Articles and Outlines - Contemporary Issues - The Deception of Eckharet Tolle

The Deception of Eckharet Tolle

Author: Russ Wise
Date: 5/26/2009 11:30:12 AM

“This book’s main purpose is . . . to bring about a shift in

consciousness, that is to say, to awaken. A


The above quote comes from Eckhart Tolle’s best-seller, A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. You are likely aware of the book since it has been all the rage with Oprah’s book club members and has been on the best-seller’s list for the last few months.


Tolle wrote the book in 2005, but it only came to light after Oprah interviewed him on her show and selected it as her book club pick. As so many others before him, Tolle became an instant celebrity and an overnight millionaire. Oprah does have her hand on the Golden Goose when it comes to crowning the latest up and coming metaphysical – New Age luminary.  


The quote is an indicator that Tolle sees a shift, an awakening on the horizon, for all of humanity – that is, to facilitate an awakening of each individual to their “life’s purpose.”  The question that begs to be asked by the reader is simply – What is this life purpose that Tolle believes to be the foundational reason for our being? A secondary question might be – Is Tolle the best person to help me discover my life purpose, or for that matter any purpose?


Before we look more closely at Tolle’s perceived purpose for humanity it would be instructive for us to take a more in depth look at his use of terminology and how he uses specific words to convey his world view – his philosophy regarding life and man’s inherent purpose.


Tolle offers his reader a very subtle – nuanced – approach regarding his world view. It is not surprising that the majority of his readers are unable to easily recognize his perspective and fully realize that his world view is diametrically opposed to the Judeo-Christian understanding of God and man’s relationship to his Creator. Let’s begin by looking at his teachings regarding his world view.


The Nature of God and Presence


Tolle speaks of God in an unorthodox manner that underscores his pantheistic view of deity. Early on in his book Tolle makes the following comment, Once there is a certain degree of Presence, of still and alert attention in human beings’ perceptions, they can sense the divine life essence, the one indwelling consciousness or spirit in every creature, every life-form, recognize it as one with their own essence and so love it as themselves.1 On the surface the undiscerning reader may pass over this seemingly innocent statement and not realize that Tolle is actually saying that divinity dwells within them – their Being.


His comment simply, but succinctly, states that all of creation – man included – has an abiding presence within and that this presence is of a divine nature. Tolle’s use of Presence rather than presence is an indicator that he is referring to divinity and not location. It is of the greatest interest to this author that he uses this methodology throughout his text to make the undeniable point that he views all of life as a divinely interconnected oneness – a singular consciousness. All is of one essence; there is only differentiation in form.


It is of further interest that Tolle makes a throw-away comment regarding the nature of form (mineral, vegetable, animal, or man) as they relate to enlightenment. He says, these forms have been preparing the ground for a more profound shift in planetary consciousness that is destined to take place in the human species.2 Once again this comment may pass over the heads of the less discerning, but it screams at this author relating a pantheistic view of creation. It is of particular interest to note that Tolle further defines his view later in his text where he makes reference to universal intelligence. This universal intelligence is another term used within occultic/New Age circles as an indicator for God. This intelligence is, in their view, the prime-mover for all of creation. He says, It is the same intelligence that manifest as Gaia3, the complex living being that is planet earth.


Once again this appears to be a throw-away comment, but it has a much deeper meaning to those who recognize such jargon. This one comment alone should cause Tolle’s readers to see him and his spiritual philosophy for what it is – New Age occultism.  For James Lovelock, the independent scientist with a Ph.D. in medicine, Gaia is a religious as well as a scientific concept.4 In his view, Gaia should be a way to view the Earth, ourselves, and our relationships with living things.5


The Gaia concept is also a prevalent teaching within Wicca and The Goddess Movement that lends substance to New Age philosophy. Lovelock further makes his point by saying, I have tried to show that God and Gaia . . . are not separate but a single way of thought.6 Lovelock makes this telling comment in the later part of his book, In no way do I see Gaia as a sentient being, a surrogate God. To me Gaia is alive and part of the ineffable Universe and I am a part of her.7 He seemingly agrees with those who practice Wicca and accept goddess worship8 as a reality when he refers to Gaia in the feminine. Another connection that is undeniable between Wicca, the New Age, and Tolle’s metaphysical philosophy is that Gaia along with all of creation is evolving toward perfection as deity.


