Do Eckhart Tolle’s Teachings Contradict Christianity?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

Recently I learned that a local church was hosting “Bible studies” based on Eckhart Tolle’s teachings.  So, does Tolle agree with the teachings of Christianity?  Is it appropriate to promote his beliefs in a Christian church?

First, let me admit that I have not read his books personally, but I have certainly read about them (if anyone would like to correct any errors I make in the following analysis, please do so by commenting).  According to Dr. James A. Beverley, in  a 2008 article written for Christianity Today, Tolle definitely does not adhere to the essential beliefs of Christianity.

Here is a brief list of anti-Christian beliefs promoted by Tolle:

1.  God and man are one (pantheism).  Christianity teaches that God is distinct from man, that He created man.

2.  The human self is an illusion (Buddhism).  Christianity affirms the existence of the human self, but laments its corruption by sin.

3.  Death and the human body are illusions (Buddhism).  Christianity affirms that both are real.

4.  Jesus is not uniquely God, since everyone is God. Christianity denies that everyone is God, and claims that Jesus is the unique human manifestation of God.

All of these teachings directly contradict Christian beliefs.  I’m sure Tolle’s teachings contain some wisdom, but his overall worldview is obviously not Christian in any meaningful way.  The fact that we have a local church promoting Tolle’s beliefs is another clear indication that Christian education is woefully inadequate (I’m assuming that the persons leading these studies are ignorant, not purposefully trying to undermine Christianity).

If you know of any other links that discuss Tolle’s beliefs in comparison to Christianity, feel free to post them in the comments section of this post.

  • Greg

    Is it the local UU church?

  • Bill Pratt

    No, it’s actually a Catholic church.

  • Old Bill

    He sounds a little like Wayne Dyer – very smooth and nice to listen to – but glosses over the specifics of faith in God. A summary of Tolle’s belief is that the essence of all religions “have become so overlaid with extraneous matter that their spiritual substance has become almost completely obscured”, and that they have become “to a large extent … divisive rather than unifying” . There is some truth (just a little) in that.

  • Bill Pratt

    The challenge lies in discerning what is extraneous and what is not. Dyer and Tolle strip away so much that nothing is left but an empty carcass.

  • sunraynnc

    If you are speaking of Holy Trinity, it is an Episcopal church. I don’t know if holding a book study is “promoting” a book or set of beliefs…maybe it is more of a “comparative” study.

  • Bill Pratt

    It was not Holy Trinity. There’s a difference between studying a book in order to learn something by comparison, versus holding a “Bible study” class where the book is actually being promoted for its spiritual teachings. I have nothing against the first use of Tolle’s book, but I do have something against the second. The context I was given with this particular church is that it was being promoted as a book that was compatible with Christianity and that the attendees were not told that Tolle’s teachings contradict essential teachings of Christianity.

  • Mike K

    I attend the Catholic church referenced here, I know the host of this study, and I know at least one person (besides the host) who attended this study. I would like to clarify a couple of things. First, the Catholic church did not host this study, it was a parishioner of the church hosting at their house. Second, the church did not and does not promote Tolle’s beliefs in any way, shape, of form. And last, this was not a “Bible study”, nor was it promoted as compatible with Christianity.

    But, I agree that the attendees were not told that Tolle’s teachings contradict essential teachings of Christianity, and the purpose of the event was to learn more about Tolle’s philosophy with the intent to apply it to their lives.

    I write this since I feel there is enough Catholic bashing, mostly based on ignorance, and I would like to keep any additional misinformation from spreading.

  • Bill Pratt

    Thanks for the clarification, Mike. I’m glad to hear the church wasn’t hosting it. I’m still disappointed that a church member would host this kind of study without making clear that Tolle rejects core Christian beliefs. You and I have often lamented the ignorance in all of our churches, and this was just one more example. Also, I wasn’t really interested in the Catholic angle, so I left it out of the original post, and only answered when someone asked in the comments. It could have just as easily been a Baptist or Methodist church.

  • Nox

    I think you should personally read the book yourself, relying on other people’s comments of the book is not sufficient to give you an overall opinion. Eckhart does not contradict christianity but rather goes to the essence of what the religion points to. You really do need to read the book and then form an opinion as is the case with most things that are put under scrutiny.

  • Bill Pratt

    Hi Nox,
    I admit that reading the book would be better. However, do you agree that Eckhart denies that Jesus is the only true God-man to ever live, or that salvation is only through believing that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead?

  • Nox

    To my recollection, there is nothing in Eckhart’s books which explicitly state the denial of Jesus as God, however, I do believe that he did paraphrase quotes from the bible (made by Jesus himself) such as ‘you (referring to humanity)are the light of the world’, or “you are god” (I apologize for not knowing the exact reference to these quotes) which suggest that he may have implied this. My previous comment however was not directed at whether Eckhart Tolle believes Jesus to be God, but rather in reference to you asking the question of whether it is appropriate to promote his beliefs in a christian church. Having said that, I do believe there is great truth in his books. The term chrisitian is an abstract concept, nothing more then a label on a group of individuals following a common purpose, Jesus himself did not start christianity. If you can look past the labels of theological dogma, to the core of what all religions point to, youll find that having a label on something such as christian, muslim, jew or whatever it may be, actually divides humanity. If a christian can look at a person of another religion and see him/her in their essence – beyond the beliefs, culture, or background – just as who they are and not want to change them or draw them in, the world will be a much better place. This, I believe is what Jesus meant when he coined the phrase “judge not and you shall not be judged”.

