Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

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SirNikalot
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Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by SirNikalot » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:22 pm

Please realize I'm not trying to create any anger towards me, because I know this is a forum based on Eckhart Tolle's teachings, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Eckhart. His teachings have been valuable to me, but the more I think about it, the more I realize there's something about him that just bothers me a little about the way he presents himself.

Here's a fairly recent interview with Eckhart discussing his "relationship" with that girl Kim Eng (you probably won't even need to read the whole paragraph, in fact, you probably already know what he's going to say!)

Recently, I asked Eckhart to say a few words on the ego’s search for "love relationships." Our conversation quickly went deeper to touch upon some of the most profound aspects of human existence. Here’s what he said:

ET: What is conventionally called "love" is an ego strategy to avoid surrender. You are looking to someone to give you that which can only come to you in the state of surrender. The ego uses that person as a substitute to avoid having to surrender. The Spanish language is the most honest in this respect. It uses the same verb, te quiero, for "I love you" and "I want you." To the ego, loving and wanting are the same, whereas true love has no wanting in it, no desire to possess or for your partner to change. The ego singles someone out and makes them special. It uses that person to cover up the constant underlying feeling of discontent, of "not enough," of anger and hate, which are closely related. These are facets of an underlying deep seated feeling in human beings that is inseparable from the egoic state.
And yadda yadda yadda.....

He says stuff like this all the time. Its pretty much exactly what he said in his book, and its probably exactly what he's going to say in his next interview, its like he's reading a script or something, and quite frankly, it annoys me. Of course there is a lot of truth to what he is saying, I feel any somewhat sensible human being can agree that this appears to be pretty true, but why does he say it in the same robotic manner? Why can't he adjust his message to his audience and not sound like the philosophical guru he always comes across as?

Another question, who are his friends? I know nothing about his personal life. Its not super important to me, but it would be nice to know about some of the basic things he does.

Here is a direct quote about Eckhart talking about moving to Vancouver:
"One day, I woke up and I suddenly realised 'I have to move'. There was a very strong pull, but I couldn't explain what I had to do there or why I had to go."
Doesn't anyone find this a little strange?? I mean, the guy just decides to get up and move to Vancouver as if it was some kind of divine message for him to move to Vancouver. I really question if that was in fact his thought process at the time. I just don't understand it. If he had said I want to move to Vancouver because I wanted to directly experience Western civilization because I was curious about it, then it would have made a lot more sense to me.

To me, it seems as if Eckhart feels as if he can't share himself on a more human manner, he needs to be perfect and he needs to come across a certain guruish way, even though he says he doesn't consider himself a guru, which is actually kind of a guruish thing for him to say, very humble! Hearing an interview with him reminds me of how those interviews with Athletes sound after a game, totally fake.

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Ananda
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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by Ananda » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:13 pm

Hello SirNikalot,
He says stuff like this all the time. Its pretty much exactly what he said in his book, and its probably exactly what he's going to say in his next interview, its like he's reading a script or something, and quite frankly, it annoys me. Of course there is a lot of truth to what he is saying, I feel any somewhat sensible human being can agree that this appears to be pretty true, but why does he say it in the same robotic manner? Why can't he adjust his message to his audience and not sound like the philosophical guru he always comes across as?
I'm not sure if you are referring to his views on relationships here, or if you're just referring to Tolle's general message, but repetition is something that he has always done. Tolle's message is very simple and I can't see him modifying it any time soon. You might notice how The Power of Now is very similar to A New Earth, in fact I'd say that ANE is basically just an expansion of the same concepts found in PON. I don't watch videos of Tolle and the reason for this is because his message is always the same. His message is quite timeless, so does it need to change? If his message touches you then it has done it's job, if it hasn't then it probably is a waste of your time sticking around to wait for something different, because he probably won't be forthcoming. (By the way, I'm not addressing you specifically here, just anybody who this may apply to).

