Article

Debunking The Power of Now: The Greatest Obstacle

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Chapter 1: You are not Your Mind

Subhead: The Greatest Obstacle to Enlightenment pp. 11-16

Tolle encourages “finding the gold inside yourself.” It’s good advice, just not in the way that he means. Every deceptive ideology includes grains of truth to get past people’s natural skepticism.

Tolle espouses the “Radiant Joy of Being” but refuses to define it. “Being can be felt, but it can never be understood mentally.” About as specific as he will get is that it is an “open” not a “closed” concept. In other words, it is whatever you experience it to be. So then why does he bother to talk about it? It’s clearly a carrot dangled in front of the seeker, promising a state of otherwise unacheivable bliss.

But with this statement, he also sets up a false dichotomy between thinking and feeling. Marvin Minsky explains how feelings are shorthand the brain uses to give us awareness of perhaps thousands of pieces of information at a time that may affect our survival or well-being. We cannot have feelings at all without the drive for self-preservation (ego).

“Ego likes to keep it that way.” Tolle is setting up the ego as the enemy. Since the ego is ever-present, this leads to a state of permanent self-denigration, and an internal split. The “good self” vs. “ego.” Problem is, we need both.

Tolle refuses to use the word “God,” and seeks to set himself apart from the theism-atheism debate by declaring himself above it.

Page 14: Tolle begins the assault on reason-the thought-stopping pogrom that lays waste to any remaining critical objections to the reader’s total surrender. No longer enough to “Free your mind” as the Matrix character Morpheus said, to truck with Tolle, you must shut it down. Tolle calls thinking a “dreadful affliction” that “casts a shadow of fear and suffering.”

The peace Tolle advocates seems to come from formlessness or a loss of individual identity. This is similar to Buddhist concepts of oneness, or as Andrew Newberg discussed, the state of “Absolute Unitary Being.”

It may be a desirable state for meditation and “checking out,” a temporary retreat from the chaos of life. It comes from the shutting down by some meditators of what Newberg calls the OAA of the brain, the orientation association area, source of human spatial perception. But this shutdown of the OAA cannot be the ideal human state, or we would have evolved that ability to do it at will. Instead it has to be learned. Apparently, according to evolution, we are supposed to have very active minds. It obviously conveyed a survival advantage on our ancestors.

Our minds also help us to spot and avoid memetic pseudo-spiritual traps like The Power of Now. So Tolle rightly needs to convince his readers not to think. Anyone smart enough to understand the implications would never written such a self-contradictory work.

Tolle weakly challenges Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am.” He doesn’t even attempt a philosophical rebuttal or alternate interpretation, and provides no evidence for his dismissal of the statement other than his unstudied personal opinion.

Page 15: “You are one with all that is.” What does this mean? It’s an aphorism that sounds good, but what does it mean? Can I cause you to move your hand? Can I cause you to think different thoughts? Can I get you to give me money for the asking? Can I get anyone I want to have sex with me? If we’re all one, why not?

We’re not all one. We may be similar in our concerns and drives, but we are individuals. The cure for the “oneness delusion” is empathy, which comes from the brain’s mirror neurons, not some self-help book. We can unite as human beings and do our best to express compassion, gaining great satisfaction in the process. But we are not by any means one.

Tolle continues the assault: “Thinking has become a disease.” “Just as dogs love to chew bones, the mind loves to get its teeth into problems.” No kidding. Ever heard of the Enlightenment? Scientific method?

This is where things get really mushy. Page 16 he claims “you do not use your mind, it uses you.” This touches on the old favorite idea of religion: demonic possession. We are victims of the mind. Muhahahahaha.

What is Tolle’s definition of the “you” that is possessed? Which you? Is he talking about the ego? If you’re not the ego, and we’re all one, how do each of us maintain an identity at all? Who’s controlling the possessing mind? We obviously do, in that it is self-evident we have agency. We make many choices on a daily and moment-to-moment basis. For example, seconds ago I just decided not to order dessert after dinner. How does Tolle reconcile this after having dismissed both the ego and individuality?