  • Bill Pratt

    I have studied the words of Jesus extensively for many years. He made claims about himself, that he was the unique, the one and only human representation of God. I don’t think Tolle would go along with this. Christianity is not an abstract label at all. It defines a group of people who, in a spiritual sense, have been born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christians are born again when they express belief that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died for mankind’s sins, and that he rose from the dead. These are very concrete things we believe, and it sets us apart from those who do not believe these things. If Tolle denies any of these core beliefs of Christians, then his teachings should not be featured in a Christian church without a warning to that effect. I have no issue studying Tolle’s teachings, as long as everyone is made aware that he denies the core beliefs we hold dear.

    When you say that we need to get to the core of what religions point to, I say that we must take the words of Jesus seriously, as recorded in the New Testament. If you haven’t read the Gospel of John, you should read it. See what Jesus says about himself in this book, written by one of his closest followers.

  • Nox

    I too know a relatively large amount about the bible. You know as much as I do that the bible for many years has been construed in different ways by different individuals, including but not limited to christians. You should also know that alot of the bible’s teachings and stories are interpreted metaphorically rather than literally. In this light please answer this question? Why should your personal idiosyncratic ideas of the bible be superior to that of another having the same amount of knowledge, experience and study in a particular area. Remember that your readings of the bible and how you interpret it are subject largely to your past experiences, upbringing and education, doesnt this in itself show some form of bias in the different views the bible is interpreted and taught in church. Now… Christianity is an abstract concept in that it doesnt tell you anything about the individuals underneath the label, people from England have a flag, national anthem, culture a concrete set of beliefs, a government, “which they hold most dear”, which may be different from an Australian or American system, yet if we held these labels as our identity and not the actual individuals underneath the mental blanket of ideas the disparity in the world would be chaotic. It is only through accepting and finding what it is that we have in common, in other words the essence of the individuals underneath all the different countries, and seeing that there really is no difference in what everyone is trying to find and believe in, the only difference is the path they take to get there. The bible says “god created man in his own image”, it appears however that man created god in his own image, the infinite, the sacred, the omega, omnipotent, nameless being, reduced down to a mental concept of beliefs that man has said to worship as your god or my god.

    I have read the bible, what is the harm in you reading eckharts book, if your faith in god is solid, is it really that bad to give it a go, you may yourself find that it opens your eyes to other areas and not at all deteriorates your beliefs.

    On a lighter note, the book really isnt about religion, or trying to get people to believe in something or change what they believe. I dont want to try and explain on an internet website as I may ruin the book for you if you do read it lol.
    I respectfully accept what you believe and can see what you mean and are trying to say.


  • Bill Pratt

    Hi Nox,
    You said “Why should your personal idiosyncratic ideas of the bible be superior to that of another having the same amount of knowledge, experience and study in a particular area?”

    They should not. I am a firm believer in standing behind the essential beliefs of Christianity, not my personal idiosyncratic beliefs. There are about a dozen core beliefs that Christians embodied in creeds through the first few hundred years of the church. To these I hold and everything else is debatable. These core beliefs, by the way, are held by Roman Catholics, eastern Orthodox, and most Protestant denominations. You talked about finding common ground, and that is exactly what these essential beliefs do.

    I am not against reading Tolle’s books at all. I am against a Christian church promoting his ideas as compatible with essential Christian beliefs. Some of his ideas are, and some are not. The congregation should clearly be told this.

  • Nox

    hi bill,

    while you are a firm believer in the essential beliefs of christianity, your interpretation of these essential beliefs are still based on personal idiosyncratc idealisms. I mean surely you do not agree with the early christians who established the religion and killed those who opposed it, is this really what jesus wanted? Your beliefs differ Im sure, on how you interpret what Jesus said, your beliefs are not based on the collective majority of christians per se, as in,I believe what I do because that is what all christians believe, rather, your beliefs are personal on what you take to be chritian.(even though it may be what the majority of christians believe). I speak more on Eckhart in your other blog about, difficult questions.

  • Nox

    I apologize for the appalling spelling mistakes in this blog and the other, I should really proof read before i submit the comments.

  • Belva Moore

    Tolle is no different than every other “new age philosopher” in that the belief system he is teaching here is a conglomeration or borrowed concepts from various non Western religions. The problem with that is there is no anchor, so to speak, for this type belief system. i.e. no absolute truth. If everyone is god, then everyone can make up their own rules. This type belief system can only lead to chaos.

    Like you, I find it disturbing that someone might be promoting this book as a Bible study unless is it a compare and contrast type study. However, these things happen – satin loves an open door, but a cracked one will do. I once was invited to and attended The Course in Miracles which was held at a local church, and be assured it was not a compare and contrast study. The Bible was never mentioned or referenced.

    The best defense for this type of philosophy creeping into mainline Christianity is for churches to take Bible study seriously and blend that with apologetics so that Christians can develop an understanding of why we believe what we believe, and it should start from the cradle. Small children are remarkably able to understand these truths and are capable of asking questions about them.

    It all comes down to control. Who is in control; who is the rule maker – man or God. I prefer God. He’s smarter than me.

  • Joseph

    I disagree, well my perception is different.
    In the Bible where God says to Moses “I AM” i interpret this as God is…
    God is the absolute reason for all being and the essence of all existence. you cannot give God a location, like up in heaven somewhere, he is the sustain-er of everyone and everything. Jesus had a distinct relationship with God and was a manifestation of this essence or light inside of him. But we can also strive to manifest this as we are all created in the image of God.

    As it says in the 17th chapter of Luke “The Kingdom of God is within You”. God is… and this is what people such as Eckhart and many others try to grasp when speaking of consciousness however by calling it consciousness instead of God they are not quite there yet in terms of understanding our maker.

    as for the notion of self, Jesus said
    “If any one desires to follow me, let him renounce self and take up his cross, and so be my follower.” the elimination of bad thoughts, desires, vain imaginings and ego from our lives is not a bad thing. we should not ask God for a list of things, only to do his will and closeness to God should be our ultimate goal rather than any material temporary things.

