Eckhart Tolle and Marriage


#1

Eckhart Tolle…
Has anyone read his views of relationships?
My wife started reading him all the time when things started to fall apart for us.
She quoted him to me a couple times saying that all relationships are just addiction, and that I should be mindful and not angry at our separation. Mindfullness is his big thing.
I don’t have anything against buddhism but this guy is just a chancer.
I read a couple chapters at the back of one of his books and that’s what he says, relationships are addictions and illusions. Anyway I saw his books at a catholic bookstore over the weekend and I thought about what I had been through, how those books really supported my wife towards a separation…
OK rant over.


#2

I’ve always thought of him to be more “new age” than Buddhist.


#3

Eckhart Tolle should not be in a Catholic bookstore. His views are New Age, and contrary to Catholicism or even solid Christianity.

I am sorry this came into your marriage… I will pray for you and your wife.


#4

yeah i guess new age is a better way to describe him. i thought it was funny when i saw it in the veritas bookshop.


#5

Wow. In a catholic bookstore. The catholic answers live radio program regularly features Sharon Lee Giganti. She's an expert on the new age and Tolle's name frequently comes up in the hour. Needless to say that she considers him a very bad influence in the world today. Check out the radio archives for the podcasts. It's pretty enlightening.


#6

[quote="seanhathaway, post:1, topic:230866"]
Eckhart Tolle...
Has anyone read his views of relationships?
My wife started reading him all the time when things started to fall apart for us.
She quoted him to me a couple times saying that all relationships are just addiction, and that I should be mindful and not angry at our separation. Mindfullness is his big thing.
I don't have anything against buddhism but this guy is just a chancer.
I read a couple chapters at the back of one of his books and that's what he says, relationships are addictions and illusions. Anyway I saw his books at a catholic bookstore over the weekend and I thought about what I had been through, how those books really supported my wife towards a separation....
OK rant over.

[/quote]

I used to be a huge Tolle fan. He teaches a major heresy. I say heresy because he focuses on something beneficial, mindfulness, to the exclusion of all else, even deriving conclusions from the experience of mindfulness alone, that is, that there is only really the now, that all concepts are by nature illusory, and that the past and future are of no consequence. This last point is of particular interest to Christians since our identity is found in an event that occurred in time. For Tolle, any event in the past is of little consequence.

I got over him by applying a little critical thinking.

-- why are concepts inherently less real than the Now? What if the ability to form concepts gets us closer to the truth? Why should no concept be more true than a concept? We can group periods of time and the events that occur in them into an image, a concept. What if the enhancement or expansion of that ability were to lead to the real Truth, as opposed to the collapsing of the ability, iow, the collapsing of everything into the Now, which is the Truth for Tolle.

-- It's a concept that concepts are unreal.

-- By allowing Tolle's teaching to become our truth, we a priori rid our chance of the possibility that Truth, (Jesus, God) could be an event in time. IOW, Tolle's "position" is as much of a position as Christian dogma. It is by necessity an atheistic position. It posits God as Being itself, devoid of any personhood or characteristics.

-- What kind of world would we live in if everyone believed that relationships were essentially addictions? The social consequences of Tolle's vision would be total collapse of society, the de-population of the world, etc.

It's actually a very dangerous teaching taken to its logical end. I spent many years in this black hole and would be happy to rid others of making the same mistakes I did. :blush:


#7

josesiem:

exactly


#8

[quote="josesiem, post:6, topic:230866"]
I used to be a huge Tolle fan. He teaches a major heresy. I say heresy because he focuses on something beneficial, mindfulness, to the exclusion of all else, even deriving conclusions from the experience of mindfulness alone, that is, that there is only really the now, that all concepts are by nature illusory, and that the past and future are of no consequence. This last point is of particular interest to Christians since our identity is found in an event that occurred in time. For Tolle, any event in the past is of little consequence.

I got over him by applying a little critical thinking.