The incoherence and psychological naivete of this book is staggering. Two million copies sold??

Tolle wraps up the section with yet another offensive assault on reason and mental self-awareness: “all the things that truly matter-beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace-arise from beyond the mind.” This is a truly despicable distortion of that beautiful and wondrous organ in our skulls, that fantastic array of a hundred trillion neural connections that is the fount of all that humans have ever wrought and experienced throughout history. Not only has our mind created civilization, but it is also what allows us to appreciate and take pleasure in our creations. Long live the human mind.

What’s the right approach to taming and understanding it?

The Jungian model breaks down the mind into sub-personalities. All that chatter Tolle describes could indeed be confusing for the average person, until we learn to identify who’s talking and why. Instead of trying to deny and suppress the various voices and characters, we can learn to understand what they are trying to tell us.

At the end of the section, Tolle co-opts a quasi-Jungian approach by telling readers to separate themselves into the thinker and the observer.

This is the first worthy piece of advice he gives. It’s important to become acquainted with the sub-personalities. But it doesn’t last. He continues to lead the reader astray as he sets up an adversarial relationship–with the thinker, of course, in the role of spoiler.

In Jungian terms, the thinker archetype covers all the sub-personalities, including the Self or the king, while the observer is the province of the Self alone. Minsky would term the observer to be a metaphor for the brain’s function of reflective and self-reflective thinking.

A computer that’s powered on, but displaying a blank desktop is still processing large amounts of data in the background. In the case of the brain, even in a state of meditation it continues to “think.” It’s just a different kind of thinking. Even being aware of observing our thoughts, or the pauses between thoughts is still a form of thought.


My Practice:

When I meditate, I do not try to shut down my OAA. I do not seek “Absolute Unitary Being.” I close my eyes and concentrate on an image of a neutral gray-the color of my brain. My entire awareness becomes of that color, like the aforementioned blank computer screen. It is here I find a rest from struggle. I have bid my council table to be temporarily silent, but the characters remain fully present and subservient to my ego. My subconscious and unconscious thoughts have not ceased, I am simply unaware of them. Millions of decisions (thoughts) are still being made by my autonomic nervous system.

As I become hyper aware of my breath and bodily sensations, I remain alone, a conscious brain inside an impenetrable shroud of bone, attached to a supporting metabolism. I am a human animal, homo sapiens sapiens. I am nothing without my neurochemistry, muscles, heart, blood, lymphatic system, and my five senses. My awareness encompasses my past, present and future. I am as I evolved to be. I cherish my tiny window into the wonder of an infinite cosmos I can never know. I am content, serene, and fully in control of my mind.

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Comments (44 comments)

peter / February 23rd, 2009, 11:46 pm / #1

Thinking is always the enemy of those selling quick "spiritual" solutions. Thinking exposes their fraudulent claims and lays bare the real motive - to keep you trapped into their web of "thoughtless" claptrap to buy more of their product - be it "help" books, homeopathic medicine, remote viewing courses etc.
Thinking makes you aware there is a predator in the room.
Even better - when previous thinking and experience have given you a "feel" when something from the outset looks fishy or just wrong, too good to be true.
Someone who wants you not to think - he is like a spider getting you poisoned and wrapped for the next meal.

Peter / February 23rd, 2009, 11:48 pm / #2

PS - don't get me wrong - I love spiders, the bigger the better - but they are a fine predator.

TitfortTat / February 25th, 2009, 4:22 pm / #3

Im amazed you actually made it through the whole book. He lost me about page 3. You could make the claim were all connected though. Afterall, we all breath in the same air and then exhale and continue the process, thus all entering each other.

Hmm is there a book in that idea. ;)

BlackSun / February 25th, 2009, 4:45 pm / #4

Tit for tat,

I haven't read the whole book. I bought it because "spiritual" people kept quoting it to me, and I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. I skimmed it and every page I flipped to was filled with more insanely wrong advice, waffling, and bad philosophy. For sheer negative psychological impact, it's almost worse than traditional religion, (because the love-and-light types who read this book don't suspect any danger) which is why I've decided to take it on point by point. You think his stuff about the mind is bad, wait 'til you hear what he has to say about relationships.

