Tolle Criticism

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Webwanderer » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:09 pm

davidsun wrote:P.S. I 'see' labeling/calling someone else's actions 'harsh' and 'judgmental' as being an expression of a kind of 'harsh' 'judgment' in itself.
davidsun wrote:BTW, IMO your characterization of said commentary as being a 'harsh' 'judgment' strikes me as being ''harshly' 'judgmental' itself.
I'm a little confused. What's the point of your criticism? You seem to be working hard at making a case for something. And why are you expressly demonstrating the same behavior that you perceive as worthy of criticism in me? What are you trying to accomplish? Surely there is something more valuable to explore in this forum than starting a membership by attacking me about a dialog in a 9 month old thread whose participant no longer posts here.

WW

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by dijmart » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:54 pm

Davidsun, Please "stop" underlining "and" using "quotes" so "much". I "got" a headache "reading" your "post". :mrgreen:
Take what you like and leave the rest.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Enlightened2B » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:36 pm

dijmart wrote:Davidsun, Please "stop" underlining "and" using "quotes" so "much". I "got" a headache "reading" your "post". :mrgreen:
haha....I was thinking the same thing. Wtf lol. That dude went through a whole lot of effort to underline and quote and bold his messages and even PARTS of different words, to basically come across with absolutely no point at all, in his messages :lol:. Quite hilarious.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by dijmart » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:13 am

Enlightened2B wrote:
dijmart wrote:Davidsun, Please "stop" underlining "and" using "quotes" so "much". I "got" a headache "reading" your "post". :mrgreen:
haha....I was thinking the same thing. Wtf lol. That dude went through a whole lot of effort to underline and quote and bold his messages and even PARTS of different words, to basically come across with absolutely no point at all, in his messages :lol:. Quite hilarious.
I agree! :lol:
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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by painBody » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:21 am

Jealousy glows red hot, illuminating the faces and words of anyone afflicted.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:56 am

(New member here - found this thread from Google and joined almost just for this thread.)

Eckhart's teachings have brought me a lot of peace but, after many years of contemplating his teachings (and the teachings of the Buddha), I am becoming more and more convinced that his teachings might not be as universally applicable as he claims they are.

Today, I read an online review of A New Earth, by a woman. Instead of paraphrasing, I will simply quote her:

"I keep waiting for the day when someone writes a version of Buddhism for the working mom. I think that person should herself be a mother with at least one ADHD child. She should be clinically depressed and have a couch potato for a husband. If she manages to help the child grow into someone with a good marriage and a real profession, I'll buy all of her books. Unfortunately what we keep getting are philosophies created by self-satisfied, introverted, childless, hermits like Tolle. There is nothing wrong with an introverted, childless, hermit being self-satisfied. What is wrong is suggesting that his way of being represents THE path to enlightenment for everyone. I would say that all he has found in Buddhism is a treatment for his (self acknowledged) form of depression and suicidal thoughts."

Now, I am not a mother and am not married. I am, as this woman would describe, "an introverted childless hermit". However, I feel like I understand this woman's frustration and criticism of Tolle. And I largely agree with her. Would telling her "Get out of the role of being a mother." or "Stop identifying as this child's mother." really help her ? Is it practical or useful to tell her that, when she worries about her child's illness or how he does in school ?

If she were a single woman living on her own, I think it would be perfectly practical to tell her to stop worrying needlessly and that "there are no problems". But, what when she has another life form entirely dependent on her ? Or how about 4 life forms dependent on her ?

A busy working mother with a sick child is one scenario of many. What about someone who wants to become a CEO or achieve a lot of material success ? What about a factory worker working 3 jobs to put food on the table for a wife and 3 kids and pay alimony to an ex-wife ? Does Tolle's teaching apply to all of them ? Does it really ?

Ultimately, the only thing that Tolle can say without a shadow of a doubt, is that his way of being has worked for him, and this is one of the (very valid) points the reviewer made. But, is it really the way for everyone ?

Another inescapable fact is that Tolle is saying all this with a few millions waiting for him in the bank. What if he had to work a 9-5 job to feed a family of four ? Would he really say the same thing in that case ? No matter what Tolle says, he is one person, who has walked one path - one of many possible paths. He cannot possibly know what is best for everyone or what everyone's purpose is supposed to be.

In fact, I think that Tolle's teachings can actually be quite harmful to someone who is not prepared to walk the same path that Tolle himself did. Someone who is not prepared to sit on park benches, someone who is not prepared to walk away from a toxic work environment, someone who has to spend every last ounce of energy to pay his bills.