Tolle also uses the term Presence as an indicator of deity. As previously mentioned this Presence is a reference to the divinity that inherently lies within each individual as well as animals, vegetables, and the mineral kingdom. However, the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms are not fully evolved and are not as consciously aware as are humans, they are unable to realize their awakening. According to Tolle human beings are now able to become fully aware of their innate divinity and recognize its Presence.


The first step in this process is finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge.9 Tolle then adds that this “goodness” can only come about by first changing one’s fundamental state of consciousness. A shift in perspective must happen before an individual can fully realize his or her divine nature – God within. This shift in consciousness brings about a radical transformation. Tolle likens it to enlightenment or salvation. He states, In Hindu teachings this transformation is called enlightenment. In the teachings of Jesus, it is salvation, and in Buddhism, it is the end of suffering. Liberation and awakening are other terms used to describe this transformation.10


In other words, Tolle is devaluing the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf on the cross by equating His sacrifice for the securing of our salvation to becoming enlightened or awakened. The underlying goal of this transformation is to become consciously present – a field of conscious Presence. This “field” or energy is the catalyst that helps the individual recognize his or her oneness with all of life. Tolle states it this way, You cannot be more than you are because underneath your physical and psychological form, you are one with Life itself, one with Being.11 Once again Tolle’s use of “Life” and “Being” are direct references to deity and cannot be overlooked by the discerning reader.


I have already made reference to the fact that Tolle’s word choices are taken from the occult New Age lexicon. There are numerous examples to cite regarding such usage, however I will only offer you a few to make my point. It may be noteworthy that the bulk of these examples are taken from texts that would normally be found under the heading of self-help or in the metaphysical section of a book store.


Mark Prophet uses the term Presence in his book, Understanding Yourself – Opening the Door to the Superconscious Mind. In all fairness Prophet is not the author of the book, he is the compiler of several messages from the Masters of Wisdom. In the following example he is referencing Meru, an Ascended Master. In this citation Meru is addressing the evolution of consciousness within man. He states, It is the flow of the vital seed-idea into the consciousness of man whereby the consciousness itself is transformed into its natural glowing Presence. This is the Presence of God which identifies the individual, through his sense of expanding reality, with the universal consciousness of God . . .” 12


Another example comes from John Randolph Price. In his book, The Super Beings he makes this statement, The most important thing to learn is that within every person, whether in this dimension or another, is a presence and a power – the same Presence and Power through which this universe was created. This Presence, this Mind, within each individual, is alive. It lives! It knows all. It is all. This Presence within you, this God-Self of you, wants you to be radiantly healthy, because perfection is the true nature of Its expression. 13


Two other Ascended Masters, Kuthumi and Djwal Kul, offer us more examples of the occult nature of the I Am Presence than I have space to provide. Here are a few that will make the point. It may be of interest to know that this book was originally published as a series of personal letters dictated by the authors to Elizabeth Clare Prophet, the leader of The Church Universal Triumphant. In their book, The Human Aura, the authors make this comment regarding Presence. Men find it not at all difficult to believe that the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelleth in Jesus, but they do find it difficult to believe that it also dwelleth in themselves. He has in the bestowal of the Christ flame placed the fullness of himself in every son and daughter. Thus the intent of God to reveal himself unto the angel of his Presence, attached to each of his children, operates through the Holy Christ Self in perfect harmony with the divine plan.14 


These statements by both individuals and disembodied spirits serve to underscore the fact that the I Am Presence did not originate with Tolle. This concept has been floating around the ether for millennia.


I Am Presence


Another phrase closely identified with Presence is the use of the term I Am. Tolle uses several words that indicate divinity in conjunction with his usage of I AM. He further underscores the idea of man’s divinity by introducing the Old Testament name for God – I Am that I Am and applying it to mankind. Tolle also uses the terms Beingness, Consciousness, Awareness, Spirit, and Source not only as indicators of deity, but as being synonymous with the I AM Presence.16


He continues by saying, The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.17 Tolle, in this one statement, has unequivocally expressed to his reader that they are God. It simply cannot be read any other way! This one statement allows his reader to know exactly where he is philosophically – firmly entrenched in the occult, New Age, metaphysical camp. Yet those who see him as their spiritual teacher continue to think of him as a Christian because he quotes (misquotes) scripture over twenty times in his text.