    This is my view anyway, please respond

  • Peter

    Well, I haven’t read the whole “New Earth” but I know the Eckart Tolle teachings and I read his 2 previous books: “The power of now” and “Stillness speaks”. Here are the errors 😉

    “1. God and man are one (pantheism).”

    No. Tolle does not say that.

    “2. The human self is an illusion (Buddhism).”

    No. Tolle does not say that.

    “3. Death and the human body are illusions (Buddhism).”

    No. Tolle does not say that.

    “4. Jesus is not uniquely God, since everyone is God.”

    No. Tolle does not say that everyone is God. He does not also say wheter Jesus is God or not.

    “If you know of any other links that discuss Tolle’s beliefs in comparison to Christianity, feel free to post them in the comments section of this post.”

  • Seancardoso

    How can you comment without having read his books?

  • Gary Rogers

    Thanks Peter for the link to a great blog that is very well thought out and written.

  • NewBlue

    It is unfortunate that another uninformed, fixed jury “argument” for so-called “say this prayer and think like me” Christianity has been flopped onto the blogosphere. It’s a shame. Disagree if you will, but at least know what you’re disagreeing with. Elevating yourself above others because of a specific theological dogma is an activity of Pharisees.

  • Richard Fox

    why is God considered male in the Christian mind?
    He, Him, etc. Our Lord, Our Father, etc.?

  • gypsygemem

    It strikes me as the strangest thing ever that you would purport to answer tough questions without reading the book you refer to.

    Here are some other views:

  • Jonathan

    According to the LDS church, when we die we will all be put into two different places before judgment, paradise and prison. Paradise is the place where the believers will go, the ones that held to their faith and did not sin, but even if they did sin they would still go to paradise if they repented truly in their hearts. Prison is the place where the people that didn’t have true knowledge of the gospel will go. Of course people in prison will get a chance to redeem themselves when missionaries from Paradise will cross over and Teach them the true gospel. Then it’s up to their choosing to accept or deny Jesus as their lord and savior. Anyways, after we are all judged by our lord, we will all be placed in either the three degrees of glory or Outer Darkness (Hell). Outer Darkness (Hell) is where people who had perfect knowledge of the truth but denied it will go. To my knowledge, not many people will actually go to Hell, I’ve been told that ten people or less will go. The LDS Church beleives that Outer Darkness (Hell) is a real place that is of no light or glory (hence the name Outer Darkness). The three degrees of glory are; the Telestial Kingdom (Lowest), the Terrestrial Kingdom (Middle), and the Celestial Kingdom (Highest). There are many levels in both the Telestial and Terrestrial kingdoms. There are infinite in the Celestial. Let’s say that after judgment you got put into the Telestial kingdom (Lowest), you could still advance through it’s levels over time and be able to pass into the Terrestrial kingdom (Middle), and then you will also be able to advance through the levels of the Terrestrial kingdom (Middle) but you will not be able to cross into the Celestial kingdom (Highest) ever. To my understanding, the levels that are within these kingdoms consist of knowledge. So if you get put into either of the two lowest kingdoms (Telestial and Terrestrial) your knowledge is limited for eternity. But if you get put into the Celestial kingdom (Highest) your knowledge becomes infinite. First think of having limited knowledge for eternity, you’ve learned all you can and you cannot learn anymore. It would be frustrating. Thats why in * * it says “wailing and gnashing of teeth ” .Now think of having infinite knowledge, and a perfect memory. Over time, you will have the knowledge to form your own worlds and create man (Your children) which will make you God to them. So our God is a he. He had a God of his own. His God could’ve been a he or a she. He went through the same thing we are going through right now (Which is why he understands us so). He was worthy enough to enter the Celestial kingdom (Highest) and so he became our God. Think for a second. If you were a God to others, don’t you think they would be asking the same question either way? “Why is God a he?” or “Why is God a She?”

  • nexus

    Why don’t you read all his books, dissect his material, then interview him one on one, before making irrational stick your head in the sand judgments.

  • good point….including using scripture that is key for anyone to better know the Creator…. i personally found that believing beyond the wanting and social norms was only possibly when i came to the end of myself, desperate for a savior. even then, without reading the living word of a supernatural God over time, was i truely able to measure first-hand, what happens when you meet God where He is. it’s human nature to mostly call on God when we need Him and all of this life is designed for just that for beginners. make no mistake your salvation is relational. sadly, the noise of the critics voices, which are many, reveals their opinion is based upon their lack of this relationship. imagine if you will, what kind of all-knowing, holy God that created you for a purpose and out of love, would also design a path to heaven for eternity by self-worship? Eckert’s belief we are God is missing the mark, as being being made in His image and having His indwelling Holy Spirit – through the free gift of salvation is veryyyyyy far from being a sinless, perfect creator and sustainer of everything. in hopes to to clarify a typical point of confusion that might connect some of the dots for non-beliveris, the transformative changes in a christian of becoming more Christ-like is a result of true salvation (only God can see your intentions) and not the other way around. Meaning, we are considered changed because of our changed behavior, but instead because of the acceptance of God’s grace that brings about changes. Christians are charged to spread the seed or “good news” of salvation knowing that some will hit rock and not grow. christians sometimes loose sight that it’s God’s promise to harvest the crops, often pushing people away. There in lay the beautfy of a personal God, for you to know yourself. whether believed or not, God scours the earth for those that would become His children. He is already calling your name, if you have curiosity about such matters. <3 will you answer the call, as He is waiting FOR YOU? <3