They say take advice with a grain of salt, and I think that that applies to every word spoken by every person, spiritual teacher or not.
Last edited by middleMan on Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:13 am

The one huge contradiction I have found between his teachings and his very own actions has also bothered me to an extent.

He has spoken, in several of his retreats or talks (many of them available on YouTube), in a very chastising tone, about the logging industry that "cuts down the sacred forests (for money)". He says, "When they cut down these trees, they don't know what they are doing."

Of course, the above ^^ is true, but then I just cannot help asking - Ok, then please tell me how many trees were sacrificed to print the millions of copies of your best seller books, Eckhart ? How many sacred forests were cut down so you could amass your fortunes ?

If you really cared about the sacred forests, why do you not insist that your books be distributed only in electronic formats (now that such formats are readily available and widely accepted) ?

If I criticize the world for doing something, then do the very same thing myself, I would say that that is just about the dictionary definition of hypocrisy.

I'm hoping that I'm not the only one who has noticed this.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Webwanderer » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:43 pm

MidleMan, could you please post the Tolle quote where he clearly states that his teachings are "universally applicable"?

Tolle has discovered an effective way to bring clarity and peace to his life through a recognition of the process of self-identification and a more inclusive perspective, that we are not 'what we think we are'. He discovered that our true nature is something beyond self-imposed thought constructs. (He certainly wasn't the first.) Clearly recognizing this reality is the heart of his teachings. Such recognition fundamentally changes our relationship with the many challenges of life.

It may not be for everyone. Some are ready to step up to a greater understanding, some are not. It may also just be a stepping stone to other, more inclusive, perspectives. Some have found great value in it, and others not so much. For those who have found value, the many analytical criticisms that you list will likely fall on understanding ears - not just of the criticisms, but also of their author. The very thought storm of criticism you, and others, offer is simply evidence of what Tolle teaches about the dominance of identified thought over inclusive awareness.

With Tolle, like most all teachings of consciousness and being, it's wise to take what enhances your life and understanding, and leave the rest for another day. There will always be room for criticism of any teaching or teacher. But when you focus overly much on perceived flaws, you may well miss the valuable insights that are intended to be helpful in life's many challenges.

Tolle's hermit like way isn't the only way. I don't believe he ever suggested such a thing. It is simply his way. Each of us must find our own. We may pick up pointers from any number of teachings, but it is incumbent on each of us to use those pointers to connect with our own inner guide. That inner guide is the best teacher. The issue of course is to get clear enough to hear it through the incessant noise of thought.

Consider, it is not Tolle's life that we need to live. It is our own.

WW

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Sighclone » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:42 pm

Certainly the path of awakening can be challenging. Middleman's comments are valid (welcome, by the way.) ET's exhortation to "just be present" isn't really enough to deal with some of life's challenges moment-to-moment. It is important to remember that he had the luxury of sitting on a park bench for long periods of time. Ramana Maharshi had a similar luxury. And so did I.

The inner path is valuable, but not available to all who walk difficult outer paths, with little or no time for introspection. Awakening experiences are not always pleasant, either. (See Jac O'Keeffe or Suzanne Segal). But to say they are false or not real is, in my opinion, wrong. What is the appeal of ET? Is it simply escaping into some imaginary universe or wishful delusion? I have to say "no." His message is not at all unique, although his style of presentation is unique. His suggestion that there is a refuge in Presence is valid and can be calming if only for ten minutes. And his body-awareness exercises are helpful to reduce stress. No park bench needed.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:18 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:43 pm
MidleMan, could you please post the Tolle quote where he clearly states that his teachings are "universally applicable"?
I believe the closest words he used to that effect were in the interview "The Simple Truth" with the Scandinavian interviewer where he talked about his own life. He said something like "This teaching is applicable to anyone with any background. The words are so simple that no education or religious background is required. ..." He has conveyed a similar impression in a lot of his talks, but frankly, since there are so many of them, I cannot recall any more specific examples. I will come back and re-post if I find a more exact quote.
Webwanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:43 pm
Tolle has discovered an effective way to bring clarity and peace to his life through a recognition of the process of self-identification and a more inclusive perspective, that we are not 'what we think we are'. He discovered that our true nature is something beyond self-imposed thought constructs. (He certainly wasn't the first.) Clearly recognizing this reality is the heart of his teachings. Such recognition fundamentally changes our relationship with the many challenges of life.

