Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

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Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby Peath » Sat May 04, 2013 4:34 pm

Tolle's teachings have been invaluable to me. I have a friend who consistently complains about his life situation and other people. He is somewhat interested in Zen and has an appreciation of spiritual texts.

I know that Tolle's teachings will help him and suggested The Power Of Now audiobook. He downloaded it, started listening to it, and says he thinks Tolle is 'phoney' and said that he's 'cynical about anything that generates profit, and anyone who appears on Oprah.' I played a short Tolle podcast about dealing with emotions and my friend dismissed it as emotional suppression even though Tolle specifically stated never to supress emotions. Basically, he's staunchly anti-Tolle no matter what the content, and dismisses the content without even attempting to understand it.

This frustrates me for two reasons. His incessant complaining continues, and his suggestion that Tolle is 'phoney' carries the implication that I've been duped by a charlatan, which offends me. I know these are egoic reactions and I'm able to diffuse them through presence, so we're all good, but Christ it needs a lot of presence, again and again. I sort of work with the guy and his negativity can affect our work, so it's not really practical to simply spend less time around him.

That said, Tolle is pulling videos off the internet and making people pay for his material, and his retreats are expensive. Can he be accused of being phoney and being in it for the profit? Surely the abundance of free videos would be the perfect way to spread his message, isn't that supposedly what he wants in order to create his New Earth?

Any thoughts on all this would be appreciated!
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby rideforever » Sat May 04, 2013 7:21 pm

I think this is a really big opportunity for you.

You know it's easy hanging out with people who share your beliefs ... (actually they all have different beliefs - but that is ignored and we feel good)

But ... if you could get to a point where you "feel" your friend, feel his humanity, feel your humanity, compassion for this situation ... for this place right here ... then - you have made a tremendous step.

Just look this man in the eyes. What do you see ? He is like you, like me, like us ... just human.

He has his own journey ... there is no need to force him onto your journey ... he has his journey. That is his life, his ... dignity.

No-one is right. No-one is wrong.

Your frustrations are your frustrations. When you feel them, return to yourself. Return and see yourself. See inside.

It does no good to push this man.

Perhaps he does have a doorway of communication. Perhaps you can find it with him and be a true friend. But ... don't be waiting to open his door so you can throw your stuff in there.

That's not the way.

You must respect him, his life, his choices, his mind. Have compassion and real love for people's actual lives.

For the reality. With love.

Be the true friend.
Last edited by rideforever on Sat May 04, 2013 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby karmarider » Sat May 04, 2013 8:47 pm

Peath wrote:This frustrates me for two reasons. His incessant complaining continues, and his suggestion that Tolle is 'phoney' carries the implication that I've been duped by a charlatan, which offends me. I know these are egoic reactions and I'm able to diffuse them through presence, so we're all good, but Christ it needs a lot of presence, again and again. I sort of work with the guy and his negativity can affect our work, so it's not really practical to simply spend less time around him.


Yeah, it's a tough situation, and as you say, an opportunity for you to be who you really want to be in this challenging situation.

Your friend is not open to Tolle and so there's no need to keep recommending him. There are others who say the same thing as Tolle and perhaps your friend might be interested in them. You have to consider if your friend is actually interested in the solving the problem at all. It's possible that the bitter persona he has created is very comfortable to him. It's also possible that your friend, needs a different sort of intervention, if he needs intervention at all.

You can see that this kind of thing actually happens a lot on this forum, and here everyone is already on a journey to remember who they are. And it's funny that in the debates there are always accusations that the other is stuck in a delusion of the ego. I am not any different; I've been on both sides of these arguments at various points.

From Conversations with God, I've learned two things about this. First, this is the very purpose of human relationships (relationships in the broad sense of the word that we relate to everyone and everything). Relationships help us manifest who we really are. Your friend is providing a platform to you to clarify your own thoughts about a thing and to manifest in the best version you can, in relation to what is happening. And second, this is easier done when you can remember that everyone is on a divine journey to remember truth, and how it is they must manifest right now in their journey is not something we can judge.

That said, Tolle is pulling videos off the internet and making people pay for his material, and his retreats are expensive. Can he be accused of being phoney and being in it for the profit? Surely the abundance of free videos would be the perfect way to spread his message, isn't that supposedly what he wants in order to create his New Earth?


What Tolle personally chooses and wants has nothing to do with his message and your interpretation of it. Tolle's material will still be nearly free, from libraries and used bookstores. And I don't see it the way Tolle sees it either. The way I see it, he's made plenty of money already and if he really believes in the New Earth message, the best way to promote that is freely. But I also see his decision to do so or not as his personal choice, and it has nothing to do with the message.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby Webwanderer » Sat May 04, 2013 9:35 pm

Peath wrote:Basically, he's staunchly anti-Tolle no matter what the content, and dismisses the content without even attempting to understand it.

There's a lot of that going around. Even this forum is not immune.

That said, Tolle is pulling videos off the internet and making people pay for his material, and his retreats are expensive. Can he be accused of being phoney and being in it for the profit?

Are you a student of Tolle, or his teachings. There is a difference. Personally I care little for what Tolle does. I already have the benefit of his wonderfully clarifying teachings.