  • Nick

    bible rewritten, to very drastic degrees. proven 100% fact by famous
    bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman. so, when Jesus said “I and the father are
    one” it is my humble inner experience within, and observation outward
    based on my own experience, anyway, that what Jesus really meant was “I
    am completely connected with God in perfect unison. We are like one, as
    one. I am whole. I am complete. I sense and feel that I am whole and
    complete inside and one with him.” but since the mind can’t grasp that
    until one fully experiences that, or at least somewhat along the way,
    (they call it truth but I call it..) inner knowing feeling and sensation
    of God and I feeling, then we invariably find, that we go in circles
    searching (overusing the mind as the tool..) to find it. It’s a right
    balance. Stay the course dear friends. Be strong inside and out. Always
    take the very best care of yourself, to aid you in better knowing God
    within too along the way, and above all, go within sometimes, be silent,
    and listen/feel/sense/focus on God. You will continue to feel him more
    and more… And the more you feel and find him and know him, the very
    much more you come to feel inside, that you are honestly, divinely, and
    wholly set free. PS. And for crying out loud, don’t get yourself caught
    in the trap that all this is “the devil” trying to fool, trick you, and
    deceive you, because God is always right HERE. Reach out to him, focus
    on him, trust in him… He is there inside. It’s not a trick. You’ll
    know him because you’ll feel the I am oneness and completeness and
    love-feeling of unity inside which is him and your own “Ahhhh this feels
    WAY more like my own REAL identity too.. It feels totally RIGHT, and
    natural and “meant to be” all on it’s own, straight from God. That’s how
    you know you’re on the right track. Anything else would be and does
    lead to absolute insanity. Be strong my dear friends! Seek the journey
    within and without. Embrace the challenge. Love the challenge! It gives
    you little rewards of feeling much better and love inside along the way
    too… So it’s the single most encouraging path to take in your life
    too. You shall see, and most importantly, sense and feel it’s true.
    Again, it will feel more and more like the real and true you too. God
    Bless and Much Love, always. -Nick

  • I just saw and listened to the interview Mr. Tolle had with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday very carefully. I have read the bible and am born again filled with the Holy Ghost walking with the LORD for 17 years. I dont need to read Mr. Tolle’s book to discern that what he teaches and belives is error in every way. If a person has any time studying the word of God and walking with the LORD can see right through the deception and out right ant-christ doctrine that he teaches. The bible is clear that in the the last days these false prophrts and teachers will arise and deceive many, but I am not one of them. There is a great increase of new age and humanistic teachings in the earth now and we as believers have got to study the bible and seek God like never before . If you are lacking in your knowledge of God it is imperative that you study your bible and seek God like never before or fall prey to this kind of deception. Any teaching concerning spiritual matters that leave out the Lordship of Jesus Christ is not of God and the Holy Ghost has nothing to do with it. One of the assignments of the Holy Ghost is to glorify Jesus and if that is not happening do not receive the teaching as the doctrine of Christ.

  • andreas

    i personally see eckharts teachings as a way to be a better christian. it is like eckhart is giving humanity a version of the bible that is more easy for the modern human being to relate to, accept and seek out god. it is not up to me or any other living human beind to define who is a false teacher or what may be the ”devils” work. and i am sure that if jesus would have known the cruelty the christians have brought on thousands of innocent people he would feel very sad about it. yet it is not up to me to judge any of this. yet i believe that jesus died for the sins of humanity and i accept him as my savior i can only hope that god accepts me and will bless me with a place in what we define as heaven when i die. god knows about all of my sins. and i have sinnes alot. and i have prayed for forgiveness on my own, my family and on the behalf of humanity. and i can only hope that god hear those prayers and make come true. i hope that in my life before i die i can satisfy god enough to spend the eternity with him by studying the bible and be a good person and commit as few sins as possible with the help of the bible and any other book that i in my heart find helpfull to do such. we can only pray and hope for gods forgiveness and a place in the eternity with him. we cannot judge eachother on gods behalf and say who is wrong and who is right. because what jesus said and did cannot be truly defined by a sinfull human being. but he did it to save us. so any teaching by a saint, prophet or any other author that can possibly help us satisfy god derserves our attention. we can only hope and pray for salvation. and a place with god in the eternity is enough for me. i dont need to learn to be as powerfull as god in the afterlife and one day maybe create and become a god myself. all i need is a place with my god. that should satisfy anyone on this earth. bless you all and sorry for any miss-spelling. im a dane and not quite used to write long ”talks” in english 🙂

  • ssaint6

    Giving a review of something you haven’t read is pretty lame even with a disclaimer. I’d also like to ask, who are you to judge what is appropriate for someone else’s “bible studies”. Are they forcing you to attend?

  • MrRustic

    Is not ignorant to make judgement on another based only on others opinions? You can not make comment unless you take the time to read what he teaches. That is not Christian in itself; to judge another. I believe Tolle is closer to the truth. He says the purpose of life is to find God within you which is exactly what the Bible teaches. He teaches to be less focused on material things and more focused on God and respond to situations through the presence of God. He teaches about changing your own life to focus on love and God which will then overflow to others to create a peaceful world where people live in unison with life. Everything he teaches is within the Bible but, he teaches in a way that is easier for people to experience and understand God in their lives. To believe you are going to heaven because you go to church and read the bible is naive. To judge another and to discredit their shared love with God is not Christian. If his teachings create happiness, joy and love in a person that was filled with negativity then how is this not good? If his teachings bring people, (who dislike church because of its history of suffering cast on others) to find love and God within themselves then, how is this wrong and what does this say about you? I was raised in Christianity and I have read many books and attended different churches and I’d argue the point that Eckhart is closer to the truth than the church that conjures fear in its congregation. Fear that if they don’t abide by what you say they will not receive God’ s love. Would Jesus judge Tolle as you have? Would Jesus make comment about a person without knowing the truth from the source rather than what others have said (here say)?
    If you have faith and fear no evil then why do you fear the teachings of Eckhart?
    If you look at it on a different level how are you any different from the people who feared Jesus and therefore supported his death and defamed his teaching? You fear Tolle because thousands of people are finding peace and God through his teachings and therefore, you attempt to defame him and claim God as your witness? Would God do this? How or where you find God is not important. The important thing is “how you use this new found love to, not only nurture a closer love with God but, how you choose to share your love with everyone you meet.
    God comes to those who are ready to see God and feel God. God is everywhere. You don’t have to hide in a building (church) to love and know God. Churches are made by man for people to gather and share their beliefs but, you can’t expand the knowledge of God by staying in a building full of people that already believe in what you have.