It may not be for everyone. Some are ready to step up to a greater understanding, some are not. It may also just be a stepping stone to other, more inclusive, perspectives. Some have found great value in it, and others not so much. For those who have found value, the many analytical criticisms that you list will likely fall on understanding ears - not just of the criticisms, but also of their author. The very thought storm of criticism you, and others, offer is simply evidence of what Tolle teaches about the dominance of identified thought over inclusive awareness.
I agree for the most part, but there is one important point I want to make here. And that is Tolle's (and consequently yours) concept of "being ready". This is really the essence of my disagreement with Tolle. He has stated many times that some people are just "not ready" or have not "suffered enough". The words "suffered enough" are an exact quote, not paraphrasing. While I agree that there are certainly many (most on Earth) who have not the slightest smidgen of awareness, I know for a fact that there are many who are becoming aware, but whom his words are just not able to reach, maybe because of his presentation of the material. The phrasing used to put a teaching down on paper are as impactful as a 1-800 ad trying to sell you a Bowflex machine. It matters how it is presented. In other words, what I'm saying is that it is, ironically, quite egotistical to say, "Oh, you didn't get what I said ? YOU are the reason. YOU are not ready." as opposed to saying, "This format or phrasing of the teaching might not be for everyone." Instead of admitting that his words or "pointers" may not be for everyone, he turns it around and makes everyone else "deficient". "Go suffer a bit more and come back to my book." How would this seem to you if you had just come to your first Tolle book after going through 30 or 40 years of suffering ? Would this be conducive to your awakening ? Or would it make it seem like Tolle is an egomaniac ?

And, I am not the only one to point this ^^ out. And, I am one of his supporters! (for the most part) If, as he claims in "The Simple Truth", "The words are so simple", then there would be far fewer negative reviews of his books. Sure, some of those people really are not ready, but I'm quite certain that some of them are, from the way they have written the review, and they have mentioned other books reaching them while Tolle's book failed to do so.

If Tolle had said, "If this doesn't speak to you, maybe the words I have used are deficient.", that would have been very different. But to automatically assume that the deficiency lies in the reader, is what I'm referring to. To me, that screams of ego.

There was also one talk on YouTube where someone talked of "betrayal in a relationship", and Tolle sat and laughed heartily for 5 minutes at this question. Now, I'm not claiming that I'm some Buddha, but that looked like a big fat ego to me. Of course, the Tolle fanboys will tell you Oh, he was just laughing at the unconsciousness and bringing awareness to it. Sorry fanboys, I have to disagree on this one. That looked like ego to me.
Webwanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:43 pm
With Tolle, like most all teachings of consciousness and being, it's wise to take what enhances your life and understanding, and leave the rest for another day. There will always be room for criticism of any teaching or teacher. But when you focus overly much on perceived flaws, you may well miss the valuable insights that are intended to be helpful in life's many challenges.
Agree totally. And for the most part, his teachings have been applicable to my own life. And, I have taken what worked and left the rest. But, I am pointing out that not everyone out there lives my life (or Tolle's), so it is dangerous for a "best selling author" to tell the world that his teachings work for everyone who "is ready". No, Eckhart, there are quite a few who are ready whom you have not been able to reach. And no, they don't need to "suffer a bit more".
Webwanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:43 pm
Tolle's hermit like way isn't the only way. I don't believe he ever suggested such a thing. It is simply his way. Each of us must find our own. We may pick up pointers from any number of teachings, but it is incumbent on each of us to use those pointers to connect with our own inner guide. That inner guide is the best teacher. The issue of course is to get clear enough to hear it through the incessant noise of thought.
No, I didn't claim that Tolle proposed a hermit-like way for everyone. But he did, very clearly, state that his teachings are for everyone (again, with the "who are ready" fineprint). And, that is just not true.

Yes, I agree that it is up to us to pick up what works and what doesn't from different teachings and teachers. But, what I'm again pointing out is that the way Eckhart claims that anyone who doesn't get his teachings is "not ready" screams arrogance and ego. What would you think of a life coach who, in the very first session, suggests that you are stupid because you didn't understand something he said ? I say this because the reviewers say that this "you are not ready" crap is in the introduction to "A New Earth".

Personally, I have benefited greatly from his teachings. But, I often get the impression that Eckhart is simply projecting his life path onto others, not directly but indirectly. He is so certain that what he says works, because it has worked so well for him. And this is also what the reviewer kind of hinted at. People often like to advocate to others what has worked for them without realizing that it may not work for others.