            Another term that Tolle uses that allows his reader to further understand his world view is Source. Once again for clarification his use of capitalization indicates deity. It is no coincidence that he uses Source in his writing. He has a spiritual agenda – to cause a subtle shift, a transformative moment, in the mind of his reader.


            There are several examples where Source is used to directly make such a point. Brad Steiger in his book, Aquarian Revelations: Channeling Higher Intelligence, uses the term Source without attempting to conceal his true meaning. He is unashamed of his philosophical view and allows his reader to fully recognize his intent. Steiger is making a reference to unconditional love and how it should be experienced through the body’s energy centers (particularly the Crown Chakra) and to visualize this energy negating any negative vibrations in the body. He says, Feel it entering your Crown Chakra and filling your entire physical vessel. Now image that there is a golden pyramid above your head, directly over your Crown Chakra. Understand that this pyramid collects vibrations of love from the Source, then channels them directly into your Crown Chakra.18 In the last paragraph of his book he closes with this statement, Learn to feel and to be at one with the Source of All-That-Is . . . become connected with the points of light in the Christ Self. See your own Christ Consciousness connected . . . to the Source of All-That-Is . . . feel a great sense of oneness, of closeness, of attunement with higher intelligence.19


            Steiger further underscores his use of Source on page 86 of his text by using the term no less than eleven times. The following is a brief representation of how he uses this key word. Be still within and without, knowing that the Source has entered all levels of your consciousness and all levels of your being. Feel “At One” with the essence of the Source that has blended with you. Begin to sense strongly a closeness, an at-one-ment with the Source.20 In my view it would be difficult to deny that the word Source, as used by Steiger, is an assumption of deity and a direct claim to divinity.


            Another example of an author using the word Source to make the same point is to be found in an unlikely source. The book is Journey to Inner Space – Finding God-in-Us by Rodney R. Romney – a Baptist pastor! He also speaks of the oneness of all-that-is and makes many of the same points that those who fully embrace New Age teachings have made in the past. Romney states, This vision of oneness is an innate spark in your being. Fan the spark into a flame. There are few causes worth dying for – this is one. Keep close to your Source . . . Everything receives its care, its supply, its love, and its protection from the same Source . . . That is why I constantly urge you to take this inner journey to your Source.22 


            Eric Butterworth, a Unity minister, wrote Discover the Power Within You. He is in the main stream of New Age thought and has been the spiritual mentor of Oprah Winfrey for several years.23 However, since his death in 2003 it is now apparent that Oprah has found a new spiritual mentor in Eckhart Tolle.


Butterworth is another in a growing list of those who recognize God as the Source. His personal web site offers this comment about giving, Eric taught that True Giving is a “giving way” to the Flow of the One Source, God. The Key is knowing our Oneness in that Source and giving from that awareness.24


Tolle discusses his position regarding the manifested form (man) and the unmanifested Source out of which all manifestation flows. He then adds, The traditional word for that Source is God.25 Another example of Tolle’s view is found in his discussion about unity and the perception of separation between “God” and mankind. He says because of our incessant thinking we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness of all that exists. However, there is an even deeper level to the whole than the interconnectedness of everything in existence. At that deeper level, all things are one. It is the Source, the unmanifested one Life. It is the timeless intelligence that manifests as a universe unfolding in time.26 Then Tolle makes this statement in the last paragraph of his book, “They(those living upon the New Earth) live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet . . .” It appears rather clear that Tolle does without question equate Source and God as being one and the same.  


In my view the above information is more than enough to help anyone who may read Tolle to understand his view regarding the origin of Source as one that is firmly embedded in New Age thought and has no place within a Judeo-Christian understanding of God.


Meister Eckhart


Eckhart von Hochheim, the fourteen century Christian mystic, is the posthumous mentor of the German spiritual seeker, Ulrich Tolle. Tolle took his spiritual mentor’s first name as his own presumably so he would be further identified with his teacher and spiritual guide. There have been a number of questions regarding his last name as well. It seems that Mr. Tolle (?) has an undefined past, yet he has been exalted to one of the highest platforms of influence by being on stage with Oprah Winfrey.


