Tolle wasn’t given his first name at birth; he took it from the 13th century German mystic Meister Eckhart. The first time I heard his name, I was drawn to it because I revere Meister Eckhart—not a surprise to anyone who reads my book and blog. I didn’t like hearing that Oprah Winfrey had made Tolle popular because I dislike faddishness, but I was wrong when I feared that popular always means shallow. His message distills the authentic core of spirituality.
Raised Catholic, Eckhart Tolle synthesizes core teachings from many spiritual traditions, including Christianity, Taoism, Hinduism, and especially Buddhism. After having spent several decades reading spiritual texts, and after a deep and dreadful dark night of the soul, he experienced a sudden breakthrough, a cathartic release, and woke up to everything looking,
precious and alive . . . everything seemed so peaceful, even the traffic. Later, I saw that phrase in the Bible somewhere, "The peace that passes all understanding."T.S. Eliot has a parallel phrase—“the still point of the turning world.” Another term for it is “the Reign of God.” But Eckhart Tolle said he does not use the word “God” often, giving the same reason I hesitate to use it.
I use the word God rarely because it's been misused so much by the human mind. . . . when you say ‘God’ you make it into a mental idol.He reminds me of how often I struggle to express the Inexpressible!
[The word God] has made the timeless, eternal, that which cannot be named, the vast mystery of life itself [into] a thought form. And then you think you know what you're talking about. But of course that's the misuse of the word God. But what ultimately it points to is the essence of who you are and the essence of what everything else is.
The underlying essence of all life.
Words are so useless when we talk about this. [That's why] the first line in the Tao Te Ching is "The Tao that can be spoken of is not the true Tao."
[Tao is] the mystery. . . the great un-manifested power that is behind all life which cannot be expressed in words.
[Laughing] The book says you can't speak of it. And then it continues to speak of it.
Like many contemporary seers, Eckhart Tolle sees a planetary shift in consciousness underway. There’s an exceptional readiness in the world, as the explosive response to his message attests. The whole interview is available at Eckhart Tolle's Now