One more addition to this topic from a discussion we had on this subject about a year ago:viewtopic.php?f=28&t=66&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=abraham
I wanted to throw in my inflated two cents on this discussion. I myself for some years have been more of an Advaita (non-duality) person and have been more sympathetic to Eckhart, instead of Wayne and Abraham.
I think that if something helps us to be peaceful, happy and present, then let's go for it. If Abe-Hicks or Wayne Dyer's messages are helping us be more inspired, productive or happy in our lives, then let's stay open to them.
Why not allow the proof in the pudding to guide us instead of intellectual debates?
I have come to a rather simplistic (and perhaps dualistic!) explanation of the two popular schools of philosophy that exist among western seekers (not into rigid Judeo-Christian belief systems) at this time:
One school is the "creationism" school or what could be termed in Latin as "via positiva". In India they are termed in Sanskrit as the "pravritti marg" or outgoing path. The Deepak Chopras, the Wayne Dyers, the Shakti Gawains, the Abe-Hicks, the makers of the movies "The Secret" and "What the Bleep Do We Know", all of these teachers/messengers have a common theme: "mainfest your desires and be happy. align with your source and allow happiness to show up." This school of thought to me also represents the Abrahamic cultures and religions that emerged out of the middle east; they lived in the middle of a desert and having lots of stuff was the sign of happiness. In Hinduism the deities of Brahma and Vishnu who represent creation and it preservation, would be associated with this school. I use these metaphors loosely, and they are based on my intuition rather than the rigorous research that someone like Joseph Campbell might have done into this matter.
The other school is the "destruction" school or what could be termed in Latin as "via negativa". In Indian philosophy this would fall under "nivritti marg" or the incoming path. Eckhart Tolle, Ramana Maharshi, Gangaji, Adyashanti, J Krishnamurti, Papaji, Douglas Harding, Nisargadatta Maharaj etc. all are in this school. The message here is: "stop. no more seeking. what you are, who you are is happiness itself. destroy all seeking, thinking, becoming, getting. what remains is your essential nature." This school of thought to me comes out of the fertile river valley civilizations of India, where nature and life were so abundant and happiness meant being able to walk away from the complexity of all of these possessions and things, even if they came from nature. In Hinduism this school would be associated with Shiva, the deity of destruction. Now destruction is not the destruction of the world per se, but the destruction of illusion.
Even though I could not align myself with the message from Abe-Hicks, I found consolation in the fact that they were speaking of "allowing", which to me is the same as "surrendering", a concept that speaks to letting go. Abe-Hicks says that it is not possible for anyone to stop thoughts or desires completely. I believe that this is at variance with the experience of highly realized beings such as Ramana Maharshi and even Eckhart Tolle.
Even Eckhart's most recent book begins to show usage of words such as "abundance". Few people can live as Ramana Maharshi, the loin cloth-clad sage who resided silently at the foot of Arunachala Mountain. Additionally, few seekers are able to make the leap from intellectual understanding of absolute non-duality to a life where the ego is completely evaporated. Eckhart's overnight transformation ("caving in of the mind" as I call it) is rarely replicated by the thousands who follow his words in print or via other means. While we are living lives in this world, while we have bills, while we have desires, is it not common sense to find ways that allow us to live in this world without resistance? If aligning ourselves with the source, if coming from a place of inner peace does produce material benefit (which it DEFINITELY does in my life), is that a bad thing?
Some years ago in reading/listening to Wayne's words about his own journey and deepening over his lifetime, I realized that Wayne started off as a motivational speaker, and while he still may possess that salesman-type pitch for self-help technologies, he has matured deeply in his own search for truth, peace and happiness. Instead of being critical of the commercialization built into Deepak Chopra's "empire", I instead choose to see him as a poet-MD, who also wishes to experience material abundance.
There are students in kindergarten and they ought to be met by teachers who are meant for kindergarten. There are students in PhD courses and they ought to be met by teachers who have credentials to guide doctoral candidates. This is a vast universe and it has room for allowing many types of creations and experiences to be created and experienced.
To me there is inherent perfection in this process of Life, in this Universe. Somehow what will help us, finds its way to us, or vice-versa.
There is no need to call anyone "less wise" or "less authentic". At the same time there is no need to compare PhDs with kindergarteners. Let each person's inner needs guide them to whatever will help them.
Another thing I would encourage fellow seekers to consider is to have a strong spiritual practice, regardless of the fact that the via negativa approach says that "there is nothing to practice, and nowhere to get to". Papaji would say "no teacher, no teaching, no practice". I disagree with the superficial understanding of this profound truth. It takes effort to become effortless, at least in my world it does. And to go to formlessness, one can use form. We are inspired by Eckhart, a form, to go towards formlessness or consciousness. I concede that I am a dualist who speaks of non-duality. Until my ego exists, my spiritual work must go on. The paradox in Eckhart's teachings is that he says that the illusion can be given up in one instant, but the question is how many people are able to do that, even when they desperately want to experience what he is speaking of?
The Advaita or via negativa path attracts strong intellects, people who are good at debating and making themselves look good, without really surrendering the ego or eliminating the resistance/illusion. Anyone can make proclamations to the effect of "Kill the Buddha", "There is no goal", "God is already here, you are already That!" The key is to not be seduced by the intellectual simplicity of this path and stay engaged in the complexity and richness of the challenges of every day life as experienced in our hearts, feelings, emotions. Just because I can speak of the moon, does not mean I have been there, or that I am living there.
People write so many things on this forum, and I wonder to what degree they are living it. Unlike Eckhart I think that I have many lifetimes to go before I can stabilize in inner peace. I believe that he is genuinely in a place where his ego has given way to his real nature, and that he is stabilized in this. My hypothesis about Eckhart is that he has done some tremendous spiritual work/practice in previous lifetimes. I am not trying to discourage people who wish to believe in instant enlightenment, but I have a simple question for those who believe in it: are you stabilized in what Eckhart describes, on a 24 x 7 basis?