Tolle Criticism

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby heidi » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:35 pm

Check's in the mail, Web. :lol:
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby Leon » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:40 pm

Years ago a psychiatrist provided me a dictum (confirmed by other responsible sources), "Seventy-five percent of life is thinking" that I have found very useful

Tolle through his teachings has helped me enormously to clear up this seventy-five percent of my life. I revere him for this although I cannot accept some of his assertions that I consider arbitrary and unsupported by any evidence.

I read the criticisms of Tolle with curiosity only. He remains perhaps my most important benefactor

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby kiki » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:40 pm

Tolle through his teachings has helped me enormously to clear up this seventy-five percent of my life. I revere him for this although I cannot accept some of his assertions that I consider arbitrary and unsupported by any evidence.

Nothing wrong with that, Leon - take what's useful to you and ignore what you disagree with or cannot accept.
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby howtoforgivepeople » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:29 pm

I personally love Tolle but we should not egoically idealise the man or become too attached to his message. For that reason, it's no crime to question his wealth or the effectiveness of his methods. Such criticisms may be valid to some extent, even if we don't need to take them too seriously.

When people become trapped in the egoical state, it can be hard to follow Eckhart's advice and at that point other solutions can also help as a kind of bridge to the enlightenment that he offers. There is nothing wrong with balancing Eckhart's approach with more traditional ways of dealing with our egos. I have written more about this possibility at http://www.howtoforgivepeople.com/eckhart-tolle-criticism and would be curious to hear your comments.
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby Leon » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:01 pm

Replying to "How to Forgive People":

I found your essay extremely interesting and helpful.

I am a devotee of Tolle--up to a point. For example,like you, I question his single-minded concentration on "Now" as a panacea in all circumstances. I find your suggestion for using other tactics sometimes of great value.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby ashley72 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:57 pm

Leon wrote:I am a devotee of Tolle--up to a point. For example,like you, I question his single-minded concentration on "Now" as a panacea in all circumstances.


I'm on the same page as you Leon. I have read all of Tolle's book and understand his pointers, yet it has not fully resolved my anxious thinking patterns.

I've found exchanging "anxious" or protective thought patterns for positive affirmations seem to work more effectively for changing my behaviour or beliefs. But to make it work you have to stay with the physical sensations that arise.

Tolle talks about staying in the inner body... so it has some similarities with his pointer of staying present. However, I do believe its necessary to work with thoughts, not just observe them.

1. You need to observe thoughts & behaviours.

2. Exchange "protective thoughts" for positive affirmations, in order to "proactively" change behaviours.

3. You need to accept any physical sensation that comes with holding onto or carrying out that new positive affirmation.

Tolle must have been using "positive affirmations" when he wrote his books and got involved in the self help circuit. I just can't see how he's achieved all these new behaviours without using positive affirmations.

In reading his self help books, a person gets the impression that new positive behaviours just happen spontaneously as a result of not identifying with thoughts and staying in the present moment.

I can say this is definitely not the right picture... It's misleading at best.

To achieve new positive behaviours like Tolle has achieved in his life... you need to exchange protective thoughts for postive affirmations... this is what Tolle is doing himself. He's just not highlighting the importance of this step in his teachings.

Tolle on positive affirmations:

Tolle: Positive thinking is certainly preferable to negative thinking. But to be in the consciousness of the now moment and to practice awareness of the divine Presence is what Jesus means in his Sermon on the Mount when he says, "Take no thought for your life." From this state of Being comes great creativity. "Change your thinking" can really be understood as telling us to cease the constant busy activity of the mind, which is repetitive, futile, and often negative. Instead of constantly thinking, we become still and quiet, and we become conscious of being conscious. This is the realization of I AM, the realization of Being, our essence identity. When we are rooted in that, thinking becomes the servant of awareness, rather than a self- (ego) serving activity. It becomes creative, empowered. ~ Eckhart Tolle


I'm critical of Tolle here. Positive affirmations are not just preferable to negative thinking, its necessary for anxious thinkers to exchange protective thoughts for positive affirmations. An anxious thinker just won't be successful in changing limiting behaviours without doing this important step. But you need to also accept the sensations that come with holding the positive affirmation.

I'm saying this from experience. I have a lot of anxious thoughts in the past several years, these anxious thoughts lead to a lot of limiting behaviours. You can observe it all day long. But at some point you need to exchange those protective thoughts for a positive affirmation which can lead to a new behaviour.

Where I was getting resistance was the unpleasant sensations that arose when facing limiting beliefs. By staying with physical sensations is the only way you can change the pattern.
Last edited by ashley72 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby rideforever » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:21 am

I get the sense Ashley that you are trying to do it all without finding yourself, as if finding yourself is somewhat incidental. You expend all this energy to understand, manipulate, strategise, analyse ... your behaviour.

This does not work because the entire structure is unstable until you find yourself.

Manipulating what you think is yourself ... is quite different to finding your true self.

Over time you post one strategy after another. One theory after another. One diagram after another. You attempt each strategy, and when it fails ... you find another one. Another author ... you try that for a while ... it fails ... then there is a new theory. We have gone through quite a lot haven't we ?

At the moment you are talking about "staying with sensations". 6 months ago it was bicameral man. 3 months ago it was another theory I can't remember.

One after another. You try. It fails. You choose another.

But ... the thing is to find yourself, then you can stop with the strategies.

How ? Not so easy .. but Nisargadatta / self-enquiry / deep meditation ... these things actually work.

If you watch the procession of theories that you try ... there is a clear message there.
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby ashley72 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:38 am

rideforever wrote:Over time you post one strategy after another. One theory after another. One diagram after another. You attempt each strategy, and when it fails ... you find another one. Another author ... you try that for a while ... it fails ... then there is a new theory. We have gone through quite a lot haven't we ?

