Tolle Criticism

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
middleMan
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:21 am

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:36 am

Onceler wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:24 am
You’re dangerously close to thinking for yourself, MiddlMan, it’s shaky ground.
I'm not sure I understand. Specifically what are you referring to ?

When someone points out a "thought storm", my question is - where did your labeling of my "thought storm" originate from ? Thought, am I right ? So it is then hypocritical to chastise someone else by saying "your thought storm ...".

It's like calling someone a chain smoker with 2 lit cigarettes in my own mouth. That's what I didn't get. Anyway, if you wish to, please elaborate.

If we're really here to "explore", then let's explore, right ? Let's not pretend. Ok, so this other forum member thinks that I'm here to spout some judgments about Tolle because I'm identified with some beliefs. No, not true at all. There's a lot I agree with him about, but in this thread, I'm here to criticize what I think he could have done/said better. Not the person, but his actions/work.

P.S. I didn't come here to get confrontational with anyone. I certainly don't need any judgments thrown at me either. If you feel I'm wrong in what I say, by all means, let me know. I'm not averse to discussion.

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6362
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Sighclone » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:38 am

It’s been so long since I read PON that I tend to forget how preachy it was. Even compared to ANE. In 1999, there were few modern nondual writers working. Welwood’s “Toward a Psychology of Awakening” was just released in 1999, too. And that watershed has been breached many times since.

Like all of us, ET walks one path. His was a life of tail-chasing internal narrative with no relief, badly needing a glimpse of Unity, which arrived. So he linked suffering with awakening; is there no gentler path? I think so, from reading anecdotes like those found in Gary Weber’s blog here: http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot.com/ and elsewhere.

But now there is a big freight train running – the ET Express. Eckhart co-opted some phrasing and concepts from Tim Freke a few years ago having to do with “lucid living.” I joined his internal forum and whimpered that he only gave credit to those writers who were dead, like Meister Eckhart, and just swiped from modern ones. Talk about a fanboy shit-storm!!! It became clear to me that the management team was quickly weeding out the free-thinkers there and I just bailed.

Rick Archer has been interviewing spiritual teachers for about ten years at batgap.com. But ET refuses to be interviewed there, despite encouragement from several sources including those acolytes who have appeared with him on stage, and former employees. My gut says that he is being manipulated by the juggernaut he has created. Can the same be said for Adyashanti? I think less so, but overhead is overhead, and payrolls must be met.

And, good people, let’s stop finger-wagging about thoughts. Every word in this forum is a thought. Yes, some of them are angry, selfish and defensive thoughts…the kind of thinking that ET refuses to allow in his “silent” local study groups where the slightest whiff of ego is prevented by disallowing speech! So, personal attacks are out. But civil controversy is totally acceptable.

Stick around mM – even if most of what you say is critical of ET – you have been clear in your praise of him also.

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

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6748
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:14 am

middleMan wrote:
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.
If you feel I'm wrong in what I say, by all means, let me know. I'm not averse to discussion.
Thanks for the invitation.

Middle Man, I was intent on moving on from this discussion, but it seems you wish to continue to express more justification for being so wronged by my comments.

So this is what I take issue with. To me it is unfair criticism to compare the manufacture of books, and all the value those books have brought to the world, to the destruction of 'Sacred Forests'. Not just Tolle's books, but anyone's books. They're pretty much all made from trees, yes? Where would we be without books? I certainly don't mind thoughtful criticism. I support it completely. But linking Tolle's books to the the destruction of sacred forests seems hypocritical if you've bought any books at all in your life. If only you and others didn't buy his books, and those of Shakespeare, and Lao Tzu, and so many others. If only schools the world over didn't use books to teach our children. Think of the trees that could be saved. Think of the Sacred Forests. (parody)

Can you not see how misapplied this is? This is why I referred to it as a thought storm. It seems little considered as if driven more by emotion than fair consideration. That's how thought storms are born. They are designed to elicit emotion and effect others opinions through false or irrelevant connections. Oh the children! If I spoke too strongly for you, it's because I'm not a fan of someone trying to play the emotions of others through misrepresentations only to make a point. In this case I found it worth calling out.

Consider, do you really know whether the trees used in his books came from some old growth 'sacred forest' or maybe from a tree farm of some small business owner grown just for that purpose? Did you call the publisher to inquire? Did you ask Tolle? Was it just hyperbole?

Of course thought is the foundation of conversation here. So are statements of love and of hate. That doesn't make them equally valuable. It's a straw man argument to suggest I don't agree that thought happens here just to validate your position.

For the record, I think there is no teacher, who is placed under sufficient scrutiny, that will not be found wanting in some way or another. Let's be accurate and clear in our criticism. Let's appeal to thought, not emotion.

