Comments on Tolle
Several readers have responded to Tolle’s teachings with different views. To these I added:
I finally figured out in the “New Heaven” book that he does mention the emotional body, but just calls it the “pain body.” While it is true the emotional body is a source of pain, that is not its destiny. As the disciple assumes control of his lower bodies pain will be the furthermost thing from its description. Instead of pain, it will be a source of happiness and tranquility.
I certainly would not describe my present emotional body as a “pain body” for it gives me much pleasure and support.
Eckhart Tolle considered suicide when he was younger and this was undoubtedly because of a painful emotional experience that he has not yet transcended. In fact the audio I am listening to is read by him and he sounds somewhat like he is still in emotional pain.
I think this is part of the reason his books are selling so well. Emotional pain is so common that one who identifies with it and can take the masses a step forward is widely accepted.
In a follow-up post, Dan quotes JJ from the text above:
A reader responded thinking that Tolle’s pain body may be the Dweller on the Threshold.
Yes, sometimes when he talks about the “pain body” it sounds like The Dweller, and other times like the “reactive body” from Scientology.
I don’t see many signs that he has read DK so he probably has a sense of The Dweller but describes it differently and throws in the “reactive body” in the mix.
The “pain body” would be an appropriate name for the “reactive body” of Scientology.
Tolle’s material is very timely and a good subject for discussion. I’m about two thirds through with the New Heaven book and can see that his writings will be of value to many. I can see why Oprah was impressed by him. There are several illusions though for he seems to support the Nothingness Philosophy. Fortunately, this is not the main theme he pushes. A seeker can read this or any other book and take what registers with his soul and leave the rest.
“If you can clearly articulate these potential ‘pockets of illusion,’ I would appreciate it. I am attending Oprah and Tolle’s Monday night Live Web Class and I can submit the questions and try to get answers direct from the horse’s mouth instead of speculating.”
As far as the illusion goes, I don’t have the text in front of me to quote since I am listening to the audio, but he says quite clearly in the book I am reading that the true reality is beyond duality. He uses formless, but in a different context than DK [Djwahl Khul]. He uses it to imply nothingness whereas DK uses it to describe a world where form does not exist, but is far from nothing.
Like most “nothingness people” Tolle says there is no difference between good and evil and the best thing to do is to ignore anything going on as nothing means anything for in the end everything will be as if it never was and we will just merge with the whole and lose our identity. He gives examples of a teacher who has terrible things happen to him and he just shrugs it off. This is supposed to be good (there’s that word again) because nothing means anything in the end.
Then he backtracks and asks if we should not care about certain things and indicates that we should, but does not say why because caring contradicts his previous statements about good and evil.
This type of teaching is prevalent in eastern teachings. Just as Christianity has some common illusions so do the religions in the East.
For instance, here is an example of what is seen as great enlightenment.
A teacher fetched much needed water in his only jug and was heading home with it on his head when a stranger bumped him and it fell to the ground and broke. The man continued on as if nothing had happened. Another guy noticed this and was curious and approached the guy and asked: “Sir. Don’t you realize you dropped your valuable jug and have suffered a great loss?”
He said he did but because the accident was now in the past it means nothing and so he is moving forward a if nothing has happened.
There are two types of people who take this approach to life.
- Those who are high on drugs — very high.
- Those who embrace the Nothingness Philosophy.
Those who embrace this philosophy miss the whole purpose of existence which they tend to see as an accident that is not even supposed to have happened.
Existence was supposed to have happened and we are supposed to engage in it and find joy therein.
When you go to sleep at night and enter the dream state you could say that what happened during the day means nothing because you are now in a different world. BUT in reality is everything that happens during the day negated just because you enter a different reality at night? The present is all there is as Tolle and many others say so while we are here, this is all there is, and thus we should make the most of it for there are many billions of years before The Great Pralaya occurs.
The true teaching centers around detachment rather than withdrawal from this reality. When the seeker is detached he can then use his judgement and view negative things from the viewpoint of the observer. A withdrawal is a form of denial as was the case of the man who dropped the jug or the case cited by Tolle of the man who raised and gave up a child with no feeing of joy or sorrow.
A reader who disagrees with me on Tolle sees himself as putting his soul contact against my own.
I do not see the situation in this light at all. You have just as much right to soul contact as I do. I am confident that Tolle’s writings that speak to your soul are giving you a direction that will be beneficial to you. I am also confident that if you give me a quote that feels right to you that my soul would see that rightness also. For instance, the last batch of quotes you gave on consciousness all have truth in them to be realized. It is important to realize that when I find some of the words of another teacher that projects some illusion that does not mean that I do not think there can be much truth to be discovered. In fact, a teacher can take a true principle and put it into technically incorrect words yet through the soul the student can see the correct essence and benefit therefrom.
I’m sure that whenever you give me an actual quote that spoke to you that I could see why your soul responded. I have enough faith in our mutual soul contact to believe this.
Eckhart Tolle is popular because he obviously has a message that speaks to people. In my opinion many of the things he says are quite accurate. Some of what he says is true but he presents it differently and with different words than myself.
Then there are several things where he is actually speaking around true principles, but comes to an erroneous conclusion or perhaps one could say they could lead a student in an illusionary direction.
He seems to do this around the principle of detachment and duality. Both of these are true principles, but if incorrectly presented or understood can lead to illusion.
For instance, if rightly taught and understood detachment can lead to great liberation and this is the goal that Tolle presents to us. On the other hand, if wrongly presented and understood the student will go away thinking that he needs to be so disconnected from reality that he will never step forward to correct any wrongs. DK points out that some who misunderstood these principles were erroneously neutral during World War II, and if all had this attitude Hitler would have won the war.
In many situations the enlightened student cannot just sit back and say “this too shall pass” or “nothing in this reality is of importance.”
Tolle reinforces this paralysis that many new age people have in their actions by emphasizing that “the present is all there is.”
Now this seems to be an obvious undeniable truth and can be taken to illusionary conclusions. Many students conclude that since the present is all there is, the future and the past be damned. I will be happy now no matter what. Thus would the student in the days of Hitler live in bliss while his fellow Jews are being hauled to extermination camps and Hitler takes over the world.
It is true that the world can be falling apart around the disciple and he can still access peace at his core but his personality self may be in great turbulence, and rightfully so. The allows him to correctly handle situations in our present reality so we can successfully function here.
The present is all there is in the formless worlds, but here we cannot function without the past. If Tolle did not access his past memories of the English language he could not have written his books or made any sense on Oprah
What seems to be missing from Tolle’s teachings on the present, good and evil, duality, etc., is The Second Key of Judgement.
It is true that many get struck in the past and cannot let go. Others dream of the future and never materialize their dreams. But others get stuck in the present and only want to satisfy their own selfish current needs. Using judgement one can balance all three so they work and then harmlessly use the power of the present to achieve fulfillment.
Tolle says we should not fight evil. If we take him at his word then we should have no law enforcement for their job is to fight evil. On the other hand, judgement tells us that yes, obviously society needs law enforcement to contain the evils of society. Without them we would see the much greater evil of mob rule.
The bottom line is this. Even though some of the ways that Tolle words his presentation rubs me the wrong way I would in no way discourage anyone here from reading him and incorporating into their lives that which seems right to their souls. After all, I am reading him myself. I do not see myself as being in competition with him or any other teacher and if someone else speaks to you then always pay attention to what the inner self directs.
One of my favorite quotes on soul contact is one of my own from The Archives:
“One with soul contact can find more truth in the National Enquirer than one who is in illusion can find in the Bible.”
March 11, 2008
Quotes taken from The Immortal; Book I Download it free at my website.
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