life essence” or “ego” are just verbal symbols for something that is much more than the symbolic expressions that we use out of necessity

The terms Atman and Brahman share only the fact they are words with "life essence" and "ego." When you say either Atman or Brahman, it's much more difficult to form a picture, maybe in part because they are foreign words. In addition, their meaning is very, very specifically-defined in Vedanta. As you've observed, we're stuck with words. What I'm saying is that we must choose them very carefully, more carefully than Tolle is doing, imo.

you are critical of Tolle for “providing a picture of self-realization” when you have no problem doing the exact same thing yourself.

But which picture is more filled in with idea content? As I've said, it's a problem every communicator of nondual truth is going to have. Nonetheless, I still think Tolle could put a lot more thought into what he is saying based on how these things become occluding mind pictures in some people.

if you are going to be critical of something it would behoove you to take the time to better educate yourself

This writer is set with a hair trigger. Whenever ideas about realization or powers of gurudom manifest, I react. I'm going to read his book, and I bet I'll still find a bunch to fuss over. I'll let you know.

But yeah, you are totally right about being my being less than adequately informed. That's why I didn't mind other folks hearing it.

 
At 3/13/2008 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only problem with having a hair-trigger - even when lacking adequate info - is that it makes you come off significantly less reasonable an intelligent than you probably are.

Oh, and by the way...if you are Hindu it's actually very very easy to form a picture around the words "Brahman" and "Atman".

 
At 3/14/2008 12:33 AM, Blogger gregory said...

sanskrit is a big help here.. ego in english is such a loaded word, the sanskrit word is ahankara, and simple means the sense of being separate... that is all that changes, no killing of ego is necessary

likewise, enlightenment in english is pretty useless.. in sanskrit, atmasakshakar... simply means witnessing the atma while going about one's life

it is all quite simple, the drama and institutionalization of the game seems to be for people unable to simply see it...

(me, i think the tolle on oprah thing is extremely interesting, and beneficial for all who tune in)

 
At 3/14/2008 10:28 AM, Blogger eka said...

Gregory,
I think the word you are looking for might be "sAkSAtkAra" rather than 'sakshakar'

It means 'realization or intuitive perception' amongst other things.

The language doesn't really matter, does it, only the ability of the participants in the dialog to be understood and to understand. There are plenty of Sanskritists out there who find both of these things very difficult. There are plenty of English speakers who have difficulty too.

This type of dialog demonstrates that wonderfully. B-) Terms will always be wooly until, in a given dialog, there is complete accord as to semantic usage. Unfortunately when we duel with non-dually things this accord is seldom found. Too many ahaMkAras sticking their oars in.

 
At 6/27/2008 5:39 PM, Blogger Johnhulk said...

I agree with jody that defining Ego as a dysfunction is unfortunate word choice. and defining it as such may just be another knee jerk reaction.

I disagree with jody, on dysfunction being a misleading word. In fact, the ego is a dysfunction, it is something that ruins our natural state of Being, it is somewhat an obstacle in our way to true presence and Being. But, even though it is an obstacle, it is also an obstacle that cannot be passed and overcome in the sense of completely destorying it. So we must live with it, though we have a dysfunction, we can still reach inner Being. It is just more difficult, you could say. Therefore not many people will be able to reach this state as many people's "dysfunction" has lead them into a materialistic life, and suffering and pain is all that will arise from it. You could say that, Eckhart wants people to experience this new form of consciousness. He wants there to be a new world, you could say his ego wants this, but in fact, you could also say, he doesn't want anything at all but what he is doing will contribute to a change, whether or not it happens Eckhart is not concerned but he is merely living out his "destiny", doing his job, and Jody has a long way to go till he reaches "enlightenment", Eckhart isn't a sloppy teacher, Jody is a sloppy learner, and so are many other people because of our dysfunctions.

I am 13 yrs old, and it takes a child to realise all this. Tell me if you think I'm mistaken because I am open to change. But ultimately I don't need change because change means I am still "searching", but in fact I have found enlightenment already, but it is not consistent.

-Johnhulk, New Zealand

 
At 6/27/2008 5:53 PM, Blogger Johnhulk said...

"here's a lot more "real deal" than you are able to perceive, apparently. The fact is that most of the "real deal" don't waste their time trying to impart an unteachable truth."

Jody, you are mistaken. What the "real deal" are trying to teach, is not unteachable. In fact what they're teaching is acceptance, really, with life, with who "you" are. They are merely explaining the explainable. But it there is alot more to be explained, and alot more that is unexplainable, and alot more that is uncomprehendable for humans that is. But really, imagine a dog, lives life with no thought, no regret, no sadness, gets on with life, does what he's meant to do, natural instincts. Now look at a human, humans have egos, but if you take away the ego, what is left? That is something Eckhart is trying to help us see and understand. He is trying to unveil our consciousness, if you can recognise your ego, if you can "observe" it, then you are observing human nature, the thing that is observing is somewhat godlike. It is unexplainable, and if you look for an explanation, then you will never find it. This may be how you live your life forever Jody. Searching for an explanation, putting down people who try to help, your ego must think that you are somewhat better and greater than Eckhart, simply because you "think" he's wrong, meaning you are right, therefore you "must" be better than him. You have a long way to go to enlightenment.

 
At 6/27/2008 6:05 PM, Blogger Beastboy69 said...

The ego is manifestation of brood mother yabadaba dooo!