    How many times to you see a church lead the smelly stranger who just walked in, to a seat right at the back away from others? I’ve seen it happen in several churches even as they preach about loving everyone.

    Would God seat that person at the back or would he invite him to the front and thank him for his presence?

    Have you ever considered that the smelly man you sat out the way is actually God seeing how you would treat him if you didn’t recognize him?

    A person with the presence of God alive in them would not write articles to defame another person. Nor would he speak about that person without knowing the person first hand. He certainly wouldn’t take heresay as fact.

    Maybe instead of questioning the presence of God in others, you should question your own faith because it seems you have stumbled off the path.

    The main purpose for people is to find the presence of God within them. The second purpose is what you choose to do with that love once you’ve found it.

    Tolle’s teachings are basically to find your peace in God and to use his presence that dwells within you to guide your decisions in life. To be positive and loving to all. To reconnect with all that is and to share this love by example.

    Fear does not exist in God or love so by believing Tolle is not of God then you are making judgement based on fear. Where has God gone?

  • MrRustic

    Why don’t ask Tolle himself rather than assuming what he believes. Does the Bible say we should debate who Jesus was? Does the Bible say we should judge anyone that is different from ourselves? It sounds like you’ve spent years reading the words of the Bible but missing the true message that the words point to. You are not trying to defame Tolle for God, you are doing it to please your ego. God would see no reason to defame Tolle because love does not know fear and for what greater purpose would defaming Tolle achieve? The misery of thousands? If you are in God’s presence then why do you feel necessary to find fault in others? Would God do that? Would God feel it necessary to publicly fault another? Would God create doubt? A person must find God for themselves. You can lead a person to the door but you can’t make him open it.

  • MrRustic

    Tolle does not tell you to believe him. He tells you to find out yourself. He says openly that some people will find the books helpful and others will find nothing in them. He doesn’t tell you to stop attending church.

    All he’s trying to do is help people discover the love within and around us which is God. You’ve named the nameless and because someone else calls it a different name you doubt it. God is the presence of all things so it doesn’t matter whether you call it God, presence, love, peace, silence, light or what ever you are still in connection with the same being with which you’ve named God.

    If all things are connected as one with the source (God) then in essence, we are all God or if you prefer a part of God. The presence within us is God. The presence around us is God. Churches seem to create a manly image of God. God isn’t man, God is the life force in all things imaginable and all things that are impossible to imagine with the human mind.

    Can’t you see that all religions spend a lifetime arguing that their religion is the better one when in actual fact, all religions are believing in the same presence but have labeled it differently. Drop the labels and end the war.

  • MrRustic

    ” If everyone is god, then everyone can make up their own rules. This type belief system can only lead to chaos.”

    isn’t that what free will is? Isn’t that what the world is full of, chaos? Think about it!

  • MrRustic

    “however by calling it consciousness instead of God they are not quite there yet in terms of understanding our maker.”
    You see the flaw in your thinking?

    God does not create hierarchies where one is above another. By calling it God you are thinking like a man. You are putting God on a pedestal as though he is more meaningful than you.

    God stands beside you, your equal and that is why presence or consciousness is probably more accurate. Hierarchies are fear based and fear doesn’t exist with God. So thinking God is above you is based on fear which is created in the mind not by God.

  • MrRustic

    You say you are born again and filled with God so why the need to place judgement on another human? Where is God in that? The funny thing is, Tolle doesn’t place judgement on anyone so who is living more in God’s image?

  • Guest


  • Geir Offenberg

    you are completly wrong, it’s not a summary of tolles teachings at all.

  • Geir Offenberg

    strip away from what, his message is purely a message change of consciousness, he has defined it many many times, it’s other ppl that add a lot to it.

  • Geir Offenberg

    you dont know what you are talking about, sir. Ppl like Tolle is not confirming or denying the doctrines of christianity AT ALL. Just like a teacher of psychology or medicine shouldnt be judged by whether he talks about jesus as god or not, tolle is nto a teacher of any religious doctrine at all. He is teaching a practical method of changin the mind from being caught up in continous thinking in order to be aware of the present moment. This IS however a very strong part of judeo and christian tradition – and even biblical teaching, and tolle often base it on the words “be still and know i am the Lord” and many many words of Jesus – he even teaches how to peform the “denying of self” that jesus clearly says is the requirement to enter the Kingdom, the death of the ego that no christian i ever met has practiced. When you treat ppl like this as enemies – a person that can do very simply what you christians never can do, namely make un believers, agnostics and even atheists come in contact with the presence of God trough his way of performing “metanoia” (change of nous) ,then YOU are not practicing the teaching of your Lord. So i want you to know that it is you that should be avoided and warned about at all cost. I also want you to know that you probably think youre doing a great evanglistic effirt, but it is people like you is the reason i am not and never will be a christian.

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  • ewrecked

    When you look at the Bible from a different perspective with an open mind all while unlearning the lies you have been programmed to believe, it all makes perfect sense

  • theophilus

    A local church called the Disciples of Christ also teaches from a bible scholar who is also an agnostic. Figure that out. Today’s church is a mixture of Christ’s teachings and things contrary to Christ. I don’t know where or if His church is still here.