At the moment you are talking about "staying with sensations". 6 months ago it was bicameral man. 3 months ago it was another theory I can't remember.

One after another. You try. It fails. You choose another.

But ... the thing is to find yourself, then you can stop with the strategies.

How ? Not so easy .. but Nisargadatta / self-enquiry / deep meditation ... these things actually work.

If you watch the procession of theories that you try ... there is a clear message there.


I'm not saying what Tolle points to fails. Not at all. I love his pointers.

I'm saying that positive thinking hasn't just be merely a preferable practice, it has been a necessary step in overcoming limiting beliefs.

I also post on broad range of topics on this forum, neuroscience, structure of the universe, quantum physics, the meaning of life, human behaviours , mental disorders, meditation practices etc. Its a discussion board. Just relax and enjoy :wink:

BTW, The bicameral theory is to do with the origin of consciousness. I'm discussing the importance of positive thinking here. Can't you understand the difference? :lol:

Do you think Tolle is down playing the importance of positive thinking or affirmations?

Lastly, Try and stay on topic and drop the negative responses!
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby Leon » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:04 am

Glad to hear from you again, Ashley 72. I always found your comments rational.


I agree 100% with your argument for the usefulness of positive affirmations. I picked up this argument in a slightly different form from another member (can't remember whom) and have tried to follow through. I believe that retreating into Now is not always sufficient to break a flow of negative thinking. You need positive thoughts to replace the negative thoughts.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby rideforever » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:11 am

Limiting beliefs as you call them cannot be overcome without finding your true self, for instance. But still you try.

Tolle isn't playing down the importance of positive thinking; he just does not teach it, because those things do not work. But still you try.

Now, as Tolle teaches, is finding your True Self. You seem not to have understood the methodology, and seem to be trying to manipulate your behaviour without finding your True Self. This doesn't work.

Your progression of strategies to manipulate your behaviour demonstrates that it does not work.

I would encourage you to observe how you shift from one strategy to another. Again and again. And that there is an overall understanding that has not been grasped.
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby ashley72 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:22 am

rideforever wrote:Limiting beliefs as you call them cannot be overcome without finding your true self, for instance. But still you try.

Tolle isn't playing down the importance of positive thinking; he just does not teach it, because those things do not work. But still you try.

Now, as Tolle teaches, is finding your True Self. You seem not to have understood the methodology, and seem to be trying to manipulate your behaviour without finding your True Self. This doesn't work.

Your progression of strategies to manipulate your behaviour demonstrates that it does not work.

I would encourage you to observe how you shift from one strategy to another. Again and again. And that there is an overall understanding that has not been grasped.


The truth is, you don't agree with my viewpoint about the importance of positive affirmations. So you start criticising me more generally. :wink:

Nice try. :D

Limiting beliefs could also be called protective thoughts. Generally, lead to limiting or avoidance behaviours.

Why do protective thoughts arise?

How does one overcome protective thoughts?

By silently observing them or by proactively exchanging that protective thought for a positive affirmation?

Very important questions.

Realising your attentive nature is only one part of it! Realising we attend to our thoughts isn't a failed strategy. One needs to realise they attend to thoughts. But now we move on!
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby rideforever » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:31 am

To answer the questions you pose; the discomfort of the thoughts arises because you are not your True Self. The thoughts are a subconscious mechanism that arises in the absence of your True Self.

Any attempt to change them or your behaviour is futile until you find your True Self.

Now, is a way for ET to communicate how to locate your True Self. It is hard to explain, and very hard to accept.

No matter what disasters are happening in a human's life, he still thinks he is he. And if he just manipulates a bit of him all will be well. But the message is that this is not the situation at all.

In fact at some point you realise that thoughts are not a problem at all. Nor are behaviours.

The only problem is that you exist without connection to your True Self ... which is painful.
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby ashley72 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:50 am

rideforever wrote:Now, is a way for ET to communicate how to locate your True Self. It is hard to explain, and very hard to accept.


Its all so mysterious! Rubbish... Don't overstate the ordinariness of attending to thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. You're definitely on the spiritual bandwagon. Good luck to you. However, your preaching won't work on me! :wink:

What people find hard to accept is unpleasant sensations. It can be hard to get up and do public speaking for the uninitiated. You have a nervous response. People run from the unpleasant sensations and that's the start of their nervous problems. They develop avoidance behaviours.
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby ashley72 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:13 am

Leon wrote:Replying to "How to Forgive People":

I found your essay extremely interesting and helpful.

I am a devotee of Tolle--up to a point. For example,like you, I question his single-minded concentration on "Now" as a panacea in all circumstances. I find your suggestion for using other tactics sometimes of great value.

Leon


Hi Leon,

You're dead right! :lol:

From one rational thinker to another.... You're posting some good stuff. Keeping it coming! I'm listening. :wink:
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Postby Sighclone » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:40 am

Ride and Ash -

There is a difference between a disagreement on concepts, thought systems and beliefs and a personal character attack. The first is Ok on the forum, the second is not.

You are both articulate, well-read people who have contributed fine threads over the last months on this forum. Thank you both.

In his early days, Eckhart encouraged local groups to meet and listen to his recordings. But not talk! He was very hypermanic about egos clashing. Of course, this forum can only exist in and through the
medium of language and conversation. So we get egos, too. And spiritualized egos ("holier than thou.")

I am holier than nobody. But the mods have the responsibility of enforcing civility, having watched way too many forums deteriorate.

Remember acceptance? Can you not each accept that the other is different, has a different experience with his personal growth? And different needs in replying to and creating posts. Many leaves, one tree (to quote a kind of cute but trite little animated movie called "Epic.")

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