 
At 6/27/2008 10:15 PM, Blogger jody said...

the ego is a dysfunction, it is something that ruins our natural state of Being, it is somewhat an obstacle in our way to true presence and Being.

Ego is no more an obstacle to knowing ourselves as the Atman as air is no obstacle to the movement of clouds.

though we have a dysfunction, we can still reach inner Being.

Evolution gave us a choice: know ourselves as Brahman and get eaten mercilessly, having no chance of surviving as a species, or know ourselves as individual beings which can be eaten, therefore allowing us to understand the importance of running away from predators.

That sounds like a pretty functional use for ego to me.

not many people will be able to reach this state as many people's "dysfunction" has lead them into a materialistic life, and suffering and pain is all that will arise from it.

Your facile characterization of "a materialistic life" is another of the many common misperceptions that run rampant through Vedic-based spiritual culture as it exists in the West. The Atman shines at all times in all people, from the most holy sage to the most violent Blackwater merc. What's keeping people from seeing it is not "materialism," it's the fact they have absolutely nothing to compare it to, and they've existed in its context all their lives. Imagine being born with red-tinted corneas. You'd never know you were seeing red because you had always seen red. Likewise, people fail to recognize the Atman because they've always seen the Atman.

Eckhart wants people to experience this new form of consciousness.

There is nothing new about the Atman. It is always on, all the time, in everyone. Knowing it brings a gradual release from suffering as the samskaras for individual identity recede, but since it has always been shining in all, coming to recognize it is only seeing what you've already been knowing. It doesn't add anything expect the knowledge that you are it rather than a speculation about being it.

 
At 6/27/2008 10:49 PM, Blogger jody said...

In fact what they're teaching is acceptance, really, with life, with who "you" are.

Then why even any mention of ego? If it's only about acceptance, then we're all good exactly as we are and there's no reason to worry about things like "ego".

But it there is alot more to be explained, and alot more that is unexplainable, and alot more that is uncomprehendable for humans that is.

Actually, there are things we know, things we think we know and things we believe about the world, and there's nondual truth, which is a thing that we always know, even when we don't know that we know. Anything you comprehend is not nondual truth. Indeed, anything you think you know about nondual truth is wrong, and any expectation you have about realization as an experience could very well be the only thing standing in the way of your knowing your nondual truth as a consistent, ongoing, constant and perpetual revelation in your life. Much of the gunk that folks have picked up in the context of their speculation about spiritual truth has done nothing but prevent that truth from being known.

imagine a dog, lives life with no thought, no regret, no sadness, gets on with life, does what he's meant to do, natural instincts.

I am rather close to my dog, who I've known for 11 years. There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that he possesses a sense of self. My dog has more personality and sense of selfhood in the world than many people I've known.

if you take away the ego, what is left?

Where is this ego that you would be taking away? Does it exist as a vapor that floats around our heads, one that can be cleared away by the breath of God?

Think about it neurologically. Who we are is encoded into patterns of connection between brain cells. It's something that developed over the course of a life, and started when we were in the womb. Millions of neurons linked together are who we think we are. How can you eliminate that? The sense of one's self as a discreet individual remains after jnana develops. Millions of neurons are not going to suddenly unlink themselves in an instant.

However, those relatively few neurons which manage feelings of significance are the ones which have to change. This would be the ahamkara. Being an individual is not the problem, it's the feelings of significance which pepper our memories and beliefs that are the root of the dilemma.

your ego must think that you are somewhat better and greater than Eckhart

Your assumption and faulty reasoning is noted.

I'm not greater than anyone or anything. I'm just some jerk who believes he knows. Eat it with salt or treat it like dog shit. Tolle being presented as an "enlightened" man means nothing to me, but not because I believe I'm better. I know that enlightenment doesn't make you any different than anyone else, save for the fact jnana is present. And I believe that the word ego need not ever be mentioned in the context of a quest to know nondual truth. Meditate, chant, surrender. The rest will take care of itself. No long war between factions of mind which came into being the moment you decided you needed to lose your ego was ever necessary. Unfortunately, Tolle's rhetoric has sparked millions of these splits and the attendant inner conflicts they create. It's a bad choice of label, due to reasons explained in my post and other comments here.

 
At 6/28/2008 5:07 PM, Blogger Johnhulk said...

if you take away the ego, what is left?

Where is this ego that you would be taking away? Does it exist as a vapor that floats around our heads, one that can be cleared away by the breath of God...

I'm not saying you can take it away. I'm saying what would be there (if there is a there) if you remove the ego from a person. What is left? conciousness I would think, if I am wrong please tell me why.

Ego makes complications in "life", we are all born with it, we all identify ourselves with things, yes, it is an obstacle to presence inner being. It's something alot of people are beginning to realise is not "them", but a construct of the human mind which let's itself become known to "itself". But is knowing "itself" really useful, well, the ego doesn't know who it is, it has a mere illusion of what it thinks it is, and what it thinks is important, and if the ego will continue to be like this, then planet Earth is destined for disaster.


....That sounds like a pretty functional use for ego to me.

Yes, you could say that is a function. But I am not saying the ego has no functions, of course it does, and some are quite "useful", like you say, but, in a whole, it has many dysfunctions about it, that lead us to an unhappy life.