  • theophilus

    The agnostic is the popular bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman. There was an entire series of sunday school classes for disciples based on his books. What ever happened to true disciple teaching? What was taught by Ehrman, and Tolle, and Dyer, and others definitely appeals to my itching ears, this is what I want to hear (I speak as a man in the flesh). Something else in me yearns for something else; sound bible teaching and I cannot find that anywhere!

  • Elexa Dawson

    Perhaps what you’re looking for is not outside of yourself. Maybe Christ never meant for us to contain him inside one book. Maybe the book was put together in the first place to externalize the “word of God” into pen and ink, when we should be internalizing the Word as Christ-in-us.

  • theophilus

    If i look to myself, then I will really be messed up. The scripture says to the church, the kingdom is within you. But with so many churches, where is it?

  • Elexa Dawson

    Why do you say Jesus spoke those words to the church?

    I know this is really difficult to accept, because we’ve been taught that we are inherently evil. But that teaching did not come from Christ.

    When we accept that the kingdom of heaven is within each of us, we can look to the only true Word, Christ-in-us, and know that is truth.

    You are on the right path with the observation that there are so many groups that claim the “right dogma”. The truth is, the mystery of Christ cannot be contained in a dogma, and to try and do so is to idolize/worship a false god.

    John5:39-40 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. “

  • theophilus

    The scripture says it is the church; to answer my own question, where two or more are gathered in His name (follow Him and acknowledge Him) that is His church. When the Greek uses the plural ‘you’ it is not referring to anyone individual, but a group. In Jn 5, ‘you ‘refers to the group or representative of the group that was being addressed. Also, the kingdom is within you refers to the group that follows Him. We are not to look any further, for the kingdom is right here when we actually follow His teachings. It is not in private interpretation, iotherwise there would be no authority or truth, everything conflicting. It is also not in some desert or mountain, or some esoteric or secret society,it is open for all to except His teaching.

  • theophilus

    I am so thankful for you. Why are there not any others in our discussion?

  • Elexa Dawson

    I’m not sure the distinction you’re making is helpful. I understand ‘where two or more are gathered’ and if that helps you to know that the Spirit is there, that is good. But consider that Christ is in all things, through all things, and in him all things hold together. There is no where you could go, alone or unaccompanied that Christ is not present. You have the mind of Christ, so externalizing the truth of Christ is counter-productive to the divine being you already partake in. He is the light that lights everything that comes into the world.
    The concern about “no authority or truth” is ultimately one of control. And the kingdom is not established by control or force, but by surrender. Many false teachers have used the ‘authority’ found in scriptures to lord over unsuspecting, honest people because their faith is in the book, not necessarily in the living Christ within them. They will deny their “heart”, having been told it is wicked, and ignore the gentle tugs back to the truth within them because bible verses are used to create shame or guilt, and ultimately control. If Sabbath was made for the man, and not the other way around, the scriptures surely are made for us and not us for the scriptures. As they are inspired, they should inspire us.

    Jeremiah 31:33 After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, And write it in their hearts; And I will be their God, And they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: For they shall all know me, From the least of them unto the greatest of them….

  • Donny

    Old Bill…
    One recommendation, if I may…don’t confuse Spirituality with religion.
    When I gave up my belief “system,” especially regarding religious beliefs (replaced by Thinking for myself), the result was Spirituality…the Oneness which religion does not encourage.
    Spontaneously, there was an AHA…I was immediately freed from what I discovered was “the burden of beliefs.”

    Donny Rothbardt (Life Coach)
    Abington, PA

  • Donny

    Bill Pratt…
    For clarity, when you say “left with an empty carcass,” is that a plus, or a negative?
    Did you mean left with nothingness?…or what?

  • Donny

    Mike K…
    Doing much work on Spirituality and following Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Byron Katie, etc., IMO, I highly doubt Tolle would ask anyone to “believe” his opinions.
    What Tolle’s work offers…either it works for us as individuals, or it doesn’t.
    For example, as Ken Wilber might suggest…”to believe in God is to miss the point altogether.”

  • Donny

    Beliefs, beliefs, beliefs…where does Tolle request you “believe” his writings?
    Make no mis-take, no religion can exist or survive without “believing” their particular dogma and superstitions.
    OTOH, as a long time professional life coach, my experience is that through organized religion(s), beliefs has taken over people’s minds..and truth has gone out the window.
    BTW, don’t believe me either. (Smile)

  • Donny

    Amen, Brotha! For me, when it was suggested I read the bible as a metaphor, then it made perfect sense…including the absurd “miracles.”
    Personally, I think the bible was written by many different contributors…some loving and some insecure and fearful.

  • Donny

    Mr Rustic,
    Well said! I have, as you say, found God for myself. To cut to the chase…it happened long after I gave up “believing” in God through religious doctrine, dogma and superstitions.
    Giving up believing in God, I KNOW God, as Jesus said, is within me. That was a miraculous AHA moment.
    That said, I don’t ascribe to any “ist” or “ism.” And so I am freed from the “burden of belief and religion!”

  • Donny

    Have you ever investigated the original meaning of the word, “belief?”
    If I may…what’s the difference between belief and truth?

  • Donny

    “Beliefs” again! You, like a few before you, are mind trained to throw “belief’ into the mix…where Tolle never requests…and for good reason.

    Relatively, and as I’ve humbly suggested many times…”to believe in what Tolle has to offer, is to miss the point entirely.”
    You might ask, what is there to ponder if Tolle said not to put this through your “belief” filter.
    IMO, Tolle’s work is a “try it on,” but don’t “believe any of it.”
    This is not the same as organized religion where you MUST “BELIEVE” their dogma or superstitions OR ELSE!