If one reads Meister Eckhart it does not take long to see the impact he had on his young spiritual adept. Tolle has literally reconstituted Eckhart’s teachings from the fourteenth century and adapted them for a modern audience by utilizing current psychological concepts to engage his reader and to couch his argument in a more academic setting. Otherwise, his teachings would be more easily seen as the occultic/ New Age ideas that they are and he would not have the potential audience he enjoys.


Eckhart’s thought regarding spiritual “truths” can readily been seen in Tolle’s writing. His previous book, The Power of Now, and his current title A New Earth are largely rewrites of Meister Eckhart’s teachings. Eckhart speaks of the awakening within man to his oneness with the Divine – I Am presence.27


Meister Eckhart believed that all men have a spark of divinity within them – thus the interconnectedness of all men. Margaret Lewis Furse, in her book, Mysticism Window on a World View, makes this observation. Eckhart is perhaps the most famous of the mystics for making the ultimate relationship between the soul and God so close as to be identical. “God’s is-ness is my is-ness.” The soul is “nearer to God than it is to the body . . . more intimate with him than it is to the body . . . more intimate with him than a drop of water put into a vat of wine . . . “Why did God become man? So that I might be born to be God – yes – identically God.” 28


Furse continues her comments regarding Eckhart and sheds further light on the fact that Tolle has definitely reintroduced Eckhart’s teachings. She states, This “deification” of the soul does not take place by taking thought. And it does not take place in the past or the future. One does not remember it or make plans for it and achieve it; it takes place in what Eckhart and recent existentialists call the Now-moment,” the “present.” The soul needs to be detached from ideas, “free and empty of them in this Now-moment, the present.” 29 In the end, Eckhart viewed man as either totally excluded from God by virtue of his creatureliness or totally enfolded within God by virtue of his divine interior “spark”. 30


It is somewhat evident that Tolle capitalized on Eckhart’s philosophy simply by his book title – The Power of Now. Tolle was questioned by Oprah whether he ever thought of the past or the future. His answer was a resounding no – never. He lives securely in the Now. That is, for him to give thought to the past or to the future would mean that he would need to be – in – thought. In his view thought is the enemy to becoming consciously aware of one’s innate divinity – the spark within. In Tolle’s view, thought keeps the seeker entrapped in the mind and does not allow the spark to flourish in the inner-space of the individual – thereby permit one’s spiritual essence to gain supremacy in the spiritual seeker’s life. The new earth is to be made up of individuals who live in the now and are conscious of their true nature – deity.


Meister Eckhart held spiritual views that were not totally uncommon among the mystics of his day and he was declared a heretic after his death by the church. The Eckhart Society says this about his teachings and the church’s declaration. Despite Meister Eckhart's distinction and popularity, indeed partly because of it, in the political and ecclesiastical turbulence of the fourteenth century, the Meister found himself accused of heresy. Some passages of his work were posthumously condemned as heretical or dangerous and a shadow was cast over his reputation. His works were influential in late medieval spirituality but later were almost forgotten. With the growing interest in Eckhart today, both inside and outside the Church, it needs to be made clear whether he is acceptable to the Church as a Christian theologian and spiritual master.31


Meister Eckhart was not only a Christian mystic; he was a pantheist and aligned with those within the metaphysical community of his day. He taught the unity of both God and man as one Being in essence. In one of his sermons he states the following: God is infinite in his simplicity and simple in his infinity. Therefore he is everywhere and is everywhere complete. He is everywhere on account of his infinity, and is everywhere complete on account of his simplicity. Only God flows into all things, their very essences. Nothing else flows into something else. God is in the innermost part of each and every thing, only in its innermost part. [Sermon LW XXIX]  Teaching such as this lead to the declaration of heresy by the church and put in question Eckhart’s philosophy.


Eckhart Tolle studied his master well. He not only took his spiritual guides’ name – he also took his pantheistic teaching to be ultimate truth as well. Like his spiritual mentor, Tolle blends several mystical traditions into his theological perspective. Tolle studied Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity and developed a belief system that would in many ways incorporate the mystical teachings from each of these religions. It is quite instructive to note that Tolle considers Jesus to be just another messenger as was Buddha and others.32 Seemingly in his view Jesus is not a unique person in history and he is certainly not unique in regards to his death and resurrection. In the end, his blending of these opposing world views that are counter to Christianity brought him to a thoroughly pantheistic understanding of God and man.