BlackSun / February 25th, 2009, 4:46 pm / #5

Tit for tat,

I haven't read the whole book. I bought it because "spiritual" people kept quoting it to me, and I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. I skimmed it and every page I flipped to was filled with more insanely wrong advice, waffling, and bad philosophy. For sheer negative psychological impact, it's almost worse than traditional religion, (because the love-and-light types who read this book don't suspect any danger) which is why I've decided to take it on point by point. You think his stuff about the mind is bad, wait 'til you hear what he has to say about relationships.

I'll be "working" my way through the book as I debunk it.

TitforTat / February 25th, 2009, 4:59 pm / #6

Well at least the Love and light types wont beat you dead with it lol. Hey check out my latest post. Id be curious how long an Atheist looks. :)

Liquid Egg Product / March 3rd, 2009, 9:08 pm / #7

I tried to find the gold inside myself once. All I got was a bloody mining pick and a hefty hospital bill.

Percy / March 17th, 2009, 3:39 am / #8

Oh you evil people with your evil neurons … JUST BELIEVE ….

LOL -
Is it possible that Tolle is Kirk Cameron?
Can either breathe unaided?

John Dillon / March 24th, 2009, 4:14 am / #9

I THINK Tolle is just on a deeper level of self-awareness than the rest of us and we don't get it. For real…if there is a YOU…then it should know itself without the help of science, it's obviously going to be deeper than science or anything we come up, its just there somehow, rightfully it could be called a miraculous occurence - the existence of you.

John Dillon / March 24th, 2009, 4:20 am / #10

Even dogs and cats know who they are. They don't have the power of reason, but some of them clearly know who they are.

John Wayne Dillon / March 24th, 2009, 4:48 am / #11

If there is a you, all of this you know, comes from you, which is odd, which is why we could use the introduction of the concept of God. At least that leaves room for mystery and other dimensions. Or we could just focus on eatings and living and not worry about the meaning of life since its self-evident. If you believe in searching out the meaning of life, then you believe in God. That is my opinion.

Anna / April 5th, 2009, 10:10 pm / #12

Hmm … still waiting for the next installment Sean :D

Steve / April 27th, 2009, 12:05 am / #13

Sean! :)

Have you watched these?

http://oyc.yale.edu/philosophy/death/content/down...

I wonder what would happen to Eckhart if he did.

Steve

BlackSun / April 27th, 2009, 12:31 am / #14

Coming as soon as I can get to it. A lot of work coming up the next little while.

BlackSun / April 27th, 2009, 12:32 am / #15

Steve, no, but thanks very much. They look VERY interesting. I love the fact that universities are doing this now. What an incredible resource!

Steve / April 27th, 2009, 1:12 am / #16

Hey Sean,

You bet. I agree.

What really makes me sad is how easy it is for lonely or desperate, socially isolated, intelligent but vulnerable people (there are so many of them) to fall prey to cults. So much energy is used up in the pursuit of nonproductive purposes and, worse, in the effort to stymie legitimate progress, such as stem cell research work with the aim of treating serious diseases.

People aren't afraid of death. That's just a laconic way of expressing their real fear: of life–of personal frustrations, of the suffering that they see around them, of watching parents' bodies degenerate and die, of loss, of stress, of marginalization, of meaninglessness, of failing to be socially successful and to secure status for ourselves, of an aging image of ourselves in a mirror, of deteriorating physical abilities, of the psychological terror of a cancer diagnosis, of the dying process, of a permanent endpoint to conscious experience, all the while knowing that others will survive while you (or at least your body, for certain) will not. Is it any wonder that so many of us look to gurus to provide us with an answer–specifically, one that counteracts our fears and assures us of exactly what we want to believe? They give us a sense of protection and a feeling of comfort, usually reinforced within a community of believers by the practice of rituals, which promote social synchrony and bonding.