I personally think, with global warming etc, where did this arise from? Look at humans, inventing things, like cars etc, making life a whole lot easier for humans, less stress, but alot of human inventions and decisions and actions, are more like double-edged swords. Only thinking of themselves, when inventing a car that let's out tons of methane gas, "this car will make life alot more stress-free", but this car, and the future mass-production of cars, will lead to a great contribution to our collapsing ecosystem, and the possibility of an end to humanity.

If this happens, we will have to live with it (or die with it), now humans have always tried to survive, like you say the ego had a function in realising we as an individual animal have a good reason to run away from a predator etc. Well, this is all brilliant, but did you ever wonder about the consequences? No, only SHORTlived satisfaction is all an ego wonders about, and this will be the downfall of mankind. What do you believe? If it wasn't for the ego, humanity wouldn't be as advanced as it it now. But is this the necessary way for humanity to continue to be. Eckhart wants to bring humanity to a new human nature, one that will be better off for the human race, you could say.

Why do wars continue to battle? Ego. Why do men continue to murder? Ego. Why do you think your dog MUST have a sense of self? Ego. Why is it that humanity is quite blind and stupid? Ego.
Why is it that this inner Being, this presence, this one with nature is so hard to find. Well, personally, does this presence necessarily have to be the same for everybody? I think not, just like everybodies ego is different. Ultimately, I think presence, is happiness. Not satisfaction, instead happiness. But it is a hard thing to find, for humans can only add words to something, so they can relate to it, recognise it. But happiness (true happiness), is not whatever you might think it is. Because it is unthinkable.

 
At 6/28/2008 9:09 PM, Blogger jody said...

if you remove the ego from a person. What is left?

Not a person.

Ego makes complications in "life"

No, culture makes complications in life.

it is an obstacle to presence inner being

That's like saying clear air is an obstacle to sun shining.

it's... a construct of the human mind

No, it's a construct of life lived as a seemingly separate organism.

if the ego will continue to be like this, then planet Earth is destined for disaster.

Blaming ego for everything wrong is like blaming the devil for everything wrong. It's simplistic and ignores the obvious complexities of social life.

it has many dysfunctions about it, that lead us to an unhappy life.

Those "dysfunctions" are just life as it is. Get used to it. With an ego or not, the world is great and it sucks in more or less equal measure.

Eckhart wants to bring humanity to a new human nature, one that will be better off for the human race, you could say.

Well, his methods are not as sound as they could be, imo.

Why is it that this inner Being, this presence, this one with nature is so hard to find.

Because we've stuffed our heads with completely erroneous nonsense about it. Those ideas cover up the ongoing truth.

does this presence necessarily have to be the same for everybody?

Absolutely, according to Vedanta.

Ultimately, I think presence, is happiness.

The Self is not a thought, feeling or sensation of any kind.

Because it is unthinkable.

But shines in every thought that has ever been thunk.

 
At 6/29/2008 12:21 AM, Blogger Johnhulk said...

The Self is not a thought, feeling or sensation of any kind.

It is happiness. That's the word I put to it, to relate it to my human self. Because you can't really place a word to it to describe it. But I prefer to put happines to whatever it is.

 
At 6/29/2008 12:30 AM, Blogger jody said...

I prefer to put happiness to whatever it is.

Just don't expect it to be happiness and you'll be ok.

 
At 6/30/2008 10:20 PM, Blogger Johnhulk said...

I don't expect anything.

 
At 6/30/2008 10:24 PM, Blogger jody said...

I don't expect anything.

God bless you.

 
At 7/03/2008 1:26 AM, Blogger Johnhulk said...

God Bless me?

What did I do?

 
At 7/03/2008 1:40 AM, Blogger jody said...

What did I do?

If you don't expect anything of self-realization, you are much more likely to notice its ongoing brightness, which isn't at all bright in any of the ways that spiritual culture may lead us to believe.

It's rare to find someone who isn't expecting big things of their eventual enlightenment. It's the looking for things to get big that gets in the way of seeing it's always been with us as the very small.

 
At 8/05/2008 3:01 PM, Anonymous Robert said...

Why do wars continue to battle? Ego. Why do men continue to murder? Ego. Why do you think your dog MUST have a sense of self? Ego. Why is it that humanity is quite blind and stupid? Ego.

On the opposite end, where does art come from, and the constant striving to create and show our identity to others? Ego. Where does that painful song that makes you sad and embrace your pain-body come from? Ego. Where does the desire to woo the love of your life, buy flowers, write poetry, come from? Ego. Where does the desire to leave our stamp in the world, either through our children, our jobs, or art, or whatever come from? Ego.

Where does charging money for books come from, when you were once perfectly happy living on a park bench? Ego.

 
At 8/09/2008 7:07 PM, OpenID johnhulknz said...

Robert, you are an ego. I am an ego. Ego is you, wrapped around your consciousness.

 
At 11/22/2008 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The topic itself is so contradictory to ET's ideas...
ET hates your ego.... his point is the ego is an unsconscious aspect of ourselves, a false aspect to be trancended. Operating from the ego can lead to suffering.

ET himself has addressed the issue of whether teachers should charge for spirituality. There was a period that he did not charge and he was an obsure individual known to a few, now he charges and thousands want to hear him speak.

There are teachers out there who sit on mountain tops and allow students to come to them. ET operates differently and shares his teachings by traveling and interacting with large groups. We can claim the high moral ground that he should do this for free, his basic answer, in the world of form, money is simply energy to be used.......... some of the commenters are using their own ambivalence about having lots of money to ridicule ET, this just shows how clever our own ego's can be.