The discussions above – regarding Presence, Source, the I Am – all point to the underlying philosophy of Eckhart Tolle. He is a master in that he is able to present his pantheistic/New Age teachings in such a subtle way that it is somewhat undetectable by his reader, especially if they are unschooled in metaphysics and the occult world view that are the bases to his spiritual teachings.


Assembling the Puzzle


            It is a bit difficult to fully recognize Tolle’s position by viewing one element of his philosophy at a time – just as it would be extremely difficult to work a puzzle with only one piece at a time without a box top to see the overall picture. Tolle introduces the term Presence in such a manner. Alone it seems benign, but Tolle’s use of capitalization changes the inference. It is no longer just a term to induce a sense of existence or being present. It takes on the added meaning of invoked deity.


Likewise when he uses the term Source and certainly I Am (a definite invocation of deity) he offers the discerning reader a true sense of his spiritual leanings. His use of these terms makes it quite clear that he has stepped outside of the realm of orthodoxy and has taken a trip on the wild side of mysticism as it is understood within a non-Judeo-Christian context.


Once we are able to correctly define all of the pieces of his puzzle (his terminology) and define them within the context of Meister Eckhart’s writings and the New Age genre in which they are used we are, then, able to fully recognize that his world view is Pantheistic (New Age) rather than one that gives credence to biblical orthodoxy (Christian). This is an important exercise to undergo because Tolle is widely thought to be espousing Christian thought although slightly out of the main stream. The result of this happenstance is that many within the Christian community have been persuaded to accept Tolle’s spirituality as being congruent with biblical teaching and this is simply not so!


Metaphysical Interpretations


Tolle refers to Jesus’ teachings on more than twenty occasions throughout his book. He references several passages that are and have been widely used by other New Age writers in relation to their world view. We will consider two simply because of space limitations.


One example of this twisting of scripture is found on page 71 of his text where he quotes Jesus, saying, I am the way and the truth and the life. You might note that he conveniently overlooked including the balance of the passage where Jesus adds, and no one come to the Father except by me. The latter portion of the scripture does not fit Tolle’s needs because it infers an exclusive way to the Father that does not include Krishna, Buddha, Maitreya, or any other “master”.


Tolle keys-in on I am the way and the truth and the life because it serves his purpose. In his context Truth and Life are references to deity and he further defines his position when he says, The Truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the Truth. If you look for it elsewhere, you will be deceived every time. The very Being that you are is Truth. Jesus speaks of the innermost I Am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every life-form, in fact. Some Christian mystics have called it the Christ within; Buddhists call it your Buddha nature; for Hindus, it is Atman, the indwelling God.33


This passage clearly speaks for itself. His use of capitalization – Truth, Life – are direct references to deity and cannot be misunderstood as such. Once again we are allowed to see his thought pattern as he blends non-Christian concepts into his writing. On the following page he says, when you are in touch with that dimension within yourself – and being in touch with it is your natural state . . . all your actions and relationships will reflect the oneness with all life that you sense deep within. Later in his text Tolle underscores this idea of oneness when he states, You cannot be more than you are because underneath your physical and psychological form, you are one with Life itself, one with Being.34 


Another passage that is often used by those who promote a metaphysical New Age view is Matthew 21:22 and Mark 11:24 where Jesus tells His disciples, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. Tolle references Mark 11 and simply states, Jesus gave the key to the creative use of mind and to the conscious manifestation of form when he said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” 35 Here we see that Tolle distills the scripture to that of a formula rather than looking at the passage in context. He overlooks the total counsel of scripture and thereby dismisses James’ injunction regarding our asking wrongly to suit our personal desires. Those who jump on the metaphysical bandwagon often overlook the deeper truths of God’s Word. It is instructive that Tolle did not ask his readers to consider James 4:3 where the writer says, You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.


A New Earth – A New Purpose


Eckhart Tolle speaks of the dawning of a New Earth in which mankind will live in harmony – a virtual spiritual utopia – where each individual will fully sense their interconnectedness, indeed their Oneness. This concept, although not a new one to Tolle, has been written about and taught in the occult/New Age realm for millennia.