What I really want to know is this. If we accept that death means exactly what it denotes, the permanent extinction of our identity, then how ought we to live our lives? Should we pursue hedonism or stoicism or suicide? Should parents make sacrifices for children, or should they live life up? Should people have children?

I've spent much of my life since the age of 22 (due to a serious but thankfully defeated illness) in mortal fear. After years of fighting against anxiety, Prozac has done wonders for me. It's not that all fear has vanished, but I'm better able to confront fear and live more rationally, adventurously, and passionately.

I've come to view life as a game, fraught with opportunities and risks. For many people, the probabilities are against them on virtually every front. But for us in America, there's a lot of opportunity. (Isn't it interesting that America accounts for 5% of the world population but 25% of its prisoners?) My goal is to take things as I find them and play the game well, even inventing new games, and playing with rules–always with beneficent intent. My highest maxim is to do no harm, but to help wherever possible and to have fun and experience joy in the adventure, while cultivating courage and meaningful relationships. (In fact, that's why I follow your work; you're a goldmine of intelligence, insight, compassion, and wisdom. I admire the good that you've done, and continue to do, Sean.)

In my opinion, about the best that we can do in life is to try to discover our talents, connect with people we like, and find ways to form structures to enable our small networks of friends and other loved ones to flourish. I believe that from a practical perspective, some people need religion and benefit from it. In such cases, I hope that they'll eventually outgrow it. In other cases, people need the freedom from external coercion to think for themselves so that they can make meaningful contributions to society. Some things are within individual control, and others are a function of the Zeitgeist.

Eckhart Tolle seems to be in radical denial of death. It's hard to imagine how he could feel bliss at all times if he truly understood that dying was–for nearly everyone–a drastically unpleasant process (to make the greatest understatement in history). One possibility is that he experienced some type of neurological damage that left him in a blissful (and abnormal) state on a more or less permanent basis. If true, that would be a happy thing for him, but would leave him no closer to the truth than anyone else.

We're alive today, Sean. Presumably we'll be alive for a few more decades. What should we do with ourselves–with our time, talents, and friends–to make our lives count?

Steve

BlackSun / April 27th, 2009, 1:29 am / #17

Hey Steve, thanks again!! You really know how to brighten a day!

There's nothing so important as fixing the climate and the transition to a sustainable carbon-free economy. If I could snap my fingers and figure out a way to be in the forefront of this battle, I would do it tomorrow. I'd also like to be doing films and P.R. for the leading renewable energy players. Both on the activist side and the corporate side. That's what I see myself doing at some point as soon as I can make it happen and keep making a living.

It's so off-the-charts more important than any other pursuit. And those who seek to prolong the extractive and carbon economy are truly global criminals of the highest order. Billions of lives hang in the balance as to how we confront this issue.

So if you can figure out a way to be involved in the energy transition–go for it. I think that will save the most lives and eliminate the most suffering. The religion/atheism battle is much less important, though I admit I sure do enjoy discussing it and writing about it, and it matters too.

Your figure about the U.S. holding 25% of the world's prisoners matches our energy consumption. 5% of the world's population, 25% of its energy. If you chalk up the energy used to make all the Chinese products we buy, it's closer to 30%.

Both figures are a disgrace.

Steve / April 27th, 2009, 12:31 pm / #18

Sean,

Have you ever considered writing a book? (Actually, it would be a tragedy if you stopped with just one. :) ) I think that you could do a lot of good by putting your literary and analytical talents to use to make people aware of the scope and implications of the environmental crisis.

Religion, politics, economics, health, and the environment are deeply intertwined in powerful ways. If you haven't read it yet, you might like the book, Religion Is Not About God by Loyal Rue. One of his contentions is that consumerism and overpopulation have led to the environmental crisis.

Given the possibility that there is a genetic basis for conservatism (i.e. for the development of a conservative, ideological personality), and that we seem to have an educational crisis on our hands as well (fueled in no small measure by consumerism and shallow hedonism), I honestly wonder how much we can do to change course, if it's not already too late. Perhaps the linguists can engineer an effective meme that will spread and alter people's behavior to save the planet.

