Sunday, March 13, 2011

Response to Canadian Therapists Concerns About Eckhart Tolle

Here is an article from Integral Options Cafe, discussing a piece by Douglas Todd, originally written for the Vancouver sun:

Canadian Therapists Worry that Clients Use Eckhart Tolle as a Spiritual Bypass

Here is my response:
This is a thought provoking article, but the main argument is a straw man. Tolle doesn't say you should gloss over the past. He simply urges people to deal with the past as it arises in the present, or "in the now." Negativity in the past, if it was dealt with effectively then (if it wasn't grieved and processed at the time), will inevitably resurface as what Tolle calls a "pain-body" attack. This occurs in the present and can be dissolved through awareness, allowing it to be, while focusing on the uncomfortable sensation that it causes (emotion, Tolle says, is the body's reaction to a thought). Inevitably, too, this process brings to mind the unconscious thoughts that are causing the pain and the sufferer awakens a bit further.
You are right when you point out that Tolle's philosophy is more sophisticated that some of his followers realize. But it is not a sophistication of the head, it is that of the heart. Tolle says we learn from the past but we should not live in it, nor the future.


  1. Todd, as I sad you once: the Tolle's philosophy creates much more problems than you can immagine.Don't put him beside the psychology because he has nothing to do with the serious scientific theories.He simply offers to people what they want to hear and make it extremely clear and simple for the non complicated audience.And he plays heavilly on the narcisistics drives and needs which, in the case of narcisistics traits of personality, can create the true damages.The narcisism is the main obstacle as to the spiritual growth as to the successful relationships.

  2. As you might expect, I disagree with what you have said, Eli. Tolle's teaching has nothing to do with Narcissism and everything to do with conscious suffering.


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