One example comes from Brad Steiger. He makes the following comment regarding the new heaven and new earth. It is further instructive to note that he is quoting an Ascended Master – Orlon. Cosmic intervention, frequency change, the bringing into being of a new “Race of Man,” a new heaven, a new Earth: these are the things of which I speak to you. This is the knowledge which we, who come from Space, came to impart; that you, our brothers, our sisters of the Earth planet, may reach out in consciousness and become as one with us, may become aware of our presence, our mission, as we walk among you and will be with you in the times which lie ahead.36 Steiger, or I should say Orlon continues by saying, We speak, therefore, of gods in terms of graduation, or evolvement. We have spoken before of the godhood inherent within each being and of the necessity for Man of Earth to evolve into this concept of the inherent godhood of his own essence, to reach out to this, to expand, to express, to become.36


Earlier we considered the writing of Rodney R. Romney who believes himself to be a Christian – in fact, he is a Baptist pastor. He makes the following comment regarding man’s ultimate realization. Exploration into God, into self, and into others is all part of the same journey, for to know God, to love God, and to understand God is finally to realize one’s own godhood.37 If it is thought to be unclear as to Romney’s view it is further enlightening for his reader to read the following comment at the end of his book. It is a possibility for anyone who is willing to take the journey to the inner space of his godhood, to the source of his divinity.38


Another common thread in New Age metaphysical teaching is that Jesus is a way-shower and that his purpose is to show mankind the way to their salvation. John Randolph Price makes this illuminating comment, The entire ministry of Jesus was not to call attention to himself, but to the Presence and Power within each individual. God, the Power of the Universe, has incarnated Itself in all of us, and Jesus’ mission on earth was to reveal this truth. Jesus came to the earth plane to teach us about ourselves, and to explain what happened to us. We were like Jesus in our original consciousness. We were constantly aware of our God-Self.39


Eric Butterworth makes this observation regarding man’s true identity. We see then that the heart and core of Jesus’ teachings concerned not His divinity, but the Divinity of Man – the principle of divine sonship.40 Butterworth continues, We must see Jesus as the great discovery of the Divinity of Man, the pioneer and way-shower in the great world of the within. We must carefully study and then emphatically reject our historical tendency to worship Jesus. When He becomes the object of our worship, He ceases to be the way-shower for our own self-realization and self-unfoldment.41


In the final analysis those who advance New Age thought promote a “Jesus” other than the biblical understanding of God’s only begotten Son. Butterworth offers this comment regarding man’s search, Jesus is the man who became divine through discovery of the dynamic that is innate within all men. You and I can enter that state of consciousness. In the end we must do so – perhaps through following the stream of consciousness created in Jesus, perhaps through intuitively finding the way as He found the way. But we must all make the great decision to reach for the highest and to claim the divinity within us.42


Tolle offers this understanding of man’s purpose in life. It is our purpose and destiny to bring a new dimension into this world by living in conscious oneness with the totality and conscious alignment with universal intelligence.43 Opening yourself to the emerging consciousness and bringing its light into this world then becomes the primary purpose of your life.44 However, scripturally man’s purpose is to glorify his Creator – God – rather than propagate the false notion of man’s supposed divinity.


The Masters (Kuthumi and Djwal Kul) teach their adepts that man’s purpose is to become filled with the Presence of our God. Then as one might suspect they offer this advice: to achieve it you must follow the meditations and exercises recommended by the ascended masters.45 This should not come as a surprise nor should the fact that Tolle uses the same terminology as all the other writers of New Age metaphysical literature.


Evolve or Die 


We have previously discussed the need for man to become consciously aware of who he truly is and that he needs, in Tolle’s view, to recognize his intrinsic oneness with all life-forms. Tolle is true to form regarding evolutionary belief. Evolution is a foundational plank in the metaphysical New Age world view and Tolle is no different in his thinking. According to Tolle, it is believed that the life-form on this planet first evolved in the sea. When there were no animals yet to be found on land, the sea was already teeming with life. According to Tolle, through the evolutionary process man ultimately evolved to the point of becoming fully human and is now ready to evolve mentally and spiritually as well – to realize his own godhood.