Silly of me even attempting to defend ET, he needs no defence. It is OK to dislike his teachings and ideas.... find another teacher. Life is a buffet table, pick and choose what you like.

 
At 1/10/2009 3:25 AM, Blogger Nick said...

Writing 101: read the work you criticize. Sorry man, you can't hate sushi if you've never tried it, even if some random person on the internet described the taste of sushi to you in some fashion that piqued you desire to criticize and feel bigger than something you may regard as unlike yourself. I know the experience. It's a normal process of intellectual maturity.

Your thoughts on ego are interesting, but the last thing to be done with interesting thoughts is plant them in a foul cloud of negativity.

 
At 1/17/2009 4:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if u read the book properly u would find that eckhart explains that its not just the 'evil' ego that needs to be recognised as not you but also he explains that you need to watch out for positive thoughts that fool to thinking that they areus too.
he also explains that been judgemental is a big trait of the ego and trying to make someone wrong is away of showing that yr ego identified ,obvously u missed that part aswel

 
At 1/28/2009 1:13 AM, Blogger Melody said...

I stumbled on to this site because I am researching Eckhart Tolle. One of th emajor problems I have with spiritual teachers of the New Age is that they make so much money. I feel the same way about mega Christian Churches, or preachers who drive a Lexus. I guess it just seems to me that if someone is enlightened, then why would they need so much money?
Perhaps that is my idea of enlightenment, but I guess for centuries, religious piety has been linked to the renunciation of wealth and power. I think if I were Eckhart Tolle, and I had made that much money, I would rent out huge auditoriums and charge only enough to cover expenses for my talks. Why make money if you don't need it?
I had this same problem with Deepak Chopra. I looked into his weekend retreats and they cost upwards of $3000. I couldn't understand how this translated into helping people. To me it seemed like strictly business. There is a huge need for spiritual guidance and direction in a time where traditional religions are failing (mostly due to advances in science.) So this is strictly supply and demand. People are willing to pay anything for spiritual enlightenment, it is priceless.

I studied meditation at a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. It was a 10 day retreat. The lodgings were barren, but the meals were delicious. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done- no talking, no reading, no writing- for 11 days. We just meditated and listened to lectures. The entire 11 day stay cost a total of $50. including lodging and meals.

This monastery was the real deal- they were there to help people reach enlightenment. But it wasn't easy, or funny, or fun, or comfortable. It was infact, mostly the opposite of those things. Yet I didn't leave thinking, "I wonder if they are in it for the money?" They weren't, because they didn't make profit.

Is it ok to profit off of guiding people to their spiritual enlightenment? I don't know. I teach guitar and voice lessons, and I am continually enthralled and overjoyed by my students. I love it. It is ok for me to get paid, and at the same time, I want to help them. Is spirituality something that can be looked at through these eyes?

I think that spirituality is a big business. There is a lot of money to be made. I just can't decide if it is ok to make money off of it. It seems to me an idea that is at odds with spirituality. . .
What do you think?

 
At 1/28/2009 1:25 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

What do you think?

I think it's fine to make money doing what you love, but if you want to really help things along in the world, you would likely try to make your teachings as affordable as possible, so that they may be available to all, not just the well-off consumevotees.

But the truth of it is that you've got to make a lot of money if you want to run with the Oprahs of the world.

 
At 2/06/2009 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The proof of the pudding is displayed in the lives of the people who follow these teachings. I have known more than a few of Tolle's loyal disciples, and they are without exception arrogant, selfish people. And yes, very confrontational.

'Nuff said!

 
At 3/20/2009 3:25 AM, Anonymous Dave Thompson said...

An Analogy of Ego and Spirit..

Our spirit selves simply must be. Floating, dancing and loving, the spirit has no judgement. Childlike in form and function, the spirit simply is. Vulnerable and true, it has no self preservation function in place. It has no ability to protect itself from those who seek to destroy it. The spirit is easily extinguished by ego. Ego seeks to be primary, whole and all encompassing. It dwarfs the room, it impacts all and must be the centre of its universe. It is insecure, in pain and inherently ugly in nature. It is also proud and protective, and understands only one thing. That without spirit, it will cease to exist. When spirit has been all but compressed, suppressed and oppressed, ego will take fallen and broken spirit onto its back, and walk through desert sands, through torrential rains, through hell to take spirit to safety where spirit may return to its natural form. Where spirit is free of villification, it may return to its original state. Of being.

And only when ego sees spirit free and true, and looks at spirit with a villanous heart and an envious eye, does it seek to destroy spirit because it wants what spirit has and is. That is why ego will protect spirit and save it above all else, but only when spirit is in a state that is not a threat to ego. Ego hates spirit in its true form but will do everything in its power to save spirit when it has been squashed. Only then does ego have purpose. Ego is so proud that it must try and destroy the one thing that it holds above itself. Ego creates its own purpose by doing so. Spirit simply must be. These two must coexist for survival.

That is irony. That is balance. That is equality.

Dave Thompson's ego and spirit. (they both worked together on this..)

I agree Jody, the ego is a huge part of self preservation..