  • Donny

    For sure Tolle needs no defending by me. However, I don’t see anywhere in his writings that shows him “trying to grasp” God, consciousness or anything else.
    If your belief in your religion, God or Jesus works for you, then that’s all you need as I see it.
    OTOH, I KNOW God is within me, no question!…thanks to Jesus’ simple explanation. However, I’m not a Christian, nor do I embrace any “ist” or “ism.”
    Yet I don’t “believe” in Jesus or God…I’ve given up “believing” in either one to KNOW God.
    I suggest you define “belief”…but you won’t find truth there.
    That said…Embracing Spirituality, I no longer need to argue about religion…

  • Donny

    Thanks, I love to hear the various religious dogma. (Big grin)

  • Donny

    Thanks for your contribution. Amazingly, I’ve been “born again” too and Jesus had nothing to do with it. But I’m not knocking Jesus…to the contrary. As far as KNOWING God is within me, I do have Jesus’ biblical remark to give thanks to.
    However, I’m not a Christian, nor do I ascribe to any religion, “ist” or “ism!” Amazing, huh?
    Oh yes, I am in heaven right here on Earth (like Jesus said) because I went back in the past and rescued my fearful little 4 year old.
    So Me & God & 4 year old Donny are all together. It’s ecstasy!

  • Donny

    You are the church. God is within you! If not within you, where?
    Learn to think for yourself and that’ll help a lot.

  • Donny

    I think (for myself) rather than believe, that Jesus wanted us to know we are all children of God, just like him.
    When I gave up ‘believing” in God, I found him exactly where Jesus said…within me!

    What got me there was the advice from a mentor (like Tolle), was..”To believe in God, is to miss the point entirely!” What does that leave?
    Donny (Life coach)

  • Donny,
    No offense, but if you don’t believe what you are teaching, and you don’t ask your clients to believe what you are teaching them, then you would be just about the worst life coach I could imagine.

    The truth is, however, that you believe a whole lot of things, and you expect your clients to believe everything you tell them.

    If you didn’t believe anything, you wouldn’t be on this blog commenting so much. People who don’t believe anything just stay silent….

  • Donny

    The “truth” is????? (Big smile)
    FYI, I don’t teach…I educate. And I highly doubt you know the difference. The same goes for belief and truth…I doubt you know the difference? OR EVEN WANT TO KNOW the difference!
    And for someone who says, “no offense” and uses extremely offensive words, I.e., “the worst coach I could imagine,” you’re a hypocrite…but easily forgiven.
    And I am not offended…in fact your uncalled for offensive words just tell me all about you.
    And no I don’t “believe,” I THINK..for myself! Especially regarding organized religions insisting on their flock to blindly accept their dogma and childish superstitions…or else! And thinking for oneself is no doubt a phenomenon your “faith” probably discourages.
    You might try it sometimes, and you might enjoy the freedom I found…free from “the burden of belief!”
    Happy Holidays

  • Donny

    What organized religion tolerates an open mind? Try being open about thinking for yourself and you’ll find yourself out on your ear.

  • Donny

    BTW, Bill…your stated beliefs here seem quite authoritarian…jus’ sayin’

  • Donny

    I’ve read nothing of Tolle’s writings that contradicts Christians or Christianity.
    The big difference I see is, with Christianity, one must believe what they’re told, their dogma and their superstitions they call “miracles.”
    Whereas Tolle requests no one to “believe” what he proposes.
    And may I add…”To believe in God, religion and they’re teachings, is to miss the point entirely.”
    I finally found God within me, where Jesus said God was…when I gave up “believing.” And I am not a Christian!
    Happy Holidays

  • Donny

    Richard Fox….
    Not only that, but many devout Christians actually believe that Christ is Jesus’ last name. I find humor in that.

  • Donny,
    I didn’t say you were the worst coach I could imagine. I said you would be the worst coach I could imagine if you didn’t really believe anything you were teaching.

    But obviously you do, so therefore you are not the worst coach I could imagine.

    Now, since you are claiming that belief and truth are different, tell me how you define them.

  • Donny

    I can define belief..however, It’s my opinion to define truth is to defile truth.
    OTOH, an example of belief, if I may…Many years ago the church leaders believed the Earth was the center of the Universe…with the risk of jail (or worse) if one disbelieved. Galileo?
    Later, it was proved it wasn’t true.
    So somewhere down the line, religious wise, belief was substituted for truth…while truth went out the window.
    And if one doesn’t accept (believe) the respective religion’s dogmatic versions…you are OUT! Yes?
    Thus, belief is belief and truth is truth…they’re not the same.
    Last comment…Along with belief comes doubt.
    Thanks for asking…that, I appreciate.
    BTW, to me truth & God are one and the same. Both found within…me, and you and all!

  • Donny,
    So you’re saying that belief is: “the act of thinking that something is true, but it is really false”?

  • Donny

    Not exactly…Thinking (instead of believing) that something is true and it isn’t, doesn’t necessarily make it false.
    Whatever the premise, whatever is in question, may not yet have a viable or ready answer.
    As Einstein said, there are times to “dwell in the mystery.”
    Again, thanks for asking. I appreciate that.

  • So what is believing, then?

  • Donny

    Does Eckhart Tolle’s work contradict Christianity? It’s possiible but not that i can see.
    OTOH, does Christianity contradict Tolle’s work? IMO, Christianty, per se, cannot technically contradict anybody or anything. However, A Christian devotee (a human) can contradict anything or anybody they choose to target.

  • Donny

    “What is believing then? Love the question! Thanks!
    My best answer…after some pondering, is…IT’S CERTAINLY NOT TRUTH, is it?
    In my book, “Love & Attachment,” I write, that the way I found out what real love is…was to list what love ISN’T!
    OTOH, I could identify “belief” as a lame and dangerous substitute for truth.

  • To say that belief is not truth is not to define belief. I already know that belief and truth do not have the same definitions, as do most people.

    Let’s take a look at the definition of belief using a dictionary:

    1.The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another.

    2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.

