BOOKS: A New Earth

Does anyone know about Oprah’s latest book that she is promoting? I think she is discussing it on today’s show & is launching a live web course on March 3rd.

sphilomena started a new thread with a great link about Oprah’s A Course in Miracles. The link is very concise & informative. Does anyone know if A New Earth is another re-hashing of new age teachings. It seems like it could be, & I think the author (Elkhert Tolle sp.?) is in the new age movement. Does anyone have any info on A New Earth?

My wife is reading.

Out of the blue she asked me what I knew about the “Holy Inquisition”. I pointed her to and the Catholic Encyclopedia at

Then I looked at her bookmark and scanned backwards for those words. I didn’t completely read the section, but seemed to have made the claim that the Catholic Church killed between 3-5 million woman during the inquisition. The words “woman-wound” or something like that and sacred feminity come to mind. I’ll look again tonite and actually read that section.

My initial view is that

  1. Oprah is a hugely influential figure – at least in the secular humanist world.

  2. She has come out like a ton of bricks for this book, framing it as some kind of answer to everything.

  3. There are tons of lost, searching, and searching with a spirit of rebellion and self-righteousness souls in the world.

  4. Initially Tolle seems to misrepresent the teachings of Christianity. I believe he also does with other religions but I can’t speak for them.

  5. I do believe that a change of consciousness must come if we are to avoid disaster and widespread suffering and bondage.

  6. The question is about what form that must take.

For these reasons, I think it is worthwhile to keep an eye on this book and on this upcoming Webcast classroom.

On Oprah’s message board for this book, there appear to be some characters who will brook no disagreement with Tollism and who have unhealed issues with ‘organized religion’ These unhealed issues seem to function as a pretext for some pretty wild mischaracterizations as well as a spirit which squashes discussion.

Three of my posts were removed outright from that message board. No recourse for me to find out why either. Moreover the moderator buttons went missing from my screen for three days!

To my mind I was merely correcting some historical errors. If we can’t question, can’t challenge, then what kind of discussion is there?

Now Tolle says that he encourages questions and challenges. Those are words easily spoken. When push comes to shove, there seems to be room for Tollism and only Tollism.

Is there a danger of a very large cult forming? In my view, yes. Not to say that that is what is intended either by Tolle or Oprah. But cults do spring up. And I think it is legitimate to keep an eye on things.

So far there seems to be a lot of insider kumbaya going on.

Let’s hope there are some more placid and prepared minds actually participating in the webcast classroom.


Thanks, Dandelion_Wine. Wow, I didn’t anticipate it would be specifically anti-Catholic. I hope you don’t mind filling us in more if you’re able to read the book again…

Thanks Ani Ibi, you make some very good points. From the little that I know I agree with your initial characterizations of this.

Do you know if you are going to be able to continue & hang in there with the webcast? Were you suspended or anything? You seem so knowledgable about this that I hope you & others with similar talents are able too. Thanks for the info!

[quote=mmm1]… Do you know if you are going to be able to continue & hang in there with the webcast?

As far as I know I can. Actually I have no idea whether or not I actually succeeded in registering. I guess I should ask their moderator – trouble is I can’t find the moderator button.

Were you suspended or anything?

No. And there was no explanation given re why my posts were removed.

[quote=mmm1] You seem so knowledgable about this that I hope you & others with similar talents are able too. Thanks for the info!

Careful. CAF does not like us to encourage board swarming. And I don’t blame them. It makes for wars between forums and needless stress. Nobody needs that.

I’d like to hear what Oprah and Tolle have to say though.

I got the impression that there were some of the usual strawmen against the Church – both from Tolle and from his Tollists.

If they get too obvious about it, the Catholic League will make some noise about it. I doubt of Oprah wants that kind of publicity, but it might do her some good to find out the truth.

Oops! I had no idea about this, but it makes sense. Just the other day I read the term “board swarming”, but I had no idea what they were talking about. Now I get it. Thanks…:blush:

The first two paragraphs are the first two paragraphs in that section. The third paragraph is roughly in the middle. They were copied from pages 154-156:


The collective dimension of the pain-body has different strands in it. Tribes, nations, races, all have their own collective pain-body, some heavier than others, and most members of that tribe, nation or race have a share in it to a greater or lesser degree.