 
At 4/30/2009 2:52 AM, Anonymous Samuel said...

maybe ET doesn't give 2 hoots about the whole seating thing. As some have said, and as ET has said in his writings, its not important where you sit. Or even if you come. If you feel the need to pay lots of money to "bask" in his presence, then there is a lesson in there. I wouldn't be surprised if ET is someone who may not actually know a lot of what is going on in his name. He is a self-admitted technophobe who doesn't use email. I seriously doubt he micro-manages what has now become a money-making machine. He claims to spend most of his time alone, and, I imagine traveling between speaking arrangements. If he is following his own teachings he would be mostly in the present, not engaging in the future and past machinations that are required when running a business. I don't presume to know anything ... but he seems the type that wouldn't really be that interested in the money side of things. And like someone else mentioned on here, it is what it is... surely he accepts whatever circumstances he is in. I am a bit unhappy with the rampant profiteering as well, especially involving ET, from whom I have been able to learn much. I do not however, necessarily think he has anything to do with it.

 
At 5/07/2009 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's making millions because he's managing to convey a very much needed message in a world that is becoming more and more ready to hear itIf the message were so important, it would be free to everyone...

 
At 6/22/2009 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am a bit unhappy with the rampant profiteering as well, especially involving ET, from whom I have been able to learn much. I do not however, necessarily think he has anything to do with it."

?
I'm sorry, that's ridiculous, and no excuse. That begs reflecting on all kinds of ludicrous forms of logic-- such as being in the Now absolves any of us, then, of responsibility for how others are treated due to our actions.

My main issue with ET goes back to the ego vilification (which continues a duality that cannot lead to true transformation, since ultimately he advocates pitting your 'NOWness' against your evil, mean Ego), however the fact that he has also made a business out of enlightenment is ... well, it's actually kind of hilarious. his actions speak louder than his words, in that sense.

I think he is a fraud, personally. A poseur.

.02, great post, jody,
(and may I refer to it in a blog post?)
K. Cole

www.unbearablewriteness.blogspot.com

 
At 6/22/2009 10:24 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

may I refer to it in a blog post

Have at it!

 
At 8/27/2009 5:51 PM, Blogger gehenna said...

tolle is a self important, confused and very very annoying twunt. nuff said

 
At 11/13/2009 10:42 AM, Blogger Gatts said...

part one of my comment (can only have 4096 characters in a comment apparently)

i have just recently started reading tolle's book "a new earth" and i've found it to be quite helpful, especially when i'm practicing tai chi and qigong and letting myself recognize the present moment, feeling my body and qi, than being in my mind and distracted by my thoughts of "am i doing this right?", work, sex, or the million other things that can go on in the mind.

i post this comment not to show "you're wrong, i'm right!" you may interpret it that way even with this disclaimer but like tolle, i am not here to convince you. i am here to clarify my own awareness using your post as an example and i hope that it may help others clarify their own awareness.

from "new earth", page 6: "this book's main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness, that is to say, to awaken. in that sense, this book is not "interesting." interesting means you can keep your distance, play around with ideas and concepts in your mind, agree or disagree. this book is about you. it will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless. it can only awaken those who are ready. not everyone is ready yet, but many are, and with each person who awakens, the momentum in the collective consciousness grows, and it becomes easier for others."

This writer is confused, and it's Tolle's fault. That's not the woman's ego criticizing herself, it's a tiny piece of it, one of probably many sub-personalities. She's still identified as an ego, only attached to a different piece of it, the one that thinks it's not the ego, the one that Tolle is locking people into by giving them this horrible idea as to what ego really is.

i still do not understand how it is tolle's fault for the writer's confusion. tolle is tolle, and the writer is the writer. i do not wish to get into semantic argument but it is like blaming jesus for blood spilled in his name. tolle is not responsible for how your ego interprets his purpose.

We can agree when Tolle lays the blame for most evil with the ego, but he also wouldn't be able to charge you more for sitting closer to him if he didn't have one himself.

i do not think tolle "blames" anything. from http://blog.eckharttolle.com/blog/2008/10/08/why-we-have-an-ego-and-why-it-seems-to-be-our-enemy/: The ego is a stage in the evolution of human consciousness. It is not your enemy. To perceive somebody or something as an enemy is in fact one of the main misperceptions or delusions of the egoic unconsciousness. So, you cannot fight against the ego and win that fight. If you think you have won the fight against the ego, it is the ego in you that thinks so and it has enlarged itself. So the ego is not an enemy, but a dysfunction. Looked at from one point of view, it is an entity that the mind created. From another perspective, however, it is simply a delusion, resulting in a distorted way of perceiving reality and consequently in dysfunctional behavior. This second perspective is probably a more helpful one.

assuming that "he" (i doubt that tolle does everything himself without support) does in fact charge more, why is that an issue? i have thought about this as well but then i realized that it is ok for people to make a living, or to make billions even, and if they want to spend it on improving the lives of people or destroying the world, that is their choice and they will enjoy or suffer the consequences. one of these choices will perhaps bring you closer to the Tao/the Truth/All That Is/[whatever] than the other.

 
At 11/13/2009 10:42 AM, Blogger Gatts said...

part 2
Put Tolle's ideas into the head of a person who has the wrong idea of ego, like this woman, and suddenly you've got folks who believe their ego is just their bitchy side. There are plenty of supposedly enlightened gurus who have a bitchy side, so that's obviously not a problem. In fact, the problem ends up having nothing to do with the personality (the defacto definition of 'ego' in the West) at all.

i understand how a people can see their ego as "just" their bitchy side. perhaps that is the most glaring aspect of the ego that deserves awareness, perhaps not. what is helpful in the new earth are the ways the ego can manifest itself so that others can become aware of it.

this really spoke to me and i saw the parallels from learning taoist qigong teachers. the taoist qigong and meditation teachers that i've experienced have emphasized that you are not looking for anything, per se. what you are doing is becoming aware of what already is and have the intention of releasing. when it, whatever "it" is (pain, tension, contraction, something that doesn't feel right), is ready to release, then let it take its natural course. you don't "do" anything. in other words, it releases when it is ready, not when you tell it to release.