-- why are concepts inherently less real than the Now? What if the ability to form concepts gets us closer to the truth? Why should no concept be more true than a concept? We can group periods of time and the events that occur in them into an image, a concept. What if the enhancement or expansion of that ability were to lead to the real Truth, as opposed to the collapsing of the ability, iow, the collapsing of everything into the Now, which is the Truth for Tolle.

-- It's a concept that concepts are unreal.

-- By allowing Tolle's teaching to become our truth, we a priori rid our chance of the possibility that Truth, (Jesus, God) could be an event in time. IOW, Tolle's "position" is as much of a position as Christian dogma. It is by necessity an atheistic position. It posits God as Being itself, devoid of any personhood or characteristics.

-- What kind of world would we live in if everyone believed that relationships were essentially addictions? The social consequences of Tolle's vision would be total collapse of society, the de-population of the world, etc.

It's actually a very dangerous teaching taken to its logical end. I spent many years in this black hole and would be happy to rid others of making the same mistakes I did. :blush:

[/quote]

Good Show, Josesiem!!!

I wonder what would Oprah think if you were to state those Questions/Objections on Her Show? even more, If Tolle was there, How would He Answer them? :confused::rolleyes:

Will Never Happen. Oprah is Rarely Wrong and All Her Favorite People (including Tolle and Marianne Williamson) are Deeply Spiritual People just wanting to Help Mankind "Achieve the Next Level." :D


#9

Mindfulness is Buddhism. That is anti-Christianity. Teaches the opposite of Christianity.

If he sees relationships as "addiction," that sounds like how Buddhism states that all suffering is caused by attachment.

I am sorry for your marriage. I will add you to my prayers.


#10

thanks for all your prayers. I really appreciate it and I know its helping keep me strong.

Again I am not anti buddhist. I made some very good, lifelong asian friends while in college that were devout buddhist. They are VERY family oriented, and very devout people. The ones that I know think of divorce the same way we do. Eckart Tolle is different, I think his views are based on his own life. Yes he borrows heavily from buddhism but i’d say he distorts it in a dangerous way.


#11

Mindfulness can be a really good thing. There is a religious and a secular application of it. The secular work on these concepts of mindfulness is being done by people like Marsha Linehan and Jon Kabat-Zinn. It provides a way for people to calm down, meditate, and deal with illness including psychiatric illness. Linehan's work is now standard for people with borderline personality disorder.

The meditation is just a matter of calming down and - instead of being distracted by chaotic thoughts - paying attention to what's around you. I agree that can be damaging when taken as a be-all and end-all by itself. That can be harmful and replace faith among other things. It's not a good idea to make mindfulness techniques the master instead of the servant.

However mindfulness is now being used to help treat psychotic symptoms, and it is one of the most promising developments for treating psychosis that has come along in a long time. Medication is still usually essential. When I had a manic episode and ended up in the hospital, and I was taking medication, they did mindfulness exercises which were about calming down and focusing on what's in the room. That helped.

I think some practitioners get so carried away with mindfulness that they over-promote it as a kind of religious thing, or that everyone needs to do a lot. That can replace faith but there are genuinely good applications also. People with borderline personality disorder or severe psychotic illness are really hard to treat and mindfulness and other secular concepts that came from Buddhism and were applied to psychology, is being shown to help in treatment. A lot of this work is new and has been published in the last 5 years.

I respect Buddhism as a faith but not Eckhardt Tolle. He can be superficial and gloss over issues from what I understand. Also a lot of self-help authors promote their opinions as fact, and provide no data on the effectiveness of their method. They use charisma to convince and not much else. Some people are better than that but I haven't heard really good things about Tolle.


#12

agreed silentstar. Especially your last paragraph summarizes the proplem. Normally you’d think these self help guru authors opinions are harmless enough. But when someone is going through a tough time and latches onto a skewed idea it can actually be quite harmful.


#13

Christian mindfulness is different from Buddhist mindfulness. Same word, different concept, very different approach. The Christian way is through the Holy Spirit and Scripture, and being aware of God in our everyday life Buddhist way is with a different orientation.