Tolle continues his thought by adding, a significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognize, if they haven’t already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die.46 Tolle then makes a veiled threat, he says, however, in the greater scheme of things, human beings are meant to evolve into conscious beings, and those who don’t will suffer the consequences of their unconsciousness. They are out of alignment with the evolutionary impulse of the universe.47 


Tolle seems to be echoing David Spangler who made a similar statement in his book, Reflections on The Christ. Spangler makes this comment concerning those who deny their evolutionary future: if the people upon planet earth cannot keep up (evolve) then that is too bad for they will be sent into another dimension. 48


Sri Aurobindo, the Indian guru, says that an evolution of consciousness is the hidden inner meaning and purpose of life on earth.49 Aurobindo believed that once we recognize the ongoing evolutionary urge of life, and the nature of the present evolutionary process, it becomes clear that a new being must evolve beyond the human. This being will have capacities as far beyond the human as the human has capacities beyond the animal.50 


Aurobindo seems to agree with Tolle that mankind will evolve into a new creature fully evolved spiritually recognizing his inherent divinity and creating a New Earth where all of mankind will live in unity and harmony.


Tolle has a great company of fellow believers who are on the evolutionary path to awareness – enlightenment – who join him in self discovery. Sadly this journey of self discovery is not a breakthrough that has real meaning. It is a discovery that leads the seeker into spiritual deception of the grandest order. The initial lie that was told in the Garden of Eden, where the serpent seduced Eve with the lie of divinity, has continued to breed its deception to this day. Meister Eckhart, the Christian sage, said, I must become God and God must become me, so completely that we share the same “I” eternally.51 


Eckhart Tolle sums it up succinctly when he says, Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.52 George Trevelyan apparently agrees with Tolle regarding this evolutionary breakthrough for man’s recognition of his divine Self and his place on a new earth. Trevelyan says, A new age is being born and a new society is forming, composed of those who have found within themselves the power of light and love. The spiritual within man unites with the spiritual in the cosmos, and out of this union a new order begins to crystallize. In this new order all things are experienced as divine.53 Another New Age luminary, David Spangler, and author of Revelation: the Birth of a New Age, wrote, A new world is taking birth. As this new world increases in vitality . . . As far as the energies of the new world are concerned, the change has already taken place . . . There was only the opportunity to join with a Divine energy, to become a co-creator of a new planet.54


Trevelyan is certainly on Tolle’s wave length or should I say Tolle certainly agrees with Trevelyan since he (Trevelyan) published his thoughts regarding the need to diminish the ego’s predominance over twenty-one years earlier. Trevelyan says this concerning the ego and man’s need to allow the Higher Self to have its way. Our world view, as we have seen, includes the principle of the Higher Self. Each of us has this ‘utterly trustworthy parental being,’ who is part of the super-consciousness world and a counterpart to our subconscious mind . . . our higher Self is our Higher Ego into which our lower ego must in time be dissolved.55


In other words, Tolle’s premise that mankind must deny the ego to the point of dissolution and become spiritually aware of his “true nature” that is, divine nature, believed to be inherent within all beings, this Higher Self (the divine within) leads the individual to recognize his or her oneness with all creation. This is Tolle’s book in a nut-shell. We must deny our personal ego so we can become aware of and exalt our Higher Self – our Divine Self.




            It seems that Eckhart Tolle is not alone in his quest to connect with the perceived divinity within humanity and within himself. Sadly, he has a lot of company on the road to awareness and “enlightenment.” The road that he travels – in the end – leads him and those whom he influences down the broad road to destruction.


            We cannot on our own whip ourselves into enough of a psycho-spiritual state and attempt to increase our conscious awareness to become acceptable to the One who created us. There is no amount of meditation on the deity inside us or claiming I Am one with God to change the fact that we are in great need of a Savior who is able to deliver us from the shackles of spiritual deception.


            We, in good faith, cannot allow ourselves to reject scriptural teaching and authority and turn to our own interpretation that is often based on intuition or an emotional experience. The only real hope that we have is in the trustworthiness of God’s Word and the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. The deceived or those ripe for deception are looking for a spiritual teaching that will make them feel good and experience a sense of peace and unity. In reality, as a Christian we are well served when we look to Jesus as our model and emulate his actions by taking the towel of service and humility, denying ourselves and living a life of obedience in service to our Creator.


Our salvation does not come by our recognition that we are divine beings as Tolle suggests. Our salvation only comes through our risen Savior – Jesus Christ. As noted above, our purpose is not to spread the false idea that man is a divine being, but to glorify God in all that we say and do. Jesus gave an exclusive invitation to all who would respond, He said – I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me. He did not present himself as one of many ways or that he was simply a way-shower as Tolle and others believe. He is the only Begotten Son – there is no other. No other avatar or emissary can open the gates of heaven and declare that we are welcome – that we are acceptable because of whom we have trusted. Only Jesus – who paid the debt for our sin – can declare us cleansed, without blemish, and seat us at his table.