Of all the things we have going on in our heads, our living truth as the Self is the secret hiding in plain sight. But something is getting in the way of seeing what's always right [t]here. We like to lay some of the blame on the ideas about enlightenment that get projected into our heads by spiritual culture, but that can't be all of it. Apparently, Tolle wants you to think it's your mean and bitchy side, and he's now on a world-saving tear in support of his book that tells us about it.

i will offer something else and of course i may be wrong: tolle doesn't want you to "think" anything, he hopes that you will be more aware.

We're all for a bit more peace, and perhaps Tolle has a greater chance of bringing it than TM™ ass-bouncers, but the confusion about ego and personality he's introducing along the way will always be piss in any peace he can bring.

perhas he will bring about greater peace, perhaps he won't. i have a feeling that he will take responsbility for his actions regardless.

as for your blog's "mission statement" for lack of a better term: "revealing self-aggrandizement and superstition in self-realization since 2005." what is it about these aspects that have compelled you to create a blog about it? why do these things matter?

 
At 12/12/2009 3:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo. Finally someone who questions and not just swallow everything.

 
At 4/10/2010 11:32 PM, Blogger Kieran said...

In my opinion, Eckhart is not as enlightened or as spiritually perfect as he makes himself out to be, but he certainly is a man with a great talent for seeing things how they really are, and there is a lot of wisdom in his words.

That said, I think it is important to read his work reflectively; that is to take the good bits, and leave what is left. It would be a shame to waste it all if you see him as annoying or condescending.

 
At 4/11/2010 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 23:24

 
At 4/13/2010 1:50 PM, Blogger Gatts said...

all i've read/heard so far of tolle is "a new earth" and npr's speaking of faith interview, and i don't get the vibe that he's saying "look at me, i'm enlightened!" his enlightenment/non-enlightenment is irrelevant. what matters is whether what he's saying resonates with you to bring you closer to true consciousness.

as for wealth and god: difficult but not impossible - the trap that is difficult to avoid when wealthy is overvaluing material things.

that being said, one can be rich (and do much good with it) and also be conscious/aware/present.

 
At 5/03/2010 7:00 AM, Blogger yank69tank said...

Eckeart Tolle is total mindless nonsensical crap. So, the purpose of my life at that moment in time is to walk to work, eat my sandwitch, floss my teeth? Oooooh such divine purpose. Crap crap crap.

 
At 5/03/2010 2:37 PM, Blogger Gatts said...

amusingly enough you hit the nail right on the head: there is nothing but the present moment.

whether you're ready to accept this is another question - i encourage you to explore what is behind your response.

 
At 5/03/2010 2:47 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

what matters is whether what he's saying resonates with you to bring you closer to true consciousness.

We are never far from our true consciousness. Tolle's postulating that we can get closer to who we already are is a pollution of our ongoing nondual truth.

 
At 5/03/2010 4:42 PM, Blogger Gatts said...

but what does "never far from our true consciousness" mean? to say that we're near, far, or already "here" is not helpful

i can say "i am enlightened." well then, that was easy! moving along, onto the next thing.

that tolle's work is "pollution" is just your assertion backed up by nothing - why is it pollution, because you say so?

 
At 5/03/2010 4:53 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

why is it pollution

Because it sets people up on a search for what can only be a conceptual creation of their mind, and that can only occlude what they seek.

Because it has people thinking that nondual realization will solve their problems.

Because it has people believing that nondual realization will be the result of something they do.

 
At 5/03/2010 6:51 PM, Blogger Gatts said...

all of which have nothing to do with tolle's (and many, many others') emphasis on awareness in the present moment. if you think about it, the only way tolle can answer your criticisms is by publishing a book with no title or content - just a completely blank book. now that's zen for you.

conceptual creation of their mind, and that can only occlude what they seek

a point which i (and tolle i presume) would agree! i don't have his books available right not now and have forgotten a lot of the minutiae but according to the "new earth" wikipedia article: "The core of Tolle's thought, in brief, is that the whole of humanity is trapped in self-created worlds of thought."

nondual realization will solve their problems
being aware is the first step to solving one's problems. it isn't going to magically wash away all your problems and ever but the best that can be said about it is that it *may* help.

Because it has people believing that nondual realization will be the result of something they do

quite agree, as would tolle. it's about being, not doing.

so, again, the crux of your argument against tolle is that he is easily misinterpreted and as such should be considered "pollution." as evidence you cite various ways in which people can misinterpret tolle's teachings. this is circular reasoning with a dash of straw man (or not even straw man - you completely miss the point of tolle's writing).

i've presented what i believe are the core strengths of tolle's new earth (i haven't read of power of now) as it aligns well with the material i have read and practiced so far as aids to "being", including thich nhat hanh's books on mindfulness ("peace is every step"), taoism (qigong, tai chi), and joan pancoe's book "openings".

i haven't reread the other comments but if i remember correctly, you haven't actually argued against any of tolle's core ideas (apologies in advance if you have, please correct me if i'm wrong since it's been so long since i've read the comments). you may continue arguing along the same circles of reasoning but until you present something debatable and/or some alternatives as to why tolle is wrong, it's a waste of everyone's time.