WW

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2257
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Onceler » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:44 am

middleMan wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:36 am
Onceler wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:24 am
You’re dangerously close to thinking for yourself, MiddlMan, it’s shaky ground.
I'm not sure I understand. Specifically what are you referring to ?

When someone points out a "thought storm", my question is - where did your labeling of my "thought storm" originate from ? Thought, am I right ? So it is then hypocritical to chastise someone else by saying "your thought storm ...".

It's like calling someone a chain smoker with 2 lit cigarettes in my own mouth. That's what I didn't get. Anyway, if you wish to, please elaborate.

If we're really here to "explore", then let's explore, right ? Let's not pretend. Ok, so this other forum member thinks that I'm here to spout some judgments about Tolle because I'm identified with some beliefs. No, not true at all. There's a lot I agree with him about, but in this thread, I'm here to criticize what I think he could have done/said better. Not the person, but his actions/work.

P.S. I didn't come here to get confrontational with anyone. I certainly don't need any judgments thrown at me either. If you feel I'm wrong in what I say, by all means, let me know. I'm not averse to discussion.

Totally tongue in cheek, no worries. I like that you question things.....it’s okay. I do too.
Be present, be pleasant.

PureLand
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:28 pm

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by PureLand » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:03 pm

All of the criticism drops away when inner peace is becoming the primary thing one's life. And even before the peace becomes permanent in one's life it is possible to go more and more in peace and contentment in such a way(more permanent, stable) that the person gives up all of the criticism for spirituality and spiritual teachers and only feels gratitute for them. Especially while a person's core painbody is in the death process the person would start to think in this way(maybe not in the beginning but few months later.)

That being said I think that a person mustn't desire inner peace, because that would be-not accepting the present moment. And accepting the suffering is the direct way to happiness.

Here are some quotes about our true(divine) nature and how wonderful it is:

"I am the now in essence. I am not what happens. I am the space in which everything happens. That's your true identity. And when you live one with that, knowing that, your life will be fruitful and a great and wonderful adventure. When you don't know who you are then no matter what you do, what you achieve, where you go, who you meet, it won't satisfy you. That's how simple it is."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4BMpCEPgDg

Eckhart Tolle

"At some point there is this recognition of what I essentially am is inherently free. It is imperturbable and thus peace itself. It is fulfilled. There is no lack in it and thus happiness itself."

Rupert Spira-(Enlightenment is not an extraordinary experience)

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment"

Buddha

"Soul, mind and ego are mere words. These are not real entities. Consciousness is the only truth. Its nature is Bliss. Bliss alone is - enjoyer and enjoyment both merge in it. Pleasure consists in turning and keeping the mind within; pain in sending it outward. There is only pleasure. Absence of pleasure is called pain. One’s nature is pleasure - bliss.”

Ramana Maharshi

When these words becomes meaningful with experience, there will be no Tolle criticism left in a person.

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6362
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by Sighclone » Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:21 pm

Lovely comments, PureLand. You have kind of copied my style by quoting other teachers to make a point, rather than simple echoes.

All that said, one could expand on your comments and say something like "living in bliss, there is no criticism of anything." But, of course we know that ET was critical of cold soup and people who were abusing a dog (both from PON.) The capacity and interest in finding behaviors with which we do not agree does not end with awakening. Rupert Spira once criticized himself at a SAND conference for dismissing a questioner's comment on meditation - he said he was much to harsh.

Eckhart Tolle made a gigantic difference in my life, for which I am forever grateful. Does that make him flawless? Does that mean I cannot point to comments he makes with which I disagree? Does that mean I should not believe he needs to give more credit to those from whom he "borrows?" Might not he be a better teacher if he listens to feedback that is not always obsequious?

Critical thinking about anything is an important asset in the relative world of maya. It should not dissolve with any advancement or shift in consciousness - even one which recognizes that all of relativity, all thoughts, all universes, all beings past, present and future, and all non-physical entities are forms and expressions of Source. The "little me," the unique component of "me" that lives in the world of form will suffer without the natural skill of critical thinking to address the "ten thousand things." Even if there is ultimately no real thinker, no "doer," only Self.

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

PureLand
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:28 pm

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by PureLand » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:29 pm

Sighclone wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:21 pm
Lovely comments, PureLand. You have kind of copied my style by quoting other teachers to make a point, rather than simple echoes.

All that said, one could expand on your comments and say something like "living in bliss, there is no criticism of anything." But, of course we know that ET was critical of cold soup and people who were abusing a dog (both from PON.) The capacity and interest in finding behaviors with which we do not agree does not end with awakening. Rupert Spira once criticized himself at a SAND conference for dismissing a questioner's comment on meditation - he said he was much to harsh.