Almost every woman has her share in the collective female pain-body, which tends to become activated particularly just prior to the time of menstruation. At that time many women become overwhelmed by intense negative emotion.

Nobody knows the exact figure because records were not kept, but it seems certain that during a three-hundred-year period between three and five million women were tortured and killed by the “Holy Inquisition,” an institution founded by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy. This surely ranks together with the Holocaust as one of the darkest chapters in human history. It was enough for a woman to show a love for animals, walk alone in the fields or woods, or gather medicinal plants to be branded a witch, then tortured and burned at the stake. The sacred feminine was declared demonic, and an entire dimension largely disappeared from human experience. Other cultures and religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism, also suppressed the female dimensions, although in a less violent way. Women’s status was reduced to being child bearers and men’s property. Males who denied the feminine even within themselves were now running the world, a world that was totally out of balance. The rest is history or rather a case history of insanity.

Gosh,Dandelion_Wine, thanks for these excerpts! I think the “case history of insanity” is that people are buying into this.

My mom explained that hormones & inflammation from cramps could make me feel negative when I was 13, little did we know it was from the “collective female pain-body”! :frowning:

Hi this is my first time posting so sorry if something goes haywire. I have read the first chapter in this book finding a few things I would consider heretical. First the author, Tolle, compares Jesus as equal with Buddha. He also mentions that spirituality, even in the form of religion, must move away from belief systems and dogma, and into a new conciousness. Well, I for one will still follow the one true Church and its teachings. I proceeded to read a few other sections of the book that I thought might also contain heresy. This book is cunning and dangerous, and unless read with the intention of fighting this new movement, should be left alone. Tolle likes to use Bible quotes and agree with the church once in a while, so as to keep the Christian interested in reading on and not discredit the book. Lets face it, the man is obviously intelligent, so do we really think he did not do this intentionally? At the end of the book he describes people having to evolve or die. Evolve into what? Wouldn’t this theory completely discredit the Gospel? Is not man going to witness the return of Christ? Do we not possess souls just as we are? Well if we evolve we are no longer man are we? So he discredits the true Word of God, while at the same time quoting it. You can’t take what you like and leave the rest. It is either the Truth or not. He does not mention Jesus as God, or the Son of God, only as a man. I’m not sure what we can do about this but this kind of evil (yes leading people into sin such as not believing Christ is one in being with God the Father is evil) has to be stopped. If anyone agrees and has any suggestions I would like to know what we can do as members of the Church to fight this.

Hi, joeacatholic, welcome to the CA forums! I’m sorry, I haven’t been on-line for a few days, so I didn’t see your post. Thanks for the information. It’s nice to hear from someone who is reading it. I might avoid reading it, unless I feel I have to in order to help someone who is a victim of it. Say a prayer to the Holy Spirit before you read it!

You raise really good & disturbing points. When Tolle threatens “evolve or die”, is he promising we won’t die if we evolve? :eek:

I agree with you, I’m sticking with my same old consciousness & the one true Church. I hope other people have ideas as to what Christians can do. Other than praying & warning friends & family, I’m not sure what can be done. Thanks again for responding!

Tolle’s description of the painbody actually makes some sense. However, he hasn’t thought it through carefully enough.

He does concede that suffering when connected to ‘consciousness’ is a good thing, but the way in which he lays out his priorities leads many to overlook this in order to decide that ALL forms of suffering are to be destroyed.

And no use asking folks to read JP2’s Salivifici Doloris because the reason folks are swallowing Tolle’s book hook line and sinker is that they don’t read in the first place or, if they do, they read fast-food religion like A New* Earth*.

Why does Tolle discuss Christianity at all?

One poster says it’s because Tolle has an unconscious grudge against the Church, in fact against any form of authority at all. Be that as it may, millions of folks are encouraged by his inaccurate references to Jesus and to the Church history and therefore are dragging their own grudges to this encounter.

The level of not knowing anything about Church history other than what a Jack Chick tract teaches is absolutely astonishing and completely sad. There are folks posting on Oprah’s site who are convinced that Constantine started the Catholic Church, and who have no idea what the Inquisition was for or what it did and no idea of the involvement of non-Catholic denominations in the burnings!