 
At 8/03/2010 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's laugh, all I can see are Ego's here.

 
At 8/03/2010 12:42 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

It's all any of us ever see because it's the only way we can see anything.

 
At 8/03/2010 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A thought of judgment toward another human being does not define the person whom you are judging. You call another person ignorant, you call another person stupid or wrong, whatever it is, you do not get to define anyone or anything on the basis of your unkind judgement, it doesn't define them. It defines you as someone who needs to judge and someone who has left the field of connection with life.

 
At 8/03/2010 1:19 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Just calling it as I see it, offered only as opinions. The fact remains that much of nonduality teaching is rife with conceptual metaphors that subvert the transmission, including Tolle's, IMO.

 
At 3/21/2011 12:07 AM, Blogger Quinn said...

I find his book quite good, the first one, not interested in the rest of it. Awareness of breath meditation is also pretty good. Vipassana I found very effective, I find it hard to keep up a regimen though, one thing about vipassna is that you pay after, based on what you think it was worth, (and what you can afford) so its not tainted. but I didn't agree with all of the theory attached to the meditation, only the technique itself. also I found i was able to generate a profound patience and inner peace, and i was right at the back of the hall, with a muttering, snoring guy behind me, who I later befriended. its an inner journey you must take yourself, so how can sitting near a teacher make a difference? good question, concepts like the "hundredth monkey" and the morphogenic field may have some application here... Funnily enough, even in vipassana, if you do it again and help with the work and cooking for others learning the technique for the first time... you get to sit closer to the teacher, who really mostly just sits their and meditates, (I think the only thing he said to me was "Quinn williams" (slow english not my first language voice) " Shut your mouth when you meditate " ) and your supposed to be more likely to get it if your closer to him... Im very far from constant "enlightenment", I think, but I've had a few glimpses of aspects of the state periodically. I have a massive aversion to dogma of any sort, and am deeply suspicious of profiteering. Ekhart Tolles website, pay per view subscription bollocks bugs me enormously. World peace and enlightenment for those who can afford it. Great. the book is weel written, except when he goes on about how animals eating each other is a phenomenon of our consciousness. bollocks, "the lion will lie down with the lamb", right, so whats he going to eat, grass? it is the egotistical grasping of our minds to our particular perspectives that make us think their is something "wrong" with lions eating lambs. in my opinion... anyway he's had a glimpse of something and by and large he describes it well, I wouldn't take it much further than that...
As far as meditation or a realisation of the ground of being, I prefer the sports analogy, meditation or quietening the mind, and not personally identifying with your thoughts, are like getting back to the middle of the court in a game of squash... not an end in itself...

excuse the mind dump... my two cents..

 
At 3/22/2011 8:26 AM, Blogger Gatts said...

if more people are willing to pay for sitting closer to tolle, let them make that choice. search inside yourself for why that bothers you and when you're ready it will release.

World peace and enlightenment for those who can afford it

same thing goes for charging for access to his website or for anything that he provides to the larger community. some will ask "why aren't you providing this for free?" if he wants to provide jobs in his organization and make a living, he will have to charge. of course, there is a point at which the prices become unreasonable and if you are aware enough you start to question your motivations, but i'm pretty sure tolle is gaining great satisfaction from helping others and doesn't lose any sleep for making money.

 
At 4/05/2011 3:16 PM, Anonymous Brad Sommers said...

The ego is not the enemy (or an enemy), it is identification with the ego that creates the problem. In Buddhist/Hindu/Mystic theology, the true Self [the true subject) is just a field of pure Awareness common to all sentient beings. The ego is just another object in that field of pure Awareness, and as such, is not the subject. Yet, most people identify with the ego (or, generally, the mind) as their self, and thus it is just the wrongful identification that constitutes the problem, not the ego itself.

 
At 11/23/2011 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would it have been if Jesus charged for being close to him? Or if Buddha made those first monks pay him a fee? Well if they had done that they would never have been remembered in history as they would clearly have not been enlightened. Enlightened means that you are without attachments or aversion. Guru or teacher means that you need nothing from your students. Clearly Eckart Tolle wants money, his students money and lots of it. He at his own admission had millions in the bank. And perhaps he even wants some level of adoration though only he could tell you that for sure.

That is not to say he is without benefit. Definitely he is helping people let go and as Jesus said "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;"

Eckart Tolle is just reusing ideas of the greats that came before him. His audience does not know that so they love it. Well it does help them but he is not what he appears and thus it's all a little confusing. Yes he has some level of understanding and peace as do many spiritual people in the world. His gift is the ability to communicate it to others softly and intelligently. For this gift he he is very well compensated.

 
At 1/04/2012 9:11 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

'Ego' is such a confusing term. Maybe we should just use the word 'BS' instead. To get rid of your own BS you look at it and realize it is BS. Keep looking...

 
At 1/04/2012 9:27 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

BS doesn't stop consciousness from being nondual, but we can certainly get caught up in all the BS about what that means to people.

 
At 2/23/2012 8:11 AM, Blogger Uilium said...

