Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eckhart Tolle

I'd like to recommend a series of web seminars being held by Oprah Winfrey via her website, featuring Eckhart Tolle, who is one of my favourite authors and whose books have quite literally changed my life (I know that's a real cliche, but it has the virtue of being the truth).

For anyone who isn't familiar with Eckhart, he is a guy who spent the first 29 years of his life in a terrible state, suffering extreme bouts of suicidal depression. Then one day, when he was 29 years old, he reached rock bottom and finally decided that he "couldn't live with himself". In that moment, a light bulb seemed to flash in his brain and he suddenly realised the paradox that most of us take as a given: who is this 'me' that 'I' can't live with? That implies that we are somehow split in two: a 'me' and an 'I'. Think about it, it's common to say things like 'I don't like myself', or 'I'm proud of myself', or 'I'm not confident with myself'. What's that all about?? Who is this 'me' and who is the 'I' that is aware of 'me' and 'myself'? In that moment of awakening, Eckhart finally snapped out of this split personality disorder that people take as 'normal' and woke up to reality: there only is one 'I' - there only can be one I, and the rest is just 'ego', a fictitious 'self' created by the mind, an illusion of consciousness, and the number one cause of all our suffering (he explains this in much more detail in his books - and my God, it all makes so much sense...).

Eckhart's two books have been life-savers for me. The past couple of years could have been quite hellish for me, but thanks to what I've learned (or rather unlearned) from Eckhart, it's a strange thing that I have completely accepted all the adversity and instead never been more at peace in my life. So for anyone who has suffered enough in life, I totally recommend his books 'The Power of Now' and 'A New Earth', the latter of which is the focus of Oprah's 'book club' and online seminars. His work is beyond categorisation and is focused around letting go of the mental constructs of past and future and living fully in the Now...he talks about how to relinquish all suffering by disidentifying from the ego (the false 'me') and also dealing with what he calls the 'pain body', which is basically a repository of painful/unresolved emotion that is lodged in our pysche and which is triggered by painful events, patterns and relationships. I can't recommend his books highly enough - they have helped me more than just about anything I have ever read and really, really helped me through some very tough times. I have to say that having studied degree level psychology, Tolle's books are FAR and above any pyschology texts I have ever read. This stuff is powerful, practical, insightful and if you put it into practise, you'll be amazed at how much more at peace you will be with life and how much joy can be found in each moment.

The 10 week web seminar is available to download for FREE via iTunes (or via Oprah's website at and has been transforming people's lives all across the globe. I truly believe that this is a gift to the world and something that is desperately needed right now. As Eckhart says in the first chapter of 'A New Earth', we're simply not going to survive as a species unless we move beyond the collective insanity that has characterised the human race throughout history and start waking up to who we truly are. It's not a difficult process, in fact nothing could be simpler, so long as we have an open mind and heart and are willing to let go of all the beliefs/thoughts/identifications that have held us back. But it's so vital. Right now, the human race has a choice: evolve or die.


Anonymous said...

I am so greatful to Eckhart Tolle and Oprah for turning me onto Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and her beautiful book ""My Stroke of Insight"". Her story is amazing and her gift to all of us is a book purchase away I'm happy to say.

Dr Taylor was a Harvard brain scientist when she had a stroke at age 37. What was amazing was that her left brain was shut down by the stroke - where language and thinking occur - but her right brain was fully functioning. She experienced bliss and nirvana and the way she writes about it (or talks about it in her now famous TED talk) is incredible.

What I took away from Dr. Taylor's book above all, and why I recommend it so highly, is that you don't have to have a stroke or take drugs to find the deep inner peace that she talks about. Her book explains how. ""I want what she's having"", and thanks to this wonderful book, I can! Thank you Dr. Taylor, and thank you Eckhart and Oprah.

Rory said...

Thanks for posting...I didnt realise that ANYONE was reading my blog. I havent really publicised it yet, but THANKS! The Jill Bolte Taylor book does sound interesting and I will defo be checking it out at some point. So, thanks again!