It's sobering to think that all of what we call history is nothing more than a long series of monkey tricks.

Steve

Steve / April 30th, 2009, 7:36 pm / #19

Hi Sean,

I got sick today. I was diagnosed with an intestinal virus. This has given me the opportunity to read some more of your posts and the comments, as well as to think about my own mortality and the fact that one day, hopefully in the very distant future, my body–despite the best medical treatments–will no longer be able to sustain life.

As long as we're alive, something in (most of) us fights to survive (to speak metaphorically and imprecisely). I wonder, though, what it is that we're fighting for, but perhaps that's not the right way to look at it. We fight to survive because our species, by definition, was shaped through mutations and natural selection to survive. At some point in our evolutionary history, consciousness and speech emerged, and at that point suffering entered the human realm.

We're pretty good at surviving–for a while–but when we look at life rationally, what is there to make survival worthwhile? Surely it can't be to read CNN headlines and get depressed. Surely it's not so as to simply defeat an illness. Surely it's not to exist for just one more day to reach our one hundredth birthday, while our bodies are irreparably deformed and in pain. I can't imagine that it could be to get married and then divorced. Are we merely puppets of our biological survival drives? Is life as most humans experience it today on this planet something that we would envy and wish for? Thousands die each day of malaria. Countless numbers live in poverty, without clean water. I have a very hard time seeing human life as desirable, yet so many of us (thanks to natural selection and the fear circuits in our brains) are terrified of dying (and perhaps quite rightfully so). At the very least, it's not hard to recognize that human existence is not just. Both Bill Gates and Miss California will one day be claimed by death. Where is the meaning behind any of life? Is it only the occasional thrills that make it appear meaningful, while it has no inherent meaning on its own?

I strongly agree with your reply to Eckhart Tolle that we are "one" only to the degree that mirror neurons enable us to feel empathy for others. I think that Eckhart is unaware, not because he's not intelligent, but because he chooses to remain ignorant of neuroscience, and the sciences in general. On the one hand, science tells us information about ourselves that's rather frightening. On the other hand, philosophy suggests to us that the self may be an illusion–however compelling. We're just metabolic processes unfolding over space-time. Maybe.

I'm keenly aware this moment that my muscles ache, and I've been told that this could last for a week. I can tell you that that, coupled with frequent diarrhea, isn't fun. It's hard to imagine learning a lesson from this useless suffering, and even if I did, it would probably be quickly forgotten as my body returned to health. When healthy, I think about the company that I'm working so hard to get going, about my friends, about books that I want to read, about music that I like. When sick, I think about the meaninglessness of suffering and how worthwhile–if at all–my life and the various pursuits that it entails are. What's the prize for persevering? Is any prize great enough to compensate me for even one hour of suffering with this intestinal virus?

Honestly, I feel sorry for us. If there is no god, if there is no life after death…then all that we've got is exactly that which we've created, both individually and together. We have only ourselves to rely on, and no one else. Our lives are what we make of them, to the extent that we're able to make anything of them at all. What is the meaning of anxiety, depression, or bodily pain? I can find none.

Our anguished cries are met with silence by a deaf and cold universe. Where does all of our striving for survival, social status, and achievement lead but, perhaps, to children, to repeat the whole process, just in a different period in history than the previous generation?

I wonder how many people simply stop crying when they realize that no one and nothing is listening. I wonder how long they live after that point. And I wonder how they die.

If Eckhart Tolle could trade places with my body right now, I somehow think that his bliss would quickly vanish.

Steve

Jeremiah Watkuhns / June 12th, 2009, 10:32 pm / #20

There are two possible answers to your question - stop worrying about it and enjoy doing what you enjoy doing. Or find it self-evident that the universe couldn't magically create consciousness and precious human lives that ponder such things if there wasn't something truly divine going on behind the scenes.