#14

Mindfulness is often talked about subject in Buddhist circles. However, the basic meaning is to keep in mind. Buddha recommended mindfulness of Buddha, dharma, and sangha as objects of meditation. As Christians we are to be mindful of Jesus – so in that sense, mindfulness is not at all contrary to Christian teachings.

Mindfulness is often associated only with mindfulness of breath and bodily sensations in order to see the empty, dissatisfactory, and transient nature of all of existence… this is the uniquely Buddhist program of mindfulness.


#15

So I went onto Youtube to check out Eckhart Tolle and in the first minute of the first video, he refers to how he predicted the collapse of Soviet communism, and I quote, "which nobody could have predicted".

How absurd. I can think of many well-known economists, politicians, historians, journalists, etc. who predicted the fall of Soviet communism, not the least of which was the late Holy Father.


#16

The mindfulness I was talking about is secular. It is about calming down and paying attention to breathing etc. and what is in the room so you are not distracted by the past (thinking about things that happened, saying I wish I had done this or....) or the future (I wonder what's going to happen....) staying in the present is surprisingly difficult for a lot of people. That doesn't mean you ignore the past but staying in the present without going into anxious thoughts about the past or the future can be a challenge. One exercise I've seen a lot is staying in the present as you do the dishes, maybe b/c it's boring enough that people can focus on the mental technique ;)

This type mindfulness is secular and does not reference any religious views. It is not related to believing anything about life being an illusion or transient. It's a way to calm down and orient yourself to what you are doing. There is religious Buddhist mindfulness of course but that would be strange to have in a 'regular' psychiatric hospital where most people would not have Buddhist beliefs.


#17

[quote="silentstar, post:16, topic:230866"]
The mindfulness I was talking about is secular. It is about calming down and paying attention to breathing etc. and what is in the room so you are not distracted by the past (thinking about things that happened, saying I wish I had done this or....) or the future (I wonder what's going to happen....) staying in the present is surprisingly difficult for a lot of people. That doesn't mean you ignore the past but staying in the present without going into anxious thoughts about the past or the future can be a challenge. One exercise I've seen a lot is staying in the present as you do the dishes, maybe b/c it's boring enough that people can focus on the mental technique ;)

This type mindfulness is secular and does not reference any religious views. It is not related to believing anything about life being an illusion or transient. It's a way to calm down and orient yourself to what you are doing. There is religious Buddhist mindfulness of course but that would be strange to have in a 'regular' psychiatric hospital where most people would not have Buddhist beliefs.

[/quote]

Why is staying in the present necessarily even a good, anyway? I'm a very happy, successful individual, but when I trance out, I'm in the past, the future, or some alternate-timeline daydream. And I find that it helps me relax, and is also an outlet for my creative side.


#18

It doesn't necessary have to be good, staying in the present, which is why mindfulness can be oversold. However I was talking about mindfulness and psychiatric conditions. It can be easy - I've done it a lot - to get trapped in painful thoughts/feelings about the past or anxiety about the future. For example with some anxiety problems where people can't stop thinking about a future possibility they fear. Or that they wish they had done something differently in the past, which it may be good to talk about that, but the past event can't be changed.

That's great that the creative thinking works for you. :)


#19

[quote="silentstar, post:18, topic:230866"]
It doesn't necessary have to be good, staying in the present, which is why mindfulness can be oversold. However I was talking about mindfulness and psychiatric conditions. It can be easy - I've done it a lot - to get trapped in painful thoughts/feelings about the past or anxiety about the future. For example with some anxiety problems where people can't stop thinking about a future possibility they fear. Or that they wish they had done something differently in the past, which it may be good to talk about that, but the past event can't be changed.

[/quote]

Ah, I see. Well if they'd believe in the Bible, they wouldn't need to worry! :thumbsup:


#20

ha ha.
yeah he seems to take credit for ideas that aren't his. I noticed that as well.


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