As to your friend, it's not your business to fix him. There are many paths to awakening - and who says awakening is the right course for everyone? To make such a claim one would have to know each and everyone's purpose in this human expression. There is for all (in my perspective) an Essential nature that is greater than the self we know as human beings. This True Nature is the author of this more limited human extension. Until one can see from this greater perspective with sufficient clarity, any assumptions we make as to the best course for another is likely folly.

Trust your own inner guidance in what is best for you. The teachings of Tolle, or anyone else, are merely pointers to consider and apply if they feel right. It is the feeling of rightness, of expansion that matters. Not the financial and personal actions of the one through which teachings came.

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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby Onceler » Sun May 05, 2013 1:27 pm

Let your light shine, Peath. Burn up the negativity. Show the PON in action.
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby snowheight » Sun May 05, 2013 5:22 pm

Peath, what defense can be offered for that which is beyond the reach of any offense?
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby Peath » Mon May 06, 2013 6:58 pm

snowheight wrote:Peath, what defense can be offered for that which is beyond the reach of any offense?


Excellent point, but my friend would consider it the words of a cult victim, perfectly psychologically enslaved by the clever, greedy, power-hungry, 'phoney' Tolle...
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby Leon » Mon May 06, 2013 9:29 pm

I find Eckhart Tolle's teachings invaluable. I do not exaggerate to say he has turned my life around. I have through his teachings attained a clarity of thought and peace of mind I never thought possible.

I must add, however, that I do not find Tolle beyond criticism. I especially find three of his views problematic:

The individual personality survives beyond death.
Humanity is starting to attain a new level of spirituality.
Tolle quotes Jesus to support some of his teachings. I find this disturbing. We do not know what he really said. We cannot "interpret" what he said.
My conclusion: We cannot label a spiritual teacher "phoney" because he does not agree with some of our imperfect opinions.
Freed from religion
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby kiki » Mon May 06, 2013 10:09 pm

Tolle's teaching was a turning point for me as well. There are some things I completely ignore because they don't really matter to me since those things have nothing to do with actual awakening. Take what's good for you and let go of the rest, and if you find nothing of value then look elsewhere if you are looking for something. In the final analysis, whatever teacher or method you are drawn to must eventually be released anyway, including the notable ones like the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, or whoever fits your idea of an enlightened one. When the need for something outside yourself is gone then that's an indication that you are beginning to rely on the most authentic guru/teacher for you, Beingness itself, and no one can deny the existence or availability of one's Being.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Mon May 06, 2013 11:00 pm

Great discussion Peath :D

On the economic 'argument'.
I first read Tolle from a library book, no cost.
Then I held onto the book longer than was 'freely' acceptable :oops: library fines... whose 'fault', whose failure, whose response ability and whose 'profiting' ... all mine :D

The relative reality is that we live in a capitalistic society where money changes hands for goods and services.
Does your friend pay his electrician, plumber, food providers, or even more directly linked does he think electricity and telecommunications providers are evil for charging for their goods and services that he has chosen to use in order to download material from the internet?

Does your friend receive any material support from the capitalistic economic realities of the world in which we live?

Judgement is a two-edged sword Judge not lest you also be judged in the same manner/measure.

....

The non-judgemental reality - we live in a capitalistic economic environment.
What each of us view and do with/in that is our own business.

...

Do you and your friend agree on which flavour of ice cream tastes better? :wink:
Can you love them anyway, and yourself at the same time?
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby Peath » Tue May 07, 2013 1:52 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:Great discussion Peath :D

On the economic 'argument'.
I first read Tolle from a library book, no cost.
Then I held onto the book longer than was 'freely' acceptable :oops: library fines... whose 'fault', whose failure, whose response ability and whose 'profiting' ... all mine :D

The relative reality is that we live in a capitalistic society where money changes hands for goods and services.
Does your friend pay his electrician, plumber, food providers, or even more directly linked does he think electricity and telecommunications providers are evil for charging for their goods and services that he has chosen to use in order to download material from the internet?

Does your friend receive any material support from the capitalistic economic realities of the world in which we live?

Judgement is a two-edged sword Judge not lest you also be judged in the same manner/measure.

....

The non-judgemental reality - we live in a capitalistic economic environment.
What each of us view and do with/in that is our own business.

...

Do you and your friend agree on which flavour of ice cream tastes better? :wink:
Can you love them anyway, and yourself at the same time?


Good point, smileyjen. I think that my friend's dismissal of Tolle has egoic motivations, but he seems to be suggesting that Tolle is duping people like us for financial gain, much like the cult leaders of Transcendental Meditation, Scientology, and certain religious figures - as opposed to a plumber who is honestly exchanging a service for money. My friend 'believes' we are being manipulated by a crook.

I remember feeling awkward reading all the 'subscribe to our newsletter' and 'send donations to...' at the end of Conversations With God. I felt that Neale Donald Walsch did himself no favours doing that, it undermined the excellent content of the book. His later books like Friendship With God felt 'tailored' and lacked the honest communication between Walsch and God, like Walsch was dumbing himself down for the reader. He's much sharper in the first book.