I'd say Tolle's message is perfectly suited to his particular audience. His work doesn't come across to me as being particularly philosophical, or 'guruesque'. He's addressing a modern western audience with a psychological bent. I'd say if anything that the more philosophical and eastern concepts are well covered (which might not always be a good thing).
Another question, who are his friends? I know nothing about his personal life. Its not super important to me, but it would be nice to know about some of the basic things he does.
I've no idea, but I think it's probably a good thing that we don't know much about him. Eckhart is first and foremost concerned about his message, which I imagine is both why we don't know much about the man himself, and also why his message is so repetitive.
To me, it seems as if Eckhart feels as if he can't share himself on a more human manner, he needs to be perfect and he needs to come across a certain guruish way, even though he says he doesn't consider himself a guru, which is actually kind of a guruish thing for him to say, very humble!
You might actually find quite the opposite sort of behaviour for many gurus. When they try to uphold a certain persona, a certain demeanour, it usually crumbles and allegations of a certain sort end up crawling through the woodwork. We don't hear much about his private life but maybe that's simply because not much goes on? I imagine he lives a quiet life, and I might recall him saying once that he does not know why the same people turn up to hear him talk each time because his message is always the same. People might have him as being one on the 'guru circuit' but unlike many gurus I've noticed he offers no carrot and stick, no reason for people to see him after they have already heard his message once. He really does seem quite humble, despite being thrusted into spiritual superstardom.

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by lucy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:09 pm

Hi SirNikalot,

I find it interesting that although it is said that there are many paths to "Awakening", many of us seem to get hung up in the same places. I hear what you are saying about ET...in fact I think I made a comment along the same line over a year ago about how he uses dualistic language to express a nondual message. What is important to realize here is that it never is or never was about Eckhart, it is and will always be about YOU. The ego (separtate self) has decided it doesn't like that ET re-iterates the same answers robotically, once again the ego has been successful in seemingly pulling you away from the deeper message that is being conveyed. All form has its limitation and Eckhart is no different. As for being "Guruish", that again is only a label that is constructed by the ego to keep you playing the game.

I'm sure you have heard that expression that the teacher and the student together create the teaching. Perhaps Eckhart gives the same robotic answers because he gets the same robotic questions. Concepts and language are robotic.I guarantee you that once ET's message really hits home. you can read his answers and find something fresh in them everytime, because the one that is listening no longer feels limited.

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by Sighclone » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:19 pm

but why does he say it in the same robotic manner? Why can't he adjust his message to his audience and not sound like the philosophical guru he always comes across as?
People have personalities. Eckhart's might be kind of robotic. You might enjoy some very early interviews with him in the "fan" page which is the parent of this forum, here...at the very bottom. A little different guy emerges there.

http://www.inner-growth.info/power_of_n ... e_home.htm

I find it interseting that the passage you quote has to do with relationships and basically exposes "romantic love" for what it is, an ego-booster. Lots of young people struggle with that element of nonduality. The ego is quite strong in youth, as we have discussed here and Eckhart mentions in the Oprah webinars. I happen to think that is a natural thing as it means people fall in love and have babies, thereby creating a relatively highly developed "form" of Source for self-realization and advancement of consciousness on the planet. Of course, like ET also says, until now it hasn't worked out that way!!!

I'd say (and perhaps not to you, SirNik) go ahead and fall in love, even if some subtle sense of Self operating in you exposes that as egoic, while it is happening. Love is huge and can transform later into something very deep and universal as felt between two "people" and demonstrated by your actions to each other, and seen in the world. John Welwood and Adya both talk about this.

So what if Eckhart has no friends? And how do we measure a friend? Eckhart is my friend even if I am not his.

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: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by Ananda » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:12 pm

he uses dualistic language to express a nondual message
All language is dualistic. The only way to spread a nondual message without resorting to dualism would be to spread no message to anybody at all and just be silent.

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by SirNikalot » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:57 pm

lucy wrote:Hi SirNikalot,

I find it interesting that although it is said that there are many paths to "Awakening", many of us seem to get hung up in the same places. I hear what you are saying about ET...in fact I think I made a comment along the same line over a year ago about how he uses dualistic language to express a nondual message. What is important to realize here is that it never is or never was about Eckhart, it is and will always be about YOU. The ego (separtate self) has decided it doesn't like that ET re-iterates the same answers robotically, once again the ego has been successful in seemingly pulling you away from the deeper message that is being conveyed. All form has its limitation and Eckhart is no different. As for being "Guruish", that again is only a label that is constructed by the ego to keep you playing the game.
Please, spare me with the " your not awake enough just yet, give it some time and you'll understand" bull shit, this isn't something I obsess about daily and it just crossed my mind after I came across an interview with him on the internet. Yeah, I could have chose not to bother posting it, and yeah I could easily get on with my day not really giving it a second thought, but the fact remains I find his public image bland, and I think he does it purposefully, that's all I'm trying to express, this isn't about me not being awake. I actually agree with what Eckhart says by and large, its just the way he conveys himself publicly that puzzles me.