    3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

    So, in several of your comments you’ve posted, you have made a point to disparage belief, so could you tell me which of the definitions above you are disparaging and why?

  • Donny

    I am done explaining. Disparaging is your word, not mine. And it doesn’t work for me to put words in my mouth that I didn’t say nor meant!
    Offering any further opinions, explanations or distinctions would approach my having to defend myself…which I decline.
    There’s an old adage, Bill…”The more you explain, the less I understand.”
    With all due respect, what I see as Spiritual (distinct from religion), works perfectly for me, whether you “believe” it or not…and if it doesn’t work for you, that’s your business, not mine.
    As I said before, to “believe” in God is to miss the point entirely.

  • Donny,
    You are the one that told me that I needed to understand the difference between belief and truth. I have asked you to explain the difference and you have refused to do so. I don’t get you.

    If you are going to tell somebody that they need to understand something, but then you refuse to help them understand, then in what way are you being helpful?

    I have even tried to help you by offering 4 different definitions of “belief” that you could comment on to help me understand your viewpoint.

    Why aren’t you able and/or willing to help me understand your viewpoint? After all, for the last couple days you have literally written dozens of comments to dozens of people on my blog. You clearly have a lot to say about a lot of subjects. Right?

    So what gives?

  • Donny

    Somewhere inside of all I’ve shared with you is the best I’ve got to give.
    If you care to read them over again, my best and honest answer is there somewhere.
    Here again I never said you needed to understand the difference between belief and truth. OTOH, for clarification, I meant IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND where i’m coming from, yes, you’ll need to understand the difference…no question there!
    One last time…”The more you explain, the less I’ll understand.”
    If distinguishing truth from belief doesn’t make sense to you, then with all due respect, just let it go!
    It’s not a matter of life and death.
    With the risk of offending you, Bill, I really think you’d rather not want to distinguish truth/belief.

  • Love

    To know God is to know his words, to spend time alone talking to him and listening to what he has to say, as with all relationships. When we listen to false information God says it makes us double minded, swaying to and fro like the waves of the ocean. I can’t tell you where in scripture that verse comes, but I can tell you that’s what it means to hide His words in our hearts. I was seeing that some of you ‘believe’ that God lives in you. I have met God. I talk with God and God talks to me. He also told me, in His word, ( the Holy Bible) that Jesus Christ was/is God. So then who determines truth but the one who created truth? God himself said, I am the way the truth and the light, no one comes to the father except through me, Jesus Christ. Father God and the Holy Spirt which dwells in those that believe this truth! Without one doubt professing Christians past and present have misrepresented God, but so are those that profess to know him but still do not. That is why we are all in need of Jesus’ saving grace. Sounds like someone has been twisting the very words of God to give the world a false sense of peace. To know God is to listen to him speak. Read his word and he will reveal himself to you. He will speak to the hearts of those that know him. We are not equal to God. One day we will all fall on our face before him whether we choose to humble ourselves or not. I love my Lord, not because I fear Him but because He found me broken, spoke truth to me, then gently began to restore me. I was looking for God, found him and fell madly in love. That gives me peace that surpasses all understanding. That I know him personally!

  • Love

    “The way, the truth and the *life”


    You don’t even know that to be true. I bet you still believe Adam and Eve where physical male and female.


    Can you say that again. This man made religion called Christianity is doing just what it was created to do—KEEP PEOPLE IGNORANT AND IN FEAR.

  • Stephanie

    Unless you read his book or listen to how he came to where he is and what he speaks about, you can’t make the asertation that he is anti Christian. He knows more about Jesus teachings than most Christians I know.

  • mind

    Eckerd Tolle does not say you will not die, he just states that GOD is within us and is present on earth and in heaven. WE can call on him to help us and that the mind can create a lot of suffering for humans; worry, anxiety,etc. God stated that do not worry for I have overcome the world.He does not say we are GOD he just state GOD is inside of us, he is with us. He is trying to get a message to all religions. No religion is better then another.

  • Nothing wrong with listening to a good message and empowering yourself. If you don’t have money to buy his stuff, he has tons of Free stuff to help you become aware and conscious of your actions/thoughts.

  • mars

    I see there are a lot of comments already, but I was just thinking, maybe it might be better to actually read his books before trying to summarize them.

  • AvidReader

    If you haven’t read the book, any opinions you offer are not based on experience with the text but rather rooted in a bias unchallenged by actually reading it. So I immediately approach your post with apprehension.

    I identify as Christian. Raised on the word and in the church. I’ve read Tolle’s book. And immediately wondered how other Christians received it. Personally, I don’t find it anti Christian at all. I think there’s a great deal to be gained, personally at least, in reflecting on some of his thoughts. Different strokes for different folks. Some elements were, for a lack of better words, were too abstract for me. While some aspects shed a greater light upon and moved me deeper into my relationship with God.

    Overall, I do believe Tolle to be calling each individual to dig deeper into what they believe and WHY they believe it. That’s what I got from it, whether that was his intention or not. I think a lot of Christians and others who belong to groups of organized religion have a tendency to regurgitate what we’ve been told, never truly SEEKING and DISCERNING for ourselves. So many Christians cling to ideals that divide and condemn but can’t be bothered to actually STUDY the bible, study the historical time frame in which it was written, the many years in between and what influenced translations,or heck the peoples the books were even about!!! (After all, it’s a history book for sure, Old Testament especially).

    My point is, personally I was moved to dig deeper into my relationship with God, challenge tradition with Truth, and more.

    HOWEVER, I also can see how others may be apprehensive about the text given its, for a lack of better words, abstract and untraditional approach and content. I can especially see how someone who hasn’t read the book and even began to try and sift through its content first hand, can have negative opinions as well.

    In short, I encourage everyone to seek for Self and to rightly divide the Word of Truth.