As for assuaging the Christian south by paying lip-service to Christianity – it hasn’t worked. A veritable feeding frenzy has broken out. People starting their own Tollist-only threads with their own rules, people telling Christians to stop posting on the forum, people making quite bald statements about the Bible without having a clue what the passages say in context, people having not the foggiest about where the Bible came from.

And Tolle lumps Jesus in with other religious leaders as a ‘messenger.’ No point in reviving the meaning of THE WORD (logos) as Jesus as the message. Folks with grudges literally don’t hear anything other than their grudges.

By misrepresenting Christianity – and other religions – Tolle marginalizes them. Folks can’t see that Tollism is an organized religion. They think it is no religion at all and certainly not organized.

There is some good stuff in A New Earth but this book is already causing a lot of harm.

For a scholar, Tolle would have done better to reference some of his ‘new’ ideas, many of which bear uncomfortably close resemblances to Heiddeger and Gadamer. But hey? Who among his target audience would grok that fully?

email The Catholic League and request a statement (in Canada it would be the Catholic Civil Rights League).

email your bishops.

start a reading group which holds Tolle’s feet to the fire, analyzes his claims about Christianity, and teaches what actually happened; perhaps Oprah can be informed that one of the reading groups she has encouraged is actually burying A New Earth in its own inconsistencies.


Worse than that. He is promising that we will be excluded from the conversation and marginalized from the ‘new’ evolved world movement.

There is no room in Tolle’s vision for disagreement. If we disagree then we don’t ‘get it’. And I was left with the impression that many of the posters on Oprah’s site have been recommending that folks who don’t ‘get it’ simply get off the site.

Tollism is Gnosticism to the bone. But then he mischaracterizes Gnosticism as well. Who among his target readership would know enough about Gnosticsm to know that his one-clause write-up is false and self-serving? He says that the Church persecuted Gnostics because they were iconoclastic.


I’m reading the book out of curiosity, and some of the points Tolle makes are interesting, particularly those about the nature of the ego. At first I thought his thoughts might complement the Christian ideal that we should die to the self in order to be in communion with Christ. Then I hit chapter 3 in A New Earth where Tolle says if you believe only your religion is the Truth, you are using it in the service of the ego. He goes on to say that when Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life,” He (my capital, not Tolle’s!) was trying to convey that *each one of us *is the truth. Eeek! I thought it would be good to at least know what this book is about since it will be getting a lot of attention, but now I’m thinking I can find something better to read during Lent! I can’t help but think of how confusing this is going to be for many people, especially with Oprah giving it such a stamp of approval.

I also previously read the section in which tolle declares any religion that believes it is the only Truth, is servicing the ego. This got me thinking: doesn’t tolle himself by declaring some are going to understand his enlightenment and some won’t, and that the Catholic religion services only the ego and not the Truth, mean that he thinks he is right and others are wrong? How is this any different? Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s different because he is really right. Egotistical, Tolle? No the most self denying man would definetly plug his other book the power of now in the first chapter. Of course his books are free too, because his real concern is enlightening ppl. Guess what, I know quite a few religious orders (practicing Catholics that believe in the ONE TRUE CHURCH) that would gladly send anyone a free copy of the Gospel if they needed it. And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t try to sell you the rest of the books in The New Testament for twenty dollars in the intro.

Let’s just hope that not too many people take this book too seriously. I’m hoping its just a fad. But for those reading this thread, please pray that this A New Earth doesn’t take anyone from Christ or Mother Church.

Hi all,

I posted my problem to the meet and greet section, but I’ll reiterate what I’ve said. I’ve been listening to Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer as of late. This was a mistake. But, nothing compared to the mistake of reading “A New Earth”. I’ve felt like I’ve had a splinter in my brain, or worse in my soul. This book and man are much more serious than secular humanism or anti-theism. This book appeals to the religious and spiritual decay happening in the western world. This is yet another time where Christians of all faiths will have to stand together and fight against Tolle’s dream of spiritual automatons. Please pray intercessory prayers for me. Thank you and God Bless.

Will do, FanofAqinas.

Thanks, everyone for very good information & points on this book.

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