Steve / June 13th, 2009, 6:45 pm / #21

Jeremiah, which case do you believe is correct?

Andreas Mannal / July 6th, 2009, 12:41 am / #22

I think it is very "naive" to criticize Tolle intellectually. First of all he is German, and the Germans have cornered intellectuality, second he has an academic background in Britain. It is obvious that he made a conscious choice and effort to reduce intellectual reasoning into direct experience. He actually did a good job in this reduction.

At face value it is of course tempting to through the 'book of intellectual reasoning' at him as a criticism, but it misses the point of his conscious reduction. Once we address this effort, we may have a real discussion about his work.

Is it advisable to reduce intellection into simple experiencve?

How can it be done?

How does experience and intellection relate? {see Plato's 'Divided Line']

Is this the right time to "dumb things down" into essential expertiences or do we need to get a handle on intellection?

Cathy Sander / August 27th, 2009, 1:49 pm / #23

But we must try to understand who we are, in the light of what we know so far. It would be saddening if we gave up this motivation and hope in exchange for cheap spirituality which is often too shallow to give justice to the wonderful world.

Duff McDuffee / February 11th, 2010, 12:18 am / #24

This is great. Did you ever continue your critique after this post? I've been looking for in-depth critique of Mr. Tolle's work. I find it interesting that his ideology of getting rid of ego so appealed to Oprah, who's entire career depends on her massive public ego, which in turn fueled Tolle's public success.

I found your first Power of Now critique article from Steve Salerno's blog. I'm part of a group blog that does similar things for not nearly as long over at beyondgrowth.net.

Interestingly, I've been privy to guru-types who keep authoritarian control by labeling all criticism as "shadow" that the critical thinker needs to "go work on"–in other words, classic shadow projection itself. Oh the ironies….

BlackSun / February 11th, 2010, 1:23 am / #25

Duff, no, I've tried several times, but time has been a factor. I'll get back to it eventually.

Max / September 19th, 2010, 4:49 pm / #26

Dude, very nice article. I unfortunately fell for the Eckhart trap after going through a bad time. It's very similar to depersonalization which is a disorder where the world seems alien and your thoughts seem strange. I had that and thought his book would help me get out of it. Unfortunately, the power of now is like a self help guide to creating depersonalization.
The teachings actually keep you locked into that mindset of formlessness and mental stagnation. Because if you can't think your way out how else can you get out? I'm currently working on rejuvenating my mind to a normal level of function. Oh boy, and I thought this book was actually going to help me feel better. Turns out there is a very dark side to the New Age. Anyway, very "thoughtful" blog.

Danilo / October 24th, 2010, 8:06 am / #27

I have just listened to first two chapters of “The Power of Now” / I must say that I expected some good book which will boost my productivity and make ME better , smarter and more organized. Ohhh boy…. Was I wrong.

The book ” The Power of Now” is self help book of “How to euthanize your brain ” and to feel nothing but some kind of fulfillment. For me (pharmacist) this book targets the same receptors in the brain as psychoactive drugs (Lithium , Anti-depressives etc…) except the drugs do only moderate harm compared to this mind poison. If anyone really wants to prevent himself to become a man made by millions of years of evolution then they just should listen and BELIEVE in this pseudo science and philosophy.

English is not my native language but I have learned it consciously in order to have more opportunities and to find a better international job and now I am learning German language and I have deadlines ! both in my personal and professional life. They are connected with TIME and PLACE . I am human! not a sponge and I must be happy, angry, jealous sometimes, frustrated, smart , stupid , … I must want things, I must have desires , FEEL PAIN and SUFFERING that is HOW WE LEARN ….

It is always some ex-depressive man without self-esteem which turn into egoless preacher . But they didn’t deceive me , I know that behind their self - mind suicide is EGO in disguise . Look at me NOW I sold 2,5 millions copies . Who is now looser ?

To cut a long story short , I am really sorry that I spent 3 hours listening to this and I am going for a jogging, it is beautiful weather NOW.