Yes! Tolle’s message sounds appealing to the undiscerning, but it leads to death. On the other hand, Jesus offers us true Life in abundance as we glorify him in all of his splendor. He alone holds the key to eternity with the Father. It is my prayer that when the day comes that you finally meet him face-to-face you will hear him say, come my faithful servant – enter into your reward.



A. Tolle, Eckhart, A New Earth, p.6.

  1. Tolle, Eckhart, A New Earth, Plume (Penguin Group), New York, N.Y., 2005, p.4.

  2. Ibid, p.5. Also see: Alder, Vera Stanley, The Finding of the Third Eye, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1981, p.40.

  3. Ibid, p. 132-133. Also see: James Lovelock note #4. The Gaia Hypothesis is a foundational belief in both Wicca and New Age teachings.

  4. Lovelock, James, The Ages of Gaia, Bantam Books, New York, N.Y., 1990, p.206.

  5. Ibid, p.207.

  6. Ibid, p.212.

  7. Ibid, p.218

  8. See: Goddess Worship.

  9. Tolle, p.13.

  10. Ibid.

  11. Ibid, p.109.

  12. Prophet, Mark, Understanding Yourself – Opening the Door to the Superconscious Mind, Summit University Press, Malibu, CA., 1985, p.57.

  13. Price, John Randolph, The Super Beings, A Quartus Book, Austin, TX., 1981, p.33.

  14. Kuthumi and Djwal Kul, The Human Aura, Summit University Press, Malibu, CA., 1986, p.5-6.

  15. Tolle, p.243.

  16. Ibid, p.41 (Consciousness), p.54 (Beingness), p.117 (Awareness), 242 (Spirit), p.251 (Source).

  17. Ibid, p.57.

  18. Steiger, Brad, Aquarian Revelations – Channeling Higher Intelligence, Inner Light Pub., New Brunswick, N.J., 1987, p.51.

  19. Ibid, p.176.

  20. Ibid, p.86.

  21. Romney, Rodney R., Journey to Inner Space – Finding God – in – Us, Abingdon, Nashville, TN., 1980, p.133.

  22. Ibid, p.134, 135, 136.

  23. See: The Oprahfication of America.

  24.  Also see: Butterworth, Eric, Discover the Power Within You, Harper & Row, New York, N.Y., 1968.

  25. Tolle, p.251.

  26. Ibid, p.276.

  27. Needleman, Jacob, Lost Christianity, Bantam New Age Books, New York, N.Y., 1982, p.192-193.

  28. Furse, Margaret Lewis, Mysticism Window on a World View, Abingdon, Nashville, TN., 1977, p.105.

  29. Ibid, p.105.

  30. Ibid, p.110.


  32. Tolle, p.6.

  33. Ibid, p.71.

  34. Ibid, p.109.

  35. Ibid, p.305.

  36. Steiger, p.148.

  37. Romney, p.26.

  38. Ibid, p.142.

  39. Price, p.55.

  40. Butterworth, p.44. See note 24.

  41. Ibid, p.10.

  42. Ibid, p.26.

  43. Tolle, p.277-278.

  44. Ibid, p.261.

  45. Kuthumi/Kul, p.195.

  46. Tolle, p.20-21.

  47. Ibid, p.163.

  48. Spangler, David Marshall, Reflections on the Christ, p.3.

  49. Sri Aurobindo, the Indian guru.

  50. Ibid.

  51. Freke, Timothy, Encyclopedia of Spirituality, Sterling Pub., New York, N.Y., 2000, p.241.

  52. Winfrey, Oprah, O Magazine.

  53. Trevelyan, George, A Vision of the Aquarian Age – The Emerging Spiritual World View, Stillpoint Pub., Walpole, N.H., 1984, p.21.

  54. Ibid, p.77-78.

  55. Ibid, p.88.


Author's Comments:
This article is written for those who may be Christian and have been influenced by Oprah Winfrey to believe that Tolle's work is compatible with Christianity. This article will hopefully reveal the occult nature of Tolle's writing and convince the reader that he is not an orthodox believer of biblical teaching. In the author's opinion Tolle does not offer his reader a view that is agreeable with God's Word.

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