What things can a person fairly new to self-realization do to avoid these teachers.
Also, I had this experience that I was ready for, around 20 years ago I was smoking very good marijuana. For 2 weeks my neighbor would give it to me and I was having a lot of fun with it and in the back of my mind I was thinking "This is to much fun without a cost".
The cost? Something very bad happened. I saw a flash of white and I received some kind of spiritual knowledge I wasn't ready for that now I repress(I guess)but I do know what some of the "trip" was:
"If nobody can experience, my experience then that makes me God of my experience". This made me think, what if I am God and for some reason I don't remember that I am God(what a lonely feeling!). I sat in my apartment for weeks pondering what it meant and worried of the tiny possibility of going to eternal hell for eternity(different things I was worried about)...Oh how I worried and this worry made me remember the experience and then that made me way more worried. After a few weeks, one day I was worrying like crazy and all the sudden something in my mind stopped the worrying, what made that happen, I wonder?
I am still scared from this. I get panic attacks intermittently occurring out of the blue. The panic makes me feel like I could fall through the Earth or I think of a concept of eternity and mix it with the concept of space(my creative mind creating new things to horrify myself??). I feel like everyone is fading when this panic happens and I am the only one, a God in my own mind. Thank You :)

 
At 8/04/2012 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Folks,

Back in 2005 I saw 'I Hart Toilets' (my iconoclastic nick name for him - he started to change his name so I though I'd continue). I was at the back. There was very little 'presence' or energy or anything. What I did detect was the whole 'collective effervescence' of those around me: 'have you read his book', ''I know his inner circle', we're all so spiritual around him' etc. If he is anything he is a 'cult' (or something like that!).

Read Bernadette Roberts (http://www.spiritualteachers.org/b_roberts_interview.htm) and what she has to say about the path to oneness:

"The major temptation to be overcome in this period is the temptation to fall for one of the subtle but powerful archetypes of the collective consciousness. As I see it, in the transforming process we only come to terms with the archetypes of the personal unconscious; the archetypes of the collective consciousness are reserved for individuals in the state of oneness, because those archetypes are powers or energies of that state. Jung felt that these archetypes were unlimited; but in fact, there is only one true archetype, and that archtype is self. What is unlimited are the various masks or roles self is tempted to play in the state of oneness - savior, prophet, healer, martyr, Mother Earth, you name it. They are all temptations to seize power for ourselves, to think ourselves to be whatever the mask or role may be. In the state of oneness, both Christ and Buddha were tempted in this manner, but they held to the "ground" that they knew to be devoid of all such energies. This ground is a "stillpoint", not a moving energy-point. Unmasking these energies, seeing them as ruses of the self, is the particular task to be accomplished or hurdle to be overcome in the state of oneness. We cannot come to the ending of self until we have finally seen through these archetypes and can no longer be moved by any of them. So the path from oneness to no-oneness is a life that is choicelessly devoid of ego-satisfaction; a life of unmasking the energies of self and all the divine roles it is tempted to play. It is hard to call this life a "path", yet it is the only way to get to the end of our journey."

a.k.a. his role as world teacher; Greedy Guru for the Greedy Age.

As I have been led to understand it: No one can take you there, no one can show you, you have to go there yourself.

L,
Sid.

 
At 8/04/2012 6:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Uilium,

Just read your post - can I suggest you take a look at 'Edji's site - he has Nisargadatta's book 'I Am That' for free: http://www.wearesentience.com/index.html
He also has a load of stuff on 'spiritual experience' that you might find helpful to overcome your 'fear', and also answers questions from people.

Hope its of some use, and again, no one can show you no one can take you there, you have to go there yourself.

L,
Sid.

 
At 5/27/2013 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dissect his thinking however you like, the bottom line for me is that Tolle, like many (or all)of his ilk, is a materialist; and this renders his "spiritual" teachings utterly worthless. Perhaps I am naïve, but it seems to me that if an enlightened person were to acquire such wealth, they might use it do something other than promote themselves. Watch the hands, not the mouth. Follow the money: it feeds his ego.

 
At 6/09/2013 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a pretty good discussion here where they discuss the same things : http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth.info/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3561&start=60

Sure, discard whatever doesn't appeal to you. Tolle makes a lot of money, he must have a ego /not be perfect / fill in the blank here. He's not trying to appeal to you nor does he have to.

But I would hope that you don't confuse the medium with the message. You could just as easily insert some reason why the Buddha or Jesus Christ are X or have done X, and that indicates their hypocrisy, therefore their message is worthless because it doesn't meet some arbitrary standard you set.

The hypocrisy argument is pretty weak overall. Show me perfection and I'll show you flaws.

 
At 9/11/2013 4:42 PM, Blogger CheddarBob39 said...

yo I don't know bro.

 
At 9/11/2013 4:48 PM, Blogger CheddarBob39 said...

READ THIS!!!!

Just because you make a lot of money doesn't mean you don't have an ego or have an ego. The book is about identifying the ego so you don't take it seriously. It's about learning to dis-identify from your ego not necessarily "get rid of it." It's learning to stand back from it and see it for what it is. I like Eckhart Tolle and he has helped me a lot in my own life, but I think he makes it sound way more complex than it actually is. He never preaches how EASY it is, and it is easy. If you think of it as being a hard task to overcome the ego then psychologically it will seem hard, and vice versa if you think of it as being easy. It would be nice if he preached that it is EASY!!! That's why I like Lester Levenson. He was straight forward and tells you exactly what you need to know and preached the important things you need to do.

 
At 6/17/2014 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

spirituality in whatever form isn't about ego.It's about awareness and knowing that you are awareness, the none experiencing witness of life i.e objects.an object is anything other than awareness.

 

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