Sha'Tara / November 29th, 2010, 5:18 pm / #28

I just came across this article exposing Tolle. Nothing new — and true. Bbut listen, what if you are truly, basically Mind, and Mind is the user of brain? Mind being the software, brain the hardware. Ego is only an interface between Mind and brain. Earthians are complex creatures and cannot be easily explained. They are "partial" beings, spirit, mind, body. Mind is what truly lives, what evolves, what goes on, whether in physical manifestation of in other forms. I'll throw in one more cureve here: soul. That is an implant, a control mechanism which the creature reponds to. It is this iimplant that tells the creature it is part of a collective. This serves to continually disempower the creature, keeping it dependent upon "powers" such are religion, government, bankers, for survival. Keeping it believing without proof. The soul is the slave maker. And who/what implants it? What's the story? Don't you know already?

drug rehab Tempe / November 30th, 2010, 3:48 pm / #29

you will find in this book lot of ways of communication not only with other people, but also with you. the main idea is that you should act now, do not let undone something that could be done today. i find there a lot of wise saying and proverbs. i could change with this book some bad mistakes that i done. it is a way of life.

sameer / December 16th, 2010, 4:41 am / #30

Ur mind’s retortion,
Muhahahaha,
says it all.
Ur mind is using u my good friend!

Juliano / December 27th, 2010, 8:25 am / #31

All the 'Gods'. all the 'prophets', gurus, philosophers, 'Holy books', 'ascended masters', mystery schools, mystical schools, psychologists, psychiatrists, and even 'scientists' when they follow the Cult of Scientism—-All of these suppress knowledge of, spread false propaganda about, and also wage war on–entheogens. That is psychedelic plants and substances that if understood and eat/drunk with deepest respect are DIRECT experience—whereby you ACTUALLY become aware of un-consciousness (what you were unconscious of before you took the Medicina), and your relationship with nature. THEN 'all is one' takes on a whole different meaning. It is the R E A L thing –not some WORDS by yet another bleedin man sat on a stage pushin books an shit
So yes I am saying that the sacred mushrooms/plants/cacti. etc and substances are the original means to explore Depth~in~Relation~Ship. Language cannot touch it. Try explaining what you feel on a trip. What a COLOUR looks like, a sound—try it. It is impossible, because feeling is so complex

Most gurus if not all will always warn against entheogenic experience because the whole point of them is that they want to be the middleman in between you and experience. They are the forever-carrot being held out to their fawnin conformist needy followers who always assume they 'have it' or they 'soon will', and help sell their leaders books and talks in zeee process. MO money for him then!!!

Maggie / January 1st, 2011, 7:45 pm / #32

The denial of anything that is NOT approved by western science ( and it's sanctioned, allowable modes of thought, and it's approved experiences) is very similar to fanatical christianity. How very interesting.

Blair Rewards / January 5th, 2011, 2:58 pm / #33

A friend of mine recommended me Eckhart Tolle's book The power of NOW and it changed my life. Every word resonated deeply in my being and brought peace and confidence. Now I no longer identify with the ego and I am present 99% of the time, it's a blissful experience and I want to pass it forward.

BlackSun / January 5th, 2011, 3:14 pm / #34

When you say "I no longer identify with the ego," who is talking? That statement itself requires ego, which is why the whole concept behind Power of Now is flawed. Self-awareness includes past, present, and future, as well as what is bubbling below the surface of the conscious mind. Being "in the moment" as described by Tolle means ignoring or repressing the vital spherical and deep awareness you need to survive and thrive.

Choose mental competence, not self-denial.

Anathas / March 31st, 2011, 7:20 am / #35

I think that ET provides a useful framework for understanding the human psyche that is not at all about getting people to stop thinking and become mindless automatons who just give him money. I appreciate why people think this but I just don;t think it is the case here.

His message is not "Stop thinking" it is "stop identifying with your thoughts" and "we need more balance between thinking and being". Along with live in the moment and seek something deeeper within yourself - and there is nothinhg wrong with that journey is there?