Eckhart Tolle made a gigantic difference in my life, for which I am forever grateful. Does that make him flawless? Does that mean I cannot point to comments he makes with which I disagree? Does that mean I should not believe he needs to give more credit to those from whom he "borrows?" Might not he be a better teacher if he listens to feedback that is not always obsequious?

Critical thinking about anything is an important asset in the relative world of maya. It should not dissolve with any advancement or shift in consciousness - even one which recognizes that all of relativity, all thoughts, all universes, all beings past, present and future, and all non-physical entities are forms and expressions of Source. The "little me," the unique component of "me" that lives in the world of form will suffer without the natural skill of critical thinking to address the "ten thousand things." Even if there is ultimately no real thinker, no "doer," only Self.

Andy
Great comments Sighclone. I also ciriticised Eckhart and the spiritual traditions in the past, but as I said in my comment, when the peace becomes permanent in one's life(or when a person starts to enter to the deep peace more frequently) these disagreements becomes secondary because the divine peace is such deep and complete that any person who starts to experience it more frequently than before would start to think this way. But in general I agree you. Critical thinking makes people different than the fundamentalist people who have limitations and who are certainly not going in the direction of true spiritual liberation.

middleMan
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:21 am

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:58 am

Sighclone wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:38 am
It’s been so long since I read PON that I tend to forget how preachy it was. Even compared to ANE. In 1999, there were few modern nondual writers working. Welwood’s “Toward a Psychology of Awakening” was just released in 1999, too. And that watershed has been breached many times since.

Like all of us, ET walks one path. His was a life of tail-chasing internal narrative with no relief, badly needing a glimpse of Unity, which arrived. So he linked suffering with awakening; is there no gentler path? I think so, from reading anecdotes like those found in Gary Weber’s blog here: http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot.com/ and elsewhere.

But now there is a big freight train running – the ET Express. Eckhart co-opted some phrasing and concepts from Tim Freke a few years ago having to do with “lucid living.” I joined his internal forum and whimpered that he only gave credit to those writers who were dead, like Meister Eckhart, and just swiped from modern ones. Talk about a fanboy shit-storm!!! It became clear to me that the management team was quickly weeding out the free-thinkers there and I just bailed.

Rick Archer has been interviewing spiritual teachers for about ten years at batgap.com. But ET refuses to be interviewed there, despite encouragement from several sources including those acolytes who have appeared with him on stage, and former employees. My gut says that he is being manipulated by the juggernaut he has created. Can the same be said for Adyashanti? I think less so, but overhead is overhead, and payrolls must be met.

And, good people, let’s stop finger-wagging about thoughts. Every word in this forum is a thought. Yes, some of them are angry, selfish and defensive thoughts…the kind of thinking that ET refuses to allow in his “silent” local study groups where the slightest whiff of ego is prevented by disallowing speech! So, personal attacks are out. But civil controversy is totally acceptable.

Stick around mM – even if most of what you say is critical of ET – you have been clear in your praise of him also.

Andy
Interesting (your experiences and perspective) ! To say the least.

I think there is the fundamental problem of "fan boys" perceiving their master or role model as flawless and perfect. So, their tolerance for criticism is non-existent. Hence the "shit-storm" you refer to. I must admit I have been guilty of that as well.

Glad you are able to see both sides of the coin :)

middleMan
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:21 am

Re: Tolle Criticism

Post by middleMan » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:53 am

Sighclone wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:21 pm
Critical thinking about anything is an important asset in the relative world of maya. It should not dissolve with any advancement or shift in consciousness - even one which recognizes that all of relativity, all thoughts, all universes, all beings past, present and future, and all non-physical entities are forms and expressions of Source. The "little me," the unique component of "me" that lives in the world of form will suffer without the natural skill of critical thinking to address the "ten thousand things." Even if there is ultimately no real thinker, no "doer," only Self.

Andy
Yes, very well put. Given that we have to live this life on two levels or in two dimensions, we are well served by our ability to think critically.

I get the feeling that a lot of ET's followers think that ET's ego has completely dissolved, to the point of him being flawless in everything he does or says. ("My master can do no wrong.") And that is a huge misconception. That is what leads to pointless arguments on forums such as this. Worse, it leads to people aspiring to become flawless like the master they so admire and revere.

We can criticize anyone, even ourselves, harmlessly, provided we have enough awareness to understand the limited scope within which the criticism is valid. Knowing that the criticism is not an absolute truth, there is nothing wrong with it. If no one had criticized or understood the limitations of computers the size of a large room, we wouldn't today have personal computers and we wouldn't have this forum.

As you pointed out, critical thinking has an important place, given that we are not all living as mendicants on this Earth.

Post Reply