Bottom line - I think that his teaching works very well for people outside the social perimeter, depressed and suicidal folks, those who have given up, or those who already have material success. Not so much for those who have to run on the corporate treadmill to try to get to the top or those who have to face the vagaries of middle-class life day in and day out, probably with kids in tow. And frankly, to those whom it's not for, it can be very dangerous.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:48 pm

Sighclone wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:42 pm
Certainly the path of awakening can be challenging. Middleman's comments are valid (welcome, by the way.) ET's exhortation to "just be present" isn't really enough to deal with some of life's challenges moment-to-moment. It is important to remember that he had the luxury of sitting on a park bench for long periods of time. Ramana Maharshi had a similar luxury. And so did I.

The inner path is valuable, but not available to all who walk difficult paths. Awakening experiences are not always pleasant, either. (See Jac O'Keeffe or Suzanne Segal). But to say they are false or not real is, in my opinion, wrong. What is the appeal of ET? Is it simply escaping into some imaginary universe or wishful delusion? I have to say "no." His message is not at all unique, although his style of presentation is unique. His suggestion that there is a refuge in Presence is valid and can be calming if only for ten minutes. And his body-awareness exercises are helpful to reduce stress. No park bench needed.

Andy
Thanks for the welcome, Andy. Yes, I had (and still have) the park bench luxury as well. It is quite nice :) The inner body connection really does work, especially when interacting with unconscious people.

I just wish that Tolle was able to communicate, in a much better way than he did, that if, upon reading the first few pages, his words didn't reach someone at all, then they should immediately stop reading the book and perhaps try a different form of the teaching, perhaps by another teacher. Instead, he insists that the reader must have not suffered enough. And I read about 200 reviews. About 150 of them pointed this out. At least 20 of those were written by people who are clearly awakening but were just not reached :)

Tolle, don't say, "You have not suffered enough." Say, "If this doesn't make sense to you, stop reading immediately and try another book by a different teacher."

I'm not saying I could do it better. But then, I'm not out there selling millions of copies of my words, am I ?

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:01 am

Webwanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:43 pm
The very thought storm of criticism you, and others, offer is simply evidence of what Tolle teaches about the dominance of identified thought over inclusive awareness.
I have noticed this fanboy attitude that labels any disagreement or criticism as a "thought storm" while failing to see that any criticism of a "thought storm" itself originates from within a "thought storm" :) But no, what Tolle and his fanboys write doesn't come from thoughts, they come from the Ganges river, right ?

This is a thread about "Tolle criticism". When did this thread or this forum become not about thought ? :)

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:45 am

middleMan wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:01 am
Webwanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:43 pm
The very thought storm of criticism you, and others, offer is simply evidence of what Tolle teaches about the dominance of identified thought over inclusive awareness.
I have noticed this fanboy attitude that labels any disagreement or criticism as a "thought storm" while failing to see that any criticism of a "thought storm" itself originates from within a "thought storm" :) But no, what Tolle and his fanboys write doesn't come from thoughts, they come from the Ganges river, right ?

This is a thread about "Tolle criticism". When did this thread or this forum become not about thought ? :)
I do hope you will find something more valuable to do in this forum beyond attacking its members and calling us names. Whatever you do will say more about you than it does anyone else. Such is true for all of us. I would point out that this forum is not limited to the teachings of Tolle. In fact, many of us have long since moved on to other considerations. It would be unfortunate to miss such an opportunity just to win some imaginary debate.

I encourage you to read and abide by the forum rules so there is no misunderstanding.

WW

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:57 am

Webwanderer wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:45 am
middleMan wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:01 am
Webwanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:43 pm
The very thought storm of criticism you, and others, offer is simply evidence of what Tolle teaches about the dominance of identified thought over inclusive awareness.
I have noticed this fanboy attitude that labels any disagreement or criticism as a "thought storm" while failing to see that any criticism of a "thought storm" itself originates from within a "thought storm" :) But no, what Tolle and his fanboys write doesn't come from thoughts, they come from the Ganges river, right ?

This is a thread about "Tolle criticism". When did this thread or this forum become not about thought ? :)
I do hope you will find something more valuable to do in this forum beyond attacking its members and calling us names. Whatever you do will say more about you than it does anyone else. Such is true for all of us. I would point out that this forum is not limited to the teachings of Tolle. In fact, many of us have long since moved on to other considerations. It would be unfortunate to miss such an opportunity just to win some imaginary debate.

I encourage you to read and abide by the forum rules so there is no misunderstanding.

WW
I have nothing more to say to you, Sir. Have a wonderful day :)

Rest assured, I am here to stay on this forum and have meaningful discussions with other members.

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Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Onceler » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:24 am

You’re dangerously close to thinking for yourself, MiddlMan, it’s shaky ground.
Be present, be pleasant.

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