Andy, yeah, I agree with what you said and I even agree with what Eckhart said in the quote I provided, like I said, its not his words per say that bother me, its the fact he doesn't adjust his message for his audience that strikes me as odd. I've been actually trying to look for some of his earlier interviews so I can see what he was like before all the glitz and glamor (Well maybe not glamor, but more like fame), so thanks for that link.

Maybe Anandas right and maybe he's just like that, I don't know, I still would like to see some human aspect of him, where he might get a little banter going on with Oprah or something, or he has a little friendly conversation with one of the people at his Satsangs or something, no big deal, its just ODD to me that that side of him doesn't exist as far as I've seen. And I still find his comment on his move to Vancouver very strange.

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by karmarider » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:45 pm

The PON was a strong, simple message for me. Since then, I've looked at the rest of his work with some interest, but really had not paid much attention to his personal life or personality.

I do see your point. Yes, he is bland. I find that that's ok. Maybe it's cultivated, but I don't think so; I think as Andy points out, it's his personality. To echo Ananda, I'd rather hear from the bland than the spiritual, mystical, or colorful. Yeah, the Vancouver thing might have been mystical, but his message generally does not require faith or a stretch of imagination.

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by Ralph » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:54 pm

Okay SirNikalot, I hear you. You don't like the man (his style) but agree mostly with his message.
I say drop the messenger but listen to the message.

It's a good thing you are not dating him. :)

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by lucy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:12 am

SirNikalot wrote:Please, spare me with the " your not awake enough just yet, give it some time and you'll understand" bull shit,
I did not mean to imply that you are not awake enough. I was trying to convey an experience in which I was irratated by some of the language that ET used only to discover later that my irritation had more to do with me than him. It seemed to take time before I could understand that because in my experience, this teaching is not static but quite dynamic, the clairity seems to grow; it has nothing to do with how awake you are.
Ananda wrote:All language is dualistic. The only way to spread a nondual message without resorting to dualism would be to spread no message to anybody at all and just be silent.
I agree Ananda. Language is conceptual, but some pointers point more clearly than others.

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by Onceler » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:40 am

I find myself wondering what it would be like to sit down and have a beer or cup of coffee with him...
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by SirNikalot » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:48 am

lucy wrote:
SirNikalot wrote:Please, spare me with the " your not awake enough just yet, give it some time and you'll understand" bull shit,
I did not mean to imply that you are not awake enough. I was trying to convey an experience in which I was irratated by some of the language that ET used only to discover later that my irritation had more to do with me than him. It seemed to take time before I could understand that because in my experience, this teaching is not static but quite dynamic, the clairity seems to grow; it has nothing to do with how awake you are.
Okay, I was expecting a response that sounded kind of like what you said, even though you meant something else. One thing for said "I'm sure you have heard that expression that the teacher and the student together create the teaching." That, I can agree with.
Ralph wrote:Okay SirNikalot, I hear you. You don't like the man (his style) but agree mostly with his message.
I say drop the messenger but listen to the message.

It's a good thing you are not dating him. :)
Your right and Andy's right, because I guess there is a part of his personality/ style that I have a hard time getting on board with. The same thing I can say for Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, don't mean they aren't great at what they do eh? And I wouldn't date the guy if I was a woman and he was the last man on earth, he looks like a freakin' gerbil (not that that I'm shallow or anything).

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Re: Somethings about Eckhart that bugs me

Post by samadhi » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:31 pm

"Every little thing that you say or do, I'm hung up, I'm hung up on you."

You just gotta get over it, the little niggly things. Do they really matter? Either the messenger or the message work for you or they don't. No point in getting hung up on them.

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