Mock In Peace / September 28th, 2011, 10:02 pm / #36

If you all even knew the half of it…It should have a pic of skull & crossbones (like poison) on it…To those that lost their lives because of this book, I promise it will not have been in vain!

Howard Marks / April 26th, 2012, 2:18 am / #37

Bonds are issued by public authorities, credit institutions, companies and supranational institutions in the primary markets.

thomas / April 29th, 2012, 11:00 am / #38

o really???

so a cat knows it's a cat? I have a black cat named Romeo. Does my cat knows it's black? Does it refer to itself in its mind as Romeo? I highly doubt this. My cat has no idea it's a cat, it's governed entirely by instinctual impulses.

What makes us, "humans" unique from other species is our ability to only know (or reason) and know that we know. Hence, homo sapien, spaien (a being knowns and knows that it knows). This is due to our evolved brain.

It reminds me of the biblical myth of Adam and Eve which points toward this awareness of self in the garden. Adam and Eve eat the fruit and suddenly become aware that they are. They hear God approaching and they hide behind a bush. God finds them and asks why are you hiding, Adam says, "because we were naked," and God says, "who told you that you were naked?"

When I come home after work and open my door, my cat doesn't run under the couch, fearing that I might see him naked. Instead he runs to me and begins purring. Do you think my cat knows he is naked? Of course not! Does he know I am a human? Of course not.

He is a cat! Yet he doesn't know that.

Guest La Jolla / August 20th, 2012, 8:05 am / #39

Finally, someone who actually understood the message of the book. Thank you

Guest La Jolla / August 20th, 2012, 8:08 am / #40

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King. Keep working, you may get there eventually.

David Cowan RN, HN-BC / January 14th, 2013, 10:31 am / #41

Tolle book is a full frontal attack on the Supremacy of Ego as the End ALL Be ALL. The Beauty of Skepticism is the Skeptic is able to defend his or herself from any information that Threatens the Primacy of Ego. Tolle has confessed that his revelations came as a result of a mental breakdown which had him teetering on the edge of Suicide. He is sharing in The Power Of Now his personal experience of Epiphany and his personal practice of avoidance of Depression and Self-destruction. He has also confessed that he had reached his epiphany without previous spiritual awareness or even Spiritual education and that he spent a long period in hiatus attempting to read backwards–as it were–into what mystics have had to say on the subject for many centuries… He is even named for one of the Greatest Christian Mystics of all Time: Meister Eckhart… Somehow he had the financial resources to be able to sit for months and months following his encounter with the Pneumenous and simply observe people. Then he had the presence of Mind to write a best seller, challenging the Primacy of Mind. Which is of course a Paradox. So for the Ego-Possesed to call his work into question is of no surprise! Just the sheer jealousy-factor of his success is enough motive for any critic. Critics, sadly, do not originate material or contribute New Thought, they simply enlarge themselves by criticizing the genius of others… However I believe your objection goes deeper. You good Sir, I fervently believe, feel personally offended by his message, just as you would be offended by the message of any Mystic of whatever age or religious or anti-religious or quasi-religious affiliation. Jesus said: “Cast not your pearls before swine.” He did not intend that to mean “do not throw grandmother’s precious pearl necklace into the hog-trough.” He meant, I believe, “it is a waste of time to offer your Pearls of Wisdom to the Close-Minded Skeptic so secure in His Own Counsel, it is a complete waste of effort.” The Skeptic is Spiritually Deadened and Loves his own thoughts above all others. By publishing a book that has sold Millions of Copies world wide!!! Eckhart Tolle has cast his pearls into a wide field, and obviously, some have ended up in the Hog-Trough. (Winking Smiley-Faced Emoticon)

Steve / January 14th, 2013, 10:39 am / #42

“Mein Kampf” sold millions and millions of copies, too.

reverse phone lookup / March 4th, 2013, 4:31 pm / #43

Sweet website , super pattern , rattling clean and use
friendly .

Nate / March 29th, 2014, 4:08 pm / #44

Sean your an idiot, baseless comments about someone who is truly trying to help the reader (Tolle)

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