But Tolle doesn't appear to have the ego that Walsch does, and seems very genuine. Both men have significantly improved my life with their shared insights, that's for certain. After my unpleasant experience with Transcendental Meditation I guess I'm on guard against getting swindled again, and my friend's scepticism brought that fear to the surface.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby snowheight » Tue May 07, 2013 1:47 pm

Peath wrote:
snowheight wrote:Peath, what defense can be offered for that which is beyond the reach of any offense?


Excellent point, but my friend would consider it the words of a cult victim, perfectly psychologically enslaved by the clever, greedy, power-hungry, 'phoney' Tolle...


I've given away about a half-dozen copies of TPON over the past few years and noone has ever thanked me or said anything to me about how it impacted them positively. Generally speaking I can see two reasons for this -- his particular message might not ever reach any of them and even if it could they might not be ready for it. I've read that elsewhere ... the candle has to be ready for the flame.

I look forward to tossing more copies of the book out onto the winds of the wild futile plain, so to speak.

And as always. Ditto to what kiki said.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:39 am

I like your musing Peath

It's interesting how 'personal' it gets isn't it. Basically these people share a message, the delivery of the message is in their own particular style-flavour, either one likes the flavour or one doesn't, sometimes the message is overshadowed by other personal preferences and comfort levels based on the delivery.

I like what snowy said:
the candle has to be ready for the flame.


I think that my friend's dismissal of Tolle has egoic motivations, but he seems to be suggesting that Tolle is duping people like us for financial gain, much like the cult leaders of Transcendental Meditation, Scientology, and certain religious figures - as opposed to a plumber who is honestly exchanging a service for money. My friend 'believes' we are being manipulated by a crook.

Much like people line up behind their favourite bands, sporting teams and even car manufacturers and run the 'opposition' down in the process. It's taking or making something 'personal' and creating opposition.

If one can obtain something for nothing (eg for an author, through the library) then they're not very good manipulators are they? :wink:

I remember feeling awkward reading all the 'subscribe to our newsletter' and 'send donations to...' at the end of Conversations With God. I felt that Neale Donald Walsch did himself no favours doing that, it undermined the excellent content of the book. His later books like Friendship With God felt 'tailored' and lacked the honest communication between Walsch and God, like Walsch was dumbing himself down for the reader. He's much sharper in the first book.

That's interesting noticing Peath. I am such a fan of understanding 'content' and 'process' and how they impact upon each other.

The first book/s was written unselfconsciously - as in he would have had no idea of the impact of them on others or upon his own life once they were published, so he wrote them freely. After publishing, his life changed dramatically - people took him and his message/s 'personally' and judged him good or bad, so subsequent books include the awareness of that leaking in through the process into the content. The result would naturally be fine tuning things so as not to be misunderstood filtering into the content - it's more self-conscious in process and therefore also in content.

It's like the difference in a person with a beautiful voice singing in the privacy of their own home, or in front of a huge audience. At home it doesn't matter if you're in a bathrobe, once money and an audience is involved others get involved - make up, dressers, stage managers, roadies, PR people, etc etc etc and the 'addition' of these elements in the process does impact upon the delivery of the 'content'.

I saw NDW at a conference last year and while he was self-deprecating in humour to ease the audience's 'awe' at this bloke who 'talks to god' so he can still deliver the 'content', I was genuinely touched by his humility. The humility and unselfconsciousness he expressed in the first books is (imho) genuine, his very ordinariness is part of the message. That others want to build him up in praise or tear him down in criticism says very little about him, and more about them.
But, he does have to 'manage' how that impacts on the delivery of the message/content.

He now has a team of people around him like the singer above, and one feels 'responsible' for their welfare, just like any employer does for their staff, and towards one's audience for their investment in the 'product' that now surrounds the 'content', just like a manufacturer does in their 'product'.

It's not so much that economic gain and realities are the 'goal', they're not, they are a by-product of the capitalist economy through which we trade products and services - and music and messages and food and everything.

What one can notice is that in fear one can be 'duped'. In love, one can take what works for them, and let go the rest.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby RaurosFalls » Tue May 28, 2013 5:37 pm

If I may post a suggestion... This could be completely off-base. But maybe he is living like that as a message to people to say that it doesn't matter whether you are selfish or not, as long as you are enlightened.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle 'phoney'?

Postby itisallsubjective » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:12 pm

Peath,
Years ago I wanted to change everybody ( a natural thing to do) and 'show them the light' but it just doesn't work that way. As has been said before you can't change anybody except yourself. The more you concentrate on yourself and grow in awareness the more you will notice that everybody is on their own individual path. You create your own reality and each reality is unique to each individual.
Be comfortable in knowing everybody finds their own way to drop beliefs and fears and they need to do this themselves in their own way. You can give someone a little nudge here and there if asked but it is really up to them.
Put it this way, you can't force a 2 year old to be a 5 year old. The 2 year old will be a 5 year old one day but in time. But you see a 2 year old is not inferior to a 5 year old in any sense. They are just where they are at this moment in time.
Hope that helps :-)
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