A Question I Was Asked:

'What Can You Tell Me About Eckhart Tolle?'

My Response:

This guy is virtually unknown here in the UK but I understand that he offers some sort of "spirituality" course through Oprah Winfrey's website. The course is called 'A New Earth' and it is described as 'A New Earth Web Event.' It based on his book, 'A New Earth.'

Who is this man?

Tolle is a German-born teacher of New Ageism who spent many years living in England. He claims a radical spiritual awakening at the age of 29 after suffering from long and repeated bouts of depression. Tolle's non-fiction bestseller, 'The Power of Now,' emphasized the importance of being aware of the present moment as a way of not being lost in thought. In Tolle's view, the present is the gateway to a heightened sense of peace. 'A New Earth' was written more recently.

While Tolle claims not to be aligned with any particular religious movement or tradition, in John W. Parker's book 'Dialogues With Emerging Spiritual Teachers,' Tolle acknowledges a strong connection to J Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi and states that his teaching is a coming together of the teachings of both those teachers. Influences which are alluded to in 'The Power of Now' itself include the New Age bible, 'A Course in Miracles,' also mystical Islam and Zen Buddhism. So this guy is purely a New Age teacher and New Ageism, of course, celebrates the human mind, deep spirituality and so-called "inner consciousness" as being able to pride a full answer to all human dilemmas.

In the Introduction to the 'New Earth' spirituality series on Oprah Winfrey's website, Oprah asks Tolle, "How did the contents of this book ('A New Earth') come to you?"

Tolle replies,

"By getting in touch with the 'stillness' within myself."

Later Oprah enquires,

"Is it from God - I call it 'God'?"

Tolle replies, "No - just consciousness."

My questioner wondered what connection - if any - Tolle has with biblical Christianity. The answer is very clear: absolutely none whatsoever! Tolle does, apparently, occasionally mention 'Jesus' but this is not the biblical Jesus but the perverted form of "Jesus" which comes from these New Age influences.

There are indeed answers to some of the questions and dilemmas which Tolle discusses but those answers are in the Jesus Christ of true Christianity - very definitely not in New Age 'inner mysticism' even if this sort of mysticism does help certain people "feel good about themselves."

Robin A. Brace, March, 2008.